Results: Pietermaritzburg World Cup Round 1 Finals - Elite Men

Apr 12, 2014 at 0:32
by Pinkbike Staff  






393 Comments

  • + 266
 Gwin just won on a 650B enduro bike... Pinkbike is about to explode!
  • + 36
 which it's called literally ENDURO! haha
  • - 2
 that was an enduro wasnt it?
  • + 7
 yeah specialized had one made for him and brosnan, it seemed to work
  • - 20
flag Bdusty1 (Apr 12, 2014 at 7:23) (Below Threshold)
 U S A .......................
  • - 47
flag deeeight Plus (Apr 12, 2014 at 7:23) (Below Threshold)
 Yep, time for people to stop bitching about the wheel size and accept it. 26" was fine for the time it lasted but we never would have used it in the first place except on kid's bikes had the 700C and 650B off-road tires been more available in 1970s california when "The Mountain Bike Company" was started. And I don't care if you haterz negative prop the truth and logic, its about what I expect to happen.
  • + 16
 It was a “Prototype” Specialized Enduro Evo with 650b Wheels and a Triple Crown Fork (Fox 40)... I think 180mm front and rear...?
  • + 79
 26" and flat pedals still work fine. Stoked on Hill only being 6s off winning on a track that is a lot about fitness.
  • - 98
flag deeeight Plus (Apr 12, 2014 at 7:26) (Below Threshold)
 6 seconds is what, 30th place ? Yeah that's working fine out of a field of 42 riders...
  • + 22
 I think multilink rear vs single pivot is playing a bigger role than wheelsize. No matter how great a platform your suspension offers, it's still all about the pedaling efficiency of the design.
  • + 77
 feel kinda gutted for sick mik
  • + 50
 Yep, time for people to stop bitching about the wheel size and accept it. Ride whatever dam wheel size you want!
  • + 30
 #gwinning
  • + 15
 @deigth, no worries, neg proped comments actually get read more... haha, even if it is just to neg prop them again
  • + 15
 D8 6seconds is 9th place, check the results Wink . I loved Minnaars opinion on staying 26" haha
  • - 17
flag WayneParsons (Apr 12, 2014 at 7:33) (Below Threshold)
 there is nothing wrong with 26" wheels, but they are definitely on their way out
  • - 18
flag yustinusAW (Apr 12, 2014 at 7:38) (Below Threshold)
 gwin ride enduro because he knows demo wont be able to defeat collosus... Smile
  • + 21
 We don't care if Gwin rides a road bike as long as he gwins!
  • + 3
 @yustinusAW, Mik didn't ride a Collosus. He rode their equivalent of what Gwin rode.
  • - 10
flag kleinblake (Apr 12, 2014 at 7:48) (Below Threshold)
 @benread what the f*ck is a triple crown
  • + 10
 Poor Sik mik...but he's awesome only last rider can beat his timing Smile
  • + 3
 Ain't Mik on a full travel DH prototype? One of the other Huthinson UR guys was on an enduro bike with triple clamps.
  • - 8
flag ceretoneaudio (Apr 12, 2014 at 7:53) (Below Threshold)
 Don't want to be in the specialised pits tonight. Troy Brosnan is going to be murderous...
  • + 5
 Troy comes across as quite chill, I'd think he'll be wanting to improve but not be in a blind rage.
  • + 6
 Gwinning is back
  • + 30
 EuanBisset, what did Minnaar say?

D8, what makes you think your constant evangelism of 650s is any more tolerable than someone preferring something else. You are worse than any of them. If we shouldn't give a shit than neither should you. You think you're better than the people who enjoy riding a different wheelsize than you when in fact your skills on a bike very likely don't include hitting 60 foot gaps and pinning it on gnarly terrain, so keep your condescension to yourself since you're just like all the other whiners on here. Yes, people can win on any size, yes they are taking over, and yes some people like things that you don't. Ride what you like and stop being a dick.
  • - 4
flag jervis (Apr 12, 2014 at 8:14) (Below Threshold)
 *Comment about wheel size, bike choice and Gwinning*
  • - 17
flag blackthorne (Apr 12, 2014 at 8:32) (Below Threshold)
 Your post comes across as both condescending and dickish. At least d8 backs it up with encyclopedic bike knowledge.
  • + 30
 During the live feed they were talking about the reasons Minnaar had given for staying 26 on his v10, basically he just thinks there's less gyroscopic effects with 26, they accelerate faster and are lighter. I just thought it was good to hear that a guy as high up as Minnaar sees that there are advantages and disadvantages to both wheel sizes and not just seeing 650b, 27" or 27.5" as some miracle wheelsize that has no flaws. I'm not changing out any time soon for a 13mm increase in radius, considering I'd need 3 pairs of wheels if I was to do both my am bike and dh bike, a pair of forks and two new frames. That's a considerable hit on most peoples wages and what for?
  • - 4
flag butters (Apr 12, 2014 at 8:50) (Below Threshold)
 why is the comment " U S A.............." below threshold? an American routing for an American is offensive? get over yourself...
  • + 15
 Remember like a week ago, when specialized said 650b wasn't a big deal for them? It certainly is now….


"For us this isn't a big deal. We still want to focus on 29ers, not 650B, but it makes no sense to have the three choices of wheelsize available for our customers." - Sebastian Maag, Specialized Germany


www.pinkbike.com/news/specialized-go-650b.html
  • + 5
 Okay, so an enduro bike with a coil shock and triplecrown? Don´t think we will se anybody on one of those at EWS.......
  • + 11
 Thanks Euan D8, you might want to send a message to Minnaar to set him straight with your infinite wisdom, since you say 26 has zero redeeming qualities for adults, let alone the world champ.
  • + 8
 Hill was on 650b wheels?
  • + 13
 Hill was but he had flat pedals so I forgive him haha
  • + 27
 I think this just proves that's it's skill, line choice and fitness....and it's still a toss up on wheel size depending on the course. It is interesting however, the demographic that pushed for 650b for years....aren't or weren't really racers....but now with Enduro, everybody is a racer. Everybody wants to go fast, and now 26" are just for fun? LOL. Get fit, pedal harder, work on skills. Once one taps all that potential, then worry about wheel size;-). Any day of the wheel, 26" can be faster than 650b, and vice Vera. Depends on the legs. I'm riding my 26" for a few more years then I'll just get what's available at the time,650b. No big deal!
  • + 4
 The guys who fiercely defend their right to hate any size other than 26" generally fall into two categories, of which you'll find rep'd above. "26" is stronger" (somewhat arguable) & "Now I have to pay a lot of money, so I dont like different..." I can accept the first group, you ride hard, choose what works for you. But if you hate 650b or 29 only because you popped for that dream 5 yrs ago and you cant justify giving up on her, well, I feel ya. But when they make a 650b Fuel Ex i'll be 'gwinning' from ear to ear. Faster is funner.
  • + 9
 I find there are a lot of people who think 650b is a miracle wheel size with no drawbacks. I don't have a problem with you riding your 650b/27" wheelsize, this reminds me on that episode of south park everyone got hybrids...
  • + 10
 Was really hoping ratboy would have had a clean run! He deserves a podium!
  • + 3
 @ukr77, why can't more Pinkbikers share your wisdom.
  • - 43
flag deeeight Plus (Apr 12, 2014 at 9:51) (Below Threshold)
 I wonder what would happen they tracked ages of users who do propping, or usernames (in a way that could be publically seen, as facebook handles likes) if people would still be so quick to hit the negative button.
  • + 11
 I would happily put my name down for neg propping you D8..... haha. Just try to be less guns blazing perhaps and more open minded Wink
  • + 10
 Why do you all care so much about "props"? It blows my mind how an imaginary peer-based rating system can mean so much to all of you... omg I shouldn't have posted that, I'm like totally going to get neg propped and I'll want to kill myself from the embarrassment. Ugh, where'd I put that noose?
  • - 26
flag deeeight Plus (Apr 12, 2014 at 10:12) (Below Threshold)
 Yes, because all the negatives for pointing out facts were by open minded people....
  • + 5
 As much as I disagree with your view and your approach, your negs didn't come from me. I prefer to just call you out.
I just don't understand why you feel so strongly, that anyone who likes what they have needs to come to your party, lest they receive your contempt? Surely you don't need to be 15 to neg a comment like that.
  • - 24
flag deeeight Plus (Apr 12, 2014 at 10:15) (Below Threshold)
 You don't need to be, but I suspect many are from kids. And many industry folks share that sentiment.
  • + 16
 @deeeight, why do you say, "And I don't care if you haterz negative prop the truth and logic, its about what I expect to happen." and then start bitchin' 'bout it?

When your spewing out untrue statements like, "6 seconds is what, 30th place ? Yeah that's working fine out of a field of 42 riders..." of course you gonna get neg' propped!

