Tech Randoms: Mont-Sainte-Anne DH World Cup 2018

Aug 9, 2018
by Alex Evans  
After a short mid-season break, the World Cup circus is in full flow and with it comes plenty of exciting tech developments, hacks and performance-enhancing and time-reducing tricks that mechanics and riders have spent hours pondering over and refining. Mont-Sainte-Anne's Thursday practice was particularly wet which meant mechanics had their work cut out rebuilding, lubing and maintaining the world's fastest DH race bikes to avoid any unwanted mechanical failures. So, check out some of the tech from the soggiest day so far of the Mont-Sainte-Anne DH World Cup 2018:

Photos & Captions: Andy Vathis

Rachel s bike ready for acquiring data. The Trek team was listening in on front and rear suspension as well as some sensors on the brake disks.
Rachel's bike ready for acquiring data. The Trek team was listening in on front and rear suspension as well as some sensors on the brake disks.

All the bells and whistles to keep the no. 1 plate.
All the bells and whistles to keep the no. 1 plate.
All that s missing now is a pannier.
All that's missing now is a pannier.

Few mechanics are as thorough as Danny Hart s Dave Garland.
Few mechanics are as thorough as Danny Hart's Dave Garland.

Thumbs up for a fresh bleed.
Thumbs up for a fresh bleed.

SR Suntour about to get the full treatment.
SR Suntour about to get the full treatment.

Connor s stead waiting for go time.
Connor's stead waiting for go time.

Anything to prevent flats Procore and other similar devices are a popular choice here.
Anything to prevent flats, Procore and other similar devices are a popular choice here.

The guys at S4 Suspension keeping the fleet afloat. They rolled in with their mobile service pit fully equipped.
The guys at S4 Suspension keeping the fleet afloat. They rolled in with their mobile service pit fully equipped.

Suspension oils on tap.
Suspension oils on tap.
Suspension dissection.
Suspension dissection.

Greg Minnaar stretching getting ready for battle.
Greg Minnaar stretching, getting ready for battle.

Tools need cleaning too.
Tools need cleaning, too.

Tire choice will play a factor if the weather decides to turn.
Tire choice will play a factor if the weather decides to turn.

Bicycle organs strung about.
Bicycle organs strung about.

The real heroes are behind the scenes keeping everything in check.
The real heroes are behind the scenes keeping everything in check.

More bit and pieces that make you go fast.
More bit and pieces that make you go fast.

Pulled apart for cleaning nearly every run.
Pulled apart for cleaning nearly every run.
Many race rigs can be spotted without their forks before the big practice day for service. Seals oils and tuning all get done to ensure the best possible performance.
Many race rigs can be spotted without their forks before the big practice day for service. Seals, oils, and tuning all get done to ensure the best possible performance.

Waterproof grease is definitely a necessity.
Waterproof grease is definitely a necessity.

All business in the Kona pits.
All business in the Kona pits.

Clean goods about to be mounted and promptly dirtied.
Clean goods about to be mounted and promptly dirtied.


MENTIONS: @andy9



85 Comments

  • + 41
 Wait..I thought all grease was waterproof. Hardly worth writing it on the tub.
  • + 2
 beat me to it
  • + 21
 Nope. Some light greases wash out easily and others (like Maxima) stick like mad and keep things coated in the wet.
  • + 15
 It will be a silicon based grease, regular greases work better as a lubricant but emulsify when mixed with water.
  • + 2
 I have that Maxima grease. IMO stick with Motorex.
  • + 4
 @bbh13: its just a lithium complex EP grease. I use belray waterproof grease because its an aluminum complex which resists washout better than a lithium complex.
  • + 3
 Yep. Pack your headset with that Maxima grease (I use Bel-Ray), and it'll still be there a decade later. Super thick, so not so good when rotational speed is needed, but it'll stick and stay where you put it for ages.
  • + 1
 @konarider94: my bad i thought it was silicone
  • + 2
 I’m gonna market”waterproof umbrellas”. You know, because saying waterproof makes it a better umbrella.
  • + 4
 KY is coming out with some good lube products lately.
  • + 2
 "Pulled apart for cleaning nearly every run." Wow...
  • + 1
 PM600 military grade is the bees...
  • + 8
 Well in F1, they re-build the car entirely after every race, so kinda similar. A fork limitation per season similar to F1 engine limitation per season would be strange. But I like your comparison. Because there is already a difference between small and big factory teams in UCI DH, like in F1. Some have multiple prototypes per race with data acquisition, others only have standard hardware available.
  • - 3
 Standard and F1 in the same sentence?
  • + 20
 @fracasnoxteam: he didn’t use f1 and standard in the same sentence
  • + 23
 And now F1 is dying because the regulating corp put too many limitations upon teams and races and racing is now hella scripted. Either you want everyone to race on an equal footing and you give everyone the same engine/gearbox/frame/fork/brakes and call it DTM, or you acknowledge that a mechanical sport is also defined by the differences between machines. Some have better steeds than others; is this inequality, yes, but it's not injustice. Now, it depends what you seek to achieve. A gifted rider on a shit bike can still be spotted by bigger brands and will eventually sign with a good brand after.
  • + 4
 @polarproton: the dream of the privateer. Run what ya brung. Show them you got what it takes and it takes a lot from those guys/girls.
  • + 2
 @polarproton: Most auto racing is basically spec now, it sucks and series are dying because of it
  • + 10
 don't compare DH to F1... the price of a top class fork is worth less than a F1 tyre
  • + 22
 Yet people will still compare the price of the best mountain bike racing tires in the world to the crappiest car tires. "But why are Maxxis DH tires $90 when my car tires are $80?"
  • + 17
 @GTscoob: Answer: because you by $hit car tires and the nicest MTB tires possible.
  • + 2
 How much is an F1 tire?
  • + 3
 F1 is ego fight between car manufacturers.
  • + 9
 @rockyflowtbay: $650 USD -ish. Or 1 Million Canadian.
  • + 2
 Tires are less expensive, they just go through $300k of them in a weekend is all.
  • + 2
 @PAmtbiker: Damn right. Because priorities.
  • + 5
 Dave Garland sniff tests each knob before fitting new tyres to Danny Harts bike?... That is thorough... a little too thorough.
  • + 2
 QUESTION TIME!! Why dissasembly a bike after every run?? Isn't better "at the end of the day"?? Thats a lot of wasted time pulling out bearings and stuff, then assembly, even re-bleed a brake? I supposed to do that for spare parts, spare brakes or frames? How many frames carry each rider for a world cup date? I remember once as a mechanic for two guys on a race near our city, the week after check the entire bike, after two or 3 runs check light for the bikes (if not had problems)... Is really necessary a full bike disassembly??
  • + 1
 The reason of their often servicing is to keep the suspension and bike at the same best performance level, to which the rider is mostly used to. At their riding speeds every inch counts,so they try to achieve the same bike performance at every single run. Difference between regular service and 6months service- noticeable, and in World Cup that word means seconds...
  • + 0
 I just started watching Formula 1 this year... While the rules there are borderline ridiculous, it does make me wonder if some might be applicable here.

