Tech From the Pits - EWS Round 3, France

May 10, 2018 at 20:04
by Mike Levy  
Imagine being a top-flight EWS racer and having the series come to your hometown. Unreal, right? Well, that's exactly what Théo Galy's upcoming weekend is looking like. The French enduro competitor is a new addition to Sunn's team for 2018, and he's hoping that his skill and 160mm-travel Kern LT will take him to a podium at home.


Galy is on a medium-sized Kern LT, and while some racers will bump their fork travel up to 170mm for rocky tracks, he's kept his Formula Selva at 160mm to match the rear of the bike. Also, have a look at the rare Fast Suspension 'Holy Grail' shock. The French racer didn't have his suspension settings on hand to share, but this is one bike that I'd like to take for a spin.


It's no surprise to see the big meat up front, with a 2.5'' wide Hutchinson Toro at 1.6 bar (23.2 psi) and a 2.35'' Squale out back at 1.7 bar (24.6 psi). Better safe than sorry, Galy says. He also has Look's new X-Track En-Rage trail pedals on his Sunn.


Lockout on Cecile Ravanel s rear shock. Even though the stages here are long and rough there are a few with punchy clips and flat sprints were this will come in quite handy.
Commencal's Cecile Ravanel has spent the last two years utterly dominating the Enduro World Series by taking the win in fourteen of the sixteen events that she competed in during the 2016 and 2017 seasons, a record that's also netted her the EWS crown. You don't have that kind of performance without knowing how to choose the right type of gear for the terrain and conditions, and her bike for the race in Olargues is fitted with a coil-sprung RockShox unit with a remote lockout. The stages are long and rough, but every second spent on the punchy, short climbs and flat sprints are just as important.


Sam Hill s Nukeproff is undefeated in 2018.
And speaking of champions and dominating, Sam Hill and his rather sharp-looking Nukeproof Mega are undefeated in 2018. A lot can happen in racing, and there are plenty of events left, but I know who my money is on this year. Flat pedals, big rotors, and big tires for a rowdy track that surely suits the quiet Aussie.


The new Maxxis Assegai seems to be a popular tire of choice on many bikes this weekend.
There are plenty of Assegais to be found in France, with the new rubber looking to be quite popular with racers sponsored by Maxxis.


Color matching ENVE s on the Orbea Team s bikes add a classy finishing touch.
Lots of colorful Guide calipers have been showing up on riders bikes this week.
All the colors.


With all the rocks on track lots of riders are going for some proper super body protection.
Rocks are generally less forgiving than human flesh, and the abundance of them here in Olargues has more than a few racers wearing some serious protection.



98 Comments

  • + 189
 “There are plenty of Assegais to be found in France..”

Ah, the French.
  • + 10
 You win.
  • + 41
 Fetchez la vache!
  • + 48
 No Monty Python fans in the crowd? *sigh* I'll see myself out.
  • + 8
 @Powderface: It's a damned shame...
  • + 24
 @Powderface: non. We already got one and it’s verrry nice. I fart in your general direction you silly English pig dog.
  • + 3
 @Powderface: Ooops, I caught the reference, but I thought "Huh?" was the response. Now I have to do some research. OK - looked it up. Sounds more like what @youhadmeatdrugs said. My bad.
  • + 6
 @Powderface: You're old..like me Smile
  • + 9
 @Powderface: I loved it!

Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled, of elderberries!!!!!
  • + 7
 @cunning-linguist: AH BLOW MA NOSE AT YOU!
  • + 10
 @petehaddock: Now go home! Or I shall taunt you a second time!
  • + 5
 @Powderface: Where is it, behind the rabbit?
  • + 4
 @cunning-linguist: " come a single step closer and I'll fart in your general direction"
  • + 2
 @hamplanet: haha a second time-a
  • + 3
 @Powderface: nice one big nose !
  • + 3
 @konabigshed: What sad times are these, when passing ruffians can say Ne to old women.
  • + 3
 @cunning-linguist: welease wodderick he's a wapist and a wobber !!
  • + 2
 @hamplanet: "He's the king"

"How do you know?"

