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Are their any "race-worthy" hard tail bikes available new for under $800-$1000? (motobecane?)

My definition of "race-worthy" - I generally ride a Trek Rumblefish but am looking for something to ride in several 6-12 hr endurance events per year. I am 44 and just want to have a lighter bike for these races. I have no expectations of making any podiums, I just want to give myself any advantage possible over my heavy FS 29er.

Of course I will keep my eyes open on craigslist, as well.
 

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How heavy is your FS 29er? If it's reasonably efficient, it's probably worth dropping that amount on lightening up your current steed.

Some how I blinked and reasonable hardtails are now $2k and up.

Check out this list for consumer direct which should offer the best deals, and frequent sites like SAC and theclymb. I got my race bike as NOS for over 50% off msrp.
 

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I think you'd be better served either upgrading your current bike or maybe getting lucky with a used bike for your budget. That said, after moving to a full squish bike I wouldn't go back to a hardtail for endurance events, but that's a personal thing.

If you do go the hardtail route I recommend the Cannondale Save seatpost and some high volume tires to take the edge off.
 

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I'm younger than you and haven't done any endurance racing, but on rides longer than 4 hrs I secretly wish I was on a FS. I love my hardtail, but long rides that include rough trails leave me completely exhausted.

My point: I wouldn't trade comfort for weight on a multi-hour ride. By staying fresh during the race you may end up riding harder. Less chances of crashing due to fatigue too (it easily happens).

Maybe investing on a pair of light, "race" wheels for your rumblefish is a viable option? Coupled with a lightweight pair of XC tyres, and depending on what is your current wheelset, your bike may end up feeling much livelier.
 

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Spend that $800-$1000 on upgrades for your current bike. Any bike in that price range will be a downgrade, especially for endurance racing.

You could get a nice set of carbon wheels and some new tires for under $1k. That's where you'll see the biggest performance increase. I wouldn't recommend spending it on carbon bars/stem/post, I've fallen into that trap and its a very small return on investment

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I agree with everything mentioned above. I had a rumblefish a few years ago. Some fast rolling tires and maybe playing with the stem height/angle to make the geometry more race oriented will go a long way. The biggest weakness IMO was the rear shock being a little too squishy for stand up climbing. Maybe you could get that revalved?


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Here is an example: I purchased a 2012 Niner Air 9 AL w X9, REBA and Stans Crest off craigs list for 850. Added a Niner RDO seat post and bars off (Flea)Bay for 200. Ordered a north shore 32 direct drive front ring for 1x10 and a 42 cog for rear (120 bucks). 21.8 pound 1x10 race machine. I have owned S works, etc... Honestly... what I just described is exactly what you're looking for... with no compromises and the ride is really great with the RDO post. Just saying... and you get extra cool points passing racers on a $10k machine :thumbsup:
 

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Here is an example: I purchased a 2012 Niner Air 9 AL w X9, REBA and Stans Crest off craigs list for 850. Added a Niner RDO seat post and bars off (Flea)Bay for 200. Ordered a north shore 32 direct drive front ring for 1x10 and a 42 cog for rear (120 bucks). 21.8 pound 1x10 race machine. I have owned S works, etc... Honestly... what I just described is exactly what you're looking for... with no compromises and the ride is really great with the RDO post. Just saying... and you get extra cool points passing racers on a $10k machine
I ride a 2015 Air 9 alloy with a p6 hiflex post, great bike for shorter XC races but I wouldn't recommend it for endurance events. Even with the "compliant" post, it's still an alloy hardtail... A FS bike with carbon rims, even a somewhat heavy one, is a better endurance bike than a hardtail IMO

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IMO, if you want to go hardtail for endurance you want to go with a steel or Ti frame. I have one of each and have done 9-11hr rides on them in the NorthEast. Unless you are hitting the lift serviced gravity runs on that Rumblefish, it is way too much bike for XC riding. You might be better off buying a new FS frame that is more XC oriented and move the rest of the hardware over then sell the RF. Hopefully some budget will remain to invest in some lighter wheels as well.
 

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i've been racing a rockhopper the last year. upgrades are 1x10 one up setup, raidon fork, 2.3 tires front and back. So far i've done a cup series, a streetrace and a 100km race on it. the 100km race i placed in the top 10% so I consider the bike worthy (it didnt break me, or itself). the only time i had to blame the bike for a bad day at a race is when my chainrings were wore and i had massive chain suck during a race, afterwords corrected with 1x10 setup.

for longer races on a hardtail, get high volume tires and test different pressures. a high volume tire at low pressure will give quite a bit of cusioning on your knees over longer distances. i'm 95kg and riding 2.3 ground controls at 22psi front, 25psi rear.

Otherwise longer rides is about fit and comfort. make sure the saddle and grips, clothes are comfortable and consider a bike fit.
 
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