Tech Randoms: Leogang World Cup 2021

Jun 9, 2021
by Ross Bell  
After a wet and wild World Champs last year, Leogang plays host to the first downhill World Cup of the year. It's always an exciting day as it's the first opportunity we get to see the new bikes and gear everyone will be riding in the 2021 season. The Pinkbike photographers have been for a lap of the pits to see what's fresh:

Back in beautiful Leogang Austria
Back in beautiful Leogang, Austria

A sea of Kashima in the Fox pits
A sea of Kashima in the Fox pits


The new Norco downhill bike is still off-limits for now but it is sporting a new paint job.



After a very very long offseason everyone wants a rebuild
After a very very long offseason, everyone wants a rebuild
What s inside your damper shaft
What's inside your damper shaft?

Aaron Gwin s latest Intense protype race machine.
Aaron Gwin's latest Intense prototype race machine.

Similar at first glance to the bike he piloted here last year for Worlds but there are in fact some significant alterations to the design.
Similar at first glance to the bike he piloted here last year for Worlds, but there are in fact some significant alterations to the design.
Prototype Gwin-fluenced Kendas front and rear.
Prototype Gwin-fluenced Kendas front and rear.

More shots of what we assume to be the new Saint mech.


No information at this point, we only spotted them on Greg Minnaar's bike today.

Prototype Suntour shock
Prototype Suntour shock

Still rumored to be the strongest brakes in the world... but good luck finding a pair to buy right now
Still rumored to be the strongest brakes in the world... but good luck finding a pair to buy right now.

Reece Wilson has also made the jump to flat pedals.

Some more details of the new RockShox offerings.

Lot s of bikes running the O-Chain these days
Lots of bikes running the O-Chain these days.

Mick Hannah s new NS Bikes Fuzz 29
Mick Hannah's new NS Bikes Fuzz 29.

TRP decided to 3D print some covers for their brakes to keep mud out. A step up from the usual beer can mods we usually see here
TRP decided to 3D print some covers for their brakes to keep mud out, a step up from the usual beer can mods we usually see here.
Aaron Gwin giving some different lever a go this week
Aaron Gwin giving some different levers a go this week.

The pursuit of rainbow stripes is always on riders minds even at a World Cup
The pursuit of rainbow stripes is always on riders minds, even at a World Cup.

Neko Mulally wins the award for most unique way to add your name to you bike
Neko Mulally wins the award for most unique way to add your name to your bike.

Pirelli look to be pushing more into the gravity side of mountain biking with the Rogue Racing Team running their prototype tires.

There are no details available at the moment but we did get a good look at the tread pattern.

Lucky number 13 for Finn Iles with a slick new paint job on his Demo.
Lucky number 13 for Finn Iles with a slick new paint job on his Demo.
A raw linkage on Finn Iles' Specialized Demo.

Hopefully Brendan Fairclough will be death gripping this weekend
Hopefully Brendan Fairclough will be death gripping this weekend.

Dean isn t the only seeking some extra individuality a face mask can t hide.
Dean isn't the only one seeking some extra individuality a face mask can't hide.
After getting a splinter in his hand at Schladming Brendan opted for a bit of home surgery and paid the price with a concerning infection that he hopes won t spoil the week ahead.
After getting a splinter in his hand at Schladming, Brendan opted for a bit of home surgery and paid the price with a concerning infection that he hopes won't spoil the week ahead.

Mashy is back on the circuit and working in the Scott pits
Marshy is back on the circuit and working in the Scott pits.

Collecting big data at Scott
Collecting big data at SCOTT.

Prototype ENVE wheels in the Commencal pits. Notice the external spoke nipples not v. the current M9
Prototype ENVE wheels in the Commencal pits. Notice the external spoke nipples v. the current M9.

Never not fine tuning suspension at the World Cup level
Never not fine-tuning suspension at the World Cup level.

3D printed mud guards for TRP calipers.
3D printed mudguards for TRP calipers.
John Hall assisted the development of these mudguards the idea for which have been around the World Cup a while first crafted by Sam Hill s mechanic Jacy out of pieces of Monster can.
John Hall assisted the development of these mudguards the idea for which have been around the World Cup a while, first crafted by Sam Hill's mechanic, Jacy, out of pieces of Monster can.

