Red Bull Rampage 2013: Antoine Bizet's Kona Carbon Operator

Oct 11, 2013
by Mike Kazimer  

Red Bull Rampage, Utah
Antoine Bizet's
Kona Carbon Operator

WORDS Mike Kazimer
PHOTOS Nathan Hughes

Antoine Bizet threw down hard at last year's Red Bull Rampage, stomping a commanding run in the finals that earned him a second place finish. We're sure to see plenty of inverts from the young French rider come contest day - don't forget that Bizet double backflipped his Kona Operator at the Nine Knights contest in September. The Operator uses a carbon monocoque front triangle with the seatstays, chainstays and rocker constructed from 6061 aluminum. A hollow carbon bridge is found between the two rocker arms. The bike has short, 420mm chainstays and a 64 degree head angle, numbers that should make for a stable yet playful bike, one that's well suited to whatever Bizet has planned, whether it's dropping into an steep, exposed ridgeline or tossing a backflip off a man-made booter.
Kona Carbon Operator Details
• Rear wheel travel: 200mm / 7.9"
• Wheel size: 26"
• 420mm chainstays
• Head angle: 64°
• Carbon front triangle, aluminum seat and chainstays
• Beamer Independent Suspension design

RockShox's Vivid Air is also making a strong showing at Rampage. The inherent progressiveness of an air spring makes it well suited to the big hit filled runs that athletes will be unleashing, and the associated weight savings of an air shock over a coil also allows the total bike weight to remain low, a useful feature when trying to flip a downhill rig. Up front, Bizet will be running a Boxxer, and although it doesn't have the Charger Damper that BlackBox athletes get, it has still been tuned to be able to handle the Rampage course.

Bizet's Operator has a 1x10 drivetrain, with a 36 tooth SRAM X-SYNC chainring in the front mounted to carbon Truvativ X0 cranks, and a SRAM X0 short cage derailleur in the rear. E*13's LG1 chainguide helps prevent any chain derailment, along with providing chainring protection via the direct mount bashguard.

Not surprisingly, Avid's Code brakes are proving to be a popular choice for the Red Bull Rampage. On more manicured slopestyle courses it's possible to get away with less braking power (and less suspension), but Rampage is where the big guns come out, and the more stopping power the better. Bizet's rotors are mounted onto an Easton Havoc wheelset, with a Maxxis Minion DHF 3C compound tire in the front, and a Minion DHF ST (Super Tacky) in the rear. Truvativ's Holzfeller direct mount stem holds a Boobar handlebar with a set of ODI/Troy Lee Designs' lock-ons grips. For pedals, Bizet is running HT Component's light and thin ME03 in an extra bright fluorescent yellow color.

  The Carbon Operator's internal cable routing and integrated fork bump stops make for one clean looking ride. Stay tuned to see what Antoine Bizet has in store this weekend.

Must Read This Week


  • 86 3
 anyone notice the only bikes being posted are the ones outfitted with SRAM components. no fox, no shimano. Either SRAM has marketing down or every freerider while on big gnarly terrain prefers SRAM?
  • 33 3
 check out vitalmtb they have all the rampage bikes not just the sram ones.
  • 56 1
 haaaa. first thing i thought of "sram and pinkbike sitting in a tree..."
  • 37 7
 SRAM is doing what Spesh did with years ago, getting their products into everyones face and "getting in to bed" with the people that influence where we spend our cash. Look back through articles over the past year or so the SRAM write up are very applauding and more in depth, while the Shimano gets a "it's good" or "it's what you expect from Shimano". and moves on to something else.

While gets in your face with marketing and under hand tactics the Shimano lads keep their heads down and delivery superior components.
  • 28 15
 100% agree, SRAM breaks and srams at the least opportune moment. If you want a product that works its Shimano all the way. Perhaps their top top end stuff is good but their middle of the line, affordable stuff (x7/x9) is not worth p1ss.
  • 8 3
 I run the Shimano Zee without a chainguide on my Yeti 303rdh with only a couple dropped chains over the course of this full riding season. Also, I have broken two derailleurs and had no problem getting a new one sent immediately. Actually, this last one i broke the Zee derailleur was out of stock and they sent me a new Saint upgrade for freefiddy Smile
  • 5 2
 Shimano all the way. My session is running all The Zee components, which in my opinion are top notch, Nothing compares to their durability vs cost.. Extremely light as well... I used to be a Sram guy but after going through so many bent and stripped Avid Code brake levers I'm done! I will be honest though, the Sram 10 speed cassette is still holding up, and my Boxxer is pleasing. But next season I'm upgrading... I'm having a mental war over the Dorado pro vs 40 Float! Seriously stressful.
  • 16 2
 Even if SRAM and PB are getting comfy, remember it's sponsors and advertisers which keep PB, surely we can forgive them for that for providing us this website free to use?
  • 6 1
 Ever consider that shimano doesnt care about marketing while SRAM has the goods and approaches the good riders, gets them stoked on the product, and in return shows up on a lot of the top riders bikes?

