2019 Trans-Sylvania Epic May 23-27- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    2019 Trans-Sylvania Epic May 23-27

    Who's in?
    Read and heard a lot of great things about this race over the years and I'm very excited. My first stage race, so another new experience. It's a 7 hour drive for me from the Great White North, but so worth it. Only thing I'm worried about is the weather. Up here, it's not uncommon to get snow in late May.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thatshowiroll View Post
    Who's in?
    Read and heard a lot of great things about this race over the years and I'm very excited. My first stage race, so another new experience. It's a 7 hour drive for me from the Great White North, but so worth it. Only thing I'm worried about is the weather. Up here, it's not uncommon to get snow in late May.
    This is a climate summary for nearby State College...you should be fine.

    https://www.usclimatedata.com/climat...tates/uspa2543
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  3. #3
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    Whats the bike choice for this? Is it really thaaat rocky. Also what would folks do this or breck epic (considering one or the other).
    MyRides - Santa Cruz Tallboy CC, Van Dessel Ramble tamble SS, Look 986 1x10,

  4. #4
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    I'm heading back. I did the 5 day in 2016. It is indeed that rocky.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mackdhagen View Post
    Whats the bike choice for this? Is it really thaaat rocky. Also what would folks do this or breck epic (considering one or the other).
    Most would say something with plenty of suspension (120+) and not quite DH but something burly for tires.

    It really is that rocky. I've not seen many places that offer this much rock tech.

    I've done both races more than six times. Two very unique experiences, so you'd have to decide what you're looking for in an stage race.

    BTW: I don't take my own advice.

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thatshowiroll View Post
    Only thing I'm worried about is the weather. Up here, it's not uncommon to get snow in late May.
    We've had some chilly, rainy days, but nothing that required much more than a light jacket.

    We've also had some years that were scorchers.

    Be prepared for just about anything... that isn't snow.
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  7. #7
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    Fun race, did it in 2012 and loved every second of the rocks!
    I'm most at home while riding rocks
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  8. #8
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    It's halfway sold-out as of now.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mackdhagen View Post
    Whats the bike choice for this? Is it really thaaat rocky. Also what would folks do this or breck epic (considering one or the other).
    I have only done the race once (2016), but I really enjoyed it. I would agree that, YES, it really is that rocky. I ride mostly in Quebec, where it's quite rocky and rough, so I figured it'd be similar. Nope! Crazy rocks in PA! Awesome race though. Loved it.

    There are rock gardens of all shapes and sizes, but notable to me were the extended sections of square-edged, sharp, randomly placed boulders. It's like they just fell out of the sky to blanket the forest, at times. I rode a 120mm XC bike with Maxxis Ikon EXO 2.35 tires. I did flat once, but I think I'd still run these if I did it again. After the first couple of days I started running higher air pressure and had no problems (something like 27psi) Assuming the course is similar each year, there is a fair bit of gravel climbing and I'd hate to push a DH tire. I gather 2016 had a little more road than other years, due to rain, but it is still an XC race...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlanB View Post
    I have only done the race once (2016), but I really enjoyed it. I would agree that, YES, it really is that rocky. I ride mostly in Quebec, where it's quite rocky and rough, so I figured it'd be similar. Nope! Crazy rocks in PA! Awesome race though. Loved it.

