Pinkbike's EWS Pro Rides - We Ride Nico Vouilloz's Lapierre Spicy

Apr 27, 2015
by Paul Aston  
EWS PRO Rides


This is the first instalment in a series of articles where we go in-depth into the what, how and why of the bike setup and preparation of some of the top riders competing in the Enduro World Series. And, not wanting to save the best for last, we head to the Southern Hemisphere and the jungles of New Zealand to catch up with a legend who's perhaps the undisputed king of trying, testing and rehearsal, Nicolas Vouilloz.

Nico's factory Lapierre Spicy has been modified in a number of ways and he runs suspension items that ordinary riders can't have. So, to form a basis for comparison, I borrowed a stock 150mm-travel Spicy from Lapierre's New Zealand distributor, Bikes International, and then raced the EWS on it to establish a base line from which to evaluate Nico's race bike, and also to help understand his reasoning in regards to his personal setup. Without further ado, let's take a look at a very special bike:



Men with bikes.


Nico's Standard Setup

Nico had worked his usual magic on his Lapierre Spicy race bike after a full winter of testing in Southern France, and there were a handful of critical details worth pointing out, mostly revolving around weight-saving and suspension performance. His wheel and tire choices are easiest to spot, with a SRAM Rise carbon front wheel teamed up with an aluminum Roam rear wheel, and a very special set of prototype Michelin tires installed onto both. And while the 2015 Spicy now comes with an alloy seat stay, Nico was using an carbon version taken from last years bike. The bike's cables are routed externally to make the mechanic's life easier, and axles from Novyparts replace the stock Maxles front and rear to help save some weight. And speaking of weight, a smaller E:i battery and full compliment of titanium bolts helps to get the bike down to a very respectable 27lb in race trim.

At 5'10", Nico rides a large-sized Spicy, which gives him the top tube length to feel good using a short, 40mm stem and 770mm wide handlebar that sits at 1,065mm off the ground from its center. He also uses slightly shorter than stock 170mm cranks, and a 36 tooth chain ring. I thought I was being clever by asking whether he chose the soft, sponge-like Lizard Skin ESP grips for vibration absorption or comfort on long days, but he replied simply, "No, just because they are light. I can save nearly 100 grams over some lock-ons!"

EWS Pro Rides 1 - NOVPARTS axle
Nico uses axles from Novyparts on the front and back of his bike. They're lighter, have a cleaner look, and their flush profile means they won't smash in to things.
EWS Pro Rides 1 - NOVPARTS axle
Serious gram counting. Why carry quick-release levers around when you're going to have a multi-tool in your bag anyways?


There's plenty to talk about suspension-wise, and we'll get to that later on, but the gist is that his bike is using both a custom tuned RockShox DebonAir shock and a custom linkage. Total rear wheel travel sits at 164mm, which is 14mm more than what the stock bike offers, and it's also more progressive. "The enduro stages now are just like downhill, so we need more travel and progression," explained Nico on why he's up-sized his race bike. The shock was pumped up to 220 PSI to provide 28% sag for Nico's 67kg weight, and he's gone with six clicks of rebound from it being fully closed.

His Pike was running between 60 and 65 PSI, had two volume spacers installed, and low-speed compression sat at four clicks out. Nico runs the Pike's rebound between eight and ten clicks out from closed depending on the spring rate, with more air pressure requiring heavier rebound damping.

Nico s Lapierre Spicy
  Nico's Spicy race bike is fitted with a custom shock and linkage, and carbon seat stays instead of the aluminium 'stays of the 2015 production bike.

EWS Pro Rides 1 - e i suspension control
The E:i suspension system is an electronic pedal assist for the rear shock that is automatically adjusted by this stem-mounted control unit.
EWS Pro Rides 1 - Custom e i Debonair Plus
A monitor in the crankset knows when you're pedalling and firms the shock up, but it also unlocks when you stop spinning. Accelerometers in the fork will also tell the shock to unlock before the back wheel hits the same obstacle.


