Tech Randoms: Les Gets World Cup DH 2019

Jul 10, 2019
by Ross Bell  
Back to back World Cups usually only means one thing in the pits on track walk day: rebuilds. Andorra's dust and rough track were tough on equipment, and bikes were in bits today as mechanics did their best to ditch the dirt and have them running sweet in time for tomorrow.

The instructions are pretty clear in the Pivot pits.

Blenki s front wheel was off by almost 26g before the weights helped balance it out.
Blenki's front wheel was off by almost 26g before the weights helped balance it out.
Homemade wheel weights by Darren Burns for Blenki s bike.
Homemade wheel weights by Darren Burns for Blenki's bike.

Tracey Hannah with an all new build this weekend.

No mistaking who this belongs to.

A Box and e*13 drivetrain on Hannah's fresh build.


Greg Williamson has been running some fresh looking UNNO Evers of late. He is running the pink and black this weekend whilst the black and white saw action in Andorra.





Loris Vergier's bike got a deep clean today.


P.A (Loris' mechanic) pumps some fresh grease into the linkage of his V10.

Mix matched pads in the XTR brakes of Vergier.

Finn Iles' data acquisition bike ready for practice tomorrow.
An Ohlins shock minus the coil in the Specialized pits.

A few flashes of raw aluminium in the Atherton pits.

Mavic s new Deemax wheel accepting only 7 cogs not that you d need much more in downhill.
Mavic's new Deemax wheel accepts only 7 cogs, not that you'd need much more in downhill.

Patrick Laffey s bike getting an overhaul. The Junior has been on the podium more than a few times already this year.
Patrick Laffey's bike getting an overhaul. The junior has been on the podium more than a few times already this year.

There's no missing the factory Canyon Senders on track or in the pits.

Reece Wilson and Kade Edwards have some new and rather flashy looking Trek Sessions.


Best viewed up close and personal.


Fresh ravioli noise dampeners for the Norco team.
Fresh ravioli noise dampers for the Norco team.

Gee Atherton s neutral gear mechanism. The idea here is that on rougher sections of track He d shift into the dead gear to eliminate pedal feedback.
Gee Atherton's neutral gear mechanism. The idea here is that on rougher sections of track, he'd shift into the dead gear to eliminate pedal feedback.

You know you ve made it when your name is on your hubs.
You know you've made it when your name is on your hubs.
Wheel sets being mounted and checked. Last weekend s track was not playing nice.
Wheelsets being mounted and checked. Last weekend's track was not playing nice.

Loic s bike getting some love after the trashing it received in Andorra.
Loic's bike getting some love after the trashing it received in Andorra.
Jack working his magic on the worlds fastest bike.
Jack working his magic on the world's fastest bike.

Only two of three Saracen riders are still using the floating brake arm. Alex Marin s bike has gone back to the original configuration.
Only two of three Saracen riders are still using the floating brake arm. Alex Marin's bike has gone back to the original configuration.

Everyone can appreciate a clean and organized pit space. Commencal cuts no corners.
Everyone can appreciate a clean and organized pit space. Commencal cuts no corners.
No need for adapters on the prototype Commencals.

Fresh seals and other maintenance at Fox after the dust bowl that was Andorra.
Fresh seals and other maintenance at Fox after the dust bowl that was Andorra.


Regions in Article
Les Gets


147 Comments

  • + 80
 Cool to see Gee experiment with a neutral gear. Makes me wonder what ever happened to that contraption Canyon was working on.
  • + 8
 Agreed! I thought that was interesting too. Would be good to hear follow-up on that - is it secretly being used, or if not why?
  • + 67
 Better hope you're not in your neutral gear when you go to sprint out of a corner tho.
  • + 102
 @NoahColorado: Wof you on abouff, fronnff teeff are overraffed.
  • + 15
 @NoahColorado: For sure. I reckon it'd be a perfect use case for a di2 (ie electric) setup if it could could be smart enough to understand the forces and be in the appropriate gear or non-gear.
  • + 15
 Anyone remember Aaron Chase running the same thing from S.I.C. components circa NWD 7?

