With the opening round of the French Enduro Cup behind them the Dirt team headed into town to tackle 2012 products and a face-off with the Sram team at Zebra 3.

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Yes it was a code for trouble in the Seventies and its still trouble today. A hard day on the hill is enough of a work out but match this up with a night at Les Get’s infamous bar and you have a mighty potent cocktail. Here’s a quick look at what we have in store over the next few weeks….

We began our journey with a trip to Mavic and some extended riding on their updated Crossmax ST and SX wheelsets. The ST sees significant strengthening in both the rim and hub area, so much so that Jerome Clementz will probably be using them at the Mega. The SX has less change but there’s more of a whir around one of our favourite wheels for 2012. From smashing rocks on Semnoz trail above Annecy to two days at the Alpine Battle - still no sign of alignment issues from the masters of the total wheel system package.

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The beaten up banks of Les Gets were the perfect tonic for some 160mm fork bashing too. The 2012 Fox 36 Float was one of the forks at the top of our list, it didn’t disappoint, although Mojo’s modified Float with RC2 cartridge shone very brightly on the high speed terrain too.

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High Roller 2’s. Yup we had a pair to stick us through the corners on our final and only fully dry day.

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DPP_94

Bell have a new downhill helmet out for next year. Reminds me of the original Bell Moto, inside featuring some extremely well crafted cushioning whilst externally they have the proportions all sorted. Looks set to be a favourite.

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DPP_97

SRAM had Peaty and Brendan over to launch the new X0 DH derailleur and crank. Out the back the mech now has parity to the angle of the much closer ratio/shallower angled 10 speed cassette with only very minor weight differences to standard X0. We didn’t get a ride on the new cranks but they look “super awesome" apparently. I don’t like to say much on these two items for a full shoot/video will be up on site very soon.

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How cool is this - an integrated hidden adjustable Reverb Stealth seatpost. Shame that only Scott and Trek have use of it!

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Scott handed out some superb knee and arm pads – straight in at number one, they’re snug fitting, have the protection in the correct place, well vented and …well generally brilliant to wear. Good work.

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The Orange Alpine was one of the bikes we used for the French Enduro Cup, its also one of our benchmark 160 bikes. Torben at SRAM strengthened the tune for the faster tracks out here and also presented us with an SWorks Enduro with standard Monarch Plus - simply sublime. Monarch Plus IS the answer to Specialized Enduro owners.

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Vouilloz, now plays a key part in testing for Lapierre – here in Les Gets he was out on Boxxers to do comparison testing for the first time in at least five years.

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Not sure what you call a male cougar – anyhow here’s Tony Hollywood with Le Cougan

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Tuto MTB – nearly caught with their trousers down

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MBR’s Danny Milner with some big numbers – big entry at the Passportes too.

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And so to the scene of the crime.