Curious as to how Nico transforms a bike from stock to race-ready machine, I asked him to give a basic breakdown of the process. Things like the positioning of controls is obviously done, but it's interesting to hear him talking about balancing handlebar height and the fork's spring rate:
bigquotesNormally I just adjust the cockpit, the height and handlebar angle, and have the levers 30mm in from the grips. Next I set the saddle height and the rear sag to 30%. Then I just put an average pressure in the fork and go ride. I also adjust the shifter so both levers are close together and I don't have to move my thumb too far to change gears. I just ride and play with things, and I know when the front is too high because my steering starts to feel light, so I adjust the height with air in the fork. I try to find the highest bar height, with the lowest possible fork pressure for sensitivity. It's not easy in enduro, when you have steep parts and flat parts, to find a compromise, really not so easy.



EWS Pro Rides 1 - Nico is a long term BlackBox athlete
Nico is on SRAM's BlackBox program that gives him access to some very special equipment.
EWS Pro Rides 1 - XX1 drivetrain
SRAM's XX1 drivetrain and plenty of heel rub on the bike's wide swing arm.

EWS Pro Rides 1 - Nico s Fabric saddle
Nico chooses a Fabric saddle due to its light weight, but he also finds it comfortable during long days.
EWS Pro Rides 1 - Smaller e i battery for race day
A smaller, lighter battery than production powers the E:i system, and it provides just enough juice for a day's racing.





Nico's New Zealand EWS Setup

The New Zealand Enduro World Series course was nothing like Nico's stomping grounds in the South of France, so while his Spicy was obviously a pretty dialed bike when he arrived, he's also the kind of racer who wants to maximize his potential by leaving nothing on the table when it comes to bike setup. Nico doesn't leave any stone unturned, so everything from suspension to drivetrain to wheels and tires was taken into consideration, and I was there for all of it. Below is a breakdown of how his bike changed from when he arrived to the end of the race.



Suspension

Nico said he was happy with the bike when he left France, but quickly felt that he needed to make some changes after his initial practice runs in New Zealand. The timed stages of the Rotorua course were a mixture of low speed, tight, greasy turns littered with roots, but at the opposite end of the spectrum were the high speed sections that had some huge compressions, flat landings and drops. A tough mix, for sure. After arriving with what he described as more "linear enduro" settings, he wanted more downhill capability. On the second day he tried a Vivid Air R2C shock without assistance from the E:i system, but felt that it was harsh and over-damped on the small, repetitive roots, although great on the big stuff. ''Maybe with more time we could have made the Vivid more supple and responsive, but we don't have time to do everything here,'' he said of having a go on the Vivid.

Nico had an interesting response when I asked why he chose the Debonair Plus shock over the standard Monarch:
bigquotesIt has slightly better performance, but really more consistency, especially with the sag. It only changes maybe one or two percent, but with a standard shock [a Monarch] it can change a lot, like you start at thirty percent but finish with it at twenty percent [sag] with the heat. With a standard shock I was starting at thirty five percent sag to finish a run with twenty five or twenty seven percent, so you have the feeling at the end of the stage like the bike is not working, just because the shock is overheating. But, with the piggyback there is no problem with that. Also, with the Debonair we found it works better at the beginning of the curve on our bike and it helps with sensitivity.



EWS Pro Rides 1 - Nico s custom 164mm travel linkage
  This custom linkage boosts the Spicy's travel from 150mm up to 164mm. It also adds a some progression and saves a little weight over the standard setup.


So he went back to his custom Debonair, but with some internal adjustments to add more progression as there was too much trade-off in regards to grip with the Vivid and not enough beef for the big stuff in the original Debonair. He also upped his sag to 30% from the previous 28% at the rear to let the wheels move more easily over the small and very slippery roots. The same approach was applied to the front of the bike, with an extra volume spacer added (three in total) and compression damping wound completely off for improved sensitivity. His Pike was also fitted with a different air spring system, although Nico wouldn't elaborate on that, and possibly a damper setup.



