3 Pro Bikes from EWS Tasmania 2019

Mar 30, 2019
by Matthew DeLorme  
Martin Maes' GT Force

After winning the first round in Rotorua last week and taking the win on every stage Martin Maes is running a very similar setup this weekend. The GT Force with a 29" wheel at the front and a 27.5" wheel at the back is sporting Fox suspension and Shimano's new XTR drivetrain and brakes.

Interestingly, at the front Maes is running the lighter Stans Flow Mk3 rim, and at the back he has the new heavy-duty Flow EX3 with a CushCore insert.

Rider Name Martin Maes // GT Factory Racing
Instagram: @martin_maes5

One Up tool storage in the steerer tube.

23psi in the front tire and 25psi at the rear.

Martin makes the most of his frame to store a spare inner tube.

Morganne Charre's Juliana Rubion

Morganne Charre had great results in Rotorua and will be looking to repeat that this weekend. Her medium sized Juliana Rubion features RockShox suspension front and rear, and Mavic Deemax wheels. She is running 70psi in her fork and 150psi in the rear shock.

For tires, she is running Schwalbe Magic Mary's at the front inflated to 21psi and Hans Dampf at the rear at 25psi.

Rider Name Morgane Charre //
Instagram: @morganecharre

She was hoping to be riding with a Deity bar and stem, but they arrived in France just after she left to go to New Zealand for round one.

Morgane loves the Nukeproof Sam Hill pedals

Yoann Barelli's Commencal Meta AM

Despite team changes Yoann Barelli is still rocking the Commencal Meta AM for this season. Adorned with unreleased SRAM and RockShox components it has a few surprises like the new rear shock air can that he couldn't share any specific details on just yet, although it does look like it has a larger negative chamber than the current air can.

The size large Meta is running 29" wheels front and back, and Yoann is going with SRAM's AXS wireless Reverb dropper post this weekend.

Rider Name Yoann Barelli //
Instagram: @yoannbarelli

The wireless dropper helps to declutter the front end of his bike.

This weekend Yoann is running 90psi in the fork and 220psi in the rear shock.

Course Preview: Ride The Tassy Tiger - EWS Tasmania 2019
Practice Photo Epic: tas - MANIA - EWS Tasmania 2019
Day 1 Results: EWS Tasmania 2019
Video: Course Preview - EWS Tasmania 2019

MENTIONS: @EnduroWorldSeries


  • 124 8
 They must have done something to that Nobby Nic, because the last time I rode one of those, I can tell you, no one could have won shit on that tire.
  • 33 2
 Maes is just THAT good. He's probably still win with a Hookworm on the back.
  • 22 4
 It’s Barelli’s baguette stuffed into a procore... This doesn’t get enough attention. Grip aside, It is highly possibly easier to win EWS stage chainless than complete one on a NNic without puncturing.
  • 8 2
 That's disconcerting, but true. I ride 'em on my Trance, and they are as stable as a drunk guy on ice skates. Never punctured though, but need replacing due to a split sidewall even though I ride like a sober grandma. I actually thought they were ok till I tried a pair of Rekon's and found out what grip actually was.
  • 18 1
 @BorisBC35: wait till you try DHR2s
  • 4 0
 Looks like this is a prototype NN in the orange soft Addix compound, and I'd guess it's also a super gravity version as well. It's what I have been waiting for, and should be a great tire. I previously used the NN snakeskin and kept getting punctures. So I moved to a Hans Dampf Orange SG. It's been great, no punctures and rolls just as fast as the blue compound. But the NN has better corner nobs. I hope it gets released before the summer ends!
  • 5 1
 Ripped sidewalls off both off my nobby nics in the same race. Never again. Never. Again.
  • 5 7
 @hardtailparty: Wait till you try DHF's front and rear. North Shore classic move and a game changer.
  • 6 2
 @myfriendgoose: yeah you can’t beat the terror you feel when trying to brake on something steep with double DHF’s.
  • 2 1
 @thenotoriousmic: what? Show me your steep and hold my beer, I’ll do it with DHF front and SS rear. With style
  • 2 0
 you rode the old version, I bet. The new ones are dope
  • 3 2
 they are good for the rear for drifting round corners. on the front they = death
  • 1 3
 Maes bike should be named ‘The Mullet’ business at the front, party at the back
  • 3 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Your welcome on a ride anytime waki if you ever find yourself in the Lake District England... Bring shortys haha Wink ironically I’m off to celebrate British summer time by fitting minions to my bike.
  • 3 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I know that if I take my shortys off the rain will come back...
  • 2 1
 @Kickmehard: this is keeping me up at night.
  • 1 0
 @Kickmehard: Please don't switch them out until Wednesday - I have two days off work to ride with tomorrow at BMCC
  • 1 0
 @guytherev: my calendar says summer is scheduled for July 17 to 21 so you are all good.
  • 2 0
 @Kickmehard: I ran a Shorty on the front all last summer around the Southeastern US. Probably not the best choice, but it helped me recover from the trauma of riding the High Roller my bike came with Frown
  • 1 5
flag myfriendgoose (Apr 2, 2019 at 22:55) (Below Threshold)
 @thenotoriousmic: If our trails were as pathetic as your "mountain bike trails" I'd take your comment seriously. Stay in your lane, you guys aren't on the same level.
  • 3 0
 @myfriendgoose: Lake District pathetic?
  • 3 0
 @myfriendgoose: had a bad day?
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: ???? Same here dd 2.5 shorty dd 2.5 hr2 to dd 2.5 dhf dd 2.5 aggressor because the clocks changed and I'm an optimist
  • 30 2
 I thought the 27.5/29 combo bikes were going to look horrible - in reality you won't even spot it at quick glance. Must be something to it with the results MM has been getting.
  • 51 36
 But just imagine if that frame had room for a 29" wheel in the back...

