So at this point in the season, August 26th to be exact, I have managed to race my bike 1200 miles. That number is not anything that crazy, not like doing the Tour Divide or anything. But not too bad for just doing 5 races. So far it is the 12 hours of Mesa Verde, The Gunnison Growler, 24 Hour Nationals, the Colorado Trail Race and the 24 Hours in the Sage. All on the same bike, all with the same drivetrain. Me and these parts have gotten to know each other quite well. So what follows is a few thoughts…
I love my bike, my Habanaro titanium 29er. It is solid, spry, climbs great, looks cool and is somewhat forgiving. But it is hardtail and I am getting older and more beat up with time.This year’s CTR renewed my quest for a full suspension bike that is light, fast and has a good sized front triangle. I am getting pummeled by the rough stuff, my bike does fine but my body is pissed off, I want some squish! Not sure where to go, like the new Giant 27.5 stuff, but just not sure yet.
I love XX1, people may bitch, as they always do about everything that is new. But I love it, I can run the twist shifter on the left side and give my battered right hand a rest. I just love the simplicity of one derailleur, one shifter, one thought, easier or harder? None of that small ring….mid ring….big ring crap, just shift. I run the 32 tooth most of the time and went to a 28 tooth for the CTR, 30 tooth for the Sage. I don’t get too crazy keeping my bike clean and the durability of the cassette has been impressive. Plus this is the ONLY bike I ride so it has a good bit of miles on it.
Love my Answer Enduro 20/20 handlebars, dumb ass name, but sweet bars. Carbon, 20 degrees of sweep, oh I like sweep. I even got bar ends on there, folks make fun of my set up, but my hands are jacked and I got to hold on somehow. But they are light enough, plenty stiff and you can keep a reasonable stem length.
Love my Rock Shox Reba 29er RLT solo air, simple, stiff, and black, oh yeah if I don’t rebuild it after every race it still keeps working.
Maxxis tires, Icon 2.2, Icon 2.35 and the Crossmark UST, have been my tires all season, not one flat in a race, not one! Just ran the 2.2 Icon EXO’s for the 24 Hours in the Sage, fast, grippy and reliable! Tubeless of course.
Erikson Sweet Post. Love Ti seatposts, seriously think it makes a hardtail so much softer to ride without any moving parts. Helps if they are 27.2 as well, big diameter seatposts on hardtails makes no damn sense to me?
Other than that I play with everything else on my bike. I ran Formula R1 brakes for a while, worked fine, but zero rotor clearance and the lever reach was never close enough for me. Ran Mavic Crossmax St’s for over a season, tough ass wheels, but the rear hub would loosen up a little too often. Right now I am on some XO hubs laced to No Tube’s rims, Crest front Arch rear, simple, light and snappy. I have used Ergons, ESI’s, bar tape and I keep dreaming of something else?! My hands are never happy and I never stop looking for something better, I am rarely satisfied. I am a bike gear junkie, I have a room in my house filled with stuff, frames, forks, brakes, wheels, a Rohloff hub, worn out drivetrains, lights and batteries. Shoe boxes of stuff, from years of riding, seeking, testing and I am still looking.