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10 Bike Checks from the 2023 BC Bike Race

Jul 13, 2023 at 11:08
by BC Bike Race  
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BC Bike Race 2023

The 17th edition of the BC Bike Race headed back to the rough and technical trails of Vancouver Island. While BCBR is a cross-country stage race, a healthy dose of burly black diamond trails, and the occasional double black, makes bike set-up interesting. Do you opt for a lightweight build to get up the climbs first? Or suffer a little extra to enjoy the downhills without worrying about your equipment?

Here's how the top pros balanced weight and durability at the 2023 BC Bike Race.

Peter Disera's Pivot Mach 4SL

Peter Disera s Pivot Mach 4SL
Peter Disera.

Peter Disera is riding a Pivot's new Mach 4SL, in a pale baby blue that works off the Pivot Cycles-OTE "Blue Train" theme quite nicely. There are a few details around the wheels that make this race whip stand out and keep Disera rolling fast through corners instead of through them. New ENVE rims move to an external spoke nipple, a nice step that should make fixes and repairs easier. There's more going on that we can't see in the rim profile. All Disera would say is that, unlike many pros here, he's not running inserts "because they told us not to." Intriguing. Either way, it's working. The fast-rolling and hard cornering (for a cross-country tire) Schwalbe Wicked Will and Racing Ralph combo isn't hurting either.
Pivot March 4 SL
Frame: Pivot Mach 4 SL (Medium)
Fork: Fox 34 SC Factory (set to 120mm travel)
Shock: Fox Float (115mm)
Rims: ENVEDark 6 (Prototype)
Drivetrain: Shimano XTR
Brakes: Shimano XTR (2-Pison)
Handlebar: Enve M5 "cut to XC race width (700mm)"
Tires; Schwalbe Wicked Will (F) Racing Ralph (R)
Weight: 22.7 lb

Instagram: @Petey__d

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Peter Disera in Nanaimo.


Katerina Nash Specialized Epic EVO

Katerina Nash s BCBR-build Specialized Epic EVO S-Works
Katerina Nash.

Katerina Nash showed up at BC Bike Race with the Epic EVO version of Specialized's cross-country frame, size small. The legendary Czech-Californian racer ridden incredibly consistently to the top step of the podium on all but two days so far this week, including the overall BC Bike Race win. There aren't as many prototype or custom parts on this Epic EVO, showing that all you really need to go fast is... well, a whole heck of a lot of skill.

Specialized Epic EVO
Frame: Specialized Epic EVO (Small)
Fork: Fox 34
Shock: Fox Float DPS
Rims: Stan's NoTubes
Drivetrain: Shimano
Brakes: Shimano XTR
Cockpit: RaceFace with Garmin
Weight: "Around 22lbs"

Instagram: @katkanash

Katerina Nash finds the flow on Tzouhalem
Katerina Nash.

Remi Gauvin

Remi Gauvin s Rocky Mountain Element
Remi Gauvin.

Remi Gauvin's BCBR-build Rocky Mountain Element is, as you would expect, a little more burly than the pinner XC whips at the front of the race. Not the Squamish racer is far behind. The EWS (EDR) pro is sitting right in the top-10, and making most of that time up on the descents. A 130mm Fox 34 fork, Race Face Next SL wheels with a single, rear CushCore XL insert keep Remi's Element rolling. A full 170-mm Fox Transfer post gives the enduro pro the room he needs to attack the descents, even on pinner 2.4" Maxxis Rekon Race tires, while a custom-moulded Reform Tantalus saddle lets The Semi keep rolling along for long hours in the saddle, day after day.
Rocky Mountain Element
Frame: Rocky Mountain Element (Large)
Fork: Fox 34 Factory 130mm travel w/FIT4
Shock: Fox FLoat DPS
Rims: Race Face Next SL
Tires: Rekon Race 2.4" EXO Maxxspeed (F: 20 psi R: 22 psi)
Inserts: CushCore XC in rear
Post: 170mm Fox Transfer post, Reform Tantalus saddle
Drivetrain: Shimano XTR, 10-51 w/ 34t Chainring
Brakes: Shimano XTR (180mm Shimano Freeza Rotors)
Cockpit: RaceFace NextSL 750mm, 50mm Turbine R stem
Weight: "??"

