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  1. #1
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    Race bikes aren't as fun

    (it's a long one, grab a beer)

    Well, not as fun as a fun bike is. Many of us seek out a bike or brand because "that's what the pro's ride". For some people it makes sense, for most it does not. Not everyone races so why do non racers want to buy "race bikes?"

    It applies to both ends of the spectrum I think, XC and Enduro/DH, and less in between. I admit I have much more personal experience on the shorter travel end of things, but after buying/building a couple of "race specific" bikes the past couple years I realize they're not as fun as my daily riders.

    To me a pure race bike is a focused tool for doing a job, going fast. Often this sacrifices durability, fun factor, versatility, and costs more. Why do we want these? It's a little different if you're in a position to have multiple bikes which includes a "race only" bike, but few are.

    I like racing (XC, Endurance, and CX), mostly for comradery and testing my personal ability both mentally and physically. I've always been of the mentality of having a fun bike I want to ride year round that's race worthy vs. a "race bike" that's fun but too focused and sacrifices durability.

    I recently was brainstorming a new carbon HT 29er specifically for racing (Ibis DV9, mostly because of the attractive price point) but I'm having a hard time justifying it, and have completely put the concept on hold. I'm a fan of the brand, but not so much the geo (Sorry Ibis), but frankly for a "XC hardtail race bike" I don't really care about the geo. (It's an XC hardtail, just get on it and pedal your ass off) It's a race bike and I know I won't have to ride it for more than 2-3 hours at most. (Any race that's longer I use the FS carbon wonder bike.) It will do what I want it to do on race day (The DV9). Funny thing is I know I would never reach for it when going out for a fun ride because compared to my other bikes, well, there is no comparison, I'd rather ride my steel SS.

    On the other end of the scale, Intense just released a statement a few weeks back about how their "refocusing" and "getting back to their racing roots". That's fine and all, and I understand marketing and reasons to "refocus" your business, but what have they been focusing on, fun? Oh the horror.

    That is just one example, but then there's companies like Kona that prioritize fun first, even on some of the race bikes, that along with durability. I'm not saying that all other brands build fragile bikes or anything, but when you read a review of the Process 153 vs other Enduro bikes, the Process doesn't necessarily win on a stopwatch, but the guys reviewing the bikes say they would rather own the "fun" Process with short chainstays at the end of the test, clock be damned.

    Next- weight. I hate a weight weenie conversation when it does not specifically apply to racing at a high level. Put the scale down people. Example: Someone starts a thread about finally acquiring their dream bike which happened to be a comparatively inexpensive hardtail beloved for it's fun factor. The first comment is "what does it weigh?" No "congratulations" or "nice bike". Someone is all jazzed up about "new bike day", and spreading stoke, and all people seem to care about is the numbers on a scale. Why? Who cares? It's the dream bike, the owner is pumped, it's a good day!

    My fun bikes are quite heavy by most standards. Fatbike- 38lbs, literally everything I want it to be (frame up build) and cannot be improved upon. My SS 29+ bike is 31lbs, again it's my dream build and I wouldn't change a thing. Speed is not a concern and fun factor is maximized for those two. Do I care what the scale reads? No. My SS 29er is a steel frame with high end components and comes in at 24-25lbs, I forget. That's my race bike for XC. (the first two don't get raced) This is also the bike I spend the most time on because it's what I want to ride.

    The Ibis carbon frame would save 3.5 lbs but I'm not interested. The geo doesn't fit my personal preference and I'd rather be on a steel frame. Do I think 3 pounds will change the outcome of a 1-1.5 hour race? No. Usually the gaps are 10's of seconds or minutes, not milliseconds. I also think for most "average/casual" racers there is more to be gained by improving one's fitness and diet than there is from spending $345 on a cassette that is 67 grams lighter. You can't buy speed, there's no hiding in racing.

    Sometimes I feel like the collective community of mountain bikers, especially newer riders, are not only misguided but ill-informed. "Why does my new $6k Trail bike weigh XX lbs?" Here's a better question: Why does some arbitrary number matter? Is it fun to ride? Is the extra 2 lbs keeping you from turning pro? Just go ride it and have fun.

    My priorities are frame geometry and durability first. Everything else comes second and can be changed.

    Why do we care about "race bikes"?
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post

    Many of us seek out a bike or brand because "that's what the pro's ride".

    Why do we care about "race bikes"?
    I don't and, I doubt most of my riding buddies can even name a pro, much less what kind of bike they ride. I don't follow racing but I recognize some of the names and know the brands but, this does not register when I'm bike shopping. They are paid to ride the brand. Pay me and I'll ride your brand too.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  3. #3
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    The manufactures don't have a clue what geometry works. It's been all over the map in the 30+ years I've been a mountain biker and changes every year. I've had probably 40 bikes in those years and I know what works for me.

