Red Bull Rampage 2013: Cam Zink's Prototype Hyper

Oct 10, 2013
by Mike Levy  

Red Bull Rampage, Utah
Cam Zink's
Prototype Hyper

WORDS Mike Levy
PHOTOS Colin Meagher

The Red Bull Rampage is one hell of a place to put a prototype machine through its paces, but that is exactly what Hyper's Cam Zink is doing aboard this new long-travel rig. And if Cam has it his way, he'll be pulling off one of the largest moves in mountain bike history: a backflip off of the largest step down on the course, a drop that measures somewhere in the neighbourhood of forty to fifty feet down. The bike that he'll be using is a brand new, yet to be named 8" travel rig from Hyper, with Cam being in possession of the only two 26"-wheeled prototypes that have been manufactured at this point in time, while Hyper's Eric Carter has two frames back in California designed around 650B wheels for testing. Word from Hyper is that they plan on going ahead with the bigger wheel size for production... unless there is a large amount of interest shown in the 26" version, that is. Which wheel size would you prefer to see put into production?
Prototype DH bike details
• Rear wheel travel: 203mm/8"
• Wheel size: 26" (650B prototypes as well)
• Floating lower shock link
• Tapered head tube
• ISCG 05 chain guide tabs
• Frame weight: 9.5LB (production should be lower)
• Availability: TBA
• MSRP: TBA

bigquotesCam wanted the bike to be a little more resistant to bottoming out than normal for the stuff he rides, which I like as well. I feel it creates a ''platform'' that allows for a very animated DH bike, one that a rider can manipulate the suspension on to hop around and over things, and to get to different lines. - Eric Carter, brand manager


Cam Zink s prototype Hyper DH bike at Red Bull Rampage Photo by Colin Meagher


Suspension Design: You would be only half right if you guessed that Zink's 8" travel Hyper employs a single pivot and rocker arm layout, although you'd be forgiven considering that's pretty much all that is visible in terms of the bike's rear suspension when viewing it from the drive side. Have a look from the opposite side, though, and you'll immediately spot the floating lower shock link that is home to the lower mounting point for the bike's RockShox Vivid Air R2C shock - that means that the shock isn't attached to the front triangle. How does it all function? The chain stays move up as the rear tire hits a bump, pulling upwards on the lower linkage while at the same time compressing the shock with the rocker arm, effectively compressing the shock from both ends. Hyper's Eric Carter told us that there are a number of benefits to the design, most notably the ability to make changes to the bike's suspension characteristics by swapping out lower link components rather than having to replace the bike's rocker arm, thereby giving Hyper a cost effective method of suspension tuning during the bike's development.

As you might expect from a bike that is going to be ridden by Zink at Rampage, his suspension has been tuned for the massive airtime the bike we see this Sunday. Hidden within the RockShox Vivid Air R2C is a much stiffer compression tune than what a regular rider would require for more run of the mill terrain, and the shock's air pressure has also been bumped up from what he would normally use. All of this is on top of a bike that, according to Carter, has been designed to offer more resistance to bottoming out than many other machines. This setup has no doubt been mirrored up front on his RockShox BoXXer fork, complete with the new and still BlackBox-only Charger damper.

Cam Zink s prototype Hyper DH bike at Red Bull Rampage Photo by Colin Meagher

Just as we saw on Hyper's prototype all-mountain and slope bikes, the downhill rig's suspension has been designed with rigidity and reliability in mind. This much is obvious when inspecting the bike's welded together, one-piece rocker arm that looks ready for anything Zink is planning to throw down come Sunday's big show. And while it is always a good strategy to assemble a burly prototype that errs on the side of safety rather than saving grams, Carter is adamant that the same approach will be used on production bikes as well - "One of my goals is to keep the Hyper phone from ringing with issues," he explained to us when we asked about the tough looking captive dropout and seat stay pivot assemblies. You also won't find any aluminum pivot bolts, at least on Zink's Rampage machine, with everything being held together with steel bolts and flush aluminum caps. There are even replaceable steel nuts that fit into keyed holes to hold the shock in place, giving riders access to inexpensive replacements from the hardware store if something does happen to go south. No, that isn't a completely new idea, but it's one we'd like to see more of.


