It’s time for another World Cup Downhill bike check! Our regular freelance photographer James Vincent was up at the recent Fort William Downhill World Cup shooting all of the action as well as spending some time in the pits capturing a selection of the best-looking bikes and innovative tech. Last week we took a detailed look at Danny Hart’s prototype Two15 high pivot bike; today we’re checking out home favourite Reece Wilson’s Trek Session high pivot race bike.
Crowd favourite Reece Wilson showed up at his home World Cup with a Scottish-themed custom paintjob courtesy of Trek.
The Trek Session has been around for well over a decade and, when it comes to its evolution, it has never stayed still. Starting out as a 26 inch-wheeled bike way back when, it’s morphed into a 27.5” machine before more recently accommodating big 29er hoops or the magic mash-up of 27.5” at the rear and 29” and the front, commonly referred to as a mullet (business up front, party out the back). We’ve seen Reece ride with both the mullet configuration and the full 29er setup in the past, however at Fort William the plucky Scot chose to run a pair of the big hoops in an effort to carry more speed over the long high-speed section that makes up the top of the course.
Reece would pilot his custom painted Trek Session to a fine 17th place on his ‘home track’ at Fort William.
The big shift in suspension configuration came last season when the Trek Session joined the high-pivot party; like a significant number of bike brands focused on racing the World Cup Downhill Trek made the shift over to a high-pivot rear end in an effort to make their premium race bike even faster over the rough stuff. A high-pivot moves the bike’s main pivot high above the chainring and the rear wheel axle to encourage an enhanced rearward axle path through the travel off the rear suspension. This is not something particularly new, however these new-generation high-pivot bikes have addressed a problem that plagued the previous generation bikes with the same configuration. In the past one of the potential drawbacks of this sort of setup was that chain growth and pedal kickback were an issue. As the rear axle travelled through its suspension the chain tightened and pulled back on the cranks; These new-generation high-pivot bikes have solved these age-old problems with an ‘idler’ which is basically an extra jockey wheel placed above the chainring, eliminating those issues and giving the benefit of a more plush suspension feel as your wheel moves rearwards and upwards away from obstacles rather than just upwards.
Reece’s custom paintjob was clearly inspired by the Saltire Scottish National Flag.
Being Reece’s home race the proud Scot was rewarded with a stunning custom paintjob from Trek, with a great-looking blue and white fade representing the Scottish Saltire flag, sometimes referred to as the St Andrews Cross. Scroll through the images below to see all the clever little details in his race-ready setup and to better understand Reece’s choice of components that helped him take on one of the season’s most demanding World Cup races, all expertly tuned by Trek Factory Racing’s head mechanic Joe Krejbich.
The custom Trek Session tuned and ready to race one of the World’s most demanding downhill tracks.
Former World Downhill Champion Reece Wilson may not have the Rainbow Stripes anymore but his Scottish-themed bike is pretty cool.
Reece’s Trek mechanic is focused on tuning the Session to be perfect for every run.
The ‘B’ on the rear coil-shock signifies that it’s part of Rockshox’s prototyping development program.
The Mino link allows the Trek team to make a small adjustment to the geometry of the Session.
It was a prototype last season and then went into production late last year – Trek joined the high-pivot party with the all-new Session.
All good high-pivot downhill bikes need a good idler jockey wheel to prevent chain growth and pedal kick back.
A no-nonsense 7-speed SRAM XO rear derailleur seems to be a pro-downhill staple on the World Cup scene.
A SRAM 7-speed trigger shifter gives a nice definite gear selection – perfect for when you’re under pressure mid-run.
Reece seems to run his SRAM Code RSC levers pretty close to the bars. Note the small amount of grip tape too.
Powerful SRAM 4-Por hydraulic pistons and large 220mm diameter rotors provide plenty of stopping power.
DT Swiss 350 hubs laced to Bontrager 29″ rims are fast rolling and tough enough to cope with the demands of the infamous Fort Bill course.
Reece chose to run 29″ wheels front and rear (no mullet setup for him!) with Bontrager Line DH 30 rims taking on the rough track.
Tyre choice is tricky for Fort William World Cup, with such varied terrain within the length of the course.
It’s a firm favourite within the pits – Crankbrothers Mallet DH pedals for Reece.
No mistaking who’s bike this is. Proud Scot Reece Wilson was flying the Scottish flag all weekend.
With amazing attention to detail Reece’s bike is proudly signed off by Trek Factory Racing’s head mechanic Joe Krejbich.
It wasn’t to be Reece’s day this time around; no podium this time for the Scot, but a still respectful 17th place showed he wasn’t too far off winning pace.
The latest Trek Session with its high pivot suspension configuration reflects the constant testing and development program at Trek Factory Racing.
Trek Session High Pivot Downhill Bike, full specification:
- Frame: Trek Session High Pivot, Alloy
- Shock: RockShox Boxxer Blackbox
- Fork: RockShox Boxxer Blackbox
- Cassette: SRAM X01 DH
- Derailleur: SRAM X01, DH 7-speed
- Shifter: SRAM X01, DH 7-speed
- Cranks: SRAM X01 DH, 165mm
- Chainring: SRAM X01 Eagle, 34t, 6mm offset
- Chain Device: MRP G4
- Brakes: SRAM Code RSC
- Rotors: 220mm front & rear
- Wheels: Bontrager Line DH30 32h Alloy Rims, DT Swiss 240 front hub, DT Swiss 350 rear hub
- Tyres: Bontrager G5 29”
- Stem: Title DM1 35, 46mm
- Handlebar: Title AH1, aluminum, 35mm diameter, 25mm rise, 780mm width, 8-degree backsweep, 5-degree upsweep
- Grips: ODI Longneck Slide-On
- Saddle: Title MS1
- Seatpost: Title AP1
- Pedals: Crankbrothers Mallet DH
- Fender: ProGuard
Written by Johnny Dodgin
Photos by James Vincent
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