Pro Bike Breakdown with Sophie Riva’s Ancillotti Scarab EVO

Not everyone gets to stand on the winning step with the person who built their race frame. Sophie Riva won the second EWS round in her home country by more than 25 seconds.

Italian gravity pro, Sophie Riva, has been skillfully pushing her traction to the limit for several seasons now. At just 18 years of age, she races at the top level in the Enduro World Series and will take her new Ancillotti downhill bike to several World Cup DH events this year. We had a close look at her enduro race machine ahead of EWS round one in Canazei, and the short story is that this bike is particularly Italian.

Photo: Alex Luise

Riva stands at 173cm on flat feet, and her fully-custom Scarab EVO 29 stretches a massive 480mm reach. That stabilizing front triangle is led by a 63° head tube angle, and the 440mm chain stays add it all up to a 1270mm wheelbase. That’s a lot of bike, and she pilots it down track with poised conviction. The BB sits at 340mm from the ground, lowering her center of gravity for fast turns. Sophie runs a pair of 29″ wheels on the Scarab, while her downhill sled gets the mixed diameters.

The Scarab uses a fully custom Pull Shock suspension design, and each unique coil shock is tailored to the bike and rider’s druthers. That rear spring pairs well with Formula’s dual-crown Selva C coil fork for some ground hugging gravity grip.

The first dual-crown fork to be ridden to an EWS win.

Riva is often the test pilot for a number of component brands, and this year she’s putting a new set of aluminum rims from Italian manufacturer, DRC, through the outdoor laboratory. In the tread department, she runs a Maxxis Minion DHR II with a DH casing and MaxGrip compound out back, and a Double Down protected Assegai with MaxGrip tread under the bars. There’s also a set of Barzotto tire/rim protectors inside to keep that emergency inner tube safe and clean in Riva’s pocket.

Even her multi-tool is Italian! While there are a few versions of this stash tool available now, this original All In Multitool is designed and produced in northeastern Italy.

The OCHAIN active-spider takes care of any pedal kickback, allowing Riva to stand stable above her HT pedals through rough sections of track. She’s running a 32-tooth Renthal chainring that looks good with the alloy Renthal handlebar perched above it. That SRAM X01 crank arm is some of the only carbon fiber on this ride.

Riva waiting for roll out at the first round of EWS 2021.

Slowing down is also an Italian job, with a powerful set of Formula Cura 4 brakes that pinch a pair of 180mm rotors at the far end. While her YEP Components dropper is made in Switzerland, it’s full of Italian parts.

Although a lot of riders mount up 200 or 220mm rotors, Riva is light and enjoys the modulation of the 180mm Formula disks.
10mm of spacers above and below the stem leave room to adjust the bike’s stack for different races. We might see those move around for the steeper pitches in La Thuile.

That’s a gaggle of top sponsors, and Riva needs every one of them to bring her to World Cup and EWS events. Her mom was also with her at round one, along with Ancillotti Factory Team manager/owner/builder, Tomaso Ancillotti. Even when you’re as fast as Riva, it takes a village to bring the program together.

Riva chatting with The Enduro Pope, Enrico Guala, before departing for stage one.

You can keep up with Spphie Riva’s coming gravity season through her social media accounts. We wish her the best of luck and focus for the coming downhill and enduro races. In bocca al lupo!

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