Nerding Out: The Fastest World Cup Race Bikes of 2023

Dec 22, 2023 at 9:54
by Ed Spratt  
To close out 2023 we have looked back through the result sheets from this year's DH, XC and EDR World Cups to find out which bikes have collected the most wins across Elite, Junior, U23 and U21 races. Take a look at our findings after we crunched the numbers from the 2023 season.




Downhill


1: Commencal Supreme - 7 Wins
Benoit Coulanges

Topping the list of race-winning World Cup downhill bikes in 2023 is the Commencal Supreme, with seven wins from five riders across the season.

While the Supreme only secured two elite wins under Thibaut Daprela and Benoit Coulanges, ranking joint third for elite race victories, it was the best bike for Junior racing. Totalling five wins, the Supreme was the fastest junior race bike in 2023, going one better than the GT Fury piloted by Ryan Pinkerton.

Rider Breakdown:
Erice Van Leuven - 3 Wins
Lisa Bouladou - 1 Win
Léo Abella - 1 Win
Thibaut Daprela - 1 Win
Benoit Coulanges - 1 Win




2: Trek Session - 6 Wins
Kade Edwards Trek Session

The title of being the second fastest downhill bike in 2023 goes to the Trek Session with six race wins. Vali Höll ended her time with Trek by securing four race victories across the season, equalling Ryan Pinkerton's final year with GT and making the Session the best-performing elite race bike.

In the Junior racing, the Session picked up race wins under Bodhi Kuhn and Sacha Earnest (after she had picked up a win earlier in the season onboard a Transition TR11).

Rider Breakdown:
Vali Höll - 4 Wins
Bodhi Kuhn - 1 Win
Sacha Earnest - 1 Win




3: Santa Cruz V10 - 5 Wins
Greg Minnaar

The final spot in the top three winning downhill bikes goes to the Santa Cruz V10. Securing five World Cup wins across the 2023 season was the second-best elite race bike, just one win behind the Trek Session's total of four. In the Junior race series, the Santa Cruz bookended the season with Christian Hauser winning round one and Nathan Pontvianne wrapping up the year in MSA with a race victory.

Rider Breakdown:
Jackson Goldstone - 2 Wins
Christian Hauser - 1 Win
Nina Hoffmann - 1 Win
Nathan Pontvianne - 1 Win










XC & XCC


1: Liv Pique & Canyon Lux - 9 Wins
photo
photo

Moving onto XC racing, there is a tie for the top spot as both the Liv Pique and Canyon Lux secured nine race wins across the XC and XCC World Cup series in 2023. The Liv Pique only saw one rider collect its race wins as Ronja Blöchlinger had a perfect eight-win season in XCC and finished the XC series with a win at MSA.

The Canyon Lux saw a wider range of victories to reach its nine-win total as three riders added to its list of 2023 accomplishments. Puck Pieterse was the most successful rider on the Canyon as she piloted the race bike to one XCC win and three World Cup XC wins. Luca Schwarzbauer wasn't quite able to win an XC World Cup this year, but he was unstoppable in the short XCC format putting the Lux on the top step of the podium three times. Loana Lecomte was the final rider to win on a Canyon Lux as she was the fastest in two XC races. Interestingly, the Canyon Lux is the only bike in the top three without any U23 race wins.

Liv Pique // Rider Breakdown:
Ronja Blöchlinger - 8 XCC Wins / 1 XC Win

Canyon Lux // Rider Breakdown:
Puck Pieterse - 1 XCC Win / 3 XC Wins
Loana Lecomte - 2 XC Wins
Luca Schwarzbauer - 3 XCC Wins




2: Specialized Epic World Cup - 8 Wins
photo

The first of two spots for the Specialized Epic in the top three XC race bikes is the newly released Epic World Cup, with eight race victories. The Epic World Cup saw Adrien Boichis win four races with an even split between XCC and XC wins. Laura Stigger was the only other rider to win on the new Epic model, going fastest in three XCC elite races and winning the Snowshoe XC World Cup.

