After some time off due to a shoulder injury, Aaron Gwin is back racing this weekend in Mont Sainte Anne. During the course of his recovery, he's been dialing in his vision of an ideal race bike, and will be putting some of those theories to test at World Championships. While the rest of the Intense team is on 29" wheels, Gwin has opted for a staggered wheel size - 29" in the front and a 27.5" wheel out back.
Following the Andorra World Cup, Gwin went to the engineering team at Intense with some feedback on how to make his bike a little more lively. He's been riding some staggered wheel trail bikes from Intense, including the Tazer and enjoying them. It only took a month or so before Intense had a new 27.5" rear end and linkage for Gwin's DH bike.
Gwin still isn't feeling 100%. His shoulder isn't quite at full strength but he's beyond happy to be back on the bike and getting back into the groove of things. He says that this weekend's race and the following World Cup finals at Snowshoe will be excellent venues to get a jump start on testing ideas for next season, as both tracks are proper DH courses.
The big differences on the bike? According to Gwin, the suspension has a different leverage ratio and the geometry is different from the stock M29. Other than that, it's more or less business as usual. Gwin runs a size large frame and his suspension settings are pretty middle of the road (as he sees it), but doesn't disclose much information. He does say that he runs about 27psi in his front tire and 31 in the back. If you take a good look at the details of the bike, it's readily apparent that the back end of the bike isn't the only prototype part.
The Works Components angle set looks to increase reach by quite a bit.
Notice the brake calipers? "Prototype AG"
Signature Gwin wheels and e*thirteen cranks.
The machining on that link...