The UCI World Cup DHI is underway in Lenzerheide this weekend, bringing with it new bikes, suspension, wheelsets, tires and more. Indeed, several frames will make their World Cup debut this Saturday, with prototypes from Deviate, Mondraker, Intense, Pivot and Cube all being primed to shine at their respective pits.
Here’s what we’ve seen so far.
New DH Tech at UCI Lenzerheide World Cup
Deviate Cycles has produced a 190mm travel variation on the Claymore, especially for Lachlan Blair who will pilot the bike this weekend. While the brand’s enduro bike runs 165mm of rear wheel travel, this downhill rig boasts a new link to boost travel by 25mm.
The front triangle and swingarm are not identical to those seen on the Claymore, though we are told they used portions of the Claymore molds to produce them, only with more carbon around the BB region to increase strength at this key location.
For the moment, the brand has no plan to bring a DH bike to market, but we are told if the demand arises, it is something they would consider.
Danny Hart‘s prototype Cube 215 is running a massive floating brake arm for the first time. The new high pivot design was raced by the team last season without such a contraption. It is designed to isolate rear wheel braking forces from the action of the rear suspension. The bike’s BB cluster s overbuilt to ensure it can deal with the added stresses from braking. Coming up, we have a complete Pro Bike Check with Danny himself.
Indeed, Danny’s bike is home to what looks to be an all-new downhill tire from Schwalbe. Alas, the hot patch has been sharpied-out. Of course, it must run the Addix Super Soft rubber compound as revealed by the purple stripe; other than that, you can infer what want from the tread pattern.
Loic Bruni‘s prototype Specialized Demo is seemingly unchanged to that we saw in Fort William last month. If anything, the cover is ever so slightly more revealing this time; we can see what looks to be a large main pivot positioned directly behind the chainring.
Given the shear size of the chainstay in this area, there has to be another link pivoting about it lower down to drive the rear shock. Is it possible that Specialized is hiding a new linkage design that allows for a majority rearward axle path? I guess, we have to wait until they are ready to uncover this one more fully.
While Finn Isles’ iteration of this prototype bore a cloth to hide its linkage and shock area, Loic’s has this rather more robust-looking 3D printed shell. We infer that the two riders are running different shock types – coil versus air – and that one of these covers allows for more airflow, which is of course necessary for cooling purposes.
As ever, Loic is running a remote on his handlebar that likely allows for electronic lockout of the Ohlins suspension. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think this is the first time we have seen more than two buttons in this location, suggesting Loic may have access to a third set of predetermined damper settings on-the-fly.
Over at the SRAM tech tent, we saw a bunch of forks waiting their turn for a service. There on the left is likely a new RockShox Boxxer, the stanchion size of which certainly seems to have grown from the 35mm rocked by the production fork. We have seen a number of race teams running the new downhill fork this weekend, including Trek Factory Racing.
Smack bang in the middle of the above “Wanted” lineup is what looks to be a new single-crown fork from RockShox. The heavily machined crown gives it away. If indeed that is the fork at full extension, we hypothesize this could be a lightweight version of the RockShox Pike trail fork. Or that longer-travel SID SL prototype we saw Nino racing at Nove Mesto?
BYB has created a smaller, lighter telemetry system especially for the Madison Saracen race team. Matt Walker’s mechanic, Ewan Collier, showed us how the system is fitted to their prototype Saracen Myst; here, it is neatly tucked away behind the number board. Cables run internally through the frame to the shock.
Intense has brought an all-new prototype to Lenzerheide; this one is to be raced by Joe Breeden. In terms of its linkage design, it is radically different to Intense Factory Racing’s bike of 2022. While that bike bore a four-bar layout, this one gets a six-link design. Aaron Gwin’s mechanic, John Hall, tells us that, as compared to the previous version, the new layout allows the engineers to reduce the number of compromises made around the overall kinematic.
The new bike has two progression settings as determined by the lower shock mount position on the driving link. Joe Breeden runs the bike in the progressive setting with a coil shock. Dakotah Norton also runs a coil shock, but with the linkage configured in the more linear setting.
We are told the new Intense will make it to production by 2024. It is highly likely to retain the 6-link layout raced here in Lenzerheide, but will see some slightly different tube shapes. John Hall also tells us that the production bike will retain the two-position shock mount to allow customers the freedom to fettle as per their preference. The bike also has a 56/56mm head tube to allow plenty of adjustment in both reach and head angle.
Sadly, Joe’s and Dakotah’s team mate, Aaron Gwin, broke his arm/elbow in a crash yesterday, and will therefore not be racing this weekend – see his statement on Instagram.
Over at the Santa Cruz Syndicate pit, Greg Minnaar‘s mechanic was working away on the 8th iteration of the V10 Downhill Bike. Details on this one are extremely thin on the ground. in other Syndicate team news, Nina Hoffmann did not complete her Qualification run today after injuring her knee in a crash. It is unclear whether or not she will line up for semi-finals tomorrow. Fingers crossed she will be OK to race!
Of course, we did not forget to swing by the Pivot and Mondraker pits, both of which had all-new prototype frames in wildly differing states of undress. More on the Mondraker here, and more on the lugged carbon Pivot here.