Tech Randoms Part 1: Crankworx Rotorua 2019

Mar 25, 2019 at 1:54
by Daniel Sapp  
Hmmmm... Is that a 29 front wheel on Martin Mae s bike with a 27.5 out back
Martin Maes took the win with a 29" wheel up front and a 27.5" on the back of his GT Force

Is that a 29 front wheel on Martin Mae s bike
The winning combination.


Shawn Neer s Yeti SB 150
Shawn Neer's Yeti SB 150

Shawn Neer s Yeti SB 150 - Cush Core and Maxxis
CushCore and Maxxis
Shawn Neer s Yeti SB 150 - Renthal bars and stem and Ergon with the grips and saddle
Renthal bars and stem, and Ergon with the grips and saddle

Shawn Neer s Yeti SB 150 getting some chain security from One Up
Chain security from One Up
Shawn Neer s Yeti SB 150 - XTR slowing things down
XTR slowing things down

Maxxis had their Taniwha tires on sale with proceeds going back into the local community. Fenders were also a big hit.

Robin Walner s Ibis Ripmo
Robin Wallner's Ibis Ripmo

A Fox Float X2 shock keeps things plush out back
One Up keeping the chain on Robin Walner s Ibis
One Up also keeping the chain on Robin Wallner's Ibis


French themed red white and blue ENVE graphics for Thomas Lapeyrie
French themed red white and blue ENVE graphics for Thomas Lapeyrie

French themed red white and blue ENVE graphics for Thomas Lapeyrie
French themed red white and blue ENVE graphics for Thomas Lapeyrie


Stages power meters on a few bikes as well.
Stages power meters on a few bikes as well.

The essentials in case of emergency
The essentials in case of emergency

Jesse melamed is one of the few with some rare new XTR components
Jesse Melamed is one of the few with some new XTR components

Lot s of mechanics like to tag their handy work.
Lots of mechanics like to tag their handiwork.

The paint job on the Rocky Mountain team frames goes from matte to gloss complete with custom finished frame protectors to match.
The paint job on the Rocky Mountain team frames goes from matte to gloss, complete with custom finished frame protectors to match.

Remi Gauvin s Rocky Mountain
Remi Gauvin's Rocky Mountain
ALN s Rocky Mountain
ALN's Rocky Mountain

custom Canadian themed WTB Deva saddle for ALN
Custom Canadian-themed WTB Deva saddle for ALN

Lots of nifty stuff from One Up hiding in steerer tubes.
Lots of nifty stuff from One Up hiding in steerer tubes.

Custom nicknames on all the Ibis rider s grips
Custom nicknames on all the Ibis rider's grips

Custom nicknames on all the Ibis rider s grips
Custom nicknames on all the Ibis rider s grips


Sam Hill s custom 100 helmet. The custom paint job is a throwback to the iconic bubbles helmet worn by motocross start Jeremy McGrath in the 90 s
Sam Hill's custom 100% helmet. The custom paint job is a throwback to the iconic "bubbles" helmet worn by motocross start Jeremy McGrath in the 90's



111 Comments

  • + 124
 "The custom paint job is a throwback to the iconic TROY LEE DESIGNS "bubbles" helmet worn by motocross start Jeremy McGrath in the 90's" = Fixed Wink
  • + 20
 I am just commenting so I get notifications for any juice that results from this. Don't mind me.
  • + 13
 Painters ain't get enough recognition in this world already amirite?
  • + 33
 Should mention it was a Bell helmet back then too.

Imitation/flattery... or a rider paying tribute to one of their heros ??

