Loris Vergier on Why He's Running 27.5 at Val di Sole 7

Big-wheel butt buzz may not be avoidable on the steepest of tracks with less-than-huge humans.

The Santa Cruz Syndicate turned heads at the beginning of the 2017 World Cup DH season when they announced that the entire team was running custom V10cc bikes with 29-inch wheels. Greg Minnaar, who spearheaded the project, seemed the perfect candidate for the massive machines, but surprisingly, Luca Shaw and Loris Vergier, who are riders with smaller statures, had committed to the big wheels, too.

The 2017 race results for Greg have been solid, including wins in Fort William and Lenzerheide. Loris and Luca have shown flashes of brilliance on the 29-inch wheels, but running the wheel size was not an obvious slam dunk to the podium.

As the season concludes and the circuit descends upon Val di Sole, Loris Vergier has decided to try his 27.5-inch-wheeled Santa Cruz V10 for the first time at a World Cup race this year. Other riders like Danny Hart and the Commencal team experimented with 29ers earlier this year and returned to 27.5. Loris Vergier does the same, citing that the steep track combined with his smaller physical size create sub-optimal conditions for running the 29er.

We had fun with a poll in our forum about what he size wheels he should run and the results are as close (and possibly as divisive) as the last U.S. presidential election. Loris finally spoke out after practice today in Val di Sole about his decision to run the smaller wheels. -Interview by Sven Martin

Loris Vergier Speaks on Racing 27.5

(caution, some NSFW language)

Take a run with Loris down Val di Sole today!

 

Loris Vergier on 27.5-inch wheels during Val di Sole's first practice session today.

Loic Bruni spoke out about not running a 29er at Fort William earlier this year. His comments caused some controversy, but the success of 27.5-inch wheels in 2017 proves that their future in DH racing may not be as doomed as some had predicted. Here at Vital, we love seeing the product development, the hype, the mind games and the strategy involved in World Cup race efforts. We're bummed the season is coming to a close and look forward to this off-season's speculation and armchair engineering!

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