Brook Macdonald vs Laurie Greenland: 2 Mondraker Summums Head to Head

Jun 15, 2019 at 13:50
by James Smurthwaite  
Laurie Greenland's (left) and Brook MacDonald's (right) Mondraker Summums. Photos: Trevor Lyden.

After two brutal race weeks in Fort William and Leogang, most teams took the opportunity to rest up and skip Crankworx. Not MS Mondraker, though. They've brought their full pit setup and a stacked roster of riders all ready to race. We grabbed the bike of their smallest team member, Laurie Greenland, and their largest, Brook MacDonald, to compare their rides and see what differences we could find.

About the riders

Brook MacDonald

Just don t piss off the Bulldog alright It won t go well.

Age 27
Height 1m 75cm
Weight 83kg
Instagram @brookmacdonald6

Laurie Greenland

In the money and already on the beers this is the face of a happy chap. Greenland scores his best ever result at a WC.

Age 22
Height 1m 68cm
Weight 73kg
Instagram @lauriegreenland_


Frame

Both riders are on Mondraker Summums with Brook one frame size up from Laurie. The frames for both riders have been lined with plastic tubes and filled with foam to keep them silent up on track. Brook's mechanic Ben doesn't recommend emulating this is trick, though. He tried it on his own bike first and made a bit of a mess of it before he got the hang of the technique for the team bikes.


Brook MacDonald


Frame size Large
Headset Cup Brook has a headset cup custom made by Ben, his mechanic, that adds 6mm to his front end. Ben wanted a headset cup that didn't add any rise and kept the head angle consistent , so he machined this one.
Chainstay length 450mm - middle setting

A custom made +6mm cup for Brook.

Laurie Greenland


Frame size Medium
Headset Cup Laurie also has a headset cup fitted and his adds 7mm. His isn't custom (like Brook's) but his mechanic has cut it down a bit so it doesn't add stack height, allowing Laurie to keep a low position on the bike.
Chainstay length 450mm - middle setting

Laurie's +7mm cup has been cut down to keep his front end low.


Fork

Both riders are on Fox 40s and Mondraker are one of the only teams that have raced all three World Cups this year on the smaller wheel size, although we've been told that may change for Leogang. Their damping tunes up front are almost identical, except Brook has a bit more pressure in his fork.


Brook MacDonald

Brook's blank number plate, complete with noise cancelling Velcro

Fork Pressure 88psi
Volume Tokens 5
High-Speed Compression 15
Low-Speed Compression 11


Laurie Greenland

Laurie's cables also got a Velcro wrap to reduce noise.

Fork Pressure 73psi
Volume Tokens 5
High-Speed Compression 15
Low-Speed Compression 11


Shock

Both riders run a Fox DHX2 and they set these up similarly too, with Brook on a heavier spring and one click more low speed compression.


Brook MacDonald


Spring Weight 550 lbs/in
High-Speed Compression 10
Low-Speed Compression 9


Laurie Greenland


Spring Weight 475 lbs/in
High-Speed Compression 10
Low-Speed Compression 8


Wheels

The Mondraker team are riding Mavic Deemax wheels with the new Michelin DH 34 tyres. The team used to run CushCore inserts with their previous tyre sponsor, but don't have any system in their current tyres, simply because they think they no longer need them with the new Michelins.


Brook MacDonald


Wheel size 27.5" front and rear
Tyre Pressure 21psi front, 23psi rear
Inserts No


Laurie Greenland


Wheel size 27.5" front and rear
Tyre Pressure 21psi front, 23psi rear
Inserts No


Contact Points

Things start to get really different when you look at the controls of the bikes. Laurie is running old reliable Saint brakes, but Brook is on the new XTR brakes. He's testing them this weekend and, apparently, prefers the lever blade's shape and the brake's initial bite. If Brook likes them enough, then Laurie will probably run them at the next World Cup too. Both riders also have different width bars and run different pedals and saddles. They both have the same Renthal stem though, each trying to get as low as possible on the bike.


Brook MacDonald


Bar width 775mm
Bar rise 30mm
Brakes Shimano XTR - 203mm rotors
Stem Length 50mm
Stem Rise 0mm
Grips Lock on
Pedals Shimano Saint






Laurie Greenland


Bar width 760mm
Bar rise 30mm
Brakes Shimano Saint - 203mm rotors
Stem Length 50mm
Stem Rise 0mm
Grips Glued
Pedals Crankbrothers Mallet






Drivetrain

Both riders have identical drivetrains with a 36 tooth chainring up front and a 10 speed XTR cassette with the biggest three cogs removed.


Brook MacDonald


Chainring 36T
Cassette 11-13-15-17-19-21-23T



Laurie Greenland


Chainring 36T
Cassette 11-13-15-17-19-21-23T



Disclosure

While we were comparing Brook's and Laurie's race bikes in the pits, the two Mondraker racers were out testing on Summums outfitted with 29-inch wheels and Fox 49 forks. As this article was in the proofing stages, Brook won the day using the 29-inch front end. Considering the similarities of the pair's setups, it would be a good bet that we'll see Laurie on a Mondraker mullet next race. Greenland's smaller stature, however, may affect that decision.