Rider Breakdown:
Adrien Boichis - 2 XCC Wins / 2 XC Wins
Laura Stigger - 3 XCC Wins / 1 XC Win




3: Specialized Epic Evo - 7 Wins
Cross-country Field Test 2020

Falling just behind the new model, the standard Specialized Epic still made it into this year's top three as its more conventional design topped the podium seven times. Victor Koretzky was the best rider racing this bike as he won three back-to-back XCC races to close out the season and even had a perfect weekend at the Les Gets round. Adrien Boichis not only mastered the new Epic World Cup but also was fast on the standard Epic winning three more XCC races with this bike.

Rider Breakdown:
Victor Koretzky - 3 XCC Wins / 1 XC Win
Adrien Boichis - 3 XCC Wins










Enduro


1: Lapierre Spicy - 7 Wins
photo

Despite Lapierre seeming to be testing a new enduro bike the current Spicy is still very much a race-winning machine as Isabeau Courdurier and Lisandru Bertini made it the fastest enduro bike in 2023. The Spicy also placed joint third with the Commencal Surpeme in the overall World Cup winning bike rankings.

The 2023 season saw Isabeau Courdurier just beat teammate Lisandru Bertini in wins as she crossed the line fastest at four rounds compared to Lisandru's three top U21 finishes.

Rider Breakdown:
Isabeau Courdurier - 4 Wins
Lisandru Bertini - 3 Wins




2: Forbidden Druid - 6 Wins
Forbidden Druid Whistler Crankworx Enduro

For 2023, the second-fastest enduro bike is actually a trail bike as the new Forbidden Druid V2 totalled six wins across the season. Emmy Lan was the top enduro rider for wins this season winning U21 races five times on the Druid. Rhys Verner also picked multiple career-best finishes with the Druid and won the Leogang round of the EDR series. It will be interesting to see if the whole Forbidden team ride the Druid in 2024.

Rider Breakdown:
Emmy Lan - 5 Wins
Rhys Verner - 1 Win




3: Canyon Strive - 4 Wins
photo

In the final top-three spot is the Canyon Strive, with two racers taking two wins each in 2023. Sascha Kim was rapid in the U21 racing winning the opening two Australian rounds before Jesse Melamed would add to the bike's victories in Pietra Ligure and Chatel.

Rider Breakdown:
Sascha Kim - 2 Wins
Jesse Melamed - 2 Wins










Overall Rankings








Author Info:
edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
2,973 articles

142 Comments
  • 67 0
 Would be more telling if the win numbers were indexed to the ate of utilization. If Commencals are 3x more likely to be ridden than their raw win figures are less significant.
  • 24 3
 Precisely. When you sponsor infinite teams… you’d better be winning more often.

Isabeau is a weapon, it sure as hell isn’t the hot garbage can of a bike she is riding.
  • 3 0
 @bonfire: Still better than a Huffy
  • 4 0
 @bonfire: what's garbage about it? Seems pretty normal
  • 8 0
 Yeah if you divide wins by riders on them Atherton bikes would be killing it
  • 3 0
 @mrtoodles: or GT 4 wins very few riders
  • 3 0
 I think it would be more telling to include the whole podium in it and see if the result changed.
  • 2 0
 Kind of. Since in DH it's more due to the rider to achieve a win, you'd need to index to the number of riders who would actually be capable of a win in the first place. Otherwise you skew the data in the opposite direction.

Case in point: you sponsor the entire lower ranks of the field with your bike, but never achieve a single win.

I agree, the absolute numbers are not totally accurate, but I suspect they're the best we can get.
  • 2 0
 @mrtoodles: If you divide wins by riders, Huffy wins.

