Action Cam by Sony presents: Casey Brown in Death Grip

Nov 8, 2013
by Anthill Films  
 
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The feeling of traveling through space at vision-blurring speeds is exhilarating, albeit terrifying, but that’s why we crave it. For mountain bikers, going fast is just a part of what we do, but we do it knowing we have a safety net: brakes. But imagine if you didn’t have brakes to stop you? Imagine voluntarily riding brakeless? Meet Casey Brown.

Photography by Harookz

bigquotesIt felt as if I was just a passenger on an unstoppable roller coaster. Your stomach is in your throat the whole time, especially right before you drop in. - Casey Brown

Sounds like a good time, right?

bigquotesI've been behind the camera for some pretty intense moments in mountain biking, and even after 10 years and it hasn't gotten any easier watching a rider put their safety on the line. When we were standing at the top of the Death Grip line it's so steep that the trail rolls over into nothingness after the first 100ft. Watching Casey disappear over the edge with howling crosswinds and no brakes on her bike has to be one the scariest things I've ever seen go down. - Darcy Wittenburg - Filmmaker

Photography by Harookz

The Death Grip line was steep, long, and dusty, with no protection from the wind. There was no margin for error, but still, people seem to think it’s “easy”. Casey’s response to those comments?

bigquotesHa ha ha! Come give it a go! But bring extra underpants! It's a lot different riding without brakes on your bike as opposed to riding and just not using them. You definitely have to shut down the part of your brain that says, "Make sensible decisions", and make sure you hold on for dear life. - Casey Brown

Photography by Harookz

So, would you ride the Death Grip line brakeless?

Photography by Harookz

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Photography by Harookz.

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181 Comments

  • + 156
 Not a known giver of fucks
  • - 16
flag frankietheman (Nov 8, 2013 at 5:16) (Below Threshold)
 Marry Me?
  • - 27
flag iflow (Nov 8, 2013 at 9:14) (Below Threshold)
 Are they testing wheel size - downhill max speed here? No brake rotors eliminates a variable and makes for a good test. I didnt catch why all the different bikes were used.
  • - 63
flag Mutiny5050 (Nov 8, 2013 at 9:28) (Below Threshold)
 BMX has been doing this for years. Just on dirt jumps not downhill.
  • + 70
 No, BMX has not been hitting dirt jumps at 60mph. She's rad.
  • - 27
flag dirtworks911 (Nov 8, 2013 at 13:28) (Below Threshold)
 Aside from the dramatic suspense we get when we see her take off her brakes, this was silly. Going brakeless = stupid idea! If you want to go as fast as you can, just don't touch your brakes. It's that simple. Real skill is portrayed when you have the ability to puss out but don't. rant....over.
  • + 21
 Nico Vink did 110kph on ice on an enduro bike.
  • + 15
 What was the point of taking the brakes off? Just keep your hands off the levers, a bit dramatic IMO
  • - 18
flag Jobobasaurus (Nov 8, 2013 at 15:29) (Below Threshold)
 even when you don't pull the levers there is still some friction between the pads and the rotors, she just wanted to eliminate as much as she could!
  • + 33
 Sounds like your brakes are set up incorrectly, there would only be drag if they were misaligned.
  • - 14
flag dirtworks911 (Nov 8, 2013 at 19:07) (Below Threshold)
 @jobobasaurus, then why didn't she throw on a POC Tempor helmet and a speed suit? She was just doing what girls do best, being dramatic.
  • + 53
 You're all failing to see the psychological difficulty of what she did; sure you can not squeeze the brakes and achieve the same outcome. However, when there is no option to do so, the challenge is increased many fold! Kind of like climbing with ropes and not... Well done, Casey, although probably not the best thing to do regularly Smile
  • - 5
flag slidways (Nov 8, 2013 at 20:19) (Below Threshold)
 @Poozank

