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Difference Between XC and AM

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by matt2991, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. matt2991

    matt2991 penishead

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    This may be a really dumb question. But what exactly is the difference between XC and all-mountain. It seems like they are both pretty much the same. You pedal, climb, and descend. I guess all-mountain is more technical with small jumps, drops and other tech stuff and XC is just singletrack type riding. I know all-mountain riders generally have more suspension. I was just wondering what all-mountain really is. Again this may be a dumb question.
     
    #1 -   Feb 9, 2008

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  2. cycleryshop

    cycleryshop Chimp

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    Some of it is marketing. There is considered to be 3 industry categories: XC, Trail, and All-Mountain. Simply put, 4 inch of travel, vs 5 or 6.

    Most riders don't fit in these categories. I am using a 4 inch overbuilt frame with a 5 inch fork in the front and I ride "all-mountain".
     
    #2 -   Feb 9, 2008
  3. FrontRangeDH

    FrontRangeDH Monkey

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    Spandex...
     
    #3 -   Feb 9, 2008
  4. muddy beast

    muddy beast Turbo Monkey

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    You pretty much answered your own question.

    AM is "light-freeride" mixed with XC riding. Generally an AM rider will pedal up hill, but prefers the downhills and doesn't mind taking on a few jumps and drops and going fast downhill.

    Where as an XC rider is typically your road bike equivalent mountain biker, where efficiency is key, light weight is better, and all aspects of the ride are equally as fun (uphill, downhill, flats).

    The 2 are very loose terms, but they are used to fit different peoples needs on different bikes. AM bikes have more travel, and weigh a little more with beefier parts (suits a heavy, all around rider well). And XC bikes are less travel, light weight, and efficient (fits your light XC racer or guy who wants to be able to pedal all the way up easily).
     
    #4 -   Feb 9, 2008
  5. FrontRangeDH

    FrontRangeDH Monkey

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    Yup, XC is about light and fast.

    Some all mountain bikes will have burlier parts like dual chainring tensioners, short stems, dh/freeride tires, just beefier parts
     
    #5 -   Feb 9, 2008
  6. ito

    ito Mr. Schwinn Effing Armstrong

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    The difference is about 8 years. In 2000 I rode trails and was called a cross country rider. This year I was out on the same trails and someone told me I should get an all mountain bike for this stuff.

    It is all marketing gibberish. :disgust1:
     
    #6 -   Feb 9, 2008
  7. Westy

    Westy the teste

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    There is no difference. There are just people who like to give themselves different labels and marketing departments eat that **** up. The best riders I know would probably get labeled as xc geeks or roadies by most people but they are equally skilled in every terrain possible and usually doing so on some horribly lightweight and antiquated equipment. Think Ned Overend without the sponsorship.
     
    #7 -   Feb 9, 2008
  8. cycleryshop

    cycleryshop Chimp

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    That's not true. Jason Moeschler, the winner of the Downieville XC race and the overall All-Mountain class, chose to ride the Blur LT, a trail bike, over the Nomad, the all mountain bike.

    He felt that he could not beat Mark Weir, who raced a Nomad, in the Downhill, so he preferred a lighter and a better pedaling bike. BTW, he did come in second in the Downhill.
     
    #8 -   Feb 9, 2008
  9. kuksul08

    kuksul08 Monkey

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    The main difference is travel. XC is around 4 inches, AM is 5-6, FR is around 8 and DH is 8-10
     
    #9 -   Feb 9, 2008
  10. Sir_Crackien

    Sir_Crackien Turbo Monkey

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    the answer is in the posts above though scattered about in my opinion. i have a xc that i call my xc bike one that i call my all mountain bike and one that i call my big bike(god i love and hate working at a bike shop). the xc bike is actually the one that gets ridden the most for sure. its light, very fast, and can climb really well (as long as i'm up to it). my all mountain bike i reserve for the more technical and aggressive ride like when i head toward west virginia (think xc like snowshoe). the trail will be more taxing and wearing on me the rider and having the more suspension will help negate that. the big bike is well the big bike. its for full on dh and fr. i really only think about taking this bike out if i have lift access or a good shuttle system.

    btw
    xc=hardtail with a 100mm fork due to geo reasons. otherwise it would have only 80mm. its just over 25 lbs

    AM=140mm on the front and 155mm in the back. still right around th 30 lbs mark.

    dh=200mm on the front and 210mm or 235mm on the back
     
  11. 1453

    1453 Monkey

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    I was on a ride yeasterday in Redwood Park near Oakland Hills on my Chameleon single speed with a 5 inch fork. Granted I had 2.3 inch tires and Outlaw Wheels but the bike is dead stiff in the back and firm in the front, so I bombed down this one section long down grade without much brake, a little jarring and steep but nothing to worry about. After the ride my buddy told me that the Cal Downhill team uses that section for training. They evidently do pretty well in the races.

