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Bike Check: Comparing Trek Factory Racing’s Supercaliber Setups

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Last year Trek introduced a new thoroughbred XC race machine, the Supercaliber. It was first spotted in the hands of the XC team early in the 2019 season albeit with a wrap over the shock layout that left us to ponder just what the Trek engineers and designers had created. Once the covers were taken away the ‘IsoStrut’ was revealed, a 60mm travel rear shock that is built into the construction of the frame which certainly helps the Supercaliber cut a unique figure in the World Cup race pits.

Coming into 2020 Trek acquired the services of inform Frenchman Stephane Tempier who joined Anton Cooper, Emily Batty, Evie Richards, and Jolanda Neff to make a 5 strong squad who are all ready and capable to challenge for more than just the podium. With a variety of different heights, builds, and riding styles we thought it’d be interesting to see just where the differences lay in the teammates’ setups:


The Bike


How good is that paint job though? The new look for TFR in 2020.

The cockpit is perhaps where the most difference between the riders comes with a variety of different bar widths, stem lengths, and stem rises.

Dropper posts have become increasingly popular in XC racing, Jolanda Neff is a big advocate for them whilst Anton Cooper has only them once in Mont Sainte Anne last year. They all make use of Rock Shox’s Twist Loc system for suspension lockout duties.

SRAM Levels take care of the stopping duties, 160mm rotors are most common but a few of the riders opt for 140mm on the rear.


The Riders


Rider Emily Batty
Height 160cm
Weight 48kg
Frame Size 15.5

Any customizations or areas on the bike that you are particular about when it comes to set up?

I’m pretty fussy when it comes to my brakes being set up, and my shifting has to be perfectly tuned. As I get closer to race day, my senses become heightened and more aware, so everything has to be dialed.

How much do you change setup through a race weekend or even race to race?

Not too much, really. Mostly tires, tire pressure, suspension setup, chainring size.

Are there any ways your riding style demands a certain setup on the bike?

I think I’m naturally strong and smooth on the bike, which allows me to run a stiffer suspension setup. I feel I can really push my tires and traction too, which forces me to run higher tire pressure to prevent the tire folding, or rolling in the corners, or even bumping rim.

Any apparent differences in setup to that of your teammates?

Yeah, interestingly enough, some are riding heavier and more aggressive tires. The trade-off for me is the rotational weight, which I prefer to keep as low as possible while not sacrificing traction.

Cockpit
Handlebar Width 690mm
Stem Length 90mm
Stem Rise – 25 degrees
Spacers Below Stem None
Grip Choice ESI Grip Fit XC
Lever Position 45 degrees
Bite Point 15% into the stroke
Rotor Size 160mm front and 140mm rear
Dropper Length (if using) 100mm
Remote Lockout Rock Shox Twist Loc

Suspension
Fork Pressure 95 PSI
Fork Rebound 17 from closed
Spacers/Tokens 2
Shock Pressure 125 PSI
Shock Rebound 9 from closed
Spacers/Tokens Small (green)


Drivetrain
Cassette Range 10-50T
Chainring Size 34-36T
Crank Length 165mm
Pedal choice Crank Brothers Eggbeater 11
Chain guide MRP

Wheels & Tires
Model Bontrager Kovee XXX
Dry Tire Choice XR1
Wet Tire Choice XR2 for wet XR3 for intermediate
Pressures Front 19PSI – Rear 23PSI
Tire insert? Sometimes depending on course

Rider Jolanda Neff
Height 1.69 m
Weight 53kg
Frame Size 17.5

Any customizations or areas on the bike that you are particular about when it comes to set up?

I love to have the exact same setup of my position every time. On my training bike, on my race bike, everywhere. This includes handlebar heights, saddle angle, saddle height.

How much do you change setup through a race weekend or even race to race?

I usually test different tires on different tracks and find the best one for the current conditions. Also, chainring size is something that varies with steep xco tracks and for short track races which are mainly flat.

