2018 Endurance Bike Thread- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    2018 Endurance Bike Thread

    Whats your endurance racing setup for 2018 going to be? It lets other people see neat ideas and builds and spreads some cool products around.

    So, whats your setup for 40+ mile races this year, why did you choose that, and what are the pros and cons of your setup.

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  2. #2
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    Yay! I like this stuff and this Lane but it probably helps when people aren't antagonizing you. Anyhow, I have two rigs...

    Pivot LES w/ 100mm stepcast - 2x11 (38/26) di2.
    Pivot 429sl w/120mm fox 34 1x11 xtr - chainrings vary by course but typically 32

    I do a LOT of training on the LES since I can still push a big gear (have the e13 9 tooth cassettes on two sets of hoops) if I want/need to ride too the trail.

    Pros - I dig these bikes. I love the 2x on the LES and use this bike a lot on smoother 24hr courses (24HOP for example). second one I've owned but now with 3 boost bikes I have enough wheelsets for just about anything and can swap the forks between (also have a 140mm F34 from my 429T that I need to sell - the bike that is) as needed.

    cons - Wouldn't mind if the 429 was a touch lighter but it's a damn capable rig.

  3. #3
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    Kona Hei Hei carbon with 120mm Fox 34
    Eagle with 34T
    Stages power meter
    Nobl TR28 rims (23mm internal) laced to DT 350 with CX Ray
    Vittoria Mezcal G+
    Fox Transfer dropper

    Pros: My primary limiter was descending speed and hand/foot fatigue so the 68 HA and general stability of the suspension is letting me descend

    Cons: I need to get a dual lockout installed, and the bike will be about 4 pounds heavier than my hardtail.

  4. #4
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    2015 Trek Superfly
    2016 Sid w/RCT3 Damper
    Arch EX w/Stans Hubs (both wheels built by a local builder after I killed my crests)
    XT 2x10 (38/24, 11-36)
    Syntace Highflex Post w/Bontrager Montrose Saddle
    ESI Chunky w/Syncros Carbon Low Rise Bar
    Tires: Right now I'm running Bontrager XR3 Front/ Ikon Rear but I'll probably race on a 2.35 XR2 front/ 2.2 XR1 rear this upcoming year

    Pros: This setup has worked well for me over the last 2 years, seeing me through 1.5 SM100s and some other 4-6 hours of circle races. The bike is pretty comfortable over the long haul for a hardtail and I really enjoy the geometry. 2x10 parts are cheap to replace, RS fork is easy to service at home.

    Cons: It's a hardtail, so I take a beating on rooty courses. The wheels aren't the lightest but they hold up well under my current 185lbs (I need to lose 10). The 2x10 setup isn't the lightest. I'm really debating a move to a 30t with SRAM 11 speed cassette or 34t with GX Eagle, but I can't decide if the swap is worth the money.2018 Endurance Bike Thread-img_0608.jpg

  5. #5
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    -2017 Kona Raijin
    -Fox 32 Fit4 Step Cast
    -P321 G2 hubs (rear is SS specific 216 POE with the quiet pawls) laced to Velocity Blount SS
    -XTR M9020 brakes and cranks
    -Niner RDO bar, RF Next post, Ergon saddle, ESI extra chunky
    -Wolf Tooth chain ring & cog (either 32X19 or 34X22 course depending)
    -Maxxis Ardernt Race front with Ikon rear or Ikon front Ikon rear (course depending) 3C/EXO/TR (all 29X2.35)

    Its not the lightest single speed I have built, but it is truly the best riding. After having owned a metric $h!t ton of single speed frames I finally was able to nail down the exact geometry that I wanted. I was going to have it welded up by a custom builder but luckily a friend suggested I look at the Raijin. The geometry on the large frame was so close to what I had in mind I had to go for it, plus it had no wait time and saved me a good amount of money. Thus far I have only raced Shenandoah 100 and a local 12 hour on it both last fall, I finished building it 1.5 weeks before Shenandoah. I am looking forward to some more long races with it!

    I would like to build a FS bike to compliment the Raijin over the winter. I am thinking about a 100mm front and rear or a 120mm front 100mm rear. I would like to have fast efficient a geared bike other than my Vault to train on. Threads like this are an excellent source for ideas, following this one for sure!

  6. #6
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    - 2013 Lynskey Pro29 SL 32x20 gear most of the time
    - NOX Skyline laced to King hubs with CXRay spokes
    - XX1 crank, RDO cockpit, XTR brakes, ESi chunky, Ergon saddle
    - Fox 34 FIT4
    - Thomson dropper with Wolftooth lever


    I haven't settled on tires. I used RoRo's last year, might consider the new RoRo/RaRa combo for this year. Or Race Kings. Or XKing/RaceKing. Or Vittoria stuff. Or XR2/XR1. Honestly, there are too many options it seems.

  7. #7
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    for 2018 it will be the same as for 2017 (but with some compoent changes),

    2012 Santa Cruz Highball
    Fork Fox 32 120mm
    1x11 XX1 drivetrain with Next SL G4 cranks 28t raceface chainring 10-42
    XTR M9000 brakes 160/160
    Syntace P6 carbon seat post
    Truative carbon bar
    Stans Crest wheel. 2.35 Ikon in front 2.2 Bontrager XR3 in the back.

    Pros- Light and efficient. 21.5lbs and climbs well for days. Great gearing for long backcountry rides and with 2 bottle mounts in the frame I get lots of water space along with my camelbak

    Cons- It is hardtail so I guess some might not like that.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  8. #8
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    1) Pivot LES SS: set up for easier trails with no insanely long climbs. Fox 34 120mm fork. 32x17, 18, or 19 depending on course. 27.5" with 36ID Nox Kituma wheels shod with 2.6 Rekons right now but will change to something faster for races. Also thinking about building up a set of 29" wheels with some 2.35" tires. Anything smaller gets to stiff for my old ass.

    2) Pivot Mach 429SL: Sram Eagle XX1 with 32-tooth ring and 10-50 in back. Nox Skyline/Teo combo wheelset (23/26 ID back/front). Fox 34 120mm fork usually, sometimes may sub in a Fox step-cast 100mm fork. Aspen 2.2 tires or Ardent Race 2.35 in front sometimes for looser trails. KS Lev CI 125mm dropper post that can be removed easily if there's no need for it and I want to save half a pound, but I won't do that much, if at all.
    Yeti SB100
    Ibis Ripmo
    Ibis Ripley LS V3
    Ibis Mojo HD4
    Pivot 429SL
    Pivot LES SS
    Some bikes with skinny tires

  9. #9
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    2017 was my first endurance season and I enjoyed it very much. I made a few tweaks throughout the year and here's what I'll be heading into my first 6hr race of the upcoming season this weekend with:

    2017 Trek Top Fuel RSL - went up a size to XL when I cracked my L
    • XX1 11 speed drive train with RF Next SL G4 cranks, 36t for flat courses and I'll grab a 28 or 30t for ORAMM.
    • Race Face Cinch Power Meter - looking forward to seeing some data here and might use it to pace. It's been good for training and racing XC this fall.
    • Fox Stepcast 32 Fit4 with crown lock, lockout cable removed from rear shock
    • Bontrager Kovee carbon wheels with Mezcal G+ 2.25's, may try Barzo out front when it comes out in 2.35 G+.
    • Gripshift, ESI's, Stock Level TLM brakes.



    Pros: 23.0 pound bike with pedals and cage, took Pisgah downhill like a champ last year so it can climb and descent better than the pilot. Mezcals roll well, a little lacking up front but predictable.

    Cons: 1 bottle cage hurts for races with more than an hour between sags. Had one in my jersey for 7 hours of ORAMM which got old. Might add a Fox dropper this year if I end up building up a XCO-type hardtail and keep this as my XCM bike. 1700g+ wheels are reliable but heavy and not particularly wide at ~23mm. SRAM brakes have great modulation but I'm just waiting for an excuse to replace them with Hopes. Also only 1 bottle cage is terrible, but at least the XL frame can clear bottles larger than 20oz.

    2016 Trek Superfly SS is the backup bike, SID RCT3 or rigid, Mezcal 2.35's on carbon wheels, Hope X2 brakes. Still haven't done a SS endurance race yet...love that bike though.
    -DC, just some XC Bum in Sfla...

  10. #10
    Armature speller
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    2011 Kona Unit SS with P2 or 100mm Manitou Marvel fork.
    Arch EX/WTB i23 rims.
    2.25 Ikon/Ardent Race tyres.

    Rougher races, I'll lean toward the 2011 Santa Cruz Chameleon 26er with dropper, Flow EX rims and 140mm Pike 454 fork.
    Same tyres normally or High Roller 2's if needed.

    We did a "marathon" XC race this year that was so completely unsuited to SS it wasn't funny.
    Most riders were on FS with DHF/DHR2 being the popular tyre choice.
    I would liken it to a days enduro racing with the climbs timed as well.

  11. #11
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    2015 Specialized Crave SL with carbon chisel fork. SS with Crest wheels and Bontrager 29.2 tires. Might throw a suspension fork once in a while if the course dictates.
    Lightweight and its what I enjoy riding.
    Last edited by SkolinIN; 01-05-2018 at 07:12 AM.

  12. #12
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    Turner Czar
    Fox 32 SC
    XTR Drivetrain
    Thomson Cockpit
    In race mode it's just over 24lbs.

    Really digging this bike. This is my first FS race bike, many years of hardtails prior. I can honestly say that there is nothing I miss about hardtails.


    2018 Endurance Bike Thread-img_20170824_130045_067.jpg

  13. #13
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Im really looking to see how many people have

    Droppers
    Plus tires
    120+ forks
    34+ stanchions
    2 water bottles

    Im really going to be interested how many times those things actually pop up. We all talk about each of those things helping in different discussions. Interested to see how many "race" that stuff. The two bottles thing also. Only a few fs bikes have two bottles, so its one of those or a hardtail. I havent decided what Im riding next year. I think a Scalpel with a fox 34. Two bottles, i dont want to wear a pack for two hour training rides. A 100 mile race, okay. Just not every ride over an hour needing to wear a pack. I really like the sound of the Pivot Les that WaltDisneyFrozenHead has. 2x is my preferred setup for endurance races.

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  14. #14
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkpowa View Post
    2017 was my first endurance season and I enjoyed it very much. I made a few tweaks throughout the year and here's what I'll be heading into my first 6hr race of the upcoming season this weekend with:

    2017 Trek Top Fuel RSL - went up a size to XL when I cracked my L
    • XX1 11 speed drive train with RF Next SL G4 cranks, 36t for flat courses and I'll grab a 28 or 30t for ORAMM.
    • Race Face Cinch Power Meter - looking forward to seeing some data here and might use it to pace. It's been good for training and racing XC this fall.
    • Fox Stepcast 32 Fit4 with crown lock, lockout cable removed from rear shock
    • Bontrager Kovee carbon wheels with Mezcal G+ 2.25's, may try Barzo out front when it comes out in 2.35 G+.
    • Gripshift, ESI's, Stock Level TLM brakes.



    Pros: 23.0 pound bike with pedals and cage, took Pisgah downhill like a champ last year so it can climb and descent better than the pilot. Mezcals roll well, a little lacking up front but predictable.

    Cons: 1 bottle cage hurts for races with more than an hour between sags. Had one in my jersey for 7 hours of ORAMM which got old. Might add a Fox dropper this year if I end up building up a XCO-type hardtail and keep this as my XCM bike. 1700g+ wheels are reliable but heavy and not particularly wide at ~23mm. SRAM brakes have great modulation but I'm just waiting for an excuse to replace them with Hopes. Also only 1 bottle cage is terrible, but at least the XL frame can clear bottles larger than 20oz.

    2016 Trek Superfly SS is the backup bike, SID RCT3 or rigid, Mezcal 2.35's on carbon wheels, Hope X2 brakes. Still haven't done a SS endurance race yet...love that bike though.
    Sounds like a sick TF 9.9. Let me ask you. Did you ride it with the lockout at all, then decide you didnt need it, or go straight with no lockout. Having ridden the bike a few times, and with enough friends havinv the bike. I would be right with you. Ditching all that crap, and riding in open mode 24/7. I will buy a top fuel if i end up working at a trek shop, otherwise i cant afford the 9.7 or better. I think this is the best xc fs made, but i only have a set budget. I rode this, the 429, the new anthem, the new scalpel, a new scott spark rc all over a couple week period. The Top Fuel blasts uphill immediately and pedals like a hardtail, to me anyways. All the other ones waddled uphill.

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  15. #15
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    Great point about the plus tires (which I am really considering) and the larger forks (120mm with 34 stanchions) Lane. I am really on the fence about the plus tires though. If the tire technology could get the weight down around 875-925 grams actual but also provide good durability and cut resistance I would be on a 29er with 2.8 or 3.0. But I don't quite feel like the tires are there yet, so it is hard for me to invest over $4K into a plus bike to try it out...

    s far as 2 bottles that is a deal breaker for me, I must have 2 bottles somewhere on my bike for big races. I hate racing in a pack, I own 3 of the nicest packs made and cant get comfortable for 100 miles in any of them. I would even take a full size bottle inside the frame and one outside the down tube.

    Good thread, I am like seeing what everyone is using.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Im really looking to see how many people have

    Droppers
    Plus tires
    120+ forks
    34+ stanchions
    2 water bottles

    Sent from my SM-G360P using Tapatalk
    If money wasn't an object I'd be on a 429SL, Tallboy or Top fuel with a 120 Fox 34 and maybe a dropper. I'd love two water bottles but there seem to be very few full suspensions that allow this unless you're cool using a seatpost mounted one. I really enjoy being able to do big rides/races with two large water bottles and no hydration pack.

