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  1. #1
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    Anyone race XC on a 5+ inch travel bike ???

    Brief background: I have been posting to this forum since it started and have seen a Thread about " What race bike should I buy" every other month! Now here I am in need of a new race bike and I can't figure out what to get I've been racing a BLUR XC for 4 years and I live in NOR CAL, race expert, and will be 50 next season. Also my first of 2 kids starts college next year, so I can only get one bike, but I want 2. Most of the races out here are not technical, but a couple are and some of my riding in the summer is on rocky technical trails.
    My dilemma is this: Do I get another Blur XC ( carbon) or something like BLT Carbon or an IBIS MOJO SL.? I had made up my mind to get the Blur xc with a 120mm fork. Then my friend let me borrow his BLT for a few days, WOW! It just goes through rocks and bumps, and like everyone told me it is just plain MORE FUN. I know the IBIS is also a great bike. I have spent hours specking out the parts and there is a 1-2 pound penalty for going with the BLT or the IBIS. I've been racing for 8 years and know 1-2 pounds is not a huge deal, but on a long climb it is a big deal. ( I'm 6' and 150 pounds so don;t tell me to lose a couple pounds) With the extra travel I will make up the time on a course like Downieville, but not other courses.
    So, has anyone else made the switch to doing XC races on one these new sub 25 pound 5+inch travel bikes?
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  2. #2
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    I'm racing sport on my 4" rear, 5" front ventana. It is running heavier than the 25 you mention, I suspect is mostly in my 819 wheels with XT weight hubs. I won my last race sport class on a fairly technical course. I smoked people going downhill. The climbs and flat it did fine. The biggest thing for me is suspension setup. I climb standing on my single speed a lot so it is important to be able to stand on my race bike. I would love to have even better suspension setup so I could do less for standup climbing.
    Oh sh!+ just force upgraded to cat1. Now what?
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  3. #3
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    How about a bike with 29" wheels. At 6' tall,you would would be a good fit.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin
    ( I'm 6' and 150 pounds so don;t tell me to lose a couple pounds) With the extra travel I will make up the time on a course like Downieville, but not other courses.
    So, has anyone else made the switch to doing XC races on one these new sub 25 pound 5+inch travel bikes?
    Superfly 100...

    How about a new sub 25 pound 4" travel 29"er? 24.2 lbs in medium/25 lbs in large stock. A little tuning and 23 - 24 not a problem.

  5. #5
    LMN
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    I haven't switched for racing myself, but I do a lot of riding on 5 and 5 bike.

    I don't see any reason as to why you can't race well on a bike with a bit more travel. I don't think it will improve your racing but it will be more fun. The trick is to pick the right bike.

    I have ridden a ton of different dualies and my thoughts on suspension design have changed over time.

    I use to think that an active design was the way to go but I find in order for those bikes to pedal well, you either need something like the Brain or you have to run a lot of Pro-pedal. Basically to make them pedal well you have to comprimise their bump performance.

    The single pivot bikes I have ridden (Santa Cruz superlight, Orbea Occam) pedal amazing without having to use a compression damping feature.

    Recently I have been switching backand forth between an Occam and Norco Faze (non-active and active designs) the suspension on the Occam is superior on about 90% of the trail. The only place where I like the Norco more is under hard braking where I am setting up for a turn, and on very technical climbs with set-ups. I think the Norco is better in these situations because of shorter chain-stays.

    Ohh if you are going to go with a 5inch bike, get a fork with adjustable travel. It makes a huge difference.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wrench Monkey
    How about a bike with 29" wheels. At 6' tall,you would would be a good fit.
    Thanks for the idea, I do not want to turn this in to another 26 vs 29 er. I'm only comparing 26inch fs bikes for racing
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  7. #7
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    Ibis...

