Santa Cruz Syndicate - San Romolo Testing - Video

Feb 2, 2012
by Mike Levy  
Filmed by Gary Perkin

Source: Santa Cruz Bicycles
February 1, 2012
San Romolo, Italy


Early season testing started for the Santa Cruz Syndicate with mechanics, engineers and riders arriving in the town of Imperia, Italy, for three days of extensive testing aboard the latest Santa Cruz full carbon V-10s. The bikes were decked out with the Syndicate’s newest sponsor products from Fox and Shimano. The Syndicate’s choice to join forces with Shimano and Fox proved to be a great decision as the test session was incredibly successful.

Testing was amazing, the most productive test session I have ever been to. Besides good riding and eating killer Italian food, our Syndicate family expanded with Fox and Shimano. I feel this was a great start to the year and I’m looking forward to more positive things to come in 2012,” said Greg Minnaar. The testing took place on the long downhill racetrack in San Romolo with shuttle assistance from Roberto Vernassa from Argentina Bike. The five-man Fox crew was ready to gather information from suspension testing using their state of the art data acquisition equipment. Spirits were high as everyone got started off on the dark chilly mornings while the mechanics built a bonfire at the bottom of the track to stave off a bit of chill. Riders were warm and tingly inside with big grins after the first run. “We were getting everyone up to speed on the new full carbon frame, Fox suspension, and Shimano components. With the frame being much lighter than the previous version we had to dial the suspension in because of less un-sprung weight. I’ve also been riding the new XTR brakes for some time now and can’t get over how impressive they are, particularly with modulation. Feedback from all the racers was what I was expecting, a new milestone in performance.” Says Rob Roskopp.

Greg Minnaar exclaims, “I was blown away on the first ride down the rugged San Romolo track. The first thought was, this is a winning combo! Fitzy and his crew worked flat out to get us up to speed. Their passion, enthusiasm and suspension knowledge is going to be very positive to the Syndicate. It’s been awhile since I was last on Shimano, 2003... and that was a good year for me. I hope this is the good luck I’ll be needing to win another World Championship.
Santa Cruz engineer Joe Graney says, “We look forward to a close relationship with the suspension experts at Fox. They arrived in Italy with a team of engineers and technicians—blowing everyone away with how they were able to accurately translate each rider’s input into measured improvements in speed and control. Shimano continues to push the envelope with technologies like Ice Technology brakes and the Shadow Plus derailleur, as well as the variety of options that can be configured for different conditions fits perfectly with Santa Cruz Bicycles’ core values of customer choice, usable performance, durability and long term support.

Our newest addition to the Syndicate, mechanic Jason Marsh says, “I’m super happy that we are using Fox Racing Shox and Shimano for the 2012 season. The new Fox 40 forks suit the carbon V-10 frame perfectly and the RC4 rear shock really compliments the VPP suspension design. The riders were all impressed on how good the bikes felt, even after the first run. I have worked with the Saint group-set for the last three seasons and I really like how they work. Saint cranks are super strong, brakes are simple to set up and the rear derailleur and shifter are super smooth and a nice set up. Finish and attention to detail can’t be matched. The support offered by the Fox team over the last few days has been superb and their race support is second to none. 2012 will be a great season.

Steve Peat was surprisingly pleased, “We have had three awesome days testing and training in Italy. It was great to catch up with all my crew after a few down months throughout the winter and I was happy to get out on the Santa Cruz V-10 and trash it in the test situation. Fox is a company that I have watched over the years. They obviously have great product because the fast guys are using it and winning races now and again on it. And Shimano needs no introduction. It’s a no brainer that they have great products and I am looking forward to working with them at the races! We came up with some great set ups and I am now looking forward to the season. Now it’s our turn to give it a thrash on our V-10’s, 2012 should be fun!

The test session was a big learning curve for me. Having ridden Boxxer’s since I was about 14, I’m very used to the look and feel of the fork so it was a huge change. I really enjoyed the process of getting my new bike set up and it was interesting getting to know the characteristics of all the new products. The suspension seems almost limitless with it its adjustability and I think our bikes have entered a whole new realm of adaptability. Despite getting my ass kicked in the final race I had a really fun and productive four days,” said Josh Bryceland.

