Video: Title Fight Bike Checks - Sam Hill Vs Florian Nicolai

Sep 20, 2019
by Enduro World Series  

After one of the most tumultuous seasons of racing the Enduro World Series has ever seen, the final round of the year is set to determine the championship. Florian Nicolai has a slender lead ahead of the two-time champ Sam Hill. Traillove EWS Zermatt, high in the Swiss alpine, will be the battleground that decides the victor. We decided to delve a bit deeper and compare the two race bikes which will be going bar-to-bar come race day.

Florian will be riding his Canyon Factory Racing Strive 29 and Sam will be on his Nukeproof Mega 290. Come Saturday evening one of these two bikes will be on the podium as the fastest in the world. The big question is however, which would you rather see in your garage?

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Zermatt


127 Comments

  • 42 0
 Mysteriously.... Sam and Florian finish poorly due to being sick....
  • 3 0
 haha right? I am sure both mechanics take sany wipes to each bike top to bottom! Big Grin
  • 2 2
 And get busted for doping after taking prescribed antibiotics to eradicate the bug!
  • 3 0
 @likeittacky: antibiotics are really bad at killing viruses
  • 6 0
 @jpcars10s: You are correct Doc, just figure of speech. Should have said Tussin .
  • 1 0
 @likeittacky: only if they take a masking agent during it
  • 21 2
 This is interesting. You've got top flight bigger guys like Florian (6-2) and Rude (6ft tank) that are winning with bikes that have 460mm/464mm of reach! I think the bike length stuff has def jumped the shark, especially for us taller guys where the damn WB is like driving a Lincoln. PB it'd be interesting to hear from the bigger riders on why they arent going for the big reach sleds and instead sizing down.
  • 8 2
 Sam isn't tall and that Canyon has a ridiculous top tube length even in a size large. If you don't have a longer torso than legs or want to go full triathlon sizing up isn't an option. People sometimes seem to forget top tube lengths...
  • 6 1
 @jzPV: Yeah that's just that slack actual STA tho. I'm not sure that is that big of a deal when he can just slam his seat forward (to a degree). It doesn't have an impact on the decents tho which is where these guys make their living...that is where the reach and WB come into play.
  • 2 0
 Yep I’ve been saying this for ages. Bikes have got too long and slack. I’m 6,3 and 550mm reach with a 50mm stem and 760 bars is perfect.
  • 12 1
 Richie is like 5’9”
  • 3 1
 I'm with you on this buddy, this long bike stuff is not for me.
  • 4 1
 @mtbmaniatv: Nope, he is right at about 6ft tall (182cm). And a beast. enduro-mtb.com/en/bike-check-richie-rude-yeti-sb150

@thenotoriousmic you mean 450mm I'm guessing? 550mm would be like a Pole XL (which hey I'm 6-4 and might be nice in a big straight mtn like the Alps or something).
  • 2 6
flag Fix-the-Spade (Sep 20, 2019 at 13:52) (Below Threshold)
 @Svinyard: 182cm is 5 feet 10 inches. Real surprise is Richie weighs 205lbs! I'm 6in taller than him yet weigh 10lb less, dude's built like a bull.
  • 5 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: lol bruh...182cm is right about 72in...which is 6ft
  • 4 0
 @wildedge586: Here's a scary thought, I make lenses that people rely on to see every day, yet can't get basic Metric to Imp conversions right. Forgot that 5.97 is not the number in inches but as a decimal, doh. At least I got the kg-lb right.
  • 8 1
 @Fix-the-Spade: Hows brexit going bro? Going to be a lot of conversion going on soon.......all sorts of currency.
  • 11 1
 @gonzoracing: I still live in hope the brexiteers will eventually get frustrated and give up.
  • 1 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: eh you help everyone else see, I'm guessing (like me). You are afforded any mis-calc on your own Wink
  • 3 0
 I think reach and wheelbase is equivalent to traction control on a car but with a dial instead of on/off. It keeps those less able of going faster but has its limits when you don’t know/can’t see what’s in front of you.

To those who now ride longer reaches, have you tried going back shorter and noticed how you don’t over run corners and can improvise on new lines quicker instead of steam rolling ? I certainly do.

