Bike Check: Brandon Semenuk's Trek Session - Red Bull Rampage 2018

Oct 26, 2018
by Daniel Sapp  

Although he was absent from this year's Crankworx Whistler, Brandon Semenuk is in Utah looking to take home a win at the 2018 edition of the Red Bull Rampage. We caught up with his mechanic Shawn "The Wizard" Cruikshank from Fluid Function to check out the details on his Trek Session and glean what we can about his set-up going into the event.

According to Cruikshank, every year around Crankworx time, it's the same routine. "After Crankworx Whistler, we always turn to the DH bike. Usually, he gets a new frame immediately after Crankworx Whistler and we set that up. We give him a couple of shock choices, he runs those, and then we refine them to what he likes. Usually, in a few weeks, we have the bike to where he wants in terms of shock and fork tune. We get the contest bike for Rampage shortly after that and then we build it up. We try to keep that bike in good shape and beat up the spare.

Shawn says that Brandon's DH bike set-up is usually "freeride-ish" so it's always on the firmer side. Even when he rides a DH bike and it's not for filming, it's for big stuff so he doesn't change his settings too much, however, he does have a heavier compression setting than usual. The geometry stays mostly the same and the fork height changes every once in a while. As far as specific components installed for Red Bull Rampage go, he's running some moderately light wheels, likely to make flipping and spinning a little easier. Brandon's handlebars are 760mm wide.

Specific to the line he's created at Red Bull Rampage, Cruikshank says that Semenuk is running Chromag's dirt jump saddle, the Overture.

Trek Session Details
Frame: Trek Session
Shock: Rockshox Super Deluxe coil, 550lb spring.
Fork: Rockshox Boxxer WC, 137psi, 3.5 tokens
Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF / DHR II, 26 x 2.7" width
Drivetrain: SRAM X01 DH
Brakes: SRAM Code
Cockpit: Chromag
Size: Large

36 Tooth Chainring and SRAM's X01 DH drivetrain.

Desert riding requires big tires, in order to stay on top of the loose, sandy soil. Maxxis Minion DHF and DHR II tires in a 26 x 2.7" size and with tubes. He runs 30psi in the front and 34psi in the rear.

Chromag Contact pedals.

SRAM X01 DH drivetrain.



  • 70 0
 Thanks to Rampage I'll still find 26" tires, I hope that the pros won't keep 'em all...
  • 82 7
 In other words
29“ for Racing
27.5“ for Riding
26“ for Rampage