I'm not convinced that mullet bikes make sense for anyone other than smaller riders, but we'll see if they catch on. After all, if one bigger wheel in the front is fast, wouldn't two big wheels be even faster?
  • 25 7
 Maes is proving the concept works. It is similar concept to over-forking a bike but you get better rollover while pedaling is slightly easier than with a 29 in the rear.
  • 42 2
 @mikekazimer: He explained his reasons a bit in the EWS bike check vid. And he's not a small rider
  • 49 0
 @Vulhelm: makes perfect sense. I’m 6 foot and I still can’t figure out how going zero point whatever seconds faster on my local trail is more fun than a more manoeuvreable bike that does not do burn outs on my A-hole.
  • 14 19
flag karoliusz (Mar 30, 2019 at 13:36) (Below Threshold)
 Some say he runs his rear wheel at the front and front at the back, and that he puts 26” tires on both of them...
  • 34 2
 @mikekazimer: A smaller rear wheel will cut a smaller arc, making rear wheel drifts easier. You don't need to load the front end so much for a predictability. Think of oversteer on a car vs understeer. Dirt bikes have been this way for 20+ years. I've been rocking this for 3 years. Why is MTB so late to the party?
  • 18 1
 @tacklingdummy: or is maes just proving he is a badass on a bike? Its not like he was doing poorly before the mullet.
  • 9 15
flag me2menow (Mar 30, 2019 at 14:24) (Below Threshold)
 @mikekazimer: agree. Tried the mullet thing, it was fun but I went back to both 29s because it was just faster and pedaled better
  • 6 16
flag me2menow (Mar 30, 2019 at 14:26) (Below Threshold)
 Buzzing your ass on steep gnarly shit is scary, but not a total dealbreaker at the end of the day
  • 19 0
 It doesn't only allow for more space to move around you can also run shorter chain stays if you like and more travel at the back. A smaller wheel will be lighter and stronger than an equal bigger wheel. The rollover is more important at the front because the rear gets pulled over stuff more easily.
  • 60 1
 @mikekazimer: If two 29" wheels are fast, wouldn't three be even faster?
  • 11 0
 @mikekazimer: it's brought a new lease of life to my 29er hardtail. With a 27.5 on the back it's so much fun lower, slacker , corners better , manuals easier ...
  • 3 3
 @Ryanfitz81: You're missing out. I run 29er studded snow tyre as my rear wheel.....year round on the steepest terrain.
  • 10 6
 @mikekazimer: Well 29ers ride like tonka trucks so really 27.5 makes sense for everyone.
  • 6 5
 He might be doing just as well on 29/29. Enduro is a lot about comfort/placebo/confidence in the setup und yourself anyways I think...
  • 10 1
 @mikekazimer: sounds like a good shoot out article! Same as possible 29r and 27.5. Then mullet the 29r. Downhill (gnar). Trail flow jump. Trail XC. Pump track. Jump line. Score em up on a spreadsheet and see what they are good for! Get on it.
  • 9 0
 @GOrtho: this needs to happen. Would be fun read and easy to setup
  • 5 0
 @mikekazimer: I am sure mr Levy disagrees with you on that.
  • 5 0
 @tcmtnbikr: I used to rock a similar set up years ago on my v10. I had a 26” rear with 27.5” front and it was a beast. Never slowed me down and never noticed a difference with a bike that had a 27.5” rear. It slackened out my headtube and I had shorter chainstays. Maes is proving that this concept works. It’ll be interesting to see what the WC guys run this year?
  • 4 3
 @mirskeinereingefalln: He definitely did just as well on 27.5/27.5.
  • 21 0
 @mikekazimer: Maybe. But enough to notice. I know we are talking racing here where hundredths matter, but is that what most of us are doing? I mean, using strava, which only measures to the second, I can't tell you whether or not I got a PR with any accuracy. There are runs where I get to the bottom and I'm all "That sucked, I totally drifted out out on that one turn and got stuck in that one hole and just rode like crap" then it turns out I PR'd it, and now I'm ecstatic about a run that felt like crap the whole time. Conversely, I've had runs that felt like complete magic, I hit every jump perfectly, railed every berm, and somehow was 5 seconds out. And the joy I felt in that run becomes disappointment. Which would make sense if my job was winning races. But it isn't. My job is being a university professor. And I came to this game so late (42) that there is no chance of meaningful victories at an international stage. I'm here to have fun. To be a kid again. Riding my bike in the woods and scaring the crap out of myself. And I am ok at. I'm not terribly slow and I hit things that many others shy away from, while not hitting the biggest (though I go bigger and harder all the time). So for me, fun and confidence are the name of the game. Not speed. Big wheel in the front and smaller in the back might be just the ticket for that.

