The Santa Cruz Syndicate downhill team have confirmed they've switched to Shimano shifting and brakes after eight years with SRAM. They've also revealed they'll be using Fox Racing Shox suspension.
The squad have released a video and a load of images – which you can check out in our gallery – from their pre-season testing camp in Imperia, Italy. These show team members Steve Peat, Greg Minnaar and Josh Bryceland pinning it on their new full-carbon Santa Cruz V10s.
These are fitted with Fox 40 forks and DHX RC4 shocks, Shimano Saint cranks and gearing, and XTR brakes. Other kit includes Chris King hubs and headsets, ENVE Composites cockpit kit and carbon wheels, and Maxxis tyres.
“We were getting everyone up to speed on the new full-carbon frame, Fox suspension and Shimano components," said Santa Cruz boss Rob Roskopp, via press release. "With the frame being much lighter than the previous version we had to dial the suspension in because of less unsprung weight."
He added: "I’ve been riding the new XTR brakes for some time now and can’t get over how impressive they are, particularly with modulation. Feedback from all the racers was what I was expecting – a new milestone in performance.”
Testing took place on the long downhill track in San Romolo, with shuttle assistance from Roberto Vernassa of Argentina Bike. A five-man crew from Fox were on hand with data acquisition equipment to get the squad's suspension dialled.
New mechanic Jason Marsh said: “I’m super-happy that we're using Fox Racing Shox and Shimano for the 2012 season. The new Fox 40 forks suit the carbon V-10 frame perfectly and the RC4 rear shock really complements the VPP suspension design. The riders were all impressed on how good the bikes felt, even after the first run."
He added: "I've worked with the Saint groupset for the last three seasons and I really like how it works. Saint cranks are super-strong, the brakes are simple to set up, and the rear derailleur and shifter are super-smooth and a nice setup. Finish and attention to detail can’t be matched. The support offered by the Fox team over the last few days has been superb and their race support is second to none. 2012 will be a great season.”
So, what did the riders reckon? "We came up with some great setups and I'm now looking forward to the season," said Steve Peat. "Now it’s our turn to give it a thrash on our V-10s. 2012 should be fun!”
Shimano said they were looking forward to a "successful and exciting" 2012 season with the Syndicate, while Fox said they were excited about bringing their suspension expertise to the race programme and were hoping to learn from Steve, Greg and Josh in order to continue improving their products. You can read the full Santa Cruz Syndicate press release here.