Hot out of the mold, We Are One Composites showed up in Whistler with a new prototype downhill bike that they've been working on for a few months now. If this bike looks familiar, that's because it draws from the experience that Vlad Yordanov learned from a university project, his Sequence
frame. Both Vlad, and the other three engineers on the team, Ben Markwick, Adam Marchand, and Logan Kupchanko put tons of overtime hours in to complete the first rideable prototype in time for Crankworx.
This unnamed frame is serving as a control point for manufacturing more specific downhill components, such as rims, and a new direct mount stem.
The frame borrows the rear triangle from an XL Arrival and a portion of the front triangle too. Heaps of carbon overlap was used to connect the Arrival front triangle to the new shock tunnel area and reinforce the front shock mount.
As for the geometry and kinematics, there are plenty of numbers to rattle off. The head angle sits at 62.8-degrees and the reach measures 480mm. The chainstays are 455 and grow to 460mm at sag. The bottom bracket is 348mm from the ground at a static height.
Right now, the frame is set up with mixed wheels and a 250x75mm shock that produces 215mm of travel. The linkage runs progressive to linear with a specifically tuned RockShox SuperDeluxe Coil. When asked about leverage curves, Vlad said that it's progressive at the start and then mellows out. It starts at 3.8 and drops to 2.8 at the sag mark, then relaxes around 2.6 for the remainder of the travel.
Of course, all of those numbers could change as the riding portion of the development gets underway. With the highly sensitive pivot points of the dual link suspension design, modular linkage components can be quickly swapped out to change the handling and shock kinematics.
The two-piece direct mount stem can be configured to tune the steering stiffness. By swapping the orientation of the left and right arms, riders can choose their preferred stiffness by using the same handlebar.
The rear triangle is from an XL Arrival and has a 455mm chainstay. One change is the cable routing, which now runs through the shock tunnel, instead of below the BB.
When asked about plans to race downhill World Cups, the crew at the booth just smirked at me.