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X5 in Breckenridge

935 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Flyer
I just got back from Breckenridge and it was nice and cool up there. We rode the Lower Flume, Middle Flume, Upper Flume, Mike's Trail, and part of the Colorado trail. Some of those parts were a bit sketchy, with little room for error. I found that speeding up helped far more than slowing down. Thankfully, I had NO MORE ENDOS and the Revelation did well. I need to run it a bit softer but I didn't mess with it. It's a very stiff fork and the light weight makes it easy to lift up (the front end of the bike) after a few hours of hard riding.

The X-5 performed very well, now that I'm running the proper amount of sag. It was still very fast around corners and stable in off-camber areas where I was more than a bit nervous at times. Once I got used to the bike, it just flowed and climbed well too. It could go up steep and rocky climbs as long as my lungs could hold out. Fast sections were great. I am stilll getting used to 30%-35% sag and I will run more rebound next time but the bike was much more stable than at 20% sag.

I switched the RP23 for a RP3 and I actually prefer the better rebound range of the RP3. I could not slow down the rebound of the RP23 enough- maybe I didn't grasp all the adjustments well enough and may try the RP23 someday. I had a backup shock (Float R) but thankfully, didn't have to use it.

I stopped a few times and on a few occasions, passing riders stopped and asked about my X-5, all of them on Ellsworths. I didn't see a single Ventana while I was there but I saw more Ellsworths than I needed to.:p
That Ellsworth Epiphany is drawing a lot of attention up there too. Racer's Edge has it up on the wal like a Big Game Trophy.:D

I stripped the Allen screw head on my cleats (glad I had a second pair of shoes) and had a tough time finding the trailheads but the trails, rivers, streams, and mountains left me with a sense of awe, as always.

Nice town I hope to get back up there again this September. I spent enough money there to help make the local economy hop along but I'll have to be a bit more frugal next time.

Now I need to figure out how to get that stripped screw on the Frog cleats outta there.


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Nice Parking Lot

I parked pretty much right across from the trailhead and the Subaru Forester did well in getting up there. I mostly saw ATVs crawling up that road but I just stayed in first gear and drove up till I saw that open area. Thanks to a local rider for encouraging me to keep going. The road was getting a bit too rough and I was tempted to turn around if I could find a space to do that but he convinced me to keep going when he caught up and saw me scouting for a place to turn around.


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It sure looks like a nice place ...................

............... to ride ! I'm jealous ! ;) TIG.
I was hoping to take a lot of pics but my camera pooped out. I need a new camera now- that was just bad timing. I even had extra batteries and a spare card. What a pity that I couldn't take a hundred pics that would have been so nice to keep going back to. Oh well, I'll just have to do the trip again:D
Breckinridge is very nice. Looks like you had a good time. I was there last about 12 years ago and also had trouble finding the trails. At one point somewhere between Brekinridge and Copper I saw what I thought was a very large dog coming at me on the trail. As it got closer I realized it was a mule deer. It passed me, going the opposite direction, like I wasn't even there!
How would you compare your X-5 to your 575 (you did have one of those right?)
Enel said:
How would you compare your X-5 to your 575 (you did have one of those right?)
Looking forward to this answer since I've added the X-5 to my potential "buy" list. Thanks,

Yes, I had a 575 and an ASR-SL but obviously the 575 is the X-5's closest competitor. Keep in mind that I have a 2004 X-5.

CLIMBS- On technical (rocky) climbs, they both climb equally well (now that I have ridden the X-5 a few times) but the X-5 can change direction a bit quicker while the 575 can wander a bit if you do that without thinking.

CORNERING- The X-5 wins this battle and can maintain more speed and stability through fast corners. The only difference is you have to use more sag on the X-5 so rebound has to be adjusted to suit your weight/riding style.

DESCENTS- The 575 has a little more travel and you will feel more "floaty" in sections which is great if you hit some really gnarly stuff. The X-5 provides more trail feel and in really rough stuff, the 575 feels more stable. Keep in mind that the 2005/2006 X-5 will probably feel a bit more planted since it loses a bit of its XC-ish geometry over the 2004 X-5.

STRAIGHTS- The X-5 and 575 are similar here though the X-5 carries maybe an extra lb in the frame due to the beefy tubes and quad bearings. I notice no difference except the X-5 is slightly quicker steering and requires a little more concentration but is quick to change lines. The X-5 feels like it accelerates a little quicker but that may truly be just in my head (new bike buzz).

Off-Camber- The X-5 wins this one though the 575 never feels overwhelmed or iffy. I hit a lot of off-camber stuff and the back wheels tracks so close to the front that it stays in check and skips back in if pushed out by a hit or a gradual slide. The X-5 It tracks the front wheel extremely well- better than any bike I've ever ridden.

Overall, the X-5 gains some stiffness (and weight) over the 575 which makes it a stiffer frame. I mostly notice this on off-camber situations though I never felt that the 575 was not stiff. It's just that the X-5 is stiffer and you can feel this after riding them enough in similar terrain. Once you get used to this stiffness, it can spoil you.

Overall, both are incredible bikes. I would not hesitate to own a 575 again but I don't think I'll be trading my X-5 for one. I do like the 575 enough to own one again though. The main reason to own a 575 over a X-5 is the lower weight of the frame. Other than that, there is the extra .75" of travel. The 575 does not feel long-travel though- not in my opinion. However, it is there if you need it and it will probabably win on a fast and extremely rocky descent. That doesn't apply to me since I don't truly bomb gnarly descents. I intend to keep all my cavity-free teeth.

The primary reason to own a X-5 over the 575 is the stiffness of the frame, slightly quicker steering, and the durability, I suppose- IF you consider carbon flexpivots a durability problem. The 575 also comes with the optional carbon swingarm and chainstay, which makes the frame even lighter. In that form, it will be a significantly lighter bike to climb on.

Given my XC-ish background and current skill level, I prefer the slight agility advantage and stiffness advantage of the 2004 X-5. All I REALLY want to do is built some lighter wheels for those grinding climbs but I need to find out how much rotationally lighter I can go before sacrificing too much durability over my 819/Hadleys and 819/Hopes.

I hope this helps.....Neil

P.S. Initially, I had set my rear shock sag too low. That made the X-5 VERY twitchy and endo-prone. At least for the 2004 and older frames, you have to run sag at around 30%-35%. That is what the frame was designed around. Running 20% sag or less will make it too edgy and too quick to turn. Dropping the sag down to 30%-35% makes the geometry stable and as designed. Then the bike behaves like it should. Thanks to the other Ventana forum members, to Larry, and to Sherwood for the excellent advice regarding suspension setup. The 575 can run at 20%-25% sag with excellent results and you can go to 30% for rougher terrain but the X-5 needs more sag to maintain it's geometry.
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