Skip to main content

Cape Epic: Ariane Lüthi's Orbea Oiz

Ariane Lüthi's Orbea Oiz
(Image credit: Max Sullivan )

Ariane Lüthi might be Swiss, but her mountain biking education was thoroughly African. One of the Cape Epic’s most successful riders, with five overall wins, Ariane has spent most of her professional mountain biking career training and racing in South Africa.

Few riders know more about what works – and what fails – at the world’s toughest mountain bike stage race, than Ariane. For this year’s Cape Epic, Ariane was on an Orbea Oiz, complete with a carbon-fiber frame and coupled with RockShox’s premium SID fork and matching SID Luxe shock.

Image 1 of 8

Ariane Lüthi's Orbea Oiz

The shock is neatly mounted to the top tube (Image credit: Max Sullivan )
Image 2 of 8

Ariane Lüthi's Orbea Oiz

The shock position leaves space for two bottles (Image credit: Max Sullivan )
Image 3 of 8

Ariane Lüthi's Orbea Oiz

Ariane rides a medium frame (Image credit: Max Sullivan )
Image 4 of 8

Ariane Lüthi's Orbea Oiz

The fork and shock lockout is controlled from the handlebars (Image credit: Max Sullivan )
Image 5 of 8

Ariane Lüthi's Orbea Oiz

RockShox’s SID fork upfront (Image credit: Max Sullivan )
Image 6 of 8

Ariane Lüthi's Orbea Oiz

Ariane's XX1 crankset is fitted with a Quarq power meter (Image credit: Max Sullivan )
Image 7 of 8

Ariane Lüthi's Orbea Oiz

SRAM wireless XX1 drivetrain is a Cape Epic favorite (Image credit: Max Sullivan )
Image 8 of 8

Ariane Lüthi's Orbea Oiz

SRAM level brakes offer power and control on the descents (Image credit: Max Sullivan )

Like most of the pro field, Ariane uses SRAM’s AXS Eagle XX1 wireless drivetrain, with a Quarq power meter embedded in the crankset’s spider. A minimalist chain guide ensures chain security when Ariane is descending technical terrain. SRAM also handles the braking with a set of Level ULT brakes.

Image 1 of 3

Ariane Lüthi's Orbea Oiz

The Gelu Carbon Creation is 730mm wide (Image credit: Max Sullivan )
Image 2 of 3

Ariane Lüthi's Orbea Oiz

The super lightweight bar gives Ariane the stiffness to compliance ratio she is looking for (Image credit: Max Sullivan )
Image 3 of 3

Ariane Lüthi's Orbea Oiz

Ariane is ready to quickly deal with any puncture disasters (Image credit: Max Sullivan )

Boutique carbon bits 

Brakes are also from SRAM, with Guide Ultimates helping Ariane retain control on those fast, rocky, descents.

Taped to the Oiz’s top tube is a puncture repair plunger, with a large-size sealing worm already threaded into place and ready to be used.

The most interesting part of Ariane’s Cape Epic build is her cockpit. She uses a 730mm wide composite handlebar from Gelu Carbon Creation. It weighs only 124.2g and Ariane believes this handlebar has the best blend of stiffness and compliance for a Cape Epic.

Image 1 of 4

Ariane Lüthi's Orbea Oiz

These armrests allow Ariane to tuck low on the smooth sections and get more aero (Image credit: Max Sullivan )
Image 2 of 4

Ariane Lüthi's Orbea Oiz

Despite the SRAM drivetrain Ariane is running Shimano XTR pedals (Image credit: Max Sullivan )
Image 3 of 4

Ariane Lüthi's Orbea Oiz

Wheels are from Scope (Image credit: Max Sullivan )
Image 4 of 4

Ariane Lüthi's Orbea Oiz

The wheels are fitted with Racing Ralph tires (Image credit: Max Sullivan )

Aero MTB

Mounted on the handlebar, inboard of the shifter and brake controls, are two ergonomic armrests. 

Ariane uses these armrests to brace herself when moving into an aero position, with her forearms resting on the handlebars. Think of them as a mountain biker’s interpretation of triathlon aero bars.

There’s a Gelu 27.2mm fixed carbon seatpost too, at 112.3g, with Ariane opting not to run an AXS dropper, like many other pro riders at this year’s Cape Epic.

Rolling Ariane along are Schwalbe’s latest Racing Ralph tires which are fitted to a set of Scope MTB wheels. In contrast to the SRAM drivetrain, she clips into the proven XTR SPD pedal system from Shimano.

Lance Branquinho
Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born media professional who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his fascination with trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. Rides: Morewood Kwela Cotic Simple 26 Pyga 160mm aluminium prototype