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  1. Manuel Fumic's Cannondale Scalpel-Si. Manuel Fumic and Maxime Marotte are the national champions of Germany and France respectively. To celebrate this success, Cannondale has custom painted their Scalpel-Si frames with each rider's national colours over a black base. Maxime Marotte's Cannondale Scalpel-Si. The Cannondale team is sponsored by Shimano so, as you would expect, the drivetrain is a full Shimano affair. The shifters, cassettes, derailleurs, and cranks all coming from the XTR stable with the chain being borrowed from the Dura-Ace road catalogue. The brake set and rotors (180 mm front; 160 mm rear) are also Shimano's range-topping XTR. Maxime Marotte prefers Look pedals. The team uses One Components chainguides. The one anomaly is Fumic's unbranded 38 tooth chainring where Marotte has a standard Shimano XTR chainring. The team explained that Shimano does not currently make a compatible single chainring bigger than 36 teeth, so they've had to make a plan for Fumic's preferred 38T gearing. Fumic's blacked out 38 tooth chainring. The Shimano XTR cranks have undergone the Stages treatment with a power meter embedded in the left crank arm. This data is supplied to a Stages Dash computer mounted on the handlebar. Fumic's left Stages XTR crank and XTR pedal. And Stages Dash. In the cockpit, personal preference sees some variation. Most notably the seat posts with Marotte electing a KS LEV CI with carbon body and lever providing 65 mm of vertical travel while Fumic choosing a lighter rigid carbon post from Enve. Both riders sit on a Prologo Dimension Nack saddle with a 143 mm width. Maxime's KS Lev CI dropper seatpost and lever. Fumic's handlebar and stem configuration is slightly bigger with a 730 mm Enve bar and 90 mm stem versus Marotte's 720 Enve bar and 80 mm stem. There is also a difference in pedal preference with Fumic clipping into a pair of Shimano XTR pedals and Marotte using Look's X-Track pedals. The front suspension is uniquely Cannondale with a Lefty 2.0 Carbon. The rear travel is controlled by an unlabelled RockShox shock. The team take their suspension set up seriously, sending the forks to the specialist Lefty tuning company Eighty-Aid in Europe for servicing after each World Cup race. Enve M50 carbon rims are laced to a DT Swiss 240 rear hub with a Lefty hub doing duty in the front. The team use Schwalbe tyres, choosing the Thunder Burt 2.25" for the Stellenbosch course. Fumic uses Enve's rim strip to further protect the tyres from damaging snake bites. Specification List: FrameCannondale Scalpel-Si (Size medium) ForkLefty 2.0 carbon ShockRockShox RimsEnve M50 HubsFront: Lefty / Rear: DT Swiss 240 TyresSchwalbe Thunder Burt 2.25 HandlebarEnve carbon (Fumic: 730mm / Marotte: 720mm) GripsFumic: ESI Grips / Marotte: Prologo StemExtraLite (Fumic: 90mm / Marotte: 80mm) HeadsetLefty SeatpostFumic: Enve carbon / Marotte: KS Lev CI SaddlePrologo Dimension Nack BrakesShimano XTR Brake RotorsShimano XTR (180mm / 160mm) ShiftersShimano XTR Rear DerailleurShimano XTR CassetteShimano XTR (Fumic 11-42 / Marotte 11-40) CranksShimano XTR with Stages powermeter ChainringFumic: Unbranded / Marotte: Shimano XTR ChainShimano Dura-Ace PedalsFumic: Shimano XTR / Marotte: Look X-Track Race Carbon Bike ComputerStages Dash WeightFumic: 10.1 kg / Marotte: 10.2 kg
  2. Manuel Fumic is no stranger to South African audiences with memorable performances in the Absa Cape Epic while Maxime Marotte has been a solid podium performer on the international XCO circuit for a number of years. We tracked down their race bikes at the team house ahead of the Stellenbosch World Cup. View full article
