Tech Randoms - Fort William DH World Cup 2018

May 31, 2018
by Ross Bell  
After a lengthy break, the downhill World Cup circus has rolled into the classic venue of Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. Bikes are being built, primed, and readied for another dose of brutal rock beating down the slopes of Aonach Mòr. We've been for a snoop of the pits to see what the mechanics are working on before practice kicks off in the morning:

Dave and Danny talk setup. Hart is always one to watch here and had red hot pace at the British National a few weeks ago.
Dave and Danny talk setup. Hart is always one to watch here, and had red hot pace at the British National a few weeks ago.

Fort William DH 2018
Dave Garland gets to work on a rather sleek looking data acquisition setup.
Dave Garland gets to work on a rather sleek looking data acquisition setup.

A closer look at the lower shock mount in Gaetan Vige s prototype Scott Gambler.
A closer look at the lower shock mount on Gaetan Vige's prototype Scott Gambler.

Gaetan Vige s prototype Scott Gambler
Gaetan Vige's prototype Scott Gambler
Gaetan Vige s Bos fork with dual volume adjustments.
Vige's Bos fork with dual volume adjustments.

Ben Arnott sprucing up Neko s Tues.
Ben Arnott sprucing up Neko's Tues.

FTD awaiting the wheels of Neko Mulally.
FTD awaiting the wheels of Neko Mulally.
Last year s world brakes made another appearance.
The brakes used at last year's world championships made another appearance.

John Hall prepping wheels and tires for Aaron Gwin.
John Hall prepping wheels and tires for Aaron Gwin.

The FOX boys had their work cut out from early on today.
The Fox boys had their work cut out for them today.

Top EWS racer Martin Maes is here in Fort William aboard an updated GT downhill prototype.
Top EWS racer, Martin Maes, is here in Fort William aboard an updated GT downhill prototype.

A high and low flip chip is not clearly visible on the GT prototypes.
A high and low flip chip is clearly visible on the GT prototypes.
Check the massive spacer under the headtube on Martin Mae s GT. Likely allowing the same frame to run 27.5 or 29 inch wheels but GT is still silent on any details here.
Check the massive spacer under the headtube on Maes' GT. It more than likely allows for the same frame to run 27.5 or 29-inch wheels, but GT is still silent on any details here.

The idler is looking more refined and ready for production.
The idler is looking more refined and ready for production.

Connor Fearon s black and yellow Operator he ll try 29 and 27.5 wheels before deciding what to race on.
Connor Fearon's black and yellow Operator; he'll try 29" and 27.5" wheels before deciding what to race on.

Loris Vergier has gone back to an air shock with the new V10.
Loris Vergier has gone back to an air shock with the new V10.

Loris Vergier running a 8mm Buzzworks offset headset.
Loris Vergier is running a +8mm Buzzworks offset headset on his medium frame.
A little additional padding to dull down chain noise.
A little additional padding to dull down chain noise.

Dougy working on the fresh V10 of Luca Shaw.
Dougy working on Luca Shaw's fresh V10.

Brosnan has swapped back to an air shock with a bigger air can giving him the feeling he s looking for.
Fort William DH 2018
Brosnan has swapped back to an air shock with a bigger air can to give him the feeling he's looking for.

How high will Troy Brosnan and his Sender climb this weekend Fort William has been a happy hunting ground for him in the past.
How high will Troy Brosnan and his Sender climb this weekend? Fort William has been a happy hunting ground for him in the past.

Fresh decals for the SRAM riders.
Fresh decals for the SRAM riders.
Spoke nipple colour coordination in the Transition pits.
Spoke nipple color coordination in the Transition pits.

More pink being added to the Transition of Tahnee Seagrave.
More pink being added to the Transition of Tahnee Seagrave.

Propain have popped 29 wheels in their Rage this weekend.
Propain have popped 29" wheels in their Rage this weekend.

With the chainstays in long mode and a shorter eye-to-eye shock they ve made enough room for the big wheels without having to drop the rear travel.
With the chainstays in long mode, and a slightly shorter shock they've made enough room for the big wheels.

Gee Atherton s custom paint job for this weekend is drool worthy....
Gee Atherton's custom paint job for this weekend is drool worthy....

...Same for Rachel s The siblings will stand out for their home race.
...Same for Rachel's! The siblings will certainly stand out for their home race.

Fort William DH 2018
Fort William DH 2018

Some faster rolling rubber is appearing on the back of select bikes through the pits.
Some faster rolling rubber is appearing on the back of select bikes through the pits.

