Loris and Luca's Santa Cruz V10 29ers - Val di Sole DH World Cup 2018

Jul 5, 2018 at 15:17
by Mike Levy  



Santa Cruz's Luca Shaw has been oh so close to taking his first World Cup win at both of the last two rounds, with a flat tire and a crash knocking him out of contention. His teammate Loris Vergier has been right there as well, with a 5th in Leogang that was just 2.1-seconds off of first, and a 2nd at Fort Bill that was just 0.27-seconds off of Amaury Pierron's winning time. World Cup racing is so damn good right now, isn't it?

Both Vergier and Shaw have been on Santa Cruz's brand new and still very much not production V10 29er, and we caught up with their respective mechanics to see how their setups differ.


Loris Vergier

Loris Vergier's V10 29er

Vergier stands 5' 8'' tall and while he did start this season aboard a medium-sized prototype, he's since moved up to a large as he prefers its 460mm reach number, his mechanic, Pierre-Alexandre Roche, explained to PB photographer Ross Bell.

The decision to race a medium early in the season was based on last year's bike, which was also a prototype, as well as comparing numbers to the Specialized he was on before signing with Santa Cruz, but it looks like a large V10 with a standard headset (as opposed to a reach-lengthening headset) is just the ticket for the French racer.
Pierre-Alexandre Roche mechanic for Loris Vergier
Pierre-Alexandre Roche working on Loris' V10

At 154lb, Vergier runs 80 PSI his Fox fork, and it sounds like he's all about that ramp-up, too: there are four tokens inside to keep him from bottoming too often. He prefers a relatively quick rebound speed, Roche said, but his compression settings are in the middle of the range.


Loris Vergier
Vergier is running his V10 in the 'Hi' geometry setting in Val di Sole.

Loris Vergier
A quiet bike is a fast bike.


Out back, he's chosen a coil-sprung shock as of right now, but Roche did mention that his racer likes to experiment with both options and that Loris himself said he should have been on a coil at the Leogang World Cup. Hindsight is always 20/20, though.

It's also worth pointing out that his bike is being run in the 'Hi' geometry setting on the third-generation prototype lower link that the whole team is using, so these guys aren't always defaulting to the lowest, slackest numbers.


Loris Vergier
Loris Vergier
Loris' cassette used to be a 10-speed unit, but then the saw came out to delete the top two cogs. Only what's required.


Loris' cockpit is pretty straightforward, but Roche did say that they're often playing with stack height via 2.5mm spacers, depending on the track. His stem is a 45mm unit, and his 20mm rise handlebar has been cut down to 790mm. His brakes are setup moto-style, and check out the XTR / Saint combo; the straight Saint setup is too on/off for Loris' liking, Roche explained. He's quite the gram counter, too, so that could also be a factor.

The two standout component specs on Loris' machine include the prototype Santa Cruz Reserve carbon DH rims that are now the third version and apparently close to being locked down, according to Roche. The other notable spec is the cut-down 10-speed cassette that's now an 8-speed block.


Loris Vergier
Loris Vergier
The Syndicate team has been testing Santa Cruz's Reserve carbon DH rim, and these are the third-generation prototypes that are said to be close to production.






Luca Shaw


Luca Shaw's V10 29er

At 6' 1'' and weighing an extra 10lbs, Luca Shaw has a 5'' height advantage over his French teammate. He's also on a large-sized V10 29er, looked after by team mechanic Dougy Hatfield, and without a reach-increasing offset headset, too. He does get an extra 5mm at his stem, with Loris going for the 45mm and Luca running a 50mm unit, as well as an 800mm handlebar that's a touch wider than Loris, and a higher stack height to boot.

So both are on the same large-sized frame, but 5mm there and 10mm here add up to what are probably very different feeling cockpits.


Luca Shaw
Dougy Hatfield - mechanic for Luca Shaw
Dougy Hatfield wrenching on Luca's V10 29er.


Luca is a bit more settled and consistent with his setup than Loris, Hatfield said: '''Once he finds his setting, he's pretty solid with it and doesn't have to keep changing back and forth.'' So it's no surprise that Shaw's bike is running the exact same suspension as he used for Crankworx Les Gets where his finished 2.04-seconds back of Troy Brosnan. No point in messing up a good thing, right?

Luca's 'good thing' consists of a 525in/lb spring on his Fox X2 when it's in the 'Hi' setting that the team seems to prefer here in the Valley of the Sun. When he does switch to the 'Lo' setting, he also jumps up to a 550in/lb spring, Hatfield said, to compensate for the change in leverage ratio.