Tradition is that the last day of testing we always have a race to see who is quickest. Once again, for the second time in a row Peaty took the win, but unlike the first time when Greg wore the dress to dinner, it was Josh’s turn to wear a skirt. Since there were no women’s clothes handy, Josh had to improvise and craft a fashionable number out of a pair of pants. “His outfit was complete with his ‘special’ tiger underwear”, chimes in Roskopp.

Joe Lawwill, Shimano’s MTB marketing manager says, “Shimano is very proud and excited to be working with Santa Cruz bicycles and the iconic Syndicate race team. We are looking forward to a successful and exciting 2012 season.
Fox’s Mark Fitzsimmons says, “We are very excited to work with a team at this level. The professionalism of the team has shown in their years of great results and we look forward to bringing our suspension expertise to the program. We here at FOX thrive on the pure honesty racing brings to our development process and look forward to learning from Steve, Greg and Josh to continue to improve our products and aid them in their mission for podiums. Our goal is to provide our athletes with a suspension performance advantage and look forward to continuing this into the 2012 season.

Syndicate head mechanic Dougie “Fresh” Hatfield says, “The Fox and Shimano Saint equipped bikes ran silky smooth during our test camp in San Romolo. The riders really liked the responsiveness and quality of the product. We are ready to go racing!!

www.santacruzbicycles.com
www.shimano.com
www.foxracingshox.com




143 Comments

  • 94 2
 Sums up my thoughts on the subject: i.imgur.com/5Fjfx.jpg
  • 10 1
 haha cant wait to see rat win a worldcup this year! gunna be such a sick season!!
  • 25 2
 Did anyone else here him say "a big fagot of sticks" at 4:20 haha thats the first time I have heard the word used in its actual meaning
  • 10 0
 Did anyone else see the good ol' fashioned bumming happening in he background at 6:38?
Looks like an amazing ride.
  • 3 0
 yeah i saw steve dry humping josh. those two are funny when you get them together.
  • 1 0
 tha xerasw!
  • 1 0
 I don't anyone could have said it better Joe. Made my day.
  • 2 0
 THAT is progression.
  • 1 0
 I rode that track... It's a tough one... They're riding really fast on it
  • 3 2
 how much must danny hart be needing paid after winning world champs!? first giant ditch duncan riffle and now sram can't afford the syndicate. looking and hearing the boy you'd think he'd be happy being paid in gummy bears..
  • 1 0
 dream bike right there.
  • 2 0
 What! Steve Peat NOT drinking a Stella?!?
  • 4 0
 @matt maybe stella are owned by SRAM :p
  • 44 12
 Doesnt look right without a boxxer on it. No bad talk about Fox, both are great companies, just doesnt look the same.
  • 13 33
flag goonrider (Feb 2, 2012 at 18:10) (Below Threshold)
 well done sherlock
  • 16 1
 this sounds just like the Athertons without blue/Commencal doesn't look right. Give it time
  • 61 8
 Are you kidding me? It looks so much better with the 40 on it
  • 3 9
flag cikudh (Feb 3, 2012 at 0:50) (Below Threshold)
 i surprised they're not using invert fox40
  • 7 4
 much better with fox 40!!! now those boys are boxxer fans cuz of Syndicate cant start changing for fox Wink
look how the 40's fly's over those rocks so easily Big Grin
  • 2 0
 i mean (can start changing) Smile
  • 2 0
 Enve direct mounts are in the pipeline apparently.
  • 1 0
 I switched my v-10 from a world cup to a fox 40 /kashima last year and it is so much more bike now.
  • 1 0
 the 40's feels like a fork made for man's Smile
  • 23 0
 Come on, Peaty! Keep it inside the tape this year, buddy!
  • 13 0
 That bike just doesn't look the same. When I think Syndicate, I think Sram! And I really like how they kept the Truvativ Holzfeller stem on but just blacket out the letters Razz
  • 2 0
 I noticed that too, I wonder what they will use for the season? And I wonder why the aren't using the new style saint brakes like all the other teams...
  • 1 0
 Shimano's PRO components line will probably have stems shortly... they're making them for the Athertons on Team GT afterall.
  • 1 0
 i never thought i would see the day....
  • 2 0
 Doesnt look like they will be riding pro, considering they have Enve bars, a expect they will probably run Enve stems too, but perhaps they are still in production..
  • 1 1
 I don't think they have even tested an enve stem doesnt seem high on there list of things to do
  • 12 0
 Dayummmmmmmmm, bike is sick!
  • 10 0
 i want a santa cruz from santa
  • 5 3
 ... Cruz...?
  • 1 0
 cruz?
  • 2 1
 HEY HEY HEY!!! isnt that the same place where the POV from danny hart was just shot?!?! what was heeee doing there??? oooooo :O
  • 2 0
 hey NorthEasternDH: its very well known dh track in italy for winter training, nothing more Wink
  • 9 1
 7:24, Gracia in the background?
  • 2 0
 @Tom_cuthbert: Whoa, looks like him.
  • 1 1
 it is cg... if you pay attention they were getting the new frames dialled in for the 4 riders....the vid just didn't pay much attention to gracia cos hes still running sram kit
  • 1 0
 @Tom_cuthbert: can see him better at 2:00 , why you hidin' gracia :p ??
  • 3 0
 gracia isnt on sram hes moved on to fox and shimano as well
  • 1 0
 He's not on the syndicate team so that'd be why he's not being focused on in the video
  • 2 0
 @ExtremeuS: Yup, that's CG! I wonder when we'll see a video of him testing out the new stuff...
  • 8 0
 anyone else notice Peaty trying to rape Ratboy in the background...? I can't believe i just typed that.
  • 6 0
 probably CGs bad influence
  • 4 0
 looks like peaty is not too much happy about the sponsor change based from his statement; he mentioned shimano in passing "shimano needs no introduction..." and was happy repeating the word "santacruz v10..." a lot Smile i wouldn't blame him as SRAM was with him since the start
  • 3 0
 Yeah, 16 years is a lot of time for a sponsorship, so I can imagine that "that thing became a part of him".
  • 6 0
 really like the fox/ saint move on santa cruz's part. nice bike for shure use to have one my self loved it Smile
  • 5 1
 Start running Shimano and Fox and they're happy? What a surprise! I'm sure they'd be stoked on the upgrades even if the sponsors didnt make them say so.
  • 1 1
 I never heard them say they were happy, unless happy is so glad that you collect sticks and throw logs over the barrier instead of riding your bike...
  • 3 0
 1:11 "the guys are super happy with the results" in response to comments about the new gear.
  • 1 0
 What "results" is he talking about, it is an open ended statement with no evidence, as a development engineer I live on evidence!
The improvements they allude to later during the video from what they got out of the packet during testing and tuning? Comparison in timed testing to SRAM products from the last time they were at the track?

