Tech Randoms: Lenzerheide DH World Cup 2019

Aug 8, 2019
by Ross Bell  
Todd tests the rebound performance of Kade Edwards rear shock.
An invaluable tool: the hand-powered shock dyno at the SRAM pit. Todd tests the rebound of Kade Edwards' shock.


Only a matter of days after finals in Val di Sole we find ourselves once again in familiar territory but in unfamiliar conditions. We've arrived into the Swiss Alps and the town of Lenzerheide in some rather cold and damp conditions with mechanics busy rebuilding bikes and prepping them for a wet track tomorrow morning...



Zabjek and Jamieson s forks next in the queue after a more than brutal week in Val Di Sole.
Zabjek and Jamieson's forks, next in the RockShox queue after a tough week in Val Di Sole.
Fast and famous names in the Boxxer rack awaiting service at Sram.
Fast and famous names in the Boxxer rack awaiting service at SRAM.

Evan Warner has been a key player in the Sram technical team for more seasons than you shake a shock at.
Evan Warner has been a key player in the SRAM technical team for more seasons than you shake a shock at.
Trek Factory Racing shocks among others await cleaning and tuning.
Trek Factory Racing shocks, among others, await cleaning and tuning.

Polygon's data acquisition bike ready to go tomorrow.

Tire choice will be a big talking point this weekend.
Rubber hits the greasy dirt tomorrow.
Rubber hits the greasy dirt tomorrow.

Canyon Factory Racing's Senders sitting pretty in the pits.

Details on the Canyon Senders.
.

Nigel Reeve gets the Stendec data acquisition setup on Mark Wallace's bike.

Matteo Nati finishes off a brake bleed on George Brannigan's GT Fury.

Spotted in the Saracen pits: Luring any lingering air in the system to the lever by strapping the lever in place for an hour or so.

Cut spikes seem to be the tire of choice in the pits.

Greg Minnaar's Santa Cruz V10 getting prepped for the slop tomorrow.

Old school wheel stiffening methods at the Santa Cruz pit.
Old school wheel stiffening methods at the Santa Cruz pit.

The Atherton DH bike has won in the hands of both Rachel Atherton and Mille Johnset.

Continental Mud Kings, ready to rip in the Atherton Racing pits.
.

Time for a trim. Tire knobs taken down considering the super wet conditions.
Time for a trim: Tire knobs taken down to find speed in the wet conditions.

Jack Moir's Intense M29.
TRP mech on the back of Moir's M29.

Two Cannondales for the price of one. Matt Simmonds is back, and Kenta Gallagher will be alongside him this weekend.
Kenta Gallagher will be trying a new linkage and Cannondale's twin shock system for the first time.

Hope tech goodness on Adam Brayton's Nukeproof Dissent.

Loic s bike is feeling blue with all this rainfall.
Loic's bike is feeling blue with all this rainfall.

Another fresh paint job for Bruni.

Top tube showing off Bruni's three World Champs titles.

A full rebuild on Reece Wilson's Trek Session.

Prototype Pepi s Tire Noodles spotted. They seem to have a different rebound feel and no cover as they no longer absorb sealant.
Prototype Pepi's Tire Noodles spotted: They have a different rebound feel and there's no cover, as they no longer absorb sealant.

Faustin Figaret s Commencal.
Faustin Figaret's Commencal.

Kona s Alex Presant tidying up Jackson Frew s rig.
Kona's Alex Presant tidying up Jackson Frew's rig.

Good looking socket from Abbey Bike Tools.
Good looking socket from Abbey Bike Tools.
Tool boxes and pouches rolled out for another week of problem solving.
Tool boxes and pouches rolled out for another week of problem solving.

Plenty of cleaning and checking to do after last weekend s mess over at Fox.
Plenty of cleaning and checking to do after last weekend's mess over at Fox.



