Now Reading:

Orange Mountain Bikes SXC FIRCUR Award

Orange Mountain Bikes SXC FIRCUR Award

Billy Thackray Billy Thackray

FIRCUR stands for Five-inch-radical-cross-country-Underdog-Racing, the title might not be catchy but this race series does and might see one or two Dirt office staff giving this a shot.

Read on for full details:

The 2010 SXC Five-inch-radical-cross-country-Underdog-Racing award

Most bike companies sponsor an event and build the hype from the get go. This isn’t the Orange Mountain Bikes way, oh no, we give away a frame and miss the first race, doh!


Anyway, for this particular prize it really doesn’t matter, if we’d done it deliberately it could even be called a ‘strategy’. This is about promoting XC racing, not for those who have been on the protein shakes since Christmas, but for those who just fancy a go. It’s a prize for the underdogs, the people who don’t have a Sunday race bike, the people who just want to take part. Racing should be about having fun, and we want the average trail rider to get in on the action too.
We firmly believe you don’t need a snaptastic, plastic, Euro, fluro rocketship to have fun on the race track. In fact, you’re only eligible if you have a go on your five inch travel full suspension trail bike, it’s about the riding. A strange format for racing? Definitely, it’s not even based on results.

The FIRCUR events.

The SXC race series forms the perfect platform for the FIRCUR theme. A national cross-country race series with some of the UK’s best trail riding locations: plenty of technical and fast flowing singletrack. Yes, this is totally an XC race series, but we want to prove you don’t need to be packing plastic to win big. Lots of people only have one bike and we want to encourage you to use it in a variety of ways. You can be fast and competitive, or you can just enjoy the occasion and give it your best shot. Whether you want to win, or just be in with a shot on the FIRCUR prize, it’s all about pinning a number to your back and being part of the scene. Five inch bikes might get marketed as ‘all-mountain’ machines, but if you’re a FIRCUR the chances are it’s just your bike. It’s not a tag or a label, it might even be your ticket to XC racing success, I’m sure it doesn’t say that in the catalogue spiel. Be a FIRCUR, break the mould, and most importantly, have fun on your bike.

The FIRCUR roll call?

If you fancy a shot at racing and ride a five inch travel bike, you’re a FIRCUR. The rules are pretty easy to follow, when you register at the race present your steed of choice. If this meets the FIRCUR requirements you’re entry will be recorded. Enter two or more races in the FIRCUR category and you’ll be in with a chance of winning one of our trail slaying Five frames. You don’t have to win to be in the running, that’s too complicated, just enter two events and we’ll put your name in a very small hat. Have fun and be in the running for a posh new frame, a simple formula for riders who want to race for fun. Not a bad prize for the have-a-go hero huh?


1. To be entered into the prize draw you must enter two or more rounds of the SXC series.

2. Bikes must have 130mm or more of front and rear suspension travel.

3. There is no rule 3.

Erm, that’s it for now go join the FIRCURS!

2010 SXC/FIRCUR rounds.

Round 1 Kirroughtree 21 Mar
Round 2 Contin 25 Apr
Round 3 Aberfoyle 23 May
Round 4 Fort William (Scottish Championships) 13 June
Round 5 Perth 08 Aug
Round 6 Laggan 29 Aug
Round 7 Drumlanrig Castle 19 Sept

For more information about these SXC events go to:


Featured in this post

  1. billy

    Jonesr, you gonna do this then?

  2. MPORA Ed

    I’m in. Probably the last round, provided I can move my arm properly by then.

  3. Dave

    So if my bike has exactly 5 inches of travel (127 mm), I’m not eligible?!

    Nice to know a bike engineering company can do basic unit conversion…

  4. wICK

    sorry , i love Orange , i love anything to promote the sport , racing and Mountain bike events but this sounds retarded.

    i race my 5 inch bike all summer long ,(Raids , XC marathon , regional XC criteriums)
    event by “kind-of-bikes” or “how-much-travel-do-you-have” sounds completly dumb.
    that , to me , falls under the same catergory as the no-skinsuit rule. Industry dictating what is “cool” or not. And i really mean “cool” not ; adequate , needed , good , appropriate , dedicated , just “cool”
    Carbon race bikes are not cool ?
    what about single pivot ? cool or not ?
    what about , no VPP or VPS or what-ever-other-suspension-design-we-dont-make category ?

    rant done ,
    have a glorious , dirt day.

