On his second year with the Giant Factory Offroad Team, Eliot Jackson has switched to quite a few different products during the off-season. After spending most of his career on Fox and Shimano, moving to Giant last year put him on full SRAM componentry. For 2018 the entire team has switched to Shimano and DVO with the green-edged suspension brand supporting an international race team for the first time.
The only familiarity with last year's bike is the standard Glory Advanced carbon mainframe and alloy swingarm. Eliot says that making the switch back to Shimano was simple as he was familiar with how their work and their performance. The change to DVO has been interesting for his statistical mind, and they have been developing the internals of the fork and shock almost from scratch to build specific racing dampers.
Eliot says the fork is pressured to 72psi with an "interesting tune going on." Currently, he has the high-speed compression fully closed to get some more bottom out resistance so they can run lower pressure. The idea is to get more ramp up from the compression side instead of relying on the air spring. He sets the rebound as fast as possible, trying to find the limit and speed it up a click or two more until he finds it skipping and trying to run off track, then he will wind it back in a little.
The rear shock is tuned to mirror the fork. There is another special tune with more compression, less bladder pressure and the 350lbs spring is lighter than normal.
Tire choice is Maxxis Minion DHF and DHRII with full DH casing – Eliot's go-to setup. He says dry tires just always work well even with moisture on the track, but sometimes changes to the Maxxis Shorty if it gets really wet. There is plenty of traction in Rotorua's hero dirt, so he's running 25/29psi, a little higher than normal for safety.
The Saint groupset is standard all around.
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