Tire Choice

Nico experimented a lot with tires over the three days of practice, starting off with a prototype Michelin Grip'R on the front that uses a slightly harder, but slower rebounding rubber than the production version. He also tried an unnamed prototype on the rear, which had chunky side knobs and a low profile centre for rolling speed. After a couple of practice runs he swapped to a cut spike on the front and another prototype on the rear, this one with a Rock'R2 tread pattern. With this tire he cut a chunk out of every second side knob to give extra bite and clearance in the mud, and also shaved the side of the knobs slightly for added clearance in the frame so they didn't protrude any further than the side of the casing. The pink sidewalled tires use a lighter casing than Michelin's Advanced Reinforced units, saving around 200 grams per tire, which offered less reliability but Nico felt that it was a worthy trade-off with the rarity of rock in Rotorua. He also added extra pressure, up to 1.9 bar, to bring more stability to the prototype tire's flexible casing.

EWS Pro Rides 1 - Prototype Michelin s
Prototype tires from Michelin with a fetching, lightweight pink casing.
EWS Pro Rides 1 - Special tire cuts for race day
The side knobs on the Rock'R2 are packed closely together. Nico cut around half of every other knob to aid mud clearance and let the tire bite harder into cambers.





Race Day in New Zealand

There's a hell of a lot more to a race weekend than just bike prep, and I wanted to discover what else Nico does to try and find perfection on the big day:
bigquotesThe first thing I consider is to try and save as much energy for the race. Even in practice, if you feel good, you must save. Sometimes I am going fast and have to think, I must save energy, even on the transfers. Sometimes you feel good and then bang, you're tired out! We check the maps and race times. I try to drink water and eat well, and go to sleep early and get a few massages when I can. We were here for a few weeks, so I had a few, not too hard though, just easy to relax and not make the muscles too sore. On race day I get up early to prepare, and I just take a few bars and gels.



An all-day enduro race is an entirely different beast than a downhill event, and it requires a very different approach:
bigquotesIt's not the same as in downhill, and I just try to think about certain points on the stage. I try and switch my mind on thirty seconds or one minute before the start. It's very different to downhill, and I do nothing special other than just staying a little focused and then flick like a switch thirty seconds before the stage. On the first stage today I was not able to corner or ride for the first few minutes and I lost a lot of time. It was strange because when I got my heart rate up, it was okay, and I think I should have attacked more earlier on.

My problem is in the mornings, and it's quite a big problem - the first stage! I never wake up, and I don't know if it's my age but I'm always in trouble on the first stage. Here for example, I went and did one run on Skyline to get warmed up, some small sprints, too, because at this race we start late in the day. I need to do quick warm-up in downhill, pedalling up on the transfers for me is not the same, but even with doing a downhill run, I struggled to ride on the first stage. I try not to go too hard and let my heart rate go too high. If it goes too high I am dead and can't attack in downhill, then I might need two or three stages to recover! If I don't go too hard on the first stage I am normally okay for the rest of the day and I can go harder on each stage. Here, the first stage was really difficult and long, so I'm like shit! The race can turn here, but I don't want to give everything, and I also made some mistakes. A long first stage is not ideal for me.



Nico Vouilloz
  Nico on race day in New Zealand


Even after the initial struggles, Nico put in a solid sixth place showing on race day, with no stage wins but great consistency that paid off over the 60km event. I questioned him about his setup for the day:
bigquotesI used a mud tire on the front, and I was riding with lower pressures in the earlier stages on the roots and, because there were no rocks, as soft as I thought possible before the tire might fold. As soon as I went on to the last two stages I added pressure for stability up to 26/28 PSI. Before the last stage I took my backpack off and changed for the full face helmet. No other special changes, and the RockR2 on the rear was a safe choice in case of the rain. In the end it didn't rain, so maybe it was not the best choice, but it was okay. I wanted to use a faster rolling rear tire, like something Clementz used, but the season is long so I took the safe choice for the rain.


