French enduro racer Morgane Charray is one of the top contenders to win the opening round of the 2022 Enduro World Series (EWS) in Tweed Valley, Scotland.
Charray’s racing career began in 2012, when he won the UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Championships in Leogang, Austria. After competing for seven years on the Downhill World Cup circuit, Charray switched to full-time enduro racing in 2019 after competing in the DH and enduro categories.
Joining UK racer Bernard Kerr’s Pivot Factory Racing team with Kiwi riders Ed Masters and Matt Walker in 2019, Charray built on previous success, finishing second in the 2021 EWS rankings after winning the Italian round and not out of the top five in other races. .
Thanks to the BMX background, Charray always rides flat pedals rather than clips on her bikes. This is one of the few riders who choose not to clip – along with fellow world champion Sam Hill – at the sharp end of EWS Field.
Charlie’s bike of choice for racing is Pivot’s Firebird, the US-based brand’s 29in-wheel enduro bike with 165mm rear wheel travel and size-specific, adjustable geometry.
Small size, great performance
The Charles Firebird is small in size.
At 163cm high, Charray rides a small carbon fibre firebird in glacial green metallic colour.
The bike uses Pivot’s halo-core carbon fibre manufacturing processes, where each piece and layer of carbon is placed against the core mould. It is said to help prevent wrinkles and zeros to improve strength and reduce weight.
The emblem has additionally tuned the texture of every of the Firebird frames relying on its size. The idea behind this is that riders on an extra-large bike larger than 100kg will get the same ‘ride feel’ as 50kg riders on a smaller bike.
Firebird is made from carbon fibre. Alex Evans / Our Media
Charray has set its bike to a lower geometry position with a 445mm Reach figure, 431mm chainsaws and 1,207mm wheelbase.
Those figures are combined with a 76-degree seat tube angle and a 64-degree head tube angle; It is quite steep and slow for EWS’s ascending and descending demands.
Inside the front triangle there is room for a 630ml water bottle (even on a small frame), and the cables are rotated internally.
Dialling in damping
The Fox Float X2 powers the rear suspension.
Like all Pivot’s full-suspension bikes, the Firebird uses twin co-rotating links to drive shock and pull the front and rear triangles together.
The system was created by Dave Weigel – a famous suspension guru, thanks to his DW-Link design, as ridden by the aforementioned Sam Hill on the Iron Horse Sunday Downhill Bike.
Dave Weigel designed the DW-Link.
The Firebird features a 165mm rear-wheel drive, which is wetted by the rear of the Fox Float X2 Factory rear shock on Charray’s bike, which she chose to drive for the EWS Tweed Valley.
” At some point of the season we can race the coil [Fox DHX2] but we are really happy with the wind at this point,” Charray tells Bikeradar.
In regards to the setup, Charray opens up the 148psi with its compression compatibility and rebounding to taste, they tell us it’s fast. They are currently using a volume-reducer spacer in the rear shock to provide additional bottom-out resistance.
The DW-Link system uses two co-rotating links. Alex
In her setup, Charray says: “Low compression damping and fast rebounding help keep my feet on the pedals.”
The rear suspension matches Fox’s 38 factory fork.
“We selected the 38 as it makes me feel assured that the bike can manage some things at the landing, which gives me confidence.
And, coming from a sloping racing background, we really like how it feels. Have found.
Fox’s respected 38 fork features the front.
Charray is currently running the 76psi, with its low and high speed compression damping adjustments fully open. For rebounding, she has seven clicks from a high-speed open and four clicks from a low-speed rebound.
She runs one or volume-reducer spacers, relying on how gnarly or rapid the race tracks are.
Flat pedals win medals
While that phrase is a bit of a misnomer – seeing as most EWS racers are racing with clipless pedals – the same is true for Charray, who tops the podium in flats.
The French Racer’s MC2 Nukeproof Horizon Pro Pedals are custom-painted for her.
Charray explains, “Coming from a BMX background, we always ride in flats and are more comfortable with them. We’ve tried the clips but this changes my riding style so much that we enjoy it less.
Charray is one of the few pro-level flat pedal riders on the EWS circuit.
“When we first started downhill, we had problems keeping my feet on pedals on really rough tracks, but the bike suspension and pedals and shoes are so good now, there’s no reason not to ride in the flat.”
There is only tension in the tires
She uses specific versions of the front and rear in the sloping casing and their SuperSoft composite in both.
In terms of tire pressure, the Charray has 18psi on the front and 20psi on the back.
For the EWS Tweed Valley, they have decided not to run a tire insert, but occasionally drive a panzer insert in the back.
Charray runs Continental’s DH Casing SuperSoft composite versions of Cryptotel Tires.
It is being explained
Charray’s cockpit was supplied by Renthal, another sponsor of his team.
She chose the Aluminium Renthal Fatbar 35 with a 30mm rise. Usually, her bars are 750mm wide, but thanks to the tight trees popular on the trails in the Tweed Valley, she cut them to 740mm for extra clearance.
These are paired with a 40mm-long Renthal Apex stem and Renthal’s Traction Lock-On Ultra Tacky Grips.
The WTB SL8 Ti Saddle is fitted to Charray’s 175mm-Travel Fox Transfer Factory Seatpost.
Shimano’s XTR M8120 four-piston brakes with ice technologies, finned pads and 200mm rotors take care of braking.
Charray’s running 170mm-long XTR M9100 cranks – with a samurai tubeless repair kit inside the axle – and a 32t chainring.
Following the XTR theme, she’s got an XTR shifter and a derailleur.
Finally, she drives the Reynolds black label wheels, laced to Industry Nine Hydra hubs.
We wish Charray and all the other enduro World Series racers the best wishes this season.
Full specifications of Morgane Charray’s Pivot Firebird Enduro Race Bike
Frame: Pivot Firebird, Small
Shock: Fox Float X2 Factory
Fork: Fox Float 38 Factory
Cockpit: Renthal Fatbar 35, 740mm wide, 30mm rise; Renthal apex stem 40 mm long; Rental Traction Lock-On Ultrataki Clutches
Brakes: Shimano XTR M9120 with 200m rotors
Drivetrain: Shimano XTR M9100 12-speed, 10-51t cassette
The Crankset: Shimano XTR M9100 170mm long, 32t chainset
Wheels / Tires: Reynolds Black Label Rims On Industry Nine Hydra Hubs / Continental Cryptotel DH Casing, SuperSoft Compound 29 × 2.4in
Mudguard / Hamper(Saddle): Fox Transfer Factory 175mm Travel Dropper / WTB SL8 Ti
Pedals: Custom MC2 Newcomer Horizon Pro