Category: 29er

Caveman, on Specialized 29er Epic, finishes 3rd at Bend Super D


Conrad Stoltz on Specialized 29er Epic at Bend Super D by

This is the 2nd of the 29er trilogy. XTERRA USA Champs report next…

Bend Super D. A “Super D” is a long somewhat technical downhill race which involves some pedaling. When I heard Bend is having a Super D down Funner and Storm King from Wainoga ski park, I just couldnt resist. Funner is just such a fun trail, plus you get to shuttle for 2 days. Unfortunately I cold front rolled in, and it POURED with rain for 2 days straight. So I didnt do any shuttle runs.

Even though I have a garage full of long travel Specialized bikes (2010 Stumpjumper and 2010 Enduro), I went for my Specialized 29er Epic. Only 4 days after the Cyclo Cross race (on this same bike) I only had to make a few small equipment changes to race two wildly different races. But it didnt stop the guys at the start gate from laughing at the white paint job, Renegade rear tire and 140mm rear rotor. He who laughs last…

This race appeals mostly to the trail rider type- which is 80% of Bend. (As opposed to the tight red spandex type) I did try to tone it down with baggy pants, booties, my Specialized Vice helmet and Oakley Moto Cross goggles. In the process I learned that that white

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Caveman on Specialized 29er Epic, finishes 2nd at Thrilla Cyclo Cross


Conrad Stoltz -my 1st Cyclo Cross experience. On a mountain bike. Ok, a Specialized Epic 29er, but still a mountain bike.

If you were expecting the XTERRA USA write up, its coming. Actually, this is the 1st of a 3 part series of the 10 days leading up into XTERRA Nationals, explaining my interesting preparation, but mostly just mouthing about how amazing my 29er Epic is- which I did all 3 races on.

When I rode my 1st 29er it was love at first sight. I was so impressed with its rock riding ability I put this bad video on youtube in 2008 and it has over 36 000 views already. Wish I was smart enough to put some voice or music over it.

Then I was all fired up for 29ers, I wanted to race them. 1st time I did was at XTERRA South Africa in 2008.

Then I got onto to those poor MTB engineers at Specialized, I started nagging at them for a race 29er for over 4 years, and  I bet when they see me coming they quickly duck behind a planter or into the ladies toilet. But finally the bike came, and frankly, it blew the doors offa my expectations and Specialized is yet again, THE leader in the industry.

Back to the story:

I decided to jump into the 3rd leg of the much lauded Thrilla CX Series in Bend, OR. Bend is a bike crazy town- half the community watches these midweek ‘cross (that the cool way of saying it) races and the other half races. And I leanrt that a true ‘cross fan can be a scary thing….

I felt like a bit of a doofus on the start line with my mountain bike with balloon tires, Command Post and water bottle. Suspected I’d be booted into

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XTERRA Alabama preview


Yup, I brought the big dog. This is the perfect 29er course- fast, rocky, rooty and technical.

Specialized Epic 29er.

For more on 29ers, visit my my 29er page on Facebook

-Command Post telescopic seat post. (notice dropped seat height for the technical terrain) I wrote about the Command Post exhaustively on this previous post

-Specialized Fast Trak LK S Works 2.00 tires.  24psi front and 29 psi rear. This course has a super rocky high speed section with some water bar jumps, so I run more psi than I normally would.

I’m very tempted to run The Captain 2.00 in the front- it has taller knobs and corners better in the loose (or if it gets wet), but they roll quite a bit slower, (about 30W vs Fast Trak) so I’m going to go with the Fast Trak, use the Command Post and finesse the loose corners.

-Roval carbon wheels- super stiff and light.

-LOOK Quartz Ti pedals


Blood Rock is famous here on the Oak Mountain, Alabama bike course. Thanks to BUMP for building, maintaining and advocating this epic course. On race day, its lined with spectators, who take incriminating pictures of failure and cowardice…

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Getting technical- bike set up for XTERRA Waco


I’m very lucky to have a full quiver of Specialized bikes to chose from!

