Myles Rockwell Bike Check - Yeti ARC DH bike

Jul 5, 2012
by Colin Meagher  
This bike was on display at the Fort WIlliam round of the World Cup DH circuit and we just had to get Myles to tell us a bit about it. He informed us that this exact bike was at one time his race bike and that it's been all over the world - it's seen time in the trenches of European DH racing, too, including Kaprun. The parts are more or less original, except that he typically raced on a 56T chainring. Learn more about this race machine in the pics below.

Myles Rockwell with a replica re-build of his old Mammoth Mountain Kamikaze DH bike that was on dislpay at Fort William. The front end was a glorified version of the Manitou 1 as it was called the Manitou 2. The travel was an honest 3 of unrestricted non dampened rubber grommet pogo stick bull ride travel. The rubbers would frequently explode into bits and change things mid run. The obvious other attributes are to be honest the direct cross over of cross country parts. We ran 100 the same equipment apart from possibly the wheels but that may be it as the cross country bikes. Ti spindles 23 bars Paper thin Yeti Fro IRC tires. I might ad that at the time I was running 55 to 60 psi in order to make it down the hill without pinching. I am confident that that bike has gone over 60 on dirt at the Kamikaze and Reebok Eliminator.I won 5 000 cash. You Tube Rockwell vs. McRoy I also made my first European appearance on that machine in Kaprun Austria.Three chain rings for all around riding. We fitted a Manitou bumper inside the front derailier as a fix to losing the chain. No back pedaling in those days. Rim brakes with brake boosters for stopping quick ha.

Myles Rockwell stands with a replica re-build of his old Mammoth Mountain Kamikaze DH bike that was on display at Fort William. "The front end was a glorified version of the Manitou #1, as it was called the Manitou #2. The travel was an honest 3" of unrestricted, non dampened, rubber grommet, pogo stick, bull ride travel. The rubbers would frequently explode into bits and change things mid run. The obvious other attributes are, to be honest, the direct cross over of cross country parts. We ran 100% the same equipment apart from possibly the wheels, but that may be it, as the cross country bikes. Ti spindles, 23" bars, Paper thin Yeti Fro IRC tires. I might add that at the time I was running 55 to 60 psi in order to make it down the hill without pinching. I am confident that this bike has gone over 60 on dirt at the Kamikaze and Reebok Eliminator races. I won $5,000 cash - You Tube Rockwell vs. McRoy. I also made my first European appearance on that machine in Kaprun, Austria.Three chain rings for all around riding. We fitted a Manitou bumper inside the front derailier as a fix to losing the chain. No back pedaling in those days. Rim brakes with brake boosters for stopping quick, ha."


Nothing like a nice skinny flat bar for optimizing control at breakneck speeds.

Nothing like a nice, skinny, flat bar for optimizing control at breakneck speeds.


 If I am not mistaken the stem was a 135mm 17degree rise. It was machined down and scalloped out for weight. There to my knowledge were no other choices in our arsenal. Ride the front end baby -MR

"If I am not mistaken the stem was a 135mm, 17degree rise. It was machined down and scalloped out for weight. There to my knowledge were no other choices in our arsenal. Ride the front end baby!"-MR


Yeti grips of course. And old school SRAM grip shifters.

Yeti grips, of course. And old school SRAM grip shifters.


Front brake booster detail shot and detail of the 2.1 IRC Claw Comp.

Front brake booster detail shot and detail of the 2.1 IRC Claw Comp.


Front hubs to match the rear hubs.

Front hubs to match the rear hubs.


The travel in the rear was said to be 3 . I am a little skeptical but it seemed to be a big improvement over the little bike that they were claiming 1.5 -Myles Rockwell

The travel in the rear was said to be 3". I am a little skeptical, but it seemed to be a big improvement over the little bike that they were claiming ran 1.5" -Myles Rockwell


 I actually raced with a 60 tooth ring rather than this 64 tooth monster.

"I actually raced with a 56 tooth ring, rather than this 64 tooth monster."


This bike had both a front and a rear brake booster to help Myles keep things under control. Sort of.

This bike had both a front and a rear brake booster to help Myles keep things under control. Sort of.


Faux bar suspension. In the shot of the cranks you can see the pivot in line with the granny gear where the chainstays mate to the BB shell.

Faux bar suspension. In the shot of the cranks you can see the pivot in line with the granny gear where the chainstays mate to the BB shell.


Sun Ringle hub anodyzed a nice blue to match the rest of the bike.

Sun Ringle hub, anodyzed a nice blue to match the rest of the bike.




