Bike Check: Loris Vergier's Trek Session - Snowshoe World Cup DH 2021

Sep 14, 2021
by Matt Beer  


Fresh off of a win at the Lenzerheide World Cup in Switzerland, Loris Vergier let us get close to his Trek Session for a better look. His mechanic Pierre-Alexandre, better known as PA, was kind enough to give us a few details, but kept some numbers guarded closely.

Like many top level downhill teams, Vergier and PA change the bike setup quite often, determined by the track's grade, length, and speed. In the early off-season they started testing with the previous generation Session before the new version was available.

Loris' senses are highly in tune to his bike's control and feedback. There are a dozen wheelset combinations ready to go between dual 29" and MX setups, each using different spoke gauges and tensions. Shocks are plentiful too, with a handful of different tunes on deck, plus two different frame sizes; R2 and R3 featuring reach adjusting headsets.

Loris Vergier // Trek Factory Racing
Age: 25
Hometown: Cagnes-sur-Mer, France
Height: 178 cm / 5'10"
Weight: 73 kg / 160 lb
Instagram: @lorisvergier


Trek Session Details

Frame: Trek Session AL, 200 mm
Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Blackbox
Fork: RockShox Boxxer Blackbox, 200 mm
Wheels: 29" F / 27.5" R
Drivetrain: SRAM XO1 DH
Brakes: SRAM Code RSC
Cockpit: Title MTB AH1 31.8 mm bar, 780 mm x 25 mm
Size: R2 or R3 (reach adjust headset used, setup varies)

More info: trekbikes.com

bigquotesEveryone rides differently. At the end of the day, all of those guys are fast and can win any races. I don't think there are any magic numbers.PA

The difference between the R2 and R3 frame sizes can be just 5 mm with the offset cups. The progression chip is set to 25% for more technical tracks and 20% for faster, smoother tracks.

Loris positions his hands to comfortably deal with an old wrist injury, causing the levers sit at unequal angles and distances from the bar.


The idler has thirteen teeth, but a larger one can be used to make the suspension more supple. He sticks with a 34-tooth chainring for more ground clearance, even with the smaller rear wheel.

220 mm rotors and tire inserts at both ends of the mixed-size alloy wheelset

A steep saddle angle provides more clearance on the larger R3 size frame.

Mechanics never stop tinkering; speed holes, chain damping, and housing management.




73 Comments

  • 38 0
 Looks like blackened Maxxis gums once again.
  • 22 1
 BlackBox tires
  • 4 0
 Should he not be on Bontrager tyres?
  • 27 0
 @CustardCountry: Many riders specifically get that part taken out of their contracts because they want to ride the rubber they prefer. Yes, he should be on Bontrager/Trek everything based on his team, but he does not like Bontrager tires so being who he is, he was definitely able to tell Trek that if they want him, he needs to be allowed to run the tires of his choice. You see others like Finn and Loic do it even though they are on specialized.
  • 3 1
 I wonder if some of his early races were on Bontrager tires (when he was getting lots of flats). Some of the early promo pics of his bike had Bontragers on.
  • 8 0
 @jeremy3220: for promo pics they'll put the "team" tires on but during races use the blacked out preferred tires.
  • 1 0
 @DylanH93: right, I'm asking if anyone can confirm he's been running Maxxis the entire season
  • 1 0
 @ceecee: He changed tires since then. He's definitely running Maxxis Minion, cant tell if DHR or DHF
  • 3 2
 The French should ride Michelin
  • 3 0
 @ceecee: vital doesn't quite have all the details correct. The bike on the left with red is Loris' and is Maxxis. The bike on the right with blue is Reece's and its Michelin. If you look at the closeups of Reece blowing his tire off on the last turn at worlds you can see that it is in fact a michelin. Meanwhile, closeups of Loris' bike show Maxxis. Strangely, for promo and on the course preview, Reece always has Bonty on his bike but Loris doesn't seem to need to bother with playing a shell game. I could definitely see Loris' contract having a *don't ask don't tell* clause regarding tires.
  • 1 0
 @Trudeez: if I could tell the diff between Sven Martin and Boris Beyer, I'd blame them...both Vergier and Wilson are on blue logos at Worlds. But if I put my glasses on, I can see DHF and RII on blue logo bike in Vital hyperlink. Plus, LV has Assegai/RII on an older bike check. So Danston is probably correct.

