Bike Check: Nina Hoffmann's Santa Cruz V10 - iXS Cup Test Session

Jul 7, 2020
by Ralf Hauser  

After her successful 2019 campaign as a privateer that saw her finish fourth in the overall World Cup ranking while even being injured during the final stages of the season, everyone was expecting Nina Hoffmann to join a factory team for 2020.

Instead, she chose to tackle the racing season with her own UCI team, allowing her some more flexibility in her choice of sponsors and independence in general. Stif, the UK distributor for Santa Cruz bicycles is acting as her main sponsor, adding Reserve wheels to her Santa Cruz and Juliana frame deal.

Nina is also involved in prototype testing at Levelnine. With her current setup, she’s in detail giving feedback on the differences between the new 35mm clamp and her regular 31.8mm setup. Interestingly, to her, the wider clamp offers minimally better damping.
Photo Leopold Hermann
Nina Hoffmann // Nina Hoffmann Racing - Stif
Age: 23
Hometown: Jena, Germany
Height: 172 cm/5'8"
Weight: 68kg/149lbs.
Instagram: @nina.hfm96

Having worked on a base setup with Fox in Lousa, Hoffmann added another five percent of air pressure to her fork and stepped up to a stiffer spring in the rear after some additional testing. The added support helped her to feel more secure on the bike. Also, she’s running a quicker rebound setting compared to last season, allowing her to ride the bike more actively.

Photo Leopold Hermann
Santa Cruz V10 Details
Frame: Santa Cruz V10, L
Shock: Fox DHX2 Factory RAD, 475lbs. spring
Fork: Fox Float 49 Factory RAD, 82psi, 3 volume spacers
Wheels: Reserve DH 29”
Tires: Schwalbe Magic Mary, Ultra Soft, Super Gravity casing, 29x2.35” front (23 psi), Schwalbe Prototype rear (25psi)
Drivetrain: Sram X01 DH 7 Speed
Cranks: Race Face SixC, 165mm, 36t chainring
Brakes: Trickstuff Maxima, 200mm discs
Handlebar: Levelnine Carbon Prototype, 770mm
Stem: Levelnine Prototype, 49mm
Seatpost: Levelnine Race
Saddle: SQlab 6OX
More info:

bigquotesLast year I was running a size medium frame with longer reach adjust, this year a size large with a shorter reach adjust. It always used to feel a bit short so now it’s the perfect fit for me.Nina Hoffmann

Photo Leopold Hermann
Five percent more air pressure for this season in the Fox 49 RAD fork with three tokens, sitting at 82psi now.

Photo Leopold Hermann
Stiffer 475 spring and a quicker rebound setting for this year’s setup.

Photo Leopold Hermann
Nina got the custom Trickstuff Maxima at Worlds last year but wasn’t able to ride them since she had to cut her season short due to a shoulder injury.

Photo Leopold Hermann
The Levelnine bar and stem that she’s riding are still in their late prototype stage. New is the 35mm clamp size.
Photo Leopold Hermann
Nina is using the 49mm long setting but she could also bring it down to 46mm. Preferring a low cockpit, the new stem is not exactly to her liking but at steeper tracks like Schladming, it’s not a bad choice.

Photo Leopold Hermann
Prototype Schwalbe tire with an Ultra Soft compound on the rear. Usually, she’s running the Super Gravity casing in the front and Downhill casing in the rear, but this prototype came in the Super Gravity version for testing.

Photo Leopold Hermann
Photo Leopold Hermann
Nina is running a size large frame with a Reverse Reachset, shortening the reach by 6mm.

Photo Leopold Hermann
Nina’s base setup is running the geometry adjust on the low setting in combination with a shorter chainstay length.
Photo Leopold Hermann
On tracks like Fort Williams or Mont-Sainte-Anne she thinks the longer chainstay will be the better option, although then she’s going to lift the bottom bracket with the flip chip, also turning the head angle slightly steeper to get it around corners better.

Photo Leopold Hermann
Choice of wheels: Reserve’s DH with 31mm internal carbon rim laced to Chris King hubs.
Photo Leopold Hermann

Regions in Article
Bikepark Schladming

Author Info:
ralf-hauser avatar

Member since May 10, 2010
65 articles

  • 45 0
 Stoked to follow the rapid progression of such a charismatic athlete. You made me watch Downhill. Go Nina! :-)
  • 33 0
 I wouldn’t mind me a set of Trickstuff brakes. Not. At. All.

Also congrats on the success!
  • 6 0
 I passed on a set of DRT’s and really regret it
  • 18 4
 So why is she not on the syndicate again?
  • 11 2
 If it ain't broke...
  • 6 2
 Because her results from previous season are erratic at best.
I love her personality and found a new appreciation for her after hearing her podcast, but the results are not there just yet. Emphasizing on the "yet"
  • 8 14
flag Xayok (Jul 7, 2020 at 3:08) (Below Threshold)
 She's never "been" on the syndicate. If you read above, she'd been a privateer before, Syndicate supported her a little bit, but she hadn't had a contract.
  • 2 1
 @NinetySixBikes: on the other hand you could at least partially attribute the inconsistency to her being a privateer last season. The good ones prove that the speed is there and maybe with the right support she'll be able to dig deep into that speed more often than not. But I don't even race so I'm just speculating.
  • 9 1
 @bananowy: There's bound to be some disadvantage in not being a full time racer compared to the other racers. But let's not forget that she's a late bloomer in the sport, she wasn't spoon-fed at the age of 4 like some of her competitors. Makes me like her even more.
  • 5 0
 @NinetySixBikes: True that. Seems like she's more 'self-made' than most in several ways. Impressive and def not easy.
  • 7 0
 There was an interview I think here on pb as well as the downtime podcast and she said she "had offers" but decided to run her own program so she can do what she wants
  • 6 0
 Santa Cruz own Jungle which in turn own Stif
  • 1 9
flag EliasBluhm (Jul 7, 2020 at 22:00) (Below Threshold)
 It’s because of the costs to bring a women into the team like different rooms toilets And so on
  • 6 0
 Any bets this is the new and improved Schwalbe Big Betty Tire! I used to love that tire in 2010 Smile
  • 4 0
 Yeah, that's it. Have a look at the spec of some new Commencals.
  • 8 1
 Look like a Schwalbe DHR2
  • 4 0
 @Mattysville: *sigh*, there's another post above about this Wink

