What does an XCO National Champion ride for an eMTB XCO National Championship? We look at Bec McConnell's Mondraker Crafty Carbon R.
The 2021 AusCycling MTB National Championships kicked off with the eMTB National Championships on Wednesday 10th March, and Josh Carlson and Bec McConnell were the winners. We've got a gallery and report right here so you can catch up.
Bec McConnell is sponsored by Mondraker, and with Mondraker bikes now available in Australia via Advance Traders, getting hold of a Crafty Carbon R eMTB was no doubt a lot easier than getting one from Team HQ in Europe.
The Crafty Carbon R is a 150mm bike - quite different to the XC rigs that McConnell is used to racing on. But that's the shape of eMTB racing, one where courses challenge riders, their bikes, and how they manage their battery life.
McConnell isn't the tallest rider on the circuit, and rides a size small. It's not a true factory spec bike for McConnell's team, so you'll see that the suspension is blacked out Fox 36 forks and a DPS shock.
The tires have had some work though compared to stock! The trusty Minion DHR/DHR combo was replaced with a Ardent Race 2.35" EXO 3C TR on the front, with an Aspen 2.25" on the back in the Pro only (we're pretty sure) 170 tpi casing. That's the sort of casing that top riders like Nino Schurter, Cam Wright and... Bec McConnell get to use. This casing is lighter and more supple, helping with greater traction.
McConnell had 17psi in the front with 20psi in the rear. Sound low? Well - she's tiny!
Adding to some custom mods is the cockpit. McConnell has a full SRAM drivetrain as specced on the bike out of the box, but has her own tiny stem and 650mm bars. Yeah, 650mm is pretty narrow. But when you're a small statured XCO racer who has a habit of getting the hole shot - you need to make the gap!
Grips are ESI silicone, few riders are happy to change their contact points - you'll see the Shimano XTR pedals fitted for the same reason.
That's one title McConnell has won from three for this race meet - will she secure the Short Track and Olympic Cross Country as well? Watch this space!