Red Bull Rampage, Utah
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.Drivetrain:
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.Components:
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. www.konaworld.com