Is Your XC Bike This Fun to Ride?

Apr 26, 2012 at 21:23
by Rocky Mountain Bicycles  

Most mountain bikers aren’t lucky enough to have a stable of bikes to choose from on any given day. Most mountain bikers aren’t blessed with places to shuttle a freeride or downhill bike. As professional freeriders and North Vancouver residents, Wade Simmons and Thomas Vanderham are lucky enough to have a range of bikes to pick from and certainly do not suffer from a lack of shuttle terrain at their doorstep.
Views: 91,323    Faves: 1,357    Comments: 81

Wade and Thomas, who at the mere mention of their names, conjure up images of massive whips, drops, and rugged lines in the minds of most, ride almost every day. Not for photo shoots, video shoots, or even cruising to the coffee shop, but simply because they are addicted to the sport. None of this should be too surprising, however you might be surprised to learn which bike in their respective envy-inducing garages gets pulled out the most – their cross country bike.


To the all-mountain or gravity rider, the term “cross-country” is tainted with all sorts of connotations like spandex, steep geometry, lame tires, six inch brake rotors and even the abhorrent bar-ends. The truth is that the vast majority of mountain bikers are cross country riders and they come in all shapes, sizes, preferences, and ability levels. Since most riders fall into this category, there’s a huge range of bikes to pick from. 100mm travel, 120mm travel, aluminum, carbon, steep, slack...the list goes on.


With the trickle down of gravity geometry and bike setup into the cross country realm, the bikes are becoming more capable than ever. The extreme gram counting of years past has given way to putting weight where it matters. Riser bars, short stems, 7” rotors and meaty tires can now be found on 25lb cross country bikes and what a difference it makes to the ride quality. As Thomas and Wade will attest to, there’s a new generation of carbon frames which are lighter and stiffer than their aluminum predecessors, and they are tougher than you’d ever imagine.


Most of us will probably never ride a cross country bike with as much skill and style as Thomas and Wade, but watching them ride theirs shows us that it’s not the bike that’s holding us back.


Created by Matt Dennison
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246 Comments

  • + 128
 Hahahaha "what do you think about this one Thomas?" "Should probably save something for next ride..."
  • - 41
 'Yes' is the answer to the question in the title of this article. I thought that's what xc was - going up and down. I mean, I wouldn't hit that last drop, but that's only because I'm not good enough to hit that on a big bike either. If we are pointing out that these full suspension bicycles have 100mm of travel, might as well point out that people do drops twice as large on dirt jumpers - with stiffffffff front only suspension. It kind of bothers me that Rocky Mountain doesn't condone using your bicycle for that kind of stuff because I do do that sort of stuff on my xc bike.
  • + 36
 Video is not about how much sus they have though. Stuff like the killswitch and the double (FR bikes) are 100m travel. It is about how strong the components (the frame in particular) are/is
  • - 33
 Right but I mean, I am using a 2000 enduro with a 18 (used to be 27 speeds until the big ring got a chip and I just left a replacement chainguard on there). In other words, I am using a frame like that and components like that. It just happens that I don't have as much money for bikes as they do (since theirs are free), so my bike weighs 31 pounds instead of 25. So again, my answer is 'yes'. And the real question should be as stated below by sethius "so will rocky warranty our xc bikes if we ride them like this?"

The answer of course is no, but that should be scoffed at. If the bikes can handle this type of stuff, why shouldn't they warranty it?
  • + 24
 Because you are not riding perfectly smooth and needle threading lines like Vanderham or Simmons (nor am I). What they are saying is don't go be a goon on your XC bike and try to ride it like a freeride bike and expect them to warranty your frame when it cracks because of rider error.
  • - 23
 replacing a frame is cheaper than buying a whole new bike. I guess I am a goon. This article is awesome.
  • + 13
 I'm still going to warranty my 12' enduro carbon =P stress fracture after one super D race, frame was brand new.
  • + 10
 well that seems fair.
  • + 33
 this ridding is awesome! the only problem is these two legends ride FOR rocky, which means if they break the frame, they walk into rocky HQ and get everyone around for the story, have a good laugh and grab another one. If i break one, the last think id be doing is laughing, because id have to BUY another one.
  • - 17
 HT frames are cheap. You could destroy several XC AL craigslist frames before approaching a (new) FR frame ticket. Advantage to the big-ticket FR frame? YOU WONT BE STRANDED.
  • + 55
 A lot of people really underestimate what their bike is capable of. The funny thing is theyll then go and buy another £2000+ bike instead of just riding the one theyve got until it breaks (if it ever does). Ahh consumerism...
  • + 19
 a bike called XC is not built to do little jumps and hops?... I am sure many of you have been doing stuff like that for years on all sorts of bikes,if you can ride you can ride anything, and anything is breakable with time,bad luck etc, but that kind of riding is what i would call normal use for a XC bike, but if the shop/wtee say "oooo not on this bike", i´d leave it in the shop.....
i accept things breaking, but your life depends of your bike not falling apart if you hit a bump, just how much confidence can you have in that kind of sales pitch?


