It’s a question I’ve been asking for weeks: which bike for the Crusher in Tushars?
I’ve flipped and flopped on the queston like a politician.
The final choice? My mountain bike*. Slightly modified of course.
I came home from my course recon trip with wide-eyes and tired legs. If I was going to ride my cyclocross bike in this event, I’d need to make some drastic changes. As I looked into those changes, I started to hedge on my ‘cross conviction. Maybe a mountain bike was the better choice? After some conversations with several people about tire width and pressure, gear ratios, and a host of other technical details that I had previously only paid nominal attention to, I decided that I’d try to create a bike that offered the best of both worlds: stiff climbing, low gearing, wider tires, and powerful brakes. The shortest path to that was this:
Sort of. It’s much more mountain than cross. But the rigid fork and narrow(ish) tires mean efficient climbing. The disc brakes and flat bar mean confident descending. I’m pleased. It’s probable that you’ve come up with something entirely different. Or would have, if you were racing (registration closes Thursday at 11:59PM. Get in while you still can!). In the end, I went with the set-up that I’m most confident and comfortable on. Despite a lot of miles on the ‘cross bike, I was never really able to come up with a build that worked as well for me as what I have now. I have no doubt that there will be several misfit bikes on the start line. Cross. Mountain. MTCX. CXMT. Coming up with the “ideal” bike for the Crusher has been really fun. But “ideal” for me, isn’t necessarily ideal for you. Nevertheless, the entire process has been refreshingly unique.
And now? Well… now we race.
*One of the great things about being plugged into a thriving mountain bike culture is that at any given time there are several people with race-ready bikes collecting dust in the garage. I was able to find a replacement for my river bike very quickly, and at a great price.
The Crusher build:
Frame: Specialized Stumpjumper Expert Carbon.
Fork: Bontrager Carbon Switchblade.
Wheels: DT Swiss R1.1 rims laced to DT240 hubs.**
Tires: Bontrager XR1 Team Issue 1.9’s.
Brakes: Avid Elixir Disc.
**I’ve had these wheels for a long time. This race seemed the perfect time to dust them off and bring them out of retirement.
I’ve also added on more thing to the bike—a talisman that I hope will bestow upon me the super-human strength I’ll need to crush the Crusher.
Exit Question: What’s your Crusher set-up look like?