These guys choose not to run traction control.
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: may want to check you conversion there, I am 176cm which is 5'9". Last time I checked, an inch was 2.54cm or 25.4mm, so if Richie measures in at 182cm, he is 5'11" tall, and on the almost tipping 6' mark.
  • 2 2
 maybe with shoes on. How many of you know and have raced against or ridden with him? Or even seen him in person. Come back when you can check those boxes Wink
  • 3 1
 @rabbit-Tbone: geez, I cant believe we are still discussing this. He is 71.66 in. Common math would indicate 72in is the closest integer. This 6ft. My conversion is and has been just fine. Regardless my point is not how many tenths of an inch Richie is (geeez...) but that these big guys are sizing down and going faster than anyone on the planet. Let's stay on topic?
  • 1 0
 I'm 6'2“ and ride an XL Firebird. I took my friends Medium Evil Calling out today and it absolutely canes. It was quicker than my bird on tech trail ;_;
  • 1 0
 Richie rides a large Sb150 right? Thats a big bike.
  • 1 0
 Its relative to the ESTA. The reach on my bikes vary by 75mm but seated length (butt to bar) is still the same.
  • 1 0
 what they need to test is steeping the head angles abit with the massive WB as the length should make the bike stable
  • 1 0
 I think it is very personal. I am 6.1 and short torso and crazy long legs and I feel great on 500 mm and more reach. It is all very personal and depends on your body but also very much depends on your position on the bike. I like to move forward on the bars and have my stem low and I like long bikes. Some like to have body little bit back and they prefer shorter bikes. That is the thing.
  • 1 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: 5-11 5/8”....
182/2.54=71.65”...
  • 1 0
 @gonzoracing: what does brexit have to do with currency? We use sterling, the rest of Europe uses the Euro - it won’t be any different after our inept leaders take us into the dark place, we’ll still use sterling, we just won’t have as much of it! Smile
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: yeah 450 / 460mm. Feels perfect. I’ve got a 485mm reach as well but I have to run it with a 35mm stem and I much prefer a 50mm stem.
  • 1 0
 @panzer103: nope. Medium.
  • 2 0
 I agree. I like my smaller size frame. I’m
Just on the edge of needing a Large, but went with a medium frame with a 40mm stem. I can flick it around which is great. Feels real nice like

Don’t drink the kool aid people!
  • 1 0
 Depends on what and how you ride. I'm only 5'10 but I ride a large 475 mm reach Transition Patrol with a 50mm stem and 760 bars. I test rode a bunch of smaller bikes and this felt way better for me. My old bike was a Felt Decree with about a 416mm reach and the same stem and bar and I would go over the bars all the time, but I hardly crash now. I tried the Medium patrol which was 450 and it didn't make me feel quite as confident. Horses for courses I suppose, and the long reach is easier to ride in the rough stuff for scrubs like me
  • 2 1
 I find that the people who enjoy really long reaches compared to their proper sizing tend to not be riding the kind of gnar that will pitch a person's body forward during the steep impacts. True DH and enduro riders have learned how important being able to move around a bike is and that's just not possible with your arms already stretched out.
  • 3 0
 @thesharkman: Long reach bikes actually put your weight further forward. Also they generally come with a steeper STA so you stay in the same seated position just further forward on the bike.
  • 24 9
 "Two fastest bikes". I know that it's money, also for Sam and Florian, but there must be a level of BS which one just should not cross! Bikes are not fast, you can easily check this, get two bikes without riders and push them from a hill - they will ride slowly and stop after few meters Wink
  • 48 11
 This is not how it works. If Sam was on a Pole or Geometron he would have secured the title after the second round. But instead industry, UCI and Red Bull... and socialism.
  • 31 1
 @WAKIdesigns: You forgot Vatican
  • 31 0
 @pakleni: NOBODY expects the Spanish inquisition...
  • 1 0
 @pakleni: LMAO!! That was awesome! Wink
  • 2 3
 @WAKIdesigns: Real question. Do you know anything about those bikes from experience? I'm very intrigued about the ideas, but i have big questions... thanks.

