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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Custom or Stock. That is the question of the moment.
I posted this poll on my blog, figured I see what the enduro nuts on here have to say.
So, here is the question...
As a solo endurance racer which would you prefer for the long haul?
A. A stock full suspension frame from campanies such as Giant, Trek, C-Dale, etc, etc, etc
B. A custom built hardtail from a builder such as Titus, Moots, IF, etc, etc, etc.
 

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rider
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Choices...

A third option: a lightweight FS 29er. Why not give yourself a 6% advantage by going with adult sized wheels? Of all forms of MTB racing, the 29er, by far, makes the most sense in endurance races.

Here are three worth considering (first two links are really the same design, one is off the rack Al, the other is full custom and Ti):

http://www.speedgoat.com/product.asp?part=107006&cat=170&brand=2
http://www.speedgoat.com/product.asp?part=113611&cat=170&brand=325

http://www.lenzsport.com/leviathan.html

http://www.bti-usa.com/list.asp?cat...Sec=0&filter=&searchtype=&showGrp=AR5506#open

All are designed to work with a 100mm fork. Titus and Lenz are 3" rear travel bikes and the third, from Astrix, has a very interesting 4.5" travel single pivot rear swingarm with a "Motolink" modifying the shock stroke. The first two designs are very well proven. The Astrix Monk is a newcomer, initial reviews have been good.

No, I am not yet an endurance racer. However I do have 20+ years riding MTB's and I tend to do a fair amount of very long solo rides. Self supported off road touring included.

Mike Curiak is a rabid 29er fan, champion mega-endurance racer & Lenzsport dealer. He also helped develop the Lenz Leviathan and Behemoth (5"x5" all mountain bigwheel weapon). I'll bet he can hook you up with some saddle time on a really sweetly set up Leviathan.

29erchico
 

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29erchico said:
A third option: a lightweight FS 29er. Why not give yourself a 6% advantage by going with adult sized wheels? Of all forms of MTB racing, the 29er, by far, makes the most sense in endurance races.

Here are three worth considering (first two links are really the same design, one is off the rack Al, the other is full custom and Ti):

http://www.speedgoat.com/product.asp?part=107006&cat=170&brand=2
http://www.speedgoat.com/product.asp?part=113611&cat=170&brand=325

http://www.lenzsport.com/leviathan.html

http://www.bti-usa.com/list.asp?cat...Sec=0&filter=&searchtype=&showGrp=AR5506#open

All are designed to work with a 100mm fork. Titus and Lenz are 3" rear travel bikes and the third, from Astrix, has a very interesting 4.5" travel single pivot rear swingarm with a "Motolink" modifying the shock stroke. The first two designs are very well proven. The Astrix Monk is a newcomer, initial reviews have been good.

No, I am not yet an endurance racer. However I do have 20+ years riding MTB's and I tend to do a fair amount of very long solo rides. Self supported off road touring included.

Mike Curiak is a rabid 29er fan, champion mega-endurance racer & Lenzsport dealer. He also helped develop the Lenz Leviathan and Behemoth (5"x5" all mountain bigwheel weapon). I'll bet he can hook you up with some saddle time on a really sweetly set up Leviathan.

29erchico
uhh i didnt see this option in the poll.
 

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Exactly 1/2 of 2-Epic
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KERKOVEJ said:
Custom or Stock. That is the question of the moment.
I posted this poll on my blog, figured I see what the enduro nuts on here have to say.
So, here is the question...
As a solo endurance racer which would you prefer for the long haul?
A. A stock full suspension frame from campanies such as Giant, Trek, C-Dale, etc, etc, etc
B. A custom built hardtail from a builder such as Titus, Moots, IF, etc, etc, etc.
Jeff, it looks like your question is really FS vs. HT, not so much custom vs. big brand.

FS, no question. Big brands are fine too - they get extensive testing, use, developement, and have sponsorship programs.

Maybe you'd like to know what the enduro nuts think about wheel size?
 

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Personally, I'd say each to their own...

because it's all personal preference. I am curious where you got the stats on 29ers having a 6% advantage? Has someone done a valid study or comparison? Love to read, been bouncing on whether to try the 29er thing for 2 years but have decided against as of yet.
 

