Final weekend noticed the 2023 UCI MTB World Cup Downhill get off to an exciting begin in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Quite a lot of new prototype frames made their debut, most notable being Bernard Kerr’s lugged Phoenix with two chains, and Brook MacDonald’s Mondraker Summum full with a multi-position BB module. In the meantime, over at Dice Manufacturing facility Racing, Danny Hart was on a subtly up to date model of his Dice TWO15 Prototype – full with a monstrously massive floating brake arm.
A few of it’s possible you’ll recall that Danny’s season was pressured right into a late begin after he needed to abandon the Lourdes check occasion with a view to deal with a gnarly pores and skin an infection on his leg (view right here with warning). We’re happy to report that Danny is absolutely recovered, and was capable of lay down a really respectable race run in Lenzerheide. He was really second quickest by way of the velocity entice with a velocity of 57.14 km/h – bettered solely by race winner Jordan Williams’ 57.96 km/h.
Danny went nicely on the brand new body, putting twelfth in finals with a time of 02:44.234 – simply over 5 seconds again from Jordan. It’s doubtless the 2011 and 2016 Downhill World Champion hoped for extra final weekend, but it surely’s undeniably a strong begin to the season. Listed below are the small print on the Yorkshireman’s race bike.
Danny Hart’s Dice TWO15 Prototype
At 178 cm tall (5ft 10″) Danny Hart is on a 469mm attain Dice TWO15 prototype, with a devoted mullet wheel dimension configuration. As in comparison with the present TWO15 HPC 29 that Danny raced in 2021, the brand new bike nonetheless runs a Horst-Hyperlink (four-bar) suspension platform, however the location of the primary pivot is a bit increased, necessitating use of an loafer pulley to attenuate the damaging results of chain development.
The loafer pulley is mounted on to the body’s entrance triangle, and so it’s place doesn’t change because the rear wheel is pushed by way of its journey. That’s in distinction to some excessive(er) pivot designs whereby the loafer is mounted to a decrease hyperlink or the chainstay – as is the case with i-track designs – and thus loafer place relative to the BB adjustments all through the journey.
Danny really prefers the texture of a coil shock, however the clock says that he goes quicker on an air spring. Certainly, he has run a coil shock for many of his profession, however the staff’s timed testing in San Remolo revealed that the air shock saves him round two seconds on a two minute monitor. That’s too huge a margin to disregard, and so in Lenzerheide final weekend, Danny’s bike was residence to the Fox Float X2, bolted to the body within the much less progressive of two potential positions.
In that air can, Danny is working 202 PSI with 3 quantity spacers. Within the Fox 40 Manufacturing facility Fork, now we have 84 PSI with 6 quantity spacers. Danny’s mechanic tells us he likes fairly a light-weight compression tune, with rebound damping on the quicker aspect.
New for this season is the addition of a floating brake arm. As a substitute of mounting the rear brake caliper to the keep, Dice have mounted it to a secondary construction that’s mounted to the entrance triangle. Thus, all forces related to rear braking are transmitted into that over-sized backside bracket area, as a substitute of into the body linkage the place they may negatively affect the suspension’s potential to maintain the rear wheel monitoring true – this property exhibited by suspension linkages is usually known as anti-rise.
Depending on the linkage design in query, a yank on the rear brake when the bike is rolling at velocity could cause the suspension to increase, or it will possibly trigger it to compress. Arguably, neither of those outcomes are splendid, and so many suspension producers work to maintain anti-rise figures near 100% across the sag level, whereby the suspension stays impartial below braking. The newest Actofive P-Prepare 165 is an effective instance of that.
We haven’t spoken to the Dice engineers particularly on this, however it’s doubtless their use of the floating brake arm is bettering the bike’s journey really feel particularly in heavy braking situations. Danny Hart himself tells us he prefers the bike with this brake arm, having raced the present prototype with out it all through final season. And, timed testing reveals the brake arm makes the bike quicker, too.
On this prototype, an over-sized headtube accommodates reversible headset cups that permit for head angle adjustment of +/- 0.6°. Danny opts for the steeper of the 2 positions.
Within the cockpit, a 20mm rise Race Face Atlas bar is reduce right down to 780mm and clamped to a 50mm customized stem. Danny prefers to roll the bar again additional than most.
His mechanic tells us that the staff riders have two Schwalbe tire casings accessible to them at a race weekend – “a downhill casing and downhill casing with a bolstered sidewall”. We deduce this to seek advice from the Schwalbe Tremendous Downhill and Tremendous Gravity casings, respectively. Danny prefers the previous, it being the lighter of the 2 choices, as a result of it helps him pedal quicker out of corners and out of the beginning gate.
Thus, when the monitor isn’t too suffering from sharp rocks and roots, he’ll run the lighter tire within the rear with out use of a tire insert. If he begins to puncture or dent rims, he’ll add a CushCore, or simply swap to the heavier, extra bolstered tire with out the CushCore. On the entrance, Danny at all times opts for the lighter tire with out an insert.
Final weekend, Danny was working the entrance wheel of the recently-released DT Swiss FR 1500 Traditional wheelset, residence to twenty-eight spokes and a DT Swiss 541 rim. On the rear, we noticed a DT Swiss EX 511 rim laced to a Ratchet EXP hub with the 36t ratchet. Each rims had been residence to a brand new “First Journey” tire from Schwalbe that includes an all-new tread sample; the title of this one was blanked out.
Good luck to Danny and the remainder of the Dice Manufacturing facility Race Staff this weekend in Leogang. Tomorrow might herald some rain, so we could not get the tremendous dusty, dry situations seen in Lenzerheide!