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Bike Check: Aimi Kenyon's Santa Cruz V10 - Fort William DH World Cup 2023

Aug 4, 2023
by Dario DiGiulio  


Aimi Kenyon is one of the young guns on the Pinkbike Racing team, competing in her final year of Juniors before making the move to Elite. She had some solid results last year, and is quickly getting used to the competition at the top end of the sport. She had a bit of a tough start to this season while battling concussion symptoms, but quickly got up to pace to secure a second place at Leogang.

Her size Large V10 is set up with MX wheels, long chainstay position, and the Works headset in the short position, making it the smallest-reach Large you can muster. Plenty more details below, dig in.
Photo by Jack Tennyson
Aimi Kenyon
Age: 18
Hometown: Inverness, Scotland
Height: 5'6"
Weight: 64 kg
Instagram: @aimi__kenyon

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EXT Arma rear shock.
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With a Manitou Dorado up front.
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Ramp and main air chambers on the Dorado.
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Always press the red button.

Aimi has been running a custom-tuned shock for the majority of this season, with slightly lighter damping than the standard. However, she opted for the stock tune for Fort William, as she found her custom tune to be too wallowy for the track.

She said she's been more in tune with her suspension setup this year, with her spring rates and compression firming up as she found speed in the early season. According to her mechanic, Aimi isn't too fussy about anything, which makes sense for an 18-year-old still getting a hang of racing at the top of the sport.

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Shimano Saints, ~30mm bite point.
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With 6-bolt IceTech rotors.
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Plenty of STFU tape to keep things quiet.
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Saint drivetrain looking nice and clean - for now.

Brakes and drivetrain are an all-Shimano affair, with Saint all around. Controls are tidy, and overall it's a pretty standard setup. She's running 165mm cranks, Saint pedals with 7 clicks of release tension, and has a chainring-mounted Shimano bashguard mounted on one side.

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Reminder: chainring-mounted bash guards have been around long before SRAM brought out Transmission. Shimano's Modular Chain Device is doing the job here.

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Deity touchpoints all around.
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Aimi runs 770mm bars with a neutral/slightly forward roll.
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Aimi runs Cushcore front and rear.
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Kryptotal Fr/Re combo, DH Super Soft.

The paint job on her V10 is in keeping with her custom bike trend, namely the unicorn sticker that always has a place on the frame. Her dad added that detail to her first V10, and it's remained a key detail since. Otherwise, it's a very Scottish theme, with some subtle bubble graphics and all-around nice paint done by Fat Creations.

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Fort Bill bubbles.
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Aimi's signature piece.
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Paint shops must be busy this time of year.

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Congrats to Aimi on a fourth place finish in today's Junior World Champs race.

Author Info:
dariodigiulio avatar

Member since Dec 25, 2016
202 articles

55 Comments
  • 35 0
 love the Irn Bru Paint job. 5"6 and riding a large..wow
  • 2 0
 Yes. I was surprised by this as well. Perhaps she has longish arms?
  • 19 3
 @dirktanzarian: or understands geo in a way that is mortals cant
  • 7 1
 It sounds like she wants to maximize wheelbase for stability and minimize reach for more leverage over the bike.
  • 6 8
 @ashmtb85: not quite. Offset headset cups bring the wheelbase in as much as they bring the reach in.

And she has the chainstays in the short position. Chainstays in the long position would mean a longer wheelbase without adding to the reach.

If you want a longer wheelbase but same reach you need a slacker head angle and longer chainstays. Sounds like she's just between sizes to me
  • 8 0
 @sdurant12: Both the text and the pictures indicate the chainstays are in the longer position
  • 12 1
 @sdurant12: SC sizing puts her on upper end of size small. She is definitely not between M and L
  • 8 0
 yeah, im the same height, and was seriously hemming and hawing about sizing up....to a medium.
  • 3 0
 wasn't it troy brosnan that was very short and rode a large too? perhaps large is just easier to control through the gnar, long wheelbase giving stability
  • 1 1
 Looking at the first side view of that bike, in NO way does it look to be a large. Looks like a small...medium at best.
  • 1 0
 @bman33: Is the seat throwing it off? Pushed past the end on an I beam, no way a normal seat would go that far forward.
  • 1 0
 @Maslin02: not sure. I am just looking at the frame. I mean, could be a pcyhe move or she is on a large for this race since it's a high speed one and the new V10's just look small. Also the reach headset could also play a factor...
  • 1 0
 I don’t think it’s all that big with a reach adjust headset. Assuming she’s using a 8-10mm adjustment, running the bike in the low position, that puts the reach at ~450mm? Which is inline with a lot of mediums.
  • 1 0
 Also 770 mm handlebar
  • 20 0
 this is the sickest dh bike ive seen in a while. Those dorados are the best forks on earth.
  • 3 7
flag baca262 (Aug 4, 2023 at 13:57) (Below Threshold)
 i'll take a conventional fork next time. the only thing needed is to give it to someone to properly size the bushings
  • 1 0
 @baca262: have you had bushing issues with the new dorado?
  • 1 0
 @KolaPanda: maybe complaining about bushing issues in conventional forks.
  • 2 0
 @chrod: forks are a lottery when it comes to bushing fit, some will be sticky while some will be stictionless as the old marzocchis. it's basically the most important part and i don't know anyone cared to make every fork off the line perfect in that regard. it's CRITICAL when you've rocks on hardpack, if the fork is sticky, it'll wash out, if it's stictionless, it'll grip. stiction is also VERY uncomfortable when making a low speed corner on a big travel fork on tarmac, if it's sticky, you first turn and then it suddenly sinks into travel, throwing you off
  • 6 0
 @baca262: sounds like a skill issue
  • 1 0
 @KolaPanda: did you EVER ride a suspension bike?
  • 2 0
 @baca262: 15 years of riding, 6 years of wrenching. I'm not saying bushing fit has no effect, but generally all of these manufacturers are able to consistently make forks that go up and down smooth. If you're that fixated on the few thousandths variance in tolerance between manufacturing runs, and that dictating if you wash out on a corner, then you're worrying about the wrong stuff on your bike setup
  • 2 0
 @KolaPanda: at first i was like wat, then i realized you're a larping troll. you probably haven't been wiping your butt independently for 15 years.
  • 1 0
 @baca262:
LARP: "it's all real until the foam hits you"