Also, "socialism"? WTF? Was that a joke? I can't hear the tone of your voice over text... Wink
  • 14 1
 @mybaben: I was being sarcastic towards group of people who believe that a super long and slack bike with 160mm travel can make Mike Levy ride faster then Gee Atherton on a shorter bike with 200mm of travel. Now they don’t really believe it but they kind of do.
  • 7 3
 @WAKIdesigns: and Trump
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Okay got you! I agree. My question with those bikes is how do you keep your weight/center of gravity down and through the bottom bracket (pedals) when a 500+mm reach is pulling your body so far forward?? Seems like a recipe for going OTB...
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: it's a matter of I WANT TO BELIEVE, ask Mulder.
  • 2 0
 Throw the bikes off a cliff, they will be very fast.
  • 5 0
 If only they could Naruto run down the course!
  • 3 1
 @mybaben - no it doesn’t, it just forces you to stay forward if you ride as bad as some of the people in mentioned companies. Most Joeys ride too far back, long reach kind of solves that. They can barely bunnyhop, manual corner, cannot pick and hold a line, do technical climbs for sht, so they put focus on riding in a straight line. Hence the term Jerrymetry
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Are you saying that the long reach bikes can't bunny hop, manual, and tech climb? That would make sense....
  • 1 0
 @mybaben: no I didn’t. Where did that come from?
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Wasn't sure if you were referring to the riders or the bikes in your last post.
  • 8 2
 Awesome bike checks! Loved the details. Cool that the two fastest bikes cost like half the price of those dentist models.

At the same time I like how Rick intentionally didn't mention that Sam is having a specialized saddle Wink I know they always put a nukeproof one for photoshoots, but I guess they didn't one at hand on the top of the mountainWink Just a small detail for eagle eyed viewers.
  • 7 0
 Sam may want to disinfect his bike after Rick was getting all touchy feely with his illness.
  • 7 4
 I am 100% for The Sam Nukeproof 290 and waiting for them in December. Canyon can be great but somehow I like simplicity more. I am worried that after 2 years there will be problems with this shape shifter. Like for 99% riders Kalashnikov is the best working in the Winter and in the dessert. Nukeproof looks like that - simple and working great machine.
  • 5 9
flag ToddS456 (Sep 20, 2019 at 9:24) (Below Threshold)
 99% of the riders don't know what a Kalashnikov is.
  • 8 0
 @ToddS456: What a very bizarre and obscure reference... (I do know what that is).
  • 8 1
 @ToddS456: what? Everbody does.
  • 4 0
 @ToddS456: they do if they read PB comments
  • 13 16
 If you want simple just take the aluminium one for gods sake. I did. Carbon makes things more complicated (uh, my bike fell, do i need to xray it, uh, can i clamp it in my bike rack, uh, the paint around an alloy insert cracked, uh, it rides too harsh, uh, you get my point). Eff carbon, don‘t drink the effin gay-aid and support aluminium with your purchase decision. Thank you.
  • 3 1
 @ArturoBandini: I had old SC Heckler alloy and old V-10. Last 10 years always had carbon and never regret it. Does it ride better? Maybe not! Does look better and it is bike porn for me? YES YES YES Smile
  • 4 0
 "...I didnt even have to use my AK. Today was a good was a good day."
  • 7 0
 Go Sam!
  • 10 5
 Wait, pros don't run carbon wheels?! Somebody tell the carbon wheeled fanbois!
  • 1 0
 I like my carbon wheels, a lot.
  • 1 0
 I prefer carbon wheels but the "tire is losing pressure.. f*ck it lets keep going" attitude is why I went back to aluminim.
  • 4 0
 Anyone know if the team riders long shock the strives? The stock is 60x230 for 150mm of travel, a 65x230 would approx 162mm (or whatever the leverage ratio spits out)
  • 1 0
 I think installing a 230x62.5 would be the best. Not too much, should be a smidge under 160mm
  • 2 1
 I admit I had a canyon Strive and that shapeshifting tech really works you can totally feel the difference in geo and responsiveness with a click of a lever so you put that with a fast guy the bike is surly faster then the rest of the field just my two cents that’s all
  • 6 3
 Seriously, how many times must it be said it's the rider not the bike. #fakenews #puffpiece
  • 4 0
 Not even gonna mention Sam's moto knuckle guards?!
  • 6 1
 I think the less said the better
  • 4 1
 Im wondering when will we see new Mega 29?
  • 1 0
 me too.
  • 6 0
 isn't this article showing you the new mega 29?
  • 1 0
 I’m about a month when the 2020 bikes get released.
  • 1 2
 @MmmBones: new what? Color?
  • 1 0
 @Brdjanin: He said see it..not hear about it in detail Wink
  • 1 0
 I know - they announced it will in December 2019
  • 1 0
 @Brdjanin: u r wrong. The new Sam's Mega 290 has 165 mm rear travel instead of 150 of current one. Some other smaller changes also.
  • 2 1
 @patryka: where did you get this information?
  • 3 0
 @Isey: you please check Pink bike article about Sam new Mega. It was Pure alloy and the same metalic color. All changes explained as 165 mm rear travel and also new seat angle and others. Also short info that it will be in sales in December this year.
  • 1 0
 Best part of this story is that up until this point I thought those Canyon Strives were really odd looking. But at least in L or XL it's looking pretty sweet there!
  • 3 0
 meh, looks like a candy cane
  • 1 0
 Same. Never thought a 29er can be visually all right, then my strive 29 XL arrived and the wheels nearly look small on it.
  • 1 0
 @MmmBones: true! Lol, I was just thinking an XL in black wouldn't be too bad IMO. They must have a medium on the site, looks odd to me. But the bigger frame isn't so bad...
  • 1 0
 They look nice, but as a tall dude...that seat looks waaaay back there by the axle. I def don't care for that on the climbs.
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard:75 in climb mode which is mostly when it would matter, not too bad. Though too bad they didn't go steeper for both modes.
  • 1 0
 @stiingya: sort of...the prob is the "actual" not the calculated. It's much slacker because of the kink being higher up.
  • 2 0
 @Svinyard: There are so many variables in bike design, intent, preference, etc. I'm not sure it's fair to say actual VS calculated is a "problem". I think the only problem is that most often we don't know what seat height was used for the calculation.

