Vali Höll goes into Saturday’s UCI World Championship downhill elite women’s race among the leading riders – and this is the custom-painted Trek Session that the Austrian will ride.
Höll arrived in Les Gets, France, in red-hot form having won the Mont St. Anne round of the World Cup in Canada, only last week. Can the 20-year-old, who won the junior world title in 2019, stand on the top step of the elite podium?
Höll gets this smart Trek Session for the Les Gets worlds, with a slew of new or unreleased SRAM/RockShox parts.
That includes a BlackBox Boxxer fork which, we’re guessing, features the new Charger 3 damper and DebonAir+ air spring, introduced on the 2023 RockShox Pike, Lyrik and ZEB forks earlier this year. From what we can see here, we reckon Höll is also using beefier 38mm upper tubes, as found on the single-crown RockShox Zeb fork.
The RockShox Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate shock is also new, while the BlackBox kit extends to the yet-to-be-released SRAM Code (we assume) brake calipers.
As for the Trek Session high-pivot bike itself, this is different to the production model, with an updated idler/chainstay arrangement for Höll.
There’s lots to look at here, so let’s get stuck in.
Vali Höll’s custom Trek Session ready for action at the Les Gets World Championships in France. Alongside the special paint job, look closely and you’ll see that the machine in front of you here, is a little different to the production version of the bike. Jack Tennyson / Our Media
A BlackBox Boxxer fork, from headline sponsor RockShox, sits proudly at the front of Höll’s bike. SRAM (parent company of RockShox) BlackBox components will only ever be found on the bikes of the brand’s top-performing sponsored riders, as part of the RockShox’s special prototype, development and testing program. We’re guessing that this BlackBox Boxxer features some form of the new Charger 3 damper, DebonAir+ air spring and, by the looks of it, beefier 38mm upper tubes as found on the single-crown ZEB. Jack Tennyson / Our Media
The new RockShox Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate shock takes care of the 200mm of rear-wheel travel. Look closely at the lower shock eyelet and you’ll see a flip-chip that’ll let you tune how progressive the back-end of the bike is. At this point, Höll (well, her mechanic) has it set to 25 per cent rather than 20 per cent, as this will likely work better with the coil shock fitted here. Jack Tennyson / Our Media
Höll’s not quite found her junior form (where she completely dominated the category for the duration of the time she was in it) since joining the elite women’s field, but still managed to clinch the overall World Cup title in 2021 and now has a slew of wins and podiums under her belt. After recently winning the Mont St. Anne World Cup in Canada, she’s looking to carry that winning form over to Les Gets and earn her first senior set of rainbow stripes. Jack Tennyson / Our Media
SRAM Code RSC brake levers and the latest HS2 rotors (which are 200mm rather than the bigger 220mm options) are items we’re all familiar with. The new calipers that can be seen on Höll’s bike are something new and rather special, though. More on these in a moment. Jack Tennyson / Our Media
Lever angle is a really personal thing and will vary from rider to rider. Jack Tennyson / Our Media
Just in case you wondered about Höll’s bar setup, SRAM’s Truvativ bars have the details usefully printed on them. Of course, we’re assuming the bars are left at the full 760mm width, although they could be cut down further. At 20mm, the rise is relatively low, compared to what we’re seeing elsewhere in the pits. Jack Tennyson / Our Media
One of the features of the new 2023 RockShox Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate shock is the Hydraulic Bottom Out adjuster which allows riders to fine-tune the final part of the shock’s stroke. Jack Tennyson / Our Media
The BlackBox kit extends further than just the fork. Here, you can see the new yet-to-be-released Code (we’re assuming) calipers. Again, only a handful of riders are fortunate enough to sport these, Höll being one of them. Jack Tennyson / Our Media
If you think this Session looks a little different to the production version, you’d be right. We’re used to seeing the chainstay wrap around either side of the idler wheel, yet here, it’s mounted externally. Trek could have potentially shifted its position to alter the level of anti-squat the bike has, or upped the size of the idler. Jack Tennyson / Our Media
The Boxxer Club. If you’re in this, chances are you’re one of the best in the world at riding bikes down hills. Jack Tennyson / Our Media
These CushCore valves are a clear indicator that Höll is running puncture-preventing/bump-damping tyre inserts at the front and rear of her Session. The DT Swiss EX511 wheels are running on Maxxis Minion DHR II tyres. Jack Tennyson / Our Media
The Ergon SM Downhill Pro Titanium is Höll’s saddle of choice. Jack Tennyson / Our Media
There’s certainly no doubting who this rather lovely Trek Session belongs to. Jack Tennyson / Our Media