Prototype Tires, Custom Bikes & More Tech Randoms from the Albstadt XC World Cup 2022

May 7, 2022
by Ed Spratt  
The second round of the 2022 XC World Cup is well underway in Germany after a flat out XCC Short Track race, we've been for a lap of the pits to see what's fresh in Albstadt:



Data acquisition has become common place in the downill pits in recent years but it s beginning to spread into the XC pits too.
Data acquisition has become common place in the downhill pits in recent years but it's beginning to spread into the XC pits too.

The Bixs team bikes lined up in the pits.
The Bixs team bikes lined up in the pits.

The Bixs team are running DT Swiss dropper posts.
A dropper remote in the Bixs pits.
The Bixs team are running DT Swiss dropper posts.

The linkage movement looks pretty wild when is use
The linkage movement looks pretty wild when is use!


We ve seen plenty of prototype rubber from Continental in the downhill pits over the last year or so but now they re getting stuck into the XC side too with Team 31.
We've seen plenty of prototype rubber from Continental in the downhill pits over the last year or so but now they're getting stuck into the XC side too with Team 31.


No mistaking who this belongs too.
No mistaking who this belongs too.

Anne Terpstra s cockpit setup.
Anne Terpstra s cockpit setup.
Anne Terpstra's cockpit setup.


Pauline Ferrand Prevot has a fresh paintjob for this weekend.
Pauline Ferrand Prevot has a fresh paintjob for this weekend.

The logos really pop in the light.
The logos really pop in the light.


Rain or shine the muddy conditions will pose the biggest issue for everyone.
Rain or shine, the muddy conditions will pose the biggest issue for everyone.



Jolanda Neff tried the Trek Procaliber in practice but opted for her Supercaliber instead.
Jolanda Neff tried the Trek Procaliber in practice but opted for her Supercaliber instead.

Jolanda s mechanic Alvaro really went to town on this one.
Jolanda's mechanic Alvaro really went to town on this one.

Shock rebuilds going down in the SRAM pits.
Shock rebuilds going down in the SRAM pits.



A closer look at what looks to be electronic SR Suntour suspension.

Mathias Flueckiger looking for every and any millimeter of front end drop.
Mathias Flueckiger looking for every and any millimetre of front end drop.

Mechanic Gavin Black has modified the DT Swiss dropper post lever to Flueckiger s taste.
Mechanic Gavin Black has modified the DT Swiss dropper post lever to Flueckiger's taste.


Jenny Rissveds has a new race bike this year the Ibis Exie.
Jenny Rissveds has a new race bike this year, the Ibis Exie.

No frame stickers here. The riders names are under the lacquer.
No frame stickers here. The riders' names are under the lacquer.

Some of the details on the linkage are a work of art.

The most imporant setup detail.
The most imporant setup detail.