    I have a Mojo SL, it is an awesome bike for fun rides, and it is very light, but I am going to be doing endurance racing next season and am not going to be riding the Mojo. I am 48 BTW. The Mojo is very plush through the midstroke of the travel, this makes for a bike that is a blast to ride downhill, and in the rough, but the pedaling performance and steep climbing performance suffers a little in my opinion. I am not saying anything against the Mojo-for what it does it is probably the best bike out there, I just want something a little racier.
    I am probably going to switch to a Yeti ASR5 carbon for next season. This bike is designed to run a 120 mm fork, and has 127 mm of rear travel, but the key difference between the Yeti and Mojo is that the Yeti is designed to have a firmer suspension in the midstroke for very efficient climbing. For me the Yeti ASR5 will be the best "one bike quiver" for all my riding and endurance racing. There is some very good info on the ASR5 at Yetis website.

  8. #8
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    Hey Rick, I know you are stuck with the one bike dilemma, you probably ride and train more then you race, so fun would be a priority.You already have a four inch bike so you know what that is like. Five inches +- is a lot of fun, especially where you ride-train at (Downeyville). I can tell you the Mojo climbs like goat in techy stuff, much better than a hard tail. The tire stays glued to the trail. I could go on bla bla bla.... On a flatter less technical XC race course you could firm the suspension up a little bit, take a spacer out to lower the bars and put some fast tires on. I hope time permits you to demo both the Mojo SL and the Blur LT. I think there are less maintenance issues with the suspension links on the Mojo. I hope this helps.
    milesW

  9. #9
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    I'm racing with a Fuel EX 9.9. It is 23.5 lbs. with ZTR 355 wheels, light tires, and eggbeater pedals. It also suits my riding style, which is basically to run over just about everything. So it is probably a lot faster bike for me than trying to ride a hardtail.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by miles wadsworth
    Hey Rick, I know you are stuck with the one bike dilemma, you probably ride and train more then you race, so fun would be a priority.You already have a four inch bike so you know what that is like. Five inches +- is a lot of fun, especially where you ride-train at (Downeyville). I can tell you the Mojo climbs like goat in techy stuff, much better than a hard tail. The tire stays glued to the trail. I could go on bla bla bla.... On a flatter less technical XC race course you could firm the suspension up a little bit, take a spacer out to lower the bars and put some fast tires on. I hope time permits you to demo both the Mojo SL and the Blur LT. I think there are less maintenance issues with the suspension links on the Mojo. I hope this helps.
    Thanks for the great information Miles. I hope to get back up to Downieville in the next couple weeks and ride the Mojo Sl that they have there.
    Ride to eat, Eat to ride.

  11. #11
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    I just raced on my 09 Diamondback Sortie Black, 5 inch travel 26 lbs bike. Fast as hell and climbs great, sure can kick ass on the dh's. It is a personal preference, but I have always been a long travel guy.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Anyone race XC on a  5+ inch travel bike ???-dsc01020.jpg  


  12. #12
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    A few 5" bikes come to mind Rick - knowing your style, build, and some "history" help here...

    1 - SC Carbon Blur: Supposed to awesome, runs circles aroundAwesome, light, stiff, and somehow way more plush than previous non-LT Blurs. Looks great, has a water bottle mount, and the guys at SC stand by there stuff.

    2 - The Yeti ASR-5, seems like a winner, and will be in contention as my next bike with the Blur Carbon. The ASR has treated me well, I loved riding the 575 and could see making THAT a race day bike with some light parts - but with the ASR-5 out there, one gets their Yeti cake and can eat it too. Again - listen to Matt / Used2Bhard about these two bikes.

    3 - One of the blingy Specialized StumpJumpers, perhaps? Light, efficient, supple, fast. They fit/feel right to a lot of folks, and simply feel not quite right to others. In y opinion, worth a test ride.

    Others - Ibis Mojo SL never 'did it' for me - but lots of folks love 'em. The cool design is starting to look a little old, and the no-bottle-mount frame always kept it off my list.The new wave of Treks look great too (though I hate to admit it). One bike I'd like to try is a Felt Virtues...


    Ahh... so many amazing bikes out there!
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  13. #13
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    Thanks for sage advise as usual Glen. Also, damn you for mentioning the Yeti, looks like a nice bike and is lighter then the BLT & MOJO SL, thanks for making things more confusing!
    I spent the weekend riding a BLT and loved it!! I want more then 4 inches of travel. You see very few Yeti's here in NORCAL, and I do not know of online place where you can build them up , custom, with the parts you want.
    You mentioned you were thinking of a blur for your next bike, XC or LT?
    Ride to eat, Eat to ride.