Of course, my DH bike is 26. But it would be fun to put a 27.5 or 29 on the front and see what happens. See if it was funner. Cause fast (in terms that matter) just isn't in my cards, and I'm just an old kid on a bike.
  • 4 0
 @mikekazimer: RC had this to say about it - "but there can be no doubt that having a slightly larger front wheel creates some magic in the way that it turns corners at any speed and intensity, and to a lesser extent, in the ease with which it negotiates rough or steep terrain."
  • 3 0
 @pcmxa: I was told strava pings GPS every 5 seconds? I Definitely don't rely on it for precise data. Like my cateye (set up to the mm) told me my top speed on a fire road was 18mph while strave told me it was 26! Same for milage and avg speed. Strava allways measures a couple mph lower.
  • 4 1
 @mikekazimer: if that frame could fit a 29" rear wheel, maybe he'd use a 32" front wheel! lol
  • 3 0
It makes sense for the way you like to ride your bike. Not everyone like the big wheels even if it’s faster in some way. I had a sb150 which is a great bike I have to admit. But in some way It wasn’t perfect.
I retried a sb6 I had before the sb150 and it showed me the default of both bikes. Now I think I will try the mullet bike with the sb6, because maybe I could conserve my riding style on the rear of the bike with a rear end that need little effort and not many leaning angle to turn and the speed the grip and the rolling capacity of the bigger wheel at the front. Avoiding tire rub is a bonus but it makes sense for me .
  • 1 0
 @lognar: Yep - he looks super fit this year. Racing pencil...
  • 3 2
 I cannot resist the thought of mullet bikes being pro racers way of trolling online trolls and the dumber part of the industry
  • 5 1
 @pcmxa: I’ve got KOM’s on tracks I haven’t even ridden. Strava doesn’t work other than to tell you roughly how many miles you’ve done the elevation won’t be right if you compare it with the people you were on the same ride with.
  • 1 0
 Meh 29’ers we’re last years fad. Everyone’s moving back to 27.5 but with vertical seat tubes. 29 / 27.5 hype train due to arrive fall 2019.
  • 4 0
 @beeboo: yo, I'm rockin' 27.5/front 26/rear at some places...depends. I'm 5'5" and with this setup, the bike handles trails with lots of slabs and drops very well. the smaller wheel in the rear also works if I get roped into a ride with steep climbs, ( I don't run super large pie plate cassettes)
  • 4 7
 with geos becoming long, there’s more than enough room for 32” wheels front and back. I drew a bike with 470 reach and 66HA and got a wheel with 2.3” tyre and 666mm diameter rim. If a cute, little creature like Emily Batty finds it favorable to race on a 29er, a 180cm bloke will be just fine on 32”er
  • 3 0
 @mikekazimer: different strokes for different folks... But, at the end of the day, Martin will smoke all of us regardless of his wheel choice...
  • 2 0
 @nojzilla: @notoriousmic: I don't rely on Strava for anything except rough duration and distance. But I've used more accurate systems and what I found out is I can't tell within 10 percent what my speed is. I'm talking one minute faster or slower on a ten minute segment and if I try and guess if I was faster or slower is be wrong allot of the time. So since I'm just playing around on the bike and not racing clearly a few seconds on a fiver minute track aren't going to mean anything to me. The funner bike would though.
  • 3 0
 @tacklingdummy: Maes is proving he can ride a bike, any bike, any brand, any set up, like a madman and win at every level. not much else really.
  • 1 0
 @pcmxa: yeah I used Strava for a whole year 2018 because I wanted to see my end of the year round up. I’ve stopped using it now for now.
  • 1 0
 29 front 27.5 rear makes the bike a little slacker and makes the stack height slightly taller.
  • 1 0
 @tacklingdummy: wouldnt stack be reduced if the bike becomes more slack? Nothing gets longer.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: because a lard ass like myself destroys rear wheels, however, I do like the rolling of a 29er.
  • 1 0
 @lognar: Maes put a 29" wheel on a 27.5 bike. The stack height get higher because the bigger 29 wheel in the front and it will also slacken the head tube slightly. However, if it was a 29er and you put a 27.5 on the rear, then it wouldn't change the stack height much if any, but would still slacken it slightly.
  • 2 0
 @tacklingdummy: duno why i just assumed he put a 27.5 rear on a 29” frame. Duh.
  • 23 0
 The level of ignorance and second guessing here is baffling.

