Endurance races, ski trips, musings, and adventures on the East Coast.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My Version of the Ultimate Trail Bike

Yeah, yeah, everyone thinks they have the ultimate trail bike. And, admittedly, mines a bit of an odd duck. It's shortish travel, but still has a slack head angle, dropper post, 120mm fork, and big disc rotors.  It's a bike I can race XC and Endurance races with, and still feel good on at an Enduro. Basically, it's the one bike I can race anything with Plus, it's super fun to ride - which, ultimately, is the most important part.

Things start off with the Zaboo frame. It's a 100mm travel bike with a tapered head tube and a press fit BB. All pretty good stuff. I'd say the linkage is on the stiffer side, tuned towards XC racing. It's one of those bikes that you never feel working, but when you look down at the little o-ring you can see that you've used all the travel. Super efficient climber, and when was the last time a 4 and 4 29er couldn't rally downhill?

Except it's not really a 4 and 4 29er. I've been spending a lot of time on big bikes, and that's influencing my style quite a bit. So, with a nod to that, ordered up a White Brothers Loop 120mm fork with a tapered steerer and 15mm thru axle. Pretty sweet stuff there. I thought I was taking a chance with it, but it's done pretty well so far. Then there's the dropper post. Dropper post on a race bike? Up, all the time. Why, because it's more fun, you can go fast downhill, and it gives you room for error after 50 miles on the bike. Maybe it's a bit overkill for some NE courses, but in NC or out west it's super clutch.
 It's also got some sweet other goodies like an ENVE flat bar (super, super stiff....this thing improves front end handling for sure), a thompson stem, XO brakes with 180 mm rotors (seriously, they're not much heavier), and a whole lot of XT stuff, which is awesome and super solid for a lot less money than XTR.

I did concede with the XTR plus rear deraileur though. Of course, now it's trickled down. But I had to have it. The clutch is awesome. You won't go back. Some other goodies include the ZTR Gold Wheels (I train on Crests with Conti X-Kings), Ergon Grips etc.All in all, it climbs well, rips on flat, fast stuff, and descends like a champ. Haven't weighed it yet, but I'd say it's around 26.5 give or take. Pretty crazy how far bike technology has come.

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