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Thread: Racer XCL

  1. #1
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    Racer XCL

    I am getting ready for some 24 hour racing this year, so I decided to make my XCL into a racer. I thought I covered this pretty well in a previous post, but several people asked to see the final results. Images are clickable:



    Frame: Chumba XCL Medium Gray Ano w/RP23 big can
    Fork: Fox F120 RLC
    Wheelset: Notubes ZTR 355, DT Swiss 240s, butted spokes, alloy nipples, notubes yellow tape, WTB Mutanoraptor Race 2.4 front, Kenda Nevegal 2.1 DTC rear, Control Tech Ti/alloy skewers
    Brakes: Magura Marta 160 mm front, same with Notubes alloy rotor rear
    Drivetrain: Shimano M970 crankset, M972 rear derailleur, M970 11/34 cassette, M960 front derailleur, Sram PC991 hollow pin chain, M970 shifters, Egg Beater Triple Ti pedals
    Cockpit: Control Tech carbon riser bar, Syntace F99 stem, WTB Moto-tec grips, USE Alien carbon post, Selle Italia Flite TT Carbonio seat
    Misc: Assorted Ti and alloy bolts. Includes weight of Garmin mount, uncut hydro brake hoses and extra long steerer tube.
    Total weight: 24.9 lbs



    The XCL is a 7 lb frame/shock. There are lots of people out there making 6 lb frames in to 22-23 lb racers. There is a lighter alternative to nearly every item in the build.

    Why would you want to do this with a frame like the XCL? I have built and raced 23 lb full suspension racers and, well, they are just plain scary. Your steering input is more like a suggestion. Multiple hours of fighting with a bike like that leaves you drained mentally as well as physically. And I am a little bigger than I used to be, that has a lot to do with it.

    The Fox F120 RLC is a great choice for this kind of bike. Fox seems to be the king of stiffness per weight. The F120 feels very surefooted for a feathery 3.5 lb fork. It steepens the front of the bike making the head angle about 71 degrees, classic XC geometry. The seat angle ends up at about 74 degrees which also very racey geo.

    How does it ride? I can feel the benefit of the 2 lb weight loss on the climbs for sure. That and the geometry make the bike very easy to flick around. The bike really puts you in a good climbing stance. It climbs almost as well as 3" full suspension race bikes, and it really shines on steep technical climbing. Standing for bursts of power is a pleasant experience, just should choose full firm as the RP23 propedal option and use the F120 RLC's lockout.

    But I was surprised at how the bike descends vs a heavier built XCL. The fork is no all mountain beefcake. And this is no big air machine.

    But wow, you just cannot take the descending goodness out of a Chumba. The net result of the changes makes it a different kind of descender rather than simply being better or worse. It has faster steering and handling. It feels like a sports car instead of an SUV. It is more of what I call a finesse bike, it responds to smaller inputs. And it is still very confidence inspiring bike as the speed builds. I think I may just keep the bike this way all the time. That way I can make an EVO for shuttle/chair lift days.


    Sram XO would do the job just as well, except for the front derailleur, of course. Are you listening, Sram?


    It ain't pretty, but I really do ride this stuff. The alloy rear rotor works better than I expected.


    Marta brakes are my personal faves. The carbon levers are a bling thing, though, no real weight savings.
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  2. #2
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    Nice Build DD. I can't believe how light you can get a 7lb frame/shock these days. I appreciate your input in helping me build up my XCL. Nice Pics. I can't decide if I want the Ano Black or XTR Grey. Both are sweet looking. I guess it depends on what fork I decide on. Talas or Pike? Do they each come in only one color?

  3. #3
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    Beautiful ride! I wish I could get mine down to that weight!

  4. #4
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    Looks like all you're missing is a carbon rear triangle.

    I've gotta say DD, that rear rotor looks like you dug it up from a foot of muck and bolted it on.

  5. #5
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    Nice Build

    DD

    I got all the good bits in today, including frame and fork, thank you!

    I have the bike built up almost complete, waiting for my new xtr rear der.

