Fort William 2016 – In the pits

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It’s not just all downhill bikes and armoured riders getting their flow all stoked… Around the pits there are many goodies to spot for the sharp-eyed viewer.

Peaty’s Fort William V10

Steve Peat has had a special paint job done for his Santa Cruz V10 – complete with matching race kit (and Smith goggle straps too). This is his last Fort William race before he retires from the circuit. Word is that he also has some more surprises coming the remaining World Cups too.

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Is that the McPeat tartan then?
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That’s a lot of faux-tartan
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Matching Fox 40s and ‘subtle’ orange highlights

Timed practice started today. We’ll have a huge gallery up as soon as the pigeons arrive with a small bucket of internet.

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Hope Huge Cassettes

We brought you news of Hope Technology’s HB211 carbon fibre full suspension bike last month, as well as news that Hope was finally shipping its new extended range cassette. However, since the launch of things like SRAM’s Eagle 10-50T cassette, it has obviously felt the need to see what it can come up with. So here on the back of the HB211 at the Hope stand at Fort William, is a 10-48T cassette prototype. How huge? It seemed that top enduro racer Woody Hole (who also works at Hope) had tried a 10-46T cassette prototype and no sooner had he fitted it than he discovered an even bigger cassette being assembled!

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Prototype 10-48T cassette from Hope
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No sooner had Woody fitted a proto 10-46T than he got out-prototyped
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Any giant cassette means you can have a bigger chainring. Here’s a 36T ring to mesh with the 48T rear
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Hope’s catchily named HB211 – UK made carbon frame


We’ve not seen any mention of this out there in media-land, but we spotted this chunky looking Renthal Fatbar Carbon and Apex stem on a rider’s bike in the pits. It’s not marked, but what are the chances of a 35mm handlebar (and matching stem) coming out later this year then?

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Robot Bike Co.

A new, British, made in the UK, assembled in the UK company. Robot Bikes launched last week with its 3D-printed titanium lugs and (made in New Zealand) carbon fibre tubes. It comes with a wince-inducing price tag, but the Robot Bike Co. folk are on hand to explain everything about their custom-made, custom geometry frames.
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Printed titanium head tube
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Internal cable routing of course
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Suspension by Dave Weagle
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Robot Bikes comes with a signature IPA beer of course.


Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

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