Pinkbike's EWS Pro Rides - Yoann Barelli and his Giant Reign

Nov 9, 2015
by Paul Aston  
Lead graphic - EWS Pro Rides

Yoann Barelli may be the least decorated rider in this series of articles, but he more than makes up for that with flamboyancy and charisma. Battling for years on the French and World Cup circuits, Barelli posted some top 20 finishes and was the French Elite Champion in 2004. He left the race scene in 2007 and went to Australia to learn English and do the travelling thing. Returning in 2009, Yoann dedicated a couple more years to downhill before transitioning to enduro and the newly formed Enduro World Series in 2013.

Checking his results we can see distinct improvements over the last three years - floating around the top thirty in 2013 and hassling the top ten in 2014, where his best effort was fifth place at Valloire, France. In 2015, he exploded onto the second step of the podium in Whistler, a feat that he repeated at the following round in Ainsa, Spain. That is positive progression, and plotting his results suggests that we should see him standing on top step in 2016. The Frenchman turned 30 this year and he seems to have come of age.

After his podium in Whistler Yoann Barelli has clearly taken a whole boatload of confidence here in Ainsa on a completely different type of course he is right back up there again holding onto second this evening.

bigquotes I decided to stop DH and do only enduro when they created the EWS in 2013. I was still working. I started the series and in the middle of the season, I decided to quit my job and focus on racing. At the end of '13, I signed my first pro contract with the Giant Factory Off-Road Team. For 2014 and '15, it has been a full-time job - and here I am this year, living in Whistler.

EWS Pro Rides - Yoann Barelli

Let's start at the top. You're using aluminum handlebars?

Yes. I don't really want to ride with carbon bars because they are only available to me in 750mm. I like to have a wider, 780mm. If Truvativ made a wider carbon bar, I would ride with it, but I don't really care. I like this bar. I'm not really looking to save weight on the bike - that's not an issue or priority for me. I use a 30mm rise bar with a 40mm stem and large frame. I'm 177cm tall.

And, you have a RockShox Lyrik fork up front.

Since they launched the Lyrik, I have been using it and I really like it. I ride it at 170mm, so it makes a little higher and slacker head angle, but I don't think it really changes the geometry of the bike when riding, because we can use more sag with the bigger negative spring and have more sensitivity. I would ride a Pike again, but I prefer the Lyrik, for sure.

Whistler Tech.
The Lyrik fork is standard-issue, with a Powa DFender mud guard to keep vision clear on race day.

What settings do you use for the fork?

I weigh 75kgs, I'm not sure of the sag, I go on feeling. I use 80psi with three Bottomless Tokens and 6-clicks from closed on the low-speed compression..

Why a coil shock?

Now I have the Vivid R2C coil shock. I know that Josh [Carlson] and Adam [Craig] ride with that all the time, but I like to swap with the Debonair. When it's really pedally, then I have a compression adjuster and I can even change it during the stages. It's also a bit lighter and feels more dynamic. If there is like, a thirty-second climb, I will lock it - but if it's a sprint I won't touch it. Here in Whistler, I think it's a good idea to run the coil and a big fork on the front. I run a standard tune, but we use a shorter spring with this plastic token, so the spring is a bit lighter (similar in weight to a titanium spring) and this lets the spring move and doesn't twist up like normal. It feels like a downhill bike now,

Whistler Tech.
Yoann used a RockShox Vivid R2C coil shock in Whistler. The plastic spacer lets the spring rotate as the shock compresses, increasing sensitivity.

That's a huge chainring,

This is a 38 tooth, because I am just going up to do the Garbanzo. Normally, I use a 36 tooth all the time. Sometimes I change to a 34, if there is a lot of climbing. I like the 36 so that I can stay in the middle of the cassette and not at the bottom on the high-speed sections, so I have better chain line. I use a standard 175mm SRAM XO carbon crankset.

EWS Pro Rides - Yoann Barelli
Keeping it simple with a SRAM XX1 drivetrain and an MRP top guide and bash guard for safety.

What about tires?

I used a Schwalbe Magic Mary in the Trailstar compound for the race, with a Vert star at the front, both in Super Gravity casing. I put 22psi at the front and 24psi at the back. Sometimes I use a little bit more at the back, but no more than 26psi, maximum. The front is always at 22psi. I like low pressure to have good grip and its cool. Tubeless is standard - no ProCore or anything, and I use SRAM Rail 50 wheels instead of the Roam 50.

Whistler Tech.
Whistler Tech.
Yoann seems to be all about simplicity. Except for the 'First Ride' factory Schwalbe tires, he uses a standard tubeless wheel setup.

Do you ever use carbon wheels?

I don't want to try the carbon wheels, I think that's too sketchy in enduro. We have to do one, two, or three days of racing - and they mark the bikes at the beginning. If you explode a carbon wheel you're f****d, you're disqualified, or you have to change the wheel and take a five-minute penalty. With aluminum, you can just bend it and fix it.

EWS Pro Rides - Yoann Barelli

Do you have any special tactics for this race?

Not really.

Just, as fast as possible everywhere?

Yeah, basically. We had two long stages, two and five. I knew the race would be played on those stages, so it was important not to lose time on stage two, and make sure I was near the front to contend for the overall. I just try to find momentum, be really gentle on the bike, be really light, and that's what I did. I was a little bit slow for the first three stages, finding it hard to get my line and the momentum. After stage three, I was like: 'OK, now you are going to do it!' I did a really good stage four and five.

EWS Pro Rides - Yoann Barelli

bigquotes At the end, I was so f****d, really f****d. I started full gas and I finished full gas. The same thing for stage five. Do not mess around - you just go for it and see what happens.

How do you attack the long stages?

