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Dakotah Norton: Watch the huge 75mm RISE in the World Cup

Dakotah Norton raced with a 75mm rise in the DH World Cup, bringing (visually) a posture that was not very racing but still high-performance, given the best time in the Semifinal.

Dakotah Norton showed up super lively in 2024: new team (Mondraker) and lots of speed, given the best time in the semi-final in Bielsko-Biala. But then, in the final, a trivial front slide took away an excellent result from him favor of his teammate Ronan Dunne.

This preamble is to talk about the strange technical choice of the American, who ran with a 75mm rise! Yes, you understood correctly, a laugh that winks more at BMX Racing than at DH.

Dakotah Norton // Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool


Theory says that a higher handlebar causes the center of gravity to rise and move backwards: we tend to go towards this direction in the case of downhill bikes because it reduces the tendency of the bike to tip forward and allows us to have a more comfortable setup on steep descents. This means that, on very steep slopes, this is an advantage: in Val di Sole we have often seen athletes using rises around 30mm, but Norton has really gone further with this 75mm!

Dakotah Norton // Bartek Wolinski

Norton's posture is immediately noticeable: much less racing than his opponents, less front-loaded but more central. Eliot Jackson, in his interested format on Red Bull TV, shows how Norton is more central on the steeps than his teammate Dunne, due precisely to the fact that he is much higher on the handlebars.


Here is a video where Norton explains his choice, which was not improvised but tested. The video begins by joking that he has more space for the chin guard and therefore there is less risk of hitting the handlebars in his face, something that has already happened to him in the Cup and then finding himself facing the next bend with the mask over his eyes.

Getting more technical, he explains how his arms are quite short compared to the rest of his body but he still wants to ride a long bike. And he doesn't like the feeling of riding in front of the bottom bracket and with his neck straining upwards to see the next curves. In short, Dakotah Norton seems to be a pioneer in this new driving setup, which totally differs from the entire World Cup circus.

The fact remains that a height of this kind makes it really difficult to load the front and you have to re-calibrate your riding style with substantial changes in the centrality of the bike. However, it's nice to see athletes who think with their own sensations and don't follow the masses: he also brings to the table the fact that Mondraker has a lower head tube than other brands, which is why there was a need to accentuate the handlebar height.


But then could it be a coincidence that his fall in the final was actually a loss of front foot? Posterity will judge.

Written by

[email protected] I am a fan of everything that has 2 wheels: at a young age I practiced road and track cycling (Italian Allievi champion). At the age of 18 I passed into the cross country competing at national/international level as an Under23. Past Elite, I made the choice to take things more lightly from a training point of view, and my love for gravity disciplines was born, training me as an FCI MTB instructor and guide. Now I have made passion my profession by managing 2 MTB centers on the island of Elba (Bike Center Elba and Elba MTB), creating the FANTAmtb and telling in an ironic but professional way everything that revolves around MTB thanks to 365mountainbike and 365TV (YouTube'PULITI dentro BIKER fuori').


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