    Fit is more important and I'm not going to ride an in between size and use crutches like stem sizes and layback posts.

    My last four frames have been custom, have fit perfectly and cost around the same as a off the shelf frame, give or take.
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  4. #4
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    I had xc race bikes when i used to race and yeah, they are not as fun to ride when you’re not focused on the race mentality. I no longer have them and dont have a desire to have one again.

    From my perspective (riding since the mid 90s) XC racing and XC style bikes were everything back when i got into the sport. Nowadays “trail” bikes seem to be the bigger category and they seem to make more sense to the typical rider I see here in the midwest.
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  5. #5
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    Just curious, what is the gearing on your full suspension bike?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    I don't and, I doubt most of my riding buddies can even name a pro, much less what kind of bike they ride.
    Same situation here. This coming from someone that has a John Tomac poster hanging in the garage. I can still name every big name in the MTB racing scene and who they raced for from the early 90s. Other than maybe the downhill crowd, does anyone follow the current pro racing scene?

    One of the better things that I have seen change in the MTB industry from the early 90s, is the selection of bikes. When I first started mountain biking, literally everything was about what the pros were racing, basically the so called classic NORBA geometry. I still have my steel Stumpjumper and "Made in the USA" Zaskar frames. Mainly sentimental reasons. The Kona Unit I ride now is way more fun than either of those bikes ever were.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post


    You can't buy speed, there's no hiding in racing.

    Just go ride it and have fun.


    This x1000!!




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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    (it's a long one, grab a beer)

    Why do we care about "race bikes"?
    There's a lot to unpack there, and i think mtb innovation is driven by racers/industry riders who don't care about long term ownership and noobies who won't ride enough to care about long term ownership.

    'Race bikes' are the most purpose-driven version of wherever the 10-year vision of progress is heading. At any moment there's a good chance they're the best option for a seasoned racer or a goober, and those are the people who pay money and care.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianU View Post
    Same situation here. This coming from someone that has a John Tomac poster hanging in the garage. I can still name every big name in the MTB racing scene and who they raced for from the early 90s. Other than maybe the downhill crowd, does anyone follow the current pro racing scene?

    One of the better things that I have seen change in the MTB industry from the early 90s, is the selection of bikes. When I first started mountain biking, literally everything was about what the pros were racing, basically the so called classic NORBA geometry. I still have my steel Stumpjumper and "Made in the USA" Zaskar frames. Mainly sentimental reasons. The Kona Unit I ride now is way more fun than either of those bikes ever were.
    The Kona Unit demonstrates how cheap a fun bike can be. But even my full suspension bike, a Superlight 29, is/was considered "entry level" or "budget" or whatever but is a very fun bike. It may not have the most sophisticated multi-link suspension and is "old geometry" by today's standards but I don't care, doesn't stop me from having lots of fun.
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  10. #10
    2x is underrated
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    (it's a long one, grab a beer)

    Sometimes I feel like the collective community of mountain bikers, especially newer riders, are not only misguided but ill-informed. "Why does my new $6k Trail bike weigh XX lbs?" Here's a better question: Why does some arbitrary number matter? Is it fun to ride? Is the extra 2 lbs keeping you from turning pro? Just go ride it and have fun.


    There are 27 lb 27-speed bikes out there for $800 now. Why not save 2-4 lbs right off the bat and then upgrade whatever needs it later? And for maybe an extra $1500 or so you can get it down to 23 lbs by my math. If it wasn't a 26" I would seriously try it.

    I find it very interesting why you would ask "Is the extra 2 lbs keeping you from turning pro?" and then lace the post with having fun on the bike. Can't you have a lighter bike and have fun too, and not even care about what a pro is doing? I agree 100% that if a bike is fun, that's all that matters, but I'm aiming for losing a lot more than 2 lbs on my next bike. My current aluminum hardtail weighs 34.4 lbs. Sure it's fun but wouldn't 11 lbs off the next bike be nice too?

    On a future carbon build, I have to admit I'm torn between just saying screw it for the wheelset, get a $143 aluminum rear wheel with an XD driver and keep the back and front wheels/tires relatively heavy at a total weight of 27 lbs, or experiment with a $500-600 Chinese carbon wheelset and get the bike down 3.5 lbs to 23.5 lbs total. I want to see how much better it climbs compared with a 30-35 lb bike. It's an experiment, that's why it 'matters'. And it's not going to cost anything close to $6000. It would be $2000 total with a heavier wheelset (since I already have the front wheel and tire); $2500 for the lighter wheelset and lighter tires. I agree that a crapload of people on here waste money on brand-name stuff that is simply not worth the money, as well as spending a lot extra to save like 3 ounces on a specific component. That's not me either. But you can save a lot of weight without spending a lot of money. The vast majority of people on here would rather play it safe with a brand-name aluminum frame than a $300-400 Chinese carbon frame. But life is not about playing it safe.