Are there any ways your riding style demands a certain setup on the bike?

I always, always ride with a dropper post. I started using it back in 2017 and never went back to a rigid post anymore. It’s absolutely essential to my riding style. Also I love to have rear suspension, so the Supercaliber bike is my bike of choice and I never ride the hardtail anymore.

Any apparent differences in setup to that of your teammates?

I guess my love for the dropper post. Not all of my teammates are using it, while I couldn’t even imagine riding without one anymore. Also, my love for suspension seems to be higher. I never go back and forward to the hardtail. Other than that, I would say with tire setups and most other things we are pretty similar.

Cockpit
Handlebar Width 690mm
Stem Length 80mm
Stem Rise – 13 degrees
Spacers Below Stem None
Grip Choice Esi Fit XC
Lever Position25 degrees, 15cm inboard from bar end
Brake Lever Reach 6.7cm
Rotor Size 160mm front and rear
Dropper Length (if using) 100mm
Remote Lockout Rock Shox Twist Loc

Suspension
Fork Pressure 89 PSI
Fork Rebound 10 clicks
Spacers/Tokens 1 spacer
Shock Pressure 112 PSI
Shock Rebound 9 clicks
Spacers/Tokens Small spacer



Drivetrain
Cassette Range 10-50T
Chainring Size 32-34T
Crank Length 175mm
Pedal choice Crank Brothers Eggbeater 11
Chain guide MRP

Wheels & Tires
Model Bontrager Kovee XXX
Dry Tire Choice XR1 or XR3
Wet Tire Choice XR2 or XRMUD for rain
Pressures Front 16-19PSI – Rear 18-22PSI (depending on track and if running inserts)
Tire insert? Sometimes depending on course

Rider Evie Richards
Height 164cm
Weight 63.5kg
Frame Size 15.5

Any customizations or areas on the bike that you are particular about when it comes to set up?

A large colourful bell, a handlebar bag made by me and a stem cap with a groovy quote!

How much do you change setup through a race weekend or even race to race?

I just get on the bike and ride it! I will maybe change the tyres If I’m pushing the boat out but that only happened once last year… Actually I change the stem cap!

Cockpit
Handlebar Width 680mm
Stem Length 75mm
Stem Rise – 25 degrees
Spacers Below Stem None
Grip Choice Esi Fit XC
Lever Position30 degrees, 15cm inboard from bar end
Brake Lever Reach 6.8cm
Rotor Size 160mm front and 140mm rear
Dropper Length (if using) 100mm
Remote Lockout Rock Shox Twist Loc

Suspension
Fork Pressure 85 PSI
Fork Rebound 12 clicks
Spacers/Tokens 2 tokens
Shock Pressure 115 PSI
Shock Rebound 9 clicks
Spacers/Tokens Small spacer




Drivetrain
Cassette Range 10-50T
Chainring Size 32-34T
Crank Length 170mm
Pedal choice Crank Brothers Eggbeater 11
Chain guide MRP

Wheels & Tires
Model Bontrager Kovee XXX
Fork Rebound 17 from closed
Dry Tire Choice XR1 and XR3
Wet Tire Choice XR3 or XR2
Pressures Front 18-20PSI – Rear 20-22PSI
Tire insert? Yes depending on course

Rider Stephane Tempier
Height 183cm
Weight 63kg
Frame Size 19.5

Any customizations or areas on the bike that you are particular about when it comes to set up?

-Angle of the saddle (negative angle) / angle of the handlebar/brake lever very close to the handlebar.
-Tires choice and pressure
-Fork and shock pressure, compression button –Token inside the fork and shock
-Dropper seatpost or not
-Chainring size

How much do you change setup through a race weekend or even race to race?