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Roger___ said:
because it's all personal preference. I am curious where you got the stats on 29ers having a 6% advantage? Has someone done a valid study or comparison? Love to read, been bouncing on whether to try the 29er thing for 2 years but have decided against as of yet.
Pepperdine University study. I should have said 6% faster climbing and 3% faster overall on xc.

You would think that Mike Curiak's great success these last few years wiping up the competition with 29er's in mega enduro events would clue in more folks about the advantages offered by the bigwheels. If I recall correctly, the top three finishers in this year's Kokopelli Trail Race were on 29er's. If not this year it was last year.

29erchico
 

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What I think

KERKOVEJ said:
Custom or Stock. That is the question of the moment.
I posted this poll on my blog, figured I see what the enduro nuts on here have to say.
So, here is the question...
As a solo endurance racer which would you prefer for the long haul?
A. A stock full suspension frame from campanies such as Giant, Trek, C-Dale, etc, etc, etc
B. A custom built hardtail from a builder such as Titus, Moots, IF, etc, etc, etc.
I would prefer a Stock FS. I ride a Devinci Moonracer FS and simply love the ride and wouldn't go back to a hard tail.
 

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Hmm...

29erchico said:
Pepperdine University study. I should have said 6% faster climbing and 3% faster overall on xc.

You would think that Mike Curiak's great success these last few years wiping up the competition with 29er's in mega enduro events would clue in more folks about the advantages offered by the bigwheels. If I recall correctly, the top three finishers in this year's Kokopelli Trail Race were on 29er's. If not this year it was last year.

29erchico
The full text of that study has not yet been released, so we have no way of knowing what sort of conditions led to the conclusions. I can say with certainty that 29ers most definitely DO NOT climb 6% faster under most circumstances.

MC and big wheels - well, there is no clear connection there. He's just good, period. Eatough stomps 29er riders into the ground every year on his 26er Trek. Does that mean 26ers are superior?

Just playing devil's advocate here...I have 2 29ers and several 26ers, power taps for all and an inquisitive nature. Sooner or later I'll have some of my own objective observations worth reporting on.
 

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Jeff I had to deal with that EXACT same question and after much debate and research I decided on a custom HT from Walt. I've just been getting into the ultra-endurance scene from xc racing and decided I would rather have someone I can talk to and share my thoughts with and they can build me a bike suited specifically for me. I plan on doing the Kokapelli (sp?) not this year but next, then tackle the grand loop the next year. I also wanted to support the small builder who has a passion for riding first on quality custom bikes as oppossed to mega factory bikes built in China with no care in the world except for profit. I was actually going to e-mail you in a couple months about how you put together the Trans-Iowa. I'm wanting to create an ultra in Texas to tag along with the momentum this ultra racing scene is gathering in the U.S. as well as in TX.
 

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funny you should ask...

I just sent all my measurements this morning to a local custom builder, the folks at Sycip bikes, and I'm already getting the kid-at-Christmas feeling. It'll be a light, comfy, designed just-for-me hardtail.

The nicest thing about custom is being able to fight off the marketing hype of stupid ideas, like integrated headsets. Also getting the geometry tweaked for the way I ride, my preference in handling characteristics, fork travel, etc.

All that said, I'll still be doing some races on the FS production rig. All depends on the course. But I have enough races on fast courses to justify another hardtail. You'll be able to read all about it at Ride424 as it comes to life :)

Cheers,
 

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Harmonius Wrench
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There should be a third choice here

3. Custom full suspension.

Several companies do this option. As it seems that money is no object here, I don't see why this option should not be considered. Oh! That's right! It's not my post, or poll...................................Shutting up now! :D :p
 

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hairball_dh said:
The full text of that study has not yet been released, so we have no way of knowing what sort of conditions led to the conclusions. I can say with certainty that 29ers most definitely DO NOT climb 6% faster under most circumstances.

MC and big wheels - well, there is no clear connection there. He's just good, period. Eatough stomps 29er riders into the ground every year on his 26er Trek. Does that mean 26ers are superior?

Just playing devil's advocate here...I have 2 29ers and several 26ers, power taps for all and an inquisitive nature. Sooner or later I'll have some of my own objective observations worth reporting on.
Can't help but notice that you chose to ignore the KTR race results.

