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Pro bike: Mark Weir’s WTB-Fox-Santa Cruz Nomad Carbon

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Mark Weir's Santa Cruz Nomad carbon, post Downieville downhill victory.

Mark Weir's Santa Cruz Nomad carbon, post Downieville downhill victory.
(Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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Weir equipped his bike with a single 40-tooth Shimano Saint chainring and MRP G2 chain guide.

Weir equipped his bike with a single 40-tooth Shimano Saint chainring and MRP G2 chain guide.
(Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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The new M980 XTR non-drive crankarm.

The new M980 XTR non-drive crankarm.
(Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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Shimano's M980 XTR shifter.

Shimano's M980 XTR shifter.
(Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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Shimano's new XTR Trail brake lever.

Shimano's new XTR Trail brake lever.
(Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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Weir had two 16g C02 cartridges taped to his top tube.

Weir had two 16g C02 cartridges taped to his top tube.
(Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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PRO's FRS 70mm freeride stem.

PRO's FRS 70mm freeride stem.
(Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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Shimano's XTR caliper with Trail pads and Ice Tech rotor.

Shimano's XTR caliper with Trail pads and Ice Tech rotor.
(Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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Shimano's new XTR M980 rear derailleur and 11-36-tooth cassette.

Shimano's new XTR M980 rear derailleur and 11-36-tooth cassette.
(Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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WTB's Valcon Team Carbon saddle atop Gravity Dropper's Turbo adjustable seat post.

WTB's Valcon Team Carbon saddle atop Gravity Dropper's Turbo adjustable seat post.
(Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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Weir had a 20mm thru-axle front hub laced to the Stryker cross-country rim, this configuration will not be available at retail.

Weir had a 20mm thru-axle front hub laced to the Stryker cross-country rim, this configuration will not be available at retail.
(Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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WTB's Wolverine 2.2 FR TCS reinforced fast rolling tyre.

WTB's Wolverine 2.2 FR TCS reinforced fast rolling tyre.
(Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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WTB's new Stryker cross-country wheelset.

WTB's new Stryker cross-country wheelset.
(Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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Fox's 2011 36 Float 160 RLC fork.

Fox's 2011 36 Float 160 RLC fork.
(Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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Weir's ultra-wide 740mm Vanderham signature handlebars.

Weir's ultra-wide 740mm Vanderham signature handlebars.
(Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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Fox's DHX RC4 coil over shock with 350lb titanium spring.

Fox's DHX RC4 coil over shock with 350lb titanium spring.
(Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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'Can't be Beat, CHAMP, Won't be Beat,' though it was only 9 seconds, a win is a win.

'Can't be Beat, CHAMP, Won't be Beat,' though it was only 9 seconds, a win is a win.
(Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)

After blazing the downhill portion of last month's Downieville Classic on his Santa Cruz Nomad Carbon and finishing nine seconds faster than his closest rival, Mark Weir climbed onto the top step of the podium wearing a shiny boxer’s robe embroidered with the words, ‘Can’t be beat – Champ – Won’t be beat.”

Weir didn’t race at Downieville – an event he helped put on the map – in 2008 or 2009, but he came back this year with a vengeance, finishing sixth in the cross-country race, on a heavier bike with much more suspension travel than his competitors, as well as winning the downhill.

This is a man who revels in the concept of all-mountain racing and paved the way for the likes of Ross Schnell and Nathan Riddle to make mountain bike careers somewhere between the worlds of traditional cross-country and downhill racing.

Weir’s Nomad Carbon suits his style of muscling up a climb, only to go as fast as possible once the trail turns down. Not only does his size medium bike have lots of travel – 6.3in (160mm) front and rear) – but he chooses to equip it with a heavy-duty, downhill flavoured spec.

At Downieville this consisted of a a coil over Fox RC4 shock with titanium spring, 40-tooth single chainring and MRP G2 chain guide, WTB Wolverine 2.2in TCS FR dual-ply reinforced tyres, Gravity Dropper Turbo remote adjust seatpost and extra wide 740mm PRO Vanderham alloy downhill bars.

The one place where Weir did save weight was with his new, custom WTB Stryker wheels. Though WTB do make an all-mountain version, he went with the weight savings afforded by the sub-1,500g cross-country model.

As an example of Weir’s preference for downhill performance, he had always eschewed Shimano's top-end XTR brakes in favour of their ultra-powerful four-piston Saint units. That was until he tried the new XTR Trail groupset.

“With a 180mm rotor the new brakes have the same power as Saint with a 160mm, but with way less weight,” said Weir. “The short lever really puts it in the wheel house. I’ve got shorter fingers and I’ve had no issues staying on them. I’ve had no pump with the brakes; no issues at all.”

WTB's Valcon Team Carbon saddle atop Gravity Dropper's Turbo adjustable seat post.