Other fanboys would complain just as much if shimano were featured on two bikes in a row. Why don't we take off the tinfoil hats and appreciate a badass bike, be it one make or the other.
  • 4 1
 "Avid Codes proving to be a popular choice", "Vivid air making a strong showing" ...... it's not two bikes in a row, every bike they have shown so far is full SRAM. I enjoy looking don't get me wrong, but it's pretty clear PB promotes SRAM.
  • 3 1
 Have a look down the right hand side of the PB main page, it's very clear who pays their rent. It seems they are sponsored by most of the big players. I see plenty of Shimano gear on PB articles. If you want to be shocked- Every time pinkbike showcases fox gear they don't even get paid!
  • 33 1
 Ok guys, calm down. We've done three Red Bull Rampage bike checks so far, and it just so happens that all the bikes were specc'd with SRAM/RockShox components. There's no diabolical plot to make you switch from Shimano to SRAM - it's just a coincidence. Would you rather we didn't show Bizet's bike just because he runs the same rear shock as Cam Zink and Brandon Semenuk? Probably not. Keep checking back and you'll see bikes with suspension and drivetrain components from other manufacturers along with the daily updates from Virgin, Utah.
  • 11 0
 This site doesn't run on unicorn farts, it takes money to operate. Get over it. Don't like SRAM? Don't buy it...
  • 1 5
flag DARKSTAR63 (Oct 11, 2013 at 17:29) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah I know that ... But it's getting tasteless. Things have changed. Sorry.
  • 4 0
 And I we could harness the power of unicorn farts id like to think we would do something other than run a website off them....
  • 2 0
 Still not exactly getting the point of why it makes a difference.. like who cares if theres fox, shimano, or sram?
  • 3 0
 Great looking bikes with the worst looking seats!
  • 1 4
 Brosnan seems to still being ok with a bike him and Hill helped design while using SRAM and RS, Gwins Fox Demo didnt seem to flash this season but his SRAM brakes clearly work as they worked and slowed him down a lot haha

And if the pike is anything to go by then the new Boxxer with damper charger when it comes out will/should shut the Fox lovers up.

