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More Tech Randoms: Bielsko-Biała DH World Cup 2024

May 16, 2024 at 13:30
by Nick Bentley  


We took a trip around the pits at round two of the downhill World Cup at Bielsko-Biała in Poland to check out what the teams were up to before practice started.

Manitou Mara Pro s getting some work. Manitou didn t head out to round one which just meant even more work at round two for the team.
Manitou Mara Pros getting some work. Manitou didn't head out to round one, which just meant even more work at round two for the team.

One semi naked Manitou Darardo Pro
One semi naked Manitou Dorado Pro

These dials have put in some work.
These dials have put in some work.

Every O-ring you could need for a Manitou Dorado Pro.
All the o-rings.

A fresh number 1 plate for Heather Wilson.
A fresh number 1 plate for Heather Wilson.

Custom-painted Sessions everywhere you look.
Custom-painted Sessions everywhere you look.

The Union team takes pride in keeping their pits pristine.
The Union team takes pride in keeping their pits pristine.

This pivot was long over due a service
This pivot was long over due a service

More trunnion-mounted shocks at NS.
SR Suntour TriAir 2 shock at NS.

It s amazing how many full teardowns there were this weekend.
It's amazing how many full teardowns were underway.

World Cup bikes really are the most looked-after bikes in the world.

That s a big chunk out of an insert
That's a big chunk out of an insert

Ohlins shocks ready for delivery.
Ohlins shocks ready for delivery.

Why bleed brakes one at a time when you can just do both
Why bleed brakes one at a time when you can just do both?

This SR Suntour coils in for a refresh.
This SR Suntour coils in for a refresh.

Spokes being tensioned in the Atherton Pitts
Spokes being tensioned in the Atherton pits.

Plenty of rim tape going on.
Plenty of rim tapin going on.

All of the brands are on hand to help out riders no matter if they are a privateer or one of the top riders. They always find the time to give advice.
All of the brands are on hand to help out riders, no matter if they are a privateer or one of the top riders. They always find the time to give advice.

A very focused brake bleed in the Giant pits.
A very focused brake bleed in the Giant pits.

Giant are one of the few teams actually running 10 speed cassettes instead of cutting them down to 7 speed.
Giant are one of the few teams actually running 10 speed cassettes instead of cutting them down to 7 speed.

Is it a proper job unless there are a ton of cable ties
Is it a proper job unless there are a ton of cable ties?

Just a Saint chilling waiting for a fork.
Just a Saint chilling waiting for a fork.

A rear site of a black Fox 40.
So much gold. And some black and orange too.

I wonder how much suspension oil the service teams get through in a race weekend.

These tools have seen some use in the Fox pit.
These tools have seen some use in the Fox pit.

A Fox Float X2 was getting plenty of love ready to go racing.
A Fox Float X2 was getting plenty of love, ready to go racing.

It was a long day for the service teams with plenty of parts taking a hammering at round 1.
It was a long day for the service teams, with plenty of parts taking a hammering at round 1.

Politeness costs nothing.
Politeness costs nothing.

Fox Float X2 number 1000... well maybe not but it must have felt like it.
Fox Float X2, number 1000... well, maybe not, but it must have felt like it.

Seems like Nina Hoffman s shock wasn t feeling too good.
Seems like Nina Hoffman's shock wasn't feeling too good.

Out with the old foam rings in with the new.
Out with the old foam rings, in with the new.

Fresh dials as well as oil rings for plenty Fox 40 s today
Fresh bits for Fox 40's.

Trek Factory Racing had some fresh paint this week.
Trek Factory Racing had some fresh paint this week.

with matching lowers for there Boxxers
With matching lowers for their. Boxxers

More strip downs and shiny fresh coils for the Pirelli Canyon team.
More strip downs and shiny fresh coils for the Pirelli Canyon team.

More wheel trueing going on in Mondraker.
Wheel trueing going on in Mondraker.

An organised toolbox is a beautiful thing.
An organised toolbox is a beautiful thing.

There is no missing the Magura MT7s.
There is no missing the Magura MT7s.

DT Swiss had plenty of work to do after Fort William s wheel destroying rocks in round 1.
DT Swiss had plenty of work to do after Fort William's wheel destroying rocks in round 1.

Reace Willison s Boxxers really do stand out from the crowd.
Reece Willson's Boxxers really do stand out from the crowd.

It is good to see a classic tool roll among the crowd of foam-lined Peli case toolboxes in the pits.
It is good to see a classic tool roll among the crowd of foam-lined Pelican case toolboxes in the pits.

Boxxers being drained
Boxxers being drained

The Canyon pits were doing full strip downs of the new Senders. This link looks like it s put in some work.
The Canyon pits were doing full strip downs of the new Senders.

