Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register

Author Topic: Riversdal Enduro 2018 - riding on the margin  (Read 517 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline PLUTO

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: AJS (all models)
  • Posts: 128
    • View Profile
Riversdal Enduro 2018 - riding on the margin
« on: July 10, 2018, 03:36:21 pm »
It is Le Tour de France time, and Supersport TV is awash with cycling coverage.  I stand to be corrected, but one of the Pro Cycling Teams, Team Sky, has metaphorically leaked out what their “secret sauce” is that makes them potential winners.  It is this;  Team Sky management seeks to marginally improve on every aspect of cycling, and these combined marginal improvements add up to being whole percentage points better than the other teams.

For example, Team Sky cyclists bring their own bedding and pillows from home so they will sleep just that little bit better than sleeping on strange pillows in different hotels every night. Better rested cyclists equate to a small percentage point improvement- 0.03% ? – in performance.  In itself, this is not enough to win Le Tour De France.  But this fractional or marginal percentage point is added to things like;

•   Cyclists’ water bottles are short filled, so instead of weighing 700g, they only ever weigh 200g, a weight saving of 500g.
•   Instead of morning and evening meals being the same for everyone, a nutritionist and chef cook exactly what each cyclist wants to eat, thus giving a potential performance advantage of 0.02%.
•   Hiring a surgeon to show cyclists correct hand washing techniques to minimise chance of illness.

And so on for every aspect Team Sky.  The combined marginal performance improvements are reckoned to add up to 2%, or more, perhaps enough to win the race, given no drama such as accidents/illness? 

So what’s this all got to do with enduro biking?   I thought I would experiment with this marginal theory, and see if my biking performance would improve in race conditions? 

So, for the Motorsport SA  Riversdal regional enduro, I did the following;

•   Rode a 2015  KTM 250 Freeride instead of a KTM 250 XC W resulting in a weight saving of about 8 kgs.
•   Short filled the Freeride with fuel – weight saving of about 2 kgs.
•   Trial bike boots instead of MX boots – weight saving of about 1 kg
•   One and half litre water capacity Camel Back instead of normal 3 litre – another one point five kg weight saving.
•   The bare minimum of tools and first aid – 600g saving?

Then I took some chances which I don’t know how strategically wise they were, as I had no tools to fix anything?   

•   Standard thin wall tubes instead of mousses.
•   No bolt-on bike protection for the Freeride – rode it naked so to speak.

For traction I fitted a rear trials bike tyre, and a standard enduro bike front. 

The guys set the Riversdal course with the standard trail being “Silver”, and two “Gold” loops running off and back onto Silver.

The first Gold loop featured a long, steep and sustained hill climb of about 1 kilometre.  The second gold loop was 3 km upstream river bed, festooned with rocks/boulders, pools of water, step ups, and mossy/slippery sections.  A proper technical challenge.

The start went fine, and  gunned it up the hill and onto the singletrack.  The Freeride is a hybrid: part trials, part enduro.  At first the bike felt squirrely on single track, until I got used to the different handle bar/foot peg configuration.  It’s  shorter, narrower and smaller, and a few times when going from sitting to standing, I would accidently change gear, or brake.

The suspension bottomed out from time to time, you have to be a gynaecologist to find the choke, and back brake is poor,  but barring these few faults, the bike puts a big smile on your dial.   

It is lively, and inspires confidence and abandon in technical terrain.  There is incredible torque in 1st and 2nd gear, and combined with the chewing gum soft rear tyre, it feels like cheating.  I felt light and relaxed on the bike, and except for one very steep, gnarly downhill, never felt intimidated by the terrain .  I put it down to weight savings; being some 10 – 12 kgs lighter makes a world of difference!  You ride better, don’t get so tired, and your race times improve. 

Having said that, I only managed two gold laps in just over 3 hours – no rocket speed riding.  I put this down to me, the 58 year old rider, being bike unfit.  Many reasons why, but main cause just no time to go biking. 

Would i have a Freeride as my weapon of choice on enduros?  No.  My concern is I don’t think the Freeride is robust enough to take the hits, and will break down on the trail.  But do weight savings give a performance advance – absolutely! 

I am going to go back to my heavy XC W 250 and allied equipment, and try to ride it with the same abandon as the Freeride, while I wait for technology to catch up and make a sub 90kg full size enduro bike. 