  17. #17
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    Moots Mooto-x
    100mm Reba fork
    Niner RDO carbon bars
    2x10
    2.4 Trail King front
    2.2 Ignitor rear
    Thompson Elite layback seat mast at fixed height
    2 bottle cages

    I like it because it is light and it rides like my hardtails, but with less body fatigue. I like the little bit of cush with virtually no maintenance and no moving suspension parts to fail during an event.
    The gearing gives me plenty of range without the expense of 11 or 12 speed. The second bottle cage is a must for me as I hate racing with a pack. My Niner Jet 9 had only one bottle cage and I ended up using my bar mounted feed bag for a second bottle when I'd rather use it for fuel.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Im really looking to see how many people have

    Droppers -- NEVER
    Plus tires -- NEVER
    120+ forks -- ALWAYS (big guy with one wonky hand that likes to be coddled)
    34+ stanchions -- ALWAYS (see above)
    2 water bottles -- I WISH
    See above. As far as two bottles, that would be nice, but not a deal breaker.

    A deal breaker is any XL race bike that will not fit one of my beloved 33 ounce Zefal Magnum bottles.
    Whining is not a strategy.

  19. #19
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    See above. As far as two bottles, that would be nice, but not a deal breaker.

    A deal breaker is any XL race bike that will not fit one of my beloved 33 ounce Zefal Magnum bottles.
    I need to find one of those bottles, use it, and see if i can handle a small pack and one bottle. I am in the experimental phase. I have a dropper, f34 120, 800gm tires with some 1800gm wheels, all mounted on my rdo ss. It weighs about what my race fs would i think. Ive been riding enduro trails on it trying to see just how much crazy technical trail it can handle.

    Points im really studying...

    Im not sure if the 120 fork is better because it makes the hta slacker or the extra travel is better. Ive only ridden rigid and a stepcast in Detroit. Now i live in Tucson, im not sure if the stepcast would be making funny noises or what. When i used the stepcast in Marji Gesick, on numerous occasions i figured it was about to just snap in half. One time i touched it to pull out some debris and it was hot to the touch. Im pretty sure it would melt here in Tucson.

    Dropper post, without a dropper here in Tucson i would be dead already, or a vegetable. **** I think. Ive only ridden with a dropper outside of Detroit so far not a rigid post, sometimes i think i could be seated and pedaling when im coasting, need to experiment with my syntace hiflex. A dropper gives no bump compliance seated so maybe as i get better at pedaling through things i can do it seated on a good carbon post.


    Im wearing a pack and two bottles on every ride for now, just to experiment with the weight, its not even the weight, its the super hot contact patch it creates on my back that is most bothersome. Might try a fanny pack. I really feel more comfortable with nothing on my back. Especially ss on crazy tech trails, its more weight to move around and balance. Seated for hours on end a pack is not bad. When you are doing crossfit on bikes its like wearing weight on your back. I cant even imagine some of the packs i see riders wearing. 100oz and every piece of riding gear and tool they own.


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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Sounds like a sick TF 9.9. Let me ask you. Did you ride it with the lockout at all, then decide you didnt need it, or go straight with no lockout. Having ridden the bike a few times, and with enough friends havinv the bike. I would be right with you. Ditching all that crap, and riding in open mode 24/7. I will buy a top fuel if i end up working at a trek shop, otherwise i cant afford the 9.7 or better. I think this is the best xc fs made, but i only have a set budget. I rode this, the 429, the new anthem, the new scalpel, a new scott spark rc all over a couple week period. The Top Fuel blasts uphill immediately and pedals like a hardtail, to me anyways. All the other ones waddled uphill.

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    Yeah, I rode it for the full spring Marathon season with the lockout attached, but honestly I never really used it. Won the series for Cat3 and never felt the need to lock it out and sprint for Endurance races. Maybe for XC but only on a couple starts this fall did I lock the fork out (never the rear). Once I switched to the Crown mount lockout for the fork I didn't see the point to have that shoddy Fox plastic box on my handlebars. Plus the lockout housing loop for the rear just looks awful. Looks bad, works great open, saves ~120g? Bye lockout lever.

    If you're ok with 1 bottle cage and sizing up your frame to avoid snapping it, I'd agree that the Top Fuel is hard to beat. Especially for the price. Sure the Epic is lighter and has 2 cages, but just factor in $500+ per year for Brain Service to the already higher price. It clears 2.35's just fine if that's your preference, rear end stays planted even wide open and doesn't suck power when sprinting, and it's within a pound of all the competition. I cracked mine and had a replacement frame in the mail within 24 hours.


    I don't think I'd go plus tires for XCM, I could have used a dropper in Pisgah at ORAMM maybe for 2-3 sections but it wouldn't have helped my time that much, didn't need more than 100mm of travel or a burlier fork at 175# race weight all XCM & XCO season. This year I'll just upgrade to Hope X2's, build up some race wheels, and mount a cage to the seatpost if I do anything to it. The bike rips, the rider needs more seat time.
    -DC, just some XC Bum in Sfla...

  21. #21
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbell View Post
    Great point about the plus tires (which I am really considering) and the larger forks (120mm with 34 stanchions) Lane. I am really on the fence about the plus tires though. If the tire technology could get the weight down around 875-925 grams actual but also provide good durability and cut resistance I would be on a 29er with 2.8 or 3.0. But I don't quite feel like the tires are there yet, so it is hard for me to invest over $4K into a plus bike to try it out...

    s far as 2 bottles that is a deal breaker for me, I must have 2 bottles somewhere on my bike for big races. I hate racing in a pack, I own 3 of the nicest packs made and cant get comfortable for 100 miles in any of them. I would even take a full size bottle inside the frame and one outside the down tube.

    Good thread, I am like seeing what everyone is using.
    I think focusing on the weight is being overly simplistic. They carry more speed, and you can climb things you were walking. *****They say*****

    Im buying a trek stache at some point to use as my enduro bike maybe endurance bike. I am pretty set on 2.3/4 Bontrager xr tires. I rode with a guy on 27+ the other day. Both same ss gear. He was working way harder than me on 2.3 xr3 29er. Like 25pct more pedaling to maintain speed, i was coasting behind him laughing in my head, he had no acceleration and hes probably "faster" than me on paper. Maybe not though. Who knows. I just know for the whole 1hr ride he had to worl much harder than me. Thats 27 plus, 29 plus, i think he should have been walking away from me on the longer stretches.

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Im really looking to see how many people have

    2x is my preferred setup for endurance races.
    I used to lover multiple chainrings, but I have found that a 1x with 10-42 is pretty good. At AES Pleasantville I never needed any more gearing than worked with my 28t chainring. As for droppers.. if you are skilled at least for Arizona races other than Sedona you really don't need them. Sedona is more of nice a to have for a few descents. Even then it maybe half a mile of the total 55 miles.

    32 or 34 fork depends on what you like. As for wearing a pack. I like a pack for AES rides since most are pretty remote and with no support you need to be able to fix a bike just to get a location you can call for help many times.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Sou... I rode this, the 429, the new anthem, the new scalpel, a new scott spark rc all over a couple week period. The Top Fuel blasts uphill immediately and pedals like a hardtail, to me anyways. All the other ones waddled uphill.

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    Hmm good feedback.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  24. #24
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    Winner of AES Pleasantville was on a Rigid 29+ Singlespeed. As for the step cast fork. I have zero concerns using a step cast for XC races in Arizona. It will hold up just fine. Generally speaking any trails where you need a dropper or big travel are not XC race courses. There are some places these things might be nice in an AES event, but over the course of the entire distance the time they are needed is pretty minimal. That is not to say AES rides are easy. Most have some level of HAB built in, just that 1-2 min saved on a descent from a longer travel bike or dropper does not equate the extra effort for carrying that weight for 5-8 hours. Of course as I say that I am reminded of a guy who was first for old AES McDowells 60 miler event on a full suspension fat bike. That guy is just stupid fast though.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Im really looking to see how many people have

    Droppers
    Plus tires
    120+ forks
    34+ stanchions
    2 water bottles

    ...I think a Scalpel with a fox 34. Two bottles, ...
    I'll be running all the features listed, except for the +tires, as I have for 4 years now.

    Scalpel w/ an F34 would be a great setup.

    2018 Endurance Bike Thread-fullsizerender-11.jpg

  26. #26
    LMN
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    Orbea Occam AM. (140mm front and rear)
    Fox 34 Factory
    DT-Swiss 1200 wheels
    2.35 Ikons
    RaceFace/XTR Di2 drivetrain
    RaceFace Dropper Post.
    Water bottle cages 1

    In race trim the bike is 25lbs.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  27. #27
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    In 2017, my race rigs were a Salsa Timberjack ti singlespeed, with a 100mm Sid, and a 2017 Salsa Spearfish carbon. Both great bikes, didn't hold me back at all.

    But I recently demoed the 2018 Specialized Epic, and I have to say, loved it. Trying to hold back and race the Salsa one more year, but the Specialized keeps drawing me to it.
    [

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    He was working way harder than me on 2.3 xr3 29er. Like 25pct more pedaling to maintain speed, i was coasting behind him laughing in my head.....
    Quiet, please.
    Whining is not a strategy.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    As for the step cast fork. I have zero concerns using a step cast for XC races in Arizona. It will hold up just fine.
    Joe, remind me of your size?

    I'm pretty big at 195 this time of year, and while I find the Stepcast on my Procaliber to have fine damping, it moves around a LOT when I start pushing it beyond pure XCO levels.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    Orbea Occam AM. (140mm front and rear)
    Fox 34 Factory.
    That is a big enough bike, and you have enough form "cred", to make endurance bike travel worth a separate thread.

    I know my "race" bike (Fuel EX) has gone from an XC-feeling 120 mm bike (2016) to a bit softer 130 mm bike (2018) that doesn't feel as snappy, yet on long, well known training loops, my times are always faster. Esp if the loop involves much chunk at all.

    But oh boy, if I was in ever in a position of having to surge repeatedly with a pack it would be lights out and OTB.

    Sorry, long way of asking how you like that much travel in a bike used for racing!
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    I think focusing on the weight is being overly simplistic. They carry more speed, and you can climb things you were walking. *****They say*****

    Im buying a trek stache at some point to use as my enduro bike maybe endurance bike. I am pretty set on 2.3/4 Bontrager xr tires. I rode with a guy on 27+ the other day. Both same ss gear. He was working way harder than me on 2.3 xr3 29er. Like 25pct more pedaling to maintain speed, i was coasting behind him laughing in my head, he had no acceleration and hes probably "faster" than me on paper. Maybe not though. Who knows. I just know for the whole 1hr ride he had to worl much harder than me. Thats 27 plus, 29 plus, i think he should have been walking away from me on the longer stretches.

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    Lane, I am very interested in what your saying. I understand that only focusing on weight isn't the best approach and that I probably made it sound that way, but that isn't my primary focus at all. I have two positions on the 29+ bike: One is that yes I will definitely be trucking more weight around than I normally do (keep in mind that my race rig isn't exactly a feather weight at 23.5 pounds with complete kit including 2 full bottles, flat kit, and feed bag with nutrition) but I anticipate that going up by 2-2.5 pounds for a proper 29+ single speed. So that is a concern for a race that will cover 60-130 miles (or more on some 24 hour courses), I think that it has the chance to become debilitating toward the end. On the flip side I really think the added rotating mass and better cornering traction will help me maintain momentum more than I ever can on my current 2.35" tires. I work a lot on riding very smooth, scrubbing as little speed as possible, picking fast lines, and in general riding as efficiently as possible. I am always the guy who will coast past people who are pedaling. Actually when I was on I9 wheels I used the loud free hub to mess with people's heads in a race. Letting them know that I was right on their wheel and resting while they were working their ass off, it really is a good technique and works! I have people ask me after races and rides how I could coast so much, people notice. I have had a lot of people just pull over and let me by because of this which is sweet especially when you don't have the gas to make a pass. Unfortunately I cant do this on the P321 quiet hubs I am on now, but they seem to have a bit less drag than the I9s.

    Lane, so with all that said were you saying that the guy on the 27+ was working way harder than you? That is honestly my big worry, that Ill have to spend more energy to do the same distance on a 29+. Making the gains in traction and rotating mass would not offset the energy required to move the extra mass/weight. I sure wish I could demo a 29+ for a few days...

  32. #32
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    I imagine following someone you also have to take into account wind resistance over simple what tyres you're on. Bigger tyres at lower pressures should theoretically have a lower resistance over rougher ground but when it's fairly hard and smooth the smaller tyres would be faster. Tread pattern and pressures will also make a big difference regardless of size.

    Some good discussion here. I did my very first endurance race a few months ago (only 3 hrs but it's my first race in 10 years!). I did it on my Intense Primer set to 115mm rear travel and with a 140mm pike, dropper and 1x transmission. From memory about 27lb.

    By the end I was worn out but I think the bug has bitten and I want to do more races. I don't think I could go without my dropper so I can probably save a bit of weight in tyres and fork. My current wheelset is pretty light at 1650g and run 2.35 NN and RaRa combo.

    I've also got a steel hardtail (Cotic Solaris) with a fox 32 but I'm not sure I'd be comfortable enough on it after a 6 or 10hr race.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    .... yet on long, well known training loops, my times are always faster. Esp if the loop involves much chunk at all.

