Tech Randoms - La Bresse DH World Cup 2018

Aug 22, 2018 at 11:00
by Ross Bell  
There was one common theme in the pits at the La Bresse World Cup today, and that was one of full rebuilds for a number of riders who had been busy smashing the laps in Whistler after Mont-Sainte-Anne. We've took a lap through the pits today and captured what was going down:

Jack Reading was building up a prototype Nicolai 29er in the pits this afternoon.
Jack Reading was building up a prototype Nicolai 29er this afternoon.

He wasn t sure whether he d race it or not but will be putting runs in on both his 27.5 and 29 bikes tomorrow before deciding which to race on.
La Bresse DH World Cup 2018
He wasn't sure whether he'd race it or not, but he'll be putting runs in on both his 27.5 and 29" bikes tomorrow before deciding which he'll compete on.

Fresh off the back of winning the whistler EWS Martin Maes is back racing downhill.
Fresh off of winning the Whistler EWS, Martin Maes is back racing downhill.

FOX Float X2 with trunnion mounts on Wyn Masters GT Fury.
A trunnion mount FOX Float X2 on Wyn Masters' GT Fury.

Bos Syors shocks minus their coils in the SCOTT pits.
Bos Syors shocks minus their coils in the Scott pits.

After picking up an injury in MSA Laurie Greenland has dropped down the standings a little.
After picking up an injury in MSA, Laurie Greenland has dropped down the standings a little.

Linkage details on Troy Brosnan s Canyon Sender.
La Bresse DH World Cup 2018
Linkage details on Troy Brosnan's Canyon Sender.

Fresh colourway for Noel Niederberger quite a contrast to his team mates black and chrome look.
Fresh colorway for Noel Niederberger, quite a contrast to his teammates' black and chrome look.

Magura stoppers in the NS Swiss Downhill Syndicate pits.
Magura stoppers in the NS / Swiss Downhill Syndicate pits.

Rachel Atherton s Trek Session gets some fresh bearings.
Rachel Atherton's Trek Session gets some fresh bearings.

La Bresse DH World Cup 2018
Strip downs aplenty. Most mechanic s work benches looked like this.
Strip downs aplenty. Most mechanic's work benches looked like this today.

Swedish gold.
Swedish gold.

Miranda Miller and Finn Iles Specialized Demos ready to rock in the morning.
Miranda Miller and Finn Iles' Specialized Demos ready to rock in the morning.

Maxxis Shortys front and rear on Adam Brayton s Gambler.
Maxxis Shortys front and rear on Adam Brayton's Gambler.

La Bresse DH World Cup 2018

La Bresse DH World Cup 2018
Complete rebuilds were common throughout the pits with plenty of riders abusing bikes in Whistler after Mont Sainte Anne.
Complete rebuilds were common throughout the pits with plenty of riders abusing bikes in Whistler after Mont-Sainte-Anne.

Fresh forks on Loris Vergier s Santa Cruz V10.
A fresh fork on Loris Vergier's Santa Cruz V10.

FOX coming up with a new solution for their mountain of forks on track walk day.
Fox coming up with a new solution for their mountain of forks on track walk day.

This bike didn t have a long travel time to get to La Bresse. Remi Thirion lives around 30 minutes from here and will be hoping to put in a good one to close off the WC season.
This bike didn't have a long travel time to get to La Bresse. Remi Thirion lives around 30 minutes from here and will be hoping to put in a good one to close off the WC season.
He s running a super stubby stem on it too.
He's running a super stubby stem on it too.

There s plenty going into the rear end of the Commencal Supremes.
There's plenty going into the rear end of the Commencal Supremes.
Myriam Nicole s service check list for her Rock Shox Boxxers.
Myriam Nicole's service check list for her Rock Shox Boxxer.

Details on the frame of Mark Wallace.
Details on the frame of Mark Wallace.

Finishing touches to a freshen up on Matt Walker s Saracen Myst.
Finishing touches to a freshen up on Matt Walker's Saracen Myst.

A FOX DHX2 going back into the frame of Danny Hart.
A Fox DHX2 going back into the frame of Danny Hart.

Blank covers on Neko Mulally s brakes...
Different brakes on Neko Mulally's YT...

He looks to be running TRP s G-Spec E-MTB brakes or at least the calipers from them.
La Bresse DH World Cup 2018
He looks to be running TRP's G-Spec E-MTB brakes for one reason or another.

