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By Zapata Espinoza
For the 2006 season the Trek Volkswagen Racing Team will have a stable of three bikes to choose from for all their racing endeavors. Below is a breakdown of the bikes has seen at the team’s training camp in Solvang, California. Please note that due to personal preference with some components, each bike will differ slightly between the team riders.
The Trek VW team bikes are expertly tuned and set up by team mechanic Zack Vestal and assistant mechanic Dave Meadows.
Jeremiah Bishop’s Elite 9.9
New for 2006, each rider on the Trek VW team will have an Elite 9.9 at their disposal for short track XC races and the occasional mudder. Jeremiah’s (large) bike hit the scales at 21.5 lbs.
The Rock Shox SID World Cup has been a mainstay fork on the team for years. Jeremiah runs relatively supple with 85psi (positive) and 80psi (negative). New for 2006 is the Motion Control damping adjustment used with remote lock-out.
For the majority of races, the team uses Bontrager Revolt Super-X 2.1 tubeless ready tires with Bontrager Super Juice sealant. The tires are mounted on Bontrager Race X Lite rims. The rear triangle of the Elite 9.9 has enough clearance to easily run a Bontrager Big Earl 2.3 tire.
Jeremiah has changed his position on the bike this year and now runs with a shorter and higher reach than before. The 90mm Bontrager Race XXX Lite stem (last year he ran a 105mm stem) has 12 degrees of rise and JB opts for the Bontrager Race XXX Lite flat bar cut to 22 inches wide. For grips, Bontrager grippy tape double wrap w/ Iso-Gel bar tape padding underneath. Cane Creek Solos remains the official team headset.
Shimano has been supplying the team with all their drivetrain needs since the team’s inception. Jeremiah runs a bone stock Shimano XTR system: disc brakes, Dual Control Shifters, 11-34 cogs, 22/32/44 chainrings, chain and 959 pedals. Like the Discovery Channel road team, the Trek VW riders use different Bontrager bottle cages for different courses, the lightest being the Race XXX Lite carbon cages.
Sue Haywood’s Top Fuel
The winningest full suspension mountain bike returns for another year of service. Like all the team bikes, the Trek Top Fuel 110 is handmade at the Trek Factory in Waterloo, Wisconsin, with Trek’s proprietary OCLV Carbon technology. Sue’s (medium) sized bike weighs in at 24.5 lbs.
One of the frame features that have helped make the Top Fuel so successful has been the PowerPoint rear triangle, which includes the Optimized Pivot and OCLV Carbon RockerLink tuned suspension. The Rock Shox MC 3.3 shock is run in the Motion Control setting with one click of MC gate and 40 psi. The Bontrager Race XXX lite OCLV Carbon seatpost is made at the Trek factory. Sue prefers the Bontrager X-Lite Pro saddle (in Trek Team Edition colors).
Due to the extra travel and larger diameter fork legs, all Trek VW riders run the Rock Shox Reba World Cup forks on their Top Fuels (for short-track XC they run the Rock Shox SID). Sue runs hers with 80psi (positive) and 70 psi (negative), and says the minimal weight gain (over the SID) doesn’t bother her due to improved ride quality.
Sue uses a (22″ wide) Bontrager Race XXX Lite riser handlebar on her top Fuel a Bontrager flat bar on her Elite 9.9. Rounding out the steering package are Bontrager Race Lite full-waffle grips, a 90mm Bontrager Race XXX Lite stem (at zero degree rise). Team mechanic Zack Vestal says he usually keeps 10mm of Bontrager carbon spacers on top of the stem for any potential change in positioning or if the fork ends up being used on another bike. For her race set-up, Sue removes the thumb paddles and runs the Shimano supplied rubber tab in its place.
Jon Posner’s Fuel Ex 9.5
In addition to their normal XC duties, both Chris Eatough and Sue Haywood competed in the new Super-D series last year aboard the four-inch-travel Trek Fuel Ex. Trek VW team manager Jon Posner jumped in the fray as well and came away with the NORBA series title in the Vet Expert class. For 2006, Posner and his cohorts will once again be competing in the quasi-DH series, but this time aboard the new OCLV Carbon Fuel EX 9.5. The Poz bike stands out with the “Flying Ace” paint scheme he chose from Trek’s Project One custom build program, which offers thousands of paint options.
Like the Top Fuel, the four-inch-travel Fuel Ex uses Trek’s R1 suspension system that relies on the PowerPoint rear triangle made up of the RockerLink linkage and Optimized single pivot design. The 2006 Fuel Ex runs a Rock Shox MC 3 shock.
Up front the Poz rig uses the new Rock Shox Revelation fork with U-Turn travel adjustment that offers 100 to 130mm of air sprung travel. Like last year, the Super-D riders use Bontrager Big Earl 2.3 tires. Poz also runs a Bontrager carbon stem/handlebar combo as well as the full Shimano drivetrain package.