Video: Isabeau Courdurier Bike Check - EWS Whistler 2019

Aug 10, 2019
by Enduro World Series  


Frenchwoman Isabeau Courdurier is established as one of the fastest racers in Enduro World Series history. Even by her standards though 2019 has been exceptional - she has won all five rounds and all five Queen stages to take maximum points so far. She began the year on the smaller-wheeled 27.5in Intense Tracer but has now moved to the 29in Carbine. Isabeau’s set up is time-honed, perfectly balanced and features more than a couple of pro touches to ensure that every inch of every stage is maximised.


55 Comments

  • + 8
 Five wins in five races on 445mm chainstays. On a size small no less. Prediction: in three years most of the Enduro bikes of the "future" will have full coil suspension, +440mm chainstays, and a center of balance directly over the bottom bracket.
  • + 3
 What will the headtube angles be like on an enduro bike of the future? Hell, what will a seat tube angle be in 2028? How many speed drivetrains?
  • + 5
 I found so intriguing that small people manage to adapt to 29ers as fast as Isabeau said she did. I am 1.73 meters high (5.5) and I have never felt comfortable in a 29er (my but always hitting the rear wheel in the jumps downhill and things like that). Most of the shorter riders I have talked to feel the same way. Hmm... So it is more a matter of personal riding styles/habits or what? I am very aware of the benefits of the larger wheels, I just cannot get to like them riding!
  • + 1
 1.73 meters high is not that low, I'm 1.76 meters high and very comfortable on 29ers, maybe your riding position is too low?
  • + 5
 @MountainRider51: Honestly, I don't know, man. I have been riding for more than 30 years. Started with those old commuter-like 28 inchers bikes (Bicicletas de lechero here), then 26, then, 27.5 and have been testing several 29ers. I just cannot fell comfortable in any 29er at al, and always go back to my trusty current 27.5. May be is the age. When you are younger you are way more adaptable and flexible, but I just do not get to like the wagon-sized wheels.
  • + 1
 @webermtb: Yeah I agree, i tried my friends 29er the other day. Its a 2018 enduro and I couldn't get over how different the wagon wheel feel is. Even he said it too me "its like riding a horse". If there your thing fair play but I love the feel of 27.5
  • + 1
 Going from 26 to 29 took me a full month before I started feeling comfortable. Now I couldn't go back.
  • + 2
 I never thought I would be able to get my wife (1.6m) on a trail 29er but the small Spot Mayhem won her over. Not sure what they did to make it work but the geometry is perfect for her. We used to have to get XS small frames with 26 and 27.5 bikes.
  • + 2
 @webermtb Well, she did say the wheel is always hitting her ass, but she just doesn't seem to care. I guess when you're pro and your race time is all that matters, you just deal with it. Probably helps that she can replace her shorts for free if they tear, too.
  • + 1
 @dlxah: hehe, that was exactly my point. I mean, I just don´t like hitting my ass all the time on the 29ers I have tested so far, but you might be right with the pros argument, that they just don´t care. I found it intriguing anyway.
  • + 3
 @webermtb: Yeah, I'm 172cm and have the same problem. It's pretty unnerving when you're riding down some steep terrain, trying to keep your weight centered over the bike, and the rear wheel unexpectedly hits your ass and pushes you forward making it feel like you're going to pitch over the bars. It hasn't actually caused me to crash yet, so I guess I could see how you could just get used to it if you spent more time on 29ers. I'm really hoping these new mullet bikes catch on, though.
  • + 4
 @dlxah: Yeah, but the thing is we are not pros and we ride for the pleasure, relaxation, and enjoyment of it -most of us anyway-. What is the point of jumping to the wagon of 29ers if you are not relaxing, enjoying and having pleasure on the ride (aka, disliking hitting your ass all the time in the rear wheel)? I will keep trying other 29ers every chance I might have in the future, but I would definitely stay on my 27.5 if the joy of riding disappears on the other wheels every time I get on one. I just keep believing that 29ers are much better suited to taller (1.80-6 feet or taller) riders, despite what some shorter riders (such as Isabeau) might say. Cheers!
  • + 2
 Great bike check, and Isa seems really cool, good fun, not too serious and knows her stuff. Looks like she has fun, even at the sharp end of racing. Guess 29’rs aren’t just for tall riders!
  • + 5
 Fantastic
  • + 4
 Man, her sponsor promotion game is airtight. They must love her.
  • + 4
 Excellent interview
  • + 3
 That was an awesome bike check! Great job PB!
  • + 1
 Great overview, thanks rick! We need more of these in this level of detail.
  • + 2
 Bon
  • + 2
 Awesome bike
  • + 1
 Who or what tried to decapitate Ric??
  • + 1
 Riding with Chris Ball will do that to you....
  • - 1
 Interesting that Isa, a native french speaker, pronounces it CarBYNE and not CarBEAN.
  • + 4
 maybe because she is sponsored by intense..?
  • + 1
 That's the "correct" version iirc.
  • + 2
 It's a french word, derived from carabine (kɑːrbaɪn). It has a similar word logic and origin with rock climbers "carabiners" (although there's a German influence in there also, although from the same origins) which I'm guessing nobody has ever heard be called a "cara-BYNE-er" before.