Ben, brook's wrenchman
Mark Sterland looks after Laurie's ride.



77 Comments

  • + 109
 please pinkbike I mean it! More of this pleeeeease!
  • + 3
 Bulldog got taller over the years? he was reported 168cm back then.
  • + 39
 23 psi sounds extremely low, not having to pay for your own rims seems wonderful...
  • + 20
 Perhaps it’s the cynic in me but I’d be willing to bet that they use inserts even when they say they don’t.
  • + 7
 yeah though so too. im about 175 lbs and gotta run bout 28 psi to not smash my rims
  • + 5
 I'm the same weight as Laurie and typically run 23-25 psi on the rear with a Forekaster (EXO) and a Spank rim that I beat the f*ck out of. I tend to ride/land rear-biased too. Laurie is also on wider DH rims and using a DH casing. It's a pretty normal tire pressure for someone at 160 lbs.
  • - 12
flag lehott (Jun 16, 2019 at 23:30) (Below Threshold)
 I run 42psi with my 25mm rim, tubeless set-up, I weigh 163lbs fully kitted
  • + 12
 @lehott: holy crap dude. Why so high? If I go over 30psi even on my hardtail I feel like I have no grip and just skating down the trails
  • + 3
 @rezrov: In my experience the exo-casing f*ck's up your rim way easier than the DD or new DH-casings. When on the Minion DHF EXO i had to have at least 28-30 psi in my rear wheel, but with the same thread and DH (without wire) i can run 24-25 ish pressure.
  • + 3
 pretty common pressures for that weight, used the same with ex 471 rims and dh casing
  • + 4
 I hear this all the time, but many people think they are running 30 PSI because that is what their pump says, when in reality they're usually running low 20's. Unless you measure your tire with a digital gauge you have no idea what pressures you are running and very few people are running less than 20 or over 30.
  • + 15
 I run 63 psi front and rear and weigh 527 lbs fully kitted with three sandwiches in my pocket
  • + 0
 @dh1stan: because I like high efficiency and I don't like using "legit" "minimal rolling" tires, I ride Purgatory 2.4, works for me
  • + 5
 Michelin have some new technology in the sidewalls, because of this the effective psi has to be dropped massively otherwise they feel too stiff. Inserts would be fully overkill in this tyre...!
  • + 14
 What about rebound settings? All we got is compression.
  • + 16
 Rebound is often overlooked...but IMO is much more important to get it right than compression.
  • + 1
 Rebound is where the stanchions come back(speed?)from being compressed? On my Manitou I've only got rebound and the air psi (+lockout)
  • + 2
 Rebound is almost entirely dependent on spring rate. So, the heavier the rider, the stiffer the spring, the more rebound damping that's required. It's a fairly set and forget thing for DH racers, whereas compression damping usually comes down to preference and track surface conditions, etc... I would expect Brook to have an extra couple clicks of rebound over Laurie, but all that really shows is that Brook is heavier and has a stiffer spring on his bike.
  • + 1
 @lehott: on cheaper suspension the compression knob is often excluded , cause even with A terrible compression setting you can still control the bike , but with no rebound you'd never be able to get an even half decent run out of a bike
  • + 1
 @srjacobs: not almost, it is entirely dependant on spring rate. Only the spring returns the suspension and the rebound needs to control that. With compression settings you can be a jackass and huck to flat or ride smooth. The compression settings should be different for these two cases.

