24 of Albion Hills Course Info Needed- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    24 of Albion Hills Course Info Needed

    Can someone give me an idea of what the course will be like? I know it's not set yet, but I figure it shouldn't be all that different from the Summer Solstice earlier this year. What's the terrain like? Mostly I'd like to know how much total climbing per lap to expect.

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    Also - any thoughts on a hardtail vs. full suspension?

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    Were you at the Summer Solstice or have you been to Albion before?

    I'll assume you haven't...but the only thing that would change from the last race is the direction and trails they use / don't use.

    My impression of Albion is that there are a lot of climbs, some that include tight uptill turns (often after steep downhills), not many rocks/roots though (so I don't think FS is truly needed). It's a mix of tight singletrack (watch the handlebars on those trees) and some doube track. Usually pretty dry, but the course has it's wet spots after some rain. As a newb I'm constantly challenged by going fast vs. being in control, especially on the twisty decents.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by noonievut
    Were you at the Summer Solstice or have you been to Albion before?

    I'll assume you haven't...but the only thing that would change from the last race is the direction and trails they use / don't use.

    My impression of Albion is that there are a lot of climbs, some that include tight uptill turns (often after steep downhills), not many rocks/roots though (so I don't think FS is truly needed). It's a mix of tight singletrack (watch the handlebars on those trees) and some doube track. Usually pretty dry, but the course has it's wet spots after some rain. As a newb I'm constantly challenged by going fast vs. being in control, especially on the twisty decents.
    I've never been there... Only place I've ridden in that area is Kelso. How big are the climbs? There isn't anything too significant, say a few hundred meters, is there? Steep single track, or graded fire roads? Just trying to get an idea of what to prepare for.

  5. #5
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    Albion Hills is...

    Quote Originally Posted by rpiontek
    I've never been there... Only place I've ridden in that area is Kelso. How big are the climbs? There isn't anything too significant, say a few hundred meters, is there? Steep single track, or graded fire roads? Just trying to get an idea of what to prepare for.
    totally unlike Kelso. No comparison.

    Albion Hills trails keep you always on the tip of your toes. Even going downhill you can not really rest, but work hard on being smooth and fast at the same time, which usually doesnt work out anyway. Trails are up and down and up and down with very few significantly long flat sections. Uphils are usually short but intense if you are in the woods (up to 100-150 feet) but there was at least 1 long and deceiving uphil on the doubletrack (few hundred meters). You just have to work you rear end off to get up there... Majority of uphils, that i dont consider "tough", just go up twisting in between the woods. not really technical, except that you can lose traction if you are caught by surprise (that is easy to happen).

    think of the race course as 10-12-ish sections that alternate between the twisty switchback and double track as the interconnects.

    Hard tail vs. Full suspension - it is a tossup. If you have a LIGHT FS bike with SPV technology, then it'd be better than the hard tail, as some downhill sections are pretty bumpy and suspension definitely helps. When i say light, i mean 26-27 pounds... If it is 30+ pounder bike, hardtail would be faster...

    your heartbeat will be up in the sky most of the time. It's all about how quickly you can recover on short downhills before you hit another uphill...

    hope this helps... see you there...

  6. #6
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    I concur with Osokolo.

    To further emphasize, the 10-12 tight singletrack sections is where you spend most of your time, and you access them with fireroard size paths (think 2-lane xcountry skiing). I would assume that for a 24-hour race there is lots of walking towards the end...

    There is one downhill rock garden type path which I just discovered last week, a FS bike would surely be nice there (yes I walked my HT ).

    You should definately head there once if you're considering the 24-hour race...or many times for that matter.

  7. #7
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    Good Full Suspesion

    A good full suspension bike will be beter on any terain ecept pavement than a hard tale. Most newer bikes that lack in suspension design make up for it whith an spv shock. I ride there three time a week and after a few laps you will wish you had suspesion if you dont.

  8. #8
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    i cant say i agree with that...

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Hair Boy
    A good full suspension bike will be beter on any terain ecept pavement than a hard tale. Most newer bikes that lack in suspension design make up for it whith an spv shock. I ride there three time a week and after a few laps you will wish you had suspesion if you dont.
    most top XC racers ride hard tail,

    no SPV technology will ever stop bobbing, it may reduce it significantly, but will never eliminate it. Hence, for non technical uphills hardtail will never be beaten.

    also, you can build a good hardtail to weigh around 22.5 pounds... the lightest FS with decently durable components will be in 24.5 pounds...

    for racers, that is a lot...

    but again, your mileage may vary... your statements applies more to weekend warriors than to racers. Even then, you better have $4,000.00 FS bike in order to compete with HT particularly at Albion Hills...

  9. #9
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    XC racing is generally a well groomed trail (eg.. no big bumps) So xc racers are usually better off a hardtail.

