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  1. #1
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    Ideal XC race/trail bike?

    I am looking to start out racing next season and will be picking up a carbon XC bike this winter. I have been riding downhill, resorts, freeride mostly until this year where i realized how much fun the 2,000 ft climbs can be after you get some endurance in your legs.

    I am undecided if i want a 26 or a 29 in wheel. I DONT want 650b, not enough tire choices, wheels, forks, etc.

    The 2 bikes im currently debating on is the

    Santa Cruz Tallboy Carbon (29)

    or

    Rocky Mountain Element 70 MSL (26)

    I have yet to ride the tallboy but i did really like the VPP the times ive ridden it. Are these bikes stable enough to handle technical stuff in Southern Utah as well as the local XC race series? I feel the Element will be the ideal bike for my trail riding and double as a race bike, but i think the tallboy is much suited for the race course?

    Anyone with experience or ideas on similar setups feel free to leave your 0.02

  2. #2
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    I have not road the rocky mountain but I own a tallboy and I love it. I use it for ultraendurance racing like Leadville 100 and breck epic but I also take it to winter park DH trails. I have mine set up pretty aggresive but it handles everything. I would try both as rocky mountains are really nice.26 & 29 ride different so try both oh I also ride Moab and fruita all the time with the tallboy. Does just fine with 5 ft drops. Also nothing more fun then passing downhillers on my tallboy in spandex. I have bikes for DH, xc and I know ride mostly my tallboy due to its
    Versatility. Also tallboy can take some big rotors I use xtr with 180s front and rear most xc bikes can't run that big a rotor

  3. #3
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    what sorts of riding do you plan to do with the thing? What part of the country do you live?

  4. #4
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    I think you can't go wrong with either. I use a short travel XC bike (26") for all my riding and love it.

  5. #5
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    Try out an Ellsworth Evolve, hand made in Washington I think the SC and RM are made in Taiwan nowadays.
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  6. #6
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    I live in northern Utah. I do the wasatch crest, bobsled, canyons resort reguarly, as well as the more prevelent xc stuff around SLC and Park City. Also trips to Southern Utah and Az to ride. I dont think either bike will be over its head on the crest, but i will still be keeping my enduro for the time being until i save up enough money to get a DH frame.

    The only thing that worries me is the HA on the tallboy. Im sure the 29" wheels make a difference compared to the 26 but the Element does have pretty slack HA for a 120mm bike. I read some complaints of 'wandering' because of the slack HA on the climb, but i chalked it up to user error because my 160 mm enduro at 30% sag doesnt wander.

  7. #7
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    I just built this up.
    I went with a 120mm fork for a little better trail bike and the lightest wheels I could get away with riding for some better XC race times. I plan on racing cat1 in the Arizona state series with it in a couple months.

    Might be another option for you.

  8. #8
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    If you like the Tallboy, but want to stay with a 26" bike, you may want to consider a Blur XC. Same bike, different wheel size.
    Santa Cruz Bicycles

  9. #9
    I'd rather be riding
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    That same note, if you like the rocky mountain the new element 29 is darn sweet. Rocky Mountain 2013 Element 29 RSL | Love The Ride

  10. #10
    247
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    That Niner is SICK!! I'm feelin' the Bontrager post---I love my Bontrager race post and stem and never felt I had to get a Thompson with those....

    here is my H.T. Superfly (waiting for a new XX fork)---sorry to 'jack the thread'. don't know much about Fully's yet---just thought this Niner build is Insane!!
    Last edited by 247; 12-13-2012 at 09:54 PM.

  11. #11
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    And you could run 650b front and rear as an option, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by BXCc View Post
    If you like the Tallboy, but want to stay with a 26" bike, you may want to consider a Blur XC. Same bike, different wheel size.
    Santa Cruz Bicycles

  12. #12
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    I ride a lot in Northern Utah, but don't do any lift assisted stuff.

    I really like the Giant Anthem 29er (non carbon). Smooth ride, and very race worthy. I race it in some of the ICUPs, mid-weeks, and local endurance races (the crusher, mt ogden 100k, etc.).

    I just don't have it built up to do knarly downhills (~25 pound build: crest wheels, full XO except for XT disk brakes, lefty carbon fork, 2.2 mountain kings (they're small), etc).

    But if I got beefier wheels and tires, it would be awesome on some rough DH stuff. I would definitely enduro race with it.
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  13. #13
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    This week here in Fruita I did an all day rental on a TB carbon (29) and on the following day did the same on RM Element 950 (that is a 29er).
    My perspective on these come from normally racing xc on a Specialized Epic.

    If I were going to primarily race either the TB or Element I would go with the TB carbon hands down. Great climber, light, comfortable....only downside is I could not steer it much better than my Epic in the slow stuff.
    On the other hand the RM was outstanding for a 29er in the slow stuff...I was quite surprised. It also climbed very well...the downside for me was the RM just felt too heavy for XC racing compared to my Epic or the TB carbon.
    If the Element 70 you are considering were a lightweight, solid climber and handled like their 29er in the slow stuff, it would be killer anywhere. Good luck on your decision.
    Bill J.

  14. #14
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    I took a tallboy for a cruise just briefly and was sold after about 5 minutes, I really could not tell i was on a 29 inch bike until i looked down. Its wheelbase ends up being shorter than my enduros wheelbase! I still need to take out some 29ers for a good solid demo, might get the chance this weekend while im in st george.

    What im thinkin right now is building up a tallboy carbon. I want the SPX kit but it is very overpriced, i did a rough estimate on the parts and with full XT gruppo and M719 rims & XT hubs, rest of the parts being similar i can save almost 1000$ with buying a 2012 frame.

    Quote Originally Posted by Poncharelli View Post
    I ride a lot in Northern Utah, but don't do any lift assisted stuff.

    I really like the Giant Anthem 29er (non carbon). Smooth ride, and very race worthy. I race it in some of the ICUPs, mid-weeks, and local endurance races (the crusher, mt ogden 100k, etc.).

    I just don't have it built up to do knarly downhills (~25 pound build: crest wheels, full XO except for XT disk brakes, lefty carbon fork, 2.2 mountain kings (they're small), etc).

    But if I got beefier wheels and tires, it would be awesome on some rough DH stuff. I would definitely enduro race with it.
    I plan on using this for iCup and mid week race series.

  15. #15
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    My Ellsworth Truth is a 24 lb scalpel on the trails here is Southern Utah. Can't find a reason to upgrade to an evolve yet.

    Find what is most comfortable to you and roll with it!

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Ideal XC race/trail bike?-uploadfromtaptalk1350588735106.jpg  


  16. #16
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    I went to St George over the weekend and got some time aboard the tallboy on gooseberry mesa north rim, I was happy with it. I will be keeping the enduro for the DH and fun stuff, may replace it with a 7-8 inch travel single crown DH/freeride bike.

    I will be building from frame up, and I will probably get an XL and put a 50-70mm stem on it so i can save 500$ and get a 2012.

    As far as componentry I will want a 120mm fork and Roval Control Trail Wheelset, and other than that i am undecided. I do want XT/XTR trail brakes. Rest of it i would like to keep under 26 lbs, if i can go cheap enough on the rest of the components with say 2x9 XT or something i could possibly swing carbon wheels. Not sure if the weight savings will be worth it in the end with going cheaper on the drivetrain tho. I have XO on the enduro and really like it.

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