If you’re French, you probably know Philippe Trochon, the owner of the café vélo “La Cyclerie” in Poitiers. Let’s have a look at his Dream Build for XCO and long distance races, a 2018 Hei Hei Race DL in “beast mode.”

“Because XCO has become more challenging and technical, I had to choose a light and well suspended MTB…without neglecting the fun factor…because I’m the kind of rider who likes to play with his bike.”⠀

“I like to mix my cross-country season with a few hardcore events like long distance races or staged events (Cap Nore, Raid des Chapelles, Granit Montana, Raid des Monts d’Ardèche…). My dream would be to participate to the BC Bike Race in Canada!”

Philippe at work La Cyclerie, his café vélo in Poitiers, France

“I switched from steel hardtails (Charge Cooker Hi then SingleBe LaBagarre) to this amazing 2018 Hei Hei Race DL. After I received the bike, I made a few changes : I use Shimano XT pedals (bulletproof and easy to maintain) and switched the tires for a pair of Maxxis Ikon with reinforced casing. I run tubeless with some Squirt sealant. The wheels have been built by Topwheels with Kappius carbon rims, Hope hubs, Sapim D-Light spokes and aluminium nipples. This saved a lot of weight and the gains in terms of precision and reactiveness is huge. I’ve changed the grips with ESI Chunky for more comfort and switched the combo bar/stem/seatpost for some Thomson Components. I changed the saddle for a “good old” Selle Italia SLR.”

“I replaced the 175mm Sram GX crankset by a Descendant Carbon in 172.5mm to save some weight and have better clearance. Switching from a steel hardtail to a full suspension bike like the Hei Hei makes a huge difference. You’re faster down for sure, but you also get more grip on the technical climbs without losing any energy. Apart from the races, we train on 4 or 5 different spots around Poitiers with our team, the Velo Sauvage Poitevin. Climbs are never too long, but there’s always rhythm with some very funny and technical narrow singletracks. Step by step, I upgraded my Hei Hei with a X01 Eagle rear derailleur and shifter for more precision and a pair of Hope Race M4 brakes for more reliability.”

“When the 2019 season ended and before the Gamelle Trophy, I decided to beef it up with a 2.35 front tire instead of the 2.25 and changed the Fox 32 in 100 mm travel to a Fox 34 in 120mm travel. The bike is a bit heavier now, but the gains in terms of stiffness and precision in the corners is really noticeable. It’s a pure joy for those who like to jump into the corners and brake hard! Oh, As if it wasn’t enough, my Hei Hei is now equipped with a Chris King bottom bracket. You know, I’m a gourmet. Hmm, I can see myself at the start of the BC Bike Race with my Hei Hei, now…”