Friday, August 10, 2007

A new frame - Giant XTC Composite

With the sale of my Enduro last week it was time to get myself in gear and pick up a hardtail frame. I had been thinking about getting one for a long time as I've all the bits I need hanging around to build up a nice bike. Initially, I wanted to pick up a 2007 Specialized S-Works M5 hardtail but unfortunately, Specialized UK are out of stock in my size. I then looked at getting a Salsa Moto Rapido but having talked to the guys over in The Cycle Inn I ended up going and getting a Giant XTC Composite. It was a little overkill for what I set out to do – build a decent hardtail for training on and using over the winter and is now turning into a pretty darned good race bike. (My Epic need not worry, it's still the best bike I've ever ridden)

At 1383 grams it's a pretty light frame with seat post collar and chain stay protector

The build is mostly XTR/XT and some carbon bits with the weight around 9.4kg...

All built up and ready to go - some minor changes to come

It had been a long time since I was riding a hardtail having sold my Aluminium Stumpjumper over a year ago but after the initial hour or two getting used to being bucked around I started to really enjoy the feel of the hardtail. I think the carbon made it a lot more forgiving then the old Stumpy that I was used to.

Another piece of kit that I have really gotten to love recently is the Stans NoTubes conversion kit. I started running tubeless earlier on this year with my SLRs but recently I converted my XTR/Mavic 717 rims to tubeless too – I use them as a backup in races and some training. I've put about 400km on them so far and there has not been a single issue. Well worth the investment.

Tires that I've been using recently:
Bontrager Jones XR Tubeless Ready 2.2 - great intermediate tire, rolls really fast and are pretty light (around 600 grams) for such a large volume tire
Maxxis Crossmark LUST 2.1 - very very fast tire on dry trails, a bit sketchy on mud but fine if you drop the pressure a bit. At 705 grams each, not too light.
Hutchinson Bulldog Tubeless Light 2.1 - great in all conditions except on loose over hardpack (or road with dust/stones on it) - had a nasty spill during the 6th NPS due to the front washing out

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As an XTC C1 rider myself I was interested to hear someone elses experience. I completely agree with the comment about carbon being much more forgiviving, and I have to say this makes my Stumpy FSR seem positively sluggish in comparison.