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  1. #1
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    Bike to compliment XC training

    Hi all,

    I'm playing to buy another bike in a few months, but I'm struggling to decide what to buy. I want to get a bike that will compliment my XC training. For example, a road bike with help me get fitter, and make me a more powerful rider. Whereas a trail bike would mean I could start throwing the bike off/down/over stuff and improve my bike handling skills. I used to be a reasonably confident rider technically, but I've been struggling of late, not sure if that's because I'm now quicker, or because I've lost my mojo.

    I'm interested in:

    Santa Cruz Bronson (carbon)
    Cannondale SuperSix
    Cannondale Synapse
    Cannondale Trigger
    Cannondale Jekyll
    Specialized StuntJumper

    Not sure if it makes a difference but I currently ride a Cannondale Flash. I will consider stuff outside of that list, it's just a few bikes that come to mind. Of course I could just buy some lessons, which I will probably do as well as getting another bike.

    Any thoughts?
    and no, I am not missing the other half of my fork....

  2. #2
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    Road bike. Heres some reasons why...

    Train on MTB only or keep Roadie?

  3. #3
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    What is going to give you more motivation and opportunity to ride? Do you have fast friends who ride road that will bring you along , motivate and help make you faster? Or would that be true for the trail bike? Do you think power or trail handling is your 'weaker' point?
    I don't really think the trail bike would by itself help with your trail handling, just hours in the saddle on trails will do that. You could buy a motorcycle dirt bike and put in trail hours on that and improve your trail handling between bicycle workouts.

  4. #4
    Tough Guy Extraordinaire
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    +1 for roadie. I was anti-road bike for a bunch of years. Then I started riding with a new group of guys and could never keep up. One day they let me in on their secret....lots of road miles.

    Fast forward 5 or 6 years. Last yeat I put in close to 6k on my road bike. I use it this year primarily for race training. Not sure how I would train with my tight schedule without a road bike. The haters may tell you different, but take a look around and you will see.

    Maybe even you will learn that you like the road bike also.

    If you can swing it, I would go with the super six. I have a nice super six high-mod that is a few years old and it is a great bike. One word of advice though, if you are going to spend money on a road bike, make sure the shop takes some time and finds the right size. After you get it, spend the cash or maybe they do it for free, but have a formal fitting with someone who knows what they are doing. A road bike that does not fit is worthless!

  5. #5
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    Road bike for fitness and train on Flash for the tech stuff. Tacking tech on different bike is all well and good, but will that give you confidence to handle the techy spots in race? Remember you won't be on the same bike.

    There is no reason you can do gnarly chunk on an XC bike. It will be harder, but since you want to build skills for race day it really makes sense.

    The road bike idea to build fitness and more fitness allow you more ability to handle techy bits. How many times have you hit a spot where you know you could clear it, but are too gassed to pull the power move to make it happen?
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  6. #6
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    The flash is an excellent XC race bike. Excellent on-road training bike as well (for an MTB that is, if you're riding solo). I owned one last year.

    If you are concentrating on XC racing then you need to improve your technicals skills on the Flash, either via some instruction or challenging yourself on technical terrain...gradually.

    Also, is it last year's Flash? Have you been resetting the bearings?
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  7. #7
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    Thanks very much for the advice guys..

    I do have a lot of friends who have road bikes, most of them are quick and would be great to train with. I only have a couple of friends who are into dirt jumping. I think my technical skill is probably weaker than my fitness, but I can improve that by riding my bike more and more and riding over more challenging terrain etc (as mentioned above).

    Just to be clear, I'm not anti-road bike or anything like that. I'm all for getting a road bike, I just want to make sure it's the right tool for the job before I do. I rightly or wrongly typically buy expensive bikes. I'd rather have less, high end bikes than more mid-range bikes. I totally get that sometimes high-end isn't the way to go for various reasons, but I just can't resist.

    JoePaz makes some good points. You're right about using the same bike and I guess if my engine was better, I'd have more energy to put into the technical bits.

    This is my first season racing, so I'm still getting used to things, I still get a little nervous having people up my arse, but I'm trying to ride in more group rides as much as possible and I guess I will over come that with time. Obviously, the more confident you are, the easier it is to ride the technical bits.

    I think I'm going to go and get some coaching to give me a bit of a kick start so to speak. I'm also trying to ride more technical terrain, softly softly catchy monkey is the key here I think.

    It's a 2012 Flash ultimate. No I haven't yet, I'm going to send the fork off to Eighty-Aid at the end of the season for a full service.