    If anything above is ill-informed, including your opinion that a bike that is lighter will not climb any better, please let me know.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    You can't buy speed, there's no hiding in racing.
    Several years ago, I am guessing maybe 10, I was a course marshal for a XC race that was part of the state series. Two Cat 1 guys, one raced a rigid Niner Sir 9 SS and the other I am pretty sure was a Cannondale Scalpel. When they go by me on the course, I see that they had swapped bikes. Later that day out in the parking area, I see them drinking a beer and ask what was up with the trade. One of them just grumbles and the other guy just smiles and says, "someone was talking smack".

    Years later...
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  12. #12
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    Right. I've basically skipped every reply in this thread to post this, so if I'm repeating what's already been said elsewhere, maybe don't think of me as a parrot but rather as an additional reference source going "He's right, you know."

    I used to buy XC bikes because I "raced" XC. Then I quit racing and bought XC bikes because, well, I was riding the same trails I'd raced, so I'm riding XC right? Just not racing. I don't need a trail bike to ride these trails. Need? No. But I can ride them on a rigid SS, but I still have a 100mm FS XC bike. The realization of the error of my was was the sudden understanding one day that I was having a great deal of fun on a trail bike riding....well, XC trails. That was when I started telling people to quit buying XC bikes unless they were racing. Trail bikes are just more fun.

  13. #13
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    I think it's because "race" bikes are supposed to be better & give you some sort of edge. It's all marketing hype though. It appeals to the non-racers who care too much about Strava leaderboards. On most mfr websites, the "race" models aren't much different from the others except for the word "race" in the name.

  14. #14
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    I don't think weight is as important as it gets made out out to be. Certainly doesn't hurt to have a light bike I don't think a couple pounds translates to much in terms of saving seconds.

    I picked my bike solely on geo numbers. It was only available in carbon. If there was an aluminum option, I would have gained a couple lbs and a whole bunch of dollars staying in my wallet.

  15. #15
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    Fun is subjective and some people spend more time chasing it than having it. I ride a race oriented carbon hardtail with sketchy old school geo and manage to have fun on (almost) every ride. Would a trail bike with modern geometry be more fun? Don't know, but until I wear out my current bike it doesn't matter, I'm not chasing the end of a rainbow. I've never owned a bike that wasn't fun to ride.

    In general I agree with the op though.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    If anything above is ill-informed, including your opinion that a bike that is lighter will not climb any better, please let me know.

    Never trust manufacture listed weights, they're often off by several pounds. And like the op said, weight doesn't make as much difference as many assume. 3 pounds might save 10-15 seconds on a really steep mile long climb which could easily be made up with a more capable bike on the way down. Not that the 15 seconds matters if it isn't a race.
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  17. #17
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    The biggest difference with XC race bikes and enduro 'race bikes' is that XC race bikes are not fun to ride at all. Even when racing. While enduro 'race bikes' are at the very least, fun going downhill.

    I see XC race bikes as actual racing machines. No one in their right mind would buy one of these as an everyday or only bike. It's for people that race competitively(or attempt to). So it's built specifically for that purpose and that purpose alone. A newbie isn't going to be cross shopping an S-Works Epic HT and say, a Fuel EX. And no MTB vet is going to be telling a newbie to get an S-Works Epic HT or similar as a first bike.

    Whereas enduro 'race bikes'(in quotes) are a bike more versatile and can be used as a general trail bike or park bike. They're also much more forgiving and arguably easier to ride. Yes a they are a slog to climb, and are generally pretty tame unless you're going pretty fast. But riders will get more use out of a Trek Slash compared to a true XC race bike.

    IMO, in the MTB world, the only true race bikes are XC. Whereas enduro bikes(as much as people and companies tout them as race machines) are general trail bikes leaning toward the gravity spectrum.

    But that's why there are mid-short travel travel trail bikes to split the difference.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    There's a lot to unpack there, and i think mtb innovation is driven by racers/industry riders who don't care about long term ownership and noobies who won't ride enough to care about long term ownership.

    'Race bikes' are the most purpose-driven version of wherever the 10-year vision of progress is heading. At any moment there's a good chance they're the best option for a seasoned racer or a goober, and those are the people who pay money and care.
    This is so true in so much that is out there, automobiles, motorcycles, etc. The trickle down affect is nothing new or limited to just a few "categories".

