Editor’s Note: This article is part of Mtbr.com’s inside-the-race series, where we examine unique facets of the ongoing Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike stage race, currently happening near State College, Pennsylvania. To learn more about the race, visit TSEpic.com. For race reports and results head to outdoorexperience.org/tse/live-coverage. This article is written by Sue George.
The seven-day Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike stage race runs through central Pennsylvania’s notoriously rocky terrain. We took a look at what the top 10 overall men and women were riding during the course of the week.
Hardtail or Full suspension
The verdict is clear – leave your hardtail at home. Of those we surveyed, just one woman was riding a hardtail. Everyone else was on full suspension bikes.
How much suspension
All but two of our 20 top riders were on between 100mm and 120mm of front suspension with 100mm being slightly more common than 120mm. Only one rider had noticeably more travel up front – 160mm. In the rear, 13 of 20 riders were on 100mm of travel with 120mm being the next most popular choice. Again, just one rider had substantially more travel – about 153mm. If you want to be like most of the others in the race, bring a full suspension bike with 100 mm front and rear.
Cannondale took top honors for best represented bike among the top 10 men and top 10 women at the Trans-Sylvania Epic while Yeti earned the runner-up spot. Here’s the full count:
Turning to the wheels, 29ers still ruled the roost with seven of the top men and seven of the top women on them. The other 30% of men and women were on 27.5.
SRAM vs Shimano
SRAM led the pack in the drivetrain tally with 13 of 20 drivetrains covered. Shimano drivetrains were on six bikes while one bike featured a mix of SRAM and Shimano components.