    I have the large xcl built up to 26lbs right now with a substitute der running with tubes, I'll be at 25.something once I put stans in the wheels and a few other bits.

    I'm keeping the xcl at this weight though, it is crazy fun!

  6. #6
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    Post pics

    Post pics when it is done!
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    nice build

    i just happened to stumble upon this jem of a bike
    kuddos on the insane build
    the only complaint is that rear rotor
    WOW DUDE SERIOUSLY!!!!!

  8. #8
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    I know.....

    Yeah, its nasty looking, eh? The alloy rotors can just end up looking like that, and I dont want to do much to clean them because of the coating and all. I changed a few things on the build since the original post, the rear rotor was one of them. The bike is still in the 25 lb range and rides great. I just did 24 hours of Idyllwild with it. There were lots of racers out there on their lightweight, v-brake, Sid fork hard tails. But I will stick with my trusty XCL, thank you.

    I like the look of some of the lighter thru axle forks like the Fox 15 mm and the Rockshox Maxle light that are coming soon, I may go that route. The F120 is a great fork, but lacks the steering precision of a Pike, Lyrik, or Fox 36. I am happy to see fork makers doing a thru axle for stiffness, not just for big jump strength finally.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtDad

    I like the look of some of the lighter thru axle forks like the Fox 15 mm and the Rockshox Maxle light that are coming soon, I may go that route. The F120 is a great fork, but lacks the steering precision of a Pike, Lyrik, or Fox 36. I am happy to see fork makers doing a thru axle for stiffness, not just for big jump strength finally.
    I went through quite a few forks before settling with the DT-Swiss EXC150. Kind of the best of both worlds - lighter then a Revalation (1720 including the 20mm axle) and stiffer then the Pike. Still not as stiff as the Wotan I had at some point, but weighs 800g's less.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dropadrop
    I went through quite a few forks before settling with the DT-Swiss EXC150. Kind of the best of both worlds - lighter then a Revalation (1720 including the 20mm axle) and stiffer then the Pike. Still not as stiff as the Wotan I had at some point, but weighs 800g's less.
    Nice. Got any pics?
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  11. #11
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    I am really glad to see this topic. I am getting my XCL preped for the 24 hour hurkey creek in september, my bike is currently at 29 lbs . . seeing your bike i think i can drop a few more lbs, probably the wheels, stem, & brakes are the biggest thing that i need to lighten up on.

    Thanks for posting the pics!
    RIDE 'TILL YOU PUKE

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtDad
    Nice. Got any pics?
    Nothing very recent... Also it's not quite so bling as your bike.

    Here is something from last winter, changed the brakes for the Magura Marta's after it was taken.


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    Smoothmove44 If you ride in clay bearing mud as I do much of the year (Good old Danish weather!), then choose a nice smooth painted finish because mud sticks to the XTR grey ano that I have like glue. Looks cool but takes an age to get properly clean.

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    ..

    Quote Originally Posted by dropadrop
    Nothing very recent... Also it's not quite so bling as your bike.

    Here is something from last winter, changed the brakes for the Magura Marta's after it was taken.

    Very nice! I really like the way that fork looks - maybe I could throw it on an orange vf2.
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    I'm waiting for the Racer VF2! Dirtdad?
    Simple | Proven | Reliable

    http://chumbaracing.blogspot.com/

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    Racer VF2...oooooh. drool...

    I would have to come up with a better name, though. The Racer XCL was a play on "Racer X" from Speed Racer. There. I said it out loud. Probably embarrassed myself good. How many of you caught that? How many of you know who Speed Racer is?

