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dirt rider
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey, I am looking for some opinions on using a racer x primarily as a trail bike. I have no intention of ever racing but always seem to be more at home on faster accelerating bikes than what the all mountain, longer suspension bikes seem to offer.
I am kind of small in stature at 5'-6" and 135lbs and am questioning if I really need 5"+ of travel offered by the all mountain catagory. I usually prefer single track in the rockies and an occaisional trip to moab or fruita. I am interested in any experience with this bike on rocky trails, baby headed sections, small ledges as well as smooth single track. I really don't huck at all and jumps are limited to less than a foot or two max. I am also concerned that the bike may be to twitchy with a 71 degree head angle and don't know how stable it will be on down hills.
I tried the moto lite, and really wanted to like it, but I really did not think it climbed as well as I had hoped it would and felt little sluggish on the uphills... so I am thinking a racer x. There are some smokin deals out there right now. Normally I would wait until spring and test ride one but there is 3 feet of snow on the ground and I really don't want to miss the buying opportunity if I can get satisfied with the ride and handling aspects. I always seem to fall right in between a small and medium and the longer top tube seems to be the ticket.
Any feed back would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks...........
 

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Well

An X is certainly capable of being a trail bike, however it sounds like you are kinda picky and detail oriented, so its hard to recommend buying anything without a test ride. The bottom line is the Racer X rides like a XC race bike. The suspension is not a couch, and it is does not float over small bumps without realizing you hit them. You can set the suspension up to be more forgiving and sensitive to the small bumps, but then you will suffer from BOB.

The racer X also climbs like an XC bike. An exceptionally good XC race bike. The suspension is active enough to keep the rear wheel planted on technical climbs, but not so much that you cannot get out of the saddle, throw caution to the wind and hammer to the top of a steep hill. Pro pedal allows you to get a little more squish for the desents, and even set with 10% sag I still use 90% of the travel on a downhill so I could not really see running it any softer.

If you like the feel of an XC race bike you will love the Racer X. If you are looking for something in between a race bike and a trail bike I don't think you will be happy with the X. It was designed to be and still is on of the fastest race bikes around.
 

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dirt rider
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey, thanks for the response. Your descrption of the ride is really helpfull. I am still in the process of trying to decide but I really think I should go for it and enjoy it for a few seasons. After all, it is always good to have more than one good bike in the stable. Living in Colorado most of what we do is climb so that is an important feature. I have read that this bike is extremly well balanced to.

Thanks again......
 

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I ride both a racer-x and a moto-lite. On smoother trails with big climbing, I think I would prefer the racer-x. The ML is a bit squishy for me on serious climbs, and that is coming from a racer. That being said, the trails that I usually ride are unusually super rocky and technical, both up and down. I find I grab the moto-lite all the time. I really love both bikes. One is more forgiving, the other handles like a serious race machine. Both work well for me on any given day.
 

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I've had a hardtail with a Fox F-100 I've used for trails, and I like the challenges it has given me, technical skill wise. I just bought a Racer X frame and built it up with parts from my old hardtail, and I intend to use it in the same trails as before. The choice to get a fast XC-frame instead of a more all-mountain based frame was based on the same arguments that you use in favor of the Racer X. I've only given it one ride yet, and my impression so far is that it really demands speed (you better be in good shape, at least you will be after a while using this bike)! I hope you choose right for you, if it is a xc- or an am-bike!

Ståle
 

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rack admirer
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conversions

I didn't look it up, but can you reduce the travel on a moto lite?
I have a 2005 RX 100 (large) I am 6'1, 175, and I seldom bottom it out harshly so I figure that I don't need more than the 3.8 or 4 inches of travel that it gives me. I have a REBA fork and when I extend it to 115, it feels chopper, I keep it at 100.
Maybe you can reduce the Moto travel to simulate your travel needs on an RX.
 

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"El Whatever"
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Mr Magoo said:
I didn't look it up, but can you reduce the travel on a moto lite?
I have a 2005 RX 100 (large) I am 6'1, 175, and I seldom bottom it out harshly so I figure that I don't need more than the 3.8 or 4 inches of travel that it gives me. I have a REBA fork and when I extend it to 115, it feels chopper, I keep it at 100.
Maybe you can reduce the Moto travel to simulate your travel needs on an RX.
Yes, the ML has two travel settings being the shortest 100mm travel. Geometry remains the same, save for the effects coming from the fork.

You just can't pull that trick out of a FTM anymore.
 

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Loui
Based on the description of the trails you ride, your riding is very similar to mine. I used to ride a typical 'trail' - SJ Pro with a 100-140mm fork. Then i demoed a several XC race bikes and I realized that I enjoy a faster climbing bike a lot more, but at the same time I realized that I can also ride each and every downhill section with the same amount of confidence on these bikes. I think travel is overrated these days and a pure marketing hype. Now I will say that 80mm up front is too little for this type of riding, but I felt 100mm is very adequate and a Racer X geometry work very well in this application. SO in the end sold the SJ and got myself a Racer X
 

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dirt rider
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ha...the FTM...Full Tilt Moto. The new updated version of the Motolite..5" of suspension only, lighter tubing, new front tube design. Checkout the Titus website.
titusti.com
enjoy the best.........
 

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Sounds to me the Racer X would be perfect for you. It is more than capable of racing down the nastiest of hills with out a flinch, and the best part is it gets you to the top easier than any other bike I have ridden. However being from Colorado, why aren't you thinking of a Yeti ASR SL, that might be an even better bike for you. It climbs and descends great. I have both bikes, and must say I favor the Racer X for my east coast technical rides, but if I lived in Colorado I might be riding the Yeti more, it is more plush and still maintains the racer quality. It isn't as hair trigger and I don't imagine the trails are as tight out there as they are on the east coast. Just a thought.
 