Cam Zink s prototype Hyper DH bike at Red Bull Rampage Photo by Colin Meagher

Components: Zink's drivetrain is an interesting mix of components, some of which you might not expect to see on a bike that is going to be ridden at the Rampage, and the biggest surprise is actually the one component that isn't present in the build - a chain guide. That's right, Cam's Hyper is setup sans guide, with the 36 tooth X-Sync chain ring from SRAM left to fend for itself. Crazy? Not as much as you might think, as a bottom bracket case on the course would likely mean the end of a run regardless of if the bike were equipped with some sort of protection or not, and the X-Sync chain ring and clutch derailleur setup has proven to be very effective when it comes to chain retention. It remains to be seen if Zink will run a full guide come Sunday, but we wouldn't be surprised if he leaves it as you see pictured here. The other interesting point to note is that the X-Sync ring has been bolted to a standard X0 carbon crank from Truvativ, with the ring using a 104 BCD pattern that allows it to be fitted to non-XX1 or X01 cranks, a recent development that has gone mostly under the radar.

Something that hasn't gone unnoticed, though, is the ultra-short cage X01 derailleur on Cam's bike, a piece of kit that we've seen on a number of SRAM's elite level BlackBox racers throughout the 2013 World Cup season. While the unit pictured above is obviously in the prototype stage, it would be foolish to not suspect that SRAM is working towards a production version that we might see in the future. How many speeds it will be intended for is still up in the air, but Cam's machine has been fitted with a ten speed cassette. His bike is finished up with a set of Mavic's Deemax wheels shod with Geax Neuron tires, Deity's direct mount stem, handlebar, and platform pedals, and a set of Sensus non-locking grips.


Cam Zink s prototype Hyper DH bike at Red Bull Rampage Photo by Colin Meagher

www.hyperbicycles.com


138 Comments

  • 195 0
 If there was ever a time where the chain guideless system was fully going to be tested......it's gonna be this Sunday.
  • 14 2
 stair sets keep knocking mine off, nothing else though
  • 48 2
 This bike just made an absolute mess of my slacks
  • 21 30
flag camhayes (Oct 10, 2013 at 18:05) (Below Threshold)
 is that a kona
  • 22 13
 Chain guides are for pussies
  • 28 34
flag jordancole (Oct 10, 2013 at 18:25) (Below Threshold)
 @camhayes No, a carbon Operator is way sicker
  • 95 4
 @jordancole you just dissed zinks bike, you went full retard mate, never go full retard
  • 18 1
 They should post the weights of these beauties.... why don't they post the f*ckin weights???
  • 5 1
 with the narrow wide chainrings and type 2 clutch derailleurs, it really does a good job keeping the chain on without a chainguide, but like Draggon said, we will see! should be interesting
  • 11 17
flag jordancole (Oct 10, 2013 at 21:01) (Below Threshold)
 Fair enough,I apologize for going full retard. It was a mistake I'll try to never make again
  • 7 13
flag Quesadilla34 (Oct 10, 2013 at 21:03) (Below Threshold)
 Ive gotten neg props fordays because of commenting on how the black stancion boxers arent as cool as the 2012 or 13's dut dang, that logo makes allllllllll the difference! So sexy!
  • 2 0
 Saw someone riding this bike out at northstar at tahoe on their closing day last sunday...guy did a 180 and fakied out perfectly on a big rig...then i saw his face and was not surprised to see Cam Zink! Bike looks amazing and it was cool to see zink toolin around on it like nothin haha
  • 2 5
 alert alert, brake jack...
  • 2 4
 a symphony of suspension. ahem, tap tap tap, maestro?
  • 1 0
 ^^ Seriously, do you even know what a giant glory looks like?
  • 25 3
 Cam,

