The Bikes of the Bratislava City Downhill

Jun 25, 2013 at 5:32
by Filip Nagy  
This is what the pros, semi-pros and privateers were riding on the demanding track of the Bratislava City Downhill.

Brendan Fairclough and his Scott Gambler

Brendan Fairclough and his Scott Gambler

One of the most stylish riders on virtually any course he lays wheels has been steezin that whip aboard a Scott Gambler known for its low center of gravity, super-slack angles and some world-cup stiff suspension. A pretty stock looking bike hasn’t been tweaked that much for the urban course, but there was something interesting going on after all. What’s been pointed out by the mechanics on site as a prototype rear shock from Fox, with a thicker shaft and possibly some internal tweaks as well, although looking almost indistinguishable from a stock RC4, has been providing 8.3 inches of travel for the UK bred ripper.


Ed Masters and his Zerode G2

Ed Masters and his Zerode G2

Ed kept it homegrown on a downhill bike from the Kiwi brand Zerode. Although not fully sponsored, the brand helps Wyn Masters‘ brother a lot – this time to a gearbox equipped matte black frame with 8.3 inches of travel. The rest of the bike was in a true privateer fashion with Schwalbe tires in the front, Maxxis in the back, some shiny Formula stoppers and a World Cup Boxxer to help the rear with possibly the lowest unsprung mass of any bike in the World Cup right now. A black leather jacket flapping behind Eddie was a perfect match to the bike for his race runs, and a reminder, that unbuttoned old school floral shirts that the whole NZ crew showcased on the first two World Cups of the season definitely weren’t a one-time occurrence.


Martin Knapec and his CTM Mons Carbon Prototype

Martin Knapec and his CTM Carbon DH Prototype

This hot mess is a multiple Slovak national DH champion, and he’s been riding a shiny new full carbon prototype frame from a local company CTM, which takes its full suspension frames from a popular Taiwanese company Astro Engineering, also supplying to bigger brands such as KHS. 8.3“ of dual-link travel is kitted out with brand new Novatec Demon wheels with the most Chris King-ish buzz on the course.


Matti Lehikoinen and his Specialized Enduro EVO

Matti Lehikoinen and his Specialized Enduro EVO

Finnish star only brought his stock enduro bike with a dropper seat post he actually uses to raise his XC game on every day with literally no changes to it made compared to his usual cardio set-up. "I spoke to Filip on the phone and he said it should be fine, and now I kind of regret it. I wish I had my big bike, but now I have to get on with it.“ said Matti about his choice. 7 inches of travel with steeper geometry may not seem like much compared to the downhill machines of others, but then there was this guy...


Tomas Slavik and his jackhammer - Ghost fourcross prototype

Tomas Slavik and his jackhammer – Ghost fourcross prototype

2011 Fourcross World Champion got this full suspension four inch prototype from his sponsor – the German brand Ghost – just for this race and kept calling it "the jackhammer“ having quite a laugh. That is, until he snapped the linkages in two trying out some of the big boy lines in the stairs and pulled out an even more jackhammer-like hardtail, on which he smoked everyone in quali and came up just over a second short in the finals landing in fourth spot. Mental!


Gerg Palla and his Ironhorse Sunday

Gergö Palla and his Ironhorse Sunday

Keeping ti real was Gergö Palla, young and the only Hungarian on the start list. No cash to spare bought him a second-hand Ironhorse Sunday – a steed you don’t see being raced too often anymore, especially not at big races like this. "I don’t have a lot of money and this is good and cheap.“ explained the kid. Decked out with an ancient Dura-Ace derailleur, a chainring with none of the bolts matching because he smashed the one he came with in a spectacular crash during practice, and uncountable kinks on the wheels, Gergö showed perhaps the best dedication to the sport AND the best sense for color coordination.


Filip Polc and his Evil Undead

Filip Polc and his Evil Undead

The event organizer and course builder had frizzier hair than ever trying to compete and make sure everything ran smoothly over the weekend. Just like his Evil Vengeance Tour teammate Mitch Delfs, he resorted to the longer travel carbon Undead over his enduro bike Uprising, although he played around with the thought of riding a quicker but also less-forgiving 6 inches in the rear for quite some time.


Fabien Cousini and his Polygon DH Prototype

Fabien Cousinié and his Polygon DH Prototype

French rider for the Hutchinson UR team along with the Hannah siblings is now sponsored by an Indonesian brand Polygon – which has been in the business for longer than you may think, producing blanks for many bicycle companies world-wide, and only recently starting their own production of completes. What Fabien has been riding until a crash that cost him a trip to the hospital is a prototype, that resembles their previous Collosus DH bike with a ton of weight shedded. The team has been riding this bike only since the Ft. William WC and save a new linkage coming, it’s very close to production. Just like all the riders who had a choice, Fabien also stuck with his DH bike over an enduro bike he brought as well, which has interestingly been a 650B frameset with 26“ wheels.


