Just Keep it Rolling: How Ruaridh Cunningham‘s Destroyed Wheel Made it Through EWS Ainsa

Sep 25, 2018
by Matthew DeLorme  

It's one of those worst case scenarios when it comes to EWS racing - especially if the race is going well: mechanical failure that would mean a five-minute replacement time penalty or pulling out of the race. Ruaridh Cunningham was on roll in Ainsa, taking ninth on stage one and sixth on stage two. Then disaster struck - a flat twenty seconds into stage three that almost cost him a DNF. With stage three being so short, RC kept riding to the finish and then attempted to fix the flat. The tire had rolled off the rim and had been caught in the rotor. The damage to the rim and tire meant that it would not hold air. With the help of fellow racers, RC put in a tube, installed the tire, and then zip-tied the tire in place. The tire held until about three-quarters of the way down stage four, then it rolled off with a bang at the finish. RC put the tire over his shoulder and pedaled back to the castle on the rim, thinking that this race had pretty much gone into the bin.

Ruaridh is still marveling at that 7.85 lb wheel and how it got him through the race and with a 10th place finish on stage 7.
Ruaridh is still marveling at that 7.83 lb wheel and how it got him through the race and with a 10th place finish on stage 7.

The rim was trashed by the time he got back, but team mechanic, Tyler West, wasn't sure the game was over just yet. Back at the house, he found an old rusty pair of snips for trimming horse hooves. They were rusty as hell and made him question whether or not he would need a tetanus shot when this was over. Then, he got to work. The snips were perfect for leveraging the crushed rim bead and pulling it back up and out. Next, all of the newly acquired sharp edges were filed down and the crack through the seam of the hoop had to be addressed. Tyler threaded a spoke through the inner spoke holes on either side of the crack and twisted it together (extra insurance if there was a failure).

Stage four. The zip ties were starting to give out. The Wheel sounded awful.
Stage four. The zip ties were starting to give out and the wheel sounded awful.

Instead of the traditional Bontrager rim strip, three layers of rim tape were added and a Flat Tire Defender was installed. A wire bead G5 was put on the rim and 3/4 of a liter of sealant was injected and, finally, the tire was epoxied onto the rim. However, the tire wasn't holding air. It was getting late. The valve was removed from the FTD and a tube was then inserted with sealant inside the tire just in case. Besides, it seemed like it would be a good lubricant to protect the tube in the case of sudden harsh impacts. The tire was re-epoxied onto the rim and then the whole enchilada was inflated. Little sleep was had that night.

After a strong start to day one Ruaridh found himself in dire straits after a flat twenty seconds into stage three.
With a strong start, Ruaridh found himself in dire straits after a flat, twenty seconds into stage three.
After making it back to the pits at the end of day one it was time to figure out what to do.
After making it back to the pits at the end of day one, it was time to figure out what to do.

Rode hard but still a circle. It was time to get to work.
Ridden hard, but still a circle. It was time to get to work.

Necessity is the mother of invention and the prospect of a 5 minute penalty made invevtion necessity. Tyler West gets creative with a set of rusty horse shoe removing snips.
Necessity is the mother of invention and the prospect of a 5 minute penalty made invention necessary. Tyler West gets creative with a set of rusty horseshoe-removing snips.

When Tyler came out in the morning to check the wheel, it was still holding air. Maximum air pressure was used to ensure the whole thing had a better chance of staying together. With the wheel back on the bike, tools were given to RC to ensure that he had what he needed if the proverbial doo-doo hit the fan. Honestly, if something went wrong, it was likely over at that point. But, it was up to RC to get down the hill over the course of three short stages with the wheel in one piece. The wheel wasn't easy to handle. The high pressure made it skip about over rough stuff instead of tracking like normal. Then, there was the weight of the thing - 7.83 pounds out back on a 29-inch wheel. It noticeably changed handling dynamics.

A new tire and lots of epoxy glue to bond it to the rim.
Two Stages down one to go. It ain t pretty but its holding together.
Two Stages down, one to go. It ain't pretty, but it's holding together.

Ultimately, RC made it through the day on one piece. He even took 10th on stage seven. Not bad. Not bad at all. It's not easy keeping a bike together over seven rough EWS stages, especially when you are feeling good and pushing it a little. Things happen. In this case, out of the box thinking and ingenuity prevailed. After taking 194th on stage three, RC pulled it back to take 36th in a classic case of teamwork making it happen.