117 Comments

  • 202 4
 The decathlon (rockrider) bike looks good,
'I like big box stores and I cannot lie'
'all the other brands can't deny'
'when a bike comes in with coloured TRP brakes'
'and a manitou fork in your face'
'You get sprung, want to pull up tough...'
  • 6 6
 @elrad surprised u not getting more upvotes
  • 108 7
 Dear Bike industry... Stop that stupid cable routing trough the headset... now!!!
  • 1 1
 It seems like the next illogical step by the bike industry! Remember when their were a lot of push back with internal routing then a few bike companies responded with internal routing tubes…..most everyone is happy. The next thing will be forced super boost with PF92 BBs
  • 8 0
 @rivercitycycles: dont forget flat mount stupid brakes in mtb frames.
  • 2 0
 came here to say the same.. that is just idiotic.. there cannot be possible any advantage of doing that????
  • 2 2
 @saladdodger: the advantage is cost reduction on building frames. Fewer holes means quicker layup.
  • 3 2
 MOAR cables through the headset! AAAALLLLL the cablezzzzzzzzz!
  • 1 0
 @salespunk: It's actually more expensive to run the cables through the headset because you have to use a 1.5/1.5 headset vs a 1 1/8"/1.5. You have two big bearings and cups to buy. The routing must be a look things. Not having cables around the head tube, does look nice!
  • 45 0
 Why doesn’t Flueckiger just mount his bars to the fork crown?
  • 8 0
 dude... imagine... THAT WOULD BE AWESOME!
  • 5 0
 Like the original Klein patent!
  • 7 0
 Xc direct mount
  • 5 0
 You could add an extra crown to the fork higher up for stiffness and then mount the handlebars there. I heard it makes people really fast.
  • 34 0
 Epic with a remote. What a brainwave
  • 2 0
 Yeh. Jordan ran a manual lockout fork too. Im buying an EVO rear end ASAP Big Grin
  • 32 0
 You can never have enough colored Ti bolts.
  • 27 0
 Am I the only who now wants to see the Bixs bike suspension movement now
  • 1 0
 You're not alone
  • 18 0
 I love the diversity and quirkiness of the world cup XC bikes. In the old days it would be downhill that had more to look at,but today it feels like there's only 4 or 5 different bikes,with 3 brands of suspension,and not much more.
  • 11 3
 DH bikes are boring, they’re all Sessions
  • 30 6
 XC is certainly the F1 of bikes
  • 10 35
flag SintraFreeride (May 8, 2022 at 2:31) (Below Threshold)
 @jaame: lol! XC is just extreme gravel bikes.
  • 5 7
 @SintraFreeride: I love how you got downvoted, when XC is literally extreme gravel. It's not an opinion, it's just an objective truth. A gravel bike nowadays is just an xc bike from 10 years ago.

Downhill, is and always will be the pinnacle of mtb. People who say they're all sessions just dont understand what they are looking at. There is a certain breed of mtber who thinks aesthetics=engineering. These people are very silly...
  • 6 7
 @gabriel-mission9: The person who came up with the idea to recycle 90s fully rigid XC bikes with modern parts add drop bars and sell it to roadies is a freaking genius!
Having a bunch of pros ride those bikes way out of their element and video it was another stroke of genius.

XC racing is the slowest and least advanced sector of mountainbiking. Dated geometry with most bikes still not running dropper posts...Comparing them to F1 is just ridiculous!

DH is the pinnacle for sure but we are only now getting back to the level of tech used by the mighty all winning Sunn team from the late 90s.
  • 3 2
 @SintraFreeride: how did you get down voted, that's exactly the truth
  • 2 1
 @Bikes-are-awesome: Because we live in a world where facts no longer matter...
  • 41 26
 Most of these bikes look weirdly contorted, like the rider is annoyed that they’re on a mountain bike and the bikes have tried to warp themselves into something they’re not.

