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21 DH Race Bike Checks - NZ National Champs 2015

Feb 14, 2015
by Cameron Mackenzie  
This year's New Zealand Downhill National Champs sees riders from all over the country flocking to Rotorua and the new DH track on Mt Ngongotaha. Along with all the country's big name riders comes a few overseas pros looking to get the sneaky advantage of riding the track before others pre-Crankworx Rotorua.

Ed Masters and his Beragmont Straitline. Ed was quick to point out the new leak valves on top of his forks. Ed is going for 26PSI in the front tyre and 28PSI in the rear this weekend. 780MM bars and total bike weighs in at 38 pound.
  Ed Masters and his Bergamont Straitline. Ed was quick to point out the new leak valves on top of his fork. 26PSI in the front tyre and 28PSI in the rear this weekend. 780MM bars and total bike weighs in at 38 pounds.

Ed s blow off valves.
  Ed's blow off valves.

Jake WildBoy Robinson and his new 2015 Transition TR500. Jake is running his bars at 777mm wide and 25PSI in the tyres.
  Jake 'WildBoy' Robinson and his new 2015 Transition TR500.Jake is running his bars at 777mm wide and 25PSI in the tires.

The rainbow Ti Spring was a nice touch of flavour and fitted well in Jake s new TR500.
  The rainbow Ti Spring was a nice touch of flavour and fit well in Jake's new TR500.

Current U19 NZ Champ Keegan Wright and his 2015 Giant Glory 0 with the full WideOpen treatment. Keegan s bike features the new 2015 Marzocchi 380 C2R2 fork and a Atomlab DHR SL wheel set with the new 102 points of engagement hub. Keegan is running 760mm bars 23PSI in his front tyre and 28 in the rear. Total bike weighing in at 16.5 kgs
  Current U19 NZ Champ Keegan Wright and his 2015 Giant Glory 0. Keegan's bike features the new 2015 Marzocchi 380 C2R2 fork and a Atomlab DHR SL wheel set with the new 102 points of engagement hub. Keegan is running 760mm bars, 23PSI in his front tire and 28 in the rear. Total bike weighing in at 16.5 kgs.

Keegan Wright s bike getting the full WideOpen Team treatment.
  Keegan Wright's bike getting the full WideOpen Team treatment.

Keegan s Atomlab 102 P.O.E hubs
  Keegan's Atomlab 102 P.O.E hubs.

Caleb Burgess and his stunning mullet. This kids a true rock punch and said if he wasn t riding he d be home slashing string on his bass. Caleb is part of the Norco Racing NZ Development team.
  Caleb Burgess and his stunning mullet. This kid's a true rock punch and said if he wasn't riding he'd be home slashing string on his bass. Caleb is part of the Norco Racing NZ Development team.

The Bulldog. Brook is loving the new track and says its awesome to have a world cup level track so central. Brook was running lots of cool trick bits on his bike including the full Fox RAD suspension treatment. Brook was running his bars cut down to 770mm and his tyre pressures resembled something of a catalogue for wheel sizes. 26PSI in the front and 27.5PSI in the rear. He also was running a SRM Powermeter to help make thing easier to read and understand with training.
  The Bulldog. Brook Macdonald is loving the new track and says its awesome to have a World Cup level track so central. Brook was running lots of cool trick bits on his bike including the full Fox RAD suspension treatment. Brook was running his bars cut down to 770mm and his tire pressures resembled something of a catalogue for wheel sizes. 26PSI in the front and 27.5PSI in the rear. He also was running a SRM Powermeter to help make thing easier to read and understand with training.

Brook s RAD Fox Shock
  Brook Macdonald's RAD Fox Shock

Bulldogs Saint SRM Powermeter
  Bulldog's Saint SRM Powermeter

The local boy Louis Hamilton and his 2014 Commencal Supreme. Louis is running his bars at 780mm wide and is running his tyres higher than most at 32PSI front and rear.
  The local boy Louis Hamilton and his 2014 Commencal Supreme. Louis is running his bars at 780mm wide and is running his tires higher than most at 32PSI front and rear.