Full crazy! I did like stage two full gas, I passed Remy [Absalon] at the top of Khybers so, obviously, I did a really good beginning of the stage. Then, we did almost all the rest of the stage together. At the end, I was so f****d, really f****d. I started full gas and I finished full gas. The same thing for stage five. Do not mess around - you just go for it and see what happens.

Do you use a heart rate monitor or power meter?

No, not even when I am training. I'm not somebody with a GPS, Garmin, blah blah blah - I just do it with the feeling and that is it. I don't care about that.

Timed runs?

Yeah, I do timed runs, but only with a watch on my bar. I time like that. That's it - easy, easy stuff.

Yoann Barelli has a long if nervous spell in the hotseat waiting to see what time Richie Rude put in.
Yoann's years of commitment must have seemed like nothing compared to waiting in the hot seat at the Whistler EWS, with one man left on the hill.

bigquotes When I ride a mountain bike, I just want to do it for fun.

Do you just concentrate on the riding?

I really like to ride for fun, I take my enduro bike or downhill bike and go for a ride and have fun. When I am training, I take my road bike or cross bike. When I ride a mountain bike, I just want to do it for fun.

EWS Pro Rides - Yoann Barelli

Any special tricks from your mechanic?

Every race, Colin, he puts a sticker on my handlebar with some key words that he finds. It's different all the time and it works. For this race, it was "Believe, Attack, Execute." I just discovered that the morning before the race, they are always some precise words. He just knows all the time what will work for my mind, it's really cool. That's a little thing we have now.

EWS Pro Rides - Yoann Barelli
The "Giant Factory Off-Road Team" engraved lock-on grips are probably the only piece of customization on Yoann's bike.

bigquotes Believe, Attack, Execute.

No special mods with race wheels, like taking out seals or oil in the bearings?

No, nothing. It's the basic bike you buy the bike at the shop, and it's the same bike I race.

Do you carry a bag?

No bag. I have a bottle cage all the time and I feed at the food stations. I have a little jacket that I put under my jersey with pockets at the back where I put a tube and co2 stuff for repairs, and a few bars. I hate riding with a backpack. It's the worst thing ever. All the time, I feel so locked. I can't move properly.

Whistler Tech.

You seem to be a fan of nice and simple?

Yeah, keep it easy!

The top men enjoy a beer together after stage six. EWS round 8 Finale Ligure Italy. Photo by Matt Wragg.

Riding Yoann's Giant Reign

Yoann was kind enough to lend me his spare bike for the EWS in Whistler - "Le B Bike," Similar to Nico Vouilloz's bike in Rotorua, the Rock Shox suspension was set with super-fast rebound, but with plenty of progression in the springs. His large sized bike was surprisingly comfortable for me, considering he stands at 177cm and I am 185cm tall with stupidly long arms. The suspension was way too hard for me, though, and we had to drop the spring rates after a few hours of practice, because I couldn't hold on to the Giant any longer. The boy must put in some serious gym time to keep a hold of the Reign on long stages. (Maybe, having a girlfriend as a personal trainer helps out here.)

The standout characteristic of the bike was steering. The slack Reign seems to steer better than its head angle would suggest. When weighting the front wheel, it felt like my mass dropped well behind the front axle. That meant changing direction on cambered or rough trails was a cinch. The front wheel would climb over obstacles rather than skid when turned. I wonder if that had something to do with the rearward axle path of the Giant, or the weight distribution? Or, maybe he's been playing with fork offsets. Does Yoann know more than he lets on?

So there you have it: Giant's Yoann Barelli uses a simple approach compared to many of his competitors. There's a lot to be said for having fun on the bike when it comes to putting in a good race performance. Many riders have been known to crack, or become demoralized under the constant pressure of racing. Yoann has a great, fun attitude and this is clearly reflected in his riding.

Your mens podium Richie Rude Yoann Barellu and Martin Maes.