www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_ekugPKqFw
  • 7 0
 Bubbles all over, Irn-Bru logo on the top tube, Irn-Bru colour scheme and the theme for the bike is "Scottish". One can only assume a full Red Bull livery would be described as Austrian?
  • 7 0
 Article written by someone who has never heard of IRN BRU , that extreme seat position and reducer cups practically make it a medium with long chainstays.
  • 6 1
 So if you hit a section left foot forward you have no bash guard? What's the advantage of this setup over frame mounted?
  • 4 4
 If you get bucked off-line so your feet are oppo and hit your chainring you should buy a loto ticket. But your right its 100% a worse design.
  • 4 1
 the advantage prob is weight saving , while riding you always have your dominat foot first ( her is right one ) try riding with other foot first ,doesn t feel weird ???
I had that saint bash on my bike for 5 years and it decent some rocks still scratch and do some damage but not critical.
  • 5 0
 @Torvalds: iscg tabs get damaged. Chainring mounted means only the weight of the frame goes through the BB shell. The weight of your body goes straight from the cranks to the bash.

Frame mounted means all the forces go through the bike frame as well.

Also, something like this means you can "pedal over" obstacles. If you're one to ride old school trails with logs in the way.
  • 2 0
 I've shattered frame mounted bash guards and it's a ton of force to put into 3 tabs on the frame. I prefer crank based guards (Wolftooth specifically) for this reason, to protect the frame...and avoid warranty issues.
  • 5 0
 @lochussie - can probably, ya know, mount it to the other side if you’re regular footed, OR better yet, mount two of them just like you would need for SRAM transmission…
  • 7 0
 You can mount one on the other side as well, she just opted for the single-side setup.
  • 3 0
 @RBalicious: you can take one side off and only run one bashguard on the sram transmission as well
  • 4 0
 @sdurant12: loved the old toothed Kooka bashguards for that reason. Claw up logs like a tank. Mine was pretty beat on the right-foot-forward side.
For folks without a dominant forward foot, just run two of the modular guards.
  • 1 0
 @chrod: I still rock a smooth Kooka bashguard on my hardtail. It's beaten badly on the right (dominant) side, but had a surprising number of dings under the left side as well.
  • 3 0
 I have the same-ish set up on my 2013 Syndicate v10. MRD Carbon Dorado, Continental Der Kaiser 26" tires, with a whopping 445mm reach. Biggest size I could get at the time. Her size large has 462mm reach. I'm 6'2".
  • 5 0
 Iron Bru should make her earn an iron Bru helmet
  • 4 0
 Near perfect build. Saint, Conties, the Dorado looks slick. Well done!
  • 3 0
 "otherwise"? I see you don't know how Scottish unicorns are!
  • 3 5
 Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think STFU makes chainstay tape. They make the loop devices. It does look like super aggressive-length fins though, is this a proto-product from them?
  • 6 0
 They actually do sell it. Check their website.
  • 3 0
 You can see the STFU branding on the side of the tape.
  • 1 0
 Yes we do sell the STFU tape on our website- stfubike.com Cheers,,,
  • 1 0
 No LIDL paint job on any bike? Disappointing...
  • 12 0
 There's a lidl bit of LIDL paint on Tahnee Seagrave's bike now.
  • 1 0
 @lochussie , apologies that snark was meant for @howejohn
  • 2 0
 Braw.
  • 1 0
 Looks like construction worker team bike.
  • 2 1
 Bash all u want. 5’6” on a large = ladyballs
  • 1 0
 Curious what her reach number is.
  • 1 0
 I wish I knew what her fork settings are
  • 1 0
 sheesh!
  • 1 0
 Sick bicycle. Shred on!
  • 1 0
 Where is mah pink bike?







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