Sam Hill Goes Full Enduro - Cairns DH World Champs 2017

Sep 6, 2017
by Paul Aston  
Sam Hill Nukeproof World Champs 2017



"Never go full enduro!" is oft-cried in the comments and trail center parking lots, but I would love to see somebody walk up to 'seven second Sam' and tell him that.

Spotted on his Instagram feed, Sam's World Champs bike appears to be a very similar setup to the bike that currently leads the EWS series. The prototype Mega 275C has a carbon front triangle and still uses an aluminum rear, custom painted in glittered green and gold.


Sam Hill Nukeproof World Champs 2017
Sam Hill Nukeproof World Champs 2017



His RockShox Lyrik/Super Deluxe suspension, Mavic DeeMax wheels, and SRAM Guide brakes with 200mm rotors are the same he runs during the EWS, even a Reverb dropper is installed. In fact, the only difference I can see is a larger chainring and a switch to SRAM X01 DH 7-speed drivetrain – but it wouldn't surprise me if he uses this at EWS races and just stands up and flat-pedal smashes his way to the top of the stages. Talking of flats, Sam uses his signature Nukeproof pedals and which don't seem to give a disadvantage on pedally EWS stages, customized with green pins for this weekend.

With many riders testing lockout systems during the downhill season, interestingly Sam doesn't have one installed on the Super Deluxe air shock, even though they are readily available production parts.


Sam Hill Nukeproof World Champs 2017


Sam Hill was selected almost by surprise to race the World Champs in his home country, after racing only one World Cup DH this year in Fort William, the 18th place finish was good enough to meet the selection criteria. After entering a couple of EWS races last year, he found a new gear and decided to make the EWS his focus in 2017. His reasoning is that he was bored of the same old venues every year on the World Cup circuit and just likes riding his bike as much as possible. Focusing on the EWS series may have been the perfect preparation for the race in Cairns, learning to take a shorter travel, more efficient bike to its limit might just be what is needed for the notoriously flat and simple Cairn's course.

We have seen Hill do extraordinary things in the past, and to dismiss the 32-year-old completely would be foolish.


Sam Hill Nukeproof World Champs 2017


Photo credit: Fraser Britton


167 Comments

  • + 619
 Please, please win Sam
  • + 283
 Then go and take the EWS overall. Eeeeeeeee!!
  • + 44
 i am not ashamed to worship someone who's way younger than me.
  • + 63
 There is no one I want to win more this weekend, than this guy.
  • + 6
 @jimeg: your fellow american might disagree with your statement
  • - 6
flag ibishreddin (Sep 6, 2017 at 22:36) (Below Threshold)
 Sorry to be a realist, but something would have to go wrong for gwin, minnar and brosnan for that to happen.
  • + 6
 @ibishreddin: Why? Sam did not retire he just changed the discipline. On a track like this I would not say that DH guys are better than the ones from EWS.
  • + 9
 @squarewheel: agree, he has the fitness, he has the bike handling skills, he is in form.

IMO his bike suits the track and lets not forget it's Sam F Hill.
  • + 5
 @squarewheel: Not saying he's slow, OH HELL NO. Just saying it's going to take something special to beat the top guys.
  • + 1
 @ibishreddin: There is a decent amount of pedaling on this track, if i am remembering last year correctly. Of all DH courses, this might be a good call. Plus i think i say Troy a few years ago racing a specialized enduro with a dual crown.....
  • + 2
 Giver the beans Sam! Seriously, I really really, almost scares me, want you to win.
  • + 192
 They didn't announce it yet but ATWILL chose to ride his bmx, because its faster
  • + 52
 Atwill isn't riding at all, so I'd be impressed Wink
  • + 1
 @TinyTim10: He isn't?? Gutted, did he not get picked, even with his podium?
  • + 25
 @alexhyland: He was picked, but he broke his wrist at Whistler
  • + 14
 @TinyTim10: ah ok I let British Cycling off then. This time.
  • + 8
 @alexhyland: I'm surprised how quiet they've been about it all. No press release saying he can't race, no press release about his replacement etc.
  • - 5
flag TinyTim10 (Sep 6, 2017 at 5:33) (Below Threshold)
 @paulaston: I knew, it's just that many others dont
  • + 6
 I hope he's not being forced to do so, and chose to ride the BMX AtWill
  • + 1
 @paulaston: Legit replacement. Hope OVR and MOJO have some secret sauce brewed up for Cairns
  • + 1
 To be honest, i was sure he would ride the Spindrift. Very sad, he can't proof me right.
  • + 5
 @TinyTim10: His Wristler. It broke. ....I'll see myself out.
  • + 124
 I belive that is going to be the production frame for 2018, carbon front triangle and alloy rear.