MENTIONS: @SramMedia, @giantbicycles, @schwalbe,


  • 175 1
 Doesn't worry to mush about weight, doesn't run carbon rims and the bike is close to what's on the shelf... Awesome..!!
  • 54 68
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 9, 2015 at 1:17) (Below Threshold)
 I had carbon rims for a year, now I am back to alu and I am a much happier man. The only place carbon works great is XC racing. Other than that Carbon is great for frames front triangle and USD fork uppers and let's keep it there. It's messed up with carbon bars, posts and seats when you go against a sea of rocks and roots, where feel and compliance is more than welcome. Carbon cranksets and stems are fkng special...
  • 55 10
 Have you ever owned an XO crank set? What the hell is there to complain about? Yes, carbon shouldn't be used in some specific applications, but the general pinkbike stigma against carbon is just nuts. I would be willing to bet my left nut you'd have a very hard time breaking an enve m90 in a bike park if they gave you a set for free.
  • 15 3
 More directed toward Waki, not wavetrance.
  • 33 26
 eeee... I have them in my bike... I am terrified to use without boots (as clearcoat is almost gone), they are scratched all over the place and it looks like crap. I've seen a few in the bin at my friends workshop with pedal inserts falling inside. All that for 70g saving over SLX - IF! - you use spiderless chainring. They are going away in a month time with the bike I am selling. And GXP bearings last shorter than Shimanos.
  • 15 1
 I think that the first gen slx crankset is the best crank ever made.
  • 39 19
 Waki, if you want to keep your bike in show room condition, then stop riding it. We have jobs for a reason. We ride our bike, we break parts, we buy new parts.
  • 15 4
 @dancingwhale, I have 2 friends on the carbon enves you speak of one is 130lbs soaking wet and the other about 165. Both very small guys and have each broke 3 rims. these do not last. I think the most they got were 3 runs before the rim was if you ride where it is rocky do not go carbon rims, and the warrenty is a bit of a hassle as well.
  • 22 21
 @abzillah - that is a matter of aesthetics, yes I am a picky basterd, but I don't want to keep my bike in showroom conditions I don't want to care about it. Now quality metal scratches in a much nicer manner and lesser consequences. I don't mind if my plastic bashguard looks like crap after a few rendezvouz with stones and rocks but it is damn cheap - If I pay so much for something then I want it to look nice and it looks nice just in show room. 3 rides later it looks like crap, much worse than metal bits after years of abuse. Finally, latest carbon stuff breakes just like alu if not more often, I talked to ENVE representative on VDSole world cup and he gave me just bullcrap about their rim profile, while i know for a fact a dude that breaks their rims regularly. Each fast dude in my town broke cheap carbon rims, including ones in front wheels. Most of them sold warrantied products directly after getting them. Carbon is a fairy tale story, if you want it to last you must buy stuff weighing as much as metal counter parts. It is a Hype curve that goes down again after the through of enlightement. The only thing keeping it up there is constant media coverage, peer pressure and post purchase rationalization. Racing - go for it, any kind will do - anywhere else, ride more convenient and much cheaper metal bits. Front triangles of full suspended frames with shielding - cool if you want to pay. Everything else - forget it.
  • 11 10
 In most situations, are carbon rim will outlast and outperform an aluminum rim. It's not even debatable. I've had Enves for the last two seasons without needing a truing stand. I'm not the fastest guy out there, but I'm a mid pack expert enduro racer with my favorite riding being on rocky gnarly terrain. I would go through an aluminum rim every month. Yoann is saying that he runs aluminum at races in case the carbon rim breaks. Aluminum bends to hell and back and can be ridden that way. He also lives in Whistler.
  • 17 12
 There are people who ride Crank Bros and Easton wheels for years without issues. I get that, I am fine with that.
  • 12 3
 "What the hell is there to complain about?" Uh, only that about 80% of all broken cranks I've ever seen have been X0 cranks? XD
  • 15 14
 @dualsuspensiondave - my friends ride sht loads, 2-3 times a week, several trips a year including Alps. Girl is a master world champ in DH quite hard on stuff. Dude is more than a decent rider, one of the last to give a thought for backing off to save his equipment any beating. All season on EX471. They need truing, yes. Carbon rims don't need truing, they need replacement on warranty with best customer support on the planet. ENVEs cost 800$ per rim - unless there's a McLaren parked in your 200m2 garage you have extremely little room to be unhappy with them.
  • 15 2
 @dualsuspensiondave it is debatable - I can count on one hand with spare fingers, the number of decent aluminium rims I have wrecked, beyond the point of repair over what was probably a 10 year period

Carbon, in the last 3 years my rim count is: 2 x Easton haven, 2 x Enve AM, 2 x Derby 2 x LB, 1 x Enve 70-30.

My Derby wheelset (DH spec) lasted 2 weeks in Whistler before both rims were cracked. The Stans Flow replacements lasted the remaining 10 weeks with 2 dings & no other issues, doing multiple park laps & big XC rides nearly every day.
  • 5 6
 Waki. You're terrified to use cranks? Come on! I run XO and don't even think about them. Terrified? I mean have you actually ever been really terrified in your life.... like you think you're actually going to die?

Also. Like anything else expensive. If you can't afford to break it you should't be using it. Just don't be jealous that other people can. That's just the way things are in the world. An expensive mtb is just a 1st world adult toy after all.
  • 2 5
 @dualsuspensiondave - makes an excellent point, if you don't want to be truing and tensioning spokes as often (as in once a year vs once a month when you ding) then carbon rims will give you that.

If you can afford the initial investment in a set of ENVEs, you'll learn they will more than pay off down the road with reduced rebuilding costs (think about nipples, spokes, and labor if you don't do it yourself) over the course of ENVE's awesome 5 year warranty, with perhaps one rear wheel failure a year, if you're a hack like me, versus 3 aluminum rim failures I was averaging before. 15 rear wheel builds (and a few fronts once in a while) adds up.

Not that I'm trying, but it seems bloody hard to destroy ENVEs. I can't say that about other, cheaper, brands I've tried mind... and no one touches that 5 yr warranty.
  • 3 10
flag dualsuspensiondave (Nov 9, 2015 at 10:46) (Below Threshold)
 @Hob Nob - What tires were you running and what PSI? Sounds like user error. Waki- Enve has an excellent warranty, so there is no spending $800 to replace them. Your friends must not be running good tires for their application and the wrong PSI.
  • 11 1
 if you don't like carbon. Don't use it. Problem solved...
  • 11 0

26psi front, 29 rear.

Not user error, I'm not a muppet!

Just not suitable for sustained hard use, be it enduro or DH.