www.pinkbike.com/buysell/1841120
  • + 25
 Are we sure Gee’s not gonna pull some fat fakies?!?
  • + 1
 @BEERandSPOKES: he’s got one on his firebird now????
  • + 1
 Wouldn't a freewheel at the crank alleviate kickback in all the gears?
  • + 6
 @Syt565: wouldn't work for the same reason the freewheel in the hub doesn't eliminate kickback
  • + 3
 How to you shift up from the neutral gear ? Since the cog is not pulled by the chain
  • + 7
 @Whipperman: The chain moves when pedalled, and when derailleur pulls chain on either side, it will create friction against the cog and it starts rotating too and eventually chain can hop back on the cog. Not sure how smooth this is though...
  • + 1
 I also wonder why a similar system, inspired by BMX's freecoaster hubs, hasn't been designed yet.
  • + 3
 I wonder what's the reason for this. On one hand it seems just like a good idea.
On the other it looks like an odd way to tackle problems with the kinematic problems that can't be solved otherwise (means: without compromising other, good key characteristics of the frame).
  • + 2
 @pipra: Shimano Scylence freehub could maybe tick this box(if it would be in production)..?
  • + 2
 @Syt565: Maybe yea but the constant running of the chain would create too much drag...when its all about the "free speed".
  • + 2
 My main concern would be suspension setup. Do you tune your shock for the sections where you have your chain on, or for those rougher bits where it's off? Compromises need to be made.
Brosnan tried this system some time back too, probably to test the idea Canyon went on to develop.
  • + 2
 You'd think he'd design his own bike brand to have no pedal feedback?
  • + 2
 Or you could try a Starling Sturn where there's no chain growth affecting suspension in any gear!

www.starlingcycles.com/starling-cycles-sturn
  • + 4
 @pipra: engagement on freecoasters is really slow (not sure is this is faster, either)
  • + 2
 @pipra: IIRC It's likely because freecoasters have a lot more free movement before they engage.
  • + 2
 @zonoskar: easier said than done. There are a number designs that reduce pedal feedback, but ultimately, it is always a game of compromises.
  • - 1
 Makes you wonder if Atherton's bikes chainline doesn't play nicely.
  • + 1
 @tecnik2: True. However the engagement gap, on latest freecoasters, is adjustable to a certain point. You also have to do an additional quarter turn to disengage the clutch.
  • + 2
 why the idle is not the first or last gear? this way it would be super easy to shift to idle /sure with some spacer behind biggest cog to not drop the chain down/
  • + 4
 @S851: Probably because second-to-first or second-to-last is the wrong gear for exiting the sections where neutral is beneficial.
  • + 1
 @syt565: theres already a thing like tha cant remember the name sorry
  • + 3
 @S851: probably so the chain doesn't run on the frame. It falls into a slot between the cogs instead so less likely to jam up and/or damage things
  • + 70
 That Unno might be the best look DH bike since the 26" carbon Wilson
  • - 44
flag MikeyMT (Jul 10, 2019 at 14:00) (Below Threshold)
 Fixed it for you Wink

That Unno might be the best look DH bike since the asymmetrical Demo
  • - 1
 So very agree
  • + 4
 ** best looking**

