3 Pro Enduro Bike Checks - EWS Madeira 2019

May 11, 2019
by Mike Kazimer  
Enduro World Series Madeira 2019 bikes

Martin Maes' 29/27.5" GT Force

Martin Maes' winning ways are continuing in Madeira, where he's currently sitting in 1st place after taking the top spot on all three stage of day one. There haven't been any major changes to his bike since the last round in Tasmania, although he's ditched the Schwalbe Nobby Nic rear tire in favor of a cut down Dirty Dan.


Enduro World Series Madeira 2019 bikes
There's 172 psi in the Float X2 shock...
Enduro World Series Madeira 2019 bikes
...And 77 psi in the Fox 36.


Enduro World Series Madeira 2019 bikes
Martin's running 23 psi in the front Magic Mary, and 25 psi with a CushCore insert in the rear Dirty Dan.

Enduro World Series Madeira 2019 bikes
Enduro World Series Madeira 2019 bikes
Shimano XTR four-piston brakes.


Enduro World Series Madeira 2019 bikes
Shimano XTR 12-speed drivetrain.

Enduro World Series Madeira 2019 bikes
Look at that convenient little tube cubby.






Enduro World Series Madeira 2019 bikes

Dan Wolfe's 29/27.5 Polygon Square One EX9

Add Polygon rider Dan Wolfe to the list of riders aboard bikes with mismatched wheels. Dan's installed a 29" wheel on the front of his Polygon, and says he prefers the slacker head angle and additional stability that the set up provides.


Enduro World Series Madeira 2019 bikes
Dan's running 2.5" WTB Vigilante tires, with CushCore in both for additional protection from Madeira's sneaky rocks. Tires pressures are 25 psi for the front, and 28psi in the rear.


Enduro World Series Madeira 2019 bikes
Enduro World Series Madeira 2019 bikes
FSA takes care of the bike's cranks, chainring, and wheels.

Enduro World Series Madeira 2019 bikes
Additional volume spacers have been added to the Fox Float X2 shock to help balance out the feel of the bike's 180mm of rear travel that's paired with a 160mm MRP Ribbon fork.

Enduro World Series Madeira 2019 bikes
Enduro World Series Madeira 2019 bikes




Enduro World Series Madeira 2019 bikes


Maxime Chapuis' Specialized Enduro 29

Maxime Chapuis hasn't joined the mullet gang - he's on a size large Specialized Enduro with 29" wheels front and rear. He's currently sitting in 31st place after day one, but with 5 stages on tap tomorrow there's still time to move up the ranks.


Enduro World Series Madeira 2019 bikes
Specialized Butcher BLK DMND tires with CushCore inserts. Pressures: 23 psi front / 26 psi rear.

Enduro World Series Madeira 2019 bikes
Enduro World Series Madeira 2019 bikes
Magura brakes and some nicely broken in ODI Ruffian grips.


Enduro World Series Madeira 2019 bikes
Max is running a 480 spring, with a C40 compression tune, which is lighter than the stock configuration in order to help him sit into the travel a little further.


Enduro World Series Madeira 2019 bikes
A spare quick link is stored under the headset top cap...
Enduro World Series Madeira 2019 bikes
...And a tool wrap with a tube, CO2, and spare derailleur cable is housed inside the SWAT box.






139 Comments

  • + 151
 Before everyone starts copying every little detail about Martin's setup, remember he could beat you down an EWS track on a Huffy assembled with a backwards fork straight from Walmart. It's more about the skill, less about the bike.
  • + 62
 Pros are quick but not that quick brah!
  • + 87
 I propose a Pinkbike Hot Lap on a Walmart bike!
  • + 95
 @roliK: Star on a reasonably priced bike
  • - 7
flag WAKIdesigns (May 12, 2019 at 0:45) (Below Threshold)
 What is worth mentioning is his tyre pressures. According to 100% website he weighs around 150lbs (68kg) runs 25psi in the rear with cushcore. That means that the only people who believe they can run pressures as low as 20psi because they have an insert or 45mm rims or plus tyre or whatever are marketers and Joeys.

