SSUSA 2019 - Austin- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Gigantic Hawk
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    SSUSA 2019 - Austin

    Looking for any and all info here. I plan to hit up SSUSA on November 3rd. It is being held in Smithville. I'm from Maine, and have never ridden this area. What am I in for? What gearing do people typically run? What about tires? Weather?

    My current setup is a Canfield Nimble 9 with a 150mm DVO on the front. Gearing is 30 oval x 20. Tires are big E13's.

  2. #2
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    I live in South Austin and I'll be at SSUSA. Your bike sounds fine. That fork might be a bit overkill. 30/20 is a bit slow for my taste and my gearing is lower than many people I know around here.

    Check out some trail reviews on Austinbike.com

    I've only ridden RHR in Smithville once. I don't remember it being as challenging as a lot of stuff in Austin and to the west. I think there are plans to ride some true gnar shit the day before. I am taking that day off work to ride. The Barton Creek Greenbelt stretches to the southwest from downtown starting at Zilker Park. It's a huge area in a "canyon" with steep sides.

    In general, everything west of I-35 is chunky. Lots of exposed rock on most trails. Most trails are narrow and tight.

    I ride a Karate Monkey with 29x2.4 tires, 140mm fork, and 32/20 gearing. I've ridden it all with a rigid fork as well, but that's pretty darn harsh. Dropper posts are popular. Lots of old school XC style bikes here. Chumba is a local manufacturer that is popular. I don't see a lot of super aggro SS bikes around here. Being able to nimbly slow-crawl over boulders and corner among right trees is more important than smashing long downhills. There is almost nothing with "flow" around here.

    October weather is unpredictable. It could be dry as hell, dumping down rain, 40 degrees or 90 degrees. It was over 100 ever day for the past few months until a "cold front" hit yesterday, dropping the temp to a chilly 80 degrees.

    There is a loose-knit group called Austin Single Speeders aka ASS that keeps the schenanigans going all year. Find their Facebook page and read some of the discussion there.

    Let me know what else you want to know about Austin.

  3. #3
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    If we happen to get any significant amount of rain, the trails would be off-limits. I am sure a soggy bike tour of Austin breweries would be just as fun.

  4. #4
    Hardtail Steel Forever
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    I haven't ridden there for some time but it was not-technical but very tight in places, super small radius turns on many trails, so admittedly could be "technical" depending on how you define that. Absolutely nothing like riding in Austin. Not really super smooth, but not dealing with the limestone that we have. I did a race on a 80mm hardtail there probably in 2004, I don't think I ever felt I wanted a ton more than that, the upright geometry of my bike at the time was very useful because of the frequent tight turns on the course. I suppose it does depend on the actual course though. I would definitely pre-ride it if you get a chance, I remember hauling off into the bushes a few times after underestimating my speed compared to what the turn ended up being.

    Here's a few videos to give you an idea:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fyZNM-PFAo

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AErb8doTRmo

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pntDFKR0ky0
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  5. #5
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    Spent a lot of time at RHR and much of the most recent rides were on my SS (steel Vassago, 32x18, 130mm fork). I find my bike to be the perfect bike (duh) for me there. RHR does not have a lot of the sharp uphill and downhill sections that most Austin trails have. Additionally there are not the technical features that you normally find here.

    Trail surfaces are more sandy and gravelly than the typical Austin rocks and ledges. Several sections with sand can bog you down. Overall it is flowy and can be ridden fast or enjoyed at a moderate pace. It will be twisty, a 150mm fork might be a bit touchy in some of those turns.
    Austin Mountain Biking and worldwide travel pictures:

    http://www.austinbike.com

  6. #6
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    Oh, yeah, on tires I run 2.4Ē. The sand will be a challenge for skinny tires (2.2 and under).
    Austin Mountain Biking and worldwide travel pictures:

    http://www.austinbike.com

  7. #7
    Gigantic Hawk
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    Thanks for the info everybody. It is helpful and appreciated. From the videos (I know they can be deceiving), it appears that the trails are fairly mild compared to what we have in New England. My current geared bike is a Mondraker Foxy so if I can wheel that around up here, my smaller Canfield will be fine.