    Based on all the feedback I've got so far, it will be a road bike I buy. I'll probably get a SuperSix Evo, I know a Synapse or CAAD10 would service but I've always wanted a Super Six, so why the hell not?. I'll either get one in the sale, or get a 2014 model. We'll have to wait and see what Cannondale bring out.
    and no, I am not missing the other half of my fork....

  8. #8
    Dirty South Underdog
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    I've got the women's Supersix EVO, and it's very nice. Take a look at the geometry numbers between the Supersix/CAAD10 (they share the same stack & reach) and the Synapse before you make your decision. The Synapse has a shorter reach & taller stack, so it will have less saddle to bar drop vs. the same size Supersix. Sure, the Supersix is nice, but if you're the type of person who can't bend over & touch your shins, you may be better served by the Synapse.

    P.S. If you want the best of both worlds, and you aren't super tall, the Women's EVO has a stack & reach more like a Synapse, though the largest size it comes in is 56cm. Cannondale did a nice job of not making them "girly" looking, so it's highly unlikely anyone would know that you're on a women's geometry bike.
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  9. #9
    zrm
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    Not only that, but I am not bashful in saying I enjoy riding my road bike. So many people on these forums talk like it's some awful, unfortunate but necessary evil to ride a road bike for fitness and you ride it for fitness only. If you allow yourself to have fun with it, (and IMO, road bikes can be a lot of fun) you'll have better results.

    And like others have said, you don't need a long travel "AM" or "trail" bike to ride technical terrain and ride it well. You can do all that on an XC race bike, even a HT. In fact, I would argue that if you got used to a big suspension, slack angle bike that just plows over everything, it won't serve you that well when it comes time to get on your your race bike.

  10. #10
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    It's last year's Flash and you haven't done a bearing reset yet? :gasp: - you need to! It's really really easy and you can do it in 1 min once you get used to it:
    1) Put bike in stand
    2) loosen Lefty topcap with BB spanner, remove topcap
    3) Remove the two half moon washers under the topcap that hold the damper in place.
    4) hold the handlebars and with your other hand slam the wheel down a couple of times
    5) Put the half moon washers and topcap back on.
    - I don't bother letting the air out of the shock.

    On average I think a lefty should have this done every 15 hours or so.

    Buy a cheap road bike - I have a six carbon and it's really nice but you really don't need a fancy one....400 will get you a really decent second hand one that will do fine. The road bike is great for when it's muddy off road and they take such little maintenance, really handy to have as they're always ready to go....

  11. #11
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    Bike to compliment XC training

    For a road bike to complement your XC training I'd look at something like the Ribble 7005 winter training bike 579.95 GBP.

    http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/bbd/ro...nf_BBRW&bike=1

    It's generic, not flashy and comes with mudguards. Fit some Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres, upgrade the brake blocks, fit high lumen headlights, cover it in reflective tape for visibility and get out and ride whatever the weather.

    The benefit of a bike like that is it takes mudguards, assuming it rains in the UK like it did last year that's very handy, and you're not going to be sentimental about it. It's a tool, rather than a fashion accessory. Your friends will thank you for the mudguards when they're strung out behind in the pouring rain and floods.

    If you spend 3,500 GBP on a Cannondale SuperSix Evo that's a summer/ race bike, which is just going to get trashed training on it. You're more likely to think twice about heading out in foul weather in mid January if you only have your good bike available, which is why a cheap hack bike would be a better fit for your needs.

  12. #12
    I'd rather be riding
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    . You're more likely to think twice about heading out in foul weather in mid January if you only have your good bike available, which is why a cheap hack bike would be a better fit for your needs.
    ^I second this--My roadie is a cross bike with tiagra and miniv brakes. Does just fine, I've even raced road on it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by zippinveedub View Post
    ^I second this--My roadie is a cross bike with tiagra and miniv brakes. Does just fine, I've even raced road on it.
    It's true...my six carbon has become a "winter trash bike" - mudguards etc. on it and I mostly ride it for commuting or when it's raining or muddy. If the weather is nice and the trails are dry then I usually prefer to ride off road by choice instead.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimification View Post
    It's last year's Flash and you haven't done a bearing reset yet? :gasp: - you need to! It's really really easy and you can do it in 1 min once you get used to it:
    1) Put bike in stand.............


    ......On average I think a lefty should have this done every 15 hours or so.
    There's also an excellent YouTube video. Do a search for "Lefty Bearing reset". You'll have to buy a Shimano bottom bracket tool though to take off top cap.