Rebuilding forks after what seems like every run seems excessive and expensive. Wonder if a 'one fork per race' rule, or something like it, might make sense?

It would add another dimension to the racing, more strategy, and perhaps drive technologies improvements for the rest of us.
  • + 12
 But they're technically only servicing, they don't often actually replace parts
  • + 8
 Nah that will just make it less about the racing and more about strategy, much like F1 is very little about driver performance and racing and more about money and pit stops.
  • + 25
 Those rules have a better place in enduro. Let the downhillracers fiddle for every millisecond.
  • + 4
 Even if they did replace parts, this competitive mindset is what drives technology. Win races Sunday, sell bikes Monday.

They are still, at the end of the day, going to have to make it reliable enough for the consumer; otherwise, their reputation will be damaged and the company will not be sustainable.

This might sound arbitrary but look at F1 tire technology. They replace those tires so often. Would they be able to engineer them to grip so well in a variety of track conditions if they didn't? I'm sure those engines are rebuilt frequently too. A lot of the technology though has trickled down to those who race at tracks on the weekends, anywhere from a Porsche 911 fully tracked-out to a Mazda Miata with minimal modifications.
  • + 2
 @Mngnt But F1 cars are rebuilt all the time too. Tearing the car apart and cleaning every piece is par for the course in order to ensure it runs as efficiently as possible. That's exactly what is going on in pits here. To place a limit on how often a bike can be cleaned and rebuilt is placing limits on how well it can ultimately perform. It's overkill for 99.99% of us here, but these racers they are looking for every advantage possible. It's also a huge confidence builder knowing your bike is running the best it can. If a racer has doubts about his/her suspension or drive train, then they won't be as confident on track. Let them have at it!
  • + 1
 @DC1988: Yup. Parts in F1 have an hour meter on them, everything is designed to last a certain amount of time. The main tub of the car doesn't actually change that often, unless the driver crashes & breaks it.
  • + 4
 A max number of rims/frame per season would ensure more R&D in durable products, so I agree, but may also cut out big name from the worldcup just for a bad sponsorship.

I'm 50/50 on this
  • + 0
 That would even out chances for privateers.
#supportprivateers #forlife
  • + 9
 @Mngnt: Please tell me you are at least watching MotoGP as well as F1. When you see five overtakes in F1, you think "That's was a great race!". When you see five overtakes in MotoGP, you think "That was a great lap!"
  • + 2
 Maybe they should start making better forks???
  • + 2
 They rebuild and tune in F1 (during and between the practice sessions) loads before qualifying and the main race too... this is totally normal.
  • + 1
 @ka-brap: It would be interesting to know what makes the most difference, the performance change of a service or the confidence gain of knowing it's had a service. Some blind testing please someone!
  • + 1
 Welp, I'll take the down votes for the interesting discussion - thanks all, many good points made, I agree it doesn't make sense. That's what I get for posting at 3am while dealing with on-call work! And yes, I guess I'll have to start watching motoGP...
  • + 4
 Just wanted to chime in because I'm surprised people replying to this comment didn't know this: the forks are serviced by Fox/Sram/etc themselves who set up at the WC events. If you're a privateer with a Fox 40 even if you had to pay full MSRP for it it's still being serviced for free by Fox at world cups.

