XC Race Bike

Forums Mountain Bike Forum XC Race Bike

--
SHARES
  

This topic contains 15 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of dano_01 dano_01 8 months, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #210802

    I started riding again after 20+ years raising kids and working. I picked up a Hard Rock last year and basically wore it out 2 times already. Now I wanna give XC racing a go, cause I’m into punishment. My LBS sells Specialized and Kona. I want a Hardtail (just don’t want to deal with what comes with rear susp.) and a race worthy Bike that’s gonna last a couple seasons. I am gonna buy new and at my LBS. 3k is the way top of my budget. Any Suggestions?? Oh yeah, I don’t hit jumps/drops or anything too crazy the USMC and MotoX has taken it’s toll over the years. I’m asking because I don’t want make the mistake of buying another Hard Rock type of bike and researching every bike/spec has overwhelmed me to the point of being institutionalized.

    #211096

    Both Kona and Specialized are great companies so it’s hard to imagine that you can go wrong buying the highest end hardtail XC bike within your budget.    That said, I drool over the Honzo Carbon race, although it seems pretty slack for a pure XC bike.

    #211354

    Get a Specialized Epic hard tail. Great XC race bike.

    #211373

    I would steer you towards the Kona Honzo CR Race, although it is $3500. The reason being it’s a much more versatile bike than the Epic. If all you want to do is race and ride XC, the Epic is perfect for that. The Epic is a classic XC race hardtail through and through. But for trail riding, the Honzo has more travel up front (120mm vs. 100mm) and better geometry. I’m guessing weights between the Epic Comp Carbon ($2600) and the Kona would be similar, so why not have a bike that’s going to be more fun in more places? The slacker headtube angle (68 deg on the Kona vs. 70 on the Spec) and additional travel are going to make you more confident in technical parts of the track, which will probably make you faster overall.

    Also, unless you’re used to it, the aggressive race position of the Epic may not be comfortable for you. You’ll be stretched out and hunched over – speed trumps comfort.

    #211394

    @cliffdog70 “I picked up a Hard Rock last year and basically wore it out 2 times already. Now I wanna give XC racing a go, cause I’m into punishment. My LBS sells Specialized and Kona. I want a Hardtail (just don’t want to deal with what comes with rear susp.) and a race worthy Bike that’s gonna last a couple seasons. I am gonna buy new and at my LBS. 3k is the way top of my budget. Any Suggestions?? Oh yeah, I don’t hit jumps/drops or anything too crazy the USMC and MotoX has taken it’s toll over the years…”

    Well you say this, but…if you “wore out a Hard Rock twice” you probably are going pretty hard (pun-intended) and would be better served with something just a wee bit tougher than a pure XC whip. Besides, “XC courses” are becoming much harder than they used to be regarding the technical side of things. Thankfully “dirty road races” are going away and real mountain biking is returning. Also more importantly you’ll have more fun on something that has more broad spectrum of capabilities the rest of your riding time without any compromises on race day.

    I also think a Honzo CR Trail would be a killer choice. I say this one over the “Race” model as it will be way more fun on non race days. Do not under estimate the usefulness of having a dropper post. Your confidence will be much higher through technical sections without having a seat shoved in your tuchus and confidence wins races. The Honzo is one of the most capable 29er hardtails around and the carbon one is badass. However, you could save quite a bit of money going with the Honzo AL/DL and then put the dough into a custom race day wheelset.  Winning!

    #211400

    +1 on the dropper. The only reason I didn’t suggest the Trail was it’s price tag is $3600.

    #211449

    Yes, the Honzo is a sexy bike, kind of leaning towards Kona. My only worry is….I’m pretty stupid, even at 47, I’ll ride a slacked out fun bike like a fool. I think maybe the XC route was my feeble attempt to keep myself from getting hurt(it takes a long time to heal these days). My thinking, that if I purchased a purpose built XC only rig it would force me to stay tame. I dunno how hard I ride(it’s not that difficult to chew the Altus components on the HardRock up)…strong legs, small lungs & more desire than skill. I bought the HR thinking it was a descent bike(it was in ’88) things have changed a lot. I’m goin to take my time on this, I rushed into the last purchase.