    As for the OP, I was just the opposite. When I decided to take my street motorcycle riding to the track and try racing, I rode my 6 year old street bike. It's what I knew, was comfortable on, and though it was under powered and over weight against most of the competition, I did pretty well. More to the point, after my long 4 year racing career, I was going faster, working less, and feeling more comfortable than the first year.

    Don't get me wrong, if I had $100k to throw away, I'd have bought a pure bred race bike with the illusion that it would have been the answer to shaving off a couple more seconds from my lap times. But really, would it have? Plus, the way things were, when it wasn't a race weekend, I was commuting to work on my bike and doing regular weekend rides with friends. Can't do that on a "race bike".

    My point is, ride what you like, what feels good, and stick with it. Most likely, if it is in you, you'll be riding around someone on a "race bike" who is trying to either buy speed or Starbuck parking lot cred.

    (Statements made in this post do not reflect views of forum as a whole or its administrators and should be taken lightly)
    Last edited by JimF777; 6 Days Ago at 07:27 AM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by almazing View Post
    I see XC race bikes as actual racing machines. No one in their right mind would buy one of these as an everyday or only bike


    Guess I'm nuts then, I have fun on mine every ride.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Guess I'm nuts then, I have fun on mine every ride.
    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Fun is subjective
    Yes
    I no longer like to party. But I like the idea of it.

  21. #21
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    Calculated effect of weight:

    https://analyticcycling.com/ForcesLessWeight_Page.html


    Subjective effect of weight:

    Priceless
    Do the math.

  22. #22
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    I am not sure I am ever really going to be a racer or care about racing at all (although I haven't tried enduro yet and I want to) but I am seriously thinking about taking the 150mm Fox34 and everything off my Niner and buying a fun hardtail frame (maybe Chromag) just cause I miss the feel of a hardtail.
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  23. #23
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    I'm still a fan of xc race geometry and travel, but my buddies are telling me to get after a trail bike. I've yet to do it.

    The idea of a lightweight and efficient bike still captivates me.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    Just curious, what is the gearing on your full suspension bike?
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    (it's a long one, grab a beer)

    .."Why does my new $6k Trail bike weigh XX lbs?" Here's a better question: Why does some arbitrary number matter? Is it fun to ride? Is the extra 2 lbs keeping you from turning pro? Just go ride it and have fun.
    My "trail bike" is 30lbs. My "race bike" is 22.5lbs. For any climbing I prefer my race bike. For nimble handling I perfer my race bike. If I am riding in unknown area I will pick my "race bike". 100/100 FS If I want ride with slow group I will bring my trail bike. If I want test my DH skills on super gnarly crap I will bring my trail bike. I can feel the difference in the weight and handling and is a big reason I have hard time with 30lbs 6k trail bikes. Boat anchors and while you can ride them anywhere jumping on a 22lbs bike is just makes everything faster. Btw.. last spring my "race bike" was my steel single speed. 22.3lbs. 6 podiums and 4 wins.

    I care about weight since I can feel that. No reason to sacrifice weight, good geo and durability why you are spending 6k. I can see a 3000 bike at 30lbs since you are trading cost for weight. fair enough.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by almazing View Post
    ..
    I see XC race bikes as actual racing machines. No one in their right mind would buy one of these as an everyday or only bike. .
    If I had to have just one mtn bike. It would by my FS Specialized Epic. I consider a plush trail machine that is also super fast and great for 6-7hr rides with 7000ft of climbing and lots of chunky bits.


    My 5" trail bike is for playing around and my Steel Single speed for short high intensity blasts. It is alot of fun, but I had to have just one. It would be my Epic.
    Joe
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  27. #27
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    Good thread:

    Sometimes Mashing a stiff light bike is well super fun and rewarding. Other times long days on the FS stopping and chatting fun and rewarding. Other times racing for a hour / hour and half, fun and rewarding. Long Endurace races, fun and rewarding. In any of the cases I would say the when you are enjoying the ride more than worrying about bike choice you made a good choice.

    All that being said I have been getting the itch for a DV9.

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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Put the scale down people.
    I'm with you on this but in the end, we each have to make our own way. There is no right or wrong, rather individual perceptions and personal preferences. I did the expensive/lightweight race bike thing for several years, these days my focus is having fun, period. My bike is heavy and I don't care -- I love what it does.

    Er, wait a minute... I said there is no right or wrong but this is right.
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  29. #29
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    "Bloviate". Look it up.

  30. #30
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    Just have fun on your bike. Best way to be a better rider is having fun.