I am an atheist, but i am praying for you guys to all walk away SAFE. sh!t is all nerve racking for us, i cant even imagine how you feel

thanks for being 'that guy' Smile
  • 27 6
 Looks like Kona 2014 Carbon =) and where is the chain guide ?)
  • 7 1
 That was my first thought too.
  • 5 4
 Not sure if its already been mentioned, but the front chain ring has every second tooth widened meaning that there is less movement whilst the chain is on the ring basically meaning that there is no need for a chain guide to provide tension or guide the chain on the ring.
  • 4 0
 Draggon said chain guideLESS system... hence your trouble on finding the non-existant chain guide
  • 3 3
 It does look a lot like the Operator, but WAY sweeter for some reason!!
  • 3 3
 (y)
Looks like Trek Session!!
  • 1 1
 I sure hope he doesn't win because his chain falls off... I'm counting on him!
  • 2 1
 Most definitely looks like a Session.
  • 1 0
 dirtworks911: I assume you mean you sure hope he doesn't LOSE because his chain falls off? Right?
  • 18 5
 okay actually looks a fuck ton like a session
  • 9 0
 Nice to see them go for reliability instead of shaving those last few grams that you'll hardly notice. Design is interesting, the idea of offering rampy vs linear link setups would be pretty cool instead of having to revalve the shock.
  • 5 0
 loving the shock clerance though. I can almost see through to the other side
  • 2 2
 Still a proto, hopefully they fix that. And regardless the link will get coated in mud and be a bitch to keep clear of debris.
  • 3 5
 Damn they need to slam the seat in that top photo though. Looks whack with it sitting up like that
  • 1 0
 *shakes head* @jimmy you must be just a wee feller aren't yah lmfao
  • 1 0
 You do realise having an 8 inch bike normally requires some where close to 8 inch of clearance to the saddle ?
  • 7 0
 If it comes in 26 I'm interested, 650B may have its advantages but I have 2 other 26 inch bikes and it's nice to be able to switch out rims/tires/tubes when needed. Especially since I live 3 hours away from the nearest shop, 26 please!
  • 2 0
 26 for sure
  • 6 0
 The ring isn't 104BCD. The spider interface is just the same between XX1, X01, X0, and even SRAM's road cranks with removable spiders. You can swap spiders on any of them.
  • 3 0
 Ya it's definitely a standard XX1 ring and spider. Anyone could run that combo.
  • 5 1
 Just like many things that are hated on (other than fanny packs), IMHO Hyper is way ahead of its time - i'm speaking to their highest end mtn bike lineup, of course. Both EC and CZ signature bikes are clean, practical, and just plain bad ass. Aluminum, I like. Clean lines and straight down tube to seat stays, I love. Moto link, innovative (for mtb) and versatile. Most importantly, reliability over gram-saving is often forgotten these days.
  • 6 0
 id be interested in a 26 inch version. Dont think I would get on a 650b. But thats my personal opinion. I like the 650b for trail bikes but not big bikes
  • 8 0
 Sick setup for Rampage!
  • 7 0
 Beatiful machine,sick components
  • 5 0
 im buying one if they come in 26" !
  • 4 3
 I can't believe I'm writing this, moreover there even being a debate which wheel size to produce the bike in. There are very clear advantages to the 650b for downhill and all-mountain applications. It's larger size rolls over objects easier, provides a larger contact patch for pedalling, and is nearly equally efficient. The downsides are reduced strength for axial loading (think taco'd wheels), and reduced manoeuvrability due to the centripetal forcers of the larger wheel. Thing is, the advantages don't lend themselves to free-ride applications and the compromises actually work against it. When you're sliding down the side of a cliff, one isn't thinking about the size of their contact patch, they want the responsiveness to flick back and forth (think Aggy's style). I wouldn't for a second want to attempt 360 off a large drop on a 650b - both for the side loading of the wheel and also how much more effort that would take.