    #211460

    @clifdog70: “My only worry is….I’m pretty stupid, even at 47, I’ll ride a slacked out fun bike like a fool. I think maybe the XC route was my feeble attempt to keep myself from getting hurt(it takes a long time to heal these days). My thinking, that if I purchased a purpose built XC only rig it would force me to stay tame.”

    A bike will not change the way you ride (or want to ride) nor “tame” you. Only you possess that power. I feel it is a far safer, more predictable and less costly option to own a bike that you cannot out ride. Improving your skills in the areas that have gotten you into trouble would be beneficial. Doing so on a bike that won’t fold up like a cheap suit will help in this regard.

    In the end, you must decide what it is that will make you happy. There are plenty of riders out that LIVE for the climbs, max VO2’s, KOM’s, race competition, etc. Good for them. That’s not me nor is it something I wish to pursue at this point (although I have done plenty of racing). Find the bike that suits you, what you want and where you want to ride.

    #211461

    You don’t need a special bike to hurt yourself, that’s for sure! I’ve hurt myself on everything from road bikes to DH bikes.

    Raymond makes a great point. If you’re gonna ride like a goon no matter what, you may as well have a bike that is going to give you a wider margin of error when things get hairy. And while the Kona is slacker than the Epic, it’s still on the XCish end of the spectrum. It’s not like a Chromag Stylus with a 160mm fork that just dares you to do stupid things on it.

    #211466

    Thanx @Aaron Chamberlain Yes…checks in the mail…

     “Raymond makes a great point. If you’re gonna ride like a goon no matter what, you may as well have a bike that is going to give you a wider margin of error when things get hairy. And while the Kona is slacker than the Epic, it’s still on the XCish end of the spectrum. It’s not like a Chromag Stylus with a 160mm fork that just dares you to do stupid things on it.”

    Now that we know more about the story we can offer more pointed recommendations. As such, just because you have $3K to spend doesn’t mean you have to. Pretty much ANY bike you get is going to be an improvement over your Hard Rock. However, I caution you over repeating the same scenario in getting a bike that you will ride past what it was designed for. I’ve seen this happen dozens of times over the years. Mostly it’s riders chasing the dragon of  “light weight” bikes and/or components to reach negligible increases in performance. The bike world has foisted this on the public forever and still does. On a related note, the greatest thing the “Freeride” movement brought cycling were bikes and parts that were built to take a beating, IMHO.

    I digress, so back to making an informed choice and saving some money. Case in point: The Kona Honzo would do everything you are asking without compromise. I think the Honzo AL for $1600 MSRP is a steal. Considering your statements this would be the bike to get. The only thing you’d be spending more for on the more expensive models is weight or lack thereof. Specifically, the NX drivetrain is killer with weight being it’s only downside. The Recon fork is fine and can be tuned to suit your preferences. Those bits and everything else can be ridden into the ground and then upgraded as you wish. Again though, with the money you’d save, you could buy a seriously badass wheelset that will turn the bike into a rocket. In the meantime, the stronger (and heavier) bike would allow you the opportunity to improve both your skills and strength. Party.

    BTW, I have 3 years on you and still ride like a nut. I simply take calculated risks and wear protective gear (kneepads, full fingered armored gloves, wristguards, and a deep seat MIPS helmet) for all rides outside commuting and occasional road jaunts.

    #211468

     

    Thanx @Aaron Chamberlain Yes…checks in the mail…

     “Raymond makes a great point. If you’re gonna ride like a goon no matter what, you may as well have a bike that is going to give you a wider margin of error when things get hairy. And while the Kona is slacker than the Epic, it’s still on the XCish end of the spectrum. It’s not like a Chromag Stylus with a 160mm fork that just dares you to do stupid things on it.”

    Now that we know more about the story we can offer more pointed recommendations. As such, just because you have $3K to spend doesn’t mean you have to. Pretty much ANY bike you get is going to be an improvement over your Hard Rock. However, I caution you over repeating the same scenario in getting a bike that you will ride past what it was designed for. I’ve seen this happen dozens of times over the years. Mostly it’s riders chasing the dragon of  “light weight” bikes and/or components to reach negligible increases in performance. The bike world has foisted this on the public forever and still does. On a related note, the greatest thing the “Freeride” movement brought cycling were bikes and parts that were built to take a beating, IMHO.

