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Mountains as Far as the Eye Can See

July 20, 2016

Mountains, mountains, mountains. As far as the eye can see. We are definitely in the Alps…

Words by Remi Gauvin, photos by Matt Wragg

La Thuile 2016 will go down as the most descending in 4 days I have done to date. In those days we descended 15,000m, wore through brake pads, and made a short career of tires. We also had a lot of fun.

La Thuile is on the French-Italian border near the famous mountaineering towns of Chamonix and Courmayeur. Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in Europe, loomed over most of the stages throughout the weekend, but the weather played nice.

Stages were almost all accessed by lift with the exception of stage one. This meant that while our legs were fresh at the start of each stage, the long steep runs were punishing on the rest of our bodies. Riders were complaining that their arms were dead by the end of each run. All stages were physical in their own way and each one had a solid dose of climbing. The energy we saved on the transfers was more than spent on the stages.

Stage 1 started across the valley from the ski resort, and was the one stage without chairlift access. We climbed Col San Carlo and then up into the alpine, 900 meters above La Thuile. The stage started with some typical tight European switchbacks before passing through grass fields and dropping into the woods below. Alex Cure and Andreane both finished 4th on this stage.

For Stage 2 we headed back to the lift and made our ascent to the start. This stage started in the alpine, flagged though rough rocks and gorse bushes, only burned in by the countless riders who were sent to ride through it. Next we cut through a farmers cattle field—in practice we'd encountered a herd of stubborn cattle here, and they could not give a damn if there was a bike race happening where they wanted to graze. Then, finally ending on an old access road that zig-zagged across the bottom of the hill. Andreane finished a career best 2nd place on this stage and Florian took 3rd in the men’s field.

Stage 3 was one of the fastest stages of the weekend, but also one of the longest, with a brutal climb at the bottom. Fast rock faces and high speed corners in the alpine, twisty woods in the middle, followed by some of the best steeps of the race. Just when you thought it might be all over the course turned a sharp right and sent us onto a gravel road pointing right back up the hill. During the race the crowds screamed at you to pedal, while your legs screamed at you to stop. Stage 3 one of the best of the weekend, but it was also one of the worst of the weekend.

A night off to reflect on the days racing went by quickly. Soon we were back on the top of the mountain about to drop into Stage 4—one of the longest and most physical stages of the race. It seemed that it was always just slightly flatter than you wanted.  A gravel road climb in the middle of the stage had me seeing red into the next section, and hanging on by a thread by the end of the stage. Andreane showed her fitness once again and backed up her first day with another 2nd place.

Stage 5, although not extremely physical, was very technical. Steep off camber sections meant that you had to be precise and patient in during the stage in order to shine. 

The final stage of the weekend stage had a mixture of the highlights of every stage of the race. Tight switch backs, technical off cambers, steep chutes and a solid climb in the middle of the stage. The bottom was lined with spectators as you entered the finish area. It was a great stage to finish the weekend on.

Florian Nicolaï said that although he was happy with his 5th place result, he didn’t perform his best in a few of the stages and it cost him. Nevertheless, his consistant performance bumped him up into 3rd place in the Overall category.

Jesse also felt that his 13th didn’t reflect his pace this weekend and a few mistakes on Stage 5 knocked him back in the overall. After injury troubles the last few rounds, it's great to see him smashing stages again.

Andreane was of course over the moon with her result. 3rd place in her first real race of the season!

Once again the team as a whole performed spectacularly. We were the number one team on the weekend and added 100 points to extend our lead in the Team Overall. Andreane finished a career-best 3rd, while Florian finished 5th in the men’s. Alex finished 11th, Jesse 13th and I finished 23rd. Seb also took 2nd place in U21, keeping pace in his season-long battle with Adrien Dailly.

Next stop, Aspen!

— Remi Gauvin

Zurück News Gestatten: die neuen Reaper und Growler Das Reaper hat die gleichen agressiven Trail-Gene wie unsere Fullys Thunderbolt und Altitude – nur eine Nummer kleiner für die nächste Generation an jungen Rippern. Das Growler vereint die Vorteile voluminöser 27,5+ Reifen mit unserer neuen Generation Trail spezifischer Rahmengeometrie und sorgt so für ein selbstbewusstes Fahrgefühl und jede Menge Fahrspass.
Vor News Fresh Threads on the Web Store New technical and lifestyle apparel available now, plus a Summer Sale!
News

In deinem Element

June 27, 2016

Einsatzgebiet: XC
Federweg vorne: 120mm
Federweg hinten: 100mm
Radgröße : 29 Zoll

Das Ergebnis aus 20 Jahren auf den Siegertreppchen dieser Welt: Das neue Element bietet eine noch effizientere Federungsperformance, eine überarbeitete Marathon Geometrie, Ride-9™ Einstellmöglichkeiten und Platz für zwei Wasserflaschen im vorderen Rahmendreieck. Nichts wurde dem Zufall überlassen und jedes noch so kleine Detail perfektioniert auf der Suche nach der ultimativen Fahrdynamik, Spurtreue und konkurrenzlosem Speed.