Either way was rad to see the throwback.
  • + 2
 Wasn't aware that TROY LEE DESIGNS made any helmets worn by McGrath in the 90's? Or helmets at all for that matter. The Troy Lee paintjob was awesome though.
  • + 7
 Miss those days when the riders were recognizable by their custom helmet paintjobs. McGrath, Emig with his checkerd flag Shoei, the flames on Bradshaw's Shoei etc... Now you have big claws, the big Red Bull logo and not much freedom and space to play with (I suppose).
  • + 2
 I pretty sure Lizard Skinz offers customized lock rings for their lock on grips for just a couple of bucks. It's a nice add that doesn't hurt the price conscious.
  • + 1
 @drunknride: Yeah TLD did.. The 1st Carbon Daytona helmets were in 96/97..I owned one.. The current D2 is basically the same thing.
  • + 1
 I have that helmet!
  • + 2
 @P90xgreg: I'll take your word for it. I was working at a moto dealership in the early 2000's and it seemed like the TLD helmets were released around then. It could just be that nobody stocked them until then. Regardless, McGrath was wearing a Bell.
  • + 5
 Let's take a tour of those unforgettable helmets shall we:
www.vitalmx.com/videos/member/Bell-Helmet-Tour-with-McGrath,15061/ocscottie,405
  • + 3
 Needs more 90’s looks - bring back fast feathers and speed bubbles @troyleedesigns
  • + 1
 @P90xgreg:

The shapes are quite different from Daytona to D2, I should know so have one of each sitting in front of me just now, you can see the lineage (just like you can see the mould mark on the Daytona where they used the Edge as a template and built out the chinguard and lower head section)
  • + 1
 @davetrumpore: wasn’t it more common for artists to come up with signature helmet designs than launch their own helmet company? I always think of Scott Russell’s Screaming Chief on Arai’s that was done by TLD.
  • + 1
 @Turtle033: I don't anymore unfortunately ????
  • + 2
 @TMV2: Red Bull are pretty good at letting helmet artists and riders do something creative with their base design (as are MucOff). It's the Monster designs that seem to mostly be based around their logo on a black background, but even then I've seen some cool designs.

What's more restrictive is helmet manufacturers wanting their sponsored riders to run stock designs - this is what seems to put a stop to a lot of riders running a custom helmet. That and cost; the budget available often doesn't stretch to things like custom paint.
  • + 1
 @E9G: That's known as sales. Companies like @troyleedesigns don't have massive budgets like some think to sponsor athletes and/or give them high end custom lids. People look at groups like TLD & think they have deeper pockets, but it's just not true.

Are you referring to Luca Shaw wearing the various stock Fiberlite lids last year? If so, it's pretty obvious that was done to promote the new better priced lids themselves as opposed to some sort of cost cutting measure.
  • + 2
 @bizutch: Nope, I hadn't noticed what lid Luca was running (but that's what I'm saying; brands want to promote product over letting riders paint helmets). Some riders I've spoken to aren't able to run a custom lid cos their sponsor wants them to run the stock design - in reply to TMV2 who prefers to see riders with custom paint.
  • + 2
 @E9G: If you are a helmet manufacturer you would surely want your pro riders to run either stock helmets or be able to offer the same thing the riders wear to your customers (signature pro colour/graphics).

The energy drink helmets must piss off the marketing guys at helmet manufacturers, their product just becomes a billboard for someone else and they can't even sell that design. If I was them I wouldn't support a rider who was going to repaint the helmet with someone else's logo, it would be better to support a few less known riders without claws or cows instead.

I watch a few pro mtb youtubers regularly who have energy drink branded helmets and I couldn't tell you who made any of them. I could name their bike, kit and energy drink sponsors off the top of my head though.
  • + 2
 @Patrick9-32: "If you are a helmet manufacturer you would surely want your pro riders to run either stock helmets or be able to offer the same thing the riders wear to your customers (signature pro colour/graphics). "

Yep, hence it all but putting a stop to custom lids.
  • + 1
 Didn't Bell do a mountain bike version of the blue bubbles in the early 90's
  • + 1
 @Craigatdescentworld: yep i agree, after going back to look at the original .. That short visor was hysterical
  • + 1
 @E9G: Well, that goes back to handling one's personal brand. You can only take money from so many avenues and if you approach your sponsors intelligently or have good representation like Martin Whitley, etc, then you have things like that to balance and make your money where you can.

You can wish in 1 hand and shlt in the other and see which one fills up first or you can negotiate a contract that pays you the money you're worth, but realize you're can't make all the money from both the helmet manufacturer and the helmet sponsor.

I'm also sure someone like @stikmanglaspell could confirm that helmet companies don't have anywhere near the budget to toss a dollar at someone with a helmet sponsor.