And, is there anything Nico would have changed in hindsight?
bigquotesThe only thing I would have changed in hindsight was the rear tire. Even if it was slippery, the dirt was quite good and not too steep. Maybe I could have gained minimum five seconds, but up to a maximum of ten for the whole day's stages, but it's really hard to know. I really have to do some good testing to know exactly, but as soon as you put the fast tire on the rear you feel the difference. I tested a tire in the winter, and even on a slippery trail the faster rolling tire was four seconds faster on that certain stage, so it's not a lot really but when you play at the top, it can make a difference.


Riding Nico's Race Bike


Riding and racing a stock Lapierre Spicy over the previous four days gave me solid view on the characteristics of the bike, but how different is Nico's race machine? There were three things that stood out that were all clear from the start. The first being the suspension's rebound speed on Nico's bike - it was so fast that I thought maybe he had blown the shock on the final downhill stage of the event! But that wasn't the case, and he had even slowed it two clicks between the first five stages and the bigger hits found in six and seven. It felt strange to start, but heading into the trail the responsiveness was clear, and it also made the bike really playful, but with ample compression damping it never felt out of control. Here's Nico's take on the quick feeling rebound speeds:
bigquotesIt was full of slippery roots, and I opened the rebound front and rear to get the grip on the roots, and I also needed to be able to react quickly, bunny-hop the bike and change direction. Normally I have it more closed. In fact, when you tried it I had even closed it a little bit for the last two stages, because it was faster before for the roots. It reads the terrain more and helps me to move the bike around.



Paul getting Spicy
  It was a dream come true to spend the day on Nico's race bike.


The second was the weight difference between the two, which is something that was instantly noticeable. And although a very similar machine, multiple marginal reductions added up to increased ease when pedalling up the hill on tired legs. Also, it was clear that Nico's mechanic, Mattieu, had been twiddling and tweaking pre-race, as even comparing against my brand-new bike, it felt more efficient and rolled easier. Maybe there was a seal or two missing from bearings, and just the bare minimum quantity of grease or oil to keep them spinning? Matthieu assured me it was normal, but it certainly felt faster.

Nico also decided to not use the carbon front wheel on race day, going with the heavier aluminum option instead:''Yeah, I didn't go with it as I have only tried at home a few times and wasn't confident in it. Also, sometimes if you have a really light front wheel the bike can become more unstable and not track so well, and I prefer a little heavier wheel for confidence and stability for holding my line. The carbon wheel had a 70 grams saving. But in the mud? I didn't think it was worth the risk for an EWS.''

Thirdly, the big hit capability of the elongated travel and boosted compression settings from the Debonair Plus was a big change compared to the stock bike. Hitting the multiple big compressions and drops on stage seven on Nico's bike resulted in a more controlled exit than on my bike, despite the much faster rebound.

So there you have it. It was clear to see Nico's passion and commitment to his race machine, and his attention to detail that must have played no small part in his many race wins over the years.


MENTIONS: @Lapierre-Bikes @SramMedia @LizardSkins




93 Comments

  • 177 1
 Great insight into the pro rides, we need more of this please PB!
  • 27 0
 Yeap, same. Love these type of articles. Really enjoyed read9ing the Jared Graves ride feedback a while ago.
  • 19 0
 Agreed, I feel like I really learnt something about bike setup here.
  • 27 0
 i would rather read these over some watered down new bike review any day. thanks PB
  • 4 0
 Time to set up my Spicy Team! where can I get that rear linkage to make my bike 164mm... such great info, the details are amazing, I really like the shock set up...
  • 38 2
 "Adds progression", still blows off O-ring.