You could take this choice of bike a few different ways:

- Sam thinks this is the fastest bike for him to ride on this track and he has spent a lot of time on it so is comfortable.
- Its a great PR stunt from Nukeproof - the bike is capable of being ridden at the DH Champs and EWS at the highest level
- Sam doesnt really have his heart in this race, by choosing the 'wrong' bike he automatically has an excuse if his results are not what others expect from him.
- None of the above - I am an internet turd.

Personally, I hope its number 1 and Sam smashes it as I am a bit of a fanboy.
  • + 61
 I'm fairly certain it's 1. Sam Hill wouldn't bother getting qualified for his home World Champs and then half arse it. His sprint fitness combined with the better pedalling platform on this bike and the fact that it's Sam MF'ing Hill will lead to a surprising outcome on this track. I reckon a top 10 is on the cards. Podium would be killer!
  • + 5
 @NicoBoshoff: Assumign no F-up's I would be surprised if Sam wasnt on the Podium.
  • + 160
 Rule outside no. 2 or 3 Sam wouldn't sell out for a Pr stunt and we wouldn't ask him too, kids all about the win
  • + 6
 Exactly why DH should not use Cairns, get ready for a boring pedal fest,.
  • + 15
 @NicoBoshoff: Remember Jarred Graves at PMB on his Enduro bike, definitely a podium for Sam coming up!
  • + 5
 @Nukeproofinternational: Good to hear guys! The new carbon Mega is looking awesome too, be good to see him on the podium.
  • + 8
 AHAHAHAAHHA. Man, the "internet turd" is gold.

Reckon he is in it to win it though.
  • + 2
 @graeme187: exactly, this could be just the right bike for cairns
  • - 8
flag WAKIdesigns (Sep 6, 2017 at 7:38) (Below Threshold)
 @NicoBoshoff: 2017 Sam Hills sprint capacity is quite possibly worse than 2014 Sam Hills sprint capacity since before he went Enduro he was training mainly sprints, now he had to incorporate endurance into his regime. However since that track has the sprint part at the end, it may eventually play to his advantage. So you are right Big Grin

