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  1. Carstens's bike is similar to the stock Giant Anthem Advanced Pro 29 0 retail bike with some preference changes to the tyres, gearing, and cockpit. Nicol Carstens's Giant Anthem Advanced 29 FrameGiant Anthem AdvancedForkFox 32 Float SC Factory Live ValveShockFox Float Factory Live ValveWheelsetGiant XCR 0 29 WheelSystemTyresMaxxis Ikon 2.2HandlebarGiant SLR Carbon 720mmGripsGiant Contact SLRStemGiant Contact SLR composite 70mmSeatpostGiant Contact SLR compositeSaddleGiant SLRBrakesShimano XTRShiftersShimano XTR 12-speedDerailleurShimano XTR 12-speedCassetteShimano XTR 12-speedCrankarmsShimano FC-MT900-1ChainringcSixx 36TPedalsShimano XTRBottle cagesGiant Carbon side entry The obvious talking point on the Imbuko Giant team bikes is the Fox Live Valve suspension. To put it simply, Live Valve uses sensors to adapt the suspension as the bike travels over terrain. The system consists of three parts: a control and battery unit (in this case mounted on the down tube); sensors in the control unit, on the fork and near the rear axle; and the live valves in the shock and fork. The sensors send signals to the control unit which interprets this data to operate the live damper valves in the shock and fork with millisecond speed. The delivery of power is controlled by Shimano's 12-speed XTR gearing with XTR brakes, and the non-series crankset Shimano is shipping to make up for manufacturing problems with the polished XTR cranks. The exception to the Shimano rule being a highly reflective cSixx 36T chainring. The Anthem rolls on Giant's own XCR 0 29 wheelset featuring carbon rims with a 25mm internal diameter. The tyres are Maxxis Ikon with a 2.2 inch width front and rear. The cockpit is largely from Giant's SLR range, much of it the carbon variety. Nicol has set up his bike with a 720mm wide handlebar and 70mm long stem.
  2. Ariane Lüthi's Kross Earth Team Edition FrameKross Earth Team Edition (Medium)ForkDT Swiss OPM O.D.L 100 Race ShockDT Swiss R 535 OneRemote LockoutDT Swiss Two-In-OneWheelsDT Swiss XRC 1200 SPLINE (25mm)TyresMitas ScyllaHandlebarFSA K-Force 720mmStemFSA K-Force 90mmGripKross SilkyHeadsetFSASeatpostKS Lev CiSaddleSpecialized MimicBrakesShimano XTRBrake rotorsShimano SM-RT99ShifterShimano XTR M9100Rear derailleurShimano XTR M9100CassetteShimano XTR M9100 12-speed 10-51TCrank armsShimano XTR M9100Power meterINPEAK PowercrankChainringShimano XTR M9100 34TBottom BracketShimanoPedalsShimano XTRBottle cagesKrossRace weight (including spares etc)11.8 kg The Kross Factory Racing team ride on DT Swiss suspension. The front suspension is a OPM O.D.L 100 Race fork in the Gold Standard colourway. Controlling the single pivot rear suspension is a R 535 One shock with trunnion mounting and metric measurements. Both the fork and shock are controlled simultaneously by a DT Swiss Two-In-One lockout lever. Shimano's latest XTR M9100 has been in short supply on shop floors but the professional athletes at the Cape Epic seem to have managed to source the goods. Lüthi's bike is kitted with a full XTR 12-speed groupset (including brakes) featuring a 10-51T spread on the cassette. She has elected to ride with a 34 tooth chainring. The non-drive side crank arm has been modified by INPEAK to include a power meter, in a similar fashion as Stages. Like Kross, INPEAK is also based in Poland. Lüthi's controls include a carbon stem and handlebar pairing from FSA's K-Force range. The KS Lev Ci dropper seatpost also boasts a carbon fibre mast. Lüthi rolls on a set of DT Swiss XRC 1200 Spline carbon wheels and Mitas Scylla tyres. Holding the scale in a field, Ariane's bike weighed in at fairly good 11.8 kilograms. Race-ready Cape Epic bikes are never as light as you might expect from the shop floor. In this case, the bike includes pedals, a healthy dose of sealant, number board, and spares like a tube, pump, and Slug Plug.
