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Fort William Day 3: Tech from the pits

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  •  Products, WC DH, World Cup, World Cup DH

Whilst riders were qualifying , we took a tour around the Fort William pits to see what interesting bits of bike bling were on show. …

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First up was the lonely looking number 3 plate , on the stand in the Specialized pits. Loic Bruni’s Demo may be stood there for the next round or two, but he is a rider we can be confident of having a quick return to form.

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In the pit setup opposite, Troy Brosnans Demo in hot pink was garnering a whole rake of media attention. Let’s just say that he’ll be only content with a win after his 2014 victory.

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Fastest junior qualifier Finn Illes was sporting a subtle tribute to Stevie Smith hidden under his peak.

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Surprise of the day came from Ed Masters taking second in qualifying, aboard his Bergamomt rig that looks massively different to his 2015 whip.

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The fully revised linkage seems to be working for him and he’s stoked to say the least.

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Peaty’s “Silverado” V10 was in the pits meaning his new custom tartan rig must have been run in to race speed.

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Robot bikes were here to talk about their new fully customisable , 3D printed rig , the R160.

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Carbon fibre tubes slot into T6 Titanium 3D printed lugs with 25mm of overlap. The joins have double lap joints to ensure firm bonding. Ed Haythornwaite explained “most carbon bikes break at the complex areas, like the bottom bracket, so we use the carbon where it’s strongest”. They are pretty confident that the whole thing will hold together, the frame reportedly broke the rig in the fatigue testing.

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The interesting thing about the bike is the level customisation that the customer can have. Essentially they could make a trailbike with a 480mm reach, a 430mm chain stay with a 62 degree head angle, it’s totally up to the rider. However, they admit that every combination might not produce a bike that handles well, so they have an algorithm which can calculate an ideal geometry based on fundamental measurements such as height, inseam and torso length. A truly bespoke steed. They even encourage customers to come with them for a ride, to learn about thier riding style and what they really want out of the bike. This level of input comes at a price though, with framesets coming in at £4395.

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The T6 titanium lugs as they come fresh out of the printer.

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The R160 is a massive departure from the hydroformed swooping lines were used to but cuts a fresh , bold look, with an almost industrial street BMX style to it. What we’re really excited about is that RobotBike aim to have an DH bike out in the next two years, using the same DW link design.

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It was hard to get a clean shot of this bike with the swarms of people around it. For a prototype, Hope’s new Enduro machine looks incredibly well finished.

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The HB211 was equipped with Hope’s finest kit and finished with an Ohlins TTX coil shock and RxF 160 forks. Perhaps in a few years Hope will be better known for making bikes than brakes.

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Ladbrokes are offering 2/1 odds on Aaron Gwin for the Fort William World Cup (seriously, check the website ). With 3rd in qualies , he’s a tough card to read.

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Check the brown envelope in the bottom right, Gwin’s secret formula?

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