Luca Shaw
Like Loris, Luca prefers the 'Hi' geometry setting for the Val di Sole track.


Hatfield keeps all his riders' suspension settings in his own setup bible, but he didn't have it on hand to share Luca's fork numbers with the world. That said, I bet it's too firm for us and just right for him. Funny how that works when you're a top World Cup racer.

When it comes to slowing down, Luca prefers to go full Saint whereas Loris runs an XTR / Saint hybrid setup for a lick more modulation. His guide is from MRP whereas Loris' is a Shimano unit, and Greg uses a Gamut guide. Shaw also has an unmodified 10-speed cassette, so an extra two gears over Loris' drivetrain, and a custom seat from Fi'zi:k that has a cutout rear section to clear the V10's rear tire at full compression. Despite the differences, Hatfield says that all of the team bikes come in at around 35lbs.


Luca Shaw
Luca Shaw
Saint all around for Shaw, with the exception being an MRP guide.



61 Comments

  • + 28
 Europeans - Continentals don't generally run their brakes Moto-style FYI. Only the Brits.
  • + 11
 Ah, good point. I'll fix that Smile
  • + 11
 @mikelevy: While you're at it - how about a pic of the "check out the XTR/Saint combo brakes"?
  • + 12
 @nouseforaname: www.pinkbike.com/photo/16076164

Check the angle, too. Pretty level.
  • + 7
 @mikelevy: So French. When I tried to do that it made me ride off the back of the bike so much i kept blowing corners. #notworldcupmaterial
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: how the heck have I never noticed Loris runs a right side front brake, good info. So odd. Do you have any idea if he's left hand dominate? I've raced and been on moto's over quadruple the time I have been on MTB's, and for whatever reason, I can't imagine running the front brake on the right side unless my left hand/arm was stronger and needed more strength to grab a little rear brake through the rough stuff.
  • + 18
 Not just the Brits. We run em moto down under too.
  • + 1
 Best looking 26" rig I've seen in years
.
  • + 2
 @HARv379: I had to swap levers on my 4yr old nephew's 14" sled, just because he was always grabbing front brake only, due to left hand dominance. Now he braaaaps way better (though he was far better on the 12" push bike LOL).
  • + 2
 Not all Brits... Right Rear all the way here (RH dominant).
  • + 6
 Bit confused... Surely the dominant hand (the one with better motor control and therefore brake modulation) is better for the front brake? So "moto" brakes, in my eyes, makes more sense if you're right hand dominant.
  • + 4
 And us Irish, who are very much European
  • + 9
 I feel like no one knows the reason behind this.

It's supposed to be, the rear brake is on the side that you won't use when crossing traffic at a junction.