  3. The Singal Elite is an aluminium hardtail. The retail version sells for just under the R20,000 price point. It arrives with a very capable built kit including Shimano XT/SLX mixed drivetrain, RockShox 30 Silver fork, and Alex rims on Shimano hubs with CST tyres. Although Oli's bike has seen significant upgrades (which may still be considered modest in Cape Epic terms), the Signal Elite frame he rides is as you get it off the shop floor. Oli Munnik's Signal Elite FrameSignal EliteForkFox 32 Step-Cast PerformanceRimscSixx 9seriesFront HubHope Pro4Rear HubDT Swiss 350TyresMaxxis Rekon Race 2.35HandlebarcSixx 963 series 760mmGripsESIStem KCNC 110mmHeadsetCane Creek (cSixx top cap)SaddleSpecialized ToupeSeatpostRace Face NextBrakesSRAM Level TL (160mm rotors)ShiftersSRAM GX EagleRear DerailleurSRAM GX EagleCassetteSRAM GX EagleCrankarmsTruvativ StyloChainSRAM GX EagleChainringcSixx 34TBottom BracketSRAM DubPedalsShimano XT TrailWeight11.3 kg The gearing is SRAM's 12-speed GX Eagle system with a cSixx 34T chainring and Truvativ Stylo cranks. SRAM Level brakes are tasked with the job of stopping the Pinner. Oli rolls on cSixx carbon rims with Maxxis Recon Race tyres with a 2.35-inch width. It's a DT Swiss 350 hub for the rear wheel and a Hope Pro4 does duty on the front. In the cockpit, a 110mm KCNC negative angled stem holds a 730mm carbon cSixx handlebar. The cSixx top cap adds a personal touch. The Fox 32 Step-Cast fork has a remote lockout which is mounted on the left side of the handlebars. Oli's Cape Epic race-ready Signal Elite weighed 11.3 kilograms (as pictured with pedals and spares).
  4. Fischer Egusquiza has tried her hand at a number of disciplines, competing in triathlon, duathlon, mountain biking, and road cycling. She took on the 2019 Cape Epic aboard MMR's Kento 29, a dual suspension cross-country race bike. Natalia Fischer Egusquiza's MMR Kenta 29 FrameMMR Kenta 29ForkRockShox SID Ultimate CarbonShockRockShox DeluxeWheelsetPrototype World CupTyre insertMr Wolf Banger 2.0Front tyreHutchinson CobraRear tyreHutchinson Python 2HandlebarRitchey WCS 730mmGripsMomum Geragrip with Togs thumb gripStemRitchey 90mmHeadsetRitchey WCSSeatpostRitchey WCSSaddleSelle San Marco ShortfitBrakesSRAM Level UltimateShiftersSRAM XX1 EagleDerailleurSRAM XX1 EagleCassetteSRAM XX1 EagleCrankarmsSRAM XX1 Eagle with SahmuraiSwordChainringSRAM 34T with Quarq power meterBottom bracketSRAM DubPedalsRitchey WCS XCBike ComputerWahoo Elemnt BoltBottle cagesArundel Like Nino Schurter, Fischer Egusquiza was riding in the future with the (then) unannounced RockShox SID Ultimate Carbon fork and a Deluxe shock. The gearing is SRAM's 12-speed XX1 Eagle with a Quarq power meter and 34 tooth chainring. A SahmuraiSword tyre plug system is stowed in the crank axle on the non-drive side. Stopping is performed by a SRAM Level Ultimate brakeset. The carbon wheelset is made by the Portuguese company Prototype. The Hutchinson pairing of Cobra (front) and Python 2 (rear) tyres do battle against the harsh Epic terrain. Fischer Egusquiza also installed tyre inserts from the Italian company Mr Wolf to further protect her wheels and tyres. The cockpit is a Ritchey affair with WCS level handlebar, stem, seatpost, and pedals. The saddle is a Selle San Marco Shortfit. The silicone grips are from Spanish company Momum with Togs thumb grips for a bit of relief. Fischer Egusquiza used a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt to track her ride data.
