Långa Billingeracet

In some way this is my favorite XC Marathon race. It got great atmosphere, many friends, awesome climbs and some beautiful flowy trails. Went down to Skövde yesterday with my teammate John and Mattias to stay at my sister 🙂 1st class.

Not even 5min riding to the start this morning which was perfect but maybe not the warm-up you needed 😉

It all started with a asphaltclimb that went into the forest halfway and I tried to take it a bit easy. Here was also the first time I noticed my easiest gear 34-36 wasn’t working at all. 34-32 as easiest for the rest. Felt good in the beginning except I didn’t have to power on the flat gravelsections or the gearing. Tried to hang on some groups but dropped a bit, got back up when it was going uphill 😉

The trails in Öglunda was amazing and my bike felt really good. The Fox fork works like a dream and I really like the geometry of my bike (and weight). The gravelclimb up after Öglunda went really good with a good flow 🙂

Up on Billingen I got a new bottle from my sister and then it came a really long singletrack part, was a bit hard on my hardtail. Down on the other side on some gravelroads and some great green singletrack felt nice.

Then the longest part, the singletrack section including some crocodiletracks :p which takes a lot of energy without any rest. Started to feel my back and after 57km it started to hurt. Was riding slow (according to a friend I rode with for a while) and a lot of stretching so dropped from some groups.

Finally the end came, 2 climbs which went much better than I hoped for with my back. 8kg bike makes difference and on the first climb I rode with 34-28 gearing and it felt great passing a couple of riders too. A bit singletrack down and some asphalt before the last climb, Strupen. Knew how it was but didn’t remember it got steeper and steeper. 34-32 in the end and standing up trying to have grip and passed some more riders.

It all ended in a small spring with me and a guy riding in a different class so I let him win 😉

Finished 34th in my category and 127th overall. 3h31min so 19min better than my earlier record 😀 Really tired but satisfied.

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Here you can see who’s the fastest :p

And Mattias who never been riding so far rode 5min faster than me:

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Like Benny Andersson said, a hardtail wasn’t perfect for the course. But I couldn’t have asked for more fun on my Specialized Epic HT, really nice with a SWATbox too so I didn’t have to carry a spare tube and pump in my jersey:

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Always improvements to make but as this bike is what I want to have I have to make the improvements on my body instead 😉

Map and stats: Strava

Emil Lindgren and Jennie Stenerhag won!

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Berk barcombo

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Finally it arrived, the 2nd part ordered for my Epic. The barcombo made by Berk Composites. 720mm wide with a 80mm stem:

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Saved almost 200g compared to the bar and stem I borrowed and the bike should be under 8kg even with heavy Candy pedals 😀

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Looks pretty fat with 38mm wide flat stem too, almost like a Syntace Flatforce but lighter and with a smaller angle.

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The front matches the rear 😀

Le Peloton #147

Like an Alfa Romeo 😉 Flashing morning with some guys:

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2 groups today, one Kangas group and one for the rest of us. I was unsure if I would ride the CX or roadloop as it snowed yesterday evening so took my Sequoia. Everyone rode the roadloop so keeping up with my 11kg Sequoia was hard, but did alright in our 2nd group and felt like some good training 🙂

Map and stats: Strava

And after work I took out this beauty, think we will be good friends 😀

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The Blue Lightning! a.k.a Specialized Epic HT

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With a borrowed stem and handlebar I finally could start my build today. Have been looking forward to this since first parts was ordered in November 🙂 My budget simple hardtail ended with getting the lightest mtb at work and start racing again. I’m a fan of innovation like the new style XC geometry with a bit slacker headangle while keeping it fast, Boost and of course I want a good damping fork. Wanted to build a light bike without the extra things you don’t really need like a super big cassette. Love the custom features of a Specialized S-Works crank (like Cannondale Hollowgram) and always dreamt of a set of Avid XX WC brakes.

My favorite color is blue.

It ended like this (just need to set up the right saddle height):

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A black and blue Specialized Epic HT with a Fox 32 Stepcast fork. Sram 1×10 Sram X0 drivetrain with an S-Works crank with oval Garbaruk chainring.

Black and Blue as bottom and with some silver parts to lighten it up.

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Pretty stoked over how it looks. And with a really heavy handlebar and just a plain stem I thought it would end up at 8,2kg.

But it is: 8,10kg 😀

Blue Lightning #6

The 2nd part I ordered for my bike was a fork. Thought of getting a new Rock Shox SID WC but when I saw real weights and price I went for a Fox 32 Step Cast instead, lighter and cheaper 🙂

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Got some new matching stickers too, maybe the part in this build I’m most excited about. Really love how they shaved of weight and optimized.

So what about weight, Fox say 1,38kg and R2-bike confirmed. Out of the box it was 1399g, cut in right length with a starnut and axle it’s a bit lighter 😀

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Fox vs. Rock Shox

MTB gets bigger and heavier, more travel, more gears with a single chainring, levers for everything. Rock Shox came with their RS-1 which is heavier than a SID but they said it would be better…

This year Rock Shox came with a new SID, with Chargerdamper and at superlow 1366g for a regular RLC:

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Looks like a Rock Shox fork, but is improved in every way and seems like the perfect weightweenie fork when you want damping that works.

Fox did the same, they improved. I’m more impressed over that as Fox never been as light as SID. Their new 32 SC(Step Cast):

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Both brands cut of material on the lower legs but you see the difference more on the Fox as they also decreased the width. Both cut of the innerlegs a bit and made it to 100mm only, no 120mm and such AMstyle, pure XC.

1380g incl axle for the Fox according to R2:

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The big question is:

Which one should I get for my weightweenie XC project for 2017?