Nah, wait… that’s a nan.
  • 2 3
 However commencal is still the fastest with both Pierron and Nicole out for the season … anyway, this is pointless , give any of these bikes to Goldstone, he would be as fast
  • 1 0
 @Snowytrail: not to mention the balls to ride a bike that snapped in half earlier in the season. "Uh, can I get a little more carbon by the head tube?"
  • 51 1
 Now do the opposite. Bikes with the most DNFs.
  • 16 0
 Subcategorized by frame failures, wheel failures, tire failures, and crashes?
  • 20 0
 Rim and tire makers with the most DNFs!
  • 12 1
 @kanioni: "SRAM hates this one statistic"
  • 1 0
 Beauty comment!!
  • 1 1
 The PB AI that is on the advertising team would like a word with you.
  • 61 25
 Unpopular opinion:

You’re overbiked at your local enduro and V10’s are ugly.
  • 14 3
 I have a V10. Yes it's ugly, but it's a fast machine that's easy to ride & that's all that matters. I also have a Transition Scout 150/130mm travel I wish I had more travel to compensate for my lack of skill.
  • 34 3
 Actually unpopular opinions of mine: the exact opposite of what @dextercolvin323 just said
  • 3 0
 @chriss78: try a druid if you ride Rocky trails it's amazing
  • 17 0
 I really don't feel overbiked at my local enduro, but maybe Kentucky is different
  • 1 2
 @hansbauck: A lot. We have hills, not mountains (except for the Appalachian mountains in eastern Kentucky where few people live).
  • 2 0
 True..

Still having that extra travel will probably safe you from a fall and take care of your body(knees, feet) on a HARD hit
  • 3 9
flag Darknut (Dec 23, 2023 at 12:41) (Below Threshold)
 90% of all modern mountain bikes are ugly as f*ck!
  • 6 0
 @Darknut: pretty sure that the one thing that can ne unanimously agreed upon is that all kinds of bicycle have never looked so good.
  • 2 0
 The pros are under biked
  • 3 0
 You haven't been overbiked until you go street riding on your DH bike.
  • 7 3
 Opinion: only posers care about what bikes other people are riding.
  • 24 1
 Pretty mind blowing that enduro races were being won on the Druid with 130mm rear travel.
  • 16 2
 It’s not mind blowing if you’ve ridden one.
  • 46 2
 Not at all. The entire article makes it blindingly obvious that the bike itself doesn’t matter at all.

The winning bike is whichever the winning racer happens to be on.
  • 16 3
 @Ttimer: normally I’d agree with this comment but this discussion usually assumes all riders are on at least the same class of bike. Like all riders on a DH rig for downhill races.

The fact that someone was winning in a 130mm trail bike does say something about the capability of that bike. Most companies make a 130mm trail bike but you don’t see most other racers. choosing to ride it, which suggests that in general they don’t see their sponsors shorter travel bikes as being capable of winning.
  • 2 0
 Kind of, but it better be good for that kind of riding because it's never gonna keep up with Ripley's and Fuels on climbs.
  • 1 1
 @stevemokan: true that, it feels practically the same as the ransom it replaced.
  • 3 1
 As others have stated it really punches above what the numbers say. I replaced a megatower with a druid and it feels equally as capable.
  • 1 0
 @Austink: so true. My gf has a V1 druid and I have a Spesh Enduro. I swear the druid feels 80% as capable as my Enduro and I've ridden it under 10 times and never tuned it for myself lol
  • 3 0
 After you ride one it makes sense. By far the best bike I’ve ridden. I’ve worked in the bike industry for over 15 years and ridden just about everything under the sun at one point or another. Forbidden has got some magic sauce going in that bike!!!
  • 21 3
 Given that brands sponsoring riders partly (mostly?) to sell their products, this article is much needed but I do not know what to make of some of the data presented like for an example that of the founding countries of the winning bikes. How is it relevant to the main theme of this article?
  • 72 0
 More relevant than doing the producition location chart which will give a single column with Taiwan hahaha
  • 26 0
 Maybe the number of each bike competing in Elites would have been a good statistic. If Commencal has 7 wins but sponsors 50 pro riders, that isn’t quite as amazing as if Trek had 6 wins but only 3 riders.
  • 39 0
 There is not much to make of. Any professional analyst would have taken one look at the data and immediately jettisoned the premise of the article.

