The Best Tech From Italian EWS Rounds

Jul 4, 2020
by Ed Spratt  
Since the beginnings of the EWS Italy has always been the host for at least one round each season with the first-ever EWS race held in Punta Ala. This weekend would have seen riders go head to head at Val di Fassa but with racing still on hold, we have taken a look back through the archives to find some of the best tech we have spotted at past Italian EWS rounds.

Punta Ala - 2013

Tracy Moseley and her 29 Trek Remedy prototype
Tracy Moseley and her 29" Trek Remedy prototype

EWS main man Chris Ball and his Santa Cruz Tallboy LT
EWS main man, Chris Ball, and his Santa Cruz Tallboy LT

Jerome Clementz and his Cannondale Jekyll
Jerome Clementz and his Cannondale Jekyll

Greg Minnaar and his Santa Cruz Bronson
Greg Minnaar and his Santa Cruz Bronson

Joe Barnes and his Canyon Strive. His team are all running secret 27.5 prototypes but he is undecided whether he will race on his yet and it s strictly no photos
Joe Barnes and his Canyon Strive

Brian Lopes and his Ibis Ripley
Brian Lopes and his Ibis Ripley

Anneke Beerten and her Specialized Enduro
Anneke Beerten and her Specialized Enduro

GT Prototype Enduro Bike
Dan Atherton's Prototype GT Enduro Bike

Dan Atherton s GT prototype. Photo by Matt Wragg.



Finale Ligure - 2013

Alex Lupato with his 2Lapierre Spicy kitted out with 27.5 FRM carbon wheels Rock Shox EI electronic rear shock and a Marzocchi NCR 350 fork.
Alex Lupato with his Lapierre Spicy

Martin Maes' GT Force


Ines Thoma and her Canyon Nerve. She runs a Fox 34 CTD fork and Float rear shock SRAM XX1 drivetrain and 26 Mavic Crossmax wheels and tyres.
Ines Thoma and her Canyon Nerve

Valentina Macheda and her Ibis Mojo HDR. She runs an X-Fusion Vengeance fork and shock eThirteen cranks a SRAM X0 drivetrain and 26 DT Swiss Spline ONE wheels.
Valentina Macheda and her Ibis Mojo HDR

Hannah Barnes and her Orange Five. She runs a Fox 34 CTD fork a Cane Creek Double Barrel Air CS shock Shimano XTR drivetrain Hope Pro II built into 27. Stans rims and Coninental Mountain King tyres.
Hannah Barnes and her Orange Five

Cecile Ravanel plate 112 poses with her new GT Carbon Force. She rode all the season with an aluminum frame and the carbon one with the new Marzocchi suspensions is almost 2kg lighter than the other one. She still has to ride hard this week-end if she wants to keep her 2nd place. Anne-Caroline Chausson will be right behind her on the tracks
Cecile Ravanel with her GT Carbon Force



La Thuile - 2014

Prototype Ibis 27.5 enduro bike 2015
A new Ibis enduro bike was spotted at the La Thuile EWS round in 2014 that saw an increase in travel by 20mm to 150mm over the previous bike that ACC had been racing on.

Prototype Ibis 27.5 enduro bike 2015
Prototype Ibis 27.5 enduro bike 2015



Finale Ligure - 2015

Tracy Moseley was taking no chances with her pack this weekend.
Tracy Moseley was taking no chances on track.

Shaun Hughes messgae to Richie Rude this for the weekend. Richie just needed to finish 23rd to seal his title.
A hidden message for Richie Rude. He just needed to finish 23rd to take the overall title.

Joe Barnes needs no help getting his faithful scooter fired up and flying.
Joe Barnes and his faithful scooter



La Thuile - 2016

Matti Lehikoinen is giving his custom Nukeproof Mega another outing this weekend - at the end of the season it will be auctioned off to support the trust set up in memory of his friend and former teammate Stevie Smith.
Matti Lehikoinen gave his custom Nukeproof Mega another outing in La Thuile. At the end of the season, it was auctioned off to support the trust set up in memory of his friend, and former teammate, Stevie Smith.