    I ride this lil loop in the don ( if you can call riding the don a loop :P ) and it took me 17mins to do it on my 24lb hardtail and on my 29lb FS it took me just under 19mins.
    Of course I have more fun on my FS then my hardtail.

  10. #10
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    yep, that i can agree with...

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNewb
    XC racing is generally a well groomed trail (eg.. no big bumps) So xc racers are usually better off a hardtail.

    I ride this lil loop in the don ( if you can call riding the don a loop :P ) and it took me 17mins to do it on my 24lb hardtail and on my 29lb FS it took me just under 19mins.
    Of course I have more fun on my FS then my hardtail.
    switched this season from Norco Team Titanium to Ellsworth Truth...

    way more fun... night and day .... and it is almost as fast as my HT...

  11. #11
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    Hardtail light at 22lbs? LOL

    If you really want, you can actually bring a hardtail down to the 20lb mark... ive seen a 19.6lb trek 9.8.

    For technical stuff.. go fs, hands down, if your dealing with up and down hard pack then go HT. If theres mud or soft loamy stuff then go Hard tail. FS will bog you down in the soft stuff.

    HT accelerates quicker, climbs better and because it can be significantly lighter, will be easier to manoever in the air (hops, wheelies etc)
    Some great sets for the trainer:
    https://www.mixcloud.com/djfeelgood/

  12. #12
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    maybe you can race 20 pound carbon fiber frame hard tail...

    if you are not a big rider...

    at 210, i wouldnt go off the road on any carbon frame...

    sure if you are 150 pounds you can build 20 pound bike that may last you longer than few months...

    that is why i said "with decent components" meaning strong wheels and good fork... not just the race bike for the light rider which you cant ride day to day...




    Quote Originally Posted by trekracer8000
    Hardtail light at 22lbs? LOL

    If you really want, you can actually bring a hardtail down to the 20lb mark... ive seen a 19.6lb trek 9.8.

    For technical stuff.. go fs, hands down, if your dealing with up and down hard pack then go HT. If theres mud or soft loamy stuff then go Hard tail. FS will bog you down in the soft stuff.

    HT accelerates quicker, climbs better and because it can be significantly lighter, will be easier to manoever in the air (hops, wheelies etc)

  13. #13
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    And on another debateable topic, disk brakes would probably be useful at Albion (because of the # of tight decents where increased braking power is useful, especially when you're getting tired), however, I don't have disks and can't really say I need them there (for my 2 hour rides anyway).

    I guess that disks would be nice for a 24-race though because you ususally don't have to adjust them as often as V's, and I would think that for a 24-race with V's you may need some adjustments.

    P.S. Off-topic -- if you're young and don't work full days, and/or are not married, ride as often as you can!!! Between working full days and the wife with all the family stuff, I miss riding often (sorry to rant, but I had this though just now when I'm sitting at work and thinking that I may be able to squeeze in a ride on Monday, as Sat/Sun are tied up ).

  14. #14
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    hmm, unless it is REALLY muddy...

    i dont see any need for disk brakes... there is no way you need to adjust V brakes more often than disk brakes... including ALbion Hills...

    Once i setup my V brakes i dont have to touch them for weeks if not months...

    Albion Hills does not have any downhills where you really need disc brakes... Even for a 205 pounds guy like me...

  15. #15
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    I have tektro V brakes and because I take the front tire off to transport my bike I find that I often need to make minor adjustments before each ride. For example, the brakes are fine for a ride, I pack up the bike, take it home, and the next time I go out I test the brakes and I notice some rub on the rim? I wondered if during a long ride the brakes go "off-line" and need adjustments.

    Anyway, I agree that disks aren't needed, and you've got me by 10pds

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by noonievut
    I have tektro V brakes and because I take the front tire off to transport my bike I find that I often need to make minor adjustments before each ride. For example, the brakes are fine for a ride, I pack up the bike, take it home, and the next time I go out I test the brakes and I notice some rub on the rim? I wondered if during a long ride the brakes go "off-line" and need adjustments.

    Anyway, I agree that disks aren't needed, and you've got me by 10pds
    MY XT V brakes did that sometimes. Does the tekro ones have a long spring like the XT's? That would be a cause then but shouldnt be.
    If staying with V's and you arent hard on rims try getting ceramic rims. I used mine for 3 years and they still work great and braking was just as good.

    As to what osokolo said about discs. Well after using mine for afew months I like discs alot better then V's now. Mainly for the no feeling the mud on the rim feel anymore
    But also the braking power when its muddy out. Like I almost wiped out a few times on my first muddy ride with mine. The braking with them in the mud ant compare to any Vbrake setup. The only problem with mine is that I want to get a 8" rotor cause I dont think the 6" is enough anymore.

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