The takeaway is: Riders win races, bikes don’t.
  • 1 0
 @CustardCountry: Agreed, bit then it would be amazing on a different level, as I keep scratching my head at the amount of sponsorship Commencal os throwing around.
  • 10 0
 @Ttimer: it's bro science, only makes sense whilst having a beer and shittalking after a ride.
  • 3 0
 @Ttimer: I mostly agree, but equipment does matter when the margins are so slim, to the extent that top riders will use competing sponsors equipment with the logos covered to not be at a tenth of a second disadvantage.

Equipment definitely matters less at amateur races though.
  • 5 0
 To make the the US feel good about something
  • 1 0
 @alex16trail: you're wrong
  • 1 0
 @alex16trail: Atherton bike made in Taiwan?
  • 19 0
 What on earth are those line graphs
  • 8 2
 *bar charts... just to be a data geek!
  • 1 0
 @bigtim: Depending on the type of bar, this is either a straight or increasingly sinuous line between two points.
  • 17 0
 The figures where the data is either 1 or 2 cracks me up. Or in the case of the canyon strive where the data is all 1!
Grinds my gears when people use a finer scale (numeric with decimals) when the data is straight up integers. Maybe PB is getting in their end of year figure quota!
  • 9 0
 @dglass: Yeah, how can you have fractional .5 wins? Lol.
  • 3 0
 @tacklingdummy: Almost made it? I'd get fired from my job as a fisheries ecologist if I made a figure like that (colors for axes, or numeric scales for integer data).
  • 15 0
 Only 6% of Americans cycle at least once a week where 55% of adults between 18-29 didn't touch a bike in 2023.

65% of the Dutch cycle at least once a week.
  • 9 2
 I’m in the 6%, how about you?

