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Thread: Xc???

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    Senior Member zx108's Avatar
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    Xc???

    hello everyone,
    i am intent on gettin a rockhopper comp. i have heard from the guys at the bike shop and from here that this is a good idea for XC riding. So i just want to ask what exactly is XC, i know what freeriding is and i am not doing that. and if anyone can tell me the limitations on the rockhopper, like should i be doing a lot of drops, like 2-3 ft.

    thanks for helping the newb

  2. #2
    close to 2000 madbiker555's Avatar
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    Definition : Cross-country or XC mountain bike riding refers the type of terrain the riding is being done on and what type of ride it is. Most mountain bike trail riding is XC riding. These are rides where you usually pedal along the whole ride without lift access or shuttle and don't need any extraordinary equipment to complete the ride.

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    1/2 a binding 1/2 a brain telenick's Avatar
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    A sweeping response to your question what is XC? lies more in the understanding of frame geometries and other frame build considerations than the actual characteristics of a trail and how it is ridden.

    A XC frame will have a a few characteristics of its frame and geometry that make it ideal for XC riding.

    A XC bike's size will have the rider's saddle at a height above the BB that the rider has about a 30 degree bend in the leg at full extension. This provides the optimum efficiency for pedaling.

    A XC bike's geometry will have the chain stay at a length that is short enough to climb like a bat outta hell but still long enough for a stable high speed descent. The Rock Hopper Comp has a 16.77 inche chain stay. That's a great length for climbing and descending.

    The XC frame is light enough to provide the rider with a frame weight that begs to be pushed hard all day while building up big mileage. But it's stout enough to resist breakage. Keith Bontrager was the first frame builder to put a down tube gusset next to the head tube to strengthen the XC frame. It has remained a common element in most XC frames. Other frame types have adopted this support embelishment. Keith is a genius.

    Anyone else want to talk about head tube and seat tube angles for XC frames?

  4. #4
    1/2 a binding 1/2 a brain telenick's Avatar
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    The Rockhopper comp is a great choice for an entry level XC bike. I wish I had a hardtail to race on for some races.

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    chopsockey jo5iah's Avatar
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    Do you have an idea what trails you'd like to be riding on? Look at mtbr.com for trails in your area if you don't know any.

    3' drops should be fine on a XC bike. So should jeep trails that climb up mountains. I'm curious where people draw the line between XC and All Mountain. I generally say that I ride XC, but I ride down some scary (to me) stuff sometimes (Emma Long, in Austin, was my favorite for this).

    telenick - any thoughts on GF's "genesis" geometry?

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    Senior Member zx108's Avatar
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    yes i am also stumbling on that xc/all-mountain deference

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    Senior Member zx108's Avatar
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    i ride in nj but i also am going to be taking this bike where ever i go camping. but mostly at local trails. i like huber, alaire, and hartshore.

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    1/2 a binding 1/2 a brain telenick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zx108
    yes i am also stumbling on that xc/all-mountain deference
    That's because it has more to do with the bike and the rider than the trail. Telling someone that rides a XC hardtail bike that they shouldn't be dropping 4 foot ledges is silly. If you can do it on a xc hardtail then you can.

    I do a several 100 mile rides and race in Ultras. I ride a 24 lb. 4 inch full because I think it's the best bike for that type of riding ...for me. But I know a guy who has joined me for a few of these day rides. He rides a 42 pound trail/dh bike. He hangs all day. Aside from being impressed with his strength, I say that he rides the bike that best suits his style ...not the terrain.

    Matching a bike for terrain makes sense to a point. It also can limit ones ability to be a versitile rider. That's where I'm coming from.

  9. #9
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by telenick
    That's because it has more to do with the bike and the rider than the trail. Telling someone that rides a XC hardtail bike that they shouldn't be dropping 4 foot ledges is silly. If you can do it on a xc hardtail then you can.
    Care to tell me that I should be dropping 4 footers to flat on a XC machine?
    Just because you CAN doesn't mean that you SHOULD. All-mountain bikes tend to be built more solidly than their XC counterparts.