30th place was 13.6 seconds back and the field was 78 riders strong.
  • - 27
flag deeeight Plus (Apr 12, 2014 at 10:24) (Below Threshold)
 I'm not bitching about it, and gee whiz I got the field/results wrong, ohh booo hooo hooo. Please keep it coming, I'm having a good laugh.
  • + 13
 Actually I'm 47 and neg prop you regular like, bro. D8 facts/opinions, not sure you know the difference. Anyway, Greg has spoken.
  • - 3
 Haha! I +ve propped you deee cos this is too funny!
  • + 3
 So ....... if your a World Cup downhill racer and need to save two or three seconds over a four minute race 650b wheels may be best for you.
I could care less cause most people aren't going to be racing at any level and just care about having fun on thier bike.
What place did you finish deeight?
True you didn't race .... But for some reason your still worried about it.
Lol.
Your sad.
  • + 5
 Hahaha there's so much btchn on this comment board that I'll just go ahead and watch it unfold. Wheelsize, Demo, Gwin himself and the unworthy track - off course. Deeeightour FTW This is better than watching the race Big Grin
  • - 17
flag deeeight Plus (Apr 12, 2014 at 10:34) (Below Threshold)
 Not as sad as people who respond to me like you beeone72... trying to out arse an arse hole... that says a lot about your life doesn't it ? Also learn to spell. "i before e except after c is a myth". And waki yeah I love the criticism about the track from people watching it on tv, not actually riding it. That's been good for laughter too.
  • + 10
 deeeight.... dumbing dumb PB one post at a time.
  • - 8
flag sbrdude1 (Apr 12, 2014 at 11:30) (Below Threshold)
 @jaydawg69 Say something intelligent. You sound like a myopic ignorant child.
  • + 11
 Deeeight, Im not on your team, but there is not a single thing we could talk avout that wouldn't feel like deja-vu to me. I can tell you though that in such arrangement when the audience is so much against you already, the only thing you can do to save yourself and others some frustration is to stop commenting. Some battles are just meant to be lost, even if you incantated a formula for medicine against all sorts of cancer, people would still stone you. Particularly because there is no freaking way Gwin won thanks to... Excuse me now, I wish to masterbate. Found a book with some cutting edge drills for tantric onanism.
  • - 1
 I had it Hannah, Minaar, Gwin after timed training. Great race!
  • + 3
 I bet he would be 10 sec faster on a 26''.
  • + 5
 I still believe any wheelsize could have won. minaar came close fresh from surgery. Screw wheelsizes;they aint no good without their talented riders.
and
congrats gwinny...nice too see u again on top!
  • + 2
 @Butters. I am wondering the same thing. I thought he was amazing. Still want Hart, Gee, Bryceland or Peaty to kick his arse (ass.) But it is stupid to get neg propped for that. Hey ho. Bring on round 2.
  • + 2
 It's not the bike, it's the rider. As far as 650b, it will probably be my next bike I buy in a few years. Until then, there's nothing wrong with my 26". Adapting and changing is a part of life. Can't we all just get along?
  • + 3
 Where is Steve Smith?
  • + 0
 scott-townes, if you're going to try to be the 'better man', how about leave joking about suicide out if it...
  • + 1
 I am 38 and i love Ontario
  • + 1
 Round 1 of the World Cup Enduro series is done, now let's get on with the DH circuit
  • + 4
 The scary part is that Gwin didn't look like he was pushing himself too hard. All the top 10 finishers were giving 110% and Gwin just cruising smashed the whole field.
  • + 4
 I really like that about Gwin, he never looks like he's going that fast or on the edge like the other guys. He kinda looks slow at times until you see the splits come up and he's up
  • - 5
flag Protour (Apr 12, 2014 at 18:50) (Below Threshold)
 Gwin doesn't always look fast because he is so in control over the bike. Speaking of Specialized bikes:

FACT: The Specialized Enduro now has more male World Cup DH wins than the Demo in the last 4 or 5 years under Hill, Brosnan, and Gwin. Maybe Gwin should stay on it all year

Today represented the death of the 26" wheel for gravity racing, surely Minnar would have been faster on big wheels.
  • + 2
 Seriously. ..what's up with all that negatively anyways?
  • - 1
 Reality maybe?

It was a great race.

Do you feel better now?
  • + 1
 Really strange and borderline fascist. Pretty sure many said "canada" in past right which I thought was pretty cool and an indication of stoke!
  • + 3
 I think the reason for the negativity is because most people ride 26 and they have been happy with it, and they resent 650 because they feel like it has been forced upon them.

But now that all the pro racers are going to be running 650 I don't think they will remain that attached to 26 for much longer. People generally look up to the pros and want to ride what they ride, especially racers. Might be different with the freeride/dirt jump crowd though, they don't care about being 1 second faster every mile so 26 isn't completely dead yet.
  • + 3
 I race, I do reasonably well at races, and I have no plans to be hoping on the 650b bandwagon for the foreseeable future. I'll go 650b the next time I buy a complete bike and the WHOLE bike is rad.
  • + 7
 Excuse me, I will ask a potentially retarded question, I am really sorry about it but I wish someone enlighten me: why are we so concerned about what pro DH racers ride? I mean what exactly does such information give us?
  • - 3
 Really waki? Pro riders are the people who test new technologies before they go into market. If they work well, it is not uncommon for older technologies to go out of production and die out over time. If 650b works for them and makes them faster, it is pretty safe to assume, given the current situation with a few companies backing out of producing 26" frames/forks/wheels, that we will (as protour said) feel more forced to 650b. No one would really care too much about 650b if they had maintained a choice. But looking at recent seaotter coverage, I support the butthurt against it. On the bright side though, 26" frames have become much cheaper recently thanks to this. ^.^
  • + 4
 Hmmm, I rather meant: Should I somehow adjust my behaviour as a mountain biker, maybe the way I ride basing on what equipment pro riders use? Maybe change my world view basing onthe outcome of a pro-gear related discussion on bike internet forum? For instance as opposed to on-hand review by Mike Levy or Steve Jones? Maybe opinion of a friend or some troll/geek having a blog? You know, why would I need to know what tyre pressure Sam Hill rides, confront it with what Aaron Gwin rides and use that knowledge to adjust pressure on my own bike in some circumstances? Dunno, let's say that I am hesitating between buying Yeti SB-66c and the new Cannondale Jekyll - is it reasonable to take the outcome of 2014 EWS series as one of the main factors determining my choice? Or is it merely a fuel for an entertaining discussion between buddies? Hym? Basicaly: what are we trying to determine here by arguing? That someone made some composition of many choices to suit an unique situation that is unlikely to be replicated in a life of vast majority on the planet?
  • + 1
 Fact is, no-one knows that Gwin wouldn't have won if he was on 26", nor does anyone know that Minnaar would have done any better on 650b.

Best pro to watch this season will be Sik Mik seeing as his wheel choice will be less manufacturer inclined.
  • + 2
 It's not a downhill race if you can win on a short travel enduro bike. Maybe someday we'll see a return to actual downhill tracks with more rocks sections than buffed berms.
  • - 3
 Waki, it's human nature for kids, and even most adults, to want to emulate the fastest racers they look up to. Sam rodda, Sikmik will be on 650 all season long and by the end of the season you will probably want to be also, lol. If more gravity racers had run 650 last year this debate would have moved along much quicker. Maybe Santa Cruz will win some races later in the season and change my mind, but it looks like the 26 wheel just suffered its biggest defeat and the ews round 1 results will confirm 26 is in critical condition and on IV drip as far as its usefulness in professional gravity racing.
  • + 6
 @Protour, you can't really say 26 had a defeat. There was only one team running them, and they were top 2 and 3 qualifiers. You had guys on 27.5 that were more than 10sec back. This track was the one track that should have proved a discernible difference, but all it proved is there's likely no advantage for the larger wheel.
  • + 1
 When F1 goes to Monaco nobody derides the winner's car because the track is so different to all the others. An F1 car set-up for Monaco would be junk at Monza. Variety is the spice of life. When UCI DH picks a course in Kansas your arguments may be justified.
  • + 1
 @Protour, you need to start reading stuff instead of just looking at the pictures. From Mick's bike check on htis very website, "The aluminum framed bike can be switched between 26" and 27.5" wheels by swapping out a chip in the rear dropouts, giving Sick Mik the option to choose whichever wheel size he thinks will be quickest..."

LOL
  • + 2
 Well of course most bike technology that we are riding was developed for racing, save for things like dropper posts and narrow/wide chainrings. That's why we care what the pro teams are running for equipment. Eventually the technology trickles down to us, the consumer.
  • + 0
 Ummm, narrow-wide rings were developed for racing... the move to production groupsets built specifically around the 1-ring drivetrain was done for XC racing primarily, and doing so without chainguides which is why they needed a different tooth profile to ensure the chain didn't leave the ring. Dropper posts also were something developed originally for racing.
  • + 1
 well there ya go, learn something new everyday!
  • + 2
 I know it was nearly 12 hours ago Waki, (been asleep here), however, great question.
I spent the day yesterday at a small Japanese national DH race and your question got me thinking..... getting hung up on what the pros use is, as you allude to, a wasted opportunity because there is something that some people maybe miss when they focus on the end result of WHAT the pros are using.

Instead, it is the attitude of choosing the best mix of what is available to you for the track in front of you given your skill set that is the message we could benefit from taking in, since essentially that is how pros approach every race.

That is why I, with mediocre skills and a mid 40s unfit body, ended up choosing a Banshee Spitfire with semi-slicks and a firmed up suspension, I thought a lighter more nimble bike would suit me on that course. Others chose full on DH sleds, others were on hardtails, others trail bikes.