Reece Wilson has a fresh World Champ's paint job.


Simple but effective.
The Trek DH boys are also now on Title components.

Braking are big in the moto world are well renowned for their motocross discs but this is the first time we've spotted their Incas brakes on the World Cup scene.

The Production Priv e is definitely an interesting sight.
The Production Privée is definitely an interesting sight.
Details of the rear shock hole coming through the top tube on the Production Priv e.
Details of the rear shock hole coming through the top tube on the Production Privée.

Tahnee Seagrave's Canyon Sender for the weekend ahead.

Cut spikes or full mud spikes will be the question on everyone s mind come tomorrow.
Cut spikes or full mud spikes will be the question on everyone's mind come tomorrow.

Will we see more heavily greased up chains this week
Will we see more heavily greased up chains this week?
Good old fashion pilsner flavoured grease.
Good old fashion pilsner flavoured grease.

Fresh rotors complete the brake overhaul and the difference is very obvious.
Fresh rotors complete the brake overhaul and the difference is very obvious.

Brook MacDonald s mechanic Benoit bolts his new carbon Summum together at the MS pit.
Brook MacDonald's mechanic, Benoit, bolts his new carbon Summum together at the MS pit.
A new creation from Slicy - customisable number plates developed with Benoit s input.
A new creation from Slicy - customisable number plates developed with Benoit's input.

A full tear down means everything comes apart and cleaned right down to the hubs.
A full teardown means everything comes apart and cleaned right down to the hubs.

Another peak at the new Blackbox air shock.
Another peek at the new Blackbox air shock.
The SRAM fork tower is back. Needless to say they were already drowning in services by the afternoon.
The SRAM fork tower is back. Needless to say, they were already drowning in services by the afternoon.

New bearings for the Intense Factory boys.
New bearings for the Intense Factory boys.

Fresh shocks await their steeds at the Atherton pit.
Fresh shocks await their steeds at the Atherton pit.

George Brannigans prototype Propain Rage.
George Brannigans prototype Propain Rage.


A new valve innovation out of E13 to assist easy disassembly and topping up of tubeless sealant at the IFR pits.
A new valve innovation out of E13 to assist easy disassembly and topping up of tubeless sealant at the IFR pits.

Finn Iles stoked to get the new season underway in Austrian mud.
Finn Iles stoked to get the new season underway in Austrian mud.
Tahnee Seagrave happy to be back to full strength coming into the new season.
Tahnee Seagrave happy to be back to full strength coming into the new season.

George Brannigan relieved to see a little less carnage out on the hill than last time for Worlds 2020.
George Brannigan relieved to see a little less carnage out on the hill than last time for Worlds 2020.
Fantastic to see some fast faces who couldn t make an appearance for 2020.
Fantastic to see some fast faces who couldn't make an appearance for 2020.

Thunderstorms rolled in by day s end putting a big damper on any chance of sun for the next little while.
Thunderstorms rolled in by day's end putting a big damper on any chance of sun for the next little while.