Chappy Fiene making sure everything is running sweet in preparation for tomorrow.
Chappy Fiene making sure everything is running sweet in preparation for tomorrow.



69 Comments

  • + 91
 The Nicolai looks weird but amazing at the same time. Raw Aluminum > Raw Carbon
  • + 63
 Ancilotti could take a few lessons in welding...
  • + 68
 They should come up with a slope frame named Nicolai Rogatkin and sponsor Nicholi Rogatkin
  • + 1
 @IllestT: was thinking the exact same thing
  • + 0
 @IllestT: not from Orange
  • + 2
 @chyu: Hahaha, haha. I chuckled, COL'ed or Chuckled Out Loud.
  • + 4
 That is an absuredly handsome bike.
  • - 2
 @Scotj009: a little bit of sick just came into my mouth. Please don't put links up to Oranges without warning, it's not nice
  • + 3
 @IllestT: When you have so many sessions you must stick an Orange in there to keep it balanced. As much as I appreciate the craftmanship an willingness to push the borders that Nicolai exercises, they are a bit like this dude with stiff neck on class reunion party that has a Porsche and a Villa with sea view but doesn’t speak much and you can tell he is laughing out of sheer courtesy. Most girls would now line up to blow him but he’ll never see it.
  • + 0
 @IllestT: Weld that looks good are not stronger than ugly ones.
Even F1 or Moto GP have ugly welds.
I'll take an Ancillotti over a Nicolai anytime.
  • + 3
 @RedRedRe: you know there is such thing as a good looking strong weld right...
  • + 1
 @RedRedRe: my bullshit detector just went off. If you are going to have an opinion, make sure it’s based on fact. Nicolai make the strongest frames out there and unlike many other brands they do not snap at the weld.
  • + 56
 I hope my bike doesn't see the way I stare at these bikes!
  • + 22
 They probably cheating behind you with a WC mechanic .
  • + 7
 @chyu: I would be okay with that... my shifting is a little off and my bearings are a little creaky! hahaha!
  • + 6
 @chyu: If my bike saw some love from a WC mechanic I would not complain
  • + 7
 @mtbschrader: yeah but then it would also never come back... Do you really want it to taste the greener grass?
  • + 9
 Looks like homeboy is putting DOT fluid in Magura brakes. Probably not, but that ain't blue Magura Blood.
  • + 0
 lovely and black coming out the top too. Also why is the rear caliper fixed onto what looks like and avid adapter as well as the magura one?
  • + 11
 Still looks like the blue up at the master cylinder side, maybe the different colored fluid to know when the old is replaced with the new? I used to do it with my cars, that way you know when the old fluid has been purged from the lines when you see the new colored fluid.