  5. Henrique Avancini's Cannondale Scalpel Si FrameCannondale Scalpel SiForkLefty OchoShockFox Float DPS FactoryRimsEnve M525Rear HubDT Swiss 240sFront HubLeftyFront TyreSchwalbe Racing RalphRear TyreSchwalbe Thunder BurtHandlebarEnve M6 730mmStemEnve 90mm 6 degreeSeatpostKS Lev CiSaddleProlog Scratch X8 NACKBrakesShimano XTR M9100RotorsShimano RT 81 160mmShifterShimano XTR Rear derailleurShimano XTR CassetteShimano XTR 51-10TCrank armsShimano XTR with Stages powermeterChainShimano XTRChainringShimano XTR 36TPedalsShimanoBottle cagesCannondale carbonStorageSchwalbe saddle bagWeight11.2 kg Being a Cannondale cross-country race bike, Avancini's bike boasts the distinctive Lefty Ocho fork. The rear suspension is powered by a golden-brown Fox Float DPS Factory shock with the lockout controlled by a remote lever. The Cannondale Factory Racing team has been supported by Shimano for a number of years and it's no surprise to see them racing with the company's latest XTR drivetrain and brakes. Avancini paired the 51-10 tooth cassette with a 36 tooth chainring. There is a neat Shimano chain guide to keep the chain in check. The team's riders measure their power outputs via a Stages power meter attached to the non-drive side crankarm. A SahmuraiSword tyre plug end cap is also wedged into the crank axle hollow. Avancini's wheels feature Enve's M525 carbon cross-country race rim. The rear hub is a lightweight DT Swiss 240s with a Lefty specific hub on the front wheel. The team ride on Schwalbe rubber with the combination of a Racing Ralph on the front and Thunder Burt for the rear wheel. The handlebar and stem is a carbon pairing from Enve with an M6 730mm bar and a 90mm stem, which appears to come from their road product catalogue. The seat post is a KS Lev Ci with its carbon seat mast (which we also say on Ariane Lüthi's bike). Mounted to the seat post is a Prologo Scratch X8 NACK saddle. An interesting personal touch for Avancini is a cable tie placed around the axle on the inside of the Shimano clipless mechanism to reduce float for the rider. Avancini's Scalpel weighed 11.2 kilograms which is fairly light for a race-ready Cape Epic bike.
  6. Francesco Chicchi's T°Red Hedera FrameT°Red HederaForkRockShox SID WCWheelsetVittoria Reaxcion SLFront TyreVittoria Barzo 2.1HandlebarFSA K-ForceStemBLKTEC M2 GripSilicone with SahmuraiSword endcapsHeadset CapFSASeatpostUSE EVO Titanium (Thanks letsride)SaddleSelle Italia X-LRBrakesSRAM Level Ultimate with SRAM Rival rear caliperShifterSRAM XX1 EagleRear derailleurSRAM XX1 EagleCassetteSRAM XX1 EagleCrank armsSRM PowerMeterChainSRAM XX1 EaglePedalsShimano XTStorageBRN Saddlebag The Hedera frame is designed to flex in a way that dampens forces from the rear wheel. T°Red take advantage of titanium's properties to create a bike that allows the seatstay and chainstay to bend and absorb the trail forces impacting the rear wheel. T°Red's testing suggests that the rear axle can move 10 mm. They achieve this by using four different titanium alloys in building the Hedera frame, including a special nikel-titanium alloy. A RockShox SID WC provides 100mm of suspension on the front of the bike. Chicchi is riding with SRAM XX1 Eagle gearing which is driven by a SRM PowerMeter crankset and a 36T chainring. The stem is made by a BLKTEC, a performance focussed company out of Taiwan. It is a carbon body with titanium bolts. The USE EVO seatpost continues the titanium theme with Selle Italia's high-end X-LR model perched on top. The braking is supplied by SRAM with Level Ultimate levers and front caliper. Interestingly, Chicchi has chosen a Rival hydraulic rear caliper from SRAM's road and gravel product line. Our guess is that it is a weight saving decision. Team T°Red Factory Racing roll on Vittoria wheels and tyres. The wheels are the Italian company's Reaxcion SL model which features an alloy rim and their own SwitchIT 2 MTB hubs. The claimed weight for the wheelset on Vittoria's website is 1450 grams. Chicchi has fitted a Vittoria Barzo tyre on the front with a faster trolling Mezcal tyre on the rear wheel. Interestingly, the front tyre is narrower at 2.1 inches while the rear Mezcal is 2.35 inches. Presumably, the wider rear tyre offers Chicchi additional bump absorption. Amongst a sea of carbon dual suspension bikes at the Cape Epic, it is great to see brands like T°Red supporting something different.
