What The Pros Are Riding - Part 2 - Fort William World Cup

Jun 8, 2013
by Mike Levy  
Aaron Gwin
Gwin with his Specialized Demo 8 Carbon

Are we looking at the winning bike and rider? The American took victory here last year, just nipping Danny Hart by less then a second, and you'd be silly to bet against Gwin repeating that feat. It has been nine months since the last World Cup, though, and many things have changed in Gwin's world since last season. A completely new setting at the Specialized Racing DH team, a very different bike from last season that is built up with SRAM running gear as opposed to the Shimano kit from previous years, and different rubber from Specialized. While those are some big changes, he is still on the FOX suspension that he's had so much success with, and you know there are some very special things going on inside his RAD-spec fork and shock. Aaron is on 26'' wheels, not the prototype 650B Demo that was spotted at the Port Angeles Pro GRT under Brad Benedict, but you know that if Gwin shows up on the 'tweener wheels and takes a win, it will likely kick off an avalanche of 650B-wheeled downhill race bikes. Yesterday's qualifying ended with Gwin in 14th place, 8.8 seconds back from Hart's time of 4.41, and just 0.4 off of his teammate, Troy Brosnan. How much does that count for? We'll find out soon.

Cam Cole
Cam Cole with his Yeti 303 WC

Interestingly, the big Kiwi is riding Yeti's aluminum 303 WC frame instead of the carbon fiber prototype that we saw briefly last year, although that could change come race day. The Yeti team has strong ties to FOX, so it's no surprise to see that continue for the 2013 season, with Cam using the new air sprung 40 up front and a DHX RC4 out back.

Sam Dale the hair farmer
Madison Saracen's Sam Dale and his Myst

Sam will likely be very happy with his qualifying performance, a solid 15th place and ahead of a few much more hyped riders, aboard his 203mm travel Myst. His bike is rather interesting in that it uses an aluminum front triangle teamed with a carbon fiber swingarm, taking the opposite approach of many top-end downhill bikes out there. Saracen says that the carbon rear end saves a massive 600 grams over the older aluminum version, which means that either this new one is incredibly light or the old one was incredibly heavy. Regardless, 600 grams is a big chunk to shed.

Marc Beaumont
Marc Beaumont and the GT Fury

Marc Beaumont, the ''other Atherton'', is sometimes overshadowed by Gee in the press, but he is no stranger to the top step of the podium. And lets not forget his impressive qualifying run at last year's Fort William World Cup, even if yesterday's seeding didn't go quite as well. Beaumont would like nothing more than to take the new Fury's inaugural win, and no better place to do it than here in Scotland.

Matthew Simmonds
Matt Simmonds and the Nukeproof Pulse

We're currently putting time in our Pulse test bike, and although we obviously can't hold a candle to Matt's pace, we can say that the bike likely suits the incredibly rough Fort William track. His bike is finished with SRAM, Mavic, and Nukeproof running gear all around.

Nicole Myriam
Myriam Nicole and her BOS equipped Supreme DH V3

The French Commencal - Riding Addiction rider is sporting a fancy new Red Bull helmet for 2013 and is looking to improve on her 7th place qualifying run, 18 seconds back from an on-form Rachel Atherton. Her Supreme DH V3 is sporting air sprung BOS suspension front and back, as well as an interesting set of 26'' Novatec Demon wheels.

Jill Kintner
Jill Kintner with her Norco Aurum

There is a 650B-wheeled Aurum making its way around the pits at Fort William, but Jill was aboard the standard 26'' version yesterday. The 200mm travel bike is fitted with FOX, Shimano, and Crank Brothers components.

Luke Strobel
Luke Strobel and his badass Evil Undead

What would you be willing to trade for Luke's Evil Undead? The American rider's carbon fiber Undead boasts 203mm of travel via the bike's 'Delta System' suspension design, as well as a clever system that allows for angle and travel adjustments by way of flip-chips incorporated into the bike's linkage. Plus its matte UD carbon fiber frame is finished off with zombie stickers, thereby making it at least two or three seconds faster on every run. Seriously.

