Going to start XC racing... Is my bike capable enough?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Going to start XC racing... Is my bike capable enough?

    I have a 2014 trek 820 26er with stock everything except for pedals and grips, I upgraded those with Fyxation mesa pedals and raceface lovehandle grips which drive me crazy because the end caps on them always fall off. Do you think this kind of bike is good enough for a beginning racer? Do I need to work towards getting a new crankset and fork? I've took off all the extra bits like the reflectors... but that's about it in prep I've done.
    I can do sick whips on my razor scooter.

  2. #2
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    Yes, but don't upgrade it (except points of contact and tires). Put the money towards a new ride. After racing for a bit you'll start to form some ideas about what the next ride should be. My two cents.
    "These things are very fancy commuter bikes or really bad dirt bikes, but they are not mountain bikes." - J. Mac

  3. #3
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    Agree w above.

    How technical are your races and how much climbing? I know guys that would kick my butt riding any bike.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    Your bike: "Are you capable enough?"
    Small ring in front makes it easier. Small ring in back makes it harder. That blows my mind.

  5. #5
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonOfKonzan View Post
    I have a 2014 trek 820 26er with stock everything except for pedals and grips, I upgraded those with Fyxation mesa pedals and raceface lovehandle grips which drive me crazy because the end caps on them always fall off. Do you think this kind of bike is good enough for a beginning racer? Do I need to work towards getting a new crankset and fork? I've took off all the extra bits like the reflectors... but that's about it in prep I've done.
    It'll be ok at first. Racing is hard on bikes and you will usually break stuff or wear it out much faster if you are racing. At the beginner level, it's usually not so bad, but even still, you might quickly find the limits of the bike. The suspension fork is probably a limiting factor, with no proper rebound/compression circuits, it'll get harsher the faster you go, which is not exactly what you want in a race. Still, it's not worth dumping a bunch of money into the bike to upgrade the suspension fork, that money would be much better spent on a new bike, probably a hardtail in the 1500-2000 range at least, to get you a good platform with decent parts that will last a while and be worthy of eventually upgrading. Most important would be to ride what you have right now and have fun, try to learn about the bike and shifting and how to make adjustments. Being able to tune the bike and do simple repairs is far more important than having the latest and greatest bike or parts. At the level of bike you have, you should concentrate on wetting your appetite a little and seeing what it is like, keeping your mind open to realize the experiences on your bike may not be the same on a different one.

    Things that you should spend money on are grips like you did, possibly tires, possibly a saddle, pedals...
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  6. #6
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    ^ Whet your appetite 😊
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonOfKonzan View Post
    I have a 2014 trek 820 26er with stock everything except for pedals and grips, I upgraded those with Fyxation mesa pedals and raceface lovehandle grips which drive me crazy because the end caps on them always fall off. Do you think this kind of bike is good enough for a beginning racer? Do I need to work towards getting a new crankset and fork? I've took off all the extra bits like the reflectors... but that's about it in prep I've done.
    I did my first races (both shorter sprint races) and longer 50-100 mile races on my 2003 26" KHS HT with rim brakes. The only upgrade were new tires which I needed anyway as they all will wear down. and going tubeless.

    It was not the fastest bike around, but did well and I still placed mostly where I was capable of both fitness and skilll wise. I have since moved to a 29er HT and it is better bike, but it has not made me into a somehow leaps and bounds better racer. Point is race what you have first and upgrade when funds allows. Don't let that hold you back.
    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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    My advice is more along the lines of actual racing itself. My first ever race I showed up pretty cocky thinking I was a badass. I ended up getting last place and barfing on the trail. Racing at XC intensity (especially at altitude where I live) can really be tough on your body if you are not used to it.
    That being said, it is really fun. I never win XC races but I have moved up in category and no longer finish dead last anymore.
    I agree with everyone else here, try it a few times on your old bike then upgrade after you learn a little about the bike and if XC racing is even something you would like to continue.

  9. #9
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    I did my first XC race on a $500 Redline Monocog. Rigid and weighing in at 28lbs. I did my first endurance race on that same bike, though by then I had added a suspension fork and cut some of the fat.

  10. #10
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    Thanks everyone for their replies. I'll just make sure my bike is working smoothly, and focus on making sure I'm ready for the race since I live in high altitude too.
    I can do sick whips on my razor scooter.

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