Stage seven finish RC crosses the line to place 37th in the overall and 10th on the final stage. Not too shabby.
Stage seven finish, RC crosses the line to place 37th in the overall and 10th on the final stage. Not too shabby.

Minus the sealant there are the parts that got Ruaridh through day two of EWS round seven. Quick thinking a long night and a good bit of team work saved the weekend.
These are the parts that got Ruaridh through EWS, round 7

Cracking through all that epoxy that was holding the wheel in place.
Cracking through all the epoxy.
Three wraps of rim tape were employed instead of a rim strip that way the FTD and a tube would fit.
Rim tape was used so that both the FTD and a tube would fit.

A little extra insurance against total rim failure. A spoke was used to hold the cracked seam together.
A spoke was used to hold the cracked seam together.

Pretty straight despite the dents and cracks.
Pretty straight despite the dents and cracks.


  • 481 1
 I wish the title of this post was, "I Wheel Survive"...
  • 10 2
 This should go to da top... How did I not think of that? Salute
  • 328 9
 Let's see...
At first, I was afraid, I was petrified
Kept thinking, I could never complete my race without you by my side
But then I spent so many long hill climbs thinking, I've raced so long
And I grew strong and I learned how to get along

And so you're back from that tough race
I just walked in to find you with that flat and my results displaced
I should have missed that stupid rock
I should have used an FTD
If I'd known for just one second you'd be back to bother me

Go on now, go, roll to the pits, Tyler and I
will gather tools and parts and see what fits
We'll get you tinkered up real nice
Using a hammer, snips, and vise
And then we'll race, oh, we'll race!

Oh, I will bend, but I won't break
And as long as I know how to race, I know I'll stay alive
I've got all my life to live, I've got all my strength to give
And I'll survive, I wheel survive, hey, hey

It took all the strength I had not to fall apart
Kept trying hard to mend the pieces of my broken wheel's parts(/objet de' art; mend my broken wheel covered in dried clart)?
And I spent, oh, so many nights threading that spoke in through the rim
I lost a tire but with some sealant, tape, and zipties held it in

And you see me, somebody new
I'm not that broken little wheel still useless to you
And even though I'm quite the mix, you can still land all of your tricks
'Cause now I'm holding it together, so trust me and let it free

Go on now, go, send all the gnar, just hit that berm now
'Cause you're not worried anymore
I've been reinforced with ev'rything short of duct tape
Go catch Martin and Sam, go pass Richie and break the tape!

Oh, yes, tis I, I wheel survive
Oh, as long as I know how to shred, I know I'll stay alive
I've got all my life to live, I've got all my steez to give
And I'll survive, I wheel survive, oh

Go on now, go, send all the gnar, just hit that berm now
'Cause you're not worried anymore
I've been reinforced with ev'rything short of duct tape
Go catch Martin and Sam, go pass Richie and break the tape!

Oh, yes, tis I, I wheel survive
Oh, as long as I know how to bike, I know I'll stay alive
I've got all my life to live, I've got all my trails to dig
And I'll survive, it did survive, my wheel survived