Dangit I need to proofread better
  • - 6
flag seraph (Jul 10, 2019 at 15:09) (Below Threshold)
 Nah, the Session and Atherton frames still look the best. The latter invokes Sunday design cue memories for me which is nice.
  • + 2
 I thought it was a Lahar!
  • + 0
 @MikeyMT: I reckon most people think you’re wrong
  • + 3
 @seraph: I can see why some people might like the Atherton bikes but personally I’m not a fan of the looks. Still better looking then those polygons thi ????
  • + 4
 Commencal Supreme DH 29
  • + 36
 trek is just killing it on the paint jobs lately!!! first that silver/ raw metal looking paint now this green with gold flake and gold lettering! soo classy and sexy. specialized take notes lol
  • + 13
 Seriously. Loic's bike is so ugly IMO.
  • + 0
 @shawnca7: What about Finn's Guy Fieri bike?
  • + 1
 It's crazy how lame the new paint jobs are, especially when you look back to the stunners of the past seasons like the Lava Bike...
  • + 15
 Those Sessions are hot AF.
  • + 2
 Shame about the red forks!
  • + 11
 Can anybody explain what the wheel weights are used for?
  • + 49
 Put your bike in a bikestand, then pedal it really fast. You're wheel will wobble like crazy from being unbalanced. On a track this fast, and with riders so close to the limit, that wobble could be the difference between staying upright or eating dirt. Cars and motorbikes have been balancing wheels for ages now.
  • + 7
 Your* damn autocorrect..
  • + 3
 @LaurensVR: That's interesting. But if the wheel is completely true, how does that wobble happen? Can the manufacture not fix that right off the bat? Honestly I'm completely ignorant to this whole subject, so I'm just curious!
  • + 16
 @kdstones: Deviations from nominal measurements and dimensions are common in manufacturing so realistically it is impossible to have a properly balanced wheel just from truing it. Consistent tension doesn't effect thicker and thinner sections of material.
  • + 2
 I've got those weights on my moto, opposite the rim lock. They're available (or used to be) off Ebay. Just a brass slug with a set screw. Would be very easy to grind off to achieve desired weight.
  • + 9
 @kdstones: the valve would cause some unbalance.... minimal gains and all that!
  • + 10
 @kdstones: The unbalance happens when there is a tiny bit too much material in one spot on the wheel or tire. There are so many parts that have a little bit of difference because of varying tolerances that it eventually becomes a bigger wobble than any individual part would cause.
  • + 23
 @kdstones: it is mostly due to tire irregularities.
  • + 10
 @kdstones: material in tyres is not evenly distributed usually.
  • + 5
 To Balance the wheel, same as on your car.
  • + 4
 @millsr4: Yup, plus the tire itself play a factor. The wheel weight balances it as a system. There is a guy in the states (original Onza founder and Greg Herbold mechanic) who has a US Patent on balancing system.
  • + 4
 @kdstones: a true wheel can still be unbalanced. this happens with too much/less material in one area; from the rim, spokes and tire (especially). an exaggerated example is like throwing a brick into a washing machine, it will spin and shake itself apart.
  • + 8
 @kdstones: it's not just the wheel but the tire and probably inserts as well. a perfectly balanced bare wheel can be put out of balance once the tire is mounted.
  • + 3
 @jjgoride: how could I forget to mention the tires! Those probably have the more variation than any other component on the wheel...
  • + 5
 @kdstones: it's actually an interesting question! Minor imperfections in mass distribution get amplified as the rotational speed is increased due to centripetal acceleration. These imperfections can be in wheel true (or more importantly, hop), tire seating (usually my issue), or the construction of the tire itself.

Many things that spin get balanced in this way. Motorcycle and car tires are one example. I work on electric generators that can weigh hundreds of tonnes and spin at a few hundred rpm. As part of commissioning we bolt steel blocks to the rotor to balance those forces. Obviously things are designed to by symmetrically but they rarely turn out that way!
  • + 3
 @kdstones: I got you bud! See visual here --> www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuRLID2k2mg

Basically, when @LaurensVR says "wobble" he means the bike will buck like a pissed off horse. Not a "wobble" caused by a wheel being un-true. If the wheel is balanced it will not. So at the speeds the WC racers are going an unbalanced wheel is basically like adding speed bumps caused by the wheel of the bike having one side being heavier than the other. For us mere mortals (or at least for me) who travel at less than warp speeds, it is rare that we would notice this issue.

Love the search for knowledge, keep it up!
  • + 5
 Weight imbalances caused by the tire, valve, etc. If you spin your cranks in the workstand and your whole bike shakes, your rear wheel has an imbalance. As your wheel spins down it will settle on the heaviest part, you can put weights on the opposite side and repeat the process until it doesn't settle repeatedly in the same spot. Supposedly it calms the bike at high speeds. At least that's my understanding.
  • + 4
 IDK if its so important that its the difference between holding a line and having your tire slide out from under you, its probably just an incremental benefit, otherwise all the pros would do it.
  • + 4
 The funny thing is that the last time this was asked and brought up, some guy running tubeless with Stan's did testing and found that the liquid threw off the balance more than anything else. Making balancing the wheels a moot point. Unless you run so little that it's dry. Then balance?
  • + 0
 @makripper: the sealant will spread evenly due to centri-thingmy forces and therefore not be unbalanced. (Not the best use of words I do admit, but thar she blows).
  • + 0
 @TylerG96: but 2 bricks on oppo sides in wasehr and voila! Balanced. Science ????
  • + 1
 @aps62: Nope. www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZMhdmtYDtw

I've never ever taken a tire off and had sealant evenly distributed. Its always clumped, always balled up.
  • + 5
 Wow, some really col stuff , mixing pads and that pink Unno is pure sex !

