Martin Maes has had one hell of a season so far. He became a father right at the start of the EWS season and returned to racing for EWS round three, where he was sitting in third until a crash in the final stage took him out of round four due to concussion symptoms. Now, he's back to racing on a new bike for the Maribor World Cup, where he's sitting 37th in the UCI Elite DH rankings, thanks to a 9th place result at the first Maribor World Cup last year and two 13th place finishes at the back-to-back Lousa events.
Martin's new bike is a Force that's tweaked to a downhill setup, which suits him, his coach Steve Spencer said, because he prefers a bit shorter travel than most on both his downhill and enduro bikes. While the Force comes stock with a 170mm fork for enduro mode, Martin prefers to run it at 160mm to keep the bike nimble. "He can choose very good lines," Spencer said. Similarly, instead of a 200mm fork, he's running 190mm up front to prioritize maneuverability over a monster truck feel.
Martin likes to keep his setup relatively consistent and runs the same brakes whether he's racing enduro or downhill, but he did switch to 200mm rotors front and rear for this race rather than his usual 180mm.
It's powered by a Saint 7-speed setup, with the recent addition of an idler wheel of course.
By running shorter travel front and rear than most riders on the World Cup track, Martin can play to his strengths with an ultra-maneuverable bike.
A RaceFace stem and seatpost round out the build along with a Fabric saddle.