Hence why it's curious that she is defaulting to a non-native pronunciation of the word.
  • + 2
 @Zaff: It's an American brand name, so she's saying it how they say it. We also say bike the English way in France, even when speaking French.
At the other end you have Fabien Barely talking about phy-losophy on the Downtime podcast, so I don't know what he's playing at. Apart from that, it's a great episode.
  • + 1
 @Zaff: you sound like a speech path! =D
  • + 5
 @Zaff: eh I've never heard someone call a short barreled rifle a car-bean.
  • + 1
 @clink83: English comes from England of all places, and is a composite of at least 11 other languages. However the American revolution and later Noah Webster pushed American English in a different direction.
  • - 2
 @justincs: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbine
It's a French word! Eesh.
  • + 1
 @clink83: Carabine is a French word. Never heard of carbine.
  • + 1
 @clink83: Yes 30% of the words you use daily are in fact French, Ben Franklin would be proud, Maybe William the Conqueror rings some Norman bells!
  • + 2
 @clink83: I've heard both pronunciations, although funnily enough, it's usually a majority of American, French, German and general European speakers that I've heard it called "CarBEAN" and Brits, NZers and Aussies calling it "CarBYNE".

English is a a mish-mash kind of language with a fairly Germanic base and lots of other French/Latin influences, and there are plenty of examples of us following French pronunciation of words we've derived from them, and others where we completely ignore it.

Turbine would be a great example alongside this, where French it is pronounced "turBEAN" and without exception that I'm aware of, English speakers say "turBYNE". But English is inconsistent in the E or I noises we choose to make, because you can see the EEN sound in words like machine, ravine, etc (all French origin words).

As I said originally, my point isn't that there is a "right or wrong" way of saying "carbine", it's that I find it interesting that a native French speaker is making a non-native sound in her pronunciation of the word. It's also interesting that when Yoann snapped his knee ligaments, he swears in English.
  • + 1
 History of English podcast if you're into this kind of stuff....


podcasts.google.com?feed=aHR0cDovL2hpc3RvcnlvZmVuZ2xpc2hwb2RjYXN0LmNvbS9mZWVkL3BvZGNhc3Qv
  • + 3
 @Zaff: Why someone down voted you is beyond me. I guess they prefer ignorance.
  • + 1
 @Zaff: Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that the vast majority of English words ending in 'ine' are pronounced 'yne'. 'Ravine' is one of the relative exceptions, along with 'iodine' and a few others (most of which are names of substances I believe). So with a word like 'carbine' it makes sense to default to 'yne'. Again, it isn't really a French word so I wouldn't personally pronounce it the French way as I would 'carabine'.

How do Intense pronounce carbine? Always ask the mother how the kid's name is pronounced Smile
  • + 1
 @BenPea: Off the top of my head: Machine, Ravine, Magazine, Chlorine, Codeine, Nicotine, Sanguine, Marine, Limousine, Wolverine, Quarantine etc. etc. etc. There are enough that it's hard to consider them an exception.

You also have others that end in "ine" but have a very short "in" sound at the end of them as well, words like Adrenaline, Imagine, Jasmine, etc sound extremely odd if you start pronouncing them as "ean" or "ynes".

I have a Portuguese/Dutch background, and speak a little Italian also, and have always pronounced it "carbean". I've never heard someone from Europe pronounce it "carbyne" until seeing this clip, which prompted my original comments.
  • + 2
 @Zaff: Fair play. I've never heard anyone pronounce it either way! I'm half French, half English and purely going from instinct. Essentially, I'm saying Carb-yne sounds cooler. I bet Intense say it that way.
  • + 2
 @Zaff: p.s. sanguine is pronounced the same as Aaron Wink
  • + 2
 @Zaff: Just googled "how to pronounce carbine". Massive can of worms right there.
  • + 1
 @BenPea: Haha far out, it's a treasure trove!
  • + 2
 to-may-toe, to-mah-toe. Either way, cool bike.
  • + 2
 @justincs: i heard, that american english more historical, than UK english. American's pronounce words now, like it was in England until 18-19 century. (Sorry for my english).
  • + 1
 @bearkoff: I've heard that too, apparently the silent H in parts of the UK is less than 200yrs old.
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