Bike Check: Ben Hildred's Santa Cruz Tallboy

Feb 2, 2021 at 9:45
by Henry Quinney  

You might have recently read about Ben Hildred's exploits as he climbed 21,635 meters of vertical over the course of three days. Why 21,635 meter exactly? Well, the height of Olympus Mons, the tallest planetry mountain in the solar system, is 21,288 meters and Ben clearly decided it was better to be safe than sorry.

The bike wasn't just built for going up, but also to be capable and inspire confidence coming back down.

Ben stands at 194cm and chose the XL size. He rides the bike in the low setting, with its chainstays in the long position. Ben feels that for taller riders this achieves better rear-wheel traction while pedalling seated.

The bike was outfitted with a 140mm travel Rockshox Pike Ultimate that was coupled to 120mm rear wheel travel delivered via a SIDLuxe Ultimate shock. The fork was run at 85 psi with 2 tokens installed. The rear shock ran 200 psi and had the option of a climb switch. Ben says he rode the suspension a shade stiffer than he normally would to try and give the best pedalling platform possible, while still delivering enough grip and comfort to just about hold on.

A full XX1 AXS drivetrain.

Ben ran 170mm cranks with a 34T chainring. This was matched to a 10-52T cassette. Ben says he landed on this ratio by consulting data derived from his power meter to find something that perfectly suited his intentions. This enabled him, he says, to be smooth and efficient while getting the most usable gears out of his chosen ratios.

Just about every gizmo one could hope for.

A particularly clean-looking cockpit; burly Code RSCs with a 200 and 180mm pairing.

A rather sizeable 38mm rise Josh Bryceland bars from Burgtec in 780mm width paired to a 50mm Deity Copperhead stem and Deity Super Cush grips. As a taller rider, Ben says it helps the bike fit him better proportionally to run a high front end.

Ben says he opted for big brakes as this wasn’t an area he wanted to compromise on and wasn't deterred by a few more grams on the climbs. This is one of the areas that make a bike like this, with this purpose, a fascinating proposition. It's inherently compromised and every single detail will have been agonised over.

Maxxis Exo casings all round.

Reserve 27 rims built on to DT Swiss 240 EXP hubs. The wheels were shod with Exo casing tires. For the big day, Ben opted for a Maxxis Dissector on the front and a Rekon on the rear, both of which were 2.4WT. He also ran 29 psi in both. There might be slightly lighter combinations out there but Ben felt that the security of not puncturing offset any gain.

Ben Hildred
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Age: 32
Height: 194cm
Weight: 80KG
Instagram: @benhildred

Ben set up the AXS system to shift through the full block with one hold of the paddle; a Garmin head unit telling Ben the good, or indeed potentially disheartening, news. Also, an EDC tool was always within grasp if needed.

A 200mm Reverb, plus a healthy amount of extension, means that the saddle appears to tower over the rest of the bike.

Flat pedals, in this instance Crankbrothers Stamp 7s in large, and 21,635 meters of elevation. Turns out that it is about the rider after all.

Ben is currently working his way up the west coast of New Zealand and embarking in his version of 'time off'. He did, however, manage to take some time to shed some light on his setup choices. Food for thought no doubt, as he devours miles on board the very bike we've been focussing on in this article.

A little bit of time has passed since you completed your Olympus Mons project. Looking back, did it challenge you in the ways that you expected and, dare I say, had hoped?

Certainly, although I was never sure how hard it was going to be, so it was impossible to anticipate the grim places it could take me. The hardest part was day two, coming off a big day, pushing through an equally tough day, whilst knowing it was all going to happen again tomorrow. Trying to stretch and rest enough and efficiently was just as much of a challenge as the riding. I thought the time scale element would be interesting, the whole thing felt like a race, with sleeps!

We all put our bikes together in different ways, but yours is one that had to do so much. Was there an over-reaching idealogy with the build? For instance, to make it as light as possible?

Weight didn't bother me too much. Riding bigger bikes I could appreciate the compromises in component weight for performance that perhaps would make the ride more efficient and easier, big brakes for example. It also needed to be dependable. Too many hours over the months previous were spent working hard, to risk being in vain if something failed mechanically.

Even a few years ago people would have balked somewhat at the idea of electronic gears for so much as nipping to the shops for a pint of milk, how did you come about to the decision to run AXS? Are we out of the realms of reassuringly cabled gearing for our endurance efforts?

