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Charlie Hatton – LaPierre DH | Dropping In

Over the past year one name more than any seems to have cropped up in local conversation…Charlie Hatton. I swear it’s been ‘Charlie Hatton this, Charlie Hatton that’ for about a year. I was beginning to think ‘Christ, give the boy a break’, actually give me a break. Then I got a text from a good friend backing up his credentials, “and he would have won series but for an injury, and most importantly, he’s a nice guy.”

DIRT ISSUE 133 – MARCH 2013

Words by Steve Jones. Photo by Steve Jones

At this point the name had gone national in downhill circles and Hatton had just sorted out another year riding for ‘Fly Up Downhill’, which operates near Dirt HQ in the Forest of Dean and recently Gawton in Devon.

It also just so happened that I was looking to get a long term test bike in for our semi–regular ‘Committed’ feature, which aims to get the right rider in the right place on the right bike. Ady: a Molini guide on a Trek Slash, Sean: a long–haul trail rider on the Norco Shinobi, Jon Gregory: Surrey Hills ripper Ghost AM, Billy: Dirt’s web editor on a lightweight custom damped 1×11 Liteville. I wondered if Hatton would be up for the challenge, after all the feature was really needing a bit of shape and style to it.

A very fine Lapierre DH Team arrived in the office, Hatton lined up to put it to the sword for the season aiming for a solid transition into the youth category in the process. He hasn’t really spent much time off the podium over the last few years since progressing from Ripper category through Juvenile. His results speak of someone who is incredibly consistent, he’s certainly good at hitting his lines.

It looks set to be a really exciting year, and whilst the boy from Elwood will be taking in new territories back here it’ll be down to the basics, for fine–tuning will clearly play a part with one of the longer travel bikes on the market (220mm). As a high–end bike we’ll be working with Hatton looking at the function and reliability of the Lapierre’s flagship, from wheels to tyres, suspension and brake pads. It’s a bike that has been in the mix at the very highest level, podiums included. All we’re hoping for is that he rides the wheels off it whilst having a ball doing so.

Price £5499

www.lapierre-bikes.co.uk

 

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