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Noisy Bikes, Small Bikes - Vital RAW - 2010 World Cup DH 17

Hard to believe this was 10 years ago! The bikes have changed, some riders have come and gone, but downhill racing is still the best ever!

Credit: John Lawlor's Handycam

sspomer sspomer 4/26/2020 7:39 AM

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ah the good ol' days.

Brendog and blenki were some of the loosest riders on the circuit. Ben Reid would win practice. Blackbox program in full force. Rider's kits looked more like pajamas than race kits. Those mudguards haha (how didn't with think of fenders before) Carbon frames were just starting to be introduced into WC racing (I was a skeptic). Peaty was on the hunt. Freecaster. Everyone as a whole was looser on a bike and made those tracks seem extra gnarly. Crazy how far we've come in a decade....

Can we get another one of these but even earlier on? When did Vital RAW become a thing? Also Spomer, can we get a compilation of all the super slow-mo vids? Loved those!

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Riders, in order of appearance:

Maribor: Gee, Slugger, Polc?, Brendan, Peaty, Brendan

Ft. Bill: Peaty, Danny?, Greg, Karver, Rach, Greg, Matti, Peaty, Gee, Greg, Blenki, Bryn, Peaty, Troy, Gwin.

Leogang: Cam Cole?, Brendan, Matt Simmonds, Blenki, Peaty, Matti (flat), Needles, Joe Smith?, Blenki, Gee, Danny, Peaty (Sam trackside), Brendan.

Champery: Dougie Fresh, Brendan, Peaty, Matti, Ben Reid, winner of training <3, Gee, Cedric, Slugger, Brendan, Gwin, Josh, Sik Mik, Greg & Steve, Blenki, Gwin, Reid.

Val di Sole: Slugger-winner, Gee with Joe Smith in front, Greg, Gwin, Needles, Cedric with Simmonds trackside, Peaty, Josh, Blenki, Gee, Chainsaw, Gwin, Slugger, Peaty.

Windham: Gee, Brendan, Danny, Troy, Gwin, Brendan, Gwin, Gee, Stevie, Hannah & Gwin, Gee, Peaty, Peaty, Greg, Peaty, Gwin, Blenki, Slugger, Gwin, Greg, Sam, Greg, Ben Reid, Troy, Brendan, Nick Beer, Danny, Peaty, Gee, Gwin..

Did I skip a beat?

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It was posted as a challenge in one of our local FB groups. It seems I managed to kill the vibe for everyone else. Either that, or people don't give a damn. I can't wait for the next one, hopefully there is fuel in the RAW tank. Have I mentioned how I love Vital? I love Vital! :D

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That was amazing!

I feel the long bikes didn’t work back then because the small wheels would “push” too much. Not enough weight on the front wheel with its small contact patch.

Interesting watching the riders hitting their knees on their grips a few times.

Seems like the bikes were setup softer too, trying to get grip, the modern bikes are so much more hooked up they can be set up firmer. I like modern bikes set up soft for max control though!! Call me old school!

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Will we ever see anyone as loose as Blenki on 26" wheels ever again? His jeyrsey being 2 sizes too big just adds to the awesome factor.

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One of the first seasons of WCDH I followed closely. Peaty in the stripes, Minnaar and Gee going down to the wire for the points... that was a good year.

Also: pretty sure this is the footage that precedes Matti walking down his trashed wheel at 3:05. I've never forgotten the sound of that wheel exploding against the tree.

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What was it that kept these riders from sizing up (for longer reach) on the frames? Did they universally think shorter wheelbase was better for DH?

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I think it wasn’t being thought about as much. Bikes were evolving in other ways. I remember Mondraker came out with their DH bike and it had longer reach and a 62 degree head angle. Most people thought it was over the top.

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I have a completely unsubstantiated theory that the equipment back then wasn't up to today's speed: wheelsize, suspension and tyres in particular have come a long way. Not sure the grip was good enough to handle the speeds that a longer bike would have allowed.

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So weird how few people are track side and how quiet it is because of that. Much different from the crowds in recent years and the atmosphere that creates.

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