  7. The all-new Scott Sparkle? Nino Schuter's Scott Spark RC 900: FrameScott Spark RC 900 Carbon HMX SL CustomForkRockShox SID Ultimate CarbonShockRockShox Nude RLC3Remote LockoutScott TwinLocWheelsDT Swiss XMC 1200 Spline Carbon 30MM, 29″TyresMaxxis Aspen 2.25 EXO TRHandlebar and StemSyncros Fraser IC SL Nino EditionGripSyncros SiliconHeadsetSyncros ProTop CapSyncros XR Computer MountSeatpostRockShox Reverb AXS 100mmSaddleSyncros Tofino 1.0BrakesSRAM Level Ultimate BlackboxBrake rotorsSRAM CLX 160mmShifterSRAM XX1 Eagle AXSRear derailleurSRAM XX1 Eagle AXSCassetteSRAM XX1 EagleCrank armsSRAM XX1 Eagle with Quarq power meterChainringSRAM 36TChain GuideSyncrosBottom BracketSRAM DubPedalsRitchey WCS V6Bottle cagesTopeak Shuttle carbon with Race Rocket pumpComputerGarmin Edge 130 Although Schurter has been testing the SRAM Eagle AXS electronic and wireless drivetrain for some time, 2019 is the first year he will be racing the retail ready product. The XX1 Eagle AXS wireless shifter and electronic-shifting rear derailleur are the brain behind the new shifting system. Schurter has been known to ride a 38T chainring for shorter races but in the multi-stage Cape Epic he has elected to race with a 36T chainring, with a Quarq power meter. The RockShox Reverb is also a new AXS product with electronic wireless actuation of the dropper seatpost. Schurter's mechanic has placed a blip button in the left silicone grip allowing him to easily activate the dropper post. A wire runs from the blip into the frame along the brake hose where it connects to a blip box for transmitting the signal to the dropper seatpost. The fork and shock are supplied by the team sponsor, RockShox. The RockShox shock uses the NUDE technology that Scott favours for their three-position TwinLoc lockout system. The fork appears to be something new from RockShox, the label reads SID Ultimate. The team was shy on information about this model but we are speculating that it might be an upgraded model on the SID World Cup. The RockShox SID Ultimate. Schurter rides his signature Syncros Fraser handlebar and stem combination. The handlebar and stem are integrate into a single carbon component. The cockpit is finished off with a Syncros top cap for mounting Nino's Garmin bike computer and Sahmurai Sword bar end caps concealing tyre plugs. SRAM's Level Ultimate brakes are charged with the task of slowing down the world's fastest cross country rider.
  8. Alan Hatherly's Specialized S-Works Epic FrameS-Works EpicForkRockShox SID WC with BrainShockRockShox/Specialized Micro BrainWheelsetRoval Control SLTyresSpecialized Fast Trak GRID 2.1HandlebarSpecialized S-Works CarbonStemSpecialized S-Works 120mm 17 degreeGripSupaCazHeadset CapCarbon Ti SeatpostSpecialized S-Works CarbonSaddleS-Works Romin EVOBrakesMagura MT8 RacelineBrake rotors160mmShifterSRAM XX1 EagleRear derailleurSRAM XX1 EagleCassetteSRAM XX1 EagleCrank armsROTOR 2INpowerChainringROTOR 36TChainSRAM XX1 EaglePedalsShimano XTRBottle cagesSpecialized S-Works Carbon Zee Cage II The Specialized Epic’s hallmark feature is the Brain suspension in both the fork and shock. As might be expected from one of the world’s best racers, Hatherly sets his Brain to maximum firmness for racing. Hatherly's bike is equiped with a RockShox SID World Cup with the shock being a collaboration between RockShox and Specialized. The German company Magura are the brake supplier to team Specialized Racing with the luminous yellow Magura MT8 Raceline caliper immediately catching the eye on Hatherly's otherwise black and red bike. The MT8 Raceline brake lever has a sporty carbon construction. Hatherly's Epic is dressed with a SRAM XX1 Eagle 12-speed drivetrain with the exception of a ROTOR 2INpower crankset, which measures power output on the crank axle, and a 36T ROTOR direct mount chainring. Hatherly secures his feet with Shimano XTR pedals. The Specialized owned wheel brand Roval supply Specailzed Racing with their wheels. Hatherly is kitted with the Control SL carbon wheelset with the rear hub utilising DT Swiss's fast engaging 54T ratchet system. Alan is racing the Cape Epic on Specialized Fast Trak tyres with a 2.1 inch width and the tougher GRID casing option. The cockpit is an all Specialized affair with a S-Works seatpost, handlerbar, stem, and saddle. Specialized has a large selection of saddles to choose from and Hatherly has elected to sit upon the S-Works Romin EVO road saddle for the Cape Epic. The Epic frame caters for two bottle cages and Specialized's SWAT box which can squeeze a (small) tube, tyre levers, multitool, and CO2 canister with adaptor.