    SSUSA 2019 - Austin-img_20170703_114219560_hdr.jpg

  8. #8
    Wanna ride bikes?
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    ^ I know that bench. I have almost the same pic.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  9. #9
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    RHR should be fine. Do you plan to do some riding in Austin the day before? There's supposed to be a Meetup to ride Barton Creek Greenbelt or something with a lot more gnar.

  10. #10
    Gigantic Hawk
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    RHR should be fine. Do you plan to do some riding in Austin the day before? There's supposed to be a Meetup to ride Barton Creek Greenbelt or something with a lot more gnar.
    We are planning to arrive in Austin on Friday for the group ride. It will depend on what happens on our way down. We will be stopping in either Bentonville or Knoxville to ride before we hit Austin.

  11. #11
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    I've ridden RHR once. The one thing I remember to be cautious of there is the sections of loose river rocks they'll wash the front of your bike pretty quick. Other then that your bike will be fine on those trails.
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  12. #12
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    I ride RHR pretty often, coming from Houston. Itís not very technical but has a bit here and there. Thereís plenty of climbing, and lots of smooth and small rocks which will wash your tires out, as someone here mentioned already. Itís a great place to get strong for XC type riding and racing.


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  13. #13
    Gigantic Hawk
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    Just a quick update. We rode the Greenbelt in Austin with the Austin Single Speeders last Friday. That was a total blast. The trails were fast and techy. Not overly hard, but punchy enough to keep it fun. The race was on Saturday at Rocky Hill, and the trails were completely different; did not expect that! Very flowy, with lots of little drops and fun bits to play on.

    Thanks to all for the insight. My bike was perfect down there. And oh yeah, we won hosting rights for next year's race. SSUSA 2020 will be in Maine!

  14. #14
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    Yeah, depending on your group, we took you on some of the more singlespeedable trails on the GB. I have a SS set of trails and some full suspension trails but when you have a bunch of folks from out of town you stick to the safer stuff. I think Vince took the fast group on some of the more difficult stuff.

    Sorry I won't be able to make it up to Maine to ride next year, I'll be watching for pictures. Pics or it didn't happen!
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  15. #15
    Gigantic Hawk
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    Quote Originally Posted by austin_bike View Post
    Yeah, depending on your group, we took you on some of the more singlespeedable trails on the GB. I have a SS set of trails and some full suspension trails but when you have a bunch of folks from out of town you stick to the safer stuff. I think Vince took the fast group on some of the more difficult stuff.

    Sorry I won't be able to make it up to Maine to ride next year, I'll be watching for pictures. Pics or it didn't happen!
    We hooked up with an intermediate group. We could have ridden with the fast group, but didn't feel like pushing too hard before Saturday's festivities. The trails we rode were great for ss, but we are used to that kind of rock and tech here in New England. I can definitely see why some people would want a full squish there.

    Here is the route we rode.

    SSUSA 2019 - Austin-screenshot_20191108-172658.jpg

  16. #16
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    Trying to remember what my BCGB group was like. I had a green helmet on and rode a black Karate Monkey.

  17. #17
    Gigantic Hawk
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    We were easy to spot. We showed up with all the bikes and the fancy beers.

    I'm on the right.
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  18. #18
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    Yeah, you were in our group. The other intermediate group went downstream first, our group went upstream and stayed there until we crossed the dam and started heading for home.

    Glad you guys had fun.
    Austin Mountain Biking and worldwide travel pictures:

    http://www.austinbike.com

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dubthang View Post
    We hooked up with an intermediate group. We could have ridden with the fast group, but didn't feel like pushing too hard before Saturday's festivities. The trails we rode were great for ss, but we are used to that kind of rock and tech here in New England. I can definitely see why some people would want a full squish there.

    Here is the route we rode.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    You started like a mile from my house. Wish I would have known and joined you guys.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk

  20. #20
    Gigantic Hawk
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    You started like a mile from my house. Wish I would have known and joined you guys.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
    You could have seen my Mondraker too!

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