Friday , 20 September 2019

GEAR CHOICE AT THE 2019 ABSA CAPE EPIC: ALL THE STATS

Not only does the Absa Cape Epic test riders to their physical, mental and emotional limits, it’s also considered one of the most extreme tests of bicycles and gear. The mostly hot, dry conditions, rugged terrain and varying strains of sand and dust encountered under high-pressure racing make equipment choice critical.

Of the 1 380 riders that entered the 2019 Cape Epic, a total of 1 299 took the rider survey. That’s 94%, which is an exceptionally large sample size. Here’s how their gear choice looked…

 

Tyre choice

Tyre brand 2016 2017 2018 2019
Maxxis 24% 31% 43% 42%
Schwalbe 35% 27% 22% 16%
Vittoria/Geax 10% 11% 13% 8%
Continental 17% 16% 12% 8%
Bontrager 3% 6% 4% 4%
Mitas 3% 4% 2% 2%
Vredestein 1% 1% 1% 0%
Michelin 1% 1% 1% 1%
Kenda 1% 1% 0.5% 1%
WTB 0% 0% 0.5% 1%
Other 5% 2% 1% 17%

With 42%, Maxxis remains the most dominant tyre brand, with Schwalbe still in second but continuing to decline year on year to just 16%. Continental also dropped its Cape Epic market-share, sharing third place with Vittoria/Geax, which, after two years of increase, saw a decrease to 8%, while Bontrager remained in fifth place with 4%.

However, there remains one glaring omission on this list – Specialized. In the past five years, riders on Specialized tyres have won six UCI men and women Cape Epic titles. We can only assume it’s among the 17% of ‘OTHER’…

Component split

  Shimano SRAM Other
2007 61% 36% 3%
2008 57% 41% 2%
2009 57% 41% 2%
2010 47% 51% 2%
2011 46% 53% 1%
2012 45% 55% 0%
2013 51% 49% 0%
2014 50% 49% 1%
2015 44% 55% 1%
2016 44% 55% 1%
2017 44% 56% 0%
2018 29% 70% 1%
2019 24% 76% 0%

Talk about a turnaround! After briefly regaining a marginal majority in 2013 and 2014, Shimano has dropped to just 24% in 2019. It’s hardly surprising when you consider the impact that SRAM’s 1×12 Eagle, launched in 2016 and now almost standard on most mid-to-top-end bikes, has had on drivetrain choice for committed mountain bikers. Shimano launched it’s own 1×12 drivetrain models over the past 15 months, but was up against SRAM’s 1×12 Eagle range expansion over the same period.

Drivetrain configuration

  2016 2017 2018 2019
Single chainring 49% 67% 81% 88%
Double chainring 48% 30% 17% 11%
Triple chainring 3% 3% 2% 1%

The launch of SRAM’s 1×12 has revolutionised the marathon and stage-race market’s drivetrain choice and it shows in all stage race survey stats over the past year, with a significant jump from 49% two years ago to 88% at the Cape Epic this year. Incredible to think that just 10 years ago, triple chainrings were still the accepted norm…

Dropper seatpost

  2017 2018 2019
Yes 17% 21% 31%
No 83% 79% 69%

There’s no question that a dropper seatpost improves rider control through fast corners and on descents – even more so for less-skilled riders who struggle with managing their centre of gravity and weight distribution. A 10% increase in one year is significant and, as with single chainrings, we’re sure to see this trend continue year on year as more and more marathon bikes come already specced with droppers.

 

Eyewear

  Oakley Rudy Project adidas UVEX POC Tifosi Other
2012 36% 24% 11%       29%
2013 40% 25% 10%       25%
2014 45% 24% 8%     1% 22%
2015 49% 21% 12%     1% 17%
2016 51% 20% 12%     1% 16%
2017 55% 14% 10% 2% 2% 1% 16%
2018 57% 15% 10% 2% 2% 1% 13%
2019 58% 11% 8% 3% 1% 1% 18%

Oakley continues to dominate the eyewear category among Cape Epic participants, with all other prominent brands, bar UVEX, dipping lower than last year…

 

Bicycle transport bag/box

  2017 2018 2019
Evoc 35% 30% 29%
Thule 7% 8% 9%
Scicon 5% 5% 8%
Other 9% 5% 7%
Cardboard box 3% 4% 4%
Bkind 1% 2% 2%
Bike Box Alan 1% 1% 1%
Pro (Shimano)   1% 1%
B&W 1% 1% 1%

Although still the dominant brand, Evoc dropped by another 1% this year, with Thule and Scicon increasing slightly. A total of 65% of respondents answered this question as the majority of South Africans now use bicycle transport companies to move their bikes to major events and back home again.

GEAR CHOICE AT THE 2019 ABSA CAPE EPIC: ALL THE STATS Reviewed by on . Not only does the Absa Cape Epic test riders to their physical, mental and emotional limits, it’s also considered one of the most extreme tests of bicycles and Not only does the Absa Cape Epic test riders to their physical, mental and emotional limits, it’s also considered one of the most extreme tests of bicycles and Rating: 0

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