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Primal Enduro

XC vs XCW for rocky technical single track

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Thinking about adding an Austrian TPI bike of some color to the stable. but I have a hard time choosing the platform to start with...hear me out...

In the past I've owned many PDS bikes and many linkage bikes and I know the advantages and disadvantages of each and can't say that one worked better than the other (once setup) in my slow terrain.

Now I know a lot of people will be quick to recommend xc or xcw based primarily on where it will be ridden, which for me is slow technical rocky goat trail...right away you are thinking xcw..right? but hold on. There are two things I really like about the XC/TX platform in my terrain:

 

The linkage bikes seat height is a bit lower which is a huge plus in the tech

I've never had a bike with XPLOR forks, but had a TX300 and really loved the air fork in the gnarly rocks. Running really low pressure allowed it to be soft in the slow stuff, yet the air spring ramps up very quick when dropping off ledges without letting it blow right through the stroke...win/win



Then again the PDS bike while a bit taller (I do like a bike where I can be flat foot, not tippy toed @ 5'11") doesn't have linkage to maintain, guard or drag across boulders and trees. not to mention it's super easy to remove the shock. pluses for me on the xcw include:

 

lack of linkage to worry about

comes with headlight/taillight and odo (I street register my bikes)

XPLOR FORKS???



My initial thoughts are to get the PDS bike and see how the new XPLOR fork does in my terrain. If I don't like it I can find a set of AER's easy enough and sell the XPLOR's to recoup some cash. If the bike is too tall, I can simply have the shock lowered a little bit via a 5-7mm limiting spacer internally and slide the forks up a bit.

The last Austrian bike I had was the TX300 so I don't know how the TPI, or the newer forks feel in comparison?

I'm currently riding a Beta 200 and love it in the technical terrain, but you can't be lazy on it in the hills, you must be in the right gear. Some times I miss how the 300 would let me be lazy and chug around all day in 3rd.....

Guys with 2020-2021's What say you?

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Xplor forks are almost an inch shorter then AER. This would require the AER high up in the clamps to maintain design geometry swapping out the Xplor.  Bar/guard clamps will interfere making you get risers. Then if you shorten the shock it just amplifies this. Many have just compensated their set up and added AER on the Xplor framed bikes. Just some things to think about. Personally I like the XC gearing over the extremely low first on the XCW. I ride some tight hilly trails and my 250xc handles it nicely. As for the forks,,, if you don’t like them, there are plenty of options out there from a couple hundred to thousands. TPI works really good in 2020-2021 and for the most part gas and go.  Some bikes are too rich and require air idle screw adjusted but then idle is high. Flip side are leaner bikes have low idle that are prone to stalling. Both these conditions can be solved with idle screw mod. Simple and cheap if needed. I wouldn’t rule out a 250 since you’re coming off a 200. Racier motor compared to a 300 but lacks the low end and mid torque. Just rode 2021 300 and it was a really good with smooth power delivery. Not like 300 of the past with aggressive hit and power. 

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I own a '20 300 XC-W (XPLOR/PDS) and a '21 350 XC-F (XACT/linkage).  If all I was riding was technical and tight, I'd get the XC-W every day of the week and twice on sunday.  XPLOR is better in the rocks and roots than XACT / AER.  And in 2020, PDS is pretty darn good when used in the tight nasty stuff.

But if you have to ride both tight / technical and fast / whooped / jumps / MX track, then the XC is a little more flexible.  It won't be as good as the XC-W in the tight technical but it splits the difference a little better.  To say it another way... The XC-W will be worse on an MX track than an XC is in super tight technical terrain.

Doc

 

 

Edited by Doc_d
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1 hour ago, Doc_d said:

 

I own a '20 300 XC-W (XPLOR/PDS) and a '21 350 XC-F (XACT/linkage).  If all I was riding was technical and tight, I'd get the XC-W every day of the week and twice on sunday.  XPLOR is better in the rocks and roots than XACT / AER.  And in 2020, PDS is pretty darn good when used in the tight nasty stuff.

But if you have to ride both tight / technical and fast / whooped / jumps / MX track, then the XC is a little more flexible.  It won't be as good as the XC-W in the tight technical but it splits the difference a little better.  To say it another way... The XC-W will be worse on an MX track than an XC is in super tight technical terrain.