I feel deeply guilty in dissing the 2015  Freeride, especially since it was 100% percent reliable on the race, but I can’t stop the niggle that says the bike will literally fall to pieces with sustained, heavy-duty hits. 

I am further confused by the 2018 Freeride which has addressed suspension/braking/fuel range issues, and there is a whisper in the pits that this bike could be the one to take a weekend warrior to the Bronze finish line in Roof of Africa? 

So there you go; the enduro bike holy grail in one’s grasp –  ROA Bronze medal, maybe even Silver, and the tool to do the job – just have to get the head abound the ‘robust’ word.


 

Offline woody1

  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: Yamaha Super Tenere
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 8,400
  • Thanked: 64 times
  • XT1200ZE "Vinnige" Witte
    • View Profile
Re: Riversdal Enduro 2018 - riding on the margin
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2018, 03:40:42 pm »
Is that what happened last weekend down here.  :laughing4:

I WOULD RATHER BE AN HONEST ASSHOLE .... THAN A FLIPPEN LIAR !   


Ducati 100cc Mountaineer, Honda 550 K3, Suzuki Gs1000E, Suzuki Gs1000G, Suzuki 1100 Katana, BMW R1100RT, BMW R1150RT,,,,,All gone. Only 2014 ST in the garage at the moment... And Honda XL 600
 

Offline PLUTO

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: AJS (all models)
  • Posts: 128
    • View Profile
Re: Riversdal Enduro 2018 - riding on the margin
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2018, 03:45:03 pm »
yebo, and end of next month is another MSA enduro just outside Mcgregor
 

Offline woody1

  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: Yamaha Super Tenere
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 8,400
  • Thanked: 64 times
  • XT1200ZE "Vinnige" Witte
    • View Profile
Re: Riversdal Enduro 2018 - riding on the margin
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2018, 03:46:40 pm »
 :thumleft:

I WOULD RATHER BE AN HONEST ASSHOLE .... THAN A FLIPPEN LIAR !   


Ducati 100cc Mountaineer, Honda 550 K3, Suzuki Gs1000E, Suzuki Gs1000G, Suzuki 1100 Katana, BMW R1100RT, BMW R1150RT,,,,,All gone. Only 2014 ST in the garage at the moment... And Honda XL 600
 

Offline XT JOE

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Yamaha XT600
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 1,927
  • Thanked: 9 times
    • View Profile
Re: Riversdal Enduro 2018 - riding on the margin
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2018, 08:58:40 pm »
love the writing Pluto man...

specially with these flink dink comments :) :)

"The suspension bottomed out from time to time, you have to be a gynaecologist to find the choke, and back brake is poor,  but barring these few faults, the bike puts a big smile on your dial....   

BEER IS PROOF GOD LOVES US.
 

Offline Pom17

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: NER-A-CAR
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 2,673
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Cobus van der Merwe
    • View Profile
Re: Riversdal Enduro 2018 - riding on the margin
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2018, 12:54:11 pm »
Only saw this now.

Thanks for sharing. Loved the post.

Would like to add some comments from my side:
I also raced the event in the gold class and have tested the freeride 250 on a few occasions.

The CSMX races, although technical, is too fast paced with hard hitting braking bumps and lots of rocks and obstacles.
The suspension on the freeride is too soft and will wear you down more than a proper enduro bike.

Dont think it is a bad bike, just dont think the freeride is aimed at something like the CSMX races


 

Offline Buff

  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: KTM 690 Adventure
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 6,689
  • Thanked: 87 times
    • View Profile
Re: Riversdal Enduro 2018 - riding on the margin
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2018, 01:54:29 pm »
Nice one Pluto, I love reading of your adventures, they are always so well penned  :thumleft:

I've ridden the 350 4T Freeride and I was very impressed with how easy it was to ride. It basically felt like a big mountain bike and way easier to manipulate in rocky riverbed type terrain  :thumleft: Unfortunately they just don't have that macho "I'll rip ya damn arms off boy" factor of the 300 2Ts so no self respecting SA enduro rider will be seen dead on one, even if they don't have the necessary skill set for the 300  :o
Present bikes: BETA 300RR, KTM 690, Yamaha WR250F

If you're dumb you gotta be tough !!!
 

