21 World Cup Riders' Race Bikes from the British National DH at Fort William

May 9, 2022 at 6:45
by Nick Bentley  

There were so many World Cup riders in town for the DH National Series Round 2 at Fort William it would be criminal not to have a closer at some of their bikes.

KJ Sharp s RAAW DH
KJ Sharp's RAAW DH

Ad Brayton s Nukeproof Dissent
Adam Brayton's Nukeproof Dissent

Matt Walker s Saracen Myst
Matt Walker's Saracen Myst

Phil Atwill s Propain Rage CF
Phil Atwill's Propain Rage CF

Joe Breeden s Intense M29
Joe Breeden's Intense M29

Charlie Harrison s Trek Session
Charlie Harrison's Trek Session

Danny Hart s Prototype Cube
Danny Hart's Prototype Cube

Mille Johnset s Commencal Supreme DH
Mille Johnset's Commencal Supreme DH

Dennis Luffman s Canyon Sender
Dennis Luffman's Canyon Sender

Phoebe Gale s Canyon Sender
Phoebe Gale's Canyon Sender

Laurie Greenland s Santa Cruz V10
Laurie Greenland's Santa Cruz V10

Sion Margrave s Specialized Demo
Sion Margrave's Specialized Demo

Roger Vieira s Specialized Demo
Roger Vieira's Specialized Demo

Taylor Vernon s Commencal Supreme
Taylor Vernon's Commencal Supreme

Jim Monro s Atherton 200
Jim Monro's Atherton 200

Jamie Edmondson s Trek Session
Jamie Edmondson's Trek Session

Luke Williamson s RAAW DH
Luke Williamson's RAAW DH

Mikayla Parton s Trek Session
Mikayla Parton's Trek Session

Thibault Laly s Santa Cruz V10
Thibault Laly's Santa Cruz V10

Melanie Chappaz s Specialized Demo
Melanie Chappaz's Specialized Demo

Luke Meier-Smith s Propain Rage CF
Luke Meier-Smith's Propain Rage CF

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Member since Nov 28, 2019
244 articles

  • 65 0
 Nice to see Aluminium still considered at the top level
  • 22 5
 Due to R&D/Carbon mold costs vs how many bikes actually sold, Aluminum will be the DH leading material again in no time if its not already.
  • 26 2
 But no steel bikes yet... that's not completely british without steel. I'd like to see some...
  • 4 16
flag bmxconan (May 9, 2022 at 9:50) (Below Threshold)
 @kiddlivid: Not necessarily true, depends on availability of tube/tube forms (how do you make them). Carbon is great for making low volume parts from.
  • 3 1
 nice to see space for waterbottles
  • 3 0
 @danstonQ: I was at this race on my steel bike - Curtis Thumpercross.

check out my album for pics Big Grin
  • 4 0
 @Jammers91: Haaaaaaaaa yes! Your Curtis is wonderful. It should have been the 22nd bike spotted at this event.
Cheers Bro!!!
  • 44 1
 Out of all of these bikes I think the RAAWs are my favourite. Such clean lines
  • 9 0
 Absolutely, especially when lined up right against all these other bikes, makes all of them look like squiggly over-designed trash. If I could take one home today it would be that RAAW. Extra points for the borderline non-branded parts in all black. Looks like it should be the first result in a google image search for "DOWN HILL BICYCLE".
  • 2 0
 Im with you on that
  • 35 0
 Lots of O-chains
  • 8 2
 For a DH bike I don't see much of a downside. Even some of these high pivot bikes are running them. Isn't the main purpose of the high pivot to eliminate pedal kickback?
  • 15 0
 @WalrusRider: more to have a rearward axle path. The idler is then used to lower the kickback. Most high pivot bikes still have a few degrees of kickback
  • 2 0
 @NicoOfner: depending on what gear you're in, the 2019-2021 Supreme has up to 10 degrees of kickback
  • 1 0
 @wburnes: yes exactly! That's why I run a 6 degree Ochain on that bike. About 9 or 10 degrees of kickback in first gear, but a bit less in the harder gears that I actually use when racing. In those gears (4-6) I don't have any kickback with the 6° Ochain or only a tiny bit when fully bottomed out!
  • 30 0
 Those senders are looking fresh.
  • 23 1
 Modern DH rigs have evolved into ‘choppers’
  • 16 0
 Definitely. They don't look like sessions anymore. Well except the one session and its cross country head angle.
  • 38 2
 Whose bicycle is this?

