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140.6 Reasons To Try Off-Road Triathlon | TRS Triathlon

edited June 2016 in Articles

image140.6 Reasons To Try Off-Road Triathlon | TRS Triathlon

Is the spark gone? Do you find yourself longing for the early days, when you were just oh-so-excited to do it, but now it’s a...

Read the full story here


simonsen77KenElPescadoPeladoJames LangeTad_M

Comments

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    I agree with everything here, but that second to last picture is disgusting.
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    idking90idking90 Member, Pro Triathlete
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    James LangeJames Lange Member, TRS/Baucco Team Member
    Flora Duffy is 100% badass.
    idking90M_WareAaronWebstey


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    I have been seriously looking at these for the past 3 years. My wife says "No" to buying a mountain bike. "Because there are no mountains in Houston," she reasons. So I start calling it a 'Trail Bike.' *Smack* She hits me upside the head. "You don't need another bike, you already have 5!" "But I can't race Xterra without a mount... Trail Bike! They don't allow 'cross bikes!" "Then don't race Xterra!" Can't argue with that logic, I suppose...

    And I've finally found a decent whip in town that I'm willing to buy. Orbea Alma H10 (Fox 32 forks, 2x10, Alloy) for 1500. The alloy frame I want, the components I want, and the price I was looking for. Still nope... I did finally get her okay for a motorcycle since my Dad is giving me one for however much is costs to get it out of his shed. That took 3 years. So maybe next year I can wear her down and get that XC race bike. Or just buy the one I want cash and hide it in my storage closet...

    As an aside, anyone in the Houston area want to loan me a bike for Xterra Pure Austin or Cameron Park?

    GasBomb
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    idking90idking90 Member, Pro Triathlete
    @KHilgendorf can't help you re: the bike, but at the various points I was supposed to move for my actual job, Houston and/or Texas City always seemed like reasonable options (at least when presented with Houma, Morgan City, and Port Arthur as alternatives)
    From what I have been able to gather, there are a handful of places in the Houston area with some decent singletrack, doing a lot with what they've got. It's kinda like near me in Williamsburg, VA, with purpose-built MTB trails that use every bit of terrain to make for some really great trails given topography. I'm due to actually move almost for sure next summer, and Houston may still be an option so hopefully you convince your bike that you NEED it by then.
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    marcbartonmarcbarton Member
    edited June 2016
    Great article, Ian...
    AaronWebsteyidking90
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    Thanks for the shout out guys. Glad to help. Great to see pieces like this being written.
    M_WareJames LangeAaronWebsteyidking90
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    idking90 said:

    Houston and/or Texas City always seemed like reasonable options (at least when presented with Houma, Morgan City, and Port Arthur as alternatives)
    From what I have been able to gather, there are a handful of places in the Houston area with some decent singletrack, doing a lot with what they've got. It's kinda like near me in Williamsburg, VA, with purpose-built MTB trails that use every bit of terrain to make for some really great trails given topography. I'm due to actually move almost for sure next summer, and Houston may still be an option so hopefully you convince your bike that you NEED it by then.

    I'd try not to move here if you can avoid it. Though you are correct in Houston being much better than those places in LA you listed. There are some acceptable trails around town, but 1) they're not highly technical, just roots and some short drops and 2) there are only about 10 miles of them, all of which have been severely flooded multiple times in the past 2 years. I hardly need a MTB for this, as my cross bike does the job well enough for what's on offer.

    idking90
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    Guys,
    I've been doing a lot of urban mtb this year/winter. Adventure road is so hot right now, but I think mtb in cities is the future. There are so many hidden gems. You can find good stuff in parks, alongside bike paths...I suppose they're unofficial "community trails" but its good to explore.

    Hopefully IMBA and the local mtb clubs etc. will keep pushing for more riding in the mtb deserts. We need to communicate that while awesome single track in the aspens is the ideal you don't need "mountains" to mountain bike.

    Keep up the good work!

    @KHilgendorf as to your bike situation. Check out Bulls Bikes USA. I can get you (and anyone else interested) at least 10% off. They're new to the USA this year, but they've been very successful at Cape Epic and other major MTB marathons throughout the world. We will be doing a review of the Wild Team Edge this week. However, the Copperhead bikes and the Wild Cup bikes are great starter mtbs and affordable.

    Let me know if I can help.

    Jimmy

    idking90 said:

    Houston and/or Texas City always seemed like reasonable options (at least when presented with Houma, Morgan City, and Port Arthur as alternatives)
    From what I have been able to gather, there are a handful of places in the Houston area with some decent singletrack, doing a lot with what they've got. It's kinda like near me in Williamsburg, VA, with purpose-built MTB trails that use every bit of terrain to make for some really great trails given topography. I'm due to actually move almost for sure next summer, and Houston may still be an option so hopefully you convince your bike that you NEED it by then.

    I'd try not to move here if you can avoid it. Though you are correct in Houston being much better than those places in LA you listed. There are some acceptable trails around town, but 1) they're not highly technical, just roots and some short drops and 2) there are only about 10 miles of them, all of which have been severely flooded multiple times in the past 2 years. I hardly need a MTB for this, as my cross bike does the job well enough for what's on offer.

    simonsen77idking90AaronWebstey
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    Tad_MTad_M Member, TRS/Baucco Team Member, Level 2 Supporter
    Fantastic article Ian!!!
    idking90

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    GanterGanter Member, Pro Triathlete
    Fun article Ian! Couldn't agree more. It was great to see you in 'bama! Hey, what's the big deal with this "blood rock" you speak of? It almost looks flat in that picture...
    idking90
    www.chris-ganter.com
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    AaronWebsteyAaronWebstey Administrator, TRS/Baucco Team Member
    For everyone's info: Ian wrote the article and had a few great suggestions on photos, but I ultimately sourced and added all photos. So blame me for those.

