It’s time that many of the downhill teams start announcing their rosters, and for 2017 there are quite a few changes. The same day it was announced that Loris Vergier and Luca Shaw are joining the Santa Cruz Syndicate, Specialized is announcing news of their gravity team for 2017 which includes 2015 World Champion Loic Bruni and Finn Iles. The team will be switching to Fox Head as their main clothing sponsor, along with Ceramic Speed for some bearing hop ups, but the biggest announcement seems to be the exclusive use of Öhlins suspension. Obviously, that means Öhlins will have to have a dual crown DH fork, which is shown in testing above. At this point details on the fork are super limited, but now that the cat’s out of the bag, it shouldn’t be long…
Morgan Hill, Calif., January 10th, 2017 — As Specialized Gravity enters its second year on the World Cup circuit, it proudly announces a partnership with renowned suspension leader Öhlins for the 2017 season, with all team riders using exclusively Öhlins suspension, including an all-new downhill-specific fork. Öhlins is regarded as the premier name in motorsports racing and has been conducting extensive R&D with Specialized since 2012.
Torkel Sintorn of Öhlins had this to say, “We are super excited to work together with Specialized Gravity – one of the world’s best MTB racing teams. Öhlins has a long and successful background in motorsport but this is the first time we are going into mountain bike racing. We believe that together with Specialized and their top athletes we can supply and develop next-generation, race-winning products.”
When asked about the newly-deepened partnership, Brad Benedict from Specialized had this to say, “After years of developing suspension from the ground-up, this move will take our efforts to the next level. Alignment between the athletes we support and the exact products we spec will only help further development of our bikes and suspension, as well. Öhlins has top-notch knowledge in the suspension business – I’m hopeful to see more podiums and wins this year.”
2015 World Champion, Loic Bruni is excited about the switch to Öhlins, “It’s great to see such a legendary brand enter into MTB, and being the chosen team to put the products on the top step is a big honor. They’ve been working hard and close with the guys at Specialized and we are all very confident about the products. I’m pumped about this relationship and I know we will be successful on it.
Öhlins is not the only exciting change for the team, Bruni and Iles will also make the switch to Fox Head apparel.
”FOX is proud to equip the Specialized Gravity team as gear partner. Loic Bruni and Finn Iles represent the future of the sport – they’re both driven by passion and in constant search for perfection. This partnership is the association of two premier brands in the MTB industry, driven by a common appetite for innovation and a constant will to bring premium products to market. After almost 20 years, and the first association between Fox and Specialized around Shaun Palmer, we are lined up to write a new chapter of MTB History.” -Matthieu Bazil – Fox Head, Inc.
“People at Fox are very innovative, like at Specialized, and the products are next-level. The fabrics and custom fits are going to make us look rad. They listen to us and our expectations so we are very excited about starting a long relationship with this huge name of the off-road industry.” – Loic Bruni, 2015 UCI DH World Champion.
Top bearing maker, CeramicSpeed has also come onboard with the team, providing their best-in-class bearings, rounding out the total performance package and leaving not a single detail overlooked.
“We’re excited to bring our expertise in performance optimization to Specialized Gravity for 2017. Our work with such a cutting-edge program will further advance our development of high-quality mountain bike products.” – Martin S. Banke, CeramicSpeed
Equipment isn’t the only exciting change for 2017, Miranda Miller will be racing the full World Cup with Team Specialized Gravity plus select Enduro World Series events. Miller had this to say about joining the team, “Thanks to the crew at Specialized and Pure Agency, I’m getting the opportunity to transition from a privateer to now racing a full season with the best support available. This is a dream come true and I can’t wait to progress in a setting I’ve never experienced before, alongside a couple of World Champions and a killer staff.”