80 Comments

  • 81 0
 Awesome blast from the past. More like this PB!
  • 16 0
 I agree this was the best thing I've seen here in a while! And that's saying something!
  • 6 0
 it would be nice to see riders and rigs from the past a segment like tech tuesday.
  • 5 1
 You could call it 'Down the trail' a la MountainBikeAction.
  • 9 1
 Should race them against the current model, Like MBUK magazine did with the new GT downhill bikes. Good to see how much the technology has come on! I wonder if the we will look back on current bikes in the future and see them like this.
  • 1 0
 more like a SCARE from the Past - imagine going downhill on that thing....
  • 21 0
 Where all of dat chain goes when front deraileur is on lowest cog ????????
  • 1 0
 That is a good question, i don't think you are supposed to shift down to those, lol.Not sure why the middle and granny cogs are mounted.
  • 7 0
 I believe bikes had to have a triple chainring setup to be UCI legal in those days.
  • 1 0
 Interesting, that would explain it. Im sure they had to on there for some reason.
  • 1 0
 @killboy 911: It becomes a chaindog. Or the chain cat. Well the upper one. Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Middle ring was probably kept in place to keep the spacing correct with the hardware they had.
  • 2 0
 You'd keep a middle ring on for a few reasons. One is for spacing, as mentioned. They other is a lot of those cranks were pretty flexy, and the chainring/hardware attached in the lower bolt holes helped stiffen things up a bit.
  • 13 1
 Glad you like the bike folks. The pedals were just put on to ride it down to the pits. It should have the first generation xt on there. It was awesome to get Myles to check out and sign his old bike. Was great to finally meet him.
  • 11 0
 I dreamed about having one of these back in the day. I think I still have a pair of those claw comp lite tyres at my parents' house. Are the x ray shifters an anachronism though? I would have thought that bike would have had an srt500 or 500r, plus the 737 spds... still, it's a great artical.
Haven't downhill bikes come a long way from those 50mm travel beasts of the past with their 71 degree head angles.
  • 4 0
 The kids of today have noooo clue how it was back then. Riding pogo-stick no travel bikes are what made some of the fastest racers ever! All of us older guys can appreciate this great bike!
  • 2 0
 Real rad!

Remeber those days. Grafton cranks & brakes. Breaks which didn't stop while racing Kaprun!
Having a great time with Myles, Missy, Watson aso. while supervising the guys & girl from Marin, GT and Yeti in Austria ;-))

Still have a Ringle (no Sun) Superbubba running on my Singlespeeder ;-))
  • 3 1
 Awesome Article!

Incidentally, those forks are pre-production Manitou 3s. See the blue anodised adjusters above the fork crown? Manitou 2s had their adjusters at the bottom of the fork leg. Pretty sure the black teflon coating came in on the Manitou 3s as well.
  • 1 0
 yeah i remember when the 3s first came out. at the time, your choice was the Manitou 3 or a Rock Shox Mag 21 with elastomers, that bronze colored fork before the Quadra and Judy line came out
  • 2 0
 I have fond memories of converting my Rockshox Mag 10 using a "Long travel kit" from 2" to 2.3" = wow!!

here was my bike using this fork: www.pinkbike.com/photo/5488153
  • 1 0
 I remember mowing lawns all summer to outfit my XC rig with a RockShox Mag 21. I freaking loved that thing.
  • 2 0
 Maaan that brings all my old skool youth memories, saved my paperround money & bought myself a bright blue brake booster, triple compound brake blocks and these tioga tyres, I thought my bike was the sickest thing ever haha! Good times
  • 2 0
 That is nothing. I raced the Kamikaze in 1992 on a GT Zaskar with a Manitou bumper fork. To have rear suspension would have been a luxury for me. Where are the bar ends>? I had mine! There were no DH bikes back then. You raced XC then put on some moto pants and rode your XC bike with your XC helmet on the Kamikaze.
  • 2 0
 PB I would love to see a blast from the past article about the Scott CAT carbon DH bike with internal shock. Used in 1992-1993 by Jurgen Sprich and Rune Hoydahl?

imageshack.us/f/93/numriser0045xn2.jpg

This is the bike, but I couldn't find a side on shot.

I'd love to see a group test with some old bikes like the Yeti ARC, Scott CAT, and Cannondale DHF.
  • 3 0
 What a blast from the past, Jason Mcroy was mentioned too. Ooooh the memories, live to ride or ride to live if iremember??, Jason is sadly missed by all still..
  • 3 0
 Jason McRoy - representing the original Washington ! Home-town legend.
  • 3 0
 JMC = legend

my first team mate at "Hardisty Cycles" of Newcastle (Byker) 6 months before he got signed to Specialized USA following his trip to the States with his Dad