Guess who is coming back to play this weekend...

Once you have the big rotors the next thing you need is a 4-piston caliper to set it off - there are more than a few riders running either Saint or Code calipers here in the high mountains.

Devinci mechanic Nigel Reeve is a renowned suspenions fettler and currently aboard his bike is a Storia shock - he says it has him falling in love with coil shocks once more.
Devinci mechanic, Nigel Reeve, using a Storia shock.

Jerome Clementz Cannondale Jekyll now has a carbon link in the suspension which would suggest that it is nearing production as commiting to a carbon mould is a serious commitment.

Devinci are in on the Eagle programme - interestingly most riders hadn t ridden Eagle before this weekend so are using it for the first time in the race this weekend.
SRAM Eagle has very much landed for enduro riders this weekend with the giant 50t cassettes adorning all the SRAM-supported enduro factory teams.
Racers got their first taste of SRAM Eagle

Mavic have prototype tyres under a few riders this weekend.
Mavic had prototype tyres under a few riders this weekend.

This local kid Matteo is well ahead of the mullet bike curve...



Finale Ligure - 2016

Out front he is also one of the first riders to be running their 36mm- stanchion fork.

He may be something of a big deal now but Jesse Melamed was out putting in the work to help get his own race bike ready for practice tomorrow.
Jesse Melamed helps prepare his bike for race day

Let s just take a moment to fully take in Sam Hill s insane paint job on his Nukeproof Mega we posted a full bike check earlier this season .
Sam Hill's incredible custom Nukeproof Mega

Images from the 2016 EWS Round 8 Finale Ligure Italy - Pit Walk blog
How full enduro has Sam Hill gone How about bush guards deep. While many may have dismissed them as simply French cheating guards talking to a few riders they do offer some interesting benefits. For instance some riders are currently compromising on bar width to keep their hands out of harm s way on track whereas with these you can still run a full-width bar and keep your pinkies safe.

This is maybe one of the finest touches anywhere in the pits courtesy of Canyon s Larry and likely only the eagle-eyed will have spotted it... For his riders he runs one metalic pad and one organic pad as he says it provides a better all-round compromise for feel and longevity.
Canyon riders running one metalic pad and one organic pad for a claimed improvement in feel and longevity.

EWS 8 2016. Finale Ligure Italy. Photo by Matt Wragg.
Justin Leov's Canyon Strive CF, size large

EWS 8 2016. Finale Ligure Italy. Photo by Matt Wragg.
Joe Barnes' Canyon Strive CF, size small



Finale Ligure - 2017

Anneke Beerten Sanction in the stand getting some love.

Fresh bearings going in for Damien Oton.
Fresh bearings going in for Damien Oton

Lever angle on Damien Oton s Devinci.
Damien Oton's lever angle

Iago Garay s Do You Even Drift Bro frame protectors always takes his bike builds up a level.
Iago Garay's Do You Even Drift Bro frame protectors always takes his bike builds up a level

Flat pedals for Ratboy this weekend.
Flat pedals for Ratboy this weekend.

Guess who.

Rae Morrison s Liv is equipped with a coil and lockout which will come in handy this weekend on some physical Finale stages.
Rae Morrison's Liv is equipped with a coil and lockout

The same bike that seen World Champs DH action in Cairns is here and on the hunt for the EWS overall... Albeit with a different drivetrain

A gold Eagle cassette bringing the bling factor up a level.