At World Cups the things I change during practice are:
1. Tyre choice (choose after 2 laps)
2. Dropper seatpost or not (choose after 2 laps)
3. Chainring size (38T or 36T)
4. Fork and shock pressure as well as the tokens inside (soft, medium or hard)
5. Playing with tyre pressure (to search for the limit and to find security in a race scenario)

Are there any ways your riding style demands a certain setup on the bike?

A big chainring (38T for 90% of the races, 36T for steep races) and I also ride with the fork/shock pressure on the low end. I like it to be smooth

Any apparent differences in setup to that of your teammates?

For sure I have different pedals. I am the only one riding with the Crankbrothers Candy. I prefer it because I have more support, especially in the downhill sections.

Cockpit
Handlebar Width 720mm
Stem Length 110mm
Stem Rise – 13 degrees
Spacers Below Stem 1.5cm
Grip Choice ESI GRIP RACER EDGE
Lever Position40 degrees, close to bar
Bite Point Quickly
Rotor Size 160mm front and rear
Dropper Length (if using) 125mm with Blip switch
Remote Lockout Rock Shox Oneloc

Suspension
Fork Pressure 85 PSI
Fork Rebound 12 from closed
Spacers/Tokens 2 tokens
Shock Pressure 80 PSI
Shock Rebound 10 from closed
Spacers/Tokens Medium spacer


Drivetrain
Cassette Range 10-50T
Chainring Size 38T
Crank Length 175mm
Pedal choice Crank Brothers Candy 11
Chain guide MRP

Wheels & Tires
Model Bontrager Kovee XXX
Dry Tire Choice XR1 or XR3
Wet Tire Choice XR2
Pressures Between 18PSI and 20PSI
Tire insert? In the rear wheel in a technical race

Rider Anton Cooper
Height 167cm
Weight 64kg
Frame Size 15.5

Any customizations or areas on the bike that you are particular about when it comes to set up?

I’m very fussy with all aspects of my setup, cleat position, Brake lever rotation, seat height/tilt angle, making sure my bars are perfectly straight, etc.

How much do you change setup through a race weekend or even race to race?

Bike choice and suspension setup often change between races and courses. I might run a volume reduction spacer or two in my fork on some courses and zero on others. Doing this forces you to change the air pressure and sometimes other settings on your fork to get the most out of it. I often shift my seat tilt angle downwards if the course features lots of steep climbing and not many flat sections.

Are there any ways your riding style demands a certain setup on the bike?

I would say I have quite a smooth and calculated riding style so I do well on a hardtail. This riding style translates well to when I’m on the Supercaliber also, however. Precision and smart line choices are important for whatever bike you ride!

Any apparent differences in setup to that of your teammates?

I run my stem a bit more slammed then the others, on my Procal I have a -40deg 90mm stem and on my Supercaliber, a -25deg 105mm stem which sits directly on the top head tube bearing. I have short legs so my seat height still only ends up being about a similar height to my handlebars with this setup.

Cockpit
Handlebar Width 680mm
Stem Length 105mm
Stem Rise – 25 degrees
Spacers Below Stem 0
Grip Choice ESI Grip Fit XC
Lever PositionSlightly downward
Bite Point Slight pull in
Rotor Size 160mm front and 140mm rear
Dropper Length (if using) I don’t use one, only once in MSA last time out
Remote Lockout Rock Shox Oneloc

Suspension
Fork Pressure 87-90 PSI
Fork Rebound Around 6 clicks from fastest from memory on the new Sid SL Ultimate damper
Spacers/Tokens 0
Shock Pressure 122 PSI
Shock Rebound /
Spacers/Tokens 1 small

Drivetrain
Cassette Range 10-50T
Chainring Size 34-38T most commonly 36T or 38T for racing, generally 34T for training
Crank Length 170mm
Pedal choice Bontrager
Chain guide MRP

Wheels & Tires
Model Bontrager Kovee XXX
Dry Tire Choice XR1
Wet Tire Choice XR3
Pressures 18psi – 24psi depending on ground surface, moisture and tyre volume
Tire insert? No


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