What is interesting though is that he runs at least 20psi less in his fork than what Sam Hill stated 2 years ago, but it may be due to difference between Lyrik and 36. 20 is a lot.
  • + 48
 @WAKIdesigns:
No, that means that at 68kg, I can probably run 20psi front and 22 rear w/o cushcore because I'm nowhere close to how fast and aggressive he rides.
But yeah, I'm a Joey compared to martin maes, and you too.
  • + 9
 @WAKIdesigns: I'm the same weight and of course nowhere near how fast or strong any EWS pro is. 20psi front/23 rear makes my bike controllable without rim strikes or other mishaps. There's no comparison between an average rider's settings and and what pros use at race pace. I could pretend I'm that good and use higher pressures but I'd get my @$$ kicked in no time.
  • - 3
 He is on a gt so it's not that dissimilar...
  • + 13
 @ctd07:

I agree.
Id love to watch it though!

Also, aaron Gwin on a Walmart Iron Horse, vs Dwayne from WM Customer returns on Aaron's Intense.
  • + 3
 @roliK: this is a amazing idea and has to happen
  • + 6
 I bet I could pogo stick faster than Maes.
  • - 1
 @WAKIdesigns: also, fox forks rely more on damping, whereas rockshox seem to run better with higher spring rate and very little damping.
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: it depends on tire setup. I usually run a pair of Specialized Butcher Blk Dmnd 29 x 2.6 tires on my Scott Genius set to 20/26 psi with no tire insert at all. Just a regular tubeless. And I weigh at 102 kgs which is a lot. The tires feel very stiff, with that weight and so thick walls they can hold their shape even with no air. Of course down the trail they comply brilliantly, and only recently I have switched to 2,3 Bontrager SE-5s with Tyre Invader insert just to try. So I can imagine that most riders out there, much lighter than me, would ride these Butcher tires with even lower pressures.
  • + 3
 Copying? I (and others) have been riding the reverse mullet/mixed wheels for years now :-)

29"ers take the fun out of riding - reverse mullet puts it right back in! ;-)
  • + 9
 Cushcore has got to be happy, seems like almost standard equipment across the board in ews.
  • + 1
 @dobermon: Like the two parter i mentioned above, id also love to see this.
  • + 4
 I'm still tempted as fuck to get a GT Force regardless. I hope the brand gets returned to their former glory.
  • - 4
flag WAKIdesigns (May 12, 2019 at 10:31) (Below Threshold)
 @look-out: soft tyres don’t do sideways. They just don’t. No matter the insert... I can only imagine that many folks don’t progress because their bikes wobble too much on too soft tyres or too soft suspension.
  • + 1
 @goldfly It is about progression and pushing your own limits. If everyone was overly satisfied with their setups, we would all be Huffys right now or cavemen rolling rocks down hills for entertainment.
  • + 0
 Sounds like someone that is full of regret over buying a brand new 29 Enduro bike...
  • + 1
 @roliK: Wallie World (Wal Mart) has carbon bikes now, decent quality stuff from what i have read.
  • + 6
 @WAKIdesigns: i would rather blame my job for not progressing in riding.
  • + 1
 @tacklingdummy: rock rolling was my favorite hobby as a youngster. Bikes are more fun tho
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I agree fully. You may recall that I want more stiffness, not less, and that includes big waffly tires. I had a BIG gap between when I was riding all the time and now, and while I love most of what evolved in the lurch, smushy tires and super fluffy suspension aren't two of those things.

Theres a lot that can be done with tire construction to get a good mix of compliance, traction, and stability. I just run more pressure. :/
  • + 1
 @tacoma73: what tyre pressure does to overall bike stability can be observed with a DJ bike on a pump track (like Velosolutions) or on dirt jumps (I mean like La Poma i Barcelona) and then contrasted with riding on a bumpy off-camber in the wet.

