Off Road Tris

Looking to do something a bit different next year so I fancy sone XTERRA Uk type races has anybody done this or has other off road tris they can recommend also my MTB handling /bravery skills are cr@p how technical do these tend to be?

all advice greatfully acceptedimage

Comments

  • Hi RBM - likewise I've not done an off-road tri but am sorely tempted by one. the trouble is finding them! Xterra UK no longer exists so the closest of this brand are in Europe.

    there are a few off-road duathlons about but not many short distance tri ones - although there is a very very tough middle distance one in Scotland where the run is up Ben Nevis and back after a 90km of road ride. ferk that for a game of marbles!!

    as for technicality, I don't think they are over-technical - Xterra when it was running wasn't that bad from reports I read but still tested you with some tough climbs and trickly singletrack but no full on mad stuff.

    UKMTB tri have 4 events although bar Afan the other 3 are way North so too far away. and the Afan one is same day as IMUK

    well worth looking at for next year - I keep talking about doing one but never get round to it but maybe next year as I'm not doing long distance again after Outlaw
  • There's an XTERRA tri near us every September. They do 2 lengths of tri as well as a duathlon, aquathlon, swim race, 10km run and 4hr MTB enduro. The tris are a sprint (750m swim, 12km bike, 5km run) and "full" distance - 1500m swim, 24km bike, 10km run. I did the latter last year. The bike course was loops, not too technical but a good mix of fast, twisty tracks and a few "obstacles". I generally go by the rule that 1km off-road is approx equal to 1mile on road, so expect roughly similar bike times that way.

    Generally, if you dont think your MTB skills are up to much, get off-road and improve them! Do some sportifs if there are any near you. It's a steep learning curve.

  • FA - that's the Camberley one yes?? I've looked at it the last few years but it's clashed with the JW Ultra which I've been doing (and sweeping this year - but on a bike!)

    I've heard it's not too difficult

    and - fyi - rbm is an experienced MTB'er..... image
  • Oh, sorry RBM! - he did say his skills were crap! My false modesty radar is not that finely attuned!
  • you can still be experienced and crap - look at Barlist...... image

  • Flyaway I do afair bit of MTBing in the winter but I have always been a bit of a bottler on really technical descents when most of my mates disapeer offimage I am going to really try and get this sorted this year as soon as I have got Outlaw out the way so if I bust something it dont matterimage
  • Everso slightly off topic- any recommendations for MTB novices for basic introductory courses?  There seem to be a plethora of weekend/residential courses up in Scotalnd/lakes etc- any quality marques or affiliations to look for?
  • FF - you don't need courses - just get out and ride the off road!

    But take a look on bikeradar, singletrackworld, mtbbritain and mbr for more info and advice - loads of tips and recommendations on those sites
  • FB- ta for the recommendations.  The reason I was looking at courses is I don't (for the moment) have a MTB, I was figuring an introductory weekend would give me an indication as to bike sizing, no sus vs front vs "full boinger" etc.

  • go talk to a decent bike shop FF - they should help on sizing which can be a nightmare as frame designs vary so much. most have test bikes as well.

    no sus??? forget it unless you are true hard core! the hardtail vs full sus is a tougher argument and to an extent will be dictated by your riding preferences. short distances and racing are best with a hardtail as you can generally climb better on one; long distances and lots of downhill favour full-sus for comfort. and there are compromises that full-sus can use that help overcome climbing issues - lockout rear sus for a start and design can help.

    then you have another argument about carbon vs metal frames - carbon used to be a no 'cos of strength but modern construction methods have changed this and made the bikes lighter which helps climbing. I'm lusting after a carbon hardtail at some time as my current steed is a full-sus Yeti 575 which is great but has limitations
  • Experienced but cr@p sums me up perfectlyimageimage it could also apply to my swimming skillsimage
  • FF - as well as what FB says, I would say a lot of the hardtail vs full sus argument depends on how much money you have. If your budget is under £1000, I'd go with a hardtail.

    2011 bikes come out in about September, so if you start looking soon enough you might get a bargain on a 2010 model, but obviously once sizes are gone a lot of places dont get more "old" stock. Or you might find you need/ want to wait for the newer model. If you're not in a rush, now is a good time to start looking. Be prepared to have to go to a lot of shops though - I think the spread of makes in one shop is generally worse when it comes to MTBs than road bikes.

    RBM - I can empathise with that! My husband just shoots off downhill... I've done 50kph downhill on single track, and that was terrifying! I think a lot of it is to do with not being scared of coming off and breaking yourself, and therefore finding out that the limits on the bike are actually further than you believed they were, then next time having the confidence to let it go a bit more... Are there are tracks near you that you can ride a few times, and each time push it a bit further? Or can your mates help you out?

