Wyn is riding a prototype Bulls Wild Core that sports 200mm of rear wheel travel by way of a single pivot, linkage activated suspension layout. The main pivot sits extremely high and well behind the imaginary vertical line drawn between the bottom bracket and seat tube, a design that provides a rearward axle path that is often associated with a bike that carries speed well over rough ground. An idler pulley keeps chain growth in check, although it does make for a more complicated drivetrain. Note the long cage Shimano derailleur that's required to take up the change in chain tension, as well as the odd angle of the chain guide.
While Masters didn't provide a weight for his machine, last year's bike came in at just under 38lb with a very similar build kit that certainly leans more towards reliability than out and out gram counting.
Wyn had to rush off up the hill for practice, but his mechanic, Peter 'Northern' Duke, gave us the low down on how Masters likes to run his bike. Let's start with the handlebar?
We're using an alloy Gravity Light bar, 760mm with 30mm rise and a 50mm stem. Stem spacers?
None, running the front end standard. Headset cups?
Just -1 degree Works Components headset, and the head angle at the moment is 63 degrees. Bottom bracket height?
The BB height is high enough, haha! Tire choice?
Depends on the track, but we are always on Schwalbe, which are the best tires on the market. A cut down spike on the back right now, just to make it brake a little bit harder into the dust. 26 PSI in the front, 28 PSI in the back. Are you guys using Schwalbe's Procore system?
Depends on the race and how the track is. Here, no. Any special tubeless mods?
Nope, just standard, with a special northern rim tape. Is that to pack it out a little?
Just a little bit. It depends on which thickness, but we've got a few different rim tapes in there to make it stay on. Clutch turned on or off?
There is no clutch on this one, mate. Because this is a bike that gets longer, so a clutch derailleur would hold the suspension back and ruin the small bump sensitivity. We have gone back to this to make the suspension perfect for him. Sag?
Depends on how much he has had for breakfast, but normally 15% in the rear and nearly 0% at the front. He's a big lad at 93kg and rides hard! How do you measure the sag?
I just go on his weight, and we go on track conditions more than anything for sag, How many Bottomless Tokens in his BoXXer?
At the moment we are on six. Wyn does the hard yards, and he's an Enduro specialist so he's strong enough to hold on to this mother licker. How do you change the bike when you go to a new track?
We just start with what we know, which is our basic setup that we run at home, and go from there dependant upon rider feedback. What have you changed for this weekend?
Gone up 10 PSI in the forks up to 115 to hold the front end up, and we have also gone down one compression tune in the shock to allow him to go up in spring rate and not have too much compression. It's a 325lb spring, standard steel spring. None of this titanium malarkey. Like I say, he's a strong lad. Aluminum handlebar, I see...
Yes, to keep him nice and comfortable. Does he always use 200mm rotors?
Always big rotors, mate. We're not into saving weight, and we can just shave an eyebrow off if we need to lose 5 grams, y'know. Marsh Guard products all round?
Yes, we always run a Marsh Guard, even in the dust, as well as the number board helping it to be aerodynamic as hell. Also the Slapper Tape, one of the best things to ever happen to mountain bikes. How to make the loudest mountain bikes quiet! Get some Slapper on there! Are you saying this is a loud bike?
No, I'm saying there are loud mountain bikes out there and this stuff makes everything quiet, and even the lovely quiet Trek's could do with a bit of this on them. H.F.A?
Have Fun Always. Standard issue, you gotta be 'avin fun mate, else you wouldn't be here. We're all about smiles on faces. Tire Pressure?
Tire pressures are always the same, really. We don't change much with pressure, and he always goes as low as he can for grip, but then as high as he can to stop them rolling in corners. The one thing that we have changed is from a Super Gravity casing on the back to a full DH casing. Still SG on the front. We use the EX417 rims, the softer ones. He's loving them, and they're working really well. The 'Gwin tireless run' rim! There's a nice little washer insert in there that you have to put on the nipple which lets the rim work better. It allows the rim to move a bit which is making it work better. They're a f***er to build, but work well. More compliant?
Good word choice, compliant. You've been reading the dictionary, mate! Do you play with things like spoke tension?
Not really, but we might change them a little bit. Standard Champion 2.0 gauge spokes. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. You can try to go lighter on your spokes, but then you just snap 'em all the time.