Pro Bike Check: Ludwig Döhl and André Wagenknecht
Along with a few other prominent German Enduro riders Ludwig Döhl and André Wagenknecht from the CUBE Action Team made best use of the spring weather at the BDR (German Cycling Federation) Enduro Camp to prepare for the first races of the season. We got to check out their 2015 race bikes.
The foundations for their race bikes are the proven CUBE Stereo HPC frame fitted with components specifically chosen for racing from FOX, Shimano, Syntace, Schwalbe and DT Swiss. Braking and drivetrain duties are undertaken by Shimano’s XTR groupset and both riders have chosen a 36 tooth chainring combined with an 11-speed 11-40 tooth cassette. To minimize dropped chains an E*thirteen XCX+ chainguide is fitted. Crankarms are just 170mm to make pulling away off-road easier and to improve ground clearance.
Both bikes feature a FOX suspension system made up of FOX 36 fork and FOX Float X CTD shock. André prefers a firm set-up with approx. 20 % SAG and lots of compression damping as this creates plenty of grip even if comfort is sacrificed. “It’s no different than an AMG“, says Wagenknecht. To ensure the rear shock has enough reserve travel he’s fitted an additional 0.6mm spacer.
The cockpit is completely made up of Syntace parts and comprises of a 780mm Vector Carbon bar and 40mm Megaforce stem. Both riders prefer a slightly higher steering position and and usually adjust their set-ups to local conditions. On the stem you’ll find a Garmin Edge 810 GPS unit which informs the riders of all important parameters during training and races.
Wheels are the DT Swiss EX 1501 always fitted with a tubeless system. Both riders choose from the Schwalbe range for tyres allowing tuning for the current race track and weather conditions “I only use the Super Gravity tyres and ride with 1.45 bar front and 1.7 bar rear pressure“, explains André regarding his tyre set-up.
Even if both bikes look identical at first upon closer inspection there are small but significant differences. But when hunting for podiums it is exactly these details that can make the difference – only if the bike is perfectly set up to the rider’s preferences can he reach full potential.
Whilst André chooses the 18″ frame size, Ludwig prefers the 20″. Ludwig likes to ride with a water bottle on the frame in order to not require a rucksack without dehydrating. André on the other hand isn’t bothered by wearing a backpack.
In order to climb more relaxed, both riders use the shock lockout. Ludwig has the handlebar remote whilst André chooses a cleaner cockpit but has to reach down to activate the lockout.
If you want to see whether and how a personalised build and fine tuning make sense, or just experience the bikes and their riders in action you should head to the first round of the
Specialized SRAM Enduro Series in Treuchtlingen. This is where both riders are starting their racing season.
Text: Martin Stöckl Fotos: Axel Brunst