Offline Rossdog

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 690 Adventure
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 3,520
  • Thanked: 54 times
    • View Profile
Re: Riversdal Enduro 2018 - riding on the margin
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2018, 08:45:34 am »
Nice one Pluto, I love reading of your adventures, they are always so well penned  :thumleft:

I've ridden the 350 4T Freeride and I was very impressed with how easy it was to ride. It basically felt like a big mountain bike and way easier to manipulate in rocky riverbed type terrain  :thumleft: Unfortunately they just don't have that macho "I'll rip ya damn arms off boy" factor of the 300 2Ts so no self respecting SA enduro rider will be seen dead on one, even if they don't have the necessary skill set for the 300  :o

All they need is a better suspension (firmer) and decent brakes, & you'll have a giant killer. Terence Hyde had a 250 Free Ride that he put a 250 XC-W front end on, and beefed up the rear shock. It was a very capable bike.
'69 Model.
 

Offline Pom17

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: NER-A-CAR
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 2,673
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Cobus van der Merwe
    • View Profile
Re: Riversdal Enduro 2018 - riding on the margin
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2018, 05:25:16 pm »
The geometry is still not right for faster paced stuff even id you do add decent suspension. So just throwing money at something that will still be lacking

Once again, it is a great bike, but for its intended purpose. CSMX and similar way to fast for it
 

Offline Rossdog

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 690 Adventure
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 3,520
  • Thanked: 54 times
    • View Profile
Re: Riversdal Enduro 2018 - riding on the margin
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2018, 09:06:07 am »
The geometry is still not right for faster paced stuff even id you do add decent suspension. So just throwing money at something that will still be lacking

Once again, it is a great bike, but for its intended purpose. CSMX and similar way to fast for it

Agree.
'69 Model.
 

Offline PLUTO

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: AJS (all models)
  • Posts: 128
    • View Profile
Re: Riversdal Enduro 2018 - riding on the margin
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2018, 12:16:20 pm »
Hi Guys

thanks for the feedback.  BTW there is another enduro coming up this weekend - 25 August in Mcgregor ...

I see KTM have a 2018 Freeride with suspension mods.  Only available in 250 cc 4 stroke.  I wonder if this is the ultimate bike to get one to the finish in Roof of Africa, Bronze Class? 
As an amateur weekend-warrior type rider, your ROA average speed to make the daily timebars, is in the order of 20 kph.  Surely on a lightweight Freeride, your chances of a Bronze medal are far more certain, than slugging it out on a full size (heavy) enduro bike? 

 
 

Offline Rossdog

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 690 Adventure
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 3,520
  • Thanked: 54 times
    • View Profile
Re: Riversdal Enduro 2018 - riding on the margin
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2018, 12:29:42 pm »
I've often wondered the same thing, but I think, for my height/weight, a 300 is still better suited. I haven't ridden the new 250 4 stroke, but if it is anything like the older 250 2 stroke or 350 4 stroke, I find the bars too close, and the foot pegs too far back. Not comfortable for me to sit, or to stand for extended periods.
'69 Model.
 

Offline PLUTO

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: AJS (all models)
  • Posts: 128
    • View Profile
Re: Riversdal Enduro 2018 - riding on the margin
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2018, 12:55:17 pm »
One must assume the frame architecture and geometery  on 2018 Freeride would be fundamentally the same as the earlier models.  The move from 2 stroke to 4 stroke gives the 2018 Freeride a range that would get to all the Roof  fuel stops easily (important consideration)  .  Yes for the taller rider, the bars/pegs setup is cramped, but it is something one could get used to?   
I suppose the moot point is this; what is the trade off between  relatively uncomfortable Freeride ergonomics, versus light weight/nimbleness in technical terrain?

Given that you are going to sweat bullets for three days and be very uncomfortable anyway, why not ride a bike that gives you more than a fighting chance of finishing?   
 

Offline Rossdog

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 690 Adventure
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 3,520
  • Thanked: 54 times
    • View Profile
Re: Riversdal Enduro 2018 - riding on the margin
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2018, 10:39:26 am »
Chris Birch wrote an article a few years back, in Enduro World magazine if I remember correctly. He got a standard KTM 200, and stripped it of everything unnecessary such as the the rear tail tidy, headlight, battery, starter, even the stickers (ever felt how much a new pack of stickers weigh?). In the end he had a bike that weighed significantly less than 100kg. Another option maybe?

What it boils down to is, you are going to have to either bum a ride on the new Freeride, or try get you hands on a demo model and try it out first hand. Beta also have the X-Trainer model, which is a similar type of bike.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2018, 10:39:48 am by Rossdog »
'69 Model.