    I do a reset every 3rd ride or so. It's super easy since my lefty doesn't have cable remote lockout.

    I didn't know about reset either last year. Once it's reset it'll ride WAAAYYYYY smoother. You are essentially just ramming your hands to death right now as if you had a rigid fork. That's probably the whole problem.
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  15. #15
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    Definitely go with the road bike if for no other reason than you can ride in the rain - the trails in my area don't drain well, so they're unridable for a good portion of the winter & spring.
    2014 Seven Ti geared bike (in the womb!)
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  16. #16
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    I'm going to give the bearing reset a go, it doesn't feel great at the moment I have to say.

    At the moment I'm thinking of getting a CAAD 10 and a Flash alloy. But that could change easily.
    and no, I am not missing the other half of my fork....

  17. #17
    Has skills-will travel
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    My 2 cents - get a cyclocross bike with disc brakes! You can put road tires on it or CX tires. And my handling skills went way up once I started riding my CX bike on single track! And with the disc brakes, you can actually control your braking on dirt.

    Than you can race the CX bike in Fall/winter further improving your fitness and handling skills!

  18. #18
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    Done the bearing reset. Sound advise, the bike feels so much nicer now!

    CX bike is a good idea actually, I might look into getting a Cannondale SuperX. Dammit, too many sexy bikes, too little money. If I win the lottery, I'm buying all of them.
    and no, I am not missing the other half of my fork....

  19. #19
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    Glad it worked..it's a little awkward at first but after a few times you'll be able to do it in around 1-2 minutes

    I usually do mine about once every 15 hours riding but I've taken to measuring it now to determine when it needs it. I measure the gap between the top of the tyre and the front of the base of the steerer. This will reduce as the bearings migrate (and hence reduce your travel)

    With 2.25 Rocket Rons I reckon I should have a smidge over a 100mm gap there. Once this is reduced by a couple of cm, I'll do a reset.

  20. #20
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    thanks for the tip, I'll check mine when I get home
    and no, I am not missing the other half of my fork....

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mooddude View Post
    My 2 cents - get a cyclocross bike with disc brakes! You can put road tires on it or CX tires. And my handling skills went way up once I started riding my CX bike on single track! And with the disc brakes, you can actually control your braking on dirt.

    Than you can race the CX bike in Fall/winter further improving your fitness and handling skills!
    +100! Throw some road tires on it and you too can look like a roadie. Put the 'cross tires back on and get waaaaayyyyyy better at handling riding it in the dirt.

  22. #22
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    Another vote for a cross bike.

    I've been riding my husband's cross bike on the road (with road tires) and on the trails (with cross tires). He has 2 sets of wheels, so the switch-over is easy. I love it. I love designing rides that incorporate some trail and some road. You're not going to keep up with a 20mph avg speed peleton on a cross bike (geometry and gearing), but I'm not going to do that on anything but an electric-assisted bike anyway.

    I just ordered my own cross bike with disc brakes. The disc brakes aren't 100% necessary, but they would be nice on some trails.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by miatagal96 View Post
    Another vote for a cross bike.
    ....You're not going to keep up with a 20mph avg speed peleton on a cross bike (geometry and gearing)...
    Geometry is not the issue, gearing is. I can't keep up if the group can pedal downhill in their big ring. Otherwise, spiiiiiinnnnnnn!!!!!! I do it all the time. But, if everyone is coasting along, I just be sure I stay in the draft.

    I enjoy the multi-terrain too. The road is super-comfortable on the bigger tires too.

  24. #24
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    Bike to compliment XC training

    Cross bike (gearing) will be more than fine. I routinely ride my single speed (52:16) with our group - avg. pace in the 21-22 mph. I spin out around 30-32mph.
    Mountain bikers who don't road ride are usually slow.
    Roadies who don't mountain bike are usually d***s.

  25. #25
    Formerly of Kent
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    Quote Originally Posted by miatagal96 View Post
    Another vote for a cross bike.

    I've been riding my husband's cross bike on the road (with road tires) and on the trails (with cross tires). He has 2 sets of wheels, so the switch-over is easy. I love it. I love designing rides that incorporate some trail and some road. You're not going to keep up with a 20mph avg speed peleton on a cross bike (geometry and gearing), but I'm not going to do that on anything but an electric-assisted bike anyway.

    I just ordered my own cross bike with disc brakes. The disc brakes aren't 100% necessary, but they would be nice on some trails.
    Sorry, but that's just wrong. I've done it on an Anthem X 26er with a single 38t chainring.

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