9 Bikes That Have Won Red Bull Rampage

Oct 21, 2020
by James Smurthwaite  
2008 - Brandon Semenuk's Trek Session


2008 Trek Session photos by Ross Measures
2008 Trek Session photos by Ross Measures

Going back more than a decade, Brandon Semenuk won Rampage all the way back in 2008. His bike from that time isn't too dissimilar from his winning bike of last year. He was still on a Trek Session with 26" wheels and SRAM components, although he now runs Maxxis, not Bontrager tires.

17-year-old Semenuk was mainly known for his slopestyle prowess but he showed he could also mix it with the best in the big mountains at Rampage 2008.

Gold anodised parts were custom made for Semenuk's Rampage ride.



2012 - Kurt Sorge's Giant Glory



2012 Shimano Saint launch in Whistler BC

Kurt Sorge's first Rampage win came aboard a Giant Glory before he moved to Polygon in 2015. He piloted this bike to victory with a suicide no-hander off a natural drop at the top before cleaning the Oakley Sender then opening his bag of tricks towards the bottom with a backflip and a superman. He finished the run by stomping the 'Gee transfer' that saw so many riders crash out two years before.

This is the first bike with an air shock in this list, but it wasn't the first bike with an air shock to take the glory at Rampage. That came two years before with Cam Zink's prototype Corsair, which was famously 360'd off the huge wooden drop. After winning two Rampages in a row, it would take until 2019 until air shocks would win again.

A little hip action for Sorge too



2013 - Kyle Strait's GT Fury



Kyle Strait s GT 2013 RedBull Rampage in Virgin Utah
Photo by Sterling Lorence

In 2013, Kyle Strait became the first repeat winner of Rampage aboard this GT Fury. Apparently, he ran this bike pretty similar to how he had it set up for home riding apart from a wider 2.5" front tire and adding a 100lb heavier spring.

Red Bull Rampage

Red Bull Rampage
2013 RedBull Rampage in Virgin Utah
From contemplative to conquering.



2014 - Andreu Lacondeguy's YT Tues



Andreu Lacondeguy

Up next is Andreu Lacondgeuy's YT Tues from 2014. The one big thing we notice is missing on this bike is the lack of a chain guide. This was two years after the release of SRAM XX1 and its wide-narrow teeth, and was the first time a bike had won Rampage without the need for extra chain retention.

Andreu Lacondeguy at RedBull Rampage 2014

Podiums



2015 - Kurt Sorge's Polygon Colossus



Kurt Sorge at RedBull Rampage 2015 Virgin Utah USA
Photo by Sterling Lorence

Kurt Sorge's second win came aboard a Polygon Colossus, the first of two he would earn aboard the frame from the Indonesian brand. 27.5" wheels were starting to creep into Rampage, especially on crossover racers' bikes, but Sorge was still on 26". His suspension was an SR Suntour fork and Cane Creek Double Barrel rear shock.

Sorge took a few extra minutes this morning to borrow an allen key and hand check every single one of his bolts before starting the trip to the top of Rampage mountain.
Final fine tune.
You can never do too many bolt checks before dropping in at the Rampage site.



2016 - Brandon Semenuk's Trek Session


Brandon Semenuk checking tire pressure and one of the first riders on the hill this morning to get some runs in before the heat blazed down.

Semenuk had to wait eight years to double up his win tally but it finally came in 2016. Semenuk was now running a Park version of the Session frame, as opposed to the 88 DH from before. The big difference between these two frames is in their construction material, as Semenuk claimed the first win for a carbon bike on this custom grey frame.

09 and 06. 1st and 3rd. Conscience I think not.
Squamish's Fluid Function tuned Brandon's suspension specifically for the event. Semenuk set up his suspension to be super-progressive with slow rebound.

26 Ain t dead for Brandon Semenuk.
Semenuk made the switch to Maxxis tires since his 2008 win, including a 26"x2.7" DHF upfront.

Brandon Semenuk

Watch a bike check of Semenuk's set up, here.



2017 - Kurt Sorge's Polygon Colossus


Red Bull Rampage 2017 Bikes

Sorge became the first person to triple up at Rampage when he won again in 2017. He was on the Colossus DH9 again and was still sticking with 26" wheels

Sorge s Polygon Collosus DH9
Sorge was running a ten-speed Shimano set up despite not really pedaling after a bump out of the start gate.