Unfortunately if it depended so much on the fitness alone and the bike, he should have won in Canberra. Peaty did. Gwinnie and Minnie are fit as fk too
  • + 7
 Gwin raced this track on a Specialized Enduro in 2014 and won. Probably not a bad choice by Hill to ride an Enduro bike.
  • + 1
 I don't think he'll ride to the limits in this race, he won't screw his chances for the EWS championship I'm pretty sure. He knows what knows what series is putting food on the table... yet again! he is one crazy DH rider and it's in his blood to go for it.. Either way Sam Hill is still my favorite rider to throw a leg over a bike. I'm picking Sam for the win!!!!!!! GOOD LUCK DUDE..
  • + 5
 @Zachmozach: Gwin never won at Cairns
  • + 3
 @Zachmozach: enduro evo with dh forks and coil. Not really the same.
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns: Shut. Up. How could you possibly know this guy's output? Do you race? Do you know the different approaches to winning at this level to comment with any level of credibility? Tell us his training regimen now vs 2014. What's he do on Wednesday?
  • - 8
flag WAKIdesigns (Sep 6, 2017 at 23:57) (Below Threshold)
 @eurojuice: oh I'm sorry an attempt at educated guess, stands no chance to "Sam Hill is possibly the strongest man out there". Reason: the legend. My intentions are always bad.
  • + 1
 I believe he has a Pulse also ready for him (in same couloirs) to decide which he finds best for the track
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: You're a good guy. I was moody when I commented. Sorry bud.
  • + 1
 #FlatPedalWinMedals .... just in case everyone forget the fam hash .. *pun
  • + 41
 Let him who hath understanding reckon the name of the beast, for it is a human name... and its name, is Sam Hill! Go Sam!
  • + 13
 Up the Irons!! \m/
  • - 2
 @russianyaz: word!????
  • + 29
 Sam is about to be a PR nightmare for marketing managers around the world. #fullenduro
  • + 26
 Sam Hill FTW; on a side note if he does win I hope the UCI actually put some real DH tracks back in
  • + 1
 Yep. Can a local confirm that a beefed up enduro bike could handle the track ? And does that seem an advantage to run it ?
  • + 9
 @Whipperman: A DH bike will be faster over the rough stuff. That leads to the pedally sections, carrying momentum on a DH bike or pedalling more on a Enduro style bike. I have seen Epics ridden and crashed on it ! A enduro bike "may" be slightly faster on the flat.. It will come down to overall skill and fitness, regardless of bike.
  • + 6
 @DANV Yeah, f*ck Andorra, Val di Sole and MSA.......
  • + 1
 @tastydirt: And now that some of the DH bikes have lock-outs on their shocks, may help them also.
  • + 16
 At least it saves him having to bring a second bike to the top of the hill for his warm up.
  • + 34
 His DH bike is going to be his warm up bike
  • + 0
 @petrospit: how sad this would be?
  • + 17
 Happened before. Graves in PMB and he got bronze
  • + 2
 Graves upped his fork to 180 though.
  • + 15
 @choppertank3e: 'cause he had 26 inch wheels ; ) ; ) ; )
  • - 21
flag LukasN89 (Sep 6, 2017 at 5:20) (Below Threshold)
 @Lagr1980: I think he was on a 29er though.
  • + 1
 @choppertank3e: ya, and a DHX coil on the rear
  • + 1
 That track was even flatter though.
  • + 4
 @LukasN89: That was in 2013. Graves was on a Yeti SB66C which is a 26" bike.
  • + 4
 I still have nightmares about how fucking fast Gravy sent those doubles at PMB
  • + 16
 This is all great. Flat pedals and an Enduro bike. RIde ya bike Sam
  • + 14
 How times have changed Sam, see video below from 4:00 onwards...

mpora.com/videos/pirEnHJcD#gYqJDphw9HyoIKbX.97
  • + 9
 Haha, from back when it was ok to use 'gay' for 'bad'. Smh etc ????
  • + 1
 Naughty Brendog
  • - 13
flag poah (Sep 6, 2017 at 4:29) (Below Threshold)
 It still is ok to use gay to describe somthing other than happy or homosexual @alexhyland:
  • - 1
 @poah: censorship FTW
  • - 8
flag deadmeat25 (Sep 6, 2017 at 5:27) (Below Threshold)
 @alexhyland: So i can't say "That's well gay" anymore?
  • - 4
flag poah (Sep 6, 2017 at 6:17) (Below Threshold)
 my neg props are well gay.
  • + 3
 @alexhyland: those were the days, f*ck pc
  • + 8
 @JoseBravo: I expect I would have said something similar at the time, but it makes me cringe now to be honest. Times change, move on.
  • - 2
 @alexhyland: only for the easily offended. bunch of gays TBH
  • + 2
 @alexhyland: exactly, Fairclough was about 16 there in sure he'd cringe like hell if he was reminded of that interview!
  • + 4
 Is Aaron Gwin the most chill guy in an interview ever. 1:30 in the vid
  • + 10
 Can't wait to see him hit the whoops section on that thing!
  • + 3
 Watched him in practice today, no where near as fast as the top DHers, specially the section leading into it, the cyclone and Micks drop, was notably slower as he wasn't sending the drop
  • + 7
 I'd say that modern Enduro bikes feel as stable and capable as a 2008 DH bike...and wasn't that Sam's best time in the WC circus?
I'm excited! Flat out, foot out action again.
  • + 8
 Dream Podium:
Sam Hill
Greg Minnaar
Adam Brayton