  14. #14
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    Check the Titus boards, Duckman races and wins with his 5 inch ML. He is even using a 140mm fork.

  15. #15
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    with 2.2 660-gram tires my Stumpjumper is in the mid 27 pound range. The only changes from stock are the beefier tires, Thomson post, and Crossmax wheels. Brain shock works, it is really cool because you can stand and hammer without blowing through suspension. Standing and climbing feels a bit awkward on it, but downhills are freakin' awesome. I went with the SJ vs Epic because while I really like racing, I didn't want a race bike for the alpha bike. I have no regrets, but I'm also a mid pack Cat 2 guy. If I was chasing podiums or wins, I would have gone more racey.
    Last edited by ewarnerusa; 10-27-2009 at 07:07 PM.

  16. #16
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    I know of a guy who races a Santa Cruz Nomad with a fox F36 in cat 1. He managed a win in one of the most technical courses and deepest fields in the state (over 30 racers in his age group). His time put him about mid pack in pro. Of course same guy did the same thing on a rigid single speed the two years before.

  17. #17
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    Thanks for everyone's input, please keep it coming! The Scott Spark RC seems like it could do everything. I do not know anyone that owns one. The reviews are mediocre.
    Ride to eat, Eat to ride.

  18. #18
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    Well Merlin, This season I used the Motolite in...

    2 of a 4 race 12 hour series(2 man). We won the series.

    Also won the 50+ Sport class in the Ga state series(9 races), but only used the ML in a couple.

    2nd overall in the Drama Queen 35 miler.

    3rd(open 50+) in the super techy Snake Creek Gap TT(17mile) last late winter.

    Works well in techy/longer races where the longer travel is appreciated where one can sit longer and such, less fatigue on descents, etc...and that all adds up. The main drawaback to me would be in tight twisty singletrack XC type course(we have many here in the SE forests) where the slower handling might be somewhat of a liability. But even that is debatable. Otherwise it rocked.

    Weight fwiw with 5.5/5" travel was 22.7lbs(Olympics, Karma, Next LP cranks, 4Ti Eggs, Ti riser bars, etc).
    Mootsman also raced the Ibis this season in XC mostly (21lbs!) and loved it.

    At the Dirty Spokes 12 hour at Tribble Mill this summer. I like it better then my 22lb Spider. Did I just say that...?
    "I've breathed the mtn air, man" Johnny Cash

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duckman
    Well Merlin, This season I used the Motolite in...

    2 of a 4 race 12 hour series(2 man). We won the series.

    Also won the 50+ Sport class in the Ga state series(9 races), but only used the ML in a couple.

    2nd overall in the Drama Queen 35 miler.

    3rd(open 50+) in the super techy Snake Creek Gap TT(17mile) last late winter.

    Works well in techy/longer races where the longer travel is appreciated where one can sit longer and such, less fatigue on descents, etc...and that all adds up. The main drawaback to me would be in tight twisty singletrack XC type course(we have many here in the SE forests) where the slower handling might be somewhat of a liability. But even that is debatable. Otherwise it rocked.

    Weight fwiw with 5.5/5" travel was 22.7lbs(Olympics, Karma, Next LP cranks, 4Ti Eggs, Ti riser bars, etc).
    Mootsman also raced the Ibis this season in XC mostly (21lbs!) and loved it.

    At the Dirty Spokes 12 hour at Tribble Mill this summer. I like it better then my 22lb Spider. Did I just say that...?
    Thanks for the information Duckman! For all the years I have been on MTBR, your bikes are always 2-3 pounds lighter then mine! Looks like a nice ride and congratulations..
    Ride to eat, Eat to ride.

  20. #20
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    pivots

    Quote Originally Posted by glenzx
    2 - The Yeti ASR-5, seems like a winner, and will be in contention as my next bike with the Blur Carbon. The ASR has treated me well, I loved riding the 575 and could see making THAT a race day bike with some light parts - but with the ASR-5 out there, one gets their Yeti cake and can eat it too. Again - listen to Matt / Used2Bhard about these two bikes.
    Sure Glen, drag me into this...