Enve do have a crash replacement scheme, which is 50% of retail, or normally distributor cost + tax. It's hardly a 'deal'. They have/do in my experience as much as they can to weasel out of a warranty claim. They are no better than Derby, or Light Bike.
  • 2 11
flag dualsuspensiondave (Nov 9, 2015 at 11:55) (Below Threshold)
 They actually replace them for free. I had a delaminate issue when I first got mine and they replaced it and rebuilt it at no charge. My friend broke a M60 while running the wrong tires on some gnarl and they replaced it for free. You must be running trail tires when riding DH. You need to run a Super Gravity/DH casing tire just like every pro/expert enduro/DH rider does whether it's an aluminum or carbon rim.
  • 8 0
 Not in the UK they don't, you crack a rim, they will say sorry, not a manufacturing defect. I generally run EXO tyres at a minimum, to state I need to run DH tyres is ridiculous.
  • 7 0
 here in canada the enve warranty is a racket...must send to the canadian distributor who then get a RN number then they sen said wheel. then you wait for them to rebuild your rim to the you have no rear wheel during this, so you have to buy a rear wheel for the interim. so after 3 months and 500$ you get a new rim laced to your original hub just in time for the snow.......ENVE warranty!!!LOLOLOLOLOL
now times this by 3 times.........back on aluminum riding quebec rocks and one ding in my rear (very big ding) but still works with no worry of future did the 3 enves....oh yah ony got 5 rides on the enves, and by rides I mean DH runs!!!
  • 2 0
 I went off trail, got a small log into my rear wheel, and it stopped me dead sending me over the bar. I expected to see a cracked rim and blown out spokes, but all I had was a slightly bent and loose spoke. Wheel was still perfectly true as the day I built them a year ago. Its a Spank Oozy 27.5 aluminum rim.
  • 6 11
flag dualsuspensiondave (Nov 9, 2015 at 13:01) (Below Threshold)
 You don't understand how tire casings work. Exo casing is a joke. So you would run a XC tire on a DH bike? Really? Haha. People need to realize that just because you're not on a DH bike, doesn't mean that you don't need at least a Super Gravity tire. There's a reason that all pro enduro and DH racers run them. The sidewalls don't fold up like a lawn chair on rough terrain and corners, and you very seldom flat. If enduro and DH guys ran trail tires, none of them would make it down their run without damaging a rim and/or flatting.
  • 9 1
 I understand exactly how tyre casings work. What is a joke is you think that for normal riding, you think I should be running DH tyres! I wouldn't consider using Schwalbe as every single one I've used the knobs have started to tear off within a couple of days use. Super Gravity casing isn't much tougher than an EXO in reality. If I was riding and racing DH all day every day, I wouldn't be using anything but DH tyres, but my AM bike is just that. It does everything. I'm not lugging 1.2kg of tyre each end just because my carbon rims can't cope with a bit of rowdy trail riding. Don't forget, I still ran the same EXO's on the Flow rims, which lasted 5 times as long, and are still in use now. FWIW there are plenty of Maxxis sponsored EWS racers, most of which run EXO tyres, along with the likes of others running Specialized Grids with no issues.
  • 5 13
flag dualsuspensiondave (Nov 9, 2015 at 14:27) (Below Threshold)
 Haha, you're killing me. Super Gravity casing is waaaaaay different than than Exo. Super Gravity is what the DH WC guys run. Exo is comparable to Schwalbe's snakeskin. EWS Maxxis riders don't ride Exo either. They'll occasionally run it as a front tire. Schwalbe did have that issue a while ago with the knobs ripping off and would replace them for free. I'm saying that if you're riding a lot of rough terrain, a stiffer sidewall tire will be your best bet regardless if you're running aluminum or carbon. Those Stan's Flow rims are ok aluminum rims, but no where near a decent carbon rim.
  • 8 0
 Well that escalated quickly
  • 2 1
 It's all about the rider, how they ride and the trails they ride regularly. Sure if I was sponsored, a shop employee, an XC rider, a dentist or rode on relatively tame trails I'd consider a pair of Enve's. But I weigh 200 lbs and send my trail bike down long descents with nasty rock gardens and drops going full plaid. Not that I'm close to their level but the fact that very few pros run carbon wheels (in DH and Enduro) tells us that the minimal performance gain still isn't worth it. Even more compelling is that pros don't have to pay for the wheels and they still choose alloy as the best bet to get them down the mountain.
  • 4 3
 Also- @dualsuspensiondave I respectfully disagree with you about EXO and other "kevlar" type tires (snakeskin, grid, black chili, etc.). These tires are fantastic for 99% of riders. Pros run supergravity and similar tires because the compound is softer and therefore more sticky icky. Plus they get special versions that are lighter or shaved down. However, for the rest of us the added benefit of not dragging 1200 gram tires up 2,000-3,000 feet every time we ride make these tires optimal. I've beat the hell out of my Snakeskin and EXO's with no issues.
  • 3 10
flag dualsuspensiondave (Nov 9, 2015 at 21:26) (Below Threshold)
 I do the same thing as you at 190lbs. and have been racing and riding mine for two seasons without them needing a truing stand. Has nothing to do with the compound on Schwalbe's as they are available in the same compound either way you go. It's that the sidewalls handle aggressive turning better by not folding up, the traction is much better. They don't destroy rims as easy, and they don't flat as easy. Many Pro's are running carbon rims, in fact most are these days. Once you go to a better casing, you never go back. You don't have to be a dentist to have high end parts, it's all about priorities. Ride whatever you want, but don't try to fight the facts.
  • 4 3
 Dave,the fact is that they are cracking all over the place and that there is no relation 10 alu rims per 1 Enve under a lad. They are Emperors New Clothes - too expensive and too hyped to deny their value, there is just one way of the situation: either the owner is a fool or everyone else. The dude I mentioned rode FEST in Norway and he went through several rims. If you use one alu rim per week then something is wrong with what you are doing not with everyone who cracks an ENVE, which included Pinkbike testers. Gwin went through 2 Ex471s rear rims through the week in Val Di Sole, what size of things do you ride mate? Then you tell me that I must use double ply tyres at correct pressures, which I can only interpret that you admit yourself that - as fully expected - carbon rim requires a great deal of shielding. Sounds great for Enduro blokes who can live with Snake Skin,Exo or Grid (BTW no DH casing schwalbes are worthless) I could live with that, but carbon has one more property - it is fkng stiff. I did not buy a 6k bike, tune my rear shock to get flashbacks of riding fireroad on a rigid bike.
  • 4 1
 @dualsuspensiondave As you say, facts are facts. If to run carbon rims, I have to run completely OTT heavy tyres to protect them when doing any sort of riding, then they arn't fit for purpose. I'm not some freaky rim destroyer, there are plenty of other people out there going through them at an impressive rate.