... 5:05 to 5:15... come on Steve get used to it real quick. I hope the big man does well this year whatever he is riding, he is a riders hero after all. :o)
Josh looked pretty dialled and was the rider that seemed the most positive (apart from cutting his fox kit up).
  • 3 1
 Hmmm..."With the frame being much lighter than the previous version we had to dial the suspension in because of less un-sprung weight." Small correction. The frame's weight ...is...sprung weight. You must have been dialing in the suspension for new and lighter wheels, or rotors or calipers, eh?
  • 1 0
 I think what they meant is that Fox rear shocks have never been used on such a light rear triangle. They're still running the 2009 Saint brakes and derailleurs, but the new ENVE rims might be a little lighter.
  • 5 0
 He was referring to the new carbon rear triangle, which is some 400+ grams lighter than the alu one (if I got it right). So the unsprung weight is much less than it was.
  • 2 0
 Lehel-NS is correct, plus they have a new carbon lay up, making this carbon swing arm lighter than last years one (and stiffer listening to the audio)
  • 1 0
 All well and good for the new lighter frame. That is a fantastic improvement no doubt. But technically, the statement is incorrect. What is generally called a "frame", actually consists of 2 major components. The front triangle, and the rear swing arm. The front triangle's weight is carried by the front and rear suspension components. (the fork spring and the rear spring). It is therefore sprung weight. The rear swing arm, on the other hand, while connected to the frame via the pivots, actually resides outside the envelope of weight carried by the suspension. Unsprung weight is weight that is part of the bike but not carried by the suspension. Basically, any component or connected sub-component the springs push against to keep the tires in contact with the ground is unsprung weight. Such parts include the rear swing arm and suspension links, wheels, hubs, wheel bearings, axles, spokes, tires, tubes, rotors, rear derailleur & cassette to name a few.
  • 1 0
 They refer to the rear swing arm, they even allude to this being a prototype, but do not say the word prototype, but instead refer to soft tooling. Unless you work for a small company who has to rely on experience and modelling, and get it 90%+ right first time (with a longer initial development stage), then soft tooling is the correct way to develop a product.
  • 6 1
 my bike is now obsolete...
  • 1 0
 Either way, kitted with the last and now the new, both looks are badass to me. Something different, new. Always a good thing. I cant believe how things turned a 180deg this year. Sooo many changes, dammit Im so psyched for this race season! And Syndicate's up there in my to watch list. Bring it!
  • 3 0
 I wish I had a crew following me around with a van setting up my ride...jeesh! Looking good guys, can't wait for 2012 to get rollin!
  • 1 0
 How to become a world class downhill rider? how to get the knowledge and experience... well there is maybe a clue at 6min34sec Wink
i know it's off subject, this video is so serious but you can't stop downhill rider having funWink
  • 1 0
 Steve did not look a happy bunny (would not like to have been that log!), 'different' seemed to be the consensus amongst them all.
Watching their body language and listening to the lack of positive emotion suggests that some hard training to change over is going to be required.
With all the changes to different teams the 1st race is going to be very interesting, I wonder if tried and tested will beat the brave movers?