„Unser neues Element ist eine richtige XC-Marathon-Waffe mit Trail Bike Charakter als Munition“, sagt Produkt Direktor Alex Cogger. „Viele Athleten dachten, beim BC Bike Race würden sie den Tag auf endlosen Forstwegen dahinbrettern, um dann die Hälfte der Zeit bergab zu schieben oder die Einzelteile ihrer auf Gewicht getrimmten Bikes vom Trail aufzulesen. XC hat sich weiterentwickelt und Bikes, die den neuen Herausforderungen nicht gewachsen sind, sind auf diesen Trails fehl am Platz.“

Details:

  • Smoothwall™ Vollcarbonrahmen wiegt 2250g (Medium Rahmen, inklusive Dämpfer und Hardware. Speziallackierung für Team Only is 30g mehr.)
  • Ride-9™ Chip-Einsätze in der Wippe sparen Gewicht und Platz
  • Alle Rahmengrößen sind für die Aufnahme von zwei Wasserflaschen im Rahmendreieck ausgelegt
  • Voraus gedacht: Di2, Fox Live und Vario-Sattelstützen simultan kompatibel
  • Rahmen mit Special Edition Team Only Lackierung erhältlich
  • Lagerungen mit gedichteten Industrielagern und vereinfachter Hardware
  • Einseitig befestigte Kettenstreben-Achsen erlauben einen schlankeren Hinterbau und geben den Fersen selbst mit Boost Naben genügend Spielraum
  • Kompatibel mit Standard 6,5x1,5 Dämpfern
  • 2x kompatibel
  • Ausgelegt für Reifengrößen bis 29x2,35
  • Vollständig innenverlegte Schalt- und Lock-out-Züge, Vario-Stützen-Leitungen, sowie innenverlegte Bremsleitungen im vorderen Rahmendreieck
  • Überdimensionierte Öffnungen an Ober- und Unterrohr erleichtern das Zügeverlegen
  • Neugestaltetes Schaltauge vermindert die Komplexität der Konstruktion
  • Leichte Schraubachsen sparen 35g an Gewicht im Vergleich zu herkömmlichen Boost-Achsen
  • PressFit BB92 Tretlager, ZS44 | ZS56 Steuersatz
  • Postmount-Bremsaufnahme hinten für 160mm Scheibenbremsen
  • Max. Kettenblattgröße für 1x: SRAM 38 Zähne, Race Face 36 Zähne
  • Max. Kettenblattgröße für 2x: 28-40 Zähne
  • Größen: S/M/L/XL/XXL

Federung

Wir haben unsere Smoothlink™ Viergelenker Federung für verbessertes Anti-Squad und maximale Tritteffizienz ausgelegt, ohne dafür unser bewährtes Rocky Mountain Fahrgefühl zu opfern. Die Federung arbeitet durchgängig geschmeidig, während die progressive Federung Durchschläge verhindert. Unser Augenmerk galt einer guten Unterstützung und mehr Reserven unter Last im mittleren Bereich und wir erreichten dank eines geringeren Übersetzungsverhältnisses bessere Federungsperformance und mehr Einstellungsmöglichkeiten.

Party up front, business in the back. Das neue Element wurde speziell für 120mm Federgabeln entwickelt, damit einem nach vier Stunden Singletrails nicht die Arme abfallen. Das Ergebnis ist ein Bike, das einen im Anstieg hochkatapultiert, ohne technische Abfahrten zu scheuen.

Geometrie

Ein Geometrie-Facelift macht unser Element jetzt noch besser. Das einzigartige Fahrverhalten und das damit verbundene Selbstbewusstsein des bisherigen Elements haben wir natürlich übernommen. Die flachere Geometrie hält dich auf Kurs, selbst wenn du nach Stunden im Sattel schon anfängst, Sterne zu sehen. Ein längerer Gabelversatz sorgt dabei für die gewohnt präzise Steuerungsdynamik.

Verkürzte Kettenstreben, ein etwas längerer Reach und ein steilerer Sitzwinkel erlauben es uns, kürzere Vorbauten und breitere Lenker zu verbauen, ohne dabei die sehr effiziente Sitzposition für kraftvolles Pedalieren zu beeinflussen. Für all jene, die einen noch längeren Reach suchen, wird es das Element auch als XXL Version geben.