Myriam Nicole s Supreme ready to be unleashed on the granite rocks.
Myriam Nicole's Supreme ready to be unleashed on the granite rocks.

A rather prototype looking stem in the Commencal pits.
A rather prototype looking stem in the Commencal pits.
Only Amuary Pierron seemed to be running it.
Only Amaury Pierron seemed to be running it.

Looks like a new idler position being tested in the Commencal pits.
Looks like a new idler position being tested in the Commencal pits.

Custom airline carryon for you custom suspension anyone
Custom airline carry-on for your custom suspension anyone?

Emilie Siegenthaler and Bernard Kerr continue to ride the 650B Phoenix...
Emilie Siegenthaler and Bernard Kerr continue to ride the 650B Phoenix...
...Whilst Rupert Chapman and Eddie Masters are on the big wheeled rig.
...While Rupert Chapman and Eddie Masters are on the big wheeled rig.

Loic Bruni has rocked up to Fort Bill with custom levers bolted to his Maguras.
Loic Bruni has rocked up to Fort Bill with custom levers bolted to his Maguras.

Flo Payet is on the Summum 29er we seen Danny ride for a few races last season.
Flo Payet is on a version of the Summum 29er we saw Danny ride for a few races last season.

Fort William DH 2018
Fort William DH 2018

Luck of the Irish - Jacob Dickson s topcap.
Luck of the Irish - Jacob Dickson's topcap.

DVO goodness on the back end of Marcelo Gutierrez s Giant.
DVO goodness on the back end of Marcelo Gutierrez's Giant.

Bluegrass has their new helmet her in Fort Willian and this collection of colors was spotted in the UR Polygon pits.
Bluegrass has their new helmet here in Fort William and this collection of colors was spotted in the UR Polygon pits.

Sam Blenkinsop s Norco in the stand and waiting on some rear shock work to be completed.
Sam Blenkinsop's Norco in the stand and waiting on some rear shock work to be completed.



MENTIONS: @rossbellphoto, @davetrumpore, @trek, @norcobicycles, @pivotcycles, @SCOTT-Sports, @YTIndustries, @COMMENCALbicycles, @GTBicycles, @BosMTB, @Canyon-PureCycling, @DVOSuspension, @foxracingshox, @SramMedia



106 Comments

  • + 74
 That GT looks mint! Glad to see them making a comeback!
  • - 3
 Let’s see if the sales come back too ... lol
  • + 17
 Seriously though, Whistler has those for their rental fleet and I couldn't get over how aesthetically pleasing they are yet still look burley as hell.. And did you see the carbon Operator!? That thing is sexy!
  • - 4
flag fecalmaster (May 31, 2018 at 15:19) (Below Threshold)
 Liking that lower offset link on the Gambler proto. Not sure why or if you would call it that, waiting for pb analysis. XC rubbers, don't they know rain is almost guaranteed.
  • - 1
 @fecalmaster: the only reason i can imagine running that lower shock eye spacer is to use a shock with a shorter eye-to-eye than the frame calls for. if there's any rotation in that second axis, something is very wrong with the frame.
  • - 2
 @WrenchRy87: Shock eye spacer there you go Hahahaha. Forgive me, still delirious from a mega mud bog session today. Either they are on to something or on something. We will see this weekend!
  • - 2
 @RRMonster: Yeah, and I have to admit that I like the Kona logo visible on the sides, and not on the bottom of the downtubes like the rest of their 2018 non-DH line up.
  • - 7
flag mkul7r4 (May 31, 2018 at 19:31) (Below Threshold)
 Now give us a proper 29 trail bike! And a website that doesn't suck soggy nuts!
  • - 1
 @WrenchRy87: that shock spacer is for running shorter stroke shock (shorter ete) that is being used for 29 wheels.
  • + 5
 @fecalmaster: Because they are using the old front triangle which required a very long shock. With this new suspension layout, they went back to a regular length shock and needed a mounting extension.
  • + 1
 Listen bro I'm not into all that kinky stuff,, tell me about the linkage.
  • + 1
 @fecalmaster: (besides the obvious extension/geo change capability) that will reduce bending on shock shaft, while it gets compressed.
  • + 43
 Looking at some of the prototypes it clear what a great job Trek did with the Session. ;-)
  • + 1
 KO-NA! Kona has never had a different design Smile
  • + 39
 Top colorway on Fearon’s Operator, would look even better without the red boxxer though. Sweet rigs all around.
  • + 8
 he would probably top ten without a fork
  • + 5
 I can't figure out how they decided on that color.
  • + 18
 Pure bike porn... give me more
  • + 8
 Are you watching porn with a grin on your face too? Because this is how I was watching this.
  • + 2
 If it’s good porn, I guess@reddev:
  • + 14
 Man, I'm usually not into Konas, but that one might have won over a convert.
  • + 13
 Mondraker Summum is an eye sore
  • + 5
 Had the same thought at the same instant. Shonky.
  • - 1
 Welds look pretty gross.
  • + 1
 I scrolled incredibly fast at the sight of it Big Grin Never done that before, weird.
  • + 11
 Fearons kona is dam sexy!!
  • + 9
 Um, production Blue DVO stuff, please! @DVOSuspension
  • + 2
 @MTBrent I thought that DVO shock looked real good with the blue and green.
  • + 3
 I love my green DVO stuff. Color is subjective. Blue does look great though
  • + 6
 "Gee Atherton's custom paint job for this weekend is drool worthy...."