In the first scenario if you get your pressure to let’s say 35psi, you will possibly not puncture but compared to 60psi, you will notice that all your pumps (especially jumping/manualing into/from a turn) will be less stable and less consistent. As you increase the pressure that sensation will start to disappear. Same with steep take offs and landings on dirt jumps. With high pressures 60-80psi you will experience much less of weird sideways flights. This is where maxed out stiffness is beneficial.

In the second scenario if you run a bike with soft plus tyres, and even upside down fork, and then jump on a carbon fully with stiff fork like 36 or Lyrik with you may be rather surprised how hard it is to keep the line.

Now, one has to balance it out between the two... Long time ago, in the days of Steve Jones on Dirt TV there’s been an interview with Nico Vouilloz about tyre pressures and he said: you want to run pressures as low as possible, as long as your rim is not rolling off the rim and then he said or if there’s a section with higher risk of getting a puncture you add a bit more. May be his personal preference.

Then Richard Cunningham wrote an article about Procore being the reason for Sam Hills come back when he won in Lea Gets on Nuke Proof. as if Sam had a secret weapon. Low pressures with no risk of puncture and burping. The only thing Richard missed was that there was little chance Sam was running pressures evidently lower than normal.
  • + 2
 @tacoma73: I tend to run more pressure as well. Got to find the balance (in regards to riding style and weight) where you use the knobs how they were designed. If you use too low of pressures where the tires are folding over or changing shape too much, they don't utilize the knobs correctly.
  • + 2
 @tacklingdummy, @WAKIdesigns : Balance is most definitely the aim, whatever that is for an individual. Preferences range all over the place.
  • + 1
 @tacoma73: there are 180lb+ people riding park on 1plies who claim it’s great. I am afraid I am hitting a wall anyways
  • + 1
 I bought a force elite right away and I am breaking every decent record I have ever set on it. Yari charger rc front and super deluxe rear coil shock. I do like the 29 idea but my plus rims and tires I added put me within 10mm of tire height vs a 2.4 29 tire on my stock rim
  • + 1
 @mkul7r4: I sell them and love it. I took 20 seconds off my best time down my favorite trail and am now 3 seconds behind Stevie smith's Kom on it. The alloys have the best spec better brakes if you asked me
  • + 73
 Dear pinkbike would it be really that hard to write down psi/bar and pounds/kilo at the same time? As you may know there are quite a few pinkbike-followers outside of america...
  • + 4
 thank you
  • + 2
 Amen
  • + 2
 Instead of only one person doing the conversion once, they want all of us: the readers, to do this conversions xxxxxx times....
  • + 1
 Out of curiosity, why do Europeans do pressure in bar instead of kiloPascals? I would think the extra digits would be prefered over 1 point whatever.
  • + 2
 @ZappBrannigan: we use psi in the UK
  • - 2
 Normal people check it themselves and after up to 21 times they can do the math in their head with good accuracy... just saying
  • + 38
 Ummm... that Polygon seems like a back alley goat show. 180mm rear and 160mm front travel??? Sounds like a budget craigslist build for your girlfriend who you hope will like riding mountain bikes.
  • + 44
 He's running a shorter travel fork to make up for the taller 29 front.
  • + 25
 Perhaps he built it for her girlfriend and she's faster than you
  • + 7
 @thesharkman: no, if he’s sponsored by MRP, they don’t make the ribbon in more than 160mm travel in the 29 version.
  • + 6
 MX bikes have more rear travel too.
  • + 2
 A lot of bikes have more travel out back
  • + 2
 No different than a Santa Cruz V10...
  • + 4
 More travel at the front is a modern trailbike trend. 8" of rear travel is a sort of minimum for dh, while forks never had more than that (with very few and irrelevant exceptions). This setup in particular is not unbalanced at all.
  • + 13
 what exactly is a "back alley goat show" ?
  • + 2
 @thesharkman: MRP currently doesn’t make a 170 or 180 29” fork.
  • + 5
 @mobber7127: Don't google it.
  • + 3
 @mobber7127: one step down from a total goat rodeo
  • + 1
 @mobber7127:

