Tech Randoms Round 2 - Maribor DH World Cup 2019

Apr 27, 2019
by Mike Kazimer  
The Pivot Phoenix 29 is one mean looking machine.
The Pivot Phoenix 29 is one mean looking machine.

XTR levers paired to...
XTR levers paired to...
... saint calipers in the Pivot pits.
... Saint calipers in the Pivot pits.

Norco have been experimenting with different linkages there s four for their riders to choose from.
Norco have been experimenting with different linkages - there are now four for their riders to choose from.

We spotted this ZK printed on Maxxis tires at Craknkworx in Rotorua there s plenty of them here too. It sounds like it s for a little extra puncture protection.
We spotted this "ZK" printed on Maxxis tires at Craknkworx in Rotorua, there's plenty of them here too. It sounds like it's for a little extra puncture protection.

Transition have switched over to RaceFace bars this year.
Transition have switched over to RaceFace bars this year.

Giving a DT Swiss hub a bit of love.
Giving a DT Swiss hub a bit of love.

A fresh TR11 for Tahnee Seagrave.
A fresh TR11 for Tahnee Seagrave.


That s one hell of a stack height
That's one hell of a stack height!

Brake bleed going down in the Commencal 100 pits.
Brake bleed going down in the Commencal 100 pits.

Adam Brayton s Nukeproof dissent gets a strip down.
Adam Brayton's Nukeproof dissent gets a strip down.

It looks like Commencal are still experimenting with idler positioning.
It looks like Commencal are still experimenting with idler positioning.


Greg Williamson s UNNO Ever.
Greg Williamson's UNNO Ever.

Clean cable routing
Clean cable routing.
4 pot Formula Cura brakes
4 pot Formula Cura brakes

Callused hands and a pair of delicate washers. Mechanics perform magic every race week to keep things afloat.
Callused hands and a pair of delicate washers. Mechanics perform magic every race week to keep things afloat.

A shot glass of brake fluid trading space with any air bubbles.
A shot glass of brake fluid trading space with any air bubbles.

How do you take your racing fuel
How do you take your racing fuel?

New Time clipless Speciale pedal found on Mitch Ropelato s bike. You don t see many rider s on these.
New Time Speciale clipless pedal found on Mitch Ropelato's bike. You don't see many riders on these.

Monkey Sauce may sound like an option with your nachos but is more likely used to clean the worlds fastest racers bikes.
Monkey Sauce may sound like an option with your nachos, but is more likely used to clean the worlds fastest racers' bikes.

Fresh rebuilds at the end of each day keep these abused bikes happy.
Fresh rebuilds at the end of each day keep these abused bikes happy.

Custom brake levers fitted to Magura brakes.
Custom brake levers fitted to Magura brakes.

There are some interesting developements happening in the Gamux Racing tent. These are 3D printed components all made and tested in house. Other than the abiity to custom make and personalize a component to meet their racers needs they also offer a huge added bonus in dampening vibrations thanks to the PA plastics they re produced from.
There are some interesting developments happening in the Gamux Racing tent. These are 3D printed components all made and tested in house, which gives them the ability to custom make and personalize a component to meet their racers' needs.

Gamux wants to run as much 3D printed product as they can. They re hoping for a full line by mid summer.
Gamux wants to run as much 3D printed product as they can. They're hoping for a full line by mid summer.

The stem spacers seen here can be made to any size and help dampen vibrations tremendously.
The stem spacers seen here can be made to any size and are said to help provide additional vibration damping.

Gamux Garmin mount.
Gamux Garmin mount.
An angled top cap integrated Garmin mount strong enough for the roughest downhill courses on the circuit.
An angled top cap integrated Garmin mount strong enough for the roughest downhill courses on the circuit.

An attempt at prolonging the life span of a downhill racer s wheel.
An attempt at prolonging the lifespan of a downhill racer's wheel.

