Nearing the end? Harry Heath
surprised many when the 25-year old Brit recently announced his plans to retire from World Cup racing at the end of the 2016 season. We thought we’d snatch this opportunity to profile his race rig—the Norco Aurum Carbon Killer B. Heath is on a tear of late. During Crankworx Whistler, he landed on the second step of the podium following the Air DH and came in 5th at the Garbanzo DH.
The core of Heath's rig (the frame and suspension bits) looks very much like the stock Norco Aurum C7.1. Undoubtedly, Heath's bike gets the usual custom-tuning touches from the team's traveling wrench, but the heart and soul of the bike appears to be pretty close to what consumers can get their hands on. One obvious tweak to the original formula? The elevated pulley which Heath and teammate, Sam Blenkinsop, have been running this season. The custom idler pulley routes the chain above the main pivot, which alters the chain forces' influence on the Aurum's rear suspension. The elevated pulley should reduce the bike's anti-squat and, ostensibly, create a more active suspension during hard pedalling efforts. It looks like Norco might be tinkering with that balance between pedaling efficiency and all-out bump absorption.
Formula did a bit of a 180 this spring with the release of the Cura. Billed as a brake for all riders (cross-country, enduro and downhill alike), the Cura is the first brake in Formula's long history to use mineral oil instead of DOT. company ditched DOT fluid in favor of mineral oil. Even more obvious, the Cura ditches the radial-style master cylinder design (that's been a mainstay on most Formula models) in favor of a very Shimano-esque, in-line master cylinder layout. The Cura is slated to hit the streets this month, though it's been on Heath's bike this season.
/ @foxracingshox / @shimano