(As you can see, a little rough... it's late... I didn't decide on a thing or two... but I tried. Anyone wanna improve on this?) Razz
  • 29 0
 @mtbikeaddict: Wow you have a lot of time on your hands. And I appreciate it
  • 8 0
 @honda50r: Lol a lot of time that I probably should have spent sleeping... but it was fun. That was version 2.0. The first one... eh, I thought it was funny, but it wasn't so much about the wheel surviving, so I ditched it. Just glad people liked it... thanks. Smile
  • 1 0
 @mtbikeaddict: This is awesome hahaha
  • 3 0
 @eastsideride: @CamPow: Thank you, thank you very much. I'll be here all day, uh huh.
  • 1 0
 @mtbikeaddict: reading this makes me feel less bad about the state of my wheels. Cheers for that.
  • 1 0
 @mtbikeaddict: Gold...Solid Gold
  • 1 0
 @mtbikeaddict: now we want the music video!
  • 2 0
 @TheLongMan: Lol I wish... I'll see what I can do. Channeling my inner @redshift here
  • 1 0
 @mtbikeaddict: Damn dude, you've surpassed me. Bravo.
  • 1 0
 @redshift: Thanks a ton! But naw, that was only one post. You went on for almost a month. But I guess they'd be in different categories that way. Equally awesome. Big Grin You were my inspiration anyways, you did it first. From one PB song-maker to another, Salute
  • 1 0
 @mtbikeaddict: just got mentioned on the downtime podcast with RC himself congrats!!
  • 1 0
 @JaToledo: YEAH! Thanks for letting me know! I saw it on the homepage and wondered if there was a chance it would be mentioned, but then thought naw, but I haven't had time to listen to it... I'm famous now. Razz
  • 1 0
 @mtbikeaddict: Downtime podcast interview of Ruaridh brought me here! ????????
  • 307 9
 bae: come over
me: I can't I have a flat
bae: me and my friend want to try new things
me: *grabs epoxy and tape*
  • 100 3
 Bae: Dont forget a tube!
  • 49 14
 @housem8d this bae thing is too millennial for me. I rather go rubber-less
  • 11 25
flag Xc2dh1 (Sep 25, 2018 at 18:43) (Below Threshold)
 And lube @chillrider199:
  • 24 61
flag POWsLAYER (Sep 25, 2018 at 22:19) (Below Threshold)
 @Lagr1980: yeah well wouldn't we all but fact is that having safe sex practices you stick to will make it a LOT easier for your prospective partner to feel at ease with the whole situation so might as well embrace the idea that peoples safety and health is way more important that your 2 mins of pleasure.
  • 54 0
 @POWsLAYER: 2 min? That's like an eternity.
  • 35 0
 @old-banshee-rider:Leaves 1.30 for cuddles
  • 9 3
 @POWsLAYER: i dont mind denting the rim . Dont lecture on safe practices man !
  • 6 8
 @Lagr1980: I wouldn't have to if it wasn't clearly an issue. down vote me all damn day, its just indicative of how fragile all you bros are and besides, we all know everyone is more likely to read a comment with an excessive number of negs than one with a few props so good on ya bois, helping me spread the good wordWink
  • 2 0
 @POWsLAYER: are you completely missing the fact that this whole thing is just a string of stupid puns and not a serious discussion whatsoever?
  • 8 9
 @bridgermurray: when a high number of props are given to a statement (jest or not) about how a boy would rather not use protection, I see something more than a string of tampuns , I see basic toxic masculinity and the reenforcement of it being perpetrated by the bro culture this website is saturated with. Y'all just gonna have to get used to more women in the sport not letting your shit fly unchecked. why don't you take the opportunity to learn something and make the world a better place and hold each other accountable?
  • 3 1
 Oh god, you dun it again pb comments.
  • 2 1
 @bluumax: nah its just him.. or her? ... it? ... it gets offended when it sees "toxic masculinity"
  • 139 2
 Bontrager: "here is our new enduro wheel and tire combo, should hold up ok"

EWS Course: "hold my beer"
  • 80 24
 Bontrager: "here is our new anything, should hold up ok"