Doc

 

 

I agree mostly although I would prefer the XC on pretty much everything.  I really don't see an advantage to the W other than PDS for extreme stuff.  

I have an 18 250 XC-W and 19 FX450 Husky.  Had an 11 300 XC prior.

I prefer the XC gearbox in the 2 stroke.  Actually wish the transmissions were interchangeable as would way rather have the wide spread in the 450.  I might look into what it would take to swap to the XC 1st and 2nd.  

I think the linkage flat out works better, but the PDS is nice on logs and boulders.  

I ran the AER forks off the 450 on the 2 stroke this year and prefer them.  The Xplor is just too mushy for me.  The AER is harsher on small rocks at low speed (say 1st gear, under 10 MPH).  The AER is plush once moving and so much more confident inspiring for big hits, big rocks, drops, jumps, etc.  

I wish I had bought a 250 XC instead of a W.  I love the 250 though and actually prefer it to the 300.  You might too since your coming off a 200.  

Edited by GlennE
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what's interesting, is that it seems 50/50 split, I like some things about the W and some things about the XC.  

I do like the idea of PDS not being in the way and having to maintain, but the truth is my last 4 bikes have been linkage and with a plastic dove tail it's not an issue.  

does anyone know how much the wiring harness is to put lights on the XC?

also as far as 250 vs 300, I think I would go 300 since everyone says the TPI makes the bike "feel" mellow, and  @51 I like to be lazy sometimes and ride a gear high and lug the crap out of her!

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The TPI motor is great, especially in the type of terrain you’re talking about. I have a ‘20 TE300i so it’s XACT forks and linkage. It’s better stock thank my ‘11 300XC was with all the suspension being done on it. The linkage is never an issue for me. I like it better than my PDS bikes as I feel it’s just more predictable. I don’t believe the TPI motor is actually more mellow. It’s smoother power delivery gives people the feeling of it being down in power, but once you get used to riding it, you’ll see that’s not the case. 

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13 hours ago, Primal Enduro said:

what's interesting, is that it seems 50/50 split, I like some things about the W and some things about the XC.  

I do like the idea of PDS not being in the way and having to maintain, but the truth is my last 4 bikes have been linkage and with a plastic dove tail it's not an issue.  

does anyone know how much the wiring harness is to put lights on the XC?

also as far as 250 vs 300, I think I would go 300 since everyone says the TPI makes the bike "feel" mellow, and  @51 I like to be lazy sometimes and ride a gear high and lug the crap out of her!

XC is already wired for lights. Just doesn't come with....

Joe

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55 minutes ago, trailmeisterjoe said:

XC is already wired for lights. Just doesn't come with....

Joe

I think the new 20-21 XC's don't come with the wiring anymore?

 

1 hour ago, 69fastback said:

The TPI motor is great, especially in the type of terrain you’re talking about. I have a ‘20 TE300i so it’s XACT forks and linkage. It’s better stock thank my ‘11 300XC was with all the suspension being done on it. The linkage is never an issue for me. I like it better than my PDS bikes as I feel it’s just more predictable. I don’t believe the TPI motor is actually more mellow. It’s smoother power delivery gives people the feeling of it being down in power, but once you get used to riding it, you’ll see that’s not the case. 

I agree, I never have a problem getting hung up on the linkage, but the linkage skid is def doing it's job and sliding over stuff.   

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10 minutes ago, Primal Enduro said:

I think the new 20-21 XC's don't come with the wiring anymore?

 

I agree, I never have a problem getting hung up on the linkage, but the linkage skid is def doing it's job and sliding over stuff.   

Oh......could be. My '19 does ( XC with carb so less "electrically complicated").

Joe

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17 hours ago, Primal Enduro said:

what's interesting, is that it seems 50/50 split, I like some things about the W and some things about the XC.  

I do like the idea of PDS not being in the way and having to maintain, but the truth is my last 4 bikes have been linkage and with a plastic dove tail it's not an issue.  

does anyone know how much the wiring harness is to put lights on the XC?

also as far as 250 vs 300, I think I would go 300 since everyone says the TPI makes the bike "feel" mellow, and  @51 I like to be lazy sometimes and ride a gear high and lug the crap out of her!