In the months prior I tried out the AXS, it literally hasn’t skipped a beat. Shifts feel substantial and instantaneous, so yeah, big fan!

On your bars you have a GPS, and we've already mentioned the electronic gearing. Did you have a plan-B should either go awry?

No plan B for the gearing, I was confident in that. As well as the GPS I was recording on my phone, which was a relief as the second day my GPS got too cold on the descents and stopped working, I was on tenterhooks for the remainder of that day!

How might this build compare to if you set it up for your every day riding? Would there be much difference?

I swap out tires for something with a bit more sidewall heft and drop the suspension pressure slightly. Otherwise, same same.


  • 114 3
 Recently climbed the Mons Pubis
  • 39 1
 Strava it?
  • 67 1
 @Otago: yep, did it in 41 seconds.
  • 9 46
flag sanchofula (Feb 3, 2021 at 16:13) (Below Threshold)
 @pipomax: Wow, that's quick, disappointed was she?

Try thinking about a different sport next time Wink
  • 65 4
 Damn that seat post needs to chill TF out!!
  • 6 27
flag suspended-flesh (Feb 3, 2021 at 17:07) (Below Threshold)
 Saddle needs to get its dauber up a bit too. Can't stand this modern 'Climbing Angle' BS. damn whippersnappers gizmos. Rest of the rig looks pretty tight for a SC.
  • 31 1
 I believe the disclaimer says "If you have a seat post longer than 4 hours, please see you doctor."
  • 4 11
flag Glory831Guy (Feb 3, 2021 at 19:39) (Below Threshold)
 Geez, he's practically stand up pedalling while sitting down. I'd be willing to bet he stand up pedals, like a LoTTTT, and the super high saddle makes the transition to stand up pedalling easier on his knees. The seat-height is still plenty low for DH action if he slams it all the way down, so we're probably overreacting anyways.
  • 39 0
 @Glory831Guy: It’s actually a comfortable seated position for me dude, got big gangly limbs, and I make a conserved effort for never pedal up out the saddle, it’s a very inefficient way to climb.
  • 4 0
 Alberto Contador.
  • 2 8
flag fruitsd79 (Feb 4, 2021 at 7:46) (Below Threshold)
 @Glory831Guy: I don't know how people ride with the seat that high up. Especially static posts. I move around all the time climbing and cornering. This ain't the tour de franks.
  • 2 0
 @jclnv: : Clenbuterol
  • 3 0
 @benhildred: @benhildred: I seem to be build almost exactly like you, I'm 6'3 all inseam/legs. I'm taking a lot of cues from your build for my next bike. And to think I was leaning Ripley or Blur because I felt the Tallboy couldn't climb (based on keyboard expertise)
  • 1 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: Catabolic.
  • 5 1
 Maybe if they stopped cutting all the seat tubes off bikes tall fellas wouldn't have to run 200mm posts at min insertion.
  • 2 0
 @mildsauce91: Any bike that offers a longer rear chain stay length (effective or actual) will work better for a taller rider. SCB with length chips, Norco, Pole, to name a few. Saddle position should support the sit bones for the angle climbed for the greatest duration, if you are climbing 10% for hours then a saddle that appears to be nose down makes sense. The saddle height/ handle bar height delta is always an issue for really tall riders.
  • 2 0
 @benhildred: I'm the same way man.. Even at that height, my knees still have a slight bend. Haha
  • 3 1
 @andrewbikeguide: I'm 6'3 super lanky.. Still like my shorter cs for Manuals and just playing around.
  • 53 6
 Flat pedals ftw
  • 15 3
 I did some bike packing over the summer on my gravel bike. First trip I used clips, second (bigger) trip I used flats. The flat pedals definitely are easier for me on long days in the saddle. I think it has to do with being able to move my feet around so they don't get sore from just pedaling on one spot.

