Trek's Emil Johanssen and Brett Rheeder have been putting on a show at Innsbruck Crankworx. While most slopestyle riders opted for hardtails in Austria, Brett and Emil bucked the trend, bagging first and second, running with rear suspension. But, Brett wasn't riding a standard Trek Ticket S. He's been working for the past "six to eight months" to produce a bike that can compete with the lighter, nimbler hardtails that have started to dominate slopestyle. Clearly, it seems to have been working well for him.
We caught up with Brett to have a chat after the slopestyle finals.
// Brett Rheeder Age:
Mount Albert, OntarioInstagram: @brettrheeder
What changes did you make from the standard Ticket S?Rheeder:
We've had a couple of versions actually. They made the Ticket S a couple of years back and then it wasn't working for us, as slopestyle was changing. We wanted to lengthen the top tube, steepen the head tube angle and lower the bottom bracket. That's what I've been riding for the past two years.
As [slopestyle] changes, more riders are coming out on hardtails, but the benefits of a [full suspension] slopestyle bike are still incredible for this sort of stuff. It gives you more leeway for screwing up, landing deep, or coming up short, so we didn't want to get rid of it.
We shortened the shock for 85mm of travel, shortened the chainstay again, lengthened the top tube, lowered the BB and then they shaved about 200 grams off the frame. So now this bike is comparable to all the other guys who are on hardtails. It's finally a contender with the weight and the benefits, it's pretty cool.
They also made the shock more progressive too, so we can run less psi. It's more supple on the top and ramps up way harder on the bottom end. We can run the shock in open mode, we were running them completely locked out with tons of psi before, just to get a stiff enough rear end. Now it feels like an active bike, it'll soak up small chatter on the slopestyle course, but it will still hold up when we push off for a flat drop flip or a big impact.
When you say slopestyle has changed, what exactly do you mean by that, is it the tricks that are being pulled?
Yeah, riders like Nicholi, Emil and Dawid Godziek are doing crazy stuff that involves a really light bike, a really small and short bike. Those guys are riding hardtails because you can jam the back wheel as close as you can until it's hitting the frame.
Can you give us some exact numbers?
I can't give you exact numbers, no. I measured it when I was at home with a tape measure just to confirm the numbers a while ago. This has been in the works for 6-8 months so I don't remember the exact numbers now.
A cable-actuated disc brake is all that's needed for this build, especially because it works with the gyro.