What do we have here?

The British Downhill Series has put a couple of sneaky piccies of more downhill 29er stuff on their Instagram pages. Commençal, Trek and now Mondraker are the brands in question.

UPDATE @ 15:50HRS 12/05/17

Looks like Danny Hart is on 29in wheels now too…

It’s the Fort William round of the British Downhill Series this weekend. And as is often the case, there are a handful of UCI World Cup racers there getting some practice in on the track in time for June’s World Cup round there.

Although the track for the World Cup in June will be a bit different to the track used for the BDS this weekend (more on this later), any time on the Fort Bill terrain will be time well spent by racers.

Anyway, 29er stuff. Here are the two pics we’ve spotted…

29ers are breeding like wildfire this weekend at Fort William for the @hsbc UK National Downhill Series Round 2 Presented by @gtbicycles

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29" box spotted hidden at the back of the Trek Factory DH Truck. Ooohhhhh…..

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The first pic looks like it may contain a 29er Commençal downhill bike (a Furious 29er?). The second pic is a bit more obscure. Although the box clearly has ‘29″‘ stamped on it the actual product label refers to 27.5″ rims. Here’s our CSI-style zoomed-in pic for your inspection…

What does this mean?

It’s hard to draw any concrete conclusions from this but Fort William was many people’s prediction as to when we might see the first 29er downhill bikes break cover. The track is viewed by many as being ideal for larger wheels due to it’s sheer speed, roughness and lack of anything super-twisty.

So it’s not really any surprise to see some 29ers in action at Fort William. The main point of interest will be about what spin the bike companies put on them, coming after the industry-shocking use of 29ers by the Santa Cruz Syndicate at Lourdes last month and the general air of hostility and negativity aimed at Santa Cruz for doing so.

Loic Bruni data testing here at the Fort William @hsbc UK National Downhill Series Round 2 Presented by @gtbicycles

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It doesn’t look like Loic Bruni will be running a 29er though. Not yet anyway…

Another update… Trek appear to be doing some sort of 27.5″ versus 29″ timed testing…

650b vs 29er. We will have an early indicator tomorrow with timed practice all day. @hsbc @gtbicycles @schwalbetires @monserenergy

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What’s the new track like?

Check out Ben Cathro’s track preview video below…

Overall, the track hasn’t had any massive alterations. A bit reworked berms and jumps; the ‘motorway’ final speed section’s bridge-jump has got a bit more kick to it. The most significant change is from the last bit of open section (the ‘deer gate’) and into the treeline. It looks ace. But it won’t be used this weekend at the BDS, it’ll be debuted at the World Cup next month. We can’t wait!