XC-ifying a freeride bike

Many of us (not me) are selling our quivers for that single long-travel bike, and the question arises: How do I make it better for XC?

Hi Lee, how´s it going?

Since I discover the holy MTB “how to” Bible I´ve been a regular visitor. Bought both of your books and love them… Besides the amazing attention to details, they are fun to read!

I have a SX Trail II and I’m enjoying it a lot. The bike is almost perfect. The only issue I have with it is that I sold the rest of my fleet to buy it, so it’s got to do everything. From Epic Rides to DH riding. The thing is, as the bike is a bit on the heavy side and with a single front ring, it’s really impossible for me (weak legs) to do some good climbing and long rides. My idea is to upgrade the crank to a Holzfeller 2.2 RG (22-32), and build an extra, lighter wheelset (trail/epic riding oriented) and an extra longer stem in order to use the bike for EPIC rides and even Marathon events (I don´t wan´t to be competitive)… I really love the bike, but I need a bike that climbs ok and I hope that with these to different sets it will be the one bike I always wanted it to be…
Will it work? What do think?

Thanks for your patience and happy new year!
Guilherme Reis
Ṣo Paulo РBrazil

PS1: sorry for my poor english skills
PS2: I don´t know you at all, but you seem to be one of nicest mountain bikers out there. So about your “Big Life Changes” I really wish you the best man!

The more you click, the more I can post. Lee Likes Groceries dot com!

Hi Guilherme,

It’s going good. I’m pretty confused these days, but I’m good.

I think you’re in a common situation. As you know, I’m a big Enduro fan. As such, I’ve done a lot of fiddling to adapt it for different riding styles.

To make your SX Trail, Nomad, VP-Free, 6-Pack, Stinky or any other long-travel bike better for trail riding, you can do these things:

– Dual rings. 22/32 is as easy as it gets. Run an 11-34 in back.

– Chain guide. You need something to keep those links in line.

– Light wheels and fast tires. I always use a DH wheel in the rear. Too much power.

– I wouldn’t switch stems back and forth. It changes the cockpit too much. Choose one stem that you like, and run it everywhere. A 70mm or 90mm might be a nice compromise.

– Full length seatpost (of course). Telescopic or remote posts are great. Maverick Speedball!

– You can adjust the ProPedal or SPV pressure to make the bike climb more efficiently.

See also:


— Lee

PS1: Your English is better than my Portuguese.
PS2: Thanks brother. You seem nice too.

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