Enjoyed the vid, nice riding-well filmed!
  • + 19
 i am riding the megavalanche this year again .. and the participants bike choice is widely spread.. 40%DH 40%AM 20%XC and even some hardtails..
they all come down eventually,, maybe not in the same time but still..
i see peeps ride shit on XC bikes where the DH dudes are walking.. its truly funny to see that it is not the bike but the rider !
sure your XC bike will be less happy with the terrain than a DH bike will be.. but eventually.. your bike will not live your entire life..
unless you use your DH bike for commuting lol
  • + 17
 In fairness to the manufacture, if they want to make a frame lighter and more competitive at a price point for XC than the freeride frame, obviously strength has to go down. That's why a pro DH biker has a DH bike rather than an XC.
As a consumer you have the option to buy a bike suited to your riding style and the warranty will back that up (I know Specialized have honored the lifetime Warrenty for me).
However the frame is made for the 95 percentile to do that type of riding, so chances are you won't break the frame doing bigger things then the warrenty entitles you to, but eventually you will (if trying hard enough) will get a line wrong and do some damage. Having said that, if you tell the shop you where doing something within the scope of the warranty what are they going to do? Pull out CCTV footage of you hucking it?
Just use your common sense, a lot of consumers are not amazingly smooth riders like these and so doing this would need a stronger frame, is it the manufactures fault the consumer bought the wrong bike when the option to buy a stronger frame for the same price (just that it's heavier) was available?
If they offered a warranty on an XC frame everyone would get one as it's lighter, do silly things, break them, and one of two things happens. The manufacture losses money as they hand out 5 frames to every customer (goes out of business), or the design changes to be stronger and heavier, and the real XC boys get upset the frame is too slow, as it built too heavy for it's intended use.
  • + 2
 as u do! or did at least. hah haWink
  • + 1
 Yep, very true, haha Smile
  • + 3
 It's all about evolution. Not long ago carbon cranks were suspect, now.... Same with frames etc..RM makes world class bikes. This illustrates it.
  • + 11
 lol mad respect to anyone taking hits on short travel regardless of what your doing to the bike, i say...beat the shit out of the bike! never ride with concern for your frame or components, thats what money and tools are for. plus, i remember when i was a kid taking my old rigid trek off the biggest wall i could find. that's where most of us fell in love with mountain biking and i think we all need to hold onto that a bit. granted im riding a 130mm bike now but i try to be just about as irresponsible as i was when i was 8 and it serves me well!
  • + 1
 That's why you buy a frame with a lifetime warranty, there's a certain peace of mind that's quite invaluable that comes with it.
  • - 3
 carbon cranks are still suspect.
  • + 4
 It goes to show its definitely the rider and not the bike. I have ridden Snowdon on my 100mm hardtail, yet see people on much less challenging trails, and much more expensive full-suspension bikes, baulking at small steps. It is nice to see some guys who can actually ride their XC bikes to the limits of the bike, not the rider.
  • + 4
 ive ridden my '96 stumpjumper fs on some north shore, and after 16 years, still all original parts Big Grin
  • + 5
 I-am-John
I agree with you 100%. I am slowly changing my mind about "needing" a new bike with a little more travel and slacker HA. As my skills go up, I am finding my my bike is handling everything I am capable of, and after seeing these fellas, it will also handle the drops and jumps that I am working my way up to. Once I get to that point, than I can evaluate my need for a new bike.
  • + 4
 ive rode my xc bike at whistler for at least two years now and ive kept up fine with all my pals on their dh bikes haha and it sure is a blast to flick around a bike like this on A-line Big Grin
  • + 3
 meh, I say get an all mountain bike and hit everything going and still be able to climb up afterwards. sure its not for all, but theres a world of bikes out there, the perfect one for you is kicking about somewhere.
  • + 3
 I can give personal testimony to why they shouldn't warranty xc bikes for rides like this. When I first arrived in Canada, I bought a 2006 Stumpy. I rode it on the shore, and kept blowing out the shock because I didn't really know how to ride trails like that. I was landing hard on everything, missing trannys, making bad line choices etc. I thought about the damage I must be doing to the frame, sold the bike and bought a Reign X1. Now, 5 years later, I am a much better rider, and I am sure I could ride the trails without doing serious damage to an xc bike.
Problem is the manufacturer only has your word about where, and how well you are riding it, so they have to set their guidelines based on the lowest skill level (me 5 years ago).
  • + 1
 Awesome vid/article. Challenges our paradigms and personal biases a bit--as well as our egos. I say that we need such challenges.

thanks wade and T-van
  • + 3
 Looks like you did a little hop and a manual, sorry you voided the warranty.
  • + 1
 yacommented man 2008 x1!!! I still beat the hell out of mine!!!
  • + 4
 I like how they say those are xc bikes.... those things had 140mm forks lol thats what i call all mountain in my neighborhood
  • + 1
 cyberhawk, i know someone who rides a dh bike for communting, i understand though its a 2011 saracen
  • + 1
 That's good to know duck-slap as I'm off to whistler for the first time this year and can't wait to hit the A-line.....but on an XC......all I can say is Awesome!!
  • + 1
 It's all about how the bike is set up i guess
  • + 2
 blah blah blah, go ride you bikes already, xc, dh, whatever, just go send it and stop arguing!
  • + 1
 @ samuelity It's about how you ride. My "XC" bike is a Specialized SX but sometimes I downhill my 24" NS Suburban (one brake) for shits and giggles, and people are always surprised at how much I can ride. It's actually a lot of fun!
  • + 1
 I think its a safe bet that nobody likes Vtwintips....
  • + 1
 @ dingo-dave Yeah i never thought of it that way. I guess your right
  • + 1
 @ finnrambo I don't have anything against him...
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  • + 39
 so will rocky warranty our Xc bikes if we ride them like this? Wink
  • + 2
 i ride my altitude like this rocky is good for warranting stuff. so hack your way thru.
  • + 26
 Do you think you can ride like this? Big Grin
  • + 4
 Just tell Rocky Mountain they warranted Vanderham's and Wade's, why not yours?
  • + 1
 @ dirtworks911 : I hope that R.M. is going to contact you for this good statement !
  • + 1
 hmmm, not the sort of thing you want to comment on a rocky video @kevabear Wink
  • + 1
 @jumpbikehames I'm good with the rep its all good.
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  • + 28
 Thank you PB... that article is a huge step towards "cleansing" MTB from roadie burden. All quasi roadies calling their fireroad racing XC can just gyeeeet out!
  • + 11
 I'd love to see the reaction of those fireroad XC racers whose biggest concern is their heart rate while riding uphill, and shaving off an extra 10 grams with nylon cable guides. lol
  • + 10
 What's even better is those magazines adressed at "XCers" and roadies at the same time, usualy old ones started back in the days by some roadie who happens to be MTB interested. Bloody "Show up at Garda festival" mob.

