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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So as not to annoy the barefoot runners ;) I've created the 2021 version of this thread.

First topic of discussion would be Jordan Sarrou's bike. Like fellow winning Specialized Epic rider Haley Batten, Frenchman Jordan Sarrou rides a bike with a sane sizing and stem length, not even a negative rise. He finished in good placing on the short track with it in preparation for tomorrow's XCO race in Leogang.


Last year he rode a pretty normal looking BMC Fourstroke to victory at the World Championships as well. For larger, more powerful riders a pound isn't a big deal, as it weighed in at 23.6 pounds.

 

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Some people want things to stay the same and try their hardest to speak that as the truth, but things change. Perhaps cyclocross would be a better sport for those people, since the rules prohibit much innovation.

I'm correct or I wouldn't speak it, but more importantly, the industry has gotten a lot better. There's some great bikes being raced these days.
Well he runs negative rise stems so you are not correct. I suggest you go on his IG account and look at his bike. His bike looks nothing like your setup by the way, so not sure what you think you’re right about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The stock stem size for a size L Epic is 70mm, yes.

For that muddy World Championship he went with 2.1" Barzo's "custom cut." It's impossible to tell from the muddy photos if that means the knobs were lopped to open up more mud clearing space, but that's a good tire for experimenting with, definitely a winner for muddy races.
 

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Looks negative rise to me. Not extreme but that is negative. Probably a -6.

The head tube on the epics is so low that you don’t really need that negative of a stem to get your bars low. Tall riders like yourself who don’t want a World Cup fit might find it too low.

All are actually running quite low stack height now. On a small bike that is great, not sure about tall bikes though. I think they are giving up some front end stiffness that large riders would like.

Interestingly if you compare it the Bmc the only real difference in geometry is 5mm of reach.
 
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It would be really easy for this thread to continue as an argument about geometry. Which is just old.

I am way more interested in why do WC racers make the bike choices they do. I know from my rather extensive experience that most of them are constantly testing and riding different bikes with different set-up. But some still default to pretty traditional set-ups.

Take a look at Carter Woods Norco Revolver.

https://www.pinkbike.com/photo/20652998/

I have known Carter for a while. He first appeared in BC at Enduro races, but switched to XC bike around 15. And although his home town of 10,000 has a huge XC tradition (more world cup podium riders than the state of Texas), stems longer than 50mm have been dead there for about 20 years. He wasn't pushed to this set-up by anybody, actually quite the opposite. Yet he still went this way. Just as a note, Norco designed this bike around a 50mm stem.

Carter descends crazy fast on this set-up. He is part of the wicked training group on Vancouver Island and spends significant time following Finn Iles and Mark Wallace around.

So for me the interesting questions are
1. What is he doing that allows him to ride so fast on this traditional set-up.
2. Why does he find a bit longer stem to be faster.
 

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Some people want things to stay the same and try their hardest to speak that as the truth, but things change. Perhaps cyclocross would be a better sport for those people, since the rules prohibit much innovation.
I'm a Cyclocross fan, but I have to say, I find it as bad as road for embracing tech innovation; maybe it's because of it's road roots, and it's classed as a road sub category. I never understood the rule limiting tyre width to 33mm.
I'd say XC is still far more innovative, even if you think it's still conservative, especially compared to the gravity disciplines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I'm a Cyclocross fan, but I have to say, I find it as bad as road for embracing tech innovation; maybe it's because of it's road roots, and it's classed as a road sub category. I never understood the rule limiting tyre width to 33mm.
I'd say XC is still far more innovative, even if you think it's still conservative, especially compared to the gravity disciplines.
Cyclocross to me is proto-mountain bike racing. MTB was invented in California in the 1970s, we all know the story, but 70 years before that, road racers were doing a steeplechase through muddy fields for some winter cross training. I personally believe that if the UCI opened up the rules, cross bikes would evolve into mountain bikes. You see with gravel racing that the tires are getting wider, and there are even full-suspension bikes.


So for me the interesting questions are
1. What is he doing that allows him to ride so fast on this traditional set-up.
2. Why does he find a bit longer stem to be faster.
Well, why, then? I was hoping for the reason in all that. Neither Sarrou nor Woods' setups look unfamiliar to me, 4-5" of saddle drop was what I rode for many years.

One of the top posts in Sarrou's Instagram account is him having a massive endo in the rocks--it happens. More interesting than all that is that NBA Hall of Famer and avid mountain biker Reggie Miller (6'7") asking Jordan for tips.
http://instagr.am/p/CP00gjcIJMd/

We've also just seen two pro bikes in the 23 pound range, which is a healthy development I think. But it's interesting that most have settled in around 22 pounds, as it used to be that one goes for as light as possible.

Here's a page with more details. With a 67.5* head angle of both bikes, a -5 stem is still going to point up a bit.

I like the rubber added to the Crank Brothers pedals
1934706
 

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Can anyone confirm that the Scott Sram riders all stepped up to 180mm front rotors on the new bikes? Hard to tell from the pics I’ve seen but eyeballing it kinda looks the case.

I only looked/noticed because coincidentally I just put a 180 on the front of my Spark for a race last weekend because I have been having trouble keeping the 160 quiet.
 

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Can anyone confirm that the Scott Sram riders all stepped up to 180mm front rotors on the new bikes? Hard to tell from the pics I’ve seen but eyeballing it kinda looks the case.

I only looked/noticed because coincidentally I just put a 180 on the front of my Spark for a race last weekend because I have been having trouble keeping the 160 quiet.
if they are running the SID ultimate race day, then by default they are running a 180 rotor. I have two of those forks and they are native 180 mm with no adapter.
 

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On a completely different note, got my hands on a Fox Transfer SL this weekend. Huge weight saving from the old Transfer. Post is limited to a 100mm and it only has two discrete positions. The force required to lower is super low, resting my hand on it is enough over come the spring, but the return speed is nice and quick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've been seeing that trend, got some opinions on that. The Formula R1s are by far the oldest parts on my bike, they're still light and powerful with 160s and I'm not a light rider. According to Formula, the move to mineral oil from DOT fluid decreased the power of lightweight brakes.

Can anyone confirm that the Scott Sram riders all stepped up to 180mm front rotors on the new bikes? Hard to tell from the pics I’ve seen but eyeballing it kinda looks the case.

I only looked/noticed because coincidentally I just put a 180 on the front of my Spark for a race last weekend because I have been having trouble keeping the 160 quiet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Loana Lecomte and Thomas Griot's winning bike, the Massi Aire SL. Note the tied spokes.

1934852


 

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How about Flukiger’s Thomus? Us U.S. folks don’t see those at all. Anyone in Euroland check them out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Flueckiger was testing the new Thunder Burt 2.35s last year

...But this looks like a new-pattern Racing Ralph (rear specific) on the front. I don't blame him because I didn't find the Racing Ray very good.

1934887



The Thomus looks very clean out there, nice bike. Like the new Scott it can be mistaken for a hardtail at a distance. I love the straight line through the top tube to the seatstays.

1934889
 
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