The Best Tech From EWS Races on the British Isles

Jul 10, 2020
by James Smurthwaite  
with all the banter on the internet right now about 27.5 vs 29 wheels it s safe to say this is a fair statement.

The EWS hasn't been to Great Britain or Ireland since 2018 but there have been five races there in the 7 years of EWS history. Tweedlove is set to host again next year to celebrate its return to the calendar, here's a look back at some of the best tech from Tweedlove and the Emerald Enduro.

Tweedlove 2014

SRAMs Tim Flooks came up to Scotland for a national enduro race last weekend and rather than take the long haul down south to his home this week he decided to stay here in Innerleithen and enjoy the simple things. Like a comfortable chair and a beer as the sun goes down.
SRAM's Tim Flook enjoying the 10-minute Scottish summer

Adam Craig was offering some tips to some of the older kids on racing.
Adam Craig gives the local kids some pointers as part of the Tweedlove Festival.

Jesse Melamed taking the plunge into the heather on stage two. The fast open section soon turns into some of the most demanding technical descents seen at the EWS to date.

The post-bike wash remains... There s definitely enough mud to go around up on the tracks here.
There's one unavoidable adversary when it comes to racing in the British Isles - the mud. Not only does it reduce traction but bikes soon pick up some extra ballast.

The traditional Scottish bike wash. Get em clean in the local stream.
We re a little surprised we haven t seen any Rene Wildhaber Chuck Norris-based jokes. The tough Swissman isn t beating his bike but caring for it in his own style - wiping the dirt off with a piece of wood most people would use for a club. He was offering to charge for this service too but there were no takers.
There's more than one way to skin a cat and more than one way to clean a bike. The river dip is a Scottish tradition, Rene 'Chuck Norris' Wildhaber's 'hit it with a stick' method is less well known

Wicklow 2015

Iago Garay s custom painted Bronson
When in Ireland be sure to go full plaid.
Iago Garay got a custom tartan graphic on his 2015 Bronson

Iago Garay s production ANVL stem and carbon bar
His ANVL carbon bar was a prototype.

Sam Flannigan s emerald SB6 for the Emerald Enduro.
Sam Flannigan's emerald SB6 for the Emerald Enduro.

Shimano Di2 on Nico Lau s bike 140mm Cube Stereo Carbon. Photo by Dave Trumpore
Like many racers, Nico Lau dropped travel from 160mm to 140mm for the Carrick round that's a bit less gravity-fed than other EWS rounds. This frame had to be built up race-ready from fresh for the race.

Shimano Di2 on Nico Lau s bike which in his own words in amazing in the mud.
Nico claims Di2 was a definite advantage in muddy conditions.

One sleep away from the big show and many riders will be dreaming that come this time tomorrow they will be cleaning theor bikes of with victory champagne.
Champagne or soap?

Jesse Melamed bike check
Jesse Melamed's 2015 Rocky Mountain Altitude

Jesse Melamed bike check
Jesse overforked by 10mm with this 170mm Fox 36, which helped to slacken off the stock 66.2° head angle.
Jesse Melamed bike check
Jesse's Di2 battery only added 58 grams to the bike's weight

Jesse Melamed bike check
Smaller hands mean Jesse can cut off his grips and move his controls further outboard.

Ohlins Downhill Fork
Ohlins also debuted their inverted double crown fork at

Ohlins Downhill Fork
Ohlins Downhill Fork
Two steam-punk looking caps sit atop the fork legs.

Ohlins Downhill Fork
The fork had to use a 30mm axle to help with the stiffness of the inverted design.

Ohlins Downhill Fork

Tweedlove 2015

Richie Rude s number plate emergency contact info. Medical Condition to legit to quit and medications carried Balls of Steel
Medical Condition: Too legit to quit. Medications carried: Balls of Steel. Any guesses for the rider?*

Eddie Masters has his race day nutrition dialled.
Eddie Masters with some Scottish gold.

Wicklow 2017

This isn t a mod most people who pay the 600 Euros or so for a 100 Aircraft are likely to have the stomach to try but Nico Lau has pulled the mesh out of his to help the air flow.
Nico Lau pulls the mesh out of his Aircraft helmet to improve airflow.

The final finishing touch - rubber tape to quieten down the bike.
Rubber tape on the chainstay to keep the Sanction silent.

Curtis Keene s Rockshox Super Deluxe in all it s metric glory.
A RockShox Super Deluxe in its Blackbox stage.

On the Nukeproof CRC stand this prototype tyre from Mavic was hiding in plain sight. It s got 2.5 marked on the side in big letters with a very round profile and this unique tread pattern.
A unique, 2.5" tyre from Mavic. It definitely doesn't look like a Minion.

Wicklow Ireland. Photo by Matt Wragg.
Jerome Clementz was also running a prototype of the current generation Jekyll.

Wicklow 2018

Isabeau Courdurier Sunn Kern
Isabeau Courdurier Sunn Kern
Two neat storage solutions from Isabeau Courdurier - a derailleur hanger on the rocker and a quick link taped to the brake line.

