The Bike That Won the Championship - Finale Ligure EWS 2017

Oct 1, 2017
by Brian Park  




This isn't the first time we've seen Sam Hill's Nukeproof Mega 275 Carbon, but the bike that has taken the 2017 Enduro World Series Championship as well as carried Sam to a 6th place at the DH World Championships in Cairns deserves another look.

Conceived four years ago and now available to the public, it's been a long road to get here. It has 165mm of rear travel delivered via a Horst Link suspension design, wider shock hardware to increase resistance to side loading, as was designed to be 1x specific to stiffen up the bottom bracket.
Sam Hill did what he needed to today although it s very tight at the top and positions are sure to swap around tomorrow.
Sam Hill

Sam Hill Overall Winning Bike
RockShox Super Deluxe RCT (165mm) and a tidy tube roll. No bottle no problem for Hill.

Sam Hill Overall Winning Bike
Sam Hill Overall Winning Bike
Number 1 on AVS guards.

Sam Hill Overall Winning Bike
Mavic prototype tires with Deemax Pro wheelset.

Sam Hill Overall Winning Bike
SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrain with All In multi tool inside the crank.
Sam Hill Overall Winning Bike
Sam Hill signature Horizon flat pedals (for medals).

Sam Hill Overall Winning Bike
Lyrik RCT3 at 170mm.

Sam Hill Overall Winning Bike
Reverb dropper with 1x Remote
Sam Hill Overall Winning Bike
Office minimalism.

Sam Hill Overall Winning Bike
SRAM Code brakes with 200mm rotors.







165 Comments

  • 210 0
 Not sure if it's the bike or the rider that's the true quiver killer here (yes/yes) but so psyched to see Sam continuing to dominate in the mtb world!! #flatsforlife
  • 65 66
 I can't even imagine how fast he would be on clicks!!?? #lookingfornegprops
  • 92 18
 @RedBurn: clicks for soft pricks
  • 33 14
 @RedBurn: Why would he be faster on "clicks"? He figured out the proper pedaling technique with flats and the difference is negligible...
  • 39 66
flag betsie (Oct 1, 2017 at 15:50) (Below Threshold)
 @bosnianrider: Its been proven that flats are better and more economical for pedalling. Flats pedals all the way for me
  • 29 12
 I've been drinking the clip in kool aid. This proves it was kool aid. I'm ditching clipless pedals today.
  • 6 3
 @betsie: can you share that info? I’m really curious, I only ride flats, but my buddies with clips keep telling me how much better for pedaling clip ins are.
  • 13 3
 Flat pedals win championships
  • 25 15
 @betsie: That's a load of shit. Flat pedals have benefits over clipless, but if we're talking power transfer to the pedals and maintaining proper riding position, clipless takes the cake. When's the last time you saw a roadie or XC racer win on flats?
  • 26 13
 @LukeBurgie: wow. You're aggressive. Try having an open mind.

www.bikejames.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Flat-Pedal-Revolution-Manifesto-v3.pdf

Hope you like reading.
  • 5 1
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs: @YouHadMeAtDrugs: GMBN has done several videos on it, the most recent with bikes up on a treadmill and Neil (or was it Scotty) switching between clipless and flat.
  • 11 10
 @handynzl: because gmbn is the most respected, scientifically accurate source available. Flats may work better for some riders, but for just about everybody, clipless is head and shoulders better for pedalling.
  • 37 2
 @wcjrush: "By solidifying the foots ability to transfer the power being generated into the pedal, clipless pedals
help a little more power make its way into the crank arms. And that shows up as increased pedaling
power in the lab and in certain racing situations"

Good read, but it still supports what I'm saying. The statement "Flat pedals are better and more economical for pedalling" is wrong.

