By Matt Pacocha
Subaru-Gary Fisher team rider Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski began his mountain bike racing career in Winter Park, Colorado, just south of the SolVista Resort, the site of the 2009 and 2010 Mountain Bike National Championships. For all intents it’s a home course for JHK and his wife, fellow Subaru-Gary Fisher racer, Heather Irmiger, who each took home national cross-country titles this weekend.
Horgan-Kobelski was looking for a super-light bike to suit the hilly course.
For the past few season’s his carbon Superfly 29er has hovered around the 21- to 22-pound mark, which was a respectable weight for an extra large bike with large diameter wheels. This year, however, the Subaru-Gary Fisher team’s equipment sponsors made breakthroughs. Using SRAM’s new XX group, MRP’s 1.X chain guide and new carbon wheels and lighter tires from Bontrager, team mechanic Matt Opperman was able to build JHK a sub 20-pound Superfly. It’s 19.6-pounds, according to Opperman.
As seen in our review of MRP’s 1.X guide earlier this summer, it can help drop a lot of weight off a bike, since chainrings, front derailleur, front shifter and cables and housing can be omitted. JHK uses a 36-tooth Truvativ downhill ring mounted to a Truvativ Noir crank (with BlackBox ceramic bottom bracket sans external seals) because the new XX crank will not accept a 36-tooth ring. The XX 11-36 10-speed cassette gave the 36-tooth chainring enough range for the steep ups and downs of the SolVista course.
Bontrager has come through big for the Subaru-Fisher team in the wheel and tire department. JHK is using the ’09 Race XXX Lite carbon 29er wheels and a set of new prototype tires called 29-0. Opperman only has five of the new tires, that post consistently super-light weights ranging between 410 grams to 416 grams. JHK rides 34 psi in the front and 36 psi in the rear.
The Fisher team’s stock Reba Team 29er suspension forks benefit from the XX treatment, featuring the new X-Loc hydraulic lockout.
The cockpit is standard; a Fi’zi:k Turdra carbon saddle perched atop a Bontrager Race X Lite (RXL) ACC seat post, RXL alloy stem, and a Race XXX Lite carbon handlebar.
Irmiger rides an almost identical bike in medium size, with a stock paint job and a double 24-36-tooth chainring combination affixed to a Noir crank.