Cecile Ravanel is rolling out in Finale aboard a new stealthy looking meta.
Cecile Ravanel arrived in Finale with a new stealthy looking meta

Cecile running a gripshift on the left-hand side of her bar...
...to lock out the Super Deluxe shock.
Cecile running a Gripshift on the left-hand side of her bar to lockout the Super Deluxe shock

Yoann Barelli Bike Check
Yoann Barelli's Commencal Meta AM V4.2

Yoann Barelli Bike Check
Yoann Barelli Bike Check



La Thuile - 2018

Tech from the La Thuile EWS pits
Jerome Clementz's cSixx carbon chain guide

Tech from the La Thuile EWS pits
Sam Hill trying an early version of Michelin's DH22

Tech from the La Thuile EWS pits
Iago Garay's Santa Cruz Hightower LT

Tech from the La Thuile EWS pits
Tech from the La Thuile EWS pits

Tech from the La Thuile EWS pits
Thomas Lapeyrie's Orbea Rallon

Tech from the La Thuile EWS pits
Tech from the La Thuile EWS pits

Tech from the La Thuile EWS pits
Ruaridh Cunningham's Trek Slash

Tech from the La Thuile EWS pits
Tech from the La Thuile EWS pits



Finale Ligure - 2018

Martin Maes
Martin Maes' GT Force

Martin Maes
Martin Maes

Katy Winton
Katy Winton's Trek Slash

Katy Winton
Katy Winton

Theo Galy s prototype 29 SUNN - Kern LT Finest
Prototype 29" Sunn Kern LT

Theo Galy s prototype 29 SUNN - Kern LT Finest
Theo Galy s prototype 29 SUNN - Kern LT Finest

Isabeau Courdurier
Isabeau Courdurier's Intense Tracer

Isabeau Courdurier
Isabeau Courdurier



Val di Fassa - 2019

Gustav Wildhaber's prototype 170mm Cube


Isabeau Courdurier on the big wheels this weekend.
Isabeau Courdurier trying out big wheels

