RIP XC?

moorey

has arseritis
Gravity Enduro races sell out in minutes. If you aren’t logged in ready at opening time, forget it, sold out.

DH races sell out, though not that fast, despite people saying it’s dying.

I’ve never looked at a CX race, but they seem popular.

But XC…? The Vic state championships are running, 9 rounds across the state. I entered the kids and I in the Ballarat round next Saturday as an excuse to train/ride bit harder than my usual daily rides. A week out from the event, 21 people entered. Previous state rounds have had around 100 entries by race day, but that seems insanely low to me.

I’m seeing more former XC riders moving to enduro. I don’t race XC to know what's happening at most events.

Is it the same in other states? People here are gagging to race, but not XC apparently.
 

bear the bear

Is a real bear
Potentially getting sucked into gravel events/ riding as well?
XC has been declining for a number of years as people don't want to undertake structured training as it is akin to training for road
 

moorey

has arseritis
Potentially getting sucked into gravel events/ riding as well?
XC has been declining for a number of years as people don't want to undertake structured training as it is akin to training for road
But is road dying?

You don’t think the peeps at the pointy end of GE are training their arses off?

I guess what shits me now is the focus AysCycling seemingly gives XC as the premier MTB sport…but the rider interest just isn’t there. One male and one female entered in elite…and the female is a GE racer probably just using it for training.
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leitch

Feelin' a bit rrranty
Don’t think it’s the training thing haha… the stand alone XC events like Otway Odyssey etc that are a bit more of an adventure/vibe/day out seem as popular as ever… just don’t think XCO which is comparatively just riding laps for 1-1.5hr is as appealing to people generally - especially when you have to drive 2hr each way and pay $70 for your 75min of racing.

Not sure what the turnout will have been for today’s Buxton 3hr but expect better than the handful of people registered for Ballarat.

I do also think there’s probably a difference in that the “default” mtb people used to buy when they got into mtb from road/other was more likely to be an xc bike… now it’s a 150mm trail bike.
 

bear the bear

Is a real bear
But is road dying?

You don’t think the peeps at the pointy end of GE are training their arses off?

I guess what shits me now is the focus AysCycling seemingly gives XC as the premier MTB sport…but the rider interest just isn’t there. One male and one female entered in elite…and the female is a GE racer probably just using it for training.
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I think the problem, in general, is endurance MTB peaked back about 2010-2013 with 6-8hr racing, 24hr (solo & teams), stage racing and general XC. XC is still seen as a pathway into pro road racing if you are good enough, and may even be easier than a traditional road route through domestic/ conti teams.
Gravity/ enduro started its rise about then and because of not having to smash yourself uphill and only ride the downs its more fun and that's where most people have headed.
Even looking at the event promoters Rocky Trail is the only one left for ACT/NSW still running events.
XC is still an Olympic sport as well so attracts federal funding which will be another driver.
 

Mattyp

Likes Bikes and Dirt
I have friends who regularly race xc events, not entered in this yet (in your class @moorey) They did race the last round at Foster though. Maybe it'll get some more entries over the weekend or last minute, or maybe no one wants to go to Ballarat...
 

Cardy George

Piercing rural members since 1981
Don’t think it’s the training thing haha… the stand alone XC events like Otway Odyssey etc that are a bit more of an adventure/vibe/day out seem as popular as ever… just don’t think XCO which is comparatively just riding laps for 1-1.5hr is as appealing to people generally - especially when you have to drive 2hr each way and pay $70 for your 75min of racing.

Not sure what the turnout will have been for today’s Buxton 3hr but expect better than the handful of people registered for Ballarat.

I do also think there’s probably a difference in that the “default” mtb people used to buy when they got into mtb from road/other was more likely to be an xc bike… now it’s a 150mm trail bike.
Fully agree with this. I don't go to the Otways, Dirty Weekend, and definitely wouldn't have gone down to Buxton, with the view to win anything. It's more about the personal challenge. But I'm a sadistic sod who likes to push the limits of much I can handle, I'm just not interested in winning XCO sprint races. It's just a competition to prove how much you can hurt, whereas I see enduro as much more skill based.

100mm hardtails just aren't sexy when you show them to your non-mtb mates either.
 