Smiles all round, and more importantly, after the agony of defeat, the understanding that more skill building and training will have infinitely greater results than a new frame, component or wheelsize.
  • + 1
 OMG IT'S CALLED PRIVATE MESSAGING YOU FUCKS! JESSSSUSSSSS LORDY! STFU LEAVE MY WALL ALONE!!!!!! lawl
  • + 1
 CAAAALM DOWN Scott.. Or would you prefer I sent a PM?
  • + 0
 Yeah pm him , and leave his wall alone ! ? Lol.
  • - 4
flag Protour (Apr 14, 2014 at 9:28) (Below Threshold)
 Sam rodda, I'm aware Mick's bike works with both wheel sizes. I also guarantee you he will not opt to run 26" wheels the rest of the season, if not ever again. Why would he want slower wheels? So he can be in the cool club of Pinkbike rebels who refuse to acknowledge the future of DH racing and cling to their small wheels as if they are a childhood blanket? I don't think that is his priority, and that cool club of small wheel rebels is going to keep gettingsmaller after every World Cup DH and EWS race this season. I got so used to seeing 650's in the race that Peaty, Minnars, and Brycelands wheels actually look too small, especially on their tall bodies.

I sorta hope I'm wrong and the 26 wheel does better on the streep tracks, but it seems unlikely after watching yesterday's race.

Every 26" trail bike and DH bike out there just lost a significant chunk of its value, people aren't going to be able to sell them soon. Remember the conspiracy theory that this was all about getting people to buy new bikes? It was true and it worked. But its not a conspiracy theory, just inevitable progress. I'll probably keep my 26 forever and use it as a backup bike or loaner. The writing is on the wall, or at least on the results sheet.
  • + 5
 While I admit 650b is taking over, I find your analysis dramatic and unfounded. Generally people are not throwing away perfectly good DH bikes to "upgrade" to 650b. It's also early in the season and on top of that so many factors go into winning that results prove nothing. In fact in my opinion, at this level, winning comes down to line choice and luck. Push the envelope, ride with the volume at 11 and pray you don't screw up. I don't think the slight increase in wheel size is the magic recipe. I think riders will adapt to bikes that are comfortable under them and that will be most important. No I don't think rider's will go back, why? Because teams race what they sell, and 650b is hot. It won't cause them to lose, so why the hell not? I see and believe the benefits but you make it sound like this is a game changing thing, like forget podium finishes are out the window on tiny wheels. Looking at the results... other than the fact that the winner was on the intermediate wheel size...... I see no "data' in regards to wheel size.
  • + 2
 @DARKSTAR63 speaks Truth. There is no way of truly showing that 650 is faster than 26. 1) You can't compare it between different riders cos they're different riders on different bikes. 2) the chances of one rider being able to do two identical runs to compare times between wheel sizes is impossible.

Also, you say that the Syndicate guys are disadvantaged on 26. They all ride 650b on their trail bikes. If 650 was so noticably faster don't you think they'd have realised it?
  • - 3
 Except teams which tested it, with their OWN riders, and their own bikes, found that just by changing the wheel sizes they got faster... would say different. If their internal team rider times improved by whatever amount that they measured, and it was enough to convince them to switch... you'd think that would be enough information to convince others.... and it is, except here on pinkbike where every new thing is a rip-off or a conspiracy or a copy-cat.
  • + 3
 yeah I didn't say they were not faster......what I aimed to project was that this is not black and white. Marketing makes you think it is, this bike, this wheel, this fork...... it's not about the bike. It's never been about the bike.
  • + 1
 So they tested on every possible kind of terrain that you are ever likely to come across? You got a link for the testing data for all of us to see?

I'm sure a lot of manufacturers take products through their team riders before it makes it to the sales-floor, but a hell of a lot more will have simply jumped on the bandwagon of '650b bikes sell!'.
  • + 6
 Darkstar63 - I don't remember marketing telling me that 650b is faster, at least not more than 5 times. They simply wouldn't dare. Most of them say it is evolution. Even Trek said with 29ers: big wheels roll faster, but I don't recall any press release clearly stating 650B or 29" are faster than 26". Most pros are evidently evasive with answering questions, they usually say: I feel the advantage, it's different, we are still testing bla bla, which to me means: a bit better. But deeeight told it to me 5024537 times: 650B are better, faster, join or die Smile I always say: most of the hype is blown by trolls and geeks.
  • + 1
 Right, Waki, and pro's are partially pro's to help promote the product. I wasn't quite saying that the marketing shoves anything down our throats, but they sure are good at making these things seem like they are "needed". No self respecting mtb'r is immune, we all like the latest and freshest goodies.
  • + 1
 i agree with DARKSTAR63 - is there a 650b ipo or guaranteed ticket to heaven to go all out zealot evangelical for? we must all need saving!
  • + 1
 5024537 and 1 times, waki. this is ripe for your next article..
  • + 1
 All I know is that since almost two weeks my quads are sore as hell and give up long before lungs and heart on uphill efforts. In that case I may as well have a sub 10kg build of the latest Nomad and I wouldn't win a local Enduro race even if everyone else was stoned. I am no pro so I am not always looking ahead, one look under the wheel or at the outside of the corner and I may be overshooting it, loosing several seconds. Simply if there is for example 12 seconds to win thanks to 650B through out all Enduro race, hell, even in one stage, then still, a bloke like me or deeeight is 12 seconds down after first 100m! Then I am definitely not a guy that is good enough to be able to replicate his race runs and nail same line everytime I ride a particular track so I can create circumstances in which I may actualy compare if 29er is faster than 26". No matter the timing aperture, WC timing system, Strava or Freelap - results of such experiment just won't be consistent enough to call it scientific and reliable. I don't think deeeight or any 26" for life hill billy can replicate their lines on their timed runs either, unless... they are riding fireroads... even there, I bet they have trouble with hitting the same brake spots. We are just out of the league boys...

as I wrote in one of damned articles on my blog: all those talks of component choice on Average Joe level have mothing to do with actual performance, they are down to subjective feelings, what we like and don't like. And talking for pros is a total mental wank because if we knew what it is like to race and choose weaponry, we would be racing with them for top spots. Assumptions and speculations are entertaining but not worth any bigger fight because they are based on nothing.
  • + 1
 If I remember correctly, 650b is meant to prevent aching of the quad muscle... either that or it makes you able to quad rhythms you used to only be able to double double.
  • + 1
 with logic like that then ... 24/7p(pro)>2629650b
  • + 2
 i believe hitting a quad is called the "JS7 effect", sam.
  • + 3
 Ok got to go, Going back to illustrated tantric masterbation guide. They say that in order to free yourself from bad energy in masterbation you must visualize making love to your mother.Then you will learn how to do it without using your hands nor other body parts. They say that bad masterbation before the important event can lower your performance, even Frideric Chopin believed that. Good one can allow you allow you to use all your subconscious, reach to the deepest power resources and ride to your full potential
  • + 2
 very much acceptable, sam! that was an xfiles episode, waki.
  • + 0
 DARKSTARS63: "While I admit 650b is taking over, I find your analysis dramatic and unfounded. Generally people are not throwing away perfectly good DH bikes to "upgrade" to 650b. It's also early in the season..."

They aren't throwing 26" bikes away, but they will soon be next to worthless, especially by the end of the race season if 650 dominance continues. Unless Santa Cruz wins some races, the weigHt of the 26" pinkbike community is on their shoulders. They are your only hope, and it is a slim hope. better get to the races and root for them. Now is the time to sell your 26" bike, before everyone finds out and the bottom drops out as the selling frenzy begins.

If 26" wheels were on the stock market, I would be short- selling them and making a fortune.
  • + 6
 "Worthless" Protour? Who to?

On a sunny Saturday morning in my house, they are priceless and forever will be. My bikes are way more than resale value Sir, they are the bringers of good times, evidence of the pain of defeat and the joy of victory but above all they are possessed of a little of me, and that isn't for sale at any price.
  • - 1
 Bitter children who knock what they don't have.... Bring on the innovation!
  • + 2
 And it is the fault of people like you Protour if this panic selling of 26 actually happens. If people weren't all over 650b as if it'd make them the new Gwin, then it wouldn't be gettting pushed so hard.
  • + 6
 Protour just likes future telling: scenarios, visions, strategies. He is also a fan of butterfly effect, like chainstay length on demo, how much it can impact the future od Specialized. On the opposite side we have deeeight who is into history, and lately someone just dug up his favourite dinosaur and decided it is super cool Big Grin A tribut to injustice that happened over 20 years ago, when tyre makers foolishly made mostly 26" tyres.
  • + 3
 All of this philosophical bike shite is great. A few facts - some Euro's came to race the Cape Epic on 26ers last month! That's 800km of marathon racing on teeny tiny useless wheels. I am sure there were a lot of 650's and 29ers ahead of and behind them. Ratboy was on a potentially race winning run when his SRAM (?) failed also on teeny weeny wheels. I guarantee that a sixer will win races this year. in fact, Gwin will be on one when he switches back to his Demo, and it looks like he is back on form. I just picked up a set of 1700gm sixer wheels for around $45 brand new. Perfect for longer XC rides on my AM bike. Bring this innovation on - it's working for me.
  • + 3
 Orient dave I was thinking the same ! We don't buy bikes as a financial investment .... at least I hope none of you do that would be ridiculous. There are still some old school bikes out there putting on grins, none of these things become "useless" because of WC results. In fact most people (in the grand scheme, not just pinkbike, yes, there is a world out there) don't even pay attention to WC DH.
  • + 2
 Who buys bikes for resale value?! You are more likely to earn money on stocking toilet paper than a bike when "new technologies" are released annualy and things go out of fashion before you ride them more than 10 times.
  • + 2
 I buy bikes for resale value. I view the whole sport as a financial investment of my retirement money, It's all about wrapping frames and forks with electrical tape to keep them looking new, then sell it before next year's model comes out. Luckily I haven't invested heavily in 26" wheels in the last couple years, so that part of my portfolio is protected. There is, however, still value in the 26" vintage bike-with-cantilever brake market, and I am secure there with a wide array of commodities. We might seem see the 29" market come down a little as the 650b continues to be forcasted as the bear market of the future. I see the Fat bike market stagnating in the next decade, as there will be less snow because of global warming. But I do see potential in the future 29" DH bike niche, keep your eye on that one.