Manuel Gruber of Radon Magura Factory Downhill and his Radon Prototype 2.0 Downhil bike. Manuel is an Austrian rider who is here for our summer season living in Queenstown with Bernard Kerr and the crew. The total bike was weighing in at 16.5Kgs.
  Manuel Gruber of Radon Magura Factory Downhill and his Radon Prototype 2.0 Downhil bike. Manuel is an Austrian rider who is here for our summer season living in Queenstown with Bernard Kerr and the crew. The total bike was weighing in at 16.5Kgs.

The business end of Manuel s Radon prototype 2.0 frame
  The business end of Manuel's Radon prototype 2.0 frame

A custom short QR seat post collar lever for Manuel. He said it looked cool so that why he has it this way.
  A custom short QR seat post collar lever for Manuel. He said it looked cool so that's why he has it this way.

Bernard Kerr and his Pivot Phoenix Carbon. Bernard and his team have recently changed suspension sponsors so he was running the new team spec Fox Suspension Setup. Strapped onto his rig was a set of prototype Reynolds Carbon DH wheels. Bernard was running tubes and putting 24PSI in the front and 28 PSI in the rear. Bernard is running his bars cut down to 768mm.
  Bernard Kerr and his Pivot Phoenix Carbon. Bernard and his team have recently changed suspension sponsors so he was running the new team spec Fox Suspension Setup. Strapped onto his rig was a set of prototype Reynolds Carbon DH wheels. Bernard was running tubes and putting 24PSI in the front and 28 PSI in the rear, with his bars cut down to 768mm.

Bernards Prototype Reynolds Carbon DH wheels.
  Bernard Kerr's Prototype Reynolds Carbon DH wheels.

Bernard was stoked on his cutting job on his Minon DHR s. He squared off every second nob so that it roles fast in the corners while style bitting like a demon in corners.
  Bernard was stoked on his cutting job on his Minon DHR's. He squared off every second knob so that it rolls fast in the corners while still biting like a demon.

KB enroute to his bike check
  KB enroute to his bike check

Kieran Bennets and his 2015 Santa Cruz V10.6 C. Kieran chose to run Maxxis Shorty tyres to help get some grip in the dust but still be able to pedal on the grass sections. Kieran is Sponsored by BOS suspension so was running the new BOS Idylee Air forks. 26 PSI in the front and 29 PSI in the rear
  Kieran Bennets and his 2015 Santa Cruz V10.6 C. Kieran chose to run Maxxis Shorty tyres to help get some grip in the dust but still be able to pedal on the grass sections. Kieran is Sponsored by BOS suspension so was running the new BOS Idylee Air fork. 26 PSI in the front and 29 PSI in the rear tire.

Kieran Bennett s BOS Idylee Fork
  Kieran Bennett's BOS Idylee Fork

Matt Scoles stoked on the track life in general and his super sick WideOpen Supreme. Matt s running 800mm wide Gravity bars and is running 25PSI in his front tyre and 27PSi in the rear.
  Matt Scoles stoked on the track, life in general and his super sick WideOpen Supreme. Matt's running 800mm wide Gravity bars and is running 25PSI in his front tyre and 27PSi in the rear.

Sophie tyres Tyas and here shwing new 2015 3Sixty Racing Team Banshee Legend. Sophie was running 760mm bars to keep things proportioned for her. A 350 pound rear Ti-Springs Spring and 52 PSI in the forks keep things plush.
  Sophie Tyas and her sweet new 2015 3Sixty Racing Team Banshee Legend. Sophie was running 760mm bars to keep things proportioned for her. A 350 pound rear Ti-Springs Spring and 52 PSI in the fork keep things plush.

Jack Fisher and his new Santa Cruz V10.6 CC. Jack swapped out the basic Fox 40 s the bike came with for a custom Boxxer RC come World Cup conversion fork. Jack is running 780mm Bars and 27PSi front and 29PSI rear.
  Jack Fisher and his new Santa Cruz V10.6 CC. Jack swapped out the basic Fox 40's the bike came with for a custom Boxxer RC come World Cup conversion fork. Jack is running 780mm Bars and 27 PSi front and 29 PSI rear.

