Video: Specialized Racing at Val di Sole

Jun 19, 2013 at 11:03
Jun 19, 2013
by Mike Kazimer  
 
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107 Comments

  • + 69
 Go Troy!!!
  • + 1
 probs gonna get heaps of neg props for this...but troys bikes paintwork? devinci Dixon ring a bell to anyone?
big fan tho, love this team!
  • + 1
 It's the TLD edition Demo I believe. In still photos it's far from the Devinci livery.
[Reply]
  • + 46
 I'm stoked Troy is so stoked.
  • + 36
 I'm stoked that you're stoked because Troy is so stoked Raaad Duuude
  • + 1
 Yeah, that's pretty cool.
  • + 6
 It's good to be stoked!
[Reply]
  • + 36
 Troy is 'da man! I cant wait to see what he is like when he gets #1 one day!
  • - 21
 no luck for #1 with such short chainstays...:P
  • + 3
 Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..............
  • - 1
 fr33riding - you better keep your bike in a mint shape so it survives many years then, because it is only a matter of time until all bikes adopt it. CS length in 99% of bikes is a result of construction - not kinematics. Short CS will be the next slack head angle, next low-bb. If you compare geometrical dimensions to cards, chain stay won't be further than Jack, with head Angle being ace or even a joker, then reach and BBheight in relation to wheel axles being the King and queen respectively.
  • + 8
 @WAKI, I have absolutely no idea what any of that means. It sure sounds smart so I will just have to agree with you. Culmination...
  • + 7
 first of all, there was no intention of being rude. let's leave the childish props away and make some constructive 'scientific' discussion. Razz


the cs length, should not be kept to a minimum (like the demo), except for a few riders, just because of the rider's weight distribution.

what i mean?

the shorter the cs, the more rider weight is distributed to the rear of the bike.

if the rider rides more towards the front wheel, with the body hanging over the handlebar, with bodyweight
spread over the front part, then it suits well.

but you know that many wc riders, ride with the weight far back, with their backwards position, which means that they need a longer cs so that more weight is distributed towards the front (with known related effects, as balance, handling, grip).

and things for these kind of riders become even 'worse' because the wheelbases are getting longer, and the cs shorten...

so, from my point of view, it's just a matter of riding style and what suits well to that...

it's certainly not a universal truth, that bike manufacturers should follow...

Smile
  • + 4
 fr33riding: You nailed it. I have been noting this frankengeometry more and more lately. I know a frame builder who was commissioned to build a hardtail. The buyer specced a slack head angle, low BB, and short CS. The builder pointed out the poor weight distribution, but the customer insisted. Upon delivery, the purchaser demanded his money back due to the unbalanced and unstable ride. He claimed the builder messed it up, but the builder could verify all the angles and lengths. The builder said he would NEVER build to a customer's request for specific geometry again. He will design appropriate geometry for the application, and his customers have always been happy with the ride.
  • + 1
 In recent years top tubes got longer, for a good reason. People ride wider bars and shorter stems. Head angles got slacker, so weight shifted radicaly forward. Current Seat stays are a result of: tyre thickness + tyre clearance + cs tube width + chain ring clearance. Eventual suspension design may cause a link, a bridge or a bearing to come in the way (like in VPP). In all bikes that is kept to an absolute minimum. Spec minimizes "tubing" in that equation by replacing it with a thin plate. So since 2007 or so, They took away like 1cm in relation rear axle - BB while they (and almost everyone else) added 5cm or more to the front wheel -BB. So what are we talking about here?
  • + 2
 Waki, slackening the HTA shifts weight proportionally rearward, assuming the position of the head tube doesn't change, and the wheelbase gets longer.. The front wheel moves forward related to the BB, resulting in a longer front center. A longer FC results in a more rearward weight distribution when standing, and the loading point is the BB. There is some weighting through the bars, but it is really minimal. Seated weighting will also be dependant on the STA. TTs got longer to compensate for the preference for 60mm stems from the previous 100mm stems.
  • + 2
 WAKIdesigns: If you use a slacker head-angle, the front wheel is placed more ahead in relation to the handlebar.

