cannondale dual shock downhill bike fort william

Day 1 2019 Fort William DH World Cup: Spied in the pits

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We’re here at the 2019 Fort William DH World Cup and although it is absolutely lashing it down, we’ve been through the pits and snapped a few gems for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

Cannondale’s dual shock downhill bike

cannondale dual shock downhill bike fort william
First, stop on the Fort William tour!

As soon as we arrived at Fort William we made a beeline to the Cannondale pits where we managed to snap their prototype dual shock bike before it was whisked away in the back of a van.

cannondale dual shock downhill bike fort william
Making a quick getaway.

The bike we saw briefly at Fort William was fitted with one single coil shock in the lowest position, nestled inside the carbon downtube of the mainframe. The image above shows the complete bike with the carbon shock guard in place but we also snapped the frame only offering a better view of the large rocker.

cannondale dual shock downhill bike fort william
The large rocker is hidden when the shock is installed but can be seen here hanging beneath the frame.

We’re keen to see if Cannondale decide to run the bike with a single shock for Fort William, or if they’ll move to the separate damper/coil configuration we’ve seen in the past? Keep posted for more spy photos.

Elliott Heap’s 4x Nukeproof Mega

fort william 2019 elliott heap mega
This is one sweet Mega!

Team Chain Reaction/Nukeproof rider Elliott Heap won’t be racing in the downhill this coming weekend, but he will be racing in the 4x on his custom Nukeproof Mega. Elliott’s Mega is running a set of RockShox Pike upfront rather than the usual Lyriks and looks to be a pretty small frame making it ideal for chucking about. The build features Michelin tyres, Mavic wheels a collection of Nukeproof’s own components and gets a set of handguards.

Prototype Canyon Sender 29er

prototype canyon sender 29er
A lone Canyon Sender 29er is spotted.

Because of the rain, and the fact most teams arrived pretty early to Fort William, nobody was around at the Canyon pits when we snapped this pic of the prototype Canyon Sender 29er. From what we can see, the bike uses the same main triangle as the standard Sender only with a modified rear end including custom machined linkage.

prototype canyon sender 29er
Canyon is running the bigger wheel sender with custom linkages.

When will the 29er Canyon Sender go on sale is anyone’s guess.

Norco testing alternative linkages

norco downhill bike fort william dh
The Norco DH bikes we spotted featured links to tweak the kinematics.

Look a little closer at these 2 photos of the Norco Aurum HSP carbon downhill bike and you’ll notice that they’re running slightly different rear suspension linkages.

norco downhill bike fort william dh
These new links might not see production.

The linkages are clearly marked with NF-1A and NF-1B and we can confirm that they do change the kinematics of the high-pivot rear suspension system. Norco wouldn’t say exactly what changes the different links offer, but they did suggest we probably won’t see these on production bikes anytime soon.

Mondraker wins the pits

fort william hero
So big they can fit the bus underneath!

Mondraker wins the pits for the 2019 Fort William DH World Cup with this monster inflatable tent straddled by two large Mondraker pods. It’s so massive that they’ve been able to erect it over their team bus and can easily fit a 12 seat dining table beneath it!

Meg Whyte’s Nukeproof Mega

meg whyte nukerproof mega
Meg Whyte’s stunning custom Mega.

Before the rain kicked off we bumped into Meg Whyte and her beautiful, custom, Nukeproof Mega. The blue and pink carbon bike has custom decals and is built up with a mix of kit from Hope, Fox and SRAM.

meg whyte nukerproof mega
Great Whyte Mega.

Fox is ready with the 29er forks

fox 49 tree 2019 fort william dh worldcup
2019. The year of the 29er.

Fox look ready to supply everyone in the pits with a pair of 29er Fox 49 forks. Sure there are a few sets of regular 40s in the mix too, but it really looks as though 2019 is the year of the 29er.

Tahnee Seagraves TR11

fort william 2019
Will this Transition be on the podium this weekend?

With the rain coming in and the weather expected to remain wet for Sunday’s race, the big question for a lot of people is who is going to take the win in the women’s race. Is Rachel going to storm to victory again in Scotland or will Tahnee Seagrave take the top spot? Who do you think will win?

Moir and Mulally’s Intense M29

Day 1 2019 Fort William DH World Cup: Spied in the pits
Neko Mulally’s race bike is still missing a teammate.

The Intense Factory Racing mechanics were busy working on Neko Mulally, and Jack Moir’s M29 race bikes, while they also scramble to find a replacement for Gwin’s stolen bike. Earlier in the week, we posted that Aaron Gwin’s M29 was stolen in Edinburgh, there have since been unconfirmed reports that the bike has turned up online for sale for just £800. Hopefully, the bike will be recovered and racing will resume as normal.

Madison/Saracen keeping the midges at bay

The pits were full of candles keeping the midges away.

Despite the rain, those pesky Fort William midges are out in full force. Team Saracen are dealing with the pesky little bugs with these candles, but the most interesting thing from their pits is what they were doing with their tyres. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t allow us to shoot a photo of what they were up to but we’ll be keeping an eye out to see if it works.

Adam Brayton’s Nukeproof Dissent

Adam Brayton's Nukeproof Dissent
Hope’d out Dissent.

After showing the Dissent off a few times in the past, Fort William actually acts as the official launch for the new downhill platform. The Dissent will be available in both 27.5 and 29er wheel options and should be available from Nukeproof dealers from later this year.

Being sponsored by Hope, Adam Brayton’s Dissent is completely Hope’d out and is fitted with Sweden’s finest suspension components. In fact, there might be something very special going on with that fork that we cannot speak about.

That’s all from day 1 at the 2019 Fort William DH World Cup, we should have more news tomorrow and throughout the week so stay tuned.

Andi is a gadget guru and mountain biker who has lived and ridden bikes in China and Spain before settling down in the Peak District to become Singletrack's social media expert. He is definitely more big travel fun than XC sufferer but his bike collection does include some rare hardtails - He's a collector and curator as well as a rider. Theory and practice in perfect balance with his inner chi, or something. As well as living life based on what he last read in a fortune cookie Andi likes nothing better than riding big travel bikes.

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