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Video: All the New Tech at the Bielsko-Biała DH World Cup 2024

May 16, 2024 at 7:32
by Dario DiGiulio  
A couple weeks later, and we’re blessed with yet another round of the World Cup, this time at an all-new venue. This is Poland’s debut on the circuit, and the mystery of the fresh track is sure to yield some puzzling and fresh setups in comparison to Fort William’s tried and true approach.


Most of the hot new items were on display in Fort William, but Bielsko-Biała has managed to deliver a fresh crop of unreleased parts and custom frame setups.

We got another look at e*thirteen’s new Sidekick hub, and were even able to mess around with a built wheel a bit, getting a feel for how it might differ from traditional designs.

e thirteen s mysterious Sidekick hub

Norco’s prototype DH bike got even more custom since the last round, as Greg Minaar is now running a carbon-wrapped rear end to increase stiffness.

Carbon wrapped rear end for Minaar

Canyon’s mysterious high-pivot is present yet again, though we weren’t able to squeeze much more information out of the crew there.

Canyon s prototype high-pivot DH bike

The Frameworks trio appears to be the only team on the circuit using the electronic Fox RAD shock, though it is showing up on some of the enduro race bikes.

Fox RAD shock

Lastly we have an unusual sight: Lewis brakes in the World Cup pits. Though these stoppers have proven popular in online forums, we have yet to see them sponsor a team on this level of competition. Intense Factory Racing is running them this year, so we’ll likely see them a bit more often.

Lewis Brakes in the Intense Factory Racing pit

Stay tuned for a healthy dose of randoms, trackside footage, and all the race coverage we can muster.

Author Info:
dariodigiulio avatar

Member since Dec 25, 2016
201 articles

89 Comments
  • 83 0
 Your lack of Adidas track suit is concerning
  • 45 0
 @dariodigiulio I will approve you expensing one tracksuit. Maybe see if you can find a Poloner or Stamirowski accordion for Karl and Radek's dad.
  • 15 0
 I strongly suspect that Audi isn't his, as they don't even start if you're not in uniform
  • 27 0
 @brianpark: I'm holding you to this
  • 3 0
 @pooceq: @dariodigiulio my buddy works with Korn. you want a purple one?
  • 6 0
 @ampb100: A boy can dream
  • 43 0
 that slavic squat in a front of a local audi xD
  • 24 0
 Dario's a man of the people.
  • 6 0
 Dario knows what's up.
  • 2 0
 Made my day as well
  • 9 0
 Heels on the ground, comrade found.
  • 2 0
 This made me so happy.
  • 3 0
 @mikekazimer: this is why I shaked his hand today Smile
  • 2 0
 @johnyyy: good to meet you!
  • 1 0
 @dariodigiulio: likewise! even though we only exchanged pleasantries it was nice to say welcome in person
  • 27 0
 Minnaar going for more stiffness! Someone tell this rookie that all the big dogs want more compliance, less stiffness. I’m sure he’ll figure it out after he gets established on the WC circuit.
  • 8 0
 let him be, its his first season!
  • 2 1
 Not sure how a carbon wrap would increase stiffness where it would be noticeable, might be to quiet the frame down in chatter?
  • 2 0
 @Snowytrail: The stiffness if a thin walled closed section member can be significantly increased with a carbon wrap like this.

Does the flex primarily come from the frame tubes? If so this could help. If it primarily comes from bearings and axles etc this would be a marginal increase overall.
  • 45 29
 Intense running the "Chinese Intellectual Theft Special" brakes is somehow super on-brand for them.
  • 22 10
 How so? Like Intese or hate them, their teams don't run 'knock off' components. If you are speaking on the VPP, BOTH Instense and Santa Cruz licensed the exact same designs from another 3rd party...no 'theft' there either.
  • 22 42
flag snakeplant (May 16, 2024 at 9:05) (Below Threshold)
 @bman33: What an odd reply...

The Lewis brakes are literal Chinease knock-offs of Trickstuff brakes. Not sure why you brought uo VPP? Maybe try reading something thoroughly before replying to it?
  • 11 5
 @bman33: they just have a reputation for being old or Costco bikes and have a poor brand image.
  • 14 1
 Hey everyone used to copy off Intense back in the day so it's only fair for it to come full circle!
  • 58 11
 It is not like Trickstuff is doing anything new or innovative. Trickstuff brakes are CNC parts, with high hydraulique leverage ratio (small MC piston, large Caliper pistons) and good tolerances. That has been out there for the last 3 or 4 decades in the motorsport world and is common knowledge. Nobody is owning the right to have CNC parts, or to CNC those in a lever shape or else. Sure they look similar to the Trickstuff, but no more than many bikes "look like a Session" so what's your point ? Actually aside from the looks, Lewis lever has a clever adjustment layout which the Trickstuff don't have.

