How Far Have XC Mountain Bikes Developed? | GMBN Rides The Toughest Day Of The BC Bike Race
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How Far Have XC Mountain Bikes Developed? | GMBN Rides The Toughest Day Of The BC Bike Race

October 22, 2019

– Cross country riding has
come a long way since the days of fully rigid bikes and massive c tyres. The terrain that could be ridden now has become much more technical
as bikes have developed. Bikes and cross country
riders now have had to become more capable. But just how far have things evolved? (upbeat music) That’s why I’m at the B.C. Bike Race. Shimano invited me along just to see how capable a
modern mountain bike is. What? You say. The BC Bike Race? The legendary single-track multi-day cross-country stage race? Yes, but just a taster. Unfortunately, schedules
couldn’t be worked out. My fitness is getting there after my injury back in February, but I’m not quite there
for racing the whole thing. (upbeat music) (gravel crunching) (biker muffled talking) So here I am, day five, the queen’s stage. Earl’s Cove to Sechelt. Sixty kilometres of riding. 1600 metres of elevation. The ultimate single track
adventure and I can’t wait. I’m riding my Canyon
Lux, it’s been tweaked for the technical trails
here in British Columbia. Modern cross-country racing
is getting really technical, but this is next level, and big day’s out. The top riders here at the B.C. Bike Race ride
burly cross-country bikes. Bigger tyres, bigger forks,
wider bars, shorter stems. I’ve gone down from a 18 mil stem to a 60. My bars are wider, they’re now up to 760, to exactly the same as my Enduro bike. Of course one by 12 setup with the Shimano XTR drop post
over on the left hand side. I’ve got a remote lockout
on the right hand side. I’ve actually gotten
rid of the fork lockout, just running the rear one, ’cause there’s gonna be a lot
of gravel on the trails here, so I’d rather just keep the
rear lock tight for extra sort of power through the pedals,
but keep the fork nice and soft for a bit of comfort. I’m running the 2.3 Cross
King Continental tyre, so decent size, nice volume,
gonna be nice and comfortable but super fast rolling still. I’ve gone for Shimano XTR M9-100 brakes, that’s the cross-country
rather than the trail versions. It’s got that super lightweight
and stiff carbon lever and the two pot pistons. Super powerful, I don’t need that four pot power I don’t think on this bike anyway. I ordered a new air chamber
for the RockShox Sid fork to bump it up from 100 to 120 which Dotty nicely fitted for me, it took him about ten minutes to do that. So slackens the bike out a
bit and obviously gives me that bit more comfort. (upbeat music) I’m feeling stoked actually. I feel like a bit of a cheat,
I’m only doing one day, and everyone looks very tired and battered but can’t wait to get involved. I’m always nervous before a big long race. Well any race I suppose,
but I feel all right now. Piling in the food all morning. Lot of big names here. – [Announcer] Okay we are coming up to… (upbeat music) (bike clicking and clattering) – [Man] Put your claw in,
gear down, stay right. (bike clicking) (man yelling) – At the start line, Andreas Hessler, the legendary Canadian
cross-country racer, and organiser of the B.C. Bike
Race got me feeling nervous when he asked “What size
is that chain ring?” A 34, it turns out lots of the riders here were running
more like 30’s or even 28’s, but I took a look at Jeff
Kubush’s XTR-equipped Yeti SB100 and he was running a
36, pretty formidable. Actually for me it turned out fine. With a 10-51 cassette on the rear and a nice low gear. Any lower and I wouldn’t
have much used it at all. ‘Cause most of the climbing in those super slow techie
situations needed the punch to get up them. There was gear-mashing
going on all over the place. (gears crunching)
(man groaning) (gears crunching)
(man groaning) As tired minds and bodies battled the wet, gritty mud of B.C., mid bouncer kept the morale
up in the tough climbs, if you can’t find it grind it,
came from the pack of riders. And there were more
than few snapped chains, as flowy downhill corners revealed gnarly root-stepped climbs and some moving through the gears. (upbeat music) (bike clattering) (bike clicking)
(gravel crunching) The Hyperglide Plus works to
make the chain slide nicely from gear to gear. Don’t get me wrong, I was
not a well-oiled race pilot. Thumbs working overtime,
up and down gears, post up and down, as my
heart rate was maxin’. But fortunately it was smooth, so I could concentrate on the trail. I had chosen the cross-country option with the M9-100 brakes, a stiff lightweight carbon
lever, and the two-pot pistons. With 160 millimetre rotors each end was plenty powerful enough. (people chattering) (gravel crunching) (groans) Get some fruit. – [Man] Gatorade or water? – [Niel] Gatorade, thanks. It’s going good, feeling the burn a bit. Was at a really nice pace
for a while but I think, just slightly too high and I
paid the price a little bit. – [Man] Hey guys push it back. – Still 600 metres climbing to do, so it’s a decent amount left but it’s good, pretty good fun. (gravel crunching) (people chattering) (Niel laughs) I’m an expert at wily riding. (upbeat music) (bike clicking and clattering) – I feel sweet, I’m
chasing down BKXE (laughs). Right overtook me at the feed station. I’m feeling roasting hot, it’s humid but. Oh check it out. Feel that? Excuse me I’m chasing down Brian. (gravel crunching) (upbeat music) Whoa, you okay? The final ten minute
descent was incredible. But by now my shoulders and
arms have probably had more of a workout than my legs. I was happy to have 120 mil
fork and a dropper post. (man mumbling) – Yeah! Oh, wow. That was a really good
day of mountain biking. Incredible trails, like
ten minutes at the finish there was just amazing,
it’s on my GoPro’s. (GoPro beeps) In fact I can finish it now. Some of those GoPro’s gonna be so good, just proper B.C. trails. Put in day eight mountain biking.