    I have 2 friends who have ridden the new rear end who have thousands of miles on ASR's. One at Interbike on a 5, and the other has been on a new ASR-C. I am basing my experiences on their descriptions and over 10,000 miles I have put on ASR-C, ASR-SL, ASR-SLc's, and another couple thousand on Giant Anthems, Blurs, and Scalpels.

    To me the bikes have 2 different areas where they excel. I used to race a series with long smooth climbs, fireroad traverses, and 2,000 rough descents. It also had short tracks on fireroad where a HT would work, but be a bit too abusive. The Yeti was made for it. It would accelerate like a rocket, climb like a goat, and descend like a bomb.

    When I switched to a series with lots of rough, rooty, loamy, rolling terrain. Instantly, I knew the ASR was not the ticket for me. It skipped and hopped around, and beat me up like a HT. It did not have good traction on steep wet roots. I couldn't take advantage of the Yeti's strengths. I visualize this series having terrain more like what Glen has back east. I was just as fast on my HT and faster on my HT 29'er on those courses. Next I switched to endurance. The races I picked were pretty brutal and again the ASR beat me up. I was in the market for a more plush bike and ended up with the Blur. It was pefect for those new XC races, and endurance. My times on the Blur XC Carbon blew away the Yeti FS, ARC, and my 29'er. I put over 170 miles on it over rough nasty rocks 2 weeks ago, and never had a body ache from the terrain. Bottom Line: If you have lots of traversing ground with roots and rocks, rough rolling terrain, or rough steep climbs, the Anthem/Blur/Titus/etc will be faster and more comfortable.

    The downside the the anthem and Blur that I see is on smoother terrain where a HT would be perfect. I do lose efficiency and acceleration coming out of sharp corners or big-ringing up steep short rises. I don't think I'm slower overall, but the response is more like a trailbike than a race bike. I can't just throw down 1000 watts and have the bike lurch forward. It's more of a steady performer. Having the HT 29'er in my quiver makes up for that loss, by providing a perfect tool for those trails.


    I think you have too judge which design is right based upon your terrain. Niether is a better machine, but they will shine differently. The more active designs will feel slower on terrain like I mentioned at first...ski hill type terrain with lots of service roads and never ending descents where you can unlock the propedal and let her rip. The Blur/Anthem/ whatever will shine when you have to pedal over roots and drop in and out of little valleys and creekbeds with wet rooty climbs out. They will also fare better for endurance. Even with another inch of travel, a single pivot is still a single pivot.
    Free will is an illusion, people will always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

  21. #21
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    Love your bike

    Well, we all know it's engine that wins the race, not the bike. It does help to love your bike. What are you going to do?
    milesW

  22. #22
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    I just picked up a 2008 Kona Hei Hei. 2.5" travel out back and 80mm in front. Haven't even had a chance to ride it, but it is in the 25lb range. I am hoping this thing is fast, I have had 4"+ travel bikes in the past, but they were around 30lbs.
    Last edited by mbogosia; 10-28-2009 at 05:58 AM.

  23. #23
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    I use a carbon Blur XC with a 120mm Reba team on the front. Amazing bike that can handle the gnarly stuff well but still be race responsive and light. Mine is 21.6 pounds with a 2.4 front and 2.2 rear tire and some fairly raace oriented stuff like 2x9 and stan's olympic wheels. I've been spoiled now.

  24. #24
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    specialized stumpjumper with 5" front and rear. love it for the technical races. i have lightened it up quite significantly, though (a little under 23 lbs). i don't think i'd like to race it if it was at its original weight, which must have been around 28 lbs. i don't think it's the travel that's a problem, especially with lockout... just the added weight of most longer-travel bikes.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by s4gobabygo
    specialized stumpjumper with 5" front and rear. love it for the technical races. i have lightened it up quite significantly, though (a little under 23 lbs). i don't think i'd like to race it if it was at its original weight, which must have been around 28 lbs. i don't think it's the travel that's a problem, especially with lockout... just the added weight of most longer-travel bikes.
    Really? Under 23 lbs for the 5" SJ? I guess I'm a skeptic.

