Leadville 2021 Thread

That’s a good call on a pre-travel bleed I’ve heard that the air bubbles can be a bit of a thing when going to elevation

With Leadville a little over 2 months away and the bike shortage still going on it’s looking more and more like my only option is going to be to race my Yeti SB130 LR. My original goal was a sub 9 hour finish time but with this bike I am no longer sure that is possible. Would I be better off defering to next year?

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You guys think you’ve got problems. I’m coming from the UK. Will if I’m let in. Oh and only 20ft above sea level.

I deferred a couple of years back due to surgery, and Lifetime’s policy at the time was to defer my entry, but require I pay my entry fee again. Which is a very consumer unfriendly policy, in particular given that I gave them 8 months notice, and they were able to fill my spot no problem.

It’s possible they have changed this policy in recent years due to their lottery screw up, and COVID. But worth confirming.

Re your 130 - those bikes have good pedaling efficiency. They’re just heavier vs a race bike. What bike were you hoping to ride on? I’d guess the 130 is about 5 lbs heavier. Which is about 2.5% on a 200 lb total system (rider, bike, gear).

Some very rough math says this 5lbs will make you about 10 mins slower. So might make the difference to a sub-9, depending on how close you’ll be.

Put a set of fast rolling Race Kings on for tires, remove the dropper and go for a ride. I’d bet you’ll be surprised by how fast the 130 feels.

What are people’s feeling about droppers at Leadville? Based on my understanding of the course you could probably get away without one…thoughts?

I’ve ridden it twice without a dropper. Both times I made the decision to take my existing dropper off and replace it with a rigid seatpost. Lighter, and nothing to malfunction. The course is not technical enough to need a dropper.

The one exception might be if you are a very tall rider, and want the dropper to lower your Center of gravity for the descents (I’m 5’9” so not an issue for me).

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A dropper is nice to have on the technical sections, but I find the main value of a dropper is to get more aero on the fast road descents (including the fire road descent on columbine). The dropper allows almost a super tuck position and there are several long fast sections where being more aero makes a significant speed difference.


I rode without a dropper in 2019. This year I’m planning to ride with a dropper but will get a chance to ride the course a few times prior to test it out. On training rides locally I’ve found the same thing, much more aero on fast long descents from being to drop the seat. I also like cornering on the gravel sweepers, similar to watch the Columbine descent has, much better with a dropper. Given that I have an AXS dropper, it also gives me an easy way to have an emergency backup battery for Eagle AXS derailleur.

Like the HT vs FS debate, there is not a correct answer. You can do the race either way and this is really a matter of personal preference and perhaps what suits your riding style best.

I bought an axs dropper this year and the “backup battery” was one of my justifications for spending that kind of stupid $ on a dropper. It doesn’t take much to convince me to buy cool new bike stuff…


:rofl: :rofl: Agreed, it’s a pricey one, but having used it for a while now, it is a pretty awesome dropper. Seems to have just the right amount of resistance to make it really easy to fine tune saddle height.

I think this is exaggerating the benefit of the dropper. I rode the Columbine fire road descent (5.25 miles) in 12:30 without a dropper. If I had a dropper to go more aero, I might have saved maybe, 30 seconds, max. The limit on that section is not aero drag. It’s staying in control on loose gravel so you don’t crash.


I think we’re probably in agreement on the impact, but maybe differ in what we consider “significant”. If I could get any where near 30 seconds out of that 5 mile section by being more aero, that is significant to me. I checked my time on that segment and I did it in 12:07 and I’m really cautious on all the switchback turns, but I stay tucked and down for the straights and sweeping turns. I’m spun out and my speed is aero limited on most of that section. There are several other downhills sections where I’m not pedaling and aero is going to help speed. If the extra aero adds up to ~90 seconds throughout the course of the race, that makes up for the weight penalty and you still get some advantage on the technical descents as a bonus.


For XC I see droppers more as an insurance policy. Yes there’s also some minimal aero/speed benefits, but mostly I can ride the edge of grip and control with a dropper and have a larger margin of error. This has saved me plenty of times. I use my dropper for all my XCO, XCM and MTB 100s for this very reason. I may only use the dropper in a few key spots but it’s amazing to have. The sacrifice is about 140 grams of extra weight.


I have some SQ labs inner bar ends, which I love and will definitely keep on for the race. I may also run full aerobars as well for the sustained paved descents and the pipeline section. I’ve been practicing with them, and its pretty nice: once you get in the aero position it makes a noticeable difference in speed. And yes to a dropper post: the confidence and control I gain descending with one almost certainly makes up for the weight.

Question: Does anyone have a resource on pit crew logistical tips? I’m shooting for a sub-9 finish. I think my only crew will be my wife and my dad. I’d like them to be there for the start and finish if possible. Do they set up at a certain place (like Twin lakes) a day before? Will they have time to get there from the start line until when I arrive? Is it difficult to get equipment to the Twin Lakes aid station?

There’s all the info in the world about nutrition, equipment, and pacing for this race, but I’d hate to mess up my pit stops and be left w/o the ability to execute my plan.

Best to go out there the day before with them, and stake a claim on a spot. Eg set up an awning, chairs, cooler or something to keep your spot.

That way, you’ll know where to find them on race day.

Be aware - it can get windy. Whatever you place to keep your spot, make sure it’s secure.

They’ll be able to make it from the start to twin lakes in time to meet you outbound. Leave right after start to try get parking as close to twin lakes as possible.

They may have to park and walk some distance to twin lakes - so best to have a convenient way to carry things - especially heavy stuff like water, ice. Eg

What dropper are you running…? I had some issues with my hard tail which had a dropper - long story, bike shop accidentally cracked the frame!

I was able to find a replacement bike (Epic)… but I’d like to put a dropper on it. I’m 6’5", so getting hips down low on any descent is always helpful!

The Fall Line R Dropper Post

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Check out the alternate crew area. Round 398 off of 24. It may be easier to access the day before than Twin Lakes. We used twin Lakes routinely till they started getting tougher with day before set up. Moved to the dirt track off of 398. Still a long haul depending on how many are parked up the road.

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Thanks man - I forgot about that one! Now if I can only find one in stock in my size!

Still a wee bit of snow up on Columbine this weekend.