Those pictures there, their "test riders" who have this tough face when shot on fire road or asphalt - Yea I'm rippin the straight! But as soon as they test some mid-travel bike and have photo shoot on something slightly technical, they have this face expression being a mix of fear and confusion: "did I leave the gas on?".

And the texts are even lamer: "to sum up the bike has a nice snappy handling but it is a bit on the heavy side - 13,5kg, we can definitely feel it on uphills". Freaking half of the magazine is about heart rate and supplements, which would't be bad if they haven't be like "cherries - the magic remedy for lactic acid?"
  • + 3
 Hahahaha, you forgot the white spandex kit.
  • + 4
 how true, the sad part is they want to see the trails more suited for checking hr's and hill repeats... it's a constant battle to get tech trails built in my neck of the woods...
  • + 1
 That is the group that bought the original 29ers. Now we all have to adjust as more legitimate riders start talking them up. . .
  • + 6
 yea it will be embarassing this year to hear commentators on that olympic track calling this mountain biking. But well South Africas WC track was a great step forward! Congrats to those involved for making it the way it is.
  • + 6
 When the BC Bike Race came through our town last year, it was entertaining to see all the pseudo-roadie XC bikes with their semi-slick tires, long-ass stems, little-to-no travel. I won't lie, the bikes were mostly brand-new, top of the line, and beautiful. But the track was tech and ate those bikes alive, so I have a feeling the bikes will be much different this year. But that's what mountain biking should be like I think!
  • + 1
 You guys forgot to take your orange shift indicators out to save some weightWink But on a serious note Wade still shreds. Definitely my idol coming into the freeride world. Bought a RM7 because of it and put some abuse to that thing till it cracked. Still love throwing in Disorder 3...one of my favorites to date...
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  • + 17
 SHORT TRAVEL SWAG!
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  • + 12
 Sure you can beat on it for a few days, or weeks. The whole point is this type of riding in the vid can't and guaranteed won't ever last to months or years of abuse like this. I have an old Stuntjumper from the mid 90's (first gen for V brakes) and it rapes pretty consistently on stuff it shouldn't, but it also sees a beat down probably once every year or two.

Not saying these bikes are bad, but it's just like everything else in the bike world. These aren't Karpiel Armageddons that Bender hucks off the Jaw drop 3 times on the same bike, these are ride extremely hard for awhile and replace, or, ride in it's catagory for a few years and be happy. The harder you bear on modern light bikes the faster they will fail.

Even M9 Intense's are fragile as glass when you give it a proper 90's plow bike beating for a year straight.

I just wish some of these companies stepped back from their light trendy stuff, and made a true carbon bike in each catagory that can literally take insane beatings day in and out for 2-10 years. The first company to make a bike last longer than a 2nd Tomac, or a 1st gen Armageddon takes the win in my book for DH, and the first company that puts a 5 year warrenty on a carbon XC bike with no questions asked gets the cake in this realm. Soooo in other words, let's start seeing some insane NO QUESTIONS ASKED warrenties.
  • + 1
 I couldn't agree more. I used to shred on an Ironhorse Azure, and it was an awesome bike. I beat the hell out of it for about three years, and loved it cause I didn't need a truck or a lift to shuttle me back to the top. They all have limits though, and I found that a few months back with a cracked top tube. NOT a hucking bike, but they will be fun till the last hit.
  • + 0
 rffr - it's all a matter of skills, not of the bikes durability... I'm sure these guys could have those bikes ridden like this for years. I think the point of that vid was to open some people's minds. If you think about it, you will find that even a full on XC racing bike can be used in a waaaaay more kinds of riding that a DH racer. In fact XC racing frames have a sweet geometry for aggressive trail riding when only coped with a shorter stem, wider bars and fatter tyres - way better than this "nu school" HT, where most users put a bigger fork on to compensate for lack of skill more than for ability to go faster.
  • + 8
 It's true these guys were landing on every smooth line perfectly in the video, but I am willing to bet there are plenty of less perfect lines edited out there. I'm sure these rigs wouldn't survive that for too long even under these guys simply because of those times not on the smooth and small bumps. That said, it also shows that most of us don't need the bikes we choose. We buy based on what we want to be instead of what we actually are. I could probably be happy on a slack 4" as long as it was tough, instead I've got 6-7 inches to play with so I can feel cool.
That is my 2 cents.
  • + 2
 Yea it always crack me up - people complaining on 29ers but at the same time it's all fine with DH-bike on A-Line kind of track, and chilled trail riding with 6" bike just to sit on ass on bumps.
  • + 5
 I've been saying it for a while. In an awful lot of "DH" VOD, the tracks are so smooth they're basically fireroads with berms. I bet that O-ring on their stanchion never gets higher than 5" of travel. On the other hand you get guys like Kabbani/Lopes/Simmons and the such who absolutely destroy everything on "short" travel bikes.

