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  1. #1
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    Is My Bike Ready To Race?

    My high school mountain biking season is starting soon, and I will be participating in cross country races for the first time. The video on the following link shows what a typical race in my league is like:

    I want to know if my bike is ready to race. It's a 2008 Specialized Rockhopper Comp, although the components are even better then the most expensive Rockhopper made that year (probably has to do with the bike being from Israel). This post shows my bike:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/beginners-cor...ve-883578.html
    Will it be able to compete in cross country races? Any changes I should make to it? Most people in those races have fancy full suspension bikes so ​I just want to make sure.

  2. #2
    Plays with tools
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    If it's well adjusted, then yes.

  3. #3
    Clueless genius
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    Make sure you get it tuned up nicely and you're more than ready to race! I raced for 2 seasons in the so-cal league and you'll see everything from varsity racers on full-carbon everything wonderbikes to early late 90's hardtails (Had a friend who raced on a 1998 carbon fiber trek hardtail that belonged to a coach, 22lbs, xtr vbrakes, white industries hubs and bb...it was nice...), to very inexpensive mountain bikes! I raced on a 30-31 pound AM bike with smack-dab-in-the-middle-level components! Just go out there, and have as much fun as you can! I do HIGHLY recommend going tubeless if you can, as goathead thorns will really ruin your day! Other than that...just ride it and replace stuff when it breaks! The NICA league races are competitive for sure, but in the end, it should be fun too! Good luck in the coming season!
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  4. #4
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    Not sure how the California series works, but when I raced BMX and Mountain Bike races as a kid, they always made you remove all reflectors. That's about all I can see from the pic you posted. Other than that, like previously mentioned... Make sure it's tuned up and ready to go. Have some fun.
    Bike Doctor



  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    It's fine. I did most of mine on a Hardrock.

    Make sure everything works. Sometimes that's a pretty high bar. The differences the bike can make, as long as it's not shooting you in the foot, are tiny next to the differences your fitness level and handling skills will make.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
    IoC
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    The differences the bike can make...are tiny next to the differences your fitness level and handling skills will make.
    I was going to reply, then this said it all...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Make sure everything works. Sometimes that's a pretty high bar. The differences the bike can make, as long as it's not shooting you in the foot, are tiny next to the differences your fitness level and handling skills will make.
    Quote Originally Posted by IoC View Post
    I was going to reply, then this said it all...
    Yup +1. Riders ability in skill, fitness, and mechanical are all very important factors to competing and enjoying racing. The more "race ready" YOU can make your bike will mean you are more likely to be able to fix a mechanical in the middle of a race if you get one. DFL is greater than a DNF. Pedal more and work on the bike. The rest is just the icing on the cake.

  8. #8
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    It really depends on your comfort zone, you could ride a rusty rock-hopper to victory if you had the means. Honesty the most important thing is that you know that it will not break down. All of the tuning that is done is in most cases and what I believe to be psychological kind of a psychosomatic thing. If your parts are lubed your tires are fine and your joints and screws are all put together you should be fine! It also helps if you have ridden your bike a whole lot before you race. This ensures that you are confident with your bike and your riding ability. Best of luck!
    "If you have built castles in the air, that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."
    -Thoreau

  9. #9
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    Yes. It's the rider, not the bike.

  10. #10
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    MBing and racing is mechanically intense. You are constantly beating on the bike and dirt and often water will attack many areas. You have to feel and listen to your bike and respond quickly. Preventative maintenance will win you opportunities as much as fitness. Make small changes and evaluate the effects.
    The first change is often a front tire. But before that is tire pressure. Go lower until you get rim hits and consider tubeless.

  11. #11
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    If the video you posted shows a typical race course in your neck of the woods, there is no advantage whatsover to a full suspension bike, and no reason for you to run low tire pressure. It looks like the best thing you could do is get the fastest rolling tires you can find and crank out a bunch of road miles, as the trails look extremely non-technical and plain old fitness will pay off a lot more than any sort of bike handling skills or equipment upgrades. Hell, it looks like you could probably get away with a road or CX bike without any problem.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the replies everyone! My bike is tuned and in good condition so I hope it won't let me down at one of the races. As for fitness, I bike 3 miles to school and back, so 6 miles everyday. I live in the hills so it's a tough climb back home. I also ride 10-15 miles of trails every Sunday. I'd say I'm in pretty good shape.

  13. #13
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    Re: Is My Bike Ready To Race?

    Quote Originally Posted by s11s11 View Post
    Thanks for the replies everyone! My bike is tuned and in good condition so I hope it won't let me down at one of the races. As for fitness, I bike 3 miles to school and back, so 6 miles everyday. I live in the hills so it's a tough climb back home. I also ride 10-15 miles of trails every Sunday. I'd say I'm in pretty good shape.
    How long are the races in your series?

    I miss commuting by bike. I think it gave my fitness some stability. But fitting in a couple actual workouts midweek will make a big difference.

    When's your next race?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  14. #14
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    I rode some bumpier trails today, and noticed my fork doesn't work very well, which killed my hands on the downhill section. I stopped at the LBS on the way back, and the guy told me I need new seals. I don't know anything about the seals in a fork, and was wondering whether they are the same on all forks or not. Either way, I need help finding seals for a 2008 RockShox Recon SL online.

  15. #15
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Seals are often specific to the fork. Make sure you get a kit that's supposed to go with an '08 Recon. Also, find some maintenance instructions and read through it before you commit.

    For now, try to relax your arms and your grip. Having functional suspension is nice, but you should work on being fluid on the bike too.

    Do you feel like you have a lot of weight on your hands?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  16. #16
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    Really you should ask yourself is your fitness ready to race and your riding skill.

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