What's Different? Talking Bike Setup With the Pros - Leogang DH World Cup

Jun 10, 2017 at 10:57
by Mike Kazimer  
Compared to the chunky rock cobbles of Fort William, this weekend's race course in Leogang, Austria, is a much smoother affair, and so far there haven't been any sticky mud bogs in the middle of the course to slow riders down. Ross Bell caught up with six racers to find out what setup changes they've made to deal with the berms, brake bumps, and high speeds of the Leogang track.

bigquotesI guess the only difference from here to Fort William is it's pretty cool to use the lock out more... I tend to lock it out as I get onto the motorway. I forgot to take it off a few times in practice and it felt mint... So I pretty much just click it on for the motorway and leave it on now, just because it felt real good. That's at least half the track locked out, I guess. The high speed still works and there's so many compressions it feel like it gives you a bit more support.

Yeah, it's quite funny, really, isn't it, like, making your suspension work worse, but it blows through so much here and there's so much to chuck you off, it's actually quite nice to take a little more strain off the body and into the bike. You're always progressing forwards and you're not getting too sumped out in all the big compressions.
Laurie Greenland

bigquotesThe track is way different, it's actually steeper here, even if there isn't anything super rough. You need a bike that gets more travel in all the steep sections and not too kicky. Even if it's pretty smooth on the ground some parts can really push you over, and the grip is really important too, like Fort William, actually. Just different setup insides – we change the insides of everything. Fort William is like a bamboo stick [referring to the feel of his bike], and here is more like a bamboo stick but flexible – it's better, I prefer the bike like that.Loic Bruni

bigquotesThe air shock is a tiny bit lighter, and for this race course it's just a bit better; it's just many jump and jumps, it's a bit more like a BMX track, and the air shock fits a bit better with the bike.Loris Vergier

bigquotesI went up 2 psi on the fork from Fort William, and opened up the low speed compression a little bit. On the shock, I went up a spring rate and slowed it down a little bit on the low speed and high speed rebound. That's to stop it from dragging its ass on the motorway bits, try to make it roll a little bit faster and stay on top of the bumps. Matt Walker

bigquotesI found that as the track got rougher and rougher there were so many brake bumps; I found it more comfortable to have this [the coil rear shock], despite the weight and the pedaling section you have here I feel much better on technical parts with it so that's why I made this choice.Myriam Nicole

bigquotesFrom Fort William to here we kind of just went a bit harder in the fork and didn't change too much because the bike setup is similar. The track kind of feels, not the same, but it's fast, it's rough, and you want to go fast, so that's why we went harder in the fork. It's not so long, so you can run it less comfortable than what we were running in Fort William. You kind of need a bit of comfort there, but here you can just go as hard until you can't hold on anymore.

I dropped the tire pressures, because in Fort William you don't lose traction too much, and in the woods you were going to lose traction even if you had a fat bike down that thing. Here with the way the track is running I run a little lower pressure just to keep traction in places; it seemed to work out all right, I guess.
Tracey Hannah

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Member since Feb 1, 2009
1,730 articles

  • 222 3
 Would like to see one on how Atwill's setup has changed. 'Well, I shed 100mm of travel in the front fork, steepened up the head angle to 70 degrees and did away with the rear shock'
  • 124 0
 and he greased up his mullet for aerodynamics
  • 12 44
flag BenPea (Jun 10, 2017 at 13:45) (Below Threshold)
 @9M119M1: Spivtastic. His style is getting a little out of hand. Irony can go too far.
  • 3 0
 That was inspired
  • 6 2
 And was still way off the pace
  • 130 0
 How's the bike feeling mate?
Normal rider - 'Yeah good mate, quite plush through the rougher sections but also feels good on the flat out parts too'.
Bruni - 'Like a bamboo stick bro'.
  • 5 4
 Is that some sort of eastern thing?
  • 8 1
 What the hell was that comparision anyway? Bamboo is flexible Loic haha
  • 74 0
 -So how's the weather today Loic?
- ..Like a bamboo stick, but flexible.
  • 7 2
 @mollow: Depends on the stick. The thicker the stick, the less it flexes. A bamboo stick the diameter as used on that Demo bike doesn't flex much.