Make sense to me!
  • 31 3
 @Mathullah: The bike industry has led us to believe 26" is dead........apparently that's not the case.
  • 13 0
 is that a 27.5 fork?
  • 3 1
 I have a couple for sales if you need it.
  • 1 0
 @Mathullah: 20” for ReRemRex
  • 3 2
 @asteezc1: yeah Rock Shox no longer make a 'current' 26" Boxxer (apparently).
  • 2 1
 @rivercitycycles: nailed it!!!
  • 1 2
 @Mathullah: Sorry it was YOU that nailed it!
  • 11 5
 @Mathullah: 26" for all. Only this make sense.
  • 1 0
 @Mathullah: Rampage wins!
  • 8 1
 @rivercitycycles: don’t worry, as soon as everybody will move to 27/29, the industry will pop up w some way to sell the “new 26”.
  • 2 4
 To be honest, my next bike will roll on wagon wheels as well. I have demo’ed a couple off different bikes from the same brand and the big wheels will fit my riding style and the tech gnar terrain here around most. Now slightly used bike with rampage style wheels for sale. Will send worldwide!
  • 3 0
 26+ always seemed like the best compromise to me, but it seems it never really took off
  • 3 0
 @asteezc1: yes. I actually ran a 27.5 fork with 26" wheels on my gambler. This was by far my favourite setup for my frame.raosee the BB a bit and mad the front end noticeably slacker which improved handling.
  • 6 0
 @probablyoutriding: 26 “plus” is all we were riding back in the early 2000’s. Watch “Freewheel Burning” on vhs, then go huck our crappy Frankenbikes (with 2.8 or 3.0 tires, preferably Nokians) to flat off of everything. It was a good time!
  • 27 0
 760 man!
  • 24 1
 26, is that a new wheel size?
  • 12 0
 Anything specific chosen to help Brandon with his line? Yup... the seat...... ?
  • 15 3
 Looks like a se........oh
  • 6 0
 Surprised to see the extra wide rubber on this build. Would have thought the additional rotational weight wouldn't be worth the "staying on top of the loose, sandy soil." Weren't riders saying that this new location is rockier and more barren than the last? I wonder how many other riders are going for the + tires.
  • 7 0
 He had the same tyre width last year
  • 4 0
 Aggy ran 275 by 2.8 in 2016.
  • 24 0
 IT's NOT a plus tire. He runs the OG Minion DHF 26x2.7" that are on the old sizing standard, they measure around 2.5" or little less and are about 1350-1400g, full traditional maxxis DH tire construction, wire bead, non-tubeless, 2-ply.
  • 2 0
 @redsled137: yeh, I used to have that tyre on the front of my old DH bike. It was about 2.5" on a 28mm wide rim.
  • 2 1
 Minion 2.7s have been around forever, and they're not '+'.
They're the old Maxxis carcass that was narrow.
IIRC, they weren't even 2.5"
  • 3 1
Sorry dude.
I didn't see your post, and posted the same shit.
  • 7 0
 3.5 tokens ????love it
  • 2 0
 i bet he just bites them in half..
  • 8 1
 make 26" great again
  • 1 0
  • 2 0
 "he's running some moderately light wheels, likely to make flipping and spinning a little easier"
Is there any more info on the wheels?
  • 1 1
 Ask Bontrager
  • 2 1
 @tulipanek: If they were Bontrager they'd loudly say so. Maybe Flow3 destickered as a courtesy to Bontrager
  • 2 0
 @ceecee: it could potentially be a lighter bontrager rim, something like the kovvee and they just don't want to show it being used for this because it would most likely lead to a ton of warranty headaches.

Hell it could be a one off bontrager rim, they have all the machines to do it in house.

Or it could be something else entirely. If some sees Brandon around just ask him and give us the details
  • 1 0
 @ceecee: yea I didn't even think about that. Rules out any current bonty rim. Could still be a one off but it does make another brand more logical
  • 1 0
 He runs custom buildt rims
  • 4 0
 26" for the major moves!
  • 1 0
 While I'll never be able to ride rampage, i do prefer 2.8 tires in the southern Utah desert.
  • 2 0
 Come on PB! I want to see Aggy's custom paint!
  • 1 1
 I find a 36 tooth chain ring ideal for gear ratios, but don't like the fact it has such bad ground clearance.
  • 2 0
  • 1 0
 Wonder why no guide?. Not even a top.
  • 3 4
 2.7" so, is rampage going to be won on a plus bike?
  • 7 0
 He runs the OG Minion DHF 26x2.7" that are on the old sizing standard, they measure around 2.5" or little less and are about 1350-1400g, full traditional maxxis DH tire construction, wire bead, non-tubeless, 2-ply.
  • 7 3
 @redsled137: You must mean OG Plus.
  • 4 0
 @raditude: I'm sure you're joking, but for anybody else, it's the Original Gangsta 26x2.7 Minion DHF that came out in the mid 2000's. There's also no such thing as a 26x2.7 DHR2, unless it was specifically made for him....there's only the 2.4" version. I've seen older bike checks where he runs the 2.7 DHF front and rear.
  • 1 0
 @redsled137: some of my first and most fun dh experiences were on these tires! So much grip!
  • 1 2
 Quietly no mention in the article about 26" forks.
  • 4 7
 Hey, looks like a...ah...forget it.
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