Greg Minnaar used to be the Ryan Dungey of downhill. Predictable, boring, but consistently good haircuts. To the outside observer, soulless.
But then Gwin happened, and when Gwin started beating all the guys by 3-7 seconds every weekend Greg started to look and sound a lot more human. Watching Greg try to make sense of a 7-second massacre after what I’m sure was a fantastic run on Greg’s part was a lot more interesting than listening to his breakdown of winning the World Cup overall for the umpteenth time. That and winning World Champs in his home country was pretty inspirational and tear jerking and all that pussy BS too, I guess.
Then another thing happened. A few years back I realized I was tall and I couldn’t ride like Sam Hill. Going inside on every corner with flat pedals and foot out looks super cool and is also really really slow for me. Suddenly Dr. Boring was the new model for success. Smooth. Big, wide arcs. Early braking. Carrying momentum. Boring it is, but damn if it doesn’t work. So I started paying attention to what Greg did instead of just praying for his defeat as a human manifestation of everything boring and uncool about cycling.
Im glad I started paying attention, because something happened last weekend that no ones talking about: long chainstays happened, and they happened in a big way.
The XXL V10 has 10mm longer chainstays than the stock XL, via a repositioned lower shock link forward pivot on the front triangle. Then Greg had an even longer rear chainstay via the custom “GM link,” and that’s all on top of an already long stock 442mm chainstay. That means he was rolling around on a roughly 462mm chainstay, aka 18″.
TLDR: that’s really, really long. That’s as long as Mick’s chainstays on the unridable Cannondale Judge back in the day.
And it worked. He asked for it and then won a race on the bike. All the rules go out the window now.
Sorry for no pictures, I’m in line at the DMV right now.