Sam Blenkinsop
Sam Blenkinsop with his Lapierre DH bike

The man who may have the toughest hands on the circuit has to be pumped with his 3rd place qualifying run aboard his 220mm travel French steed.

Steve Peat
Peaty and his V10 Carbon

Check out that seat height! Just in case it wasn't obvious, Steve is a tall guy and runs an appropriately tall seat height, as well as a thick spacer under his direct mount stem. As expected, the prototype FOX air sprung DH shock has been replaced for a coil over unit, and we expect that to stay the same for his race run. Check out those brake calipers...

Emelie Siegenthaler
Emilie Siegenthaler and her pint sized 650B Scott Gambler

Medium sized wheels on a rather small downhill bike? No problem for Scott's Gambler, with Emilie's green machine fitted with a set of 650B wheels from DT Swiss and tires from Schwalbe. Her 650B specific FOX fork also uses different lowers that see the axle clamps moved slightly in relation to the fork legs in order to correct the bike's geometry and provide enough tire clearance.

Greg Minnaar
Greg Minnaar with his V10 Carbon

The World Champ qualified 12th yesterday aboard his V10, but you'd be silly to bet against him improving on that during the race. The new production V10 frame weighs just 7.9lb, thanks in large part to a revised front triangle saves 300 grams over the previous version, and we suspect that Greg's frame might be even lighter than that impressive figure. There were whisperings last year of the Syndicate using some very special ENVE carbon rims and Maxxis tire combinations, although Greg's appear to be more conventional. Check out Greg's handlebar setup that uses a massive spacer under his direct mount stem in order to add some bar height.


  • 74 2
 Come on Blenki, we know you can stand on that top podium spot!
  • 17 3
 Sams gear and bike is so nice and simple not too overdone and flashy.
  • 8 0
 I't would be amazing if Blinky managed to get on the podium, or ever better, on the top of the podium, his skills and style are just amazing. He's more than capable.
  • 1 0
 By the title of the article I thought it would be better details on the bikes they are riding.. Most of them are just talking about the rider and have very little about their bikes. Just a thought lol
  • 41 0
 40's. 40's everywhere
  • 1 0
 40 con PABLO.. want..
  • 2 0
 The Boxxer just looks like a toy next to the 40.
  • 1 0
 nobody give him another like, let it stay at 40 lol
  • 29 0
 that norco looks like a tre......mendous looking bike Big Grin
  • 24 7
 the lapierre looked so bland as i scrolled down to it right after the badass evil undead
  • 24 4
 I really liked the Lapirre, very clean and nice lines...
  • 5 5
 yeah i loved the undead frame until the covered it in stickers, compared to blenkis frame it looks pretty tacky.
  • 13 0
 For me it is quite interesting to see that more and more people move back and lift there front with spacers again. Some time ago the bars couldn't be flat enough.
  • 2 0
 The handle bar companys just needed a new gimmick to make people buy new curvy pipes , seemed to work for a while for most people.
  • 6 3
 Flat works better in some conditions, worse in others.
  • 3 0
 I thought carbon bars had to be flatter for reasons having to do with the material itself. Aluminum can be bent but in carbon it makes it weaker?
I got new ENVE DH on all my bikes now.. Love them.
  • 11 1
 Were is sam and his bike?!
  • 6 7
 He was in part one...
  • 8 1
 Oh, nevermind. I could have sworn I saw him in part one, but alas.
  • 9 1
 There seems to be a huge lack of interest in Sam shown from PB in Ft William this year even though a lot of people are very interested in how he'll be getting on this year...
  • 3 0
 That's for sure. I haven't seen much about Sam on PB or on Vital. Hope he gets a podium!
  • 2 1
 sam isnt there
  • 8 0
 Myriam Nicole. Not Nicole Myriam
  • 8 0
 Beaumonts helmet always looks out of proportion to his body..
  • 4 1
 The tech battle, give you pinks a rattle, the baby wants his bottle of beer, but dont call him a tech queer. Just looking for a mechanical advantage or could just use real riding knowledge. More time you spend in the saddle, less chance your playing with you rattle or ipod go polish your knobs. Next time ride like you got a pair, big wheels makes you look like a square.
  • 6 2
 Alright, let's be honest here... How many were fondling themselves scrolling through this page and "Part 1"?
  • 4 1
 Steve peats callipers look shinier than standard saint brake. XTR? Or proto Saint?
  • 5 30
flag VPPFREEDOM (Jun 8, 2013 at 23:22) (Below Threshold)
 He has the racist edition for extra power..
  • 4 1
 Looks like XTR breaks to me as they are using a 2 pot caliper instead of the usual 4 pot one found on saints
  • 3 0
 definitely xtr
  • 2 0
 XTR levers too
  • 4 0
 Myriam Nicole and her oversized helmet
  • 2 0
 Reading the captions it's going to be one crowded podium! The bikes all look incredibly dialed!
  • 2 0
 sweet, could roll away with the Evil and GT without people turning their heads with my riding gear on ^^
  • 3 1
 God damn those bikes are unreal
  • 2 4
 Why say that Greg Minaar's frame is more than 300g lighter than the standard version when Santa Cruz have made such a big deal of the syndicate guys running the same frames that we can buy? It's like you haven't read their comments on your own website!
  • 4 0
 "The new production V10 frame weighs just 7.9lb, thanks in large part to a revised front triangle saves 300 grams over the previous version"
That 300g saving is on every 2013 carbon v10.
  • 5 1
 Yeah, "and we suspect that Greg's frame might be even lighter than that impressive figure."