I like the feel of being clipped in on my gravel bike, but for MTB I use flats predominantly. The only time I will use clips now on my MTB is for (1) racing, since they help with sprinting, or (2) incredibly muddy days where my feet would be slipping off otherwise.
  • 2 1
 I looked into the Boa Crankbrothers flat shoes and are $300 AUD. I wonder what a long term test on them would show and if they stack up?
  • 3 0
 @mtb-thetown: best response to why flat pedals are a matter of personal preference and comfort can vary from one person to another. Amazing bike too man my gosh!
  • 1 0
 Flat pedals win medals ... or set records. Bold move use a crank brothers pedal for something more than a casual after at the pump track. Glad they held up for him!
  • 32 1
 sure, sure...go do all that with a 34t chainring just to make us all look bad. thanks buddy Wink
  • 22 0
 Ben needs a 300mm dropper. Love this build.
  • 20 2
 That last photo: in case anyone was still wondering why taller riders want steeper seat angles and longer rear ends.
  • 3 5
 Yeah, about that seat angle... :puke emoji:
  • 15 1
 'Ben stands at 194cm and chose the XL size' so now we start do downsize with frames?
  • 9 1
 I mean, most EWS riders already do...
  • 2 2
 @Linc: actually this is insane, 90% of people not the racers at all, why bike industry focus on top 10 while 90 produce income?
  • 7 1
 @nickmalysh: You can pick the option that the fastest, most experienced riders in the world select... or the option that Squidly McDentistface thinks feels better on the local flow trail. Your call.
  • 6 5
 This bike is obviously at least one size too small for him. That's why the seatpost is extended so much, and that's why he has 40mm riser bar on an XC-isch rig. SC simply does not make XXXL bikes, and even their XL bikes are like L size of more progressive brands.
  • 6 2
 @lkubica: It is quite puzzling to me why he went for a size XL instead of a XXL. SC themselves recommend a XXL for people above 193cm. Besides stack and reach (and ETT) being more fitting to somebody of his stature he could compensate for Tallboy's slackish STA and shortish CS by moving a seat further forward. Even at XXL the 657mm stack would warrant some riser bar at his height.
  • 14 0
 @lkubica: This bike is available in XXL and he made a conscious choice to go for XL, likely due to short torso/long legs. Meaning he has the right reach for his upper body and the seat post takes care of leg length.

Rider's overall height doesn't matter much for sizing a bike.

Since now most bikes in all sizes are quite low and long droppers are available as well as higher cockpits, it's no surprise that reach is the main deciding factor when selecting size, followed closely by rear-centre (for those brands that actually make it size-specific) and overall wheelbase.

So, knowing he did in fact have a choice of a larger bike, I think we can trust he knew what he was doing and didn't ride a bike that's too small for him. You may not like the look of that seat post, but fit>looks.
  • 12 0
 @bananowy: Totally. You summed it up the the last sentence. Basically, I just preferred the feel of the XL over anything bigger. I have long legs, but I’m sure, given time, people will get over the sight of my seatpost.
  • 9 0
 @benhildred: Most importantly, congrats on your herculean athletic achievement. Ridiculous.
  • 1 0
 @benhildred: just to be clear, you gave the XXL a try?
  • 4 0
 @jollyXroger: Yep, we have a demo XXL here at Vertigo Bikes, Queenstown.
  • 2 0
 @benhildred: That's that then. You know the best.

Congrats on you great achievement!
  • 8 1
 So much seatpost..
  • 25 4
 Everybody is always complaining about seat tubes that are too long. Now tall people have to suffer the consequences. Looks terrible.
  • 7 1
 I wonder why he didn’t go with and xxl, and a shorter stem if the size was borderline? @IntoTheEverflow:
  • 2 0
 @mikebeeee: Oh they have xxl, nice.
Would have looked better imo, but he probably thinks this rides better.
  • 1 0
 @mikebeeee: because:

a) that set up has completely different ride characteristics.

b) torso length determines appropriate reach length, leg length determines appropriate seat height. Your overall head height is only a rough proxy for the size of the bike you need.
  • 17 4
 @IntoTheEverflow: The bike is versatile and functional for a wide range of riders but "Oh no!" you don't think the seatpost looks cool. What a tragedy.
  • 4 0
 @TEAM-ROBOT: As a rider that is a bit longer than mr Hildred, it is getting hard to find a bike that will fit me.
Because there is an end to the length of dropper posts.

