Bike Check: Bernard Kerr's Pivot Phoenix DH - Val di Sole World Cup DH 2018

Jul 5, 2018
by Mike Kazimer  

Bernard Kerr is back aboard his 27.5" Pivot Phoenix in Val di Sole, where he's hoping to put in a solid run down the slippery and tricky course. He finished in fifth place the last time he raced here, at World Champs back in 2016, and you can bet he wants to match or better than result this weekend.

Pinkbike's Ross Bell caught up with Bo MacArthur, Bernard's mechanic, to dive into the details of the nose wheelie king's bike setup.

Bernard Kerr
Pivot Factory Racing
Height: 6' / 182 cm
Weight: 181 lb / 82 kg
Instagram: @bernard_kerr

bigquotesBernard likes to have his bike set up exactly as he knows it. Once we have the setup at the beginning of the year it tends to stay for the entire season.Bo MacArthur

Bernard Kerr
Bernard's Phoenix Details

Frame: carbon
Size: large
Wheel size: 27.5"
Rear travel: 204mm
Head angle: 62.5-degrees
Shock: 2019 Fox Float X2, 225 psi
Fork: Fox 40 Float, 85 psi
Wheels: Reynolds Carbon DH
Tires: Maxxis Shorty: 24 psi (front), 28 psi (rear)
Drivetrain: Shimano Saint
Brakes: Shimano Saint
Cockpit: Renthal 40mm rise aluminum bar

Bernard Kerr
Bernard's running 225psi in his Fox Float X2, which is stuffed full of spacers in order to create the most ramp-up possible.

Bernard Kerr
There's 85 psi in the Fox 40, with four volume spacers installed to create a balanced feel with the rear shock. Bernard's setup would likely feel overly stiff to the average rider, but it's well suited to the high speeds and hard impacts found on a World Cup DH course.

Bernard Kerr
Bernard's quite picky about his setup, and he can notice if his suspension is off by 1 psi, or if his tires are over or underinflated by 2 psi. For his cockpit, he runs a 768mm wide Renthal handlebar with 40mm of rise, mounted to a 50mm stem. Those Renthal push-on grips might not look as fresh as the rest of the bike, but that's a matter of preference - Bernard likes the feel of a broken-in set of grips over a set of brand new ones.

Bernard Kerr
Ten-speed Shimano cassette, Saint derailleur.
Bernard Kerr
Reynolds carbon rims, Industry Nine hubs, Shimano Saint brakes.

Bernard Kerr
A 2.5" Maxxis Shorty is the tire of choice for this weekend, inflated to 24 psi up front and 28 psi in the rear, numbers that Bernard rarely deviates from, no matter the conditions.

MENTIONS: @rossbellphoto @pivotcycles


  • 14 1
 I don't care for all this big wheeled DH bikes everyone goes for. This is beaty and I'm just in love.
  • 9 15
flag chriskneeland (Jul 6, 2018 at 3:45) (Below Threshold)
 I hope he places well so Pivot can throw that 29er in the trash heap.
  • 3 1
 @cmkneeland: They can't throw them away, pretty sure they are selling as many as they can build
  • 7 9
 @bman33: True. There's probably a whole market of wankers that can't wait to get there hands on one.
  • 11 2
 @cmkneeland: Not sure I would call them wankers. Few of my ridding buddies have 29" either DH or Enduro rigs and shred everything including local DH races and big hits like Crab Apple Hits in Whistler. They most likely out ride most Pinkbike comment police with minimal effort. 29" bikes aren't all squirrelly XC only bikes anymore. There is some proper bad ass 29" bikes out there now. I am on 5'-8" and prefer 27.5" but to each his own.
  • 5 13
flag chriskneeland (Jul 6, 2018 at 8:54) (Below Threshold)
 @bman33: They'd probably be just as good on 27.5. But some people are just wankers.
  • 2 0
 Curious what his bar height is, 40mm rise bars, Fox 40 stanchions pretty much maxed out (flat crown though) with stem spacers. Then again, Val Di Sole is steep AF, maybe he isn't always running it so high.
  • 1 0
 Is any rider running the bars longer on the left side or the right ?or they just cut exactly the same amount in both sides just wondering if anyone runs it a bit longer on the left or right
  • 2 0
 He can notice 1 psi change in the suspension, but he can't tell until there's a 2 psi difference in his tires???
  • 1 0
 What is that front fender? (I know, definately the most vital part in his build) Liking the looks of it compared to the marshguards etc.
  • 2 0
 Can he feel his fork is 4mm too low?
  • 2 1
 Doesn't look much like a session
  • 2 0
 Nice bike
  • 2 1
 strange aluminum handlebars but carbon everything else
  • 9 7
 Carbon bars are dangerous af.
  • 4 2
 @casman86: Hardly. Some riders choose the aluminum bar because of the feel, which is slightly softer than the carbon bar. Some riders, like Gwin, run the carbon version.
  • 1 0
 @ka-brap: the aluminum are insanely stiff. Stiffer yet in 35. The light have a bit more flex. You also have the same 3 options in carbon. If gwin runs a 31.8 carbon it's close to the same as a 35 aluminum
  • 1 0
 @makripper: This is feedback from some of the racers during their interviews. When Troy was still using Renthal bars/stems, he said he ran the aluminum versions because they weren't as harsh feeling. Maybe that's just him. I've used both in 31.8 and I currently use the carbon version and I can't tell a difference in stiffness.
  • 2 0
 @ka-brap: just so many options of each configuration. I would give them a shot if they had a better sweep
  • 1 0
 768mm seems so narrow for bars, super interesting!
  • 1 0
 Gorgeous bike Drool Always wanted one of these Phoenix’s
  • 2 1
 Frame size?
  • 10 1
  • 1 1
 @cski1 Read the description before you comment, or do you just comment ?
  • 2 0
 @pigman65: Must have been added since
  • 2 0
 @cmkneeland: In that case please accept my apologies

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