Last year we spotted German ex-World Champ Sabine Spitz riding a prototype full-suspension WiaWis XC mountain bike at the Nové Město World Cup. Well, fast forward a year and she’s on a new version, this time heavily camouflaged. Have a look with us what is different on the lightweight carbon XC race bike.
WiaWis prototype 100mm full-suspension XC bike
The technical Nové Město World Cup mountain bike course is sure to bring out some new full-suspension bikes each year. Spitz actually raced the bike once already at the first World Cup round in Stellenbosch. That’s where the photo at the top provided by her WiaWis Bikes Pro Team came from.
While many elite riders race much of the XCO circuit on hardtails, the Czech rocks & roots have them reaching for some rear wheel travel. So far we’ve already seen a prototype Canyon ridden by Mathieu van der Poel (& Pauline Ferrand-Prévot) and a prototype of the upcoming Kross Earth under Jolanda Neff, both with new XTR.
WiaWis Hexion 29 lightweight carbon hardtail in Albstadt
At Albstadt a week earlier, perennial cross-country crusher and ex-World Champ Sabine Spitz was seen racing a standard carbon 29er hardtail from her South Korean title sponsor. Her WiaWis Hexion 29 is a stock bike, but Spitz goes for a super boutique race build with kit like the Schmolke carbon bar & seatpost, Tune stem & hubs, THM crankset, and a custom colored set of Trickstuff Piccola brakes.
2017 protoype WiaWis full-suspension XC bike in Nové Město
Last year we saw Spitz race herself to a podium finish on a first prototype (above) of the carbon single-pivot full-suspension XC bike. That bike featured a linkage driven shock, curved non-driveside chainstay, flexing seatstays, and a machined aluminum upper link.
So what’s new on the updated 2018 prototype?
Updated 2018 prototype WiaWis full-suspension bike at Nové Město
The eye-catching difference is the move from 2017’s hide-in-plain-sight approach, to a heavy dose of decal camo. And of course those small plastic covers zip-tied to the toptube & chainstays.
But we did get a tiny look to see what looked like the same two independent forged & machined alloy rocker links, one on either side of an axle through the lower shock bushing.
The chainstays remain wide all the way to the seattube, where they step back with the alloy rocker links attaching to the outside of the stay assembly. Those zip-ties are fastened through the hollow pivot hardware at the end of the seatstays.
On the driveside, after dropping down from the main pivot, the bike gets a straight chainstay that incorporates an anti-chainsuck plate and internal cable routing. From the looks of it, the leg of the seatstay as it rises up from the thru-axle dropout is much deeper than the bike Spitz raced last year.
But a close look of the camouflaging & masking suggests that WiaWis may have simply taped in some extra material there to confuse us trying to take spy shots of the new bike. It’s entirely possible that this is the identical rear triangle we saw last spring.
The non driveside chainstay looks to retain the same curved shape that smoothly drops down from the high single pivot up front to allow for a chainstay bridge and adequate tire clearance, and at the back dropped down for room to fit the post mount disc brake caliper inside the rear triangle. Like on the other side, the leg up from the thru-axle appears thicker than in the last prototype.
It should be noted that both ourselves and several readers saw strong design parallels between these WiaWis bikes and the prototype carbon Stöckli XC World Cup full-suspension XC race bike we saw back at Eurobike in 2015 manufactured by Bike Ahead (and eventually led to the creation of the Stoll bike brand by the Stöckli team manager Thomas Stoll.) That’s not a giant leap as that prototype bike didn’t move forward with Stöckli apparently moving away from bike development to focus on their skiing core. Plus, German Spitz is obviously a fan of überlight, premium German-made bike gear like the Bike Ahead rims on her customized Tune Black Burner Skyline wheels.
Sptiz’s prototype WiaWis bike build
It’s worth looking at the overall build of Spitz’s WiaWis prototype bike, as it gets a pretty unique build. The Fox 32 Factory Step Cast fork and Fox Float DPS Factory shock are the most stock of the build. Tune provides Spitz with custom anodized & engraved Black Burner Skyline wheelsets using Bike Ahead’s light carbon rims – tubeless with Schwalbe Thunder Burt tires and Tune tap & sealant. Tune also delivers custom anodized Geiles Teil stem, the tiny carbon Würger Skyline seatpost clamp, a carbon Wasserträger bottle cage, and a Speedneedle 20Twenty saddle.
Schmolke Carbon supplies a TLO carbon seatpost & MTB Lowriser TLO bar, which gets silicone ESI Fit XC Grips. Drivetrain starts with a THM carbon Clavicula M3 crankset, gets a SRAM 1x chainring attached to a KMC X11SL gold chain, kept in place with a Ceetec HDM (high direct mount) chainguide, that spins an e*thirteen TRSr 11-speed 9-46 cassette, and changes gears with an XTR rear derailleur & shifter combo. Wow, that’s a drivetrain mashup if I’ve ever seen one.
Crankbrothers Candy 11 titanium pedals put the power down, and Trickstuff Piccola brakes with C21 calipers and Dächle-Disc rotors. Claimed total bike weight ready to race is 8.8kg/19.4lb.