What Loïc Bruni rode to DH immortality
The men’s Downhill World Championships race last weekend was truly one for the ages. A French podium lockout in front of a home crowd in Les Gets provided truly epic celebrations and one of the best photos of the season. Standing among his people, surrounded by red and blue flare smoke and a feverish crowd, was the Specialized Gravity team’s Loïc Bruni, or ‘SuperBruni’, resplendent in the rainbow bands having just won his sixth DH world title.
Bruni was carried down the 2.4km course in a phenomenally quick time by his Specialized Demo Race bike, as well as a whole host of speedy kit, all helping him take victory by two and a half seconds.
The first and most striking thing about Bruni’s race-winning bike is of course the special edition paint job. The Gravity team regularly get unique resprays in time for the biggest races, and with this unique colourway, the designers really hit it out the park.
The frame carries a message ‘insane in the brain’ tucked on the down tube, a phrase that many will feel is true of DH riders who make a habit of hurtling themselves down the craziest of courses. The way the silver, red and blue scheme appeared cracked looked particularly good in Les Gets, as if Bruni’s speed was literally tearing the paint off his bike. Finally, the French national motto, ‘Liberté, égalité, fraternité’ is printed on the top tube, it was a home race after all. American Christopher Grice also got a custom rig with an eye-catching electric blue and dark red scheme.
Bruni has been sending it all year on the Demo Race, a bike that has been designed for all-out gravity-defying speed. With customisable wheel sizes between 29er and 27.5, a perfect balance can be struck between traction and manoeuvrability over the changeable terrains on the mountain, allowing Bruni to customise his ride to the trail conditions. A 200mm fork gives the Frenchman as much travel as he needs to post big times while the SRAM DH-specific XO1 drivetrain provides plenty of power from the start ramp to the finish area.
Bruni is known for being a connoisseur of bike parts and he put all the above to the test in Les Gets, as well as some personal adjustments. The bike featured Magura brakes, DT Swiss Wheels and his special 3D printed brake levers for the perfect fit. Bruni also attaches grip tape to the gear shifters so that he doesn’t lose time through hand slip. These may seem like small things but when they’re all put together, they get the best out of the 28-year-old’s considerable talents and propels him to gold after gold.
SuperBruni of course looked the real deal in the Specialized Gambit full face helmet, the number one lid of choice when it comes to athlete trust, performance and comfort. Plenty of ventilation is also provided to prevent overheating on the trails, especially when you factor in the 20˚C+ temperatures in France at the weekend. Designed from back to front by the Specialized development team, their comprehensive approach has resulted in a high-performing helmet suited to everything from gravity races to downhill and enduro.
A downhill champion like Bruni certainly needs a comfortable saddle on tricky course like Les Gets. That’s where the Specialized Phenom saddle comes in, the top-of-the-line model designed specifically for the needs of a race. A carbon fibre FACT shell gives a stiff platform while the Body Geometry design ensures that Bruni’s blood flow is maintained to sensitive areas when competing. Of course, Bruni is moving around like a bucking bronco on the Demo when he’s racing, but when he does need to sit down, he certainly has the comfort.
Bruni wore an eye-catching pair of white 2FO DH clip mountain bike shoes to victory, benefiting from the huge versatility of the new SlipNot™ FG rubber sole, and its ample pedal grip and connection when the trails get gnarly. Bruni built the shoe with Specialized, and all of his experience and knowledge was put into the shoe’s construction to make sure it was a full-on DH race machine.
Be more SuperBruni and come down to one of our stores, get yourself fitted and start on your epic gravity-defying downhill adventure. Speak to one of our friendly staff members, try out all the kit mentioned in this article and learn all about the innovations we are making at Specialized.
Leave a comment
Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.