As the light fades at the end of the day's xc ride phil gets rowdy on his xc hardtail, water bottle in frame and boosting in the rain!
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As the light fades at the end of the day's xc ride phil gets rowdy on his xc hardtail, water bottle in frame and boosting in the rain!

64 Comments

  • + 21
 it's a very nice shot, duncan
  • + 31
 Getting rowdy on an XC bike, now that is steeze!
  • + 65
 More whipped than my imaginary girlfriend :]
  • + 5
 that's a pretty sick shot!
  • + 46
 Yup, these days the best way to show off is to take a hardtail for a ride with guys on enduro or Dh bikes. It takes a big deal of skill but it stands out because bike tech moved so much forward and on Average-Joe level that it masks lacks in some fundamental skills. You can take a Trek Slash or Nomad with dropper post for an XC ride and then come down through really rough stuff without needing much skills or fitness. Several years ago it would be a no-can-do. Huge respect to all people going big on HTs! I don't mean this HT DH, I mean people taking XC/Tail bikes and riding them as if they were those do-it-all super bikes.
  • - 43
flag go-hard (Jan 13, 2012 at 7:29) (Below Threshold)
 LOL XC
  • + 15
 @WAKIdesigns - one of the better comments I've seen lately-
  • + 1
 Not bad for a hardtail....No just kiddin sick shot! POD!
  • + 16
 I just think it's fair to say, that this pic is a celebration of true bike riding skills
  • + 1
 I'm not sure about whole XC bike thing... Wide bars, quite short looking stem and small looking frame (correct me if I'm wrong). If this is stock Saracen Zen 2 2011 im means 140mm fork with 15mm axel... No doubt guy is skilled, but I would say this bike is more trail bike or like those do it all, long travel fork hardtails.
  • + 2
 wastedqba - I think it is time to cut XC riding some beige - racing beige. Cross country in it's name means crossing the country in various ways. To me personally AM is just a kind of XC. Just as Freeride doesn't have to mean hucking.

Amateurs of all cycling disciplines look up to racers too much I think. As far as amateur (fun oriented) riding goes, certain properties of cockpit remain the same regardless of discipline. Wide bars, shorter stem, 100mm+ fork, fat tyres are simply better performing for control over the bike and fun levels than racing equipment, no matter if it's XC, Trail or AM. XC Racers use narrower bars but still the width has gone up in last 10 years, I guess to the point where riding control is maximized to maintain some clearance at the start of the race or for passes on singletrack. But racing is definitely not a "fun" oriented activity, it is no meant to be enjoyable, so they want to top out other characteristics

I personaly love XC racing geometry combined with all forementioned componentry. Such bikes are agile and promote aggressive position. I don't like those "nu-school" slack hardtails - they do inspire confidence on downhills but... what if someone like me is confident on 68+ha and low cockpit? and loves such "steepness" because it works wonders on tech uphills?

HT FTW!
  • + 1
 The key word here is XC hardtail.. Most people thinking "wow this type of jump on XC bike?" probably mean those big, long frame, long stem, short, flat bar bikes with forks 4" (or less) travel.
In earlier comment I ment that there is huge difference in making, what we can see above, on bikes like saracen zen and e.g giant xtc, saracen mantra or saracen core or even full sus bikes like kona one 20 or specialized camber. Zen looks more like Kona Five-0 or older NS Core.

For example when I say I've rode 150 km today on my FR bike and i mean my 18" coiler with 2.2 tyres and 400mm fully extended seatpost, is not the same as making 150km on 16" Big Hit with 2.5 tyres and short seatpost.

If "Cross country in it's name means crossing the country in various ways.", than cyclocross and freeride are also XC?
  • + 4
 to answer your question: pretty much yes Smile labels are the most stupid things people do for their riding, I am stunned with people telling me "we are going to ride downhill tomorrow" taking their DH-racing bikes then a week later they say they are going to ride AM and they take a 150mm bike and ride the same trail.

Most trails in the world are being ridden by people on downhill, freeride, xc bikes. You need a trail that is really specialized to make it rideable by just one bike. It is people who put those stupid labels to feel better about themselves, riding itself rolls by the same principles no matter what bike are you on, vision, neutral position, fitness, mental skills etc etc.

There is a certain mindset and will that defines what you are going to do on that trail and bikes that promote this will. I ride my Nomad in a different way on the same trail as when I ride my hardtail, but if I just want to go from one point to another, this is cross country, maybe freeride (broadest term ever). When I want to ride harder train certain skill cornering, netural position etc., so I ride the same piece of trail over and over again, then maybe it is downhill biking /or freeride?). On Nomad, I can ride objectively faster, jump more all over the place but it will still be a downhill training when I take the hardtail and focus on some fundamental skills, check if I do stuff right - isn't travel masking some lack of skill? Isn't subjective speed the same for both bikes? If I want to check myself o CX bike, why not? I did it actualy some time ago, worth trying!

