Video: XC Sucks with Lief Rodgers

Oct 27, 2022 at 12:18
by NOBL Wheels  

To celebrate our love of XC and TR32 rims, we decided to round up a few XC hate comments found on the internet and let ambassador Lief Rodgers have his riding do the talking.

Wheels: NOBL TR32s laced to i9 Hydras
Video: Max McCulloch


122 Comments

  • 124 6
 XC is amazingly fun.

XC racing, less fun.

XC racing lifestyle, waaaaaaay less fun.

People that have personalities completely defined by XC?....you know where this is going(this can also be said for any discipline really.....no one likes full endurotardbros)
  • 67 1
 As a former extremely mediocre road racer, I agree with all of this. I can't honestly believe I participated in that sport for as long as I did lol. Amateur road racing is filled with two things: Douchebags and crashes.
  • 38 2
 Totally agree, do an XC loop on your own, work as hard or as easy as you like to stay in shape, great stuff.
  • 14 2
 @WestwardHo: I raced exactly 1 crit, 15 years ago. The level of idiocy for exactly no gain was astonishing. look, I like my skin and my $9000 bike....I ain't tossing it all away cuz some monday-friday CPA thinks hes MVdP!
  • 4 14
flag weekendupdate (Nov 5, 2022 at 10:57) (Below Threshold)
 @conoat: did the CPA drop out at the halfway point of the crit because he took out too much of his Mon-Fri blues on a preteen the night prior?
  • 17 0
 @WestwardHo: Also former extremely mediocre road racer, and I found mediocre XC racing to be way more fun, mostly because I'm like 40th percentile fit in a low-category road road race, but like 90th percentile fit in a low-category XC race.
  • 25 0
 lets just ride bikes..?
  • 33 12
 XC racing more fun than enduro.
You actually feel competitive spirit when there are riders around you instead of just battling with your fears on enduro stage.
You are actually working for more than an hour and going through a range of emotions during the race. Racing XC gave me so many colorful memories I will be carrying through my life.
Racing enduro? Well, the camping with the bros was cool...
  • 5 0
 Agreed the more serious one gets the more off putting it can be but to each their own. I find the occasional XC race to be an absolute blast.
  • 2 7
flag foggnm (Nov 7, 2022 at 14:55) (Below Threshold)
 @WestwardHo: Definitely. Me as well. And xc racing is just the same people on mountain bikes. There's really no "mountain biking" in xc IMO. It is just people in a group road ride with some dirt and rocks thrown in. I admire the athleticism but the sport is as stupid as cyclocross.
  • 1 0
 @foggnm: I'd love to know when was the last time you watched a round of XC world cup lol
  • 1 0
 @giovenji-mtb: see clips of it frequently. No shade on their abilities...just saying that XC doesn't really reflect what most people do on mountain bikes. They look like a bunch of 140lb road bikers hauling butt on short travel bikes. Really amateur xc is probably more reflective of what most trail riders do.
  • 79 4
 "XC riders can't descend". Until they win the local enduro races. They always do.
  • 27 0
 Some of the fastest Strava guys on the ups in my area (around Santa Cruz) are the fastest guys going downhill. Having super strong legs is an advantage on the ups and downs.
  • 5 1
 True. Many local enduro races happen to be short XC stage races.
  • 54 1
 Awesome! XC, all mountain, enduro are all the same, get on your bike and ride up and down a mountain, unless your racing on the WC.
  • 20 0
 +10000000. Pedal up the mountain. Pedal down the mountain. Do whatever gets your jollies off.
  • 3 8
flag CasualTEA (Nov 5, 2022 at 12:34) (Below Threshold)
 @Dopepedaler: ride an e-mtb?
  • 30 2
 @CasualTEA: haha no
  • 25 0
 One man's gnarly enduro trial is part of another man's everyday XC loop.
  • 51 1
 I will say that modern day xc courses are way more technical than they used to be, and also require riders to be comfortable in the air. Although a few years ago, XC racing was my entire life, and I do agree that the lifestyle sucks. It's so serious and pulls the fun out of riding....it took me years to get back to having fun on bikes because xc racing burnt me out so bad. Sold my xc bike for an enduro two years ago and it was the best decision I've made.
  • 23 2
 Opposite experience, not to say you're wrong but just for counterpoint: I got back into riding like 6 years ago and was stoked with how capable bikes had gotten at descending. Rode only with some friends and rides were very enduro style. That got me hooked, but got pulled into the local race scene after wanting to see what I could do in that realm. As a person who likes pushing myself, that was super motivating and the races were very fun. I can't see myself ever selling my race bike now, even though I still go on plenty of chill trail rides.