On another note, on those 2021 Commencals there are a couple other new Schwalbe bits. Nobby Nic finally gets a soft compound version and less flimsy casing. There's a new 'supertrail' casing that's probably between snakeskin and SG, something like EXO+ at Maxxis.
  • 2 1
 @bananowy: I've been running a Mary up front and Hans Dampf in the back on my trail bike all spring and its a great combo. My new Norco Aurum HSP came with Assegai's and i'm not impressed... Luckily the team I ride for has a deal with Schwalbe so i'm going with the Mary/Hans combo on that too until it starts getting wet in the fall then I'll probably go Mary/Mary.
  • 1 0
 @Mattysville: Agreed, Mary up front is the tits for most types of bike, game changer. I just put a HD SG on the back and very happy so far. It's my first HD II and a completely different story to the old one that was a bit of a flop. I had a Nobby Nic on the back but got tired (hehe) of flats and didn't love the harder compound. The new supertrail soft version should be great for trailbikes because the NN tread is good, only was let down by the lack of more aggressive options.

That Betty though. The perfect rear for MM front on softer trails? Should clear better than HD with fewer knobs and the cornering feel will be closer with that side tread.
  • 1 0
 @Mattysville: Hans D isn't much help when the going gets rough. Tried a Mary/Hans on the enduro bike and quickly went back to M/M. Then to M Wild Enduro Gum-X which were very difficult to wear out. Next will be M22s. Back to Michelins after many years away in Maxxis and Schwalbeland
  • 6 0
 interesting she aint using 27 rear tyre, given much taller syndicate male riders are!
  • 2 0 seems to do custom machining and painting, wonder if we will see some custom links and paint jobs on Nina's bike this year?
  • 1 1
 Not sure what's the late prototype stage on the stem and bar considering that's the exact adjustable 35mm stem already used on the Pivot Phoenix 29 for the last year or so. Either way, I like that you can access and adjust the forward mounting bolts through the stem without removing the bar like some other adjustable reach stems out there.
  • 3 0
 Wider clamp or larger diameter?
  • 2 0
 Are referring to the "... wider clamp offering minimally better damping"? If so, I agree it doesn't make sense.
  • 3 0
 Tell me more about these “Reverse” wheels....
  • 2 1
 i n t e r e s t i n g SCHWALBE tire..
  • 5 1
 New big betty (=dhr II)!
  • 4 1
 The rear Schwalbe looks like a DHR2......
  • 9 2
 It's the new Big Betty (as seen on new Commencal bikes) and I'm not sure where the hell the guys above me see a DHR lookalike there. It's very clearly Hans Dampf centre tread without the transition knobs, plus a Mary-esque (though smaller) side tread, sort of like on the Rock Razor. But yeah every tyre "lOoKs LiKe a MaXxIs" is the new "looks like a session" I guess...
  • 5 0
 @bananowy: looks like a Der Kaiser
  • 2 0
 @bananowy: I saw the DHR II at first too but now that you mention it, and I took a second look, you are right!
  • 1 0
 @Trudeez: Haha yeah indeed, and any other mtb tyre that doesn't have weirdly angled knobs Wink

Though I just looked at the Kaiser and it is closer to that than the DHR actually. Except for Schwalbe's angled, more rectangular side knobs and differently alternating centre (narrow-wide-narrow vs narrow-wide-wide-narrow).
  • 3 1
 @bananowy: Well said.... considering that a couple of pretty famous Maxxis tyres look like former Michelin tyres.
  • 1 1
 Wait what?!?! Finally the magic mary ultra soft is finally available in Super Gravity? Since when?
  • 2 0
 It's aleays being available. I've being using it since the addix conpounds were released a few years ago
  • 1 0
 @ORTOGONAL555: really I could only get dh casting 29 in ultra soft here, but bow they are available, time to order a set
  • 1 0
 That is one very large bike and one very small helmet
  • 1 0
 Is the seat collar sit normal ?
  • 4 3
 Oof, 5'8" on a Large
  • 1 1
 Depends on body proportions and fit?
  • 3 0
 Not that it matters but I ride a size bigger than I am "supposed to" and I much prefer the more spacious feel.
  • 4 0
 I was wondering the same. What am I supposed to ride with a 6´3 frame, then? Some seem to be rather a passenger than rider on their rig but that's probably just the impression of dimensions. Nice sled, though!
  • 2 0
 @DocT: Lots of pros ride at least a size up from what would be considered the "correct" size for their height. At the speeds they are going, it probably helps quite a bit to have a longer bike if you can manage it.
  • 4 0
 @NickBosshard: lots also downsize. see wyn masters, richey rude..
  • 4 0
 You don’t believe her when she said the medium she was on last year felt too small?
  • 1 0
 @bikefuturist: Hill on a Medium...
  • 1 0
 She’s on a large, but runs the chainstays in the short and low position as well as the “reverse reachset” headset which reduces the reach by 6mm. So it’s probably between a medium and large with this setup? Still seems big though.
  • 1 1
 I want to see her on the syndicate
  • 1 0
 those hubs are sweet
  • 1 0
 That bike made me Stif.
  • 1 0
 that is sick

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