Fine tuning rear derailleurs in the Polygon pits. The Box One is easier than you think to take apart and tinker with.
Fine tuning rear derailleurs in the Polygon pits. The Box One is easier than you think to take apart and tinker with.

Schwalbe s Pro-Core providing some peace of mind when smashing through the rough bits.
Schwalbe's ProCore providing some peace of mind when smashing through the rough bits.

Fresh wheels and new rotors to start off the weekend.
Fresh wheels and new rotors to start off the weekend.

Charlie Harrison qualified 7th on his Trek Session 29. The tires are inflated to 27 / 29 psi, and theres 168 psi in the fork.

Custom headset cups to add a little extra reach.
Charlie has the new RockShox MegNeg air can on his Super Deluxe, and is running 243 psi. The can increases the negative air chamber volume, which also results in a higher final air pressure.



91 Comments

  • + 98
 What’s the advantage of an xtr lever vs Saint with a Saint caliper? And why Zee on the transition bikes? Can’t imagine $ being a factor in choosing brakes at this level.
  • + 5
 These are good questions. I can't imagine why anyone downvoted you.
  • + 3
 tahnees bike has saint. its probably one of the juniors bikes with zee, jamie edmondson or something. theyve done that before.
  • + 4
 Dunno on the XTR/saint combo?? Shimano sometimes sponsor riders with specific groupsets, so that rider has been chosen to run Zee, its not to do with how much $ the team has.
  • + 20
 The jrs run full zee set ups. Apparently the XTR leavers have better modulation as well. This is very popular in enduro. It's also pretty damn cool too haha
  • + 5
 I've heard a perspective of carbon lever blade feel over metal ones. However carbon are more likely to snap in a crash, too. That being said I run XTR levers paired to Zee calipers and they are solid.
  • + 1
 @ScottB-408: i second this, specifically the m985 race levers. My only one complain is that the xtr levers oxidizes to black on mine.
  • + 10
 Talked to one of the mechanics at last year's WC in Lošinj and he said that Zee stuff is only for marketing purposes.
  • + 6
 @ScottB-408: m9120 XTR levers have alu lever blades, m9020 were carbon with an alu core to try and counteract snapping, m9000/9100 have full carbon blades.
  • + 1
 @freeridejerk888: how it can have better modulation when the lever and master piston diameter is the same? just wonder...
  • + 9
 @S851:
It's the servo-wave, the xtr race has none. The trail ones has it but less in-your-face like it is on the saints and xt.

