Video Bike Check: Geoff Kabush's 3 Olympic Bikes from 2000, 2008, & 2012

Mar 2, 2021
by Geoff Kabush  

Words and video: Geoff Kabush

Who knows if we will get any actual new Olympic bike checks for 2020, now 2021, so I thought it would be fun to take a look at my old Olympic bikes. While visiting my family cabin on Hornby Island this last summer I decided it would be fun to pull my 2000, 2008, and 2012 Olympic bikes down from the rafters and take a closer look. Working on my terrible video skills but finally got an acceptable edit together six months later to take a look at the details. I tried to highlight some of the technology evolving as my custom bikes progressed from 2000-2012. Drivetrain, cockpit size, tires, wheels, materials, pressures, etc. Actually building up a new Yeti ARC hardtail this year and it will be interesting to see how it compares. Take a look, let me know if I missed any details, and I'll do my best to answer any questions. Cheers.


51 Comments

  • 39 1
 I've got to share this, Geoff...back in '04 I was on a trail ride when I ran into a friend/bike shop owner when I was in need of a tube. I was riding a Kona ti HT at the time, and his shop was a Kona dealer. He said, "you should come by the shop...we've got a bike that you should ride". A couple days later I walked in and it was a Kona F/S race bike..full XTR, red Bomber, seatpost milled out, lightest of the light. And...sticker on the top tube was "KABUSH" in Kona lettering. Story was the Kona trailer was broken into and a bunch of bikes stolen, including the one that supposedly you had won the Canadian nationals on. Insurance paid and when the bikes were found the local Kona rep was given that bike to give out...and my buddies shop received it. They gave me a good deal on it(which I later realized it was all profit to them), so I bought the bike. I made a few quick changes to it so it would be a bit more durable for me, then I gave it a full paint job(I got into a frame painting period). It was maybe 6 months later the TT snapped on a small jump...and that was that.
So there ya' go...my piece of connection to a fellow tall, but faster, more famous rider way north of me! I have pics of it original and painted. Cheers!
  • 4 1
 Any pics?
  • 31 1
 Nice, crazy story. Hadn't heard the bikes were eventually recovered. Robin our team mechanic at the time was followed off the Interstate on his way to West Virginia NORBA in 2003. Trailer got stolen/emptied in middle of night along with his cat. Luckily cat was found and I think we flew in with spare bikes to race the next weekend. It was still a big bummer to lose everything but glad the bikes were recovered and one found its way to you to have some fun on.
  • 46 1
 Repainting a custom National Champs frame was your first mistake.
  • 5 0
 @gkabush: Crazy story. Need more cats on race circuit.
  • 1 0
 @gkabush: Actually, the name Robin rings a bell....either there was another Robin on the Kona roster or was the same guy I kind of knew in Gainesville.
  • 2 0
 @thedirtyburritto: Yeah, well, I also had a '67 Nova hatchback then a '73 Nova with zero clue they were actually something to keep(I threw a rod in the "73 and sold the '67 for near nothing)...now they're super valuable! I've got a '67 Cougar now to make up for those mistakes! Bikes...well, they get used to death..once the Kabush bike snapped my only concern was getting a replacement.
  • 1 0
 @J1BB: Yeah....I guess I have to upload them to my profile
  • 3 0
 Here ya' go(if the link works).. www.pinkbike.com/photo/20218829
  • 4 0
 @GlassGuy: Robin Sansom was who started out as our mechanic back in the day. He went on to work at several companies and now an industry vet. Thanks for posting the pics. Fun to see that old bike. Brings back some memories.
  • 2 0
 @gkabush: Glad you could see! It's mighty amazing how things can come back around. I was really excited to get that bike and to know it was used by a rocket...made me push harder when I rode it Smile
  • 2 0
 @GlassGuy: Awesome, thanks
  • 11 0
 I remember as a teenager seeing his sideburns in the Kona catalogue. So damn cool at the time.
  • 7 0
 I remember you being "the wide bar guy" in Mountain Bike Action back in '03-'05, "Geoff is able to get more breath in his lungs due to his wider handlebars." Hilarious to see your "super wide bars" were 680mm!! Super cool look back into the old tech. Thanks for sharing!
  • 4 0
 Love this, and would be thrilled to see more throwback content.

I strayed away from the sport during this era, but have fond memories of the first mountain bike race at the Olympics. Alison Sydor won silver for Canada (I was such a big fan of hers, I bought a Cannondale F700 with the same CAAD3 frame as hers when my steel Bridgestone MB3 was stolen). I also remember Andreas Hestler stopping to take a leak during the race, as he had apparently overhydrated before the start... his sister was a co-worker of mine in Victoria at the time, and so we had a good laugh about that (he was still a mtb god to me, and I cheered him on during a few BC races).