Everyone: "aww its broken already"
  • 67 3
 @loplopk: is this your actual experience or just time on the rough and rowdy forum "trail"?
  • 10 5
 @apartmentwhale: It's not big news that Bontrager rims dent quite easily and that their dropper is garbage
  • 3 2
 @Whipperman: well there is more that BR offers, you knew that?
  • 3 1
 @apartmentwhale: Yeah Bonty rims are pretty soft. I've had about four come into my shop this week alone...
  • 3 2
 @apartmentwhale: Had their new line carbons for 2 rides before it cracked. Line elites consistently come out of true with a lot of detensioning in the spokes, at least they don't implode on a regular trail ride.
  • 9 4
 @hakunamataya: That's crazy, I've had multiple sets of their carbon and alloy wheels, only dented one alloy rim due to myself making a mistake. Either you are a giant man-child or such a poor rider you think rocks are meant to be ridden through, not over.
  • 3 2
 @Whipperman: tbf all rims dent with ease
  • 2 1
Not DT Swiss...
  • 3 1
 @enduroFactory: Not my Mavic’s
  • 75 0
 I love that they have the one wheelset rule! Would be silly to see all the high level guys running carbon and going through multiple sets each race and tossing them just to save a few seconds.
  • 9 2
 They should implement that for dh and xc with all the stuff
  • 3 2
 @donpinpon29: defo not with dh
  • 39 0
 Its just like my rear wheel on my Dh bike.
  • 6 2
 looks like my 26" 729's. Hell, I've done most of that to finish a lift day.
  • 16 1
 T West once again! Used to ride with that guy. Way better rider than me, and mechanic, obviously.
Once on a ride with him he pulled a stunt like this. Blew my tire, didn’t have an extra tube, tire wouldnt stay on the rim. Pulled dozens of zip ties(always have a zip ties) and a bungy cord out of his pack, wrapped that tire on my Deemax rim. Didn’t finish the ride, but we got out of Wilson riding, not walking. Good to see you doing well man, been awhile.
  • 17 0
 I thought 7.83lb is the normal weight for a 29" wheel.
  • 14 0
 Each race should have a McGyver (RC's wheel) or a Spirit of Enduro (Maes helping Hill, Cécile pushing Katy uphill) award... this is the part of the sport that reminds of the Dakar... or the Vendée Globe.
  • 11 1
 This wheelset came on my Slash. I was thinking about getting carbon wheels. Not any more.
  • 20 11
 An article about them failing really made you sure that was the wheelset for you?
  • 19 1
 @warmerdamj: Wheel didn't fail the tire flated and he raced it on just the rim. That rim just held up to more abuse then most rims could.
  • 5 3
 @Zach-Nielsen: these rims are made out of some serious cheese though. RemedysRemedys definite need an aftermarket wheelset if ridden properly. The ews guys are tied to these rims.
  • 5 9
flag foggeloggliod (Sep 25, 2018 at 22:18) (Below Threshold)
 @browner: oh yeah? You're friends with Trek EWS guys and they say they're tired of them? Show me proof.
  • 6 0
 @raddog: tied to them. In that they can't just bolt on some stuff Swiss etc.
  • 4 1
 @Zach-Nielsen: They're the softest, cheesiest rims I've ever ridden. I dented one more in a week than I've dented any other rim that I've owned.
  • 2 5
 - This is marketing manager speaking: carbon rim would never dent this way!
- But...
- No butts! That is all we have to say. Short and full of substance. Now... Give us your money, if we are not home, slide them under the door. If you don't want to buy, please like us on Facebook. Thank you.
  • 1 1
 @raddog: a Trump moment?
  • 3 4
 @browner: agreed. These rims dent if you look at them wrong. If the rim doesn’t fail the hub will. Speaking from experience.
  • 2 2
 Cracked line carbons in 3 rides and have never had line elites stay true/undented for longer than a week. Definitely would recommend aftermarket rims
  • 4 0
 @hakunamataya: yes but carbons stayed true and didn't dent so what marketing says is 100% true. Cracking is irrelevant because they have superior stiffness to weight ratio
  • 2 2
 @WAKIdesigns: ahhh I forgot you're only supposed to ride your bike in a laboratory, my bad!
  • 1 0
 These indeed are soft rims.. And for that reason, they hold line really well. Mine were dented severly after 2 months and now on Carbon Weareone rims and couldn't be happier. Howere carbon rims do get thrown off line easier in rock gardens
  • 2 0
 @denomerdano: Soft is different to flexy. I've been testing some mavics over the past few weeks that are flexy, but they're not soft. No dents, no flat spots, still true. The bontragers would be a wobbly octagon had I treated them like the mavics.

There's no excuse for what the bontragers are. They're unsuitable for anything but flow trails.
  • 1 0
 @AgrAde: The build of the wheel and spoke tension determines flex, more so than rim material, surely?.Stans and a few others use 6069 and/or 6067 alloy which is very hard I believe. What are the Bontragers and Mavics made out of?
  • 2 0
 @headshot: no spoke tension can overcome the layup of a durable carbon rim. If it's made stiff, it will be god damn stiff even holding on 12 spokes. For comparison an alu rim has to be in Spank Spoon 32/ Mavic ex729 area to feel too stiff. it is simple to see. Take two 300g whatever carbon rims alone and support yourself on them, do a L-sit. They won't give almost at all. Try that with 400g alu rim... I tried with my EX471s and you can still feel the give a bit. Try a solid 450g+ carbon rim like ENVE M70, it will be so stiff you won't feel any flex at all, brutally stiff.
  • 1 1
 @headshot: do you recycle cans? Pretty sure that’s what Bontrager uses
  • 9 0
 While we’re on the subject, what tool or method do you all use to straighten bent rim flanges?
  • 33 0
 small crescent wrench.
  • 22 0
 Pliers, a small hammer, and bench vise if possible. Aluminum is brittle, prone to strain hardening, and it doesn't take much back-and-forth to crack so make as few changes as possible. Straighten big dents with large-jaw pliers, and hammer gently to straighten. I usually accept "good enough" and leave small imperfections that will still work rather than try to get it back to perfectly straight.
  • 1 0
 Depends, i've used various sizes of parallel pliers. For the really bad stuff I've hammered the dent out on the edge of our Bike shop's vise.
  • 44 0
 I steal my wife's channel locks when she's not looking. Seriously, she has a pair that have leather bonded to the clamping surface. Great grip and they don't mar the rims. The joys of marrying a woodworker.
  • 2 0
 Depends on the size ( length) of the dent. But what I do is clamp the appropriate set of cinch pliers or adjustable wrench etc etc in a vice with the rim locked firmly in the pliers. That way I can use the wheel as the lever not the pliers. I find this gives much more control over the procedure and I don’t have to use any strength and risk slipping or over doing it. You barely have to put any pressure on the wheel to get it done. Hell sometimes the rim just goes straight in the vice without pliers!!
  • 6 0