I'm not against flat pedals. I tell everyone to start with riding them so they can build fundamental riding skills(another thing your article agrees with), but I'm going to call out bullshit when I see it. At the end of the day flats aren't faster than clipless, or vice versa. Riders are faster than other riders, and riders are fastest when they are comfortable on their bike.
  • 4 0
 @LukeBurgie: who needs clips with pins that high
  • 9 1
 I think there is something to be said for flats giving you more confidence to ride faster on blind runs. I sure as shit don't like being clipped in when I ride sketchy shit for the first time. When fatigued on bumpy ground, clips are better though.
  • 5 0
 He has said before that he just prefers riding flats. Works for him!
  • 6 8
 @wcjrush: I disagree with this... I have done my own testing, on different pedaling styles, using a power meter, and got noticeably different results. I will admit, I only read the first few pages of the report; however, the figures on pg. 8 are really all I need to see the differences between their findings and mine.

I think that the findings used, in this report, were from experiments performed using inexperienced subjects. I would like to say that I think flat pedals are a great tool for learning proper cornering, and bike handling, techniques. But when it comes to strictly pedaling efficiency, the findings from the report do not agree with my own.
  • 4 1
 @jaame: Riding flats lets you get on an off the pedals without having to "think about getting your foot back in" especially when it is something you haven't ridden or seen before and its sketchy. They let you focus on the track.

