Bike Check & Interview: Specialized demo of Roger Vieira, winner of the British National DH Series
This bike also shows how practical it is to be a private rider with tough parts that have clearly been used well on many bikes before this one. I think it’s fair to say that this bike isn’t a show bike but it bears its scars well – each with its own story to tell. Now he even has a National Series title to his name, I would say don’t wash it and hang it on the wall but the reality of the situation is this bike is going to be put back to work being ridden hard by Roger at his next race.
“Combine an irrational appreciation of speed with the unmatched versatility of being able to use a traction-loving 29-inch front wheel and a lively 27.5-inch rear, and you’ve got the fastest, most capable demo yet.” Specialized.
Roger’s Demo suspension is handled by SR Suntour. With the SR Suntour RUX DH fitted front fork offering 200mm of travel, Roger uses his RUX with a 29 “front wheel providing a very narrow space between the tire and the fork bridge. settings, there is 75 psi of air pressure with 3 spacers installed. Roger performs 10 low speed compression clicks with his high speed compression assembly fully open. High speed rebound is set to 2 clicks, as well as on 26 low speed rebound clicks Like many other sponsored riders Roger rides a special cartridge tuned by Suntour into the leg of his RUX fork.
Outback of Roger’s Demo is a prototype SR Suntour shock. Roger didn’t want to go into too much detail on the shock itself, but said he was running 180 psi on Piggyback on the shock with a 450 lb spring. The Shock itself was tuned by Suntour to make it gradual but smooth at the start of its run with 3 clicks of low speed compression and 8 clicks of rebound. The high speed compression is adjusted internally and Roger uses a 450 lb spring.
Although Roger is not sponsored by Specialized, their demo is his preferred setting. The aluminum frame is set up in a Mullet configuration. Although not the tallest guy in the world, Roger uses an S3 size frame which is Specialized’s midframe. Due to its size, its seat post is cut short and as low as possible as this allows it more clearance on the bike.
For the brakes, there is a set of Shimano Saint brakes with 203mm front and rear rotors, although a mixed pair with a Shimano up front and a Gaffer rotor at the rear. It’s no surprise to see these brakes on Roger’s bike. They are solid brakes that are reliable and seem to have lived a rough life because of all the scratches covering them.
For brake adjustment, Roger likes his levers to be at 0 degrees on the bars. It uses an angle application to make sure they are equally fair on both sides. He also likes that his brakes are sharp and sets the lever so that the bite point is in the middle of the lever travel.
Wrapped around these wheels are a pair of Kenda tires with Hellkat mounted on the front wheel tubeless and at 23 psi without insert. At the rear is a Kenda Pinner. This is again configured tubeless with 27 psi and a Tannus armor insert installed inside.
E-thirteen also offers Roger’s bars. This is their Race Carbon bar with a 30mm rise and 35mm diameter. Roger cuts his bars to a width of 760 mm. They are complemented by a set of ODI Classic Elite Flow Locking MTB Grips. A 50mm Burgtech direct mount stem keeps them on the bike.
At the end of the cranks, Roger runs a set of Shimano Saint SPD pedals. Roger likes his SPD setup to be super tight so that it doesn’t accidentally unclip halfway.
When it comes to speeds, another favorite among downhill racers, the Sram XO DH 7 speed groupset with a few differences. Instead of a Sram cassette, there is a Box Components Box Two DH 7 speed 11-24T cassette. Roger also uses self-adhesive velcro hooks to give him extra grip on his shifter.
We caught up with Roger Vieira, World Cup privateer and now defending UK National Downhill Series champion, to talk about his thoughts on his season and how hard it is to be a privateer on the circuit. world Cup. Roger is honestly one of the nicest guys in the pits and his dedication to the sport is unreal.
Congratulations on winning the National DH Series, how are you feeling?
Yeah, I feel pretty good. First time I win the series. Well I started off by winning my very first National Series race which was in the first round at Hamsterley and then I just won the next two and finished second today so yeah really happy and I could not be better.
Not the perfect finish but happy with the result today?
Yes, I rode really well and had a really good time, but Dan Slack was faster and had a better time. So yes, fair play with him. Obviously I wanted to win this one because it would have been a 100% winning streak for the year, but I wasn’t the fastest man on the hill today. It’s like that.
So you are a privateer on the World Cup circuit. Is it difficult for you, as a privateer, to compete at this level?
It’s really difficult. I have to drive, so we have to drive up to events, which can last up to 20 hours. It’s really hard with driving on top of everything and it’s just me and my brother. Now my brother is hurt so it’s just me really. When we get there, we don’t have anyone to help us so we have to continue with the mechanical work on the bike, the food, all the stretching and foam rolling, whatever you can imagine. It just makes it difficult.
It sounds harsh. If there was one thing you could change in your privacy, what would it be?
The thing that I would really like, if I could choose one thing, it would be a mechanic. Like in Lenzerheide, I qualified 34th and then we stayed up until nine o’clock the day before race day changing the tires on the bikes and the like. So it’s very difficult, but we have to do what we have to do to make it work.
Your brother Douglas had a big injury this year. How is his recovery going?
So he fell in the first round of the World Cup – he had a big fall, he broke his C2 vertebrae. Fortunately, he has regained all his movements and he is alive. He’s suffered life-threatening injuries, but he’s recovering well and has already slowly returned to the bike, and he’s back in the gym to regain his strength. His neck movement is still limited and there isn’t really much strength but he’s already building that backup. So, yes, he’s on the mend.
Coming from World Cups to National Series, do you like the difference?
Yeah, I really like it. There is a lot of pressure in the World Cup and that makes you feel good. I rode really well at the nationals, but picking up that speed in the World Cup – that’s what I struggle with the most. During the last round in Lenzerheide, I think I managed to find the right formula to perform well. So I’m really looking forward to next season to see how we’re doing.
It’s been a tough year for everyone, but being a Brazilian living in the UK, how has the past year been for you? I know you said you couldn’t go home to visit your family.
Yeah, it was tough. We had the American Continental Championships in Brazil last month and because Brazil was a Red List country I couldn’t go. But everything is fine. I struggled a lot at first, but now everyone here already knows me and everyone is friendly to me which is really cool.
As for next year, are you planning on doing the same again and coming back to the World Cup circuit?
Yes, it’s true. Okay yes so next year now I managed to work part time because I still have a full time job. I asked my boss to let me go part-time so I had more time to train and properly focus on the downhill races. I will therefore work three days a week and then two days a week I will be able to devote myself fully to training. The plan is to do the full World Cup season and any UK round that I can fit into that doesn’t conflict with the World Cup rounds. So I can’t wait. Especially after finishing this season in a very good way by winning the championship here at the UK championships, I am really looking forward to next season to build on it.
Any thanks that you would like to give?
Yes I want to thank all of my family, wife and all of my sponsors, the Moore Large racing team for supporting me and yes thank you very much to everyone behind me making it all happen. Especially my family who moved from Brazil to UK just to live the dream for the past 7 years. I’ve always dreamed of competing in World Cups and they’ve sacrificed pretty much everything to get me here so thank you very much.
Many thanks to Roger for giving us the time to set this up midway through a very busy race weekend for him.