Tuesday , 29 September 2020

 

GEAR CHOICE AT THE 2020 ABSA CAPE EPIC

You don’t spend months training for the Absa Cape Epic only to arrive at the start of the world’s most prestigious mountain bike stage race with inferior gear. Although the 2020 edition was cancelled, more than 90% of the participants completed the rider survey. We worked with the organisers to add some new gear category questions. Here are the rider choices for tyres, helmets, shoes, eyewear, shorts and more.

Tyres

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Maxxis 24% 31% 43% 42% 46%
Specialized 18%
Schwalbe 35% 27% 22% 16% 13%
Vittoria/Geax 10% 11% 13% 8% 8%
Continental 17% 16% 12% 8% 6%
Bontrager 3% 6% 4% 4% 4%
Mitas 3% 4% 2% 2% 1%
Vredestein 1% 1% 1% 0% 0%
Michelin 1% 1% 1% 1% 1%
Kenda 1% 1% 0.5% 1% 1%
WTB 0% 0% 0.5% 1% 0%
Other 5% 2% 1% 17% 2%

Maxxis just keeps on gaining more Absa Cape Epic rider marketshare, now up to 46%! The reason Specialized has no historic figures is because it was never listed as a tyre brand option in the past. So it fell under ‘Other’. For 2020 it was added as an option and immediately sits in second place at 18%. Since all Specialized bicycles are sold with Specialized tyres and Specialized is the dominant bicycle brand once again this year, there’s part of the reason for its strong performance in this category.

Vittoria/Geax and Bontrager both maintained the same percentages as in 2019, but Schwalbe and Continental both lost some, er, traction…

Image: Dwayne Senior/Cape Epic

Eyewear

2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Oakley 51% 55% 57% 58% 60%
Rudy Project 20% 14% 15% 11% 7%
Adidas 12% 10% 10% 8% 8%
UVEX 2% 2% 3% 1%
POC 2% 2% 1% 1%
Bolle 1%
None 4% 3% 3% 3%
Other 16% 16% 13% 18% 19%

Oakley continues to dominate the eyewear category among Cape Epic participants. Bolle made its first appearance on our reveal sheet with a single percentage share, while both Rudy Project and UVEX showed percentage drops from 2019.

Image: Dwayne Senior/Cape Epic

Shoes

2020
Specialized 30%
Shimano 18%
Sidi 14%
SCOTT 7%
Bontrager 5%
Giro 5%
Mavic 4%
Lake 3%
Fizik 3%
Northwave 3%
Louis Garneau 1%
Other 7%

Based on other TREAD survey gear results in recent years, we were expecting Specalized to be the leader in the shoes category. But to have almost a third of the field wearing Specialized shoes is quite something.

Helmet

2020
Specialized 27%
Giro 12%
Kask 8%
SCOTT 8%
POC 7%
Bontrager 5%
Rudy Project 5%
UVEX 3%
Bell 3%
Abus 2%
Oakley 2%
Catlike 1%
Cratoni 1%
Fox 1%
MET 1%
Smith 1%
Other 13%

This was the first year that helmets have been included in the rider survey. Specialized once again showing its dominance in this category, with more than double the share of Giro in second place.

Image: Justin Coomber/Cape Epic

Bib-shorts

2020
Assos 37%
Specialized 6%
Ciovita 6%
Rapha 4%
Castelli 4%
Pearl Izumi 2%
Bontrager 2%
Santini 2%
Enjoy 2%
Louis Garneau 1%
Giordana 1%
First Ascent 1%
Mavic 1%
Endura 1%
Sportful 1%
Craft 1%
Odlo 1%
Cape Storm 1%
Other 26%

This was the first year this question was asked. It’s not really surprising to see Assos in a dominant top spot. Assos is a partner of the event and is widely considered to be the premium bibshorts brand among mountain bikers. The joint second place for Specialized and Ciovita is interesting. Specialized isn’t a specialist clothing brand, but is the dominant bike, helmet and shoe brand at the Cape Epic. Incredible brand success! Ciovita is a specialist clothing brand, but a relatively young one (launched in 2016). To be number two already is impressive.

Baggy shorts

A total of 15% said they would be riding the 2020 Absa Cape Epic in baggy shorts. These are the baggy-shorts brands they listed:

2020
Assos 18%
Specialized 12%
Fox 7%
SCOTT 5%
POC 3%
Bontrager 3%
Ciovita 3%
First Ascent 2%
Mavic 2%
Pearl Izumi 2%
Patagonia 1%
Louis Garneau 1%
Cape Storm 1%
7Mesh 1%
Race Face 1%
Sugoi 1%
Other 37%

To be honest, this percentage is about double what we expected. Of course, seasoned mountain bike stage racers will know that the baggy shorts are worn over a decent pair of bib-shorts. The wearing of baggy shorts – essentially an extra layer – is more for fashion than function. Not that there’s anything wrong with that of course.

Image: Justin Coomber/Cape Epic

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BIKES OF THE 2020 ABSA CAPE EPIC – ALL THE STATS 

Coming next week: Rider stats from the 2020 Absa Cape Epic.

GEAR CHOICE AT THE 2020 ABSA CAPE EPIC Reviewed by on . You don’t spend months training for the Absa Cape Epic only to arrive at the start of the world’s most prestigious mountain bike stage race with inferior gear. You don’t spend months training for the Absa Cape Epic only to arrive at the start of the world’s most prestigious mountain bike stage race with inferior gear. Rating: 0

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