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  1. #1
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    Smile Epic vs. XX vs. Lefty vs. 29er vs Scandium vs..

    This time of year these questions are always posted. I always smile because 99% of the time none of it matters. I too used to think it did. A sport class rider comparing three $9000 bikes is crazy. Scoring a 10% discount, ouch. Trying to decide if the team deal on an Epic is the way to go over the ASR C, neither is going to make you any faster. Was Todd Wells faster this year because he rode an Epic instead of a Zaskar, NO. Really the only people who need to be spending 9 grand on a bike are getting paid to ride that bike, getting it for free, or at least at cost. The Pros I know rarely think about if their bike is light enough, they are busy thinking about if they went hard enough on their interval. As someone who falls between getting paid to race and paying retail for bikes Im happy to ride any bike I can get. That $9000 can get you to a whole bunch of races and hire an excellent coach. Racers are much better off focusing on how they can train harder and eat better. Riding that aluminum hardtail and focusing on these things for a few years is what gets a person those dream bikes. Its more important to know how Absalon barely makes the podium at a local Euro race one week and then peaks to win a World Cup the following weekend than what the little kink in his 2010 Alma does. Its that training and not the kink that makes him so fast. I could go spend 8k on Adam Craig's Anthem but I will still need the same 10 minute head start as I would if I raced my 2009 hardtail and still be wondering how he is so fast and has so much fun at the same time. Unless I go out and spend the time on the bike and hammer out a whole bunch of intervals.

  2. #2
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    So, should I buy DT240 hubs or Chris Kings?

  3. #3
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    Well I think you should consider people's different financial circumstances before making such a blanket comment. For some folks, $9,000 is pocket change, and throwing down $9k on a bike for them is a wiser financial decision that another person on a low budget paying $2k for a bike. Maybe the rich one doesn't have a VO2 max in the 70s and sick bike skills, but they have some other talents that allow them to make some serious money and they can afford a nice bike. Or maybe some of them are just lucky and spoiled and got rich the old fashioned way (inherited it). But if they have the cash, why not?

  4. #4
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    i will take an alternative angle to this one...

    i don't think there is a single racer out there that can't benefit in some way from the best technology they can afford. a lighter bike makes a difference, as does suspension and drivetrains that work!

    as a CAT1 racer i look for whatever edge i can get.

  5. #5
    bi-winning
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    Quote Originally Posted by aelwell
    I always smile


    .
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


    Shorthills Cycling Club

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by limba
    So, should I buy DT240 hubs or Chris Kings?

    Hope or White Industries.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 88 rex
    Hope
    Very embarrassing to be on hope hubs when you have to get off and push- that slow loud ticking; people all around the course can hear you're having problems

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henchman
    Very embarrassing to be on hope hubs when you have to get off and push- that slow loud ticking; people all around the course can hear you're having problems
    people just hear me coming and move. (at least when training) But to be honest I'm going with 240's next time. like them better.
    S-Works all the bikes!
    Just another used cat for sale

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by aelwell
    This time of year these questions are always posted. I always smile because 99% of the time none of it matters. I too used to think it did. A sport class rider comparing three $9000 bikes is crazy. Scoring a 10% discount, ouch. Trying to decide if the team deal on an Epic is the way to go over the ASR C, neither is going to make you any faster. Was Todd Wells faster this year because he rode an Epic instead of a Zaskar, NO. Really the only people who need to be spending 9 grand on a bike are getting paid to ride that bike, getting it for free, or at least at cost. The Pros I know rarely think about if their bike is light enough, they are busy thinking about if they went hard enough on their interval. As someone who falls between getting paid to race and paying retail for bikes Im happy to ride any bike I can get. That $9000 can get you to a whole bunch of races and hire an excellent coach. Racers are much better off focusing on how they can train harder and eat better. Riding that aluminum hardtail and focusing on these things for a few years is what gets a person those dream bikes. Its more important to know how Absalon barely makes the podium at a local Euro race one week and then peaks to win a World Cup the following weekend than what the little kink in his 2010 Alma does. Its that training and not the kink that makes him so fast. I could go spend 8k on Adam Craig's Anthem but I will still need the same 10 minute head start as I would if I raced my 2009 hardtail and still be wondering how he is so fast and has so much fun at the same time. Unless I go out and spend the time on the bike and hammer out a whole bunch of intervals.
    Good advise, although it may not be taken well by all (see below). In car racing, there is a saying - "Speed costs money, how fast do you want to go". If bike racing were only that easy . . . .

    Now I have a question. 26 VS 29??
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  10. #10
    General industry guy
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    aelwell: amen, brother! good post, excellent insights.

    this should be required reading for all those aspiring racers out there.

    as for the racer references, you are absolutely correct about Absalon's results - i've witnessed that too many times to count. not to mention the fact that his bike isn't really all that light by weight weenie XC standards. as for Todd - I think he may have been effectively slower this year due to all the mechanicals he had, at least a few of which I looked at afterwards and noted they were caused largely by a super-light part failure or poor design on a super-light part. just proof that in some cases less weight can make you slower.

    get out there, have fun, and ride!
    Alison Dunlap Coaching
    When you're not paid to ride.

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