I guess it's kinda like cars. It's cool to buy expensive race cars but most people drive them within speed limits anyway.
  • + 3
 @PLC07 When it comes down to it, you can take any bike down any kind of trail if you really wanted to. There is a lot more to a DH bike than just more travel. It's a completely different ride experience versus an XC bike, no matter what speed you are going at or how smooth the trail is. The same holds true for your car analogy.
  • + 2
 I rode my short travel old school mountain bike (K2 ProFlex 4000) for years on stuff it had no right being on. 6' drops were not that uncommon, and I even did a few at 9'. Truth be told, the frame survived amazingly well. The linkage fork was a different story. All in all, if you ride smooth you can do some pretty big stuff on most any bike.
  • + 7
 @gamblor It's true that a 69HA will never feel like a 63HA but recently there are a lot of am/xc bikes that are made which geos that look a lot like dh bikes. I often see people with dh rigs saying the rig feels awesome but when you take a closer look their springs are so stiff they only use 6.5" of fork travel on heavy nose dives and their frame is so old the HA is a lot closer to modern AM bikes than DH sleds. Why not go with an am rig that is 13 pounds lighter and could climb the fireroad with instead of having to walk it up? Sometimes I feel people are buying a style more than the most effective tool for the task at hand. Dh bikes are worth it if you push them to the limit but I feel a lot of people could ride bikes that are a better fit for them.

You could always buy a veyron to go to the grocery store but a yaris would do the same job, would be like 1.5M cheaper and you'd have more cargo space but if you prefere the veyron, knock yourself out... But you wont get much out of those high end characteristics driving at 30km/h.
  • + 2
 @PLCO7 Your car comment takes the cake. You are so right, many riders don't realize the amount of attention more expensive suspension requires to have it operate properly even a hydraulic brake. Watching someone bounce through the woods on an xc bike or dh bike is always entertaining. Then hearing "Yeah man, I got it PUSHed".
  • + 1
 @aelazenby... oh boy I remember that bike...did it have the Smart shock on it??
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  • + 10
 This video ought to show people that it is about your skill and not what bike you are on. Comments such as this example:

"But ride those bikes like that day in and day out and see how long they last."

...show that many people rely too heavily on their bike to handle situations, rather than learning how to handle the situations _as a rider_, which is far more enjoyable, easier on your bike, and a much better way to get good, faster, as a rider.

Those bikes that Messrs Vanderham and Simmons are on could handle that type of riding day-in and day-out under someone who knows how to ride and doesn't expect the bike to do all the work. On the other hand if Mr Plow-and-Bash got onto such a bike and rode it like a statue hammering awkwardly into every root, rock and rut the bike would begin to show signs of wear a bit quicker. Bashing into everything like a corpse tied to a bike is better than not riding at all, but it is a style of riding that leaves whole worlds of improvement ahead of the rider (corpse), and improvement is the surest way to more fun on a bike.

Thanks to Rocky Mtn, WSimmons and TVanderham for showing us what's possible.
  • + 2
 Preach the gospel, my good man.

I grew up riding the shore on my fully rigid XC bike. I don't wish that upon anyone, but damned if it wasn't a hell of a good way to learn how to ride-- where "letting the bike do the work" isn't even an option!
  • + 2
 Amen to that CFOxtrot.
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  • + 12
 now give them road bikes.
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  • + 12
 nothing like wringing out an xc bike on techy singletrack
  • + 0
 this guy is cool
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  • + 7
 Rad!!! I love to bomb my Remedy over stuff, but it's my 100mm steel hardtail that's teaching me how to ride. I can't relax and just let the bike eat up rocks and roots; I have to pick my lines carefully and finesse rather than slaughter the trail. It's not always as fun, but I can tell the difference when I get back on the bigger bike. But you know what also impresses me are the people who try XC races on their big AM bikes and totally kick butt. Get a bike you like to ride and ride it how you like to ride!
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  • + 5
 After snapping two norco faze frames in a year and a half of riding them norco deiced that they'd give me an upgrade free for a fluid frame instead of just sending me another, they even let me keep the shock of my faze and sent me a new free shock for my fluid frame Smile anyway i've been running that for about 6 months now and i've not had a problem with it so yeah, cheers guys at norco. Also for any 'hardcore downhill kids' out there who only weigh about 7 stone and do the occasional 5 foot drop, you don't need a downhill bike! haha it's for more fun to do the big stuff on a smaller travel bike if you ask me Smile personally i find it hilarious when i catch up to people on full blown downhill bikes when i'm only on a 130mm and there just there like damn must be the bike. Honestly the only justification for getting a downhill or freeride bike is if your racing or really are planning on doing 15 footers, i'm doing 7 footers to flat on a 130mm and although it bottoms out and some people may not like that, it's far more fun if you keep it and really improves your skill, you can pedal to the top an' all. Top job Smile
  • + 6
 Why would you be doing seven footers to flat and bottoming your bike out? That just sounds terrible. Find something with some transition to land on.
  • + 1
 I live saddleworth and there are no legal trails, bikers are already frowned upon for just riding them, you can build the odd small jump or rock garden but most of it would get pulled down in a week so there's no point. Although there is some support for riders building massive landings and jumps would ruin our reputation and could end up in a complete ban of riding in the area, so we have to ride what're given. :/ as long as you pump the sus up before you do it it's usually fine
  • + 1
 or really are planning on doing 15 footers .
The guy i bought my Giant XC bike from," Capitan America ",. Did a 25 ft drop on it .Giant AC1 with 6.5" of travel The drop was a steep rock face with a ply wood landing kind of looked like a skinny quarter pipe with a 12 ft transition and the rock face gave it 15 ft of vert,they landed way down the transition lol.
It's still there in Haskell NJ ,although the ply wood is rotted and needs a rebuild
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  • + 6
 Proof that you don't need a downhill bike to shred such a sweet singletrack and even hit some drops. So much respect to Thomas and Wade
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  • + 8
 XC my ass!...thats pure DH with XC bikes. Awesome riding though.
  • + 12
 that was the point of the video wasn't it?
  • + 3
 It looked like what xc ought to be- not the "this fireroad's oh so technical" sort of thing.