Then again, it is Magura and he could be using magic to get them to bleed correctly since I never could on mine.
  • + 4
 The boiling point of Royal Blood is 120°C which is less than half of other mineral oils like Shimano's or Bionol from Trickstuff which is likely what we see in the picture
  • + 7
 Santa Cruz’s 29er is so OG. The new frame looks even better and with the orange forks on, i think it might be the phattest nut of 2018
  • + 0
 its really not much different then the old v10 but it looks so much better
  • + 3
 I cant wait to see them in different colors at Worlds.
  • + 4
 I'm always puzzled by what it seems mechanics do before races - bleed brakes, swap stanchions, rebuild shocks.... I know stuff can work better after a good tune, but all too often things get inconsistent after a such serious tinkering (not to mention failing altogether). Wouldn't racers prefer some consistency to get accustomed to the bike's feel? Are parts so unreliable that they need to be rebuilt several times before each race? or is it just mechanics frolicking around because they enjoy taking stuff apart? (which i totally dig)
  • + 1
 I've wondered about this as well. My guess as pro athletes they are accustomed to perfectly tuned, fresh rebuild, fresh bleed bikes. Id also guess the total amount of riding time on a given race weekend ( on the DH rig) isn't all that much - meaning just enough so things stay in perfect tune - so that is what the baseline is.
  • + 8
 These athletes ride at levels that demand constant rebuilding just to have a bike to ride let alone having a chance at being competitive. Go to WC a race if you ever get the chance and it will all make sense.
  • + 1
 @kona34: I play around with my setups constantly. Not for speed or anything, mostly out of curiosity. Plus, i've owned and tested my share of bikes over the years. There aren't many things i can say with much certainty about bike setup, except this - the best bike for you, is the one you're used to.
I can't help but feel that even if you put the mechanical risks aside, just the small inconsistencies in the bike's behavior, isn't playing in their favor.
Perhaps it's mostly going on in the training and seeding runs, and remains more consistent just before the race. I'm sure that's part of the story.
  • + 9
 The athletes have very very specific tunes. And they'll often requests changes based on the track they're on and even changes after practice based on conditions and how they're riding that track. They also very often have metering equipment on their set ups during practice so they can get data to make changes for race day or just for product development. This isn't like you going down a trail. This is the highest level of abuse and risk. Beyond that, they're professional athletes with professional demands. Race cars get torn down and rebuilt before every race. Drag cars often before every run. Professional golfers have full trailers full of crap. They get custom fitted and make adjustment before every event. The clubs they played at the last event are just fine... but these are the best of the best so they get to do wtf ever they want and get what they feel they need. Has nothing to do with mechanics screwing off because they enjoy it.
  • + 17
 I think what those mechanics are doing is a bit different from 'tinkering'. Wink
  • + 3
 No matter what you do, any riding time will cause the damping to degrade slightly on any fork or shock. If you are fortunate enough to be on a factory race team then the best way to ensure your stock of forks and shock are as close to identical as possible is to get them freshly serviced at the beginning of every race. That way you can use one fork and shock to do your setup work though practice knowing that if one does fail or get damaged that you have a fresh one to fit and the settings are directly transferrable, saving setup time. Consistency is key at this level.
  • + 9
 When you're dealing with elite athletes riding at the ragged edge of their personal abilities, critical component failures can result in career ending injuries, not just disappointing race weekends. The attention from their mechanics is required to keep bikes dialed so racers can do their job, simple as that.

Respectfully, if a component fails as the result of service, the mechanic is at fault. They either performed their task incorrectly or failed to notice a critical issue, which may as well be the same thing. Sussing out those issues is precisely why these bikes get completely taken down at the start of the weekend by professional mechanics with the training and experience to identify any potential points of failure. Then again, these guys are performing well rehearsed procedures in a methodical fashion. They are not "tinkering", at least not in any meaningful sense of the word.
  • + 0
 @onemanarmy: i know their riding and tune is VASTLY different from mine, and that (most teams) have high end test gear to try and keep things well and consistent. But my main questions is - imagine you just finished training on a course, you like how the bike feels now and decided on a setup, what is more likely to feel consistent on your next run:
1. Avoid touching the bike (except the basic tinkering obviously)
2. log everything as best as possible, overhaul the shit out of it, then get back to the original numbers.

i know consistency isn't the only thing playing here, but even at these levels i'm sure it's pretty critical. Muscle memory and all Smile
  • + 0
 @DaMilkyBarKid: I am not sure i agree that this method keeps things consistent. My engineering brain refuses to accept thatSmile
There's a saying (paraphrasing) - if you have one crappy watch, you always know the time. If you got two good watches, you're never really sure...