Tyres have to be a balance of many things; weight, rolling resistance, grip, puncture proofability & support. I have use many DH tyres from racing, and SG compound tyres, which are pointless, because they are made by Schwalbe & fall apart within days. Every. Single. Time.

Out of interest, I had a quick scout through the Maxxis riders tyre choice for Whistler. Only one big EWS racer was using DH casing tyres (ACC). Everyone else? EXO's. And that includes Rude & Graves.

I'm taking a stab in the dark here, but I guess you work for Enve, hence why you're a bit butt hurt over the less than stellar service people in the real world are experiencing?
  • 3 0
 @Wakidesigns I thought you swore by light bicycle carbon rims (not swore at them...)
  • 1 2
 Post purchase rationalization wore off. And dude I advised to buy them broke two, first one on third am/xc ride on HT. Decent rider with trials/street background. I sold mine just in case. The only situation where I could consider carbon rims again would be having a long travel 29er
  • 4 1
 i think Jared run the EXO series in EWS.
I just checked, yup its right
  • 3 4
 I don't work for Enve, that would be awesome though. I just can't stand when people talk out their asses like you guys are. I race myself and have seen the carnage of parts, and bad decisions. My best friend races the EWS and also have an a aquatance that is a popular racer in the EWS. They both told me what tires they run and what everyone else runs. There's a recent video on here where he says the same thing. The consensus is the same, just as you even see in this article that we're commenting on (how ironic). They mostly run a DH or SG casing, especially as a back tire. These guys can't afford flats. Even Keene just talked about it in his recent video about how he's made bad decisions picking a trail casing for a race on occasion. There's no way that Graves is picking an Exo casing rear tire on race day. As he spoke about recently on here, he runs heavier things for stability and to make it through a day of racing.
  • 4 4
 Read the Graves interview with his SB5C on here where they ask him if he is still running full DH tires. "I recently ran two EXO tires and double flatted in a rock garden and that was the last straw for me." Then they go into the new Double Down casing which is similar to a Super Gravity casing.
  • 2 0
 carbon cranks? no thanks..couple of crankarm rock strikes and you're down.

in contrast, good set of aluminium alloy cranks (Shimano HT2 for the win), you can smack those suckers all day on rocks and you get some scrapes but still good to go.

Both my bikes have carbon fibre frames but I'm not taking the risks with CF cranks, see way too many pop really quickly.
  • 2 3
 Graves goes 250W in rest mode on two day long competition with thousands of vertical feet climbing and 5-6 of 5-10minute long descents a day with peaking pulse, none of some park coasting pish. I may consider same tyre choice once I get fit enough to give 150W at the end of second climb on 1plies... Also if you run 2-plies, why would you try to save weight on rims?! Just buy EX570s and if you do manage to ruin them within a month then holy moly, you are a speed god. He also runs alu rims... if we do must go into Pro-choice argument.
  • 5 1
 @dualsuspensiondave Talking out of our asses, just because we don't agree with you. You sound like a nice guy.

Bored of trying to have a conversation with your blinkered view. You been proven wrong repeatedly, and now it's your trump card that 'your mate' has raced some EWS's, so you got some snippets of second/third hand information.

I've raced a number of EWS's myself too - so have seen with my own eyes - there are also plenty of pictures out there of top Maxxis riders, racing these events with EXO tyres. Including the guy who won the overall this year, who is reknowned for being a monster.
  • 2 8
flag dualsuspensiondave (Nov 10, 2015 at 6:25) (Below Threshold)
 I've not been proven wrong once here, but keep on with your skewed view of things. If Graves and Barelli can't talk any sense into you, I certainly can't. It really doesn't matter at the end of the day.
  • 2 1
 Let's not get all personal about this. Keeping to facts Double Down isn't a pure wire-bead downhill carcass but simply a slightly thicker sidewall than EXO. It adds ~200 grams to EXO for a total of ~1000 instead of ~600 or a total of ~1400. Again, the right folding/kevlar bead tire is great for 99% of riders who actually pedal uphill. Having spent the summer running my Magic Mary snakeskins into sharp jagged rocks I have a hard time believing very many people can destroy that beast of a tire.

My point about Enve and other carbon rims is that you are not getting a worthwhile performance benefit from them outside of a placebo effect. They may ride nicer (arguable as I like "give" that alloy has over really rocky stuff) and look cooler but they don't make you faster and are not proving to be stronger than a well-built alloy set.
  • 1 1
 ryan83 - from what I experienced myself with 4 different Snake Skin Schwalbe tyres VS Maxxis EXOs and talked to people I know well who ride much more than me and are quite far above average riding skill, Magic Marys are confirmed yet an extremely strange exception from usual Schwalbe stuff which goes more or less like that:
1.trail stars wear out as quickly on the rear as Maxxis 42a compound,
2.casings get easily pinch punctured, negating much of UST advantage,
3.casings are very unstable and so thin that running tubes under 40 PSI giving a very high chance of puncturing a tube. And I did ride Exos with tube for some time. Once I ripped a knobb off (on uphill) put the tube in, and punctured it twice, despite high pressure and being careful.
4.casings wear out quickly as well, kevlar shows pretty quickly through the rubber
5.Knobs get often torn off negating much of UST advantage (includes Super Gravity casings)