Nico shreds!
  • 41 1
 The guy's a maniac, he probably put the O-ring up to avoid extra friction or something
  • 4 3
 I take it off because it seems to collect dirt/dust, & leave it sitting against my shock stanchion. Probably doesn't do a thing, but my OCD won't let me leave it on the stanchion.
  • 24 0
 Learned about nico in pete's movie, what a legend. I think he was the greatest downhill rider of all time.
  • 48 3
 He was the greatest male DH rider of all time but the greatest DH rider of all time is Anne Caroline Chausson. Mountain biking 12 times World Champion 2 times dual slalom World Champion 2 times four-cross World Champion 5 times World Cup downhill series winner 1 time World Cup dual slalom series winner 1 time World Cup four-cross series winner and the 2008 BMX Olympic Champion!!!
  • 23 6
 anne caro is a beast, no doubt about it, but the competition for women is maybe half of that in the men's field
  • 7 40
flag amirazemi (Apr 27, 2015 at 7:09) (Below Threshold)
 @SintraFreeride are you kidding me ? you compare a female to a male in mtb-ing ? She had a females to beat, nico had sam hill, pete and lots and lots others, and he beat them for more than 6-7 seconds.
  • 7 0
 I was reading the article with a neutral voice, then I remembered about 'wont back down' and started reading it with his voice haha
  • 29 2
 Competition or not Anne Caroline Chausson has the records. She's won everything and it is only a matter of time before she add an EWS title to that list.
She used to train we the guys (back in the Sunn Chipie days) way before anyone else, and probably would have done well if she had raced in the men's catagory. Her coming back to competition to beat the girls in the Olympics was nothing short of amazing. I saw her win races by almost 30seconds! Heck I saw her crash out, climb back up on to the track and still win by like 10s in a muddy DH race. The GOAT by far. Mr. Vouilloz was and still is an amazing rider (he even became IRC champion!) by he is still second best next to her. Her being a woman makes no difference to me.
  • 11 2
 @SintraFreeride - if there was more people like u in the world it would be an awesome place. Great attitude and perspective.
  • 2 1
 well said Sintra.
  • 2 0
 Like this m.youtube.com/watch?v=6oWgVTtvN3U about 13 mins in. Awesome.
  • 1 1
 @SintraFreeride According to RootsAndRain.com, the closest ACC ever got to a men's winning time was at the Sierra Nevada WC in 1997. Her time was good enough for 67th overall (men and women combined). Whether you consider that 'doing well' or not is a matter of opinion.
  • 1 0
 @tea-addict I can't confirm or deny that stat up I'll have to look into it. But even if that is true it changes absolutely nothing!
I was not aware we felt the need to compare men and women's results, so by your argument Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce (the 7th fastest woman of all time) 10.76 seconds in the Athletics World Championships this year is utter rubbish compared to Usain Bolt's 9.79...
  • 3 0
 @SintraFreeride You were the first person who chose to compare ACC's results to men's results. I never denigrated her or any other woman's performance - you drew that conclusion by yourself.
  • 1 1
 Yes I compared her results to the men's but only in titles and not times and that is why I conclude that she is the best DH rider ever. She was training with the men in her team long before people like Rachel Atherton came on to the scene.
  • 2 0
 @SintraFreeride That's not true. You said she "probably would have done well if she had raced in the men's catagory." which is a comparison of ACC's times to those of the men.
  • 21 0
 We need more such kind of article... Not only the mechanics, but also those pre race training, preparation, all these are interesting...
  • 12 0
 This article is the best one I think i've read on Pinkbike! Nico's approach to racing is pure science! I love it!
  • 2 1
 Was about to write exactly the same, read your line, clicked +1.
  • 6 0
 "Then I just put an average pressure in the fork and go ride.[...] I just ride and play with things, and I know when the front is too high because my steering starts to feel light, so I adjust the height with air in the fork. I try to find the highest bar height, with the lowest possible fork pressure for sensitivity. It's not easy in enduro, when you have steep parts and flat parts, to find a compromise, really not so easy."
What? Wait. What?

You gotta love Nico, btw! Great guy!
  • 3 1
 Personally, I read that like:

(too high then steering feels light) - When front is too high, there's not enough rebound travel available so it tops out and the wheel comes off the floor. Also, there is slightly less static weight on the front.

(highest bar height, with lowest fork pressure) - Maximise available wheel travel for bumps, using lowest fork pressure so that the damper can do all the wheel control work.