You can get a bike frame that weighs less than many religious books/or a couple of bags of flour. I find that quite impressive, and I 1) don't reckon lightness makes much difference to strength and 2) the equivalent extra weight of eating a bag of flour or two before you ride doesn't really hold you back- it's all in the mind.
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  • + 6
 Saddles up all the way, now that is real XC. How good would it be in the UK to have trails like that, soil like that, roots that grip like that etc. Not jealous at all.
  • + 5
 Get on a plane to Gothenburg from Edinburgh 1,5h flight for 50quid back and forth - it is very much like the stuff in the vid... I can even lend you a bike Smile
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  • + 3
 Except that last drop, that is my bread and butter type of riding. Except I only have one bike so it is an Enduro Expert Evo. Otherwise I would have a 120mm trail bike like that to ride most of the time.

Thing is, that's not XC riding, That right there is Trail riding on Trail bikes. XC riding has gotten lame, no way you would see a trail like that in a XC race, no way in hell, it would frighten them! And they would not return the next year.
Also no way someone is going to win a XC race on a 25lb 5" travel bike, at least not someone that isn't sand bagging.
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  • + 3
 I think modern carbon/aluminum bikes are all a lot better then the bikes they replace. Remember this article..

www.pinkbike.com/news/santa-cruz-bicycles-test-lab.html

I don't really have much of a fear of braking a carbon XC frame anymore, at least not the way I ride. Granted anything can and does happen out on the trails but for the most part the video speaks for its self..
  • - 1
 ORLY? If you take a short surf you will find that geo on xc racing bikes hasn't changed almost all since like 10 years... Then if we talk HTs, if you put a like a 150 fork into such 2002 racer frame you will end up with almost same geo as those "nu school HTs with the only major difference in seat angle.
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  • + 3
 Everyone here making a big deal commenting what this video means or what it implies or will RC void your warranty as if you'll ride like that on 4". It's just a promo, people. It's only intention is to make you think about Rocky Mountain as opposed to Spec, Santa Cruz, Trek, etc.
  • + 4
 Well, when I was watching the vid I wasn't thinking about the company they were riding, I was thinking about the type of bike they were riding on that trail.
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  • + 2
 Remember when downhill bikes were hard tails with like 3 inches of travel up front? I DO! People used to use SKILL not 10000000 inches of travel like all the trendy flat billed hat wearing pansies with skinny jeans crammed up their vaginas who think they're old school hardcore because they still say stoked in every sentence. GOD I HATE what once was a badass extreme sport turned hipster.
  • + 1
 I thought I was alone with these kind of thoughts, fantastic vid showcasing what mountain biking is all about: rider, bike, trail. Who cares what one rides or what they look like....

Best part of the vid is that there is not a dirt jump in site. Leave dirt jumps in empty lots, ride the terrain with minimal alteration.
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  • + 2
 I don't think the message of the video is so mainstream as in waranty, weight, price and so on. Where I'm from, just building up a fairly decent hardtail takes about 2 years or so. A friend of mine had a Drag Climber (old Norco frame... similar to sasquatch) with MZ Drop Off Tripples, 160mm Shimano mech disc brake at the font and 9 euro rims with High Rollers and Mobsters (the best tire Maxxis ever made). He ran in XC's won many, had a couple of DH victories... minor of course! He used to do a bit of trials as well, so I think it just means, ride what you feel like riding, because you ride for the hell of it, fun, excitement, not because you have to! The big drop at the end is just baad, for you and whatever bike you have if you have 0.13845% doubt. Just ride and stop complaining, that's all!
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  • + 2
 Very cool video and good article. This doesn't make me want to get an xc frame though. It makes me want to get an all-mountain or something purpose made for freeriding and drops. Basically, I am a hardtail rider who is inspired to get a full squish freerider that is capable of xc not an xc that is maybe capable of freeride.
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  • + 5
 Taking those bikes down Cambodia, good job! Who says you can't huck on a mini-rig?
  • + 12
 They did it before with less technology and same amount of travel, I honestly don't see how anyone can believe that you need a dh specific rig to ride tech stuff. Hell the 5 inch AM bikes we got now are a crap ton better than the 6 inch freeride rigs of yesteryear. Sure it's a better ride but you're only limited by your abilities.
  • + 1
 but there are plenty of trails that you need a big bike to make it out alive. Pros like Vanderham and Simmons can ride a nicely-tuned AM rig down almost anything, but they're in a league of their own...
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  • + 6
 Why make us all feel like we can´t ride???!!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Is Your XC Bike This Fun to Ride? - Cannondale Rush, 740mm bars, 60mm stem, gravity dropper ~25lbs - I'd say so! Don't quite have the shore to ride though....
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I just love the camera angle on the "BIG" drop they doo at the end . It shows them looking down the landing from a 10' higher level on the cliff face than the "Actual" drop they are doing 10' lower on the cliff face . Look at the camera angles , tell me that isn't subliminally f*cking with you . Sorry for being such a douche bag,but the camera man is guilty !!
2:51T your busted!!!
You ever sketch on a 15 FT drop ,you ll be wishig for that suspension to save your f*ck all shredder ass!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 If you think about it these guys created the freeride style in BC on early 90s bikes which were predominantly XC bikes. People were trying crazy lines on the North Shore on steel hardtail Rocky Mountains, Konas, Brodies etc. Obviously, they went through parts and pushed the industry to create what became "freeride".
[Reply]
  • + 1
 hmmm i understand the title and i'm entertained by the vid but come on! judging from the vid, they call them XC - RACE bikes... 25lbs, a bit knobby fat tires, low rise bars those are XC - TRAIL set-up bikes... not pure XC - RACE bikes... below 18lbs, sexy tires, flat bars and inverted stems XC-Races are really not that popular compared to DH Races here on PB... Races such as UCI XC, La Ruta, Cape Epic are just some of the brutal XC RACES...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 It's called flow people, some people have it and some people just statically (stiff body position) mash the DH bikes down stuff, you cant do that on a trail bike because you and/or the bike will not make it. Riding a shorter travel bike on the rough is the true test of skill, well that and riding it up to the top first.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Most fun video I've seen on Pinkbike in a while! Great pacing, Great music choice (Thank you for not using Dubstep!) , solid production value all around! This is what I imagine/wish I look like when I'm out on the trails!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Riding XC bikes clearly has slowed them both down to the pace a lot of us mere mortals ride at on DH/FR bikes. Nice, amusing too.
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  • + 5
 I thought that's how you were supposed to ride XC bikes?
  • + 2
 I think people have just been watching one too many Olympic XC courses ... apart from those bigger drops this is pretty much what i and many of my friends ride most weekends. Granted with some less finess but the trail is pretty much the same style.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Not really sure what the point in this video is....!? Are they showing that any bike can do great things in the right hands? (which isn't a great to advertise your brand products) Or showing that their lightweight XC bikes are very strong? (but then saying t.hey don't condone YOU riding them like this) -also not a great way to advertise your product,