A peek inside the linkage of the new Canyon Sender.
A peek inside the linkage of the new Canyon Sender.

It looks like plenty of work is still going on with the new Sender.
It looks like plenty of work is still going on with the new Sender.


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51 Comments
  • 54 0
 Great photography! Cool insight into the pits.
  • 2 0
 Agree. Pretty cool.
  • 25 0
 Must feel good to be a bike mechanic when the bike you worked on makes it on the podium
  • 90 1
 I do it at National level for my rider (my son) and sometimes it feels like half the National DH youth/Juvenile paddock and to be honest it's mostly a relief to see the riders get to the bottom, the result isn't important at times. At Rhyd-Y-Felin last weekend i fixed and repaired 5 bikes in the pits over race weekend, none of them being my boy. One of them was a new drivetrain due to an incorrectly fitted chainguide, repaired and sorted his chainguide, then had to rebuild his Hope hub bearings as they were on their way out. The young racers mum was away taking another rider to Hospital who'd done his collar bone. When that rider came down and still had a chain attached to his bike i was REALLY pleased.
The best part of the weekend for me is sending my rider up for race run 2 (on a 2 race weekend rather than seeding) and thinking "yup, i've done my bit, it's down to him now", i then crack open a beer and go and wait to see the insanity unfold at the line.
  • 9 98
flag TommyNunchuck FL (May 16, 2024 at 23:43) (Below Threshold)
 @weeksy59: wow your son races downhill? Why didn't you ever mention it?
  • 57 1
 @TommyNunchuck: Oh do forgive me for talking about DH racing on a DH thread, you'd think this was a MTB site the way i carry on. FFS.
  • 24 0
 @weeksy59: this is awesome mate - good on ya.
Would love to see more features on PB about grassroots racing and giving credit for people like you who are where all the future top pros will start.
  • 5 0
 @gulogulointhearctic: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qDVgE-Zdfk