131 Comments

  • + 88
 Loic's new paint job looks incredible! Sorry... incroyable! I love the subtle patriotism of the French blue vs a flag. And the flake paint and gold foil letters take it to another level! A blue instrument of speed like this also reminds me of old Bugattis, Matras and Alpines
  • + 25
 Big bonus points for mentioning Matra!
  • + 16
 To me, it's an Alpine! I thought the same things when I saw it, truly an incredible paint job. The custom painters have been stepping up their game lately and it shows
  • + 11
 wonder what they do with all these custom frames? Surely the riders don’t keep all of them!? So are they sold? Kept in a showroom somewhere?
  • + 0
 @Minikeum: paint remover
  • + 6
 We need more bass boat flakes!
  • + 1
 @NebulousNate: SchwEtis! FTW!!!
  • + 1
 Looks like the old Cannondale colors. Id had a little Deja-ve moment going on
  • - 1
 @scary1: come on, you can do better.
  • + 16
 @Muckal: nope, this is the new "nice" me where i make non-offensive,milk toast commentary in the hopes that people that i dont know and will never meet,will show their approval in the form of + marks and thus giving my life purpose and meaning.
  • + 1
 @scary1: do your research, spell deja-vu correctly and i'll be happy to upvote.
  • - 1
 @scary1:... Since I'm nice also.
  • + 2
 @scary1:

"milquetoast" - but the adjective in any form is acceptable. +1
  • + 4
 @Minikeum: I bet @bicyclerider sands them down!
  • + 6
 really beautifull paintjob, but when i look at it sweden comes to my mind, not france or alpine cause of the yellow/gold accents Smile
  • + 9
 Swede ride .
  • + 3
 The glossy "bleu roi" looks great on this alloy frame... wait, Bruni rides an alloy frame?!
  • + 1
 Whoever decided on that colour of bars with that incredible paint job needs a good slap.
  • + 4
 Well it does look Alpine-ish blue, but Loic's paint job looks more Swedish than anything, to me at least …
  • + 1
 @Muckal: If you are to pick on people for spelling you might as well check on your own; it's "déjà vu" Smile
It loses the dash we put in French but retains the accents. That being said, pretty much all variations are accepted in everyday language.
  • + 2
 @polarproton: try typing the ´ with a US Qwerty on Windows without being a nerd …
  • + 3
 Word nerds unite!!!!!! On a different website.
  • + 2
 @Muckal: STFU you pedantic tw*t
  • + 1
 @endlessblockades: f*ck all of you, im going back to the old scary .This is what being nice gets you. Thats why you all got Trump!
  • + 1
 @scary1: This, from a resident of the heart of Trump Country?
  • + 2
 @NebulousNate: It takes too much weight added to make them look good with flake. Like an extra pound of clearcoat. #weightwatchers
  • + 1
 @nlitworld: good. I like my dh bikes heavy.
  • + 1
 the blue on the paint job making remember different things to different people has also to do with, but not only, the shitty color accuracy of today's screens that vary a lot.
  • + 1
 @Muckal: I thought that was an intentional reference to Cannondale Vee
Series..? Killer V Super V?
  • + 23
 Prototype tyre noodle or Aircon insulation tubing? Same-same
  • + 87
 I will eat it either way. Take my owners money.
  • + 15
 @IamTheDogEzra: bad dog, where have you been?
  • + 5
 Now we will be able to tune the rebound of tire inserts
  • + 3
 its pipe lagging, £0.33 a length from B&Q or most good hardware stores
  • - 9
flag NicoOfner (Aug 8, 2019 at 3:26) (Below Threshold)
 @fingerbangextreme: f*cking idiot
  • + 15
 @NicoOfner: sorry I didn't mean to upset you. My comment was distasteful, ignorant and irresponsible. I'm really sorry
  • + 17
 I thought wiring the spokes together wasn't to stiffen the wheel, but to keep a broken spoke from coming undone and getting in the drivetrain or puncturing a tire. I'd doubt those Reserve carbon wheels need to be stiffer.
  • + 4
 You would be correct.
  • + 1
 Definitely makes the wheel stiffer, simulates a dramatically larger flange with shorter spokes. Trust me, I was a USAC Pro DHer for a decade, built all my race wheels, as well as 350+ for clients and many other Pro DH & XC riders.
  • + 16
 Those HOPE green anodized brakes Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
  • + 2
 They look like E4s... I wonder why he doesn't run the V4s?
  • + 2
 @dirtjumpur: I think I saw in one of the big brake tests that E4s actually slightly outperformed V4s in regards of power. Weird...
  • + 12
 Interesting to see an Assegai trimmed to open it up to be used as a kind of cut spike.
  • + 51
 If you trim your Assegai it makes the other knobs look bigger.
  • + 11
 Need gwinn back. Missing john hall’s toolbox in the pitbits.
  • + 1
 Yes, we need more Juan
  • + 7
 Man, seeing that completely raw Demo frame makes me wish they sold it like that too. Not that I actually have the money, I would just hang out in bike park parking lots and drool over them.
  • + 1
 Where is this raw demo frame you speak of
  • + 3
 @nskerb: behind Bruni's
  • + 2
 @nskerb: There's a raw frame in the opposite side of the bike stand in the picture of Bruni's new paint job.
  • + 2
 @nskerb: yeah, you can’t see it completely, but if the finish was anything like the stumpy evo it would look incredible.
  • + 2
 I see it now! Woosh lol. Agreed stumpy evo finish would be sweet
  • + 1
 @mmoon: that is Bruni’s data collecting bike
  • + 2
 I feel the raw metal is underrated. They always sell out first because they look so bitchen.
  • + 1
 Head on over to VitalMTB and check the latest Pit Bits article - many more shots of that raw frame by Sven.
  • + 7
 One of my favourite parts of the WC weekends: the pit bits! Excellent photos, again upping the bar. I'm especially fond of the Rockshox pics, just because they look so unique
  • + 7
 "Devinci's Nigel Reeve gets the Stendec data acquisition setup on Mark Wallace's bike."