I was lucky enough to grab one of these long ago. They are epic. I don't know if anyone makes them anymore.
  • 10 0
 Knipex plier wrench.
  • 5 0
 @y0bailey: Wasn't Morningstar the guy who died in his booby trapped house a few years ago.

But yeah, someone should reproduce that tool.
  • 1 0
 Vise-grips and a metal tire lever. The lever provides a flat surface to pull the rim toward without pinching it in the pliers.
  • 3 0
 @kwapik: you mean like this?
  • 1 0
 @y0bailey: therimsmith.com
this tool is quite long compared to the old morningstar, but works great. wish it didn't have the rotor truing tool attached to save some length, but whatev
  • 1 0
 @kwapik: He was. I'd love a slightly better version of that tool. Mine is kinda soft as it's cut from plate aluminum and when you get it into a rim channel and start working out the dent the tool is too soft and the mouth starts to open. I'm having a buddy take mine and replicate out of laser cut plate steel.
  • 1 0
 Large shifting spanner with wide jaws. Can be used at the very edge of the rim or for deeper dents Bend as little as possible and try to avoid damaging the bead hook. Shifter also works well on bent hangers.
  • 7 0
 Using my wallet.
  • 7 0
 @sspiff: Yeah I bet she's a woodworker
  • 1 0
 Rimjibber and a hammer
  • 1 0
 Crescent wrench all day. I had to use a high lift jack to get an almost foot long flat spot out of a back rim. Worked pretty good considering the damage. Rode that wheel for another month till I could afford a new one.
  • 7 0
 To the haters, the wheel looks like that because the tire flatted and RC rode it to the finish and back to pits without a tire. Give Bonty a break and go ride your bikes. Wink
  • 4 1
 Oh yeah? Well... uh... Danny Mac rode a SC Reserve without a tire! Wink
  • 6 0
 Admittedly heavy for an EWS competitors bike, but I bet my Hope Pro 4, WTB i35, Sunrace 11-50t, and DoubleDown 29” wheel isn’t too far off that weight anyway.
  • 4 0
 Yeah, interesting that they didn't note original weight. I have no doubt that this was heavy... but it just seems more effective (but less straightforward/informative) than a comparison... that would be interesting.
  • 6 0
 Some very rough math puts his original wheel around 6.2 lbs. I figured it by looking up weights for the wheel, folding bead se5 tire, xx1 eagle cassette, generic 203mm rotor, and adding about 300grams for the sealant and rim strip.
  • 2 0