Anyone agree/disagree?
  • 3 1
 Simplified, I understand it as he runs less spring rate, more compression damping, compared with someone like Gwin, who runs super high spring rates, & probably little to no damping.
  • 2 0
 ...At least when he was talking about it, since later in the article it talks about the comp being full fast.
  • 7 1
 it's interesting because when I first started reading the article, the shock and fork settings in "Nico's Standard Setup" surprised me a bit. Thought to myself: "wow he runs his shock pretty slow and his fork is heavy on the compression".

Then got confused when I read about him running the compression fully open on his fork and then about his race bike feeling super quick on the rebound side.

Some people like to "set and forget" but doesn't sound like that's the case for Nico. He's constantly adjusting his suspension depending on the race/stage(s)
  • 7 0
 What about in the first article a few weeks back when you mentioned about him mucking around with more rim flex?
  • 4 1
 How did he managed to use a piggyback shock without damaging the top tube. I got the same bike in medium size, at full compression the piggyback part hits the top tube. According to Lapierre Piggyback shock cannot be used in Zesty/Spicy Carbon frame 2014/2015. So is it safe to use Piggyback shock in Large frame, does the piggyback hit the top tube?

Also has he used a angleset to make the head angle slacker, because the existing head angle is 66.7.
  • 15 0
 It looked like his custom link was longer/lower than the production link. Maybe this helps to give clearance? Or maybe he's just the Boss and doesn't care if the piggyback strikes the frame a little?


