Bike Check: Danny Hart's 29/27.5" Saracen Myst - Maribor World Cup DH 2019

Apr 25, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  


Danny first tried 29 inch wheels while racing for the MS Mondraker team at Fort William for the 2017 British National. He ended up winning the race, finishing 1.6 seconds ahead of Loic Bruni, but it wasn't a set up that suited Danny in the long run and he was off the big wheels by the time Vallnord rolled around, having failed to replicate their success on the World Cup circuit.

For 2019, Danny is able to dip his toes back into big wheeled racers thanks to the UCI rule changes allowing him to fit a 29 inch front wheel and a 27.5 rear. He's not the only rider trying this new combination and we've already seen Mick Hannah's bike taking the same track. Expect to see plenty of experimentation as riders work to find the ideal balance of speed and comfort.

Danny heads into the new season largely unchanged from the setup that saw him finish second in the World Cup overall last year. He has however, had a tinker with his bar set up and now runs them at 760mm, down from 780mm.
Rider Name // Danny Hart
Age: 27
Hometown: Redcar, England
Height: 5ft 9in / 175 cm
Weight: 154 lb / 70kg
Instagram: @dannyhart1

Saracen Myst Details
Frame: Saracen Myst Factory
Shock: Fox DHX2, 375 spring
Fork: Fox 49, 200mm
Wheels: DT Swiss EX471 - 29 front, 27.5 rear
Tires: Maxxis Minion DHR2 2.4", Flat Tyre Defend
Drivetrain: Shimano Saint
Brakes: Shimano Saint
Cockpit: Shimano Pro Stealth
Size: Large
Weight: 33.14lbs / 15.03 kg
More info

bigquotesI felt good on the 29er, but I changed to the 27.5 rear end just to try it, to see what it was like. I just felt a little more comfortable on it - the bike's a little bit more agile, and I can get it in and out of the corners better. I'm not the tallest rider, so it seems to work well.Danny Hart


Mixed wheels ready to roll for Danny.


A custom link helps maintains the bike's original geometry even with two different sized wheels.


bigquotesI dropped my bar width from 780 to 760 – I feel much more comfortable on that. With the width of my shoulders and the reach that I have it seems really good. I just get on the bike and it feels natural, where before maybe it was a little big.Danny Hart

The rear wheel is smaller, but the chainstays are still set in the longer setting
Along with going to narrower bars, Danny has raised the front end slightly, and the setting he previously used for steep tracks is now his default setting.

There's rain in the forecast for Sunday, but we've seen what Danny can do when track conditions take a turn for the worse. When asked if he'd like to race in the rain he said, "I'd rather not, but I'll probably be the least nervous out of everyone if it is, so, we'll see."








90 Comments

  • + 149
 Insta Facebook reposters rejoice! The bike checks are coming!

Would you ride this bike? Do you know someone who would? Tag a friend to win a story shout out
#bikeporn
insert 20 hashtags>
Source @pikebike

Follow us on instagram @dhlifeFTW we are social media whores stealing content, with zero own content, in order to get few pieces of swag for free
  • + 34
 don't drink and write!
  • + 50
 Infinite love for this comment, I hate those accounts with a passion.
  • + 30
 You've got social media pretty much sussed out. We like your content and would like to collaborate.
  • + 1
 nailed it
  • + 0
 Yeah, this is much worse than the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
  • + 4
 BS. Those trash accounts don't try to cite their sources.

Source: tag owner
  • + 1
 Almost as good as today's Freddie Mercury meme.
  • + 1
 absolute truth
  • + 1
 His DH bike is lighter than your 130mm trail bike with 5 water bottles.
  • + 2
 @dobermon: Dannys bike is still 2kg heavier than a DH bike of a dentist.
  • + 1
 You're so right @WAKIdesigns ... Those idiots are the bane of Facebook groups.
  • + 4
 @BirdBikes: It's even worse on insta
  • + 1
 What's this..."facebook"?...."insta" huh??
  • + 48
 Who else read Danny's quotes in his voice?
  • + 23
 Who doesn't?!
  • + 1
 Doood. I still pronounce all the racers names in my head in....Rob Warner voice. It's freakin hilarious!
  • + 1
 It's funny, I probably do this with DH racers more than any other figures. Other prime examples: Tracey Hannah, Ratboy.
  • + 22
 for some reason I am picturing Danny with a mullet in my mind... and he is rocking it.
  • + 18
 You desire him.
  • + 18
 We have to stop calling them 27.5/29 DH bikes..... we need something easy.... like wheelslut, but less vulgar
  • + 4
 6(50b)'9ers.
  • + 16
 97.5 sounds like a radio station that plays all the classic rock hits you never want to hear again.
  • + 6
 @Ron-C: "I got my first real six-string..."
  • + 5
 Mullet bikes
  • + 0
 79.5er
  • + 1
 Rimjobbers?
  • + 1
 @Ron-C:
Amazing that you say that. In London, Ontario where I'm originally from we had "Q97.5" and it was all easy rock and contemporary stuff haha
  • + 16
 25mm inner width rims front and rear with Maxxis "Wide Trail, only-30mm-and wider-rims-possible"-tires. Nice:-)
  • - 2
 They make both a 2.40 and 2.40wt for those tires.
  • + 1
 @Austink: The tubelessready DH tires are all Wide Trail
  • + 9
 For the rest of the world : 33.14lbs means 15.03kgs

