XCL as an endurance bike- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    XCL as an endurance bike

    First of all, sorry, no pictures. I took the XCL out on a 50 mile endurance ride yesterday, Dec 29th. It took me about 6.5 hours ride time. You can look at the ride at http://www.50mileride.com. There were several spots on the course where professional photographers were set up, I am sure some action photos will be added to the site soon. The couse was 46.5 miles actually, and it featured 5900 feet of accumulated climbing. A good GPS plot of the ride is here:
    http://www.geoladders.com/show_route.php?route=10961 And yes, 6.5 hours makes me one of the slower riders, but I have the endurance anyway.

    I have seen a couple of threads asking about the XCL as a race bike or a 24 hour bike, and after riding this ride I feel like I have a pretty good feel for that now.

    My XCL is built up as a lightweight at about 27 lbs and that includes a Talas 36 fork. So it could easily be lighter. As far as the XCL as a race bike, I would say yes, you could build a 25 lb XCL and have a respectable race bike. I think the only people who would not be happy with that are full time racer types. By that I mean the guys that wear matching team jerseys and lycra shorts, have 3% body fat, ride hardtails, ride all climbs out of the saddle, would only ever consider riding a 3 pound fork, etc. I don't mean that in a derogatory way, BTW, those guys are awesome fast.

    As a 24 hour or endurance bike though, the XCL is spot on, no disclaimers. I personally do not want the lightest kind of bike for a long ride. The XCL's handling and tracking traits were much appreciated as fatigue set in the last couple of hours of the ride. By that I mean that the bike (and fork/wheel combo, really) tracks well, holds a line, corners predictably, and is not easily deflected or flexed by rocks, ruts, etc.

    What came as a surprise to me was the climbing prowess of the XCL. The XCL is a great descender, that is obvious right away. But for climbing, the steeper and more technical the climb, the better the XCL is. Several sections of the trail were long shallow fire road climbs that had sudden rocky rises. More than once, I was passed on the smooth shallow stuff only to catch up and pass the same people when the trail got steep and rocky. The bike requires minimal weight shifting, but the rear tire says planted even when I shift my weight way forward to the tip of the saddle.

    That comes back to the flex free frame I think. The more power you put into the frame, the greater advantage you get over a frame that flexes because more power is making it to the ground. Plus you are making less course corrections and focusing more of your energy on the climb. I prefer it over a lightweight climber after riding it for a while.
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  2. #2
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    XCL Endurance and XC race bike

    Dirt Dad, Totally agree with your comments.

    Over here in Australia there are two XCL race bikes doing the endurance circuit. They are both specked pretty similar. Full XTR, fox F120, DT Swiss wheels etc. They come in at about 11.8 kg (with pedals). We could make the bikes lighter but this weight seems to be perfect for handling those technical sections flat out. Thatís what I love about this bike, Iím rather tall and I find all those other "endurance race bikes" either flex like anything both under power and cornering, or flex then snap. Where as with the XCL I can still drift it into corners till it hooks up on a berm as well as taking all those rocky sections in a track with no hesitations about turning it into a little pump track and doubling the bigger rocks. If anyone out there is considering a quick and strong 5 inch endurance bike I wouldnít have any hesitations about suggesting the XCL. My advice would be to run the F120's, inverted stem, flat bars, and a straight seat post. This makes for a nice and aggressive set up. Oh yeah one bike is running a Fifth element Air (takes a while to set up but no need to adjust once done) the other a stock RP23.

    Here is a pick of Vaughan being interviewed after his recent Six hour solo win aboard his XCL (he only got the bike two days before!!!). Of note the other XCL also finished on the top step of the podium at this race as part of a Elite Two man team which was only narrowly beaten to the overall honours (and the big CASH$$ pool) by the three man Merida team.


  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtDad
    My XCL is built up as a lightweight at about 27 lbs and that includes a Talas 36 fork.
    Nice, what's the complete build list?
    ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A Select Start

  4. #4
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    I agree

    Dirtdad,

    I 100% agree with the idea that the XCL can be a race bike.

    I have a heavier build than what you are running right now at 29lbs. I got out on my 4th ride with the XCL and decided to do a few race laps with friends. The course we run is 4 miles of hill with 8 miles of flats and downhill. It is very twisty tight singletrack with large roots, log crossings, water bars, switchbacks and loose rocky climbs.

    In every area the chumba rocked, climbs I didnt feel the weight too bad, it is heavier no doubt but it felt good, down in the twisties, downhills, flats and loose stuff it was solid, power was always there at the pedals.

    As far as the total loops, we did 24 miles which is two full loops. I dont have any gps data to upload, but I completed the loops a hair faster than on my older Dos Niner. Now that could also be attributed to the fact that this is a new bike to me, and I'm riding it fast with the "new bike stoke" but I like it. At race pace I feel the chumba may slower than my 22lb Dos, but at 25lbs the XCL would be fun. And not feel like I'm riding something that will snap at the worst possible moment. To me the extra weight is worth the sturdy feeling you get from the XCL.

  5. #5
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    See here..

    Previously, on Chumba Racing Forum...

    Since then I have de-weenied it somewhat. I have a normal rear rotor and I think I am going to give a Lyrik 2-step a shot, which is like 100 grams heavier than the Talas 36. On the other hand, a Pike Uturn air or Dual air is all I probably need...I may post an update to the bike build after I mess with it some more, including a pic on the scale to keep the skeptics happy.

    While I have it torn down, I might just bolt together the 25 lb version without tuning it or riding it, just to see if it can be done.
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  6. #6
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    very nice

    I've been eyeing a Lyric for a while now, I like those forks alot.

    I've also been looking at a Manitou Minute MRD, decisions decisions! I'm happy around the 27/28lb goal I have.

    Next on my list though are the Magura's or possibly a set of Hope Mono Mini Pro's, a lighter seatpost (Thomson Masterpiece) and bars ( probably a set of EC90's) and possible a wheelset at some point (I'd like to build up some Hadley's on Stan's Arch's to give em a whirl)

  7. #7
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    I'll be taking out my XCL on a 12 hour solo next weekend (www.12hoursoftemecula.com).

    It'll be my first endurance event, so I don't know how well I'll do, but I'll let you know how the XCL does.

    My preference would have been a FS 29er, but Chumba doesn't make one yet...

  8. #8
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    I went to my first endurance race over the past weekend - 12 Hours of Temecula. I think I ended up either 3rd or 4th in the solo beginner class. Just waiting on official results to be released.

    I ended up only doing 5 laps (~50 miles, 7200ft) in 8 hours on my XCL (TALAS, RP23). The threat of rain, wind, tri-tip sandwiches at the concession stand, and cramps somewhat interfered with my motivation.




  9. #9
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    Great results

    Quote Originally Posted by dubjay
    I went to my first endurance race over the past weekend - 12 Hours of Temecula. I think I ended up either 3rd or 4th in the solo beginner class. Just waiting on official results to be released.

    I ended up only doing 5 laps (~50 miles, 7200ft) in 8 hours on my XCL (TALAS, RP23). The threat of rain, wind, tri-tip sandwiches at the concession stand, and cramps somewhat interfered with my motivation.
    That is a great result given your stomach woes. I keep forgetting about that event. The dates never seem to work for me, but I want to do it sometime. I have signed up for the Toad Ride which is 1 week from the June 14 12hrs of Temecula. Maybe the November date will work out.
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