Agree. For some reason my reply got destoyed with negs hahah.
  • + 2
 correctly setup brakes would have air drag from the turbulence between rotor and caliper... negligent amount though
  • + 2
 Very negligible, bikes and riders are not aerodynamic at all as it is.
  • + 2
 it's like the tightrope walkers...given the opportunity i'd try to walk one if I had a safety harness, but it takes true guts and skill to walk one without
  • + 131
 Uhhhhhh.... 60mph on a mountain bike with no brakes.... NO THANK YOU. She clearly has more balls than I do.
  • + 23
 yeah fuck that haha! Anything over 30 mph feels stupid fast could not imagine doing twice that
  • + 29
 She'd get that extra 4kph...plus more...on a TWENTY NINER.......
  • + 8
 Respect for her! Great movie as well.
  • + 5
 Imagine something unpredictable happen halfway down. Other than that, apparently she's riding above her comfort level because otherwise she would hit the same speeds with the brakes on as she'd not be using them anyway. Riding faster than you're comfortable with is a fast and effective way to get hurt seriously as any experienced rider knows. Now neg prop me all you want, preferably without even reading the entire post.
  • + 23
 I'd prefer to just not use the brakes than fucking take them off, the girl has enormous testicles
  • - 2
 idi - I agree I think it's reckless.
  • + 5
 Hats off to you Ms. Brown. You have an amazing mindset and you are a gifted rider.

Known track, plenty of tests. It is called external risk minimizing. New world speed record for dh without brakes?
  • + 1
 I've topped out at 42mph (67kph), and that's on a nice smooth hardpack trail with an immediate uphill afterwards so you slow right back down. Can't say I'd feel comfortable going much faster than that, especially without a means of stopping.
This brakeless thing was pretty badass.
  • + 5
 you guys are questioning her safety? It's her choice, and I say shes gnarlier than most of us riders! GET IT GIRL!
  • + 3
 My fastest time was 73kmh on a 100mm trail bike, very sketchy, won't do it again
  • + 5
 she should go for 100kph
  • + 21
 If she can get to 142.9KPH and has a flux capacitor she will travel in time.
  • - 3
 You can easily hit 55-60 MPH on Syncline in Washington. Combine that with the fact that part of the trail is about 10 feet from the edge of a huge cliff and you can definitely scare yourself real good. Nothing like going so fast all you can do is lean into the wind to stay on track...
  • - 9
flag LoLLeD (Nov 8, 2013 at 14:27) (Below Threshold)
 Worm burner, no she would not, bigger wheels=more spinning weight. But she might go faster with 24 inch wheels.
  • + 4
 LoLLeD, the bigger wheels would accelerate slower, but have more momentum, not to mention the bigger diameter will slow down less over bumps.
  • - 3
 dont be late to the party, worm burner. get a 27.5. it accelerates much faster than the niner...the difference was her pedaling....ie acceleration. and they climb and TURN.
  • - 5
flag LoLLeD (Nov 9, 2013 at 13:40) (Below Threshold)
 Arnoodles, you are right about bigger wheels going over bumps better, but im pretty sure that larger wheels roll slower.
  • + 1
 sounds like a lot of people are jealous... she shaved almost a kilo out of the bike.
  • + 20
 I liked the moment (2:41) when she tried to place finger on the missing brake lever.
  • + 21
 lmao! It's one of those habits you can never get rid of. I ride a motorcycle every day get around and when I get on DH bike, I keep on looking at my handlebar for the missing side mirrors :-/
  • + 5
 One of my mates only ever has a rear brake on his bike , when I ride it I'm constantly reaching for the missing front brake:P

f*cking horrible feeling
  • + 12
 I've had a brake failure on my road bike, they failed going down mount seymour 500m or so from the first switchback, the rest of the way down was the scariest thing I've ever done, I'm happy it was dry or I never would have made it through the first switchback (still had to cross the yellow line to go remotely wide enough to cut the apex), lesson learned: make sure your cable housing is in good condition (mine split) and don't go riding when one of your brakes isn't working, my back brake had no pads left and I couldn't get pads for another 4 days so I went riding anyways and let's just say I'll never do that again, Casey Brown is awesome for doing that, her quote is exactly right the feeling of having no safety net is much scarier than simply not touching your brakes
  • + 15
 Holy shit. My butt just clenched up involuntarily reading that.
  • + 3
 Ive felt your anxiety. I broke a pinky at the top of Pommerelle DH racing in Idaho a decade ago, and then got on my bike to continue, pinky condition unknown until gaining momentum and started to clutch the bar, and then realized both brake housings were out of place. Scary good time resulting in another more exciting crash.
  • + 2
 eh, not a clencher, required a change of chamois though
  • + 1
 Im trying to rap my head around that. Nice run!
  • + 2
 Did you get the Strava KOM?
  • + 2
 I went a summer without brakes on my bike, this was before I knew anything before bikes, and I took off my brakes because my wheels were out of true really bad and didn't know how to fix it. I only had one crash, while going down a hill an old guy on a riding lawn mower stopped in the middle of the sidewalk so I hit the tractor and flew otb into a big pile of leaves, and rode my bike back home like a boss. plus the old guy's granddaughter was cute.
  • + 1
 no KOMs... I'm not fat enough to get road descending segments Frown
  • + 15
 "I really need to go faster". Thats my kind of girl!
  • + 12
 Does anyone ever get that feeling when you have brake levers on your bike with no brakes, and you squeeze them, you feel like you've gone faster?
  • + 15
 Beer my hold....
  • + 11
 You don't have to remove your brakes to go faster...just run elixirs, mission accomplished!
  • + 10
 Would I ride Death Grip brakeless?

