With the recent unveiling of The Syndicate’s 2021 Santa Cruz V10 Downhill MTB line-up, we caught up with Greg Minnaar to get his perspective on the bike and chat about the upcoming race season.
Your new Santa Cruz V10 has been unveiled. What were your first impressions when seeing the bike?
To be honest, I haven’t seen the bike in the flesh yet. So, my first impressions are that the photographer took some amazing shots of this amazing looking bike.
Give us some insight into the custom paint, colours and concept?
Santa Cruz always impress me with their designs and the designers have gone all out on this bike. I think they’ve done a really god job. They normally try and get an African kind of feel, maybe South African with the colours. But generally I just leave it up to the designers you know, that’s what they do for a profession, and I think they create really good concepts and do good jobs on bikes.
What are your favourite features of the bike?
Definitely the design, that’s my favourite feature.
On the component side, have you had any change ups?
We don’t have too many component changes this year. Possibly just the drivetrain, I think Shimano have got a new prototype for us to race, which is really cool. They working on something really special. Barring that, everything else is just the same.
What are the main differences between last year’s setup and the new bike’s setup?
The new bike is identical to what I had last year at the moment. I do hear there is slight suspension changes, internally. I don’t know yet, we haven’t had any testing – testing will happen in about 3 weeks. The reason I don’t know too much about the bike or even have the bike is due to Covid and all the delays, everything has just been pushed further back.
Do you have plans to ride the mullet setup this year, swap between the two, or stick to 29 all round?
I have tested the mullet, but I’m going to stick to 29. The V10 29 just feels really comfortable to me. In February I was testing the mullet and it’s got some really good, and positive, features in the way it handles and rides, but generally I felt a lot more settled and faster on the V10 29, so I’m going to stick to that.
Which components do you feel are the most important?
Tyres are definitely one of the most important components to the bike. You know, that’s your contact with the ground, and you need as much traction as possible. So I do feel tyres are super important.
Having Lyle (Hyslop) on board as your new mechanic and working together through last year’s season, how would you sum up your working relationship and what he brings to the table?
Lyle and I Work really well together. Last year was our first year together and he kinda got thrown in the deep end, but he’s such a great character and really enthusiastic about what he does. Not only do we work well on the bike but off the bike too. We seem to enjoy the same things, it’s a lot of fun. I have a good time with Lyle and that makes our working relationship really good as well. He’s a really trusting, very good mechanic.
What are you looking forward to most this season?
I’m looking forward to racing generally. I was a bit disappointed Fort William wasn’t in the schedule due to Covid but I just want to get out racing. I’ve had such a good off season training, and then unfortunately I got Covid, so had a bit of a break, but I’m feeling good again and my training is going well. I haven’t ridden too much downhill just yet, so I need to get cracking on that. But, ya, I just want to get racing.
There’s a few change ups with teams and riders this year, who do you think is going to be your main competition and firing for those podium positions?
I think one of my main competitors is probably going to be my teammate from last season. I mean Loris (Vergier) was just on fire last season and unfortunately it didn’t end well but, damn, did it start well. He’s riding incredibly well on his new bike, put up some really good times in some pre-race testing but then snapped and handlebar, which wasn’t too good, but he’s riding really well. Then obviously there’ll be Loic Bruni, Amaury Pierron, and the usuals. We’ll see, it’s going to be an exciting year.
What can we expect from Greg Minnaar this year?
Just the same as every other year I guess.
Bike Spec Sheet
Frame: Santa Cruz V10 29 – Frame Size XL
Shock: Fox DH X2
Fork: Fox 40
Headset: Chris King Buzzworks
Handlebar: Burgtec 800 Width / 30mm Rise
Brakes: Shimano XT levers with Saint callipers
Rotors: Shimano Saint 203
Shifter: Shimano Saint
Derailleur: Shimano Saint
Cranks: Shimano Saint
Cassette: Shimano – 8spd 11t-21t
Chainring: Shimano Saint 34t
Pedals: Crank Brothers Mallet DH
Rims: Santa Cruz Reserve 29″
Hubs: Chris King
Tyres: Maxxis Assegai 2.5 (Front) / DHR II 2.4 (Rear)
Photos by Santa Cruz Bicycles.