Austrian mountain bike rider and already speed record holder Markus ‘Max’ Stöckl has been at it again. Having already set downhill speed records on snow (210km/h) and a gravel volcano (165km/h) he still wanted to go faster. So armed with a stock Mondraker Summum Carbon Pro Team downhill bike, he and his Red Bull support team headed to a remote mountain in Chile’s Atacama desert to bomb down in a new record attempt. He’s inched up his speed, setting a new production bike record of 167.6 km/h, but still has aspirations to best the prototype record with is just a few clicks faster. Get a close look at his bike, some unique tech and several fast-paced videos…
It took Stöckl just 18 seconds to get up to 167.6 km/h back on 13 December, after 8 successful practice runs on the gravel.
Training wasn’t always so trouble-free back at home on the snow.
Starting at 4,000 meters down the 45° gravel slope, the 43-year-old rider quickly dropped 1,200m on his Mondraker clad in a slippery red aero suit with fins on the back of this calves and one of the craziest aero helmets you’ll ever see.
The helmet is in fact pretty unique tech. It is essentially a typical Dainese helmet to protect him in a crash with a light carbon shell over top designed specifically in the wind tunnel for his position on the DH bike to seamlessly transition to his body and speed suit.
Beyond the helmet, RedBull was a bit cagey on the details, but Stöckl says he was also protected by an airbag built into his suit. We’d sure be curious to learn more about that. It looks like it is a version of the Dainese D-Air developed for motorcycling, although one designed for skiing that isn’t yet available, as to opposed to this one.
Key to Stöckl is that the bike is completely production and something anyone can buy. It’s a pretty standard premium DH bike, although priced at a bit over 8000€ the Mondraker Summum Carbon Pro Team isn’t cheap. His build is a bit different from the complete bikes from Mondraker, but still nothing crazy. It gets a run Shimano Saint drivetrain with 203mm rotors, DT Swiss XMC 1200 27.5″ wheels and 2.5″ Maxxis Minion SSDH casing tires (no shifters needed though). Suspension is stock with a Fox 40 Float FIT fork and DHX2 shock. He even keeps the same SDG saddle/post & Renthal Fatbar.
One unique spec are the Look Keo Blade road pedals on the DH bike which let him clip in with a more aero profile to the bottom of his road shoes. Interestingly he didn’t opt for the possibly more aero Keo Blade Aero, which probably are a bit hard to get ahold of since they seem to no longer be in production, although they may actually not be as slippery in the wind as the latest Keo Blades.
As he put it, getting up to speed seems easy at first. Even with the loose & rocky start in the gravel, getting up to 100km/h then 120 was fairly predictable, but you run out of ground really fast at those speeds.
“It’s hard to reach top speed,” Stöckl explained. “After 160, each kph is a huge effort.” Even the most minor adjustment of your tuck or correction on the bars can make or break the speed attempt. Or in a worst case send him tumbling down the scree field at an ungodly speed.
Stöckl still has ambitions of besting the 172km/hr gravel record set by Eric Barone on a prototype bike, so we’ll likely see more from him in the future.