You can actually feel the initial notch of the servo-wave when the pads touches the rotor followed by the full-powered bite of the brakes when you pull further.
  • + 1
 @ScottB-408: M9120s have a broad dimpled aluminium lever blade.
  • + 2
 @DrSam: I have both m9120 and m9020 brakes on different bikes, the newer ones have a LOT less grabby initial bite, makes fine modulation much easier. I assume they altered the servowave somehow?
  • + 1
 @DrSam: I think you get the correct answer,that servo thing.
  • + 1
 @DrSam: Okay, makes sense. always thought i will block servovave in my m8000 lever. Thx for info.
  • + 1
 Xtr race level has not ServoWave.
  • + 1
 XTR lever has a different feel than a Saint lever. Fluid transfer ratio is still the same.
  • + 3
 XTR is available without Servo-wave. Which is better. Servo wave is why people think Shimano brakes are
"on-off" feeling. I wish Shimano would just admit this and offer non servo levers on other brakes. (the $35 M396 brakes modulate a lot better than any of the higher-end 2-pots from Shimano for this very reason).
  • + 1
 @S851: If you figure out a way to do that, please let us know. I don't see how unless you were able to machine a new notch in the lever and block the existing one.
  • + 1
 @dobermon: Exactly my toughts.
  • + 2
 Ditches the servo wave. Expert riders can modulate a lot more finely than some "suit the every day joe" modulation vs power curve that a group of Shimano engineers decided upon. I have run XTR Race with Saint calipers for four years. Also the carbon levers are less cold on the fingers on colder days.
  • + 0
 On Zee: here's a possibility - the mechanic for that rider wants to reduce or eliminate the time they have to spend on maintaining brakes during race weekends and ditched the Saint lever in favor of the Zee. I provide race event support for a small grassroots team and anyone else in need...I work on M820 Saints with failed levers routinely. Guide brakes as well (for those unlucky folks still riding them). Zee's...well...I just don't see them rolling in with problems.
  • + 1
 @OldRanger: hmmm interesting. Not something I want to hear though as I just picked up a set of m820s! I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
  • + 29
 Transition wins the sexiest bike!
  • + 26
 Not as fly as the Phoenix imo
  • + 8
 They got SBG (Sexy Bike Geometry)
  • + 18
 That unno tho
  • - 3
 can we just ride? portrait mode on an iPhone is only so much
  • + 6
 True but I'm liking the simplicity of the Atherton bike it grows on you!
  • + 1
 you win sexiest bike
  • + 25
 That Pivot is so simple looking, but hot damn so beautiful.
  • + 22
 3D printing is cool, Im not denying that, but nothing beats the finish of a machined part,
  • + 16
 Volcom top cap is sick
  • + 37
 Cheers If we could just get the photog's to give us a mention in the caption. That would be sick.
  • + 1
 @stemcaps-com: as a volcom fan is it possible to order one?
  • + 1
 @Mauritsson: Unfortunately not sorry. Those were custom made for Charlie, we do not have permission from Volcom to use their logo on caps for public sale.
  • + 5
 @Naturel: and you win biggest a*shole, enjoy
  • + 12
 There should be a rule or something against using trek red and sram red on the same bike. Come on sram get rid of that red already.
  • + 2
 Trek red and Formula purple
  • + 7
 Hmmm. Those 3D printed parts look like MJF printed nylon. Not sure I would trust them to clamp anything stressed. Maybe they would be strong enough, but I'd worry that they would creep (like all plastics) and eventually loosen up. Even the stem spacers would creep under bolt stress, causing the bolts to loosen up eventually. Maybe they'll chime in and put my worries tor rest.
  • + 1
 Under substantial compression force I bet they are fine. They act like a compression washer.
  • + 3
 Definitely dyed parts from a MJF. They would be plenty strong for a spacer, or a cap. I don't really feel ok about the brake lever clamp though.
  • + 1
 I was wondering the same thing. I'd like to hear more details.
  • + 1
 I could see that happening in a normal application. All the bolts are torqued multiple times a weekend on a WC rig.
  • + 1
 The material looks like a carbon reinforced nylon to me. It's a brittle material when it's 3d printed, not very tough. It can fracture easily, at least the material I worked with.
  • + 4
 It's interesting to see the full shock and fork tear downs at the end of the day. I realise that there are lot of professional riders, and mechanics, so they may as well for World Cups. But I wonder how three days of DH compares to a EWS round in terms of actual minutes of use?
If a DH racer does six runs of practice, does a fork need to be taken apart afterwards?
I imagine a day spent doing EWS in muddy and wet weather does more damage (some of them have riders doing 80kms) than a DH will ever do in day?
  • + 17
 I doubt it’s so much of a “need” as it is a “why not”.
  • + 5
 I’ve always assumed that they use less dust seals/wipers for racing to reduce stiction. Change the oil every day and your good. If we did that in real life conditions we’d ruin our forks in a month, but with fresh oil every day they get away with it.
  • - 5
flag Loki87 (Apr 27, 2019 at 18:35) (Below Threshold)
 @ninjatarian:
Correct.
Also,don't overestimate enduro. While there are gnarly courses on the circuit for sure, the riders need to pace themselves in order to win. This alone makes a huge difference,as WC downhillers are balls to the wall when it counts. Basically one is an endurance event, the other a sprint. Simply put, there's a lot more peak power put down in a sprint and you have to account for those peaks in force acting on components. So while enduro racers may push their gear to or at least near the limit, dh racers are occasionally pushing theirs even further because they can without too much consequence and in the end noone wants to start their race run with a broken seal you just cracked in your last run of practice.
  • + 6
 Full rebuilds are generally not done during race weekend unless there is a specific reason, i.e. changing shims, or an actual problem etc.. A lot of the pictures you see of rebuilds are from the beginning of the weekend, as a mechaninc you have no idea what that fork/shock has been subjected to inbetween races, so its good to start from a clean sheet.
  • + 8
 @Loki87: Have you seen Sam Hill, Martin Maes, Richie Rude, etc during the EWS stages? Does it look like they're going easy and holding back on their equipment? Looks balls to the wall to me ????
  • - 1
 @liketoride1: No no no. They are riding at about 80%.
  • + 4
 @liketoride1: Sorry, but you don't go as hard over 7 intervals as you do if you have just the one. EWS riders' 80% might be normal people's 150%, but it's still not full gas all the time for them.
  • + 1
 @jaame: yesyesyes. But endurance balls to the walls looks like holding back a little, because you have to do it longer than in a sprint.
  • + 3
 @Lasse2000: No I was just stirring. I think enduro riders on the EWS are riding the actual timed stages at about 95-99% effort. It looks a bit less compared to DH because they don't really know where they're going.
  • + 6
 Seems Saint has been forgotten by Shimano. 7 years no update.
  • + 20
 Can't fix perfection?
  • + 7
 They don't need one. The saints just work so damn well
  • - 3
 @freeridejerk888: well apart from the wandering bite point! Which may I add this new xtr also suffers from! Shimano still suck.
  • + 6
 That UNNO Ever wins in my opinion.
  • + 6
 Interesting - I'm really not feeling it. It feels unnecessary chunky. I prefer the look of the Atherton actually for example!
  • + 4
 Ah it's the tyres inflated to 27/29.
I thought running two wheel sizes sounded pretty dumb.
Wink
  • + 4
 I’m very interested in the long term results from crashes on those 3D Printed brake levers!
  • + 2
 "Charlie Harrison qualified 7th on his Trek Session 29. The tires are inflated to 27 / 29 psi, and theres 168 psi in the fork."