We all have our opinions on Boxxer vs Fox, and different things suit different riders, timed testing made my decision, but I am not forced to ride one or the other though sponsorship.
  • 1 0
 I must admit the V10 does look hot with the new Fox 40s. Saint cranks, brakes awesome. SAINT RD still not right. Its a freeride RD compromised for DH by the top jockey wheel being so far from cluster. Its fine when new & clean but bit of crap or use its performance drops allot still works. Road 105 or Ultregra for realracers or factory short cage xtr like Gwin ran. SRAM X9 X0dh esp way better drive train. Torn on Boxxer or 2012 40s for my V10c dam haha.
  • 4 0
 I would give my left pinky toe for that rig.
  • 4 0
 I would give your left and right pinky toe Razz
  • 3 0
 Look at that bike! Oh my god!
  • 2 0
 Gonna be different seeing the V-10s without the shiny black stanchions, but still stoked for them!
  • 3 2
 Yeah, that bike is bad freakn Ass! All we need now is an lntense Carbon dh rig to make life complete. The V10 imo is much better then the Trek
  • 4 1
 Seeing a beefy 40 on the front makes me almost like Santa Cruz.
  • 2 0
 Watched the whole video and I just want to say, I want one. No, wait, screw this, I want TWO.
  • 1 0
 San Romolo....great place to ride..... Smile
I broke my ancle there last october....
Now i'm waiting to have a great ride down into the Foea.
  • 3 0
 Ahhhhh Fark it.
  • 3 0
 Nicest bike ever!!!
  • 2 0
 well that is one bad ass bike
  • 3 2
 I've never heard someone use the word "f*ggot" to actually refer to a pile of sticks until 4:21 of this video.
  • 4 1
 Why not? That's what the word actually meant originally. Its derived from a latin word and is common in italian and old french. There's a smoke shop/book store here in ottawa called "Mags n' Fags" and nobody is thrown off by the name.
  • 4 0
 In Australia 'fag' was a almost the most common term for a cigarette, a la deeeight's shop name. And I'm not gonna put an asterisk in 'fag' because it is all about context. Like 'tit', 'pussy', 'snatch' etc.
  • 2 1
 Looks like the V10 was made for Fox, looks sooooooooooooo goooooooood. Come on Greg!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 I was bummed about the transition from SRAM to Shimano/Fox until this vid. Everything appears on point.
  • 2 0
 nothing like a lil brake cleaner to get the fire goin lol
  • 1 0
 thats how we live in england because were so old fashions , it was a shock indeed when i moved from the states
  • 1 0
 Living legend! since I ride i have always wanted a V10 just way down to sexy!
  • 1 0
 What a cool video! Why do the V 10s always look like the seat is super high?
  • 3 0
 Because both Peaty and Minnaar are quite tall.
  • 2 0
 All the Santa Cruz riders are tall! Peaty, Minnaar, Bryceland and CG.
  • 2 1
 I think the fox 40 is a better match for the v-10 than a boxxer. Maybe not In looks but in performance.
  • 1 0
 WOW first time seeing the BRAKES on the Opposite side!!!! Left = Back Brakes , Right = Front Brakes
  • 3 0
 moto set up...been there for a while...
  • 2 0
 moto / also the standard setup for New Zealand, Aussie and UK. I learnt this the hard way when I moved to Canada for a year, sent myself over the bars the first time Riding the North Shore on a borrowed bike.
  • 1 0
 lol. All the colorful pretty words then to follow???
  • 1 0
 Do you mean they run the brakes on the correct side left=back right=front
Smile
  • 2 0
 I'm Canadian, i run the front on the right too.Just personal preference.
  • 1 0
 I just got a whole new fox set-up too. their 2012 line is dialed. the new 40 feels a lot more planted then my boxxer did.
  • 2 1
 you know when something just doesn't feel right?
this is it!