    But oh boy, if I was in ever in a position of having to surge repeatedly with a pack it would be lights out and OTB.
    This pretty much sums up the trail vs XC bike discussion in my view. For endurance races these surges are rare, and a trail bike is th way to go...in a flatter XC race, surges are common and an XC bike is beneficial.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    Joe, remind me of your size?

    I'm pretty big at 195 this time of year, and while I find the Stepcast on my Procaliber to have fine damping, it moves around a LOT when I start pushing it beyond pure XCO levels.
    I am 165, but I don't run a step cast myself. Just older 120mm Fox 32. And there is a difference between "holding up" and moving around. You won't break a step cast, but if you feel it moves too much then you may need to take the weight hit and go with a 34. Some people will be able to feel it and others not so much.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    This pretty much sums up the trail vs XC bike discussion in my view. For endurance races these surges are rare, and a trail bike is th way to go...in a flatter XC race, surges are common and an XC bike is beneficial.
    Thats the argument i was trying to make in that thread about bike weight. Guys started calculating trigonometry and all that. Like i said. Nobody is accelerating for 100 miles. Not even Jeremiah.

    Which also plays into the plus tire discussion for endurance racing. You just have to keep them rolling. Not constantly hammer them out of every corner and up every climb.

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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbell View Post
    Lane, I am very interested in what your saying. I understand that only focusing on weight isn't the best approach and that I probably made it sound that way, but that isn't my primary focus at all. I have two positions on the 29+ bike: One is that yes I will definitely be trucking more weight around than I normally do (keep in mind that my race rig isn't exactly a feather weight at 23.5 pounds with complete kit including 2 full bottles, flat kit, and feed bag with nutrition) but I anticipate that going up by 2-2.5 pounds for a proper 29+ single speed. So that is a concern for a race that will cover 60-130 miles (or more on some 24 hour courses), I think that it has the chance to become debilitating toward the end. On the flip side I really think the added rotating mass and better cornering traction will help me maintain momentum more than I ever can on my current 2.35" tires. I work a lot on riding very smooth, scrubbing as little speed as possible, picking fast lines, and in general riding as efficiently as possible. I am always the guy who will coast past people who are pedaling. Actually when I was on I9 wheels I used the loud free hub to mess with people's heads in a race. Letting them know that I was right on their wheel and resting while they were working their ass off, it really is a good technique and works! I have people ask me after races and rides how I could coast so much, people notice. I have had a lot of people just pull over and let me by because of this which is sweet especially when you don't have the gas to make a pass. Unfortunately I cant do this on the P321 quiet hubs I am on now, but they seem to have a bit less drag than the I9s.

    Lane, so with all that said were you saying that the guy on the 27+ was working way harder than you? That is honestly my big worry, that Ill have to spend more energy to do the same distance on a 29+. Making the gains in traction and rotating mass would not offset the energy required to move the extra mass/weight. I sure wish I could demo a 29+ for a few days...
    Jesse, i will go in detail a bit later today, but i also saw that Raijin on PB. Do NOT sell that bike man. You can get a cheap stache for like 900-1200 complete. Use that to experiment and as your geared winter trainer and even race it if you want to race 29+. Or a cheap chiner plus frame. Do not sell your Kona.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    This pretty much sums up the trail vs XC bike discussion in my view. For endurance races these surges are rare, and a trail bike is th way to go...in a flatter XC race, surges are common and an XC bike is beneficial.
    Yeah, surges are rare in endurance races, but 45 minute climbs with 80 miles in your legs are quite rare in XC races. There is a balancing act here, and I'm not certain where in the mix a bike falls when it's 1.5lbs heavier because of a Fox 34 and a dropper vs. a Fox 32 and a rigid post. My short training loop PR's are all set with my rigid RDO fork and post. That's a low 19lb build while the Fox 34 and dropper puts me at ~23lbs. I know from longer training rides with the rigid fork that I start fatiguing faster, particularly when it's fast with lots of gnar. I can still do 4-6hr rides like that, but I'm pretty sure I'd be a good deal faster towards the end of the ride with less upper body fatigue. I haven't attempted a 100 miler with the rigid fork though, as I'm pretty confident a suspension fork is faster over that distance. That's a relatively light SID 120mm travel though, and no dropper. I _think_ the Fox 34 and dropper will be a big enough improvement in fatigue management to offset their weight, but it's going to take some saddle time for me to reach the same level of confidence.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by solo-x View Post
    Yeah, surges are rare in endurance races, but 45 minute climbs with 80 miles in your legs are quite rare in XC races. There is a balancing act here, and I'm not certain where in the mix a bike falls when it's 1.5lbs heavier because of a Fox 34 and a dropper vs. a Fox 32 and a rigid post. My short training loop PR's are all set with my rigid RDO fork and post. That's a low 19lb build while the Fox 34 and dropper puts me at ~23lbs. I know from longer training rides with the rigid fork that I start fatiguing faster, particularly when it's fast with lots of gnar. I can still do 4-6hr rides like that, but I'm pretty sure I'd be a good deal faster towards the end of the ride with less upper body fatigue. I haven't attempted a 100 miler with the rigid fork though, as I'm pretty confident a suspension fork is faster over that distance. That's a relatively light SID 120mm travel though, and no dropper. I _think_ the Fox 34 and dropper will be a big enough improvement in fatigue management to offset their weight, but it's going to take some saddle time for me to reach the same level of confidence.
    At the Marji gesick 100. I may be off a name or place just to give an idea.

    1st..Jeremiah, canyon with his rs1 fork raised to 120, a dropper added, and 2.35 forekasters. Only race this year he ran that setup.

    2nd.. Matt acker, salsa spearfish, ran 2.4 mtn kings and a dropper, stepcast, only race this year with that setup with dropper and big tires

    3rd. Jeff rupnow, scalpel si, full xc build, mezcal tires, same setup as always

    4th. Stewart i think. He had a top fuel i believe, never spoke to him

    5th. Brentos, norco revolver with fox34 120, dropper, and i think he had 2.6 nobby nics. He can tell you.

    6th. Gordon wadsworth, pivot les ss 34x20, fox 34, dropper, 2.35 bontrager tires

    7th. Jorden wakely, also a norco revolver with his rs1 fork set to 120, and no dropper, 2.35 racing ralphs


    You see the trend here? Lots of 120 forks, and droppers, and heavy tires. It was 107 miles UPHILL the whole way. I guarantee to a man none of them wanted less of a setup and some wanted much more beef added.

    I ran a 20lb hardtail with 2.3 xr3. Only dnf of my life. My gf ran her 18lb sworks ht she finished in 16hrs, had achilles tendon issues for weeks, and bought a top fuel a week later.

    I have ridden rigid at Lumberjack and done plenty of 100 mile rides rigid. You get used to it. I only added a fork so i could actually corner faster not the fatigue. Then I kept reading how i need a fox 34 and dropper, so i put that on my rdo ss, and 100000pct the bike is slower, but i am faster.

    ** Tinker was in there somewhere around 4th maybe. On a hardtail with 2.2 wtb nanos. He walked and suffered a lot and he said he would never make that mistake again

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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbell View Post
    ..
    Lane, so with all that said were you saying that the guy on the 27+ was working way harder than you? That is honestly my big worry, that Ill have to spend more energy to do the same distance on a 29+. Making the gains in traction and rotating mass would not offset the energy required to move the extra mass/weight. I sure wish I could demo a 29+ for a few days...
    There is a difference between 27+ and 29 and 29+ especially for singlespeed applications. I tried my current SS on 27.5+ and liked the grip and softer feel over the rocks. I did not like accelerating these wheels very much. 29 felt more nible and responsive. However 29+ has three things going for it. Momentum, grip, and rollover. They rollover stuff very very well better than 29er and have massive grip so loose terrain is not a big deal. However they do have momentum which is both a curse and a blessing. Sure harder to spin up, but also harder to slow down with trail chatter. So you keep your speed better and don't have accelerate as much. The 27+ has some of this, but not the same level as a 29+. BTW... Learned last week that you can fit 29x3.0 tires underr a Fox 32 120mm boost fork. Not under a step cast, but normal 32 boost fork. Makes me consider 29+ for my single speed. I just don't know if I will ever do rigid.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

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    I know I should not sell the Kona, and I may not. It is a very nice riding bike, maybe the best riding single speed I have built (and there have been many). If I did sell it I would build a 29+ and also have a set of wheels to run 2.35" tires incase I don't like the +. That way they only thing I would be out is a set of wheels...

    I have looked long and hard at the carbon Stache frame set at 3.8 pounds it is an ideal frame to build on! However I am very concerned with the strangle hold dropouts slipping or frame flex that you read about on the internet (after all everything you read on these forums is 100% true, ha), but seriously it would suck to build it only to find out that I could not run it single speed. I am also looking at the Vassago Optimus Ti or maybe a Waltworks. If I did a 29+ I think I would run an RS-1, maybe a Fox 34 but probably the RS-1.

    On the other side of the coin I am thinking if I keep my Kona I may buy a Trek Top Fuel 9.7 as a trainer / fun bike. I would throw a set of I9's under it and put slicks on the factory wheels to use on the rollers and trainer as opposed to my Vault (which I have almost sold several times, but cant b/c I know I need a geared bike to train on). I honestly think a geared mountain bike would be better than the CX bike as I can set it up almost identical to the fit of my SS race bike (whatever bike that may be). There is just too much difference in the Vault and a mountain bike as far as riding position and development during these long winter months. It even bothers me that I have to do most of my training seated when I am standing 80% of the time on the SS, but I don't think there is much I can do about that. Heck I may even try and do a race or two with gears (I never have done an endurance race on a geared bike)...

    What are yalls thoughts on the 2018 Top Fuel? Don't worry about the parts spec of the 9.7 as I will upgrade as needed.

    Great discussion thus far guys!

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbell View Post
    I know I should not sell the Kona, and I may not. It is a very nice riding bike, maybe the best riding single speed I have built (and there have been many). If I did sell it I would build a 29+ and also have a set of wheels to run 2.35" tires incase I don't like the +. That way they only thing I would be out is a set of wheels...

    I have looked long and hard at the carbon Stache frame set at 3.8 pounds it is an ideal frame to build on! However I am very concerned with the strangle hold dropouts slipping or frame flex that you read about on the internet (after all everything you read on these forums is 100% true, ha), but seriously it would suck to build it only to find out that I could not run it single speed. I am also looking at the Vassago Optimus Ti or maybe a Waltworks. If I did a 29+ I think I would run an RS-1, maybe a Fox 34 but probably the RS-1.

    On the other side of the coin I am thinking if I keep my Kona I may buy a Trek Top Fuel 9.7 as a trainer / fun bike. I would throw a set of I9's under it and put slicks on the factory wheels to use on the rollers and trainer as opposed to my Vault (which I have almost sold several times, but cant b/c I know I need a geared bike to train on). I honestly think a geared mountain bike would be better than the CX bike as I can set it up almost identical to the fit of my SS race bike (whatever bike that may be). There is just too much difference in the Vault and a mountain bike as far as riding position and development during these long winter months. It even bothers me that I have to do most of my training seated when I am standing 80% of the time on the SS, but I don't think there is much I can do about that. Heck I may even try and do a race or two with gears (I never have done an endurance race on a geared bike)...

    What are yalls thoughts on the 2018 Top Fuel? Don't worry about the parts spec of the 9.7 as I will upgrade as needed.

    Great discussion thus far guys!
    The Top fuel is the supreme xc bike made, but dont buy it. Buy the chinese ebay knock off stache with a pf30 bb and use a wheels mfg ebb and build a 22lb all carbon 29+ using all chinese ebay parts and wheels. Get a fox 34 for it.

    Then buy a scalpel 5 aluminum for about 2600, and do your training on that if you insist on that idea, which i agree with. Two bottles, not boost, sell the lefty, share wheels with Kona, 2x11 for training any effort needed easy or hard. Use the fox 34 on this also.

    Then sell that Pivot Vault and use the fox 34 and your stepcast between the Kona, and Scalpel, fox34 Chiner. Let it rip.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    There is a difference between 27+ and 29 and 29+ especially for singlespeed applications. I tried my current SS on 27.5+ and liked the grip and softer feel over the rocks. I did not like accelerating these wheels very much. 29 felt more nible and responsive. However 29+ has three things going for it. Momentum, grip, and rollover. They rollover stuff very very well better than 29er and have massive grip so loose terrain is not a big deal. However they do have momentum which is both a curse and a blessing. Sure harder to spin up, but also harder to slow down with trail chatter. So you keep your speed better and don't have accelerate as much. The 27+ has some of this, but not the same level as a 29+. BTW... Learned last week that you can fit 29x3.0 tires underr a Fox 32 120mm boost fork. Not under a step cast, but normal 32 boost fork. Makes me consider 29+ for my single speed. I just don't know if I will ever do rigid.
    Joe and I have similar thoughts. 29+ is way different than 27+. He broke it down scientific. Its just about finding actual bikes for 29+. The Salsa deadwood sus and woodsmoke should make great endurance bikes and are 29+. Along with the other known models of plus bikes.

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    I like the idea of building a 29+ SS off a Chinese frame. I have only used an EBB on my daughters SS, how does the Wheels EBB hold up (does it have slipping issues)? I could also go down the used route for a geared FS bike, there are always deals to be had there if you don't mind doing a little tuning up. Ill look at the Chi-com Ebay frames. Thanks!

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    Here's a diversion from the serious discussion above:

    I'm a non-podium pack-filler; I'll be spending another year on my 26" wheel'd Maverick Durance. ~26lbs, dropper post, 1 bottle, 140mm/150mm suspension. I'll be riding Pisgah Stage Race in April, and will try to do some of the longer single-day events in the region throughout the year, and finish with the Couch Potato/Swank 65 weekend next November.