After watching a few youtube videos on the Waco course, I decided to travel to Waco with my 29er Epic (Aluminium)- it loves rocky, rooty and twisty.  But 30min into pre riding the course on wednesday I had to call a friend to ship me a kiddie bike. (with 26inch wheels) Its true, TV (and youtube) makes courses look flat! OK, my legs were also seriously dented from training, but this course has about 20 short, granny gear climbs and I think the number of times your speed falls below 5mi/h was a lot, a lot. In other words, there was a lot, a lot of acceleration from almost stand still– the one 29er drawback. The (only) other shortcoming to this 29er is weight- the white bike is 5 lbs more than the one in the white wrapping. For now…

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The Caveman Cometh (and he’s on a 29er)

So, you are a trail mashing mofo; gnarliest of the gnar. Yes, you are a fit machine and can ride. You have skills. Skills, eh? How about swimming, mountain biking and running — as in consecutively… in one day… at race pace?

Whaddya say? That off-road triathlon stuff — Xterra — isn’t for true mountain bikers? It’s so easy even a caveman could do it?

Straight-up fact: The Caveman does make it look easy. And the Caveman will make it look easy as he smokes you out on some technical singletrack — on a big-wheeled bike, no less.

Conrad Stoltz

He isn’t racing Xterra — yet — on a 29er, Conrad Stoltz rides his Specialized Epic 29er the rest of the time. CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS IN THE SLIDESHOW BELOW Photo by Seth Lightcap

A couple of weeks ago I did an interview and shoot with editor Jamie Bate (and photoman Seth Lightcap) in Truckee. We talked 29er, kicked some ideas around and I have to say I’m quite stoked with the result. This website has some real meat to it. Informative, technical material for the serious trail rider.

Here is the complete article from

Visit for my 29er manifesto




Story Time

Cavegirl on the way!!!

Cavegirl on the way!!!
Liezel and I are happy to announce our baby girl on the way! We are 23 weeks in, #PrincessHotstuff is fit and trim, and for me, time is not moving fast enough!  Due date 15-5-15. Suuuuper excited prix viagra en pharmacie! With these genes, she’ll be shooting hoops while wheelie-ing at the age of 3. […]
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Being the Caveman is hard work- have been busy…

Being the Caveman is hard work- have been busy…
As you all know, its easy to overindulge and pack on the pounds during the festive season, so Cross Training is a key ingredient to keeping the Caveman fit and flexable. Gotta keep on top of skills training too. Breakfast sure wasnt pretty. But its all part of the food chain… Like I said, being […]
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Caveman wins in mountain region of Scanno at XTERRA Italy

Caveman wins in mountain region of Scanno at XTERRA Italy
XTERRA Italy has the most amazing course! Parts through the old mountain town of Scanno. To the tune of "eye of the tiger" (thanks DJ Jack!) Caveman wins XTERRA Italy by 4 minutes. XTERRA Italy made is debut in the idyllic mountain town of Scanno, in the province of Abruzzo. In terms of the culture […]
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Caveman’s specialized equipment choices in quest for 7th World title

Caveman’s specialized equipment choices in quest for 7th World title
#aeroiseverything #soisfattyres #dittohorsepower ITU Cross Triathlon Worlds 2013 Long version Cross Tri Worlds Highlights. (Short version- 2.40) Racing through the dunes, stairs and sidewalks of Holland proved a fertile ground for innovative equipment choices.  From the video you can get a feel for the course- but the real test was the long sections of deep, […]
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a Caveman car for a Caveman situation…

a Caveman car for a Caveman situation…
Caveman’s Stellenbosch Kelfords Ford Fietsta Ambiente 1.4 [Open letter to friend and owner of Kelfords Ford and Mazda in Somerset West, South Africa] Dear Tristan, Thank you very much for the use of your wonderful little Ford Fiesta. We love the fuel economy, (5.9L per 100km) the nippy handling, the voice activated, hands free phone […]
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Cheers to a remarkable 2012

Cheers to a remarkable 2012
18 races, 1 World Title (ITU Cross Tri), my 10th XTERRA USA Series title, 10 victories, 16 podiums and many many special memories. My sporting highlight was winning my 2nd ITU Cross Triathlon World Title in Pelham Alabama, USA. a Personal highlight was sharing the entire year and all the remarkable experiences with my gorgeous […]
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