It's the Fort William Downhill World Cup weekend. Our news round-up includes top DH launches including the new YT Tues, Vittoria's gravity tire, and we chat with Greg Minnaar

YT Industries Tues being ridden down a rock trail
The new Tues from YT has a host of adjustment options (Image credit: YT Industries)

All eyes are on the iconic downhill MTB venue in Fort William, Scotland as the Whoop UCI World Cup gets underway this weekend. There have been plenty of the best downhill bike related products announced including this week's news highlight, the new Tues downhill bike from YT Industries.

Our in-boxes have been filling up with some interesting news including the latest lightweight e-MTB to the very bold claim from Hutchison Tires that the French brand has created the "fastest gravel tire" available, so that's one we'll look forward to putting to the test soon.

We've rounded up all the newest bikes and products into one handy single article, so read on for all the must-know details and the Bike Perfect team's picks from this week's mountain bike and off-road news...

YT Industries Tues Core 4 studio shot

The new YT Industries Tues can be in downhill action this weekend in Fort William (Image credit: YT Industries)

The new YT Tues downhill bike comes with a load of adjustment possibilities giving owners easy geometry tweaks and an easy switch between mullet or 29er wheels

It's the opening round of the 2024 UCI Downhill World Cup this weekend and YT Industries has released the fourth iteration of its Tues downhill bike. It will make its World Cup debut in Scotland, piloted by the four-time DH World Champion Vali Höll who recently returned for her second spell with the YT Mob.

The big news on the new Tues is the host of adjustment options, every bike across the sizing can now swap between either a mullet or 29-inch wheel, chainstays can be short or long, and the head angle can be slackened, making the Tues a much more versatile machine.

The new model also uses an Ultra-Modulus carbon fiber frame layout and V4L (Virtual Four Link) Horst link suspension linkage and there is 200mm of travel at both ends – which stays the same as the outgoing MK3 Tues which is still one of the best downhill bikes around.

The Tues will come in two build options, the Core 4 fitted with a Fox Factory 40 fork and DHX2 coil shock with size-specific spring rates while the Core 2 latest RockShox Boxxer Base fork and Super Deluxe Select coil shock. Pricing is $5,999 / £5,999 / €5,999 for the Core 4 and $3,999 / £3,999 / €3,999 for the Core 2.

The Vittoria Mostro tire

Vittoria's new gravity Mostro tire will also debut at Fort William this weekend (Image credit: Vittoria)

Vittoria's Mostro tires are a two model gravity focussed range and feature the Italian brand's new grippy rubber compound

Developed and tested alongside the Commençal ICStudio Downhill Team and the Abetone Ancillotti Vittoria Enduro Pro Team, Italian tire giants Vittoria dropped its new gravity tire – the Vittoria Mostro. The two new models – named the Mostro Enduro Race and the Mostro Enduro – are the latest additions to the brand's mountain bike tires range.

The Mostro Race uses Vittoria's new Race Formulation technology – a single compound, soft rubber claimed to deliver speed, grip performance, and race-tuned durability and abrasion resistance. The cheaper Mostro Enduro has an advanced 4Compound technology made with with four rubber compounds as the name suggests.

Both versions have a new tread designed to deliver speed and control. They also feature a new V-formation tread pattern for added stability on various surfaces and enhanced braking stability. Finally, both have a Sidewall Stability Insert to protect the tires from rim strikes and give additional sidewall support.

Two versions are available now sized 29x2.4 sizing. Pricing is €72.95 for the Race and €68.95 for the Enduro. Other sizes will follow later in the year and if you're in Fort William for the Downhill World Cup this weekend, Vittoria will have the Mostro on displayed at its stand. 

Greg Minnaar unloading his bike from the back of a pick up truck

Greg Minnaar spoke about his new Norco team and the big changes to downhill racing (Image credit: Sam Clark)

Bike Perfect sat down to chat with the GOAT Greg Minnaar and we found out what the future has in store for the South African downhill MTB legend 

At a recent Fox Press event in California, Bike Perfect's Graham Cottingham had the opportunity to sit down with the one and only Greg Minnaar. Fox Racing is celebrating its 50th anniversary year and was showcasing a host of new products including some 'blingy' Fox "Podium Gold" colorway forks

The GOAT, Minnaar, as a Fox Racing suspension rider was also in attendance to ride and chat with the gathered media invitees. Minnaar opened up about his hopes for the new season, settling into his new Norco team and how joining Norco and signing a three-year deal felt like it had given him another life.

Read Graham's full Greg Minnaar interview and check the GOAT out at Fort William this weekend with our how to watch on TV guide.

Norco unveils the new Norco Race Division aimed at building the Canadian brand's presence in the Downhill MTB scene. It's also giving an unfiltered behind-the-scenes insight into a DH World Cup season with the "Just Getting Started" docuseries

To celebrate Greg Minnaar joining Norco and the excitement of what is shaping up to be one of the best downhill mountain bike race seasons, the brand is launching an exclusive docuseries entitled “Just Getting Started”. The series will provide an all-access, no-holds-barred look into what it means to be a part of a downhill World Cup team. New episodes will drop online after each race day with behind-the-scenes footage and exclusive access to Minnaar and his teammates.