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  1. Hand in hand XC tracks also evolved. Might be just my imagination but it seems like flat and downhill bits are getting gnarlier and gnarlier every year.

  2. It's abvious Neil is still competitive, so why doesn't he do more racing,and bring us along for the ride. 🤘

  3. U should give me a pair of maxxis minions if so u can text me or email or reply to this comment to know what size

  4. You did not adhere to your title. I clicked on the video because of the title. I can watch race videos and beautiful mountain biking footage elsewhere. You rambled on and repeated yourself about your bikes' specs unnecessarily. This video was blatantly self-indulgent. I gave you a thumbs down. Title more accurately next time. Thanks.

  5. I had a 2004 Cannondale F2000SL it was a hardtail with a headshock and 26 inch wheels. Now I have a Specialized Epic Evo with 120 in the front 100 in the back and a dropper! Lonnngggg way

  6. Love your channel, but you guys might consider upgrading to the Hero7 Black. The stabilization is a game changer. You’ll have much better shots for POV.

  7. All you see at the start of the race is every one using the orange fox forks, “Fox are the best suspension brand “

  8. Just reconsider what you fuel and hydrate yourself with.

    Fruit, sugar lollies and Gatorade are not very good for your system. XC getting more capable but still can't handle the rowdy stuff.

  9. I would argue the Kimberly round the mountain is one of the hardest XX races ( although it is only 25km) I did it and couldn’t walk for days 😂

  10. This came out great! Really fun riding with Neil for the first time ever. We both cleaned one of the hardest climbs I've ever seen, you see it a couple times where everyone is walking off to the right. Neil kicked my butt by the way!

  11. Welcome to the trails as a beginner mountain bike rider I am learning on. Neil will you be doing the B.C.Bike race next year? Loved the video good job and thanks.

  12. First new mtb (second bike from start of riding) was a fully rigid Cannondale SM 600 – Black Beauty. Rode plenty of tech up and down in Northern NM in early 90’s. Best way to learn how to climb. Now I rock it on 2017 Yeti SB6 – apart from the suspension, one of the best improvements in bike tech has been the dropper post! XC riders are mostly roadies; I get smoked by them until we hit tech then they have to get off and walk. Enduro is IMO closest to the pure mtb riding of the early days.

  13. Its weird how nobody has ever though about making tiny camera lens wipers, like the ones you have on your car windshield.

  14. I remember guys saying that Enduro was more like everyday riding when it first started than XC. "We are riding the trails we ride everyday" was a common phrase I heard. But it seems like Enduro has become more like DH used to be and DH has become insanely technical.

    At the same time I have always ridden "XC" trails and done races on those same trails. But the way courses are set up for most XC races in Colorado, you do 1 big loop of 15-25 miles. It was intriguing to me that nationals was in Winter Park this past weekend and they did loops of a 5 mile course. Which is a little disappoining because WP has over 300 miles of trails! I know the shorter course is more spectator friendly but it isn't anything like to other races I have done there or anywhere else in CO. So I guess for me, in CO XC is the every day sport that Enduro was claiming to be.