70 Comments

  • 121 1
 I bet Brendan Fairclough and his Scott Gambler didn't go around the big features.
  • 59 5
 That race on a hard tail Eek
  • 7 71
flag dannyboi (Jun 25, 2013 at 16:49) (Below Threshold)
 its not a ht
  • 41 2
 Read the article, he broke it and had to use the hardtail.
  • 18 0
 "until he snapped the linkages in two trying out some of the big boy lines in the stairs and pulled out an even more jackhammer-like hardtail"

Right under the picture, he rode a hardtail after killing the 4x bike, great marketing for his sponsor there Wink
  • 4 0
 @dannyboi You can see his HT from the winning quali here www.pinkbike.com/photo/9750860 and finals here www.pinkbike.com/photo/9750840
  • 12 2
 The EVIL and Polygon DH Prototype look so sick!
  • 4 0
 i wish mr hardtail had won
  • 1 0
 I think he manged fourth. Which is pretty impressive goven the competition.
  • 16 0
 "Gergö Palla"
New hero.
racing what he could afford sandwiched between some of the finest carbon money can't buy!
  • 12 1
 Ghost "Jackhammer" FTW!
  • 11 1
 bratislava has a wide dh audience, in terms of age -> pic #2

:P Smile
  • 8 0
 Tomas Slavik bike looks pretty small, or is it just me?
  • 2 0
 nope not just you. i was thinkin the same thing. that thing looks like a midget bike
  • 3 0
 he has a BMX background.. those guys ride small bikes... a PRO XXL 20" typically only has a 54cm top tube and a wheelbase around 98cm.. thats the biggest bikes you would expect to see in the Olympics...
  • 1 0
 Pro XXL is like 21.5 at least. Pro is usually around 20"
  • 5 0
 nice to see Matti Lehikoinen back in the game. what happened to him? why not in the UCI DH Elite circle?
  • 2 0
 CRC dumped him
  • 5 0
 Think he rides for a local Finnish team on a demo 8 now in the Finnish nationals.
  • 6 1
 Hungarians, Hungarians everywhere. ;D
  • 1 0
 The Polygon is pretty close to stock, not a prototype. Maybe some weight has been saved. The prototype bike Mick Hannah has been riding recently is completely different. It uses a linkage more in tune with the "VPP" linkage found on Santa Cruz bikes.
  • 4 0
 Polc looks like Borris Said with that hair.
  • 1 0
 Ha! That's what I was thinking. If only my hair was like that now.
  • 3 0
 Brendan's Five Ten Shoes looks nice.
  • 3 0
 That Polygon is looking sick as hell
  • 1 0
 In the Masters pic, what's with the guy in the striped shirt, wielding a magazine? Marching to the beat of his own drum I suppose.
  • 3 0
 It's a tourist guide marching and fist-pumping to the beat of a senior club field trip.
  • 2 0
 I didn't even know that Iron Horse was still around!!!
  • 5 0
 They are, but unfortunately, they're like a walmart bike now. It kills me to think they made the Sunday, and now they make budget bikes.
  • 4 0
 I still see a few Sundays out at local races and bike parks here in California. Is a DH bike more than 3 years old considered not competitive anymore? Give it to the right rider and you could still kick some noob ass!
  • 10 0
 Its usual here in Hungary that talented, good riders have to use low-budget bikes because they couldn't afford to 5k € bikes, so they go for 2nd/3rd hand hand, older bikes.
  • 7 0
 @elsorichard

Same here in Serbia. My mates ride pre 2010 bikes, and to be quite frank, nobody gives a damn. Just ride what you have and enjoy it. Smile
  • 1 1
 Agreed, I have a Schwinn 405 trail, it's not the greatest bike out there, but I still love it...
  • 3 0
 i have a sunday frame too, and yes its cheap, a bit old, but works fantasticly! Smile even in big bikeparks too Smile
  • 1 1
 Any idea why Iron Horse decided to go from top of their game to shit?
  • 2 0
 Go go Matti! That Evil looks awesome.
  • 2 0
 Should have replaced Fabien pic with Tracy's
  • 2 0
 All things come to he who waits
  • 2 0
 His Evil is so sick
  • 2 0
 That Sunday
  • 13 0
 I just went to the iron horse website to see what the company was like now. It made me sad.
  • 1 0
 The stair gap in this race is sick
  • 1 0
 I don't think I have ever wanted something as bad as I want that gambler.
  • 1 0
 Martin Knapec--- CTM Carbon DH Prototype KING !
  • 3 0
 Yeah the Bike is something new but the Pose is old...

wdremix.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/pinup_girls_3.jpg
  • 1 0
 Filip's undead - dreambike for me!!
  • 2 0
 Respect for Slavik!
  • 1 0
 Anybody else care that the CTM is 650b.
  • 2 0
 I would if it actually was...
  • 1 0
 Why is it no longer in Lisbon!?

Loved that place
  • 1 1
 Probably i'm miss something. Brendan left the team Specialized?
  • 2 0
 He did. Now riding for team Gstaad-Scott with Floriane Pugin, Patrick Thome and others.
  • 1 0
 MARCELO GUTIERREZ ???
  • 1 0
 Wait up for the second part Wink
  • 1 1
 When Brendan Fairclough is gonna win somethin?
  • 1 2
 i thought iron horse stopped making bikes???????
  • 1 2
 the Zerode is not a gearbox
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