Doesn’t seem like there were that many changes during the late nineties to that 2000 bike. Huh.
  • 7 0
 Do the bike you would have run in 2004 if you hadn't had your spot stolen by dopers.
  • 18 0
 Yeah, was going to mention that or how I might have been on the clean podium in 2000 but figured I'd just stick to bikes on this video. Was definitely a bummer to miss 2004 but can't complain too much. I'm still having fun riding my bike and have nothing to hide. Cheers.
  • 1 0
 That's a fair and completely justified comment. What a mess that was.
  • 7 0
 Geoff, thanks for being such a cool ambassador for the sport!
  • 3 0
 @gkabush if you are trapped on a small island with lots of trails and four-ish generations of Olympic bikes what are the chances you could put a loop together and hot lap on each bike along with the one you are building for your next edit? It would be interesting to see how much faster bikes have gotten over the years. Kind of like this edit:

www.pinkbike.com/news/video-wyn-masters-rides-bike-park-on-a-1997-gt-lts-in-lts-vs-lts.html

thanks!
  • 4 0
 Had that idea too but the Magura brakes on the Litespeed needed bleeding. Maybe this summer when I go back to visit I'll get them all working again and take a hot lap up and down the mountain. Would definitely be fun to compare how they ride to modern bikes these days.
  • 1 0
 @gkabush: I'm sure there's a bunch of us looking forward to it if it can happen.
  • 4 0
 @gkabush: Hypothetical question, say you come up to Canada to do the BCBR gravel race and your Yeti/Open gets confiscated at the border for some reason, which one are you putting aerobars on and why would it be the Kona?
  • 3 0
 @gkabush I'm in Nevada City, I restore and collect race bikes which I will have soon on display at the Wheelhouse (Hwy 20 at the top of Hoot and Scott's trail).
Was thinking to organize some vintage rides with maybe a few ex-pro's etc.
Check my page www.dirty-sundays.com.
Cheers,
Laurent
  • 5 0
 Thanks for sharing man - great journey through the tech revolution and a reminder of how fast this stuff changes. Cheers!
  • 3 0
 Interesting that the London bike had a 34 tooth 1x with a 36 tooth big cog and he says he's building up his new bike with a 34 tooth 1x with a 51 tooth big cog.
  • 1 0
 Relatively short climbs on the XCO course in London. Whereas now Mr. Kabush lives in Tahoe. And he's not necessarily racing every single ride, either.
  • 7 0
 That new 10 cog give an extra ~10% on the high end now compared to the old 11 which helps on the fast stuff. Race gearing used to definitely be different from general gearing though. Much easier to balance these days with the extra range.
  • 1 0
 Geoff was 35 in London and riding near the front of world cup fields. At 44, he is still fast, but probably needs a bit more help climbing than he did nine years ago.
  • 3 0
 Super fun to see the evolution. Thanks for the video!
  • 3 0
 What is going on with the fork stanchions on the Scott?
  • 1 0
 Was wondering that as well. It looks like they've been painted with something on the last few mm of travel.
  • 7 0
 Olympic Logo restrictions - Just to be safe Fox blacked out the graphics on top of the stanchions there.
  • 1 0
 @gkabush: Some crazy restrictions! Is that the same reason there's only one Fox sticker on the forks on the Litespeed?

Love the bike checks. Thanks for taking the time to share. After all the years riding I can see why you stick with certain brands for their reliability.
  • 3 0
 Ka-bolt, Ka-bush huh. I never knew.
  • 2 0
 cool tour Geoff, Your gunna have those Hornby Island retro geeks peeking in your windows now!
  • 1 0
 My favorite part was when Geoff got so far under the Rat Brian Lopes skin that Lopes punched him on the podium. Eff that Lopes guy.
  • 2 0
 That litespeed looks like a gravel bike.
  • 2 0
 that was great!
  • 1 0
 Such a sick bike check, thanks for sharing!
  • 1 0
 Headphone warning at 7:10
  • 2 0
 Pro biker. Amateur videographer. Yeah, sorry, annoyed I missed that audio surge/correction but working on my skills.
  • 1 0
 @gkabush: Great video all the same! (even if it makes me feel old)
  • 1 0
 Yeah @gkabush - love seeing that London bike. Those were some fun days....
  • 1 0
 We need a sideburns through the the years story.
  • 1 1
 Bike check with no picture. Ain't got time for that, pinkerson.
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