    I digress, so back to making an informed choice and saving some money. Case in point: The Kona Honzo would do everything you are asking without compromise. I think the Honzo AL for $1600 MSRP is a steal. Considering your statements this would be the bike to get. The only thing you’d be spending more for on the more expensive models is weight or lack thereof. Specifically, the NX drivetrain is killer with weight being it’s only downside. The Recon fork is fine and can be tuned to suit your preferences. Those bits and everything else can be ridden into the ground and then upgraded as you wish. Again though, with the money you’d save, you could buy a seriously badass wheelset that will turn the bike into a rocket. In the meantime, the stronger (and heavier) bike would allow you the opportunity to improve both your skills and strength. Party.

    BTW, I have 3 years on you and still ride like a nut. I simply take calculated risks and wear protective gear (kneepads, full fingered armored gloves, wristguards, and a deep seat MIPS helmet) for all rides outside commuting and occasional road jaunts.

    #211539

    Thanks Fella’s, you’ve given me a lot to think about. I’m going to check out the Honzo AL for sure, I guess a lil’ stupidity is necessary every now and then.

    #211575

    Not trying to be rude by asking this, but how much faster is a purpose-built XC bike going to make you in an XC race?  And that isn’t directed just as YOU, I’m asking how much time the bike actually shaves per mile, with identical effort.

    Sounds to me like you’re definitely due for an upgrade, but I question how many riders (I have this debate with myself a lot) can really race faster on a XC bike versus a good (and probably more comfortable) trail bike.

    A friend of mine is a serious cat 1 racer.  He rides his fat tire bike on the trails…  the race bikes are (almost) only for racing.  Maybe I misunderstood, and you’re fine with that, but I don’t have the budget to spend the most money on the bike I will likely ride the least often.  It would also suck to see your primary bike end up being faster, but less comfortable than it could be – especially if it’s only marginally faster.

    #211586

    I got myself a Rocky Mountain Vertex 970 RSL cross country hard tail race bike and it’s alot faster and nimble on regular trails. I haven’t had so much fun riding trails in years. Race bikes are not only for racing they are just as good for every day rides.

    #211589

    @rk97, I don’t know if a purebred XC race bike is any faster, surely not with me in the saddle. So here’s the joint as far as I go. I’m an odd human probably, but I am a purpose driven human, as in the last 25 years my purpose has been my children. Now that they are all raised and on their own, I need a new purpose. I rode and raced MotoX and BMX back the 70’s and 80’s… loved it, in the late 80’s I joined the Corps(purpose driven decision) and discovered MTB’s on the west coast as a bonus. Man they was the coolest things ever, rode em’ for a few  years then kids, bikes went away because I had a new purpose. Last year to fill the “empty nest” void I picked up a rig and started riding again. At that time the purpose was to get into shape and kill some time. Well, I guess just riding for just for fun doesn’t quite fulfill my internal needs and I have a couple friends that race XC, endurance and that seems very appealing to me. Also with that, I have no brains usually and the “purpose” thing comes back to bite me. The purpose of a slacked out trail bike is to basically get stupid in my mind, then I get hurt, usually pretty bad. Now, the purpose of a purebred XC rig is to race, keep it a bit more under control with the end goal of maybe placing decent. Yes I can purchase race and get hurt on about any bike , but I will ride said bike accordingly, the XC with more reservation, the slack trail rig like a fool. So, as I try to internalize my “end goal”, I was just inquiring here as to the possibilities of XC rigs, as there’s very experienced folks here that give good info. Hopefully this all makes sense, it does to me. Meanwhile the journey continues.

     

    #211721

    +1 for the Honzo, pick how much you want to spend and go for it. While they may be slack compared to a traditional XC bike, it’s far from extreme. Also you will have a lot more fun riding it than a dedicated XC bike, it’s not that you’ll necessarily take more risks, you’ll just not wreck yourself as much doing it. It’s going to be much more stable and durable than something like an Epic.

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
RELATED TOPICS

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.