The man with all the pressure on this weekend George Brannigan. George is looking great on track and is making it clear to all the other riders that he wants to keep that NZ Sleeve.
  The man with all the pressure on this weekend, George Brannigan. George is looking great on track and is making it clear to all the other riders that he wants to keep that NZ sleeve.

Current NZ elite mens champ George Brannigan of Trek Work Racing and his Session 9.9. George s bike was stock factory team spec. George is running his Carbon Renthal bars cut down to 760. Tyre pressures of choice is 24PSI front and 28PSI in the rear. Tubeless was the go so no punctures for him. Total bike weighing in at 33 pound with a Ti spring and no pedals.
  Current NZ elite mens champ, George Brannigan of Trek Work Racing and his Session 9.9. George's bike was stock factory team spec. George is running his Carbon Renthal bars cut down to 760. Tyre pressures of choice is 24PSI front and 28PSI in the rear. Tubeless was the go so no punctures for him. Total bike weighing in at 33 pound with a Ti spring and no pedals.

Liam Jackson and his Devinci Wilson full world cop spec. Liam was running the new Rockshox SoloAir Upgrade kit in his forks and really hard tyres.
  Liam Jackson and his Devinci Wilson full World Cup spec. Liam was running the new Rockshox SoloAir upgrade kit in his fork and "really hard" tires.

Wyn Masters and his Bulls Wildcore. Wyn was running the mad setup with having 5 Bottonless tokens in his boxers and a 325 pound rear spring. Wyn runs 760mm bars to keep things snappy. 30 PSI rear and 28 PSI front
  Wyn Masters and his Bulls Wildcore. Wyn was running the mad setup with having 5 bottomless tokens in his Boxxer and a 325 pound rear spring. Wyn runs 760mm bars to keep things snappy. 30 PSI rear and 28 PSI front.

Wyn Masters was also going for the cut down side nob treatment on his dirty dans.
  Wyn Masters was also going for the cut down side knob treatment on his Schwalbe Dirty Dans.

Shania Rawson and her little Devinci Wilson.
  Shania Rawson and her little Devinci Wilson.

Kyle Lockwood and his stunning brand new 2015 Pivot Phoenix Carbon. Kyle has his Phoenix fully kitted out with all the latest Sram bits and custom Enve M90 rims built on Onyx Hubs. Kyle is running 4 Sram bottomless tokens in his forks. Tubelessed to help keep it extra trail bike weight like running his tyres at 25 PSI front and 28PSI rear.
  Kyle Lockwood and his stunning brand new 2015 Pivot Phoenix Carbon. Kyle has his Phoenix fully kitted out with all the latest SRAM bits and custom Enve M90 rims built on Onyx Hubs.Kyle is running 4 Sram bottomless tokens in his forks. Tubelessed to help keep it extra trail bike weight like running his tyres at 25 PSI front and 28PSI rear.

Kyle Lockwoods s Instant Engagement Onyx hubs
  Kyle Lockwoods's Instant Engagement Onyx hubs

Cole Lucas and his 2015 Banshee Legend. Cole is one of the headline riders on the 3Sixty Racing team and runs a full top spec team build including the mega quick engaging Halo Chaos wheel set. Cole is only 16 years old but runs a XL frame and makes it look small. Coles bars are uncut at 800mm. Tube tyres being run at 30PSI front and back.
  Cole Lucas and his 2015 Banshee Legend. Cole is one of the headline riders on the 3Sixty Racing team and runs a full top spec team build including the mega quick engaging Halo Chaos wheel set. Cole is only 16 years old but runs a XL frame and makes it look small. Cole's bars are uncut at 800mm. Tube tyres being run at 30PSI front and back.

Cole Lucas s shinny blue rocker links onboard his 2015 Banshee Legend.
  Cole Lucas's shiny blue rocker links onboard his 2015 Banshee Legend.

Cole s Halo Chaos wheels
  Cole's Halo Chaos wheels

Sarah Atkin and her 26 Evil undead. Sarah is running 25 PSI rear and 20 PSI front. 780mm bars help keep things nice and steady.
  Sarah Atkin and her 26" Evil undead.Sarah is running 25 PSI rear and 20 PSI front. 780mm bars help keep things nice and steady.