in this position the front wheel receives less body weight (steeper ha -> more weight to the front) and will therefore lose grip.

to avoid this, you should hang a little more over the steering wheel to increase the grip and increase the length of the chainstay to move more weight to the front wheel.

what we all notice though is that in the recent progress of the dh frame manufacturing head angles have SLACKENED and, in many cases, chainstays have SHORTENED...

absurd situation...from my point of view. Smile


ps. top tubes got longer because stems got really short, and reach (including stem) must have a certain value.

short stems move the weight back, wide bars move the weight forward...balance achieved)
  • + 1
 all of you are wrong with the terminologies, but you have the right ideas. what we are talking about is the location of the center of gravity. this is what is messed with when bikes are being messed with... lower center of gravity, the more stable the object is, higher center of gravity makes the bke want to tip, and it works the same way for the front and back. depending on how bad, you may have to deal with this in tire pressure values as well.
  • + 1
 terminology is spot on Smile

as far as top tubes are concerned, take a look at forward geometry of mondraker.

www.mondraker.com/13/esp/bikes/DUNE-XR/328

645 tt for a medium frame...exactly because stem length is zero...

don't be surprised if the specialized demo, in about a couple of years, comes with adjustable chainstay length... Smile
  • + 1
 Bullitproof, I am sure of the terminology I am using. Lower CofG allows quicker side to side movement. Higher C of G results in more straight line stability. However, BB to axle (BB drop) is much more important in a bicycle than C of G. Just think, guys racing MX can turn a 240lbs bike with a 50lbs gyroscope turning at 10000rpm, but cyclists say they can't turn a 29er because of the heavy wheels. The different feel is more to do with BBdrop.
  • + 3
 The Demo doesn't needs adjustable chainstays, it just needs longer chainstays. And it needs them by the next World Cup race next month! Keep the short chainstays on the Status freeride bike but for World Cup DH the Demo needs longer chainstays, and especially for Arron Gwins forward leaning style, as described above by fr33riding. With Specialized resources they should be able top get a new chainstay made by the next race that's an inch or so longer and I'm going to be very disappointed as a Gwin fan if they don't come through. As far as I'm concerned Specialized has already cost Gwin 2 likely World Cup wins by not having him adequately prepared for the season with proper testing and keeping him on the same bike is going to make for a really long, painful summer in Morgan Hill, and not just from the increased heat of global warming. The brand has taken a hit but it's not to late to learn, improve, innovate, and adapt. It's also not to late for Gwin to win the overall. It would be a challenge with Gee's lead but if Gwin could get back on a bike that fits his style and get back his old dominating form anything is possible.
  • + 1
 Protour, how can you know anything about Gwins fit to his bike, C'mon...
  • + 3
 How could you not know his problem is the bike? He is experimenting with different frame sizes during the season after poor results, I'd say that's a pretty good indication something is wrong with the bike. He himself said he was feeling unstable at Ft William, and the large frame didn't make that much improvement. Having spent some time on Demo a couple of years ago and being familiar with its handling characteristics (rear end slide-outs in corners without berms is the bad trade-off of those super-short quick turning chainstays), I can tell you that everything about this situation screams out: GWIN NEEDS LONGER CHAINSTAYS!

His problem isn't the fit, either. He should be on a medium. Putting him on a large might give him more room up front, but the large has the same short 420mm chainstays as the
medium which means he is now on a bike with proportionately shorter chainstays, which is probably not going to improve the instability he was feeling.

His Session had 20mm longer
chainstays with the same head angle and approximate same top tube as the medium Demo, and now he is experimenting with a large? It couldn't be anything else but the chainstays, as redundant as this has become to talk about.