really rad guy, super nice with time to speak to everyone

sorely missed by everyone who knew him, and by those who never knew him, but were infected by his radical riding in the magazines and videos
  • 6 1
 The corrent make parkour dude !!!
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns, i passed down my XTR952 rear mech, ft. mech and shifters to
my Sycip hardtail that i ride on xc trails. the closest thing to the feel of
that setup is the Zee shifter/rear mech combo on my 1X10 Nomad.
nice stiff mech spring, great lever action.
  • 4 0
 Please Yeti, return to traditional racing colors!!!!!!!
  • 4 0
 With the current trend in mtb colors on frames and apparel - with the bright neon and pastels - I bet Yeti can make a yellow/turquoise look cool and modern to today's aesthetic zeitgeist if you will.
  • 4 0
 The anodizing is strong in this one...
  • 1 0
 damn i miss that bike out of all the the yetis i've owned.that sure was a sweet step up from racing the yeti as down mt snow...but sure isnt the 303!
  • 2 0
 that chainring set up, so huuuuuuge.. :o
armstrong's speed at tour de france might be nothing compared this. :p
  • 1 0
 This is hilarious - why'd they even put a front derailleur on it? Could that mech even shift it up and down? Would the chan not then drag on the cage? HA!
  • 1 0
 That was the "chainguide" of the day...
  • 1 0
 After 20 years all our fancy carbon bikes will be look as junk to other(younger) bikers. But for the owner it's gonna be still his beauty!
  • 2 0
 makes me think of the girvin flexstem for some reason haha
  • 2 0
 Still have one, also a 1991 pro-flex. never leaving my shop! lol
  • 2 0
 I remember my flourescent yellow Flex stem- the little rubber shock crumbled into pieces after rinsing down a fireroad in Kielder. Good times!
  • 3 1
 Give it to Gwin and see how fast he is then!
  • 5 0
 Give one to each of the current world cup DH racers. It´d be a great race to watch although a circuit like last week would explode this bike.
  • 11 0
 I believe Peaty still able to handle this myth monster.
  • 1 0
 a1gp of dh, everyone gets the same bike, but a classic?? maybe even sundays so the speeds would still be good ish.
  • 2 1
 Way, way, way before my time, but there's nothing but respect for how clean it's kept and the history it carries. Rock on!
  • 2 0
 I wish it were more such articles
  • 1 0
 In 20 years we'll be looking at a 2012 Demo/Glory/Session and thinking how outdated they are.
  • 2 0
 love the detail that went into this rig. It's beautiful!
  • 1 0
 we have come a long way mates, just imagine what would DH bikes look like after 10 years..
  • 2 0
 Anodised Brake Boosters FTW!
  • 1 0
 60 mph down loose over hard-moon dust covered ski resort access roads with that bike!?!? Insane!!!
  • 3 0
 oldie but a goodie!
  • 3 0
 Needs more purple Smile
  • 1 0
 Apart from the stem which gives me the shivers, I think its still a handsome piece of engineering!
  • 2 0
 Awesome rig!
  • 1 0
 how much does it cost today
  • 6 0
 A lot.... mint condition vintage parts fetch as much or MORE than they did when new twenty years ago. The white 1990-91 Onza Porcupine 1.95 tires run typically $500 EACH if you list an NOS one on ebay. Which is about 12 times the price they cost retail back then, and that's for a tire that never lasted more than 3 runs down a typical DH course of the day (we didn't measure tire durometers back then but the total absence of carbon in the rubber probably put it somewhere around a 25A). I gave a pair of NOS ones to a buddy as a birthday present around 1993-94 (not knowing then of course what they'd be worth ten years later), and he got TWO practice runs down the MSA DH course out of them.
  • 4 1
 I'm after NOS RD952 XTR rear mech the one just before this reversed spring nonsense. Super hard spring, strong and precise mech, together with 952 shifters (I already own yes) it's a one precise cling! clang! clong! set - it's like who the hell needs a clutch - just bring back that mech!
  • 2 0
 @ waki-just sold one of those and v-brakes at a swap meet. still in the original box!
  • 2 0
 @ WAKI there are a ton of those M950 & M952 on ebay. Love the color too. i just bought one here on PB for about $40. I also have two RD-M900 rear mechs (pictured above on Myles bike) which go for less $ than M952 on ebay and work just as well on 9-speed.
  • 1 0
 old XTR stuff just keeps on going, still got the orig FD on my Marin , many many miles in UK conditions, no slop, perfect shifts and still looks like new!! the XT pods as well after what must be 10,000 changes at least.
  • 2 1
 Did I miss the year he raced this bike?
  • 1 0
 Stem design looks kinda a similar to the Thomson elite haha
  • 2 0
 crazy
  • 1 0
 gp1.pinkbike.org/p4pb7496423/p4pb7496423.jpg

manitou three's grafton cranks prostop carbon
  • 2 0
 All respect.
  • 1 0
 FTW design. The secret towards success
  • 1 0
 im diggin the dinner plate sprocket.
  • 2 0
 I built that frame!
  • 1 0
 quite the dinner plate hes got on there
  • 1 0
 Someone find one of Peaty's old Lobo's. That would make a great read!
  • 1 0
 Hella old school.. That little of travel is narly. Props
  • 1 0
 looks alot better than a trek session 8, Trek Session 8's are just ugly!!
  • 1 0
 64 tooth :O
  • 1 0
 I own a near mint ActionTec titanium ELS 56T x 110mm 5-bolt pattern chainring, i've used it before. It'll essentially never wear out given its heat-treated Ti 6/4 and that'd be even if I used it on my daily commuter. All these new drivetrain trends are to smaller cogs, smaller chainrings... faster wear and more frequent replacements. Bring back the old days I say.
  • 1 0
 But take into account that the bigger the chainring the closer it is to the floor, giving you more chance of it hitting the ground and then you'd have to replace it...
  • 1 0
 I want those QR axles!
  • 2 2
 that bike looks like shit!!!
  • 2 0
 "that bike looks like THE shit!!!"

fyp
  • 1 0
 Zesty!

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