Is it possible to see some pics of that full 29er bike Specialized have just released please?
.
.
.
.
.
Oh wait , never mind, their team racers on a different bike...#facepalm
  • + 2
 Mixed pads isn't anything new. Can be helpful depending on brakes and conditions
  • + 2
 Is that true, or do they just have a custom linkage to make the mullet work? The PB first look indicated it was the bike they race on.
  • + 6
 To all my racing buddies who have been laughing at me for balancing my race tires for the last 20 years IN YO FACE!
  • + 2
 @bishopsmike: The Royal Penis is clean, your Highness...
  • + 4
 I have brought up wheel balancing so many times over the years, most people would comment I was an idiot, but being told you are an idiot by idiots has zero affect so fuck them!
  • + 0
 www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZMhdmtYDtw

It's a fun puzzling game for you guys to keep yourselves occupied. But it seems to do jack shit.
  • + 1
 In what way can you balance them? Using what tools?
  • + 1
 @bizutch: simple V blocks and weights set the rim with the axle in between the two V blocks the heaviest side of the tire will always hang to the bottom Mark the bottom with chalk or what not keep playing with the wheel until it flip flops. I used to use lead stick on weights. Peel and stick very simple
  • + 2
 @bizutch: if the tire is real out of balance sometimes you can unbeat it and move it around on the rim instead of adding a ton of weight also. And make sure you're doing this with a fresh tire and no sealant add sealant after this thing's balanced
  • + 1
 @bizutch: here just watch this and forget about all that
youtu.be/dcgiUcbS64c
  • + 1
 It’s weird to me because I always wondered why people never balanced bike wheels. I always felt like that step was missing. So it is.
  • + 0
 @fattyheadshok: nah, there's a Park Tools video that mostly points out how useless balancing MTB wheels is. Sealant creates its own clumps st various points inside the rim thinking shiny door thou had at balancing it
  • + 0
 @bizutch: which I linked above. These guys man...
  • + 2
 @bizutch: fresh sealant makes no difference in a balance wheel once it is up to rotation speed. Checkout Pascal's Law. You can't argue with proven science. Yes old clumpy sealant will be an issue but so will a old worn tire.
  • + 1
 @pinnityafairy: nah, you're nerding too hard. Go ride a couple laps and then spin your perfectly balanced wheel again. It'll be right back out of whack. Smile
  • + 2
 With high chain path frames and the 'neutral' gear now on Gee's bike I always wonder what the pros are feeling that I'm not on any of the 3 DH bikes I've owned over a 20 year period. Next time I'm out on the bike I'll have to really try to pay attention but I'm legitimately curious what the sensation is they're feeling.
  • + 12
 Didn't Gwin feel a .05mm difference in his grip or tire, and he was right?
  • + 11
 @generationfourth: tyre pressure
  • + 6
 @generationfourth: even Rach noticed a difference of 3mm in stack height. I remember an old Sram XO video where Semenuk talks about noticing a 4mm change. They're in tune with their bikes.
  • + 2
 @generationfourth: it was his ODI grips.
  • + 8
 Why the downvote? He legit said he can feel a 1psi difference in pressure.
  • + 6
 you don't notice it cuz its easy to confuse pedal kick back with general instability of the back end. Eliminate kickback and your bike will feel much more planted. What might feel like a harsh hit that disrupts your feet on the pedals could really be the suspension jerking your pedals forward, against what your body is doing. imo I want zero pedal kickback ever.
  • + 4
 Take your chain of your bike for a lap. If you’re not on a bike with an idler or something like I-drive or pendbox, you’ll notice.
  • + 1
 m.pinkbike.com/news/6-of-aaron-gwins-greatest-moments.html

Watch the chainless massacre vid. Listen closely to what gwinn says at the very end of the vid, you’ll need to turn the volume up. He comments, “that suspension works good without a chain”