Some of the stankiest copulation imaginable is what.
  • + 20
 Wonder if GT is going to release a Force as a model option with the 29er as OEM spec wheel/fork up front (and 27.5 out rear). I imagine it would currently sell like hot cakes to all the weekend enduro warriors.
  • + 2
 I'm sure if you were buying a Force in a shop you could simply swap for a 29er fork and new rim for a few extra bucks.
  • + 9
 @Tmackstab: What shop wants a 650b fork these days?
  • - 2
 @Tmackstab: I doubt many are buying a GT force regardless of Maes. Just saying.
  • + 12
 @bohns1: I am more likely to buy one because of Wyn.
  • + 7
 One of the best bikes I have owned is the new force @bohns1:
  • + 2
 @bohns1: Don't see why you wouldn't
  • + 5
 @bohns1: l bought a gt sensor and its rad!
  • - 3
 @applepie: Umm, the various negative points on all the reviews..Pedaling efficiency, constant Bob and pedal kickback , reach issues ..The fact that it's just not a good climber...But for me,most of all, the aesthetics..Sure ,Maes kills it on one...And the reviews to showcase its descending capabilities...If you're full enduro bro ,then great! But tech climbing is also high on my list . Just sayin.
  • - 2
 @PaulieAU: Those guys are sponsored...Read the reviews if you haven't already ..ie , bike radar , bible of bike test and mbr...Better yet ,give one a thorough test ride. If you care less about climbing ,then have at her.
  • + 3
 I love my new Force too and considering going 29” up front
  • + 2
 @bohns1:

Yup, i bet intense sell no bikes coz of Gwin
Specialized will have never had anyone buying a Demo wanting to be Loic.
No ones ever watched a Rogatkin n gone n hit a ramp,
I bet no girl has ever bought a Trek wanting to be Rachael. (yup, i know, not anymore, but you get me)

or

maybe,

you have NO CLUE about how advertising works?
  • - 2
 @SmallBrownDogMTB: Who was talking about advertising..Only the uneducated buy bikes based on that..

Its called reading various reviews ..Tossing a leg over one and forming your own opinion.

Don't know about you but when 4 different reviews make the same points,I'm going to take that into account..

If your buying a bike based on what pro is riding what..Then the marketing has worked you.

Perhaps you ,are the clueless one bud..
  • + 1
 @bohns1:

I wasnt talking about myself, or indeed you.

you made the point that you thought NO one buys a bike from that company because of him.
I said thats BS. which is true,

anything else is tangential to the point . idiot
  • + 0
 @SmallBrownDogMTB: ok ..where in any paragraph did I say NO ONE...I said I doubt many and I stand by that..

I don't remember the last time i saw a gt on the trails..In my travels or local...I do however encounter the sport check version gt's from time to time on the paved paths during my daily commutes.

Paying consumers doing their homework are most likely not going to spring for a GT with their hard earned ..Especially when u consider the masses.