I could be wrong, but my experience tells me that matching between several mechanical parts is much harder to achieve than it often seems.
  • + 1
 @number44: I'll give you that, but dont think i didn't notice you didn't challenge my use of "frolicking"...
  • - 27
flag mollow (Aug 22, 2018 at 14:04) (Below Threshold)
 No offense dude but engineering in your country is pretty much the equivalent of a high school diploma. If I've got 2 good watches they'll both tell me the right time since they're good watches. With a crappy watch how the f*ck am I supposed to tell how mistimed it is? Sure, you could say its always 3 seconds late per minute but then how the f*ck am I supposed to know how much time has passed since the last time I watched my watch?
  • + 18
 @mollow:
1) How is that not offensive?
2) Israel has a strong reputation for engineering, technology.
3) I think you're making a point about accuracy vs precision but you comment reads like "how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?"
  • + 3
 Pinkbike should make a big history about mechanics, and what are they doing between races: I mean from the last race in MSA, get the bike on a box, carry to the team HQ, disassembly and check the bike and parts, fly to La Bresse, assembly the bike, the team pilot practice race, change one or two things, practice again, see whats happening, practice again until the race day...
  • + 3
 Not to mention that its common practice to remove seals on bearing, open up bushings in forks, have wheels with low spoke tension..... etc so when you do that it takes more diligence on the mechanics part.
  • + 3
 I've had the same thought before, and ultimately, this just shows the skill level, dedication, and attention to detail required to be a world cup mechanic. Rebuild an entire bike from scratch and it must be perfect, period.
  • + 0
 My bike needs a rebuild after a weekend at a bike park. These guys bikes need to be rebuilt every couple runs ie. Linkage teardowns, headset rebuilds, new wheels, new cranks or bbs or both. Some DH tracks have massive jumps and insanely fast tech sections. Bikes just get crumpled while learning lines
  • + 2
 Yeah, I've had that thought. Seems like (1) the bikes are fragile when ridden this hard, and (2) the mechanics are quite good at nailing the set-up each time. But they clearly don't replace chains often enough, or chains just aren't made strong enough, which *seems* like an easy problem to fix.
  • + 0
 @foxinsocks: You're right in a way as there is always a small amount of variance in the tolerances of the shim stack parts for example but I was told that the factory boys have access to the dyno's in the SRAM/FOX etc support trucks to test stuff. Also the quality of the parts even 5 years ago was such that the difference between the shims of the same nominal size was so small is that it would be very hard to feel it. Don't forget that the likes of Rockshox, Fox, SRSuntour etc will select the best forks and shocks out of a production run for the race teams as risking a failure on live TV is not good commercially. Any custom valves or other parts will also be to extremely high tolerances. We are talking of F1 level of attention to detail at these World Cup events.
  • - 2
 @foxinsocks: it's simple really. Your DH bike and it's components are made to withstand a few runs of pro level speeds on a WC track. That is the limit they're built for. To you, that means you can ride your local track on your bike all season long without getting it tuned up or the suspension serviced.
  • + 1
 These racers put the HURT on their rigs. An entire riding season worth of wear and tear in just a couple days. Need to have the mechs there to make sure worn out parts get replaced.
  • + 2
 @mollow: Im not sure i should even dignify you with an answer. But here i am, nonetheless. I'll refrain from condescending, because i'm not 5 years old, but just emphasize - it's a PHRASE! It doesn't literally refer to having two atomic clocks perfectly synchronized, but rather to a real life scenario in which a person with two seemingly identical devices can't really tell which is absolutely correct.
It's not about accuracy nor precision - it's about matching. Notice i was referring to consistency. Having two shocks with consistently matched behavior is very difficult.
  • + 1
 @Fenrisvarg: so totally agree. I think they did a couple of years ago, but nonetheless.
  • + 1
 @makripper: Makes sense, so does mine. So basically, you're saying consistency does get thrown out the window simply for the sake of having parts function and not fail....
(obviously im exaggerating, since they try to maintain similar setup, but you get my point - getting really "used" to how a specific part works isn't a luxury they can afford)
  • + 1
 @foxinsocks: you don't have consistentcy.
  • + 5
 People using eBike brakes - because a lot of us don't really care what brakes weigh, we just want power above all else
  • + 5
 More likely Neko is doing testing for them.
  • - 3
 @bulletbassman: yeah pretty sure he is experimenting at a world cup.



Not. He's tried it before and feels it works better for him.
  • + 5
 These are the best! this is why we love pinkbike!!!
  • + 2
 "Hey so what are you going to have for lunch?"
"Oh I think I Niederberger"
"Good call"
  • + 3
 WTF with the doubled up caliper adapters?
  • + 1
 Yeah, I supossed the team bikes had a 180 rear disc ready.... But I think that bike had space for a 140 disc!
  • + 2
 Welding on Nicolai , stacks of dimes blah blah, something 29er , looks like a session / GT, think that’s it covered
  • + 3
 E-brakes!!!
  • + 2
 I'd put my dick in that GT
  • + 1
 Anyone else spot the female rider with the blue USD fork? Can't remember the name, but German.
  • + 2
 Nearly everyone is using a coil
  • + 1
 Tthat hose guide/clamp on pic 3 though, Ooof.
  • + 1
 :-/ was hoping to see that new Polygon
  • + 1
 The question is: Does Monika Hrastnik got a frame or not?
  • + 0
 Santa Cruz prototyping a new air shock.
  • + 0
 I herd it’s super plush
  • + 0
 Wow! Such a good bike you have! Thanks for this pinkbike.
  • - 1
 Loris’ bike ????.

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