    Now I see why Americans don't come out on top very often at world cup circuits.

    I remember when I rode a lot in the Santa Cruz mountains the rich kids would be rolling around on brand new DH rigs on the same trails that I took my Trek hardtail with V-brakes on a regular basis. I guess FR for some is XC for others, the difference is just 4k of extra cash around.
     
  12. sanjuro

    sanjuro Tube Smuggler

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    Nathan Rennie has bombed down West Ridge on his V-10. I think he has done well in the World Cup.
     
  13. 1453

    1453 Monkey

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    I thought he was an Aussie?

    My point was....oh yeah, too many kids around here grow up with too much equipment. A little rougher ride makes them smoother down the road.
     
  14. sanjuro

    sanjuro Tube Smuggler

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    Well, this isn't a thread about whether you need an "all-mountain" bike.

    I rode an Enduro SL down Chaparral, the local DH trail. I felt pretty good on it, something I wouldn't feel on my 4 inch travel Dawg.
     
  15. pdawg

    pdawg Monkey

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    IMHO, geometry is equally imporant as bike weight. A low-end XC bike could weigh as much as a highend all-mountain rig. Labeling by weight alone may be misleading.
     
  16. pdawg

    pdawg Monkey

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    Well, I was sorting to referring to the overall build. For example, using DH tires, coil-sprung suspension, etc.. I had a 38 pound freeride bike and lightened it up to about 33 pounds, without sacraficing on strength or function. The lighter build could be considered all-mountain, but I'm no marketing expert... I just like to ride.
     
  17. mandown

    mandown Poopdeck Repost

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    i've not hear of "big mountain" but i have heard of "Enduro" and "Resort" riding.

    i think some of your travel/weight lines are off.
    add 2 lbs to freeride
    DH should be lighter. the sub-40 race is on and some peeps are doing it on their FRO bikes.
     
  18. matt2991

    matt2991 penishead

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    So I was talking to some guy today and I said that is a pretty nice bike you have, you race XC? He goes heck no I do trail riding (not freeride trail riding). What is the diffrence between trail and XC? It just sounds like people think that XC is just a bunch of guys with shaved legs wearing spandex with their seat jacked up into their butt so they don't want to admit they do it.
     
  19. Dr Phil mmkay

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    Found on this year's SATs

    3. FR is to XC as Grunge is to soft rock ?


    :imstupid:





    Once I finish my TBC DB weighing in around the mid-40s, with 8" in front, 2.5" minions (with DH tubes), I'll be taking it on XC rides. The only variable here? How much I hate myself.
     
  20. capt.crispy

    capt.crispy Monkey

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    The geometry and parts are the key factors.That is why you can use a bike like the chameleon for so many different types of riding.If you run it with an 80 or 100mm fork and lightweight parts it makes a great xc rig.With a 5 or 6 inch fork it is a great allmountain bike or even freeride hardtail.The shorter forks give you a steeper head angle and there for are better suited for climbing and less steep or more tame trails.the longer forks will slacken the headangle and the bike will be less agile on the steeper climbs but more capable on the steeper and sketchy terain.also the shorter forks give a shorter wheelbase which is less stable the faster the speed and the steeper headangles will cause the steering to be quicker than the slacker headangled bike.
    The allmountain frames will be beefier as in more support for the added stresses that the longer fork will put on the frame.the xc frame will not have the support the am does.the parts usually follow suit with the geometry and susp.
    all that said ,a good rider can do alot with iether bike.
     
  21. SlapheadMofo

    SlapheadMofo Monkey

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    What he said. AM and trail are the same as what was originally XC. Some people are just faster/slower more/less technically inclined. Companies saw how the slower/more technical XC guys were setting their (our) bikes up and figured there was a market there. FR™ was born. After awhile some marketing dudes decided there needed to be more categories, so you started hearing AM and trail. It’s still all just XC. If you use a truck or a chairlift and/or make no attempt to ride up anything, then it’s DH. If you spend a lot of time hopping around, it’s trials. DJ and park are actually BMX. The rest is smoke and mirrors.

    :pirate2:
     
  22. matt2991

    matt2991 penishead

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    Last Question, What is enduro? I know in Crankworx they have it? I heard it is like climbing and then a DH section, but I saw guys on full on DH bikes.