EG: In the UK, riding on the left hand side of the road and I come to a right hand junction. I stick my right arm out, cross traffic and have the rear brake on the left - if I need to stop, less chance of going over the bars. Apparently.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: I thought it was the lack of servo wave on the xtr race levers that gave more "modulation". The ones shown are the trail levers that have servowave (AFAIK).
  • + 1
 @unclesomebody: i'm not 100% but assuming they are the new XTR levers (from the new 4 pot XTR brakes) which are meant to be designed to have better modulation than the old levers.
  • + 1
 @maglor: They are the current generation XTR, designed for 2 pots. The levers may push a little less fluid volume for a given lever travel, due to a different servo wave profile, hence more control and modulation. The lever piston sizes are identical at 10mm. I may be wrong though.
m.pinkbike.com/photo/16076164
  • + 1
 @rchez08: from my experience running an xt lever on a saint, the lever throw is the same for both brakes but the pads are closer on the xt as the fluid volume is different. With respect to feel, they feel slightly less grabby but still very much feel like a saint due to the caliper layout of the different size pistons. This difference in piston size means that the smaller one moves further so the pad will contact the rotor at a slight angle and due to the flex in the pad will give a slightly less direct feeling.
I would not deliberately go out and buy an xt lever specifically for this. The Japanese know what they are doing and the stock setup of both brakes are designed for different purposes so will by definition respond differently.
Also I firmly believe that fine motor control trumps having a spongy brake that some people call "modulation"
W
  • + 1
 @rchez08: Ah yes they are the current levers (can tell by the bar clamp) so it must be as you say. Was just a thought as i know the new levers have added more modulation.
  • + 3
 The Brits don't run their brakes moto-style. They run them moped-style.
  • + 1
 @jamesdunford: Who the hell crosses junctions on their bikes that needs to stick their arms out??? Props to these guys. I ride bikes to get away from traffic jams and junctions where I need to tell people where I am going.
  • + 1
 What are these "brakes" everyone keeps speaking of?!?!?!
  • + 8
 Luca has a 5" advantage. So being taller is an advantage. I'm short so I'm disadvantage. Love challenges.
  • + 22
 Haha, you're challenged. Go for it little buddy!
  • + 7
 Don't let it get you down. C'mon high five... Oh.
  • + 1
 While there are successful, tall riders (Minnaar, Peaty, etc.) there are probably more successful riders under 5'11" (180cm). Aaron Gwin, Danny Hart, Bruni, Greenland, Finn, Fearon, Brayton, etc.
  • + 2
 @ka-brap: the general population has a lot more people 5'11 and under than 6+ so that would be expected. I don't think height is a huge factor so long as people can get a bike that fits.
  • + 3
 Surely Santa Cruz could come up with something better than that hack job on that rear cassette. Put a proper spacer in there already!
  • + 1
 I'd have thought, at thier level they could get a custom or proto full width 7speed Chris King hub. Especially on niners
  • + 5
 Shimano's largest 3 cogs are bound together to the same spider (as far as I remember), so Loris must find the eighth one useful.
  • + 2
 Why both spending money and time when a 5 minute hack works just fine, i'm happy they don't waste money on unnecessary custom parts, the less the team costs to run the less the bikes have to cost to cover it (being very hopeful they pass the savings on though)
  • + 4
 35 lbs... That's what most enduro bikes are at. Ri-goddam-diculous.
  • - 8
flag mhoshal (Jul 5, 2018 at 21:00) (Below Threshold)
 I think most enduros are sub 30lbs
  • + 7
 @mhoshal: I would be surprised if there was a single bike on the circuit under 30lbs. DH brakes and tires with coil shocks on a huge proportion of bikes.
  • + 6
 Graves bike is 35lbs... Unno's DH bikes are 33.5lb...
  • + 1
 @jclnv: unno are also not carrying spares with them when they race
  • + 1
 @lozzerbiker: That weight didn't include spares.
  • + 0
 @mhoshal: where u been?
  • + 2
 That's interesting, the tire will almost hit the seat in full compression. Doesn't sound like a design I can get behind; after all I just might get smacked in the behind.
  • + 2
 a design that has been consistent over countless bikes... including the current generation of v10
  • + 1
 Yeah... first thought... A cutout in the seat to clear the tire? Sounds like a tablesaw when the blade rises through the slot... Don't necessarily fancy that under my butt, but hey, so long as it doesn't actually connect...
  • + 1
 I don't see the big deal about the 8 speed cassette. As far as I know most pros use that setup because they tend to double shift a full road cassette. I personally use a 6 speed 14-28 on my d.h. sled.
  • + 2
 wow, 5'8" on a Large. MTB is going through an interesting period for sizing.
  • + 2
 Santa Cruz have always made short bike and then had to stuff reach extending headsets in them despite having a history of tall riders. Its the main reason Ive never had one.
  • + 3
 Fleet of battleships! Go get’em boys
  • + 1
 Well given the choice of a large V10 would go with Luca's bike, or would need stiffer spring if on Loris's bike, but not likely get to try either?
  • + 1
 Why the hell anyone would run a front brake on the left I don't know. Hope they never get a motorbike.
  • + 2
 Fingers crossed no flats!
  • + 2
 No mention of Burgtec bars & stem
  • + 1
 Can you please use METRIC system (kg cm, mm) when writing an article and not combining it?
  • + 1
 When will this 29er v10 be available Santa Cruz? I don't care about Bronson. Thanks
  • + 2
 How did they made that chainstay protector ?
  • + 1
 And does it work as well as the spesh... inquiring minds want to know
  • + 1
 That looks like an Ergon seat on Shaw's bike ?
  • + 1
 Why the tape on the Burgtech bars?
  • + 1
 Meanwhile... what bike stand is that?
  • + 4
 I can get two of those out of a single 10’ 1/2” conduit... if you have the pipe bender that’s only $1.82 per stand from your friendly Home Depot...
  • + 2
 @recon311: It's about 25$, so affordable if you don't have the bender Big Grin . Nothing to do with those 75$-125$ pipe 'pro' stands out there
  • + 1
 @Fulgacian: the nicest Looking I’ve found are Andy’s folding - feedback one looks decent - but I still ride 26” — when I am used to paying $25 for my dhf tires on special anything more than $2 for a stand makes me feel like a fullenduro poser...!
  • + 1
 Wagon wheels are so damn nice now Drool

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