Best comment was sam-rodda. Let the selling frenzy begin!
  • + 1
 gentlemen.. flux capacitor
  • + 1
 Stop using that word "invest" ... I don't know if you know what it means.
  • + 101
 Sam dale had the most entertaining run in my opinion
  • + 51
 that crash at the end was brilliant
  • + 1
 The crash was just for the show
  • + 8
 end the beard... chicks dig that
  • + 12
 played it off like it was nothing too haha
  • + 13
 When your not being an extra in game of thrones. May as well smash a downhill run!!!
  • + 6
 does he win a prize for finding the land mine?
  • + 3
 So glad he crashed after the line , he scored me good points in my fantasy team , him 7th , loic and troy taking 4th and 5th for me too Razz
  • + 61
 Peaty dog 40 years of age soon an top 16...... LEGEND
  • + 20
 Amen!!! I am 40 and approve this message.
  • + 5
 Can honestly say i think he defines the word "athlete" to be loyal and competing in such a demanding sport for as long as he has is epic! Much respect your way peaty i hope im still riding to a fraction of your standard when im 40.
  • + 8
 Is he still on his first set of knees?
  • + 2
 Even owned the finish line with his own champagne spray lol
  • + 2
 Best helmet in the race too!
  • + 45
 What a shame the chain drop from Bryceland. It looks like Gwinn is back on the business, but not on a Demo.
  • - 51
flag hetfield1 (Apr 12, 2014 at 7:21) (Below Threshold)
 How do you know? You ride or train with him?
  • - 2
 Well, it is obvious that he is capable of winning, but maybe not on a Demo, just saying.
  • + 1
 Or maybe it is, we will see in the next race Smile
  • - 40
flag deeeight Plus (Apr 12, 2014 at 7:33) (Below Threshold)
 Maybe its the wheelsize afterall... a whole year on 26" and except for a couple US Pro Gravity Nationals, no wins... he gets onto 650B and poof he's competitive again. (and of course pointing this out will get me negatives)
  • + 5
 @hetfield1, you know Gwin was riding an Enduro EVO with a 40, right? There's pics of it all over the place...
  • + 5
 @deeeight: Vital MTB hinted strongly that Gwin was riding a prototype 650b demo last year.
  • + 2
 You, should be interesting. If he goes back to the Demo and sucks or if he keeps rhe Enduro, that is going to generate a lot of criticism: signing a frame only contract and then pretty much showing the entire world how much it sucks is not the best thing for a rider's reputation
  • + 9
 But then look at Gee he is in tenth place, they're only human and can't always perform to the best of their abilities.
  • + 7
 Ya wheelsize over skill and fitness. Minnaar must be kicking himself he didn't race a Nomad...
  • + 2
 Yes, I do know. All I was saying is let's wait and see what happens this year on a Demo
  • + 2
 Seems Enduro performed better on Gwin Big Grin
  • - 7
flag ceretoneaudio (Apr 12, 2014 at 7:55) (Below Threshold)
 Gwin will never win on a demo - he should stick to the enduro
  • + 13
 This demo is hate is reaching a whole new level of stupid. Luca just won on one.
  • + 15
 Geez D8 you are at it all over the place. You are not getting negged because you're propping 650, you are getting negged because you're not making sense. Gwin was losing last year on a 26 against what? Yes, that's right; against 26" bikes. But let's try and remember one thing: not everyone cares about speed and some people like to ride what they like the feel of. And if Minnaar can talk about how one feels different to other and has a preference, then so can the rest of us. You incessantly beating on people's heads with your preaching about how you'd have to be a fool to stick with 26" takes only one thing into account and that is your preference. What you like is not going to be 'it' for the rest of the world, unless they are forced into it (which seems to be the case). Why can't you just let people like what they like? And rooting for a win on the wheelsize someone prefers is, in my opinion, quite ok. But bashing on the other like it's a demon child is like rooting for Peaty and talking Hill down like he's some kind of loser. It makes you sound like a child.
Oh, and let me see; wasn't Ratboy up on the split til his chain came off? How is that possible? Because it doesn't fkn matter, that's how.
  • - 6
flag jclnv (Apr 12, 2014 at 9:36) (Below Threshold)
 There is nothing wrong with Gwin's Demo. The production bike maybe.
  • + 8
 Maybe its less about the bike and more about the rider, the training, and the skill he has…what a thought right?
  • + 0
 IMO it was 50% in his head and 50% geometry change from the Trek.
  • - 7
flag deeeight Plus (Apr 12, 2014 at 11:18) (Below Threshold)
 probably closer to the truth than we'll ever know...
  • + 2
 @jclnv Bronson and Luca are doing ok on short stays... Isn't the EVO Gwinn on have 420mm stays?
  • + 3
 they are just jealous cuz demo is one of the best bikes out there..its funny how ppl get other bikes and then they have so much problems with it.what happen after? they buy demos haha..i have riding some brands but non of them beat demo 8 in my opinion..i hope Gwin get more wins this year so the ppl stop with the demo crap Wink

cheers
  • + 2
 I think demos are nice but they aren't anymore perfect or better than the next bike.
  • - 4
flag Protour (Apr 13, 2014 at 6:53) (Below Threshold)
 The Demo is definitely worst bike in the history of DH racing. No elite wins in the last 5 years under Hill, Brosnan, Gwin? The Demo is clearly the Biggest Loser.
  • + 3
 hahaha @protour i can tell you never got a change to ride one..what a shame..let me know when you do Wink
  • + 2
 @Protour- 5 years? check your math- 2010 World's went to Sam on board a Demo. Troy may not have won last year, but he had his best overall result so far.

Also- many, many brands have great bikes that have not come close to the Demo's success at the Men's Elite level: Evil, Mondraker, Norco, Intense (after 2006)... all fantastic, amazing bikes yet no where near as successful as the Demo in Men's Elite DH.
  • + 2
 D8 is just a salty mechanic. To many of those in the industry.
  • + 0
 I did ride a Demo for awhile, its a decent bike park bike but is not suited for World Cup DH cause of the short stays. They work for Brosnan cause he is short, and Gwin had to get longer ones. Hill did win World s once, but no World Cup wins in 5 years under Hill, Brosnan, then Gwin? The Demo clearly sucks. The Specialized Enduro now has more Men's World Cup wins in that same time frame, how embarrassing.

Hill won World one on a Demo, but this happened more often cause of the unstable back end. Look how the back of the bike disappears under him and then he is down so fast:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFkMtKtlc1g&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Short stays turn fast in Berms, but not World Cup DH turns.
  • + 2
 So using Protour's logic (of totally ignoring the circumstances of the race), the Yeti SB66 (C) has had more success in Elite DH than the NEW 303. OMG! They must be so embarrased!

Surely Hill would have crashed on every corner on the Demo if that crash was because of the stays being to short?

World Cup tracks don't have berms? What was that banked turn on the PMB track?
  • - 1
 Has the 303 been racing the World Cup the last 5 years under the best racers? Not even.

Face it, the bike is a loser. Why did Gwin get longer stays? And he still hasn't won on it.
  • + 2
 so the way you saying is,Norco,Mondraker,Evil,yeti,Kona,Intense,NookProf etc... they are all loser bikes cuz they don't win the WC?so the best in the world must be the V-10 then hahah.please don't blame the bikes,blame the riders.. Brosnan wins almost everything to national cups on a demo what else do you want? you sr must be some specialized hater lol i have tried wilsons,GT fury,Kona,Glory and plush my Noco dh and my Evil undead and i feel my demo faster and fun then all of those so far, i have it for 3 years never give me a problem with bearings or whatever my Evil got a broken bolt on a linkage on a 4 day of riding at whistler,already took the demo 7 times at whistler never had a problem only 1 flat tire hahah and i abuse much more on my demo the any other of my bikes..
for for my english Razz still learning

don't hate the bikes haha blame the players Wink

cheers
  • + 2
 So you're saying Graves' medal at Worlds last year doesn't show he's one of the best racers in the world? The 303 is obviously a terrible bike and Yeti must be very embarrased - Protour logic.