"He's the only one not covered in shit!"
  • + 83
 Crap no Cable Cap on Cecile's Commencal, Criminal.
  • + 23
 Superleggera...
  • + 22
 #weightsaving
  • + 8
 @bikes4kids Glad I wasn't the only one thinking this.
  • + 2
 I feel like when you tear a bike down once a year its a thing... when you tear a bike down once a week you prioritize. Unless you have serious OCD.
  • + 8
 and frayed to hell. Criminal.
  • + 1
 Fire that mechanic for that cable fray.
  • + 31
 "You don't have that kind of performance without knowing how to choose the right type of gear for the terrain and conditions", every gear check/interview iv seen from Cecile she says she hasnt changed a thing, no matter where shes racing or what condititions she seems to run the exact same setup
  • + 8
 expect this year in Columbia when she switch her tires for mud tires, first times for a long time Wink
  • + 15
 @MisterJones: she has never been the same since she started working for NASA.
  • + 20
 I like bikes!
  • + 17
 its just me or these red calipers look like kids toy?
  • + 3
 uh, Sram.
  • + 1
 they work like kids brakes... the reverb of brakes.
  • + 6
 Is it just me or is the ews coverage on Pinkbike more limited this year? I appreciate its super expensive to fly round the world following the series but enduro racing is the shizz.
  • + 14
 No changes from previous seasons in any way for these first three rounds.
  • - 6
flag mollow (May 11, 2018 at 11:14) (Below Threshold)
 How come you don't go ape-shit when Levy corrects you trumpoop?
  • + 10
 @mollow: what correction? And maybe because he doesn't lead in with trolling and acusations or insults? My guess is that he's everything you can't be when it comes to communication skills, with this latest trolling as yet another fine example.
  • + 6
 That frayed cable on Cecile's lock out is driving me nuts, somebody fix it.
  • + 1
 I'm surprised that almost no one has mentioned that Kern LT. Room for a piggyback and water bottle in the front triangle, internal routing, wide tire clearance, different tire brand, clip less pedals, Formula fork, looks like a ... If only it were a 29er, it would just about check every controversial box.
  • + 6
 Moto hand guards?
  • + 79
 Its because Sam Hill is so fast that the friction from the wind will burn his hands without them.
  • + 4
 Yep, that’s normal for him.
  • + 2
 Has he ever mentioned why he uses them? Does he have some sort of hand issue? Seems to be the only guy using them.
  • + 5
 My guess is so that a bush on the side of the trail doesnt cause an unwanted brake grab. Only makes sense when you are talking a couple seconds between first and second over two days like these guys, otherwise i see no other reason other than its motobro
  • + 19
 @ibishreddin: Unlike DH, where they can walk the entire track and learn it inside and out, it's almost impossible to learn an Enduro track to that same level. Enduro riders, essentially, ride the track "blind" - These guards are also there to protect their hands from being smashed up.
  • + 10
 @bull-dozer: if you watch the Nukeproof video from when he won the overall, you'll see Sam take those famous inside lines and clipping bushes as he does so. That could easily snag a lever, or out in the Riviera region, easily slice your hand/arm open as lots of the shrubbery out there is sharp AF.
  • + 6
 @ibishreddin: This! riding an overgrown trail recently I experienced this unwanted brake grab and it was scary. Really should get up there and clear the trail, but buying a pair of these would be a lot easier ...
  • + 4
 I'm sure it is because bushes catching the brake levers. It is something i often think off, when riding my hometrails.
BUT:
Hey pinkbike! No word about Phil Atwill? He is racing at this event with the Propain Hugene.
  • + 10
 @tttyyler: You need some Ben Hur chariot wheels...Clear the trails while you ride!
  • + 2
 hey guys i don't think anyone's mentioned this yet, but i think, maybe, now i'm not sure, and i could be wrong, but i have a feeling it's to prevent unwanted brake grab from the side of the trail.
  • + 4
 @cuban-b: Not just brake grab, also avoids the whole "I just punched some trailside detritus at 25mph" debarcle.

