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observations from racing a mtb longtail conversion

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  • A
    Not sure how many of you are interested but the other night decided to race the ute at one of our shortcourse twilight mtb meets. It was one sprint lap of a
    Message 1 of 6 , Dec 19, 2011
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      Not sure how many of you are interested but the other night decided to race the 'ute' at one of our shortcourse twilight mtb meets. 

      It was one sprint lap of a very technical, rocky and sometimes steep 7 km course. It  mainly singletrack with a few switchback sections. The bike is an alloy mtb frame, salsa chromoly fork and xtracycle unit. I swapped the big apples for a 2.1 maxxis ignitor on the rear and a 2.35 specialized all mountain knobby on the front. I rode to the race for a good solid warmup  also took the freeloaders and racks out to lighten it up (a touch).

      Anyway hear a few of my observations / tips

      • run air pressures pretty low to increase grip
      • run big bag tyres for better compliance and a little suspension
      • get up the front of the pack because its a sluggish start
      • on rocky sections the longer chain can start oscillating and throw the chain off the ring
      • (also high cadence pedalling on the trail and sudden coast can do the same thing)
      • be tactical with gear selections, as there is a slightly longer delay in shifting and you might be battling extreme chain flap
      • the beast seems to climb ok but grip is diminished because of less weight over rear wheel
      • caution rolling over rocky mounds as longer wheel base can lower bottom bracket height / bash rings
      • longer wheel base seems to handle roll off ledge sections a bit better - like normally i have to hang over the back wheel (altho note above caution about pedal and chainring clearance)
      • corner entry / apex needs adjustment, wide entry on switch back and hover on seat / hold higher gear to keep grip on uphill versions
      • deore level v brakes are ok but need applying a bit sooner
      • the long tail will do spectacular sliding skids into flat open corners
      • caution of chain slap when running knobbies - the chain (especially when running high on the cluster / chainline closer to the rear wheel) can catch on the tyre and inadvertantly get lifted / thrown
      • try and be smoother in general (as a result of above factors seems to be more put pressure/ leverage on the chain)


      Anyway i made it 4/5 off the way round before snapping the chain and running the bike to the finish. 

      regardless of the result it got lots of attention and questions from all the other spectators and competitors, so I guess its a win for the awareness of the versatility of the  longtail. All in all a very interesting experience.

      (PS Will let you know how it compares when i finish building full xt / disc equipped surly BD ?!?!) 

      Andy



    • TIM_H
      Sounds like a riot with a longtail! I sure wish we could have seen your race on video,that would have been interesting.Maybe next time,he he Thanks for the
      Message 2 of 6 , Dec 20, 2011
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        Sounds like a riot with a longtail! I sure wish we could have seen your race on video,that would have been interesting.Maybe next time,he he Thanks for the pointers.