Ride-9™ System

Unser Ride-9™ System ermöglicht die gezielte Anpassung der Geometrie und Dämpfereigenschaften an die vielfältigen Anforderungen heutiger XC Strecken und Etappen-Rennen. Das von unseren Trail Bikes stammende Ride-9™ System ist jetzt direkt in der Wippe und nicht mehr im Rahmen verbaut - das erlaubt ein schlankes Design und spart Gewicht. Der Steuerwinkel kann von 69° zu 70° variiert werden, womit sich auch die Federkennlinie eines auf XC Rennen getrimmten Bikes zu den Charakteristiken eines aggressiveren Trail Bikes ändern lässt. Für mehrtägige Etappenrennen, Marathons und heutigen XC Rennen erhalten wir so mit nur wenigen Handgriffen immer die optimale Balance aus „bissig“, „reaktionsschnell“ und „souverän“.

Technologien

  • Unser patentiertes Ride-9™ System verwendet zwei verzahnte Chip-Einsätze, um die Geometrie und Federung des Bikes entsprechend dem Fahrstil, Gelände und Gewicht anpassen zu können.
  • Smoothwall Carbon basiert auf einem der weltweit anspruchsvollsten Herstellungsverfahren, die unseren Rahmen branchenführende Steifigkeit-zu-Gewicht Werte (STW), legendäre Fahrqualität und hohe Lebensdauer verleihen. Harte Formkerne ermöglichen perfekte Formgebung der Rahmeninnenseiten und verhindern so Materialüberschuss. Wir verwenden verschiedene Arten von Carbon in den unterschiedlichen Rahmenbereichen, um trotz geringem Gewicht die Steifheit und Stossfestigkeit unserer Rahmen zu maximieren.
  • Smoothlink™ Federungen bieten, anders als herkömmliche Ein- oder Viergelenker, gleichbleibend gute Unterstützung und geschmeidiges Ansprechverhalten für fast jeden Anwendungsbereich. Unser patentiertes System erlaubt es uns, Feinabstimmungen beim Bremsverhalten, Anti-Squat Effekt, Ansprechverhalten und Federprogression optimal für den jeweiligen Einsatzbereich unserer Bikes anzupassen.
  • Size Specific Tune™ erlaubt Ridern aller Größen, in den Genuss einer vom Werk aus optimalen Dämpferkinematik aus feinem Ansprechverhalten, guter Unterstützung und progressiver Federkennlinien zu kommen. Die Werte für dieses Feintuning kommen von unseren unzähligen Testfahrten unseres Design Teams und passen die Dämpfereinstellungen entsprechend an die jeweilige Rahmengröße an, von S bis XXL.

Models

Element 999 RSL // Element T.O. Frame

Element 990 RSL BC Edition (Colour 1 & Colour 2) 

Element 970 RSL (Colour 1 & Colour 2) **2x versions available in some markets**

Element 950 RSL. **2x version available in some markets** // Element 930 RSL model will be same colour as 950 RSL, but is not shown above.

Available late 2016. Pricing to be announced.

Zurück News Fresh Threads on the Web Store New technical and lifestyle apparel available now, plus a Summer Sale!
Vor Highlights Welcome to the Family Vaea Verbeeck We filmed this little shredit with Vaea last year. She's been part of the Rocky Mountain family for a while now, and she's chomping at the bit to get racing in Lenzerheide next month.
Highlights

Welcome to the Family Vaea Verbeeck

June 22, 2016

Vaea has been part of the Rocky Mountain family for a while now. We filmed this little shredit with her last year, but ran into some computer issues before we could share it. She's currently on the mend from a collarbone injury in Lourdes, but she's chomping at the bit to get racing in Lenzerheide next month.

Who are you and what are you all about?

My name is Vaea Verbeeck. I was born in Tahiti, French Polynesia, and raised in Granby, Quebec. Growing up with my mom and older sister didn't stop me from being a total tomboy. I’ve always wanted to be the best at every sport: gymnastics, dancing, swimming, skiing, snowboarding, climbing, volleyball, soccer, you name it. But after progressing and learning, I’d stall in my motivation. They just weren’t for me.

At 16 I borrowed a downhill bike at Bromont, and I was hooked. The following year I got myself a bike and it didn't take me long to register for a downhill race. A few years later I was entering World Cups and knew that I’d found my sport. After finishing school in 2012, I rushed straight to North Vancouver and have been living the mountain life dream ever since. 

I’m currently working at the Lululemon Athletica head office during the off-season and pulling the plug every summer to race the World Cup circuit.

Strengths?

Not scared, strong, calm, bike park tracks (lame I know), rocks, jumps.

Weaknesses?

PEDALLINNNNNNG uphill. That shit is hard on the body and mind. I'm also pretty good at breaking bones, not gonna lie. I got my fair share over the years, it's a fine line.

What's your favourite race?

I think my favourite race was World Champs at Hafjell, Norway in 2014. I’d gone a couple of days early and just enjoyed the park there. I loved the track; good jumps, good high-speed technical woods, and good corners. Seemed to suit me well too, I got 6th—my best result so far.