Maes said in an interview that when they timed his runs he was clearly faster on the 29/27.5 combo and then people (even PB mods) starts second guessing that if he had 29" front and back he probably would be even faster... Yeah right, it really does seem like he needs your "good advice"...

Most people here spends thousands of dollars and god knows how many hours working on their bikes, but not one of those coming up with their "clever thoughts" about wheel sizes have actually tried to run a similar setup themselves... Why? It's not that hard to experiment with setup and geometry, but is sure is easier to talk out of your rear end and pretend you know stuff.

Off road motorcycles has been running a similar setup since WW2 or there around - because it works! They never ran super narrow handlebars or any of all the other stupid shit we've seen on mountain bikes. Why is the bike industry taking so long to get their act together? And why are people so afraid to experiment themselves? It's not like bike industry has been right all the time has it? Mountain bikes have generally been handling like shit until around 5-10 years ago, when they finally started to get the geometry kind of sorted out. Get out in the shed and start experimenting! Maybe you will learn something...
  • 2 1
 This was such a good comment!
  • 2 1
  • 9 2
 This is all part of Maes' master plan. He's so good he can skate by with a 79er setup. However, once the hype reaches it's peak and half the field have switched over, he'll go back to full 29. Nobody will know how to handle their bikes anymore and he'll win by even larger margins. Checkmate.
  • 7 0
 Interesting that it looks like Maes is running an APEX Addix soft NN, not a Supergravity on the rear. I would have expected a heavier casing than a reinforced trail casing.
  • 3 0
 Especially with only 25psi...
  • 2 0
 Brave man he is , for sure. But the cushcore gives him peace of mind I guess..
  • 5 0
 I'm quite sure they don't make the NN in a Super Gravity casing... or maybe it's coming soon and they just labeled it differently.
  • 5 0
 @stevemokan: they make such Tyres for Teamriders, especially fast one like Martin Maes
  • 2 0
 @stevemokan: You are correct, Schwalbe does not make a production NN in super gravity, and they also don't make it in Addix Soft
  • 2 0
 Also, Apex with out Super Gravity is only available in their Plus tires. It makes perfect sense for most conditions. Surprising to see someone so fast not running Super Gravity, but then he has Cush Core. The tire must roll fastest this way and still have puncture protection.
  • 4 0
 Schwalbe make Supergravity Addix soft Nobby Nics exclusively for the pros. It doesn't say Supergravity on them though.
  • 1 1
 @mirskeinereingefalln: But why? A SG addix soft Nobby Nic is basically a Hans Dampf.
Why make a new tire that is almost identical to the one you already made last year?
  • 1 0
 @Ttimer: Maybe cause it's profile is good enough for dry fast rolling conditions.
  • 5 0
 I didn't even notice until I read it. I have ridden bikes with staggered wheels and they ride awesome
  • 5 0
 Maes is proving the smaller rear wheel concept works. Can’t wait to see what the WC guys do this season!!!
  • 4 0
 Hey look a syncros matchbox bottlecage on Charre's bike! Those things are great, i loved mine
  • 3 0
 I think Rockshox could run the same programm with Barelli and Charre, or maybe Mark Scott and Charre. A more racing focused enduro programm.
  • 5 0
 I went for a ride today, it was fun
  • 5 2
 As someone who still rides tubes in my tires in rock gardens, I will never be able to compute 23PSI in anything...
  • 17 0
 It's easy when you get new rims for free and a guy to build them up for you.
  • 4 0
 23psi is manageable if you’re low weight. MTB tires perform best when you run as low pressure as you can without rolling the tire to the side.