Norco has also launched a new retro-looking kit which borrows from Moto and BMX kits from the '80s and '90s. The new Norco downhill bike gets a similar vibe design, and the feel is completed with the Norco Team truck getting the same paint job.

Orbea Rise LT pictured side on in a quarry

The Rise is a lightweight e-MTB with a second-generation Shimano EP801 RS motor (Image credit: Orbea)

The latest Orbea Rise e-MTB comes equipped with an exclusively developed second-generation Shimano EP801 RS motor as Orbea ups its game with its new lightweight electric MTB models

Elsewhere, and away from downhill MTB news, the week wouldn't be complete without the launch of a new lightweight e-MTB. This time, it's the Orbea Rise to take center stage and it features a uniquely tuned, EP801 RS Shimano motor.

The Gen 2 Shimano EP801 RS motor has two modes – RS mode (56Nm) which is optimized for a more natural feel. RS+ mode gives up to 85Nm at lower cadences to take on those tougher climbs.

The Rise has an OMR Carbon frame with 140mm front and rear suspension. The SL model comes in at an impressive claimed weight of 16.2kg, while the LT model weighs in at 17.8kg. For comparison, the Whyte E-Lyte 140 Works weighs 17.4kg and Trek's Fuel EXe is 17.47kg, both with lightweight drive units.

Pricing starts at $8,999 / £7,599 / €8,499 for the Rise LT M10, and tops out at $12,999 / £10,999 / €11,999 for the SL M-LTD.

Cervelo Aspero APEX AXS on a grassy field

The new Cervelo Aspero is a great gravel bike but the paint job lacks the shazam of the previous model (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

Cervelo’s latest Aspero gravel bike is a fast but friendly drop-bar dirt bike that offers a real sweet spot for the road-rooted but gravel-curious rider

Since its debut five years ago the Cervelo Aspero has been aimed at the racing end of the best gravel bike spectrum. The new Aspero was launched this week and our Tech Editor, Guy Kesteven, said this latest version is "a fun, fast, forgiving and surprisingly good value bike".

The Aspero frame has some minor changes rather than a complete redesign, and Cervelo has slimmed down the Aspero with a thinner downtube and the seatstays are also dropped further down the shorter seat tube. The geometry is much the same as in previous editions with the standover and chainstay/wheelbase length being the notable changes.

However, the paint job is not as 'bling' as the previous Oil Slick colorway and is replaced by a fairly standard Gloss Blue or Gloss White, I reckon the White looks the best out of the two.

Pricing for the Cervelo Aspero Apex XPLR AXS tested comes in at $4,300 / £4,200 / €4,899, and the top-of-the-range Rival XPLR equipped model is $5,500 / £5,200 / €5,799.

Hutchison Tires Caracal Race tire

Hutchison's Caracal Race tire is claimed to be the fastest gravel tire on the market (Image credit: Hutchison Tires)

Hutchison claims its new Caracal Race tire has been independently proven as the "world's fastest gravel tire"

Fresh from the launch of its updated Hutchison Python Race and Python 3 XC tires, the French manufacturer has revealed the expansion of its gravel range with the Caracal. A two-version range designed to meet the demands of the best gravel bike racers.

The Caracal Race and the Caracal feature the same tread design which has a slick and smooth central tread pattern for dry, fast, race days and the pronounced side knobs allow for aggressive, fast cornering. The two siblings have different constructions depending on whether a rider wants to prioritize all-out speed or have a greater level of puncture protection.

The design process for the Carcal Race tire had one objective – to be the fastest and best gravel tire on the market. Hutchison claims that during independent tests it outperformed similar race tires by up to 35 percent. The Carcal Race is Tan Wall only and available in 700x40mm size. It has a claimed weight of 475g, priced at £54.99 / €59.99.

The Carcal has the same claimed fast rolling performance but with bead-to-bead puncture protection, making it more suitable for everyday gravel riding. It comes in the same 700x40mm size but in both Tan Wall and Black color options, and costs £49.99 / €54.99. 

Bosch Performance Line CX vs Shimano EP801 – which e-MTB motor is best?

OK, this isn't strictly news, but I thought it may well be of interest too. Mick Kirkman has taken a very deep dive into the world of the best e-MTB motors and compared the two leading models out there. So which is best, the Bosch Performance Line CX or Shimano EP801? Hit the linked text to find out what Mick thinks.

Enjoy the DH racing!

Paul Brett
Staff writer

Paul Brett is a staff writer for BikePerfect.com. He has been an avid cyclist for as long as he can remember, initially catching the mountain biking bug in the 1990s, and raced mountain bikes for over a decade before injury cut short a glittering career. He’s since developed an obsession for gravel riding and recently has dabbled in the dark art of cyclocross. A fan of the idea of bikepacking he has occasionally got involved and has ridden routes like the North Coast 500, Scotland and the Via Francigena (Pilgrim Route), Italy.

Current rides: Marin Alpine Trail 2, Ribble 725, Cube Stereo 160

Height: 175cm