From the first day of racing, Jill Kintner dominated the Trans-Cascadia backcountry bike race. It was no surprise, considering she's won just about everything there is to win, but a multiday blind enduro had not yet been added to her list.
The race brought four long days in the mountains, endless views, and a wide variety of stages: some long, with up to 4,000' of descending, some quite steep and loose, and some rocky and thoroughly janky. Jill continued to increase her lead through the 12 stages until the final day, taking a well-deserved win in her first race of this type.
The Trans-Cascadia favors a bike with enough travel that it's not terribly punishing over the chunder but that's light enough to pedal, push, and shoulder around the mountains for back-to-back long days. Jill opted for her 150 mm Norco Sight, which is kitted out with a Shimano XTR drivetrain and brakes, a Renthal cockpit, Fox suspension, Stan's wheels, and a Maxxis Minion tire combo. Let's take a look.
Shimano takes care of shifting.
The brakes round out the full XTR build.
A 150 mm Fox Transfer dropper post and Fox Float X2 shock handle the rest of the suspension tasks, with an MRP chain guide and bash guard in the mix to keep things rolling along smoothly.
Don't fix what isn't broken. The DHF / DHR II combo is a classic, and it continues to bring in the wins. This week, Double Down casing made sure the sharp rocks on some of the higher alpine stages weren't a problem.
Its actually one of the few things we haven't tried to impose on the world.
It's 1500m ~
And it really ain't that hard to understand metric and imperial...
As someone no prior experience racing on this type of terrain, if I knew what I know now about the trails we rode, I’d probably choose something even bigger, like the 170/170 Spire. Not to in any way suggest that the pros picked the wrong bikes, just that for me I’ll bet the extra confidence of more suspension would have helped me more than any of the downsides of a bigger bike.
No matter what happens, I'm always the one who is the weakest link
It takes a lot of gnar to justify some of the new super enduro bikes. Granted, I’d love one for lift/ shuttle days, but it’s hard to justify them over my 145 rear/ 160 front bike for the extra couple pounds it brings when I’m doing my own climbing.