The Ibis, however, looks like a mountain bike. Just a really light one.
  • 26 0
 I really like the BMC too
  • 13 0
 @KUBBY: That BMC looks so fresh.
  • 55 10
 The ibis is super ugly
  • 6 1
 @rrsport: yeah looks like it got a little too heated in the sun and was driven into a wall. What are those proportions..
  • 2 0
 @daweil: it's a small frame...
  • 2 1
 @daweil: which is hilarious given they’re the only brand that talks so much about how they have a graphic designer design their frames. They look horrendous.
  • 15 0
 Laser-etched (I assume) foam grips are pretty sick.
  • 34 1
 Only topped by J Rissveds having her name layed up in CF into the mould. Both are exquisite details.
  • 4 0
 @ROOTminus1: There looks like a patch of resin missing on the "D" otherwise I agree, it looks dope.
  • 5 9
flag Nygaard (May 8, 2022 at 12:23) (Below Threshold)
 Fuck foam grips. Those things are death traps when wet.
  • 7 1
 @Nygaard: Not the silicone ones. I have ridden ESI grips in super wet conditions no problem.
  • 4 0
 @ak-77: My Scalpel came with ESI grips. Decided to give them a go. First time in rain my hands slipped off the bar TWICE.
  • 1 0
 @Nygaard: bare hands or with gloves?
  • 1 0
 @Nygaard: typical case of YMMV then.
  • 1 0
 @ROOTminus1: Alchemy will do this for you if you asked them to…
  • 15 0
 Bixs is a new one for me.
  • 13 1
 Dig that Ibis
  • 10 0
 The paintjob on the s-works epic is sexy af
  • 7 2
 The bell is the least scary thing in any of these pictures. Especially compared to those stems.
  • 29 1
 Everyone should have a bell
  • 5 12
flag max-watts (May 7, 2022 at 17:24) (Below Threshold)
 the scariest thing in there is the box of aluminum bolts. those should be sent to recycling before someone gets hurt
  • 6 0
 @max-watts: prob ti
  • 4 0
 I thought for a long time those new Quarq's were a one piece design, looks like they're two piece. I guess they thread onto each other?
  • 1 1
 You thought the whole crank and chainring were one piece? Or what do you mean?
  • 1 0
 @laupe: The chainring and power meter. On the road side they are doing one-piece chainring / power meter combos. The one photo seems to show the chainring off of the power meter in the background.
  • 2 0
 @jqwan: Then how would you be able to change chainring size? XC riders change chanring size all the time so i don't think that would be an option
  • 2 0
 @laupe: Well lots of people didn't think it wouldn't be an option in the road world as well yet they did it. You have to trade in your PM every time you change your chainrings. Thankfully, by the looks of that photo, they are in fact two piece. I assume by a threaded interface.
  • 1 0
 The original version of this prototype powermeter was, in fact, a one-piece system as you suspected— in other words the chainring was not removable from the powermeter just like the road equivalent. Swapping ring sizes meant swapping the powermeter as well. Subsequent iterations (it remains a prototype Blackbox product) evolved to the version you see here with a threaded, removable ring allowing you to change the ring size without changing the powermeter as well.
  • 1 0
 @bbcopeland: Nice, that's cool, thanks! When I saw the all black one I thought it was getting closer to a possible release. I think the regular 4 bolt version is better for consumers, especially as it's a low volume product. I guess there is a tool to remove it, like a giant chain whip?
  • 4 0
 I wonder what Koretsky is riding : he's not with orbea anymore, he's listed as team "France" on the startlist. He's in KTM road racing team so maybe a KTM?
  • 4 0
 He is riding a KTM bike
  • 5 0
 An epic without a remote. Life will never be as good as it once was
Frown
  • 5 0
 Sarrou still running the remote lockout during the race. Fck Brain I guess
  • 1 0
 Haha just noticed that as well Smile maybe it just does not work on this track Big Grin
  • 4 0
 I wouldn't be surprised these guys can stamp on the pedals so hard it moves the brain out of lock position.
  • 2 0
 @ice29: He ran a manual lockout on the fork too. Maybe it just doesnt work. Ever...
  • 4 0
 The SID 35 doesn't have Brain, only the SID 32, so he's probably using the SID 35 like many other racers... Lots of riders also using the Fox 34 instead of the Fox 32.
  • 8 3
 The Ibis frame is hideous
  • 6 2
 To those disliking the Ibis look, I’d say to each his own. Art is subjective. Also, your Mom.
  • 3 0
 Also: check the results
  • 2 0
 @pmhobson: Did the results change the aesthetic of the Ibis? what wild new technology are they using?
  • 5 0
 Nobody else spot the Specialized Captain T5/T7 tire on the red S-Works?
  • 1 0
 I did, I'd like a look at that tread pattern. New Specialized Cannibal DH tyre spotting recently as well. They've been doing so great with their tyres recently.
  • 4 0
 Looks like someone peeled their name off that Ibis frame.
  • 9 1
 Letting their Ibis do the work?
  • 10 6
 A lot of droopy weiners for stems.
  • 4 0
 Details on the rockrider?
  • 5 1
 Made in the USA Ibis.
  • 7 4
 Who designed that DT Swiss dropper? Bicyclepubes?
  • 3 1
 Where are the bashguards/rings/tacos for the one rock roll on the course?
  • 2 0
 So how does that trek flex seat tube work with a dropper?
  • 4 1
 The "flex" is all in the bottom 3 inches where it tapers to the BB. There really isn't much flex to begin with and I am not sure why Trek sticks with it as it adds weight.
  • 4 0
 @Snowytrail: because it's noticeable when riding and comfy
  • 2 0
 Why wouldn't it work with a dropper? It smooths out the ride and i don't think it adds that much weigh and Trek isn't really known for light frames.
  • 1 0
 @laupe: because the dropper prevents flex. But like snowy said, if all the flex comes from the bottom it doesn't matter
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: Understandable, have a great day!
  • 7 9
 I'm literally more curious of what plant supplements/full spectrum extracts these top-level XC racers consume--seeing how all the 'cool' parts of XC are the efficient human motor powering the cranks (think about those uphill sprint sections during mega avalanche/mtn of hell..above 9k ft.)

