A Case of National Pride
Are Gwin and Troy's Demo race bikes the trickest World Championship machines ever? I don't think you need to be an American to appreciate the level of detail that Specialized, HT, Renthal the rest of the team's sponsors have gone to on Aaron's rig, with the finished product likely being the most patriotic bike in the pits. Both frames are the very same custom Demos that we saw earlier in the year
, including the modified carbon layup that Jason Chamberlain, Specialized's Senior Engineer, told us may or may not ever see production. '''Stiffer' would be far too much of a simplification of what we are doing,
'' he explained about the modified layup back in April, possibly hinting that the team are looking to tune both amount of flex that the frame provides and how it flexes when being ridden at World Cup speeds. The bike is also equipped with the CNC'd aluminum rocker link, machined right in Specialized's Morgan Hill headquarters, that adds a bit of adjustability and creates a more progressive suspension rate.
While Specialized does have a paint shop in Morgan Hill, California, that has put out some incredibly detailed bikes, both Gwin and Troy's Demos were actually painted by a shop in Europe that the team use for overseas jobs. A close look at Gwin's bike reveals some cool things: there's twelve stars that represent the twelve World Cup wins that Gwin had notched up at the time that his frame was painted (he's since won two more, though
), and a bald eagle on the back of the bike's seat tube is holding a broken chain in its talons, a homage to his ridiculous chain-less win at the Leogang World Cup that saw him pump, tuck and coast to victory.
Troy's Demo might not be quite as flashy, but it's looking pretty fresh in those colours. Both bikes are also sporting gold anodized chains and X01 DH cassettes, as well as a slew of titanium bolts all around that shave a bit more weight off. On a more detailed setup note, Gwin's mechanic, John Hall, explained that he doesn't like to flush the grease out of the bike's bearings before he hands it off to his rider, saying that he believes that it's more important that the bike sounds smooth and doesn't give off any false sense of speed, strange rattles, or sport a crazy loud freehub.
|Yeah, it's always good when you're the Australian Champ and you run the sleeve all year at the World Cups. It's pretty cool, but then when you actually get selected to race for Australia and you have all the little bits from Australia on the bike, it's pretty good. And just World Champs in general - the whole of Australia is backing me for the win and that feels pretty good! - Troy Brosnan|
Photos by Nathan Hughes