No angleset. I thought I would have wanted the Spicy to be slacker when I read the Geo chart. But it's a well balanced bike and sits in the travel nicely, I never felt I needed to go slacker.
  • 3 1
 I have a 2013 frame so slightly different but AFAIK only large frame sizes can take a piggyback
  • 2 0
 The link looks like shorter but the height is the same. The weight shredding is a good idea because spicy team frame is a lot heavier than other enduro specific carbon frame. There is no way he could fit a vivid air r2c without damaging the top tube. Probably he doesn't care because he could get a new frame. The rear triangle is all made of alloy in 2015 production.
  • 2 1
 The piggyback fits just fine on my 2014 large spicy.
  • 1 0
 So it doesn't hit the top tune at full compression?
  • 2 0
 Nope, it's probably worth saying it's the carbon frame since that'll probably make some difference to the clearance.
  • 2 0
 As said, Nico uses a L frame.
  • 6 0
 Reading this article really makes me feel like I have no clue when it comes to set my bike up...
  • 3 1
 I swopped the standard Fox CTD Performance can on my 2014 527 for a X Fusion Vecktor Air and it's a huge improvement. Had to run 15% sag on the Fox and it would still bottom out on bigger drops. Running 30% on the X Fusion and no problems. Just need that new rear linkage that Nico is running to up the rear travel.
  • 2 0
 I'd love to get my hands on that linkage for mine too. Kinda doubt they'll make it available to the public though...
  • 5 0
 Great article. Nico's bike tinkering always makes for a good read
  • 2 0
 My brother is considering a spicy and everything looks good except the heel rub on the seat stays. Seems like a huge oversight. Anybody have any insight into how annoying that is or is it not a big deal?
  • 1 0
 2015 model is fine if you're using clips, but flats might cause some rubbing from time to time
  • 1 0
 I like how that design shrouds the rear mechanism from frontal impacts. So maybe its intentional, not an oversight.
  • 1 0
 Also having the rear brake inside the chainstay is really good, keep from getting bashed around in a crash
  • 2 0
 @ twozerosix @harrybeaumont You guys like shielding $200 parts with your $2000 frame? That's crazy talk!
  • 1 0
 @BiNARYBiKE I'm fine with it, if the $2000 frame is designed to take that kind of impact abuse. Combo of a low profile RD plus some fairing around it seems like a good thing to me. Its the dropout area so even with the carbon layup its probably pretty thick and strong.
  • 1 1
 hmmm cost of a rear caliper and derailleur are nothing compared to the cost of a frame. And that beautifully hidden brake caliper is probably the easiest to align as well Smile . Rather smack a derailleur then my frame.
  • 1 0
 The frame is smooth rather than sticking out when your bike is rolling down the hill and scrapes past a tree
  • 3 0
 I'm not a lapierre fan, but that article was engrossing, good work Mr Aston.
  • 2 1
 I'm surprised how heavy some of the bikes in the EWS are, and that more guys aren't taking these kinds of measures to reduce weight. Lugging a 35lb bike up a dirt road half the day gets old real quick.
  • 5 4
 Are you talking about the same bike ? It is said that Nico's bike is 27 Lb, which is pretty good.
  • 2 0
 It's always a tradeoff between weight and durability. Graves said in another article he has stopped weighing his bikes- he builds them as strong as they need to be and leaves it at that. Shaving grams is all well and good, and it looks like Nico has done it in places that don't sacrifice strength, but if you're running even a 5 or 10% increased risk of component failure, it's not worth the extra 2-3% time savings you might get.
  • 3 0
 @brutalpedz I'm saying that I'm surprised how heavy other bikes are compared to his. He did a good job of saving weight where he could, and didn't sacrifice durability or strength. Looks like a well thought out combination of parts. I hope he crushes it this year!
  • 2 0
 Wow this article is perfect for me, just got my Lapierre Spicy team! and reading this just made me wanting to ride more! good job PB! this is why I like your site so much!
  • 3 1
 Loving eletronic suspension, better start a hacking app the others suspension program to full downhill mode on the uphills ahahah
  • 2 0
 Awesome article. I hope we get more of these in the future. I learned more in this one article than I have reading pages and pages on bike setup.
  • 3 0
 Great article! Would definitely like to see more of these from Pinkbike!
  • 1 0
 I also noticed he flipped the lock in the upper shock to 26" rather than 650b. Does it affect the geometry of the bike?
  • 2 0
 I assume using the 26" shock mount, combined with the longer travel link, gives the bike close or the same as the standard static geometry. They wouldn't let me near it with a tape measure!
  • 1 0
 Id love to know what effect this would have running this way with standard linkage im assuming steepin the head angle could this be done to fit the piggy back shock
  • 2 0
 what stem is he running, love the design
  • 1 2
 It's a Easton haven stem.
  • 1 0
 ah thanks rave81
  • 1 4
 I have a 50mm for sale Smile
  • 1 0
 Nico is a sram athlete so I don't think he runs anything easton, most likely its a truvativ stem.
  • 3 1
 Carbon chainstays? You can see the aluminium and welds clearly.
  • 2 0
 "seatstays" seam to be carbon
  • 2 1
 Carbon Seatstays.
  • 2 1
 they corrected it
  • 1 0
 hmmm... spicy team 2015 comes with alloy rear triangle. They got lots of problems in spicy team 2014 having Carbon seatstay and linkage.
  • 1 0
 Early on you say you had a stock zesty to use but at the end you say you used a stock spicy just wondering which it was
  • 2 0
 Sorry that was a typo, I had a stock Spicy.
  • 2 0
 What a read! I've never enjoyed a tech article like i did this one
  • 2 0
 Please do not write "anyways" for a professional article.
  • 2 0
 That was a lot more in depth than we have seen in a while.
  • 1 0
 Any mention to helium in his shock?
  • 1 1
 I'm hard to believe he is using only 65 PSI in his PIKE....
its too soft. (and I'm not fast as him)
  • 2 0
 i do believe him, I use 60- 70 psi with two bottomless tokens
  • 1 0
 It's certainly not stock !
  • 1 0
 Anyone notice the front of the shock is mounted on the 26" wheel setting ?
  • 1 0
 I love this bike a lot
  • 2 0
 One of the best bike check ever...
  • 1 0
 Great reporting!
  • 1 0
 "I'll get that frenchy"
  • 1 1
 Where can I purchase those Novyparts axel?
  • 1 4
 what the hell?!?
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