My issue with the question of wheel-size being proposed so late in the game is - what exactly was the bike designed for in the first place (I'm talking geo., suspension characteristics, etc.). The demands of a DH bike are different than that of a free-ride bike, so if Hyper is asking these questions now, I've lost complete faith in their products. I'm all for the affordable bikes philosophy, but what was the point of this bike in the first place? If it's a DH bike, make that. If it's free-ride, make that instead. And if you want both and are going to try to use the same platform to produce two similar yet inherently different bikes, be prepared for that.
  • 2 4
 Well you might want to attempt it but logically you've well... got none. Logan Binggeli executed two consecutive back flips on his 650B KHS DH bike at Rampage last year on every run, including the final which got him into third place. There are lots of riders out there doing back flips and tail whips on bigger wheels. 650Bs for all the negative hype that folks on pinkbike try and throw onto them, actually weigh less than a 26 x 2.75 tire and wheel combo do, and lots of folks backflip, tailwhip and 360 those all day long.
  • 3 0
 Logan Bingelli could probably backflip my wife's shopping bike though to be fair. I suspect that the pros can do anything they want with any kind of bike they like. I am, and I suspect we should all be, more interested whether a 650B will make us come back with a bigger smile on our faces after our weekend. If it does, I couldn't care less if it has a bigger contact patch or rolling coefficient of double chutney sauce or whatever. It would be a sad day however if I were not to have the choice though right? So Hyper, and all other company reps who see this, and all you who read this, please, give us and campaign for, frames that can at least ACCEPT 26 and 650B. Thanks.
  • 3 2
 deeeinght, you just went full stim, never go full stim. The fact that one pro rider can backflip on 650b dosnt prove anything. cwatt's points are waay more prevalent than your fact about a pro rider flipping a bike. pretty sure you goofed m8
  • 1 3
 It really should be quite simple...if you have NO experience with the new wheelsize, you shouldn't be speculating on what can and cannot be done with them.
  • 2 1
 My buddy matt has 650b, did not like it as much, was harder to control and throw around
  • 1 3
 Perhaps but that doesn't mean YOU have any experience...
  • 3 1
 I tried the bike
  • 2 1
 And the model of bike was what? I ask because I have five years of riding on 650Bs and I have no problem flicking the back end around or any wheel loading issues on landings.
  • 1 0
 And your experi
  • 3 1
 Got cut off. Your experience is not representative of the mtb community, so no need to be that guy and 'call him out' (it's obvious what you're doing).

Oh and you post way too much for a mod.
  • 2 3
 How is my experience not representative of the mtb community ? I've got thousands of hours of riding of 26, 650B and 29ers. I've been wheel building for 20 plus years now, and I've got more experience with 650B than probably anyone else on pinkbike who ever takes the time to post in the news stories or forums.

Oh and I was MADE a mod specifically because I'm so active and post so much.
  • 2 0
 Don't see many other mods posting around here besides you. You're just one sample in millions of cyclists in the world. Hence why your experience is not representative of the mtb community. Strong holier than thou attitude. Lunatic of misc would be proud.
  • 2 2
 Then you need to pay more attention, as many other mods do post.
  • 1 0
 That looks like a pretty complicated linkage. Some mix of an Evil and a Giant. Could work nicely but I can't help thinking there are simpler options with less pivot points giving the very same result.
As for the argument "swapping out lower link components rather than having to replace the bike's rocker arm (...)giving Hyper a cost effective method of suspension tuning" I more than don't buy it. What's the difference? A tiny bit less of aluminium on the lower one? Complicated design... There are more pivots than on anything else. Cost effective?
  • 1 0
 They're not saying the linkage itself is cheap, they're saying it's inexpensive to tune and modify the travel and suspension characteristics in the back because the only thing you need to swap is the small link. You could buy several sizes and swap easily to change the suspension behavior depending on the conditions or ride style.

