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Author Topic: Riversdal Enduro 2018 - riding on the margin  (Read 161 times)

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Offline PLUTO

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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

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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

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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

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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