I'd love to see your powertap info, do those things record heartrate as well?

29erchico
 

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There are far too many variables in the Pepperdine study plus it's too small a sample to use it as empirical evidence. It's an argument, not a proof.

That said, I'm probably going to go the custom Ti hardtail 26'er for my next bike. Why?
1) I've already got all the parts on my great-but-tired Truth, so it's more affordable than a 29'er.
2) My friends on their Bontragers, Merlins, and Fat Chances from the early 90's make me want the incredible durability of Ti.
3) I want a custom fit because I've never had one and want to see how much of a difference it makes.
4) I've ridden a Ti hardtail (the Bontrager mentioned above) and found it to be just forgiving enough to leave me fresh while climbing like nothing else- Pisgah Productions- if you see this post- we don't need to talk about that crash :rolleyes:
5) When I do an event that screams FS XC bike, the Truth can still be re-built.

That was a fun question to answer, as it helped me solidfy this decision. Mike
 

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Ti hardtail

My answer is probably obvious to some degree if you just look at what I ride. Do I ever think I am going to win an endurance race on my ti SS? Probably not, but that is not what I am looking for. I do know that my shock won't crap out on me on day two of a multi-stage event or the 18th hour of a 24 hr race. I can't bring a spare everything everywhere I go(shock, swingarms, rocker links, what-not) so I don't want to depend on them.
Was I more competitive on my 24lb Truth?
Yup
Did it ever have a major malfunction?
Nope
Does that ever make me reconsider my choice?
Nope
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
The reason I posted this question...

The reasoning behind this question is simple. The past few years, the Cateye Enduro Team that I race on has been sponsored by Giant Bicycles. Well, for 2006, it seems they are going to focus their marketing dollar some place else...which they have the right to do. And I thank them for letting me race on their quality frames.

My team manager recently said he was working on a company that builds custom high-end hardtails and 3"-4" FS frames. He has not said the name of this company. I think it is Titus, but not sure.

If this "custom builder" decides to spend his marketing dollars elsewhere I might be on a frame set from one of the more dominant bike companies in the USA.

It's a waiting game, and I am interested to see what I saddle up on for the 2006 season.
 

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Good question

I don't know what I would do in your case. Since leaving the Ellsworth team years ago I have made my own decisions on what I ride. If I had to choose one bike to be competitive I would have to go FS (assuming it is not a POS).
I have limited myself greatly in terms of sponsorship since I only want to race a ti SS. I approached Dean about working something out, but they really didn't offer much. I wasn't expecting an overwhelming response, but I figured since the bike gets some attention here and there I thought I would throw the idea Dean's way.
Titus? I would love to have a Racer X and a FCR ti HT for a backup bike. Back during my limited stint with Santa Cruz I used my HCR as a back up bike at a couple races.
It seems the name of the game is fatigue and any way to avoid it means better results.
 

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FS vs HT 4 endurance...been there; done both.

Choosing between a custom Ti HT or an stock FS for endurance racing should come down to the terrain being raced. I have had the experience of racing the LT100, Ultra100, and 24hrs of Steamboat (Duo) on a Moots Ybb with front suspension. And I have raced Laramie Enduro, 24hrs in Sage, Firecraker 50, and leadville silver rush 50 on a Dean Ace Full suspension. While my endurance racing experience is no where near that of Jeff's - here is what I have discovered. The Ybb is great for epic day rides 50 - 100 miles of smooth, fast singletrack, and doubletrack. And the Dean Ace has been fabulous on the rough stuff. The two bikes handle about the same, with a climbing edge for the Dean Ace. During the 24 of Steamboat on the Ybb - My body really took a beating on the wet and rooty singletrack sections. I feel an FS would have minimized the pain. While at the 24hrs of the Sage (duo) after the event I felt good, no major body aches or back pains. Also, during the night runs If I was on the Ybb (at the sage) I think I would have dumped it a few times on some of the rocky sections, the FS really saved my rear. And at Laramie, the Ace performed well and left me feeling stronger, longer by absorbing the bumps and ruts. This season the primary ride will be the Dean Ace, while the Ybb will play the role as 2nd string steed. :cool:
 
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