Olympic Bike Check: Grant Ferguson’s Superior Hardtail

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As you may have heard already, the UK will be represented at the 2016 Rio Olympics Cross-Country mountain bike race by young-gun Grant Ferguson, who received a late call-up to the Olympic squad thanks to a re-allocation of unused places that handed Great Britain a spot in the men’s race. Hailing from Scotland, the 22-year old rider will saddle up for his first ever Olympic mission, after proving his worth in the UCI World Cup series so far.

”I’m really excited to compete in my first olympic games”, said Ferguson. “I’m thrilled to have been selected to represent Great Britain at the Rio Olympic Games, and that I think it will be a massive experience which i can’t wait for.”

Ferguson is currently ranked 29th in the UCI World Cup standings, and he’s regarded as one of (if not the) fastest cross country mountain bikers in the UK. Ferguson took out the British National Championships just three weeks ago, and in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, he finished in 5th position overall. Here we take a look at Ferguson’s weapon of choice that he’ll be taking to Rio for the XCO race next weekend.

rio olympics bike check grant ferguson superior carbon race hardtail
Photo: Irmo Keizer, Pro Cycle Shots

Heard of Superior Bikes before? They’re not a common name in this neck of the woods, but they’ve actually been around for two decades now. Superior Bikes are based out of the Czech Republic, and they have a relatively focussed range that revolves around lightweight cross-country machines and road bikes. You may be more familiar with the name if you follow World Cup racing though. In 2008, Bart Brentjens formed a UCI race team accurately titled the ‘Bart Brentjens Mountainbike Race Team’, which Ferguson is a member of. The team was formed in partnership with Superior Bikes, and features riders from the Netherlands, Ukraine, France and the Czech Republic.

rio olympics bike check grant ferguson superior carbon race hardtail
Ferguson’s race bike is loosely based upon the Superior Team 29 Issue, but there are a few upgrades that we’ll have a closer look at below. The carbon frame has a claimed weight of 990 grams, and the off-the-shelf model is purported to weight just 8.8kg. We know for a fact that Ferguson’s is a little lighter than that though… Irmo Keizer, Pro Cycle Shots
rio olympics bike check grant ferguson superior carbon race hardtail
The 1x setup on Ferguson’s race bike is both lightweight and super clean. He’s also running electronic Di2 shifting to ensure consistent gear changes regardless of the conditions out on course. Note the direct-mount rear derailleur hanger, which increases stiffness for the XTR Di2 derailleur to help fire off crisp and lightning-quick shifts. Irmo Keizer, Pro Cycle Shots
rio olympics bike check grant ferguson superior carbon race hardtail 1x chainring ceetech
Ferguson will be racing with a Shimano XTR 11-speed drivetrain, with a single chainring up front. Although the XTR chainring is profiled to be used without a chain device, Olympic XC racers don’t take chances. To minimise the likelihood of a race-ruining chain drop, Ferguson runs a custom Ceetec chain guide that purportedly weighs less than 10 grams. Irmo Keizer, Pro Cycle Shots
rio olympics bike check grant ferguson superior carbon race hardtail
Utilising 330gm carbon rims, the Stans Valor wheelset is very light, and an ideal choice for XCO riders searching for quick acceleration and minimal rotating mass. If you want to know more about them, click the image to check out Wil’s review of the Stans Valor Pro 29er wheelset. Irmo Keizer, Pro Cycle Shots
rio olympics bike check grant ferguson superior carbon race hardtail
The redesigned Neo hubs on the Stans Valor Pro wheelset are stronger, with faster engagement on the rear. The larger hub shells allow the use of shorter spokes to build a stiffer and more respsonsive wheelset. Irmo Keizer, Pro Cycle Shots
grant ferguson rio olympic race bike superior carbon hardtail
Snazzy SIDI shoes to match! You can check out Team GB’s full race kit below, which we think is rather dashing – not that you’d want to see any of the Singletrack crew in a full aero skinsuit… Irmo Keizer, Pro Cycle Shots

Hitting up some wall rides yesterday in Swiss 🇨🇭 @bbmtb photo thanks to @phunkt 📷🍻

A photo posted by Grant Ferguson (@grantferguson1) on

Oh and if you can’t see the Twitter and Instagram videos embedded in this post, then you’ll have to follow this little linky here.

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We’ll be sure to be cheering on Ferguson during his attempt for Olympic glory in Rio. The race itself goes down on Sunday the 21st of August, so stay tuned to BBC and all the usual online channels for coverage of the race and hopefully, a bit of British glory!

Comments (1)

  1. “which Ferguson is a member of.”

    sighs…

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