If the sign-off had have been "If our XC bikes can do this, imagine what our freeride bike (insert model name) can do," it would made sense.

It's like saying "Our XC bikes are so strong they can do this, but we won't back up the warranty if YOU do this on them"

Sorry, great vid, but epic fail on the marketing message.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 That video looks like my ride home from work on the ridge trail, orange dot ,Backbeach, Haskell NJ ,of course you 'd have to add more rocks . .you must ride with care . Question:/// whos riding 3" tires and Large Marge rims ?? Your not in XC . Try a pair of XC rims down hill . Watch them fold in half. It's bizarre like something in the land of DR Seuss or Salvador Dali 's melted clocks . No thanks .
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Its all light and shadow tricks to make it look like they're killing it...No seriously, the video is cool and all, but Rocky Mountain is asking for a shit ton or warranty returns from folks taking their rigs past their design capabilities. My 07' Turner Flux just pulled up lame with a broken rocker after 4 years of minimal huck trail riding, and my buddy is out of luck after his 4th Rocky Mountain something or other XC bike broke AGAIN after similar riding. If you are not a fire road riding whippet and you plan on buying a bike to ride for the next five years, do your self a favor and buy something a bit over built. In my case, if I had gone with a 5 spot I would likely not be stressing out trying to figure out how to scrape up the coin for a new frame now that its riding season.
  • + 1
 5Turner 5 spot is solid . I would buy one too if any thing happens to my Giant AC1 , which i've replaced the rear triangle on after bending it , on DH terrain . I have the frame set at 5.5 though it goes to 7 , it climbs better that way . I wonder how strong the Horst suspesion is on those Turners in compairison to the DW link ? See a lot of the Horst sus frames up on Pink Bike .
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I bet those bikes were excited to find out they were being taken out by Wade and Thomas to go ride the shore, instead of some random guy on some fire road somewhere.
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  • + 1
 everything is possible for example when i was younger i started with a $150 USD bike hahaha with 2" travel fork and a crap rear shock, the bike had many plastic components and for a 15" bike size that used to weight 41lb going uphill and then downhill was the only way for me at that time hehehe but i always had some fear to someday get any component broken so i only used for 6 months and im talking about soft downhill, but yes this vid makes me remember the beggining of the downhill there in CA with rigid frames bikes
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I thought Aaron Gwin on his ASR5 looked amazing in that Yeti video, but this one is impressive as well. Are they using 100mm forks as well, or are my eyes deceiving me, making me think that they're using longer travel forks?

I see people doing drops at Mammoth Mtn on short travel bikes. I may or may not have done them on my Superfly 100. If I did, I'm sure Mr. Fisher wouldn't be so happy that his bike is being used for such, especially when the time comes to explain the crack(s) in the frame.
  • + 5
 JRA mate.... 'Just Riding Along........'
  • + 0
 I'm sure mr. Fisher wouldn't be happy, he would prefer you to believe you can't do it on such bike and you need to buy Trek Slash aside of SuperFrei...
  • + 1
 In my experience, Mr Fishers retailers will find any excuse to void your warranty. Had a carbon Procaliber hardtail with a lifetime warranty a few years back that cracked on the non drive side chain stay in a legitimate fashion.. ie did not smash it on a rock, etc. Despite this, the declined to do anything aside from offer me $300 towards a new bike. Not sure it it was just the shop trying to pull one over on me or if it was something straight from Trek/Fisher, but either way I lost an fun bike to their warranty dept and will not be making any purchase from him in the future.
  • + 1
 Those are the stock forks. 100mm forks
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I love XC riding! people just seem to have forgotten about XC it seems; but i wish people would realize that it's just as fun if not more fun than downhilling. people just don't seem to realize how much fun it actually can be

ever ride moab? I have.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 looks like a normal XC ride in the bc southcoast to me. don't know why everyone is so excited.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Love it on how many semi-pro riders there are on these boards. I have been on most of the trails shown on the video, although a 7" FR bike and was still intimidated by some of the features. I know my bike can handle the drops and rough but my body and my ability not as much.

Most people, myself included, buy a bike or build it way beyond what we really need. We do this not because we fear breaking gear or frames, but a more capable bike or components make us able to hit stuff that we couldn't on 3" travel XC bike with a 71 degree head angle and v-brakes.

I have never ridden with either of these fine riders in the video, but have been on rides with some talented riders who make a difficult section look like a sidewalk. We have some incredibly talented riders on the shore, as does any location that has terrain that challenges riders like the shore, but you have to agree that even most of the good riders in an area don't have the skill that either Wade Simmons and Thomas Vanderham have. So yes, they make, the trail look reasonable tame even on those XC/AM bike. Maybe we need another category XC + AM = XM.

