Aaron Gwin is riding into the first World Cup of 2019 on a new bike and with a new team (that he owns himself).
In February, Gwin won his first race of the season in Fontana aboard the M29. As a threat at almost any race he shows up to in good health, Gwin has as good of potential to land on the top step Sunday as anyone. After landing second in qualifying today, it's apparent the speed is there.
Aaron will be racing on his Intense M29 FRO this weekend. We caught up with his mechanic, John Hall, to get the low down on his bike set up and the changes that have taken place with the new team for 2019.
Even with the switch over to an entirely new team with a new frame sponsor, according to Hall, Gwin has adapted to the changes very quickly and there haven't been any struggles in getting the set up dialed in. Helping with that, most of the parts sponsors carried over to the new team from last year, making everything feel comfortable from the start.
Is the new team, frame, and a fresh start the winning combination for Gwin? We will see on the clock come Sunday when he crosses the finish line in Maribor. Check out the photos and audio below.
The M29 is quite a bit different than the YT Tues he was on previously, but according to John Hall the M29 was easy to adapt to. Works components headset increases the reach by 6mm.
TRP's DH drivetrain. The gold bits are found on the FRO (For Race Only) bikes from Intense.
The DHR is TRP's new brake. It's TRP's e-bike brake which both Aaron and Neko were really pleased with in testing. Better feel and more power.
Hall drills out the dimples on the TRP brakes for Gwin. It gives a little more grip on the finger with slightly sharper edges, plus it looks good.
Kenda had recently launched the Hellcat when Aaron switched over from Onza. He was happy with the tires after testing them, and there are several new tread patterns in development.
SDG handles the seat and seat post while Aaron runs his signature ODI lock on grip.
John Hall, Aaron's mechanic isn't one for disclosing many numbers on exact settings or ride height. When you're at the top of the game, it makes sense to keep your cards close. Hall's spirit animal is a bear, hence the bear with the wrench on the seat tube. If you see that logo on any bike, it's John's stamp of approval and a guarantee of a dialed ride. When the bear is there, have no cares, as there's nothing you need to worry about, whether it's Gwin's race rig or a buddy's trail bike, it's good to go.
Aaron is on a stock size large frame right now but there is an XL on standby if he feels the need to run it.