who still races a retro XC bike?

Marin guy

Retro Newbie

New profile sadly as I don't have access to the email address to do a password reset.

As title really, who still races XC on retro bikes but with some modern upgrades, what have you done?
Not raced for probably 15 years if not more and looking to get back into it but want to stick with my beloved steel Marins.

Interested to see what others are doing.

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Retro Newbie
I raced an RTS a few weeks ago! I used slightly wider bars 660mm and modern tyres and it rode really well tbh, it’s obviously not as fast as a modern race bike but way cooler


Yeti Fan
First chek what type of terrain is in your local races. They have evolve and now what in the 90s was called DH now is XC light. In my area the races are quite tricky and with a mint 90s bicycle like my Team Issue is near a suicide 🙄 Some areas are quite dificult and it is for non pros so I don´t understand the reason to do like that because I only whant to have a good time.

Said that, My 96 Marin no, but my 2006 or 2007 ETSX has a second position in 2019 in a amateur race against all the modern stuff. And I have built her brother, the 2006 Element with modern suspension and it is even faster. So I spect to do a good position this year with it. I own 27.5" and ride 29" and the element is so nimble and fast ... it feels very good especially climbing and in twisty sections. I don´t like races with lot of DH tricky sections and long and wide paths. So 26" with modern stuff is still competitive in some races.

The problem with retro stuff is that you cannot upgrade the fork with a new one. The new reba or sid or fox etc works much better that it is near mandatory to ride fast and only in bicycles from 2005 onwards you can put new stuff. (You have to check the geometry)

But if you only whant to have funn, no problem. Only a revision to check that all works well and that is all. You will enjoy but go at your own pace. :)
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