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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I don't have any other bikes except for a rigid Raleigh Pointe beater commuter and we had our State Games XC race today so I raced it on my XLT. It hung in there pretty well against some freakishly light bikes. They really overdid it when they categorized the groups. I was the only one racing the 30-39 year old Sport category, so obviously I got gold, hehe.

They started all of the expert riders out first together, then sport, then beginners.

Against all of the other sport riders, I only got beat by 3. So...I guess if you take away the age brackets I would have gotten 4th place. I was beat by a skinny 20'something on a Trek 6500 1x9 hardtail, a 45 y.o. on a Trek Fuel, and a 45'ish y.o on a Fisher ExCal. I don't feel too bad about losing to the kid, but the 45 y.o. dudes kinda stung a bit.:D

It was really my fault...I let two guys pass me by in the beginning b/c I didn't want to come out of the gate too strong. Those same two guys slowed me waaaay down later on the technical descents. I normally do 30-35mph on them and I was forced to go around 10 mph or so. Finally I said "I gotta get around you, man" and they pulled off the singletrack to let me by. Last year I tried to pass on a sketchy section and plowed through somebody, so I wanted to play it safer this year.

Anyway, I probably would have been able to hold off 1 of the 45 y.o dudes if I had taken those downhill sections as fast as I normally do, but oh well. 'Twas still a fun day and nice to do so well on a 32lb all coil XLT against bikes like a 16.5lb Badger SS, Tomac Revolver, Stumpy FSR's, a bunch of other hardtail riders.

If I decide to do many more XC races though...I may have to pony up for a more efficient rig like the Dakar XC, XCR, or maybe a 29'er HT.

Props to the XLT though!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hehe, probably not. The XLT is DEFINATELY not intended as an XC rig, but it held its own fairly well.

The Dakar Pro or Expert I believe are the dedicated XC racer's of the stable. They have the carbon seat stays and bell crank to keep it laterally stiff while still dampening the shock a bit in addition to the rear suspension.

If I had a carbon model, I'd run that rear shock with like 10% sag so I could hammer the crap out of it on the climbs out of the saddle and still have a little control in the rough.

I'm hoping to build one at some point.
 
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