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98 MIN READ TIME

FLAT OUT RACE BIKES

WORDS BY OLLY TOWNSEND
PICTURES BY OLLY TOWNSEND

A cross-country mountain bike race will normally involve the following – a course marked out with race tape, a commentator with a crackly PA system, a catering van, a muddy car park, a couple of uber-keen people warming up on turbo trainers and, most importantly, lots of lightweight, minimally suspended cross-country race bikes.

The thing is though, the majority of mountain bikers don’t go to a race course to race. You can race equally as well with a few of your mates and a stretch of your favourite trail. The phenomenal success of Strava shows that racing still exists, but now it’s often between you and your friends, or you and an unknown rival in a digital parallel universe somewhere.

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