Asininedrivel

caviar connoisseur
I do also think there’s probably a difference in that the “default” mtb people used to buy when they got into mtb from road/other was more likely to be an xc bike… now it’s a 150mm trail bike.
Totally agree. Just look at this site. 10 years ago I'd wager most on here were riding the most efficient thing they could, hardtails were something to drop serious money on and everyone who wasn't riding Blur TRs or sticking with all mountain pigs were checking out the new and very XC world of 29ers, mostly because given the equipment constraints at the time most suspension designs and shocks were utterly shit and needed Propedal bandaids to ascend anything, so less was very much more and XC was the natural gravitation as a result.

Bit different now, and my guess is as a result the focus for most riders has changed.

(also people turn up to XC races in lycra)
 

ozzybmx

call me Cáitín
Back around 2010, the Otway used to sell out fast with 1500 riders.

Things change, bikes evolve, back then it was DH or XC, now we have everything in between and neither XC or DH are that popular anymore.

Gravel, fatbikes, cyclocross and bikepacking were nearly unheard of around the 2010 era.

I think people are just chilling out a bit more and having fun rather than prepping for weeks for an XC on a Sunday morning or a relatively late to the sport, 40yr old bloke throwing himself down a mountain where a crash results in a hit to family, income and lasting health issues.
 

Cardy George

Piercing rural members since 1981
Totally agree. Just look at this site. 10 years ago I'd wager most on here were riding the most efficient thing they could, hardtails were something to drop serious money on and everyone who wasn't riding Blur TRs or sticking with all mountain pigs were checking out the new and very XC world of 29ers, mostly because given the equipment constraints at the time most suspension designs and shocks were utterly shit and needed Propedal bandaids to ascend anything, so less was very much more and XC was the natural gravitation as a result.

Bit different now, and my guess is as a result the focus for most riders has changed.

(also people turn up to XC races in lycra)
Not me, I'm painfully aware of which bits are poking out!

I probably should add that I'm only on a 100mm hardtail because of the terrain I live in. If I was still in Adelaide it would've been a trail oriented duallie. Hell, if I'm honest, if I was still in Adelaide I would probably still be on a road bike.
 

johnny

I'll tells ya!
Staff member
Going to DH races from 2000-2007 and then the 24hr races in the 2010s was awesome fun. Doing the road trips with mates, meeting blokes from Farkin IRL, enjoying the festival-like atmosphere and get on the turps, etc. etc.

Harder to cover the costs, take the time and risk the injuries when you get older and have a family relying on you. Definitely miss it though.
 

Tubbsy

Terministrator
Staff member
The mtb bug really bit for me through the 24hr racing scene. Not because I was into racing (I’m slow) or because it was XC, although all I had was a hard tail with v-brakes. It was ‘the vibe of the thing’, camaraderie and camping and getting away for a week.

Paying for a couple of hours slogging it out some afternoon on trails I could ride anytime at any pace doesn’t have the same appeal I guess.

The bunch I grew into 24s with, myself eventually too, had kids, started dropping off and we all got fatter and older. Like @leitch says too everyone’s bikes got more capable and tastes have changed.

The Mont24 is no more, and it used to be a sellout with thousands camping and taking part. I miss it. I don’t really think it was the XC thing, it was a Zeitgeist thing. It’s a not insignificant reason for my move to Canberra though, which has been great.

If the Mont came back I’d sign up in a flash.
 

Flow-Rider

Wheel size expert
The mtb bug really bit for me through the 24hr racing scene. Not because I was into racing (I’m slow) or because it was XC, although all I had was a hard tail with v-brakes. It was ‘the vibe of the thing’, camaraderie and camping and getting away for a week.

Paying for a couple of hours slogging it out some afternoon on trails I could ride anytime at any pace doesn’t have the same appeal I guess.

The bunch I grew into 24s with, myself eventually too, had kids, started dropping off and we all got fatter and older. Like @leitch says too everyone’s bikes got more capable and tastes have changed.

The Mont24 is no more, and it used to be a sellout with thousands camping and taking part. I miss it. I don’t really think it was the XC thing, it was a Zeitgeist thing. It’s a not insignificant reason for my move to Canberra though, which has been great.

If the Mont came back I’d sign up in a flash.
What about the Hunt 1000?
 

moorey

has arseritis
Harder to cover the costs, take the time and risk the injuries when you get older and have a family relying on you. Definitely miss it though.
During non Covid times, we were off racing DH and enduro most weekends from November to March. I race, but it’s always in the back of my mind that if I’m injured, the kids and I are stuck 500+km from home. I’ve got plenty of sick leave, but don’t want to be carted to hospital and the kids fending for themselves in a foreign town.
Fucked if I’m missing out on racing though. Giddy up.
 
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