    My XC bike is a fantastic all arounder bike. It can do a little of everything, and fast. But that's not the bike I ride for fun; my fun bike is about 35 pounds

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Such a short statement from me is only profound if people consider me a wise man. xD

    SRAM really has a lot of blame in this. They've been driving excitement with their product releases, and it tended to cater to weight weenies and racers. Their market control is very manipulative. Makes my modest build seem out of date. It's fun when I'm on the trail, not thinking about it, but when wanting to just chat, people are talking about the latest and greatest...

    Should I go into the list of SRAM product failures? Brake levers that seize up in sunlight?

    I gotta admit that it's clever how they get someone to buy stuff, replacing what works fine.

    I'm not a fan of SRAM either. If there was a decent product for a decent price made in the USA, great, I'll buy it. But that doesn't really happen for most stuff. Almost all of it is Asian, some British. And how many thousands of posts are there in the brake forum about SRAM brake problems? Shimano brakes are relatively cheap and have next to zero problems.

    As far as getting someone to pay for stuff, I posted a few times in earlier about the Performance Bike closeout sales, how I was originally excited to see if there were any good deals on a nice bike. Nope. Zero. They had 1x11 hardtails with the usual Suntour Raidon or Rock Shox whatever for a price of...$4500??? Closeout discounted to...$3500. WTF? Amazon has basically the same bike and components for $1500-2000, not even on sale. They even had a Diamondback Mason2 for $659 at one time. People are really paying double or triple for a 'quality' name on the side of the bike at a store, and a warranty that is void if the store goes out of business? Doesn't seem like a very good purchase. It is disturbing the amount of brainwashing that's going on with the overpriced brand-name store stuff.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by dir-T View Post
    "Bloviate". Look it up.
    LOL!

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    Race bikes aren't as fun

    Looking for a bike, I want something responsive, fast, light, comfortable, durable and fun. Hard to get all of those features in one bike, but there are plenty of bikes out there that balance all that somehow.
    Not a pure race bike, but a XC bike with trail features built in.
    I don’t race in official races, but race with friends for fun, and do long rides.

  34. #34
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    Definitely. I'm all about fun, and if it isn't hard with me suffering, it isn't fun. Riding heavy bikes with crap drivetrains and terrible brakes is hard and makes me suffer, so I dig it.
    Do the math.

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    People don't want race bikes because no one wants to pedal anymore. Everything is now about going downhill, kicking up dirt around corners. So now we have E-bikes and downhill races won by bikes with no chain.

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    I agree that fun is subjective. I normally ride a 24lb XC bike. I have rented Remedys and demoed Trance's, Satori's, etc. on blue to single black diamond trails and I just don't get it. All those bikes do is sanitize the trail. Slow handling, shitty climbing, can't feel the trail AND my Strava times are slower. I feel like I'm driving a minivan on the trails. But that's just me.

    That said, for a big jump, big bermed flow trails, I definitely would want a heavy sturdy bike. But that is more because I know I can launch it and not worry about breaking it.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    At any moment there's a good chance they're the best option for a seasoned racer or a goober, and those are the people who pay money and care.
    I want this to NOT be the answer, but alas there's truth in that.
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  38. #38
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    When I am shopping I look at trail bikes. It would never have occurred to me to get either an XC or an enduro bike. My price point keeps me out of the arms race. I think I'm fine.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    Calculated effect of weight:

    https://analyticcycling.com/ForcesLessWeight_Page.html


    Subjective effect of weight:

    Priceless
    I hate these online "how fast will I go if I save 200 grams?" calculators. What a stupid way to evaluate your bike.
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankout View Post
    I'm still a fan of xc race geometry and travel, but my buddies are telling me to get after a trail bike. I've yet to do it.

    The idea of a lightweight and efficient bike still captivates me.
    I guess it's hard to say exactly where I draw the line. How do I explain that my primary ride is a rigid XC SS, but with "progressive, modern XC" geo (Ha! did I just say progressive rigid geo?). 69 HTA, short ish chainstays, 2.35/2.6 tires.

    But at heart it's a pretty racy XC bike to be fair, I just happen to enjoy being under-biked. Which is a good example of how perspective and personal preference play a big role.

    Similar geo, 170 dropper post, 120mm suspension fork, and WAY bigger tires is how my Krampus is set up. It weighs a good 7 lbs more than my 29er. Problem is it's freakin hilarious to ride. So much fun it's hard to explain. It's slower up but faster down.