Sorge s Polygon Collosus DH9
Sorge gauges his tire pressure by hand and pumps them hard enough to not roll on the rim.

Sorge s Polygon Collosus DH9
Sorge's Cane Creek DB coil was set up super stiff with a 700 lb/in titanium spring.


Sorge s Polygon Collosus DH9
Sorge's Deity Holeshot bars were cut to 790mm.


Read a full bike check, here.



2018 - Brett Rheeder's Trek Session



Rheeder takes his first Rampage win in 2018. What a run.

Rheeder took the glory in 2018 with the first win at Rampage for 27.5" wheels. The bigger wheelsize had been on the scene in Utah for most of the decade and picked up its first podium through Logan Bingelli in 2012 but it would take until 2018 for its first win.

Rheeder's bike was custom painted with desert camo and he gave Fox its first Rampage win of the decade with special edition sparkly lowers.

Practice started in near dark. It was cold and windy. Practice was extended. Finally nature cooperated.

Brett Andreau and Ethan take the top three spots at Rampage.

The man of the hour Brett Rheeder. Long time competitor first time winner.



2019 - Brandon Semenuk's Trek Session



Brandon Semenuk

Another custom Trek Session took the win in 2019 except this time it was Semenuk's, who took his third Rampage victory on a custom painted 9.9. Mixed wheel setups had started to creep into Rampage last year, but 26" front and rear did the business for Brandon. His bike also saw a return of an air-sprung shock to the top step of the Rampage podium for the first time in seven years.

Red Bull Rampage
Red Bull Rampage


Red Bull Rampage
Red Bull Rampage





101 Comments

  • 181 15
 26" wheels? Thats dangerous. Theres a reason why that wheel size was recalled. Treacherous and dangerous.

Dangerous for the bottom line of the major companies, that is.
  • 64 21
 Undoubtedly, 26" is a stronger wheel. For an event full of 30 ft step downs where timing isn't a major factor, it's totally unsurprising that riders are choosing it actively. But look at world DH. Basically zero top 20 riders on 26". When speed matters, pros choose otherwise.

26" might not be quite dead, but it's definitely been demoted to "emergency use only".
  • 40 1
 I thought 26" wheels had been proven to show, "psycotic behaviour leading to maniacal actions & potential adverse enjoyment overload". I definitely didn't read it anywhere so it must be correct.
  • 32 4
 @zsandstrom: I feel bad for people who never got to ride a 26" bike. They're so much more fun to ride. I've moved on to bigger wheeled bikes, but my 26" Operator will be in my stable for life.
  • 22 0
 I actually had no idea he won that last one with 26" wheels. I don't remember it being discussed, which seems virtually impossible.
  • 12 0
 @zsandstrom: how much choice do pros really get though?
  • 21 0
 I rode a bike with 26" wheels about 30 minutes ago... still alive and had a lot of fun!
  • 3 4
 Speaking of World Cups; what the f*ck is happening with Lousa? Is it on or not?
  • 14 0
 Honestly, 26" is the way to go at Rampage. These guys are not trying to roll over stuff or race down the mountain, They just need something that can spin fast and controlled.
26" Is also stronger because everything is tighter and more compact making it lighter as well.

Bottom line- There guys know what they are doing.
  • 12 1
 @willdavidson9595: The increased contact patch of a larger wheel certainly does have it's advantage when it comes to steep and loose. But yeah, the reasons you mention, with the additional ass-clearance, are certainly legit 26 advantages for Rampage.
  • 6 0
 Rode my old 26“ bike again 2 weeks ago, damn that thing is so much fun ... absolutely hectic
  • 4 0
 @kiksy: according to the contents of this article, they gave enough latitude to ride 26" at events with major media coverage...
  • 7 0
 @chriskneeland: I totally get that. I'm more of a "horses for courses" kind of guy, and like different wheels for different tasks.
  • 3 0
 @CRAFTY-P: Follow @louzanpark on IG for the latest updates. But things are looking good so far (hope I'm not jinxing it tho)
  • 2 0
 Along with the 125, 250 ATC trike!!!
  • 5 0
 @kiksy: lol!! This type of comment always makes me laugh. The answer is all the options. They didn't spend their life becoming the best in the world just to get locked Into a contract that doesn't allow freedom of expression. Sure that sorta thing happens occasionally but rest assured, Semenuk gets what Semenuk wants. End of story.
  • 2 0
 @sadfusde: thanks, homie
  • 2 0
 @Stokedonthis: You're lucky to be alive.
  • 3 0
 Why isn't Norbs' bike listed here?
  • 1 4
 @Stokedonthis: what kind of bike was that ?