Schwalbes are the lightest tyres out there for the volume and knob size - there are no miracles, there is less rubber on them. Magic Marys Evo being the very miracle may be resilient due to the amount of meat in the knobs, making them stick to the casing better and providing more cushioning against pinch punctures.
  • 1 0
 I happy you guys say aluminum rims are where its at cuz I cant afford carbon even if I wanted to lol, although I would've thought carbon would stand up better since it does bend, the only thing I would be scared of is carbons ability to turn a dent into a hole in a matter of seconds.
  • 1 0
 I'm surprised we don't hear more stuff about cranks breaking. Aluminum or carbon.
  • 1 0
 Keep digging dave, you're going fully rigid..
  • 2 0

all the genuine "broken" aluminium alloy cranks I've seen over the years have been from massive crashes (i.e. hospital time) or from design defects like a steel pedal boss insert working loose and spinning in the arm - this used to plague the old RF Diablous crank and also BMX cranks like Primo Hollowbites.

the concern I have seen with CF cranks is how easily they are broken in normal circumstances by "mild" riders (i.e. fat old XC guys) due to rock strikes or regular contact with spd pedal cleats when clipping in. as many know, carbon fibre composite does not fare well in direct impact or abrasion...
  • 1 1
 In bicycle application, when compared to aluminium, carbon does not bend or twist, that's my biggest problem with the material. It is bloody stiff because it requires certain thickness in order to have any resistance against shattering. So the moment you get durability it is already too stiff for most of the parts on a mountain bike. It still requires shielding. Front triangle is an excellent application. However when carbon part is exposed to high risk of hits it has to be very thick, while that is ok on a front triangle as weight can be saved on other parts than downtube/BB are, parts like chainstays, cranks or pedals, it needs to be so thick to remain resillieny that from weight saving perspective there is little to no win compared to aluminium. However in certain situations the specifics of application make it acceptable to sacrifice durability and compliance. Moreover when weight of aluminium gets too low, it gets so much less durable than carbon that carbon becomes a top choice. XC rims for larger wheels is a good example where racers require sub 350g rims and when made of aluminium such rim is soft as cheese. Jury is still out and will always be out on carbon bars for gravity disciplines, since, just like with rims, above certain threshold, the obstacles get so big that vibration dampening properties of carbon turn into magnifying the hits due to stiffness. carbon stems are plain stupid, particulary, short ones, since they flex very little compared to long stem, you win nothing in weight, and you run into trouble with screws. A good alu stem shorter than 50mm with ti screws weighs under 150g and can go as low as 95g
  • 1 0
 @hampsteadbandit that's why I gave up on aluminium cranks and run profiles on all my bikes (albeit with hollow ti spindles to save a few grams). I can now swap pedals to my hearts content without worrying about sloppy threads... as for carbon cranks I don't think I'm enough of a fitness rider to get away with them
  • 1 0
 @Wakidesigns I'm just not a fan of materials that dont fail in a ductile way. I think the industries obsession with carbon will fade. Top xc and dh racers will use it but enduro and regular Joe will go back to aluminium
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: that obsevation with Schwalbe is interesting. Last year I have spent the whole year on tubeless Magic Mary Snakeskin 2.35" front (not SuperGravity) and HansDampf SuperGravity 2.35 rear, both on Stans Flow EX rims with decent amount of NoTubes sealant. During the whole season 0 punctures or other bad events, typically running 1.6 bar front and 1.8 bar rear. I have seen some cracks in the rubber on the Magic Marry and Hans Dampf is has also lost heght of most of their center knobs.

Now, for 2015, I switched to 27.5 and since I was unable to get Schwalbe for reasonable price, I also switched to Maxxis EXO 3C MaxxTerra: Shorty 2.3, DHR II 2.3 and HR II 2.4 (not 2.3) - all on Giant P-AM2 rims on the new Reign (which may be part of the problem). Both DHR II 2.3 and HR II 2.4 on the rear, I repeatedly punctured those and even dented the rim on a few places when doing exactly the same thing I was doing the whole season with the Schwalbe tyres on the Flow EX - until I got to about 2.6 bar on the rear. While my observation was that the Maxxis tyres had probabily more flexible casing, so that they offered traction at 2.1 bar comparable to Schwalbe at 1.8bar, there is definitely some traction loss at 2.6 bar I have to run now. And even with 2.6 bar, I still don't do all the things I was doing with Schwalbe, like running flights of stairs at speed up the stairs, since I don't want to make further dents into the rims Frown . And the 3C MaxxTerra compound also disappears rather fast on the rear. So while I don't think these are bad tires by any mean, I really look forward to get something sturdier on the rear wheel - either their new Double Down, or back Schwalbe SuperGravity.
  • 1 0
 I am 76-80kg, at home I ride 1.6 front, 1.8 rear, in mountains 1.8 front 2.0 back. I can only give you a few examples of my bad experiences: Nobby Nic Double Defense 2011-ish. Dry singletrack, coming too hot into a corner, foot out, correction with rear brake, bike slides - cssssssssst! Two side knobs torn out. Some time later, very same tyre, riding rockgarden - bang. pinch punctured (DDefense!) sidewalls on both sides. Another one: Nobby Nic SS dry day, sandy track with many rocks, taking off a boulder to clear some rocks, landing on loose rocks, middle knob torn off. Rocket Ron - we conditions hard braking on roots and rocks - torn off center knobb. Same tyre some time later, jump into rocks - punctured sidewalls. RockRazor SS - spoke broke off, punctured through the Stans tape - tube in - 2,5bar into the tube, puncture after first 1m drop off. Same tyre: uphill, very wet, coming on top of a rock step, dzzzzt - tyre slides a bit on the edge, 3 minutes later air is gone - torn off center knob. Tube in 2,5bar - first bad move between rocks cssssst. Only once I torn off a knob of Maxxis EXO 60a 1-ply - after a really big dang. Rode same tyres in Hafjell on machine dug trails and WC track - no problem. I also spent some time on Spec tyres - Purgatory control gave up only once after I landed sideways and casing twisted. The very lesson for me is: ride 1.5ply tyres in mountains on the rear. I have small kids, I involountarily became a weekend warrior. My mental state cant afford Schwalbes...
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I guess we are of similar constition - I'm 75-78kg and small kids, hence time constraints Wink . I have never used Nobby Nic nor Rocket Ron recently, only Magic Marry (and Muddy Marry before that) SS and Hans Dampf SG TraiStar both. And Dirty Dans SG VertStar front + rear for really muddy or dusty conditions. And 0 problems.