Anyways, I expect competing nationally/internationally is a very different experience, which is why I'll always respect the badasses on the big stage.

Really enjoyed the video!
  • 2 0
 @Lokirides: kinda similar for me.

I always avoided racing for fear it would take the fun out of riding. But I hate going to the gym or exercising for the purpose of exercise, just can't hold the motivation.

I got into marathon XC and have loved it. I get to pick and choose a range of events across the country, so I always have something to train for the motivation holds for.

Get to go to places and trails I'd otherwise probably not and enjoy a stonking good ride and a weekend away.

Of course though, if one takes it all too seriously I can definitely see it becoming a choose and losing the fun.
  • 2 0
 The XC races I do locally are pretty chill. Sure, everyone these is doing their best to smash the competition, but the entire time you are staging you are just chatting and catching up. Lots of cheering each other on, stopping to aid when needed (tools, CO2, etc) to get them back in the race, etc.

One of my biggest "rivals" (the guy I was gunning for for years) has turned into one of my best friends.
  • 1 1
 Buy a Downcountry and you will have both of best worlds
  • 49 1
 most don't like XC because it involves having a level of aerobic fitness......
  • 38 0
 XC sucks! Why? Because I don't have the stamina to ride XC and everything I am not good at sucks
  • 4 0
 Skill consists entirely of your ability to get air and do cool tricks. Nothing else. At least, that's what my little brother says when I dust him on the local, very much not Enduro/DH trails
  • 29 0
 Most of the riding most people do across the world is XC. Whether they're fast at it or not is another question.

I love MTB. I love XC. It's all super fun. There's also this whole vibe on pinkbike that it's not cool to ride your bike if you're not doing it purely for "fun". But there's tons of us who like to ride because we also like to suffer and push ourselves, physically and technically. And some of us think all that suffering is fun too. Most people doing XC are having fun, believe it or not.
  • 33 0
 Not riding bikes sucks.
  • 29 0
 I'm just going to put it as my dad did when I was a kid, "XC doesn't suck, you just suck at it."
  • 28 2
 Isn’t it called down country now?
  • 27 6
 Totally different discipline
  • 11 1
 @juliuskliemmtb: XC you wear Lycra and Down Country you wear Enduro shorts.
  • 10 0
 @inside-plus: not quite. If you have a 120mm fork, lycra is fine, and still within the D/C realm. 130mm, however...
  • 3 0
 XC = Lycra fit
DC = Loose fit
That’s the main difference
  • 17 2
 I ride my bike in the woods, climbing up and bombing down hills. Occasionally, my tires leave the ground intentionally. Sometimes there's wooden things or big rocks. Is that XC? Downcountry? Enduro? EnduroCross? DownCross? DownEnduroCross? CrossEnduroXCountryCross?

I just ride a bike as far and fast as I can on the best bike I can afford.

Let the marketing team call it whatever they want.
  • 11 1
 XC is awesome but the lifestyle (diet, training on the road constantly, etc.) is what sucks. Could probably be said for racing at a high level no matter what discipline, but think it trickles down more to the amateur level for XC compared to Enduro or DH. But yes, XC racers can rip, I just want all my time to be ripping instead of spending most of it doing intervals or other training rides.
  • 10 0
 At least in my experience, the overly vocal "XC sucks" kind of people just tend to be a little out of shape and have pretty poor stamina.