  9. Update: Geometry chart and additional info added. Skip to the update Marco Joubert's Momsen VIPA Ultra. The decals are one off for the Absa Cape Epic only. The final production colours will be different. Details from Momsen Bikes around the new Ultra bike have been scarce but it is clear from looking at the bikes that the geometry has undergone a complete redesign. The prototype Ultra looks to have been heavily influenced by modern geometry trends appearing much longer and slacker compared to the current VIPA. Unfortunately, we don't have exact numbers yet but sitting on the medium frames the bike felt generously sized. On top of geometry changes, the Ultra boasts all the new standards you'd expect with Boost axle spacing and a metric sized trunnion mounted shock. Two-by drivetrains appear to be an option on the Ultra with the provision of a front derailleur mount. There are two storage compartments concealed within the frame, one in the extended top tube / down tube junction at the head tube and the other at the base of the down tube below the bottle cage. The covers for the integrated storage compartments are still being finished, so the team will be using trusty duct tape instead. Marco and Dylan are riding with Factory Series Fox suspension. A boost 32 SC fork in front while a trunnion mounted Float DPS shock controls the rear. It looks like there is a flip chip on the top tube shock mount for adjustable geometry. And there is space for two 750ml water bottle on these medium sized frames. Both Marco and Dylan are riding SRAM XX1 Eagle drivetrains but with absoluteBLACK chainrings. Both riders are on Stan's carbon wheels, Marco riding the ZTR Podium SRD and Dylan using the ZTR Valor. The team is riding Continental tyres with the Cross King on front and Race King on the back. The cockpit features Farr's Endurance carbon handlebar measuring 720 mm and features ergonomic protrusion allowing the riders some relief. The production Ultra is set to use 40 mm stems and Dylan and Marco have opted for the same in the Cape Epic. Both riders are using Shimano brakes with Marco on XTR and Dylan on XT. The first productions frames are said to arriving in July. Specification list: FrameVIPA Ultra Prototype, Medium SizeForkFox Float 32 SC, Factory Series, Kashima, Boost 110, Remote LockoutShockFox Float DPS 2019 Factory Series, Trunnion, 185RimsStan’s ZTR Podium SRD Carbon (Marco), Stan’s ZTR Valor Carbon (Dylan)HubsStan’s Neo Boost, 110 Front, 148 RearSpokes + NipplesSapim 1.8/1.5/1.8 (Marco), DT Swiss 2.0/1.8/2.0 (Dylan)Front TyreContinental Cross King 29 ProTection Series with Stan’s RACE SealantRear TyreContinental Race King 29 ProTection Series with Stan’s RACE SealantHandlebarFarr Endurance Carbon, 720mm WideGripsMomsen Design SiliconeStemVIPA Ultra 40mm, 31.8HeadsetMomsen Integrated 42/52SeatpostKCNC 31.6 (Marco), Momsen Carbon 31.6 (Dylan)SaddleRitchey (Marco), Selle Italia (Dylan)BrakesShimano XTR (Marco), Shimano XT (Dylan)Brake rotorShimano 160 Front and RearShiftersSram Eagle XX1Rear derailleurSram Eagle XX1CassetteSram Eagle XX1 10-50TCrank armsSram Eagle XX1 Boost, 175ChainringabsoluteBLACKChainSram Eagle XX1Bottom BracketSram GXP ThreadedPedalsShimano XTR (Marco), Look S-Track (Dylan)Bike computerWahoo ElemntBottle cagesLezyne Flow SL [anchor=update][/anchor]Update We attended a media launch of the Momsen Vipa Ultra at Imbuko Wines in Wellington on 23 March 2018. Victor Momsen gave us a tour of the new bike, one of the three prototypes that currently exist. Some key updates we had not touched on in the initial Bike Check: Updated to 100mm travel (current Vipa has 80mm of travel) Flip chip to adjust geometry to better suit stage racing or XCO Threaded 73mm bottom bracket Integrated dual bottle cage capability (the current Vipa requires an adaptor) The frame geometry has had an overhaul and most notably sees the head angle slacken off from 70.5 degrees to 68.5 degrees while the seat tube angle is 0.5 degrees steeper at 74 degrees (based on a 100mm fork with the flip chip in the "front" position). The top tube has been stretched out to 610mm and the head tube chopped down to 90mm (from 115mm) to keep the front end low. The frame has also been stiffened through the use of Torayca T1000 around the head tube and bottom bracket with a combo of T800 and T700 across the rest of the frame. From initial frame tests this has improved stiffness by 52% in the headtube and 13% in the bottom bracket. The other obvious touches are the two integrated storage compartments. The top compartment is intended for your bars, gels, etc. which you may want access to on the move. The lower compartment is suited to items like tools, tubes, and bombs keeping the weight lower. An early 3D Printed prototype cover: Momsen is testing ideas for the covers having taken some inspiration from the triathlon market. Vipa Ultra Geometry - 100mm Fork (Medium Frame) Vipa Ultra Geometry - 120mm Fork (Medium Frame)