I was really thinking about those Maxxis tyres, since almost everybody praises them so much. The rubber is probably much less prone to cracking, which may have some relation to less tendency for ripping knobs off. Maybe I am doing something wrong with them, maybe it is really some bad interaction with the rim - since all the problems I had with them were snake bites against the rims... Schöckl mountain is also known for very rocky terrain - maybe another aspect...
  • 45 1
 If you're not wearing a backpack, no you can't borrow my tools, have my spare tube, or drink my water.
  • 6 1
 Up vote times 100!

Course if I knew there were food and water stations waiting for me when I was out riding I'd probably not carry as much stuff either... Smile
  • 5 0
 water: bottle cage.
spare tube: taped on frame.
minitool, tire lever, co2, powerbar: in pockets.
I wouldn't bring much more on a ride even with a backpack.
(exception: if I have to bring more water, a jacket or lunch on all-day rides.)
  • 1 0
 Okay. You can't borrow my pump then.
  • 3 0
 i run swat bibs and easily tote 2 water bottles, tool, pump & co2, snax, cell phone, and keys, plus tube taped to my frame. i don't even touch my pockets, and if need be i have stashed my knee pads and goggles against the shoulder straps for long climbs. if you like packs then wear one but for those of us that can't stand them theres lots of awesome new stuff out there that makes them unnecessary for anything other than epic backcountry type affairs.
  • 27 1
 No bullsh*t, just fast.
  • 6 0
 I've gotta be honest, I never really knew a whole lot about Yoann Barelli, most of my racer knowledge was of Jared, Richie, and those other guys...but after reading this article he is probably without a doubt my favorite racer of all time. He keeps it simple and fun, just likes to ride his bikes.
  • 14 1
 Speaking from experience ( from a guy who lives up the street ) the guy ( and his lovely partner Katrina ) are gems!. Both he and his partner are super coaches and mentors to both my sons and a host of other local kids who are proud to call him there friend. Loves life and loves to ride his bike!

Good qualities in someone your kids aspire to learn from.
  • 12 0
 Great that some of the pro's likes to keep it simple, no pack, just shred with some stuff in your back pocket. All mountain bike, big fork, coil rear, dropper, robust wheels, mid case front tyre, dh pressures, dh brakes, gears to suit your ride. That reign looks so nice too.
  • 17 1
 seems like modern 'enduro' bikes are just becoming lighter freeride bikes
  • 4 1
 Probably just as capable too.
  • 11 0
 Probably not as durable for hucking or prolonged use without maintenance
  • 3 1
 Agree. For equipment sponsors one goal of EWS was to create a race format that would be won on the sort of bikes regular people ride daily. Initially that's pretty much what happened. But now the winners are on these light freeride bikes that, by most accounts, are not the best choice for a typical "trail" rider.
  • 1 0
 Lighter downhill bikes. they may have the travel of old freeride bikes. But I wouldn't think too many people would go for such long top tubes for pure hucking? Also, not built to take drops to flat?

Does anyone really make a "freeride" bike anymore? Rampage guys are mostly riding DH bikes.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, plenty of FR bikes out there. INYENSE UZZI, Specialized Status, Trek Session park, Banshee darkside, kona process 167, Scott voltage, liteville 601, and more. Anything from 165-190. Heck, transitions t500 can be dropped to 180.
  • 1 0
 Status and session park are no longer made
  • 1 0
 But still out there, I know my lbs has a few they could still order up
  • 9 2
 More and more I think SRAM was planning this whole Lyric being slightly more popular than the Pike thing. Just as the Pike was becoming just another great fork that everyone was bored of and waiting for something better... BAM! Hit yah with the same fork but stiffer! With low weight penalty! Quick everyone, buy one! It will make you way better!

While fox is sitting over there going we already make a stiffer f*cking fork! The 36! Goddammit!!

