I'm just curious to know what bike models and setups will be used by the competitors? Is there any data out there on the web?
There was a test event on the Hadleigh Farm Mountain Bike course which will be used for the 2012 Olympics. There are various photos and videos of the event which show the bikes being ridden:
From looking at these:
- Everyone seemed to be using carbon fibre frames
- Most riders used a hard-tailed bike, although some had full suspension
- There was a mix of wheel sizes (I assume 26 and 29 inch)
You can make out manufacturers names on many of the bikes and in some cases on individual components if you're particularly interested in those.
Edit - a few things I picked up from the commentary on the 2 races:
- In the men's race there were 3 different sizes of wheel in use - 26, 27.5 and 29 inches.
- Most of the riders opted for a single chainring, with the rest using 2.
- Suspension travel was around 100mm with the suspension set hard.
- Tyre choice was small lugs to give better grip on the rocky sections.
- At least one rider was using a "lefty" fork.
- Some riders were carrying gas canisters to deal with punctures.
- Bike weight was around 19 pounds (8.6 kg).
I came across these articles which have some detailed specs and pics:
For the major favorites, you probably have some chance of finding the setups (not necessarily the most recent ones) at the Mountain Bike > Tech section of http://cyclingnews.com.
I read on José Antonio Hermida's twitter account that the olympic course is clearly for a 29er. He posted some pictures preparing his Merida Big.Nine Carbon Team. This is a 29er hardtail. He was also mounting Sram's new XX1 gears which comprises a single chainring with a 11 gear cassette. This or 2x10 will be most used gears. Also, most riders will use their team's brand 29er, 26er or Scott's 650b (27.5 aprox.) mostly carbon hardtails with a few full suspension. This would include: Merida Big.Nine, Orbea Alma, Specialized Stumjumper, Specialized Epic, Cannondale Flash, etc.