World marathon champion Andreas Seewald might not have finished the Cape Epic with his teammate, but it wasn't because his bike was lacking in capability and performance.
The win on Stage 4 was a key moment, seeing the Canyon Northwave MTB team close the gap with the leaders to just 00:01:43.3. Unfortunately, the Canyon Northwave MTB team would go from a Cape Epic high point to a race-ending low overnight as Seewald's teammate, Martin Stosek, was struck with gastroenteritis and unable to start Stage 4 in the morning.
The German mountain biker’s Cape Epic build used the ultralight 100mm Canyon Lux frame, with DT Swiss and Shimano componentry. The Lux frame has remained unchanged since 2019, favoring more traditional steeper geometry which optimizes climbing position and lively handling on tight terrain rather than the slacker angles we have begun seeing in the best full-suspension mountain bikes. In fact, the Lux is one of the few XC bikes that still has a 70-degree head angle.
To celebrate Seewald's XC marathon world championship win, Canyon has decked out his Lux with a special paint job. Rather than the traditional rainbow strips, Canyon partnered with World Bicycle Relief to create a series of bikes that raises awareness and money for the charity. World Bicycle Relief delivers locally assembled bicycles as a means of mobilizing people and breaking down barriers to accessing education, healthcare and facilitating community transportation needs. As part of Canyon's ONE WORLD. ONE CLLCTV fundraising campaign, £22,350 was raised for World Bicycle Relief in 2021.
Ceramic enhanced XTR
Seewald is another rider on the Cape Epic who is running the mechanical Shimano XTR 1x12 drivetrain and brakes. An SRM power meter is part of the X-Ring EVO chainring, sized at 36t – slightly larger than his usual 34t configuration.
Reducing friction at the rear of this XTR drivetrain, are oversized CeramicSpeed bearings, in the OSPW X cage. This tech is commonly seen on WorldTour road bikes but not so much in XC racing.
Shimano XTR brakes and pedals help keep Seewald in control and his tire choice is a classic Cape Epic combination, albeit with new tread patterns. Seewald rolled a Schwalbe Racing Ray at the front and Racing Ralph at the rear, sized 2.25-inch and mounted to DT Swiss XRC 1200 carbon wheels.
To mitigate the contact point fatigue, which is a genuine part of any Cape Epic, Seewald prefers Ergon GA3 grips and Sella Italia saddle.
Running the DT Swiss 100mm F232 One fork and matching R232 One shock, Seewald wanted to have complete lockout control, at the mere touch of a remote trigger. His Cape Epic bike featured remote lockout controls for the fork and shock.
There were many more pro riders using dropper seatposts at this year’s Cape Epic, mostly SRAM’s wireless AXS version. As a Shimano drivetrain rider, Seewald opted for another DT Swiss product, its 60mm D 232 One dropper seatpost, which has excellent durability, thanks to its simple mechanically loaded spring and return mechanism.