I don't disagree that XC sucks when you are gassed after 15 minutes of riding because you aren't used to pedaling your bike that much. It makes sense that you would have hate that. But it should also be pointed out that XC can be lots of fun. You just need to be in decent shape to have that fun.
  • 12 0
 Pick a discipline and don't be a dick about it. Just ride the fucking bike.
  • 11 1
 XC does more with less. Or less with less? Either way, XC is and has always been badass. To get out on a trail in Lycra with no pads is pretty wild.
  • 15 5
 XC are probably the best 'all rounders' of the cycling world; the fitness of road racers, but the skills of Enduro/Downhill racers.
  • 12 0
 The owl pooping was pretty cool
  • 9 0
 "XC Rider Rips Triple Black Diamond" would also be a factually correct title
  • 5 1
 Who doesn't like turning themselve# inside out for an hour and a half. Modern xc courses do mean that it is not just the roadies that can win. Technical descents mean I can stay in touch on aluminium clunker with DH mud tyres.
  • 8 0
 Highly doubt
  • 1 0
 @jeza08: depends what category your in.
  • 1 0
 @ExmoorBiker: Okay, lets see your palmares then. I'm sure dominating those BC go ride races will cement the legitimacy to your claim
  • 1 0
 @jeza08: okay yes, got my certificate and everything. Regional series overall winner this year.
  • 1 0
 @ExmoorBiker:
1. Nice work wrapping up the SWXC series, I raced the first round. It was a good event.
2. I thought you were using the word clunker to refer a bike with no gears and no suspension, looks like I was wrong with that assumption.
3. The last round you raced on a Scott Spark by the looks of things, hardly a bad bike.
4. I'm faster than you.
  • 1 0
 @jeza08: yeah the spark for the last round, would be nice if it was carbon, hoping Santa is going to hook me up
All other stops of the season were on a scale alloy which was originally a 27.5 plus, changed to 29. Running a spesh hillbilly upfront with a maxxis shorty up back.
  • 6 0
 How was he able to ride all of that with all those cables hanging off the bars in front of him?
  • 8 1
 Haters gunna hate.
  • 2 0
 At different times in all our lives we'll enjoy different types of riding. I just read all the comments and it sounds like most have ridden road or XC before and at the time enjoyed it. Now look forward to the day that you come off the bike in a bad way and know that you'll probably look forward to starting all over again. Trainer to road to XC to jump line. It's just not what you want to ride today and that's an ok answer. They kid ripped that line though. Sweet.
  • 6 0
 Ride your bike and shut the fuck up
  • 4 0
 XC is awesome, anybody who hates on it is just likely in bad shape or relys on their long travel rig to compensate for the fact that they suck at riding. -An XC rider.
  • 4 0
 "XC is by far the lamest MTB discipline"

If you strictly only compare MTB disciplines isn't this one true? One has to be the lamest Smile
  • 3 0
 I guess like most things in life if you enjoy it do it . . . If you don’t . . .then don’t! I like racing XC I like riding bikes!
  • 1 0
 XC is awesome, always will be with the right kit...
Currently we pretty much still have XC and DH (remember all mountain, 160mm lighter air forks, Freeride, 160 to 180mm burlier forks, all before Downcountry and Enduro).
Enduro!!!! riders riding DH wheels, tyres on 170mm bikes with a 65 to 63 degree head angle is still DH. A dropper post and wide cassette doesnt change that its still DH.
  • 1 0
 Yep, several already touched on it. XC is a blast! Being competitive in the top tier takes an insane amount of dedication that just mentally drains you and takes all the fun out of it. When riding stopped being fun and felt like a chore, that's when I dialed back on the races. Now I just race occasionally for fun and not for point standings.
  • 1 0
 Cool video but this doesn't feel like XC. I feel like the terrain dictates the discipline more so than the bike does. If I took out a downhill bike and rode it up a fire road I wouldn't call it a downhill ride just because I was on a dual crown bike.
  • 1 0
 Some of you guys are hilarious. Most of the quotes in the video were of people saying XC riders can't ride for crap. XC rider (granted, he rides other disciplines, but most of us who are any good at bikes do the same) rides XC bike on moderately aggressive terrain better than 95% of Pinkbike readers could do on a big bike and it doesn't prove anything because he races enduros as well (like many of us who race XC do) and it wasn't "an XC trail". I mean, if it goes up and down, and across country, it's kinda XC by definition.