I was on Pinkbike 2 years ago complaining about the short chainstays on the Demo and how it was likely affecting Hill's results. Everyone neg propped me to oblivion and told me I was crazy but nobody has ever made a valid counterpoint to my assertions.
  • + 1
 Part of the issue is the marketing that specialized has put into the "benefits" of short chainstays. They will have to eat crow, and lose credibility, as they will with the very public dismissal of 650b. They can change the bike, and start winning, or they can make excuses all summer, and everyone will know its the bike anyway. Either way, they look like fools.
  • + 1
 You guys do realize that you sound like home-made football experts? You are pretty much saying that Aarons results are due to short chainstays. As if they were poor in any way. Humility is a rare virtue indeed, so is right perception of perspective. - My hand drawing teacher used to say. You have the right to remain silent until you sit on the hot seat during a World Cup with 10 riders to go... wait, I give you a pinch of room... With 50 riders to go... Wait... Until you qualify... Wait, until you scored enough points in national races to race in a World Cup. You have no idea what this game is about... Isn't it? You have 10 charts with numbers you compare. Your opinion is based on point of reference, that might be outdated. Same was with head angles 5 years ago. Look what Sam Hill did to flat pedal development. Just let go...

That's just your opinion man... Now sit back and relax, enjoy watching it as it goes. Maybe you want to ring Brook McDonald and tell him to ride clipless? He's on FB and Twitter! Go, you might change his career!
  • + 1
 Waki, I build frames, and I have watched the manufacturers push the marketing numbers farther and farther. I know the numbers that the Demo is using are too extreme. Don't you remember the post on the trail numbers? I posted two lengthy posts on the past 4-5 years of marketing numbers and bandaids to compensate for the poor weight distribution. I strongly suspect the 650b and 29er options allow the manufacturers backtrack with the extreme geometry because they can redefine it due to the new wheel options.

Its not the short chainstays. Its the weight balance. Anyone looking at the video of Aaron riding can see the bike isn't planted or holding a line. Depending on how Aaron weighs the bike, either the front or rear lets go. While it doesn't sound like much, (20-30mm) the BB placement is out more than the difference that 650b wheels provide and about the difference a 29er wheel provides. Subtract 30mm off of your stem length and go for a ride. Since the bars only have a small impact on weight distribution, multiply that change in feel by a factor of 2-5x. After you do this, tell me the geo is not that big of a deal. My DH bike is identical to the session in terms of geometry, other than 10mm longer wheelbase, and .75deg HTA. I could not imagine how bad changing the balance to the rear would be. Its already too rearward.
  • + 1
 Don't be bothered by Waki, he has yet to contribute any actual ideas relating to what we are talking about (world cup dh geometry), just his usual cynical sarcasm and half-assed wise cracks. Waki, do you even own a DH bike? oh well, I usually respect a sceptictical opinion.


I think Specialized could put longer chainstays on the Demo without too much marketing embarassment.
For most of their bikes they work good, but the bikes they make with slack head angles could all use longer chainstays to help balance it out more so that it is more stable.

It will be interesting to see what happens, I think if they have him a bike with longer rear end and he gets back to dominating people will blame the Demo for his two lost wins, but that is better than having him continue to struggle on the bike all year long. Gwin is such a skilled rider he might adapt to it, but the current Demo is keeping him from reaching his full potential.
  • + 1
 I am only telling you guys that the only people entitled to form such opinions in such a serious and convinced manner are people of caliber of Aaron, Greg or Fabien Barel. You are nowhere close to understand and even imagine how the bike handles at such speeds. Your statements sound nowhere different than of people who say that V10 has too much travel, that carbon frame is absolutely superior to aluminium. Or that clipless pedals are far more superior than flats. Protour - should I look for the nonsense you were spreading when Aaron had problem with his brakes on World Champs? Or why Aaron left Trek?