I only ride slow, technical mountain single track, but I have still always gone with the XC over the XCW. My biggest reason for this is the gearing. IMO 1st gear is perfect on the XC, any lower on a 300 is just useless. I loved the suspension on my '18 and '19 300 XC, but for some strange reason I can't get the '21 to work well for me. This is my first set of AER forks that I'll have to send out for a revalve. I still think the XC is a better overall platform though. 

It sucks that they did away with the wiring for lights/ fan in '20. Check out the harness from True North Moto's if you go with the XC. It is a plug and play relay harness, so the relay will shut everything off 20 seconds after you shut the bike off. No parasitic draw, just like the XCW. It comes with OEM plugs for the head light/ tail light, and then an extra set auxiliary power wires that you can use for a fan, or any other accessories. 

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41 minutes ago, Chevy_97 said:

I only ride slow, technical mountain single track, but I have still always gone with the XC over the XCW. My biggest reason for this is the gearing. IMO 1st gear is perfect on the XC, any lower on a 300 is just useless. I loved the suspension on my '18 and '19 300 XC, but for some strange reason I can't get the '21 to work well for me. This is my first set of AER forks that I'll have to send out for a revalve. I still think the XC is a better overall platform though. 

It sucks that they did away with the wiring for lights/ fan in '20. Check out the harness from True North Moto's if you go with the XC. It is a plug and play relay harness, so the relay will shut everything off 20 seconds after you shut the bike off. No parasitic draw, just like the XCW. It comes with OEM plugs for the head light/ tail light, and then an extra set auxiliary power wires that you can use for a fan, or any other accessories. 

I have a couple buddies with 2020 XC's and they love the forks in the tech stuff.  What kind of pressure are you running?

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46 minutes ago, Primal Enduro said:

I have a couple buddies with 2020 XC's and they love the forks in the tech stuff.  What kind of pressure are you running?

Same as I did on my '18 and '19... Around 120 - 125 psi. Started at "standard" clicker settings in the manual, but I've been playing with them with very little success.. Everything I've read said the '20 and '21 are valved more plush than the '19, but I just don't feel it. Both the forks and the shock feel very harsh. I don't understand it, but I'm deflecting off every rock and root. I usually don't get sore anymore even after long rides, but this bike beats the hell out of me. I'm gonna have to do something, because I have no confidence on the bike. I'm watching every little thing into my front tire when typically I would be looking ahead, not paying any attention to the small trail trash. 

Rider sag is 107mm with 28mm static sag. Im right on the edge of needing a stiffer spring, but I've ran stock spring on all my previous bikes. Bike has over 10 hours on it, so I dont think the suspension is going to "break in" any further. 

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I read that there's a place around here somewhere that's converting Xplor forks to Open Cartridge, as another option.

 

Edited by Trailryder42

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9 hours ago, Trailryder42 said:

I read that there's a place around here somewhere that's converting Xplor forks to Open Cartridge, as another option.

 

I've seen that, but $1k for inserts? no thanks, I would rather pick up a set of AER or KYB's and then have them for whatever bike I get next.

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i am in the same boat as you . XC vs XC-W . 

i will go XC for link and the transmission . here what i figure out . if you like riding nasty trial trail wen your foot is on the groud in 1 gear trying to climb nasty rock hill for 30 minute and more  go XC-W . wen  riding single track 1-2-3 wen you have your foot on the peg eaven if once a day you go in a nasty situation go XC . 

i like to run fast in tights single track trail , 1-2 gear some 3 .  do not like to play in a step hill for a long period of time like some do all day long . after i play 10-20 minute in a hill or nasty section it time to go . gnarly trail video i did see on youtube , i would like XC over there . 

Edited by cisco 1

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On 11/1/2020 at 12:59 AM, Trailryder42 said:

I read that there's a place around here somewhere that's converting Xplor forks to Open Cartridge, as another option.

 

I've seen that, but $1k for inserts? no thanks, I would rather pick up a set of AER or KYB's and then have them for whatever bike I get next.

 

Can anyone comment on the difference in seat height between PDS and linkage bikes these days?  I know it used to be that PDS was about an inch taller.  Is that still the case?

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1 hour ago, Primal Enduro said:

I've seen that, but $1k for inserts? no thanks, I would rather pick up a set of AER or KYB's and then have them for whatever bike I get next.

 

Can anyone comment on the difference in seat height between PDS and linkage bikes these days?  I know it used to be that PDS was about an inch taller.  Is that still the case?

Yes, the PDS is definitely taller.  At least an inch.  

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