As lockdown eased, The Brigade Team got together to test, let loose and have some fun in Vallnord.
New kit had started to pile up at The Brigade Team HQ, and as restrictions were lifted the boys headed to Andorra to put a few ideas into practice. Alex Marin, Rudy Cabirou and the entire Brigade Team have spent the past 2 weeks at Vallnord in Andorra to test a new set up on the team's Santa Cruz V10 rigs. It's no secret that the mullet is back in fashion, and our riders have been testing this 'Business up front, party in the back' set-up to validate it in anticipation for the first race of the year.
WC DH fans worldwide understand that Vallnord is one of the steepest and most demanding tracks on the World Cup, making it the perfect setting for back to back runs, full gas berms and team building. As always we received amazing support from our team, sponsors and the people at Vallnord, who all got us on track and testing as soon as we arrived.
Of course, testing would mean nothing without raw data and each bike was rigged up with the latest, cutting-edge telemetry sensors and data acquisition equipment to ensure what we felt on track lines up with what we expect to see come race day.
Both Alex and Rudy ran our V10 in mullet mode and also used this 2 week test period as the perfect opportunity to run a new, secret, front tire from our sponsors VeeTire Co. Partying on the rear is Vee's excellent Snap WCE downhill tire, made of an ultra-soft Top 40 race compound. At the business end, both riders tested a new tire from VeeTire, one that has been developed to excel in hardpack, dry and loose over hardpack conditions. We don't know how much we can tell you about this new tire other than it's bang on the money!
The steep and dusty Vallnord conditions also served as an excellent testbed for a new coil shock from suspension partners SR Suntour. Again this is another top-secret product but our telemetry and our on-track feeling of this shock tell us the SR Suntour guys have nailed it. This also makes The Brigade the only team on the Downhill WorldCup Circuit to be running SR Suntour suspension front and rear, a fact that we're all super proud to be part of.
With our mullet V10's spitting us out of corners faster than ever before, Rudy and Alex were pleased to have HXR's Easyshift chainset fitted to their race bikes. If you haven't seen this before, it's a chainset that helps to isolate the chain from the suspension and also allows for shifting either when pedalling or coasting. Let's just say that this is one of our secret weapons.
Every gap was hit in the testing of this kit!
Of course, our two weeks of testing at Vallnord wasn't all work and no play, we also ensured that everyone on the team got some time in the dirt and on two wheels. Camera people, mechanics, photographer, everyone in The Brigade family had time to ride with our athletes, learn a few things but most of all have a laugh and a great time.
Overall it was an intense 2 weeks of training, we learned a lot about our new set up, suspension and tires, and we also made time to have fun and enjoy the ride with our mates, because while racing is important the main thing is we all have fun.
Get out and ride guys!! The Brigade Team.