Comfort vs Weight on a MTB for Endurance Racing

On my endurance XC MTB rig, I chose gp1 grips from ergon from the perspective of comfort trumping weight priorities. There are lighter grips out there, but reviews on the Ergon grips had me convinced that they would be more comfortable over the long haul and a contact point like grips on a handlebar seem like they would be important items to put a comfort priority on, especially when I race in a 6 hour endurance event in about a month.

Quick review of the Ergon GP-1 grips from an endurance racing perspective:

The ergons are good. Just did a 5 hr on my trusty 26+ lb Motolite. Grips felt good, but often I found myself wishing they had a little more padding on top. The wing on those grips is great, really absorbs the trail chatter well, but I had them at an angle previously which put my weight on the wings and found issues with it, mostly numbness in my left wrist when going downhill and gripping the bars hard. The left wrist has had a hard life. I grew up snow and skateboarding, which being a regular footed rider who always pushed the limits, yielded 4 broken left wrists by the time I was 19.
I rotated the wings back down where I wasn’t putting pressure on them so much and found it to be favorable, but wish they had a little more padding on the part that now faces up since they’ve been rotated down.

Back on blog topic.

I think when it comes to priorities, light weight tires/wheels/rotors and comfortable contact point components (seat/grips/pedals) are where I will focus most $ to get my rig more dialed in. I have done my best to prevent being too weight weenie motivated on the contact point stuff because it really needs to first be comfortable over the long haul (although I look to see which lightweight contact point components might be comfortable too 🙂 )

For saddle and pedals,I currently am running the Specialized Phenom Gel Comp…heavier, but perfect for what I need…a comfortable all day saddle.
Pedals are still a work in progress, but I like them so far…Candy SL. Will probably switch to the Eggbeater SL and swap spindles for ti eventually…still a weenie at heart. haha

For wheels, I found a guy selling Easton XC One’s for $200 on craigslist and they seem to be in great shape. ~1600g

Tires are definitely a work in progress.
I had a 2.1 DTC small block 8 (630+ g) on the rear and still use it for training rides on my crossride wheelset. Its okay. Setup tubeless definitely improves it in a number of ways (that will improve performance of most tires actually, but I have run this one for a whole season using tubes, so I am experiencing a definite, measurable difference)

I decided to use the 2.1 Specialized Renegade Sworks on the rear for racing. Great tire. Comes tubless ready and I can pump it up with no sealant with my floor pump…was flat in the morning though. Using sealant now. Its a fast rolling, high volume 2.1, but has micro knobbies and climbing out of the saddle on anything with a slope and loose over hardpack yields rear wheel spin out. Everything else is awesome. Its like a rocket on hardpack or hardpack with rocks imbedded. Accelerates quicker than anything else I’ve tried. Weighs just over a lb (455g).

I have been using the 2.4 MutanoRaptor (~600g) up front for a few years now. Its good and light for its high volume casing. The high volume helps for impact absorption as well as traction on the trail obviously. Its not the best tire, but one I have gotten used to. Any suggestions for its replacement would be welcomed. I was thinking the Rocket Ron on Specialized Fast Track LK might be good options.


Ashima AIRotors (83g claimed). Seemed to work with my Juicy brakes just fine today. Got them from…the price is too low to mention. They only had 3 available last month, so I doubt the deal is still around. They normally run $25 each and that is a inexpensive investment in reducing rotating weight (if you already have light wheels and tires that you like).

Anyway, enough about the long winded blog post, just haven’t had time to really add my experience to the blog like I wanted to, so as I recover from my ride today I figured I would get it all in. 🙂

For all my guitar friends who have subscribed or stumbled upon my blog from a google search for “timefactor switch DIY”, don’t worry, I am still playing, but realized early in 2011 that I was getting fat from playing guitar soooo much and not getting outside….its spring time!!! Go ride a bike! 🙂

About Nick

A servant and worshiper of Christ, a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a gecko breeder, a guitarist, a mountain biker, a GIS specialist.
This entry was posted in Mountain Bike, practice, Techniques, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s