    There are rock gardens of all shapes and sizes, but notable to me were the extended sections of square-edged, sharp, randomly placed boulders. It's like they just fell out of the sky to blanket the forest, at times. I rode a 120mm XC bike with Maxxis Ikon EXO 2.35 tires. I did flat once, but I think I'd still run these if I did it again. After the first couple of days I started running higher air pressure and had no problems (something like 27psi) Assuming the course is similar each year, there is a fair bit of gravel climbing and I'd hate to push a DH tire. I gather 2016 had a little more road than other years, due to rain, but it is still an XC race...
    So it's rougher than Mt St. Anne? How's a Rocky MTN element bc edition sound for a good bike?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    So it's rougher than Mt St. Anne? How's a Rocky MTN element bc edition sound for a good bike?
    That bike sounds good, to me. I rode a 120mm Spark with a dropper and biggish tires. It was perfect. Itís hard to compare to MSA with its steep features. TSE, being five days long, has more varied terrain (thereís plenty of gravel climbs, for example). The trails are much more Ďrawí at TSE. At least the year I did it. That said, if a place like MSA is appealing youíll like TSE.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlanB View Post
    That bike sounds good, to me. I rode a 120mm Spark with a dropper and biggish tires. It was perfect. Itís hard to compare to MSA with its steep features. TSE, being five days long, has more varied terrain (thereís plenty of gravel climbs, for example). The trails are much more Ďrawí at TSE. At least the year I did it. That said, if a place like MSA is appealing youíll like TSE.
    Just because it's what I've experienced and enjoyed the most is steep, short, tech climbs. Extended boulder fields will be a whole new ball game for me. I can ride really technical trails though, so I should be fine. I am living in Pisgah till the race for practice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Just because it's what I've experienced and enjoyed the most is steep, short, tech climbs. Extended boulder fields will be a whole new ball game for me. I can ride really technical trails though, so I should be fine. I am living in Pisgah till the race for practice.
    Youíll like it, Iím sure. Iíve only ever ridden a road bike in North Carolina, but I hear Pisgah is great for techy xc riding. Enjoy the training!

  14. #14
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky View Post
    Most would say something with plenty of suspension (120+) and not quite DH but something burly for tires.

    It really is that rocky. I've not seen many places that offer this much rock tech.

    I've done both races more than six times. Two very unique experiences, so you'd have to decide what you're looking for in an stage race.

    BTW: I don't take my own advice.


    Have you ridden Michaux? How's it compare?

  15. #15
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    Here's a screengrab from one of their latest FB posts regarding stage lengths and elevation gain.




    2019 Trans-Sylvania Epic May 23-27-stages.jpg

  16. #16
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    Sorry I am going to miss the race this year. I have too many other Travel races on the calendar.

    Keep in mind, rocky does not = go big travel for racing. As long as you have a capable 100/100 29er race bike with high volume 2.35 tire, it will be very fast. a 120 fork is just nicer on the shoulders and body and probably a bit faster than a 100 stepcast.

    While I havent raced this course yet, I can draw from experience racing big rocks fast.

    In the end, race what you have the most fun on. Whether its an sb4.5 or a Trek Stache

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Have you ridden Michaux? How's it compare?
    Never ridden Michaux, but I know a lot of people from the area. I would say the tech is less "continuous" than Michaux, from what I've heard.
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  18. #18
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky View Post
    Never ridden Michaux, but I know a lot of people from the area. I would say the tech is less "continuous" than Michaux, from what I've heard.
    Thanks, Im going to take a clinic at Michaux with Sue H. Plus live in Pisgah and ride the PSR stages the day before each stage for practice riding consecutive days in a row.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Thanks, Im going to take a clinic at Michaux with Sue H. Plus live in Pisgah and ride the PSR stages the day before each stage for practice riding consecutive days in a row.
    Michaux has a bit of everything depending on which part you are riding. There are three races there and each has a different variety of tech but one thing they usually have in common is big slabs of rock sticking up at 45 degree angles or exposed boulders(especially the southern areas of Michaux) and baby head sized rocks with sharp edges scattered along the trail or gathered together in 20-30 foot long sections of trail.

    I haven't done TSE but have done a few races west of Harrisburg. When you get into central PA the rocks are still there but are more of the type that you see in teamdicky's photo. Long sections of baby head sized rocks all packed closely together. Usually not as sharped edged but will still kill a lightweight race tire in a couple miles.

  20. #20
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    Iíve raced the W101 probably 6/7 times but never made it to TSE.

    This year Iím finally going to make it to the TSE.

    While the W101 has a good amount of gravel the single track is fun but technical. Itís not like riding new style flow trails; itís old school PA Point and shoot single track.

    How do the rest of the trails used for TSE compare to whatís used in the W101?


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