  26. #26
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    I also raced a Titus Motolite the past couple of years. Like yourself I wanted one "do all" bike. Something that I could have fun on, but also race. The advantage of the ML is that you can put it in 4" mode (with the adjustable fork). For rocky/ rooty technical courses (east coast), I run it in 5"/120, and for the smoother courses I run it in 4"/100. It is a little over 25lbs. For everyday riding I keep it in 5" mode. Is it going to be as fast as a true race bike? Of course not. But it hit all of the bases that I needed. Plus, as others have said, I ride/ train a lot more than I race. Besides most amateur races are won by the engine and not the bike.

  27. #27
    LCW
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    I'm not very good, but I'd done a couple races (and plan to do more) on my 5" HiFi... What I lose in efficiency, I gain in the technical rough bits... Plus it's my only bike


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  28. #28
    I love Pisgah
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin
    Thanks for the information Duckman! For all the years I have been on MTBR, your bikes are always 2-3 pounds lighter then mine! Looks like a nice ride and congratulations..
    Your welcome.

    And you've always kicked serious butt in Expert all that time. We all know its the rider.
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  29. #29
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    I race my stumpjumper (futureshock + brain front and rear in whistler/squamish/sunshine coast and wouldn't want any less travel for the terrain here. It probably weighs 24ish lbs. That said, I probably did suffer a little in the one non technical race I did this year (cheakamus), could probably have used more aggressive geometry but with the brain pedal bob is not an issue.

  30. #30
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    Racing a 6", 27 lb 2008 Reign with XTR / X0 components and crossmax sl wheelset, 2007 Talas fork. Great for those nastier races (d-ville, etc) but really not necessary when it comes to stuff like sea otter, cccx, etc.

    Problem is, why pay another $3000 for a sub 25lb bike when most big travel bikes do pretty well for climbing, specially the Reign and Trance X.

  31. #31
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    Do a search for BLT2 and racing and check out Indyfab's results. He seems to tear it up on the BLT2...though sounds like he is quite a rider regardless the bike.

    As for my own meager experience...I raced a bit last year on BLT2 at 25lbs and was very happy with it. I do use a Talas fork and ran the XC races with it at 100mm and the shock on propedal. Even then I was much faster then others I was racing against in the downhills.

    Love my BLT2...just wish I had the carbon!
    Originally Posted by XC62701
    Agreed...make it longer. I want to know death is an option

  32. #32
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    I have a good friend that races his 2010 Turner Sultan with the DW-link. It's a 4.7" travel bike, not quite the 5 you're looking for. It's been built to about 25/26 lbs, not much expense spared. He is running the 120mm Fox F29 fork.

    Needless to say the guy is unstoppable on the thing. He absolutely loves the bike and feels comfortable racing it or general all mountain riding.

    I'd recommend you check out the Turner lineup. Excellent bikes and great support from the factory!

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewarnerusa
    Really? Under 23 lbs for the 5" SJ? I guess I'm a skeptic.
    i'm not going to pretend it's been a cheap project, and i may be cheating a bit since it's a 1x9 (that conversion alone saved me a hair over a pound). other than that it's got all legitimate parts... nothing too flimsy. the SJ frame with fox 5" fork actually weighed almost exactly the same as a friend's epic with fox 4" fork. it could even lose some more weight in the cranks (truvativ stylo gxp) seatpost (specialized 6061) and brakes (avid juicy 5). everything else is standard WW fare.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by s4gobabygo
    i'm not going to pretend it's been a cheap project, and i may be cheating a bit since it's a 1x9 (that conversion alone saved me a hair over a pound). other than that it's got all legitimate parts... nothing too flimsy. the SJ frame with fox 5" fork actually weighed almost exactly the same as a friend's epic with fox 4" fork. it could even lose some more weight in the cranks (truvativ stylo gxp) seatpost (specialized 6061) and brakes (avid juicy 5). everything else is standard WW fare.
    Maybe I'm more jealous than skeptical! ;-) S-works frame? I'm actually a little disappointed in my own 5" travel bike weight compared to others in this thread. The only lightweight mod I've really done to mine is keeping my Crossmax wheels and just recently getting a Thomson seatpost after the stock one fell apart. Over time I've swapped to SRAM 990 cassette and SRAM 991 chain. The rest is stock, but I thought it was pretty good stock like the X.0/X.9 der/shifters. I guess money can make it much lighter! Nice work.

