Luca Shaw’s Santa Cruz V10 World Cup Race Setup
A closer look at Luca’s trusted race settings.
Between his sixth place finish in Fort William, and this weekend’s race in Leogang, we sat down with Luca Shaw’s mechanic, JT, to go over his World Cup race setup. If you want read more about Luca, don’t miss our exclusive interview with him → “Luca Shaw and the School of World Cup”
To Begin: As part of the SRAM | Troy Lee Designs race team, Luca gets to choose which frame he would like to race on; he chose an XL Santa Cruz V10. It is set up with a SRAM X01 DH drivetrain, SRAM X0 Hubs, Avid Code brakes, RockShox BoXXer World Cup fork, RockShox Vivid R2C shock, and TRUVATIV Holzfeller DM stem, and TRUVATIV Stevie Smith BlackBox Bar. For reference, Luca weighs 175 lbs. (79kg) and is 6’ (183cm).
Can you describe Luca’s baseline suspension setup?
The basic setting is pretty neutral, which allows us a little tweaking race to race without making huge adjustments. In Luca’s own words, “I would say my suspension is just a little stiff in front and a little slower in the back. I like it to feel as balanced as possible.” We try not to change it a lot after it is set from the beginning of the season. If anything, we make it even a touch stiffer and slow it down slightly for race day, just because at World Cup level these guys are going so fast. Something that would use 60-70 percent of travel at practice speeds is all of a sudden using 80-90 percent of travel on race day. Starting in the middle of the adjustments lets us make those changes easily on race day, and because of the skill level of these guys, they know how it's going to work.
How do you get to this optimal feeling? Can you share his suspension settings?
First off, the fork is a stock RockShox BoXXer World Cup with 4 Bottomless Tokens, and a stock Charger Damper (medium tune). We played with a high tune at team camp in Feb, but he wasn’t crazy about the characteristics, and we settled on the medium tune. We usually start at 104 Psi and rarely do we deviate much, since he’s just so used to that pressure. If anything, we could add 3-5 psi on race day. Compression is set 7 clicks from closed, while the rebound is 8 clicks from closed.
The rear shock is a RockShox Vivid R2C with a 550 lbs Ti spring and 17mm of spring preload. Ending stroke rebound starts 2 clicks from closed, while beginning stroke rebound is set 6 from closed. The Compression is 3 clicks from closed. Usually on race day beginning and ending stroke rebound get slowed down 1 click.
How does he position his brake levers on the bar?
Levers are slightly below level. There isn’t really a measurement, as he sets them by feel. The clamp is 25mm inboard from the grip, and the lever pulls to a distance of 28mm from the grip. His handlebars are full width at 780mm, and his stem has a reach of 50mm.
How does Luca describe that perfect brake feeling?
He runs pretty much stock Avid Code brakes front and rear. This is the one instance on a true race bike that everyone can say they have the exact same part as the tough guys. We don’t even advance the pads, I just make sure they are bled well and we run them right out of the box. The feel is good without being hard, some lever throw, but not excessive. Always 200mm Centerline rotors, with metallic pads.
What size chainring do you guys normally start the weekend with? Does that ever change?
Luca races on a SRAM X01 DH drivetrain and almost always runs a 34-tooth X-Sync Direct Mount chainring, but in Ft. William he switched to a 36-tooth, which is rare. Though, as the season progresses, you naturally get stronger, so the 36-tooth might stay.