Of the podium finishers in the men's and women's mountain bike race in Rio, what bike brand & models did they use? Which rims?

There has been a big debate over 26, 650B and 29er inch rims. 4 years ago, during the men's race remember seeing different Rim sizes. However during this race they seem to be the same size. Does anybody know what size won out in the rim wars? I also noticed that if my memory serves me correctly for the top women finishers they had hard tails. But for the men's the top finishers used full suspension bikes.

From four years ago London, the racers indeed did use different rim sizes. So how about Rio?

2 Answers 2


There's a great video of Nino Schurter's Scott Spark. I'm not sure if he used the exact same bike in the Olympics, but the video from July of this year, so it should be quite similar. It has 29 inch wheels. According to the comments in the youtube video, this is different from what he used to ride. Somebody commented that it may be in preparation for the Olympics, which favours large rim sizes. I don't think any size has really "won". The size of rim/tire used on race day is going to depend on course conditions. I think this is the reason for the upcoming popularity of 650b/27.5 tires. Most of us can only afford a single bike or a single set of wheels, so you have to go for a compromise. You should also check out the GMBN Pro Bike Playlist if you want to learn more about the equipment the pros are using.


Both Jenny Rissveds and Nino Schurter were riding the 2017 Scott Spark RC700.

This is a completely different suspension design to previous Scott Sparks. And the frame has been significantly lightened. Nino Schurter - previously rode 650B sized wheels in his races which is very rare at his level - although the argument is/was the 650B wheel was the geometry more suited to his size and stature (even though he is not particularly short). He does prefer to ride with a slammed geometry - well over his bars and stem.

Noticeably, there were more women on hardtails than full suspension - I am speculating - but this could be to do with power-to-weight. Or general race-speed. ie. a heavier rider with faster overall speed could utilize suspension more(?)

  • 2017 Scott Spark RC700 has what size rims?
    – Chris
    Aug 24, 2016 at 14:18
  • The Scott Spark RC700 - PDF, uses 650b/27.5 inch rims/tires. There are a few different models of the Scott Spark outlined in that document. The RC900 comes with 29 inch rims/tires.
    – Kibbee
    Aug 24, 2016 at 17:34
  • Schurter and Rissveds both raced on 29in wheels. Given how new the Scott Spark is - not sure if they are available yet.
    – OraNob
    Aug 25, 2016 at 8:57

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