These guys must eat their medicinal mushrooms, Irish Sea moss, beet roots, CBD>>big recovery for serious training.
  • 3 0
 Agreed, would be intresting to see, but i guess no athlete want to share their secret sauce
  • 3 0
 "Plant supplements " ha ha
  • 1 0
 May as well attach some of those bars to the fork crowns the stems are that ridiculous.
  • 2 0
 the most important detail ... is misspelled ...
  • 2 0
 Those gravel tires look pretty good
  • 1 0
 "Anne Terpstra's cockpit setup" its a bikeaheadcomposite the unit 1 piece bar/stem
  • 2 0
 When will we see a reserve mullet for a lower front end?
  • 2 0
 Suntour using data and a carbon crown . That's some serious business.
  • 1 0
 Rockshox used carbon crowns on their sid´s a couple years ago. They ditched the ide and are now on alu crowns and are somehow even lighter
  • 1 0
 Jordan is on an Epic Evo with a remote lockout, doesn't like the brain? or just wants a bit more travel
  • 3 6
 I'm literally more curious of what plant supplements/full spectrum extracts these top-level XC racers consume--seeing how all the 'cool' parts of XC are the efficient human motors powering the cranks (think about those uphill sprint sections during mega avalanche/mtn of hell..above 9k ft.)

These guys must eat their medicinal mushrooms, Irish Sea moss, beet roots, CBD>>big recovery for serious training.
  • 2 0
 dude. we get it. you want to know where you can get the weed. we arent telling you.
  • 2 0
 @IsaacMagers: They are working on adding access to the hollow downtubes for XC as well. Why? Because you put your weed in it.
  • 2 0
 more weed more speed
  • 1 0
 Not breaking tradition manitou brings a gun to a knife fight
  • 1 1
 Those dropper stems. Time to go back to 26 inch wheels. 29 aint working in the cockpit for us shorties.
  • 1 0
 29er rear, 26 front! The True Mullet!
  • 1 0
 *cries in ibis ownership*
  • 8 9
 Dear Ibis, how tf are you racing on the World Cup circuit with a fox 34 bolted onto a trailbike????
  • 11 1
 Would you please tell Jenny she's on the wrong bike? She seems to not have gotten the memo
  • 2 0
 Many of the men (MVDP) run 34s nowadays and Nino and some of the women even run the SID 35…
  • 2 2
 @SonofBovril: I haven't seen mvdp on a MTB since the Olympics. They should make him ride a DH bike with a fox 40 next time so he doesn't fall.
  • 12 14
 Ibis looks very 2014. Sad boys.
  • 5 2
 true
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