What do most people ride in winter when its super sketchy - Flats. When it's fast and you know the track its clips all the way.
  • 1 0
 @LukeBurgie: Clips v Flats - It really depends on what and how you ride. There are arguments for both but if it's sketchy I would rather be on Flats.
  • 2 0
 @betsie: Please post your sources or your statement is irrelevant.
  • 4 1
 @LukeBurgie: totally agree, the biggest difference for me between flats and clipless when pedalling is you don’t have to make micro adjustments to keep your feet in optimum pedalling position and the extra little bit of power that would be lost there goes straight into mashing the the shit out of the cranks.
Also agree that clipless are better if you’re against the clock, know the track and there is little chance of having to take a foot off. You can take advantage of the extra manouvreability afforded by being attached to the bike AND still use ‘proper’ technique whatever that bs is.
i.e using clipless pedals to move the bike around isn’t necessarily wrong or cheating.
And similar to my first point if you need to pedal during a run you can be sure you’re feet will stay put over rough terrain.
There’s a reason most people race with clipless pedals.
  • 1 0
 @giantkid97: I like you comment, so I think maybe enduro racing isn't all about pedal efficiency.
  • 1 0
 @LukeBurgie: It is a good read. Quite long but I appreciate James Wilson's effort. If anything, I hope it makes people think about it. This is how the industry has come so far. People, like James, questioning everything to find what is best. (I tend to geek out over information and data.)But more importantly, find what works for you and use it and abuse it. Another thing to note, I'm using cliplees right now. So I'm not biased to one or another. But I think it's crucial to keep an open. You never know what you might learn.
  • 2 0
 @jaame: It really depends on your style, I ride with both styles, but I do prefer the freedom of Flats for most of my riding. Super rolly and hilly XC style courses might do better with clips but for foot our flat our kind of riding I think the edge is with flats. But... like I said, it is personal preference.
  • 2 2
 @JungleT: The guys who tell you that, WON'T tell you that they use em to keep their feet on the pegs when the going gets rough - a bandaid for lazy riding skills. Face it, they're scared at minimum, but to me it's total freedom and comfort. As SH proved, not only just as fast, but the FASTEST......
  • 1 0
 @LukeBurgie: Especially if one's lower legs are slightly bow-legged....I used to have to use washers on my spd spindles to get a few extra mm of Q-factor width so my ankle bones wouldn't strike the cranks. Platforms solved that PITA
  • 1 1
 @LukeBurgie: If you are a roadie, pedalling on totally smooth tarmac and can consciously spin perfect little circles for hours on end..........boring!
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: At my local Dual Slalom series, quite a few of my fellow competitors voiced the cry of 'If only I could have gotten clipped back in, my run woulda won!" Save it for the bench
  • 1 0
 @ThomDawson: I've seen quite a few of my Dual Slalom racing buddies come off their bikes from using a tiny bit too much body english and pop out of their pedals at the worst time imaginable.....
  • 1 0
 Not entirely true, I have been known to throw a huge bone air whilst on clips
  • 1 0
 @wcjrush: thanks for the link. And I thought I was pedalling wrong by not pulling up whereas i've been doing it right all along.
  • 1 0
 It is a fancy to see, no tricks, just skills. I love the colour combo too, its awesome. Please, win again and again and again!
  • 2 1
 @fartymarty: Depends on your flats and shoes. Even with just cheap skate shoes and big pins I'll have to reposition my feet a bunch to get back to the best power position. I've also had all my worst injuries on flats.
  • 1 0
 @wcjrush: while all that is true, clipless still provide consistency of riding and pedaling position. I ride in flats most of the year, and was so convinced they were faster, so I did some timed runs on multiple trails, back to back with clipless and flats, and found that through the roughest stuff, I was much more consistent (and thus faster) clipped in. The flats were actually closest on the flowy, pedally, fast downhill where I could really benefit from sliding hte bike through corners. I know I don't represent every rider, but I have talked to numerous other people, and even kids with dirt jump backgrounds find clipless to be more consistent, and thus faster through the rough. Flats are great, Sam is an animal, but this is the exception to the rule and not the norm.
  • 1 0
 @trialsracer: "exception to the rule" I don't think there is a rule... If there was a rule then Sam couldn't win no matter how much of an animal he is. I think 99% of the pro field ride clipless and if it was measurabely better/faster than the 1% couldn't beat them. I'm not saying flats are better (I ride both and I prefer flats) but the difference in certain disciplines are marginal.
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: I dissagree. I tried flats but my (limited) technique won't let me ride technical stuff on flats.
With clips I can ride anything.
I don't need to think of un-clipping, becayse its second nature for me now.
I admit that clipping in when I stopped on a steep point of the track is sometimes sketchyWink
  • 1 0
 @wittereus: Flats technique comes with practice. It is worth reading through www.bikejames.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Flat-Pedal-Revolution-Manifesto-v3.pdf (link copied from above). For me flats are more intuitive that clips. I did a 52km ride on Sat on flats (same as 3 out of the 5 guys I was riding with) with no worries.
  • 2 0
 @fartymarty: I ride flats exclusively on all my MTBs lots of multi day 40-80km tours in the mountains. I rode clipped in for years - I still have them on my road bike - but I would never give up the freedom of flats. I have mates riding SPDs but I see no difference I can easily keep up with the much younger ones riding clipped in and I can ride more techy stuff with flats. Flats are better for me and others prefer clips it's all good... but in the last couple of years I converted some of my friends to ride proper flats with proper shoes and they never looked back.
  • 68 2
 So... Flat pedals, 32T chainring with Eagle, no water bottle mounts, normal frame reach, no super long dropper, and normal bar width? He clearly doesn't give a cr*p about modern 'trends', and I love it!
  • 7 4
 Well a size L has a 470mm reach, that's not extra-long but that's not short either. My 2013 Reign size L has a 420mm reach.
  • 6 0
 @Will-narayan: Sam's bike is a medium, with an unchanged 435mm reach - much shorter then their new (in my opinion quite long) large, but longer than your older geo 2013 Reign. Hence what I consider 'normal'.
  • 16 0
 woah thanks for censoring cr*p my conscience is at ease
  • 3 0
 he put his water in his pants, and how is the tooth count on your chainring a trend?
  • 10 0
 Don't forget about 650b wheels... I mean if we're rocking the boat make sure you're all in lol
  • 7 0
 @BikeRipperVT: Can't forget about those blasphemously narrow Mavic rims (assuming they aren't some proto) at 28mm internal width. Enough traction for Sam so maybe any issues I encounter are, gasp, due to my lack of skills?
  • 3 0
 “Just riding me bike mate” he probably couldn’t tell you what was trendy if you asked him. I think he knows what works for him better than most and whatever works is what he’ll be riding. He didn’t have his levers flat either ;-)
  • 1 0
 @NickB01: Whether he's trendy or not depends on what size he was riding in 2013. A Medium 2013 Mega AM had a reach of 415mm and a toptube of 590mm. Current toptube is 585mm with reach as you say. So if he was riding a Medium in 2013, he's trendy, except for flats, unless he's resetting the trend...I like flats cuz feet can be repositioned rearward for steep uphill traction and because downhill dabbing is faster than looping out.
  • 5 0
 most importantly air, not coil in the rear. And no one is brave or stupid enough to bag the hand guards either. The legend rides on.
  • 1 0
 @ColquhounerHooner: those rockshox air shocks must have come on a lot since I last had one.
To be fair, it was always pretty good straight after a service... for about two hours. So that's 12 hours a year of performance.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: well, pretty certain he wouldn't use one if it was bad, I'm surprised just the same with lots of other riders using coil that he didn't.
  • 69 2
 Sam Hill didn't chose the enduro life,the enduro life chose Sam Hill.

