2023 XC Bike & Equipment Thread

Following on from:

2022 XC Bike Thread

Hot take: unnecessary internal cable routing is just drillium coming back into fashion.


Haha love it or hate it, it’s coming to MTB! The days of the 4 minute headset bearing swap are coming to an end!

No hot takes here…
Swapping out my old m675 brakes (which replaced those terrible M200s) for m6120/6100. Shame my Deore bike didn’t come with Deore brakes in the first place.

Also removed the 180g Bontrager stem for a much lighter stem. I… uhh… filed knock block notches into the new stem.

Ok, lukewarm take: tube-in-tube is the best cable routing.

I’m super curious to see if the triangle steerer Cannondale are testing shows up on the next Scalpel.

Is that due this year, or Olympic year?

I’m surprised more bikes don’t do the hidden in the bars thing but exiting the stem right in front of the head tube.

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For 2023…

Are 25mm out?
Is 30mm in?
Is caring about bike weight going out?
Is 120mm in, and 100mm OUT??


I’m on 27.5mm just to be awkward.

I don’t know why you’d opt for 100mm over 120 unless it didn’t allow you to get your bars low enough. I just use a Cane Creek Slamset and a negative integrated bar (Bontrager xxx). I have about a 7cm drop from saddle to bar centre.

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On the weight reduction topic. It seems a bit crazy that I need to spend more than 5k to bring my Epic Evo Comp from 27.5lbs to 24lbs.

So far the only weight reduction expenses I’ve done are the crankset and Tubolito spares. It seems that the more expensive FOX fork is heavier than the Sid select?..can’t find good info on this.

What Im I doing wrong?..What components Im I missing?

Edit: I could save some grams with race tires, but I don’t want to compromise durability, and all the best fast trail tires are kind of similar in weight.

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It’s the comp model. Everything on it is heavy. Cassette, bolts, stem, seatpost, tyres, wheels - even the frameset is a heavier model to start.

Focus on performance not weight.

Bar stem should be about position and drop to get grip and aero. Wheels should be about supporting good supple tyres. If you don’t want race tyres, why did you buy an epic not a SJ?

Or sell it and pony up for a more expensive bike - but unless you’re contesting at a high level it’s unlikely to make much difference.


The climbing times relative to my gravel bike are a bit of a bummer.

120mm absolutely :wink:

I’m running 30mm wide rims and they have been so good. Really changed the profile of my tyres. I’m going to order some 27mm wide rims as I can shed some weight and hopefully it’ll be the same.

It’ll be interesting to see what the market brings. It seems like there’s still fruit on the tree to build light 110-120mm travel XC rockets. I think the geometry is getting really close to dialled.

I suspect there’s going to be a bit more work in hiding cables, and making bikes more optimised in that and in an aesthetic regard as they’re so good.

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I don’t expect to see much in the way of new bikes. Certainly the 2023 Spark, Top Fuel, Anthem, and I think Blur TR are just new colourways of the same. Admittedly the TF has added a remote lockout, which to be perfectly honest is a negative to me as I found it appealing as a bike that didn’t need one.

I hope we see a new Pivot 120mm XC bike and a continuation in refinement to LiveValve.

What’s our chances of a Rockshox AXS lockout/XC tune for Flight Attendant? (I suspect zero, but a man can dream)

I just had the opportunity to talk to two people who work for specialized and pivot. Both said they had a massive amount of inventory on hand. I’m going to guess this winter we will be seeing really big bike sales.

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I really want to try an uno stem they’re cheap and light but at the same time that concerns me.


It was the ‘go to’ stem on weight weenies forum for a while. That and ti bolts was an unbelievable weight for the price.

I bought one and never got round to fitting it. I never see any complaints about them at all

25mm Out
30mm defintely in
weight is overrated
120mm is here to stay


Are these costs for new parts? I think looking at the used market can help cut costs a little bit as will trying to grab stuff on sale over the next few months. Might be better to start a weight weenie thread to attract the folks who really know how to be cost-effective while building light and to list out the component brand and model you are considering.
It’s generally cheaper to buy a “light” bike than it is to build it out. I went down this rabbit hole a couple of years ago for my Epic Carbon Comp and shed about 2.5 pounds but also didn’t want to compromise the fit or totally buy the equivalent of a new bike in parts.

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Looking for opinions and recommendations on new tires for the upcoming season. I ride road 90%+ of the time and slowly getting more into MTB. The amount of choice for MTB tires is overwhelming to say the least.

I’m in MN and I guess it’s mainly hard pack here - at least that’s how I’ve read it described. I’ll be riding trails mainly with some xc/snowmobile trails thrown in for distance/time as it gets closer to end of the year. I’m looking to try a few of the local XC race series events this year and I’ve ended last 2 years riding Chequamegon. Picked up a used Cannondale Trail 3 a couple of years ago to try things out and it came with Ardent Race 2.35 on front and Aspen 2.25 on the rear with WTB i23 rims that I’ve been using.

Any recommendations would be great. Also wondering if adding inserts would be worthwhile or not. Was looking at the Cush Cores but not sure they are worth it for the riding I do - though I’ve read that having a rear insert can help soften the ride a bit?

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Ridden pretty much all the trails in the Metro area as well as up around Duluth and Cuyuna. During the summer I run ground control or fast track for specialized. Maxxis Rekon are also great.

Also have run ikon and never had any issues. Tbh it’s pretty much always hero dirt all the time isn’t it? Love the trails there. MORC and local trail builders have done amazing things!!


How about going for more sensibly priced wheels?

My XC hardtail weighs 9.8 kg and has quality aluminum wheels from Stans. They are a great set of wheels.

Also, I think you chose correctly by upgrading the crankset to one with a power meter. That’ll make you faster even if it may weigh more. (It is also one of two major gripes I have with my M9000 XTR groupset, apart from missing a 12th gear, I don’t have a good, affordable power meter solution.)


How will a heavier crank with power meter make you faster?