  • 1 0
 All equipped with XT and completely happy
  • 1 0
 Actually he has a chromag seat, soooooo.... haha
  • 2 0
 Full brand new saint on my new rig and shimano for life.
  • 4 0
 Why can't pinkbike just do what they did last year for rampage and post a "bikes of rampage" post that had basically every single rider and their bike no matter what make or parts.....then we get to see everything at once instead of the same consecutive parts being explained and over veiwed over and over again.. Missing the variety
  • 2 0
 I've never felt such a strong sense of Mechanophilia until now...
  • 35 2
 Will Bizet be the first to backflip the sender? He and a handful of others have the chops.
  • 2 1
 He says that he will try:
  • 30 1
 I'd do weird things for that bike
  • 17 0
 That vivid air has been showing up everywhere. I wonder if we will see as many air shock during next years race season?
  • 10 0
 What about the boxxer? its been on almost every single rampage bike ive seen them feature.
  • 6 12
flag saltine (Oct 11, 2013 at 11:05) (Below Threshold)
 Soon we'll all be running coil forks and air shocks Razz
  • 3 0
 it was already described in some other article (dont remember which), air shock is presumably more predictable in the stroke thus making it better choice for jumps and big hits making it ideal for this event while spring is plusher so I seriously doubt there will be more of air in the next racing season (air fork has much bigger air chamber compared to shock so the caracteristics are completely different.) Hope that helps a bit.
  • 1 0
 I think the air shocks have somehtine to do wit goin big an landing hard, i dont really know , but if you think about it the racing an racers almost all have coil , but big mtn/RaMpAgE bikes have the air. ? Hell if i know lol
  • 1 0
 What about it's lighter and there's the possibility to pump it up hard for big landings? And there's also the fact that air springs are in general more progressive than coil, but I guess the Vivid is dealing with this with a bigger air chamber Smile
  • 6 1
 Whats next, this guys front wheel, then another article on that guys back wheel, and so on, just do a big comparison article guys, ........but i am loving the fact the easton havoc wheelset is being put through this, if they don't break then you can sure as hell bet I'm not breaking my newly acquired set for some major time to come Big Grin loving them
  • 9 0
 Sexy bike.
  • 3 1
 it's a ...Hyper,'s a.... Trek....NO, it's... KONA!! Oh wait, they all kind of look the same, spec'd out the same. Hey, they even have 420mm chainstays...ha, I've said it before and I'll say it again... Gotta love this industry! Free riding and 420mm chainstays, They go hand in hand.. ;-)
  • 13 8
 sram group taking over YEAAAAAH
  • 37 6
  • 6 1
  • 5 0
 god damnnnnnnn looks so awesomeeee
  • 4 0
 Finally everyone is running air shocks. They are the shit! What a gorgeous bike!
  • 4 0
 They should rename this steed to the Kona Rampage... It's just too rad to be called anything else!
  • 4 0
 This bike has seriously been growing on me.... that and there's a ton of Kona's up here in Humboldt
  • 4 1
 God I love that bike. But too much god damn SRAM/Rockshox/Truvativ stuff. I love my codes, but other then those I'd rather have shimano or a fox 40 anyday.
  • 2 0
 I've got a QUESTION here. On Sram's website, the model is named X0 (zero), but in this article it is written as XO (the letter). What do you usually call it? And what would the Sram guys say about this please??
  • 1 0
 Shimano has drivetrains but no shocks, forks, bars, posts etc. Fox has shocks and forks. Fox forks are double the cost and half the service life of a run of the mill RS Boxxer with only a marginal performance improvement. Sram delivers cost effective and mainly durable stuff in the middle tier. All of them have blinglines where esoteric crap replaces common sense. Want nonsense durability, x9, cheap cassette and chain, descendant, kage, boxxer, boobar last a longtime and are easy to touch up and service. Shimano is not.
  • 5 0
 Backflip the canyon gap!
  • 5 1
 is it me or does this look like the most polished / well built bike
  • 3 0
 There's a bike just like this at my towns dealer and I cry every time I walk by:'(
  • 3 0
 Ya everyone is running air
  • 2 0
 He's my heo last rampage. Toughest line and rough dirt eating session. Love o see him kll it and take the win.
  • 15 12
 looks like a hyper.
  • 4 2
  • 2 11
flag benno92 (Oct 11, 2013 at 10:26) (Below Threshold)
 Identical its just a carbon version
  • 12 2
 it does have two wheels, a frame, fork, and other equipment necessary for forward movement...
  • 3 11
flag JPM07 (Oct 11, 2013 at 10:39) (Below Threshold)
 thuff4130 you win the internet today XD
  • 5 0
 Hyper looks like Kona if anything
  • 2 1
 It really looks like the Trek now. And Hyper.
  • 3 0
 Dammit people it was a joke! They all look the same i know. everybody knows. The bike companies are probably doing it on purpose now just to further the joke. And pb keeps only showing us bikes that look the same! its all a conspiracy.
  • 1 0
 @Motoracer31 its always fun to joke the joker.
  • 3 0
 So sexy.
  • 3 0
 Go Antoine !
  • 3 0
 That is sooooooo sick
  • 2 0
 Go Bizet!!! And that bike his the niciest one I've ever seen!
  • 2 0
 It's just 'gressive' that's lost its amateur status - gone pro.
  • 2 0
 What a beast! We can't wait to bring it to China!
  • 1 0
 wait a minute, no Brake Therapy ? ps. this is for all you old cranky mtb'ers. Wink KONA welcome to the 21st century.
  • 2 0
  • 1 0
 what pedals are those, there wicked fresh I want a set
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 sick bike except seat. come on kona. its not 2004
  • 1 1
 SRAM needs to payout to get riders to spec their junk. Shimano and Fox all day everyday.
  • 2 0
 Red bull SRAMpage ;-)
  • 1 0
 He's got those pedals that snap
  • 1 0
  • 1 4
 Waiting for specialized to board on the looks like session fever.
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