It’s a chopper, baby.

Whose chopper is this?

It’s Zed’s.

Who’s Zed?

Zed’s dead, baby. Zed’s dead.
  • 4 0
 @DizzyNinja: Z's dead? It is a shame Shimano haven't updated it
  • 4 0
  • 19 2
 The Commencal looks so good
  • 5 1
 why did they have to make it even sexier like a month after a bought the old version?
  • 17 1
 Thibault's v10 is wicked
  • 4 1
 It’s the best one
  • 11 0
 Joe Breeden not on the prototype? Haven't we seen this story before where riders don't get along with whatever Intense cooks up for the protype and they just go back to the old production DH rig?
  • 5 0
 I too am interested to know the story.
  • 3 0
 @Afterschoolsports: I'm going to assume it could have to do with the track. It's not as steep as some others, and full of rocks that require roll over ability.
  • 12 1
 Off topic, but I love seeing that he's on that M29 because the first year of the Snowshoe world cup that exact bike got delivered to our condo by accident. Like literally our door was open and some backwoods WV airport luggage courier comes in and just drops it in the living room and leaves. We were freaking out lol but it was like 2 AM so we got it back to Joe in the morning.
  • 2 1
 I remember hearing on a Gwin video that on the prototype, because of the shock placement, you have to unbolt the shock to adjust pressure or settings every time. I imagine that means if your mechanic isn't there you ride the standard bike.
  • 6 0
 @Geckoblue545: I think they have a cover under the downtube that can be popped off. Also, what pro rider can’t take a shock off? Any rider of any experience should be able to take a shock off. Most of the time it’s literally just two bolts.
  • 12 1
 I do just really dig Atherton bikes....don't get me wrong everyone of those bikes are mint - RAWW bikes are pretty sweet!

Think my next bike (whenever that may be) will have to be Atherton!
  • 6 0
 The British don’t mess around with mud guards, you only see the marsh guard style around here. More coverage would be pretty useful for wet park laps
  • 12 1
 If you ride in wet conditions they’re an absolute game changer. Those marsh guards are fine for summer but the fender styles mid guards will keep 90% of the crap from hitting your goggles. People in other countries don’t use them because they think they look weird. Here it’s the other way round. You look weird squinting through puddles without a mud guard.
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Yep I can imagine that, whistler is ‘mostly’ dry all summer and when it does rain it drains pretty well, just the multi day storm when there water sitting on top of the rock solid trails you get lots of dirt getting past the marsh guards into your face. Or I’m just weak and don’t ride in the rain now? The more I see the bigger guards the more I get used to them, all these dh bikes look pretty good
  • 4 0
 @jazzawil: I think that over here we always ride throughout the year, as we don’t really have much in the way of winter sports or snow, so full length mudguards get much more use. I don’t even bother taking mine off in the summer as you can be sure that as soon as you do it’ll pour with rain.

  • 3 0
 Typically the UK is a pretty moist and muddy place - mud guards ftw!
  • 3 0
 @Jprestidge: Yep, I took mine off for summer once, then got mud in my eye on an 'Ard Rock stage and it lost me plenty of seconds, so I've never taken it off since.
  • 7 0
 Is that m29 reverse mullet?
  • 1 0
 looks like it
  • 3 0
 same with the second RAAW i dont understand
  • 2 0
 Usually a camera lens effect from lining up the bike slightly rear wheel closer, or moving yourself slightly to the rear of the bike. Plus how it's held up. I'd like to see what their method is. If they're doin the ol hold it and jump away for a split second or if they have a nifty little acrylic stand behind a wheel or somethin.
  • 1 1
 @two-plank: Maybe it's because the mudguard + 29er means the frame doesn't have the clearance. So if you fit a mudguard you have to downsize the wheel. Only a theory.
  • 7 1
 not a whole lot of sram brakes
  • 4 0
 Can you blame them?
  • 2 0
 TRP/Hayes take over. Wait till UCI DH.. youll see all the Sram Stuff back.