Sarah Atkin was all about accessorising. She opted to take off her tassels seeing as it is a serious race but the bell is staying.
  Sarah Atkin was all about accessorizing. She opted to take off her tassels seeing as it is a serious race but the bell is staying.

Veronique Sandler and her YT Industries Tues. Vero has recently signed with loose riders clothing and is repping one of the coolest jerseys on the track this weekend. Vero was running a very soft set suspension set up A 225 pound spring in the rear and the extra light spring in the front. 22PSI in her front tyre and 27PSI in the rear.
  Veronique Sandler and her YT Industries Tues. Vero has recently signed with Loose Riders clothing and is repping one of the coolest jerseys on the track this weekend. Vero was running a very soft set suspension set up, A 225 pound spring in the rear and the extra light spring in the front. 22PSI in her front tyre and 27PSI in the rear.

Gianluca Vernassa of Italy with the only 2015 Devinci Wilson at the race. Gianluca s bike came bearing many little Italian treats such as some new Titanium hubs. Gianluca is running his bars at 780mm. Tire pressure of choice for the weekend is 25PSI front and 27PSI Rear. He was running a Ti-Springs 7 speed drivetrain converter as he didn t want to run 10 gears but also didn t want to run his nice XO1 DH group set
  Gianluca Vernassa of Italy with the only 2015 Devinci Wilson at the race. Gianluca's bike came bearing many little Italian treats such as some new titanium hubs. Gianluca is running his bars at 780mm. Tire pressure of choice for the weekend is 25PSI front and 27PSI Rear. He was running a Ti-Springs 7 speed drivetrain converter as he didn't want to run 10 gears but also didn't want to run his nice XO1 DH group set

Gianluca s Prototype titanium Italian brand hubs.
  Gianluca's prototype titanium Italian brand hubs.

The Marzocchi Moto C2R copper colour blends beautifully into the orange red colour way of the new wilson
  The Marzocchi Moto C2R copper colour blends beautifully into the orange/red colour way of the new Wilson


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106 Comments
  • 73 1
 Got to love pinkbikes sense if humor

m.pinkbike.com/news/australian-dh-national-round-three-pro-bike-check.html
(Hint:look at the second comment)
  • 24 1
 To true but I'm so glad they've made the effort - cheers team!
  • 12 3
 They forgot Miles Davis! haha . Jeez next they'll be wanting how many rebound clicks the pros are running...Bike setups are personal thing! Big Grin Great to see PB sense of humor 777mm wide. 27.5 PSI LOL
  • 19 1
 Spank spike comes in 777 lol
  • 2 0
 Oops, well then my mistake.
  • 7 3
 How do these nerds expect to win with bars as low as 760mm :I
  • 1 0
 TIL I run wider bars on my trail bike than most elite riders do on their DH bikes.
  • 2 1
 'cause MaxLombardy is riding a 910mm handlebar! and he's FFFAST!!! lol
  • 2 0
 you know it bro. Everyone knows that your speed is directly correlated to handlebar length
  • 1 0
 my dreams are big not my handlebar!
  • 37 0
 Bike setups and specs! Finally Smile
  • 8 1
 While setups are personal and trends can be trendy, that many people are settling in on similar setups is useful for those of us that aren't as lucky as the racers above to have lots of days to dial in setups. If you are chained to a desk most days of the year, having an idea about directions to go with setups is great. My new Nomad came with 800 mm Santa Cruz bars with cutdown marks only to 760. Cut it to 760 and it feels great (I don't have broad shoulders) but left me wondering if I am teetering on the edge of rad enough (that's a joke, internet). Lots of people running lower tire pressures than I might expect - useful. I change tires more than anything else on my bike - so I like seeing what other people run.

Anyone who is sponsored should be jumping on detailed bike checks to get their sponsors out there. PB gets page views. Seems like a win for the rider, sponsor, PB, and readers.
  • 25 1
 I really liked the information about the tire pressures the pros are all running. Its interesting to see that with all the varying weights and riding styles of the riders that they all are running fairly similar setups in regards to tire pressure. Very informative!
  • 3 1
 Seriously, they're all like 10psi less than i expected. Time to let some air out and give it a try.
  • 2 1
 Completly irrelevant, unless you're riding the same bike, with the same tires and weigh the same... And have Rotorua hero dirt!
  • 1 0
 The thing with that is who has a really accurate gauge? I can *reproduce* the same tire pressure day to day but it could easily be shifted up or down 5 psi so I can really copy what the pros are doing.
  • 26 3
 XL frame at 16? go play basketball, son!
  • 5 1
 Some of us giants don't like basketball. Plus, our wips look 20% bigger
  • 16 0
 That 2015 Wilson is amazing. It's a work of art.