Canyon has a seat height "range", so if we assume the 75 degree's comes from the middle of that range than it's a pretty "real" 75* VS "average" seat height. If it comes from the bottom of that range, 785mm on the XL, than it's a slacker STA than I want. But if it comes from the top of that range 905mm than it's a better than 75* for most people. Unfortunately I don't see anything that says where it's calculated at...? (maybe I missed it?) Not knowing what the seat height is when the angle is calculated kind of sucks... The Strives Geo might be better than I think, or might be worse like you think? Smile

Too bad there is not an industry standard around the whole thing. Very cool how Banshee's latest new bike release had STA's at various seat heights by size. Awesome!

But it's still about choice/compromise. I think RM or Norco? has longer stays for taller riders to better center the rider, they also purposely use a little slacker seat tube angles on bigger frames because they wanted a "playful" bike and were trying not to grow the wheelbase too much. VS Geomatrons have wheelbases longer than 2 bikes! Smile Nearly actual STA's but they are crazy steep! You have to wonder if that crazy steep angle came out of necessity for wheel travel and a straight ST? OR if that was the intent. (chicken or the egg) Either way it ends up with long rear stays and they wanted to keep a long front center and so their bikes are hella long WB!

Then you have "horses for courses", one person might have tons of twisty terrain but no real long super steep climbing. That person would likely "not" benefit from an 80* STA.
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: What do you know, Ibis Ripmo AF has the seat height used to measure the STA...

Good to know manufacturers are paying attention! Smile
  • 1 0
 @stiingya: yeah it's a smart thing. The reality is that designs with a higher kink in the seat tube are just less than ideal. Regardless of the numbers, you can just look at the bike and see it. The steeper STA push has started to force manufacturers to correct that and go for a more streamlined seat tube. Plus it allows for longer droppers like 185 and 210mm etc. Smaller people prob dont care, but taller dudes will certainly be more at home with that kind of design. Its even more important (to my knowledge at least) because as you size up...the freaking chainstays dont. It becomes a perfect storm for a lot of bikes: you can't fit a long dropper in it and your ass is sitting over the rear axle. Not ideal when dropping big cash on a bike.
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: I think we have to agree to kind of disagree... Smile For sure a lot of companies were not putting taller riders on steep enough seat tube angles. And/OR measuring their seat tube angles way to low for XL frames. We agree on that! But I don't think every bike has to have a straight full seat tube to work.