  10. Karl Platt is riding a revised Bulls Wild Edge frame from last year. The new frame features a modified suspension linkage which now uses bearings replacing the bushings found on the previous bike. The chainstays and seatstays have also been modified to allow for a shorter rear end. There is a flip chip on the top tube mount to allow for the frame to accept metric or non-metric sized shocks. Karl is testing a new front / rear tyre combination from Schwalbe. A Racing Ralph in the front and Racing Ray for the back. The Racing Ray is a prototype tyre using the Addix Speed compound where the Racing Ralph uses the tackier Speedgrip compound. The team use the BULLS in-house Hattori SL carbon rims with a Shimano XTR hub on the rear wheel and a predictive steering hub on the front to accommodate the RockShox RS-1 fork. Team BULLS have been using the titanium King Cage at the Absa Cape Epic for a number of years. SRAM might have the gold bling but Shimano has the (crank) shine. BULLS ride Shimano using XTR drivetrain and brake components. Karl has chosen a 36-26 double chainring configuration with an 11-40 cassette. Shifters and derailleur are Shimano's electronic Di2 type with a Stages XTR crank arm. Karl has set up his cockpit with FSA's K-Force handlebar measuring 700 mm and a 90mm Force Light carbon stem. The seat post is a BULLS creation, the compliant Duroflex provides some added comfort. Sahmurai Sword bar ends conceal a plug tool with ESI grips and road bar tape providing comfort on the handlebar. Specification list: FrameBULLS Wild Edge PrototypeForkRockShox RS-1ShockRockShox MonarchRimsHattori SLHubsRear: Shimano XTR / Front: SRAMFront TyreSchwalbe Racing Ralph 2.25"Rear TyreSchwalbe Racing Ray 2.25" prototypeHandlebarFSA K-Force 700mmGripsESIStemFSA K-Force LightHeadsetFSASeatpostBulls DuroflexSaddleFizik TundraBrakesShimano XTRBrake rotorShimano XTRShiftersShimano XTR Di2Front derailleurShimano XTR Di2Rear derailleurShimano XTR Di2CassetteShimano XTR 11-40TCrank armsShimano XTRChainringsShimano XTR 36-26ChainShimano XTRPedalsShimano XTRBottle cagesKing CagePower meterStages left crank
  11. Oli is riding the Blur CC frame, the CC refers to Santa Cruz's higher-grade carbon frame which uses fewer pieces and is therefore lighter than the more affordable Blur C frame. Oli's bike is largely similar to the X01 Reserve specification retail model, with some tweaks here and there. One such deviation is the Factory Series 32 Step-Cast fork, where a customer would get the Elite level component with the black stanchions. The 100 mm VPP rear suspension is controlled by Fox's Float Performance Elite DPS shock. Both ends are controlled by a dual-lock remote lever. The transmission is full SRAM X01 Eagle with the new Dub crank and bottom bracket interface. Inside sources (Marc Carr, the man that built the bike) tell us that Oli started the race on a 34T chainring but, for whatever reason, decided to switch to a 32T after the first couple of days. The braking is supplied by SRAM's Level TLM brakeset clamping down on 160 mm SRAM rotors. Oli's cockpit features a Santa Cruz carbon handlebar measuring 740 mm wide held in place by a Syntace Liteforce 90mm stem with a carbon Syntace P6 HiFlex seat post. A RapStrapz strap binds a spare tyre, a bomb, and tyres levers to the underside of the saddle. Santa Cruz's own carbon Reserve rims (with a 25 mm internal width) are laced to Industry Nine Torch hubs using DT Swiss Competition Race spokes. Oli trusts Maxxis's Aspen 2.25" tyres for the rugged Epic terrain. Oli is writing daily race reports for Bike Hub from this year's Absa Cape Epic. So stay tuned for the latest instalment every evening this week and, if you missed out, you can catch up here. Specification List: FrameSanta Cruz Blur CC Carbon 29" 100mm travel VPPForkFox Stepcast 32 Factory DPS KashimaShockFox Performance Elite DPSRimsSanta Cruz Reserve 25mm internal diameter, 28 holeHubsIndustry Nine Torch 28 holeSpokes + NipplesDT Competition RaceFront TyreMaxxis Aspen 29 x2.25” TR with EXORear TyreMaxxis Aspen 29 x2.25” TR with EXOHandlebarSanta Cruz XC Carbon Flat Bar 750mmGripsESI chunkyStemSyntace Liteforce 90mm 0 degreeHeadset + top capCane Creek 40 IS Integrated.SeatpostSyntace P6 Carbon HiFlex 31.6mm x 400mmBrakesSRAM Level TLMBrake rotorSRAM 160mm 6-boltShiftersSRAM X01 Eagle 12-speedRear derailleurSRAM X01 Eagle 12-speedCassetteSRAM X01 Eagle XG1295 10-50T 12-speedCrank armsSRAM X1 Eagle Carbon, 175mm crank armChainringSRAM 34T Narrow WideChainSRAM X01 Eagle 12-speed.Bottom BracketSRAM DUBSpares strapRapStrapz