Now that a Chinese brand is doing something under their own name instead of supplying to a sticker factory that "developed the product" and is getting invested in the sport by supporting a Team people still try to find something to whine about ... Keep on buying Chinese made products with high brand names to line the pockets of a few if you like but I'd rather buy directly from the manufacturer, whether Chinese, American or French, paying sticker companies on the other hand is something I try to avoid whenever possible.
  • 5 1
 @plustiresaintdead: fair enough points there, but nothing to do with knock off or IP theft like the Lewis brakes come very close to being
  • 10 2
 @snakeplant: you missed the point 100%. I agree with the Lewis brakes being brazen Trickstuff copies. Intense isn't know for copies. Obnoxious paint schemes? Yes... lol
  • 15 5
 Lewis brakes just further normalize blatant copying. They could have easily added a fin here or there or something, but instead they seem to be catering to the bling-seekers who can't afford Trickstuff. They are watching these comments like they do on other forums and the PRC influencer will be along shortly to defend them.....
  • 11 7
 @Balgaroth: But..but...only open office concept mustachio wearing hipsters are allowed to innovate dammit! Also the irony of someone from Oregon throwing shade when the only MTB relevant brand in your state is a overpriced relic (Chris King) and for a brand that essentially normalized overseas manufacturing (Nike).
  • 3 8
flag Henchman21 (May 16, 2024 at 10:29) (Below Threshold)
 @Balgaroth: pretty funny people jumping through hoops to not say Slave and Master cylinder when referring to brakes (or any other hydraulic device.)
  • 1 0
 @SvenNorske: I buy parts from Oregon Performance Transmission a few times a year.
  • 5 1
 @suspended-flesh: that website "big cool power fir Downhill racing!". Love the authentic translation. lol
  • 2 2
 @SvenNorske: this is the heaviest takedown I’ve seen on pink bike in a while. I think I disagree with you but I love an attack on Oregon lol
  • 10 10
 Say what you want, but they're actually great brakes. Funny, people call them copies meanwhile they have MORE functionality than the TS brakes and you can actually buy these pretty easily. Great customer service as well. But yeah, just a shitty Chinese brand. :rolleyes:
  • 9 6
 @bman33: lets see how well you speak a foreign language, shall we ? Coming from a country where most people can't pin a country on a map, speak their own language properly, let alone speak a second language, laughing at foreign people making the effort to speak in your language doesn't seems smart or adequate. But hey it's a US trademark also am I right ?!
  • 4 4
 All these comments are funny only if they knew their bikes are made in Taiwan lol
  • 5 2
 @Balgaroth: it has nothing to do with how I speak foreign languages. I speak two, unfortunately one it's not Mandarin. I'm illustrating the point that the Lewis brake company are blatant Chinese knockoffs and they didn't even bother to update their website for the intended market. In addition, this is a global economy with global marketing tools. Any large manufacturer looking to market a premium product has access to either Western marketing teams and or Western/English translation tools that can spot grammar as well. How's the weather up on your arrogant high horse? lol
  • 8 1
 @nlibot33: most of us do. Taiwan and China are two different worlds when it comes to manufacturing and attitude... Regardless of what China likes to think. Taiwan Make some of the best stuff out there currently
  • 9 1
 @Balgaroth:
"Now that a Chinese brand is doing something under their own name instead of supplying to a sticker factory that "developed the product""
Nobody would be whining if they made something they developed but saying they're doing something under their own name is disingenuous. It is a very blatant copy pivoting itself as a cheaper alternative to the original.

"Nobody is owning the right to have CNC parts, or to CNC those in a lever shape or else. Sure they look similar to the Trickstuff, but no more than"

You're describing IP theft. They've chosen to make their product as closely resembling trickstuff's as possible. They most definitely could've copied the internals and produced something that the vast majority of people would not have associated with trickstuff but they've made the decision to instead copy the externals and have people think of them as a cheaper trickstuff alternative.

"Keep on buying Chinese made products with high brand names to line the pockets of a few"
That's not trickstuff is it? You're moving the goal posts there.