Protur, why do you hate short chainstays? Stevie Smith managed alright last year on 427 - 430mm stays. Gee done not too bad on his 432s as well. OK, Gwin had his 'stays increased to 440 last year, but did he start winning WCs again afterwards? NO. His results did improve, but the tracks were also changing. Do you not also think that Sam Hill, who had so much input to the Demo's development, could quite easily get a chainstay increase if that's what made him crash?

I'm not saying short 'stays are the best, different geo works better for different people. But don't preach false hatred on something just cos you don't like it.
  • + 4
 Also don't forgot that Sam hill asked to have his chain stay shorted on the Nukeproof pulse last year too.
  • + 1
 He actually didn't get shorter chainstays, he just runs them in the short position which is 435mm, demo is around 425mm I believe.
  • + 1
 Demo is 421
  • + 0
 Gwin probably only marginally improved with longer stays last year cause he was so disoriented from spending so much time on the Demo with ultra-short stays. When you start to get used to a bad bike, you can't get on a good bike again and get right back up to speed. It takes some time, hopefully Gwin is adapted to the new Demo, but I suspect the suspension design is also to blame. The way they attach the seat stays to the shock might make it more active (says Specialized marketing), but it also makes it pedal worse and makes the rear end less predictable, and less responsive to turning forces initiated by the rider. I will simply point out that they are the only company who had ever mounted a shock like this and it hasn't produced good results. But some people think it looks cool...

The stock Demo has 420mm stays. Your trail bike has longer stays than that for Christ's sake! Unless it is a Specialized. ..

Specialized will eventually make the Demo with longer stays, but their production runs are planned out at least 2 years ahead of time so the Demo will unfortunately continue to be sold with short stays for now. To say Specialized is a slow behemoth is not an exaggeration. So for now only Gwin gets the long chainstays and everyone else has to deal with the instability of this bike. It does work good for Brosnan cause he is shorter, but it is holding everyone else back that rides it. Unless you just ride smooth bermed corners, it does great there.
  • + 4
 I'm going to start calling you 'Amatour'. The funny thing is if you watched any Gwin interviews from before and during the race lately you'd have heard him say he runs the short chainstays when he's at home but prefers longer chainstays when he's racing. Also regarding your earlier comment about demos having no success in the last 5 years, does 2009 not count as success? Sam hill was on the podium at almost all the wcs that year.
  • + 0
 He wasn't even close to his previous level of dominance on the Sunday. Did Hill even win 1 World Cup race on a Demo?

Gwin has to say things like that causes Specialized has put him in a bind. Sounds to me like basically what he is saying is that he only has 1 or 2 custom bikes with long stays so he has to save them for race-use only huh? If he were satisfied with the Demo they wouldn't have drastically changed it like they did after he sucked so bad I'm it with the short stays.

The best thing that both he and Brosnan can do is stay on the Enduro as long as possible this season, they will lose some time in the rough sections but make up for it at the start and in other pedal situations where the Demo would be lagging in comparison. Maybe with 650b we don't need 8" in the rear. Maybe Specialized should just ditch the Demo and turn the 650 Enduro into their new DH bike. Its off to a good start.

Watching some of the short girls fly down on 650 wheels with succes made me wonder why some of the tall guys aren't on 29ers. It's stupid that they aren't being exploited on tracks like this especially. If a 5' girl can handle a 650 with no problem, shouldn't a 6' 3" guy be able haul ass on a 29er?
  • + 1
 Inertia...DH casing 29er tires weigh as much as DH casing 26er tires, except now the weight is 1 1/2 inches further out from the hub axle, and it doesn't sound like much but that's enough to make a huge difference in inertia once they're up to speed. Look at Mitch Ropelato, he keeps hauling ass in practices or qualifying on that Evo Enduro 29er (the one with the 6" travel) and he keeps crashing out when it counts. He didn't qualify sunday having burped his tire off taking one corner WAYY to wide/fast and nearly going into trees (probably not helped by that gash in his arm from practice) and at the world cup finals last year he qualified second fasted WAY ahead of the third place guy (who was on a 26er) and then crashed during the finals. They might do well in 4X racing though since the turns tend to be banked and wide, plenty of room to drift and lean it over.
  • + 2
 So a 29" dh tyre weighs the same as a 26" dh tyre despite being 3"bigger? Who would have thought that was possible. I think Mitch should ask for a fat bike - huge wide tyres and all the grip he needs. Actually that is probably the answer - a 29" fat bike to provide all that grip he doesn't have because his wheels are so heavy he goes too fast.
Actually all his exploits prove is that 29ers have no place in DH. You need speed with control.
  • + 3
 Hill had a pretty bad run of injuries on the new style Demo.

I don't think Gwin is the typa guy to say crap to keep sponsors happy.

We don't even know the chainstays of the proto. Enduro Evo 650 (from comparing photos of it and the Stumpy 650 (435 stays) it looks smaller). And we don't know the geo of the Demo that he'll likely run this year either.

You can't say Rope-a-dope crashed cos of the 29er. Do you ever see him putting down storming runs at other WCs? No. He obviously has mega speed on that track on the 29er. Maybe too much speed. Or maybe he just ain't got his racing head on.

The weight of a 29er isn't 1.5" further from the axle. It's about 0.75" EITHER SIDE of the axle.

Dunno why you think it'd be good for 4X deeeight, surely that extra weight in your hoops ain't gonna help your holeshot attempts.
  • + 3
 Hahaha, 29ers in 4X racing. You know that thing that makes 29ers roll over stuff so well (physics) also makes them shit for pumping? Isn't science fun. You big wheel evangelists love to think it's all positive, positive, positive. Well, you don't get one without the other and it's horses for courses and some things just aren't cut out for fast acceleration, light weight, lateral stiffness, pumping and maneuverability. Why can't you just admit it? All wheel sizes have advantages and *gasp* disadvantages. That's right; all of them.
  • + 1
 The weight is close enough as to not be worth mentioning, especially given that they don't offer 29ers any wider (except for the 29 plus offerings from surly) than about a 2.5". Depends on the brand of course but Schwalbe keeps their tires within about an ounce of one another for the XC models of same construction for the three different standard mtb wheel sizes. You can end up with a greater tire weight change from having dirt or dog poop stuck to your tire. Hell the normal production variances in tires are such that I own 29er tires that weigh less than the 650B versions of the same size/construction/model.

I said it could be good for 4x because of how the turns are setup... holeshots are fine to get IN front of the others at the start but really I'd rather carry more speed in control around a banked turn and then PASS the folks who couldn't maintain traction, not to mention once up to speed, 29ers hold that pace a lot better. You watch enough 4x and you see that the real action happens when people try and pass. If everyone has about equal traction, you get collisions so forth and then the holeshot (and holding the lead) is most important... but if one rider had an edge in traction and momentum.... could be a game changer.

And ummm... where do you (sam-rodda) get this 0.75" crap? You do realize that a 3" diameter difference equates to 1.5" RADIUS difference... and the radius in the case of the wheel is the distance from the axle center...so what I wrote was correct.
  • + 2
 Here we go with that 'traction' argument again. Physics people; look into it. The size of the contact patch is completely dependant on tire pressure. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, do you remember Newton? The area of the contact patch will be just enough to create enough force to push back at the opposing force. You want more traction? Lower the pressure in your tire. Now, because you're a 29er apologist, you're going to tell me that a longer patch is better than a wider patch and back it up with absolutely no science.

If you think inertia in your tires is more important than acceleration, maneuverability and pumping then I suspect you haven't watched enough 4X racing yourself. Why don't they run heavy tires if it's so important to have inertia over those other pesky traits?
  • + 1
 I had a thorough look and couldn't find any 29er dh tyres, there may be but not easily found, also by the time you add the extra weight of the bigger rim, bigger tube and bigger tyre you end up with a noticeable handicap on handling. If you run maxxis the weight difference between a 26 and 27 on a super tacky HR2 is over 100g plus add the distance however small it is. It isn't a game changer, if one person did it and was getting a significant advantage then more people will jump straight on that band wagon. Going by your theory the enduro world series should have been dominated by 29ers and 650b but as results showed a bike doesn't make the rider.
I think Sam got confused between 27.5(actually 27) and 29 so it was an error rather than not knowing.
  • + 1
 Also I want to see how this new dual chamber tyre system schwalbe has developed works out, will make a huge increase in grip that shadows any gain given by changing wheel size.
  • + 1
 Yeh I take that back, I spazzed out and was thinking about 650b! That's a fair point about carrying speed down a 4X track. I dunno though, holeshots are pretty important in 4X, and the big wheels may make it awkward to pump rollers and squash jump as well as a 26.
  • + 2
 One more thing perhaps we should use 29ers for dirt jumps, they carry speed much better....
  • + 0
 I did say "I could see" and "in theory" before... given that M.R. keeps trying to make that Evo Enduro 29er WORK for him, I would not be surprised to see him enter a 4X event on one of the specialized camber 29er hardtails.

