Thomas Frischknecht is a legend in XC racing. He’s been on the circuit for years, won World Championships, World Cups and all sorts of other stuff and is still racing at the top level today. He has a great deal of input into the designs of products from his main equipment sponsors Scott and Ritchey, which brings us neatly to his bike…
At the heart of the bike is Scott’s ultralight Spark carbon fibre FS frame delivering 110mm of travel. This frame is the version with the integrated seat post design – the “post” is part of the frame, with a clamp-on seat bracket at the top. It’s lighter and stiffer than a conventional setup, but obviously less versatile. That’s not a consideration for elite-level XC racing, though.
There’s obviously a lot of gear from sponsor Ritchey on this bike – seat bracket, double-ring chainset, and carbon fibre headset, bar, stem and bar ends. Forks are from DT, and the remote lockout lever mirrors the Spark’s remote shock travel adjust/lockout control on the other side of the bars. SRAM’s X0 equipment does the shifting, although Frischi eschews trigger shifters in favour of Gripshift units.
Frischknecht’s wheels are particularly interesting. He runs a unique wheelset using Ritchey deep-section 650C time-trial/triathlon rims and custom-made Dugast tubular tyres with Ritchey tread patterns. The rim diameter is slightly bigger than conventional MTB rims, but the overall wheel size with the custom tyres is about the same.
We don’t actually know what the complete bike weighs – Frishcknecht’s first Spark came in at 9.9kg (21.8lb) and that was the conventional frame without the integrated seat tube. It also had Fox forks rather than DT, and some of the other components (saddle, cranks, bar/stem) have got lighter.