FKT's, or, fastest known times, have been a thing in ultrarunning and other sports for decades now, becoming more popular in recent years. It seems that recently, especially since COVID took hold, mountain bikers have joined the ranks, competing to complete feats of endurance in record times.
The bikes being ridden in these feats are purpose-built for the specific attempt, and Rab Wardell's Santa Cruz Blur is no exception. The bike is made to be both an XC race machine and an endurance hammer at the same time, and it's what he used to snag the FKT of The West Highland Way
, a 95 mile trail with over 10,000 feet of vertical.
The frame is the top tier CC model, size large. It has RockShox suspension and SRAM's XX1 AXS Eagle drivetrain. Santa Cruz Reserve rims, Industry 9 hubs, and Continental tires along with CushCore XC inserts keep things rolling.
Rab has his bars cut to 680mm. He has ridden wider bars over the years, but as a smaller rider he doesn't feel any benefit in going wider.
Quarq Power meter paired to a Wahoo ROAM were paramount to helping Rab pace his effort to make the most of his energy reserves over 9 hours of riding.
Rab sets his bike up based on what helps him feel more confident, and usually run things a little bit harder than recommended. For nutrition, he used Secret Training Energy products during his record attempt.
CushCore tire inserts were one of the items which add weight to the build, but Rab feels being able to run the tire at lower pressures is worth it. He's confident that although they add a little weight, this set up is definitely faster than running without. They also saved him when riding into Kinlochleven on a flat!