And maybe looks don't matter to you, but i am like the large majority of riders, who like their bike to look good.
  • 3 1
 @IntoTheEverflow: I fully understand you! And besides looks (it's horrible, btw!), in terms of actual Angle, tall riders are completly off!
With that extension, I would be suprise that actual Seat Angle would be near 70º!
Make XXL sizes, actuallly fit and look as cool as F...!
Respect to Midgets and Giants, not all are born in the 80% height interval.
  • 1 0
 @TDMAN: I'm totally in agreement about steeper seat angles for tall people. My inseam is 91.5cm and my seat height is 80cm, so I feel your pain. With slack actual seat angles on short seat tubes, high seatposts get ridiculously slack at full extension. But surely you understand that some people have long inseams and some people have long torsos? You might have one person buying an XXL bike who's 190 cm and has a 92 cm inseam and a short torso, and you might have another rider who's 185 cm with a 82 cm inseam and a long torso. The guy with a long torso and short legs needs a low seat tube to get full insertion on a long-travel dropper post, and the guy with a short torso and long legs needs a super long seatpost. If you design a bike that only fits you or me, it won't fit a large portion of potential customers. So we get long seatposts. I can live with that.
  • 13 11
 Do people really use the bottom end gears when using a 34T chainring? I run a 28T, and occasionally spin out on the road, but that's not a priority for me. I don't understand why you wouldn't go for a tiny front chainring for this kind of ride
  • 3 5
 My Deore 1x11 is 30t up front and I can just barely spin it out on flat, off road going on the trail, got plenty of high range gearing. To be fair I think a 32t would be perfect
  • 12 0
 The idea is to have his main riding gears be in the middle of the cassette where the chain line is best. You will rarely use the 10t cog but that's not the point.
  • 9 5
 Some people are spinners and some love grinding in big gears. In shape, expert level riders don't need massive cassettes and tiny chainrings. For this challenge, if the climbs are super punchy that would take a toll on your legs, go smaller, if the climb had more gradual grades you could just get off the seat and hammer all day. 28t never made sense to me because you have no ability to pedal "at speed" you would be in the smallest cogs, chain slapping.
  • 2 1
 I like a 30t because I always found myself in the middle of the cassette with a 32t on downhills unless on a super pedally bit that meant the mech was lower and more likely to get hit
  • 4 1
 I run a 32 tooth with eagle, i would never use the 50 tooth cog otherwise and i like the steps in between gears better, no double shifting
  • 4 22
flag sanchofula (Feb 3, 2021 at 16:18) (Below Threshold)
 @ryane: In shape? Bah, if someone is running a 32t up front and Eagle or XT 12sp out back, their climbs are not that steep or they don't mind walking.

I'm with Mattg95, a large front chainring is for pushing big gears on flats or downhills for maximum speed, for climbing steep stuff, a smaller front chainring makes all he sense.

I run a 26t in front with an XT 12 sp out back, the big cog is the bail out when it gets so steep you're about to walk, also works nice for easy spinning while your're taking a breather.