you're welcome Smile
  • + 17
 How are DH bikes getting so god damn light? That's pretty damn similar to my 30.5lb trail bike. Or maybe the question is why is a short travel, 27.5 trail bike so heavy?
  • + 7
 @rezrov: Well his bike has DT 240s hubs front and rear (strong and light but not cheap oi ^^), carbon made front and rear triangle, frame is probably an L at best, carbon bars and seatpost, note sure but spokes (or at least some of them) appear to look like DT Aerolite or Sapim CX-Ray, probably some lightweight tru-axle with no quick release.

A bit of this, a bit of that and bob's your uncle!
  • + 5
 15kg with 200m coil suspension and downhill tyres. Crazy times.
  • + 1
 @Euskafreez: I just would've thought DH spacing, rims, inserts, casings, fork, and burliness would make more of a difference.
  • + 3
 @rezrov: Nah those EX471 are not that heavy and they only have to last a one way trip lmao. But those 240s hubs are really saving weight without any compromise. I guess if they have the partners with the right products (such as DT) they could manage to save weight without too much of a compromise.

Plus we have to keep in mind that Danny is not the heaviest lad on the circus. So maybe he doesn't need the strongest bike.

And we can only speculate about what we can't see. By using a Formula 1 type of paint, between 150 and 200g could be saved, full titanium and aluminium bolts and screws. I don't know if you're old enough, but Nicolas Vouilloz was a master at making his bike lighter. If money ain't a problem, many things could be done to make it lighter Smile .
  • + 3
 @Euskafreez: let's hope they don't implement the halo on dh bikes.
  • + 1
 @Euskafreez: That can't be, Robert is my uncle
  • + 1
 @Ron-C: underrated comment!!!
  • + 8
 No dropper post.
No pie plate sized cassette.
Decent weight savings there.

But let's see a scale shot to 100% trust the 15.03kgs claim.
  • + 1
 For me that is too light for a DH bike. I TR11 at 33 lbs and it was getting bounced all over town. Then I rode a GT fury at 37 lbs and it felt quite planted. Now, before you flame me into oblivion....I'm well aware that suspension kinematics and suspension setup, tire pressure etc could and probably did play a major role. However, the heavier bike simply felt more planted. For these guys weight is probably a big concern. For me...nah.
  • + 0
 @shirk-007: are you sure you can fit a bottle cage in there?
  • + 0
 @rezrov: No kidding, it's very close to my 34 lbs trail bike... wait a minute...
  • + 6
 I get the bar change. I have never liked wider than 760mm
  • + 3
 I hate this conversation - "wider is better". If I'm 5',800mm bars are going to be a bad time. I'm 5'9" and when I put myself into a push-up position where I feel I can generate the most amount of power, I'm around 765mm. I feel like there is a +/- window within that based on preferences. Then there's the angles on wrists too. I found 800mm bars killed my wrists. One size does not fit all.
  • + 1
 @spinko: I get that brands sell only the widest bars. It can be incredibly hard for customers to make them longer if they wanted to. This is why they make them longer than most people need them to be. They very often do come with cut marks to help them cut down to their preferred width. If yours didn't come with such marks I fully understand your frustration. Easiest in such case would be to go from the full width and go back from there. So if your bars came at 800mm, you'll need to remove 800-765=35. That's 17.5mm both ends. Because of up- and backsweep, divide 17.5mm by cos(upsweep)*cos(backsweep) and you know how much to cut from each end. As you're from Canada, you're just lucky that you don't have to convert it to inches before you can actually measure it. Your American neighbours usually don't cut them because of this, too much hassle. Usually the excess lenght wears off over time anyway, depending on where, how often and how hard you crash.