The last time *I* rode my old 26" some 8-9 years ago, that thing was utter crap. Of course it had nothing to do with the wheel size and everything to do with that ancient geometry with short reach, steep HA, high BB, tiny handlebars and long stem. Shortly afterwards I gave that piece of shit away for free. I would rather just walk than ride it again.
  • 1 0
 @f00bar: it is a liteville 301 mk8 with a 60mm stem and 730mm handlebars, a 150mm dropper and 160mm travel ... ha should be around 67, 420 reach, 430 cs. bought it in 2009/10 i think
  • 6 0
 @tommynator: Cause it got robbed.
  • 1 0
 @thinkbike: changed the front wheel on my Turner DHR last year to 27,5 still running 26 in the back, rode it yesterday in Alpenbikepark.ch, pure fun
  • 2 0
 @Dropthedebt: That's cheap whiz you're thinking of.
  • 2 0
 @zsandstrom: It's almost like people who race and want to go fast ride bigger wheels, makes sense. But some people out there who just wanna shred and still freeride prefer smaller wheels. Bike industry thinks we're all racers tho...
  • 1 0
 @CRAFTY-P: I'd say it's not a definitive yet - Portugal is experiencing an increase in Covid cases. Still not sure.
  • 7 0
 @thinkbike: I thought I should check and see if you are still alive after your incredibly brave & dangerous ride on the 26" wheels yesterday.
It has been reported that some symptoms of happiness and joy can still linger days after infection, leading to what some Internet doctors are calling... Marketing Immunity.
  • 2 0
 @Stokedonthis: i rode my old 26" a few weeks ago, not only was it a good laugh but, bloody hell it goes round corners so fast
  • 1 0
 @kiksy: 100% of the choice involves the question of rider and which setup he feels will best provide the tools needs to secure a win.
  • 1 0
 @HurricaneCycles: Agreed, outside of contractual obligations to sponsors he and his mechanic make the decisions on his setup.
  • 4 0
 @Dropthedebt: Thanks, it has been really tough re-entering a static and joyless society after the ride yesterday. All the people trying to be normal walking around on the pavement and hardly anyone says braaap like they mean it. But rumors of my passing were greatly exaggerated this morning and the truth is that I was still not feeling perfectly happy so I went to the river for a few hours of fly fishing. Bright sun, fall colors, playful trout... the horror and struggle is real. I will continue to make great sacrifices using outdated sporting equipment so others can learn from the errors of my ways.
  • 1 0
 @thinkbike: Braaaap - and I mean it too!
  • 1 0
 @thinkbike:
B to the R to the AAA P!!
  • 82 0
 Alternate title “ Kurt Sorge and Brandon Semenuks Bikes throughout the years”
  • 37 0
 Okay fine, but what about Tyler "Super T" Klassen's winning Santa Cruz v10 from 2002?

