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Calle Friberg leading the charge on the Swiss Epic [Swiss Epic]

Swiss Epic Equipment Advice with Calle Friberg

By Epic Series, 06/24/20, 9:45AM HST

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Team HiQ and SCOTT bikes rider Calle Friberg knows what it takes to succeed at the Swiss Epic in Graub√ľnden.

Calle Friberg leading the charge on the Swiss Epic

Team HiQ and SCOTT bikes rider Calle Friberg knows what it takes to succeed at the Swiss Epic in Graubünden. We spoke to the Swedish star about his bike and equipment choices.

Calle Friberg has travelled the world racing his bike. From his native Sweden to the Absa Cape Epic in South Africa and the Swiss Epic in Graubünden. He is thus perfectly placed to advise riders, and racers alike, on which bike to choose for a mountain bike stage race. For the Swiss Epic Friberg picked the SCOTT Spark RC from his and the race’s bike partners’, SCOTT Sports, arsenal.

Dramatic shot of Friberg heading down a narrow path

“It’s the most versatile bike for a race like the Swiss Epic, I believe” Friberg explained. “With the TwinLoc, suspension lock-out remote, you can lock-out both the fork and the rear shock for the climbs on gravel or tar. For the bumpier climbs, on trails, I use the middle position in the TwinLoc system. This allows the suspension to maintain grip over rough terrain without losing too much power to suspension travel. Best of all though, the SCOTT Spark RC is a very stable and fun downhiller; so, there is no need to hold back on the Swiss Epic’s many singletrack descents.”

Speaking of enjoying the superb singletracks of Graubünden, Friberg would, in fact, opt for a longer travel bike if he were riding the Swiss Epic for fun rather than racing for the best possible result. “If I wasn’t racing in the elite category, I wouldn’t mind doing the Swiss Epic on a longer travel Spark. It would be more fun” he clarified. “I have a SCOTT Genius tuned for trail days back home and I love it. I think it makes my cross country and marathon riding better.”

The long descents and the rugged natural trails of the race mean that Friberg advises adding a bit of weight to one’s bike set-up. “A dropper seat post would be a good thing to have at the Swiss Epic in Graubünden” he stated. “Also, tyres with extra side wall protection is a must, though they’re heavier, losing time to a puncture is far worse than the extra weight. I would recommend tyres between 2.2 and 2.4 inches wide for the race. A tubeless tyre plug, like a Sahmurai Sword, is always good to carry with you during marathon or stage races, as well.”

Friberg heading through the forest

In terms of more general advice for mountain bikers taking on the Swiss Epic in Graubünden, or any other long stage races, Friberg suggested: “Do a complete bike check-up; maybe like a week before the race, not 1-2 days prior. This will give you time to feel and be confident that all is in order. I always recommend fitting new tyres, with extra side wall protection (as stated above) and having a fresh, or fully serviced, drivetrain (chain, cassette and& chainring) before starting a big race. During the race it’s wise to not go 100% on the downhills. Rather play it a bit safe; so that you don’t hit something or crash because you are stressed and pushing too hard. Remember your nutrition, don’t forget to drink and eat during the stages either. It’s easier to make mistakes when you are tired or low on energy.”

For more advice on how to best enjoy the Swiss Epic in Graubünden, which can be extrapolated to other Epic Series races, keep an eye on the race’s social media handles and the website: Like the Facebook page, Swiss Epic, and follow @swiss_epic on Instagram to stay updated.