Sam wasn t the only one to get a new Nukeproof this weekend Nigel Page has been given a custom paint job.
Sam wasn t the only one to get a new Nukeproof this weekend Nigel Page has been given a custom paint job.
Pagey got himself a custom sweet ride for the 2018 Ireland race

A new bike to the EWS circuit the Identiti Mettle will be James Shirley s weapon of choice for the year.
You can't miss James Shirley's Identiti Mettle in the pits.

The Evolution of Greg Callaghan's Wicklow Bikes


EWS Bike Checks
As a 23-year-old, Greg Callaghan was definitely a home crowd favourite but most people probably didn't have him down for the win. He proved them all wrong on this 140mm Stereo with a 160mm fork. He was still on 27.5" wheels front and rear at this point.

EWS Bike Checks
The Stereo 140mm didn't come stock with a piggyback shock, which is why a special bracket has been installed to offset the water bottle cage towards the front of the bike.

EWS Bike Checks
Greg was running a sizable stack of spacers despite the flatter nature of the Wicklow tracks.

EWS Bike Checks
With the weather holding up in 2015's race, Greg Callaghan went for a faster rolling Nobby Nic out back.

Full bike check, here.


Fox Transfer dropper post. Wicklow Ireland. Photo by Matt Wragg.
Greg didn't get a custom paint job in 2016 but that didn't slow him down as he repeated his victory to claim King of the Hill. He's still running 140mm travel with a 160mm fork but he's moved over to the bigger wheels.

Wicklow Ireland. Photo by Matt Wragg.
Di2 remains but that large stack has been replaced with a slammed stem. Greg leaves some milage on his steerer though so he can switch between setups to suit the trails.

Wicklow Ireland. Photo by Matt Wragg.
The Magic Mary remained upfront but a Hans Dampf now takes rear tyre duties. The Fox Transfer replaces the D.O.S.S in 2016 too.

Full bike check, here.


Greg Callaghan custom Irish colour scheme.
The final race in Wicklow was in 2018 and Greg returned with a 140mm 29er although he couldn't quite clinch the three-peat.

Greg Callaghan custom Irish colour scheme.
Cube went all-out on the custom paint for 2018.

Greg Callaghan custom Irish colour scheme.
Mary's front and rear was the latest tyre combo for Callaghan.

Greg Callaghan custom Irish colour scheme.
A Di2 drivetrain and Fox suspension are is two of the few things that remained unchanged through the years on Greg's bike.

Full bike check, here.

*Answer - Richie Rude


  • 35 2
 Man it's amazing how much the bikes have changed in 5-6 years! Some of these look like complete relics compared to what's out there today. Not saying it's either good nor bad, just remarkable.
  • 5 3
 Bike tech seems like PC tech recently, every year it changes quite a bit.
  • 11 0
 @Ryan2949: that is why i update my bike like a console-every 4-5 years
  • 11 1
 @Ryan2949: except Cube
  • 1 0
 Amazing how much it's evolved in 30 years!!!!!
  • 1 1
 @jzPV: except Cube have finally updated their geometry recently. I would have agreed two years ago though.
  • 15 0
 The der. hanger bolted to the rocker link is brilliant! I seem to recall that Liteville also ships bikes with a spare hanger bolted on somewhere. More bike companies should be doing this.
  • 5 0
 Totally agree. Kona's carbon Process has a spare hanger bolted to the cable port cover.
  • 9 1
 My previous Whyte still had a front mech boss. I bolted a spare rear hanger to the boss - may as well use it for something...
  • 16 0
 My takeaway from this article: Jesse Melamed has small hands.
  • 1 0
 You know what that means...
  • 1 2
 @gnarnaimo: Small feet
  • 4 1
 @gnarnaimo: small gloves
  • 14 1
 @gnarnaimo: disproportinately large balls?
  • 6 0
 I was expecting pictures of rocks and roots, not bike parts. wrong tech I guess
  • 1 0
 I done my work experience during Tweedlove’s EWS event back in 2013 and it was amazing! Got to rub shoulders with some of the best in the business to me at that age was like a dream come true, was washing bikes for some of the girls on the Juliana team and a couple of the big name male riders too, such an incredible atmosphere and getting to chat to riders I looked up to as an inspiration was so sick. Can’t wait for EWS to return to the Tweed Valley again! Until then I’ll smash out some of the past stages they ran up in Glentress and Caberston!
  • 18 15
 I get the feeling some people are not going to like the suggestion they are part of the British Isles.
  • 10 4
 The British isles includes the island of Ireland.
  • 12 4
 Geographically speaking, everywhere in this article is within the British Isles. Not everywhere is part of Britain, but the isles is different.
  • 9 15
flag km79 (Jul 10, 2020 at 13:05) (Below Threshold)
 @andydmorris: @carlitouk: Not if you are from Ireland.
  • 13 3
 @km79: Sooo, geographically not the British Isles? I'm not discussing politics here, just geography.
  • 4 19
flag km79 (Jul 10, 2020 at 13:21) (Below Threshold)
 @carlitouk: Well you can't really seperate the two when you consider where and how so many places get their names from can you?
  • 23 0
 @km79: I'm going back to the mountain biking.
  • 25 6
 @carlitouk: and England will forever be 'geographically' in Europe... You can't separate politics and geography, the politicians set the borders...
  • 15 0
 @Topdjreynolds: Yes. Any country can leave the European Union, but they cannot leave the continent of Europe. Unless....they somehow manage to geologically separate their country and then sail away Wink
  • 19 3
 Uh, no. It's a physical geographical location. It'd be like me saying Canada isn't part of North America because we're not American. There's nothing political about stating a geographical fact. Ireland is part of the British Isles.
  • 10 2
 @carlitouk: “We will geologically remove ourselves from the European continent!” was probably considered for Johnson’s magic bus at some point.
  • 3 0
 @deadlyhifi: Don't be giving him any more wacky ideas! Smile
  • 3 1
 All this world geography is more confusing to me than "behind the numbers."
  • 2 5
 You guys realise that it's only called the British isles at all because it was arbitrarily named so at some point in history?