    I'm planning on building a lightweight steel hardtail 29'er this spring, since numerous endurance races around Pisgah involve extended climbs on fire-roads...we'll see if I finish enough of my current projects to fit a new frame-build into the shop.

    Edit: I lost my mind and registered for the Pisgah 36 in March. I may try to ride the 12 hours of Santos as a tune-up in February.
    Last edited by VegasSingleSpeed; 01-03-2018 at 04:34 PM.

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    As an aside, and apropos of zilch, this type of quantification is really interesting and useful to me. I rarely pay attention to who is riding what in the moment, but I'm always curious after the fact.
    Thanks.

    **ETA that I was responding to Lane's post listing the top finishers' bikes; thought I had included the quote/attribution.

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    I live in northern Italy and do about 5 races a year. Here they call them MTB marathons. Most races are about 35-40 miles and about 7,000 ft climbing. Lots of fire road climbing and a little bit of technical descents. Lots of rocks!

    I have been on a 2015 Camber aluminum frame with 120 mm Reba and 110 fox CTD in the rear. I run all XT 1x and i9 wheels. I also use a Reverb dropper. The bike weighs maybe 26-28lbs with A Hans dampf 2.35 front and RoRo 2.25 on the back. I will switch the front tire out to a RoRo before the season starts.

    I love the bike, itís my only mtb so I needed a good allarounder. I am hoping Specialized makes a 120mm Epic and calls it the Camber next year, I am ready for an upgrade.

  46. #46
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    Currently on a large Monocog, stock 29er, with Ardent 2.4s.
    32x18/19/20 as courses may dictate.
    Love how the bike climbs and handles, and it fits my 6'1" 190-ish pound proportions perfectly.
    However, for 2018, I'm wrestling with some changes for the racing season. Over the Thanksgiving holiday week, I spend 2 days in Moab, and 7 in Sedona. Had a blast, but for the first time felt that my 49 year old self might benefit from some "softening" as applied to an endurance racing context. Also, for the first time, considering a geared bike.
    One option is to throw a Carver XC 465 fork on the Monocog, add a Hugo 52 wheel, and gain some cushion from a Chronicle, or the like.
    The other option is to pursue some manner of geared bike with suspension, potentially full suspension.
    For the record, I doubt that I will ever be back in a position to challenge for the podium, but I do love to go fast and push myself to compete and perform. Cost is a major factor, and upgrading my SS is pretty reasonable, though I would be spending more than half what I paid for my complete ride a few years ago. It's a lot of value for the spend, but it does open the door to add a new bike to the quiver.
    Last edited by cairnmtb; 12-20-2017 at 02:30 PM.

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    I'm building mine up fully custom:

    -ICAN carbon fiber boost frame (cheap and still light, have heard no durability issues and it has a 2 year warranty, so why not?)
    -Lauf boost fork (I never really have been happy with the performance of telescoping forks, always end up locking mine out or riding a rigid bike. Going to try this out to see how it goes + lighter than suspension fork)
    -nextie crocodile + rims
    -27.5x3 rocket rons (super light weight and awesome rolling resistance even better than a lot of 29er tires, rode them all last year and never had any issues and felt like "rocket" belongs in the name)
    -Sram Eagle (10-50T range, heck ya)
    -34t oval front chainring (with a 10-50t rear and good climbing ability I'm hoping this will open up my top end on gravel roads while still giving me a bail out gear for the hardest hills)
    -XTR brakes (reliable, not too expensive)
    -Carbon seatpost and handlbars by ENVE (light, absorb vibrations)
    -Fizik R7 Saddle (found one for $20 at a store by my house haha)
    -Ergon GP1 grips (Saves your hands and forearms)
    -I Cut up a pair of ESI extra chunky grips and wrapped with padded grip tape near the stem (for more positions on 6+ hour rides)
    -Crank brother eggbeaters (I like the float)

    I'm naming this the "Trailhog". It's currently only partially built, as I am waiting on QBP to get Sram Eagle in stock. But this should come in under 21lbs (including two bottle cages, pedals and orange seal) with a large frame, should be super comfy and able to tackle any of the Midwest trails I ride and my "A" race of Leadville. I'll put pictures up when it's complete if anyone is interested in seeing it.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbell View Post
    -2017 Kona Raijin
    -Fox 32 Fit4 Step Cast
    -P321 G2 hubs (rear is SS specific 216 POE with the quiet pawls) laced to Velocity Blount SS
    -XTR M9020 brakes and cranks
    -Niner RDO bar, RF Next post, Ergon saddle, ESI extra chunky
    -Wolf Tooth chain ring & cog (either 32X19 or 34X22 course depending)
    -Maxxis Ardernt Race front with Ikon rear or Ikon front Ikon rear (course depending) 3C/EXO/TR (all 29X2.35)

    Its not the lightest single speed I have built, but it is truly the best riding. After having owned a metric $h!t ton of single speed frames I finally was able to nail down the exact geometry that I wanted. I was going to have it welded up by a custom builder but luckily a friend suggested I look at the Raijin. The geometry on the large frame was so close to what I had in mind I had to go for it, plus it had no wait time and saved me a good amount of money. Thus far I have only raced Shenandoah 100 and a local 12 hour on it both last fall, I finished building it 1.5 weeks before Shenandoah. I am looking forward to some more long races with it!

    I would like to build a FS bike to compliment the Raijin over the winter. I am thinking about a 100mm front and rear or a 120mm front 100mm rear. I would like to have fast efficient a geared bike other than my Vault to train on. Threads like this are an excellent source for ideas, following this one for sure!
    I've got a 2017 Kona Hei Hei, 120 front, 100 rear.....if you're interested

  49. #49
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    2016 Niner Jet 9 RDO
    Nox Carbon wheels with DT240s
    Ardent Race 2.35
    Fox Float 100mm
    Shimano 1x11 (10/42)


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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by claystrick View Post
    2016 Niner Jet 9 RDO
    Nox Carbon wheels with DT240s
    Ardent Race 2.35
    Fox Float 100mm
    Shimano 1x11 (10/42)


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    Nice build. I see you're running the SRAM cassette in lieu of an XT is that because of a better gap in the gears or for the 10t on the top end?
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  51. #51
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Im looking at a Devinci Atlas, they dont make them anymore but you can find them NOS and they have a lifetime warranty and the geo is close to the 16 Fuel Ex, except its 110 and DW link. Short chainstays, beast of a climber.

    They arent light frames but they are bombproof. 24-25 in race mode is plenty though. Saw a super nice scalpel hit the scale it was 26. Why have a xc bike that weighs as much as a trail bike. The Atlas is not slacked out in any way either. 69.8 plus a chip to flip. 110 rear that feels 120 they say because of the DW link. All the reading reminds me of a Mach 429, but shortest chainstays possible with DW link. Whats the main gripe on a 429? Chainstays are too long to really flick the bike.

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    Last edited by LaneDetroitCity; 12-21-2017 at 09:10 AM.
    Ill be out riding, youll still be trolling mtbr. Mtbr, where people who dont ride come to pretend they do.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Whats your endurance racing setup for 2018 going to be? It lets other people see neat ideas and builds and spreads some cool products around.
    Great thread!

    My #1 bike is a 2015 Cannondale Scalpel (recent free warranty replacement frame, so not fully creaky yet )
    For 100s and chunky XXC:
    - Lefty and Monarch XX: 100mm each
    - 1x11: AB 30T oval, e13 9-46T TRSr cassette (free warranty replaced alum section after taco'ing)
    - Thomson Elite Covert dropper (recent free warranty service) with Wolf Tooth lever
    - Shimano XT brakes
    - Stan's Valor (CF) front wheel, Arch EX rear
    - Maxxis Ardent Race (2.35 front and rear)
    - Just under 26#

    For less chunky, I run a lighter wheelset/tire combo:
    - Stan's RaceGold rims (standard lefty front hub, Hope Pro4 rear hub)
    - Maxxis Ardent Race (2.20 front and rear)

    Pros - I find the Scalpel climbs really, really well. With single remote RockShox lockout those long climbs in Shenandoah 100 are quite manageable. I like the 9-46T cassette for 100s with tons of climbing. Having the 9T allows for using a 30T chainring and still spinning at 27 mph or so on gentle downhill gravel. This is a big bonus for 100s. I like the Thomson dropper, but it did get a bit wiggly within a year. The warranty rebuild service was FAST and no hassle. Wolf Tooth lever = slickest part on the bike!

    Cons - Desending is rough. My shoulders take a beating. I really think I would prefer 120mm travel, but I just can't stand the idea of giving up how well the Scalpel climbs. The 9-46T cassette comes off (and 10-42 goes on) for XC and other races without massive climbing because the wide ratio makes shifting a bit less snappy. One bottle location (and a 24 oz really doesn't fit, even with the Spesh side load) -- have to go with a CamelBak.

    It's all a game of compromises. BTW, refilling CamelBak at every other aid station results in a welcomed visit with a volunteer that always seems to reenergize me.

    _Matt
    I just wanna ride...

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    Nice build. I see you're running the SRAM cassette in lieu of an XT is that because of a better gap in the gears or for the 10t on the top end?
    Yea Iíve been playing with different ratios this year after switching to 1x11. I ran a 30 front, which was fine everywhere but Leadville which I got killed on the road sections. But for most Colorado races it fits the climbing well.
    I might try 34 front and the 46 rear which should be similar ratios.


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  54. #54
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    Santa Cruz Highball Al
    RockShox Reba 120
    Thomson rigid post and Thomson Ti bar
    DT240 hubs/Stan's crest rims
    2 Bottles cages
    XX1 Eagle with Xtr Crank w/34t
    Sram Guide brakes 160/160
    Ardent race 2.2R/2.35F

  55. #55
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Quote Originally Posted by FerrouSS View Post
    Santa Cruz Highball Al
    RockShox Reba 120
    Thomson rigid post and Thomson Ti bar
    DT240 hubs/Stan's crest rims
    2 Bottles cages
    XX1 Eagle with Xtr Crank w/34t
    Sram Guide brakes 160/160
    Ardent race 2.2R/2.35F
    Whats something like that weigh? To add perspective for reference. When people read this for ideas not everyone is buying a 9 grand top fuel. Will show that the parts/geo matter more than frame material. Thanks, sweet build too.
    Quote Originally Posted by claystrick View Post
    Yea Iíve been playing with different ratios this year after switching to 1x11. I ran a 30 front, which was fine everywhere but Leadville which I got killed on the road sections. But for most Colorado races it fits the climbing well.
    I might try 34 front and the 46 rear which should be similar ratios.


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    I thought 1x was supposed to eliminate compromise on gearing haha? Thats why i want 2x11 over eagle or 1x 11. Zero compromise on gearing. 38/26 2x11 di2. How fast or slow can you go?

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  56. #56
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    The sheer number of threads that are talking 120mm race now shows that there is a huge interest in this segment.

    This whole discussion around 120mm vs 100mm intrigues me, and I've been trying to build 120mm+ travel race rockets for a few years now. Some have worked, some have not.

    I think that there were a few years there where there were a number of great bikes for endurance racing; Scott Genius, Salsa Horsethief (still available), Fuel EX 120mm. But there are still some new bikes that are very promising - the Scott Spark 120mm, Salsa Horsethief, and Pivot 429 trail. Heck, I'd be curious to even give the new Genius at 150mm a try, with the right build, it certainly has a light enough frame.

    2012 Scott Spark:
    2018 Endurance Bike Thread-spark.jpg
    100mm x 100mm; Never really had great results on this bike. Had better years on hardtails the years before, and better years on trail bikes the years after. I enjoyed it, but really not any faster than any of the bikes below.


    2013 Scott Genius:
    2018 Endurance Bike Thread-dsc_0703.jpg
    130mm x 140mm; The newly released Pike inspired this build. The fork was reported to be awesome, and had a reasonable weight. The Genius frame came in at XC race bike weight, and had a 100mm middle travel setting. This bike didn't get rave reviews; the rear shock was pretty marginal and it was a bit XC in geometry while everything else was going long, low, slack...but I had some great races on this bike! 24.5 lb in race trim with the dropper.


    2014 Ibis Ripley:
    2018 Endurance Bike Thread-ripley2.jpg
    120mm x 130mm; This bike and I didn't really get along, the reach was just too short. It was fun, it was beautiful, but for me, the fit of the OG Ripley just didn't work for speed. I also owned this bike while being off form, not having ridden for awhile because of a severe finger break. 25.5lb in race trim with the dropper.

    2015 Scott Genius:
    2018 Endurance Bike Thread-capt-ahab.jpg
    2018 Endurance Bike Thread-img_0577.jpg
    130mm x 130mm; This was supposed to be a better version of the 2013...and it was. The shorter fork made it a bit more playful, and the rear shock worked very well. Had two fantastic results on this bike...shown here riding Captain Ahab a few hours after setting the fastest opening lap at 12 Hours of Mesa Verde before they cancelled that years race due to rain, snow, and mud... 24.4 lb in race trim, with the dropper.


    2016 Salsa Horsethief;
    2018 Endurance Bike Thread-img_1214.jpg
    120mm x 130mm; Damn, this bike was crazy fun on rough technical descents. Despite being hair heavier, it seemed to have the same pace as the Genius', probably due to a bit more efficient suspension geometry. Had fantastic races at Moab Rocks and True Grit on this one, as well as some local XC races. 24.7 lb in race trim with the dropper.

