Danny Hart just made it four races in a row, and his second World Championship, with an absolutely riotous run down the steep, dusty, rocky and rooty Black Snake run in Val di Sole.
- Greg Minnaar's Santa Cruz V10 World Championship Bike
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Mondraker’s Summum downhill bike dominated the Men’s podium, occupying the top three spots — it’s also clearly a special day for the Spanish brand. Here’s our look at Danny’s race-winning bike.
Mondraker was the first big name brand to bring extra long front centres to its bike’s geometry, branded Forward Geometry. This makes the Summum one of the longest bikes on the circuit, with Danny’s size Large featuring a 1,250mm wheelbase and 442mm reach. At 178cm, Danny is still comfortable on such a large frame, but doesn’t run any adjustable headsets to increase reach, like some other racers do.
For Val di Sole, and the previous weekend’s Vallnord races, Danny’s mechanic raised the bars by 5mm — a 10mm spacer is placed under the stem, but the crown is dropped by 5mm to give the right rise. Danny runs Renthal bars, but while standard ones have a 7-degree backsweep, Danny has 9 degrees. He also ran the 30mm rise versions, plugged into a 40mm stem — oh, and Fat Creations did a stunning job on the paint…
Like fellow World Champion, Rachel Atherton, Danny doesn’t use lock-on grips, instead preferring super-soft compound versions wired in place — largely as he doesn’t get on with the bulk of a regular lock-on.
Unlike many riders at Val di Sole, Danny’s suspension was kept pretty similar to other rounds of the World Cup. At 67kg he runs 67.5psi in the fork with the stock amount of volume spacers and a 425lb spring out back. By changing settings, his team believes the balance of the bike would become upset. This makes the bike feel bad and, they reckon, increases the chance of punctures and wheel damage. After all, given the previous few rounds, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Danny ran Limited Edition DT Swiss wheels, we believe based on the FR 1950. His Maxxis Shorty tyres, run here thanks to the epic levels of dust, were tubeless at 23 and 27psi, front and rear respectively. Unlike some, his spikes weren’t cut down as all-out grip is required at Val di Sole, not rolling speed.
SRAM Code brakes are a popular choice on the circuit, thanks to their punchy power, but ample modulation. Organic pads offer plenty of power, and the team has a dwindling stock of 203mm rotors — SRAM has now moved to 200mm standard, so they’re slowly running out — even the extra 3mm diameter will add a bit of power.
While many of the bikes details are relatively stock, Danny’s mechanic has a few tricks up his sleeve. While sticky-back Velcro is a common addition to chainstays to reduce chain slap, here a heat gun is applied to gently melt the little hairs. They reckon this makes it a bit more durable and the heat likely helps the adhesive stick — it also looks tidier and attracts less dirt.
Protecting cables is also important so the exposed cable housing and hose under the BB is shod in a fuel line from a small motor — this is simple flexible rubber tubing, but adds protection. Inside the frame, the cables are threaded through some foam tubing. It’s a pain to fit apparently, but keeps the bike quieter, which reduces distractions for Danny as he races.
So there we have it. That’s how Danny sets his bike up, and there’s clearly something in it as he’s now a multiple World Champion!