  12. Matthys Beukes and Philip Buys had a stellar season racing the Pyga Stage in 2017, winning most of the races they entered including the African jersey at the Absa Cape Epic. This year they've got a new colour frame, racing the black and white design available on the retail bikes. The Pyga Euro Steel team deck their Stage's out with SRAM components including a XX1 Eagle drivetrain, RockShox suspension, and Level Ultimate brakes. Matthys races on a 38 tooth chainring with a Quarq spider power meter on an XX1 crank. He also uses a custom 3D printed chain guide manufactured by Rapid 3D in Pietermaritzburg, who also assist Pyga with printing models during their bike frame development process. The bottom bracket is sourced from Enduro's TorqTite range. The team race on Deed Propel carbon rims. The rims spin on Deed hubs with Enduro ceramic bearings for smoother rotation. Matthys is rolling on 2.25" wide Maxxis Aspen tyres front and back, a fairly popular choice in the Cape Epic camps. Matthys's cockpit features Ritchey WCS handlebar, stem, and seat post. The handlebars are 720 mm wide with the stem measuring 110 mm with a 17-degree angle. He sits on a Selle Italia saddle and drives power through a set of Look X-Track pedals. Matthys appears to take the risk of tyre mechanicals seriously with a Liqui Moly tyre fix, plugs taped to the handlebar, a packed saddle bag, as well as a hand pump. Specification list: FramePyge Stage (Large size)ForkRockShox SIDShockRockShox MonarchRimsDeed PropelHubsDeed with Enduro ceramic bearingsTyresMaxxis Aspen 2.25HandlebarRitchey WCS carbon 720mmGripsSyncrosStemRitchey WCS 110 mmHeadsetCane CreekSeatpostRitchey WCS carbonSaddleSella Italia FliteBrakesSRAM Level UltimateBrake rotorSRAM CLX 160mmShiftersSRAM XX1 EagleRear derailleurSRAM XX1 EagleCassetteSRAM XX1 Eagle 10-50TCrank armsSRAM XX1ChainringSRAM 38TChainSRAM XX1 EagleBottom bracketEnduro TorqLitePedalsLook X-Track RaceBottle cagesSpecialized side entrySaddle bagLizard SkinsWeight11.96 kg (as pictured mid race with spares)
  13. Annika's Specialized S-Works Epic has been customed painted to celebrate the songo.info organisation that is uplifting the Kayamandi community in Stellenbosch through cycling and education. In fact, this bike will be auctioned to the public after the Cape Epic to raise funds for the organisation. The artwork includes a number of symbols relating to the work done by songo.info including the names of some of the kids benefitting from its work on the underside of the downtube. Annika is riding a SRAM XX1 Eagle drivetrain with a Rotor 2INPower crankset and 34 tooth Rotor chainring. Stopping is controlled by Magura's MT8 Raceline brake set with Shimano XTR pedals propelling the crankarms. Annika raced with a Specialized Command Post for the first three days of Epic. Right after we had taken these photos, her mechanic set about replacing it with a rigid carbon seat post. He explained that Annika likes the dropper post for confidence but believed that she would benefit more from the weight saving on the following day's stage. Funnily, he chuckled saying that he doesn't understand why as she is so powerful with or without the extra weight. Annika has chosen Specialized's Fast Trak with a 2.3" wdith and GRID casing on the front wheel with a Renegade 2.1" GRID tyre displaying prototype markings on the rear. The wheelset is Roval's carbon rim Control SL with DT Swiss rear hub internals. Specification list: FrameSpecialized S-Works Epic (Medium)ForkRockShox SID BrainShockRockShox SpecializedWheelsetRoval Control SL 29Front TyreSpecialized Fast Trak GRID 2.3"Rear TyreSpecialized Renegade GRID 2.1" PrototypeHandlebarS-Works carbon 720mmGripsSupacazStemS-Works SL 100mmHeadsetFSASeatpostSpecialized Command Post IRccSaddleSpecialized PowerBrakesMagura MT8 RacelineBrake rotorMagura 160 mmShiftersSRAM XX1 EagleRear derailleurSRAM XX1 EagleCassetteSRAM XX1 Eagle 10-50TCrank armsRotor 2INPowerChainringRotor 34TChainSRAM XX1 EagleBottom bracketRotorPedalsShimano XTRBottle cagesSpecialized Zee with SWAT BoxSealant125ml in each tyreWeight11.53 kg (race ready as pictured)