The Irish no more considered their selves British then than they do now.

There's nothing about these islands that inevitably or naturally has meant they are called Britain...
  • 6 2
 @hitmansam: So was North America. Canadians are North American. They're not America. Irish are in the British Isles, not Britain.

How is this so hard to understand? Y'all invented this language, at least try to comprehend what it means.

Ps on the last point; NO SHIT. Literally no word is naturally named. We invented language and named it based on what we created. How are you dudes not getting this?
  • 2 7
flag hitmansam (Jul 12, 2020 at 9:39) (Below Threshold)
 @sherbet: Some proper irony going on here in you accusing other people of not getting it...

I'll say it again. Slowly this time, pay attention at the back.

The Irish were designated as part of the British isles by a hostile foreign power called the British empire. From their perspective they weren't ever part of it.

If your only logic is that they are the British isles is because.....well, just because... Then I'd be be a little more reticent about talking about other people's comprehension
  • 4 1
 Let me repeat again; the geographical area that Ireland is in is known as the British Isles. My only logic is that it's literally called that, because that is literally the definition of the term "British Isles." This is profoundly simple, and yet here we are, people spilling tea over it.

It's the exact same as the example I gave. North America wasn't named that by the Canadians. Canadians live in North America. This does not mean they're American, it means that the physical location of the country lays within the borders of North America. This was done by a foreign power, and guess what? It's still entirely accurate and you don't see Canadians crying when an article coming out about North American culture includes them.

Say what you want. Say it as slowly and condescendingly as you want. You're still wrong. Ireland is part of the British Isles.
  • 2 5
 @sherbet: the point is that it is known to YOU and people like you as the British isles. But, fortunately, you don't have a monopoly on naming conventions.
  • 3 3
 Your right.
  • 5 4
 As a Irish man it insults the f*ck out of me that geography our island is part of the British isles. It grinds my gears no end. It’s a touchy subject and can be avoided simply by saying the uk and Ireland
  • 1 4
 Facts that are entirely made out of opinion are open to contestation
  • 4 4
 Neither the UK nor the Irish Government refer to the British Isles, instead 'these islands' have been used since the 90's during formal correspondence and meetings etc or just as Britain and Ireland. There is no legal documentation or agreements in place that names the islands as the British Isles, it's a leftover from the British Empire. Anyone not from here who wants to refer to the group of islands geographically, if they must, could simply call them the British and Irish Isles thereby potentially avoiding offence to several million people.
  • 2 3
 Glad for the chat lads. We're all still going to use the term "British Isles" as it's less wordy than "Britain and those people that cry about association with the British." Cheers though!
  • 6 3
 Not one filing cabinet ... I mean orange amongst em, surely they have a place
  • 2 0
 Of course they have a place... In the corner of my office.
  • 4 0
 Love the 2x setup on the cube
  • 7 3
 Damn those Cube bikes are some ugly bikes
  • 3 2
 I'm going to try the 'hit it with a stick' cleaning method. I ride aluminum so not worried.
  • 1 1
 Almost all those tech are only for professional. Daily users, or those who ride for hobby, hmmm it's something like... Impossible.
  • 3 2
 As a Irish man it insults the fuck out of me the geography or island is part of the British isles.
  • 2 0
 Memories!!! Pretty cool!
  • 1 0
 Praying Tweedlove happens next year.
  • 1 0
 how bout that inverted fork? I bet that thing was smooth as butter.
  • 1 0
 Eggbeaters are not Enduro, at least Jesse recognized that Big Grin
  • 1 0
 James Shirley's bike looks like a Dentith. I wonder how much it costs?
  • 4 6
 champagne or soap? in the UK?
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