Pity we will never see it, as only the top 20 riders are televised.

Zing
  • + 7
 I might need a new shock that DVO is clean!!
  • + 7
 Is that an Australian flag on Blenki's fork? Bloody disgraceful...
  • + 7
 Looks like it. And so everyone can see yours does not have the big star under the Union Jack, here's ours for comparison.
  • + 4
 @iamamodel: if it wasn't for the brits you'd all be in space. Is that the message in these flags?
  • + 8
 Kona looks good.
  • + 1
 Super crisp and cranky design
  • + 6
 V10 chainstay pading resembles new stumpjumper concept.
  • + 5
 Gee’s paint job... good Lord that’s sexy
  • + 4
 Am I the only one getting a semi over the chain quietening setup on Loris' bike?!
  • + 2
 I'd be keen if they want to start selling them, might have to glue some folded inner tubes on in the interim
  • + 1
 The new v10 shock placement isn't looking ideal for riders who put down a lot of muddy bike park laps. Living in a rainy climate myself, I always look for frame designs that shield the shock from mud and rocks. Lot's of other bikes make the same tradeoff so the problem isn't unique to the v10.
  • + 5
 yeah it really surprises me that companies don't do more in the way of offering mud guards or some sort of protection back there. seems only sensible to offer mud protection on mtbs.
  • + 5
 If you look really carefully at closeup pics of the new V10 it has threads in the rear swingarm next to the top link which would suggest they have designed a mudguard which screws on there. I've got the current v10 and even with the wall between tyre and shock, the shock still gets covered in mud!!
  • + 5
 If you view the photos of it on the other "v" website you can see that there's a built in fender that looks very ready for production.
  • + 2
 @trex1984: the M16 has one!
  • + 1
 @Trudeez: Where on v? I've looked and haven't found anything then a shot that might show a threaded mounting point. Or not.

