February last year World Cup racer Jack Reading set up One Vision Racing, this year they have signed to Nicolai. We met Jack up at a test day at Revolution Bike Park to learn more.
ALine:- The Nicolai you have chosen for 2016 appears quite different to the Ellsworth and Trek you have run in the last couple of years, was this an educated decision or something you stumbled on?
Jack:- It's an educated decision that originated from a suspension setup day I did with Chris Porter down at Mojo in October. We were looking at making the bike as efficient as possible, and got talking about different suspension systems and bike designs based on that subject. I ended up taking Chris's Nicolai Geometron (155mm rear end) to Malaga in December with some Fox 40s on the front of it to time-test it directly against the Trek Session. The results were incredible, so as a result we moved on to talking with Nicolai about 2016. They were super excited to start a DH bike development project between themselves, Chris/Mojo and me/ One Vision Global Racing. The idea is to move away from the very linear suspension system that most DH bikes have now-a-days, and onto a stiffer more progressive system. There are other things involved such as size and head angle, but that's a brief summary of what we're doing and to be honest as much of the technicalities as I understand. Chris and Nicolai do the heavy thinking!
ALine:- Chris Porter has put his money where his mouth is with the Geometron, do you think this is where more bike designers are going to go (lower longer slacker)?
Jack:- I think they will yes, it's the next stage of progression. It's faster and more fun, so why wouldn't they? The Geometron has proved itself to me to be a phenomenal bike, capable of pretty much anything a full on DH bike can do, and it's original design is centred around trail riding, so that's very impressive. Chris's knowledge is incredible, so we consider ourselves extremely lucky to be working with him and Nicolai moving forward
ALine:- What do you look for when deciding on a venue for testing the new bikes?
Jack:- I look for a venue with varied terrain. We need fast rough stuff to test on because world cup tracks have lots of this. Steep sections, fast berms, tight sections. You have to really be able to put the bike through it's paces to find out what it's capable of, and then not capable of, to find out what then needs changing. I'm really enjoying working on the project, and it's helping me learn more about my own riding, which I hope will help me become a better racer!
Vid:- Jack is the first rider down through the section, the rider following is Jake Martin. Two things which stand out in this video is the "Range of Motion" Jack demonstrates (handlebar to head), the second is the difference in how the suspension behaves in the two bikes. Jake's bike is not set up for him and because of the difference in the range of motion of the riders, we can't make direct comparisons but Jack's fork is stiffer and you can see it gives little or no feedback. On the other hand, you can see Jakes fork rebounding into his hands. As I say, we can't read much into this but it interesting to watch.