    All mountain bikes take most of the strength of a freeride bike and combine it with as much of the lightness of the XC bikes as possible. It would fall into my definition of a "trail" bike.
    The Rockhopper is most certainly a "trail" bike. It's built pretty beefy and should be able to handle MOST things you throw at it. It's not a XC race bike nor is it a freeride bike it falls comfortably in the middle.

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    1/2 a binding 1/2 a brain telenick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    Care to tell me that I should be dropping 4 footers to flat on a XC machine?
    Just because you CAN doesn't mean that you SHOULD. All-mountain bikes tend to be built more solidly than their XC counterparts.

    All mountain bikes take most of the strength of a freeride bike and combine it with as much of the lightness of the XC bikes as possible. It would fall into my definition of a "trail" bike.
    The Rockhopper is most certainly a "trail" bike. It's built pretty beefy and should be able to handle MOST things you throw at it. It's not a XC race bike nor is it a freeride bike it falls comfortably in the middle.

    A trail bike (by industry definition ...which is lame) would have a longer chain stay than the Rockhopper. I would say (but I dislike limiting my views of what works by way of sweeping generalizations) it's more XC than trail bike. Do you assign it the trail bike designation by way of its weight? Or is there another characteristic that you are anchored on? Do tell.

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    1/2 a binding 1/2 a brain telenick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    Care to tell me that I should be dropping 4 footers to flat on a XC machine?
    Raiyn, you should expand your horizons and learn to drop 4 feet to flat (I never said flat BTW) on a XC machine.

    Good luck and god speed.

  12. #12
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by telenick
    A trail bike (by industry definition ...which is lame) would have a longer chain stay than the Rockhopper.
    You base this off what?
    Quote Originally Posted by telenick
    Do you assign it the trail bike designation by way of its weight? Or is there another characteristic that you are anchored on? Do tell.
    Well other than the fact that the Rockhopper line uses the same frame throughout it's line and it's top fork has 130mm of travel (definitely out of the XC range) and their own write up describes it as a "trail bike". This is in opposition to the Stumpjumpers that run 80mm forks which you so wonderfully stated (in your other missive) are "standard" for XC racing. The definition of "trail bike" I gave in my earlier post is my own and self explanatory

  13. #13
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by telenick
    Raiyn, you should expand your horizons and learn to drop 4 feet to flat (I never said flat BTW) on a XC machine.

    Good luck and god speed.
    Perhaps you need to start paying for my bikes. Because I assure you I will break an XC race bike dropping 4 feet to anything

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    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Before we had the definitions of all-mountain and freeride, there was just simply XC and DH. If you only went downhill then you were riding... downhill. If you did anything else then you were riding XC. The introduction of these different delineations of riding have pushed MTBing a bit into their extremes... well then again some would argue that it's the other way around. At anyrate, XC stuff became lighter and more fragile, FR stuff became more stout and AM stuff was... an attempt to make bikes and components that was both affordable and could handle a varied set of terrain. I tend to think of all-mountain as what MTBing used to be for the masses. That is, it's a set of conditions that typically exist in a MTB environment and the riding style and equipment should be able to take them on reliably and without much issue. XC has turned into race-level (not necessarily in terms of price but in design) stuff for both the racers and the non-racers alike on terrain that promotes speed and distance over anything else. And the freeride stuff is for those that like to go out and intentionally abuse themselves and their equipment. Unlike AM, FR is generally where the boundaries are only casually considered and many times ignored so the equipment and riding abilities are usually pushed at the edges. It's experimental... a "let's see what we can do" type of riding.
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    1/2 a binding 1/2 a brain telenick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    Well other than the fact that the Rockhopper line uses the same frame throughout it's line
    Permit me to correct you.

    The frame of the Rockhopper (tube angles and lengths) changes to accomodate the different front end suspension within different models of the Rockhopper. It is therefore by definition of the most defining characteristic of a bike (the geometry) a different bike across their line.

    IOW, some of the rockhoppers are trail bikes and others are Xc bikes ...as much as I dislike the limitations of such definitions.

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    1/2 a binding 1/2 a brain telenick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    You base this off what?
    I base this off of riding professionally for Tokyo Joes and a personal career of riding mountain bikes for the last 20 years. I hope that suffices, cause I don't want to put myself in the position of debating bike geometry. I know my limitations. I also know that chain stay length makes or breaks a rippin' XC machine.