152 Comments

  • 140 6
 Can we all pitch in and get Gwins frame some new decal designs?
  • 55 6
 At his speed, its irrelevant.
  • 53 0
 Seems like they started with the eye-confusing prototype pattern some companies use and then were just like "to hell with it this the look now."
  • 4 0
 @Drew-O: Haha, bingo.
  • 6 0
 Just leave them raw I recon...
  • 12 1
 @noplacelikeloam: but Sven’s shutter speed is faster and they are still hideous
  • 7 0
 Seriously, what's the point of "proto camo" if you're going to pose it for photoshoots.
  • 2 1
 I concur, nothing is more boring at this point in time! How hard is it to powder coat or even spray a frame a single colour then stick a prototype sticker on it
  • 6 0
 I believe that design took inspiration from Eddie Van Halen's guitar
  • 1 0
 @crashtor: Yes, I saw them post about it after Eddie Van Halen died.
  • 3 0
 I just think all Intense WC team DH bikes should be Red and Alloy.
  • 1 0
 @crashtor: OMG, of course! That makes way more sense.
  • 1 0
 @shawnca7: theyve been using this forever, well before EVH died.
  • 125 3
 Okay that Propain Proto is drool worthy
  • 6 0
 It looks better in real life too. Lovely bike.
  • 5 0
 SOO beautiful.
  • 11 0
 It looks very mint
  • 2 0
 It’s the best colour I’ve seen on a bike in a long time. I’ve been wanting to get my bike in kobelco blue for a while.
  • 1 0
 Yes, that thing looks AMAZING! Me want!
  • 60 0
 hope theyre running more than 20psi in those pirellis...
  • 26 4
 lol, will literally never buy Pirelli's because of last week
  • 6 0
 Forgive the ignorance but what happened? @LS3VER33:
  • 27 0
 @Moskau: two separate Pirelli tyre blowouts at the F1 Baku GP despite upping pressures to 20 psi from 19 psi
  • 9 0
 @looseygoosey: not to discredit but they did shift the range of tires 1 notch softer compared to last time they raced at Baku. What's curious is both Stroll's & Verstappen's rear left blew. Wonder if that course puts more force onto that tire. (there were a number of fast right handers I believe)
  • 5 0
 @looseygoosey: wonder if they need tire blankets
  • 3 0
 @Moskau: two F1 cars had bad crashes on straights when tires failed.
  • 8 0
 @mitch160: don't give the UCI something to ban lol
  • 15 7
 @LS3VER33: ah yes because the Pirelli's you can buy are So similar in construction to F1 tires and your driving is SO similar to F1 Rolleyes
  • 10 12
 @LS3VER33: the chinese bought Pirelli, what to expect , they are no longer an Italian brand
  • 5 1
 @NorCalNomad: yeah exactly. Mountain bikes are going 190mph several times a run.
  • 2 0
 @deaf-shredder: Yeah exactly, I think the last few corners and the long main straight got a bit much for the softer compound and pressures. Have they not heard of Maxxis maxx grip dh casing??
  • 2 0
 @deaf-shredder: From what I've read they found some indications that the probable cause for the blowouts would be a cut in the tire. There is a speculation that Verstappen might have hit some debris from the previous crash and when Hamilton pitted before the final restart, they found a big cut in his rear left tire. No information about the first blowout yet though. Only that the blowout was sudden and without any warning signs.
So maybe something sharp on the track or a kerb?
  • 4 0
 @NorCalNomad: lol, it was a joke...
as a gearhead and avid F1 fan i know all about the differences dude