    Does the weight diminish my experience? No, if I'm honest it's more fun than my 29er, probably. It's different. It's slower largely because of the ridiculously aggressive 3" Minion on the rear is frankly overkill, but I don't care. With more neutral tires I think it would be a little lighter on it's feet but that's not what I'm after.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I care about weight since I can feel that. No reason to sacrifice weight, good geo and durability why you are spending 6k. I can see a 3000 bike at 30lbs since you are trading cost for weight. fair enough.
    So my comments about the 6k bike were from someone who just bought a new (I think it was a) Pivot Switchblade which is 150/135. I think it weighed 30 lbs or something and he was disgusted. Surprised him enough to come here and complain to the internet.

    What he probably didn't understand was that it's still probably faster up, down, and sideways compared to his old bike. He was too focused on the scale but didn't have any complaints about how the bike rode. He was just focused on the number on the scale.

    (BTW nice results. I had a good year last year too.)
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    I hate these online "how fast will I go if I save 200 grams?" calculators. What a stupid way to evaluate your bike.


    I love fooling around with those calculators, if anything they show how little weight can matter. Even on a really steep 10 minute climb 200 grams will save only about 2 seconds. You might gain 1 second on a moderate 10 minute climb.

    Other factors like wind and rolling resistance make a lot more difference.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    At any moment there's a good chance they're the best option for a seasoned racer or a goober, and those are the people who pay money and care.
    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    I want this to NOT be the answer, but alas there's truth in that.
    I feel the same, but what drives politics? ...goobers and special interests. Same for bicycles.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    I'm with you on this but in the end, we each have to make our own way. There is no right or wrong, rather individual perceptions and personal preferences. I did the expensive/lightweight race bike thing for several years, these days my focus is having fun, period. My bike is heavy and I don't care -- I love what it does.


    =sParty



    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    Just have fun on your bike. Best way to be a better rider is having fun.

    My XC bike is a fantastic all arounder bike. It can do a little of everything, and fast. But that's not the bike I ride for fun; my fun bike is about 35 pounds


    It's funny that some people have bikes on both ends of the spectrum weight wise and enjoy them both. Not everyone has that ability IMO.

    I'm 6'3" and love steel frames, I'll never own a 19lb hardtail like so many that I've read about. My SS is 24 I think, my fatbike is 38. Both are awesome. Super extra double awesome.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacon Fat View Post
    People don't want race bikes because no one wants to pedal anymore. Everything is now about going downhill, kicking up dirt around corners. So now we have E-bikes and downhill races won by bikes with no chain.
    We would be friends in real life.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    The Kona Unit demonstrates how cheap a fun bike can be.
    I was reminiscing today about my Kona Unit. My first steel frame, first SS, first custom build, and it was fun as hell. Many fond memories and I'd love to have another one. I've been looking for a frame for 3 years that isn't way over priced or only available as a complete bike. I'd love to buy one if the price, year, size (XL), and condition is right.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    I was reminiscing today about my Kona Unit. My first steel frame, first SS, first custom build, and it was fun as hell. Many fond memories and I'd love to have another one. I've been looking for a frame for 3 years that isn't way over priced or only available as a complete bike. I'd love to buy one if the price, year, size (XL), and condition is right.
    I scored!! on my frame $200 with a bunch of stuff on it and in almost perfect condition.

    I read all about your search when I was looking into mine.
    Surly Krampus
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  48. #48
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    I still look every week. I think I paid $235 shipped for my first one.

    I really wish I rode a medium. I could end my search tonight.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  49. #49
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    The bike I ride for fun is the same bike that I shave seconds and wreck myself on while trying to score pr's on climbs, which for me is great fun.

    One person's fun is another's folly.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    Definitely. I'm all about fun, and if it isn't hard with me suffering, it isn't fun. Riding heavy bikes with crap drivetrains and terrible brakes is hard and makes me suffer, so I dig it.
    Add in skinny grip-less tires, stupid drop bars, and a bunch of rocks and it really starts to get interesting.

    It's also about whatever mood I'm in but usually the bigger the mismatch between the trail and the bike the bigger the fun.

  51. #51
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    Most people don't race XC, out of those that race, most aren't racing expert or top end. So for many of these people, that have no aspirations to race XC, an XC race bike doesn't make sense.

    It is ridiculous beyond reproach though to claim that those that DO choose to race and ride such a bike are "not having fun". I corner my XC bike on level and uphill stuff at speeds that you simply never reach on a bigger bike. I can pop it off smaller features much easier where tour never or barely get airborne on another bike.

    This is the classic "you can't have fun unless you are doing it my way". Screw this thread.
    "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

    You're turning black metallic.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Most people don't race XC, out of those that race, most aren't racing expert or top end. So for many of these people, that have no aspirations to race XC, an XC race bike doesn't make sense.
    Agreed, that's exactly the point I'm making.