    That being said, @DirtTRI_com helped put me in touch with Trey from XTERRA and Bob from XTERRA Jersey Devil, who were very helpful in providing photos. Very much appreciated!

    Finally, it kills @idking90 that he has written and published a listicle - so please, poke fun at him for that :)
    idking90DawnC
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    idking90idking90 Member, Pro Triathlete
    @Ganter I shamelessly ran it. I thought the 15 yards leading into Blood Rock is worse than Blood Rock itself. Blood Rock is just where your series of successively poor line choices on that descent culminate in an endo and a broken neck.
    AaronWebstey
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    Nice article, always wanted a MTB!
    idking90AaronWebsteyTad_M
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    Not sure if this is good or bad news, but apparently I'm not smart enough for grad school. Which means I now have a free, um... let's just say "many dollars" to spend. And I think I may have worn down the wife enough to let me buy something. So, here's the conundrum:

    2016 Orbea Alma H50 for 1,080: http://www.sunandski.com/p/7706061941601/orbea-men-s-alma-h-mountain-bike
    2015 Orbea Alma H10 for 1,500: http://www.sunandski.com/p/7706061941512/orbea-alma-h10-29-hardtail-mountain-bike-15

    H10 is better, but is it that much better? Can I get by with Deore, Recon Silver and Mach1 (?) wheels or do I need the XT/SLX, Fox 32 Float, and Mavics? Will be racing Xterra, and can easily drop the extra 400, just not sure if I "need" to.
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    idking90idking90 Member, Pro Triathlete
    My first mountain bike was a $1,000 hardtail. It sucked but it got me riding and I raced plenty on it, and it's actually still at my parents' house in the basement. That said, the hell with front derailleurs. They're the worst. I did not know this until about 2 months ago. My 1x setup is super goofy, but it technically works.
    simonsen77
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    Tad_MTad_M Member, TRS/Baucco Team Member, Level 2 Supporter
    @KHilgendorf , spend the extra on the fox and wheels rather than wish you did later. You deserve it.
    idking90

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    simonsen77simonsen77 Member, TRS/Baucco Team Member
    The H10 looks better @KHilgendorf. Aren't your other bikes green?

    Are the Mavic wheels OK for racing? (I'm not even sure what's desirable for mtn wheelsets - weight?) If not, might as well go with the H50 and pair it with a new wheelset at the same time.
    First #BAAW Badge Recipient
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    My understanding is the Mavis are mostly garbage. The 2016 H10 actually has the Mach1 spec'd. I'm not worried about the shifting differences between deore and xt, but I'm thinking all the upgrades will result in about 2 lbs dropped from the H50 (mostly in the fork). They have an H30 for 1400 that also has the fox fork, but if I'm spending 1400, I may as well spend 1500. And yes, green is good, but I'm not a huge slave to color on my bikes. Cars, that's a different story.
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    KHilgendorfKHilgendorf Member
    edited June 2016
    New wrench: R&A Cycles has the 2016 H30 for 1200, tax free and free shipping (https://www.racycles.com/mountain/orbea/orbea-alma-29-h30-bike-11450).

    So the H50 is now out as that would cost me about the same for inferior fork/components. What say you now, people. 400 extra for questionable mavics, XT mix vs. SLX, and some lighter bar/stem/post? I've never had disc brakes on a MTB, but I assume they all perform mostly the same between levels, just a bit heavier as you step down? Difference in weight between these 2 should be a pound or less.

    Also, one more question: what is an acceptable small ring for MTB double? I would ideally swap my P2M road compact onto this with something like 42/32 rings. It's mostly flat in Texas, so I think the 32x36 would be plenty for some short steeps (I've ridden most of the trails around here on my cross bike without issue). But I really have no dirt experience in the past 12 years, and before that was CT rock gardens on a FS 26'er. Got pretty decent at trials riding and urban assaults, but no racing.
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    idking90idking90 Member, Pro Triathlete
    I use a 32 for my 1x setup, and I think 30/32/34 are the most common options, but that's usually with a 42 on the cassette. Can you even put a 32 on a 110 BCD though?
    On a related note as you're swapping over the P2M, I'll say this as somebody with a MTB PM: it's nice, but far from essential, and less useful than the road. Most of the time you can't do anything with the power numbers while you are riding; the trail dictates your power on most all but extended climbs. It's somewhat useful if you put on like 30 second smoothing, but at that point why not just use HR? That is, unless you plan to ride on the road/jeep trails a lot like I do and then you can use it very similarly to on a road bike.
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    @idking90 Yeah, I know the PM will be mostly a luxury on the MTB, but still nice to have for TSS and such. I have a PowerCal HRM that will simulate power over longer duration, but I suspect my HR will change based on fear as much as exertion. Smallest for 110 BCD I've been able to find is a 33t.

    Good news is the wife has said okay. So now I just have to get out and test ride. I still have 2 months of summer before kid #2 arrives, and Xterra Cameron Park is looming.
    simonsen77M_Ware
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    idking90idking90 Member, Pro Triathlete
    @KHilgendorf something worth noting is that MTB TSS isn't directly translatable with road. The reason being is that MTBing is just so much more dynamic, like you're doing plenty even when your legs are putting out 0 W ("if you're not pedaling, you should be pumping" or something like that)
    An XTERRA championship distance is a 2.5ish hour event, but it took a while for my coach and I to figure out that I can't just get right back into high quality training as quickly as a road Olympic.
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    @idking90 It's all irrelevant now. Got an email from my boss this evening that I will be laid off tomorrow at 10 am. So at least I got that notice before I pulled the trigger on a new bike.
    AaronWebsteysimonsen77wchevronidking90M_WarebalsdorfCraig Dneil5young

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