You might want to look at the industry and realize that we don't even have an outside sponsor willing to pay for a helmet from ANY industry except energy drinks.

Note that Oscar Blues isn't sponsoring Neko's lid anymore and they are a beer company with deeper pockets than any bike industry brand and that company loves....loves....loves bikes.

The big step back is to market to BIG outside sponsors. I think the last "brand" on a World Cup team (and it was a pittance financially) was Sven & Needles, etc to get a Honda logo.
  • + 1
 @bizutch: You don't have to tell me that helmet (paint) companies don't have a lot of cash to throw at riders...!! So much time goes into helmet paint; it's not like chucking them a few sets of pads/jerseys/whatever from the warehouse while you sell thousands of others at full price.

For clarity - I'm a helmet painter so my comments above are from the perspective of a painter who would like to see more riders running custom paint, but find that a lot of riders can't due to sponsorship contracts. Hope that clears things up as I'm agreeing with you but you seem to think I'm not.
  • + 2
 @E9G: That makes more sense. Your post sounded more like a teenager mad at helmet companies for tying riders down in big money contracts I guess.

It does absolutely amaze me at the inability of riders to go out and locate cash money sponsors well in advance of a season to logo themselves up on their helmets...and I mean specifically with OUTSIDE sponsors.

The cash a corporation can give, even a small one, can throw at a rider if they plan and work to find the money, would trump money the gear sponsor could. There are hundreds of thousands of brands out there that buy ad space in every other sport, no matter how obscure it is, and yet we see NOTHING.

Heck, people think Gwin is some sort of marketing genius with the hook ups from motocross, but even he doesn't chase down some silicon valley conglomerate or regional chain and get a logo and check on his skull.

Does RedBull really cut checks big enough to riders to justify that ad space that we focus on getting their logo on helmets instead of any other brand out there. Tide, Gain, Shout, Dawn, Spam??? hah
  • + 1
 cant go wrong with gold leaf ,flames and stars n stripes on helmets (still looks awesome today . .
for a helmet thats over 20 years old ) www.pinkbike.com/photo/17024518
  • + 29
 Weird seeing a bike with no logos...especially a new one...and especially especially at an international race...and especially especially especially one ridden by a team rider! Looks pretty slick though. I do see Yeti on the water bottle, which we all know is the only thing that matters...
  • + 67
 I mean it's turquoise.... does it need "YETI" painted across the down tube for you to know?
  • + 48
 @TerrapinBen: Of course. Otherwise it must be a Session.
  • + 21
 I love the look of that un-badged Yeti! I kind of wish frames could be purchased like that allowing consumers to choose what vinyl decals are preferred - or leaving it just clean.
  • + 9
 Opposite of Pivot bikes. Cool bikes but LOTS of logo.
  • + 2
 @TerrapinBen: The turqu will work
  • + 3
 Sorry ENVE....? are they still in the game even?
  • + 2
 Sponsoring Orbea Enduro, Commencal DH, and Fairclough so the answer is yes.
  • + 1
 @OriginalDonk: rhetorical question bru. I know they're still about I'm just a little incredulous like everyone else... You see an athlete make a major boo boo and he or she often gets dropped by their sponsors like a sack of spuds. But ENVE are unrepentant and somehow still a thing on the international scene!
  • + 19
 Oh man, the mullet bike is the nest big thing! I bet MM wouldn't even be CLOSE to winning without it!
  • + 1
 I don't get mullet bike nickname. Is the party is supposed to be in back, not the front.
  • + 12
 @sino428: 29 is the business, and 27.5 is the mullet.
  • + 2
 Compare to reverse mullet. It depends whether you stress business/party or long/short.
  • + 22
 @sino428: 29 fast, business in the front, 27.5 playfull, nimble, poppy party in the back!
  • + 1
 @sino428: Reverse Mullet bike... happy?
  • + 3
 Because buisness in the front, PARTY IN THE BACK!
  • - 1
 @tuboy95: I thought the 29er was the party? I guess I was relating to big wheel to the long hair.
  • + 3
 2019: The year of the mullet bike.
  • + 1
 I thought about putting a 29 in the front and 27.5 in the back, but Maes beat me to it. Lol.
  • + 10
 @tacklingdummy: I'm going to do a reverse mullet then and throw a 26" wheel on the front of my 29er. Really hang over the front of that beast.
  • + 4
 @sino428: Agree think it should be called "overbite" not reverse mullet
  • + 1
 @ppp9911: I like it.
  • + 7
 Maes bike makes it so hard to pick a wheel size and be a dick about it?
  • + 3
 @sino428: 90 degree STA, that should keep pinkbike happy
  • + 1
 @sino428: just slap an 8 inch fork on there, that will balance it out right.
  • + 2
 @sino428: Nice. You should also reverse drop your stem and bars. So aero!!
  • + 1
 I still say it is the Flock of Seagulls bike