I'd rather rest while spinning than stop and get cold/stff.
  • 8 0
 @nurseben: I run 34 11-46 and it is ok for climbs, however I would not mind upgrading to 10 or 9 at the bottom of the cassette; anything less for the climbing equal walking
  • 2 0
 @nurseben: I just think it actually depends on each persons riding style, the terrain they ride, and their fitness. I run a 32t with a 10-50. The only stuff I have never been able to pedal up was due to fitness; 32/50 is a pretty low gear. Similarly, I can only pedal out my 32/10 on the road trying to hammer. At least for me, it’s the perfect ratio. I can understand a more fit rider running a 34 because they could maintain a higher speed up, thus being able to be mainly in the middle of the cassette still, and could potentially pedal it out trying to get back down as quick as possible. That’s what makes these challenges cool is that you still need to fly back down to be able to get in as many repeats as possible. So a 26 or 28 is probably really not ideal even though it might seem like it because the climbing is the part that actually “counts”. It’s like reverse enduro.
  • 3 0
 @KCToregon: Larger chainring and larger cog also result in a smaller chain rotation angle and less friction than the equivalent gear with a smaller chainring and cog.
  • 8 0
 Did you guys push your bikes up the hill with A 28x42 is harder than 32x51 (shimano) or 32x50 (eagle). Hell a 34x52(new eagle) is still easier than 28x42. I do a 32 chainring, and when I'm out of gas, its because my fitness is garbage, nothing to do with the climb.
  • 8 0
 @KCToregon: That's exactly why I run a 34 tooth chainring. I find the 10/11/12/13 tooth cogs wear out super fast and are prone to skipping when I sprint. I would honestly ride a 14/52 cassette if I could, but since no one makes those, having the extra high gears is nice.
  • 25 0
 Just here to laugh at people who can't climb on a 32x52 setup. Don't mind me.
  • 13 0
 @sherbet: I ride a 34 tooth on my 10-42 11 speed cassette and my bike weighs 37 pounds. The funny thing is it's still the easiest gearing I've ever had on a mountain bike. I like low cadences and standing a lot, plus the implicit moral superiority I feel over other riders is priceless. It works for me.
  • 5 2
 @sherbet honestly these comments have amazed me, i have a 32t currently and find it way too easy unless i hit a steep climb 3 hours into a ride, would prefer a 34 and im really not that fit atm espescially with lockdowns, how the people in the comments run 30 and below amazes me, not sure wether to laugh with you or just sit here in confusion
  • 6 2
 @Owenjs: to be fair, if your flag is correct you don't exactly have anything in the way of mountains to talk about around your way...
I'm on a 32 with 10-50, and definitely wouldn't say no to an easier gear for the long steep climbs late in the day.
  • 12 0
 Nobody here has stated wheel size. That's a factor.
  • 2 1
 @dsut4392 yeah you right sadly no huge mountains, still got the snowdonia range, up to 1000m, genrally wont do 1000m in one hit becuase the spots i like to ride are ones that i climb up and do a 2-4 minute enduro/dh run and just get as many of those in as i can in the time i have so id say my comment stands even tho my mountains arent as big as yours
  • 2 1
 @Owenjs: what’s your terrain like? A two hour ride here at the most popular local trail networks will REQUIRE several long technical single track climbs with grades of 18 to 25+. The good stuff requires even more effort than that. 28x51x170mm lets me ride down in middle of the cogset to carry momentum, but still have enough torque to keep it turning over at a decent cadence without popping my knee caps off once shit gets actually steep.
  • 2 2
 @husstler: if you still ride 650b or something else you have to tell us and out yourself. Small wheels are like small chainrings. Discussion standard is 29 with big front chainring :-D
  • 3 1
 @nurseben: to be honest I think you just have some weak ass legs
  • 4 0
 @thomygreg: I’m on a 650B/26” mullet so I’m clueless about what you are discussing. Oh, and I’m still on a 2x10 drivetrain :p
  • 8 0
 @matthellstream: 2x drivetrains were from times when we could acually just go out and ride instead of philosophizing how many teeth our chainring needs
  • 3 0
 @nurseben: I ride 32t on both of my bikes, one with eagle, one with 12sp Shimano. Steep climbs and big climbs abound. It’s no problem, I could spin in the 51t all day.

That’s not meant as a brag. I certainly don’t think of myself as having any more than average strength or fitness. And I’m also not trying to imply that you’re weak or whatever. Different preferences, different styles. It’s cool, fly your freak flag. But man, 26t? I mean, you’ve got to know that you’re an outlier with that setup. I can’t imagine how spinny and slow you must be in your lowest gears, or what an insane cadence you must have to turn in order to move at a reasonable pace.
  • 1 1
 @BrambleLee: Nurseben may have different criteria. I pick what seems like a good climbing gear, calculate the gear inches, find where in the cassette I get a nice straight chainline, and choose a chainring to suit. Maybe he's running DD + insert and that gear makes sense and the lowest gear almost never gets used.