The shaft of the fox rad shock is interesting. Not kashima from the look of it?
  • 1 0
 and much smaller in diameter than any of the dhx shocks
  • 1 0
 I wonder if it's some sort of Titanium Nitrate type deal like on some of the works/a-kit moto kits. Kinda like you see hear, it's either a shiny gold type color or a turquoise color. www.procircuit.com/works-suspension.html
  • 1 0
 Isn't it a Marzocchi shock?

The red/orange/black looks fully sick with the coffee marzocchi fork!
  • 1 0
 On the Wilson yes, we're talking about the RAD shock on Macdonalds Trek.
  • 1 0
 Oh right, sorry.
  • 2 0
 I believe that shock has a chromed steel shaft. Smaller displacement than an aluminium one so a smaller piggyback can be used. Good to see Marzocchi coming back to the game. It's been boring these last few years only seeing Fox and RS forks. Now DVO and Marzocchi are getting popular.
  • 1 0
 I thought that at first but it looks like it's got more of a golden color to it. Not like Kash gold but more of a shiny coating.
  • 1 0
 I think it's a reflection.
  • 1 0
 Maybe but why would they put a cheap coating on their new high end shock?
  • 18 0
 tr500 all the way
  • 3 0
 Just bought one but haven't ridden it yet. So excited.
  • 2 0
 I agree, it looks so simple but so badas$. And @BenHalsall , your a lucky duck
  • 11 0
 Nobody running 30 psi in their minions? ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
  • 10 1
 I've never heard of Kyle Lockwood, but he has by far the sickest bike here
  • 2 0
 notice his tucked in shirt*
  • 2 0
 Haha whats wrong with my jersey tucked in?
  • 2 0
 I didnt say anything was wrong, you were a retro baller ... Smile
  • 7 0
 The new Wilson looks awesome. And I must say that The Wildman is looking very "corporate" these days.
  • 8 0
 Just me or do the Zoch forks look sick? i think i might be a fanboi
  • 3 0
 Love 'em too. Ordered one. I don't care how it rides - it looks great (I am joking - I only care how it rides - I love my Zocchi 55).
  • 7 0
 That banshee Legend looks lethal!
  • 2 4
 srm power metres are stupid and heavy when stages make a saint left side crank arm that is 500 grams less
  • 4 2
 But they lower the center of gravity of the bike making it turn better.
  • 1 4
 srms make the cranks flexy and they don't lower the centre of gravity lowering the centre of gravity is caused by lowering the bb all they do is add weight to the bb
  • 3 1
 That means that if weight is added below the center of gravity, the center of gravity is lowered.... Obviously waki was being sarcastic, but that doesnt mean he was wrong.
  • 2 2
 im right end of story
  • 6 0
 i'm sorry but i would have kept the tassels, and maybe would have added a basket.
  • 2 0
 and spoky dokies too.
  • 2 0
 and some streamers
  • 6 0
 Interesting to see the fork bleeders, Being that they have been a huge moto thing for a long time.
  • 8 0
 its that 20 year moto to mtb technology delay lol. MTB is like moto's stubborn little brother that refuses to take his advice, but eventually, usually after trying every other option, learns he was right all along.
  • 2 0
 As I mentioned before, Marzocchi used to do it up until they moved to Taiwan and ruined themselves and their name and now trying so hard to come back, while the Boxxer just demolished everything. P.S. I ride only Marzos'!
  • 8 1
 I would take Veronique Sandler to Nandos. No question.
  • 5 0
 I am a bit biased to Keegan and Matt's bikes but loving looking through all these set-ups.
  • 5 0
 tell me what is wrong with Bernard Kerr's front brake! i don't give a shit about all the rest!
  • 1 0
 I'm not seeing anything? Enlighten me?
  • 3 0
 his nose wheelies are unhuman.....
  • 2 0
 MX bikes have had air-release 'valves' on top the their forks for decades. WHY it's taken the MTB industry this long to FINALLY start installing them-SPARSELY- is beyond me. Maybe in another 20 years we'll start seeing sub tanks as well.