Again, its not the product but the user. I've ran many Code series of brakes and all have been good.
the best part is - bikes i buy usally have xt on them and they sell for a premium and codes sell cheap.

FYI, I can bleed Sram great and have no issues, but recently came up with a cheeky vacuum pump system, that runs on AC or DC(12v) the thing is fantastic and takes less time and less time being spread eagle lol.
  • 3 4
 @HeatedRotor: To each their own; you couldn't pay me to run SRAM brakes again.
  • 4 0
 @Brave1i1toaster: thats a shame, You need to try a set of properly bled brakes then.
  • 1 1
 @HeatedRotor: i currently have sram code r's on an enduro and dh bike. they're fine for loose dusty stuff but in chunky, rooty long rides theyre always burning when i get to the bottom. I always have arm pump from trying to squeeze them so tight. maybe the rsc's will better. I think i am going to buy some saints or xts though. i would try out the trps but i just dont know anyone that has them so i cant really test them out
  • 1 0
 @ridelife6: Yep; I have the same issue with RSCs. I’ve gone up to 220mm rotors front and rear and it seems to help, but I’m still tempted to get something better, the Codes seem to overheat too fast.
  • 1 0
 @eblackwell: you've sold me on moving away from sram. I was tempted to get just the rsc lever b/c the code r calipers are the same as the rsc's and then 220mm rotors. but the levers are still like 200$ so its still a good chunk of change when you compare it getting a whole new set of brakes
  • 2 1
 @HeatedRotor: You need to try a set of properly bleld Shimano 4 pots, with properly shimmed pad throw and rotor alignment. Codes are cute, with their built in coping mechanism called "modulation", but if you want brutal stopping power XTR's/Saints are the way to go.
  • 1 0
 @Brave1i1toaster: ill always say saints are good, but ive used alot of sets of XT etc, and if you want to "huck a skid" to be cool, shimano brakes are all the rage.
I have XT's on my new spectral.. waiting on more TRP stock... they are superior to both Sram and shimano.
Ive done alot of testing with Codes vs XT's, i always get hand/arm pain with XT's on the steep stuff and feel like im just sliding and "about to lock up" all the time, where as codes have a much shorter stopping distance as they wont just "lock" i remember when i couldnt get any RSC's for like 6 months and had to live with xt, then got codes and wonderd why i was going so slow... was all down to how well they slowed me down
  • 2 0
 @ridelife6: put the new HSC rotors and mtx pads in them.
Heat is always a pad/rotor thing.
  • 2 0
 @HeatedRotor: It probably just boils down to rider/driver preference, from motorsports to MTB I prefer insant-bite, low input effort setups, where the operating range is only about ~15-20% of a lever/pedals travel.
  • 1 0
 @Brave1i1toaster: fair, my problem with Shimano brakes is: you get get instant bite but then nothing more and for us heavier riders shimano brakes(more talking non SAINT) cant supply the past bite power/feel
  • 6 0
 Gahh I can't unthink the Atherton resembles a camera tripod
  • 4 0
 What rear shock is in Jamie Edmondson’s Session? Is that a rockshox prototype? Looks like it says blackbox on it.
  • 5 0
 I'll just take that Nukeproof Dissent...
  • 1 0
 So many O-Chains (exceptthe high pivot bikes)....does that say that the bikes have bad enough kickback to require it or does it just assist with a bit of freedom?
They must be worth it considering the first few degrees of "dead" on the initial pedal stroke. Full admission, I've never ridden with o-chain.
  • 3 0