    It is ridiculous beyond reproach though to claim that those that DO choose to race and ride such a bike are "not having fun". I corner my XC bike on level and uphill stuff at speeds that you simply never reach on a bigger bike. I can pop it off smaller features much easier where tour never or barely get airborne on another bike.
    I think you skimmed over most the the responses, including the part where I explained in detail that my personal "primary" bike is a rigid XC SS 29er. I ride it because it's fun and challenging.

    This is the classic "you can't have fun unless you are doing it my way". Screw this thread.
    We've disagreed on things in the past, but this sounds like the booze talking. I'm pretty sure you'll be on the same page if you take the time to process the comments in this thread.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  53. #53
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    So is this gist of the thread?

    The act of keeping up to date on gear, distracts us from having fun. The XC, enduro, and whatever race disciplines are driving a lot of buzz around the latest and greatest that the best racers are on, soon to be available to us riders. Some are rediscovering that just getting out on a trail bike is satisfying enough that you question why you even tune into this stuff, especially if you don't have ambitions to race.

    I'd point out one of the main sources of this distraction, but my post would probably just get deleted by the mods again. I'll just re-write that once you realize that you've been caught in the manipulative market control these big companies have on the industry, and see your home filled with underutilized or unreliable consumer goods, you might end up feeling guilty and depressed (e.g. consumerism, mid-life crisis, dick-measuring contest, compensating for something). That's no fun... also no fun dealing with half-baked designs when they fail on you on the trail.

    I'm with those that are after versatile and reliable steeds. No need to optimize, shaving off every unnecessary gram, to have fun. Gotta question if trunnion, metric, ultimate version of brakes or fork, ultralight cranks, bigger range cassettes, etc. will really increase your fun factor, or are you doing it in order to stay up to date in such a rat race? You're probably in deep if you're eyeing the latest update in the new model year that improves the half-baked operation of earlier or cheaper versions.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    I was reminiscing today about my Kona Unit. My first steel frame, first SS, first custom build, and it was fun as hell. Many fond memories and I'd love to have another one. I've been looking for a frame for 3 years that isn't way over priced or only available as a complete bike. I'd love to buy one if the price, year, size (XL), and condition is right.
    I need another Unit like a poke in the eye, but if I found a medium 2015 in that cool purple for the right price....

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacon Fat View Post
    People don't want race bikes because no one wants to pedal anymore. Everything is now about going downhill, kicking up dirt around corners. So now we have E-bikes and downhill races won by bikes with no chain.
    And your point is...
    Niner WFO9, Sunday Soundwave (BMX), Nashbar CXSS (workout/gravel), 6KU SS (town bike)

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    I guess it's hard to say exactly where I draw the line. How do I explain that my primary ride is a rigid XC SS, but with "progressive, modern XC" geo (Ha! did I just say progressive rigid geo?). 69 HTA, short ish chainstays, 2.35/2.6 tires.

    But at heart it's a pretty racy XC bike to be fair, I just happen to enjoy being under-biked. Which is a good example of how perspective and personal preference play a big role.

    Similar geo, 170 dropper post, 120mm suspension fork, and WAY bigger tires is how my Krampus is set up. It weighs a good 7 lbs more than my 29er. Problem is it's freakin hilarious to ride. So much fun it's hard to explain. It's slower up but faster down.

    Does the weight diminish my experience? No, if I'm honest it's more fun than my 29er, probably. It's different. It's slower largely because of the ridiculously aggressive 3" Minion on the rear is frankly overkill, but I don't care. With more neutral tires I think it would be a little lighter on it's feet but that's not what I'm after.
    I have many friends who have fat bikes are similar bikes as yours and love them. To be fair I haven't ridden any so I'm not judging.

    I need all the help I can get so I like lighter!
    The only important thing these days, is rhythm and melody. Rhythm...and melody.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
    When I am shopping I look at trail bikes. It would never have occurred to me to get either an XC or an enduro bike. My price point keeps me out of the arms race. I think I'm fine.
    Ha! Our sport is pricey.

    Whenever I look at new bikes, I go right to the light xc-oriented ones without even thinking.
    The only important thing these days, is rhythm and melody. Rhythm...and melody.

  58. #58
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    After owning an increasingly long list of bikes, I've come to the conclusion that for 90% of my riding, lightweight and efficient bikes make the most sense and result in the most fun for me. With modern geo and suspension, I can have fun going downhill on most xc type frames, but having to lug unnecessary weight of longer travel bikes up climbs just sucks the fun out of the ride.

    There is a balance point though. I also dislike "fragile bikes" with wheels or components that severely limit my riding.

  59. #59
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    Define "fun"

    There was a time when I engaged in 100 mile mountain bike racing. The race I chose was the Cascade Cream Puff -- the name being a taunt -- which includes over 17,000' gain/loss.

