If you are cross country inclined in Australia, the chances are you have grown up on lap based endurance races, or ‘Enduros’ in the form we originally knew them. Both Rocky Trail Entertainment and Chocolate Foot run some stellar race series around the ACT and NSW, and clubs and other promoters get into in other states – just these two promoters really flood the market for a Sydney or Canberra based mountain biker.
Eliza Kwan is no stranger to a solo enduro, or a solo 24hr race, coming 3rd in the Australian 24hr MTB Solo Champs in 2013. More recently, Eliza has been taking her bike, a Giant Obsess, to a few more national level events, like the XCO National Championships, the Capital Punishment Marathon, and the National Marathon MTB Championships. She’s quite versatile, so her bike must be too. Her shop, Onyabike Canberra, have set her bike up nicely.
The Giant Obsess is a women’s specific 27.5″ hardtail, using Giant’s composite frame material. It’s quite a remarkable frame to look at, with internal cable routing, a hidden seat post clap, and the OverDrive 1.25-1.5″ head tube. The rear seat stays are very slender in comparison to the down tube, in an effort to smooth the direct ride that oversized main tubes give.
Most of the bike is a stock part spec, running a SRAM 2 x 10 drivetrain and SID fork. These can be seen on the Giant website. But Kwan has made some finishing touches to suit her riding, and her expectations.
Maxxis Ikon EXO tyres were mounted tubeless to the stock rims at Mt Joyce, where these photos were taken. The Ikon tyre has a good sized bag, low rolling resistance and a strong sidewall. A good choice.
Controls are important, and Kwan upgraded the SRAM brakes to Shimano XT – the choice of countless riders around the world for their power, reliability, and lever adjustment. Of note, Kwan also flipped her stem and fitted a carbon flat handlebar. She’s also running an out front GPS mount reverse, to keep it out of the way of a race number. Tidy.
Small details count and Kwan replaced the stock Fizik Arione Donne with a Bontrager Evoke. No need to ask a 24hr solo racer about why they choose a saddle. They won’t run something that doesn’t work.
Keep an eye out for Kwan’s little Giant Obsess at coming races throughout Australia. You can follow her on @Eliza_Kwan on twitter.