Granted the exeptions to the anomaly.
  • + 11
 I don't understand why there is this stigma about being lower ranked on the pro circuit. "31st" is still better than 99% of the riders out there, and someone has to be in 31st so someone else can be 1st. Even though they are pros, 31st is still incredible and a major achievement!
  • + 16
 What stigma?
  • + 4
 @zyoungson: it’s a bit like google I think
  • + 11
 why do people put their foot on the back tyre when getting photographed?
  • + 29
 white privilege..
  • + 2
 This is a great question. Followed by a great answer.
  • + 7
 Because Stevie Smith did it. Nod to the legend.
  • + 4
 @gnarnaimo: less funny but better answer.
  • + 1
 Look up Captain Morgan.
  • + 5
 Volume spacers in forks and cushcore in tyres taking up space will obviously give slightly different (higher) pressure readings for the same 'softness' in forks/tyres not running them.
Also people calling it the 'reverse mullet' don't get the joke.
It is not simple a metaphor for long front/short back i.e. reverse mullet, it is a reference to the mullet idiom : business at the front , party at the bike.
29 being business, 27.5 being the looser party at the back.
Therefore just a plain old mullet
Pedant again but some people don't get that
  • + 8
 That ziptie on the magura brake lever....
  • + 1
 Just wanted to say... wtf?
  • + 1
 Exactly what I thought
  • + 1
 I think the body said mt7 but it didn't have external adjuster.
  • + 2
 @steviestokes: If it's like my Magura MT7s, then the lever can bounce against the piston. You don't feel it, but it's enough to cause the reach adjustment screw to move. This may be to preload the reach adjustment screw.
  • + 1
 @R-M-R: there "was" a small piece of carbon on my MT Trail levers that instantly snaped off so that you can move the lever forward... its just another small thing that sucks with the magura brakes. Dont get me wrong i like the power and modulation on the brakes but the lever is just shit. They cant get the leverblade feel good so they offer 1000 different shapes for a lot of money.. The only way to enjoy magura brakes is to pair them to shimano levers.. imo
  • + 4
 What do you mean, Dan Wolf likes the slacker head angle? You said he has 160mm 29er fork, instead of stock 180mm 27.5, so that comes out a wash then as far as front end height right?
  • + 14
 You're right, there shouldn't be a massive difference, but that's what Dan said. Don’t forget that the bigger wheel will make things a little slacker too. I'm not sure what he was running before - there's also a chance he was running something other than a 180mm fork.
  • + 0
 Then you add the radius difference between the two wheel sizes. So it adds about 7-8mm height.
  • + 9
 @nedersotan, your math doesn't quite add up. The 160mm 29er fork will be the same length as a 180mm 27.5 fork. But, you still need to add the difference in wheel radius, so this set up brings the front up by 18mm. That probably slackens the bike out by ~1°.
  • + 4
 @mikekazimer: if he’s sponsored by MRP, the longest travel they make the ribbon in is 170 for the 27.5 and 160 for the 29. So he was probably only running 170mm with the 27.5 wheel.
  • + 0
 Anyone know how Martin maes has done it without ruining his geo?
  • + 1
 @islandforlife:
That makes more sense!
  • + 2
 @skylerd:
Yep, you are right, it was late, that’s noticeable. Add I. The fact that a 160 fork has less sag than a 180mm, and actual ride height changes even more
  • + 2
 @thenotoriousmic: He didn't ruin his geometry: maybe he didn't love the stock geometry, so he improved it. Except the seat tube angle ... couldn't have it all.
  • + 1
 A 29er fork usually has a longer a2c then the corresponding 27.5 fork.

Bomber z1 29er
Axle to Crown: 537.1 (130mm), 547.1 (140mm), 557.1mm (150mm), 567.1mm (160mm), 577.1mm (170mm)

27.5
Axle to Crown: 539,1mm (150mm), 549,1mm (160mm), 559,1mm (170mm), 569,1mm (180mm)

Lyrik 27.5
Axle To Crown: 542mm (150mm), 552mm (160mm), 562mm (170mm), 572mm (180mm)

Yari 29
Axle To Crown: 561mm (150mm), 571mm (160mm), 581mm (170mm), 591mm (180mm)

You can see that the given measurements that even a shorter travel 29er fork has a longer a2c measurement. He probably didnt want to jack up the bike too much and ruin his geo, especially if you consider that the 29er wheels will probably add to that. That's my guess anyway.
  • + 1
 @DrSam: as has already been pointed out, he’s sponsored by MRP, max travel of the ribbon in 29 form is 160. He came from using the max travel 27.5 version of 170. He couldn’t run a longer travel option, there wasn’t one.
  • + 1
 @islandforlife: Well true but I thought that is what the bartlett is for if he needed a longer travel fork?
  • + 1
 @DrSam: I guess that's an option... but a Bartlett adds 1.3 lbs to your bike vs a Ribbon. That's a lot of of extra weight. Don't think any enduro racer would be willing to do that to their already pretty heavy enduro rigs. 160mm is enough travel for Enduro racing.