  5. jonesdirtmag

    Crappers, you need to calm down don’t you? Sounds like a great opportunity to take in some of them great Scottish trails, have some beer and a chat later, who the hell mentioned cool – whatever that is

  6. edH@dirt

    Sorry, but i think this is a shite idea too. If it was really a race series for the underdog you should be able to do it on any bike you want…with possibly the only restriction being no lycra allowed on show…but even then i still think you should be able to ride what the hell you want, and in whatever the hell you want. I mean loads of riders who aren’t XC racers probably have great hack about 120mm full sussers that aren’t by any means a race bike, and now they’re excluded from taking part. if you really needed 5″ of travel then maybe, but i very much doubt you will…actually that’s the way this should be done if you really want to make people ride 5″+ travel bikes…you should make sure that it’s impossible to win on a bike with less travel cos it’s so bloody hard…then you’d justify the travel

  7. billy

    I was going to say why not open it up to any sort of bike, it is after all “about having fun”, but then I thought why not run it just for 5″ (127mm, 3mm is up for discussion), we have races specifically for hardtails so why not categorize this one? I suppose Orange want to sell more 5’s at the end of the day. Let’s organise a 24″-wheel-up-front-with-100mm-of-travel-and-29″-on-the -back-with-8″-of-travel-race, any takers?

  8. Stu T

    Surely its no different to a hardtail DH category? Encouraging first time racers and people who wouldn’t normally attempt a race. This is an attempt to get more Trail Centre style punters racing….. as 5 inch+ bikes are not that popular at xc races, they are at endurance events but not xc.

    At SXC races, super fast carbon hardtails with shaven legged whippets aboard them always dominate the results, thats just xc racing, exactly the same as 8-9 inch DH bikes will always win at Fort William. Orange haven’t said anything is cool or not cool, but their biggest market is the UK 5,6,7 inch travel bikes so why not promote it? Whilst also giving some great promotion and support to a UK regional race series!!

  9. edH@dirt

    yeah i reckon it is different to a hardtail class at a dh race, i mean hardtails are cheap and accessible…unlike 5″ travel bikes.
    Like i said, make it super gnarly and the big bikes will come.

  10. ddmonkey

    This is well intentioned but daft idea. For example, I couldn’t do this race because I have a Blur 4x. Now if that isn’t non-xc oriented FS bike for just riding around on I don’t know what is. Having an entry limit based upon travel is silly. Not that I want to do an XC race on a burly FS trail bike anyway, I’d use my hardtail…. which is not an xc race bike either. I can see what they are trying to do, but they are going the wrong way about it I think.

  11. .

    i’d like to try the 24″-wheel-up-front-with-100mm-of-travel-and-29″-on-the -back-with-8″-of-travel-race, but only if a bike was donated for me to modify.
    if it was a 24″ wheel at the back, with 29″ at the front, most “steep” trail sections will seem flatter…
    just a thought

  12. billy

    To The Man With No Name, yes, my race format allows you to switch front/rear wheels either during, before or after the race.

  13. Droppin-Neutron

    Miserable b*stards on here – sounds like a right laugh I would be up for it on my Meta if it wasnt so far away from where I live.

  14. wICK

    ok , forget about the “cool” rant.
    But i’m whit edH@dirt , the bikes raced in an event should be determined by what’s faster. So the right mix of long hard climbs + gnarly long descents would end up being done on 5 inch bikes since they would be the best choice.
    none the less , i dont want to preach for the shaved bib wearers on XC carbon rockets stiffy but , dont ask me why , they always end-up being on the podiums and kick ass on technical stuff.
    i saw Craig Adams win the AM cup on his XC bike at Downieville.
    he was in lycra.

  15. Edd

    i want to do it on my trailstar, alas no shockers in’t back

  16. mr b

    Are bikes with lockout allowed?

  17. mr b

    Oh and billy, I think you should make an F1 style pit stop front/rear wheel swap mandatory half way through your race.