    I'm not saying one is better than another, just finding the claims that one is more "everyday" riding than another amusing. I imagine, if I lived in Winter Park, I would do DH a lot more and that would be "everyday riding." Or maybe go on on the Enduro course everyday. Or go on long rides on the 300 miles of "XC" trails everyday.

    They are all challenging in their own right and whatever types of trails you have in your backyard, just ride them and don't worry about what the internet says is the cool new thing.

  15. You guys should try the Bulgarian XC race Vitosha100
    It is a 100km race around and trought mount Vitosha it is quite hard 2 day 1 stint mud everywhere and around 1300 bikers every year check it out

  16. Yeeeaaaa sig sey yu guy NILS is ryalment nice the Crossmountain bike. Saluds of the Santig of Chile 🇨🇱 nice day saluds tods the guy's rider's.yeaaaa ♥️ epesialment the GMBN chou yeaaaa sig sey yeeeaaa in yuor paid yeeeaaaa.

  17. Terrible subject line designed for click bait. . This had nothing to do with how far xc bikes have come. It was a race report and an advertisement for the bike they gave you.

  18. When I started out mountain biking there were just bike's and ummm eeer trails in the mountains. The industry's constant relabelling of bike's is what's changed ! Just ride …

  19. Could you do a video with entrylevel (1000 dollar mark) hardtails and what they are capable of? With for example 100mm travel up front and no dropper post. I own such a bike and would like to see how hard can you ride them 😎👌

  20. Neil, I saw you out there in BC. What a beautiful place and a head rush to ride. I did the whole week. EPIC..! I was riding 130mm travel awsome

  21. Those retarded ppl that do not know how to change gears, cannot read the terain and they do it in worst time in biggest load, my GOD … and they ride BC bike race … sight! (that was my evil side writing)
    Wau nice video and thanks for the footage and everything! Lets go GMBN!

  22. My 2015 Marin XM9 carbon is meant to be a 'Trail' bike but it feels like a full downhill bike compared to the full rigid Kona days from 20years ago 😂

  23. So next year is Blake on his scout with Neil on his full sus both doing the entire 7 days? Yes, I think yes.

  24. you tube will tell you everything you need to know… don't try anything yourselves and make sure you aren't comfortable on your bike but what everyone else tells you is best..

  25. The GMBN content just gets better and better. Great riding and production. Brian (BKXC) was an added bonus. assume you kicked Paul the Punters butt as well 😉

  26. I was wondering if Brian was going to be in the video at all, and great to see him!!

    thanks to you both for putting out great content of riding trails and events!

  27. By seeing Neil's face down to the neck @8:22 you can really tell that those mud guard was really functional lol. 😉😁😁

  28. Just spent a week in Morzine on my Giant Anthem, took it all in its stride! Wasn't any massive air but still, felt great.

  29. The irony of a paid promotion video, presumably from Canyon, Shimano, both or other manufacturers about MTB evolution.

    Because they ALWAYS have our best interests at heart right? 😉

  30. If you guys want to see what UK XCO racing has become, check out I can see a Blake and Neil head to head in September!!

  31. I have a Scott Genius MC10 from 2005/6. The first fully suspended bike to win the Worlds XC Champs ridden by Thomas Frischknect. It has handlebar mounted three position lockout on the rear and handlebar mounted fork lockout. Carbon front end and Alu back end. This bike must have seemed like a flying saucer 15 , yes 15 years ago… that's prehistory in the rapidly evolving MTB design scale. I love that bike and it keeps going strong. I keep expecting it to suffer terminal damage as I thrash it everywhere and that would give me an excuse to upgrade but it shrugs it off. I've added a dropper post but I won't upgrade until it falls in a heap. It's a design classic and I've dusted off many a rider on their spanky new steeds. I think its about the rider not the bike a lot of the time , just get out there dude

  32. Don't you just love it when the camera man has an enduro bike with a pike, and when is BKXC joining the GMBN team?

  33. Finally!!!
    It seems that every channel about mtb its only about Enduro and All Mountain, nice to see this video.
    Been just three years myself racing XC and I can tell you guys that is going harder, in my area usually the end of the race is on Enduro or DH tracks, more steeper and technical climbs.

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