  3. Cherie is riding the Head Trenton carbon hardtail. Head might not be brand readily associated with cycling but with a local distribution deal recently signed, we might start seeing more on our road and trails. Cherie's bike was the first Trenton we've encounter: the defined lines, recessed seat post clamp, and beefy bottom bracket catching our eyes. Cherie entrusts her gearing to a SRAM X01 Eagle system with XX1 crank arms connected by a KMC X12 chain. Cherie's top cap gives her extra motivation while cockpit is set up for "Go fast!" mode with the bearing cap removed and no spacers in sight and a negative angle stem. The SR Suntour sponsored teams mostly selected the Axon Werx fork with carbon lower legs for the Stellenbosch World Cup. Cherie picked Schwalbe's Rocket Ron tyre to cut through the Coetzenburg dust on the front with a quicker rolling Racing Ralph to keep the rear in check. Yes, a number of riders have raced with adjustable seat posts over the past few seasons but, looking around the pits in, 2018 seems to be the year it goes mainstream. Cherie is using the KS Lev Integra with 100 mm of travel. Cherie prefers a Specialized Power saddle with a 143 mm width. Specification list: FrameHead TrentonForkSR Suntour Axon WerxFront TyreSchwalbe Rocket Ron Addix SpeedGrip 2.25Rear TyreSchwalbe Racing Ralph Addix Speed 2.25HandlebarControlTECH 720mmGripsHead foamStemControlTECH CLS 90mmHeadset + top capAcros top capSeatpostKS Lev Integra 100mmSaddleSpecialized Power 143mmBrakesSRAM Level UltimateBrake rotorSRAM CentreLine 160mmShiftersSRAM X01 EagleRear derailleurSRAM X01 EagleCassetteSRAM X01 Eagle 10-50TCrank armsSRAM XX1 170mmChainringSRAM Eagle 34TChainKMC X12Bottom BracketGPXPedalsShimano XTBike computerCicloWeight10.1 kg
  4. The Specialized team appear to favour the dual suspension S-Works Epic over the hardtail Epic and Sam Gaze is no exception. His Epic is tricked out with all the top of the range goodies from the S-Works stable, right down to the carbon bottle cage. The ROTOR 2INpower crankset measure power readings from each crankarm independently giving the rider an accurate reading from every down stroke. Sam paired the crankset with a ROTOR oval Q-Ring sized at 36 teeth. The suspension features Specialized's Brain technology in a custom adapted RockShox shock and SID fork. The fastest number on the day. Despite starting a few rows back, Sam managed to get himself to the front of the race right from the get-go. The team uses Specialized's in-house Roval brand for wheels. In this case, the Control SL wheelset with carbon rims, DT Swiss spokes, and Roval hubs featuring DT Swiss engagement internals on the back hub. Sam races on Specialized's fast rolling Renegade tyres. Sam appears to like his bike slammed with no spacers in sight. The 130 mm long Specialized stem with a negative 24-degree angle to the S-Works carbon 720 mm handlebars. The Specialized team are riding Magura brakes this year. The brand's MT8 Raceline with carbon lever and yellow calipers shine brightly on Sam's bike. By popular demand, the weight. While holding a scale in a field is probably not the most accurate means of weighing the bike, we have few alternatives when under pressure to get a bike back to the mechanics but in Sam's case the scale read around the 10.4 kilogram mark. Full specifications: FrameSpecialized S-Works EpicForkRockShox SID BrainShockRockShox/Specialized BrainRimsRoval Control SLHubsRoval Control SL, rear with DT Swiss Star RatchetSpokesDT SwissTyresSpecialized Renegade 2.1HandlebarS-Works carbon 720mmGripsSpecialized XC RaceStemS-Works 130mm, -24 degreeHeadsetFSASeatpostS-Works carbonSaddleS-Works PhenomBrakesMagura MT8 RacelineBrake RotorsMagura 160mmShiftersSRAM XX1 EagleRear DerailleurSRAM XX1 EagleCassetteSRAM XX1 Eagle 10-50tCranksRotor 2INpowerChainringRotor Q-Ring 36 toothChainSRAM XX1 EagleBottom BracketRotorPedalsLook X Track Race CarbonBottle CagesSpecialized carbonWeight10.4 kg
  5. Emily Batty's Procaliber with 27.5" wheels. Both Emily Batty and Evie Richards elected to race their full suspension Trek Top Fuels in the Stellenbosch World Cup. Unfortunately, we were unable to cover those bikes but we did get some time with their alternative hardtail race bike, the Trek Procaliber. We sat down with the team after the race to chat through their World Cup experience and, in particular, their equipment choices on race day (full interviews to follow). Emily Batty ultimately opted for the Trek Top Fuel citing better pedalling efficiency on the bumpy sections of the course as a key factor. She typically makes the call on which bike to race the day before, at the same