But my advice now is to double check if your bars may have some cut marks you just haven't noticed. It could save you some hassle.
  • + 1
 Yeah at 6'0 with a pretty wide wingspan the 800mm bars were a huge help for stability and power for me personally- but the idea that wide works for all bodies is ridiculous. Again though, as has been said, aside from some riding the bandwagon and getting saddled with bars that suck for them this isn't an issue as bars can be cut. Way easier to cut a long bar than supplement a short one.
  • + 4
 Can't believe WC vet Danny Hart didn't know his best bar width. Is that not strange?
  • + 2
 @vinay: I have no problem with mfg's providing wide bars for people to cut back, in fact that's awesome. My point was more of the trends of people just saying that wider is better without talking about any other factors.
  • + 1
 @spinko: I think the trend for wider bars was until five years ago or so. There have been a good couple articles on how wide bars really should be (the one from Lee McCormack was one of the more recent) and with bike checks in the past couple of years riders were typically running something between 760 and 800mm wide, rarely over 800mm. I'm about 6ft tall and for the past ten years or so I've been running them at 780mm. That was stock width for these bars back then, but for me it felt spot on. But where I'm from (the Netherlands) I'm very often one of the shorter guys in a group of men. And I feel the current young adults are even taller. So yeah I get that they would run them wider, for those who ride mountainbikes.
  • + 2
 @vinay: yeah man. 780 @ 6' makes sense to me (ignoring shoulder width). Rock on dude!
  • - 1
 @spinko: Yeah, sorry for having a little fun trying to make a fool out of you Wink . Only thing I meant to say is that even tough bars are sold wide, no one is even implying they should be used at stock width and the trend for wider definitely seems to be over for at least a good few years. Look at bars like you look at a aftermarket bicycle chain or shifter cable.
  • + 2
 @vinay: I am the same height as you and I've tried pretty much everything between 710 and 800. My sweet spot is 770 not including grips for DH but last year I did a couple of enduro races in this tight woodland. I cut them down to 760 including grips. It felt weird and never really got any better, but did give me a lot more confidence to hit those tree gaps faster. Amazing how cutting 8-9mm off each end can make such a difference to control, feel and power output.
  • + 6
 15.03kgs which means about 71 big macs for us Americans out there.
  • + 3
 Did my math wrong. It's actually about 69 (nice) Big Macs
  • + 1
 @shirk-007: or 1.3 heart disease
  • + 1
 29/275, or how about 297, may end up being where its at for DH. My rear 275 DH wheel takes a lot of beating and keeping it true is work, and a bigger hoop is more likely to get wobbly. Also, I run a FTD insert out back to save my rim. A full 29" DH casing tire plus insert, with a beefy 29 rim, gets real porky. Up front you can get away with a less burly rim and no insert so 29 there is nicer. Also, the roll over of a bigger hoop is more noticeable up front. Maybe pros who get a new rear wheel every race 29 on both ends works. For me who buys and trues my wheels, not so much.
  • + 2
 Did I miss something or this not mentioned... Is this a 29" frame with a 27.5" rear linkage or a 27.5" frame with a 29" front wheel and fork?
  • + 2
 Second to last pic says the chainstays are still in the longer position even though the rear wheel is smaller, so I assume it's a 29 frame with the 27.5 wheel (and custom linkage to keep the geo the same) and he's leaving the rear axle further back to keep the wheelbase long.
  • + 2
 Wait! If different wheel sizes are now allowed, there is no better time to test this:

www.pinkbike.com/photo/16621854
  • + 2
 29 at the front and 27,5 rear? Oh, I remember old, good specialized big hit Big Grin 26F and 24R Big Grin
  • + 3
 Just saw one on monday. It looked special to me Smile
  • + 1
 I only saw one of those once and we referred to it as the stupid bastard. The rider got a rear flat and argued with us that a 26 tube wouldn't work. Dude ended up pushing that bike 2 miles because he wouldn't let us fit it for him.
  • + 2
 15.03 kg, holy crap that is impressive.
  • + 1
 I ran one of old bikes this way a few years ago, I'd tell people it was my 27.9
  • + 2
 I can`t get past that his valve stems are not symetrical with the rim
  • + 2
 That is deeply upsetting.
  • + 3
 Pardon?
  • + 2
 Wheel balance?
  • + 1
 The decals on those rims goofy - offset 90 deg from one side to the next. I was so confused the first time I built some...eventually I realized.
  • + 2
 Common sense on bar width and rider sizing
  • + 2
 My God, what's that headtube angle, 45?
  • + 1
 From the article: "A custom link helps maintains the bike's original geometry even with two different sized wheels."
  • + 1
 Been running 760mmm for years , welcome to the sensible club Danny , ha ha
  • + 2
 #ALLTHEFENDER
  • + 0
 Did the mudguard come from Halfords??? It looks ????
  • + 1
 Such a nice bike Drool
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