Such a weird thing to hate on what the competitive side of the sport evolved from. Or maybe that's it - many want to pretend at being competitive but actually doing it requires work and discipline. And sometimes tight clothing.

Imagine being so insecure that you actually care what others ride or wear.
  • 4 0
 Looks like a mountain bike ride to me.
  • 1 0
 So he defends XC while riding a XC bike and doing enduro type trails? Humm so this isn’t XC riding. Maybe try and convince the masses with a good XC video with the actual discipline showcasing the actual riding?…
  • 4 1
 Lets pick another group to hate on. Bike polo?
  • 3 0
 For a second I read, Leif Eriksson haha
  • 3 4
 LOL.Fotunately he didn't experienced pardoxal reaction to the drugs before goroing on the Heli, would be a hell of a ride.I had never taken any benzodiazepines (aka Valium/sleeping pills) until medics gave me after surgery, Till this day not sure if I was really sufucating or just tripping at the same time ceeling lights were throwing smoke and the wall clock pointers trying to attack me.
  • 4 0
 oops,sry, wrong page.was posting to Minnar/Taj article Razz
  • 1 0
 We simply have fun together with friends no matter the bike, some on bmx, some on dj, trail, dj, enduro or fun capable city bike and still we can enjoy it together
  • 5 2
 When your XC trails look like that, is it really XC anymore?
  • 5 2
 The Catch: Lief is an Enduro Racer haha
  • 1 0
 XC is going up and downhill on a mtb thus it is what most of us do. XC bikes are what suck though fair play to Lief Rodgers he can surely ride that bike with style.
  • 2 0
 Ahhhh what are you selling me now....
  • 6 8
 Looks more like a trail bike and I bet those skills were not honed on an XC bike to begin with.
Anyway. It’s the XC mindset and the trails they typically ride that sucks.
I like a or pedal as much as anyone but don’t buy in to the leg shaving , gram counting and generally overly serious / unfriendly vibes.
My hood has plenty of dudes cleat skidding down the b-lines to make me believe that ,yes, most XC riders can’t descend well.
Stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason
  • 2 0
 Makes me want a super light bike! Go Lief!
  • 2 0
 Bike looks like a Giant Anthem Advanced Pro 29 if anyone else was curious.
  • 1 1
 I suspect he flipped his stem before taking this video. I bet with the stem pointing to the ground it would not be possible to ride like that.
  • 4 7
 I'd love to rock a 24lb xc bike with fast tires, they're super fun and feel so fast. But in my rocky CA area I flat every ride if i run XC tires. Wanna send it into questionable terrain (which is really fun)? Not happening on a whippet bike, so you put beefy tires on and rims that can take a beating and suddenly you're at 32lb, and you may as well go to 34lb and have 170mm of travel too.

I can see it in an area with mellow dirt trails, but in pointy terrain, XC lyfe just ain't happening unless you wanna fix stuff frequently.
  • 4 1
 So run a 24.5lb XC bike with better tires. Your rims will be fine!
  • 1 0
 Inserts also exist.
  • 3 2
 Awesome, but not awesome enough to smile.
  • 2 1
 Nice but downhill is where it’s at, IMHO anyways
  • 3 3
 that’s cool and all, but xc bikes don’t have 40mm stems and ride bars…
  • 2 3
 It amuses me that you would find essentially none of the tracks ridden in this video in an xc race. The video is kinda proving the haters points.....
  • 1 1
 Once again, save yourself the embarrassment and watch a single World Cup XCO race. They're right here on the internet for free.
  • 1 0
 @nattyd: I have. I've been mountainbiking for over 25 years and have seen the odd xc race in my time. Sure things have progressed a lot since the 90's but even now, none of the riding featured in that video would be found happening during any xc race ever. And this is fine. There is nothing wrong with that. XC doesn't have to be as cool or exciting as other sports. Roadies accepted this long ago and they're doing just fine.
  • 1 0
 @gabriel-mission9: You straight up do not know what you're talking about. I don't know what "odd XC race" you're referring to, but the majority of courses now have features as big or bigger than what's in the video: Mt. St. Anne, Petropolis, Lenzerheide, the Tokyo Olympics course, Les Gets... all crazy technical. Huge berms, jumps, drops, chutes, you name it. Plus a lot of truly difficult stuff that most bike park bros can't ride for shit like off-camber switchbacks.