And yes i also understand that upon initial investigation they believe that this was caused by cut's in the tire rather than premature wear.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: they also make car tires!?! Although I must admit I've only hit 165 in my car, but 190 should be possible, so... one day.
  • 42 1
 Everyone wants a rear hub with 100000000 points of engagement then they put their chainring on a float and have more play at the crank than they ever did with a regular 3 pawl hub.
  • 1 0
 Never thought of that. Good point. Especially if the added POE lead to more drag when freewheeling.
  • 5 0
 Would you be persuaded if it came in oil slick though?
  • 43 2
 WORLD CUPS BABY!!
  • 6 1
 My bad, meant to downvote the guy that typed "first"
  • 35 0
 The way the propain rear triangle fits around the cranks is very satisfying
  • 4 0
 Smooooooooth
  • 31 2
 Is there quantifiable data to show those disc covers do anything? I suspect feeding of abrasive mud to the pads comes from the rotor itself, not so much INTO the calipers? seems like they are not needed or else the bike industry would be selling these to us for $30 a set saying we need them.
  • 21 1
 also, you'd think they would retain more heat in the caliper. Maybe this isnt an issue for the braking style of a WC racer though.
  • 7 1
 @trouble: What makes you think hard braking going twice as fast wouldn't mean more heating?
  • 12 0
 @trouble: Do you remember Amaury's rear rotor creating a cloud of steam in the mud of Fort William a couple years ago making Rob and Claudio think he burped his tire? His rotors were incredibly hot to do that. Those guys do way less wasted braking than the rest of us, but when they brake they're going way faster.
  • 2 1
 Would they inhibit cooling?
  • 18 1
 they are caliper blankets to keep ice-tech pads warm!
  • 6 0
 @parkisatool: I'm guessing he's talking about not dragging the brakes as much as we average joe's do.
  • 1 0
 @deaf-shredder: That's what I meant. I have no idea it is true though. @jbravo is probably right.
  • 4 2
 I wonder if it has more to do with buildup than abrasion. Imagine a pebble gets stuck to the side of the rotor, the pads just scrape it off before it enters the caliper. But if you got a pebble that's exactly the width the brake pads are apart into the top of the caliper where the pad mount pin is, it could potentially hold the pads apart. The right constancy mud could possibly do the same thing if it got well enough packed.
  • 18 0
 I think the truth is there is no real science behind them. Some mechanic got it in his head that they would help, and now they exist. Simple as that.
  • 2 0
 Surprising we aren't being sold them regardless. On my last really muddy ride I saw the pile of mud sitting on the rear caliper and was thinking of these. That spot does serve as a funnel down into the pads. What I don't know is how much heat needs to escape there. The rotor has a lot more exposed surface area.
  • 2 0
 These covers come as stock items on the TRP Spyke mechanical callipers. Have done for many years. Initially they were pitched as a snow blocker, I guess if the weather is bad then heat build up is not such an issue and the application can be wider. I have them on my foul weather commuting bike.
  • 26 0
 That Propain Rage is one sexy sled
  • 22 0
 Reece Wilson on flats? He’s got this season in the bag boys. Might as well everyone head on home
  • 5 0
 I wonder whether it's just for testing in practice or a proper switch - I kinda hope it's the latter as it'd be really interesting to see how he goes on flats, especially after his rapid pace he showed last year. Besides Connor, I can't think of any other current WC racers on flats?
  • 6 1
 @brownies: brendan fairclough
  • 2 1
 @brownies: Connor Fearon
  • 4 0
 @brownies: sorry! Didn‘t correctly read your comment ‍♀️
  • 17 0
 damn Norco is killing me. Please release the bike, I've had blue balls for a year now.....
  • 13 0
 That might be a personal problem...
  • 14 0
 I bet its the same frame as their new enduro bike, but with different linkage. That would be pretty cool- 170mm travel normally, swap a single part and rear shock and boom 190mm+ DH bike
  • 2 0
 Love that it’s got bottle cage mounts
  • 16 0
 There can never be too much coverage for world cups. Bring more vids, more tech write ups... moreee!
  • 9 0
 I still don't get the idea of the cut spike tires. Why have the tire companies not just come up with a stock tread that mimics this? Is it because each rider likes a custom cut? Or its something only high level racers would bother with and not really something worth mass producing?
  • 12 0
 That's what the Maxxis Shorty is.
  • 1 0
 @jeremy3220: I thought that was the case but based on all these pit photo shoots a WC's it doesn't seem like anyone uses those.
  • 8 0
 Maxxis has with the Shorty, effectively a cut version of the Wetscream. A full mud spike like the Wetscream is really a tire you only use in the absolutely worst of wet conditions. The very tall and soft compound lugs squirm a lot when you ride over rock or anything harder than deep mud, which makes for a very unpredictable ride. They also roll like boat anchors. A cut spike or a Shorty still bites hard in wet conditions, but is more predicable over changes in trail surface. But average guys pretty much have no use for a tire like the Wetscream - it's for racers who have to ride in those conditions. Most trail systems would never let you breathe on a trail if it were in the condition that warrants a full spike. Any lesser conditions and the tire would be painful to drag around.
  • 1 0
 @TBrandt: So are WC racers using the Shorty? And these riders still cutting spikes are non maxxis riders?
  • 1 0
 @sino428: yeah, I know for sure Loris won at Windrock a couple years ago. I also think some riders were running them at the muddy WC's last year.
  • 2 0
 Custom cut tires aren't needed all that often but when they are it will make a LOT of difference! At a pro level in muddy conditions you're looking for a tire which 'sheds' properly but also has maximum penetration into the substrate, which makes it a a very fine balance! Throw in changing substrates (ie sand, silt, clay, organic matter, and all the compositions of these with unique properties) and you may need a tire which is NOTHING like what you'd need the other 364 days of the year. Trimming a tire isn't really difficult, it just requires that you know what you're trying to achieve..., It really only makes sense for national level pro-category racers (and above).
  • 2 0
 Not everyone cuts them they same depth all the time. The shorty might work for us but for them they way want a lil more or less of a cut.
  • 2 0
 I personally run cut wet screams most of winter on my dh bike. The square profile bites way better on off cambers and steep chutes than a shorty. I cut just under 2mm off every knob. Some people might not want to cut side knobs depending on conditions
  • 9 0
 Fantastic photos as usual!