The bike: www.pinkbike.com/buysell/212995
The run: www.redbull.com/ca-en/vintage-action-red-bull-rampage-2002
  • 3 0
 What's really sick is that Dainese Shuttle Pro Suit people used to wear. I still have, and occasionally use, my 2001 Safety Jacket.
  • 1 0
 @suspended-flesh: I've still got, and occasionally use, my lower body portion. The huge thigh plates saved me plenty of skin over the years.
  • 2 0
 @mammal: That's awesome!
  • 2 0
 Thanks for posting those links dude! Always nice to look back at some history.
  • 33 6
 You know Kurt is strong AF when he can hold his 2012 Glory out with straight arms like that.
  • 19 3
 My 2010 glory is only 36 lbs without a single carbon component on it. Glory's have been some of the lightest DH builds out there for a while.
  • 4 0
 ...40lbs(18.14kg) at chest level...with both hands... I am probably the last guy who should be talking (6ft/140lbs) but I can do that all day with my 38lbs Glory.
  • 22 0
 Brandon should do a Subaru rally themed bike.
  • 20 0
 Subaru theme: overheated from bad head gaskets
  • 12 0
 @nsmithbmx: it’s what makes a Subaru, a Subaru.
  • 23 2
 Nah, Andreau won in 2018. Check the tape.
  • 17 0
 Bikes are neat
  • 6 1
 Totes
  • 3 0
 Mos def
  • 3 0
 fosho
  • 17 3
 Looks like a session
  • 2 29
flag mhoshal (Oct 21, 2020 at 15:42) (Below Threshold)
 @rush10mtb good one how long did it take your minuscule brain to come up with that... duh looks like a session...
  • 12 0
 @mhoshal: First time on pinkbike? If so you should also know, Norbs got robbed!
  • 2 0
 Looks like the winningest bike in Rampage history.
  • 7 0
 @mhoshal: Randy wouldn't like your tone.
  • 7 0
 I hope that we can get a few sessions of some Virgin Ut riding, since we were not able to have a Rampage this year.
  • 3 0
 A lot of filming and riding happening(happened) in the last couple months
  • 10 4
 I own a total of 6 bikes two of them are 650 and the rest are;
..........................26/4/Life.....................................................
  • 6 1
 don't know why I thought there would be more Fox40s...seems like a Boxxer fest.
  • 2 0
 40 is focused on dh racing and so are most of the athletes they sponsor. Brett is the first FOX win I think. Officially. Marzocchi has a couple pre buyout and will have a good shot at 2021.
  • 3 0
 2x SR Suntour Rux forks in the mix with Sorge. SRS has supported freeriders since the first launch of the Rux with Doerfling and Buehler at Rampage 2012. I got to help dig and support those guys, good memories.

vimeo.com/52373547
  • 6 0
 Looks like a .... Oh wait
  • 3 0
 I kinda miss the rugged look of the old bikes. All the new ones are custom painted for this event. (which is also cool but in a different way)
  • 3 0
 That bulbous chainguide on Brandons 2008 bike hits me right in the nostalgia! That and the old school MRPs with the orange rollers!
  • 5 1
 If you can't ride it on a 26 ... you can't ride.
  • 2 0
 Any reason we skipped Cam and his Cosair in 2010? Also that Kurt Sorge 2012 afterparty, definitely deserves an honorable mention....
  • 3 0
 You should do an article that's titled "9 Bikes That Should Have Won Red Bull Rampage" Big Grin
  • 2 0
 26 x 2.7 - isn't that pretty much 26+ and the almost same size as a 27.5 x 2.3? - If you want that large a tire you probably have to run a 26" wheel in some of those frames.
  • 5 2
 Looks like a lot of sessions.
  • 2 0
 Show us the pre-2008 bikes! I want to see the classics, like SuperT's V10 or Cedric's Cannondale!
  • 3 0
 So Brandon won on a 2010 boxxer in 08 interesting.
  • 2 0
 Even with MegNeg, the Super Deluxe Air just looks tiny compared to the old Vivid Air.
  • 3 0
 looks like a session, has been on the podium a lot
  • 1 0
 Hm, yeah, looks like Trek Session For The Win. Horst Linkage all the way I guess. That Polygon Colossus is awesome looking though.
  • 2 0
 Brandon Semenuk CANNOT stop winning, damn.
  • 2 0
 Where can I get custom rear springs in heavier weights?!
  • 2 1
 SpringsRus.com
  • 2 0
 Last years session was 27.5 front 26 rear
  • 3 0
 Sooooooo 26" ain't dead?
  • 1 0
 I have Kurt Sorge's winning glory in my shed. Small frame girlfriend's bike Smile
  • 2 0
 Riders win Rampage, not bikes
  • 1 0
 Where can I get one of those PARTY UNLIMITED stickers that Andreu has on his bike?
  • 1 0
 This is great always love anything Rampage.
  • 1 0
 Never mind I misread something
  • 2 1
 I wonder who will win rampage 2020!!!
  • 9 0
 Coro Navirus came in with a perfect score. Remains undefeated.
  • 1 0
 @Trudeez: Funny, his name doesn't sound Chinese. But indestructible so far.
  • 2 0
 Hey, where is Super T's?
  • 1 0
 Just tell me which one will make me be able to ride like that. Dam you PB!
  • 1 0
 Now do one for the winning bikes from the other years.
  • 1 0
 Lack of Maxxis tyres there compared to a DH world cup!
  • 1 0
 I thought all the bikes would be from 2008 ..)
  • 1 0
 It's torture
  • 4 6
 how relevant is what bicycle is in that ''race''?
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