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Bike Check: Sean Fincham’s “Sea Otter Special” Rocky Mountain Element

Bike Check: Sean Fincham’s “Sea Otter Special” Rocky Mountain Element

On Friday, the Life Time Grand Prix kicked off at Sea Otter. Maxxis Factory Racing’s CanCon trio of riders Sean Fincham, Andrew L’Esperance and Eva Poidevin lined up on the team’s new Rocky Mountain Element. 

Sea Otter’s Fuego XC course is known for fast-paced, buff singletrack and steep climbs. Rocky Mountain’s Element is known for its impressive technical capabilities beyond what most XC bikes where most XC bikes would be comfortable. To reconcile the bike and the race, Maxxis Factory Racing made a few adjustments to the team’s bikes compared to how Fincham was set up when he landed on a US Cup podium a few weeks back. 

It was too windy at Laguna Seca to prop up this Element. So MFR manager Drew Esheric helped haul over a stand to hold up the featherweight bike

Sean Fincham’s “Sea Otter Special” Rocky Mountain Element

Shimano handles drivetrain and brakes with full XTR mechanical shifting. For the fast Sea Otter course, Fincham was pushing the limits of the Element’s clearance with a massive 36-tooth chainring. 

Fincham’s Element rolls on Stan’s NoTubes Podium SRD carbon fibre wheels with MPulse hubs (developed by now-Canadian brand Project 321). Enduro bearings in the wheels, bottom bracket and headset try to eke out a few extra watts of efficiency. Because every extra bit counts when you’re racing for four hours and, you know, trying to unseat the utterly dominant Keegan Swenson. 

Those Stan’s wheels roll on Maxxis usually team-issue Aspen ST tires. The ultra-fast-rolling tread is, finally, available as part of Maxxis’ regular line. The high-TPI Team Spec version also is, but only for a brief window. Inside, Tannus Armor inserts help protect against flats and rim damage when the team is running low race pressures. 

Speed shocks

Up front, Fincham’s running Fox’s new Step-Cast 32 with its distinctive reverse-arch (and eye-catching 50th anniversary gold colourway). The 100mm fork replaces the team’s usual Step-Cast 34 fork, with its 130mm travel for a bit more speed. MFR also adjusted the shock to match, though being careful not to mess with the length too much. The team also added the lock-out to their Fox Float shocks which required some, uh, DIY adjustments since the Element isn’t normally set up for a lockout. Hey, you do what you have to when you go racing, right?

Finishing off Fincham’s Element is a Race Face rigid Next post, because every gram counts and the Squamish racer has skill in spades…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…