Fabien Barel was one of the golden generation French downhill riders and won two consecutive downhill World Championships in 2004 and 2005.

Barel is renowned for his technical approach to bike set-ups so we thought he was perfect to catch up with before round three of the Enduro World Series at the Tweedlove Festival in Scotland.

Fabien Barel Bike Check

Interestingly, Barel picked a 160mm Strive frame for the techy trails around Peebles. Joe Barnes, Barel’s team mate, picked the Spectral frame, which has only 140mm of travel. Then again, Barel did help to design the Strive, so you would hope he likes it!

It does however show how different riders can go with completely different set ups for the same trail, so it’s always worth putting some thought in to how you run your own bike.

Adjustable Geometry

The Strive is an adjustable geometry bike. It can change its bottom bracket height and head angle and switch between 160mm and 130mm travel. This is done by moving your weight forwards or backwards on the bike while pressing a switch.

To aid him in shifting his weight, Barel likes to have more weight on his frame, this is why he uses a bottle and cage instead of a hydration pack.

If you want to know just how much Barel tinkers with his bike, keep an eye out for his shifters and dropper remote – he sticks sand paper to them for extra grip.