By the way, is there some special reason why they are not in full screen like you usually do? Makes it so much nicer to look at. Ie www.pinkbike.com/news/no-white-christmas-final-photo-epic-leogang-dh-world-champs-2020.html
  • 9 0
 The mullet is really taking over. Interesting how it was the smaller guys running it at first and now more and more bigger dudes are getting curious. Let's race!
  • 2 0
 I think its part trend, and part testing. Some riders may fair better on a mullet, while others it may make no noticeable change. I think its much more complicated. I can't say full 29 has at any point been a hindrance, but a few guys I rise with on the shorter side prefer mullet. One rider is the same height as me. Bike setup is so subjective, it's it's deep rabbit hole
  • 1 0
 @jomacba: The clock has a way of taking the fashion out of a trend.
  • 8 0
 Can't wait for the new Saint group to appear in production.
  • 9 1
 Tbh I want the new Zee. Spec an enduro bike with thattto keep costs down and durability up. If they make a 8-10 speed zee with a vaguely wide range cassette, I'll take that and a tiny front ring over a 12 speed any day.
  • 2 4
 @ratedgg13: unless they can somehow make a 7t cog I see a major disadvantage with a "tiny front ring" for maintaining speed on the descents.
  • 2 0
 @seraph: where I live, it's steep enough that I don't have to pedal on descents.
  • 9 0
 Mmmmmmm. Fresh Saint.
  • 5 0
 Still no official details on the new Aurum/Range? Come onnnn... They've been actively teasing that thing for like six months now.
  • 3 0
 More like almost 12. They were riding it at the bc summer series last year
  • 2 0
 soon
  • 1 0
 @criscoe: "Soon" as in "later this month" by any chance? Kaz said something about an idler equipped enduro bike coming out later this month on the podcast.
  • 5 0
 I hope nobody on Friday Fails is riding a Production Privee…
Pedal Slip to Top Tube Junk Smash to Castration in someone’s future.
  • 4 1
 Since DH is the F1 of biking, I wouldn’t want Pirelli tires if F1 auto racing is any indication of their quality/performance
  • 3 0
 Intense, please just paint the bike gloss black, intense red or raw. OR no AND… no decals except for Intense on the downtube. That bike will look stunning.
  • 1 0
 That bike won't stay alloy. That's a Jeff Steber one off. Intense has moved all manufacturing offshore, and no longer produce alloy bikes for public sale. I'd expect a carbon version for the finished product.
  • 1 0
 @jomacba: I know. I’m saying aarons bike.
  • 1 0
 The rear dropout cluster on the Norco is super-interesting. It looks like the brake mounts and dropouts are bolted on to the chainstays, making it into an inverted horst link. That'll cancel out braking forces the same way a horst does, but in this case on a high-pivot. I hope that technology makes it into some Enduro/Trail bikes too. (note: I may be biased towards high-pivots, since I'm currently on a Druid).
  • 2 0
 This would actually be closely related to Dave weagles split pivot, more specifically on the wilson but with an idler pulley.
  • 4 0
 How did I not remember that this was this week. I'm ashamed of myself.
  • 4 1
 "After a very very long offseason,"