I have no DH bike, never had and never will, unless I live 15 mins from the lift in a decent bikepark. I have contemplated countless issues regarding performance in MTBing long enough to grasp the complexity of that game. A vast sea of factors and variables forming the equation: being sick, ability to focus, being under pressure, state of motivation, overtraining, proper sleep, changing lines, mechanical failure, dirty goggles, injury in training, problem in the family, sponsor activities.

Perhaps Demo has too short CS, but in my view that is not a reason why Aaron didn't win in this season. I personaly wish him all the best of luck, he is one of my favourite riders ever - but I could not give less shit who wins. They inspire and entertain me in any constellation - they owe me nothing, so I don't bugger them with silly assumptions.

Everyone's entitled to have their own opinion and speculate on the subject he/she knows little about. It becomes silly if you take it too far.
  • + 1
 Protour if you ask Willie, who said he is a frame builder, he might tell you that if Aaron wanted a 2cm longer chainstays, such Job at Spec workshop is a matter of max 1 day work to make a new longer drop-out assembly and weld it to existing aluminium rear triangle. Then paint it black. Marketing embarassment? Who do you think gives a shit about blokes like us, when majority of client don't give a damn? Have you seen that vid with Santa Cruz guys about 650b? Joe Graney was talking about us and it doesn't matter on which side you stand. Onceyou realize how irrelevant you are, your world is a brighter
  • + 1
 Waki, if anyone is irrelevant it's you, because you never added one substantial idea to this conversation, just your usual meaningless chatter from the sidelines. Gwin will have longer chainstays, he will start winning again, and I will take full credit. Deal with it.
  • + 1
 Check and....
  • + 1
 Sales pitch is easy: "if you are on the world cup circuit, you need more stability. The rest of us need more maneuverability!"
[Reply]
  • + 25
 I really hope Gwin gets back out there and kills it like last year!
  • + 3
 Yes sir! Me to ha ha for all those gwin haters lol!
  • - 7
 GWIN should try a status let face it! the more progressive shock ratio and slightly higher centre of balance will really benefit his riding style it really seems to be working for Luca and i think it could be time for gwin to give it a try and move forward
  • + 14
 no, definitely not ^
  • + 4
 Have to agree with @zids here, the Status has a shorter wheelbase than the Demo. The shock rate and BB may be a fair point, but I think just having slightly longer chainstays on the Demo would make it a better race bike. That being said, not everyone is racing and a lot of people prefer the short chainstays for bikepark riding, and since Spec is such a big company I think they'll tend to market the bike towards the public. We'll see though, as part of Gwin's contract seems to be having major sway in the company!
  • + 1
 The demo is better for the avererage rider than a pure race bike. On the other hand, bringing the HTA back to 65 to 66deg will have a similar improvement in responsiveness, allow a better weight balance with longer CS, and will have better trail numbers, all improving the planted feeling of the bike. 64 is just too slack unless you are WC fast.
[Reply]
  • + 18
 Kelly slater beats nico, sam, tomac, gwinn altogether!!! Just kidding. Gwinn has two bad runs and every kid is against him. Give the guy a break, dont judge others effort so easily. The level this year has skyrocketed due to gwinn's domination this last years. Now anyone of the top ten can win any of the wc races. Luck Is becoming a more and more important factor due to the tiny gaps to win a race or screw everything falling. These days the smallest error grts you out of the race automatically. and talking about aaron time will put everyone in its place and aaron's place is up there in the podium for sure
  • + 11
 But the thing is he was basically a robot the last 2 seasons. He almost never made errors and properly thrashed the opposition by around 4 seconds each time. Even when everyone elses runs looked unbeatable he would fly through and knock them off the top of the podium. I'm as sick of the specialized bashing as anyone but the whole thing is odd. Something has changed for Aaron, whether its the bike or his mindset or what. He doesn't appear to be the same rider we have seen for the last 2 seasons. Same thing happened to Sam Hill after 2008 though. So we will see what happens. Speculation is fun Big Grin
  • + 10
 It's funny that you have that perception, because the facts say otherwise: he won fort bill by .8 seconds last year after a 29th in qualifying due to a crash! PMB he lost to Minaar by .6. He won Windham by .9. He was 5th in Val D'isere, 1.3 seconds back after another crash in qualifiers. He won St. Anne by 1.3, did not even race Hafjell, and had a mechanical at Leogang. Get the picture?
Gwin is not perfect, and he has never claimed to be!! It's just the haters that want to put him on some pedestal so they can tear him apart when he loses.