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dirt rider
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the reply. Idid want to understand more of how the Racer X handled rock garedens so thanks for that.
I have riden an ASR-SL. Nice bike, it has a little shorter top tube that puts me a little forward on the bike and it feels like I am sitting up high on the bike rather than in it. When cornering it did not want to arc through the corners but rather wanted to square off the corner, it could have been me, but I was demoing quite a few bikes and this feeling was unique to the ASR. I typically fall in between a small and a medium and the racer x has a little longer top tube so I thought the bike might be more balanced for me. From some of the reviews, the comments are that the bike is extremely well balanced, rails throught the corners and a few comments about feeling part of the bike and not perched on top of it.
Not wanting to give the ASR a bad name because it does a lot of things really well, climbing, really fast accelerating, and a little slacker head angle.
 

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loui200 said:
Thanks for the reply. Idid want to understand more of how the Racer X handled rock garedens so thanks for that.
I have riden an ASR-SL. Nice bike, it has a little shorter top tube that puts me a little forward on the bike and it feels like I am sitting up high on the bike rather than in it. When cornering it did not want to arc through the corners but rather wanted to square off the corner, it could have been me, but I was demoing quite a few bikes and this feeling was unique to the ASR. I typically fall in between a small and a medium and the racer x has a little longer top tube so I thought the bike might be more balanced for me. From some of the reviews, the comments are that the bike is extremely well balanced, rails throught the corners and a few comments about feeling part of the bike and not perched on top of it.
Not wanting to give the ASR a bad name because it does a lot of things really well, climbing, really fast accelerating, and a little slacker head angle.
Yes, you are spot on with some of those characteristics. I found my old asr to be a great bike, but was never able to be like one with the bike like the racer-x. The longer top tube is a plus in my opinion. At speed, I find I do not need to steer so much as dip a wing. It may take a few rides to get used to, but when you dial it in, it is very natural. Also I find the longer top tube to put your weight front to back in the same balance spot even with the steeper head angle. Plus you get the added bonus of precise handling and short chain stays make it climb really well. I love the racer-x, but I can see that people of different stature and build may prefer something different.
 

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dirt rider
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
pixy, thanks for your feed back. I am a little concerned about the steep head angle. How does the racer x handle rock gardens, andis the 4" of suspension enough for rocky trail riding. I am pretty light at 135lbs and about 5'-6" or so. Theh bigger suspension bikes get sluggish.

Thanks for the input......
 

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rock gardens

The bike handles rocks fantastically. The last race of this past session was nothing but rocks and the Racer X eat them for lunch. The bike needs to be ridden fast through them, definitely not slow. I think this was my favorite race of the season because of how fast I could blast through the rock gardens and still keep the bike spot on target. This I guess is because of how flex-free the frame is and I also had the perfect balance in the rear with sag. In the rockier races I found softening the rear helped me out while the smoother races I went firm with the rear. My only complaint concerning the Racer X is sometimes in certain situations you will be going into a turn and the rear will hit a rock, root or small branch laying in the trail and the rear jumps around to the side. This definitely is disconcerting but you get used to it. It isn't something that happens a lot but it does happen. Is it the steep head angle, short chain stay or stiff rear end I don't know, but probably all the above. This is a very quick handling bike and it sometimes can surprise you. As someone mentioned it rails the corners, you don't steer by turning the handle bars you just lay the bike down in the turns by lifting the handle bar and it turns on a dime. I also agree that with the Yeti you sit tall, and with the Racer X you are part of the bike. I have small frames with both and the Racer X makes me feel tall and the Yeti makes me feel the Yeti is tall.
 

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The X is a great frame. I worked at Titus in college in Tempe, it got me hooked on TI, if you do titus it should be a rule to go ti, no offense to their other models. I only made the switch to the racer x a year ago, typically use it for training, or courses that the fs is needed. Most people think Im nuts, but even in AZ, Im usually on my hardtail, also done by titus- pic attached.
 

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Loui, are you on the Front Range? If so, I just rode the length on Dakota Ridge on the Racer-X, and I weigh 200lbs with gear. If you aren't familiar, that trail is super super rocky and technical. The bike handles really well in that stuff I think. I wouldn't say it's ideal for those types of rides at my weight(I have more fun on my Enduro on that trail), but it's definitely a capable bike for that ride. I sold my Stumpy to buy the Titus, and on 90% of the Front Range rides, it just blows it away, uphill and down.
 

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loui200 said:
pixy, thanks for your feed back. I am a little concerned about the steep head angle. How does the racer x handle rock gardens, andis the 4" of suspension enough for rocky trail riding. I am pretty light at 135lbs and about 5'-6" or so. Theh bigger suspension bikes get sluggish.

Thanks for the input......
I'm slightly smaller than you and have had no problem with the steep head angle. I ride rock gardens all the time and it handles great through them. The first day I rode my racer-x I cleaned some stuff that I had never cleaned before. It is a good design that seems to work well if you like a firm race feel.
 

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As an ML owner, I can say, when set up for it, the ML can ride like one fast xc machine. With a talas fork you can dial down the shock and steepen the head angle, then flip up the pro-pedal, with maybe a little extra air in the shock, and it does one hell of a racer x impression. Then you can flip it back to a long travel fork and ride it more all-mountain. I know it seemed sluggish when you tried it, but I'd bet the rear shock wasn't set-up well for you to climb fast and maybe the fork was too long for your comfort on the climbs. The longer I've owned the ML the more I ride it more plush and more upright-- I find it more fun. I do most of my riding on the front range and in Summit County, and I feel it can climb better than my old 4" bike-- an intense tracer. That said, I am so tempted to pick up a racer x with all the deals going on right now, just to build up as a real racy bike. But I doubt I'd ride it near as much as my ML.
 
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