I HIGHLY doubt there's 168 PSI in that fork
  • + 3
 168 psi in Charlies Boxxer? No wonder it seems to have only used an inch or two of the full travel in the pic!
  • + 3
 Atherton bike wins on the looks front for me.
  • + 3
 No more Anvl for Transition?!
  • + 2
 i cant imagine Tahnee really needs saint cranks, she mustn't be very heavy ...surely some weight could be shed here
  • + 2
 What’s with the Commencal rear disk rotor adapter??? Are they running 223 mm rotors? That looks weird
  • + 2
 Why no pics from cannondale pit?
  • + 2
 The paint job on the Pivot is stunning.
  • + 2
 so are most wc dh players running 2.5 tires?
  • + 2
 I would do terrible things for that Unno - my god.
  • + 3
 @dburpasaurus that bike is hands down, the sexiest bike on the market, for DH.
  • + 2
 the transition and pivot frames are so so nice
  • + 1
 Greg Williams is one lucky fella, that Uno is damn sexy.
  • + 1
 Atherton bike looks pretty meh compared to the others
  • + 1
 Custom brake levers but a GX shifter?
  • + 1
 Atherton Bike needs a bottle and cage. Ultimate super Enduro bike then
  • + 1
 What's the red brake fluid being used for brake bleeding on the Commencal?
  • + 1
 Vibration damping 3D printed stem spacer (defies the laws of physics)
  • + 1
 Ahh Eibach spring?
  • + 1
 PIVOT YUMMMM!
  • - 3
 Noticed there were no comments next to the Atherton pile of carbon tubes, lugs and glue. Obviously not worth commenting on.
  • + 8
 Because it's Pinkbike and not Pinkplumbing?
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