Chatanooga Five Points 50 course - HT or FS?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Chatanooga Five Points 50 course - HT or FS?

    I've never ridden in the Chatanooga area, but just signed up for the Lula Land Trust Five points 50 race in October. I live in Asheville, and ride my FS Stumpy on trails with the exception of an occasional race (rode hardtail in Jerdon Mountain Challenge / ORAMM Lite course due to all the road climbing and relatively little single track). For Pisgah single track races, I'm definitely on my FS stumpy to soak up the gnar.

    The Five Points 50 race course description mentions rock gardens and rooty descents over the course of 50 miles, but I have no idea the percentage of the race course this techy terrain will be. Most videos and pics I see when googling reveal fairly smooth terrain, so I'm leaning toward my lighter hardtail for efficiency and overall speed.

    I'd love any input from someone familiar with the race course or Chatanooga riding in general. I just want to be sure I'm prepared for whatever surprises might be in store.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleRico2015 View Post
    I've never ridden in the Chatanooga area, but just signed up for the Lula Land Trust Five points 50 race in October. I live in Asheville, and ride my FS Stumpy on trails with the exception of an occasional race (rode hardtail in Jerdon Mountain Challenge / ORAMM Lite course due to all the road climbing and relatively little single track). For Pisgah single track races, I'm definitely on my FS stumpy to soak up the gnar.

    The Five Points 50 race course description mentions rock gardens and rooty descents over the course of 50 miles, but I have no idea the percentage of the race course this techy terrain will be. Most videos and pics I see when googling reveal fairly smooth terrain, so I'm leaning toward my lighter hardtail for efficiency and overall speed.

    I'd love any input from someone familiar with the race course or Chatanooga riding in general. I just want to be sure I'm prepared for whatever surprises might be in store.
    I raced it a couple of years ago. I did it on a rigid single speed.

    That said, I normally race on that setup. The course slowly snuck up on me as the race progressed.

    Here's my race report from 2016:

    Bad Idea Racing: Lula Lakes Land Trust 5 Points 50 '16

    But in short:

    "I gotta say, the Lula Lakes Land Trust 5 Points 50 really surprised me. I knew it would be punchy and not have a lot of long climbs or descents, but I had no idea how diverse the trails would be. I expected it to be all buff and the first bunch of miles just reaffirmed my assumptions. Then things went sideways, and there were rocks, and lumpy ridges that reminded me of the cool trails built in Florida in old quarries, and lumpy creek crossing and open power line climbs. The kinds of changes in scenery that keep things interesting. Not to mention, fall was totally popping all over the place out there. I'm glad I finally convinced myself to make the drive, because the whole thing was worth it."

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    I did the 25 mile version last year on a hardtail. Loved the course and the venue. Really cool. I'm hoping to get back their this year, too.

    A hardtail was fine for what I did. Near the end, there is a fun, fairly rocky section that runs along a creek. It isn't too hard, though I dabbed once one it cause I couldn't see what was coming. After nearly 50 miles, though, you might appreciate a FS at that point.
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    Thanks for the input. After reading your race review on a rigid SS, I'm tempted to man-up and run my HT. Maybe I'll run some beefier tires to help smooth things out a bit.

    Could you guess what percentage of the trail was techy with lumpy ridges, rock gardens, etc? I'm used to trails that are exclusively chunk in Pisgah. If it's a relatively small portion of the 50 miles, I'm more inclined to pedal the HT.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleRico2015 View Post
    Thanks for the input. After reading your race review on a rigid SS, I'm tempted to man-up and run my HT. Maybe I'll run some beefier tires to help smooth things out a bit.

    Could you guess what percentage of the trail was techy with lumpy ridges, rock gardens, etc? I'm used to trails that are exclusively chunk in Pisgah. If it's a relatively small portion of the 50 miles, I'm more inclined to pedal the HT.
    My memory is somewhat in a self-induced fog, but I remember the chunk came in the back 2/3. Not the kinda chunk in Pisgah where you usually have gravity helping you but State College style chunk. Piles you gotta cowboy your bike over and over and over.

    I'd definitely beef up the tires to Pisgah levels if you go HT.
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    Quote Originally Posted by heartland View Post
    I did the 25 mile version last year on a hardtail. Loved the course and the venue. Really cool. I'm hoping to get back their this year, too.

    A hardtail was fine for what I did. Near the end, there is a fun, fairly rocky section that runs along a creek. It isn't too hard, though I dabbed once one it cause I couldn't see what was coming. After nearly 50 miles, though, you might appreciate a FS at that point.
    Thanks, heartland. If you ran 25 mi on your HT and enjoyed it, that's a pretty good indication. When I've been ridden my HT in the wrong conditions, it isn't usually enjoyable unfortunately.

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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky View Post
    My memory is somewhat in a self-induced fog, but I remember the chunk came in the back 2/3. Not the kinda chunk in Pisgah where you usually have gravity helping you but State College style chunk. Piles you gotta cowboy your bike over and over and over.

    I'd definitely beef up the tires to Pisgah levels if you go HT.
    Interesting. Maybe this does call for the FS after all. Might be better to show up with potentially too much bike than not enough for my first go.

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