I cannot understand why people try and defend this.
  • 9 4
 @suspended-flesh: it’s amazing to watch Americans moan about capitalism. You folks started the offshoring because lower costs at any cost. But now instead of a western brand just clipping the ticket, they’re somehow looked down upon for actually doing the manufacturing. I enjoy it, I hope they make more product and bring some heat to the bike industry and rid the industry of trash brands that don’t actually make anything other than logos and spreadsheets and charge 150% for the privilege.
  • 5 0
 @SvenNorske: What did Oregon do to deserve this? I live in Portland (aka Gotham, aka Little Beirut), if you want to talk trash, take a visit and do it in person. I'm sure some of our street folks will be happy to show you the open concept bike salons they've built under our many bridges.
  • 4 2
 @nlibot33: Taiwan and China are different (for now....)
  • 2 1
 @suspended-flesh: unfortunately you are too close to being correct there. Going to be a sad day when China finally decides to invade.
  • 1 1
 @jahmann: """....open concept bike salons they've built under our many bridges."". Perfect. lol
  • 5 1
 @bonfire: you’re not wrong about the plethora of brands that sell rebranded stuff. There are a few too many companies that are essentially drop shipping companies. That said, the marketing tactics of this particular brand drives me insane. There has been a flood of influencers posting about them and talking about them left and right. There’s one guy who’s spamming local groups, viral, etc about the things. The hype around them is purely made up from this and it drives me crazy. I’ve heard too many people go “everyone is talking about them” when in reality it’s just the same group of people that won’t shut up and cross post everywhere. It’s entirely inauthentic in a way that doesn’t sit well with me.
  • 4 1
 @taquitos: Yep. I like to look at my bike and not have to rationalize fugazi hype parts because they were cheap. Influencers suck.
  • 5 6
 @samosass: so what you are saying is that from Chirs King, Hope and Hadley, only one should be allowed to make CNC anodised hubs because afterall, they are blatantly the same hubs really aren't they ? They even use the colors, how dare they. Not sure which one was first of the 3 but 10 years ago you would buy Hope Pro 2 when you couldn't afford CK hubs but still wanted a good, light, cnc anodised hub. Same goes for Headsets, you'd go Hope when you couldn't afford CK. So from your logic Hope is basically the same than Lewis, can we agree on that ? If you do at least you wouldn't apply double standard, but that also means that you better only buy products from the brand that invented the very first version of a type of product. So say you want to ride a 4 bar bike, you can only buy Spé (I think ?). What about counter rotating short link suspension ? Well that would be Santa Cruz I guess but no Propain, no Commencal Tempo, etc etc. And I guess you drive a Ford as any current car is a copy of the first industrialized car which was the Fort T.
One could argue that Trickstuff levers are nothing more than a copy of Shimano 4 finger lever and since they are too small to have casting facilities they used CNC. Same goes for their calipers which have nothing ground breaking really, very basic caliper as have been done in the Motorsport world for decades, so what about TS blatantly copying these, or even early 2000's XT 4 pistons actually. And as opposed the Lewis that has some innovation in their lever adjustment, TS is basically a XT 4 pistons from 2000's nothing more.
  • 3 2
 Lewis brakes don't "look similar" to Trickstuff brakes, they are an almost identical visual copy (yes I know there are technical changes).
There's no excuse for that except the Chinese evidently can't do aesthetic product design worth a shit - see their incredibly ugly trainers, cars that look like a Rolls Royce mated with a Fiat, etc.
  • 5 3
 @Balgaroth:
Look at you bringing out the strawman, cute.
I'm not talking about hubs. I'm not talking about four bar layouts. I'm not talking about fords
I'm talking about a product that internally is diffferent and from the exterior is visually identical. That is completely different from the examples you've likened my points to. Nobody is whining about iterations of a design, because they're not trying to pass off their own products as someone else's, they have destinct visuals. Vis-à-vis trickstuff and xt4 pistons, nobody is confusing the two but take lewis and trickstuffs everytime you see a set in the wild you wonder: are those trickstuffs or lewis?

Your point about hope being the same as lewis is laughable. You completely disregard what I'm saying.If hope hubs looked like chris kings or if hopes looked like trickstuff's I'd agree but they look completely different despite both being anodised and CNC'ed.