Instagram: @remi.the.semi

Remi Gauvin throwing up dust on Maple Mountain
Remi Gauvin crushes chunder on Maple Mountain.

Eva Poidevin


Eva Poidevin s Santa Cruz Blur
Eva Poidevin.


Alberta's Eva Poidevin was the dark horse of this year's BC Bike Race. The 23-year-old is going toe-to-toe against veterans Katerina Nash, Evelyn Dong and Sandra Walter aboard a Santa Cruz Blur, even taking two stage wins by the end of the week. RockShox SID Ultimate and a pinner Continental CrossKing / RaceKing tire combo. Reserve carbon fibre rims wheels and SRAM's Wireless XO1 groupset with a Fox Transfer Factory post round out the build. Poidevin's able to squeeze two water bottles into the Blur frame, which is essential for making it through this week's hot weather.
Santa Cruz Blur
Frame: Santa Cruz Blur
Fork: RockShox SID Ultimate
Shock: RockShock SID
Rims: Reserve
Drivetrain: SRAM XO1 AXS Eagle
Brakes: SRAM 2-piston

Instagram: @e_poidev

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Eva Poidevin cruising down Vanilla toward a win in Cumberland.


Andrew L'Esperance

Andrew L Esperance s Ibis Exie
Andrew L'Esperance.

Andrew L'Esperance is riding the made in the U.S.A. Exie frame. It's a 110-mm rear travel frame with Fox's 34SC Factory in 120 mm travel, a popular choice at this year's BC Bike Race. Despite the aggressive "BCXC" trails, the Maxxis Factory Racing rider is rolling on his title sponsor's very fast-rolling Aspen tires in the new MaxxSpeed compound. With Tannus Armour inserts between the rubber and a prototype Stan's rim, the 6'1" Canuck (6'4" on skates) is able to run 19/20 psi. That ended up being a winning combo, as the Halifax, N.S. racer came on strong in the last few days to earn his second BC Bike Race title.
Ibis Exie
Frame: Ibis Exie USA (XL)
Fork: Fox 34 SC Factory 120mm travel
Shock: Fox FLoat DPS
Rims: Stan's SRD Prototype
Tires: Aspen 2.4" WT EXO Maxxspeed (F: 19 psi R: 20 psi)
Inserts: Tannus Armour
Drivetrain: Shimano XTR
Brakes: Shimano XTR
Cockpit: RaceFace, Wahoo Bolt on K-Edge computer mount
Weight: 23 lbs.

Instagram: @andrewlespy

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Andrew L'Esperance.


Evelyn Dong

Evelyn Dong s Juliana
Evelyn Dong.

Evelyn Dong brought her Juliana Wilder to the 2023 BC Bike Race. The Utah racer was running RockShox SID Ultimate forks and SIDLuxe shock along with SRAM's golden XX1 AXS Eagle drivetrain. Reserve Carbon wheels rolled on a Maxxis mix of Rekon Race front and Aspen rear tires to balance climbing speed and enough traction to get back down fast. In case either tire lost air, a lightweight Turbolito tube was strapped inside the Juliana frame along with two water bottles to keep hydrated in the July heat. That never happened, and the Juliana racer ended up second overall behind Nash.
Juliana Wilder
Frame: Juliana Wilder
Fork: RockShox SID Ultimate
Shock: RockShox SIDLuxe
Rims: Reserve Carbon
Tires: Maxxis Rekon Race (F) Aspen (R)
Drivetrain: SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS with Quarq power meter
Other: ESI Grips, BOA tool pouch with Turbolito tube
Seatpost: RockShox Reverb

Instagram: @evelynd11

photo
Evelyn Dong in Nanaimo.

Craig Oliver

Craig Oliver Giant Anthem
Craig Oliver.