A lot of fatbikes have 26t gearing because the tires are 1500g. DD + CC is getting close for a 29er.
  • 2 0
 @PartridgeSkillz yeah the terrain is a mix, fire road and single track climbs, genrally ill do 550-600m of climbing in a 2 hour ride and 750-800m in a 3 hour ride, thats on 32x51x170, although cadence isnt my thing i prefer to push a harder gear a relly get that burn through my quads, i sit just outside of mid cassete on the steeps stuff. what do you class as a technical climb i guess because i get 18-22% gradient but not sustained tech in the climbs, i also dont think half the guys in the comments are hitting super gnarly climbs like youve mentioned
  • 1 0
 @sherbet: my rocky came with a 28 up front. When I went 11spd with a 46t I found I could never use use the 46t cog. I have short steep climbs and the ratio would just pull the front tire up all the time. I'd always shift bulk shift to the 46 then drop it down one and climb
  • 2 0
 @TEAM-ROBOT: ^This. I think the more DH/BMX background someone has, the more they like to run tall gearing.
  • 3 0
 I upsized to 34T and was spun out in a race with my 10t in the rear. I was only running 11sp at the time, so a 10-46. I have no idea when I would ever want a smaller chainring if I had a 52T in the rear. I would have went to 36 if I had the chainring clearance for it. Some guy blew by me running a 36 and it was a bear to catch him on the next climb. This was for the Whiskey in Prescott which has a ton of climbing, but a long downhill to the finish. Same with Grand Junction Off Road. I was spinning out on the road descent back into town hoping no-one would catch me and I could hold onto 3rd. I can hold it at 120rpm for a while too, though I prefer about 95rpm. I did use the lower gear for sections of both races, it's super steep, but there's plenty of times I was shifting into the next higher gear on climbs for comfort and speed. Had 34T on for White Rim in a Day, under 8 hours also.
  • 6 0
 Love the minimalist white paint job on this bike.
  • 2 0
 If it had a name it should be 'Cloud'.
  • 2 0
 I had the pleasure of riding together with Ben in QT exactly a year ago. He is not just an amazing athlete but also a great representative of our sport, super humble and inclusive to everyone! Cheers, buddy!
  • 6 2
 Come to Switzerland and you know why people use 28 chainrings...
  • 18 1
 I thought the industry has finally settled on only one! Now you want to bring 27 more in!
  • 4 0
 This guy is an inspiration, good to learn his bike setup!
  • 3 1
 C’mon, 80 kg and 194 cm long! I’m 86 kg at just 173 cm, built like a bowling pin, lol. Well, before reaching the age 45+ I was fit too...
  • 1 0
 I think I'm going to go with the optic c2 shimano, it's (short travel) but still comes with a grip 2 36 and a dpx2, it's also pretty light for having a aluminium rear triangle.
  • 2 0
 Great build, amazing achievement! Interested to know more about using power data to find optimal gearing.
  • 1 0
 I think I'm going to go for the optic c2 shimano, it comes with xt drive train and brakes, grip 2 36 and dpx2. It's also pretty light for having an aluminium rear triangle.
  • 2 0
 nice seeing all these bikes It would be nice to have one
  • 2 0
 epic bike spec for an epic task, bloody well done!
  • 1 0
 I examined that first photo a long time. I don't see any strings. It is magic how they make it stand.
  • 2 0
 Great build and some sensible choices. Except for the computer.
  • 2 0
 Gorgeous bike, I love everything about it but the pedals.
  • 2 0
 Curious on the weight of this build? Guessing around 29lbs?
  • 1 1
 I'd hate to think how much that bike build would be here in New Zealand. $20,000? Wonder how close it comes to a dollar per metre!
  • 3 1
 Tallboy With Flat pedals ? the XC racers must be like NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
  • 3 0
 I thought Blur was the model of choice for XC? A little too much suspension travel and slack hta on the Tallboy for the XC crowd, but tbh I wish the XC courses was designed with more tech so a bike like this had its place.
  • 2 0
  • 1 0
 I'm curious what tire combo is lighter. I'm running the same Dissector/Rekon EXOs and I thought that was pretty light!
  • 1 0
 the photos show a sidluxe rear shock
  • 4 0
 Great catch. I'll get that amended now. Cheers.
  • 1 0
 I am getting a severe case of seatpost envy.
  • 2 0
  • 1 0
 unless my eyes are deceiving me...
  • 1 0
 What would you do with the 10k if you won the photo contest?
  • 6 0
 Look at that stack ruefully till summer.

LBS quote: "You could have all the money in the world to spend right now, there's just nothing available".
  • 3 4
 "by consulting data derived from his power meter" to pick the cassette. I wonder if he used the power meter to determine that flat pedals were the best choice too?
  • 10 3
 The idea that clipless is more efficient has been disproven repeatedly. Can clipless provide more control? Yeah. Can clipless let you sprint at a higher wattage? Yeah. Are there reasons to use clipless? Yep. Is clipless more aerodynamic? It sure can be.

Is clipless more efficient? No.
  • 7 0
 Being clipped in doesn’t make you an efficient peddler dude. Technique over everything.
  • 1 0
 @ryan77777: Clipless pedals CAN be more efficient, if you have the skill. As someone who raced road bikes for a very long time, I can tell you that having a smooth, circular pedal stroke, is much more efficient. You can use other muscles that aren't available on flats (I ride flats too). You can also pedal much faster, a fast cadence is more efficient. But you are correct, it is a skill that must be developed.
  • 2 0
 I like the tire combo.
  • 1 0
 Round or oval chainring, and why?
  • 1 0
 I think that ovals are the kind of chain ring that would be paired with eewings and oil slick pedals.
  • 1 0
 @Average-Pinker: Haha. I only ask since I do a lot of big rides with around 5000 metres climbing, and everyone seems to say they make climbing easier so I dunno whether to try it...
  • 2 1
 170 crank on an XL?
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