Also, new shock/air can on Hill's bike?
  • + 3
 Bush on the side + inside lines + hand guards = victory
  • + 3
 @JoeRSB: looks like a massively enlarged neg chamber doesn't it?
  • + 2
 I've been riding there, trails can be narrow and you really don't want to play with the local vegetation...
  • + 1
 I can account to that. Broke my pinky in a race last year. Breaking fingers is not recommended as they are tricky to do surgery on @brianclaw:
  • + 3
 He said, and I quote, "I don't want to get prickles in my hands."
  • + 2
 @bull-dozer: youve never busted your knuckles riding? now imagine youre going as fast as he his even a small slap of a sapling could mean serious pain, plus they protect your brakes in a crash
  • + 1
 I need those!
  • + 3
 I tried hand guards and now for me are like the dropper post. No dropper no ride! So much more fun and confidence in tight brushed trails...
  • + 1
 @ryanbpoquette: I thought so too and I have those handguards. But couple of days ago had a crash over some slippery roots and one handguard snapped and another one bent. I'm not sure what happened but my ring finger got caught somehow and the pain was so high I thought that I broke it. Luckily I didn't, but my point is that I'm not sure if they help every time because the top and bottom of those guards are relatively thin and can exert a lot of force on your fingers/knuckles in a crash. One could say that they've saved my fingers in the same crash, but we'll never know.
  • + 2
 some euro racers were running hand guards at ews a few seasons ago
  • + 1
 @whistlingcoyote: No you are talking!
  • + 1
 @bman33: no he is typing
  • + 2
 @cuban-b: Touche sir
  • + 1
 @bull-dozer: You know the answer to that mate, inside lines!
  • + 1
 @ryanbpoquette: Obviously I have... but so has every other mountain biker and yet no one else seems to be using them. Just curious if there was anything specific to Sam Hill.
  • + 0
 ehmm.... SH runs them becuase.... he gets paid?
  • + 0
 I've personally had issues with thorns to the forearms when going through brush but not brake grab. A bigger issue I have is shouldering trees like breakaway GS gates and nearly being thrown from my bike as a result. Does anyone have any advice for that other than don't shoulder trees unless they are extremely rotton?
  • + 2
 Assegai is amazing Better than the minions, higher, and aggressor Better grip Great job Gregg and Maxxis
  • + 3
 Three bikes. This is some seriously comprehensive coverage of the event!
  • + 1
 Assegai, it's about to be the most sharpied tire by consumers and the competition.
  • + 1
 What valves on Hill's wheels? Too fat for presta, don't look like schrader, is it a woods? And why?
  • + 1
 "Rocks are generally less forgiving than human flesh" Ah yes, cause I crash into piles of human flesh all the time...
  • + 1
 Does Sam know there's no bottle cage on his bike? I feel like someone should tell him. Immediately.
  • + 1
 Discovered the SUNN Shamman yesterday, it looks better than the Kern, they did great on shock and frame designs
  • + 2
 Highroller
  • + 1
 Sam Hill on debadged Magic Mary's instead of Michelin.
  • + 4
 Nope! Whatever it is, but this is not a Magic Mary.
  • + 0
 @Werratte: How do you figure that? If those aren't Magic Mary's, then it's a ripoff of them.
  • + 2
 @dualsuspensiondave: take a close look and count.
Mary has three double nobs and then a triple.
Hill's tire has two double nobs and then the triple.
  • + 1
 Isn't he on Michelin this year? I thought I read that somewhere. Looks like a Wild Enduro maybe?
  • + 1
 @Werratte: Do not tell Mary that !
  • + 1
 @OriginalDonk: He is on prototype Michelins. Just like the last year.
  • + 1
 Ravanel is on the new 29" Meta, BTW
  • + 2
 Very interested in the geo of that meta 29 damn you commencal
  • + 2
 Sopumpedforthisrace.
  • + 0
 Does Sam Hill have any carbon bits on his bike ?
  • + 24
 Frame for example
  • + 2
 Frame, wheels, bars, cranks probably.
  • + 1
 Alu bars I think.
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