Americans are generally lazy shites, check.
  • 5 1
 Well, 6%*330million=20 vs 65%*17million=11..
So in terms of market that’s still much bigger although diluted.
  • 1 0
 @cpscotti: homeopathically diluted
  • 12 1
 Victor Koretzky rode an Specialized Epic Evo, not the regular Epic. Big difference between those models
  • 9 0
 Good spot, I've double-checked and I mistook the standard Epic for the Epic Evo. It looks like both Victor Koretzky and Adrien Boichis were on the Epic Evo for those wins so the standings remain the same.
  • 4 1
 I'm guessing they couldn't get along with the BRAIN? The real question is what fork they ran - if they ran the Evo with a 100mm fork that's actually pretty much just an Epic. Correct me if I'm wrong, but front triangle is the same between bikes but the Evo just got a 120 fork instead of 100.
  • 4 1
 @edspratt: One more fact check, this time historical: Scott was founded in Sun Valley Idaho as "Scott USA" to produce aluminum ski poles. They did not move to Switzerland 'till 1978, and didn't go "full Euro" by dropping the USA 'till 2005. Afraid Switzerland just fell off most of the "founding nation" charts.
  • 1 0
 @edspratt: I’m also pretty sure that Victor Koretzky also got a win or wins on the epic wc as well
  • 3 0
 @powturn: I have a Scott mtb from the 1990s. It has a designed in Sun Valley sticker
  • 1 0
 @Lokirides: same front yes but not rear since 2021. And there is this new epic I suppose they were riding this year at wc
  • 8 0
 Shouldn't you be taking the adding all the finishing positions of all the bikes and dividing it by the number of riders on that bike to find the average? I feel like that is the more accurate way than just taking wins
  • 8 2
 Heard Gwin talk once about switching companies and making sure he was picking a bike that was going to be fast enough that he could win on it. Of course it's the rider, but Walmart bike will never win. It's not a coincidence that some bikes always show up at the top and some never do. Both are needed.
  • 2 0
 Racers are sponsored to sell the products for the company that writes their paychecks. Of course they are going to say things like that. If the pros are winning races on a bike that was released in 2022 why would readers and viewers buy a 2024 bike with "updated geometry" ?
  • 2 0
 @devinkalt: You're 100% right about athletes talking about the equipment they are *currently* paid to use, but there are plenty of examples of riders making team changes because they couldn't ride the way they wanted with a given bike. The outward-facing needs of the sponsors to sell this year's stuff is not the same as athletes' needs to believe they can win based on reliability & performance of frame, suspension, wheels, etc. Sometimes it takes a few years & few beers to get riders like Minnaar, Gwinn, etc. to talk about equipment that didn't work for them, but the "best riders can win on any bike" view is just way too simplistic.
  • 2 0
 The team is more important than the bike
  • 8 2
 I was hoping that they had just ghost ridden all these bikes down a hill to see which is fastest. You could put these riders on random bikes and they would likely still fare about the same results wise. You would have to be pretty idiotic to buy a bike based on a pro winning races with it.
  • 5 0
 While I agree with what you are saying - a good rider can be fast on any relatively ok bike - I still think you can learn something about a bike by race results. Eg Gwin and R. Atherton both had their most dominant seasons on Trek. They were dominant on other bikes yeah, but they were both better on Trek. Bulldog always seemed fastest on Mondraker. Laurie Greenland seemed to be right at home on a V10 and his results showed that. The HP Trek seemed to slow down Vergier, much to my surprise. So yeah, just cos a bike won a race doesn't mean a lot, but you can still work out some (small) things about the bike by looking at riders results.
  • 9 0
 Commencal Supreme 68HTA ?!
looks wrong
  • 3 0
 I came to say exactly that. What's going on there?!
  • 2 0
 First thing I noticed looking at the pic!
  • 4 0
 Wasn't there a PB editor who reckons this is the way to go?
  • 5 0
 I've never really bought into the idea that racing sells all that many bikes... Stumpjumpers and Fuels still dominate the weekend dad scenes around the world and they're nice bikes, but not winning tons of world cups... But damn the Druid's performance at the Enduro level makes me, a weekend dad trail guy, salivate for one.
  • 2 0
 Speaking as a fellow weekend dad trail guy, get one. Not cheap but used prices aren't bad and I LOVE my Druid v1. Have heard the new version is even better but I feel like the v1 with CC link is basically the perfect bike for me so I havent been tempted to upgrade.
  • 2 0
 @charliewentoutside: I love that the V1 can be swapped to mullet with a simple link too. Having to change stays to change the rear end on the V2 is way more of a hassle
  • 6 0
 Article title is "fastest" bikes and not winningest bikes. I was expecting speed trap data. I wanna know what bikes have the fastest clocked speeds on track.
  • 5 0
 Damn, It turns out I was really not following EDR this year, I have no idea who Emmy Lan is ... Somehow I always knew the female winners of the ESW.
  • 19 0
 I feel like pinkbike (and by extension manufacturers) played a small role in the edr demise by killing the fantasy contest. There were thousands (millions?) of participants and I know for me, it generated some real interest in looking for results/watching races when it was around.
For the price of a new bike/random gear, manufacturers could have grown their audience by more than so many other marketing strategies. Taking out ads in print magazines? Paying to have pinkbike run a banner ad? To tell you the truth, I’m not sure I remember the last time I really saw a decent marketing campaign from a mountain bike company.
  • 6 0
 @Km303: 100% agree with the sentiment that the Fantasy League brought more awareness to the sport. @BrianPark bring it back in 2024!
  • 2 0
 @Km303: all the good marketing in the last few years I see is on YouTube... Pivot, Transition, and Forbidden for example are always putting out sick short vids using their bikes.
  • 1 0
 @Km303: I'm going to take what you said here a step further. Would gambling on MTB racing help increase the exposure of the sport? I don't know any major site that lets you bet on riders at WCs. Just a thought.
  • 1 0
 @mtnjamscott: I think it probably would, help. Draftkings could probably run it better than the uci.
  • 6 0
 Crazy or telling... Sacha won two WCs on two different bikes... then damn close to a few others.
  • 1 0
 Dion for winningest Dad
  • 1 0
 @Rickadams243: damn busted...
  • 5 0
 As a Dreadnought owner, I sit here waiting for the V2, wondering if I should have gone Druid all along.
  • 1 0
 V2 dreadnought arrives next year
  • 1 0
 I dunno…depends what you ride I guess. I absolutely love my Dreadnought! It slays anything in its path. I feel like it’s the perfect quiver killer. It climbs amazing with no pedal Bob and tons of traction. It rails corners and it can spice it up in the air taking any sized jump on. I use all of my travel…I can’t imagine having less
  • 4 0
 Embarrassing for trek factory racing , that session changing from bontrager to Pirelli was a big thing and the bike runs sharpied maxxis…….
  • 1 0
 Not to mention, their Sharpie died and they should buy or borrow a new one!
  • 1 0
 but so does everybody else that's not sponsored by Maxxis. Only embarassing to Pirelli who can't make a decent compound yet and whose tires are too ugly to ride (even if they do ride well, which they don't).
  • 6 0
 This article means nothing.
  • 1 0
 Agreed. If you want to look at a particular bike or manufacturer, you need to look at long term success with many different riders. Having one hot rider get a bunch of wins means you've got a great rider, not a great bike.
  • 5 0
 See, it won’t even matter that the smaller brands are folding
  • 2 1
 I just bought a Pivot Mach 4 SL. No show in the XC column. I guess I’ll have to try and win a few local races and take solace in the fact I’m no pro with pro genes and pro trainers and pro contract, etc etc etc. bottom line is Nino would kick most of out asses on a Walmart huffy.
  • 3 0
 Crazy its like the best riders always win regardless of what bike they ride
  • 2 2
 The bikes didn't win anything.
If your needing you would have to weight the scoring appropriately.
How do you weight elite men v juniors or v women's.
The results clearly demonstrated that the probability of a win in elite men's is lower than elite female for example.
What would the real score be if a statistician were involved?
Probably... There isn't a winner because the data set is too small to draw any conclusions.
So.... Nothing wins!
  • 1 0
 Ok can’t see it already said but isn’t it the rider that makes the fast bike?
All these bikes are going to be there or there abouts. Pinkerton on the GT is a prime example of this.
  • 3 0
 Of course the Commecal had the most wins, like 75% of the people at the world cups are sponsored by them!
  • 1 1
 So, as it transpires some pinkbike employee has a thing for stats and will do them on subjects that have zero value to their audience just because they can.