Hope Pro4 hub, SRAM X01 11sp, 30mm iw carbon rim, CushCore, DD 29x2.35 DHR2, sealant and hardware is about 2.9kg (6.4 lb)
  • 10 3
 So you are allowed to replace a tire but not a rim? Seems arbitrary.
  • 16 0
 ya it's kinda weird but I think its to keep the playing field level for amateurs without fresh spare wheelsets spare new tires isn't that hard to come by for serious privateers
  • 7 0
 also a shredded tire is pretty much impossible to repair....so not being able to finish a race thats on the other side of the world just because of that would suck
  • 3 2
 What if you turn up to registration with your dry tires and they get stickered up, then it unexpectedly pours down overnight you're stuck riding the wrong tires for the race.
  • 6 2
 @Clarkeh: only a foo shows up with one set of tires and doesn't check the weather
  • 4 0
 @Jimmy0: Say you checked in for the race on Friday - forecast says the weather is fine all weekend, rain arrives on Saturday night instead and you'd registered your dry tires, you couldn't swap to the wets if the EWS didn't allow tire changes.
  • 2 0
 @Clarkeh: I agree with the rule that you can change tyres (as it is now), but your problem would be easily solved if they got two sets of stickers (say stickers for dry and stickers for wet tyres) which are different than frame/suspension stickers. So it is not a technical problem.
  • 1 0
 @Archimonde: Yeah that's fair.
  • 10 0
 I think it's a good call for the industry. Manufacturers produce products based on the needs of the racers. Then the same products / wheelsets are marketed to and bought by the rest of us. The one wheelset rule forces the racers to demand products that strike a practical balance between performance and durability - products that make sense for the rest of us ( the "not pro, not slow"). Otherwise most of our wheelset options would be super light and super fragile (Just strong enough to get through a weekend of racing, but not durable enough for a season or two or five of regular thrashing).
  • 2 2
 All of those reasons make sense but I would think it is more important to protect the rider. Nothing about this fix seems like he was protected. Even the heaviness of the wheel could have messed him up and led to a crash.
  • 7 0
 @vapidoscar: The rider is protected by his brain. If he feels it is unsafe, he shouldn't ride. We shouldn't rely on a governing body to protect us from stupid.
  • 2 0
 @marky-d: Ok you win. You have appealed to my libertarian nature.
  • 5 0
 Nice save, but I don't get how all racers can have mechanics working on their bikes during the race and somehow we still try to tell people EWS riders are self sufficient..?
  • 1 0
 Was overnight between Sat and Sun, in theory any privateer could find a shop to help out in a similar situation.
  • 1 0
 thats the luck you have when riding on a factory team..... and a willing mech who works over night :-)
  • 6 0
 Tyler is the man! Always good to have a mechanic like that it your corner!
  • 2 0
 T West showed me all over Wilson during college days. And I got to ride his V10 sometimes.
  • 1 0
 Yeah Tyler is a super nice guy, I had the pleasure of attending a Tech course he did last year at Trek HQ. He's a smart MFer
  • 7 2
 Hate posts vs. carbon rims coming up!
  • 1 4
 I don't think there is any need given the pictures attached Big Grin
  • 3 2
 Working in a trek shop I have seen many of these aluminum line 30 wheels come back with outrageous dents, including my own and friends of mine. These wheels are acceptable for a light trail bike but on bikes like the slash and remedy they aren't enough. I had 5 dents in 2 weeks of riding with a maxxis minion dhf dd at 28psi, it eventually got to where the dents were so bad the tire wouldn't seat. My last spank wheelset had 1 dent in 2 years and I only weigh about 160 so it's not like I'm a clydesdale riding dh on a trail wheel. The line pro/carbon has been holding up much better but I can understand why ews pros don't want a carbon rim with the chance for catastrophic failure on stage if it does go. Let's see an upgrade to the stock spec @bontrager @trek
  • 2 2
 Agreed. Cracked line carbons 3 rides in running 31 psi. had line elites never stay true/undented longer than a week. Too bad they don't offer lineDH for sale. Hard to justify riding these on anything bigger than a trail bike
  • 1 0
 HEY that is a good mechanic, so the epoxy is for fixing a broken carbon frame, if need by the trail side?
Just found out that you can now get epoxy that does not harm the enviroment, but proberly not as strong as toxic stuff used by bike industry, but will try it out and let you know if interested?
  • 4 0
 Hats of to the mechanic for the bodge of the season. What an effort
  • 1 0
 Why not change the rim? They replaced at least 3 parts of a wheelset, the rim tape, sealant and a spoke. A rim is only a small part of a wheelset.

What does the rule actually state?
  • 4 0
 Found it:

Only one frame, fork and one pair of wheels can be used by a competitor during a race.

ALL bike marking stickers must be placed on the Rider’s RIGHT HAND side of the bike.

Bike marking stickers must be placed on the bike by the rider or rider’s team prior to the race start. Any problems must be reported to the Race Director PRIOR to the race start.
Officially marked equipment:
- Fork Crown
- Swingarm / Rear triangle
- Front triangle
- Both wheel rims

Competitor’s bikes will be checked for marking at the start of the race and at the finish of every Special Stage. Other random checks of stickered equipment will be carried out throughout the race.

A rider can use unmarked equipment during training unless otherwise stated by the organiser.

Only upon approval of the Race Director, may a rider replace a frame, fork or wheel. Following the repair the rider must return to the Race Director to have the replacement part(s) re-marked before rejoining the race.

A 5 minute penalty will be awarded to every rider who, having received approval by the Race Director, replaces the equipment listed above.