As to why we don't see lots of people doing it (650/29er) in 4x/DS? Because the thought didn't occur to them maybe? Because their friends would laugh at them (think fat girls mopeds analogy) ? As someone else said in this thread (or perhaps another one, I read a LOT of the reviews the past few days), almost the entire men's field was on a 650B except for the syndicate team, and a half dozen other riders (minaar amongst them), and M.R. on the only 29er. And many of the women were on 650B also. This is for DH... when the Enduro world tour gets going I'm sure its going to be the same, except we won't even have any 26ers just more 29ers. And the funny thing is, many existing DS frames fit 650B... I have a 2005 New old stock Felt Dual Shot I picked up friday, I checked the tire clearance and it'll take a 650Bx2.35. The pros and their team directors DO read these web forums when they have time, they may not post but they do read, and someone is bound to try out the idea just like they did with 650B in XC racing (and look where that went).

If they get a win, EVERYONE will copy it.

Maxxis and Schwalbe have DH casing 29er tire models already, Kenda says they're coming. As to the traction/contact patch argument...newton and pressure in a lab on a smooth surface is one thing...out in the real world on dirt is something else. You can argue what newton and physics say in the lab all you want, but try climbing a steep hill with loose terrain on a 26er with a merely wider tire (say a 2.35 instead of a 2.1) versus a 29er on a equal width (2.1) but slightly longer contact patch tire, and you'll likely find the 26er spins out and you have to walk it and the 29er crawls to the top.
  • + 1
 Adam Brayton was also on an Epic 29er I believe.

Surely 650B in XC isn't as 'out of the box' an idea as 29" in 4X?

Why don't they try 24" in 4X?
  • + 1
 PS, to answer Protour's question(which started all this crap about wheel sizes) of why tall dudes don't run 29ers on courses like PMB, I think it's mainly due to the lack of strong stiff 29" wheels. The PMB track is insanely fast so flexy hoops wouldn't be the nicest I imagine. Not to mention the lack of long travel 29er rigs available to the riders.
  • + 0
 Epic's are the XC racing models... sure it wasn't another of the Specialized family like a Stumpjumper FSR Evo ? 650B in XC was pretty out of the box an idea altogether only six years ago and now they're showing up in everything except (for the present time) DS/4X and Slopestyle. However we just had the sea otter and they have a DS race so many someone used on there. They didn't after do a "bikes of the sea otter DS" feature like they did the world cup DH in africa.
  • + 1
 *Enduro
  • + 0
 Ok I'm going thru the sea otter results/photos, DH had lots of 650B including the new X-Fusion equipped Intense 650B Brian Lopes used to win, and Logan Binggeli's second place KHS. Brian and Logan with 3rd and 4th in the DS respectively, and Logan has a photo posted to facebook next to a KHS 7500 which is a 650B model, and there's video of him on course racing it here on pinkbike (32 second mark) so we definitely have 650B on the podiums in DS now. I also saw a blue/black KHS 2500 at around the 50 second mark on the video.

www.pinkbike.com/news/video-dual-slalom-sea-otter-2014.html
  • + 4
 You seem to dodge these type of questions all the time D8, so I'm going to come right out and ask you straight...

Given that there are people here that have tried all 3 wheels sizes and still have a preference for 26" after having a solid go on more than one example of each, and given that they ride for the fun and feel of it and don't give a shit about racing...

Do you think someone who prefers riding a 26 is just plain wrong?
Do you think 26 should become extinct despite some people preferring it, and they just need to get with the program?
Do you think there are exactly zero advantages to a 26 for every conceivable rider in every conceivable terrain?
Do you think that because you prefer bigger wheels, your long time experience with reading articles and selling products justifies you telling people that there is no use for something they actually prefer over what you prefer?
Do you think bigger wheels are better for scrubs, whips and drifts? Do you believe these things are completely irrelevant?
Do you think faster acceleration, lighter weight, greater lateral stiffness, greater maneuverability and greater strength are all less important than rollover and inertia in all conditions and for all riders, regardless of rider strength, height or riding style?
If greater inertia is important, why have people in all disciplines been striving for lighter rims and lighter tires?

Enlighten me, please.
  • + 1
 Just to remind you - we had one 650B proponent going on record here that 29ers were too fast and led to a loss of control so 650 was better. I think Mitch knows this now too. Now I wonder if the same argument holds for 650 vs 26". This is such fun.
  • + 1
 I think in the future it will all depend on the track, and there will be more specialization. Which is what usually happens as sports get more competitive. Taller guys like Minnar, Bryceland, and Needles aboard 29ers winning on tracks like PMB, smaller guys like Bruni, Brosnan, and Hart winning on smaller wheels on the technical tracks, most likely 650 but maybe 26. And medium size guys like Gee and Gwin will be all-around racers who have the best chance for the overall. Maybe some guys will switch around bikes depending on the track, like Specialized is doing this year. But the tracks this year probably favor big wheels more than usual, unfortunately.

If Bryceland, Minnar, or any of the
Specialized guys win a race on 26 this year it could make things very interesting and the big wheel debate will be even more chaotic. I think it would be cool if all 3 sizes had relevance in DH racing, but the future of enduro looks like 650 and 29. 29 in 4x? It would kill your holeshot, but might make for more passing opportunities further down the track.

I think it is a valid point that you are more likely to crash on bigger wheels, given the increased speeds combined with less agility, which equals slower reactivity. But given the desire some guys have to win, they will take the risk. The contract patch debate is too complex for me to come to any firm conclusions, given how different conditions and dirt absorb the tire differently. But I agree with Kramster that 26 is most fun for jumping and play riding.
  • + 1
 You actually think riders are gonna ride a bike they can't be competitive on, just because of their height points towards that particular setup?
  • + 1
 It's just speculation and we don't know if it will be competitive until more people try it. Obviously someone taller is going to be more comfortable on bigger wheels.
  • + 40
 Rat boy was looking quick
  • + 23
 Rat boy is ready for a win
  • + 1
 Definitely am sure his time will come soon I seen him race a few weeks back and he was so quick and stylish.
  • + 36
 Wow! Gwin I must say this is the best way to silence the critics man. Congratulations!! I can just imagine Sikmik sitting there for so long until the last man down dethrones him. Just epic.
  • + 34
 glad I didn't sell my specialized bikes after last season, they just became super popular again...
  • + 28
 The look on Mick Hannah's face when Gwin crossed the line was a picture of devastation.
  • + 5
 I think Marcello had one too, and maybe some other riders... Strange though.
  • + 4
 He is going to be so hungry for that win in Cairns now.
  • + 27
 Sam Dale's run. "He goes down and hits the deck harder than an old lady on a cruse ship" Hahahaha Its good to be back Rob.
  • + 27
 Bruni for overall, he'll be the new Vouilloz !
  • + 2
 Or Barel, both are awesome. And french.
  • - 8
flag meathooker (Apr 12, 2014 at 7:19) (Below Threshold)
 Gwin!!!!
  • + 1
 2nd fastest on the downhill track (1st split), in a league of their own with Gwin. Lost time on the fireroad tho...
  • + 4
 @jissse
At 19 years old, he had time !
  • + 23
 So gutted for Mick, he's just never gonna win in South Africa Frown Props to Gwin though on a killer start to the season and teammate Brosnan in 5th as well!
  • - 6
flag Czauder1 (Apr 12, 2014 at 10:12) (Below Threshold)
 Me too, although he wear a super slim jersey, which kind of felt a bit like cheating to me (probably that's the only reason why he was faster than Minaar).
  • + 23
 Love how in the post race interview with Gwin he spent it thanking his team and all those who were involved, mad respect!
  • - 5
flag Its-That-Guy (Apr 12, 2014 at 14:02) (Below Threshold)
 "I'd like to thank god"... Really?
  • + 3
 Indeed. He was a real class act. He seems very grounded, and legitimately gracious.
  • + 8
 Mate if thanking god works for him, then who are you to have a crack at him for it?
He spent most of his interview not focused on himself but thanking those around him in his team. Class act.
  • + 18
 Say what you will about Pietermaritzburg but there’s nothing better than seeing the worlds best bike athletes crossing the line with nothing left to give, ready to spew their ring up after the 120% effort to prove their worth, It defo warrants its spot on the circuit with what ever wheel size you choose!!! oh yeah and kudos to Gwin!!!! …….save it for 2weeks time Mik!!!!
  • + 21
 Sam Dale scores a 10 second reduction for style points.
  • + 17
 Everyone must be nervous about Gwin again - totally feel gutted for Mik - and I don't think I can recall Greg ever losing time when he's up! Ok, bring on Australia! Sucks for Ratboy!
  • + 19
 Oh now suddenly everyone is for Gwin... Two faces bitches
  • + 21
 I don't think they are "suddenly" for Gwin. The gwinners have always been here, just shamed into silence with last year's fiasco.
  • + 0
 I had given up on him, written him off, and thought he lost his edge. He proved me wrong so now I'm a fan again. As soon as I saw he was up by 3 seconds after the first section, I was back in his corner again. I'm a huge fan of dominant performances so as long as he is Gwinning, I'll have his back.

