Steelbender Trail, Moab- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Steelbender Trail, Moab

    Forgive me if there is a discussion on this, and feel free to guide me there if you know of one, but I didn't see one.

    Steelbender is where they're holding the XTerra Moab ride portion of the triathlon and I've never ridden it before - what would you guys say about it? Steep and deep? Technical? Good fast sections? Lots of singletrack? I'm definitely going to get down there to try it out prior to the race, but I'm curious what you all think.

    THANKS!

  2. #2
    frejwilk
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    Most mountain bikers know Steelbender as Flat Pass. Steelbender includes additional mileage that mountain bikers usually don't ride. I believe the triathlon is using that additional mileage, so make sure you've got a course map in addition to whatever maps or GPS you use to pre-ride.

    The terrain is typical Moab ledgy doubletrack. It's kind of similar to Amasa Back. There is a lot of up and down vs long climbs or descents though. There is sand on Steelbender, but I think the tri course is avoiding the worst sand sections by doing a lolipop loop.

    Pre-riding this area prior to racing is a very good idea. Have fun.

    FW

  3. #3
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    I knew that and didn't even think to search Flat Pass, thanks for the reminder!

    I'll bet you the race has the sand, the XTerra races like the challenging and varied terrain a lot. I'm excited, I think I'll get down there next week to check it out.

    Anyone else racing???

  4. #4
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    And a ton of water crossings, right? Get your drivetrain clean, gunk it up again, finally get it dry and clean again, gunk it up again...repeat. (I've never ridden Flat Pass either, that's just what I heard---aren't internet opinions grand?)
    Who's in charge, the thinker or the thought?

  5. #5
    JMH
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    Flat pass crosses the creek a lot but IIRC Steelbender is higher up and avoids it? Yeah, Amasa Back-ish or Porc Jeep Track-ish without the long DH or momentum to help you out on the bigger ledge-ups. Fun, but strenuous.

  6. #6
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    I am doing the race and live in moab. In the last few weeks I have riden the course 3 times. The only water crossing is at the begining of the course (but you have to cross it again on the way back). There is alot of sand on the second half of the steel bender loop. Length is 21.5 miles, total climbing 4k, total decending 4k. The course is a technical jeep road. lots of drops,ledges,sand and rocks. The only non tech parts of the course are a few strips of sand and the road leading up from the lake. This will not be a typical xterra course on a buff trail. If you don't have a little dh/free ride in ya use caution so you dont get hurt at the begining of the season. It's going to be alot of fun so come on out and race.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by moabjason
    I am doing the race and live in moab.
    Any word in town about what the condition of Ken's Lake will be on race day? Thx

  8. #8
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    It's going to be a little chilly. I think the water level is high enough to set up a swim course definitly, I have done xterra's in smaller lakes. Like the one in Avon.

  9. #9
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    Excellent, thanks for the beta...looking forward to it.

  10. #10
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    Bottom line . . . Steel Bender sucks to mountain bike. Also, Ken's lake will be snow melt. Bring the wetsuit.

  11. #11
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    It sucks if your a roadie. I am looking forward to the challenge. 2 weeks !

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by moabjason
    It sucks if your a roadie.!
    QFT
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

    Thrill Bikers Unite!

  13. #13
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    Just rode this last friday with my gf. camped at Ken's Lake and did the 19 mile loop counterclockwise from there. Really a fun ride. There are only 4 total water crossings (1 in the beginning and 3 at the end). The water was not an issue, but you can expect that to change as the snow runoff increases with things heating up next week. The trail is almost all ride-able with the exception of a steep ledgy section in the middle. Didn't do the Steelbender section that veers straight/right at the end. We saw 2 other riders the whole time and handfull of jeeps and a couple of motos. The sand at the end wasn't really bad and we both managed to ride without much problem. I'm sure it will only become worse with all the jeeps and drying out.

  14. #14
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    Anybody wanna carpool to Moab tomorrow for the Xterra tri? I have room on top of my car for another mtn bike and plenty of room for camping/tri gear. I'd like to leave Fri mid morn and return Sat afternoon after the race/awards ceremony. Good luck to all the triathletes! I'm in the SLC area btw.

  15. #15
    LetMeOut!
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    Well, it's time to get ready to do this again. Well, first time for me... This year the Xterra race is June 9. Any guess as to the temperature of the lake in early June? This year there isn't much snow to melt.

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