Come on pinkbike, I’d rather wait a month for a good read (or two months for a copy of dirt magazine as I recall) than be trickle fed nonsense. I miss the dirt magazine days of mtb media.
  • 3 0
 The graphs make me think of the old MSDOS computer game, Nibbles.
  • 3 0
 Prediction for 2024: more graphs
  • 2 0
 Nah there will be no data with teams and riders pulling out
  • 4 1
 Come on! Is not the bike, it´s just the rider.
  • 3 0
 So it’s the bike not the rider?
  • 1 0
 Right, no surprise that factories with the deepest pockets can afford the best of the best
  • 2 0
 The fastest bikes are the ones who's teams sponsor the best riders. Bikes don't go fast, they just fall over without a rider
  • 3 0
 A lot of number crunching for nothing.
  • 1 0
 Why include xc bikes? It can be considered as a race but since it’s a pure conditioning sport the bike in itself have Very little impact on the result.
  • 2 0
 I think that the only point of note
  • 2 0
 Bloody sausage fingers... Doh! I think that the only point of note is that all the xc bikes are full suspension models. That's a pretty rapid turnaround from only a few years ago. A good one too!
  • 2 0
 Oisin TUES win was my favorite this year
  • 1 0
 Why does that session have such a different idler, and how do I slap it onto my session?
  • 2 0
 Specialized taking a Big Hit this year
  • 2 0
 F-me that La Pierre is ugly.
  • 1 0
 It's not about the bike... Wink
  • 1 0
 What about tires, brakes, suspension?
  • 1 0
 What about all the specialized bikes?! there fast to!
  • 1 0
 Interesting to see top 2 and gt are high pivots...
  • 2 0
 Merica!!!!!!
  • 2 1
 Copping out - The Fastest Put Together Article This Christmas.
  • 1 0
 So this shows clearly, it’s the rider, not the bike
  • 1 0
 Needing out = excel bar plots
  • 1 0
 This has nothing to do with the rider. Not one thing. It's all the bike.
  • 1 0
 Which one shall we buy?
  • 4 7
 Dont care about pedal bikes. What about e-edr, e-ews or whatever it's called?
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