Just can't decide who I want to most on top of it.
  • + 1
 I'd like to say that I pray for Gwin to be up there too but that could summon some of the atheist clerics here. Big Grin
  • + 7
 @WAKIdesigns: lol bloody atheist fundamentalists
  • + 2
 @alexhyland: I used to go to church but now I am awake as fuk and watch documentaries about quantum physics. I still feel as stupid as I've been, like someone tells me something I will never understand, but at least I am on the winning team. And smart heads talking about climate change provide me with another version of collective guilt. Did you know that we will see less and less galaxies in the sky because the expansion of the universe causes many of them to move away from us at the speed of light? In this way light from them cannot reach us. Also some of the stars we see in the sky are ghosts? They are long dead but light from their explosion hasn't reached us yet...
  • + 9
 EWS series. Are you serious?
  • + 20
 Are you?
  • - 4
flag gdnorm (Sep 6, 2017 at 7:07) (Below Threshold)
 He's 32 and not top ten anymore. Smart move.
  • + 17
 @gdnorm: I think he's referring to the tautology of saying series twice. Like PIN number.
  • + 4
 @gdnorm: enduro world series series
  • + 16
 This comment made me forget my PIN number on the way to the ATM machine.
  • + 1
 @DrPete: hahahahahaha
  • + 8
 Still no water bottle ! Smile
  • + 8
 I'd still support Sam on a 30" eroadbike !

You're the man !
  • + 7
 fully backing him!! so want him to at least podium!
  • + 3
 "Sam Hill was selected almost by surprise to race the World Champs in his home country, after racing only one World Cup DH this year in Fort William, the 18th place finish was good enough to meet the selection criteria."

How about it should just be an automatic entry if you are DH legend Sam Hill?
  • + 4
 Does the "seven second sam" comment have to do with that worlds race where he was really far in the lead then infamously crashed in that particular corner? Can't remember what year or venue
  • + 7
 I do know that the left hander is Val Di Sole..
  • + 4
 It was in Val di Sole World Championship in 2008.
  • + 6
 Aaron Gwin won PMB with the specialized enduro
  • + 6
 flat track, flat pedals for the Win!
  • + 1
 Hope Sam wins he's only person other than Aaron and I kinda think Aaron doesn't have a great history at this track as well I don't know all the rider stats for this track but it seems to me Sam Hill may have bit of a advantage here at this event. Oh yeah love the bike
  • + 1
 Hill is probably still a top 20 on a DH bike. But Hart, Bruni, Gwin, Minnaar, Brosnan and Vergier are on fire...If they all have a clean run, I don't think he will be on the podium, at least not on the top spot! Hill may be a legend, there are other legends in the list too!

I'd like to see Hart or Bruni win, but I think Gwin is going to take it (deserves it tho) .
  • + 1
 wtf Nukeproof. Your bikes look like shit now. I used to have a 2013 Mega AM with yellow Nukeproof rims and that thing looked sick! Stopped everybody on the trail. Your bikes look like shit now. You sold out and I sold mine. I even kept my nukeproof seat post collar with the cool nuke logo for other bikes. fuck you guys, don't even use the yellow anymore, might as well buy a trek and a gun and blow my brains out now.
  • + 1
 > Sam uses his signature Nukeproof pedals and which don't seem to give a disadvantage on pedally EWS stages