Transition has bent tubes but still have great effective STA's. (it's funny that their carbon frames have the seat post at the exact same angle, but the back of the carbon frame is smoother/straighter. Tricks your eye that their carbon frame has a steeper actual STA, but it's the same)

The DW linkage design is what makes Evil bikes. So they are always going to have bent and interrupted seat tubes. BUT they have been updating their molds and their newer bikes have good ESTA's and the whole range is slowly but surely being updated.

Pole has some of the most progressive geo numbers out there. And yes their actual STA is very steep, but it's also a short interrupted seat tube due to the linkage. (of which more and more companies are moving their shock down there)

Canyon could have easily put a 76 or 77* ESTA on the strive, push out the front center and still have the same frame design/bent tubes. But not everyone want's super steep, not every company jumps into new geo changes as quick. Also it takes years for a frame to come to market and they don't always guess what the next trend will be. Also not every company wants to take a big risk on "cutting edge" geo that might turn away the existing customer base. It's safer to make smaller steps, etc.

Anyway, I'm not trying to be argumentative or anything, just discussion...
  • 5 2
 Can we not get a commentator that is not some kind of a bio hazard?
  • 2 0
 ahhhh so that's why chain reaction cycles has the 2019 Nukeproof Mega is on sale lmao
  • 1 0
 AND... it's the end of the 2019 riding season for most of the western hemisphere...?
  • 2 0
 No way I'm running that many cables.
  • 2 2
 Preparation Prevents P**s Poor Performance.
“Oh it doesn’t have anything written on it..”
Raising the bar of professionalism....
  • 1 0
 I thought that was amusing too. Scotty used to get exposed a bit on GMBN in that way I recall.
  • 1 0
 Im surprised he never saw the Mavic presta caps.... I have used them since 2001. They split for both shraeder or presta
  • 2 0
 Very cool! That was a great video!
  • 2 0
 When are those damn dh22s coming out!?!?
  • 1 0
 Damn, I feel like I'm covered in germs just from watching this video. Get well soon Ric.
  • 1 0
 ``Very special bikes``, hum... I don`t know, but very ugly bikes for sure, especially the Canyon.
  • 1 0
 Anyone know what chainstay protection Flo is running? Looks good but how have they made it or where have they got it from?
  • 1 0
 I’ve picked something up on the plane, Duty free maybe
  • 1 0
 This is what I'm talking about bike versus bike
  • 8 7
 who wins the title when Richie Rude wins this event?
  • 1 0
 i'd love to see a breakdown of how many points each rider needs to move up in the overall.
  • 1 0
 that is correct. "when"
  • 8 13
flag gogzee (Sep 20, 2019 at 7:53) (Below Threshold)
 Never trust a man thats been caught out for doping........
  • 2 9
flag jaame (Sep 20, 2019 at 11:09) (Below Threshold)
 @It was someone else’s bottle he drank from. Do you know what’s in your mates’ bottles? I can tell you one time my mate gave me a drink of his coffee and then he laughed and told me it had ecstasy in it. I definitely did not know it had ecstasy in it, and I definitely would not have supped it had I known. That’s the situation RR is in. Not his fault AT ALL.
  • 1 0
 What where you saying ???
  • 1 0
 Couldn’t I just go buy these online...?
  • 1 1
 Awesome bike check. How come so many top racers don't run 2-piece rotors? I've also never seen anyone use an oval ring
  • 14 0
 They're too busy riding to keep up with internet trends.
  • 1 2
 I imagine we’ll see a new bike from either or both manufactures after the season ends maybe even on Monday if they win the EWS title!
  • 2 1
 Who out there buys a bike just because the bike wins the EWS?
  • 2 2
 Dentists....
  • 8 0
 more people than you'd think.
  • 3 0
 Me? I am very Santa Cruz guy and now thinking about Nukeproof 290 Smile
And I am not a dentist but rathwr do not go 4 a party guy, keep money and buy your dream bike and go 4 bike weekend or trip. And 50% bike rides maybe 10% better and I do not care. I Love it and I buy the most expensive I can effort.
  • 3 0
 can you tell the difference in YT tues's before/after Gwin?
  • 1 0
 Rockshox is still the choice, after all these years.

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