Red Bull Rampage 2013: Brandon Semenuk's Trek Session Park
Oct 10, 2013
Red Bull Rampage, Utah
Trek Session Park
WORDS Mike Kazimer
PHOTOS Nathan Hughes
After winning this year's Red Bull Joyride contest, there's no doubt Brandon Semenuk would like to finish his season with a win at the Red Bull Rampage, a win that would make him the first repeat champion in the event's history (Semenuk's Rampage win was in 2008). He'll be tackling the steep desert terrain aboard a pre-production version of Trek's Session Park, a bike that shares similarities to the regular Session, but gets shorter chainstays and slightly less travel. These geometry changes make for a bike that's more nimble and maneuverable while still being able to handle big hits, traits that should make it ideal for the trick-filled, technical line Brandon has planned out. The frame uses Trek's OCLV carbon for the front triangle, with aluminum seat and chainstays in the rear. There are versions of the frame that use carbon seatstays as well, but it's likely that the decision was made to go with aluminum stays for the Red Bull Rampage due to the massive forces the bike will be enduring.
Trek Session Park Details
• Rear wheel travel: 190mm / 7.5"
• Wheel size: 26"
• 420mm chainstays
• OCLV frame / aluminum seat and chainstays
• Full floater suspension design with ABP
• Frame only: $4499.99 USD
Being on RockShox's BlackBox program has its perks, the biggest one being the ability to have custom tuned suspension, plus suspension technology that isn't yet available to the public. Brandon Semenuk's Vivid Air R2C rear shock is set up and ready to be launched into the stratosphere, with more air pressure than usual and a tune to prevent it from bottoming on harsh landings. Up front, the Boxxer fork has a Charger damper, technology shared with RockShox's Pike fork, but is still BlackBox only on the Boxxer. The fork has been lowered down to 190mm to match the Session Park's rear travel.
A SRAM's 36T X-Sync chainring is mounted to a set of Truvativ XO cranks, with a 10 speed cassette and SRAM's prototype DH derailleur in the rear. The derailleur uses the same parallelogram shape as an XX1, but in a shorter caged, more compact package. Although SRAM's shaped chain rings offer excellent chain retention, it's not surprising to see an MRP G3 chain retention system in place. A thirty foot drop is definitely going to bounce a chain more than your average trail ride, and with the amount of exposure and no-fall zones at the Red Bull Rampage there's certainly no good spot to lose a chain.
Staying true to his BC roots, Semenuk will be riding with Whistler-based Chromag's grips, Scarab pedals, and his pro-model Overture saddle. Handlebar and stem duties are taken care of by Truvativ, with a Boobar handlebar and Holzfeller direct mount stem. Avid's Code brakes remain some of the most powerful stoppers available, which will come in handy when things get wild on the course's steep, dusty chutes. Bontrager rims are shod with a 2.5" Maxxis Minion DHF in the front and a 2.4" DHR in the rear, a well proven combination for rowdy terrain.
| Can Brandon Semenuk get a clean run in this year and take the top spot at Red Bull Rampage? We'll find out on Sunday.|
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