Although he did say that they were a bit of a disadvantage in Whistler, as he wasn't able to pedal through rough terrain that those clipped in could. Not likely to be an issue at Cairns though!
  • + 4
 I hope i have just looked at the 2017 DH world championship winning bike.
  • + 3
 Like I want Greg to smoke this... But I now REALLY want Sam to win, FFS, can there be a 'spirit of DH' cup? Big Grin
  • + 2
 Luke Strobel led the way winning a NW Cup pro race on his single crown 29er (Evil Wreckoning). A trail bike winning a WC race would be incredible.
  • + 3
 Let's be honest. It's Sam Hill, anyone that doesn't get excited about this is a noob. Sam hill is god. Any bike he' cool.
  • + 3
 Maribor 2008 style Samuel!
  • + 3
 A podium enough to choke the internets.
  • + 3
 who wears the stripes next season if Sam wins and he's busy EWSing...?
  • + 6
 Sam. He just wouldnt be there to wear them.
  • + 2
 its like a Enduro World Championship before Finale Ligure wkwkwkwkwk.......
  • + 3
 Remind Sam he doesn't have to pedal up!
  • + 6
 If I am not wrong there is actually a short uphill part in cairns
  • + 1
 @alexander80: Yep, but it's more of a short sprint after an uphill triple if I am not mistaken
  • + 1
 I think it would be extremely hard to get good results like that... but sam hill can probably shut me up! hopefully that is to happen!
  • + 2
 I seriously thought it was a fake tease seeing this on vital! Now he'll probably run stronger wheels and tires?
  • + 1
 Surprised he isn't running a Boxxer on it, how much travel is in that Lyric?
  • + 9
 The EWS stage @ Whistler has more GNAR than Cairns does, this bike is more than fit for purpose.

The same reason Jared rode his smaller bike previously, he felt more comfortable on it, as that's what he had been riding all year.
  • + 3
 Up to 180. Pretty chunky fork.
  • + 1
 @darkmuncan: Absolutely correct !!!
  • + 5
 @darkmuncan: seems to be a pattern in the proranks -run what you know. another reason why switching to halfarsed 29ers midseason had to fail
  • + 2
 Come onnnnnn please please win Sam!!!
  • + 1
 Hmmmm the photo has been shot in a river somewhere near Cairns ??? Sam does'nt even fear crocs! Legend....
  • + 2
 the jared move Smile hope it works out for him Smile
  • + 1
 Sam, show em that that "DH riders retire to Enduro". You are the greatest!!!
  • + 1
 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 2
 Mr Redburn likes to stir the pot!
  • + 2
 Full endro? Is he pedaling to the top?
  • + 1
 Just to warm up.
  • + 2
 I would love to see Sam steal this race.
  • + 1
 I'd like to put a bet on Sam Hill, anybody seen an online bookmaker taking odds?
  • + 2
 Here's hoping for a podium - come on Sam!!
  • + 1
 theres glitter in the gold paint this time , he'll be fine ....
  • + 1
 Can somebody please give him a set of minion dhf's
  • + 1
 What kind of black magic sorcery is holding the bike up?
  • + 8
 The same that will put him on the podium...
  • + 2
 Nothing is holding the bike up during the photo. A split second earlier (and after) there's a man with his hands on the back wheel.
Visible in this shot: www.instagram.com/p/BYr0WY5A7Uq/?hl=en
(sorry if I spoiled the magic).
  • + 0
 Oh my god. I would be happy for Sam if he gets good results on that, on the other hand, I like Big Bikes...
  • + 1
 It'd be cool to see him win... but I'm really rooting for Sik Mik.
  • + 1
 Mavic is doing color stripes like Schwalbe?
  • + 1
 never go full enduro!!!! lol
  • + 1
 If not gwin I hope Sam wins it.
  • + 0
 I am Sam
Sam I am

That Sam-I-am
That Sam-I-am!
I do not like
That Sam-I-am

Do you like
Green eggs and ham?
  • + 1
 "Don't Retire"
  • + 1
 Rainbows for Sam
  • + 1
 Podium for Sam the man
  • + 0
 i do not think the tires will stay on -expecting maxxis come raceday
  • - 1
 It'll be Schwalbe if there's a change chief.
  • + 1
 @murfio: sorry my bad
  • + 0
 Gwin, Brosnan, Bruni for the 1/2/3 position!!
  • - 1
 Sam should switch to the super deluxe COIL in my opinion.
  • - 1
 That looks gay'er then AIDS
  • - 1
 I feel a Gwin win
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