Snow, wind, 98% downward slope. Race F2.0 prototype, an outfit that looks like a skin-tight space-suit and Eric Barone – 55 year old World Champion in speed-mountain biking.
Saturday morning, 7.39am, Eric Barone was dropping into the perfectly prepared high speed slope in Vars with the self-imposed mission of breaking his own speed world record of 222,22 km/h.
After 15 years and an intense 8 months of preparation with a team of experts and technicians, Eric managed to complete the mission setting a new world record of 223,3 km/h! Amazing!
World records do not just happen, one needs to work towards them: ‘They´re the result of precise craftsmanship and extremely thorough preparation’ the old and new world speed champion declared right after his sensational success. ‘With this ride to the new world speed record I entered a completely new area of experiencing velocity.’ Eric Barone again is setting a new standard, a superlative in the world of speed mountain biking and mountain biking itself.
Eric Barone worked with a team of highly professional people. Technology, aerodynamics, chassis design, organization and team building were among many of the expert fields. “Such a project is extremely complex. Very detailed organization is needed and the financial pressure is breathing down your neck. The development of the new high speed mountain bike Race F2.0, a mix of production MTB and prototype cost in the region of €80.000. The race track alone was about 25.000 € and then there are the studies in the wind tunnel, logistics, 3-D film production, PR and team members, the total cost of the project was €180.000,” explained Eric.
In terms of the chassis Eric Barone worked closely with Stephane Guillaume, SR Suntour head of R&D for suspension forks and shocks in Europe. ‘For the Race F2.0 we decided to work with our Auron RC2 and our new UNAir 165×38 rear shock. Both standard production, we just travelled the Auron down to 70mm and we´ve been working on a specific tune for both fork and rear shock matching the unique requirements brought by the prototype, the speed and the race track. I am quite happy with the result, simply a milestone!’
Enjoy the images and the videos of this event – impressive and scary at the same time!