Craig Oliver disrupted this year's Canadian procession at the BC Bike Race on this Giant Anthem with a Fox 34 SC Factory fork and DT Swiss Wheels. The Kiwi didn't share too many more details about his race bike, but it sure was helping him go fast. Oliver won a couple stages and led from mid-week all the way until the penultimate stage. Lingering effects of a heavy crash, and heaps of pressure from L'Esperance and Disera, saw the New Zealand racer slide out of the leader's jersey but not off the overall podium.
Giant Anthem
Frame: Giant Anthem
Fork: Fox 34 SC Factory 120mm travel
Shock: Fox Float DPS
Rims: DT Swiss
Tires: Maxxis Aspen
Drivetrain: Shimano XTR

Instagram: @Craig.Oliverxc

Craig Oliver leads Quinton Disera down Mount Tzouhalem
Craig Oliver.


Sandra Walter

Sandra Walter s Liv Pique
Sandra Walter.

Sandra Walter rolled into the 2023 BC Bike Race as the returning champion. The Coquitlam, B.C. racer mixes World Cup XCO with her stage race endeavours (and Ride Like a Girl mentoring) aboard the Liv Pique Advanced Pro 29. Walter's race rig maximizes weight and efficiency with Fox 32 Float SC Factory and Fox Float shock both controlled by the Live Valve electronic suspension system. While the suspension is electronic, the drivetrain is good old Shimano XTR, with 2-piston XTR Race brakes. Giant Contact XCR 1 carbon wheels roll on Maxxis Rekon Race 2.35" tires with just 16psi up front and 17psi in the rear.
Liv Pique Advanced Pro 29
Frame: Pique Advanced Pro 29
Fork: Fox 32 SC Factory Live Valve
Shock: Fox Float Factory Lie Valve
Rims: Giant XCR 1 29
Drivetrain: Shimano XTR 12-speed
Brakes: Shimano XTR Race
Stem: Giant Contact SLR carbon (60mm, -8 degrees)
Handlebar: Giant Contact SLR (700mm)
Stem: FSA gradient
Weight: 23.5 lbs

Instagram: @Sandrawaltermtb

Sandra Walter diving down the gnar on Maple Mountain
Sandra Walter.

Geoff Kabush

Geoff Kabush s Yeti SB120
Geoff Kabush.

Geoff Kabush is riding an SB120 Turq, extra large, with a full Fox 34 Grip2 Factory 140mmm fork. Because races aren't just won on climbs, right? The Veteran Canadian was in a heated battle with up-and-coming Fernie racer, Carter Nieuwesteeg all week. Kabush descended with grace and all-out speed to take fourth overall by the end of the week.
Yeti SB 120
Frame: Yeti SB120 Turq (XL)
Fork: Fox 34 Grip2 Factory 140mm travel
Shock: Fox DPS
Tires: Maxxis Aspen 2.4" (F: 19 psi, R: 20 psi)
Rims: Stan's Podium
Drivetrain: Shimano XTR 34x10-51
Brakes: Shimano XTR 9100
Handlebar: Race Face 750mm x 50mm

Instagram: @geoffkabush

Geoff Kabush and the BCBR are back on home turf
Geoff Kabush.

Lauren Cantwell

Lauren Cantwell s Rocky Mountain Element
Lauren Cantwell.

Lauren Cantwell shows you don't need the fanciest build to go toe-to-toe with the pros. Reno, Nevada racer lined up for BC Bike Race with a mix of Performance Elite-level suspension from Fox and Shimano's XT brakes. She was one of the few pros that's already converted to SRAM's Transmission direct-mount drivetrain, running XO AXS T-Type on Vancouver Island. WTB CZR i30 rims and Ranger tires stand out in a sea of Maxxis and carried Cantwell to a 10th overall in the Open Women's race.
Rocky Mountain Element
Frame: Rocky Mountain Element C70
Fork: Fox 34 Float Performance Elite
Shock: Fox Float DPS Performance Elite
Tires: WTB Ranger (F: 18 psi, R: 19 psi)
Rims: WTB CZR i30
Drivetrain: SRAM XO AXS T-Type
Brakes: Shimano XT 2-piston
Weight: 28.1 lbs.

