Bikes of the Marji Gesick... photos?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    viva la v-brakes!
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    Bikes of the Marji Gesick... photos?

    I'm curious what successful racers are riding on technically challenging races like the Marji Gesick. Do people just suck it up on their typical endurance rigs, perhaps with just some modifications like bigger, more aggressive tires, or do folks level up to a longer travel bike?
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  2. #2
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    I'm very familiar with the trails and the race. My observation is that most people just run their normal endurance rig with added water carrying capacity.

    Unless you're racing aggressively at the (very) pointy end of this race, I don't think the bike matters much to overall time...as long as the bike isn't a tank or you're running soft compound tires. If you are at racing aggressively at the front and putting in attacks, I think a 100mm or lightweight 120mm bike w/ 120mm fork and high volume, fast rolling tires is very hard to beat. Dropper post is nice to navigate the tricky rolls and rocks when you're fatigued.

    I've had some success at the Marji, racing it in 2017, 2018, and 2019 (out and back-200). Bikes are pictured below. It's very hard to compare times from year to year; my strategy varied greatly, weather was far different, and the course changes.

    2017
    8th Overall, 11:43:06
    Norco Revolver 100-120mm fork, Conti Race King / X-King 2.2
    Bikes of the Marji Gesick... photos?-img_4970.jpg

    2018
    19th Overall, 11:59:49
    Norco Ithaqua-4.8" Jumbo Jims @ 9 PSI / 6 PSI
    Bikes of the Marji Gesick... photos?-img_5832.jpg

    2019 (Out and Back 200)
    3rd Overall, 29:06:23
    Norco Sight-130mm/140mm 2.35"/2.6" Nobby Nic
    All-Mounted Oriented suspension DPX2 / Fox 36
    Bikes of the Marji Gesick... photos?-img_6880.jpg

  3. #3
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    I've done the race 4 times and and a xc bike is my go to
    2016 fsi hardtail 2.25 tires
    2017 scalpel 100/100 2.25 tires
    2018 scalpel 100/100 2.25 tires
    2019 out n back scalpel pictured below 100/100, 2.25 tires

    Im likely in the minority but don't think a drop is necessary on the trails.

    Can't remember all the times but they range from 11hr to 11:20, and onb was 26:37


    This was my set up for the out and back. For the one hundred just get rid of the bags, light, heavy seat, 3rd water bottle cage...



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  4. #4
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    Nice job to both of you! I can't even imagine doing the 200.

    I did my first Marji this year - just the 50. My bike was an Anthem Advanced Pro 29 w/ a Fox SC32. Rekon rear and Forekaster front (was prepared for rain, but it didn't happen). I didn't need a dropper, but it would have been nice in a few spots. The 90/100mm suspension was fine for me. I didn't find that there were enough spots to gain significant speed and bomb really technical, chunky sections. Mostly spent my time picking lines at slow speeds. So XC-like suspension travel was enough.

  5. #5
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    "I'm curious what successful racers..."

    Oh. Wait. You said successful racers. I finished. Does that count?

  6. #6
    kk2
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    I don't know if finishing in 19:54 min counts as successful but. For the race I slightly modified my bike to be more trail capable. I rode Pivot Mach 4C 27.5 with ZTR Flow and Maxxis Rekon 2.6 tire up front and Maxxis Ardent Race 2.35 on the back. I also put a dropper post on it. Bike has 120/115mm suspension. Normally I run 2.2 Rocket Rons on the bike and no dropper. As for the drivetrain I was 1x11 30-10/42 while I normally run 34-11/40. The only other 100miler that I do Lumberjack 100 I use my Santa Cruz Tallboy 2. BTW it was my first attempt at Marji.
    Pivot Mach 4C
    Trek Procliber 9.9 SL
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    Specialized Fatboy C

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-Choro View Post
    "I'm curious what successful racers..."

    Oh. Wait. You said successful racers. I finished. Does that count?
    Yes, that counts as success! Especially given the quit rate for this race.

    rupps5-Well done! It seems you executed perfectly and were in a class of your own out there.

  8. #8
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    Brentos - What was your impression of riding bike with 130/140 travel over such a long distance?

  9. #9
    viva la v-brakes!
    Reputation: FishMan473's Avatar
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    I left the wording “successful” vague on purpose. Obviously there are many levels of success in this event. I was mostly thinking of the fast guys, sub-12 and those that got close (Brentos is and ruppe5 are exectly the kind of guys I was thinking of, but interested in opinions of anyone who thinks they had their rig dialed for the Marji.

    Brentos, I’ve got to say though, don’t you think you’re showboating a bit with a sub-12 finish on a fully rigid fat bike?




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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowdownthehill View Post
    Brentos - What was your impression of riding bike with 130/140 travel over such a long distance?
    It was super fun. When I started the race this year, I did not have podium intentions...I really just wanted to find a comfortable pace and ride with others, not alone. I never felt it was slowing me down, or that I was fighting the bike. In fact I appreciated the forgiveness and idiot proof traction during the race. It may have been slower overall, but a REALLY enjoyed the race...the bike helped keep things fun on the return trip, lowering the risk of hitting the "A" lines & drops.

    I think what really matters is that you're not running 1000g+ soft compound tires.

    I will admit that if I had entered the race with podium intentions, as I did in 2017, I would have been on a light 100mm or 120mm bike. It just helps you cover moves when somebody tries to make a separation...those crux moments on climbs when you really want to keep somebody in sight. With the fat bike I would have struggled to cover those moves on the rough descents and extended climbs; on the trail bike it would have been difficult on some of the climbs. But overall, when slow and steady is the goal, I'm not sure either slowed me down much.

    Regarding the fat bike... it kind of blows people's minds, but that bike is FAST, especially with those Schwalbe tires, as long as you're going under 15mph, at which point they really seem to build up aero drag. It was a touch slower on rough descents, and on couple miles of pathway on the way out to Jackson park, but it was really awesome in the last 35 miles of slow rock crawling and steep terrain. Not as much of a detriment as most would expect, but again, not a bike that would support podium ambitions because it would be very difficult to cover attacks.

  11. #11
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    Bikes of the Marji Gesick... photos?-d350ca8a-0495-41c4-8704-3b5267a85495.jpeg
    I race the local XC series Cat 1/Expert, but throw in a MTB 100 once a year. This was my first year at Marji and only my second MTB 100 ever. I used my XC bike 100/100mm with a dropper and Mezcals 2.35 tires. I added a small top tube bag and small saddle bag. Never though I needed anything more regarding bike or gear for Marji. However, fitness wise I needed plenty more, lol. I finished, but struggled due to a whole host of issues, some self induced and other by Mother Nature (heat, humidity, headwind and thunderstorms). Success, whatever that means to you, will not be a fault of bike choice, but rather training, fueling, pacing and mental fortitude.
    2018 Scott Spark RC 900 World Cup | “If you’re not first you’re last”

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