YOU DIDN’T KNOW THIS BUT…
Joe Graney, Santa Cruz Bikes Chief Operations Officer
The new V10 project started when Greg wanted to start working on a bike to win the 2013 World Championships in his hometown of Pietermaritzburg. It was two days after he’d won the 2012 World Champs in Leogang.
He’d already convinced himself that big wheels were the winning ticket. So we built an aluminum mule and did timed sessions against his existing bike. The results were inconclusive.
“Make it longer” he said. So we did.
“Make the chainstays longer too”. So we did.
“Keep the BB the same height.”
What Greg goes fast on goes against what most forum nibblers claim is perfect geometry. But we listened. You don’t argue with fast.
The mule wasn’t raced and the 2013 World’s “pedally track” was won on his 26-inch wheeled coil-equipped stock V10. By that point Greg had tried every possible 27.5 combination, so we were quickly able to have new bikes ready to race the 2014 season. Josh took to it like a rat up a drain pipe. Greg regretted not going EVEN longer, so we tooled up another front triangle just for him and Steve.
We spend a lot of time analysing the difference in weight distribution between the Syndicate riders. We’ve experimented with even longer chainstays and custom links that push the wheelbase out even further. And that worked for Greg on tracks like Val Di Sole this year… a course that “didn’t suit him”.
Based on that, we introduced a longer XXL V10 which now has longer chainstay specific to that size.
“Greg has been testing longer chainstays on his XXL with custom links depending on the track”
Greg’s obsession with set-up, combined with Marshy’s attention to detail gives the engineering team a ton of feedback to go on. The trend of long front centers and short chainstays may create front end stability with playful rear ends. But fun doesn’t always mean faster… we’re focused on the latter.
The whole process came from Greg. Even though we went to exactly where he said he wanted the XL to be, he experimented with longer headsets and 60mm stem on it. Which couldn’t have been done before. So we just said fuck it, let’s make another front. It all happened pretty quick really – at least from our end. It was only one race in with the new bike when the decision to make another size up was made and he was racing it right away. Taking it from sample to production takes longer.
We settled on 17.3″ for production, which ratty races (on a size large). Greg has been testing longer chainstays on his XXL with custom links depending on track.
They (chainstays) do for some conditions and styles of riding but the punters have trouble hearing that.