Christopher Grice is only 15 years old but his list of top race results already spans a decade. Getting his start in BMX, Grice now is racing in the Juniors in downhill and is already racking up wins and National Championship titles. Chris resides in Pisgah Forest, NC alongside one of the strongest pools of US talent including Luca Shaw, Neko Mulally, Max Morgan, and others.
This weekend Chris won the Junior Expert 15-16 category at Windrock by nearly 20 seconds in the DH race with absolutely treacherous conditions. He went on to take third in the EWS caliber enduro the following day, climbing over 5,000 feet and descending 7,000 to end up on the podium. Grice's consistent riding, hard work, and commitment to training are sure to land him on top of podiums for some time to come. Not to mention, he's one of the nicest 15-year-olds out there. This year he is receiving support from a few brands including Specialized.
When he's not racing, Chris is keeping up with his schoolwork or digging on the trails near his house. He likes to spend most of his time outdoors and has never really been a fan of video games or that kind of stuff.
Celebrating a 20-second win at Windrock.
Chris is a bit of anomaly when it comes to bike set-up. He's riding at the level of some of the best guys in the world yet he weighs significantly less. Chris' mechanic Brad Blackwell who has been working with him ever since he switched from BMX to mountain bikes says that there are a number of things that he considers when getting the bike set up.
One of the biggest is trying to reduce friction in every place possible. Since Chris is lightweight, he needs the maximum amount of rolling efficiency. From suspension to wheels and pivots, Brad tightens and greases everything accordingly and even has some secret methods for suspension pivot bearings that he won't say much about other than "it involves soaking the bearings in different solutions." Freehubs and bearings are serviced frequently. The suspension is set up very soft off the top for traction and small bump compliance then there's a lot of support in the middle and through the bottom of the travel, so it ramps up quickly.
Chris' hands are small and he likes to run his brakes very close to the bar, to the point where the lever will touch his middle finger upon full braking. Every run, Brad checks for piston creep on the brakes to ensure that the pull is consistent and nothing is dragging since there is next to no margin of error as Chris is really sensitive with the deadband in his brakes.
SRAM's X01 DH drivetrain and an MRP chain guide keep everything running and in place.
With drive and stoke for riding bikes coupled with a calm, cool, and collected attitude, it's no doubt that we're going to see Chris on the podium for years to come.