Instagram: @lmackenzie87

Race Reports



2023 BC Bike Race - Overall


Open Men’s Overall
Andrew L’Esperance - 10:45:47
Peter Disera - 10:46:29 (+0.42)
Craig Oliver - 10:47:34 (+1.47)

Open Women’s Overall
Katerina Nash - 13:07:44
Evelyn Dong - 13:12:58 (+5.14)
Eva Poidevin - 13:20:33 (+12.49)





MENTIONS: Dave Silver / Margus Riga / BC Bike Race / Jens Klett



Author Info:
BCBR avatar

Member since Nov 3, 2011
151 articles

55 Comments
  • 42 7
 So is this a...downcountry race?
  • 72 8
 Wrong: it's a bike race. Located in British Columbia.
  • 2 0
 Pretty much yeah. With some grunty uphills mixed in,
  • 34 1
 Where is Mike Levy's bike check?
  • 21 0
 Can we see the BCBR Value Bike Bike Check ( BCBRVBBC)? I love the superbikes as much as the next PB commenter but would love to see what the average Joe who finished 173rd was using as much as the pros on prototypes and 2024 gear "we" cant even buy yet.
  • 8 0
 Agree to a point. But also, just because someone is racing "Pro" doesn't mean they have unobtainable stuff. One of the bikes in that bike check is a 2021 frame, with standard off-the-shelf components (albeit high level stuff - XTR, fox, and DT wheels)
  • 17 0
 Where are all the steel hardtails?
  • 8 0
 their owners don't race, they only talk shit here in the comments Big Grin
  • 7 0
 Where Kaz
  • 36 0
 Right here.
  • 9 0
 @mikekazimer: what rig were you rolling on?

also - solid result! what'd you think of the experience? have not done, but the thought occasionally crosses my mind...
  • 25 0
 @xy9ine, I was on an Orbea Oiz. I had a blast. It took a little bit to get accustomed to the pace (it's really fast), but the trails were great and it was a fun way to see what a modern XC bike could do.

It's basically 7 XC races in a row, which I liked, but might not be for everyone - it's definitely a different scene compared to something like the Stone King Rally.
  • 8 0
 @mikekazimer: Yes Kaz, we need your bike check. We saw your clothing now give us the weapon of choice. Well done and a fantastic placement. Super impressed.
  • 1 4
 @mikekazimer: be more interested if someone did it on an enduro bike
  • 2 0
 @adminofthegapers: It would have been cool to see Rhys Verner roll through on his enduro winning Druid...
  • 3 0
 Yeah, want to see Kaz’s bike. Yeah it’s nice to see the winners rigs but they have picked from atheir sponsor approved list. Mike can get anything he wants, interesting to see what he chooses.
  • 26 0
 There were a few components on my bike that haven’t launched yet, so a full bike check will have to wait for a little while longer.

I was on an Orbea Oiz with a 50mm stem, 760mm bars, and an 170mm dropper. I ran the newer Maxxis Forekaster tires at 21 front and 23 psi rear.
  • 7 0
 @mikekazimer: What a way to test new gear! Seven days of the race environment. Brutal and kudos!
  • 2 2
 @mikekazimer: I’m surprised by all the low tire pressures. What’s the thought here? 21/23 would be rim destroying, tire rolling territory under most normal riding.
  • 3 0
 @mikekazimer: I’m pretty sure I saw you in Cumberland checking out the kids BMX race going on , I was going to hassle you but I figured you were enjoying your quiet time. Lol
  • 3 0
 @DMal: I've never understood it either, especially on light casings. Just some really good line choice I guess. I can look at a 25psi exo casing wrong and it punctures
  • 2 0
 @adminofthegapers: I raced it on my Norco optic which went well, saw a dude on a canyon Strive enduro though!
  • 1 0
 @adminofthegapers: my friend rode with me on his 36lb specialized enduro.
  • 7 1
 @DMal: You'd be surprised how supportive these tires can be at low pressures. I run 18/17, and only make contact with rims when I ride like an idiot.
  • 1 0
 @s100: nice, how’d it feel during/afterwards? Have you raced it on a lighter bike before?
  • 3 0
 @adminofthegapers: no. I was riding on a Spur which I thought was perfect for the mix of trails they used for the race. He was slower with all those 10 extra lbs on the bike but my other buddy had a 150/160 Santa Cruz which I thought was overkill too. I would rather use a lighter frame with less travel and better tires than a heavier bike with recons.

