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  1. #1
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    2% bike, 98% rider - true for MTB?

    Roadies pretty much agree with small variations, that race performance on the roadbike is something along the lines ot 2% bike/parts, 98% rider, or figures pretty close to that spec. So the guys who are beating you on the wknd on their $5000 bikes will likely beat you on a $500 roadbike with starter parts. Seems true in my experience, and seeing the range of cyclists who pass me.

    I was wondering if this was true for MTB as well, or if the bike matters more? I'm guessing it would, especially for downhill dominant races, but I wanted to hear from those who have more experience than my noobness. (Ulterior motive: intending to upgrade my steel 35lb Gary Fisher, but hesitating to pull the trigger if it won't improve my riding much.)
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  2. #2
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    Someone said "it isn't the bike , its the rider". Well they never rode my Honda Trail Pilot 44lb department store special on some technical single track.

  3. #3
    bikes are sexy Lebowski's Avatar
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    depends- you can't freeride or downhill safely or efficiently on a crappy bike or one that isn't made to do so.

    but you might get beaten on a cross country trail by a guy on a 40 pound bike
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  4. #4
    I have senior moments... bikinfool's Avatar
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    I'd say my mountain biking is about the ride itself, not whether anyone is ahead or behind me or what bike they're riding...ride what you want on what you want when you want, just enjoy it and don't worry about racer boys.
    suum quique
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  5. #5
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    you gotta reserve a percentage for the reefer.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    you gotta reserve a percentage for the reefer.
    ive heard stories of it making people ride faster/better, but whenever i ride w/ someone who just smoked they go wayyyyy slow
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  7. #7
    Zan
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    mountain bikes are more terrain-specific. a heavy built bike would suck on smooth single track, with it's huge knobby tires and heavy FS, compared to a lightweight HT with slim tires.
    -- Zan

    "Every dog needs a squeak toy."

  8. #8
    unofficial roadie DirtPedalerB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zan View Post
    mountain bikes are more terrain-specific. a heavy built bike would suck on smooth single track, with it's huge knobby tires and heavy FS, compared to a lightweight HT with slim tires.
    Zan don't you run 2.3 tires on the street??
    I only pedal uphill.

  9. #9
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    The last MTB race I entered in 1994, I was one of maybe 3 rigid riders. I'd fly by half the field on the climb and get blown away by most of them on the downhill...

    I guess the 2%/98% works, but bikes have to be approximately appropriate. I'm sure any pro on $800 XC hardtail could kill me on a $3000 XC hardtail.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  10. #10
    ed
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    Mine is 85% bike, 5% rider, and 10% belly using gravity by keeping my center of balance in check like a gyroscope.

  11. #11
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    when i switched from my 31.5 lb mtb to a 21.4 lb mtb i knocked 8 minutes off of my 4.1 mile hill climb. if a mtb race is 20 miles long that could be 40 minutes savings. is it worth it ?

  12. #12
    Generic Title ProFail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chelboed View Post
    Mine is 85% bike, 5% rider, and 10% belly using gravity by keeping my center of balance in check like a gyroscope.
    So you're always 110%?

    EDIT- Ignore me, I suck at math.
    Generic Joke

  13. #13
    ed
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProFail View Post
    So you're always 110%?

    EDIT- Ignore me, I suck at math.
    Oh yeah...I left out the 10% big freakin' nutz

  14. #14
    I have senior moments... bikinfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dervish View Post
    ive heard stories of it making people ride faster/better, but whenever i ride w/ someone who just smoked they go wayyyyy slow
    You've never hung out with a lot of top mt bike racers then...
    suum quique
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  15. #15
    Idiot felt1's Avatar
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    I lost a race by a 2% margin. So I went out and bought a bike 4% faster.

  16. #16
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    I would say 2% bike and 98% rider is pretty accurate, especially in beginner classes and the lower half of sport classes. Think of it like this, if you were to take a Ferrari and a Yugo and swap their engines, who would win a drag race? The car/bike with the bigger engine regardless of the chassis. However, when you have 2 evenly matched engines such as you'll find in the upper levels of racing the better chassis/bike becomes pretty relevant.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Smallguy's Avatar
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    I would say it holds true

    obviously some of it is more equipment dependent depending on the type of riding your doing IE a squishy bike should help you more on a dh trail and be a hinderence on smooth single track

    but I;ve met guys would cna ruide their dh bik as well as some xc guys up a trail

  18. #18
    Generic Title ProFail's Avatar
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    I'd actually say that in MTBing, the bike matters more than in road biking. It seems like it's maybe 4-5% in MTBing.
    Generic Joke

  19. #19
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    It works out to a degree but I'd like to see anyone win an XC race at any level using my >50 supermarket squishy.

  20. #20
    Fourth Degree Legend junkyard's Avatar
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    Your formula may work out within a mountain biking discipline. Comparing across different types of riding, the bike will potentially play a greater role.
    Quote Originally Posted by dminor View Post
    The caveat with a strap-on, of course, is you will have to get creative with a couple of lock cables and an anchor point

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikinfool View Post
    I'd say my mountain biking is about the ride itself, not whether anyone is ahead or behind me or what bike they're riding...ride what you want on what you want when you want, just enjoy it and don't worry about racer boys.
    Amen

  22. #22
    Fourth Degree Legend junkyard's Avatar
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    ^^^
    While I understand these sentiments, I think the OP was asking in relation to racing, in which case the context is a little different than the "I ride to enjoy nature and ****" context.
    Quote Originally Posted by dminor View Post
    The caveat with a strap-on, of course, is you will have to get creative with a couple of lock cables and an anchor point

  23. #23
    Type 1 Racer rydaddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by junkyard View Post
    Your formula may work out within a mountain biking discipline. Comparing across different types of riding, the bike will potentially play a greater role.
    I agree with this. I also think the age of the equipment matters a bit. A higher percentage goes to the bike if you compare a full rigid with friction shifters to a front susp. hardtail with index shifting.

    I think this 2% bike 98% rider does not hold true for mtb racing without a long list of 'ifs'.

  24. #24
    Zan
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtPedalerB View Post
    Zan don't you run 2.3 tires on the street??
    2.35", actually.

    no one said i was going to win any races with my bike running like that!
    -- Zan

    "Every dog needs a squeak toy."

  25. #25
    Too Much Crazy C Law's Avatar
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    25 bike/75 rider

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