That would make me happy because i'm in the market for a new bike and the v10 is up there... so long as the new version has a fender to keep mud off of the shock.
  • + 5
 for the longest time I thought Propain and Antidote were teh same brand
  • + 2
 Haven't seen them in the same room, all i'm saying.
  • + 4
 Black and white was the only way to color match that boxxer to brosnans bike
  • + 2
 I really like the look of that new V10......to me the downtube looks cleaner than the slightly pregnant look of my current 27.5 version :-)
  • + 2
 So the "new" Gambler is the same front end, shorter (regular length) shock + shock mount extension, combined with a new rear end/suspension layout...?
  • + 1
 The front end sure does look the same
  • + 3
 @rossbellphoto What? No photos of Isak Leivsons insane new custom Pole bike with the backwards stem?
  • + 1
 You need to see more? For the single bike that exisits, i´d say its had its fair share of coverage this week.
  • + 1
 @Bustacrimes: Where? Haven't seen anything here on Pinkbike?
  • + 6
 He didn’t have it at he track yesterday... shot it this morning, full bike check coming!
  • + 4
 Can't fool me Propain, I know what kind of chainguide that is. Smile
  • + 1
 Eagle eye! It makes sense that you'd recognize it before anyone else.
  • + 1
 Hmmm. That custom color scheme on the Session for the PB DH Fantasy League winner... Any way it could be Gee Atherton's bike's lookalike instead?
  • + 3
 Is it too late to add Martin Maes to my list?
  • + 1
 Before he crashed at Fort William in 2016, Maes was holding a top 25 position pretty consistently, so it seems like a long shot to expect him to challenge for the podium. It's cool to see him back at the sharp end in the EWS though, after some bad luck.
  • + 2
 let's get SickMick's sled up there next please.
  • + 0
 anyone else see that picture of the 40's leaning up against what is basically a glorified tarp on gravel ground? just me? one stiff breeze and those stanchions are toast.
  • + 2
 I bet the Fox techs got it covered Wink
  • - 1
 Yeah, seems a lot of investment, then we stand it in some gravel.
  • + 3
 Already on the ground, can only tip over at worse. Professional work there, safest place for them. If they were set on something elevated objective risk of them falling could mean impact with the ground and being damaged in a functionally or cosmetically meaningful way versus the potential for minor scuffs like we see here.
  • - 4
flag novajustin (May 31, 2018 at 14:49) (Below Threshold)
 @delamar: i guarantee you that a world cup racer is not about to accept running a fork with some "minor scuffs" on the stanchions. just sayin...
  • + 6
 @novajustin: I guarantee you, there is a box full of new stanchions in the fox pits.
  • - 1
 @cmcrawfo: i'm sure there are, i also guarantee there are lots of tables in their pits....just seems like an unnecessary risk to me.
  • + 5
 @novajustin: But if it falls off the table?!?! Gasp! They should have foam padding on the floor, and bubble wrap the waiting stanchions. Oh wait, its not Fox's first race. I think they got this ;P
  • + 5
 @novajustin: Mountain biking is an unnecessary risk.
  • + 1
 All that Kashima would be pretty hard to miss... I don't think people will trip over them there.
  • + 1
 Can someone explain me the green spacer in Marcelos rear shock? Is it for esthetical reason or does that thing make sense?
  • + 1
 I think it's a spacer to run a shorter(lighter) spring.
  • + 2
 no word about the new Demo Proto ????
youtu.be/dDGucLb_4sg
  • + 3
 Hans Dampf!
  • + 8
 Gesundheit!
  • + 1
 Did Scott just put their decals on a Trek Session because, well, you know what what we're all thinking...
  • + 1
 Any reach adjust headsets for modern trail bikes?
  • + 1
 Whoah. Scott and GT are on FSR linkage?! Finally.
  • + 1
 So many shiny goodies Drool
  • + 1
 Sick bikes for sure but when is Claudio doing his thing....
  • + 3
 Not sure if he's cleared to ride. Sustained a pretty bad head injury at the last event. Just had the drainage tubes removed last week. Has anyone heard of he'll be riding?
  • + 2
 @Trudeez: He is not. I know who the secret pro will be that follows Gwin down....and hes not even a pro. Watch that space as Claudio´s replacement is a top bloke and bound to say something funny.
  • + 1
 Kona looks like its built to huck 40ft @ Rampage
  • - 1
 I know Trek have the money, but that's just a waste of cash painting Gee's bike all fancy. Not like it's gonna be top of the podium is it......
  • + 1
 Ow! f*ckYeah) this is awesome))))
  • + 1
 Anyone seeing the telemetry do-hickey on the back of Danny’s bike?
  • + 0
 Schwalbe Hans Dampf? bUt ThAtS uNrIdEaBlE tHe KnObS wOn´T lAsT hAlF a RuN
  • + 1
 Slicks are faster, just ask Vettel...
  • + 0
 Dave Garland and a bike with Fox Coil spring? Smile
  • + 1
 Was thinking the same thing!
  • + 2
 Mayb harts fox sponsors dont want him using one.. i use one of daves springs on my bike and its amazing
  • + 1
 @andydhteam: Same here. Simply adding it gave my rear shock way more life and feel. 100% worth it.
  • - 1
 Is it just me or the Propain is at the moment the real butty among all of the rest in the DH field?
  • + 3
 Does that mean you do, or dont like it Wink
  • + 0
 no pics of Kaos Seagraves transition 29er?
  • - 2
 Gaetan Vige's prototype Scott Gambler is a Trek Session! Are both these brands owned by the same parent company or something?
  • + 2
 The new Gambler prototypes have been adopting the Horst-Link/FSR style suspension, just as the Spark and Genius have done in their latest iterations. You can get a closer look here: www.pinkbike.com/news/scott-gambler-prototype-losinj-dh-world-cup-2018.html
  • + 1
 That was the firat thought I had...the upper link looks like it's straight off a Session.
  • - 3
 Really liking the look of the Scott Session, GT session and the Kona Session.
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