I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not at the forefront on knowledge of all the “new designs” of MTB’s. I only race them a few times a year and most of the races that I do you could get by on a MTB from the 1990’s. The longer, not mountainous races in the midwest don’t need a big movement full-suspension bike normally.
I saw a few comments on a few posts about how “ancient” my dual suspension bike looks. “My stem is too long.” “My bars are too narrow.” “Bar-ends.” Etc.
There is a real difference between bikes you want to race and bikes that you ride around. Jimmy Mac told me a long time ago that he thought one of the reasons that MTB racing, at a National Level, was suffering was because the bikes that are fun/great to ride aren’t the same bikes that you would want to race. I didn’t know enough about it to understand back then, but do now.
The bar width thing is a preference. I can’t, and don’t want to, ride super wide bars because some, or many of the races that I might go to around Kansas, super wide bars just don’t fit. Plus, I don’t need them.
I was at Ned and Todd’s (Overend and Wells) Grand Fondo last year in Durango and I saw John Tomac. I hadn’t seen John in a long time and he was telling me about his son and motorcycle racing. Anyway, he looked at my bike and said, bar-ends, I need to get some of those.
I climb on bar-ends. I don’t understand how riders get power while standing up without them. I do understand that wider bars give more leverage, but you aren’t using the same muscle group. I tell you that a road sprinter could not go nearly as fast without the hands and arms being in the position they are. Flat bars hinder off the seat climbing and accelerating.
I could go on and on. I love my Eriksen and might mess around with position a little, but it is never going to look like a enduro bike with a $400 dropper seatpost and a super short stem. I might get a bike like that, I’ll just never race x-country on it.
On a side note, Vincent is shipping his fork and shock off to DirtLabs in Longmont to get tuned. These are off his tandem. He’s sending my rear shock too. I hear those guys are pretty much best in the business. Guys that focus on one thing usually end up being that way.