    2017 Norco Revolver;
    2018 Endurance Bike Thread-img_4992.jpg
    100mm x 120mm; Some decent results despite being in pretty marginal form because of a new job and moving across the country with the family. The Norco is the most intuitive and refined ride of the bunch. Feels like more of an extension of my mind. Suspension feel front to rear is superb. Tied with the Salsa for most fun. Best of the bunch for shorter intense XC races, equal for endurance, but lacks the bomber disposition of the Salsa for enduro racing. As stated earlier in the thread, back on this for 2018, hopefully with better training and a bit more motivation. 24.0 lb in race trim, with the dropper.



    And then this is always in the back of my mind: 2011 Scott Scale; I had this thing built up w/ XX1 at under 20 lb. Kept it for at least 4 years. I had some miracle days on this thing, but ended up selling after back to back rides with the Salsa showed it really wasn't any faster, even over short sections. Once I had gotten used to long front centers and short stems, I couldn't get my pace back on the older geometry.
    2018 Endurance Bike Thread-photo.jpg
    Last edited by brentos; 12-22-2017 at 06:48 AM.

  57. #57
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    brentos wins the internet today! Excellent post, great comparative information about several different bikes, and most important some damn sexy bikes to look at! Nicely done sir!

  58. #58
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    Great stuff, brentos.

    Norco's revolver always seems to be a bit under rated.

    I've been through some of the same progression over the last decade, and I'd never go back to a 100 mm fork.

    In back, my favorite was the 120 mm 2016 Fuel EX, but I could live with 100 or 110. For truly rugged courses, the new 2018 Fuel EX would dominate, but I probably wouldn't choose it for a smooth course.
    Whining is not a strategy.

  59. #59
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    I just got in my 2018 Element Carbon 70 today and took it out for a baseline ride. Over my 2012 spearfish, this bike is faster everywhere. Almost reminds me of transitioning from a 26er to a 29er.

    I was able to ditch the pack by installing 2 side load cages, a oneup edc/pump combo, and a oneup tube strap.

    Next on the list are a new stem and carbon bars along with building up a carbon wheelset.

    2018 Endurance Bike Thread-unnamed.jpg

    2018 Endurance Bike Thread-unnamed-4-.jpg

    2018 Endurance Bike Thread-unnamed-3-.jpg
    Last edited by slacker607; 12-22-2017 at 05:40 PM.

  60. #60
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    Santa Cruz Tallboy3 CC w/ Fox 34 120
    DT240 / Nox Teo / RaRa 2.25's
    Next SL 30T w/ 10-42 XO1
    XTR shift/der/brakes w/ 160mm RT99
    Enve 780 bars w/ Ergon GX1's

    Pros - descends really well, sub 25lbs.
    Cons - single cage, could be lighter.
    Romani ite domum

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by fourarm View Post
    Santa Cruz Tallboy3 CC w/ Fox 34 120
    DT240 / Nox Teo / RaRa 2.25's
    Next SL 30T w/ 10-42 XO1
    XTR shift/der/brakes w/ 160mm RT99
    Enve 780 bars w/ Ergon GX1's

    Pros - descends really well, sub 25lbs.
    Cons - single cage, could be lighter.
    Nice setup fourarm. Surprised that Intense not have a model you could set up similar? Still putting in long rides on your Uzzi? 👍
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  62. #62
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    2015 Highball al

    Xt 1x11 (10-40)

    Xt brakes

    Ritchey al post

    Raceface next carbon bars

    100mm Reba

    Nox Teocalli's laced to DT350's

    Pros: 21#, climbs very well, 2 bottles.

    Cons: hardtail really takes it's toll on 9+ hour rides, 100's, or rough 50's.

    I've used this bike in 9 hour rides, BT Epic, and Lumberjack. It's great, but I'm looking at a hei-hei in the near future. Save the hardtail for local xc races and use the fs on rougher and/or longer races. I'm not getting younger and paying for past injuries.



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    2018 Santa Cruz Blur
    2015 Santa Cruz Highball
    2016 Jake The Snake

  63. #63
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    Nice thread Lane, lots of amazing bikes out there and only 1 other Jet 9 RDO, so Iíll add mine to the mix:

    2018 Endurance Bike Thread-667f4d39-cc10-4359-9092-7f0161d8a102.jpg

    2015 Niner Jet 9 RDO
    Lefty Carbon PBR Fork
    Niner RDO handlebar
    Thompson X4 stem
    Hope Tech 2 brakes (w hope floating rotors)
    Atomik Wheels (front hub Project 321 Lefty, rear Kappius)
    Ardent Race 2.35ís (F&R)
    Sram XX1 1x11 w Abolute Black 34oval
    Race Face Next Sl crank
    Niner RDO seat post
    Mavic Vyron Dropper (1/2 of last season)
    Specialized Phenom Pro seat
    Time Atac grapite/carbon pedals with Ti skewers

    I think that is everythig off the top of my head!

    100 milers Iíll ride with 1 water bottle and wear an Inov-8 ultra running race pack carrying 1.25L of liquid. The pack is like itís not there and will carry a bit extra food therefore I donít need to eat much at the aid stations.

    Proís - I love the bike, looks georgeous to me and as Iíve built it up myself taking my time with all the components with many migrating from bike to bike over the years.
    - the Lefty works great although I blew the fork doing the BC bike Race and luckily they had a mechanic that had brought parts from home, otherwise I would have been screwed it went on day 3.
    - comfortable

    Conís - creak creak creak... friggin BB drives me nuts. Iíve taken it apart, cleaned it with rubbing alcohol, used carbon paste, no paste, nothing, Praxxis Works BB adapter torqued to specs, etc... it might be creak free for a short period and then return.

    I got the Vryon Dropper for the BC Bike race, I donít really need a dropper for my home trails and know I could have gotten something much lighter but it also fits the Stache so made sense. I may go back to the RDO seat post for longer races next year, will see.

    Iíve always been of the mind that with training on the bike and itís weight or deficiencies it will just make you stronger, but realize that the 34T front was way too large for BC, although I did a fair number of those monster clmbs (Frogger as an example) but am sure it cost me by the end of the week so may drop down to a 32 for next year.

    I now have a Stache for playing so not sure what I may change to when the time comes, a good thread for ideas for sure.
    Somewhere lost in the Bush!

  64. #64
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    I just did a lap of the 24hrs of old pueblo course on a optimus ti 29+, 34/20 ss, chupacbras.


    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO thank you. No, no, no, no. Fat bikes, plus bikes. Nope. You arent going FAST, you might go "fast", in your mind.

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  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    I just did a lap of the 24hrs of old pueblo course on a optimus ti 29+, 34/20 ss, chupacbras.


    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO thank you. No, no, no, no. Fat bikes, plus bikes. Nope. You arent going FAST, you might go "fast", in your mind.

    Sent from my SM-G360P using Tapatalk
    Any more detailed thoughts? Do you have a lap time to compare it to on a reg 29er SS? How was your perceived effort? Why or what aspect do you think made it slower? Just interested in your thoughts b/c in my mind what you just said is how I think a 29+ would ride. I'm still gonna get some tie on one at some point, just because I have to know! HA Thanks in advance...

  66. #66
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    I can look at strava, but we arent comparing seconds here. My rdo ss, 34/20, raceking front, thunder burt rear, f34 120, dropper. Vassago optimus ti, 34/20, chupas, rigid niner boost fork, carbon post, ti bars. Probably weighed the same or close. It felt like i was riding a 200lb bike. Literally, all because of the tires. Im trying to give some useful insight not just my lingo here.

    When i pedaled, it took "much" more effort with the same gear. Like i stopped the bike after a mile and checked if the rotors were rubbing, waited for the owner to catch up on my rdo, asked him how much psi, is his chain lubed, etc. Like there is no way this is how it should feel. All i heard about was momentum, and rollover, and traction.

    Well the old pueblo 24hr course couldnt be more perfect of a test for endurance xc riding. Its pretty flat, twisty, sandy, some jeep roads for a minute. Not chunky or slow speed tech. Should be able to get the 29+ rolling and away we go right? I was literally like a little kid with excitement as i was getting ready for the lap, been waiting for this moment two years. I wanted to launch the bike into the desert after about 3 miles and walk the other 13.

    Why would use all that effort to make my bike move forward? Thats all i kept thinking. This sucks. The exact same feeling i had the only time ive ridden a fat bike, an sworks fat bike with jumbo jims. It was like pedaling a tractor.

    Can not even understand or imagine what people are talking about with 29+. I dont want to sound offensive, or like im a bad ass or something, but nobody fast is riding 29+. They might think they are fast, definitely can be faster than me, but anybody fast 29+ would be much faster on reg 29 short travel fs.

    Trying to extrapolate this ride i did, into what would a slower speed tech ride be like, i would take up a new hobby. There is a "rock ridedown" thing near the start and finish of 24hr town. I rode up it 6/8 times this morning on a thunder burt rear tire. I couldn't even get halfway with chupas. I couldn't get the cranks back around!!! Ya, i could have track stand, ratchet the pedals back and start forward again. No. No. No. This is endurance racing not sessioning features. At speed, flying towards the rock wall, hit the rock and momentum takes you up and you keep pedaling. Ya, on my rdo, but not on the 29+. I had not enough momentum, i didnt need extra rollover, and traction doesnt matter if you are not moving!! I couldnt snap the pedals fast enough in a short area to create momentum either.

    This is just my take on 29+ for endurance racing. Requires extra power, negligible gains in rolling speed in any depending on tires you are using/comparing, and i was getting traction with a thunder burt! Why would i need all that extra weight, and "traction" is actually resistance anyways. Why would i need to increase traction/resistance at the expense of SPEEEEED haha. Even when they were up to speed they cornered slower because the front end wasnt on rails. Prob like going from a 26 to a 29. Razor sharp steering on a 26, start late and finish early in corners, vs a 29 taking arcing turns which i then need to accelerate out of. This isnt the same as fs vs hardtail or xc vs trail bike accelerating. The effort to make the bike go any speed is higher, on a trail bike i can carry more speed in rough sections, the 29 plus is not nimble, or twitchy, which i like. I want the bike to turn as i turn not have that delay in the bike reacting to my input.

    Geared 29+. May be the best thing ever because you can shift down and sit down and create momentum. On ss you need the momentum you already created with every pedal stroke to be maintained or not much effort to create more momentum.

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    Man Lane, reading that is echoing every fear I have about a 29+ and I have never ridden one. Over a few rides on different fat bikes I have developed this theory of what a 3" 29er would ride like and based on your lap at OP it sounds like I may not be too far off.

    Your exactly right about the need for quick burst of moderate power to keep a single speed up to speed. If you have to put down too many watts or for too long all the time to keep a single speed up to speed you will be trashed after even a short distance of 25-30 miles. I have owned a lot of SS bikes and they all have been very efficient rollers, meaning as your riding you just have to "maintain" speed with short quick moderate power burst as long as you are able to pick good lines and stay off your brakes. IMO that is what riding a SS is all about and exactly the reason I love it so much, the smart efficient rider is faster and can go longer.

    I also like a fast handling bike, maybe because I started riding in 1991 and all the bikes were fast handling (sketchy actually). I do appreciate a stable bike don't get me wrong. I have settled on about a 69.5-69 HTA for my endurance bikes and I like a short stem with medium width bars (I live in NE and wide bars are tough in trees), but even with those numbers the handling is pretty snappy the bike just tracks better through tight chunk than did the 71 (or steeper) degree & longer stem 26" bikes of old. But damn it I hate a sluggish handling bike! Maybe I'm just lazy and don't want to have to put a lot of effort into it, but honestly its energy that I could be using to turn the cranks over.

    You mentioned that a geared + would be better, that may be true... I have a friend who recently built a geared Gnarvester 29+ and if he hasn't sold it by spring Ill see if I can snag it for a weekend and try it out. I still want to know what all the hype is all about. But it sure sounds like a 3" 29er is not ideal for a single speed endurance bike. It may make a good trainer / foul weather bike. One of my ideas is IF I did build a + I would have a 2nd set of wheels with 2.35" tires and just have the bike pull double duty, I honestly think that would be the way to go.

    Thanks for the information Lane, I definitely appreciate it!

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbell View Post
    Any more detailed thoughts? Do you have a lap time to compare it to on a reg 29er SS? How was your perceived effort? Why or what aspect do you think made it slower? Just interested in your thoughts b/c in my mind what you just said is how I think a 29+ would ride. I'm still gonna get some tie on one at some point, just because I have to know! HA Thanks in advance...
    J, the trails are not packed and firm enough yet, but once they are, come on up to Old Town. You are welcome to try my 29+ if you want. Being rigid, I don't ride it much in the summer as I take the squishy bike or the SS. But as it sits, it's just a touch under 22 pounds. The frame is a generic chinese carbon from Workswell. If I was to do it again, I would get the CS-496 frame from XMCarbonspeed, put on a suspension fork, and go SS with the Phil Wood eccentric BB.

    I could be wrong but I think that the wheel / tire / tire pressure combo will play a big part in how the bike feels. 10 psi vs 16 psi makes a huge difference in how the bike handles. If I'm on dirt, I keep it over 15 psi as the handling just isn't the same. You still get the benefit of the volume and larger diameter but it keeps it from feeling sluggish. Larger tires don't always mean lower pressures. At the same pressure as smaller tires, you still have a greater volume of air to compress so the tire will still conform to the trail better than smaller tires. If that makes sense.

    These wheels are chinese carbon 50mm outer / 43mm inner rims, Hope Pro4 hubs, and DT Aerolite spokes weighing in at 1800ish grams. Not a feather weight but not heavy either. With different hubs, sub 1750g would be pretty easy to do.