This isn't some company making an iteration of a well used design, it's a company making a cheaper product that looks the same as the original and trying to benefit from the brand image and reputation of the original.
  • 4 3
 @samosass: Strawman, is that so ? Or are you the one projecting since you can't admit that brands have been copying each other forever lol. If you put a pair of Lewis and Trickstuff side by side, without the logos I could still tell you which is which without any troubles, the exact same way that I could with a Hope vs CK hub, and from a distance or not knowing these products too well anyone could be tricked to think they are the same, CK/Hope hubs, all the same than Lews/TS brakes. So what is your point and where do you draw the line ? Where is the actual difference aside from the fact that one is a UK company and the other one is Asian, prejudice much ?
  • 3 1
 @samosass: there similar not the same. Master cylinder cap is 2 screws versus 3, bleed port in completely different location, chamfers are different sizes, length of master cylinder undercut is completely different, where the hose connects is different and so on... I would say there's enough difference between the 2 that it wouldn't count as IP. Unfortunately your IP is only as good as your ability to protect and defend it in court. Reminds me of the Giant NRS back in the day, Specialized sued them for patent infringement in the US and won. Giant simply stopped selling it in the US but continued selling every where else. What's interesting with Lewis is they have a few other brake sets that look pretty nice. There BMX radial lever design looks mint. Sure someone will complain about those as well, even though almost all radial lever designs from motorcycles to bicycles look the same. Maybe Trick stuff needs to pickup a set of Lewis brakes to learn how to manufacturer at a reasonable price that's comparable to other brakes on the market. It's ridiculous they charge what they do, you're just paying for the image. Hopes are way better looking and have a history of quality parts made to take abuse and look pretty at the same time. Maybe they should start charging $1500 a set like trick stuff.
  • 10 0
 I need silent hubs in my life.
  • 2 1
 Onyx has been making them for years.
  • 9 0
 The Gwin Racing team was spotted with Ohlins suspension on the Crestlines.
  • 7 2
 The E13 hub is designed to disengage the drive. You don't know when, it will just start doing it at random points about a day after the warranty runs out and they won't sell you spares because they've already rededigned it twice since (aka Crank Bros syndrome).
  • 2 1
 I was thinking they used magnets instead of springs in the pawls but that makes perfect sense actually. My god I nearly considered E13 for a minute then.
  • 9 0
 Dario crushing it!
  • 3 0
 Sheep feat. Dario
  • 7 0
 Pit rumours are the new Sender linkage's got more anti-slav-squat to it
  • 4 0
 Minaar said in a podcast that his back end skipped out at Fort Bill which caused the crash. This week he has a carbon-wrapped swingarm to stiffen it up. That's some quick Macguivering from the Norco engineers
  • 1 0
 I wonder if the back end on the new V10 would have skipped out in that scenario?
  • 1 0
 I really love my Costco membership (Executive black card); noticed that the May 2024 issue of the "Costco Connection" - Special Section // Supplier Spotlight on pages 36-37... "Costco bicycle supplier Intense builds fast.rugged bikes" by Erik j. Martin, w/sizing chart Wink
Rather interesting pic of Jeff Steber.
  • 1 0
 The silent roller clutch you described is also used in the Shimano Alfine hub and is used elsewhere in industry. Those types of ratchet work very well and was my favorite part of owning that hub. Because there's no chipping action to speak of, they're durable. It's less fancy than a sprag clutch, but if you don't need fancy it is certainly reliable.

If you look at an exploded assembly, it looks like a toothed freewheel with the ramps in the other direction. Instead of catching, it is squishing - like a collet, sorta.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjR7dimpSJA


www.mcmaster.com/products/roller-clutches
  • 6 1
 Gopnik style.
  • 7 0
 Gopniks are rather Russian, the Polish equivalent would be "dres/dresiarz" ("tracksuit/tracksuit wearer").
  • 2 0
 "Greg Minaar is now running a carbon-wrapped rear end to increase stiffness" .... Carbon armor sewn to the ass off his shorts.
  • 2 0
 @dariodigiulio How much do I have to pay you to ensure my fantasy DH team... all win maximum points?
  • 3 1
 Was it just me or did the jet lag seem to be pretty bad for Dario? Just stepped off the plane?
  • 3 2
 If frameworks was the only one with
this pioneer technology could be a reason for the one chosen by thefts... and then try to re sell it high price secretly to competitors?
  • 3 0
 This was really well done. Good job Dario
  • 2 1
 You even watched it? I was totally distracted by all advertisements. What was this about?
  • 4 3
 Did Dario really call that Lewis Chinese knockoff garbage “boutique”? How much are they paying Pinkbike?
  • 2 1
 I can't help but think of the GT I-Drive when I see that Canyon linkage.
  • 3 5
 @bman33: I do not think you know what you are typing about. Please provide evidence that Lewis has used someone else's IP. Everything you have written sounds like conjecture.
  • 2 0
 So much squatting!
  • 2 1
 Intense hahaha
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