    Maybe I could calling it the Flying VF2. The guitar reference is cooler anyway. And they are both works of art.
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  17. #17
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    Well my XCL was stolen two days ago, so maybe I can now start building a racer VF2.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dropadrop
    Well my XCL was stolen two days ago, so maybe I can now start building a racer VF2.
    Ah man! That sucks! Shoot me an e-mail, I'll see if there's anything I can do for you to help out. [email protected]
    Simple | Proven | Reliable

    http://chumbaracing.blogspot.com/

  19. #19
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    Was it covered by insurance? I wont feel so bad if it was, but there is always the issue of deductibles, feeling of violation, and other stuff that insurance cant compensate for.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dropadrop
    Well my XCL was stolen two days ago, so maybe I can now start building a racer VF2.
    That really sucks!!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtDad
    Was it covered by insurance? I wont feel so bad if it was, but there is always the issue of deductibles, feeling of violation, and other stuff that insurance cant compensate for.
    I have insurance, but just heard they changed the policy two weeks ago lowering the amount of compensation for "items stored temporarily or permanently outside your apartment" to about 70% of what it used to be... The bikes value is about what the old limit was, so it seems I won't be compensated for the full value (just found out). I guess it would be a good idea to read the papers they send you, but I just moved and thought they would be identical to what I received a year ago.

    So as is it seems I'll have to make quite a compromise with the new bike (unless Alan cooks up something great). But that's life, my own fault for leaving it outside (even for a short period of time and locked).

  22. #22
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    [QUOTE=DirtDad]I am getting ready for some 24 hour racing this year, so I decided to make my XCL into a racer. I thought I covered this pretty well in a previous post, but several people asked to see the final results. Images are clickable:



    Frame: Chumba XCL Medium Gray Ano w/RP23 big can
    Fork: Fox F120 RLC
    Wheelset: Notubes ZTR 355, DT Swiss 240s, butted spokes, alloy nipples, notubes yellow tape, WTB Mutanoraptor Race 2.4 front, Kenda Nevegal 2.1 DTC rear, Control Tech Ti/alloy skewers
    Brakes: Magura Marta 160 mm front, same with Notubes alloy rotor rear
    Drivetrain: Shimano M970 crankset, M972 rear derailleur, M970 11/34 cassette, M960 front derailleur, Sram PC991 hollow pin chain, M970 shifters, Egg Beater Triple Ti pedals
    Cockpit: Control Tech carbon riser bar, Syntace F99 stem, WTB Moto-tec grips, USE Alien carbon post, Selle Italia Flite TT Carbonio seat
    Misc: Assorted Ti and alloy bolts. Includes weight of Garmin mount, uncut hydro brake hoses and extra long steerer tube.
    Total weight: 24.9 lbs

    Hi DD! Is it ok to put a 120mm fork on the XCL? If I'm not mistaken the frame was built to have a 140 mm fork. How's the performance? I'm planning to replace my Vanilla with an F120 also.

    thanks!!!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockinrobin
    Hi DD! Is it ok to put a 120mm fork on the XCL? If I'm not mistaken the frame was built to have a 140 mm fork. How's the performance? I'm planning to replace my Vanilla with an F120 also.

    thanks!!!
    Yeah it is OK, I heard of several racers trying it in Europe before I tried it myself. It does pretty much what you think it would do. It lowers the front of the bike and makes it a better climber and sharper single track carver. At the same time it requires more attention on high speed descents. If you were to make a bike to be 120mm from the ground up you would probably make some other geometry tweeks like the seatpost angle, but it was great as a conversion for the occasional race. Some might even like to ride it that way all the time. The F120 is lighter than a Talas with variable travel. For a race purist the lighter fork is the way to go. But for the real race purist, it would be great if Chumba made something like the VF2 as a native 100 or 120mm overall XC/Race bike.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtDad
    Yeah it is OK, I heard of several racers trying it in Europe before I tried it myself. It does pretty much what you think it would do. It lowers the front of the bike and makes it a better climber and sharper single track carver. At the same time it requires more attention on high speed descents. If you were to make a bike to be 120mm from the ground up you would probably make some other geometry tweeks like the seatpost angle, but it was great as a conversion for the occasional race. Some might even like to ride it that way all the time. The F120 is lighter than a Talas with variable travel. For a race purist the lighter fork is the way to go. But for the real race purist, it would be great if Chumba made something like the VF2 as a native 100 or 120mm overall XC/Race bike.
    Thank you for the reply!

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