  35. #35
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    i had a cannondale carbon rize that was built up to 23 pounds. you could race that for sure but also have heaps of fun. i also had a mojo and agree with some of the other comments that for getting up steep pinches quickly, the "bottomless pit of travel" that people quite rightly talk about hampers you. The rize isnt like that though... plus lefty's rock.

    cannondale have just released the RZ120 (120mm version of the rize) that has effectively replaced the Rush (which was 110mm) and should be a cracker.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewarnerusa
    Maybe I'm more jealous than skeptical! ;-) S-works frame? I'm actually a little disappointed in my own 5" travel bike weight compared to others in this thread. The only lightweight mod I've really done to mine is keeping my Crossmax wheels and just recently getting a Thomson seatpost after the stock one fell apart. Over time I've swapped to SRAM 990 cassette and SRAM 991 chain. The rest is stock, but I thought it was pretty good stock like the X.0/X.9 der/shifters. I guess money can make it much lighter! Nice work.
    thanks. it's actually not an s-works... it's not even M5... it's a 2006 M4 SJ Comp frame. to drop serious weight, you really need to get into the details and start making spreadsheets.

    XTR 11-32 cassette & lockring is very light, tuned XTR derailleur under 190g, X10SL chain, gear indicator removed from shifter, seatpost and steerer tube cut to have no excess length, ritchey wcs foam grips, wcs stem, truvativ noir WC carbon bar, crank bros. headset, schwalbe nobby nic tires with stans, selle italia slr saddle etc. etc. etc.

    i bet i could lose another pound if i threw more money at it, but there are serious diminishing returns in this game. it's one of those things where there's always something else you want to do... so once you're happy with the setup, just leave it alone before it turns into an unrideable money pit!

    becoming a weight weenie isn't something i would wish on my worst enemy! it sounds like the stuff you've swapped out is nice reliable stuff. if you keep that same mentality of only replacing things when they break, and when they do, replacing them with something reliable but lighter, you're doing the right thing.

  37. #37
    AZ
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    Giant Trance X1 here , 27 lbs. climbs well decends awesome , 3 lbs. too heavy .

  38. #38
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    Just want to say a big THANK YOU for all the input. Over the last 2 weeks I have done extensive, all rides on a BLT and a Mojo. My first conclusion is that I am done with 4 inch travel race bikes! Both of these bikes are 10x more stable, and FUN then my current bike. They are both great, bit the MOJO SL is the winner! It should be just under 23 pounds, SRAM XO, Formula R1 brakes, RS XX Max Light 140 mm fork, lighter then my current bike! The only problem is deciding between White and a Clear Matte finish
    Ride to eat, Eat to ride.

  39. #39
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    Mojo is a very good, very trendy and very loud (look at me!!) bike. Best to go with a more conservative color so as not to seem completely ridiculous.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS
    Giant Trance X1 here , 27 lbs. climbs well decends awesome , 3 lbs. too heavy .
    I have ridden a trance and a anthem couldnt even see how you could say how trance could compete with an anthem in a race situation. both x models

  41. #41
    NedwannaB
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    I take it.....

    Quote Originally Posted by merlin
    They are both great, bit the MOJO SL is the winner! It should be just under 23 pounds, SRAM XO, Formula R1 brakes, RS XX Max Light 140 mm fork, lighter then my current bike!
    ...your buiz is doing well merlin?? NIce bike spec. Can't wait to see it in action.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47
    ...your buiz is doing well merlin?? NIce bike spec. Can't wait to see it in action.
    HI Jeff. Yes good year for me, and I'm grateful. Should have the new ride in about a week!
    Ride to eat, Eat to ride.