That should say Canyon's Nigel Reeve.
  • + 7
 I picked up the same tyre inserts... sorry pipe insulation at Home Depot last weekend
  • + 5
 Why have tyre manufacturers not made a version of the cut down spike? It's such a common thing but every race they just watch the mechanics do it? Surely there's a market there for them.
  • + 8
 Because the tread would be worn out and dead after just several runs, then PB'ers would post how said tire is shit and wears too quick?
  • + 5
 The Shorty is a cut Wetscream.
  • + 4
 @reborn10speeder: Haveyou had any experience with either of those tires or at least had them side to side ? I'd say no as the knobs on the shorty have a base roughly 2x bigger than the Wetscream, while they are not that shorter than the Wetscream. Those a 2 really different tires that share nothing apart casing and compound.
  • + 4
 Proof in the pudding, 29ers are so loose you have to ghetto tie the spokes together, lol. Hello marketing, we have a problem.
  • + 4
 Don't you dare contesting the 29er ! 29er is the best and that is all ! All hail the 29er !
  • + 1
 I heard there was only one 27.5 front wheel in the top ten at Val.. which pudding are you proofing?
  • + 3
 @tobiusmaximum: Is it because 27.5 is slower or because all the riders have been forced by their Teams to ride 29ers to help the sale of those new 29er bikes ? Considering that in the top guns only Troy is riding 27.5 it is actually a great proof that 27.5 is not a problem at all. Consider also how many mulet bikes there are, testament that riders don't really want to go 29ers but have to, so they keep the back at 27.5 as a compromise to still be able to have a ride they like and please the Teams.
  • + 2
 @Balgaroth: To own up, I’m being a little facetious. I’m of the opinion that, for the consumer certainly, it hardly makes any difference at all. So buy/ride whatever suits your size/riding style. But if I was being a little more facetious.. if we reverse your theory, wouldn’t Troy be at a direct advantage due to ‘stiffer wheels’?
  • + 2
 @tobiusmaximum: Stiffer is far from always better, I put soft wheels n stiff frames to balance it out as nowadays many frames are just too stiff to track well on off-cambers unless you weight 100kg or ride like Troy. That said Troy has indeed more precise/stiff wheels against rollover properties of 29er. Each wheel size as it's advantages so it would be great if the industry was letting us pick and choose rather than phasing out 29er, brainwashing people so we will all be on 29ers within 2/3 seasons. Then once the transition is operated find a new wheel size. This is exactly what happened from 26 to 27.5 if you've been riding for long enough. And meanwhile 26 didn't stop Josh to still win while the field was on 27.5 wheels Talent is talent.
  • + 1
 @Balgaroth: Troy is on a mullet bike now. Tested and found it faster. Explains his thoughts in the Vital interview video with Bruni
  • + 1
 @Balgaroth: I completely agree. It's perplexing to me how everyone now seems to accept that 29ers are faster because it's been repeated so many times despite the fact that no credible head-to-head test has produced any such evidence and racers such as Brosnan manage to be so damn consistent (top 5 every race this year except Val di Sole) on the slower wheels (one or both). Guys like Bruni and Sam Hill sure seemed to do ok last year on full 27.5 as well. Makes me kind of suspicious about all the 29er hype.