    At one time I was obsessed with that race. Why? Because I found the brutality of it fun. I was in that kind of physical condition and I found joy in pushing and punishing myself to see what I was capable of. Even did it on a singlespeed once.

    My point? Fun is different from one rider to the next. Personally I'm over that brand of fun now but I get it. I used to be there.

    It's fun to be young and to push one's self and roll in the stink of such brutality, especially when one has like minded friends (s)he can measure him/herself against. Riding -- hell, life itself -- was thrilling in those days. I never looked forward to the weekends more.

    I'm over it now but I'm glad I got it when I could get it. Wouldn't trade that experience for anything.

    Ride whatever you like. Preferences may change over time.
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  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    There was a time when I engaged in 100 mile mountain bike racing. The race I chose was the Cascade Cream Puff -- the name being a taunt -- which includes over 17,000' gain/loss.

    At one time I was obsessed with that race. Why? Because I found the brutality of it fun. I was in that kind of physical condition and I found joy in pushing and punishing myself to see what I was capable of. Even did it on a singlespeed once.

    My point? Fun is different from one rider to the next. Personally I'm over that brand of fun now but I get it. I used to be there.

    It's fun to be young and to push one's self and roll in the stink of such brutality, especially when one has like minded friends (s)he can measure him/herself against. Riding -- hell, life itself -- was thrilling in those days. I never looked forward to the weekends more.

    I'm over it now but I'm glad I got it when I could get it. Wouldn't trade that experience for anything.

    Ride whatever you like. Preferences may change over time.
    =sParty
    I'm into my 50's and continue to push myself in races and endurance events. I'm not willing to give up the fight quite yet, but it is a lot of work undoubtedly. Self-flagellation is a skill or a weakness; not quite sure yet.
    The only important thing these days, is rhythm and melody. Rhythm...and melody.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankout View Post
    I'm into my 50's and continue to push myself in races and endurance events. I'm not willing to give up the fight quite yet, but it is a lot of work undoubtedly. Self-flagellation is a skill or a weakness; not quite sure yet.
    Awesome! Agree about the ambivalence.

    I contested my final Cream Puff at age 58. The event itself wasn’t the problem. The problem was that no longer was I able to find joy in the six months of brutal training required to contest the event. Until that happened, I was in total denial about aging. “Won’t happen to ME!” Ha!

    Keep it going as long as you can, my friend.
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    We get old because we quit riding.

  62. #62
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    I looked into my mountain bike's pedigree and it turns out that they are in fact race bikes. Some people race my model of hardtail in Enduro races and do quite well and, my model of FS bike won the Canadian National Enduro Series. None of this influenced my bike selection, I had no idea when buying these bikes. Are they fun, very much.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    Awesome! Agree about the ambivalence.

    I contested my final Cream Puff at age 58. The event itself wasn’t the problem. The problem was that no longer was I able to find joy in the six months of brutal training required to contest the event. Until that happened, I was in total denial about aging. “Won’t happen to ME!” Ha!

    Keep it going as long as you can, my friend.
    =sParty
    58? Fantastic!

    Balancing intensity with recovery seems to be a moving target for me. Go hard? Zone 2 instead? Rest? Who the fokk knows....
    The only important thing these days, is rhythm and melody. Rhythm...and melody.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Agreed, that's exactly the point I'm making.



    I think you skimmed over most the the responses, including the part where I explained in detail that my personal "primary" bike is a rigid XC SS 29er. I ride it because it's fun and challenging.



    We've disagreed on things in the past, but this sounds like the booze talking. I'm pretty sure you'll be on the same page if you take the time to process the comments in this thread.
    The part that I considered adding yesterday is how in many places, like where I'm at in Kansas right now, there are trails and you can use a mountain bike, but you simply don't need 5" of travel, 4 works great for an FS bike in many of these places. A hardtail can still be hard on older bodies and there can still be some rough stuff where FS aid nice, but you simply don't need much travel in these places. While some of the highest end short travel bikes are very racy, the lower end versions of the same are usually way less "hardcore", without even having to resort to the new "down country" phenomena. My point is in addition to the fact that some people like going fast everywhere, there are also many people that don't live in big mountain areas.
    "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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  65. #65
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    my new dualie is more fun to ride on the same trails i rode in the early 2000's and late nineties on my aluminum ibis alibi, which was my race bike. i'm sure it would be more fun at downieville, where i haven't taken it yet.

    i think even if the alibi had disc brakes and 1 x 11, the hawk hill would still be more fun.

    (not like the ibis wasn't fun)

    my .02

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