Rachel Atherton’s Stunning Custom Painted Trek Session 9.9 Race Bike

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Today marks the first official day of the 2018 Fort William World Cup – the second round of the 2018 World Cup series – with all of the teams, managers, racers, and mechanics descending on the race village to get everything setup in preparation for the next three days of action.

While there isn’t any official riding on today, there’s plenty of excitement and anticipation building in the race pits as teams get their stands and mobile workshops setup, along with all the athletes’ bikes too. For some lucky riders, the bike they’ll be riding and racing over the weekend is a little different to what they normally ride.

Rachel Atherton is one such rider, who got her first look of a very special bike that she’s hoping will take her to the top step of the podium this weekend.

trek session 9.9 rachel atherton
Rachel Atherton received a very special gift on Day 1 of the Fort William World Cup. All photos by Amanda Wishart.

The foundation for this special bike is Trek’s flagship carbon fibre downhill frame, the Session 9.9, which has been decked out with a gorgeous custom paint job courtesy of the Trek Race Shop. Fans will note that the base colour is the same as Rachel’s existing Session 9.9 race bike, but the difference is that metallic silver pattern which is designed to mimic the wings on a dragonfly. In the sun, that metallic paint job pops!

trek session 9.9 rachel atherton
Her Session 9.9 has a stunning custom paint job courtesy of the Trek Race Shop. Can you see the dragonfly wings?

The build kit is made up of a Fox Factory suspension package, with a Kashima-coated 40 fork on the front, and a coil-sprung X2 on the back. Though we’re told there’s likely some added custom trickery lurking underneath the exterior.

The Athertons’ race bikes are decked out with Hope components for 2018, including the powerful quad-piston Tech 3 V4 brakes with matching floating rotors, and Pro4 hubs that are laced to Bontrager Line Pro 30 rims. Shifting duties are carried out by SRAM’s dedicated 7-speed X01 DH components, and a Renthal cockpit finishes it all off.

We caught up with Rachel in the race pits today, where she had just got eyes on her new race bike for the first time. We spoke with her about everything from her preferred bike setup for the rough Fort William track, through to what it’s like coming back after her horrible crash from last year. Check out the interview here;

As well as chatting with Rachel, we also spoke with her mechanic, Joe, about some of the smaller details found on her race bike, and what sort of mechanical issues he’s expecting the demanding race course is likely to inflict on racers’ bikes over the weekend.

But while you’re here, might as well enjoy a few more photos of that lovely bike eh?

trek session 9.9 rachel atherton
Another look at that lovely paint job.
trek session 9.9 rachel atherton hope sram x0 renthal
Rachel has been experimenting with higher rise bars on the front of her Session 9.9, but has settled on a lower 20mm rise for the big Renthal Fatbars.
trek session 9.9 rachel atherton fox 40 x2
Fox Factory suspension package on the outside, with a bit of custom tuning trickery going on the inside.
trek session 9.9 rachel atherton hope sram x0
Rachel’s race bike is rolling with Crank Brothers Mallet DH pedals, Hope CNC machined cranks and an MRP chain device.
trek session 9.9 rachel atherton hope sram x0
SRAM takes care of shifting duties with the 7-speed X01 DH derailleur and cassette.
trek session 9.9 rachel atherton wil
Rachel’s looking forward to getting her new race bike onto the Fort William track, so best of luck to her and her team!

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