And if he stops Gwinning, I just put all the blame on the worst DH bike in World Cup history; the Dreaded Demo.
  • + 2
 More retarded nonsense from Protour... We get that you hate the Demo. We get that you make up nonsense to support your opinions. And we know that there are for sure bikes that have a worse track record without any WC wins or World Champ wins, both of which the Demo has. Give it a rest.
  • - 3
 No way dude, no DH bike has a worse record in the history of racing, considering Gwin, Hill, and Bronan have been consistent World Cup losers on it.
  • + 3
 The facts are Troy won 2 x Jnr Worlds Cup Titles and 2 x Jnr Worlds Championships on that bike. Have a look at Hills injuries during his time at Specialised. Another brainless comment from @Protour.
  • + 1
 I've seen it here before, but it would be fantastic if one bike manufacturer made the bikes for every rider. Year one would be a Session, year after that a Demo 8 etc... I think it would be really interesting seeing as how the field would have an even machine to test individual skill. And not getting to ride it until a week before the event would be so awesome. Just a crazy wish I guess.
  • + 15
 Only man under 4 min. Gwin is the fastest rider ever!!
  • - 15
flag badpotato (Apr 12, 2014 at 7:20) (Below Threshold)
 Just a shame he cannot handle the Demo... congrats!
  • - 22
flag fabdemaere (Apr 12, 2014 at 7:21) (Below Threshold)
 The course changed you dumb fuck
  • + 7
 Give it a rest. Always has to be someone to piss on him, even if he won
  • + 11
 Irony: Calling someone a dumb f*ck when you have completely misread the point they were making.

But yeah Gwin has to be the fastest rider ever, Its undoubtedly the fastest and fittest field of riders ever and he is able to put big gaps on them consistently. Amazing.
  • - 2
 yeah; he rides like no one else! the guys out there today looked incredibly fast!!!1 and fit!!! bruni, minaar, brosnan...can´t wait for the next round already
  • + 1
 He is the fastest rider ever, and the Demo is the worst DH bike ever. ... so the rest of the season will be interesting to watch.
  • + 5
 @Protour, I hope that's sarcasm.
  • + 9
 Gutted for Ratboy and Mad Mic, but showed great form, Sam Dale was on fire showing what a force he has become.... but Gwin ??? what can be said ? looked average in the top rock garden, but still came up 2.5 sec ahead at the first split, the man finds time everywhere, wonder if the form will continue on the Demo ? Great event, roll on another in Cairnes.....
  • + 2
 Gwin didn't look average in the top rock garden. Not the smoothest and fastest, but he was clearly quicker through there than all but maybe 3 other riders.
  • + 2
 The coverage didn't allow to see anything else at the top of the course, Gwins line through the rocks was slower than many riders, but he made up more time in other areas before the first split, this was the point i was making... the man is fast and no denying fully entitled to the win...
  • + 3
 Only racer that looked faster than Gwin through the top rock garden was Bryceland. Gwin is deceptively fast because he is so smooth, he is like the anti-Ben Reid.
  • + 1
 Pekoll was super fast on the inside line, as was Hannah and Hill.. and as stated Ratboy but so were others...... I'm not about getting into video comparison but Gwin almost stalled in the middle ! But.... he still had the strength and determination to pull up 2.5 secs before the first split ! massive riding :-)
  • + 2
 Yeah Gwin stalled a little bit was still overall one of the fastest in the section. After watching it again I think Bruni also was one of the fastest in those rocks.
  • + 1
 Totally agree... Bruni hit it sweet :-)
Whether it was Gwins shorter travel, or just line selection ??? but yes, he was one of the fastest overall in the top section, the boy can ride !
  • + 11
 Now for Gwin to get back on the Demo for the rest of the season and shut the demo knockers up.
  • + 3
 100%. Watch the interview with Gwin on The Dirt website. He kinda laughs about everyone hating on the demo. It's just funny how all of us Monday morning critics can say how bad the bike is. I want him to win a race on it just to shut up the demo haters (and I'm not a demo rider).
  • - 5
flag Protour (Apr 12, 2014 at 22:08) (Below Threshold)
 World's faster racer combined with worst DH bike ever, It's a big challenge for Gwin to conquer. If he is smart he stays on the Enduro till he loses on it.
  • + 3
 Juniors was won on a Demo
  • + 9
 Gwin performed well. Happy for Eric Carter and his team. Aaron, we are proud to have you representing the United States for the win. Thanks Redbull for the great coverage. Apple TV Redbull app is great.
  • + 11
 Sam Hill at number 9 with flats, AWESOME! Way to go Sam!
  • + 10
 Congrats to Aaron Gwin, he made our morning interesting for sure ... we were sure Mik was going to take it.
  • + 9
 'sic mic' had an epic run, Gwin was on fire - hands down though, Sam Dales smooth exit was a highlight.
  • + 9
 What's up with Gee?! Gutted for Mik, Congrats Gwinn your an animal!
  • + 10
 Ratboy must be pissed
  • + 3
 Was so gutted for him. He would have had a great result today Frown

Even with a chain device he somehow got the chain to come off.
  • + 4
 Well, that was a good run. Congrats to Gwin. I still don't like him though. Also, Brosnan's bottom run looked speeded up AND he was still putting down the power. He really put on some muscles over the winter, going from this skinny prebubescent looking guy to the absurdly fast powerhouse he is now. Respect
  • + 7
 two years back everyone was sick of gwin, looks like now everyone misses Captain America
  • + 2
 Capt 'murica!
  • + 7
 GWINNNNNINNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG
  • + 3
 Gwin was flying man. But another shite world cup at pietermaritzberg, what a waste of a downhill race when we have so few. Please uci pick another hill that they can ride down
  • + 6
 what happened to Ropelato?
  • + 2
 People! I'm sure that wheel size does matter. But i'd like to see someone bomb down the val di sole track on a 150 mm 29er. Different track Different bike. I think its UCI's fault that they choose so ungnarly tracks. If all the trails were gnarly (I mean all the time not just a few rock gardens) then I think everyone would be riding 26
  • + 2
 I think if a world cup track can be ridden on an enduro bike and ends up having better result on and enduro bike. whats the point in calling it the Downhill champs? it's not a downhill bike. how i see it, if its going to be a world cup track, then it should be so physically demanding that you can only use a downhill bike on it (I have nothing against Enduro).
  • + 12
 "so physically demanding" ...so what's wrong with making these guys pedal 'till they puke once a year? I think this track rounds out the circuit well. They clearly enjoy riding it, it's NOT overly-manscaped and buffed to perfection like several of the others...it's just a bitch when you have to race it, because it takes so much out of you.

And that "enduro" bike with 180mm of suspension is hardly an XC or AM or even Trail bike...more like a MiniDH. Following your logic they should all be riding Karpiel Armageddons with Monster T's in order to just make it down a "real" WC DH track.
  • + 2
 The bike being ridden doesn't determine the type of race being held. It's a single track that goes downhill the whole way, not a multi stage event, not an uphill xc event, not on the road, not a jump jam, so what the f*ck do you want to call it?

So physically demanding you have to use a downhill bike? You want a course that is so TECHNICALLY demanding you need a downhill bike. A physically demanding course (like this one) will require you to exert a lot of energy, a technically demanding course will give you very small margins of error with picking lines, which is why you need all that travel to account for your mistakes. A BMX track/race is very physically demanding, but not technical at all.
  • + 1
 Everyone is taking this the wrong way... And dont say your not because you are! I was trying to say that from a downhill track like this one, i would have expected full travel downhill bikes to be used! "Physically demanding" means anything physical e.g techincality, stamina, power etc. not just pedalling as you were suggesting! Meaning that it is a discriptions that can be applied to any sport, that is physically demanding.
Yet again i have nothing agaist anyone using different bikes! I would love to see someone shred a DH track on a road bike! Haha
Im certainly not wanting to start a stupid argument about this with anyone! If you dont like what i think and she, then dont say anything!
  • + 1
 Sorry, thats not what you were suggesting! But you get what i mean! A DH track is still physically demanding as well as technically demanding.
  • - 6
flag wakaba (Apr 12, 2014 at 9:40) (Below Threshold)
 This is an enduro track and not a dh-track. Its watered down. So an enduro 650 wins against another enduro framed rider. Did I enjoy the race? No, boring NASCAR commercial avenue. A little bit of fast and mostly comfort zone...
  • + 1
 No i didnt get to see it Frown but im watching the replayBig Grin and its amazing! The speed to get over those table tops must be insane!
  • + 1
 I think the start of 2014 is very interesting.
We go from a track where I would confident that if Jerome or Marcus took part they would podium, to a tight track with steep turns, which could not be more different.
So Gregs local track to Micks local track.
It will be very interesting to see if the comments are the same after that track.
Will Stevie be back?
  • + 5
 Yeah NEKO! You make us proud in Reading, Pa!
  • + 4
 GWIN BITCH ! That's what I'm talking about!!. Feel bad for SIKMIK but good race
  • + 2
 Welcome back Aaron! Congrats on the victory. I wonder if he sticks with the enduro for Cairnes. Another fast track with not much tech.
  • + 4
 Gwinning*