    2018 Endurance Bike Thread-img_1955.jpg2018 Endurance Bike Thread-img_0232.jpg

  69. #69
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    I gotta say, based on only one 29+ ride, it's hard to argue with most all of that. I was ready to order, and it ended up being the least enjoyable ride of the year for me. Ended up with a Procaliber instead. Now THAT is a ripping fast bike, even with 2.4s!

    The 29+ experiment was, however, a great way to get a 6 hour workout from a 3 hour ride!
    Whining is not a strategy.

  70. #70
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    My experience with sessioning a local climb on my hardtail is different than yours Lane. I have a 27.5 steel hardtail (~27lbs) that I Ďracedí 12hr and 100 mile events on last year.


    TLDR - from my Ďscientificí measurements the 27.5x2.6 and 27.5x2.8 were Ďfasterí and supported higher nominal power output than a 2.25 of the same Rocket Ron on the same bike on the same segment.



    As part of preparing for the big races I tested a full set of tires sizes in schwalbe Rocket Ronís including 2.25, 2.6, 2.8, and 3.0. I used a local training segment I am very familiar with that is 1.4 miles in length, 11.7% average grade.

    I sessioned this climb at least 3 times with each set of tires. The climb itself is a former jeep road that has devolved into a single track in most places and is a true single track in others. Several sections of short punchy climbing at 30% balanced by some fast flat 5% stuff. There are a few sections with chunky fist sized rocks (this turned out to be important).

    For my runs I monitored my power output very carefully in addition to overall time up the segment. My coach was also looking at my power files to verify what I was seeing and provide input on my tire choice. My typical times are ~16minutes and I use this climb for sweetspot and threshold intervals.

    I found that the 2.25 tires felt the fastest but were the slowest over all with my nominal power falling 40watts as compared to my fastest effort on the 2.6. The 2.8 was pretty much identical to the 2.6 but a little worse on some other road riding areas. The 3.0 was comfy but slower for me... pretty much even with the 2.25.

    My rims are Spank 395+ aluminum so certainly wide enough that it probably compromises the 2.25 a bit although I can still charge hard on them at the risk of scraping rims on rocks.

    The fall off in nominal power is what convinced me to go with a new Epic for this year. On the climbs around here being able to put down the power evenly should be an advantage for me. That and cutting weight from the bike while keeping the roll over of the big 27.5x3.0s but on smaller 29x2.35s should be interesting. I havenít road the new bike yet (we have 2.5ft of snow on the above segment anyways) so I canít compare results yet. Should be interesting.

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    Oops. Left off the important numbers... the runs on the 2.6 averaged 5.1% lower time at 6.7% higher nominal power compared to the 2.25. So yeah, was working harder. Was also going faster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flowby2wheels View Post
    My experience with sessioning a local climb on my hardtail is different than yours Lane. I have a 27.5 steel hardtail (~27lbs) that I Ďracedí 12hr and 100 mile events on last year.


    TLDR - from my Ďscientificí measurements the 27.5x2.6 and 27.5x2.8 were Ďfasterí and supported higher nominal power output than a 2.25 of the same Rocket Ron on the same bike on the same segment.



    As part of preparing for the big races I tested a full set of tires sizes in schwalbe Rocket Ronís including 2.25, 2.6, 2.8, and 3.0. I used a local training segment I am very familiar with that is 1.4 miles in length, 11.7% average grade.

    I sessioned this climb at least 3 times with each set of tires. The climb itself is a former jeep road that has devolved into a single track in most places and is a true single track in others. Several sections of short punchy climbing at 30% balanced by some fast flat 5% stuff. There are a few sections with chunky fist sized rocks (this turned out to be important).

    For my runs I monitored my power output very carefully in addition to overall time up the segment. My coach was also looking at my power files to verify what I was seeing and provide input on my tire choice. My typical times are ~16minutes and I use this climb for sweetspot and threshold intervals.

    I found that the 2.25 tires felt the fastest but were the slowest over all with my nominal power falling 40watts as compared to my fastest effort on the 2.6. The 2.8 was pretty much identical to the 2.6 but a little worse on some other road riding areas. The 3.0 was comfy but slower for me... pretty much even with the 2.25.

    My rims are Spank 395+ aluminum so certainly wide enough that it probably compromises the 2.25 a bit although I can still charge hard on them at the risk of scraping rims on rocks.

    The fall off in nominal power is what convinced me to go with a new Epic for this year. On the climbs around here being able to put down the power evenly should be an advantage for me. That and cutting weight from the bike while keeping the roll over of the big 27.5x3.0s but on smaller 29x2.35s should be interesting. I havenít road the new bike yet (we have 2.5ft of snow on the above segment anyways) so I canít compare results yet. Should be interesting.
    27+ right. I think that would be better than 29+ for xc racing. Tires are lighter, and i dont need to turn over a 31" wheel. The fastest ss rider in the state of Michigan rides 27+, we had an hour long talk about it, hes never going back. 660gms for a 27+ rocket ron, same as my race king 2.2 protection 29er.

    Like Kosmo said, least enjoyable ride of my mtb riding career, at least on the fat bike i could almost drag my knee in corners like a moto gp racer.

    The Old pueblo course starts with some jeep type roads, the 29+ wheels started rolling and then any little steering input to change lines was like slow motion, so i just started trucking stuff, losing all my momentum every time, then having to restart up each hill, it was brutal. I did 2 laps on my rdo and never stood up a single time. Seated, cruising, momentum, railing corners. 29+ would probably make an insane gravel bike though. Just bombing rolling gravel roads. If you need to "rail" anything, forget about it.

    29+ is off my list. Maybe a front tire only, select uses. The procaliber, kona honzo carbon, devinci atlas, scalpel si, all with a 120 fork, and 2.35 xr2,3. Im done overthinking it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flowby2wheels View Post
    Oops. Left off the important numbers... the runs on the 2.6 averaged 5.1% lower time at 6.7% higher nominal power compared to the 2.25. So yeah, was working harder. Was also going faster.
    So, you would need to have extra power to burn to get that same speed over 100 miles. Where a 29 2.35 ill take "my nute" losses in "speed" for great increases in bike handling. I need all my power, dont have any extra to burn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BXCc View Post
    J, the trails are not packed and firm enough yet, but once they are, come on up to Old Town. You are welcome to try my 29+ if you want. Being rigid, I don't ride it much in the summer as I take the squishy bike or the SS. But as it sits, it's just a touch under 22 pounds. The frame is a generic chinese carbon from Workswell. If I was to do it again, I would get the CS-496 frame from XMCarbonspeed, put on a suspension fork, and go SS with the Phil Wood eccentric BB.

    I could be wrong but I think that the wheel / tire / tire pressure combo will play a big part in how the bike feels. 10 psi vs 16 psi makes a huge difference in how the bike handles. If I'm on dirt, I keep it over 15 psi as the handling just isn't the same. You still get the benefit of the volume and larger diameter but it keeps it from feeling sluggish. Larger tires don't always mean lower pressures. At the same pressure as smaller tires, you still have a greater volume of air to compress so the tire will still conform to the trail better than smaller tires. If that makes sense.

    These wheels are chinese carbon 50mm outer / 43mm inner rims, Hope Pro4 hubs, and DT Aerolite spokes weighing in at 1800ish grams. Not a feather weight but not heavy either. With different hubs, sub 1750g would be pretty easy to do.

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    Thats a sick build, and we have communicated on the Chiner forum about it.

    I ride 18 front 19 rear on 29x2.35, i weigh 160. The vassago had 14 front, 15 rear. It wasnt the psi, it was the diameter and weight, and they are just clunky handling. Rigid sucks also, that sucked too, but adding 3lbs to the front would have been the straw that had me throwing my friends bike off a cliff in the desert. It was a very frustrating ride because for two years i had this idea that it would be exactly what i want and crave. Its so slow. As i was riding i was having thoughts how it would play out at Lumberjack, Mohican, ORAMM, Gunnison Growler, whisky 50, etc. I started having very negative thoughts and feelings and the whole experience was bad. If i had never heard of 29+ and some guy rolled up, and i was like let me see whats up, i may have a different vibe. However i have been building up this picture and feeling in my mind, and it was so far off. It was something i want to put behind me and focus in on viable options.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Thats a sick build, and we have communicated on the Chiner forum about it.

    I ride 18 front 19 rear on 29x2.35, i weigh 160. The vassago had 14 front, 15 rear. It wasnt the psi, it was the diameter and weight, and they are just clunky handling. Rigid sucks also, that sucked too, but adding 3lbs to the front would have been the straw that had me throwing my friends bike off a cliff in the desert. It was a very frustrating ride because for two years i had this idea that it would be exactly what i want and crave. Its so slow. As i was riding i was having thoughts how it would play out at Lumberjack, Mohican, ORAMM, Gunnison Growler, whisky 50, etc. I started having very negative thoughts and feelings and the whole experience was bad. If i had never heard of 29+ and some guy rolled up, and i was like let me see whats up, i may have a different vibe. However i have been building up this picture and feeling in my mind, and it was so far off. It was something i want to put behind me and focus in on viable options.

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    Thanks!

    Do you know what the Vassago weighed in at and what it had for wheels? Iím just wondering if different geo and wheels that are a pound or so lighter, would have given you a different result.

    But to keep on topic, it may not be the best XC endurance racer. Probably all depends on the course and the rider. I do feel that 29+ is best suited for taller folks. Sort of like putting a 5í1Ē rider on a 29er. It works, it just isnít the ideal setup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BXCc View Post
    Thanks!

    Do you know what the Vassago weighed in at and what it had for wheels? Iím just wondering if different geo and wheels that are a pound or so lighter, would have given you a different result.

    But to keep on topic, it may not be the best XC endurance racer. Probably all depends on the course and the rider. I do feel that 29+ is best suited for taller folks. Sort of like putting a 5í1Ē rider on a 29er. It works, it just isnít the ideal setup.
    He said 22lbs. It had nextie 35 internal carbon wheels. Im 6'2. It wasnt bike fit, it wasnt air pressure, it wasnt rolling resistance. It was weight and diameter. It took more turns of the crank to create momentum. To me, wasted turns of the crank. Since you know Old Town, on the rockroll thing, to be able to ride up you need to get up to speed in about 9ft, i felt like i needed 15ft to get the same speed i was getting on my rdo. My rdo i can spin the cranks so fast i can make a roost if i want. I also like a lower front end. Sub 40in bar height. Not happening 29 plus.

    Its probably good if you arent racing pros as a joe, but i am.

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  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Thats a sick build, and we have communicated on the Chiner forum about it.

    I ride 18 front 19 rear on 29x2.35, i weigh 160. The vassago had 14 front, 15 rear. It wasnt the psi, it was the diameter and weight, and they are just clunky handling. Rigid sucks also, that sucked too, but adding 3lbs to the front would have been the straw that had me throwing my friends bike off a cliff in the desert. It was a very frustrating ride because for two years i had this idea that it would be exactly what i want and crave. Its so slow. As i was riding i was having thoughts how it would play out at Lumberjack, Mohican, ORAMM, Gunnison Growler, whisky 50, etc. I started having very negative thoughts and feelings and the whole experience was bad. If i had never heard of 29+ and some guy rolled up, and i was like let me see whats up, i may have a different vibe. However i have been building up this picture and feeling in my mind, and it was so far off. It was something i want to put behind me and focus in on viable options.

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    A lot of people race the bike they find the most fun to ride not the bike that is necessarily the fastest. Personally, I raced a light weight 140mm travel bike this year, because I really enjoyed the bike. Even though my XC race bike is without a doubt faster.

    The fastest way around just about any course with climbs and descents is an XC race bike. But it isn't always the funnest way around.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    A lot of people race the bike they find the most fun to ride not the bike that is necessarily the fastest. Personally, I raced a light weight 140mm travel bike this year, because I really enjoyed the bike. Even though my XC race bike is without a doubt faster.

    The fastest way around just about any course with climbs and descents is an XC race bike. But it isn't always the funnest way around.
    Thats one of the reasons i wanted to make this thread, because i wanted to see all the different ways guys skin the same cat. Im learning a lot. Im trying to add some useful info also.

    Ive basically reached the conclusion in your post. Im still trying to be a little faster than a full trail bike. Thats why ive narrowed it down to procaliber or scalpel for that pure xc bike, or a carbon honzo or devinci atlas for a more "aggresive xc" where there is that tad bit more fun factor, i can actually boost some lips over obstacles etc. My rdo is insanely fast, no compromise, either you are railing or its flopping over. I want something i can "mess around" on and try new lines and ways of attacking certain obstacles. Im in the process of expanding my skills, while at the same time getting fitter and fitter. So as i get more skill and fitness, the bike i ride may be able to be more pure xc because i can use my experience on a more forgiving bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    So, you would need to have extra power to burn to get that same speed over 100 miles. Where a 29 2.35 ill take "my nute" losses in "speed" for great increases in bike handling. I need all my power, dont have any extra to burn
    I guess I was not very clear... in this case the rougher parts of the trail are a challenge for me to pedal smooth and hard to keep my power up. The little extra side wall of the plus tire smooths out some of the chunk giving me a bit better performance than the harder and smaller. My steel hardtail has very little flex, is over built, and has very burly wheels. Fatigue and trail chatter compromise my performance which is part of why I going with the Epic. I want the feel of a hardtail but with the edge taken off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BXCc View Post
    J, the trails are not packed and firm enough yet, but once they are, come on up to Old Town. You are welcome to try my 29+ if you want. Being rigid, I don't ride it much in the summer as I take the squishy bike or the SS. But as it sits, it's just a touch under 22 pounds. The frame is a generic chinese carbon from Workswell. If I was to do it again, I would get the CS-496 frame from XMCarbonspeed, put on a suspension fork, and go SS with the Phil Wood eccentric BB.