Who is next for PRO
  • 1 0
 We have been testing Santa Cruz there just week before see www.pinkbike.com/photo/7619280
  • 1 0
 the red one looks awesome !!!
  • 1 0
 Justin Frey - Thanks for all the hook ups bro! nice to see you out there in Italy.
  • 2 0
 why does peaty always make u smile ! ha legend !
  • 1 0
 Wow never thought I would see the day that Santa cruz ride fox forks wow I prefer the boxers personally
  • 1 0
 I want Minnaar's half skeleton shirt! Very cool. Hope he takes it all this year after playing second for the past three!
  • 1 0
 Wow great - thanks Dude! (of course if Minnaar signed it that would be very cool)
  • 1 0
 No prob man, wish they carried the black and white one in medium.
  • 1 0
 yeah about f*cking time santa got some fox & sants on it the new bike is looking sweet
  • 1 1
 damns, this bike is a BAMF! Between this and the new lightweight Trek DH proto... I hope it brings DH bikes down under 35lbs!
  • 1 0
 Everyone used a RS dropper post in Pietermaritzburg - it'll be interesting to see the new fox dropper out there.
  • 2 0
 That has got to be the best looking bike I've ever seen
  • 1 0
 I honestly think this is the first WC Pro bike that I'm actually jealous of
  • 1 0
 take a look at Steve Peat on his new bike down my local trail www.pinkbike.com/photo/7679809
  • 1 0
 I have a dream, that one day, I will open a santacruz box and pull out my new carbon V10. I have a dream.
  • 2 0
 looking good!
  • 1 0
 Greg Minnaar = Best Dressed Big Grin Hahaha love it.
  • 1 0
 Thats not a bicycle .... thats just p*rn*graphy....
  • 1 1
 ugh if only they could rock rockshox suspension with a shimano drive train; that would be awesome
  • 2 1
 xo is the best part
  • 1 0
 that is the best looking bike i've seen in a while
  • 2 1
 V10 doesn't look nearly as flimsy now with 40s. Razz
  • 2 1
 makes me want to use shimano saint grupo on my demo.
  • 1 0
 Peaty....... Total legend !!!
  • 1 0
 HOW MUCH DOES THAT BIKE WEIGH?
  • 1 0
 totally carbonated Big Grin so, what's weight?
  • 1 0
 im already used to it, thought it was gonna take ages lol Razz
  • 1 3
 Can you notice the difference between the 40's and Boxxers on any video of pros riding it? 40's look so much in control while the Boxxers are always more nervous and twitchy. I think the Fox chassis is much stiffer.
  • 1 0
 That track looks money. Love the shots of them riding it.
  • 1 0
 glad to see them on fox. so much better than the boxxers... sorry fan boys
  • 6 6
 Finally they signed with Fox, Good move!
  • 2 1
 Is this a message to Sram that the Vivid Air Suuuucks??? Maybe, but Shimano Components are killing it these days, esp their brakes. Ive yet to switch to a full on drivetrain. Still love the full click of an XO. Shimano's shifting is a bit fussy. I love my WC but the 40 is sick.
  • 2 0
 I ride sram brakes and drivetrain and am pleased but when it comes to suspension Fox is far better, in my opinion.
  • 3 2
 looks much better
  • 1 0
 Living the dream!
  • 2 1
 that is one sexy bike
  • 1 0
 my god
  • 1 1
 Def lovin the Fox Saint built
  • 1 1
 so weird seeing peaty on fox and shimano
  • 1 0
 it's looking so good!!
  • 1 0
 great bike
  • 1 0
 Fox makes a good job!!!
  • 2 3
 Ok so Steve Peat likes beer, we get the picture...
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