Bike Check: Julien Absalon's BMC Fourstroke 01 - XC World Championships Vallnord 2015

Sep 5, 2015 at 0:17
by Irmo Keizer  

With 30 World Cup victories, two Olympic titles, five World Championship titles and six overall World Cup victories, introducing Julien Absalon would be an insult. Absalon has prevailed on a variety of bicycles, every type of race course, and in any imaginable weather, so he probably knows a bit about race-prepping his bike. We caught up with Absalon in the pits leading up to the 2015 UCI Mountain bike World Championships to see if he would share some of the pre-race setup and preparation that he and his mechanic, Sylvain Golay, do to ensure that there will be no surprises on race day.

Julien Absalon and Silvain going over the bike setup.
Julien Absalon (left) and mechanic, Sylvain Golay.

bigquotesEverything is checked before each race and after each practice session. As for the race (depending on the weather), tire pressure or suspension might be changed a bit, as well as the tires. Plus, as I'm riding a single ring setup, I have to choose a front ring, which also depends on the course and weather conditions.
Julien Absalon
Two bikes await for Julien Absalon in identical setup

2015 World XC Champs
Sylvain Golay: The value of a devoted professional race mechanic cannot be overstated.

Absalon s shiny white bikes are being prepped for the 2015 World Championships by Sylvain Golay.
Sylvain keeps two identical bikes at the ready in the rare event that Absalon crashes in practice. They also allow Julien to experiment with different gearing and suspension tunes.

A custom carbon BMC chainguard is used in conjunction with Shimano s 1X XTR setup. Absalon still has to decide what ring and tyres to run for the race.
A custom carbon BMC chainguide is used in conjunction with a Shimano one-by XTR crankset.
A carbon linkage further decreases weight.
Absalon uses IRD remote electronics to lock out his Fox fork and shock.
Electric wiring for the Di2 setup is shrink-wrapped.
Electric wiring for the Di2 drivetrain is consolidated with heat-shrunk tubing. Electronic controls are a new skillset for race mechanics.
As tidy as possible.
Direct-mount rear derailleur hanger and tidy wire routing for the Di2 XTR mech.

XTR M9000 brakes with metallic brake pads.
Julien is Shimano sponsored. His stoppers of choice are lightweight XTR M9000 brakes, with metallic pads.

Thirty victories. Thirty. Julien Absalon is a mountainbike legend.
World Champion colors and a reminder that its owner has earned thirty victories.
Absolute Absalon.
Mountain bike legends get special treatments: "Absolute Absalon."

Lightweight axles for Julien Absalon on his Fox fork.
...And legends get lightweight axles for their Factory Fox IRD forks.

Sylvain Golay Julien Absalon s mechanic does a full rebuilt of Absalon s bike. No detail is left unchecked.
Between practice runs, every screw and each component is rechecked.

A van full of spares. BMC does take racing seriously.
A van full of spares is a massive time saver - BMC takes racing seriously.

About the Photographer

Irmo Keizer • Age: 36 • Years Shooting: 10
Irmo Keizer has been mountain biking since high school. Irmo loves nature, technical trails and landscapes and dislikes too many race lines and fire roads. Irmo has a strong passion for all sorts of mountain bike disciplines ranging from cross country, to enduro and downhill. Combining his passion of mountain biking and photography ten years ago, Irmo has been working as a photographer/editor in mountain biking ever since.


  • + 19
 Custom carbon linkage too, by the looks of it. All about the grams!
  • - 80
flag WAKIdesigns (Sep 5, 2015 at 2:33) (Below Threshold)
 and publicity value
  • + 44
 I like how WAKI's comment has garnered more down votes at this point than there are total up votes for the whole comment section. That's a talent.
  • - 73
flag WAKIdesigns (Sep 5, 2015 at 3:52) (Below Threshold)
 please send the record to my biographer
  • + 28
 Downvotes for WAKI are the new upvotes!
  • + 5
 I'm just here to down vote waki. The troll is strong in this one! Seriously though waki's trolling is hilarious. Keep up the good work... Best reason to read the comments!
  • - 41
flag WAKIdesigns (Sep 5, 2015 at 11:49) (Below Threshold)
 Down votes mean Hagen-Dazs in my language
  • + 10
 the post starts as :" With 30 World Cup victories, two Olympic titles, five World Championship titles and six overall World Cup victories..."
And he doesn't think it is enough, at this moment of the race he is bitting the Schurter's ass.
......... It is good to see a post about the mechanics of XC.
  • + 7
 And thanks for introducing him and his stats. I've heard of him but I don't know anything about him. Is he Remy Absalon's brother?
  • + 7
 Yes, Julien is Rémy big bro, the Power is strong in their family!
  • + 13
  • + 5
 Right: "The value of a devoted professional race mechanic cannot be overstated." ...all said...
  • + 1
 Check the link, they spelled the wrong..."Our Speedfox just got a little bit wilder with teh addition of a Trailcrew"
  • + 3
 Want, even a fat beast like me could win on a bike like that... Naaaaaat!!!!
  • + 11
 Get one, you might not win but if you keep riding it you won't be a fat beast any more. Perhaps even a fast beast, then you'll win.
  • + 0
 Lol, I'm not fat, in fact I despise fat people! But nevertheless, you can always get fitter!!!
  • + 4
 More XC Gold in more ways than one.
  • + 1
 And Sylvain Golay, seems to be the brother of Florian Golay, who is a famous EWS rider.
  • + 3
 A true race team!
  • + 1
 Great pix. I wonder what wheels and tires he used at the race.
  • + 1
 were is my lightweight axle?
  • + 2
 you can buy them from Fox. This is the UK importer:
  • + 2
 Nice, nice bikes.

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