Got it, @jeremy3220? Minions are like opinions are like...Assegais
  • 2 0
 @ceecee: bike on the left in the vital link is Assegai front DHR2 rear. Vergier had been running dual DHR2s pretty much all season. Reece Wilson has been mixing it up sometimes using Michelin DH22 sometimes on Magic Marys
  • 2 0
 @jeremy3220: Good journalism tells us which tires he does drive on
  • 1 0
 @melonhead1145: and now Reece wins his first WC on the Bontragers haha.
  • 1 0
 @Trudeez: Go Bont!
  • 16 0
 Seems odd to have an O-Chain on a bike that should have little to no pedal kickback with the idler.
  • 3 1
 It's not the highest of idler placements so I think there is still a bit of kickback, although certainly dampened a bit.
  • 1 0
 A high pivot bike can still have a fair bit of pedal kick if the idler is slightly below the pivot (which in this case is also the IC) Idler cog size can change it as well by placing the chain higher or lower. Larger cog tends to have less pedal kick. The next variable is where in the cassette you are.
I’d be curious to jump on linkage design and see if anyone has transposed the new session into it yet to check kinematics.
  • 1 1
 *sorry, forgot with abp/split pivot, instant center is moved forward.
  • 8 2
 #emperorsnewclothes
  • 2 0
 This dude has different wheels with different spoke tensions. I am sure he is doing absolutely everything possible to make the bike work as best as it can. Minimizing or removing even the smallest amount of pedal kickback can be huge for him.
  • 1 0
 As stated, if the idler is not concentric to the main pivot, or really close to the IC most of the times, you'll have pedal kickback. Although, there is debate over the usefulness of the thing regarding pedal kickback. But looks like it can reduce the feeling of the chain thugging on the pedals due to it bouncing around. Also, it can give tew sensation of having a bit of free float on the pedals, which can help to smooth thing a bit.
  • 1 0
 @ORTOGONAL555: mainly getting the chain itself inline with the pivot center and not necessarily the center of the idler cog. If the center of the idler cog rotates on the center of a high single pivot, you’ll have negative kick, but less than ideal anti-squat. So there’s a lot of balance in idler position to anti squat and pedal kick. Which rereading the article, I see the comment of 13t vs 14t. 14t bumps the chain up a bit, resulting in less pedal kick, but also less anti squat.
Your comment reminded me of this vid from Steve though. In this case, he is probably isolating the bouncing and inertia of the chain, which is what a lot of people feel in there feet.

youtu.be/grNUgu0H9YA
  • 1 0
 Yes you are right, I oversimplified. I remember that video well, Steve is the man.
  • 3 0
 @watchmen: pretty much every time something new comes along in mtb tech -the first reaction is that we dont need it and that it does nothing- I remember buying a suspension fork in 1996 and discbrakes a few years later, a lot of people explained to me (with "scientific evidence") that these were just heavy gimicks that will never catch on. Later i bought a 29er, tire inserts and (co)designed a mulletbike in 2014. Every time the same rant ("waggonwheels, poolnoodles, mixed wheels are just wrong"). While not every product is for everyone, all of them offer a good benefit for some (or many) people.

Back to O-chain: in lowspeed scenarios kickback does happen on a lot of bikes, especially if you ride a relatively high pivot bike (without idler). Also when you lock out your rearwheel, there is no way the freewheel will cancel out kickback. ("Then dont lock your rearwheel noob - its bad technique anyway") Locking out the rearwheel -for a short moment- occures all the time while riding. Chainslapp overrides the freewheel a lot of the times (drop your bike and look at the cassette). Having seen vids of the drivetrain in rough terrain with and without o -chain, the drivetrain looks much more contolled with o-chain installed -how much this does to your suspension is hard to quantifie though, especially as i have not riddden a bike with o-chain installed.