You've got to ignore the hype and ride what you want; it doesn't really make much difference. Like you, I just wish bike manufacturers would just make models available in either wheelsize and let the consumer choose instead of pushing one over the other, likely only to change back or to another size entirely in a few years...
  • + 2
 @Climbtech: all the years you could only buy 26, were companies 'pushing' it on you?
  • + 1
 @tobiusmaximum: No, there were no options, so no need to push anything. I agree with you above that for the average person, it hardly makes any difference, and even for the top racers there is no evidence of one size being demonstrably faster than the other. You should be able to buy what you like.

However, more and more bikes are switching to 29 only. If this is a market response to an authentic demand for these bikes, then fine. However, the cynic in me notes the heavy hype in the online media, some of it based on unproven or possibly untrue benefits and I have a disdain for being marked to on fabricated hype rather than quantified, factual improvements. Most new bikes are really great, but I don't believe it's better than the last simply *because* it's a 29er. (Personal opinion, of course.) It's that tires, wheels, suspension, and geo have all gotten much better as well.

Maybe "pushing" isn't the right word just yet and "hyping" would be better. In that light, it's every company's job to hype/market their newest product like it's the greatest thing ever and this should be expected. When we're back to no choice in wheelsize, and all there is is 29, then it will be pushing :-)
  • + 2
 @STATO: actually Troy posted on his Instagram he’s back to 27.5” front and rear
  • + 1
 @STATO: Nope, he's back on full 27.5
  • + 3
 Can we get clarification on the Cannondale setup? You state "twin shock" do both bodies function as dampers? I understand it is easy to call them both shocks but if only one functions as a damper the other is not a shock.
  • + 7
 It´s only one damping unit. The other functions solely as some sort of guide for the coil spring.
At least if they haven´t changed anything from the previously published setup.
  • + 7
 From what I know it's a split-shock. That way they can have different leverage ratios for the spring and the damping, to maximize the effectiveness of each
  • + 13
 dont get bogged down in semantics, people will for ever call it two shocks. even though we fully know its a shock and damper separately
  • + 10
 @grundletroll: you mean a spring and a damper
  • + 1
 Just like the old Cannondale DH bikes with 2 shocks. One controls one part of the linkage curve and one controls the other. We need more details
  • - 5
flag dhrracer (Aug 7, 2019 at 16:48) (Below Threshold)
 @Loki87: This is why I bring it up. One shock, One spring. So why does the article mention two shocks? The shock is the damper, the other is just a body providing the means to mount a spring. I was being sarcastic trying to get Ross the writer to maybe be a little more technical in his description.
  • + 1
 The frame can run as either a single shock (in either of the two positions), as a split shock (one unit is just a spring, the other does the damping), with a split shock where one unit is a spring and either rebound or compression damping, the other doing the opposite damping to the sprung unit, or you can run two full spring/damper units!! Such a geeky and clever way to isolate everything. I'd personally want to try it with the one unit being a spring and compression damping with the second unit just controlling rebound. That way the damping circuits would run cooler whilst also not affecting each other.

Basically if you can think of a configuration to run using two shocks they can do it, or run it on one shock.
  • + 1
 While its cool to see them thinking outside the box, this same spring/damper isolation can be more easily achieved with a simple progressively wound coil spring. I'm calling it now- progressive springs are the next big thing in DH/Enduro, for both front and back shocks.
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: I believe it has more to do with separating the damper leverage/speed rate from the leverage rate against the spring.
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: you mean 2 or more stage springs? Don't keep waiting. I've been waiting for a decade so far lol.
  • + 1
 @makripper: Here you go: mrpbike.com/products/enduro-progressive-coil-springs

