XCL first ride - 24 hour race- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    XCL first ride - 24 hour race

    What a way to try out a new bike. I did the 24 hours of Hell in Paradise this weekend here in Hawaii and that was the first dirt the new frame and fork has seen. The bike was put together last week mostly using parts from my Dakar XLT. I added new hubs, seatpost and headset. Thanks Alan for helping with the purchase and sizing while you guys were working late getting ready for IB.

    First off the bike weighs a smidgen over 30 pounds. It's definitely not a weight weenie XC bike but more of a well rounded trail bike. That's exactly what I wanted it for and it certainly fit the bill. The front fork is a coil and being 200+, I need the stiffer spring. I ordered one but it hasn't come in yet so I rode with a little more squish in the front than I would have preferred. The Pike didn't do bad though, I never felt it bottom out. During the first lap I cranked the fork down to about 115mm. The DHX Air was setup based on recommendations I read on the MTBR/Chumba board. I will tweak it a little more but for the first time out, it felt really good to me.

    Mechanically speaking... On the first lap, I realized something was wrong with my front dérailleur. I could shift ok from the big to the middle but not down to the small gear, which I needed badly for the first two hills. I wound up dropping the shifter into the "1" position and then manually pushing the chain over with my heel. That worked until I made it back after the first lap and had a mechanic put an adjustment on it. All was well after that.

    Handling... Riding up the first two hills on the bike didn't seem impressive. The hills were on gravel road and fairly smooth. I was riding the granny gear and the bob wasn't bad but it didn't feel much different than my non-Horst Dakar XLT. Maybe I thought having a H/L would somehow magically propel me up the hill. My opinion changed later when I got into the rocky and rooty climbs. The rear tire stayed connected going up where my old bike would have bounced all over the place and spun out. That felt great!

    The difference was even more noticeable going down hill. I always heard people talking about control on descents and I always figured what I had was control on my old bike but boy, was I wrong. Even during long twisty descents under hard braking, I could actually choose where I wanted the bike to go. Before it was a matter of where the terrain wanted to take me. Again, the tires maintained contact without a lot of bouncing and sliding giving me the confidence to take the downhills faster than I ever would have on any of my previous bikes. I've never railed banking turns like I did this weekend. The bike is super stiff and I never noticed any flex whatsoever.

    All in all, the bike exceeded my expectations. It's a bike I can ride all day in any conditions and on trails with almost any terrain. I also feel I can do an occasional XC race without much penalty, I'll test that theory later this month. For the record, I managed 7 laps for about 49 miles (I'm no endurance racer).

    The bike build and pics are posted here. https://forums.mtbr.com/showpost.php...7&postcount=62

    Pre-ride


    The LeMans start


    I'll post up a couple action shots when I get them from the race photographer.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the post!

    Great ride! youll be surprised by your Chumba. theres VERY little I could complain about mines, which usualy is another story with other companies.

    The bike itself is very stiff and direct in terms of performance and build. I've had mines for a little over a month now and it has seen a good amount of abuse. Everyone of my rides include a crash and so far the worst of it has been a bent rear wheels and derailer hanger. People that ride with me know that I do not baby my bike by any means and they see it all the time. Jason and Alan will assure you that its a strong frame, but that only means so much to me- After all my crashes I believe their claims 100% now. Although my XCL build is at 34lbs its a tough little one. My changes were a dual ring chain guide from E13 on the Chumba build kit. Possibly thinking about new wheels

    so ride like an animal! because the harder you ride the happier the bike will be.



    Long live Chumba!

    p.s. Alan I want my jersey...
    I like rice.

  3. #3
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    Wow, traveling to Hawaii's Ka'a'awa Valley to break in a bike!

    So how'd you do? Were you part of a team or did you go it solo? That's one event I'd like to do some time.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by dubjay
    Wow, traveling to Hawaii's Ka'a'awa Valley to break in a bike!

    So how'd you do? Were you part of a team or did you go it solo? That's one event I'd like to do some time.
    I only had to travel an hour and a half to the valley. I moved here to Oahu a few months ago. I had no intention of doing the race solo but I couldn't find a team to roll in with. My 14 year old son was able to get on a junior team so I rode four laps by myself and three laps with him.

    There's going to be a XC and DH race in that valley later this month. Next month they'll run the 12 hours of darkness there too. Flyers are here: http://alohasinglespeeders.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
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    Nice

    Nice build and review. I have always felt a firm chasis like the XCL would help at endurance races. As you get fatiqued from multiple laps, you get drained mentally, too. A noodly race bike gets to be a handful. The XCL does not make you fight with it on tight or technical sections, you can just let the bike go and focus on mindless hammering, which is all I am good for as the race wears on.
    Disclaimer: ComCycle USA

  6. #6
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    Reputation: Strafer's Avatar
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    I checked your build specs and it's near identical as mine, but yours is almost 4 lbs heavier.
    Granted, I used bathroom scale and came up tad under 30 lbs.
    Same hubs, but using DT5.1D instead, same shifters/derailleurs, stem/seatpost/saddle.
    One main diff is I use Pike dual air with steel steerer but that's like 1/2 lb difference.
    Did you use shop scale? Wonder if mine is actually heavier.

  7. #7
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    Strafer, I used the bathroom scale method as well. I guess I need to find a more reliable scale too. I thought looking at some of the other builds the bike would at least be under 30 lbs. Regardless, it rides great and at 205 lbs myself I have full confidence in every component not failing on me. With that said, I wonder if the Atlas cranks are a little overkill and I could have gotten by with the Deus. I used to have RF Turbines (pretty much the same design as the Deus but used square tapered BB) and they were stiff.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky D
    I only had to travel an hour and a half to the valley. I moved here to Oahu a few months ago. I had no intention of doing the race solo but I couldn't find a team to roll in with. My 14 year old son was able to get on a junior team so I rode four laps by myself and three laps with him.
    [/url]
    Lucky man to be living in Hawaii. Hour and a half away? You must be on the west side of the island then? I head out to Ko Olina usually at least once a year. If I ever get to bring my bike, I'll hit you up for some trail advice.

  9. #9
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    I actually live in Central specifically in Mililani. Traffic is a bear these days.

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