Pro bike: Kelli Emmett's Giant Team XtC Advanced SL

Razor-edged race machine

Unlike her long-time team-mate Adam Craig, Giant Factory Off-Road Team rider Kelli Emmett will race on both a hardtail and full-suspension bike for the 2010 season. Emmett's Anthem X Advanced SL is similar to that used by Craig but her XtC Advanced SL Carbon is lighter, stiffer and more of a pure race machine.

"We have a few options: hardtail or full-suspension. I can pick the bike to fit what I want for different conditions," said Emmett at the team's recent training camp in Tehachapi, California. "This year, Giant have come out with the Anthem X Advanced SL. I'm excited about riding that one, too. It's stiffer than the past Anthem bikes, is carbon fibre and more of a race-oriented bike."

"I love riding full-suspension and I'd rather ride it, but the light weight of the hardtail had kept me on it for years," she continued. "The hardtail is super-light and when you're doing long sustained climbing a couple of extra pounds makes a difference. In the past I always rode the hardtail but now I think I'll ride the full-suspension more."

Emmett has primarily used the hardtail since camp, though, and with great success, too. She rode it to win the cross-country segment of the Triple Crown at Bonelli Park, California and also earned podium spots in that weekend's short track and super D (she used the Anthem for the latter). She also expects to race it at the upcoming US Pro XCT opener in Fontana, California, this weekend.

Like team-mate Adam Craig, Emmett prefers a wide, low-rise bar for the extra control it provides

The bike is equipped with a familiar build kit, which includes a Shimano XTR transmission, front and rear disc brakes, and wheels, set up tubeless with Michelin tyres. Fox Racing Shox handle the suspension duties, though Emmett has upgraded this year to the 32 F-Series FIT RL Remote with 15mm through-axle dropouts for improved steering precision.

"We're running 15mm through-axles on the front," she said. "It really helps with the handling [and] keeps the front wheel feeling more stable around corners; the wheel goes where you set it." Unlike her team-mate Craig who runs a single chainring, Emmett has the standard 22/32/44T chainrings up front and a wide-range 11-34T cassette in the rear. "I think Adam got his bike down to 21lb last year with a single chainring, but I'll stick with three," she said.

Her newly fitted 15mm through-axle fork adds extra steering precision at the front

Emmett has been working on her position on her bikes, making some changes for 2010. "I visited Todd Carver in Denver and he is part of Retül, which uses a standardised bike fit system," she said. "He fine-tuned some adjustments for me. He's worked with a lot of the pro road teams and mountain bike riders like Geoff Kabush.

"I'm now sitting a centimetre more forward, but still have my saddle height about the same. In the past couple of years, I've been slowly working my way forward. I'm more over the front of my bike. It helps my cornering a bit. I can keep the front wheel more stable. I feel like I don't have to slide as far forward to climb. I feel more powerful on the steeper climbing, too."

Unlike the Anthem X, Emmett's XtC Advanced SL hardtail uses a straight 1 1/8in steerer tube

Bike specifications 

  • Frame: 2010 Giant XtC Advanced SL, size small
  • Fork: Fox Racing Shox 32 F100 FIT Remote 15QR
  • Headset: Chris King InSet
  • Stem: PRO XCR, 90mm x +6°
  • Handlebars: PRO XCR Riser
  • Tape/grips: ODI Ruffian
  • Front brake: Shimano XTR BR-M975, 160mm Center Lock rotor
  • Rear brake: Shimano XTR BR-M975, 140mm Center Lock rotor
  • Brake levers: Shimano XTR BL-M975
  • Front derailleur: Shimano XTR FD-M971
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano XTR Shadow RD-M972-SGS
  • Shift levers: Shimano XTR SL-M970
  • Cassette: Shimano XTR CS-M970, 11-34T
  • Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-7701
  • Crankset: Shimano XTR FC-M970, 172.5mm, 22/32/44T
  • Bottom bracket: Shimano XTR
  • Pedals: Shimano XTR PD-M970
  • Wheelset: Shimano XTR WH-M975
  • Front tyre: Michelin XC Dry, 26x2.0in, with tubeless conversion
  • Rear tyre: Michelin XC Dry, 26x2.0in, with tubeless conversion
  • Saddle: Fizik Vesta
  • Seatpost: PRO XCR
  • Bottle cages: King Cage titanium

Critical measurements

  • Rider's height: 1.68m (5ft 6in)
  • Rider's weight: 56.7kg (125lb)
  • Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 685mm
  • Saddle setback: 15mm
  • Seat tube length, c-t: N/A:
  • Seat tube length, c-c: 400mm
  • Tip of saddle nose to centre of bars: 520mm
  • Saddle-to-bar drop (vertical): 0mm
  • Head tube length: 120mm
  • Top tube length: 550mm (horizontal)
  • Total bicycle weight: 9.1kg (20.07lb)

Kelli also has a 2010 Giant Anthem X Advanced SL for rougher courses

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