Also it's the compression setting that makes the suspensions of pros stiff, not the spring rate. They run the correct sag, so run a "normal" spring rate. Except maybe for some more ramp up. But the main factor is the compression setting.
  • + 5
 It's mentioned a few times how they both want to be low on the bike and brook even has a custom low stack headset and yet they both run quite high 30mm rise bars, i'm intrigued why?
  • + 8
 Bar rise has a different effect to stack. With stack you gain height at the headangle, so end up losing some reach. With bar rise it’s mostly vertical so reach is unaffected
  • + 1
 @maglor, because 30mm rise gets the honeys. Bitches love 30mm!
  • + 6
 Mullets are coming back metal AF. Brace yourselves
  • + 1
 Both bikes are practically identical. Was there even a purpose to this article lol I do find the foam inside the frame interesting! I wonder what kind was used? How much weight does it add? And how much of a difference it really makes? Now that’s worth writing an article about!!!!!
  • + 3
 Do those mallet pedals have the leading outside edge machined or ground off a little to help with deflection on ground strikes?
  • + 2
 Work of a grinder. Less square edge to catch on. Subtle but clean work
  • + 2
 The mallets come like this from stock now. Still lots of old pedals on sale though so shops are selling old style as new! But it was changed late 2018 for pros and all 2019 should have this.
  • + 1
 No Ben didn‘t machine the headset himself. That was a guy called Sergio Tschenett from the Bike Patcher in Müstertal, a true genius when it comes to building custom parts for Pros!
  • + 2
 I would never think Brooke is 175cm even though I remember standing next to him. Anyway bikecheck from 2018 says 170cm so in 27 years of age he grew 5cms in one year??
  • + 1
 I thought the blade shape of the Saints was the same as XTR. Along with the power (seeing as the pistons are the same size..) So what are the differences that give more initial bite??
  • + 4
 how can it change-wheel size-for leogang when that was the other week!?
  • + 1
 For the crankworks DH - which he won.
  • + 1
 @neimbc: that was Innsburg not leogang.
  • + 1
 @hhaaiirryy: Correct - Cranksworxs DH. I believe that's what they're 're referring to.
  • + 5
 @neimbc: think they are attempting to refer to the next WC if anything-Andorra
  • + 1
 @hhaaiirryy: queenstruck
  • + 2
 Great article! What is holding the bikes up in the first pic? I stared for a while and couldn't see anything.
  • + 9
 You can't see the stack of Photoshop CS6 boxes propping those up?
  • + 8
 Nothing is holding them. A photo only needs a fraction of a second to be taken so what you aren’t seeing is the hands of the two assistants at the rear wheel for the brief moment they let go, the photo is taken and then they quickly grab the bike before it kips over
  • + 3
 @oldfaith: Nailed it. If you look at the reflection in the Fox truck you can actually see Benny ready to catch the bike
  • + 2
 @Rubberelli: This comment needs more props!!!
  • + 1
 The force is strong on those bikes..they hold themselves up during pictorials..
  • + 1
 @jamessmurthwaite: nice. I had thought that solution most likely, just requires good timing and some willing assistants i guess. thanks for the reply Smile
  • + 1
 21 up front and 23 out back. Always said these are the magic numbers. 760ish bars too. Smile

Good to see a bike review of 2 people from the same team.
  • + 1
 What do the clicks mean for compression? Is that from fully open (un-dampened) or "fully" closed (maximum dampening)?
BTW. Is it damping or dampening?
  • + 2
 Damping... but lol i laughed. "Maximum dampening" ... Yeah, soak it!!!
  • + 3
 Click counts are usually given from fully closed since that point is constantly the same. Measuring from open is not constantly the same given differences in production tolerances. Fully open on one fork could be different from fully open on another, but fully closed will always be the same. Damping refers to suspension motion, dampening refers to getting something wet.
  • + 2
 Very keen to know Mike Jones’s spring weight and frame size?
  • + 2
 These are almost retro bikes in a few ways.
  • + 1
 Are they both on 35mm bars? I've noticed a resurgence in some of the pros returning to 31.8 alu bars recently...
  • + 5
 Yeah, ultimate failure of carbon bars at the clamps are pretty common. Resonance frequency is also a big deal that seems to be better with aluminum. I’ve cut down some 800+ 35mm bars and they were brutal. Someone needs to do some physics work to sort this stuff out.
  • + 8
 The article says they are both trying to get at low as possible, yet they run riser bars. Why not flat bars?
  • + 2
 @nigelh: they probably want the low stack height to minimize the reach shortening effect of raising the bars in line with the head tube angle. With riser bars you can in theory get rise straight up without losing reach. Although many people run the bar rise rolled slightly back.
  • + 1
 I think the resurgence of 31.8 coincides with the resurgence of alu bars. Basically you can get 35mm bars to feel ok in carbon, but they snap too much and 35mm alu bars are horrible
  • + 1
 Is it usual to have the same compression settings but different spring rates in their forks and shocks?
  • + 1
 I'm an inch shorter than Brook and weigh the same as Laurie. Damn Bulldog is THICC.
  • + 1
 What’s the BB height from the floor on these?
  • + 1
 Any idea where you can the extender cups Laurie has ?
  • - 2
 First of all what the heck is up with this foam filled frame shenanigans haha?? Second, what are they doing to quiet down those xtr brakes?
  • + 4
 I got XTR 4's. Silent
  • + 6
 They are Shimano not SRAM
  • + 1
 @IllestT:dam, I have them too and all I can hear while riding is the brake pads ticking against the caliper
  • + 1
 no doubt.. someone explain this foam
  • + 1
 Glued grips, really?
  • + 3
 if it does the job and offers more comfort, not everyone likes thick grips. i'm tempted to try it myself next time around!
  • + 2
 Less vibration, the plastic core of a lock on grip against the bar
  • + 2
 Lots of benefits to slide on grips(AKA non-lockon)Cheap,comfortable ,shimable to make the grip larger with shrink tube and they last longer due to there being more grip to wear.
  • - 2
 whoa they run different pedals and sadals.. neat .
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