#Flatpedalswinsmedals
  • 28 2
 That pedal has seen some shit.
  • 19 2
 Sam MF'n Hill is the Chuck Norris of MTB.
  • 6 2
 @cuban-b: Sam Hill is the Buddy of MTB. Buddy was a gold retriever who played Air Bud and Comet in full house. He is highly regarded as the Good-est Boy in the dog world.
  • 60 3
 Sam Hill was once bitten by a cobra. After five days of excruciating pain... the cobra died.
  • 13 3
 Sam hill doesnt do push ups, he pushes the earth away....
  • 18 0
 There once was a street called Sam Hill, but the name was changed for public safety because nobody crosses Sam Hill and lives.
  • 5 0
 When Sam Hill jumps in the ocean he doesn't get wet, the ocean gets Sam Hill'd.
  • 5 0
 Sam Hill doesn't teabag the ladies, he potato sacks them.
  • 2 0
 Sam Hill doesnt ride down a trail, the trail moves beneath him.
  • 32 1
 Congratulations Mr. Hill on your 2017 EWS title! Well deserved! Legend status.
  • 25 0
 SAM HILL #1 MTB in the world

Yeeeeeeeeewwwwww ! The champ #SAMHILLLEGEND
  • 15 0
 Sam’s team manager 2nd in masters as well. Go on Pager!!! Bloody good weekend for Nukeproof CRC
  • 15 2
 How fecking sick is this news! After all the bad stuff in the news of late, THIS is what we all need! YES SAM HILL!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 11 0
 tell me more about those prototype tires... Is it the casing? the compound?
  • 3 1
 Both.
  • 57 0
 In the tyre world prototype means maxxis minion dhf
  • 6 1
 @browner: The new Mavic 'We give up, have your bloody Minions!' available Q2 2018.
  • 5 1
 @browner: looks more like an HRII.
  • 2 1
 @Fix-the-Spade: Looks like a High Roller 2 (side knobs and open channel) with DHR2 centre knobs (less ramped than HR2 ones - better braking and rolling but clog a bit easier).
  • 2 14
flag deli-hustler (Oct 1, 2017 at 15:40) (Below Threshold)
 @browner: I don't know why??? The only maxxis tyre that works is the Shorty 3c.
  • 4 0
 @deli-hustler: Tell that to the entire Ibis Enduro Team who just won the overall, Richie the last two years, Graves before that, Melamed in Whistler (though he's just a little one), and shops that can't keep them in stock. Before the last two DH world cups and the DH world champs I'd normally mention Minaar but we all know the timing isn't quite right for that.
  • 2 0
 This is a charge tyre on front ( shop.mavic.com/fr-fr/charge-pro-xl-27-5-c5778.html#1028=3271) and Quest tyre on rear (shop.mavic.com/fr-fr/quest-pro-xl-c3722.html#1028=3271) with proto casing and rubber
  • 2 0
 @OriginalDonk: most DH racers as far as i have seen run 25 mm internal width rims (EX471s). DT's enduro racers did the same for quite a while. A colleague of mine also said that his Flow Mk3s (30 mm internal) wear out normal 2.3-ish High Rollers unevenly, so it looks like a wide trail tyre for 30 mm rims is a must.