I'd love to see you try to follow Nino Schurter or Jolanda Neff down any descent on those courses. Nino has already humiliated some pretty good pro downhillers. www.redbull.com/us-en/videos/nino-schurter-andrew-neethling-stellenbosch-xco-world-cup-track-talk
  • 1 0
 @nattyd: Lool, no. Have you ever actually been to a bikepark? I watched the video you linked to, which I'm sure you carefully selected as the gnarliest video you could find, and it was basically a blue trail from any good bikepark. The biggest feature was like a 1ft drop off. At one point they rode over a lump big enough to momentarily get both wheels off the floor! Yet again the video does more to prove the haters points than refute them. There is nothing wrong with xc being a bit boring. My mum enjoys knitting. This is fine. She doesn't try to hype it up as "extreme radical knitting thats just as exciting and cool as skydiving". Cos knitting isnt as exciting as skydiving. XC isnt as exciting as DH. This is ok. It's nothing to get upset about.
  • 1 0
 @gabriel-mission9: That's Stellenbosch... You would know this if you watched XC, but it was run only once in 2018. It doesn't come close to any of the any of the courses I mentioned, all of which have features comparable to the video in this article. The point of that video is Nino easily dropping a DH pro on all the descents (including many features >>1') , high-post on a 100 mm bike. Love to see you try that.

And as far as XC being less exciting than DH... unlike you, I actually watch them both. It's not close. DH is great, but watching 50 guys pick nearly identical lines down the same run over and again doesn't come close to bar-to-bar, mass-start racing. That's not just my opinion. XC viewership has outpaced DH for 4 years now:

www.pinkbike.com/news/cross-country-world-cups-were-viewed-by-more-people-than-downhill-for-the-first-time-in-2018.html

So, wrong again.

But hey, if you want to go through life talking nonsense about a sport you don't follow, I can't stop you from making a fool of yourself.
  • 1 0
 @nattyd: I didn't ask where it was... If you think any of those features are >>1' i feel sorry for both your riding buddies... and your girfriend...
You are talking pure nonsense. Show me any xc race ever with a double big enough to throw a sui, or a multiple bike length/height drop. I'll wait...
Needles hasn't been a pro downhiller for a very long time, and clearly wasn't putting in any effort at all. If you want to get really pedantic about the results of one silliy staged video, he also won the race...
Keep grabbing at your imaginary straws mate. Your argument fell apart a long time ago.

And as far as viewer numbers... mcdonalds sells far more burgers than any other burger restaurant on the planet. This doesn't mean their burgers are the best, it just means most people are stupid...
  • 1 1
 And no mention of the bike he is riding... I think it is a Norco Revolver, likely in 120mm mode. Can anyone confirm?
  • 3 0
 He rides for Giant. So either a Trance or Anthem. He did the enduros on a Reign.
  • 1 0
 The new Giant Anthem!
  • 1 0
 Eddie Murphy voice: "spandex, alllllll spandex...."
  • 2 1
 he was not doing XC in the video tho
  • 1 0
 So good!
  • 1 0
 Yeh Lief LFG!!!
  • 1 0
 Nice!
  • 1 0
 Max for president
  • 4 6
 I would like to race xc on an ebike
  • 2 5
 that’s an xc bike given trail bike upgrades to make it rideable. try those moves with a 90mm stem and a -10 degree rise.
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