    I could be wrong but I think that the wheel / tire / tire pressure combo will play a big part in how the bike feels. 10 psi vs 16 psi makes a huge difference in how the bike handles. If I'm on dirt, I keep it over 15 psi as the handling just isn't the same. You still get the benefit of the volume and larger diameter but it keeps it from feeling sluggish. Larger tires don't always mean lower pressures. At the same pressure as smaller tires, you still have a greater volume of air to compress so the tire will still conform to the trail better than smaller tires. If that makes sense.

    These wheels are chinese carbon 50mm outer / 43mm inner rims, Hope Pro4 hubs, and DT Aerolite spokes weighing in at 1800ish grams. Not a feather weight but not heavy either. With different hubs, sub 1750g would be pretty easy to do.

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    Thank you so much for the offer! Sweet looking build! I would love to get up to Old Town and check your trails out. I met a couple of cool guys from the area a few years back, we road together at Bradbury and they mentioned how yall's trails are pretty rocky and rough up there. I would love that!

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    Great info guys! Lane I am really enjoying this thread, there has been some great dialogue about what people are riding and racing. I find this talk about the 29+ stuff very interesting, and possibly saving me a lot of money!

    I have looked at the 27.5 + options but came to the conclusion (based on NOTHING scientific, ha) that if I were to do plus why not go all they way with a 29+. Does anyone have any quality time on both a 29+ and 27.5+ similarly built bike on the same trails?

    Lane you mentioned the guy up your way is on a 27.5+ SS and will never go back, what is his set up? I pay attention during races and most of the time everyone on a plus bike of any diameter is usually pretty slow. That is not to say that you cant be fast on a +, just saying that its not common. I'm not sure if that is because the fast guys are not willing to mess with what is working or if they have tried the + thing and found it either required too much energy to be fast or was just too slow in general.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flowby2wheels View Post
    I guess I was not very clear... in this case the rougher parts of the trail are a challenge for me to pedal smooth and hard to keep my power up. The little extra side wall of the plus tire smooths out some of the chunk giving me a bit better performance than the harder and smaller. My steel hardtail has very little flex, is over built, and has very burly wheels. Fatigue and trail chatter compromise my performance which is part of why I going with the Epic. I want the feel of a hardtail but with the edge taken off.
    You had to use 6pct more power to go 5pct faster or maybe inverse of that, but i want to use the same power and be 5/6pct faster. Especially over 3hrs. I would use more power over an 1-2 hr xc race and be fine probably. Im not selling out on every pedal stroke or corner in an endurance race, have to moderate power not just empty the tank. I am sure if i wanted to use 3hrs of power in 1hr i could have that 29+ hitting some serious speeds, but probably not is my conclusion. It just doesnt vibe with absolutely hammering and living on the edge of lateral traction. I dont need straight line traction. Ya,ya you can rail corners on 29+, no you cant, you can think you are railing corners. Traction is resistance. Its like when i mount up some xr4 2.4 and go ride xc trails. Ya i corner without even putting my hands on the brakes.....because im not going fast enough lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbell View Post
    Great info guys! Lane I am really enjoying this thread, there has been some great dialogue about what people are riding and racing. I find this talk about the 29+ stuff very interesting, and possibly saving me a lot of money!

    I have looked at the 27.5 + options but came to the conclusion (based on NOTHING scientific, ha) that if I were to do plus why not go all they way with a 29+. Does anyone have any quality time on both a 29+ and 27.5+ similarly built bike on the same trails?

    Lane you mentioned the guy up your way is on a 27.5+ SS and will never go back, what is his set up? I pay attention during races and most of the time everyone on a plus bike of any diameter is usually pretty slow. That is not to say that you cant be fast on a +, just saying that its not common. I'm not sure if that is because the fast guys are not willing to mess with what is working or if they have tried the + thing and found it either required too much energy to be fast or was just too slow in general.
    His screen name on this forum is asmallsol or something similar. His name is Collin Snyder, he podiums NUE races and elite geared races and won iceman on 27+, the new Giant xtc. His good friend is also top 5 fastest ss in the state, for the most part, he rides a trek stache 29+. They have traded bikes on rides and tested. I have talked to both of them about the pros and cons of all setups. The 29+ guy is dead set on 29+ SS, and the 27+ guy is dead set on that. They are primarily riding in Michigan where lateral traction is the most important component of being fast. I no longer live there, i moved to Tucson. So now im seeing the world from a complete different angle. Lateral traction is useless out here if you cant maintain momentum up gnarly climbs coming out of corners. Then its like starting a deadlift set up each hill. Thats what 29+ felt like, deadlifting, my rdo is like walking your dog in comparison, effort wise. Im going to see if Collin will post his thoughts, he is an engineer and can talk more technical than me, he also is a step above me speed wise so maybe at his speeds things are different. Jorden Wakeley ran 29+ geared for most of a season and blew everyone away as usual, but he went back to 2.35 racing ralphs f/r for iceman a few years back because he said to match Wells, and Bishop type riders, its too much work to accelerate. Hes now on the same bike as Brentos. Norco revolver, and is like a little kid again, and will be much faster because of it.

    Full disclosure, i race to place as high in a race as i can. Some people dont, thats why these threads are so good. I got beat by bikepackers in tennis shoes at Marji Gesick 100. I was making jokes at the start line asking if they were riding the tour divide or what. They just knew what works and what doesnt. I learned a lot.

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    Last edited by LaneDetroitCity; 12-31-2017 at 03:40 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbell View Post
    Thank you so much for the offer! Sweet looking build! I would love to get up to Old Town and check your trails out. I met a couple of cool guys from the area a few years back, we road together at Bradbury and they mentioned how yall's trails are pretty rocky and rough up there. I would love that!
    Yup, one of them bought your Reba. That was me. Haha. Swan's Trails at Perch Pond is a mile from me. We groomed some today and they should be good to go soon. No back to your regularly scheduled program.

    I've seen the same with plus bikes being slower but I'm thinking it's more of the rider than the bike. Especially with hardtails. It does give some extra traction and comfort so I think it's a great option for beginners not looking to spend the cash on a quality full suspension bike. A higher end plus HT bike vs a lower end squishy bike. I'm still thinking it's gonna be more of a terrain / rider issue not so much the bike. If it's relatively smooth flowy trails, definitely stick with standard 29" tires. But if there is a lot of chunk and zero flow, plus tires might do better. Maybe not 29+ but swapping between 29 and 27+ on the same frame could be a great option. Then just swap wheels depending on the course conditions.

    JBell, definitely give 29+ a try before you write them off. Also, the Trek Stache is pretty unique in that it's a trail bike, not a bike-packing bike like most of the 29+ bikes out there so you might want to give that one a whirl too. Hit me up when you're up this way.

    Lane, I do agree that they won't spin up as fast as a lightweight 29er wheel tire combo. That's one of the reason's I like riding my SS so much, it's pure acceleration. But on that note, wouldn't a light weight 26 wheel spin up even faster? Gotta weigh the pro's and con's and find what works for you, and with so many good choices now, it can get expensive trying out all the different bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    You had to use 6pct more power to go 5pct faster or maybe inverse of that, but i want to use the same power and be 5/6pct faster. Especially over 3hrs. I would use more power over an 1-2 hr xc race and be fine probably. Im not selling out on every pedal stroke or corner in an endurance race, have to moderate power not just empty the tank. I am sure if i wanted to use 3hrs of power in 1hr i could have that 29+ hitting some serious speeds, but probably not is my conclusion. It just doesnt vibe with absolutely hammering and living on the edge of lateral traction. I dont need straight line traction. Ya,ya you can rail corners on 29+, no you cant, you can think you are railing corners. Traction is resistance. Its like when i mount up some xr4 2.4 and go ride xc trails. Ya i corner without even putting my hands on the brakes.....because im not going fast enough lol.
    An interesting point you have there about power versus speed. I came to a similar conclusion in the end given my choice to try a 29x2.35 full suspension since I like this racing thing.

    One point to consider though is that in all runs I was pacing at the same HR... so if you could smooth out the trail, get higher nominal power (peaks were similar) and go faster... wouldnít you want to?

    I am hoping the 29 will give me a little better rollover like the 27.5x3.0. Except instead on a heavy Onyx wheelset with straight gauge 2.0 spokes built for the rocky trails I will be rocking an enve m525 on a proper XC bike.

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    Jared (I think that is your name, if not BXCc) I don't do much riding this time of year other than Trainer Road with my trainer or rollers, just too busy with my kids swimming. But I would love to get up there this spring or summer! Are you racing anywhere local this year? I would love to meet up at a race.

    Lane if you can get them to post up their thoughts that would be killer!

    By the way I picked up a Kona Hei Hei mainly to train on, but I may try it out for the endurance thing. I built up a RKT last winter to use as a trainer and race a time or two, but I just didn't like it. I was a nice build at just over 23 pounds and it handled great, ripped going down hill (even with only 90-95mm of travel whatever they are), and climbed fine but I hated how it pedaled out of corners and on flats. I felt like I was riding in deep sand, it had crap for acceleration. I changed the suspension set up every way possible, replaced the wheel set for a lighter built I9 set up, 3 sets of different tires, you name it, but no bueno! Hell, my Transition Smuggler with a Fox 36 and beefy tires was noticeably better out of the hole than that damn RKT. I sure hope the Kona is better, I am all about the snappy acceleration!

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    My .02 having ridden a lot of 29 and 29+ front rigid SS...

    It depends on your trails which is faster as well as your skill set

    I am mostly engine and a little skill. I am far faster on the 29+ front than the standard 2.3. I gained about 1/2 lb going + up front and set prís on just about every segment I rode. For me, the confidence, cushioning, and roll over were worth the 1/2 lb.

    I did find that the + handled a very little bit slower, although off road ot was hard to tell the differemce after about 3 minutes of riding. On my trails, that differemce just didnít matter

    So to say + is slower for everone would be a bit far reaching. Rogid and plus go together for me.

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    khardrunner14,
    Were you ridged on the 2.3 tires as well? Where do you live / what are your trails like? Where do you think your improvements came from on the + up front, were you able to hold more speed in the corners, or was it an increase in compliance that helped smooth out the trails?What is your full bike build (only because I like bikes )?

  89. #89
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    The several comments about 29+ up front only have me wishing for a 29 x 2.6 version of the XR2 or 3 (my front tire of choice).

    Easy way to tip toe around the idea without committing to a new wheel first!
    Whining is not a strategy.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    The several comments about 29+ up front only have me wishing for a 29 x 2.6 version of the XR2 or 3 (my front tire of choice).

    Easy way to tip toe around the idea without committing to a new wheel first!
    Ive ran the Nobby Nic 2.6 up front for testing. Its not anything like a plus tire. It was just a bigger 2.4 that was heavier. The 2.4 xr3 on your Trek wheels, the absolute sweet spot of traction and weight. IME, and Bontrager tires are bigger than others usually so your 2.4xr3 is about the same size as others 2.6 which are more like 2.525 or so maybe on average.

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  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbell View Post
    khardrunner14,
    Were you ridged on the 2.3 tires as well? Where do you live / what are your trails like? Where do you think your improvements came from on the + up front, were you able to hold more speed in the corners, or was it an increase in compliance that helped smooth out the trails?What is your full bike build (only because I like bikes )?
    I rode 2.3 rigid and with 100mm fork. I ride in pa and trails range from flowy to rocky and rooty. Obviously I rode the same trails on 29+ front with 2.3 rear.

    My improvement was most in cornering traction and rollover. I seriously felt like nothing I hit could stop me and this was a huge confidence boost. I appreciated the complaince on small bumps but that was more comfort than speed.

    At the time I was running a Trek superfly SS full carbon woth a carbon exotic fork. The front wheel was ether an easton xc one SS for the 2.3 or wtb asym 35 with hope hub for the wtb ranger 29x3.0. When I did run a sus fork it was a reba with lockout.

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbell View Post
    Great info guys! Lane I am really enjoying this thread, there has been some great dialogue about what people are riding and racing. I find this talk about the 29+ stuff very interesting, and possibly saving me a lot of money!

    I have looked at the 27.5 + options but came to the conclusion (based on NOTHING scientific, ha) that if I were to do plus why not go all they way with a 29+. Does anyone have any quality time on both a 29+ and 27.5+ similarly built bike on the same trails?

    Lane you mentioned the guy up your way is on a 27.5+ SS and will never go back, what is his set up? I pay attention during races and most of the time everyone on a plus bike of any diameter is usually pretty slow. That is not to say that you cant be fast on a +, just saying that its not common. I'm not sure if that is because the fast guys are not willing to mess with what is working or if they have tried the + thing and found it either required too much energy to be fast or was just too slow in general.
    Warning, I ramble in internet forums. Let the rambling begin:

    Hello there. Lane got most of it right. For my mountain bike credentials, I've ridden 29er SS's since 2007, have done probably 15 or so NUE races, with 2 podiums, won Barry Roubaix SS twice, Iceman SS class 3 times and most covetted of all, PSSWC winner 4 times (tounge and cheek I've ridden Breck Epic (although did just okay) and done my fair share of East coast and Moab riding.