Give me 25 mm rims then! Razz
  • 9 0
 Haha, "The bike that won the championship..." and the picture of a flat pedal!
Great Pinkbike, I like this sort of humour!
  • 3 0
 The sound of pedal and bike sales CHA cHING
  • 6 2
 The Mega is probably THE most Enduro bike ever made, really cool to see it ridden to the win of the premier Enduro series of the world. Congrats to Sam, and everyone involved. I doubt there is a single person who isn’t stoked about this!
  • 45 1
 Hum.... Adrien Dailly?
  • 2 0
 @robbienroll: lol fair point...
  • 12 4
 Dear PB, If you can get it, a woman won too and she'll have a bike!
  • 5 0
 She won the overall some time ago.
  • 3 1
 And the commencal looks sweeter than the nukeproof !
  • 7 0
 Every wannabe be sporting hand guards next year ...
  • 1 0
 I won't lie, i've wanted some for years, but i only thought they were for motos. I'm constantly smacking rocks and branches. I should've gotten some a few years ago. Now if i get them, they'll figure i'm a Sam Hill nut hugger! Well, I kinda am, but I don't want to be the dude that rides in his shoes and race kit (Like those goofballs that used to have his short sleeve TLD Ironhorse kit). Smile
  • 5 0
 Someone said Sam Hill could ride a dead sheep down a mountain and still place in the top ten. I think they were right. But sweet bike
  • 3 0
 The guards look a bit silly, maybe melodramatic in a way, but...they kind of make sense: the guy takes way inside lines and probably bushwhacks the heck out of the track to make it happen. It's probably nice not having to worry about getting thwacked by the overgrowth when you're hauling freight like those guys do. Probably makes a few bucks running them as well. I know I would have enjoyed them today because of the cactus and thorny sage brush that creeps into all the inside lines on our trails...but I probably will never run them...at least not until I resign to an ebike.
  • 7 0
 Sam 'All Smiles' Hill
  • 2 1
 are some of the pins in his pedals broken? The pictures are out of focus unfortunately but it looks like the holes for the pins close to the crankarm are empty. would make me feel better about riding all my pedals until they're dead haha
  • 2 0
 its quite common to remove pins to tune amount of grip.
  • 1 0
 Pins are usually removable, and adjustable for height
  • 3 0
 The two near the crank appear to be removed intentionally. Not uncommon at all. But one of the outer two on one side appears to be sheared off. Hard to tell with the tight FOV.
  • 4 0
 So how can Sam Hill win the EWS on those so-called (in the PB comments) rubbish SRAM brakes? Or doesn't he use them? Wink
  • 6 0
 They're nice brakes when they work.
  • 2 0
 @scottzg: emphasis on the when
  • 10 0
 He doesn't use them, that's one of the reason he's so fast and wins everything.
  • 4 0
 Maybe using SRAM brakes is the ultimate in speed retention...
  • 1 0
 Well, he probably doesn't use them.... And it's great to have them swapped out every race for working ones.
  • 2 0
 New brakes every round like Specialized does with their wheels.
  • 2 0
 That's why he won. They didn't slow him down. Wink
  • 2 0
 Those Mavic prototype tires have side knobs that are similar to the Magic Mary and a center profile similar to the DHR2. Don't know much about Mavic mtb tires...but Mavic you have my attention now!
  • 3 0
 Checked our chainreaction... almost all Nukeproof Mega's regardless of wheel size are sold out. Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday!
  • 2 0
 I can’t believe he can even ride those aluminum wheels. erhmuhgerd
Also those are mavic schrader adapters on the normal presta tubeless valve stems if I’m not mistaken.
  • 1 1
 seen those hand guards on a few bikes lately, always thought they looked ridiculous, but if Sam Hill runs them they must be more than just a gimmick!? unless they're paying him handsomely!!