From a prototyping standpoint it's a great idea, cuz it's a hell of a lot easier/cheaper/faster to tweak frame geometry and ride characteristics by machining new links than by redesigning the rear triangle.
  • 1 0
 Right. Barlinks are quick and cheap. Foes does it, swap to short and 1degree more HA. This new frame is interesting because it seems to fuse DJ and Dh without any design clues of Enduro or Freeride.from the traditionalists camp.
  • 1 0
 Running an XX1 without a chain guide seems like a strange way to shave some grams :/ I hope that was Zink's idea and not some way to market the drive train's chain retention ability; when one missed pedal stroke could be disastrous. That being said though I am certainly no expert, Zink and all of those guys know what they are doing.
  • 4 0
 That bike looks sick! Hope it's not outrageously priced like spesh
  • 1 0
 Sick ride. Raw is awesome but it looks like it was painted and someone wire brushed the paint off. I hope the aluminum keeps its strength after that process. Going to be awesome to see Zink send it. \m/ ZINK \m/
  • 1 0
 Quote" he'll be pulling off one of the largest moves in mountain bike history: a backflip off of the largest step down on the course" end quote I guess you have no choice now hey @zink. Sick BIKE!!!!!
  • 4 0
 Please make a 26er for us normal folks!
  • 2 0
 "With what kind of wheelsize would you like it to be produced?" 26" plz "So 650 B it is!" The Industry will just ignore our wishes until 26" will be extinct I'm afraid
  • 2 1
 fine, march down to your hyper dealer and order one in 26"... because its actual dealer orders which will determine things.
  • 1 0
 The thing is though deeeight, let's say I want a Giant Reign 2014 in 26 inch.... etc etc. The industry in many ways appears to have taken our decisions for us; I mean they work 18 months to two years ahead of Joe Schmoe walking into his LBS and asking for a frame right. I have just bought a Banshee Spitfire frame, from my Japanese LBS, who is also a personal friend, in 26 inch guise, not the 650B dropouts. I show my support for frame manufacturers who actually allow us some choice. I for one do not think the customer/LBS/dealer/manufacturer relationship (from my experience of taking to shop owners and dealers here) is so objective as to be purely a reflection of "customer orders determining manufacturers production". If you have so much experience you really should know that it is not that linear either; the people want what the people get these days and it has been since the birth of marketing. It ain't so black and white as you always seem to call it.
  • 3 0
 clean looking bike. me gusta.
  • 1 0
 Its gotta take some balls to land stuff that bigwith an air shock. Imagine if the seal blew while landing a 30 ft drop. Reminds me of Bender at Park City.
  • 1 0
 l reckon these Comments Sections Should be Just Comments, I'm pretty Sure no one reads anything more than one paragraph long.
  • 1 0
 Are Hyper available in the UK?