Long story short:

- it clearly does not do nothing.
- be open for new stuff or chances are big you will be laughed at in a couple of years.
  • 14 0
 Switches everything but his tires. Feels like a good ad for maxxis tires.
  • 9 0
 imagine having a dozen wheelsets on standby
  • 50 0
 Imagine being able to tell the differences between them all
  • 10 0
 @Assclapp: Me, loudly at the trailhead.. “YAH SO, I’m running my medium spoke-tension rear wheel, cut spike front tyre with the soft compound, side entry bottle cage and only one kneepad… defo on for a PB this run!!”
  • 5 0
 "Loris' senses are highly in tune to his bike's control and feedback. There are a dozen wheelset combinations ready to go between dual 29" and MX setups, each using different spoke gauges and tensions. Shocks are plentiful too, with a handful of different tunes on deck, plus two different frame sizes; R2 and R3 featuring reach adjusting headsets."

Good Grief no wander Jordie wanted to ring his neck ! LOL

Ridiculous,most other riders from abroad are not nearly equipped as this guy is with a warehouse of parts at his disposal!!
  • 3 0
 Some of these elite DH guys go through a wheel-set a race. Loris isn't any diff from the rest. He's over the top on shock tunes, no denying that.
  • 1 0
 @dresendsit: no duh a wheelset a race is common, although it doesn't look like you read it clearly. He had a dozen combinations of wheelsets; not a couple spares!
  • 1 1
 @likeittacky: I read it perfectly clearly. Maybe I need to be more clear, If you think those other elite guys don't have tons of wheel-set variations for different tracks then you're wrong.
  • 18 9
 Looks like a session
  • 1 0
 You were faster!
  • 2 0
 No, like this, LOOKS LIKE A SESSION!!!
  • 2 0
 Seshes like a looker
  • 6 0
 I see that uneven lever setup becoming a trend.
  • 1 0
 Some of us have been doing that for years. I would put and hand on the bar and say that where I ant that one then do the same for the other side. Mine were never level, same distance from end of the bars.
  • 1 0
 My front lever bites much closer to the bar than the rear, result of braking the McNugget shaped bone in the base of my thumb a few years back. It isn't a trend so much as just some people are actually able to set their bars up for maximum comfort.
  • 1 1
 I sometimes run my front lever flatter to help keep my weight back on steep descents. Will adjust to be less flat when riding mellower areas.
  • 1 0
 Mine are different distances from the grip due to a hand and wrist injury, my left hand is a bit wonky.
  • 6 0
 I miss the puzzling
  • 2 0
 " I need it to be less zigazigaziga, and more zwhoosh zhoosh zhoosh, Can you change it?"
  • 3 0
 "25% for more technical tracks and 20% for faster, smoother tracks"

Isn't it the other way around?
  • 3 0
 Wilson said in a bike check that the progressive setting is actually a bit softer off the top, rather than being just harder to bottom out, so it makes sense.
  • 2 0
 Thought that too
  • 2 0
 I sometimes ride with my bars 'on the piss' and don't notice it! Guess I'm not sensitive enough!
  • 2 0
 Dig the friction grip tape on the crank arm for side of the foot grip....details!
  • 1 0
 I thank all SRAM carbon dh cranks come with it now. And, it's more for protecting the cranks from shoe rub than it is a traction thing.
  • 1 0
 @Trudeez: I guess it helps more for Grip, same as you can see a lot of DJ or BMX Guys putting it on there Cranks to make.it easyer to catch the Bike after a Tailwhip for example. For Protection I would rather go for something like a RideWrap or InivisFrame but for Cranks
  • 3 2
 I wish Loris all the luck in the world, but I really wish he was back on Fox suspension.. Loris BRAAAAP TAHTAHTAH plus Jordi is just gold and I miss it.
  • 1 0
 Glad to see he's using tyre inserts now. Heard a podcast the other day where he said he wasn't, so it must be a very recent decision. To finish first, first you must finish.
  • 1 0
 Is it me or is that a painted alloy bike airbrushed to look like a raw alloy bike?
  • 1 0
 It's painted white with black faded bits
  • 2 0
 What a beauty
  • 1 0
 Those are speed holes. They make the bike go faster.
  • 1 0
 Pinkbike, tell is more about the Charger3
  • 1 1
 Title handlebar?
Did I miss a new brand?
  • 2 0
 Yes Brett Rheeder's component brand Title
  • 1 0
 @rjmogul: I wonder what's up with the stem cuz earlier Loris was running a tharsis35 and now a hope.
  • 2 1
 Kenda Tyres.
  • 1 0
 Try again.
  • 2 0
 Panacer
  • 1 0
 Looks like a session
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