I’m out of shape, and run 26psi at 184lbs, with 26mm rims. Holds up in technical terrain, and jumps/drops 4’ and under.
  • 1 0
 @sevensixtwo: Tubess I assume?
  • 1 0
 @sevensixtwo: Derp- that’s tubeless...
  • 1 0
 @DirtbagMatt: i can’t read, you’re right
  • 1 0
 Tubes are insane. I had to run 34psi to finish a race when my tubeless sidewall got slashed
  • 2 0
 more bike checks!!! total lack off bike geekery from the opening ews rounds!!
  • 3 0
 That GT look pretty nice!!!!!! Kinda want one
  • 1 1
 Who is this Martin fella? The marketing is strong with Barelli, dude and his bike are everywhere. Jesse Melamed and Keegan Wright bike checks please? Don't other ppl have bikes there??
  • 1 0
 I have been running 27.5 x 2.6 DHF and a 26 x 2.4 DHR II on my 4 year old liteville 301 and love it! my next 301 will be a 29 x 2.5 and a 27.5 x 2.4! sick!
  • 6 6
 I think Gt just is not making a frame that suits his needs. Like a Long travel 29. Maybe we will eventually see a full 29/27+ Long travel from gt.
  • 3 1
 I’m with you on that. Plus it’s a huge marketing strategy for GT to get eyes on their name. It’s all everyone has talked about since NZ Enduro.
  • 2 0
 That's a good point, however I'm sure he tested over forking a sensor first. Only a 20mm travel diff. Still, when they cime up with a 29er sanction it will be interesting to see what he does
  • 1 0
 @stiingya: the Force and Sensor have the same front triangle, I believe
  • 1 3
 Bingo! What I got from that short interview he did is that a smaller wheel works better for him on THAT bike design.
  • 2 0
 Been rockin' Foes Mixer for a a couple years now. It works!
  • 1 0
 I think Sam Hill should charge a commission from other riders who ride his pedals hehehe
  • 4 0
 trust me he does
  • 2 1
 Nobby Nic at an enduro race? Wooha, looks like someone needs an extra challenge.
  • 3 2
 Actually Nico Lau won EWS Rotorua on one a few years back. This makes no fricking sense. Nobby Nic, like Hans Dampf are ultimate Down Country tyres. They make chicken lines exciting and you end up leading the bike down the tech sections in the end anyways. Either because you flatted or because you pumped them to 40 and you cut the sidewall.
  • 1 0
 Commencal need to look into their sizing, Yoann ain’t a large guy, yet needs a large frame
  • 1 0
 Is Maes running a 27.5+ tyre on the rear? Wouldn't kill you to tell us the tyre widths...
  • 1 0
 Nope. You don't want more grip in the rear than on the front.
  • 1 1
 On Maes' bike I'm more interested in the paint chip above his stored tube that shows how thick the paint and primer is. Seems like a lot of unnecessary weight.
  • 1 0
 Does Maes reduce fork travel on the 29er fork, to keep front end height in check (and seat angle)?
  • 1 0
 Commencial is alloy lol didnt see the welds
  • 1 2
 Not that it happens often, but if your running the mullet, do you chance that you wont tear your front tyre and only bring a rear tube?
  • 9 0
 Stretch a 27.5 tube onto a 29 wheel, or...

  • 4 0
 They're inner tubes, they stretch. A lot. 26" or 27.5" tubes fit a 29" tyre.
  • 2 0
 @Nicksen: Yes, have used 26" inner tubes in 29er wheels, but they definitely puncture easier
BUT 20" inner tubes work best as tubeless rim strips if can find them with presta valves?
  • 7 0
 According to a pop up I keep closing, there's "a secret trick to gain 2.5 inches". Maybe Maes knows the secret.
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