I just got home from a long day of Groningen. It’s about 340 km in total for me, but apparently, dozens of riders took the trouble of heading out there. They came from as far as Germany. 9 am I parked the car, got my numberplate and did a few runs on my old Slayer. It’s the demo bike I borrowed earlier this year, when I was waiting for the Switch.
Slayer vs Switch
It’s still a bit weird for me switching between bmx and full suspended mountain bike. I had to stiffen up the shocks big time. But I now finally got a good comparison between the two bikes. I’ve been wondering about having decided in favor of the Switch.
The Slayer is light, long and the airshocks are very tunable, it’s indeed a great trailbike-combo. The Switch is compact, short (I know why it’s called Switch(back)) and I’m dying to get a Roco Air for it. As my bike I’m definitely preferring the Switch. I like a short and compact ride, it’s a centered bike. In the descent the weight of the bike add a balanced feel. Even for a 4x-track like Groningen, the Swich is more nimble to accelerate out the corners past the step-downs. But that may also be because the Switch has grown so much on me. Anyway, if you lean more towards trails, you might want to install a Marzocchi AM (maybe with ATA) to keep it light. You can’t get much lighter then most of the parts I have installed, perhaps a iBeam seat-combo. I still want to get lighter tyres (Schwalbe Big Betty’s may be and option) and pedals (Crankbrothers Acid?).
I had been wondering about which bike I would like best, I’m happy with the choice I made. The Switch rules! But I’m digressing.
I forgot to check, but I’m guessing about a 100 riders registered for the event, about 10 slopestyle riders, 5 girls, about 10 juniors and a whole lot of guys. Now, I don’t know if you even been to a downhill of 4X race, but it’s always about being patient and waiting it out. But I’m sure the organisation here had it pretty well dialed. The waiting was kept to a minimum and they they where patient and helpfull with any questions. All kudos to the boys and girls of SBG.
The 5 women raced the 3 qualifying runs against men, your finish would determine whether or not you’d progress to the next round. I guess I was lucky in some races 3, 3 and 4. With some more practice on the gate (and a nice 4x specific build Flow 😉 ) I’m sure I’ll do better. In the next round I had a pretty strong draw, so 4th place was inevitable. Didn’t really matter, all 4 women would race the Summerrace-finals. There I got presented with the fact that I’ve been slacking on my 4x skills, or what could have been skills! Lousy start, and I was maybe to soft as I could have tryed to pass the number 3. It’s hard to pass on the track, so I cruised the last bit. Wanting to squeeze out a small whip on the hipjump, but I screwed it up. Bummer!
The slopestyle was a good event to watch, it was more of a dirt-jump contest though. We’ve seen a backflip and 360 with x-up. I’m not sure who won… I’m afraid I don’t even know who won the 4x race… it was a long day.