@dhrracer Exactly. You tune the frame to compress the suspension in a linear fashion, exactly how the Cannondale engineers want. This is undesirable for a coil, and a coil is also linear and the spring rate needs to be progressive to be softer off the top but stay higher in its travel at the same time. A progressive spring will do this- its the same as running a linear (normal) spring in a progressive frame.
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: I know about the mrp spring. I want ohlins and specialized to design a suspension system with damper utilizing a 2 or 3 stage spring. Or any manufacturers tbh. You can toss in a spring like that in anything but the rest of the system may not be able to utilize it properly. Just a thought
  • + 2
 Well, that picture of SR Suntour fork and Trickstuff brake on a same bike in the racing pit is saying something about quality SR Suntour has achieved. Great news for all the budget oriented riders including me...
  • + 3
 Is it my monitor, or are these pictures really dark? I like them anyways, but it would be nice to see more detail in th edark areas.
  • + 1
 It´s the new trend.Under exposure and photoshoping...
  • + 4
 it's a bike laboratory for mad bike scientists!
  • + 1
 I wish our garage looked like that!
  • + 1
 @vtdhdoc: a bike nerd's dream!
  • + 4
 I hope the yellow Öhlins lowers become a retail colour.
  • + 2
 Why is it that they are trimming mud spikes when it's wet? Is out not all that sloppy and slippy there, or is it because they know it's about to dry out?
  • + 4
 Pretty sure it's because on a course like that you're really not doing much pedaling and so those center knobs are just more rolling resistance.
  • + 8
 Mostly because a true spike will skip and slide off rocks and roots. They're trying to find to best balance between grip on the mud and grip on the rocks/roots.
  • + 2
 @Trudeez: I find this interesting as many friends ride Dirty Dan pretty much all year round and swear by it. And those are fastish riders (top 50 French cup). They went on testing Magic Mary against DD on the dry and found out they were faster overall on the DD. So the argument of the spike being too long to be stable on wet rocks and roots that have 0 grip/friction anyway is surprising. So unless this track is quite flat, which I doubt as it is in the Alps, I don't see how better grip and braking power can't be more beneficial than slightly better rolling resistance. I know it is the common consensus but still.

Oh and then those going with Assgay trimmed down are just making me scratch my head. Seeing how slippery is the track why wouldn't you want at least a Shorty ? Am I missing something ?
  • + 2
 @Balgaroth: I have ridden dry trails with mud tires, it wasn't much slower but there was a weird feeling indeed. What's really important in the mud is the spacing beetween the knobs, so that the dirt doesn't stick to the tire. Cutting the knobs provides good spacing without much flex.
  • + 2
 @Balgaroth: considering those assegai, they probably cut out those knobs to open them up and improve self cleaning, a tire full of mud doesn´t grip after all
  • + 3
 Glad to see Kenta on Cannondale again
  • + 3
 Jack Moir's has the best looking bike on this page IMHO.
  • + 0
 Because there are no photos of the mondrakers? You’re right though, that m29 looks sick.
  • + 2
 Those stacked mud tires look like prototype dirty dans, with less siping and without the outer knobs.
  • + 1
 The bottom tire is definitely a Dirty Dan not sure about the others though. Do look cool though!
  • + 1
 Definitely proto from Schwalbe. Overall profile looks the same, less sipping and the weird outer know (outside the cornering knobs) are gone. I guess they go for a more stable knob structure with the reduction of sipping and got rid of the side things as it was just creating some extra work for the mechanics to cut them every time.
  • + 1
 @Balgaroth: I actually found the outer knobs made the tire more versatile. It allowed you to use the tire in harder conditions. It is my favorite soft conditions tire by far and looks great too!
  • + 1
 An honest to goodness shock dyno. I dream of the day when there is one in every serious bicycle shop.
  • + 1
 Does Loic run MT5's or MT7's? I would assume MT7, but the caliper looks like an MT5 caliper.
  • + 1
 MT7 and MT5 share the same caliper, the difference lies in the lever. And if you swtich the color patch on them it becomes rather difficult to figure out which is which. Maybe he is running MT5s as the base color is slightly blacker hence more neutral and giving the bike an overall nicer look ?
  • + 1
 @Balgaroth: actually saw on an Instagram post of his bike that it is the MT7s.
  • + 2
 Todd is like... SRAM's Jordi......
  • + 1
 That blue and yellow Spesh reminds me of my old Schwinn Mesa GS!
  • + 1
 Curious about that TRP mech.
  • + 1
 That hand dyno is pretty rad. Boxxer uppers and modified 35mm DM stem?
  • + 1
 how come pros are using the super deluxe over the Vivid?
  • + 1
 Im not sure the Vivid is in Metric, is it?
  • + 1
 @Minikeum: yep super deluxe is for metric bikes.
  • + 1
 TIL suntour makes a DH fork.
  • + 1
 Why do you tie the brake lever in for an hour to bleed it??
  • + 1
 Nice photos andy!!
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