  18. NickyB

    I have to agree the idea and concept sound ace in as much as riding, racing and generally larking around but, its too much of stretch to only allowing 5in bikes. Thats stoooopid. Why? I mean, the transition double 4 inches of travel yet a perfectly good example of a superb underdog bike for this kind of race as its so heavy? Or the ST4 which dirt itself gave rave reviews? Or that the Orange Crush which they market as the ultimate do it all hardtail is not eligible? Why not do a handicap system? Ie for every pound over 28 say you go you get a minute knocked off or if your riding a hardtail etc? Or why not just organise a bloody race and let the results sort it out and still give the bikes out? I can see what they are trying to achieve but I think that by categorising it so specifically they are alienating a load of great riders who ride the same stuff and would be interested in the race but ride different bikes? I mean even if you held a specific bike race like an Orange 5 race (comparable to a porsche 911 race at the track say?) then I could understand it but this does not seem a good idea to me!

  19. A.R.Soles

    I started reading this and thought it looked mint like a good laugh. yea bust out the trailstar in a bit of a race yea err what no actually its got too much front suspension and not enough back so won’t sell any more orange fives for them. Bullshit race series for them to sell more bikes from the looks of it then and not for the “underdog” after all.

  20. Dave@Orange

    To be honest, it’s just a bit of fun. We wanted to support the SXC series and this seemed like a different way of doing things. What you’re all saying is right, classifications and rules cause problems, but this isn’t a serious category, it’s just an attempt to get a certain breed of riders racing their bikes (riders don’t even get a position within a 5 inch category, just a tick to say they took part and should be included in the prize draw). No alienation intended, it’s for people who know they aren’t going to win, but might be encouraged to give racing a go on their everyday trail bike. We’ll probably swop things around again next year, so maybe Billy’s category might get a showing :-)

  21. Dave@Orange

    @ mr b.

    Yep, anything goes.

  22. ed@dirt

    Dave…one question then…how can it be called a race if riders don’t get a position? Surely that’s not getting people to race? Or am i completely missing the point?

  23. Dave@Orange

    They’re taking part in the SXC race so get their position in that.

    This prize is simply meant as an incentive for those who aren’t in the running to win one of the main events. If we gave the frame to a winner this would have defeated the object, elite riders would have switched bikes, won the prize and left the situation the same. This was just meant as a bit of fun, support for a good race series and encouragement for people who would never normally consider racing. Apologies if we’ve made something pretty simple sound complicated, there won’t be official bike checks or arguments over 3mm of travel, it’s just meant to make a laid back sideshow. I’ll give you a shout at the end of the season and see how it went down with the guys who entered. If it gets a few new people involved in XC then it can’t be a bad thing?

    It might not be a perfect concept, but it’s always worth trying something different?

  24. ed@dirt

    ahhhhh, it’s starting to make more sense now! I don’t think it was clear that anybody could enter the race, and that FIRCUR was really just a class within it. Is that the case? i.e. will FIRCUR riders just be mixed in at the start with non FIRCUR riders? If so, end of rant, ok idea.

  25. ed@dirt

    basically i think you’ve somehow managed to massively over complicate that idea with the press release. If i’m right in what i think you’re actually doing then i think all that needs to be said is pretty much the following…

    If you enter at least two races in this series of XC races, and you choose to ride a bike with 5+ inches of travel, then you’ll be entered into a prize draw with a chance to win an Orange 5.

    is that correct?

  26. Dave@Orange

    Yep, exactly. Consider the press release writer reprimanded, that’s me, doh!!

  27. Gary

    are Fun Category competitors entered too?
    be nice to think you might actually win something against all those shavedleg sandbagging ***** that usually enter. 😉

  28. NickyB

    that makes more more sense now! I thought it was just its own standalone race! Sounds like a good idea!

  29. 4incher

    Initially I was like oh no, I only have 4″ that’s too small, but I’m not that good at using my 4inches like the others are who are fast and wear lycra and I felt left out, then I saw it was just a category I felt better about my 4 inches.


Next up in RACING

Pearce Series 2010 round 1 – Bringewood. Repo and Video