The UNION Downhill Team Bike Check

This year we're proud to sponsor The UNION team in the UCI Downhill World Cup. Their mission is to help privateers and other riders who may not get the big team sponsorships to get the support they need to grow.

The team is partnered with great brands, including the likes of Trek and Rockshox. We've asked for some insights from the team owner Joe Bowman on bike setup, especially as it relates to each rider.

Frame - Trek Session

"The team is on a stock frame, ranging in sizes. Frida and Ellie are on an R1, Lachie an R2, and our tallest rider Chris is on an R3. Frida and Lachie both run -1 degree headsets currently. We play with the 20/25% progression depending on the track too. Trek has done these with custom paint from their in-house Project One department."

Fork - RockShox Boxxer Ultimate

"There's a range of settings per each rider, but generally, we use minimal tokens. Instead we work with the RockShox tech guys to find the balance in damping between small bump sensitivity and the support needed for the huge hits."

"Hauser specifically runs a soft fork and stiff shock for his weight/height because he rides very off the back. He has a trials moto influence, and is very heavy on the rear of the bike." 

Shock - RockShox Blackbox Coil

"No details available right now. Works mint!"

"Frida can custom shim her own shocks because she's rad [specifically she's a mechanical engineering PHD student], so she is running a crazy amount of compression damping and a custom rebound tune.

Drivetrain - Full Sram XO

"We use the mechanical XO drivetrain, with 165mm cranks and 34 teeth chainrings all round. Classic/flawless."

Brakes - SRAM Maven and Code Ultimate

"We're split between the Maven's and Code ultimates. Right now Ellie and Chris are on Maven's, with Frida and Lachie on codes. I imagine they will all switch to Mavens on steeper/longer tracks like Val Di Sole. They all drop from 220mm to 200mm rotors when going to the Mavens."

Cockpit - Deity Brendog Signature

"The team uses the Brendog alloy bar all round. Widths range from 750mm to the full 800mm. All on 50mm Deity stems."

Seat/Saddle - Deity I-Beam

Pedals - Crankbrothers Mallet DH

"All riders are on the Crankbrothers Mallet DH pedals. Lachie runs no pins, and opposite cleats for extra float."


Wheels - ENVE Dark 6 Prototype Rims

"The team has been really stoked on these so far, the ride feel is awesome. Also the rim strip has already saved us on a couple occasions!" 

Tyres - Maxxis DHR2 and Assegai

"The team runs the DHR2 2.4" in the rear and the Assegai 2.5" in front, both in MaxxGrip. No inserts. We're looking forward to getting some of the High Roller 3's that are coming soon. Looks like a great intermediate. When it gets wet we're on the 2.4 Shorty2 all round. Can't beat Maxxis still."


Who is The UNION? 

What makes the UNION downhill team so different from the rest of the UCI World Cup circuit? As the circuit’s only non-profit entity, they ensure that every penny that goes into the team goes right back to the riders, staff, and coaches. Even with a smaller budget, they’re able to support riders like a factory team would, but without the pressures of operating like a traditional business. They use this position to fulfill their ethos of finding and nurturing up-and-coming talent who may otherwise be lacking support. Learn more about the team here.