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    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by telenick
    Permit me to correct you.

    The frame of the Rockhopper (tube angles and lengths) changes to accomodate the different front end suspension within different models of the Rockhopper. It is therefore by definition of the most defining characteristic of a bike (the geometry) a different bike across their line.

    In other words, some of the rockhoppers are trail bikes and others are Xc bikes ...as much as I dislike the limitations of such definitions.
    I'll eat that one. Only due to the fact that they did in fact break tradition on the Pro Disc model by offering a different frame (noted by the ICG chain guide and the fact that though the head angle changes to 69.5 the seat angle remains 73) However I don't view the Rockhopper line as being pigeon-holed in the category of "XC bike" when there's a much better example of what a true XC rig is in the Stumpjumper.

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    :\ ping of death troie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by telenick
    I also know that chain stay length makes or breaks a rippin' XC machine.
    Longer?

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    1/2 a binding 1/2 a brain telenick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    I'll eat that one. Only due to the fact that they did in fact break tradition on the Pro Disc model by offering a different frame (noted by the ICG chain guide and the fact that though the head angle changes to 69.5 the seat angle remains 73) However I don't view the Rockhopper line as being pigeon-holed in the category of "XC bike" when there's a much better example of what a true XC rig is in the Stumpjumper.
    I agree that the Stumpy would be a much better pick for XC.

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    1/2 a binding 1/2 a brain telenick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by troie
    Longer?
    Well, now you're gonna make me waffle. I already admitted I'm not the bike geometry guru. Here it goes.

    A longer chain stay ( > 17.5" ) is gonna give you a very stable downhill ride.
    A shorter chain stay ( < 17 " ) is gonna give you very good climbing performance.

    So, if you like to ride fire roads like the fore fathers of mountain biking did a lot of when they started this whole crazy thing then go with the longish chain stay. If you want to climb crazy technical, steep then go with the shorter one. Most XC riding is characterized by the latter.

  21. #21
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Chainstay length ( I am staying out of the rest) plays a huge roll on how a bike feels. Beyond xc in the world of dh a long chainstay offers more stability at high speeds. Fr bikes use a short chainstay to make the bike more whippable and controlled as well as give the ability to lift the front easier.

    Personally, what works for me and my style is shorter chainstays, not longer.

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    Senior Member zx108's Avatar
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    well i sure learned some things but my main question remains partially un-answered. mybe this would be better. i think it would really help me if someone might be able to post some picks of an xc trail and then a more all-mountain type trail. i just dont wanna buy a 800 bike to find out i am doing riding that is not ment to be done on it.

    the trails i will be riding are mostly like this: some technical uphills, lots of logs along the trails, a bit of climbing, then downhills that include drops(no more than 3-4 feet) but a bunch of them, and rocky, sandy, and muddy terrain, and also there are some pretty steep parts of the trails.

    i am mostly concerned about doing all the drops, on some parts once you hit the ground from one drop you are off another. if this is bad for the bike, obviously, i dont wanna be doing it.

  23. #23
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    xc and all mountain are pretty dang similar. If you are smooth and comfortable and not 280 pounds you could easily get away with a xc bike.

    If you are like me, 280, not so smooth and rides really aggressively (drops etc...) then an all mountain bike is more suited.

    All mountain is a catch phrase imo. It is there so we have to deal with it, but it is no different than xc 5 years ago.

    Now xc racing is a whole different storey. Totally different kind of trails as far as I have seen on the WC circuit.

  24. #24
    1/2 a binding 1/2 a brain telenick's Avatar
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    Sounds like a candidate for a 5" travel trail bike.
    How's that for pigeon holeing myself into industry terminology ...I hate it.

    Get a Turner 5 spot and get me one too.

    Oh for Pete's sake... get the Rockhopper and stop worrying. It's gonna be awesome. It's all the yacking and no riding that's getting me irritated. Work is done for the day... time to go ride.

  25. #25
    chopsockey jo5iah's Avatar
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    Emma Long is what I'd consider the limit of XC (imho).

    http://www.xenopuselectronix.com/BikingCityPark.html (worth clicking through)
    http://www.io.com/~beckerdo/mtb/endos.html (animated endo fun)

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