My understanding of the Bartlett is that it's meant for making an enduro bike into more of a gravity bike. You'd still most likely be shuttling or riding a lift. It's just a semi-substitute for buying a DH bike. You can own one bike and just swap the fork for park / shuttle days.
  • + 1
 @islandforlife: fair enough
  • + 5
 Does anyone know what GPS mount Maxime Chapuis has on his enduro in the bottom left picture?
  • + 2
 I would love to know as well! It is similar to the barfly mount. But not the same.
  • + 5
 Careful, GT, Specialized will sue you for patent infringement for that tube storage system.
  • + 9
 I know that was tongue in cheek, but if anyone was going to sue anyone for spots to put a tube in, GT would have a good argument since they've had the triple triangle since forever.
  • + 0
 "Innovation that works"....you need to be 50 to remember the wars.
  • + 1
 Interesting to see that they're all using chain guides. Since switching to a 1x using a narrow-wide 30T (from superstar components) I've not slipped a chain once, or even noticed any irregular chain movement at all, and that's including jumps and battering it down rough stuff on a 130mm travel frame.
I guess the stakes are higher for them so they're taking no chances - and of course using the parts they are sponsored to use.
  • + 3
 Bike checks are one of my fav features pinkbike. These are great but the detailed privateer check the recently was super More of them please.
  • + 1
 We're definately reentering the mismatched wheel era but why? The 24"/26" combo was to compensate for bikes that werent slack enough or to just make them feel better. I didnt even know what it was doing, just that I liked it. Today's bikes are so dialed why is this necessary? I personally think this is the final push from bike co's to really reap so money from the two different wheel sizes before they definitively settle on one being, "better". And it will be the one that the least amount people have aquired over the last 5 years so that more people than not will have the, "inferior" size and have to spend $.
  • + 5
 Glad to see the ribbon being shredded! ????????
  • + 1
 * back (not bike) my phone is so conditioning to PB rants it auto corrects every 'b' word to bike.

Smile Hope everyone had a good weekends riding.
Those not in the EWS as they obviously did!!
  • + 3
 Let's give those Renthal grips the credit they deserve...a much better grip compared to the Ruffian IMO.
  • + 3
 Pinkbike, PLEASE list rider height and weight. That makes a lot of this more relevant.
  • + 3
 When was the last time you needed to replace a derailleur cable on the trail.
  • + 2
 I wondered the same thing. First, it must be pre-cut to the right length to be useful. But then... seems like any incident that rips out your derailleur cable is also going to trash the hanger / derailleur itself. Maybe he had a freak accident once and figures with SWAT storage right there, whats a few extra grams for that cable? Maybe he's a pro and knows more than we do?
I'm still scratching my head how those SRAM quicklinks fit in that topcap chainbreaker tool. I have the same tool on my bike, and it won't fit SRAM quicklinks b/c of the banana shape they have... but looking at the finish I'm pretty sure those are SRAMs... so I'm going to have to try again.
  • + 3
 @Lokirides: if you look closely there is a hanger in there too, tucked into the sleeve on the right side.

I actually broke a couple of cables a few years ago on an XT 10 speed derailleur where the cable bends right before it is clamped by the pinch bolt. I started carrying a spare after I broke the first, and was very grateful to have it when I broke the second.

Now that I'm riding Sram it hasn't been a problem, but the cable is still in my SWAT box.
  • + 3
 That Enduro looks nice!! I wonder if I could put a 27.5 on my Sensor?
  • + 3
 At least the Spez team seem to be on the right frames this year....
  • + 1
 I think i need to lay off the chain lube, these bikes are post ride but the jockey wheels on anything that touches the chain is relatively grease free!
  • + 1
 Does anyone know if that gt is a prototype or not?
  • + 1
 The mullet is here to stay tup
  • + 1
 Renthal Grips on Maxime Chapuis' bike. whoops.
  • + 1
 How light is Martin? Seem like low pressures
  • + 1
 160 pounds and that’s actually a little stiff for that weight... Not crazy but a hair over the recommended psi for his weight.
  • + 2
 i assumed he’s talking about tire pressure
  • + 1
 Is the spare tube 27 or 29? Just asking...
  • + 1
 i gess 27.. rubber stretch so will fitt both
  • + 2
 what size MM?
  • + 3
 Same as me
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