I mean, the last races were in October. Hasn't it been the shortest offseason ever?
  • 1 0
 Eight months?
  • 2 0
 I think my sarcasm detector needs calibration
  • 2 0
 @Drew-O: AFAIK, they always make aluminum frames with crap-ouflage art before proceeding to carbon. Kinda makes me wish they made a metal version like this. Looks industrial
  • 3 0
 Wouldn't trust them Pirelli tyres they'd pop! Just the the F1 and WRC at the weekend haha
  • 3 0
 Gwin looks like he is riding a mullet.
  • 9 0
 because he is riding a mullet
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: That would explain it. I knew he and Mulally were testing them the past year, but wasn't sure if they committed to racing the mullets in competition.
  • 4 2
 (Finally) external nipples on Enve wheels. So when you crack (another) Enve rim it's easier to lace it over.
  • 2 0
 So Gwin is on the slate T4’s?? That’s supposed to be their trail/Xc brake. Interesting
  • 4 0
 Only the levers...
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: saw that upon closer inspection. Just wondering why? I assume if he just likes the actual lever feel he could just switch that out and not the entire body?
  • 1 0
 No ridiculous comments about the “risks” of the hole in the top of the PPs top tube yet. How off-brand for the comment section.
  • 1 0
 you mean the PP Nut Cracker?
  • 3 0
 That Canyon sender. Wow just gorgeous
  • 3 0
 That Propain looks STUNNING!
  • 2 0
 Anyone else imagined their balls getting caught in between the coils on the Privee on a big landing?
  • 2 0
 Aaaaah finally, more please
  • 2 0
 I'm just freaking ready....
  • 2 0
 Mmmm...sparkles in that paint....I like.
  • 3 0
 Pirelli, Assegai much!
  • 1 0
 Maxxis is clearly onto something with the Assegai. Those intermediate knobs between center and edge make it more predictable and grip better at various lean and turn angles.Good that other manufacturers are picking up, that´s progress.
  • 2 0
 Clearly I don’t replace my brake rotors frequently enough
  • 2 0
 Oh man, how I've missed this!
  • 2 0
 New Saint 7 speed mech/cog? would be awesome!
  • 1 0
 I ve been hurting my head to think of a reese wilson x reese wallace joke, but it seems my effort came out flats.
  • 2 0
 Reece on flats! Will his race on them tho?
  • 2 0
 Whats more pricey, trickstuff or braking?
  • 1 0
 Apparently Gold Brakes are the new hot thing in DH will a small dose of Rainbow.
  • 1 0
 That Production Privee is a looker, but also the next horrifying twig and berry 3rd degree burn injury waiting to happen.
  • 2 0
 Marshy is back?!
  • 1 2
 He was never gone?
  • 5 0
 I thought his leaving the Syndicate was shown as a retirement but clearly not
  • 1 8
flag parkisatool (Jun 9, 2021 at 18:00) (Below Threshold)
 Working with Greg was getting unbearable.
  • 1 0
 Braking brakes are only 2 pot?
  • 3 3
 2 pistons can achieve the same power as 4, if the hydraulic leverage is equal. Still surprising given that everyone else, even Formula, has gone to 4 pot
  • 2 0
 Still wonderin how they perfom... im really interested to buy a pair. But i cant find a good review in the world wide web.
  • 1 0
 @AndrewHornor: 4 pot gives better modulation.
  • 1 0
 @Aptlynamed: that's a good point, thanks for helping me learn
  • 1 0
 Any new Saint breaks matching to the mech in sight?
  • 1 0
 The hills are alive with the sound of rad bikes
  • 1 0
 Marshy is not Gregs mech anymore?
  • 1 0
 I'm curious to hear about this too
  • 2 1
 Norco bike = Antidote Darkmatter
  • 1 0
 That isn’t the correct lube for Onyx hubs. It matters.
  • 1 0
 Damn, two piston brakes for DH.
  • 1 0
 Those black cranks are M8000s by the looks of them.
  • 1 0
 Wonderful photos! Thank you!
  • 1 0
 The norco suspension layout looks a LOT like the antidote darkmatter.
  • 1 0
 the paint job on Reese's bike.. Daaaaaaang
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