Any rider found to have replaced a named/marked part without consent from the Race Director will be disqualified (DSQ).

Racers who lose their bike marking stickers prior to the start of the race may be assessed a time penalty.
  • 8 5
 That is why you say no to carbon rims. Would have been race over.
  • 13 2
 I didn't hear of anyone unable to race after they broke a carbon rim over the weekend though?
  • 11 4
 I ride WeAreOnes and after a season of a beating (4-5 rides/week) and a couple races they show no sign of wear. I wiped them and I mean no sign of wear. Bead was clean after lots of rim hits. I'm not sure that the whole carbon is weak and aluminum is strong debate is super well understood. Granted I'm no EWS guy tho, and yes equipment will break in the right situation. My riding buddies routinely dent their aluminum rims. That said the DT Swiss wheels seem to hold up really well to abuse. I dunno, I can't take what you said for granted. I'd like to see more comparisons on the topic.
  • 8 5
 @Clarkeh: not many ews guys run carbon. Carbon doesn't dent. It cracks
  • 8 2
 You could have epoxied the thing back together were it carbon.
  • 4 8
flag makripper (Sep 25, 2018 at 17:36) (Below Threshold)
 @acali: carbon shatters
  • 2 0
 @makripper: Yeah I know that, they run mostly alloy parts so you can bend it back in a crash. They also need to perform for their sponsors and cannot risk a DNF - does that mean they are running their bikes exactly how the would like to have them? Can't say. The Pro's not choosing to run them doesn't mean that carbon rims are a bad idea for the other 99% of riders, the ones that do run carbon wheels smash them into rocks at speeds "normal" riders can't imagine and rarely break them.
  • 8 7
 @Clarkeh: so why spend 2k on a carbon wheelset? What's the point?
  • 6 2
 @makripper: After doing some back to back testing, I prefer how they ride compared to alloy.
  • 5 5
 @Clarkeh: what are you gaining though? Faster Strava time?
  • 8 4
 @makripper: A better feeling bike.
  • 3 1
 Carbon will take a much bigger impact before it cracks though. But that also causes carbon to give you pinch flats. so carbon with Cushcore seems to be a pretty good set up.
  • 5 1
 I'd like to see the Carbon hoops tested. I 'd like to know.... I am on Carbon now after going back and forth with Alloy and Carbon for a few years. Carbon hoops is a now a must for me. Noticeable difference in ride quality and durability as I have destroyed a few alloy rims and then hit the same rough lines/rocks/drops on roots, etc on carbon with no failures. yet
  • 5 4
 @Clarkeh: I'm doubting you are actually faster or better with carbon rims. Theres a massive cost with not much performance gain. I'd consider it if I was paid to run them. Not about throwing more money away on a consumable part.
  • 2 1
 @makripper: Carbon splinters and rips.
  • 3 4
 @conv3rt: I'm sure carbon is ok for people who don't ride really hard but then what's the point of getting them if you aren't? If your not at the pointy end of the pro racing spectrum and every half second counts, why bother?
  • 2 1
 @makripper: Even if it's just placebo, I feel I can push harder on them, that's enough to justify them for me.
  • 5 3
 @Clarkeh: I don't get that. I've never felt like I can't push a bike hard because of the rims? Unless I did something dumb like toss xc rims on a dh bike
  • 6 0
 @makripper: Look mate, I'm not trying to sell you a pair haha. I notice it mostly in pumping, cutties and smacking them into berms, feels like the difference between a Fox 32 and 36 to me. I am 90kg though so it could be a weight thing.
  • 1 0
 @makripper: I was facing a wheel set purchase and the pricing for aluminum wasn't far off a WR1 set. I decided to take the plunge and the warranty is great. Haven't had to use it so far. My previous wheel set (stans) warranty was crap even when the failure was obviously warranty worthy. I was done with stans and WR1 customer service is tops.

