BIKE CHECK: Emily Batty's Canyon Lux
Emily Batty is excited to talk about her new Canyon Lux. After more than a decade with Trek, she's on a new bike brand, has created her own UCI WC team and has her focus set on the 2021 Olympics.
In preparation for the start of the UCI World Cup season and qualifying events for the Canadian Olympic team, Emily and her teammate, Canadian U23 National Champion Laurie Arsenault, spent some time dialling in their new bikes on British Columbia's technical trails.
"Here in Victoria, we have some of the most challenging terrain in Canada," says Emily, "at home in Ontario, it's very smooth and fast and flowing. Whereas here, it's chunky and technical, and over the course of a four-hour mountain bike ride, you might get 30 kilometres in. [It’s] slow and technical. So for testing these bikes, we couldn't have found a better place to do it."
Her new bike, which she has named Bruce, is a custom-painted Canyon Lux. "They are top-notch, they're so fast. . . they're just incredible," says Emily of her and Laurie's new rides. "It's really exciting to see these new bikes, put the work in, and test them out and push them."
As Emily developed her new team with Adam Morka, it was really important to her to work with companies that aligned with her vision and goals. Below she takes us through her new set-up and partners.
Frame: Custom painted XS Canyon Lux
"With the geometry of my stem and my saddle and my crank length, [I'm able to] get this bike to fit me exactly how I want it for racing, which is huge," says Emily.
Fork: Fox 32 Stepcast
Emily is running the Fox 32 Stepcast with Kashima coating and 100mm of travel with 60-70psi. "It's really light, it's stiff, and the lockout is cable and super precise," says Emily. This level of performance is essential when it comes to the start line and technical terrain like rock gardens. "It's all about precision and knowing your stuff's going to work when you want it to work, despite the weather conditions."
Shock: Fox Float DPS Performance
"Especially when it comes to the start line, it's important that when the lockout is activated, there's no movement or play in the front suspension as well as the rear," Emily says. To accomplish this, she runs one lever to activate both the front and rear shock simultaneously.
Handlebar + Stem: Canyon CP008 integrated cockpit
The Canyon CP008 is an integrated cockpit that Emily runs with a 70mm stem at a -17 degree rise. "We don't have the bolts and in my opinion, old school look. . . it's just the streamlined, beautiful, elegant, modern combo bar."
Brakes: Shimano XTR
Emily is thrilled to be back with Shimano and on a full XTR Groupo. "I'm stoked on the braking power, the sensitivity - I'm extremely particular when it comes to brake setup," she says. "When I make contact, I want the bike to be like locking out immediately."
Saddle: Ergon XR
Saddle choice is highly personal, but the decision has far more to do with weight than comfort when it comes to racing. Emily is running the new Ergon XR women's mountain bike saddle. "It's a little bit wider than [Ergon's] women's road XR saddle, but the past winter training on it, I have loved it and had a lot of success," she says. "No saddle sores, nothing, no issues. So we're good!"
Wheels: 29” DT Swiss XRC 1200
Emily is racing on the 29" DT Swiss XRC 1200 rims this season and will be mixing it up between the 30 mm and the 25 mm widths. "Usually [I run] the 30 mm in the front, but for short tracks where I'm going to be able to get away with a little bit more narrow of a tire at 2.0, I'm going to go with the 25 mm width rim in the rear."
"This year I'm racing with Schwalbe tires, which is really exciting," says Emily. "Because I love testing tire treads. I genuinely love testing them." While in Victoria, she has been trying out the Schwalbe Racing Ray up front in the 2.4, which is much wider than she would choose to race. In the rear, she's running the Racing Ralph at a narrower 2.2. Her tire pressure ranges between 18 and 23 PSI. "I've been enjoying it so much!"
Cassette: Shimano XTR 1X12, 10-51 Cassette
Emily's bike features a Shimano XTR 1x12 drivetrain with a 10-51 Hyperglide cassette. "For racing, I usually do a 34-tooth in the front, sometimes 36 for short tracks," she says. If it's a track with a lot of climbing, she may drop down to a 32-tooth.
A handy feature on the Canyon frame is the built-in chain guide. "There are no excess bolts and excess gadgets," she says. "It's just built-in. It's so minimal, and it does the job. I've put it through the wringer here at the Heartland Victoria trails, and this thing has not come off."
Derailleur: Shimano XTR
Pedals: Shimano XTR
This past winter, Emily devoted time to perfecting her startline clip-in. Knowing where and at what angle to place the pedal so that it comes around for precise shoe-to-surface contact every time. "At the start line, [when] the gun goes off, finding that pedal immediately is super critical," she says. "So I've worked a lot on that, and being back on the XTR pedals. . . is awesome!"
Seatpost: Fox Transfer
Seatpost droppers can be a controversial topic for XC racing, but Emily is all for them. It depends on the track, but when one calls for it, she is going to be riding the Fox Transfer with 70mm of drop.