That's the point, why would his be lighter of he's running production?
  • 1 0
 "There were whisperings last year of the Syndicate using some very special ENVE carbon rims and Maxxis tire combinations"
  • 1 0
 Yeah I read that but you referred to the 300 gram saving, which is production. Anyway I don't believe it is, from the horses mouth I heard that they don't customize them like they used to with Alu due to changing the carbon moulds being such a long process. I don't think it is lighter than production.
  • 2 0
 I suspect that I can score Megan fox, but that definitely does not make it true
  • 3 2
 Kintners Aurum is the sickest bike up there... 650b vesions will be so cool.
  • 2 0
 Beaumont for the biggest lid?
  • 1 0
 Im a Gwinner fan as much as the next person but l dont see him cracking the top five. Anywhere between 6 and 10
  • 5 0
 His paint job is super tacky. The Troy Lee sht has got to go.
  • 1 0
 Why does Steve Peat run a different seat angle to the others? [flat vs. pointing up]
  • 1 0
 looks like peaty and minnaar are riding little different head angles Big Grin wtf
  • 1 0
 Steve Peat is old school
  • 3 0
 Everyone calling Peaty old school makes me feel even older. He's two years younger than me Wink
  • 2 0
 oldschool neither means old nor worser than newschool Wink
  • 6 5
 What a view! No not the landscape,The S-Works demo!!!
  • 13 18
flag Spearman (Jun 9, 2013 at 1:43) (Below Threshold)
 Specialized is gay
  • 1 2
 Specialized isnt gay, but the demo didnt do as well as i thought it would
  • 2 1
 where are Stive Smith and a carbon Wilson??
  • 1 0
 Ben Reid and Casey Brown were on the 650b Norcos
  • 1 0
 Does any one know the brand of Aron Gwin's goggles?
  • 1 0
 I believe he's sponsored by Smith Optics
  • 1 0
 That's the only reason he lost. Last year he was on Oakley. It's GOTTA be the goggles
  • 2 0
 nah, he's always been wearing Smith Optics. it MUST be the Troy Lee helmet. lol
  • 2 0
 Evil Undead Thanks
  • 2 0
 Me too, looks magic!
  • 1 0
 "you'd be silly to bet against Gwin repeating that feat"
  • 1 0
 DH gear just looks so cool!
  • 1 0
 I never realized Greg was so freakin tall!
  • 1 0
 It's all about the YETI d:
  • 1 0
 tks pinkbike!!
  • 1 0
 A gdzie Summum?
  • 1 0
 falto brook macdonald

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