*until Stevie is back Wink
  • + 2
 This was the best world cup watching for me! Beer,my girl next to me and a great show to watch ! Smile Congrats to Aaron,I´m glad he´s back !
  • + 2
 Congrats to Gwin! ! Sik Mik must change his nick name to Healthy Mik.....2 years in a row got second place. Thanks PB, thanks RB, awesome coverage.
  • + 4
 Let's go enduro with triple crown
  • + 0
 I would like to see a change in the points system for the World Cup. Given the fact that there are only 6/7 races it's too easy for a couple of people to create a lead that is unattainable by other riders who may have a consistent season but without a win. The last few years there have been one or two competing for the win at the end of the season but if you are in 5th in the 5th race then you have very little chance if climbing the ladder. I agree that a win should be rewarded, but maybe the gap between the top 10 could be close up to increase the competition?
  • + 4
 Socialized racing? Everyone can be a winner!
  • + 1
 Interesting. F1 is doing double points for last race. Seb said its lame...but that was before we found out he's well of the podium so far.
  • + 1
 No, just a tighter grouping of points in the top 5 or 10 places.
  • + 2
 If you tighten the points in the top 5/10, you decrease the quality of racing. Do you really want racers riding conservative to protect points in the series? I want riders pinned, and chasing that top spot.
  • + 1
 There is a balance, for sure, and absolutely, I want them pinned as well, I just think a 'slightly' closer grouping would result in a good result for riders and viewers.
  • + 1
 Kind of agree here. I think 1st, 2nd, and 3rd should stay the same. Winning a world cup is hard and you should be rewarded. However, if you finish outside the top 5 in a race you get crushed. I think the scoring in positions 4-10 should be much tighter and then a drop after 10th place. This would keep things much tighter, and would add a lot of excitement going into the final weekend with a higher potential of 3-4 guys with a shot at the podium
  • + 4
 I now predict specialised sales to rocket....
  • + 2
 Would be interesting to know how many hits the Enduro Evo page is getting on their website right now.
  • + 1
 A few moar weeks of gwinning, and all dem clowns done sold they Demos gonna hafta call up jethro and tell em they didn't really mean to trade that bike for a wet burrito after all.
  • + 0
 No Flyboy that would not be interesting and a wet burrito is probably faster than a Demo.
  • + 2
 wet burrito > Demo > Trek > Protour's incessant crying. Got it.
  • + 1
 go gwin! btw, enduro evo 180 mm with 36's, ohlin TT and 650b can be the definitive all around rock machine. definitively one of my dream bikes.
  • + 2
 Yeahhhh Gwin Big Grin and I wouldn't consider the Enduro Evo a "Enduro Style" bike. Basically a shorter travel demo..
  • + 1
 so i betting 650B tired , FOX 40 equipped Enduro Evo,s will be popping all over the hills now , big travel forks and medium travel bikes will start to be the norm now
  • + 3
 That was such a good race. Gwin absolutely killed it today!
  • + 3
 Now that the flat race is done...when does the real DH start? Razz
  • + 7
 Bryceland lost his chain at the start of the "Flat" section, which is at about the halfway mark, and still managed a 16th position without a pedal. How flat can this section really be?
  • + 1
 Sorry, I meant 16 seconds down
  • + 1
 Would have liked to see Steve Smith against Gwin. Good race, glad Gwin is back in full form
  • + 0
 Where are the rest of the results? pretty sure there were more than 5 male riders........or maybe i was just watching the wrong world cup
  • + 2
 Its OK Sik Mik, you did such a good work, congratulations.
  • + 1
 Woo! Gwin is back in the game! Can't wait to see how things play out when Stevie is back!
  • + 1
 I wish all were healthy, but coming back from that ankle surgery to a top contender is gna be a tall order.
  • + 1
 Hey guys does anybody know if and where I can bet on UCI Worldcup?? Is it possible??
  • + 2
 Well done Gwin, good start to the season champ
  • + 2
 real shame for sik mik and great to see peaty still up there
  • + 1
 Good to see Giordanengo do so well on the new Polygon N9. Makes me more keen to take one for a spin
  • + 2
 USA will take the title back this year no doubt!
  • + 3
 As long as the title stays on our continent for a little while I'll be happy. Its our time!
  • + 0
 Ratboy dropped a chain... Woulda been on podium or top 5 for sure. That's two 26rs in top 5. Proportionally, based on how many guys rode 26, 26ers had a better showing today.
  • + 2
 I just can't believe it!!!!
  • + 1
 How funny, WC comments dominate sea otter comments great scheduling
  • + 1
 Hey Guys isnt the Race always on Sunday?
  • + 1
 You are right, this is still April fools going on and GOTCHA!!!!!
  • + 1
 No,now seriously so Tomorrow no Race?
  • + 1
 You can't be serious... Yep no race
  • + 1
 But last Year the races always were on sundays
  • + 3
 Winds of change - it's great for the racers since the quali is on friday. Also for the spectators who come longer distance to see the race. It is better in every single way. Sunday is the last day before monday, going to work/school - it's nice to have a buffer. Last year I came home from Hafjell at 1:30 on monday "morning" and went to work at 7:00. Two years ago, the race was on saturday and I was back for family dinner, still doing 3 laps in the bike park on the sunday morning.
  • + 2
 Gee wtf happened man?!?
  • + 1
 He had a lacklustre (for him) performance at rd1 of the BDS a few weeks ago too, saying "he wasn't feeling it". I hope Stevie's win last year hasn't taken away Gee's mojo, though I suspect it has more to do with hitting form for the later rounds this year as he was burned out at end of 2013.
  • + 1
 what happened to ratboy Frown
  • + 1
 his chain got out landing one of the the big tabletops. I think he was fastest at the moment, gutted for him...
  • + 1
 Pietermaritzburg Love Sik mik ^,^
  • + 0
 Man it was a great time last year when Spesh sucked at world cups... feel sooo bad for SikMik he sould have took the win Frown
  • + 2
 Aaron gwin, the boss
  • + 1
 Hmmmm no demo and Gwins back on top with Troy behind. ,Just sayinsayin.
  • + 1
 Good run by Sam Hill in 9th on flat pedals what a legend!
  • + 2
 26 for ever!!!!
  • + 1
 THE GWIN IS BACK FOR THE WIN
  • + 1
 BIKE SPEC's FER THE SPECIALIZED RIDERS! , please
  • + 2
 The return of the Gwin!?
  • + 1
 Where can I watch it live ?
  • + 0
 I'm now debating getting a specialized demo, looks like the enduro evo looks pretty hot now
  • + 1
 Where's the Pike in all this. Lol. That Fox 36 Rad fork is the bomb!
  • + 2
 WhEre's sam hill?
  • + 1
 So disappointed for Ratboy, he looked so fast in the top section.
  • - 1
 This doesn't break the demo curse though. Gwin and Troy were on enduro evo bikes, the demo curse continues - still only 2 wins at worlds level ever for the demo.......
  • + 4
 3 World's victories: Troy won Junior World's on one, Sam won, and so did Morgane Charre.

And on a related note, Luca Shaw won the Junior race today on Demo by almost 2 seconds.
  • + 0
 Juniors is all about skills and a bit of fitness. At that level, the gear you have doesn't matter that much. But yeah, the demo does have some big Wins.
  • + 1
 I'm talking senior worlds level races (not junior - btw troy won 2 junior world champs on the demo) - sam only won 2 races on the demo since moving to spec (1 world cup, and 1 world champs)
  • + 2
 And the Gwinner is…
  • + 1
 No 29'ers? What's up with that?.. Wink
  • + 1
 Good job AG!
  • + 1
 Go gwin !
  • - 1
 winning on a enduro bike Smile uci need to make rules downhill on a downhill bike enduro on enduro bike
  • + 0
 Where is Stevie Smith? Frown
  • + 1
 Where's Danny boy?
  • + 1
 where was Steve Smith??
  • + 1
 here comes NEKO.
  • + 1
 LOOK AT THE TIME!!
  • + 0
 Aaron, you are a blessed man.....congratulations! Keep the faith brother.
  • + 0
 if you want to do downhill buy enduro bike...........
  • + 0
 Excellent role model Gwin! Congrats. Keep the faith!
  • + 1
 GWIN¡!!!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 YES GWIN!
  • + 1
 YEEEAHH GWIN!!!
  • + 0
 Funny, everyone is gonna be a gain supporter again..
  • + 1
 Enduro Evo 650B!
  • + 0
 Since when is a World Cup on a Saturday? Gutted I missed it!
  • + 0
 The world cups have been changed this year from sun to sat
  • + 2
 since today. sorry you missed an epic race
  • - 1
 not even a "real" dh track. wait to see what bikes are ridden later in the season...
  • + 2
 Give it a rest.
  • + 1
 I Shall Return! -Gwin
  • - 1
 Fastest first split and third fastest overall to the v10 on 26 inch wheels! on the MOST pedally track.
  • + 1
 Merica!!! Cheers Gwin!
  • - 1
 Great start to the year !!!
  • - 1
 Gwinner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • - 1
 Let's gooo Gwin!!! He's back!
  • - 1
 amazing ride gwin, amaazing ride!
  • - 3
 Where is Stevie Smith?
  • - 1
 Injured still, broke his leg last month filming for some video.
  • - 2
 cool gwin
  • - 2
 He is back...
  • - 2
 here comes the gwinning
  • - 2
 gwin is back!
  • - 3
 Think gwin cheated as did mick using 27.5-29 whatever wheel size.. Where would of these guys come if they used 26?
  • + 1
 Cheated? You can't be serious
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