I think the premise that an impact that bends aluminum in enough to shatter carbon needs to be tested. I've known more people who had to replace destroyed aluminum rims than carbon.
  • 1 0
 @makripper: have you ridden good carbon wheels?
  • 1 0
 @acali: meh, wouldn't hold very long unless you stashed a some extra carbon with you;-)
  • 1 1
I'm we you. Prefer the ride and they have out lasted any alloy (bar ex729 lead beasts) Iv had easy.
Took 2.5 years instead of 6months and it didn't shatter at all in fact it didn't even loose air. Still perfectly round. Changed it anyway and then beat the hell out off it anyway against a wall where it cracked to see how weak it was. And nothing few chips in it still round. I need to do a beat down video with it. Blows my mind how strong it is and it's a broken one.
  • 5 0
 @Clarkeh: Thomas Lapeyrie pulled out after breaking his Enves in stage one, you can see him running with his bike on the recap video
  • 5 0
 @Clarkeh: T Lap exploded his ENVE on stage one. Race over.
  • 5 0
 @twelve02: carbon does your taxes, washes your dishes, and cleans your bike.
  • 2 0
 @Whipperman , @mdelorme Ah lame, hadn't seen that.
  • 1 0
 @conv3rt: Those people destroying aluminium would destroy any type of rim material. Not far off? For an amazing rim is about 100 to 150 tops. Not far off to me is 200$ I'm doubting there is one carbon rim out there for 200 than can hold up.
  • 1 0
 @spaceofades: what!? I didn't get that memo. I'll order up some enves for all my bikes right now :p
  • 1 0
 @conv3rt: OOoooohhhhh I'll take that one! Two wheel sets, same track, same hour.... I need to get a body armour sponsor before we start though!!
  • 2 1
 to pinkbike: please set up a shootout to failure for aluminum vs. carbon wheels. Add to that which pro athletes run which material. Lab testing? Conjecture and unfounded declarations are fuel for the endless PB comment foodfight. Give us some data please.
  • 2 1
 @makripper: In my case it was $1000 vs $1500. I was set on DT Swiss hubs with a 30mm internal rim. With the differences in warranty and quality that was a good price comparison. The bonus of supporting Canadian industry I have not regretted my choice, one bit. I even got a pleasant swag surprise in the box.
  • 1 0
 @conv3rt: 30mm internal is pretty standard. You must get a deal with them? Built up all 3 wheelsets on their website and with dt350 they are at least 1700 after tax without adding XD or anything.
  • 1 0
 @conv3rt: also, do they recycle the rims? I go through at least a wheelset a season
  • 1 0
 @makripper: I used to go through rims too. So far two seasons and not a scratch. I did get a deal at the time. I don't use XD. best of luck
  • 1 0
 @conv3rt: the guys I ride with smash carbon rims too. I don't want to wait weeks for warranty. And it would be weeks minimum.
  • 2 1
 @makripper: we could do this all day but why? happy trails!
  • 3 0
 Did he not have a flat tire defender in when he started this journey?
  • 2 0
 Pinkbike need to add a unit conversion widget somewhere like a language on a website.
  • 1 0
 If you are running Bontrager wheels lets face it, you are going to need to be good with the #8 wire. Love my Trek.. And its DT Swiss wheelset.
  • 2 0
 Wow. Mad respect. Salute
  • 3 1
 Favorite PB article of the year so far.
  • 2 0
 That wheel needs to be in some kind of museum.
  • 1 1
 Thanks for the article, i love those stories of serious engineering. Me and a riding buddy once filed down Hope V4 brake pads to fit E4 calipers. They worked nicely.
  • 2 0
 ive got shimano pads in my avids that i filed down to fit
  • 1 0
 @BrianRichards: i busted some spacers on a brake mount camping once and used a pile of the little nut that are on a presta valve as spacers worked great. Had to steal some off every tube i could find.
  • 2 0
 Great story @mdelorme a real complement to your always great photos!
  • 1 0
 what happens most of the time:

- Rides DH tracks, on a enduro bike, with XC rims...
  • 1 0
 Great content, Matt (I'm too dumb to tag people properly). Living the behind the scenes story
  • 2 0
 T West is one badass mechanic! Get back to Moab soon!
  • 3 2
 Yeah! Been waiting for this. tup
  • 1 0
 Waiting for what?
  • 2 0
 @raddog: This article
  • 6 4
 Should of run cush core!
  • 1 1
 So long as you're not paying team mechanics by the hour.
  • 1 1
 Five minute replacement time penalty. Wonder what gear is covered under this?
  • 2 0
 Both wheels, frame and fork.
  • 3 1
 Cushcore for the win
  • 1 0
 Comments are gold on this article, well done everyone!
  • 1 0
 Looks better then ENVE wheels after a lap around the local pond.
  • 1 0
 Tyler is the man!
  • 1 0
 Cool story hansel
  • 1 0
  • 5 5
 Shoulda run procore..
  • 2 3
 It’s a bontrager what else were you expecting?
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