Nope.
  • + 3
 I think I would happily ride this, after a couple of goes with brakes to check the run in and out. It's a pretty straight line and although that speed is insanely fast you can see the whole line on front of you. no surprises. Still... fair play, ovaries of steel!
  • + 1
 Yeah, if you previously rode it and didn't used brakes it wouldn't be nearly as scary as riding it for the first time without brakes.
  • + 9
 Now that shows why internal cable routing is a bad thing Wink
  • + 7
 Can I have your brakes if you don't need them?
  • + 8
 but why ? :\
  • + 2
 Indeed, nothing we didn't do as kids, except we did it on the road with lookouts for cars coming!!
  • + 2
 Something like that... I once went down the landing of our ski-jump where I live.. It was nuts. I guess over 100. Almost no rolling friction... But anyway, go Casey!!!
  • + 6
 I was hoping for a POV run of the whole thing. Props to casey though that was wicked!
  • + 2
 can someone tell her that it is wieght and gravity that makes a bicycle(or anything else ,by the way) accelerate in a downhill... more weight, more speed! (even more when there is a bad aerodynamic ratio)

in a normal singletrack you need a light bike to get some versatility,agility, etc. but in this kind of straight groomed and secured track, she should have had a backpack full of beer cans!

either way, if she wants to ride fast, she can take part to the mountain of hell race (end of july, france) in les deux alpes glacier, lots of peoples among the 700 riders of the event reach 100+ km/h, the fastest this year was arount 130km/h. (i personnaly grabbed my brake lever around 80)
  • + 7
 Darwin award !
  • + 3
 As a downhill racer, Casey has to be ready and able to go outside her comfort zone regularly. I'm sure after this, she felt more comfortable going fast on her regular downhill races.
  • + 5
 I don't know if it was the Camera or Her going super fast... but the HD Quality tho...
  • + 4
 also possibly crappy youtube compression? not a great advert for the camera though, especially as its an advert for the camera.....
  • + 2
 When I was building up a new bike recently i took it for a quick test ride before I installed the brakes. I'm not going to lie, it was a somewhat uneasy feeling just going down my driveway with no brakes on the bike. This must have been nuts.
  • + 2
 why doesn't the u.s. change their system? it was a bit of a letdown when I realized it was kph not mph. Not an insane speed but she most def has bigger balls than me for doing it brake less. Super sick
  • + 3
 Because the government is ignorant to everyone and everything that isn't America.
  • + 1
 me, too... A real bummer when I saw it was metric.
  • + 5
 "I ride brakeless fool!" She still had a chain on though...
  • + 1
 I was scrolling down looking for a reference to that haha
  • + 4
 there is always your foot to stck in between the fork and tire if you need safety...
  • + 1
 In between the fork and tire? Holy hell that could end badly. Have to stick the foot in the back tire for manual braking.
  • + 1
 ya... like that!
  • + 1
 Why in the world would you do this? This is just another example of, at what cost does it take to entertain you lot these days. Riding brake less isn't pushing the boundaries in a positive way, it's just stupid! But hey, turn off your brain and take control out of the equation, whatever you got to do to get your coverage?
  • + 0
 I'm with you dude. I'm not really into the crazy daredevil stunts part of mtb.... I guess it's her choice but I don't see the point. All I keep thinking about when I see this kind of stuff is my family. If I pulled this shit and the ride didn't kill me, I know my mom would. She would fly across country and kick my grown man ass for being stupid.
  • + 1
 All these people that can better this should get there videos posted! She's doing a sustained high speed with no brakes which is physically demanding but more psychologically impressive imho. She may be able to see the line but with wind and rough terrain her reaction times are incredible! !!!
  • + 4
 That's nothing! I rode bra'less the other day!
  • + 1
 It would have really helped me to have a older sister like you. That was killer amazing. Proves you don't need balls to go fast, you just need to be cooler than steel.