    Anyways last year I bought a Giant XTC+ and built up two wheelsets, one 29er, the other 27.5+, both chinese rims with Hope hubs figuring I would race on the 29er wheels, but when I ride with my buddy's I'd roll the "fun size" wheels. The very first ride I did on the 27.5+ was a frozen trail ride with a very light dusting of snow. The grip that I had was insane. I was leaning the bike in corners harder than I would in mid summer. For the first month I had that bike, I had a huge smile on my face every time I went around a corner.

    Once spring rolled around, the local trail that I ride a good 75 times a year (my benchmark), the first hot lap I did, I smashed my old KOM by over a minute (for the past 5 years, the KOM time has only been reduced by about 15 seconds). I was blown away. That sealed it.

    I raced Lumberjack 100 on it, placed 14th overall, third in SS, had my best time there by nearly 40 minutes. Raced it at an elite geared race (while set up ss) finished 3rd, and most recently raced Iceman on it and finished 3rd (second if you include the winner who got DQed for doping) in all amatures (~4000) and 1st in SS by over a minute. Throughout the year, I would just blow away my old PR's on local tracks.

    Now the question is why. Yes, with the extra weight of the wider rim plus heavier tires, on the scale, my 29er setup is lighter than the 27.5, however I did put those 29er wheels on and quickly removed them because they felt inferior. The 27.5+ wheel/tire is actually slightly smaller than a 29er, thus the higher weight is closer to the central axis, thus it does not effect the moment of inertia as much as a +29er would. My buddy and I (we're both engineers) decided to do a little testing and found that a 27.5+ wheel with a 3.0 liteskin rocket ron actually has a smaller moment of inertia then a 29er wheel with a 2.4 Liteskin RR. This means that it will accelerate faster. Accelerating is in all directions. Climbing up a hill, going from 2m/s to 4 m/s, or turning. Then when you pair in the MASSIVE amount of grip, regardless of the trail conditions, you can simply use a ton less brake. Just lean the bike over more, carve through the turn and when you leave, your already going much faster before you start pedaling than you would have been on a 29er.

    Now, my buddy who's also a fast SS who has a Stache was pretty convinced 29er+ was the way to go...until he built up a set of 27.5+ wheels for that bike, and now he's pretty much exclusively ridden it as a 27.5+. He LOVES the roll over of the 29er+ but the extra weight is just too much to over come. Although you have more grip, it can be slower in the corners if you have a situation where you need to alternate lines (think S curve) and thats due to the higher rotational inertia.

    Some caveats to all this. I live in SE Michigan which means super smooth trails relative to east coast. Because of that I can ride liteskin Rocket ron tires which are paper thin. I have ridden this bike with some very burly tires down in North Carolina on extremely rough rocky trails, and was very surprised on how well it did. On stuff that on a normal 29er I would have never been able to make it up, I powered up with rocks flying down the trail.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by asmallsol View Post
    Warning, I ramble in internet forums. Let the rambling begin:

    Hello there. Lane got most of it right. For my mountain bike credentials, I've ridden 29er SS's since 2007, have done probably 15 or so NUE races, with 2 podiums, won Barry Roubaix SS twice, Iceman SS class 3 times and most covetted of all, PSSWC winner 4 times (tounge and cheek I've ridden Breck Epic (although did just okay) and done my fair share of East coast and Moab riding.

    Anyways last year I bought a Giant XTC+ and built up two wheelsets, one 29er, the other 27.5+, both chinese rims with Hope hubs figuring I would race on the 29er wheels, but when I ride with my buddy's I'd roll the "fun size" wheels. The very first ride I did on the 27.5+ was a frozen trail ride with a very light dusting of snow. The grip that I had was insane. I was leaning the bike in corners harder than I would in mid summer. For the first month I had that bike, I had a huge smile on my face every time I went around a corner.

    Once spring rolled around, the local trail that I ride a good 75 times a year (my benchmark), the first hot lap I did, I smashed my old KOM by over a minute (for the past 5 years, the KOM time has only been reduced by about 15 seconds). I was blown away. That sealed it.

    I raced Lumberjack 100 on it, placed 14th overall, third in SS, had my best time there by nearly 40 minutes. Raced it at an elite geared race (while set up ss) finished 3rd, and most recently raced Iceman on it and finished 3rd (second if you include the winner who got DQed for doping) in all amatures (~4000) and 1st in SS by over a minute. Throughout the year, I would just blow away my old PR's on local tracks.

    Now the question is why. Yes, with the extra weight of the wider rim plus heavier tires, on the scale, my 29er setup is lighter than the 27.5, however I did put those 29er wheels on and quickly removed them because they felt inferior. The 27.5+ wheel/tire is actually slightly smaller than a 29er, thus the higher weight is closer to the central axis, thus it does not effect the moment of inertia as much as a +29er would. My buddy and I (we're both engineers) decided to do a little testing and found that a 27.5+ wheel with a 3.0 liteskin rocket ron actually has a smaller moment of inertia then a 29er wheel with a 2.4 Liteskin RR. This means that it will accelerate faster. Accelerating is in all directions. Climbing up a hill, going from 2m/s to 4 m/s, or turning. Then when you pair in the MASSIVE amount of grip, regardless of the trail conditions, you can simply use a ton less brake. Just lean the bike over more, carve through the turn and when you leave, your already going much faster before you start pedaling than you would have been on a 29er.

    Now, my buddy who's also a fast SS who has a Stache was pretty convinced 29er+ was the way to go...until he built up a set of 27.5+ wheels for that bike, and now he's pretty much exclusively ridden it as a 27.5+. He LOVES the roll over of the 29er+ but the extra weight is just too much to over come. Although you have more grip, it can be slower in the corners if you have a situation where you need to alternate lines (think S curve) and thats due to the higher rotational inertia.

    Some caveats to all this. I live in SE Michigan which means super smooth trails relative to east coast. Because of that I can ride liteskin Rocket ron tires which are paper thin. I have ridden this bike with some very burly tires down in North Carolina on extremely rough rocky trails, and was very surprised on how well it did. On stuff that on a normal 29er I would have never been able to make it up, I powered up with rocks flying down the trail.
    Thanks Collin! Interesting to hear Todd ditched the 29+. He was so set last we talked in the summer. He is still on plus though.



    To others..
    Fyi, he didnt mention it but he uses a suspension fork, and Todd (his friend i referenced) doesnt that I know of, maybe he does now. So 27+ plus tires and a World Cup sid boost fork. Hes not going full weight weenie thats for sure and is crushing it.

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  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by asmallsol View Post
    Warning, I ramble in internet forums. Let the rambling begin:

    Hello there. Lane got most of it right. For my mountain bike credentials, I've ridden 29er SS's since 2007, have done probably 15 or so NUE races, with 2 podiums, won Barry Roubaix SS twice, Iceman SS class 3 times and most covetted of all, PSSWC winner 4 times (tounge and cheek I've ridden Breck Epic (although did just okay) and done my fair share of East coast and Moab riding.

    Anyways last year I bought a Giant XTC+ and built up two wheelsets, one 29er, the other 27.5+, both chinese rims with Hope hubs figuring I would race on the 29er wheels, but when I ride with my buddy's I'd roll the "fun size" wheels. The very first ride I did on the 27.5+ was a frozen trail ride with a very light dusting of snow. The grip that I had was insane. I was leaning the bike in corners harder than I would in mid summer. For the first month I had that bike, I had a huge smile on my face every time I went around a corner.

    Once spring rolled around, the local trail that I ride a good 75 times a year (my benchmark), the first hot lap I did, I smashed my old KOM by over a minute (for the past 5 years, the KOM time has only been reduced by about 15 seconds). I was blown away. That sealed it.

    I raced Lumberjack 100 on it, placed 14th overall, third in SS, had my best time there by nearly 40 minutes. Raced it at an elite geared race (while set up ss) finished 3rd, and most recently raced Iceman on it and finished 3rd (second if you include the winner who got DQed for doping) in all amatures (~4000) and 1st in SS by over a minute. Throughout the year, I would just blow away my old PR's on local tracks.

    Now the question is why. Yes, with the extra weight of the wider rim plus heavier tires, on the scale, my 29er setup is lighter than the 27.5, however I did put those 29er wheels on and quickly removed them because they felt inferior. The 27.5+ wheel/tire is actually slightly smaller than a 29er, thus the higher weight is closer to the central axis, thus it does not effect the moment of inertia as much as a +29er would. My buddy and I (we're both engineers) decided to do a little testing and found that a 27.5+ wheel with a 3.0 liteskin rocket ron actually has a smaller moment of inertia then a 29er wheel with a 2.4 Liteskin RR. This means that it will accelerate faster. Accelerating is in all directions. Climbing up a hill, going from 2m/s to 4 m/s, or turning. Then when you pair in the MASSIVE amount of grip, regardless of the trail conditions, you can simply use a ton less brake. Just lean the bike over more, carve through the turn and when you leave, your already going much faster before you start pedaling than you would have been on a 29er.

    Now, my buddy who's also a fast SS who has a Stache was pretty convinced 29er+ was the way to go...until he built up a set of 27.5+ wheels for that bike, and now he's pretty much exclusively ridden it as a 27.5+. He LOVES the roll over of the 29er+ but the extra weight is just too much to over come. Although you have more grip, it can be slower in the corners if you have a situation where you need to alternate lines (think S curve) and thats due to the higher rotational inertia.

    Some caveats to all this. I live in SE Michigan which means super smooth trails relative to east coast. Because of that I can ride liteskin Rocket ron tires which are paper thin. I have ridden this bike with some very burly tires down in North Carolina on extremely rough rocky trails, and was very surprised on how well it did. On stuff that on a normal 29er I would have never been able to make it up, I powered up with rocks flying down the trail.
    That is some bad ass info, thanks so much!! If you don't mind a few questions:
    What is your height and weight? What is the weight of the XTC with the 27.5+ liteskin? How do you like the dropouts on the XTC? I have not heard much about them from a SS setup and adjustment perspective. How is your buddy's Stache doing set up SS, is it carbon, do the strangle holds give any trouble?

    There is no way I could run the liteskin casing around here, how much of a difference do you think a heavier casing tire would make on your overall times / performance? Before going to the 27.5 + what width 29er were you on?

    Thanks again for the info!

  95. #95
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    Buying a used Scalpel and swapping all my good parts to it from my F-Si. I'll decide whether I like that bike or my 130mm 650b better for endurance. If I like the 130 better, that'll be my endurance bike. If I like the Scalpel better, I'll sell the 130.

    Scalpel will also be my XCO bike.

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbell View Post
    That is some bad ass info, thanks so much!! If you don't mind a few questions:
    What is your height and weight? What is the weight of the XTC with the 27.5+ liteskin? How do you like the dropouts on the XTC? I have not heard much about them from a SS setup and adjustment perspective. How is your buddy's Stache doing set up SS, is it carbon, do the strangle holds give any trouble?

    There is no way I could run the liteskin casing around here, how much of a difference do you think a heavier casing tire would make on your overall times / performance? Before going to the 27.5 + what width 29er were you on?

    Thanks again for the info!
    I'm 160, 5'10.5". IIRC, it weighs in around 22 or 23 lbs, and that's with the new gen Sid world cup fork. SS wise, the dropouts I would say are a 9 out of 10. Only gripe is the amount of travel is just a hair short. I had one gear combo that wouldn't work with a new chain and I had to find a stretched one to make it work. But once you get them set, they are Rock solid. The bolt thru axle adds security so they don't move. The other slight issue I have with it (non drop related) is the large chain stays mean you can't run a stages powermeter and to run a big ring, you have to mount the ring on a tripple 104bcd crank. I regularly run for standard xc races 37t x 16t. If you run a standard crank, your limited to 34 iirc.

    Yea liteskin won't work in fun areas. Lower Michigan is very tame. If I recall correctly, I was still running the Vittoria big Bambinos as a geared race that I ran SS and still took third. They are nearly a lb heavier a tire so they felt slower, but we all know feeling is a pretty horrible measure to use. I did run that tire down in North Carolina and did some good 15-20 minute climbs and against my teammate, I felt the tires weren't a boat anchor. Hell, besides a fat bike when it comes to climbing, it's more about the legs than a setup.

    For my buddies stache, he has the aluminum version. He had a good amount of issues with the chain stay? (Is it called that if it's above the chain lol) flexing and loosening the chain like crazy. I'd ride behind him and when he spun, I tell him his chain was loose. He would stop spinning and check tension with his shoe and it would be fine. When he climbed, he'd hear popping and narrowed it down to flexing would cause the two rings to become misaligned and it would sometimes derail on the back ring. He eventually changed to the super burly kmc 810sl chain which added stiffness to everything and eliminated the issue for the most part.

    As for my tire history, I typically ran 2.3 tires with pretty standard rim widths.

  97. #97
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    Right on, thanks! Damn you run a big gear!!

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbell View Post
    Right on, thanks! Damn you run a big gear!!
    Ya, thats why none of us could catch him! J/k, hard work is why. He told me he averaged ~60 rpm for Shenandoah and got 3rd or so.

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  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbell View Post
    Right on, thanks! Damn you run a big gear!!
    Gearing will always be dependent on you and your courses.

    A friend of mine is insanely fast, wins most all endurance races he shows up to, he raced SS with 34/20 at one of the local 12 hour races and had more laps then the geared bikes!

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbell View Post
    Right on, thanks! Damn you run a big gear!!
    Two things to consider, Michigan is flat so I can get away with a big gear, and a 27.5+ is a slightly smaller diameter so you have to run a bigger gear ratio to equal a 29er gear. For lumberjack, I think I did a more standard 32*18.

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