You are a painter, trail is the canvas - a bike is just a pen, brush, whatever, by which you create some kind of "painting". One day you will pop off that root on the left to go over those other roots, another day you will take the right line to enter the next corner faster. Racing against the clock in one labeled discipline looks only for the fastest line, so much fun is lost if you focus on labels
  • + 4
 Wicked shot fella, I love my 5D MkII's high ISO performance .... Just wish I had some friends who could jump their bikes this well to take pics of ;-)! Full frame is the shit, you'll love it!!
  • + 0
 Don't know, I shoot a 7D and chose that over the 5D for it's speed, focus and video adjust-ability. I don't know what I'm missing with a full frame sensor so it's not a big deal. And to upgrade, I wouldn't get the 5D, I would only go with a 1D or a newer 5D that is as fast as the 7D. And as for the photo, fantastico. The high ISO def isnt as good as any Nikon I've seen but this is the kind of photo I'd hang on my wall. Hope you've done the same!
  • + 1
 I went to the 5 as my 7d was getting card errors the whole time across multiple cards, the AF was very very inconsistent and i manual focused it the whole time because of that. It wasn't a matter of new firmware, hard resets, lens tuning or sending it off for repair, it was the same after all that. The iso in this picture isn't a fair representation, i know the 5d2's not as good as any d3 or d700 but in this photo the shadows had been pushed a lot, i mean it was dark when this shot was taken so lifting the shadows introduced a lot more noise in the PP
  • + 1
 Me duncan and phil had a good xc ride that day, but there was a line phil took earlier in the day that was just as technical and stupid as this jump, it just doesnt make as good a picture. This was nuts though considering we'd been on a long wet xc ride for about 4 hours beforehand.
  • + 1
 @duncanp
Shot is awesome!!
5dmk2 is an awesome bit of kit...so versatile
Have you tried noise control software??...I use NIK Dfine...really very good and simple to use/control
  • + 2
 Nice shot. I especially like the look of the dude standing in the woods watching it unfold.
  • + 1
 That was first half decent sized gap jump I hit. Seen guys hit it on rigid dirt jumpers before, but on an XC hard tail takes it to the next level. Respect dude!
  • + 1
 Loving this photo more now that I was riding Woburn yesterday, Had such a great day, just like this chap.
  • + 2
 Love the kids in the body armor and you with your xc bike! Lol
  • + 2
 Definitely taking xc to the max... What bike is he rocking?
  • + 3
 stock saracen zen 2 with some fox forks on it i think...
  • + 1
 What is so special about doing this shot with Canon 5d mark II so that everyone talks about it? Big Grin
  • + 1
 It just shows you dont need a big dh or fr bike or even a jump bioke to get big air on the trail!
  • + 3
 me too!
  • + 1
 Gritty. Real. Love it! Wink
  • + 1
 Fuuuck doing that without a full face!!!
  • + 1
 That's not POD, that's art people!
  • + 2
 actually on second thoughts, it's both.
  • + 1
 @ waki: i think you hit the nail on the head there!
  • + 1
 The kids thinking... SUPERMAN IS THAT YOU?
  • + 1
 Mate i was one of the lads standing there, our first reaction was like" what the f**k that was mental " , Phil was nuts going big on his XC bike
  • + 1
 why the noise? doesn't add anything IMO
  • + 1
 because there was no light, and i had to crank the iso up. with it being so dark the image also appeared brighter on the screen than it was so i then had to try and pull more exposure out of the raw file which introduced more noise as a side affect. if it was possible, i'd have no noise there.
  • + 1
 Ok I understand, thanks for the reply.
  • + 1
 thats what i call agressive xc :]]
  • + 1
 this is exaclty what our Zens are all about. Nice one Philip!!
  • + 1
 Loving the ISO speed, makes this shizzle look like its on film! Epic.
  • + 2
 loving it
  • + 1
 Sweet shot, this has to be POD.
  • + 2
 SWEEET!
  • + 1
 Hell yeah, love the atmosphere... POD!
  • + 1
 muy buena fotoo!!! UN SALUDO DESDE ARGENTINA DH ♥♥♥
  • + 1
 Awesome POD! Can't wait to hit Woburn on Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 Nice shot, but this is a XC??
  • + 1
 POD
  • + 1
 sick shot Smile
  • + 1
 progressive xc...
  • + 1
 Epic!!!
  • + 1
 i got nothing
  • + 1
 So stocked Big Grin !
  • + 1
 POD
  • + 1
 yes!!!! y wouldnt it be
  • + 1
 Respect ! ;]
  • + 1
 Yes.. 7D was having card errors and became a bit unstable. A change of plans this summer also meant i don't have to save as much as expected so I spent some savings.
  • + 1
 awesome, big difference moving to full frame ?
  • + 1
 this was the first time i'd used it. not the most ideal conditions, will report back in a bit
  • + 1
 5d mark II ?
  • - 3
 I don't think that this is a XC
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