Hey Fox... You mad Bro?
  • 10 0
 Nah. The new 36s are great. Thanks for thinking about us 36s users though.
  • 2 3
 36 is alright. It's a smidgen below the pike only because it's small bump doesn't seem as fluid, but I have yet to put volume reducers in one, which I feel is almost necessary on the new 36. But after demoing one for a whole 8 hours, my hands were numb, and I tried it on a few different bikes and over a large range of pressure and rebound adjustments
  • 1 0
 I still think the Pike should have been with a 20mm axle, this 15mm bull is just too much.
  • 1 0
 You mean Lyric right?
  • 1 0
 Is the Lyric also 15mm? What the hell!
  • 6 0
 There's a few guys on Pinkbike that have wayyyyyyyy too much time to leave 2-6 paragraph comments on crap . All their "knowledge " on every friggin thing that's brought up on Pinkbike . Just keep your bike in check, be confident in your components and bike choice , quit sounding like a "know it all" and go friggin ride man !!
  • 5 0
 When the Reign was first released, it came with an RS Pike which had a custom offset. I wonder if the Lyrik he uses is truly the same as a retail one.
  • 8 2
 It is, the custom offset is bollocks
  • 1 0
 when my pike went in for CSU creak warranty I had them put on the 46mm offset 29er CSU. I had ridden the X-Fusion Sweep on my bike and it was very noticeable the difference that offset made over the pike for slow tech climbs when you need to turn like tight switchbacks. For the downs I noticed no difference in regards to steering feel. Totally worth it to me. It's only 4mm and anyone will get used to whatever offset they have but in this day of forever slackening head angles i find it amusing that offsets remain the same as years ago.
  • 8 2
 No carbon bar, no carbon rims, no air shock. SIMPLE AND CRUDE! It should be so.
  • 2 0
 Regarding that Lyrik at 170mm and ride height. Running a bigger negative spring? Can someone explain that too me? I was thinking the same thing, running more travel softer, but though the negative spring wouldn't perform as intended running 35% sag. The ramp up can be controlled with tokens.
  • 3 0
 I think you're right about 35% but I doubt you need to change the sag much at all. Let's just say for the sake of argument that the fork is 10mm taller than a 160mm Pike. that 10mm won't be 10mm because if you run, let's say, 25% sag, it will already only be 7.5mm. If the fork is less progressive (1 less token?) it might ride lower in the travel right out of the box anyway even at the same sag he normally runs on the pike, so maybe on the trail it only feels 5mm taller. That gets down in the realm of "pretty hard to notice" or at least no big deal. He also runs a lot of spacers so it would be easy to lower the stem and have the same overall ride height.
  • 4 0
 NO BACKPACKS!! And the number of reasons on why he is my new favorite rider keeps on adding up! #FULLGAZZZ!
  • 1 0
 I believe it was a Trek rider whose bike was shown with a carbon patch on a cracked carbon rim. I wondered why at the time cause I figured even if they didn't have a matching rim that they could have got a new rim from somebody...?

Now I know, patch and keep riding. Change it out and get a 5 min penalty. Interesting! Smile
  • 2 1
 For sure he's getting higher up in his ratings doing things the way he is. BUT... one has to wonder if he'd be just that much faster or more consistent if he did "modernize" his views of what being a pro athlete entails?

Course if he's happy and someone is still paying him to ride his mountain bike who cares...? Smile
  • 4 0
 so it's true. carbon explode huh.
  • 2 1
 you WILL die.
  • 3 1
 I think his message was "IF carbon breaks, you're boned, but with Aluminium you can bend it back and muddle through the rest of the race". That's a big IF - he's protecting against the very unlikely but devastating event of having a carbon rim explode. He never stated carbon has a higher failure rate or that ali was stronger, just that he feels ali fails in a more "forgiving" manner.
  • 4 0
 I like his attitude. . . .
  • 3 0
 I like your view on carbon components and appreciate you bike skills...low key trail killer is always instyle.
  • 1 1
 Spent this season on a hardtail mainly, some long rides (XC I suppose you could call them) but plenty of uplift days all over the UK and even a DH race that happened to have a hardtail class....rode Maxxis Exo and Schwalbe Snakeskin all year and didn't get any flats.
Still running tubes, Alu rims and 25psi front with 28psi rear....can't say I've struggled for grip at any point, Magic Marys are awesome tyres, as are the new Minion DHR2 and 2.4 High-Roller 2s...They're certainly a step up from older Nobby Nics, original High Rollers etc....
  • 2 0
 My pumps are still on my hands since Graves' article. Seems like they are going to stay for a few more days.
  • 2 0
 "I started full gas and I finished full gas"... no garmin and other bla bla bla...this guy is my hero!
  • 4 3
 Sick! one word, KISS= keep it super simple. Is it possible to buy the plastic spacer for the shock?
  • 3 0
 It isn't that exact one, but it does the same thing.
  • 26 0
 I always thought it's Keep It Simple Stupid, but what do I know!
  • 1 0
 Oh sweet! Cheers @Bronco82
  • 3 0
 Yep, it's "keep it simple stupid"!

Love Yoann's approach to riding and bike setup. Very honest with his assessment of choices too which is refreshing Smile
  • 3 0
 I am willing to bet that Yoann Is using a SA Racing Spring, they are alloy and come in one size, to fit different bikes they come with the plastic spacer, this lets the shock spin around as it is compressed.
They are all tested before being shipped out and are within 1.5% accuracy of the spring rate stamped on them, which is the best in the market. They are seriously good coils and I believe Dave Garland, who was Danny Hart's Mechanic when he was on the Giant Factory Offroad Team, is a co owner of the company or something of the like.
  • 3 0
 Cool. Info like this makes it worth reading the comments on articles.
  • 1 0
 Most of these pros all say they "keep it simple" but they also all have mechanics and teams that do anything but. So ya, I see the attraction of "keep it basic and just ride" but you better believe that if *any* of them could pick up a few seconds here and there by "making it more complicated and focusing on whatever it takes to win" they would. Not as catchy though. example: they all run the latest suspension with custom parts and set-ups. fine tuning suspension != simple (at least if I'm doing the set-up)
  • 1 0
 Yeah they say that Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, so it must mean something
  • 2 0
 wow i would LOVE this bike!
  • 2 0
 Yo seems like a cool mofo!
  • 1 0
 why nobody mention his near-flat brake lever angle i really wonder about it
  • 1 0
 His attitude is great, train hard, go hard, have fun. I'm going to try the handlebar psychology on my next race.
  • 1 0
 That fender looks more like a mud collection device circa 1993
  • 1 0
 Can I have your bike mate?
  • 1 0
 The Lyric has a larger negative spring than the Pike???
  • 1 0
 Anyone know what kind of fender that is?

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