Tip of my hat to you, /:-}-----
  • + 0
 This is the stupidest thing I've ever seen on a bike. 14 year old kids everywhere are going to start doing this and killing themselves. Why would you put yourself on the line like that for a f*cking helmet cam ad? Neg prop me but I don't think this is cool what so ever.
  • - 4
flag bkm303 (Nov 8, 2013 at 11:00) (Below Threshold)
 Seems to me you'd have to be a pretty big scumbag to let someone advertise your helmet cam in this way too.... Stupid all around.
  • + 1
 Kudos for expressing your opinion.
  • - 6
flag hermo44 (Nov 8, 2013 at 12:03) (Below Threshold)
 you said it! Fully agree. That's not a way to promote any product.
  • + 13
 By that logic I sure hope there weren't many 14 year olds watching rampage.
  • + 7
 I was. But I'm 15 so I suppose that's fine
  • + 10
 Learn to take responsibility for your own actions. And stop pussifying this earth.
  • + 2
 yeah the thing about rampage, most riders have brakes there. To me there's not much skill riding that fast without brakes, just luck...
  • + 1
 C'mon really? Are 14 year olds really that stupid to see this ad and take the brakes off from now on? We've had brakes on bikes for like a hundred years and 14 year olds have always had the option to "take their brakes off" and kill themselves. I just don't see it in the "died, taking off the bike brakes" stats. No promotion, ad or otherwise is going to override a 14 year old's common sense. Shimano looks at me, no hands!
  • + 1
 Casey reminds me of this guy. Eric Barone crashed racing down the side of a Nicaraguan volcano at >170 kph.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5VwvTXTFkY&feature=youtu.be
  • + 3
 why are you removing the rotors?? calipers are enough
  • + 1
 I / We had Breakfast with Casey once, she's a quirky, lovely Lady, I don't really know what to add to my otherwise pointless post other than she's really nice in 'real life'.
  • + 3
 video would be better if she went bra-less instead : )
  • + 2
 Good thing she's a girl. Otherwise she'd need custom tailored pants to fit her massive pair of balls...
  • - 1
 I just think it's not smart at all to ride with out brakes, if there is a small stone on the path or something...It's just your fingers pushing the brakes or not, if you DO not want it. You can stay off. But I do think you need them, in case of emergency though. Anyway, she definitely gets nuts...
  • + 1
 Awesome .... she lost the brakes for weight .... and nobody can speak for another person's confidence. ...., And she is smokin hot haha
  • + 2
 Anyone knows where the trail is in Kamloops? Is it on the way to Harper Mountain?
  • - 1
 So, her sponsors will be happy that she is implying that Saint brakes slow you down, even when you ain't using them! Hmm.. Totally pointless exercise, you can't stop, and it won't make you faster. Also, the last run she said she thinks she will try pedaling at the start! Duh, well yeah, no wonder that was your faster run! Nothing to do with removing brakes.
  • + 1
 Stay awake in science lab. There's air-drag on the bike at those speeds from brake levers, etc. They're not aerodynamic disc-brakes...just hydraulic. Wink
  • + 1
 Yeah, and in a science lab you may just about be able to measure that, but in real life, no way is It going to make even 1mph difference. You'd get more effect by pumping up your tyres, changing you tyres,wearing tighter clothes or anything else. Removing the brakes was just futile.
  • + 1
 Now just Imagine if there was no cross winds...Would the extra speed be safer or more scary? haha
  • + 2
 Sony action cam coundn t handle that speed
  • + 2
 Thanks for removing that downed treeSmile
  • + 1
 I love when she picks up the bike and sticks her finger out for the brake lever, except it's not there. lol.
  • + 1
 And she did it several times! Even without brakes she was still hitting 87. Thats way faster than I would ever go
  • + 2
 I want to see her hit the Oakley sender at that speed lol
  • - 2
 The no brakeless thing on her run was actually pretty stupid and really not that dangerous.
She was riding a groomed trail down a hill in the middle of nowhere, there are no cars, pedestrians, stray deer or anything else to cross her path.