  43. #43
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    I race my 5" travel Gary Fisher HiFi. It isn't the lightest bike at just under 27 pounds. But I'm a poor grad student and I wanted one bike to do everything. Hopefully when I get out of school I'll be able to afford a better race bike. But for now it's a good bike that treats me well. It's fun to ride in the mountains in Canmore, Banff, and Jasper, and it's great for 24 hours (team not solo), and it works well for racing. I haven't gotten out of novice yet in our provincial series but I only did two races and I DNF'd one (broke my chain I make sure to bring links with me now). But I did podium a few times at our local tuesday night short track races.

  44. #44
    LCW
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    Quote Originally Posted by dana109
    I race my 5" travel Gary Fisher HiFi. It isn't the lightest bike at just under 27 pounds. But I'm a poor grad student and I wanted one bike to do everything. Hopefully when I get out of school I'll be able to afford a better race bike. But for now it's a good bike that treats me well. It's fun to ride in the mountains in Canmore, Banff, and Jasper, and it's great for 24 hours (team not solo), and it works well for racing. I haven't gotten out of novice yet in our provincial series but I only did two races and I DNF'd one (broke my chain I make sure to bring links with me now). But I did podium a few times at our local tuesday night short track races.

    on the HiFi!

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  45. #45
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    One thing to consider is that the longer travel xc bike you get, you "usually" compromise in the head angle and will compromise in efficiency. My light xc long travel frame (trance) has been replaced with a lighter short travel yeti. It isn't as plush but damn its fast, efficient, and effective. I don't need more than 5 inches in nevada county and the extra weight pushing up hill. On courses that are more agressive like downieville, a 5 inch bike is worth the compromise i must admit. If you can get away with two bikes, I say go short travel xc and a longer travel xc.

  46. #46
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    Has one

    Quote Originally Posted by iWiLRiDe
    One thing to consider is that the longer travel xc bike you get, you "usually" compromise in the head angle and will compromise in efficiency. My light xc long travel frame (trance) has been replaced with a lighter short travel yeti. It isn't as plush but damn its fast, efficient, and effective. I don't need more than 5 inches in nevada county and the extra weight pushing up hill. On courses that are more agressive like downieville, a 5 inch bike is worth the compromise i must admit. If you can get away with two bikes, I say go short travel xc and a longer travel xc.
    Merlin's been pretty successful on the podiums on his 4" SC Blur XC which is why he's looking to change. As for terrain, he also lives and rides in NC area.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  47. #47
    Ride it 'til it breaks
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    I just started racing this fall and I'm loving it. Also, I'm about to pull the trigger on a yeti 575... I'm not sure if that'll be a good race bike, but it is lighter than my hardtail...

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by noremedy
    I have ridden a trance and a anthem couldnt even see how you could say how trance could compete with an anthem in a race situation. both x models
    I have a trance x2 and it climbs great, granted the handling will be a little slower than an anthem but it fast enough(not twitchy). Most people that comment about the trance being so much slower than a anthem never own one(they most likely ride a stock one at a LBS or a friends). the first thing I did when I bought mine was get rid of the stock stem spacers, theres over an inch of them. And then flip the stem, puts the weight back over the front wheel and take away the beach cruiser feeling.

  49. #49
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    Racing on a Trance X

    Came in 3rd out of 30



















    (in beginner)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Anyone race XC on a  5+ inch travel bike ???-landmine09jsmall.jpg  


  50. #50
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    I did a 12-hr race on a team, no one had a bike with less than 5" of travel.
    The course was XC, and probably felt great on a 3" bike, but that's what we had.
    We raced mostly for fun, but placed in the top half of our sport class (1st time any of us had ever done a race, as well) - I didn't at all regret having more travel or weight.
    I did this on a Cannondale Rize, it was pretty pedal-efficient, and more importantly, it was a LOT of fun. I passed people going downhill and stayed in front of them, and by the 2nd lap I was learning I needed to pass them right at the top of hills in order to avoid them being in my way going down.

    I would say get the Longer Travel bike... if you're racing to compete, you need to have more than 1 bike, and if you're racing for fun - mo travel = mo fun.

    Pedaling a 30lb bike is really not that hard, and for $$$ you could get a 5" bike down below 25. e.g. Cannondale RZ140 1.
    Quote Originally Posted by sickspeed16
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