        Tim

        --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "A" <andyboote@...> wrote:
        >
        > Not sure how many of you are interested but the other night decided to
        > race the 'ute' at one of our shortcourse twilight mtb meets.
        > It was one sprint lap of a very technical, rocky and sometimes steep 7
        > km course. It mainly singletrack with a few switchback sections. The
        > bike is an alloy mtb frame, salsa chromoly fork and xtracycle unit. I
        > swapped the big apples for a 2.1 maxxis ignitor on the rear and a 2.35
        > specialized all mountain knobby on the front. I rode to the race for a
        > good solid warmup also took the freeloaders and racks out to lighten it
        > up (a touch).
        > Anyway hear a few of my observations / tips
        >
        > * run air pressures pretty low to increase grip
        > * run big bag tyres for better compliance and a little suspension
        > * get up the front of the pack because its a sluggish start
        > * on rocky sections the longer chain can start oscillating and throw
        > the chain off the ring
        > * (also high cadence pedalling on the trail and sudden coast can do
        > the same thing)
        > * be tactical with gear selections, as there is a slightly longer
        > delay in shifting and you might be battling extreme chain flap
        > * the beast seems to climb ok but grip is diminished because of less
        > weight over rear wheel
        > * caution rolling over rocky mounds as longer wheel base can lower
        > bottom bracket height / bash rings
        > * longer wheel base seems to handle roll off ledge sections a bit
        > better - like normally i have to hang over the back wheel (altho note
        > above caution about pedal and chainring clearance)
        > * corner entry / apex needs adjustment, wide entry on switch back and
        > hover on seat / hold higher gear to keep grip on uphill versions
        > * deore level v brakes are ok but need applying a bit sooner
        > * the long tail will do spectacular sliding skids into flat open
        > corners
        > * caution of chain slap when running knobbies - the chain (especially
        > when running high on the cluster / chainline closer to the rear wheel)
        > can catch on the tyre and inadvertantly get lifted / thrown
        > * try and be smoother in general (as a result of above factors seems
        > to be more put pressure/ leverage on the chain)
        >
        >
        > Anyway i made it 4/5 off the way round before snapping the chain and
        > running the bike to the finish.
        > regardless of the result it got lots of attention and questions from all
        > the other spectators and competitors, so I guess its a win for the
        > awareness of the versatility of the longtail. All in all a very
        > interesting experience.
        > (PS Will let you know how it compares when i finish building full xt /
        > disc equipped surly BD ?!?!)
        > Andy
        >
      • Bruce Alan Wilson
        I once saw--but I can t find now--a YouTube video of someone using a Big Dummy for Cyclocross. Not something I d recommend, but he seemed to be keeping up
        Message 3 of 6 , Dec 21, 2011
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          I once saw--but I can't find now--a YouTube video of someone using a Big Dummy for Cyclocross.  Not something I'd recommend, but he seemed to be keeping up pretty good.
           
          The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man.  Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish.  Only the bicycle remains pure in heart.  ~Iris Murdoch, The Red and the Green
        • sams_aqmail
          Here is some video of my friend Sam H and I racing CX on my old X. I HIGHLY recommend this. It was great and the X handled beautifully!
          Message 4 of 6 , Dec 21, 2011
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            Here is some video of my friend Sam H and I racing CX on my old X. I HIGHLY recommend this. It was great and the X handled beautifully!

            http://vimeo.com/22680943


            --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Bruce Alan Wilson" <bruce_alan_wilson@...> wrote:
            >
            > I once saw--but I can't find now--a YouTube video of someone using a Big Dummy for Cyclocross. Not something I'd recommend, but he seemed to be keeping up pretty good.
            >
            > Bruce Alan Wilson
            > http://www.wvdemolay.org/
            > http://main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/Bruce_Alan_Wilson_2011
            >
            > The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart. ~Iris Murdoch, The Red and the Green
            >
          • Liz W Durham
            Awesome! Thanks for sharing.
            Message 5 of 6 , Dec 21, 2011
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              Awesome! Thanks for sharing.

              On Dec 21, 2011 1:20 PM, "sams_aqmail" <bznbybike@...> wrote:
               

              Here is some video of my friend Sam H and I racing CX on my old X. I HIGHLY recommend this. It was great and the X handled beautifully!

              http://vimeo.com/22680943

              --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Bruce Alan Wilson" <bruce_alan_wilson@...> wrote:
              >
              > I once saw--but I can't find now--a YouTube video of someone using a Big Dummy for Cyclocross. Not something I'd recommend, but he seemed to be keeping up pretty good.
              >
              > Bruce Alan Wilson
              > http://www.wvdemolay.org/
              > http://main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/Bruce_Alan_Wilson_2011
              >
              > The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart. ~Iris Murdoch, The Red and the Green
              >

            • Andrew Kreps
              ... That right there, is my favorite part. :) During the wet season here, I can do that just about anywhere, anytime. The more leaves the better.
              Message 6 of 6 , Dec 28, 2011
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                On Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 19:08, A <andyboote@...> wrote:
                • the long tail will do spectacular sliding skids into flat open corners

                That right there, is my favorite part.  :)  During the wet season here, I can do that just about anywhere, anytime.  The more leaves the better.


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