In the end it is about getting out and riding what ever you have, where you live, and hopefully within your skill level so you can enjoy the trail and get out the next day and the day after.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Thats it! its time to deploy the Stumpjumper back into action! Great Video!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I don't understand why anyone rides frames that crack ! Racing is one thing super light stay on the ground , but for Steep up and Gnarly DH Forget carbon or Cannondale ,or Ironhorse or Elsworth ,mountain cycle Orange ,any of these frames known for breaking . Do you think i care if cannondale has a good warranty? who has to take the bike apart and put it back together again???Who has to wait to receive another one from"Crack N Fail"
Give me a Turner 5 Spot KHS lucky , or a Giant ,any time . Breakage means Failure ,and possible injury . Let's not even mention Jamis .A company with Zero engineering .
Big difference between doing Down hill where you can slam wheel eating gaps and still roll onward,and doing a descent down a steep rock formation . If you live in the Land of Granite like we do in North Jersey and New York State , you know exactly what a frame can and can't take ..
There should be an article "HOW TO BEND OR BREAK A FRAME ,BECAUSE YOU LOVE SPENDING MONEY AND NOT ACTUALLY RIDING " STEP #!1 don't chose smooth lines on DH go back and fourth across the trail like your on a half pipe . STEP #2 glance down at the Bike see what Broke .IF nothing repeat step 1
  • + 1
 all frames crack
  • + 1
 Not in DH that's bullshit . Josh Bender rode Karpiel because he broke a specialized in half on a 25 ft drop .Karpils are over engineered so the don t crack .There were problems with the early ones so they were redesigned to B stronger and not fail. If a company dosen t care about Research and develpment by actual riders , like "Lameis" the bikes will repeatedly Fail! Think about what your saying . It's all the engineering . If you know ppl who crack Karpiels ,i d like to meet them !
  • + 1
 things fatigue causing weak areas which leads to cracks. most the time when a person says frames are over engineered, they are really just overbuilt. everything breaks, facts of life.
  • + 1
 If your talking about aluminum cycling over time ,yes it does and mainly with wheels you may have problems . There are strong UN heat treated metals as well as super strong carbon . There are brittle carbons ,and weak heat treated metals . Garbage frames have a lot to do with poor engineering little Rand D ,as well as little research on the riders part to get something that won't break for their riding style . Generalizing all things breaking ,is like saying ,my Chevette is a corvette ,or my FireBird is a Ferrari . Point and shoot cameras are as good as manual ones . No suspension is equal to suspension ,it's all the rider .That is all bullshit . If you want to have back problems ride a hard tail on gnarly terrain with your seat to low . Now that's a fact
  • + 1
 all things will break, some sooner than others. older frames broke more because most of them have a 4to1 spring that need 800pound spring but new ones are less than that
  • + 1
 That's exactly right. Fortunately for me i have an Avalanche 2 inch stroke shock ,that is serviceable and has a nitrogen tank .I understand the newer Fox DHX also has nitrogen in it some where .I don't know if that's true or not but i'm sure the ride is much smoother on the 3 inch stroke with less spring compression.
Maintenance really should be done for your own personal safety or the shock will eventually break and could cause a bad crash at the worst time . I recently look down just before doing a drop and saw my shoe lace was wrapped around my front sprocket!i have to be more aware of my "shoelace maintenance" triple tie those suckers!
  • + 1
 ya ive taken apart a few fox shocks, a ms paint diagram www.pinkbike.com/photo/7246703 i look at my frame before a ride and there where a bunch of cracks, kinda sad
  • + 1
 What frame XC oor DH . That worries me too . Right where the Linkage is on My Karpiel , Disco . I sometimes wonder if this "Air Craft " quality metal , might one day be in 2 pieces .The bolts themselves , could be the culprit in that situation
  • + 1
 im going to try making a steel frame and calling it done ha, never been a fan of aluminum alloys or carbon composites
  • + 1
 That was a Cooll Fox DHX diagram ! I thought there might be some Nitrogen in there .

