If you’re looking for a bike that’ll give you no excuses on the race track, it’s difficult to look past the Mondraker Summum Carbon Pro Team.
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- Where does World Champs medal winner Laurie Greenland go riding?
Its race-winning credentials extend not only to victory at the final three rounds of the 2016 DH World Cup season, but also the top three steps of the men’s World Championships podium, under Florent Payet, Laurie Greenland and, of course, Danny Hart.
The frame is a full carbon fibre affair, in order to keep weight low and stiffness high. Mondraker’s ‘Forward Geometry’ theory gives it an extra-long top tube and reach for utmost stability in rough and loose conditions, and pairs it with a super-short stem for quick, dynamic handling.
While many pros use offset bushings or headsets — or even custom frames — Hart sticks with a stock size-large Summum, clearly happy with the design ethos. With a reach of 442mm and a wheelbase of 1,250mm, there’s certainly more room to play with than on many of his competitors’ bikes.
Down to the wire
Many racers chop and change their set-ups depending on the race, but Hart’s Mondraker remained largely the same throughout the 2016 season. The only significant change for the steep, dusty and loose World Champs track in Val di Sole, Italy, was to his bar height, which was raised 5mm with a 10mm stem spacer and a 5mm drop of the crown.
Hart runs a 30mm rise, 800mm wide Renthal Fatbar with a custom nine-degree sweep. When you’re riding at the ragged edge, every point of discomfort needs removing, so rather than using lock-on grips, Hart’s are glued and wired on. This removes the metal collars from the ends of the bar and suits his relatively small hands.
The two-time world champ keeps his suspension set-up largely consistent throughout the season too. Weighing 67kg, he runs 67.5psi in his Fox 40 Float fork, while his Fox DHX2 shock is fitted with a 425lb spring.
MS Mondraker’s mechanics reckon that changing the set-up too much would risk upsetting the balance of the bike, making punctures and wheel damage more likely — the last thing you want when you’re on a winning streak.
There may not have been any big changes during the year but Hart’s mechanic hasn’t been lazy. Instead, he’s used plenty of little tricks to keep the bike running fresh and fast.
Sticky-backed Velcro, toughened up with a heat gun, keeps the drivetrain quiet, car fuel-lines protect Hart’s cables from damage and foam dampens noise inside the frame, keeping distractions to a minimum.
With the Val di Sole track requiring a master’s degree in riding deep dust and blown-out corners, Hart opted to run Maxxis Shorty mud tyres, which have square spikes that are great at digging into soft dirt. While some riders cut their spikes down to maximise rolling speed, Hart’s were left untouched — grip in Val di Sole was in short supply, while gravity-assisted speed was there by the bucketload.
SRAM may have stopped speccing 203mm rotors with its Code brakes but Hart has a private store of them. He prefers the extra power they offer, bolstered by organic-compound pads.
True blue (and red and white)
Because racers represent their country, rather than their team, at the World Champs, it’s the perfect time to get a one-off paint job to show your true colours.
Hart didn’t hold back, getting Fatcreations to daub his Summum in the red, white and blue of the Union Flag — just in case you hadn’t twigged where the ‘Redcar Rocket’ comes from.
His frame, rims and bar all got the special treatment, while his CrankBrothers Mallet DH pedals had his nickname laser-etched on the cage, along with a tribute to Canadian racer Stevie Smith.
We’re looking forward to seeing him and his Summum back on the top step of the podium in 2017.
A closer look at the Summum Carbon Pro Team
Twin-link Zero suspension system
Mondraker’s twin-link Zero suspension system compresses the shock from both ends, giving a supple and supportive feel, with minimal pedal kickback and brake jack.
Fox 40 Float DH fork
Fox’s 40 Float DH fork pairs a stiff chassis with impressive damping. Hart runs 67.5psi in the air spring and sticks with the stock number of volume spacers.
Limited edition DT Swiss
Hart rides on limited edition DT Swiss wheels, based on its FR 1950 model. He helped develop them, along with Brendan Fairclough, so you know they’re going to be strong. At 67kg, Hart is pretty light for a DH racer, so he can run his tyres pretty soft — 23psi front, 27psi rear, even on a rough track like Val di Sole
SRAM X0 DH carbon cranks
Shorter than usual 165mm crank arms are ideal for keeping a high cadence and reduce the chance of rock strikes. SRAM’s X0 DH carbon cranks are stiff, light and strong, while a carbon e*thirteen LG1r guide keeps the chain in check
Many of the world’s best racers have hung onto Renthal handlebars. While its stock Fatbar has seven degrees of backsweep, Hart has custom bars with an extra two degrees of sweep — and on his World Champs bike, a custom paint job too
Why is this a super superbike?
With three World Cup rounds and the World Championships in the bag, Hart and the Summum are clearly doing something right!
It uses Mondraker’s groundbreaking ‘Forward Geometry’, which set the benchmark for the current crop of long and low bikes and has a patriotic paint job befitting a two-time world champ.