If not... Is there a dealer in whistler... I'll be wanting to pick one up when I'm there next summer. Cheers.
  • 2 0
 It's missing 2 decals, CAM on the seat stay and ZINK on the chain stay
  • 2 0
 Looks awesome! I would totaly buy it Smile
  • 2 0
 let's see the rest of the contenders pls
  • 4 1
 What about Norbs?
  • 14 2
 He got robbed.
  • 1 1
 I can now conclude pinkbike loves shrimp
  • 1 0
 What's the head angle on this bad boy? That rear shock clearance? its something new i guess...
  • 1 0
 Hyper could be the first company to make a proper XL-sized (bigger than 593/447) 650b DH bike. Please.
  • 2 0
 looks like just about every other downhill bike these days
  • 1 0
 Some ones got to say it- an air shock for this style of event can any one explain that to me
  • 1 0
 Still feel bikes should have sealed drives, hope to have new prototype very soon
  • 1 0
 Looks similar in linkage design the Sinister Passion that they had at Interbike a few years ago.
  • 2 1
 So much hate about to happen.
  • 1 0
 it's hard to tell if the seat tube and down tube are actually connected.
  • 1 0
 Thank you for not using alu bolts, they may as well be made of butter.
  • 1 0
 lol they need some titanium bolts if thats the case.Id feel super safe knowing i had titanium hardware on a 30 foot drop.Pick those up at your local hardware store !!
  • 1 0
 I was more sayin thread strength, alu bolts strip pretty easy compared to steel.
  • 2 0
 heres a thread on ti vs steel vs alu if anyone is interested forums.mtbr.com/weight-weenies/ti-bolts-where-where-not-use-them-705263.html, i've stripped a few small alu pivot bolts on my session (with a torque wrench) so i know how weak they are.
  • 1 0
 i dont recall the last time ive stripped ti, and you aint gotta worry about rusty bolt heads after a wash down.
  • 1 0
 never used ti bolts before, but they are pretty close in strength compared to a steel grade 8.8 which is pretty much near imposssible to strip with a torque wrench (unless its rusted up, have seen a few go that way). And the not having to deal with corrosion on ti bolts sounds like an added bonus. Alu just doesnt hold up against abuse, the threads wear out fast. and nothing pisses me off more than the crack a bolt makes when it sheers or strips as i torque it to spec...
  • 1 0
 This is sick!!! really intresting design and details!
  • 1 0
 Really nice bike way to go hyper
  • 1 0
 Hope he remembers to slow down the rebound this time
  • 1 0
 Is the production model going to be sold at Walmart like his hard tail.
  • 1 0
 makes me wonder why so many people know what new model bikes are at walmart these days!
  • 1 0
 SAW IT LAST WEEKEND AT NORTHSTAR
  • 1 0
 Did Pablo design the frame?
  • 1 0
 Where is the "looks like a session" comment ?
  • 1 0
 loving those pedals on that beast!!
  • 1 0
 Looks like a session to me.....................................
  • 1 0
 Soon to be the nicest bike ever sold at Walmart.
  • 1 0
 That CNC milled rear brake mount sure is purdy.
  • 1 0
 gotta love billet and a cnc mill
  • 1 0
 EC: One more vote for 26"...
  • 1 0
 Looks a lot like the Carbon Operator.
  • 1 0
 Rampage will have the "Last Word", good luck w that.
  • 1 0
 Whooow i want it! Any news?
  • 1 0
 This thing looks so super sick! But please, no 650B.. Would be crap...
  • 3 4
 you know what would be really nice ? that hyper start producing zink's bike instead of walmart type bikes.
  • 7 6
 Looks like a session.
  • 3 0
 I am glad someone took care of this comment, I can't even read pinkbike comments without looking for this one otherwise its not pinkbike.
  • 3 0
 You're welcome
  • 5 5
 11 speeds on a gravity bike? WTF? 10 is already too much.
  • 2 1
 its 10 speeds
  • 2 0
 I agree, even 10 is too much, but what a nice bike!
  • 1 0
 It does have 11 speeds - the 11th is 'stop'.
  • 2 0
 all you need is 2 gears, 1 brrrrrrmmm, 2 bbbbbrbrbrrrrbrbrbrbrrmmmmrmrmrmmm.
  • 4 7
 Say what you want, but i would rather see the 650b version produced. If it's properly designed there aren't any downsides to it so if you can go faster and roll easier, why not?
  • 4 4
 How much will walmart charge for it, that's the question!
  • 2 2
 Hate the look of black forks....
  • 1 0
 ProtoHyper.
  • 1 1
 Air shock for this event ? Why should you do that, anyone?
  • 1 0
 looks sick
  • 1 1
 Identical to semenuks rampage bike
  • 1 1
 I hope they just do a 26!
650b is a waste, stick with 26 and 29"
  • 1 3
 And have you any experience with 650B ?
  • 1 0
 Maybe he does, maybe he doesn't.... One is entitled to their own preference without starting another 650B argument....
  • 1 0
 I don't want to experience it, all I see is the wheel size I want slowly going to nothing but cheap garbage, it's already hard to find the bike I want without throwing in more wheel sizes.
  • 1 0
 no chainguide? no thanks
  • 1 0
 Is this for sale yet?
  • 2 3
 But will there be a fat bike
  • 1 3
 Hope it can handle 50 ft 360 or b flip. I say CAM or Sorge will take it on sun.
  • 1 1
 Holy Hyper!
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