www.liketotally80s.com/2007/07/80s-costume-flockofseaguls
  • + 1
 @Mojo348: I've been promoting the 'mullet bike' configuration ever since I first did one 3 years (and 1 bike) ago. It's good to see that I wasn't crazy; this really is the best combination for any kind of gravity oriented riding (enduro or downhill).
  • + 2
 @Xorrox: I'm about to get a new bike. Should I get a 29er and run a 275 wheel at the back, or get a 275 and change the fork and front wheel?
  • + 1
 Running a 29er with a 27.5 in the rear would lower the BB and rear. Running a 27.5 with a 29er in the front would raise the BB and increase the stack height. Both would slacken the geo slightly.
  • + 1
 @tacklingdummy: So what's the hot ticket? WHat is Maes' bike from stock?

And why doesn't Sam Hill need a 29er?

EWS just that much more technical and twisty than what most people ride?

I've never had a 29er. Never even ridden one off road. I'm probably going to get one in the next few weeks, but I don't want to get left behind the curve.
  • + 1
 @jaame: Martin Maes bike is a GT Force Pro 27.5 with a 29 in front. That would be the ticket in my mind because I wouldn't want to lower the BB, but I haven't ridden that setup. I have thought about it though. Of course, Hill has to be faster on the 27.5. Totally rider and trail preference.

I have found a 29er to be faster on some trails and 27.5 to be faster on other trails. Totally depends. This past weekend, I rode a Pivot Firebird 29 and Pivot Mach 5.5 27.5 on the same track. Both awesome bikes!! The faster bike for me was the 27.5 because the technicality of the trail. The 27.5 was much lighter and more nimble to navigate the rocky sections. Nothing against the Firebird 29 but it wasn't well suited for the trails I rode it on. Both wheels sizes are great.

Just go demo some 29ers first. You will be glad you did. Demo season is right now!!
  • + 1
 @tacklingdummy: I like both the YT Capra and the Nukeproof Mega. Both look better in 275 but the whole MTB media is telling me I need a 29er. Don't know what to do. I guess I need to try some.
  • + 16
 Still can't understand how Florian Nicolai managed to get third on a bike with a 66 degree head angle. Must be an alien.
  • + 2
 Or he rides like "The Alien." So smooth.
  • + 1
 Or he had an angleset head set
  • + 2
 According to Pinkbike, Maes never wins anything because he is on a GT.
  • + 15
 Full Maes bike check!
  • + 10
 So cool to see OneUp more and more. They deserve all the praise. Such great products #notanothernarrowwidecompany Smile

I am so wet for those Yetis...
  • + 2
 Next to the Spank Spike stem, the OneUp chainguide/taco is one of the rare few components I'm using that the pros are also using. Which isn't meant to brag about what I'm using. Instead it goes to show that these manufacturers are capable of making affordable workhorse level stuff that's good enough to perform at the top level.
  • + 8
 Isn't the Maxxis tire the Taiaha? Taniwha is something quite different though I imagine an easy mistake to make for non-kiwis!
  • + 8
 Ummmm could you maybe zoom out a couple feet so I can see what we are looking at here?
  • + 4
 Thought the same thing with the rocky mountain, extreme close ups and pretty far off shots only.
  • + 5
 I miss the old DH days where there were all those hidden tinkering parts and the tiny little inventions by the mechanics. These days tech "reports" could as well be any manufacturer ad.
But it shows the superior standard of todays weekend warriors and average joes bikes.
  • + 7
 Tech randoms? This should be labeled: cool graphics and paint, with other stuff we've seen before. Don't get me wrong though - I like looking at the fresh paint!
  • + 4
 "Jesse Melamed is one of the few with some new XTR components"
...and Martin Maes and Shawn Never and Robin Wallner.
Thats more than a few.
Its at least 4.
Their bikes are all in the pics posted here... maybe you missed them Wink