  • "therefore finding out that the limits on the bike are actually further than you believed they were"

    aye - true - you sometimes have to trust that the bike will do better than the handler! the bike will usually go where it's pointed - it's the pointing that's the hard part but the more you do the easier it becomes. knowing what the bike can do is a lot of the battle and generally the more expensive the bike, the better it will cope. this is of course assuming you don't stack it - all bikes and riders have limitations!
  • Flyaway

    I live on the edge of Bodmin Moor and am spolit for woods tracks bridleways etc as well, I just need to let go a bit more and keep off the brakes to be fair about 3 months into the winter I am doing a lot better than at the start, I think the trouble is as soon as I start seriously Tri training from Feb to Nov the MTB goes into hibernation image and I lose what hard won skill I gained,  I aim to get a lot more time on it all year round from now on  

    I have a Giant NRS3 full susser I brought a few years back and was thinking of getting a hard tail at some point if my company ever get round to the ride to work scheme they keep promising any good stuff for around £800?

  • I'd been loking into this....

    I've missed the mtb a bit this summer, I just don't get the same kick from the road bike!  And I wouldn't choose to run on roads, so off-road tri sounds like a plan to me!

    So far I've found...

    UKMTB tri series
    Wee triathlon - sprint, march, lochaber
    Durty triathlon - sprint & standard, end of July, Selkirk
    Ben Nevis & half Ben nevis, mental hills, september, Scotland

  • I've done quite a few off-road duathlons. Not done any of the Tri's yet as they involve OW swimming which I hadn't done until this year. Much more my type of race muchly prefer off-road for both run and bike, no contest. I actually found the normal road sprint easy after having only done off-road duathlons so be warned.

    Can't recommend any in your area RBM where is Bodmin anyway ??

  • Try end of October in Coed Y Brenin. My off road duathlon then (this year 24th October)
  • RBM - I did the XTT race in camberley as well, (met Flyaway there). I am a downhill chicken as well. I think a technical rating was 5/10. ie if you have some experience then you will get around ok. If you are good then you would fly. I think it would put off MTB novices.

    So if you have done any MTBing then you would be happy enough.....

    I enjoyed it, but found it hard going, esp on the run.
  • Came across these guys today.

    http://www.triadventure.co.uk/home/

    No idea what they are like but looks interesting for me. Nice and close and not too long an event and hopefully a good intro to MTB racing for me.

    Out of interest, would people use MTB shoes for this sort of event or off road running shoes and toe clips etc? Or change as per road tri?
  • Bodmin tis in darkest Kernow (Cornwall)
  • Cornwall couldn't get much further away from me then !
    Vince Ashton wrote (see)
    Try end of October in Coed Y Brenin. My off road duathlon then (this year 24th October)
    I'm working unfortunately and my bike hasn't recovered from 'Hit the North' Duathlonimage
    Are you doing that again or was it too much to manage?
    Coedy is also a bit of a nemisis of mine, but hopefully I will do it one year.
    AliAird wrote (see)
     Out of interest, would people use MTB shoes for this sort of event or off road running shoes and toe clips etc? Or change as per road tri?

    Personally I moved onto flatties for MTB a couple of years ago. Find it muchly better for techy stuff, not that I'm any good at it image So I pedal in my fell shoes.

    A lot of people do change. Don't use toe clips, they are dangerous much better with spuds. If it's not a techy course then I would consider using spuds as I use them on my roadie.

  • The Duathlon at Hit the North may come back in some form or other, but a bit too busy with other projects image
  • Righto I'll look out for it....if you promise to dry that course out image
  • Orange - I'm the opposite, I like my spds on techy stuff, can't stand feet moving when I'm bouncing over stuff!  And they really help on techy climbs image

    So that just proves its all personal preference (as ever!).

    But now someone's got me thinking about an IM again.... oh, I really think it's too soon to be making plans for next year!

  • I'll stick with spds off road as well - the only time I'll unclip is if there is a great danger (usually on steep downhill wooded technical singletrack) of needing to bale out. I'd rather have the luxury of chucking myself off the bike quickly than going down with it!
  • BM Becky wrote (see)

    Orange - I'm the opposite, I like my spds on techy stuff, can't stand feet moving when I'm bouncing over stuff!  And they really help on techy climbs image

    So that just proves its all personal preference (as ever!).But now someone's got me thinking about an IM again.... oh, I really think it's too soon to be making plans for next year!

    5/10's and VMR (?) pedals, like glue. In fact a bugger if you put your foot in the wrong place you can't move it. I lost confidence in spuds after about 14years never thought I'd cope on flats. I think it's an age thing.

    I'm seriously thinking of a half IM next year but I'd want to do an off-road one at least for the run which makes them sooo much harder. I don't do running on tarmac.

  • Max - this months edition of Triathlete Europe has a feature called 'Xterra Special' with some tips and bike reviews.  It also has a feature on Plymouth tri Club which might interest you!  image
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