  • 1 0
 Marzocchi used to have it untill 2007 Smile MTB guys just don't get it sometimes. They took them off, no one noticed, no one complained, yay! Big Grin
  • 7 3
 why do people want to know the bar width? thought it is for what a rider feels not what someone else is riding
  • 6 0
 where is blenki?
  • 1 0
 Love the pro bike checks - interesting that everyone cut their bars little bit... maybe we will return to 710mm ;p Anyway looks like every rider is super stoked about the track - it's the same track where World Champs was held in 06. Remind me good times of earthed 3 - bring there a world cup event!
  • 3 0
 Earthed 4. And it's a different track but it is on the same hill as the old track.
  • 8 0
 760ish is a pretty nice spot for bar width though
  • 1 0
 Yeah you are right @panaphonic Smile It would be awesome to see new earthed after so many years - not to much slow mo, sick music, just every aspect of downhill racing
  • 2 0
 It's has parts of the old track and some new sections. Was there all weekend and track walked it, which took 90min!
  • 3 0
 So.... kids and girls ride crazy wide bars and the fast boys 760 to 770 on average... interesting. That's exactly what I tell the kids too. Haha.
  • 3 0
 it was just fashionable to ride bars over 800! around 760 i think its good!
  • 4 0
 ...and his rims cut down to 26"...
  • 2 0
 Before the Carbon operator was complete there were a few alloy versions being tested.... Lol looks as if Radon found em and yelled Finders Keepers!
  • 7 4
 27.5psi, 768mm.. does it really make a difference?
  • 2 1
 Sure does. Get some freelap and test it. The results will show you it does.
  • 3 0
 That little tyas girl looks like a wee pocket rocket...
  • 5 3
 She's engaged to me , sorry...
  • 4 2
 Ed Masters looks to be running a 29er front wheel, am I going crazy?
  • 5 0
 Nope, that's a 27.5" Maxxis on an Inferno 29 rim - the 29 is the rim's outer width, not the diameter.
  • 3 0
 But talking about Ed Masters wheelsizes, isn't it 26" in the back and 27.5" in the front? The production bike is anyway. And as far as I know UCI don't look well on that.
  • 3 0
 Thanks Mike, that makes more sense. I guess discussing wheel size around here is reason for neg props.
  • 2 5
 RMWB - don't worry, that is not just a fault of keyboard warriors, what were "they" expecting? Things would be at least a bit different if some people in the industry weren't playing Giantly stupid "it's physics" ball, translated: "I spoke to God and he told me that this wheel size is better, make me more of those. No one else was there and if you question God, you go to hell". Well, from certain perspective, the more bikes sold, the better.
  • 2 0
 Can we get a pov of the course
  • 2 0
 That Pheonix is HOT ! Also interesting mod on Kerrs tyres.
  • 3 0
 Blenki?
  • 1 0
 Man I'd love to see how much power the Bull Dog puts into his crank. I bet he would rip the arse end out of a rhino
  • 2 0
 The Phoenix is a dream bike
  • 2 0
 good to see manitou updating the dorado
  • 1 0
 Are those Loose Riders Jerseys available in The States? Looking pretty slick.
  • 1 0
 is it in kiwi gene to run Marzocchi suspension or something?
  • 1 0
 Thats one huge 16 year old
  • 2 0
 BOS Idylle
  • 1 0
 I want to know more things about that prototype radon/magura bike. Deets!
  • 1 0
 Power Meter on a DH bike PLEASE!!!
  • 2 2
 Brook running un-labeled carbon wheels?
  • 4 4
 Veronique please marry me! Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Pivot is killing it!!
  • 1 4
 Only mentioned one bike size, really!!!............... Why the hell do you mention tyre pressure yet miss out important info like frame size.
  • 1 1
 Veronique Sandler.
  • 2 3
 Norco ftw
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