Large wheels and small details
At the first race of the 2017 WorldCup season in Lourdes, Loris Vergier, Luca Shaw and Greg Minaar started on the controversially discussed V10 prototype with 29" wheels - and they immediately qualified in an impressive manner in 1st, 3rd and 6th place. A cloudburst, which began shortly before the start of the race for the top drivers and which had a significant influence on the race, postponed the decision whether the larger wheels would bring a technical advantage ... by 5 weeks as Greg Minaar rode to victory at Fort William in Scotland.
The arms race began
During the following winter, Santa Cruz began to develop a completely new V10, drawing on the experience of the 2017 racing season: Longer reach, improved spring characteristics and better detailing to protect the frame and cable routing. All three frame sizes (and reserve carbon wheels) were developed and produced and were ready for the decisive test rides in the run-up to the 2018 World Cup in Fort William. Greg had an unfortunate fall during those same test rides, broke his arm and unfortunately ended his season early. A few days later Luca qualified as fastest and Loris as third fastest on the new bike. In the final Loris had a great run to the finish line, which only his compatriot Amaury Pierron could beat. Lucas hopes for a victory burst in the upper part with his tyre and he could only cruise to the finish.
New-School-Racing is on new wheels
In the course of the 2018 season, testing continued diligently. New bell cranks were regularly introduced to optimise the details of the spring characteristics and frame geometry. The rough variables were fixed, but the fine tuning with the Syndicate athletes during the World Cup season guaranteed the development team regular feedback at the highest level. The result is probably the best downhill chassis available outside the World Cup circuit.
Bringing them into the now
29-inch wheels paired with 215mm travel result in a radically fast race bike. But pure racing is not everything. And depending on your riding style, your height or the trails you are at home on, you may not need to be fully loaded. Many people may be faster (or feel faster) on 27.5" bikes.
The most successful bike in downhill history is faster than ever.