Then along came Aaron Gwin to drag his nation proudly back to the top of the time sheets of World Cup downhill races.
To think that US downhill is a one man bandwagon would be a mistake however. Luca Shaw hails from San Francisco, California and has just signed with one of the sport’s most highly regarded race teams: Santa Cruz Syndicate.
The 20-year-old recorded some impressive results in 2016, including a fifth place at the legendary Mont-Sainte-Anne UCI World Cup. Blessed with an extremely level headed approach to racing, will 2017 be the big breakthrough year Shaw seems to be building towards?
We don’t have a crystal ball so we don’t know yet, all we asked him to do was to go as fast as possible for our latest Sound of Speed episode. Enjoy.
Undoubtedly one of the most naturally gifted riders on the downhill circuit, 2014 was the year where Ratboy finally delivered on his talent to produce a consistent set of results.
A rich vein of form saw him record his first ever World Cup win at Leogang, quickly followed by another victory at Windham, while he also became the British National Champion for the first time.
With the 2015 World Cup on the horizon, we met up with fun-loving Josh on his narrow boat home in Manchester, England, to reflect on his incredible season last year and to see how he’s recovered from the busted foot he sustained at the World Championships in Norway.
Jeff Herbertson, Pivot’s resident dirt jump genius, worked with Alex Reveles and Ian Collins to produce some amazing photos and video from the last days of a dirt jump legend:
“Post Office has been a very special place to a lot of people. In 2008 I visited Aptos, and rode Post Office for the first time. I was very timid, sketchy, and amazed. Within a year, I had packed up my truck and moved to Santa Cruz, where I’ve lived on and off since. I can confidently say that most of my bike control was learned in those few acres. I’ve met lifelong friends and picked up most of my digging techniques from watching the loc boys throw the best dirt that jumps have ever been made of. I’ve broken bones, bikes, and bread there. Those jumps will always have a very special spot in my memory.”
Australia has its first Enduro World Series team; Team DERT. Go do it for Gravesy! Read below for more details.
Australian mountain bikers will take on an unprecedented challenge in the Enduro World Series this year. The Downunder Enduro Race Team (Team DERT) will contest 6 rounds of the series that sees riders take on the most challenging trails an area has to offer. With races located in New Zealand, Canada, USA, France, Spain and Italy. Team DERT is supported by Event Management Solutions Australia (EMS Australia) with the goal of supporting talented riders who are looking to take on the EWS, without the security of being on the reserved riders list, or factory backing.
EMS Australia is the leading promotor of Enduro racing in the country and is keen to provide pathways for riders to take on the world’s best, including Toowoomba rider and 2014 EWS World Champion, Jared Graves. The successful bid for Official Team Status is quite a win for Team DERT, with a record number of teams applying for the limited number of spots. Team manager, Ian Harwood feels that the mix of strong riders, and a focus on future development was a key factor in the successful application.
Team riders who have all excelled in the recent SRAM Enduro Series, presented by Santa Cruz will accrue points in the teams division, whilst ex World Cup racer and one of Australia’s first professional Mountain Bikers, Michael Ronning will be chasing podiums in the Masters class.
Team DERT will also participate in selected rounds of the recently announced Mountain Bike Australia National Enduro Series. Team DERT is supported by Event Management Solutions Australia and For The Riders. Individual riders received support from Giant Bicycles Australia and Santa Cruz Bicycles.
Danny MacAskill’s new video project took the trial rider well and truly out of his comfort zone. Swapping his familiar trials bike for a full suspension mountain bike, Danny travelled to the Isle of Skye, the place where he was born and grew up, to ride the epic trail on the Cuillin Ridge.
The rocky terrain, huge cliff drops and unforgiving lines really put Danny’s famous bike handling skills to the limit, but it was well worth the effort to showcase the Isle of Skye’s beautiful landscape.
Riding the Cuillin Ridge also fulfilled a life-long dream of Danny’s and with the help of filmmaker Stu Thompson and his colleague’s at Cut Media we’re all able to share that joy.
We knew the racing was going to be close at Windham, but nobody expected Josh ‘Ratboy’ Bryceland to be able to lay down such sizeable a winning margin on the short and high-speed American track.
Taking the win with an impressive 1.58 seconds, Bryceland secured his second World Cup win of the season, and the second of his career, from Specialized’s duo Aaron Gwin and Troy Brosnan. In the women’s field, French pocket-rocket Emmeline Ragot sprinted to the win by an even bigger margin of 2.88 seconds from Rachel Atherton and Tracey Hannah.
With dry and dusty conditions, mixed with such a short track, riders were pushing it right to the edge. Recap on all the action with this banger of an edit from the Parkin Bros.
Lenzerheide is a new World Cup Round for 2015 and for years to come apparently… Being a part of the track development is a new and exciting venture for Peaty, but does he feel the pressure to come through and provide the riders fans alike with a memorable course?
Steve has been down about his last couple of results, so it was amazing that all his sponsors pulled together in time to create a new bike for him to ‘find his flow’ again… Smaller wheels and a rigid rear end means you’re at one with the bike and have a lower centre of gravity which = more grip. Honest.
On a serious note though, who doesn’t want a V16 to mess around on?!
There’s been talk for a while now of a new bike for the Syndicate… Most of the top teams and riders have been on 27.5 wheels for a while now, so as a natural progression it was only time until the team was going to be rolling on bigger wheels…
Check out some exclusive first ride footage from out in Livigno during a test session with the full Santa Cruz team and Fox Suspension.
All this and more in this months episode of This Is Peaty!