Maybe he was referring to the dampening qualities. I can get that.
  • 71 0
  • 8 0
 @slayerdegnar: Far from it. I dig your style Dude.
  • 10 1
 When seagulls follow the trawler it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea
  • 4 0
 @witica: Beautiful! Cantona was the first person I thought of when I read Loic's comments.
  • 3 1
 @mollow: bamboo is actually very stiff for a wood material : about 20GPa (alu is 70GPa, titanium 110GPa and steel 210GPa). If it feels flexy it's because of the shape (same phenomenon as why steel frames can be more flexible than aluminium, tubing size etc)
  • 3 1
 @Uuno: Technically, bamboo is a kind of grass. The fibres are not only stiff, but incredibly strong and as it grows so fast, it makes for a very sustainable construction material. As with all possible materials, bicycles are being made from bamboo as well.
  • 41 1
 Been to a few of these world cups and you really gotta give the guys/girls who are privateers, or without the huge sponsorships, (and full time mechanics ) kudos for doing it all on their own!!!
  • 23 3
 Bruni's Superman edition Demo frame looks soo damm good with Ohlins suspension.
  • 18 2
 What's next?
Dropper posts
  • 21 0
 They've used the at Pietermaritzburg in the past.
  • 83 2
 @dingus: I don't blame them man, I use "the" all the time, it's one of my go-to words.
  • 1 0
 Electronic (automatic) lockouts..?
  • 8 7
 These DH racers run their posts quite high actually. And then I saw the Atherton diaries lately. I think Kade would confirm that a suspension seatpost would be nice. You can still control the bike with your thighs but you don't need to check after your ride where your penis went (if you usually have one, that is).
  • 3 0
 @experthucker: Sorry for the language (if that's what's getting me the downvotes). View www.pinkbike.com/news/atherton-diaries-episode-5-diy-dislocation-treatments-road-gaps-and-whips-to-swamp-video-2017.html for the context (from about 8:45 to 9:10). That said, I noticed he wasn't running his seat that particularly high. Or at least it wasn't high after the impact. Still, this isn't the area where the body is good at receiving heavy impact.
  • 17 4
 2 psi huh.
  • 17 5
 I wouldn't scoff, that feels like a ton when you actually do it!
  • 10 0
 @BeardlessMarinRider: And the pros have data collection to measure these changes where the rest of us go by the squish test
  • 18 10
 You know it's narly, when the air shocks come out and the lockouts for coil and air shocks are the latest craze, because lets face it, Dh has gotten so narly now, you need a lockout, you need big wheels, it's so much more narly than Enduro, it's pushing the boundaries so far, I mean Leogang is so tough it's a true world class track makes Champery look like a pussies track, DH and lockouts, road tires next because that will make it faster and even more narly! Modern DH is so bad ass!!
  • 7 1
 Tell that to the those in hospital in Leogang.
  • 1 0
 @chrismac70: those people are in hospital in no small part because this race was a contest of pinning it and trying to get away with the biggest risk, rather than a challenge of technical bike riding skill.
  • 10 0
 The bike porn is real, I'm fully erect
  • 78 0
 Like a bamboo stick.
  • 56 0
 @AlexS1: but flexible
  • 12 6
 So Laurie Greenland rides half the course on a hardtail? Seems pretty tech...
  • 27 1
 "lockout" doesn't immobilize the high speed damping circuit, just slows down low-speed circuit dramatically - not a hardtail.
  • 7 2
 @erikkellison: similar to a climb switch on ccdb inline right?
  • 6 0
 @bigbluebike: Pretty much, but the climb switch also increases low speed rebound damping... it's not clear if the new fox 'lockout' does this but I doubt it
  • 5 0
 @Jenk0s: Considering that even Fox' XC-oriented shocks don't quite lock things out, I wouldn't be surprised that a DH-oriented "lockout" feature would be merely firming things up to cope with different terrain types.
  • 6 0
  • 9 0
 And damping accessories.
  • 3 0
 This seems like the perfect track for Polygon to slap on a dual crown to their NAILD enduro bike. I wonder why they didn't.
  • 1 0
 That would be sick.
  • 1 1
 I think their technicians should epoxy all their pivot bolt nuts. Does incredible things for a sense of stiffness. Epoxy has a melting point of ~70° C so there should not be a problem removing it, as long as you don't use carbon frame - then your whole frame would melt at 70° C. One of many reasons I don't use carbon frames. Razz
  • 3 0
 I thought epoxy was thermoset. That is, it doesn't melt. But you made me curious. It would mean people should really not keep their bike in the car on a hot day!
  • 1 0
 It softens with heat, but it doesn't melt. Once the heat is removed, it actually rehardens, which is pretty cool.
  • 1 0
 @therealtylerdurden: Wow, didn't know that. So you can actually reshape a laminate to some extend. But it wouldn't really flow, right? So excessive deformation would cause voids in the matrix (especially if have a weave).

That said, how does epoxy over the pivot bolt nuts increase stiffness? I can imagine it could work as some form of threadlock, but other than that frame stiffness comes from bearing play and material/construction stiffness, isn't it?
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I don't think it flows, but I'm not 100%, I've honestly never tried it. I'd imagine you wouldn't want to overheat it, so a heat gun would probably be the best bet. There are some epoxies with a higher heat tolerance too, so knowing what you're working with is imperative.

And I agree with your second point, I'm not seeing what the point of it is, besides f*cking up a perfectly good frame.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: and as far as laminates go, I'd assume that post cure re-forming would be a bad idea. With solitary epoxy, minor modifications probably wouldn't be a problem. Probably. Lol
  • 1 0
 How does that polygon suspension work? From here it looks like it would extend the shock rather than compress it. Can anyone elaborate?
  • 7 0
 Nevermind, just looked up a linkage analysis video, pretty interesting

  • 2 0
 I'm pretty sure the lower link drives the shock and the upper shock mount moves a little with the shock similar to Treks full floater but backwards/upside down.

  • 15 0
 @jaha222: I was looking for a reason why my polygon video had a significant increase in views on the last hours and now I know it why Big Grin eheh
  • 3 0
 @andrextr: are you marketing a new toilet roll called TR? :-)
  • 2 0
 Those onlins forks are damn sexy!
  • 2 1
 Does Matt Walker's Float looks like he's spun that preload almost all the way down? Or is he running a shorter coil?
  • 1 0
 Looks really odd
  • 1 0
 What's the deal with the large spacers people are running on top of their coil springs?
  • 1 0
 You can run a shorter spring as long as the stroke of the shock is shorter than coil spring travel. The spacer lets you add as much preload as if you were running a longer spring.
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