Racing a DH World Cup season without a team, without sponsors and alongside a job, Joannes Von Klebelsberg knows that anything is possible! Now better known as the “Denim Destroyer”, we followed him to Lenzerheide to find out who he is, how he got there and what’s so special about those jeans… Can you please tell us about yourself? Hello, I am Joannes Von Klebelsberg, little bit of a difficult name! I come from the northern part of Italy, it’s a German speaking part of Italy so that’s why I have a German name. I am 24 years-old and I work in Munich during the time I don’t ride bikes. What is your job in Munich? I run a restaurant with a traditional South Tyrolien kitchen. Northern Italian Kitchen. Where did you find a COMMENCAL BIKE ? I knew I would be a privateer this year and I was searching for a bike because my old bike was not so good anymore, there were some parts missing… And I was checking what the best bike of last year was, by the results in World Cups. So for me it was the COMMENCAL and then I bought it, on the internet like a normal customer. Yeah I bought it! End of story. Everybody knows you as the “Denim Destroyer” but what is the story behind you riding in jeans at World Cups? If you can buy a bike, you can bike pants? Haha that’s true! I have so many pants at home! For the first World Cup in Maribor, I was supposed to ride my pants from last year. It’s not a special story, we just went to a store to get food and there was also this clothing store where I saw the denim pants. Some privateer riders or people who just ride for fun ride in jeans and I said, if it’s stretchy enough, I will race in them. I tried them on, they were really comfortable and I did the race in them. Afterworlds, I realised I felt really comfortable in them so I love my pants, that’s why I am still wear them! As you are having a good season, what are your expectations for next year? I am always really careful with expectations… You can say you don’t want to give you an answer about that right now… Actually I don’t have any expectations. I look at it race to race. This year, everything went different to what I thought. I didn’t know I would be so good. So I really have no expectations. I didn’t have any expectations for this year, I just wanted to have fun. I am still well trained, I train a lot but not on the downhill bike, I don’t have much time on the downhill bike. But in the morning and the evening I train to be fit at races. World Cup racing is tough. The most important thing for me is to have fun and take it easy.
Oliver Zwar has made it through to three DH World Cup finals so far including a top 30 in Maribor and was the winner of Wyn Masters' Privateer of the Week prize.( Photos: 3 )
A Pinkbike reader headed to Maribor with a Yashica FX-3 Super film camera.( Photos: 22, Comments: 1 )
Specialized has launched the latest incarnation of its popular Demo downhill bike for 2019, and now it’s built around 29-inch wheels. Nino Schurter’s limited edition Scott Spark RC Best mountain bikes under £1,000 Any fans of downhill racing, particularly those who follow the French gent Loic Bruni and his teammates at Specialized Gravity (Finn Iles and, until this year, Miranda Miller), have been waiting for this moment. The Californian brand has been conspicuous in its development of the Demo 29. Versions of the prototype were rolled out for racing in 2018 and then shelved again, sent back to R&D for fine-tuning, with the team running the previous Carbon Demo to great success — Bruni of course won the 2018 World Championships in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. The less costly Demo Expert 29 is the ‘journeyman park and race bike’, according to Specialized. Specialized By UCI Downhill World Cup 2019 Round 1 in Maribor, Slovenia, Bruni and Iles were ready to race the bike at the highest level. Both riders proved exceptionally fast, with Bruni taking that opening race win and two further victories since. That’s three out of four 2019 World Cups for Bruni on this new bike – more wins in one season than his pre-2019 total. The bike clearly works. There is a caveat to this fairy-tale beginning, but we’ll address that later. Specialized Demo 29 development and geometry Specialized explains the months and years of hard work that has gone into the bike in simple terms. Its aim through development was a bike that was built around 29-inch wheels because they “better maintain their momentum in rough sections”, carried speed more efficiently over square-edged hits through refining suspension action, were more stable under hard braking and pedalled well when it was time to get on the gas. A refined, more rearward axle path is, according to Specialized, the key to bettering performance in square-edged hits. It hasn’t gone to the extremes here, because it believes in balance and not focusing on one characteristic at the expense of another. Too much and the bike’s geometry can noticeably change through the suspension cycle, as well as create excessive chain growth and sacrifice small bump sensitivity. It opted not to include an idler pulley (such as that on Commencal’s Supreme DH), which can help eliminate pedal kickback and allow a more rearward axle path, to avoid the extra friction incurred by this solution and because “the right amount of chain growth can help create effective anti-squat and improve pedalling performance”. Anti-squat on the new Demo 29 is increased by 300 percent over the previous model. This geometry chart shows the difference between the old Demo and the new Demo 29. Specialized Likewise, anti-rise increases by 70 percent, a move Specialized says was made in order to better the ride under braking. This increase means the bike compresses less during braking; more stable geometry means the rider moves around less to compensate. Geometry-wise, the Demo 29 is mostly bigger, longer and taller. Stack height is increased by 19mm to 633mm, bottom-bracket height is up by 8mm to 350mm in order to “balance the bike’s ability to corner, yet not hit pedals in pedalling sections of DH tracks”, head angle is slackened by nearly one degree to 62.7 degrees, front-centre, wheelbase and chainstay are all longer than before. Specialized Demo 29 wheel size All-in-all, the Demo 29 seems like a fierce speed machine that is likely to sell like hotcakes to the racing community. The caveat is that Specialized Gravity is gaining all its success with a 27.5-inch rear wheel on the bike (a recent change in UCI ruling means racers can compete with different size wheels, something previously not allowed). In Specialized’s own words, the “Demo is R&D in motion”, and we shouldn’t rule out the introduction of a 27.5-inch kit in future. Constant development is also the reason this bike is alloy, not carbon. The Demo 29 is available in three sizes, with two full-build options and a frame-only option. A frame kit, including shock is available. Specialized Specialized Demo Expert 29 Frame: Demo 29, M5 alloy, 200mm travel Colour: Gloss-Storm Grey-Rocket Red Rear axle: 148mm Fork: RockShox BoXXer Select 29 fork Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Coil Select Plus Brakes: SRAM Code R 4-piston Drivetrain: SRAM GX DH 7-speed Price: £4,499 / $5,000 Specialized Demo Race 29 Frame: Demo 29, M5 alloy, 200mm travel Colour: Gloss-Metallic Black-Burnt Yellow Rear axle: 148mm Fork: Öhlins DH 29 Shock: Custom Öhlins TTX Brakes: SRAM Code RSC 4-piston Drivetrain: SRAM X0 DH 7-speed RRP: £6,499 / $6,500 Specialized Demo Race 29 frameset Frame: Demo 29, M5 alloy, 200mm travel Colour: Gloss-Acid Mint-Burnt Yellow Rear axle: 148mm Shock: Custom Öhlins TTX, trunnion-mount rear shock Price: £2,749 / $2,500
Remy Violland is a French rider who competed in the DH World Cup this year in Maribor.( Photos: 1 )
After a 'tricky' start to the season out at Maribor, the boys form is returning to normal, with Scotland providing the stomping grounds once more for another epic Ft Bill race.