 15 bikes without a high pivot / idler set up. How can they even be in contention? Joking........
  • 1 0
 Ikr so many unrideable non-highpivots... that trend went away quick... wooshh....
  • 3 0
 Tyre logos don't line up on photo 3, 5 , 12..... Oh, there is more this is a disaster
  • 2 0
 Yeah, the photographer needs to retyre...
  • 3 0
 What suspension is on that first RAAW?
  • 1 2
 looks like ABP
  • 1 0
 It's a DHX2 and a 40.
  • 4 0
 Fox 40 on the front, DHX2 on the rear. Judging from the sticker on the fork it's had some tuning from Sprung suspension, they are a tuner/service centre.
  • 3 0
 Raw DH, Atherton and Sender are the best looking DH bikes
  • 1 0
 Im literally in love with that raww bike ....wish i could be smashing one down the mountain ...but i love all the raww bikes lately
  • 1 0
 Just built up my jibb 2 weeks ago, excellent bike
  • 4 2
 specialized have lost their way with the Demo aesthetics - im getting Stab Supreme and/or Ellsworth vibes
  • 2 1
 I was about to post that it may be an unpopular opinion, but I think the current generation Demo is ugly.
  • 2 0
 Luke's Propain looks to be running a Huuge rear rotor compared to the front? ...working on his powersliders perhaps?
  • 2 0
 Even most pro riders drag the rearbrake a lot, it gets way hotter than the front. It may not be fashionable but a bigger rotor in the back makes sense. Or go straight double 223. The standard Galfer 223 rotor is brilliant btw.
  • 4 1
 Yellow V10 yeah
  • 2 0
 I like how the Atherton bikes always look like 'just a bike' to me.
  • 1 0
 Yep and the Raaw. Having said that - for me those Propains get something 'right'.
  • 1 0
 Some of them look like they have been ridden into a wall and got squashed at the front
  • 2 0
 What is the “stick thing” on that first Propain’s fork?
  • 1 0
 Some kind of linear potentiometer, it 'measures' how far the suspension traveled and it can be shown on a laptop, etc for further evaluation what could be optimized in the suspension settings. There are some manufacturers but every decent engineer should be able to build something like that.
  • 2 0
 that cube look just like the session above it
  • 1 0
 Maxxis dominance is lacking on the other side of the pond with most running DHR2s up front. Any new on the first ride Marys?
  • 1 0
 Brayton seems to run a smaller version of the crud XL. Looks good, i got the big one and it always slapps the fronttire.
  • 2 0
 so many sessions
  • 1 0
 Is that some sort of shock wiz type device on Phil Atwell’s Propain?
  • 1 0
 Yeah, it’s part of a telemetry system.
  • 1 0
 A floating brake system on the Saracen Myst?
  • 1 0
 Is the Raaw DH a reverse Mullet fad?
  • 1 0
 cool, please do one for enduro bikes too...
  • 1 0
 When the hell did Luke go out to Britain?
  • 1 0
 Laurie Greenlands Juliana
  • 1 0
 It is visually INTENSE to look at it...
  • 1 0
 When yall are talking about O-chains what do you mean?
  • 1 0
 The O-chain is the spider connecting the crank to the chainring. It damps pedal kickback
  • 1 0
 @mal100: ohhh thats what I thought but didn't know for sure
  • 1 1
 Only decent looking bike of the bunch is the Atherton. I hate the looks of almost all the latest bike!
  • 1 0
 maybe it's just my eyes but Mille Johnsett's rotors look heeeuuuge
  • 1 0
 Nice to see some competition for the big Two in suspension
  • 2 1
 all full 29ers?
  • 3 0
 some are mullets, im pretty sure both canyon senders are mullets
  • 3 0
 Looks like MX =15 vs 29er =6
  • 2 2
 lower and slacker than a gang of out of work midgets.
  • 1 0
 Nukeproof looks sttiT
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