there was a cracking vid from Brayton this week after the racing, it captures a lot of the fun aspect of grassroots stuff.
  • 1 0
 @weeksy59: awesome well done
  • 20 1
 I'm not a fan of Trek at all, but their custom paint jobs are on another planet.
  • 6 0
 Turns out that bowling ball paint looks great on bikes!
  • 4 0
 I've seen some of their custom paint jobs at Crankworx, and they truly are gorgeous. But that NSBikes one is a step above, imo. That one is just stunning.
  • 9 1
 From the amount of work that gets done in the WC pits I imagine that pros never their kit serviced at any other time, just save it all for the the next time that they're actually face to face with their mechanic again. I don't understand why you'd travel to a race pits to build wheels and strip suspension. Surely much better to arrive fully prepared, and just do the bare minimum on site, and react to any changing conditions. But it does make for some cool photos, so maybe it's all marketing.
  • 7 0
 @the00 I hear you but there's not always time. Many of the racers are still riding this week while the mechanics/crew are heading to the races, so they are the ones turning up with a bike. It's then on the mechanics to make sure it's still 100% since they last saw it in Fort Willam and loaded it onto the riders vans. Some of the mechanics also have other jobs which means when they're not with their riders, they'll be doing other work and not just prepping the race bikes. They're not just WC race mechanics but do other 9-5 (usually MTB related of course) jobs as well.
But i completely get your point and yeah it'd be a much nicer thing to turn up, unload van and just chill out.
  • 7 0
 Is Trek Factory still trying to hide the tire logos again? Seems odd how they never show the brand. I feel I'd want to show off what tires I'm running unless they suck I guess. Or.... maybe they just thought the logos clashed with the paint lol.
  • 2 0
 Possibly, I personally haven't heard if they have changed tire sponsors or maybe they are working on prototype tyres for pirelli either way the bike looks sick. I would prefer blue myself since my brother claimed the color red lol
  • 5 0
 @alittle1053: is Pirelli still their sponsor? No logos on the kit or anywhere. Hiding your logos if bontrager is your tire sponsor is understandable.
  • 3 0
 What is the reason for Heather's brake lever's being velcroed to the bars like that? Just to stop the wheels spinning when the bike is in the stand making it easier to work on?
  • 11 0
 Either because the calipers are being worked on/swapped and having the lever pulled in like that, stops the fluid draining out, or alternately to keep pressure on the system, which makes any bubbles shrink and more likely to float up the reservoirs at the top of the system. Most likely the second option on heathers bike, the first on the white YT a few pics below.
  • 1 0
 @pbuser2299: I have heard that rational before regarding keeping the system pressurized helping rid it of bubbles, and I just don't get how that would be helpful. In my experience, the opposite is what you want, as with a vacuum bleed the bubbles expand hugely and therefore have greater buoyancy. Going up/down in pressure rapidly could maybe help, as can vibrating the brake system, as it helps jar bubbles loose to allow them to float upward, but this constant pressure thing just doesn't make sense to me. Anyone care to enlighten me?
  • 1 0
 @thekaiser: I guess with the bubbles shrinking, they're more likely to pass through the hose? Drawing a vacuum would maybe be better, but you can't easily do that for an extended period of time, like you can when applying positive pressure.
  • 1 0
 @pbuser2299: Yeah, that makes some sense, as a large bubble can certainly get lodged in a hose, and requires some outside force (either vacuume, vibration, etc...to move). I guess there might be a sweet spot of bubble size vs. buoyancy, and it would vary depending on the amount of air.
  • 15 12
 Pretty cool to see this race in Poland. Communism fell in 1991-ish and here we are 30 years later and they are a real player in the global economy. Kudos.
  • 25 3
 Flag checks out!
  • 10 2
 They even have universal health care in Poland Smile
  • 4 1
 lol. How is anyone down voting this comment? In just over a generation from communism and bread lines to part of the EU, fastest growing economy in Europe and relevance on the global economic stage.
  • 1 1
 @wolftwenty1: when you can downvote something anonymously, it brings the true haters out of the woodworks
  • 2 0
 @wolftwenty1: I don't know about your specific downvoters but I hear a lot of chatter amongst the young people complaining about "late state capitalism". They're often attributing issues with growing wealth inequality, and excess consumption taking a toll on the environment, to intrinsic flaws with capitalism, and they seem to be young enough to not know about the bread lines and gulags, so the communist grass looks greener to them than it was in reality.
  • 5 1
 The coagulating red color on the NS frame is amazing.
  • 3 0
 Whoever downvoted you either doesn't like the word coagulating or needs to get their eyes checked. That custom paint is so beautiful it's almost a shame to subject it to trail abuse. I'd probably crash the bike staring down at the frame while riding.
  • 4 0
 It reminds me of the portrait of the new queen of England.
  • 3 0
 Absolutely my favourite threads on race weekends. LOVE to see the tech, the bits, the tools... Just brilliant guys.
  • 2 0
 How is it that Fox can do full rebuilds of half the paddock in a day but takes 8 weeks to return my shock?
  • 1 0
 Last year I dropped mine off one day and picked it up two days later. Not only quick, but super helpful with additional info. Jesus was great (no, not that Jesus. Jesus with an 'H')
  • 1 0
 How do mechanics find jobs for factory teams? Is it a work your way up from within the company situation, or do these teams actually post jobs?
  • 1 0
 Anyone else seeing a weird optical illusion in the photo of the Boxxers on the wood rack? Looks like the blue lowers are behind the red lowers but it can't be...
  • 1 0
 Foam is for lattes... Love pockets to hold my tools or a good tool roll :p
  • 2 0
 Those colour clashes on Heather’s Mondraker make my eyes hurt!
  • 2 0
 Images are unreal. Well done, such detailing.
  • 1 0
 Bleeding two brakes at once with velcro'd levers. Mind blow. Who are you, and how are you so wise in the ways of science?
  • 1 0
 "These dials have put in some work."

Those aren't dials, those are caps. And all they do is block dirt.
  • 1 0
 Heather must have double the fun
  • 2 3
 Color matched lowers to frame are ace. Gold lowers that might sometimes look a bit like Kashima are not cool. And they look just as bad in real life as on the photos.
  • 2 0
 Fox crush washers!!
  • 2 5
 After years of marketing only we are seeing a new attempt of hiding that everyone where performance matters is getting back to single pivot pull shocks with leverages, even though it seems a lot of companies are compromising efficiency to to fake more complex designs that resemble a traditional rear triangle.
  • 5 0
 lol what are you talking about
  • 1 0
 Those aren't technically pull shocks. The linkage is pulled, but it then pushes on the shock the normal way. I haven't seen a pull shock in common use since the Fox Dyad.
  • 1 0
 Fox let the engineers choose the color of the new forks...
  • 1 0
 yeah not sure why they went with a color that's close to kashima but not.

in design circles doing something like that signals arbitrary / accidental decisions, instead of action with intent. if fox made lowers that were kashima colored, the fox bros would've lost their minds...
  • 1 0
 @mattmatthew: calling out the lack of intent seems really spot on. Or there is something that isn't well known that they referencing. I feel like I haven't seen those colors come together before. But I think that Fox has had quite a few ugly color designs over the years too..
  • 1 0
 @mattmatthew: I'm assuming that it would be impossible to match the uppers exactly since there is batch to batch variation in the kashima coloration. You find a lot of people online complaining that their fork/shock/seatpost kashima don't match each other.







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