  14. The American Eagle Atlanta 2.0 is a carbon hardtail featuring a mix of old and newer style race geometry. The rest of the bike, however, is bang up to date with modern carbon materials, internal routing, boost axle spacing, and single ring only compatibility. The eye-catching Dutch Orange colourway is used by Bart and his CST Sandd American Eagle professional race team. Bart and his team also race the DT Swiss OPM O.D.L 100 Race fork in the #GoldStandard colour. This fork appeared to be a popular choice at the recent Stellenbosch World Cup. Bart also entrusts DT Swiss with his wheels, riding an XRC 1200 wheelset with a 25 mm inner width carbon rim, 240 hubs, and DT Aerolite spokes. Once you've found a saddle that works, stick to it. This seems to be Bart's mantra with his classic Sella Italia Flite saddle. Having previously finished 12 Cape Epic's, Bart is well aware of the need to be properly prepared for flat tyres and staying hydrated. The drivetrain is SRAM's XX1 Eagle with a Rotor 2INPower crankset measuring the watts Bart puts through the 36 tooth Rotor chainring. The chain is supplied by team sponsor KMC. Bart uses a minimalist guide to keep the chain on track. Bart brings many touches of old-school to modern mountain biking and his bar ends are a noticeable throwback (although he is not alone, check out Joaquim Rodriguez's Merida Ninety-Six). With a relatively short 660 mm Ritchey handlebar, the bar ends offer Bart more room and a different feel with the Lizard Skins DSP bar tape. Specifications: FrameAmerican Eagle Atlanta 2.0ForkDT Swiss OPM O.D.L 100 RACEWheelsetDT Swiss XRC 1200 SPLINE 25TyresMaxxis Aspen 2.25HandlebarRitchey WCS 660mmGripsRitchey SuperLogicStemRitchey WCS 90 mmHeadset + top capRitcheySeatpostRitchey WCSSaddleSella Italia FliteBrakesMagura MT8 RacelineBrake rotorMagura 160 mmShiftersSRAM XX1 EagleRear derailleurSRAM XX1 EagleCassetteSRAM XX1 Eagle 10-50TCrank armsRotor 2INPowerChainringRotor 36TChainKMC X12Bottom bracketRotorPedalsShimano XTRBottle cagesTacxWeight10.08 kg (as pictured, mid race with spares)
  15. Joaquim Rodríguez is riding Merida's Ninety-Six carbon marathon race bike with Shimano's XTR gearing and brakes (with the exception of the XT cassette). The pairing is riding Fox Factory Series suspension with a Float shock and 32 SC fork both using Fox's electronic lockout. There is a lot for Rodríguez to look at in the cockpit. A custom top cap message should he need some insipration, his SRM PC8 computer, as well as the Di2 display. The handlebar (720mm) and stem (70mm) are from FSA's carbon K-Force range. Both Rodríguez and Hermida ride with a carbon JBG 2 dropper seat post with 60 mm travel. The team have drilled a hole in the top tube of the Ninety-Six to route the cable to the handlebars (do not try this at home). The team have welded the spokes at the crossover. A trick from the old days, said to provide more stiffness and secure any broken spokes. A saddle bag and Sahmurai Sword in the crankshaft deal with the stowing of spares. The #RIDEFORCHARLIE sticker adds a human touch to the team's bike - its a British organisation seeking to help fund young riders in the memory of Charlie Craig, a promising young rider who died in his sleep. Old meets new with the juxtaposition of bar ends on a bike with a carbon dropper post. The team rides on Continental Race King Pro LTD tyres with Squirt sealant and foam inners to protect against snakebites. Specifications FrameMerida Ninety-Six, Medium SizeForkFox Float 32 SC, Factory Series, FIT iRDShockFox Float DPS iRDWheelsetFulcrum Red Passion 29Front TyreContinental Race King Pro LTD 2.2 with Squirt sealantRear TyreContinental Race King Pro LTD 2.2 with Squirt sealantHandlebarFSA K-Force 720mmGripsESi GripsBarendsProcraftStemFSA K-Force Light 70mmHeadset + top capFSASeatpostJBG 2 60mm travelSaddlePrologo DimensionBrakesShimano XTRBrake rotorShimano 160mmShiftersShimano XTR Di2Rear derailleurShimano XTR Di2CassetteShimano XT 11-46TCrank armsShimano XTRChainringShimano XTR 36TChainShimano XTRBottom BracketShimanoPedalsShimano XTRBike computerSRM PC8Bottle cagesKing Cage steel
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