Oh and I have it too
  • + 6
 Sweet bikes. All they need is reflectors and kickstands and then they will be race-ready.
  • + 6
 Looks like a new upper chain guide from One Up on the Yeti.
  • + 5
 Yup, I got their guide/bash combo for the DH sled this year to give it a go. Been liking everything I've gotten from them so far!
  • + 2
 Those prize money are weak for Gravity racing! When are the Bike Manufacturers or Redbull gonna up the ante, they are making millions marketing from the racers! Start a Union, be like NASCAR, charge the Manufacturers to put their logos on your kits and bikes....nevermind, UCI swooped in on it got your money instead!
  • + 4
 At first sight I was pretty impressed with 175k winner's reward...until the moment I zoomed the picture Smile
  • + 3
 Noticed that too...$1750 wouldn't even pay for the plane ticket to get there from my house.
  • + 4
 So I don't have to buy a new bike to be fast , just a fork for my 29er wheel ,that's a relief
  • + 1
 Hybrid wheeled bikes are friggin awesome when done right!
People just don't get it because those 69'ers were hideous. The 29/26 combo was way to extreme to ever work out right. Fortunately we've come a long way since then regarding geometry etc. and we now have 27,5 wheels that are much easier to get to work in combination with a 29" and with the new UCI rules allowing different sized wheels, I hope we get to see more of them in the future :-)

My current bike is a 27,5/26 and I absolutely love the way it rides. Such a fun bike to ride! Next bike is definitely going to be a 29/27,5
  • + 4
 Can we get more detail on Robin Wallner's Ripmo. Front travel? Angleset/shims?
  • + 4
 Maybe next week if you're lucky, maybe not. We'll see what we can find.
  • + 1
 Found the write-up - thanks Pinkbike. Now, how do we get Commencal to do the right thing (I want to stop boycotting them): www.pinkbike.com/news/maxxis-limited-edition-taiaha-to-be-released-at-crankworx-rotorua-2019.html
  • + 4
 Those RF/Rocky jerseys are sick.
  • + 2
 PB have mixed up the pictures of the Ibis, that picture of the X2 is clearly from the Yeti
  • - 2
 You mean this one, www.pinkbike.com/photo/17004726, where it says "ibis" on the back of the sky blue [not turquoise] seat tube?
  • + 2
 @pinkrobe: They fixed it, comment was accurate before.
  • + 4
 Mullet bike FTW
  • + 2
 Funny how most Enduro bikes come with bottle cages now!, but some still cant get a design too make it happen?
  • + 2
 Tech randoms? Paint job randoms maybe. Wheres the tech?
  • + 2
 Foes n liteville were on it.
  • + 1
 No mention of the game-changing Hydra Hub from Industry Nine or Banshee Bike's new hardtail trail punisher - the Paradox.
  • + 1
 Want one of those WTB Canadian themed saddles! Smile
  • + 1
 Where do the scratches on Neer‘s switch stanchions come from?
  • + 1
 Looks more like grease, correct spot for it too.
  • + 1
 Why does that GT Force look so much better than on GTs website?
  • + 1
 Would love to see more on the top 3's bikes
  • + 1
 the return of the trek 96er?
  • + 1
 I hope not. Those were awful and never going to work because they were simply to extreme.
27,5/26 and 29/27,5 combo is less extreme and works much better :-)

Due to my experiences with both combinations my next bike is definitely going to be a 29/27,5 hybrid. Maybe a Geometron/Nicolai G1 if they weren't that expensive...
  • + 2
 Hill's helmet is KING
  • + 1
 "XTR slowing things down"? They sure are. By a few months...
  • + 1
 Who is shawn neer?
  • + 1
 That yeti Drool
  • - 1
 Terrible pictures
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