Manchester-based bike brand Insync is starting production this month of a new state-of-the-art racing bike for the company’s elite mountain bike racing team.
Insync sponsored a team of three riders as ‘Insync Racing’ in the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup this year, one of the leading events of its kind in the world.
The six-month event, which took in Spain, France, the US, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Austria, saw the Insync team make a solid performance during their first season together. Harry Molloy, 27, from England, Veronika Widmann, 26, from Italy, and Northern Ireland-based 16-year-old Chris Cumming competed on the Mountain Bike Eliminator, a fast mountain bike format which sees four riders at a time race over a technical course featuring natural obstacles such as jumps, bridges and rock gardens. Courses are typically between 500m and 1km, with racing lasting from 1.5-2 minutes.
The Insync sponsorship enabled Molloy, a former two-time English champion, to pull together a team with complementary skills and invest in bringing young rider Cumming into the team. Now the Insync Racing team riders have been working with designers at Hero’s Global Design Centre, in Manchester, to come up with an even better bike they can compete on next season.
Steve Bridgeman, lead designer at Insync, has been working with the trio on the new downhill racing frame. He said: “All the design decisions about the new frame have been informed by their experience as riders riding a variety of downhill bikes and drawing conclusions from their likes and dislikes about each one. We’re coming up with a bike for Insync Racing that suits the team’s technical preferences.”
Bridgeman said one of the main focuses of the design sessions has been refining the leverage ratios of the suspension to produce a suspension that gets progressively stiffer throughout the ride.
“The harder it is hit, the more resistance it will offer in order to give a ‘bottomless’ feel to the suspension that inspires confidence,” he said. “The geometry of the frame has also come under the microscope, which has included moving the seat tube to a different position to allow the rider much more freedom of movement. ”
He added that prototyping will begin in October, with more testing done to refine the model. Although it is not intended for mass production, it is expected that some features of the bike will trickle down into other Insync bikes.
Danny Evans, chief executive of Avocet Sports, the UK subsidiary of Hero said: “Harry, Veronika and Chris are all seasoned professionals brought together as a team this year and they’ve been extremely successful given that it’s their first season. We have been delighted with the impact they have made as riders under the Insync Racing brand.
“We’ve seen some standout performances from our three riders this year and we couldn’t be happier with their progress. Veronika has been involved in some nasty crashes but she’s got straight up and back on the bike, on one occasion still managing a podium finish in third place. We’re working hard on the new racing bike design looking at features and components that can make their lives easier. The ultimate aim is to then introduce these innovations to our mass market bikes under the Insync and Coyote brands. With the new bike design we hope Insync Racing will be even more competitive next season.”