Trek World Racing’s F1 Inspired HotBox

Trek World Racing HotboxAt the upper echelon of any competitive sport, the level of competition is so fierce that  even the slightest possible advantage must be pursued its most logical (and absurd) extent. For Trek World Racing, this means adapting a common F1 strategy to heat things up on the track.

In the majority of motor sports, mechanics warm specific components for optimum performance right off the line. Hell, even in the go kart version of little league, parents use special heating pads to evenly heat tires to operating temperature. After compiling data and studying the performance of the Session in cold temperatures, the team decided that warming the bike would improve suspension, hydraulic, and tire performance.

A portable HotBox was created that can be erected at the top of the mountain for specific courses where the temperature  is cold enough to affect performance. According to Team Owner Martin Whitely “there’ll be some who think this is going too far, but there are those who said that in motor-sport some time ago and now it’s the norm.”

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Ploutre - 06/27/13 - 7:20am

I’m not surprised. Some shocks do NOT like cold temps (BOS Void comes first in my mind), and if that means having the bike at 100% when leaving the gate, that could be a couple of 0.1 at the bottom …

DG - 06/27/13 - 7:22am

When DH riders asked for a hotbox, I don’t think this is what they meant.

Sardinian rider - 06/27/13 - 7:43am

Uh ? What ? Ok…..yawn…

captain derp - 06/27/13 - 7:47am

xzibit: yo dawg, i heard u like hot box, so we built u a hot box so ucan hot box while u hot box

ifbikes - 06/27/13 - 8:24am

I heard Giant is working on a prototype ball couch for Danny Hart.

satisFACTORYrider - 06/27/13 - 10:24am

@captain derp – you are officially pimped.

askar larkinyar - 06/27/13 - 11:00am

why not spend some of that “formula 1” money on a bike that works in the cold?

that way the bike would work the way it should on the “whole” race instead of the first 10 seconds

captain derp - 06/27/13 - 11:11am

because laws of thermodynamics?

ever feel the shock reservoir after a DH run? very warm to the touch (although thankfully not burning hot like rotors can get).

this occurs due to the friction between the suspension oil and the damping circuit. as it moves, it generates heat, which affects viscosity, which in turn affects the damping.

what this is accomplishing is (trying) to get the suspension fluid up to running temps so the shock is at its “running” temperature out of the gate (and not waiting for it to heat up on its own).

Euell Gibbons - 06/27/13 - 12:02pm

Pretty inefficient & environmentally irresponsible way of heating 2 components.

Wouldn’t simple shock & fork warmers like “F1” tire warmers better accomplish the desired result without using a torpedo heater?

Or do they want a toasty seat too?

captain derp - 06/27/13 - 12:36pm

its for 3 spots:


but yea. fwiw it hasn’t been used at more than a few of the races.

simon - 06/27/13 - 2:45pm

When they’re flying all their gear & entourage around the world to roll down some hills on bicycles, I think the environment impacts of a heater can negated.

duder - 06/27/13 - 6:16pm


The heater is not because the bike was designed for a particular ambient temperature. The idea is that the suspension dampers, brake hydraulics, and tires heat due to friction during the run. These parts are designed and/or adjusted to run best at near peak operating temperature during the run, as this is when the most stress is applied to the parts. The heater only needs to keep the bike warm for the 1st 10 seconds, because after that the shocks are being cycled and will maintain the operating temperature they were designed for until the end of the run.

gringo - 06/28/13 - 2:39am

From a mechanical point of view this does make sense. I guess the next logical step in the progression of DH would be to allow the riders to wear skinsuits…..

captain derp - 06/28/13 - 7:34am

“you will wear the skinsuit. you love the skinsuit”

JimmyZ - 07/05/13 - 9:04am

Imagine what Gwin could have done if he had one of those

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