Tell us about what you do off the bike. What are your off-the-bike goals?

Life without bikes exists? 

I spend a lot of time working out, indoors in the winter. Plus I take full advantage of the West Coast outdoor lifestyle: hiking, snowboarding, camping, bouldering, and food. Love food. #activities

What's good?

I'm happiest at races. Over the years I’ve developed a sort of second family at the races, and rolling through the pits with your mates on the way to practice is perfect. It maybe doesn't feel that exciting when you're out there, but when I’m out with an injury I have major FOMO.

What bikes are you riding right now?

  • Rocky Mountain Maiden
  • Rocky Mountain Altitude Rally Edition
  • Rocky Mountain Flow

How do you set your bikes up? Anything unique?

Slack and low to plough through the rough stuff. Otherwise pretty standard. 

Who's your favourite rider?

I'm scared to watch sometimes, but Brook MacDonald. Wild lad. Open throttle!

What is on your playlist right now?

Right now: ODESZA, Jupe, some Rihanna, Kilter, Tim Legend, Møme. It's all over the place. 

Favourite websites?

  • Pinkbike
  • Vital MTB
  • Youtube (gotta watch them Supercross replays somehow) 

If you were the boss of mountain biking, how would you change things?

Easy. I started racing because I loved discovering new tracks and challenges. If logistics and finances could allow it, I would love to see new race tracks every year! New places and new experiences.

Goals for 2016-2017?

I've been on the mend getting back from different serious injuries over the last few years. The goal is to stay on the bike more. Being off the bike is the last place I want to be. Setting my limits and be in the game for the next few years would be the best. 

I am eyeing up another National Champion title. I always want to better myself and my results. So technically, improving on a 6th place would be a World Cup podium. However, I am going for my best performance, not a result. I'll be happy to get back to races and give it my best. It's worked for me in the past.

Shout outs?

A bunch of rad people! Rocky Mountain and Hope Tech make it happen for me. Also, Troy Lee Designs, FiveTen, Oakley, Atlas Brace, Rockwell Watches, Crankbrothers, and JFG Nutrition for making me sweat a ton. 

Anything else?

Go out and play!

Video by Brian Park, Music by Sonny Parmar. Photos by Sam Needham courtesy Hope Tech. Additional photos by Brian Park and Margus Riga. 

Zurück News In deinem Element Introducing the new 2017 Element, our flagship XC bike.
Vor Highlights Dumbing Down the Shore Wade Simmons finally speaks out on what he calls the "de-gnarification" of Vancouver's North Shore.
Highlights

Flo Like Water

March 06, 2016

Florian Nicolaï is one of the most creative riders on the EWS circuit. His unique style threatens the podium at every race he enters. The Maritime Alps are home to some of the most technical tracks in the world, and working on this project over the winter showed us just how good Flo really is.

"This part of the world is the birthplace of Enduro. The Maitime Alps have produced some of the best riders on the planet, like Nico Vouilloz, Fabien Barel, Loic Bruni, and many others. The terrain and the culture make the difference—the trails have been here for centuries and were not made to ride, but to walk. So when you can find the flow here you’re a damn good rider." — Fred Glo, Godfather of Enduro & Owner of Urge bp

"Flo is insane. I don't understand half the stuff he does, but it's fun to watch!" — Jesse Melamed, Rally Team teammate

"Flo is a weirdly fast alien on a bike. He's got creative trail vision, and is one of the first riders coming up to have started out as a pure Enduro racer. Even after two strong EWS seasons taking 5th and 4th place overall, you get the feeling he's hungry for more results. Can't wait to see how this season unfolds." — Brian Park, Rocky Mountain Bicycles

Watch for Flo and the rest of our Rally Team throughout the entire Enduro World Series season. See you on track!

Rider: Florian Nicolaï
Bike: Altitude Rally Edition
Filmed by: Variable Visual, Sébastien Biget, & TS-Drone
Edited & Produced by: Brian Park
Photos by: Matt Wragg
Presented by: Rocky Mountain Bicycles & Urge bp
Supported by: Shimano, Maxxis Tires, Fox Racing Shox, Stan’s NoTubes, Race Face Performance Products, Royal Racing, 7 idp, FTI Consulting, Smith Optics, WTB, OneUp Components, Clif Bar, Evoc, Val d’allos
Music: Azad Right — Son of Sam
Thanks to: Fred Glo, Gaetan Riou, Matt Wragg

Zurück News Maiden World Cup Wins Downhill Bike of the Year We're beyond stoked to announce that Decline Magazine has chosen the Maiden World Cup as their 2016 Downhill Bike of the Year!
Vor News Video: Carson Storch in Barcelona Our newest freeride team member crosses the pond for warmer temperatures and new spots. Good vibes in this film by Harrison Mendel.