Neutral gear does same thing.
  • + 1
 A finely tuned dw_link bike doesn't have much on the way of kick back
  • + 3
 Pedal kickback aka high anti squat...
  • + 4
 @larryssman7: i'm not a pro nor a good rider at all, but anyone could feel a difference of 3-5 mm in stack height or saddle setback.even if it could be small changes they are in points of the bike where they affect body position noticeably.just try to and o remove a headset spacer below your stem and you can easily figure out the difference. Even few degrees of roll back or forward of the handlebar can change body and weight distribution on the bike.Sure you can ride ur bike and don't give a shit about it, but for these guys feeling the bike like a glove it's the key to have the condidence to go flat out.
  • + 1
 @Luniapuanrider: we say that, but I know of more than 1 World Cup rider who are full on pinned and hate to think about setup on their bikes & just want to walk up and ride, never think about angles or reaches or anything because it actually screws with their heads to delve into setup. They'd rather the mechanic just hand them the bike and go. Big Grin
  • + 1
 @andydhteam: wasn’t that Minnaar who noticed the tire pressure?
  • + 1
 @fattyheadshok: gwin listen to it on Juan hall podcast (gwin mechanic) with vital mtb
  • + 1
 Eat, Sleep, Rave repeat...
Rave... I wonder how many have been to a rave.
The Rez 25 year reunion this year was off the chart.
160000 in the main arena.
Eat, Sleep, Scott Brown, Repeat. Smile

www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxGUOAVZtcU
  • + 3
 That looks fucking terrible!
  • + 2
 @jay-me: lol. Kids these days.
  • + 6
 Grease by the 20oz tube?
  • + 9
 Caulky.
  • + 5
 @seraph: good for keeping the deck dry *in a kiwi accent*
  • + 5
 anyone else wants to see the commencal prototype??
  • + 1
 "Greg Williamson has been running some fresh looking UNNO Evers of late. He is running the pink and black this weekend whilst the black and white saw action in Andorra"


Holy Moly that frame is pretty.
  • + 2
 my brotato salad @ColoradoPaul running single speed on his DH steed and killin it!
  • + 1
 off by almost 26g sounds anal. the polygon is sweet and maybe the handlebar grip cover maybe a good idea since something in the air turns them into sticky gew here
  • + 2
 The aluminum e13 cranks on the Unno speak volumes after Gwin snapped his carbon ones
  • + 2
 What could cause a wheel to be unbalanced? I guess pinned rims, a bad tyre cast ?
  • + 1
 So the Atherton Bike benefits from having a "dead gear" so there isn't any pedal feedback? Not sounding real promising for that suspension design...…
  • + 2
 Those Unnos are gorgeous but you just feel like putting them on display, not trashing them...
  • + 0
 surely the weight off the drivetrain being on one side of the bike makes more of a difference than the wheel being ever so slightly offset?
  • + 2
 Did you mean Mismatched instead mix match
  • + 1
 I always wonder if the Athertons would carve the 'A' logo onto their bike's rocker link.
  • + 2
 Is Blenki really so sensitive about the wheel weight balance?
  • + 2
 what's with the cover on traccie's grips?
  • + 6
 Simply a grease guard so the mechanics don't get the grips oily or dirty during service.
  • + 2
 Does anyone know what brakes T Hannah is running on her rig.
  • + 5
 I think they are trickstuff
  • + 4
 Trickstuff Diretissima
  • + 3
 @mgolder: they are ridiculously expensive. Yet I bought a set .. holy crap they are spectacular
  • + 3
 @bman33: bloody expensive, but it is that piece of fetish and how artsy they are done, isn´t it?
  • + 2
 @bok-CZ: you can also get only the levers and run them with Formula or Magura saddles - Trimula or Trigura ????
  • + 2
 @bok-CZ: yes they are
  • + 0
 @jmjr: I would never again go with Formula brakes
  • + 3
 Steel shielded bearings?
  • + 0
 I guess mavic want anyone that wants the deemax to run sram. Not saying the gx/xo dh doesn’t work but I personally prefer the feel of shimano.
  • + 5
 You can still run shimano with 7 sprockets. You just don't add the 3 largrst gears and adjust your limit screw for it, its very common.
  • + 1
 @spudlord: if they use a 7/8/9 speed free wheel than yes. But if xd then you need to change jockey wheels out for 11 speed as that’s the Cain and spacing for xo dh
  • + 1
 That neutral gear is a cool idea! Why it isn’t used more often idk?
  • + 1
 atherton, a ideia: remote control to turn off the freehub... hahaha
  • + 1
 Holy hell.... those treks are sexy!!!
  • + 2
 Prototype Commencals?
  • + 1
 I would pay a shop £20 to get my wheel balanced (I think?)
  • + 0
 Pardon me while i go jerk it to that pink/black unno.
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