i believe they are aimed at riders who prefer not to wear gloves?
  • 1 0
 I could maybe see them being useful in stopping trees from applying your front brake, but otherwise they be goofy
  • 5 2
 no water bottle mount !!!!
  • 33 2
 Sam Hill doesn't need water, water needs Sam Hill.
  • 17 1
 @Rainozeros: Haha. Sam Hill is so fast on flats, that the flats need clips to stay on him!
  • 1 0
 There is a way to mount a bottle cage by basically zip tying it to the forward shock mounts on the ally frame but it’s obviously not possible on the carbon version. Doubt Hill would have done so anyway but I think it might have been one of his team mates who I first saw doing it...
  • 1 0
 @ThomDawson: chris hutchinson had a vid up on how to do it, i stole the idea after i saw a photo of his bike on insta.
  • 3 1
 he puts his bottle in his bibshorts.
  • 6 3
 He won on an Iron Horse!!! He just needs two wheels.
  • 18 0
 The iron horse Sunday was one of the best ever dh bikes and would still hold its own today!!
  • 8 5
 @mikelee: it still is, its called Giant Meastro
  • 4 0
 @Rider656: iron horse sunday layout + years of refinement = mondraker summum
  • 9 6
 Nukeproof = Pikey as f**k.
  • 1 1
 Sam Hill = Pikey as f**k.
Oops !
  • 2 0
 This bike is sick, but the OCD in me cant look away from the crooked for stickers on the fork haha
  • 3 2
 I don't know what the big deal is. There were thousands of bike races this year and Sam Hill only won like six of them or something.

Yeesh, calm down.

Wink
  • 4 2
 How many did you win?
  • 1 0
 The bike that was lucky enough to have the Championship winner on it. Lets tell it like it is. Sam probably wins on your fixie.
  • 3 3
 Clearly, the ultimate do it all bike. But what exactly is "Eagle drivetrain with All In multi tool inside the crank"? SRAM xo cranks contain multi tools in them??
  • 2 0
 All In makes a multi tool, that fits in your bottom bracket.
  • 2 0
 @Crooks: oh, that is sweet. Expensive, but sweet.
  • 5 3
 Sam Hill with a normal brake lever angle. #flataintright
  • 2 0
 Two diffrent cranks #sramlife
  • 1 0
 what is on the front rim? is he using Axios? www.pinkbike.com/photo/15225577
  • 2 1
 Today I'm going to put flats on my XC race bike and go get sideways on my nearest trails.
  • 1 0
 Anyone know what crank length he is running? I'd guess 170mm, but the picture almost makes them look like 165mm.
  • 1 0
 I think I did read somewhere he does use 165mm....
  • 1 0
 Seriously thought, how does Sam carry water on a 5 plus hour stage without a bottle mount or camelback?
  • 2 1
 More details to these bike checks, please. Most of them feel like the reporter is slacking.
  • 2 0
 I am pretty sure that Pinkbike copied this bike check Wink
  • 2 0
 Trust me, its the rider, not the bike
  • 1 0
 Seriously Sold in every way possible! ;+} Hahaha~ F*%# Yaaaaass
  • 2 1
 probably going to be my next bike - this bike looks so good!
  • 1 0
 Uh... Schrader valves? New old standard incoming?
  • 5 0
 Being the ham fisted hack I am, I find Schrader valves a lot more reliable than prestas.
  • 2 2
 @southoftheborder: but in a world obsessed by stiffness, do we actually want larger holes drilled in our ever weakening rims? I bet thats why Greg busted a rim at the last dh races!
  • 4 0
 That way sam can just blow up the tires with his mouth!
  • 1 0
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs: bigger holes are betterer, everyone knows it!
  • 1 2
 People, It is SAM F-ing HILL. He could ride a anything and crush everyone. He is SAM HILL. Not a normal pro rider - SAM F. HILL.
  • 2 1
 not a 29er, or an e-bike.
  • 1 0
 From this day forth all hills shall be renamed Sam Hill
  • 1 0
 Happy for SAM HILL well done !!!
  • 1 0
 Im clipped in and have a 29er. Clearly chose a wrong path...
  • 1 2
 One rider wins one race and half the MTB/Enduro community switch to flats... ^ ^

In other news... climate change is fake says one scientist working for Chevron!

Wink
  • 1 0
 I dig the handguards! Sam is an animal!
  • 1 0
 Yeah well done Sam. Good to see you back up where you belong.
  • 1 0
 BOSS
  • 1 0
 Hill = Hystory.
  • 1 2
 What does an avs guard do?
  • 3 0
 Try to ride a trail with bushes hanging in and you will find out... Smile
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