A second or two on a 3-5 minute run is like .5% difference..... that's a few extra pedal strokes, a few less knobs on your tire, a little less grease in your bearings. We're talking about margins that wouldn't make a bit of difference to 99.9% of us, but people want to obsess about the bike frame because they think it will actually make them faster.

I'm a musician and I see the same phenomenon. All of the magazines and dealers try desperately to convince consumers that they need the latest and greatest equipment to be a rock star. The reality is that it takes a lot of practice, study, and hard work to play well. Having a nice instrument is just a little bonus for those that can appreciate the subtleties.
  • + 1
 It's not the size of the boat , it's the motion of the ocean
  • + 1
 Wow, waki and protour duel, could this get any better??
[Reply]
  • + 15
 he's probably won half of the wc dh races since '11 and has never been off the box. pretty amazing considering the competition. i'd say he's bound to have some hiccups at one point. there's probably ten riders that are long overdue for just one win.
  • + 1
 Very well put!
  • + 1
 Yeah, he had an admittedly poor finals run but was still only fractions off the podium, so clearly his pace is there. People seem to forget that even during his winning streaks w/ Trek ( and his rise up with Yeti ) he had some really gnarly crashes!!
[Reply]
  • + 13
 Gwin just had a bad start to the season. That is all.
  • + 0
 Gwin's on a frankenbike. That's all.
[Reply]
  • + 9
 Would have liked to see Mitch keep it together, bet he could do really well if he keeps the rubber side down!!
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Gee is pined this year going be hard for anyone to get the number 1 spot# dedication from all his training and determination has payed of this year!, not saying Gwin ain't quality because he is a brilliant athlete, to get to the top you always got go take highs and lows of any sport, my opinion it makes watching the sport a lot more fun.
  • + 0
 Gee and Falcon training ....that's will do
  • + 0
 Gee has probably worked harder than anyone this off season training , so many near misses motivated him to put forth that extra
50% , but Gwin will be back you can be sure about that
[Reply]
  • + 5
 With Gwin and Troy Specialized definitely has a strong team. So many great riders on the WC circuit, we the fans are lucky to witness such a tight field. I really hope Stevie puts one in the bag. He came so close last race.
[Reply]
  • + 9
 Gwins bike looks huge
[Reply]
  • + 5
 At the beginning it sounds like that they are developing a new Demo...
  • + 29
 Yeah and I have a funny feeling it's going to look a lot like a ....... Wink
  • + 0
 It would make sense now since Sam Hill switched of specialized.
  • + 1
 I hope they don't make any drastic changes or if they do they keep the demo as is to take the status' place in their line. its still a capable bike at that level and more than caapable for the average guy freeride/dh play/park bike
  • + 6
 Yeah, it seems natural that with the FSR patent expiring, Specialized may be looking at a new design to differentiate themselves in the market. Pure speculation, but it wouldn't surprise me if:

1. They hired Gwin in part to help them design a new bike
2. He's already been spending time on a prototype, but he can't talk about it and has to publicly appear on the current Demo until it's further along in development. That would explain the "unpreparedness" for the WC rounds, and the prototype Öhlins shock spotted on Ropelato's bike.
  • + 3
 ^ohlins on demos cane creeks on enduros... i wouldn't doubt that some new platform is getting R&D for release.
  • + 0
 Didn't the Carbon Demo just come out last year? Why would they put all that money into making a Carbon version of the Demo only to develop a new high end bike to replace it a year later?
  • + 8
 Gwin losing on one?
  • + 0
 The Demo is a "marketing" bike. It has the numbers the kids want, but those numbers just don't work. They pushed the geometry too far. SPecialized has a rumoured 29" Demo. I'm sure we'll see it before the end of the season.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The demo has really slowed him down. If you will compare his time last year in val di sole, he clocked in at 3:10 even faster that Gee's run of 3:12 last sunday. Gwin has raised the level like no one else. I just hope he get back and sort things out before the season ends.
  • + 7
 It was a different track so this is an invalid comparison.
  • + 3
 Gwin needs a V10! Smile
  • + 1
 650 b , boooooooooooooooooooooo
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I think Specialized made this video expecting Gwin to take first place. Woops.
  • - 3
 and he fails at it.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Race winning is a cycle that was repeated along the history with a rider that was standing out and kicking asses among the others: Nico Vouilloz, Sam Hill, Gwin...Gwin's time is over. He'll still be on top, but on top 10. It's turn for another one to kick asses and I bet for Loic Bruni in a couple of years.

Only my opinion.
  • + 9
 Nico was the top guy for a decade, he only stopped being the top guy because he got bored of smashing everyone and went rallying instead, the desire counts for more than it being 'their time' for the top ten guys. It would seem at the moment that Gee wants it a lot more than Gwin does, or else Gwin would have been better prepared come Fort Bill.
  • + 12
 Guy has 1 bad result = "his time is over". Only on Pinkbike...
  • - 1
 @dingus: he must take his teeth off to go faster, that is the problem! LOL
  • + 1
 Sam Hill doesn't deserve to be up there with Vouilloz, in his prime Sam was at best inconsistent, he'd either smash everyone or wipe out hard trying, a completely different class to Vouilloz who was so utterly consistent and dominating, Gwin's last two years are the only thing that's come close to Vouilloz-level performance and only Minaar and Gee Atherton show similar podium placing consistency to Vouilloz, albeit not on top of the podium always
  • + 1
 IMO the greats are: Vouilloz, Peaty and Minaar. Gwin is still young, in another 5 years he may be added to that list, maybe Gee too? In another 10 years Gwin may top the list?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I honestly don't want to see Gwin or Specialized lose. I am thankful this has brought attention to the "marketing" numbers that manufacturers advertise in relation to geometry. Maybe we can go back to building bikes that ride well, balanced Smile .
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Hopefully Gwin can get his shit straight and start winning! His new contract (bonuses, licensing, sponsers...) means nothing if he's not on the podium. That is why he left right?!$%
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Can everyone seriously shut up about Gwin and focus on the fact the Gee Atherton is dominating so far this season and much deserves to do so after winning 0 races last year - maybe should post this in another thread mind :-P
  • + 1
 This is an article on Specialized. It is big news that the rider who dominated so strongly for the last two years starts riding frankenbike, and can't break the top 5. I agree the other articles should focus on Gee's great start to the season.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 It won't be long before Troy is the new Gwin
[Reply]
  • + 3
 not the bike... it's his mind....
  • + 1
 That's all , it happens in every sport , with every athlete at point or another All this other talk is just poppycock
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Keep workin' at it you guys! You'll get there.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 troy 2 , gwin 0... who says gwin is top dog on this team???
  • + 22
 The pay cheques.
  • + 1
 Smile )))))))))))))))
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I wanted to watch Ropelato. Go get them next time.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Gwin sounds like Tim Tebow when he talks.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 no luck for #1 with such short chainstays...:P
[Reply]
  • + 1
 droppin' in @ 1:18. sick
[Reply]
  • - 1
 last year,,Gwin with TREK win the championship...This year ...我去年买了个包,超耐磨,超体面。
[Reply]
  • - 1
 Can't even imagine how fast Troy would be if he got off that SpecialEd!
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