im going to try making a steel frame and calling it done "
I saw one it was a "HOOK" 3 inch shock stroke , heavy yet didn t stop that dude from sky airing the biggest table in the park .What ever works !
Some riders have that spring board launch ,bronco,lift off thing down . I d love to be able to pop air like that .
[Reply]
  • + 4
 These XC bikes aren't breaking, back to the drawing board
[Reply]
  • + 0
 live close to some sick XC terrain steep climbs and Gnarly downhill . All though i m not going to take my XC bike down something that is a DH trail that i could be slamming rocks at full speed ,that's a good way to bend a rear triangle , or crack a frame in the seat post BB area .Those Frames are like spaghetti ,in comparison to a real DH frame like a Karpiel,turner,specialized ,or giant . Give me one of their frames,it won't survive a couple of passes at mountain creek . If i went down "Slayer" and purposely slammed everything ,those frames would be in pieces . When i first started riding that's what i though you were supposed to do ..LOL Tacoed a lot of rims
as for carbon ,there are many different grades of carbon ,as there are many grades of Heat treated and good non heat treated metals . I personally would never buy a carbon frame ,unless it had a really good Warentee F-That . These things are funny they beat you up a little bit like you may not be that good because aluminum is a thing from Yester-Year
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Thanks boys - just picked up my steed from the shop and this was just the stoke I need before I head out onto these trails in my backyard on a Friday after work - gotta love the Shore!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Shut up and take my money! Seriously, after that video I'm pretty sure that's going to be my next bike as long as it fits right. And judging by my past experience with RM bikes, they feel just about perfect.
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  • + 2
 what can i say... simmons and vanderham !?... im so happy these guys riding same mountain where i ride... so stoked..
thanks wade thanks thomas
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  • + 3
 with 25lb of bike they must be thinkin' "am i realy riding a bike? or its just me jumpin' around" haha
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  • + 3
 Actually yes, my XC bike is that fun to ride. But thank you for asking.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Awesome Article! I have been riding freeride with my 120mm XC bike for about a year now, and i haven't had a problem with it!
  • + 2
 My buddy took his low end diamondback FS 100mm travel to Diablo last year and showed ,e an the university cycling club how to ride. he has since bought an enduro, but it was a joy to see the looks on their faces when he cleared the table tops they rolled over.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Just two guys trail riding and having a good time. Really at the end of the day isnt that what it is all about, no labels just enjoying the sport - and not being stuck behind the desk. Big Grin - awesome vid!
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  • + 2
 Such a great vibe in that video. I want to go beat my Giant Reign about the trails now.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I have an xc bike but i still go out with my mates who are on DH bikes and have a great time. Sure they are a little bit faster than me but I enjoy it all the same.
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  • + 2
 Sick, but i'm still waiting/stoked for the lifts to open and im sticking to my big bike.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 But they DID condone that type of riding when they gave Wade and Thomas the bikes...They Did! Can you condone that type of riding for me and send me a frame Smile
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Wow..was not expecting those drops at all
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  • + 1
 My moto carbon is actually the most fun I've ever had ever. And this vid just stoked me out!!! Sun shine coast in one week, can't wait
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Harry you lad, greg will have your d*ck
  • - 17
 shut the fuck up
  • + 2
 Boss is staring me down
  • + 2
 Yeah, just run
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  • + 1
 That is the first add for a bike that has made me want to go out and buy one. Love it!! VOD!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 "Is Your XC Bike This Fun to Ride?" Yes, it is Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Nows that's what I'm talking about a bike which can take you up and down the trails same as riding a DH rig..
  • + 1
 virtually anybike can do that now, pick most bikes between 140-180mm and itll take you up and down all day
[Reply]
  • + 1
 not saying it isnt great. its just what most of us here in SW bc do on a regular basis no?
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  • + 1
 awesome skills riding with seatposts fully extended on that terrain and bike, now i feel like a weakling.
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  • + 3
 great video matt
  • + 2
 even greater comment boss
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  • + 1
 Thats pretty damn funny one of the best short clips ive seen in a while.....
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Awesome vid and riding. But ride those bikes like that day in and day out and see how long they last.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 not the BIKE, it's the RIDER!
  • + 1
 It s the bike 2 ,up your game
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  • + 1
 reminds me a lot of an article I read on nsmb.com just the other day....hmmm....
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  • + 1
 i ride my xc bike the same as this, i wouldnt hesitate on any of that stuff... my answer is yes.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'd rather see them on their 6" travel bikes shredding the same run... just saying
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Isn't this -aside from some of the big drops- just normal, good old fashion mountain biking?
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  • + 2
 live proof that XC bikes can handle a lot than what they are made for!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 For me, riding my bikes is always super fun Smile love my santacruz and my cross country bike Cool
[Reply]
  • + 1
 even they doubt the durability of "these bikes" sweet video though and nice to them ripping it on the XC rides!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 that was cool as fuk, cant wait to ride sun., might have to call in sick tomorrow
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  • + 2
 How does this one look Simmons??!! Hmmmmmm...........
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  • + 2
 SO funny and well put together. Can we say "warranty".
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  • + 1
 the cuestion is: Are You A Good Pilot ? then, you are indifferent to the bike Wink
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  • + 2
 Now try doing that on a hardtail xc bike
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  • + 1
 Am I the only one that wants to see them do this shit on 80mm bikes?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 No. My XC Bike is NOT that fun to ride. Big Grin
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Actually........Yes! My XC bike is that fun to ride!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 RideOn the element looks like a kick in the ass! WooooHooooo!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 awesome vid!!.... now go do the same thing on an XC HT >Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 and where is the "fun" part?...
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  • + 1
 tomas best rider freeride)))
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Labels are for clothes. Go ride your bike how you like!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 XC/AM is getting far more technical. pretty sick!
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  • + 1
 Enjoyed the vid, nice riding-well filmed!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Wade Simmons you are a God
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  • + 1
 I want a xc/am bike aswell as th dh rig!!
  • + 4
 and I want several cars and a big house, enough money to not work, my own Dj park, and.......
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  • + 1
 That whole trail would be fun including the drops!!!! I think!
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  • + 1
 woah ! goooood job out there !
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Doesn`t anyone know the interpreter of soundtrack?
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  • + 1
 I am perfectly happy with my giant trance x advanced sl0 thank you lol
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  • + 1
 Those psychos were clipped in! Mad respect.
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  • + 1
 What trail is this? 8O all I want to do is ride it.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 that is awesome. how often overhaul those bikes i wonder?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Yes, it's not about the bike, but about the rider...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 after watching the video i lost all my excuses
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  • + 1
 kick ass! finally some killer XC video.
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  • + 1
 haha lol this did make me smile Smile
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  • + 1
 Really puts you in your place ae.. hahaha :/
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  • + 1
 Seems like a little too much fork travel to be considered XC....
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  • + 1
 these guys are freaking legends! they could make any bike look like fun
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Wade back on 26 inch wheels.
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  • + 1
 goes to show it's the rider not the bike!
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  • + 1
 sick vid guys i never thought those bikes could be riden like that VOD
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Dude...the Toonie drop on an XC???!!! I MUST SEE!!!
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  • + 1
 Screw haters, I'm coming out of the XC closet.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 sending so hard
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  • + 0
 best video I have seen all year!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 AM is fun! XC soft ride for pssys.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Another dumb ass with a smartphone.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 haha, awesome well done
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Such an awesome video!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Best XC riders out there
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  • + 1
 bc xc = ontario dh
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This was a great edit
[Reply]
  • + 1
 they could ride any bike
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  • + 1
 so much goddamn steeze!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 strong wheels needed!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 My answer is YES!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 best vid ever! VOD!
[Reply]
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