The Santa Cruz Syndicate are constantly testing new products as they maraude around the globe on their UCI World Cup campaign. Sometimes these products have subtle adapations that demand a trained eye to pick up on. Other times it’s a little more obvious.
The rat was out of the bag when Josh Bryceland won the UK National Championships on an unmarked vehicle in Innerleithen on July 20th.
So, while we’re unable to confirm ANY details about the bikes the guys are racing on in Mont Sainte Anne, we’re not going to deny that what you see here isn’t happening…
THROUGH MY EYES is back for season 2 , follow Cedric Gracia AKA CG/Dirty Sanchez, around the world for some enduro riding, EWS racing, and natural trouble who come with it! For the first episode, we are at CG’s house in Vallnord, Andorra where he is riding is new Nomad from Santa Cruz on secret dusty trails.
From the woods to the top of the mountain you will enjoy what Vallnord has to offer .
“He’s one of the best at what he does, so why change him?”
Over the course of Peaty’s career, winters spent with Adella Carter and the Sheffield Hallam team have proved vital in his long and illustrious career.
Getting time of the DH bike is always tough with such a busy schedule and other commitments, so starting off the season with a trip to Barcelona to catch up with Ivan Oulego for his annual race was rad. David Vasquez, our UCI World Cup delegate and part time tour guide took us to some of the best trails Barcelona had to offer and after two days of smashing laps with Bernat Guardia and co, everyone was psyched.
At the Oulego race the sun was out and so were the fans in their thousands… With a short, fast track times were always going to be tight and come race day it came down to a tight finish with Bernat pipping Steve to the top step… but a solid result on a dustry dry track coming into PMB.
Winter Dual and the local Sheffield scene has been another vital ingredient in keeping Peaty young and having fun during the dark winter months. Racing Rum anyone?
It’s the final stop at PMB for the foreseeable future, with the Syndicate looking to make their mark on the 2014 season
Did things work out? Find out and more in Episode 1 of This Is Peaty – Season 3.
When Logan Peat and Josh Bryceland rolled into Santa Cruz on their Jackals, we rolled up in a 1949 GM 4101 Union Pacific Streamliner to show them around.
Still using its original super-charged two-stroke straight-six Detroit Diesel power plant connected to a Spicer 4-speed manual transmission, the “Crazy Train” is the last running coach of ten, made for ferrying passengers from Union Pacific’s Los Angeles terminal in the fifties and sixties.
Still using unique sliding dropouts to accommodate gears or single speeds, connected to the frame via compact chainstays on a super-strong asymmetrical yoke, the Jackal was made for ferrying passengers over dirt jumps, street obstacles, amusement parks and anything else you might encounter on a rampage around town.
By the time we reached trail #7 of our ten-trail odyssey in the Redwoods, the Flow crew was starting to feel a little peckish. But Mike Metz of Bike Culture knew just the thing to revive us; a heaped serving of Hot X Buns. And, man, was it tasty.
Hot X Buns is a trail that just feels amazing when you’re going fast. Cruise down it at a mellow pace and you could easily overlook its brilliance – if you’re going slow it’s kinda lumpy. But when you’re trying to hold the wheel of Mike Metz, one of Rotorua’s fastest riders, going slow isn’t an option.
With the speed turned up a few notches, Hot X is easily one of the best offerings in the forest. The pines rip by your bars, what previously looked like ruts become perfect berms to slap your tyres into, the little pinch climbs turn into kickers and it all makes sense.
The trail squirts you out over a good-sized jump into the clearing directly above B Rude Not 2, so you can keep it rolling on another of Rotorua’s best.
The Juliana Joplin Primeiro is the latest in a growing collection of women’s bikes that we’re taking to the trails. This one pairs a high-performing parts list with the light and compliant ride feel of a quality carbon frame.
Juliana is Santa Cruz’s female specific line of bikes. The range is named after 1990’s US mountain biking pioneer, Juliana Furtado, the John Tomac of her time, or a Gunn-Rita DahleFlesjåin today’s terms. We are excited to clip our feet into the latest 29” trail bike offering from the company, the Juliana Joplin Primeiro.
The Joplin part is a throw back to the rock legend of the same name (it’s ‘the Queen of rocks and roll’). Primeiro is Santa Cruz for ‘highest spec in a specific range,’ in this case kashima coated Fox front and rear suspension (120mm on the front and 100mm on the rear) and a Shimano XT build.
Despite the high-performing build and shiny marketing of the Joplin Primeiro, we were a little disappointed to discover that the frame shares the same geometry as the Santa Cruz Tall Boy. The women’s features extend to the contact points, the powdery blue finish and a 3×10 drive train with a roomy 11-36 cassette on the rear.
One question we have for the review period is whether these changes are enough to satisfy a growing number of savvy female consumers. The small size Joplin was in fact released ahead the small Tall Boy, which had male riders thinking about buying a women’s bike rather than the other way around for a change. The frame design of the Tall Boy also incorporates female friendly features like a low standover and short head tube length
Marketing questions aside, the performance of the bike is something best answered out on the trails. Hitting the dirt, the Joplin immediately showed us why the Santa Cruz and Juliana brands have such a proud and loyal following.
The Joplin climbs more efficiently than we were expecting, mowed over short technical ‘ups,’ and descended at warp speed. It feels fast, stable, very capable and has a beautifully smooth ‘ride feel’; a winning combo for all-day outings on an extensive variety of trails.
We’re looking forward to getting more attuned to the Joplin over the test period to discover more about the experiences it opens up and the subtleties of how it performs. Keep an eye on Flow for a full review soon.