time finalising tyre choices and chainring size based on the course conditions. Anton Cooper opted to race on the Trek Procaliber, the team's hardtail race bike, and generally his preferred choice having grown up racing hardtails. The Procaliber uses what Trek call an IsoSpeed decoupler which allows the seat post to flex more freely, smoothing out bumps and vibrations for the rider. Trek Factory Racing signed SRAM as a sponsor for 2018 replacing Shimano and Fox. Emily's gearing is full SRAM XX1 Eagle with a 34 tooth chainring. The SRAM and gold theme continues to the braking with Level Ultimate stoppers. She uses Shimano XTR pedals to push the cranks. The cockpit makes use of a Bontrager XXX carbon handlebar and aluminium stem. Foam ESI Grips are used to soften the contact point on the handlebars. Evie rides on a set of Bontrager Kovee XXX 29 Boost TLR with carbon rims and DT Swiss hubs. Her tyres are Bontrager's fast rolling XR1 Team Issues. Emily's 27.5 wheels are clearly from Bontrager but there was no obvious sign of which model (anyone with an encyclopedic knowledge of Bontrager wheels willing to help us out?). Emily's tyres are from a non-sponsor and have been blacked out. Evie Richards's Trek Procaliber with 29" wheels. The obvious difference to Evie's bike from Emily's is the wheelsize, 29er vs 650b. She also uses a RockShox Reverb dropper post where Emily favours a rigid carbon seat post from Bontrager. Evie rides a XX1 crankset with a Quarq spider and 34 tooth chainring (like Emily) and MRP chainguide for added chain drop protection. Evie uses a Bontrager Kovee Pro saddle where Emily favours a Bontrager Montrose Pro on her Procaliber. Specification list: FrameTrek ProcaliberForkRockShox SIDWheelsetEmily: Bontrager 27.5" / Evie: Bontrager Kovee XXX 29"TyresEmily: Maxxis Ikon / Evie: Bontrager XR1 Team IssueHandlebarBontrager XXXGripsESI GripsStemBontragerHeadsetCane CreekSeatpostEmily: Bontrager XXX / Evie: RockShox ReverbSaddleEmily: Bontrager Montrose Pro / Evie: Bontrager Kovee ProBrakesSRAM Level UltimateBrake RotorsSRAM CentreLine XShiftersSRAM XX1 EagleRear DerailleurSRAM XX1 EagleCassetteSRAM XX1 Eagle 10-50CranksEmily: SRAM XX1 Eagle / Evie: SRAM XX1 with Quarq spiderChainringSRAM XX1 Eagle 34TChainSRAM XX1 EaglePedalsShimano XTRBottle CagesBontrager RXL
  6. With a change of teams comes a change of bikes from Silverback to the Spanish BH for Annie Last. For Team KMC EKOÏ SR Suntour she will be racing a BH Lynx Race, a 100mm travel XC and marathon racer. Following a successful season in 2017, Annie started on the front row for the World Cup season opener in Stellenbosch. SR Suntour is a title sponsor for Annie's team. They have supplied her with a carbon Axon fork along with an Unair shock. A single cable operated lever opens and closes the remote lockout for both components in unison. Annie measures her effort with a Rotor 2INPower power meter crankset and propels a 32 tooth Rotor chainring. Time's lightweight ATTAC XC 12 (claimed weight 248 grams for a pair) connect Annie to the bike. The rest of the gearing is largely a SRAM XX1 Eagle affair with a KMX X12 chain in a matching black and gold colour scheme. Annie entrusts Magura's unmistakable MT8 Raceline brakes to perform the stopping with 160 mm rotors. The wheels and tyres see French manufactures Mavic and Michelin combined. The wheelset is a Mavic's carbon CrossMax Pro while Michelin supply Jet XCR cross-country race tyre. Annie's elects to race with Prologo's carbon railed Dimension Nack saddle. Just one more part that helps the bike reach a weight of around 10.2 kilograms. Full Specifications: FrameBH Lynx Race RC (Size medium)ForkSR Suntour Axon WerksShockSR Suntour UNAirWheelsetMavic CrossMax Pro CarbonTyresMichelin Jet XCR (Front: 2.25; Rear: 2.10)HandlebarBH Evo CarbonGripsSpecialized XC RaceStemPro 70 mmHeadsetFSASeatpostBH Evo CarbonSaddlePrologo Dimension NackBrakesMagura MT8 RacelineBrake RotorsMagura 160mmShiftersSRAM XX1 EagleRear DerailleurSRAM XX1 EagleCassetteSRAM XX1 EagleCranksRotor 2INpowerChainringRotor 32 toothChainKMC X12-TIPedalsTime ATAC XC 12Weight10.2 kg
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