The BMX/DJ guys with no brakes riding down the street and the brakeless fixed gear guys bombing hills is much more dangerous.
This is just some stupid thing to do to make the video seem slightly less boring.
  • + 2
 Street riding a BMX bike with no brakes really isn't as dangerous as it seems. Those bikes don't roll as fast as mountain bikes and are much easier to control. On relatively flat streets its really not that big a deal. Stop pedaling and the bikes slows quickly. Plus you can stick your foot in the tire or just put your feet down in an emergency. A BMX bike is so small that you can basically just jump off and land on your feet.
  • + 1
 It's the speed that makes the consequences so sever. Why do you think some impacts in Ice hockey are so violent. Only that she is going way faster than any BMX'er or hockey player. Speed * Mass = Momentum. True, she does have a clean line of decent. But what if she were to have a mechanical?
  • + 2
 Hit a kicker at those speeds.
  • + 2
 too the moon! =0p
  • - 1
 Great vid ....never knew what type of speeds they hit. To be honest though I fear what would happen at those speeds. I've crashed at 22mph and it was a trip to the emergency room. At 95+....I can't even imagine.
  • + 4
 KPH dude, not mph
  • + 1
 The fastest I can get on my steepest run riding a XC/HT is 78km, F-Me I need and want more vert in and around my... =0D !!
  • + 1
 Yea, isn't Death Grip when you dont cover your brakes? This is just balls out brakeless...
  • + 1
 Okay so if I go down a hill this smooth at 60mph I can race World Cup too? Challenge accepted
  • + 3
 Hi Casey!
  • + 2
 My new favorite female DH racer!
  • + 2
 It bodes well that speed impresses her
  • + 1
 Was blown away initially assuming is was MPH. Still extremely impressive being KPH.
  • + 2
 Tailgater! Nice post-beer Deschutes Brewery plug, "Bravely Done!"
  • + 1
 Does anyone know what song is playing?
  • + 1
 this chick is wild and i love it haha faster is better
  • + 1
 Stupid is as stupid does.
  • - 1
 Talk about pointlessly adding risk to the equation. This is an ironic video to post considering the very thoughtful article about risk and the Rampage posted the other day.
  • + 1
 Piece of piss, i wouldnt be happy with 96 thou...! bigger gears..!
  • + 1
 she is gorgeous, fast, and brakeless. My kinda gal.
  • + 1
 Doesn't Sam Hill go over 100kph with brakes?
  • + 1
 dang! you go girl. super badass.
  • + 1
 high speed on a streight line doest do it for me
  • + 1
 Dam girl, give us a chance to catch ya haha
  • - 1
 If she was so desperate to go fast that she removed her brakes, surely taking her peak off and some faster rolling tyres would of been worthwhile too.
  • + 1
 TBH I don't get this at all - what's the big deal?
  • + 2
 Bad Ass
  • + 1
 600mm bars would probably add few km/h
  • + 2
 And fast rolling tyres! It looked like some dirty dan or magic mary, not the fastest out there!
  • + 1
 Female version of Aggy, always pushin boundaries
  • + 1
 ??? NO....
  • + 2
 Awesome
  • + 1
 better luck next year in the UCI! death grip it all you need to.
  • + 1
 Meh. Trees don't jump out in front of you (usually) :p.
  • + 1
 If you pop out high up on SFU, you can hit 90 if you tuck.
  • + 0
 what did this have to do with 27.5" enduro bikes?
  • + 1
 Fuuuu-huck that!
  • + 1
 Nothing on a GoPro
  • + 1
 Kilometers per hr
  • + 1
 60 mph
  • + 0
 Sometimes you got to just Give'r
  • + 1
 That looks FUN!!! :-)
  • + 1
 NO GLOVES!?!?!?!
  • + 1
 Norco Rocks
  • + 0
 Ride back up ya lazy trout!
  • + 1
 That was pretty cool Smile
  • + 0
 She should get married to Stevie Smith!
  • + 1
 So gnarly!!!
  • + 1
 "Holy Sh!t...96"
  • - 1
 well fuck my fist ain't that something .. right fuckin' fucked. looks exhilarating though ...
  • - 2
 she go on a straith line she should try a world cup track to see if she does the same i dont understand the big fuzz about this.
  • - 2
 Hey guys. It's straight. Soil is soft. Does she really need a DH bike to do that! I've done it on a hardtail on a similar trail. Anyone without a brain can do that
  • - 1
 That is hardcore.... and I think I am now in love Smile
  • + 0
 babes on norcos..!!
  • - 2
 nice one. my fastest was 89,9 km/h and it was amazing feeling. I'm not sure if would do that brakeless.
  • + 0
 She's got balls
  • + 0
 Hit 77.4 k on whistler.
  • - 1
 I did 56mph on my cx bike booming hills on my way home from work.
  • + 1
 60mph on the road bike isn't as scary as it seems when you have brakes to slow you down, I've been over 60mph a few times and it's fine you get used to it, only place it's been scary was the whistler granfondo where I had to pass guys at that speed, wasn't my cup of tea when they were swerving
  • - 1
 nice
  • - 2
 Shut the front door! Brakeless!!!
  • - 1
 now that girls got balls
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