Schweiz | Suisse

Everything but the mud: Danny Hart's prototype World Championship Glory, minus a few pounds of Swiss mud.

PIT PASS: Danny Hart's World Champ Glory

28 Oktober 2011

You’ve probably heard about Danny Hart’s scorcher gold medal downhill run at the 2011 Mountain Bike World Championships in Switzerland.

Maybe you’ve also read a bit about the bike Danny has been riding during his rapid rise through the ranks of the downhill elite. It’s called the Giant Glory. The latest version of the Glory, the one Danny rode to that big win last month on a stormy, mud-soaked day in Champéry, Switzerland, was created this year for one purpose: to help Danny win races.

Those who have been following Danny have witnessed him redefining the possibilities of what downhill mountain bikes can do. With his signature no-holds-barred style, he’s blasting through boundaries and throwing in a whip just for fun. With riders like Danny leading the charge, the sport’s progression has suddenly sped up. This unassuming yet immensely talented 20-year-old from the seaside town of Redcar, in the northeast of England, is part of a new generation of riders who demand more. From themselves, and from their bikes.

A former BMX racer who regularly trains on a motocross bike, Danny knows exactly what he wants in his bikes. And before his second pro season he sat down with Giant engineers, product developers and Factory Team mechanics and articulated his ideas.

Giant is unique in its capabilities to fine-tune the ride qualities of professional-level bikes. It’s the only major manufacturer that literally builds its bikes from scratch—including producing its own aluminum frame tubing. Giant’s formula is simple: It brings together athletes and bike-builders, linking craftsmanship and performance.

With one season of racing the Glory under his belt—his rookie 2010 season—Danny knew exactly what was working for his attacking style on the world's most challenging DH courses. The super-strong, lightweight ALUXX SL frame material formed the perfect foundation. The Maestro Suspension gave him confidence and control. And going into 2011, he had a major new team sponsor, SRAM, that promised the lightest and most dependable components.

At that point Danny was looking for small adjustments that could make a big difference.

Over the following months, Giant engineered a modified race bike for Danny and his teammates Andrew Neethling and Duncan Riffle. The prototype Glory bikes were quietly unveiled at Round 2 of the World Cup series in Fort William, Scotland. The very first time he raced it, Danny scored a career-best second-place finish.

The rest is history: Danny went on to have a breakout season, getting on three World Cup podiums and laying down the run of a lifetime to win the World Championship in Champéry. Not bad for a second-year pro.

Here are the specs for Danny’s prototype World Championship Giant Glory, which will continue to be refined throughout the 2012 racing season. For more details on some of his race-day set-up secrets, click on the photos above. 

DANNY HART’S PROTOTYPE GIANT GLORY

Model: Giant Glory Prototype, size Medium
Frame: ALUXX SL Grade Aluminum with 8-inch Maestro Suspension
Fork: RockShox Boxxer with BlackBox internals and stanchions
Shock: RockShox Vivid R2C, custom-tuned for Champéry course; 350-pound RockShox Ti spring
Handlebar: Truvativ BooBar, 20mm rise, 780mm width
Grips: ODI Ruffian, non-locking type. Glued and wired
Stem: Truvativ Holzfeller direct mount 50mm
Seatpost: Truvativ Holzfeller straight
Saddle: Fi’zi:k
Pedals: Crank Brothers Mallet
Shifters: SRAM XO 10-speed trigger shifters
Rear Derailleur: SRAM XO DH 10-speed short cage
Brakes: Avid BlackBox Code calipers, 20mm disc front and rear
Brake levers: Avid BlackBox
Cassette: SRAM PG1070 11-23
Chain: SRAM PC 1091, hollow pin
Crankset: SRAM XO DH prototype with 38-tooth chainring, 165mm length
BB: Truvativ GXP 83mm
Rims: DT Swiss EX1750 white
Hubs: DT Swiss 240 red
Spokes: DT Swiss Competition
Tires: Schwalbe Danny Hart, custom labelled and custom compound (Dirty Dan)
Extras: Full titanium bolts (except stem bolts), RRP Fork splash protector, Carbon Kevlar caliper mud cover