Sam Hill's raw aluminum Nukeproof Mega






59 Comments

  • 118 1
 This just makes me think of how stupid my bike is going to look in 4 years......
  • 15 1
 My 4 year old hard tail looks fine to me.
  • 3 3
 @RonSauce: my 20 year old SC Chamaleon looks fine to me!!
  • 4 0
 It's going to look just fine
  • 7 1
 im rocking a yeti sb66c and it still looks cool af.
  • 2 0
 I don't care what my bike looks at. All I can see are my handlebars.
  • 4 0
 Get an Orange.
  • 32 1
 That carbon Sunn is probably the nicest of the bunch. Stealth fighter right there.
  • 3 6
 Absolutely! And enough room for an electrical motor.
  • 20 1
 Lopes bike looks about as happy as he does
  • 15 2
 Looking back to 2013 and seeing bikes that would barely qualify as downcountry now, I’m really thankful for this race series forcing a quick evolution of trail bikes.
  • 9 0
 So many good looking bikes. I was a big fan of the older 650b strive and the 26er enduro s works.
  • 6 0
 If I had money, i'd totally buy an old 26" enduro bike, just to contrast my big slack 29er.
  • 2 0
 @4thflowkage: For sure! That black and red Enduro is hot!
  • 1 0
 @Thirty3: 26-27,5 mullet would reborn the old enduro
  • 1 0
 @4thflowkage: A friend of mine has a 180mm Intense Uzzi 26" enduro bike. We swapped bikes for a day ('18 E29), it was a ton of fun. We both are the same height and weight, both running coil.
  • 9 0
 That raw Mega really rustles my jimmies
  • 1 0
 Why would your jimmies be rustled by it?
I find it quite pleasing.
  • 2 0
 current shape cannondale Jekyll was around in 2017, if cannondale does 3 year model cycles like everybody else that means that we should be getting a new jekyll for 2021 (same story for the trek slash and orbea rallon). the GT force was also new for 2018, but for some reason i think that will stick around another year or so, and surely there should be a sanction for Martin to mince the field with? 2021 model year sounds like its going to be interesting for bike nerds!
  • 5 0
 Well in the whistler lift lines last crankworx, there was a prototype with some typical not so sneaky camera work with about 170mm travel, that had the same twin shock system as the dh bike, so that will be the new jekyll ill assume
  • 2 0
 @Jaib06: I wonder if they could be bringing back the Prophet, Moto, Claymore, or Perp nameplates...
  • 1 0
 @Scottyz01: I'm too young to remember those but they do sound hella cool!
  • 6 0
 Barelli’s brake levers.
Literally above the horizontal.
  • 3 0
 HE HAS 3 BALLS!
  • 4 0
 I tried the organic pad/metallic pad setup, and it just didn't feel right to me. Tried it on two bikes, too. Switched back to metallic all around, and all is better.
  • 1 1
 Yeah it doesn’t work. You have to pick a material. Haha
  • 5 1
 @thenotoriousmic: and be a dick about it?
  • 3 14
flag gnarwahl (Jul 4, 2020 at 21:17) (Below Threshold)
 @thenotoriousmic: not in America you don't bro. We have a little thing called FREEDOM
  • 1 0
 I like organic in front & metallic in rear.
  • 2 0
 A chain is only as strong as ats weakest link. The mix/match braking really just gives to the worst of both worlds.
  • 10 3
 @gnarwahl: yeah you’re right the only reason we don’t mix pads is because our government doesn’t allow it. Anyway have a nice day and try not to get murdered by the police or gunned down by the police.
  • 1 1
 @thenotoriousmic: yes uk good
  • 2 0
 I have to wonder if they did that just to mess with other racers. Then quickly swap them for the correct pads just before the race start.
  • 3 0
 No idea Dan Atherton had a go at EWS. How'd he do? Same for the eternal Greg Minaar - how'd he do?
  • 3 0
 Affy raced in 13, 14 and '15. Top 5s in '13, top 20 in '14 and 15. Greg has done quite a few for fun.
  • 1 0
 @lewisa10: Thanks for that. I keep posting (when relevant) that I'd love to see G and Rachel at EWS
  • 3 0
 What's that weird system on cranks on firts photo and some others?
  • 3 0
 Shimano's early prototype of a derallieur on front chainrings. Concept is you can have the same range but with less gears in the back thus having less unsprung weight and ability for shorter cages for ground clearance. Not sure why it hasn't caught on Wink
  • 2 0
 what was the deal with the old cannondale pull-shock?
  • 16 1
 Cannondale just being Cannondale I guess..
  • 4 0
 What do you mean with "what was the deal"? It offers a fine packaging with room for a water bottle. I prefer that to the current boring, run-of-the-mill, market analysis-driven design. Mine also worked great for the whole period I had it, with zero maintenance or even air pressure rectifications.
  • 2 0
 @bonkywonky: it actually worked great. I had a 26” Jekyll for a couple years. The shock was 100% reliable for me and had a nice feel, with ability to independently set positive and negative pressures. There was a remote on the bar that shut down one of the two compression circuits to reduce the shock’s stoke on the fly, which I found to give a very useful setting in short-travel mode, still sensitive on small stuff unlike with a pedalling platform, but firmed up for better pedalling and responsiveness when pumping. The only downside was that it was quite difficult to measure sag.
  • 1 0
 It's actually the old Scott design. The engineer behind it moved from Scott to cannodale and took the design with him
  • 3 0
 Matteo...... the legend
  • 1 0
 some of those cassettes in the older pics are tiny with huge rings up front
  • 2 0
 Interesting to see which bikes have and haven't aged well
  • 1 0
 What happened to Mavic tires ? They were doing a lot of tests then...nothing
  • 1 0
 When did they race on 20 inch wheels??
  • 4 0
 Yesterday
  • 2 1
 Cecile road for GT? I did not know that.
  • 1 0
 I love the five
  • 1 1
 There were an awful lot of inline shocks in the early days!
  • 1 0
 That Sunn looks great.
  • 1 3
 Eurovision
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