I'm not sure how it works outside of the big two Fox/Sram, stuff like DVO on giants is probably serviced by the giant mechanics because there aren't enough people running that stuff for it to make sense for DVO to have a pit tent at these races.
  • + 1
 @jamesdunford: What a car tub? Tried google it & got a car full of water
  • + 1
 Plus most forks only contain smaller quantities of lower leg oil compared to older, open bath design. Lower leg servicing is ok and inspections of the dampers but I feel there is no requirement to carry out a full overhaul of every part. Where is captain planet when you need him.
  • + 1
 @scottgregorydh: That is because small amouts of oil is lighter than large amounts
In colour & weight
  • + 2
 I would like to see a full season pits stat for any of these amazing team mechanics. Number of:

tires changed
bikes built
wheels built
brakes bled

etc. etc.
  • + 2
 So, Danny Hart on EX471 (25mm inner width) with Maxxis 2.4 "Wide Trail" made "for inner width of 30/35/40mm.
Anyone knows why he is not using EX511 (30 inner)?- Thanks!..
  • + 6
 Because he probably doesnt like wider rims. I have ex471s and theyre amazing. But before I had 30mm rims and they felt sluggish and tiresome to ride on.
  • + 1
 @chillrider199: thanks. Thought/heard/read that the "WT" would be too round on a 25mm rim. Any thoughts/experience?. Thanks!
  • + 5
 @BIKERIDE2011: thats the usual idea. In all honesty its prefference. And theres variables. My favorite setup is a small width rim (25mm). With a hard casing wtb tire with high grip. And I usually have the tire pressure dialed in just how I like it for great cornering.
Maybe the reason why 30mm was so sluggish feeling was because it had more surface area of tire touching the ground. Meaning more rolling resistance. I just didnt like that. Danny could be the same way. Ive never understood the wide rim movement. But everyone like something else to float their boat haha.
  • + 3
 Always rock the EX471s, nothing better on the market. Rocked them for 2 Whistler seasons incident free. Previous owner rocked them for another 2 Whistler seasons, incident free. As for tires, buy normal width with the best compounds. Will not regret.
  • + 2
 Maxxis only makes a DH tubeless tire in wt ( the wt is a marketing moniker) the tire is the same dimensions as the non wt tube needed 2ply DH tire.
  • + 2
 @BIKERIDE2011: I run tubeless DH wt tires on my 28 outer width rims just fine
  • + 3
 @fecalmaster: My favorite shirt is actually a bamboo shirt that has their branding on it. On the back it has dark lettering saying DoucheBags
  • + 1
 @BIKERIDE2011: I ride a 2.5 wt minion dhf on a 25mm inner rim and like the profile just fine.
  • + 1
 @chillrider199: Best company name ever!
  • + 1
 @chillrider199: just fitted ex471 wheels to my bike and i love em
  • + 1
 S4 Suspension ? WTF ? It's a little shop based in Saint-Jérôme, north of Montreal, were they will f*ck up your suspension rebuilt half the time. Can't believe any world cup racers would put their trust in these guys.
  • + 1
 Wow that's rich - Maybe you had a bad day or something... You don't have a clue what you're talking about buddy. S4 is the only specialist touching my suspension other than Fox in Norcal and the quality has always been stellar. Their work always is impeccable and my riding experience is enhanced everytime they tune or maintain my steeds.
  • + 2
 It would be good to know who is running which tyres over Practice and the Race
  • + 2
 that first sentence was a massive run-on
  • + 0
 Grammatical, it was correct with a capital and punctuation.????
  • + 2
 Minnaar is praying to the lord -every support is welcome i guess
  • + 2
 That's what I thought as soon as I saw that photo! "Lord save me from further injury, I just wanna have some fun for the rest of this season and teach the young guns how it's done" lol
  • + 1
 So many drool worth goodies Drool
  • + 1
 I don't even know how to take apart my linkages.
  • + 8
 Allen keys
  • + 1
 The lack of ocd cleanliness on my own steed is now giving me anxiety
  • + 1
 If you ride in those muddy conditions, the drive train, pivots, and suspension would benefit from regular cleaning. I know I'd rather be riding than wrenching, but my fork does feel worlds better after an oil change.
  • + 1
 Wonder what brand of mudguards Rachel has on her bike.
  • + 1
 think they're mudhuggers
  • + 2
 @T1mb0: Thanks! I looked up her list of sponsors and this is it.

www.rockguardz.com/mudguardz.html
  • + 1
 "bike organs" I like that...
  • + 0
 I wonder how big of an advantage newly-serviced suspension gives versus ones serviced from, say, 6 months ago.
  • + 4
 I can tell you, Yuuuuge! There is no better feeling than riding on freshly serviced squish.
  • + 3
 If the bike is ridden alot its a huge difference. The performance slowly deteriorates, so you don't realize how shitty it is until after you get the freshly serviced fork/shock back and see how good it feels.
  • + 1
 *steed
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