Then my third friend had an old heavy bike with full 27.5 assegai/DHF and could have beat both of them. And he was 71 yrs old.

The people from BC had no issue with the trails, the people from elsewhere walked technical sections a lot. (I was in the last half of the packs). And since I wasn’t in hurry I would turn around ride back down a road to find my friends. It was a blast!
  • 1 0
 @adminofthegapers: there were a bunch of people on big trail bikes, and enduro bikes. I saw one guy with Continental Krypotals and another running Michelin wild enduros
  • 1 0
 @Mick-e: Yup. I had my Gen 6 Fuel EX, with X01/XX1, Factory 36, and NOBL TR37's with CushCore Pro front and rear. Minion DHF Exo up front, Dissector Exo + in the rear -- 35.5 lbs. Finished just inside top half of the field, but had plenty more to give (I was part of a team this year).

I saw one guy on a Yeti 150 or 165 with Fox 38 and heavy everything else. He was not in a good mood on the last day. LOL
  • 4 0
 "Remi Gauvin crushes chunder on Maple Mountain."
  • 4 0
 I heard the March 4 is a great bike Wink
  • 3 0
 Almost as great as that Exie with 110mm rear travel.
  • 2 0
 Should have had a leaders jersey check from Katerina Nash. She’d taken that fancy Rapha jersey and slashed it on the sides almost like gills to provide extra cooling.
  • 1 0
 Had a ton of local riding buddies do the BCBR this year. Would love to see a deeper dive of bike checks to the out of country visitors to see what they shred with.
  • 2 1
 Almost looks like the article was sponsored by Shimano / Fox / Maxxis.... So few top riders featured in this post on SRAM products....
  • 2 0
 Does Remi really enjoy being called 'The Semi'???
  • 3 0
 i doubt he would pick it as his insta name if he didn't like it
  • 2 0
 @mattg95: you know a semi translates to a kind of lorry (big long-hood version), right?
  • 5 0
 @sonuvagun: In a combination heavy vehicle the "semi" is the trailer. I don't know how the term came to be shorthand for the prime mover towing it...

Subscribe for more heavy road freight pedantry!
  • 3 0
 @boozed: Well-pointed out and very true, but nonetheless, that misnomer has become a common understanding.
  • 2 0
 Isn’t the Exie 100mm? But I mean, who’s counting…
  • 1 0
 It would be 110mm travel if you throw on a 190x50mm shock…
  • 2 1
 Curious do the riders have time to service the switch infinity on them Yetis?
  • 2 0
 Let's see Paul Allen's bike check
  • 1 0
 Edit: oops, meant to reply to a comment, can’t delete this.
  • 2 0
 yess! Bike Cheeeeck!!!!
  • 5 5
 Woah, bro, there were so many pinner bikes bro. They even had pinner tires, bro. Isn't that pinner, bro?
  • 1 0
 Interesting how the Rocky is like 5 pounds ish heavier than the rest.
  • 1 0
 It's a trail bike.
  • 4 0
 I think the weight might be a misprint. My daughter rides that same green element in a size small. Basic Fox 34 performance and full SLX drivetrain except for an XTR cassette. Weight is under 27 pounds with Shimano 8120 pedals mounted.
  • 3 0
 I'll echo what @nnowak said. My wife's M Element C50 (SLX/XT mix) with wheels from a C90 and DMR Vault pedals weighs 27lbs.
  • 1 1
 this is a cool article. nice to see some top shelf bikes. nicer still most are shimano/fox.
  • 1 0
 I'm really curious about bike weights from Remi and Kabush. Any idea?
  • 1 0
 RIP some of those Cumberland trails. They got worked over pretty hard.
  • 5 0
 They'll be fine once it rains. Most of the trails we were on were flow trails; it's not like the race went on super secret loamers.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: They made a nasty braid on a classic old section of climb that brought a single tear to my eye. But yeah, bit of rain will be welcome, hope you had fun!







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