Carson Storch's Rocky Mountain Maiden - Red Bull Rampage 2016

Oct 13, 2016
by Mike Kazimer  

At 23-years-old, Carson Storch is one of the youngest competitors at the Red Bull Rampage, despite the fact that this is his third time competing in the event. Last year's performance was cut short by a crash in practice - there's no doubt Carson will be looking for redemption this time around.

His weapon of choice for the near-vertical course is a Rocky Mountain Maiden, complete with a one of a kind paintjob from Painthouse Customs. The red, white, and blue pattern was inspired by the camouflage used by the US Navy during WWII.

Carson Storch Rocky Mountain Maiden
The Maiden's fork and shock have been tuned to be extra stiff and progressive in order to withstand the massive drops and jumps that are on the menu.

Rocky designed the Maiden to be able to run 26” or 27.5” wheels while maintaining the same geometry thanks to a custom lower headset cup and two rear axle positions. Storch has chosen to go with 26” wheels, in this case a set of Hope wheels shod with Kenda Nexcavators, due to the fact that he's on the shorter side of the scale, and prefers the extra maneuverability the smaller wheels provide.

The go-to suspension setup for the huge hucks of Rampage is extra stiff and progressive, and Storch's setup is no exception. Both the Suntour RUX fork and the DVO Jade shock have been custom tuned to be able to handle the forces generated while coming in for a landing off a two-story drop.

Carson says he prefers the feel of an aluminum handlebar versus carbon for hard landings, and in this case has gone with Chromag's OSX 35 trimmed down to 787mm and rolled forward slightly to put his weight in the right position for the tricks he has in store for Friday's big show.

Carson Storch Rocky Mountain Maiden
The lower headset cup adjusts the bike's geometry to work with 26" wheels.
Carson Storch Rocky Mountain Maiden
There's not much pedaling required, which is why Storch is only running a few cogs on his Shimano cassette.

Carson Storch Rocky Mountain Maiden
Chromag takes care of the handlebar, and Shimano provides the stoppers and shifter.
Carson Storch Rocky Mountain Maiden
The Kenda Nexcavator's blocky tread pattern should help provide traction in the loose sand.

bigquotesMy time's spent fifty-fifty between DH and slope bikes. The last time I touched a slope bike was at speed and style for Whistler Crankworx. I've been on the big bike ever since for training and filming big mountain stuff with Freeride entertainment in the Yukon.

My line here at Rampage has a bit of everything; steeps and exposure up top, big jumps and high speed lower down - a load of stuff I want to ride, so I'm happy with it.
- Carson Storch
Cason Storch

Carson Storch Rocky Mountain Maiden

MENTIONS: @RockyMountainBicycles / @carson-storch / @shimano / @SRSuntour / @Chromagbikes


  • 96 1
 Sick paint scheme, awesome rider! Gi get em!
  • 55 4
 Affectionately known as "Americamo"
  • 47 0
 @frojoe @sjdeweese thanks! We worked on the paint project with our buddy Stacy at Painthouse Customs. Glad you like it, we're fired up!
  • 8 1
 @RockyMountainBicycles: stacy is a phenomenal painter. what a great decision to go with painthouse, you might consider his input for all your fleets paint designs.
  • 2 1
 @RockyMountainBicycles: it's A sik A$$ paintJob he threw down on that Sled Old Skool War Paint
  • 3 0
 sick paint scheme indeed - Good luck Carson!
  • 5 0
 @RockyMountainBicycles: Father was a Marine in Pacific Curtain WW2. So I'm also a bit partial to any military theme. And any company that supports troops openly is A OK with me!!
  • 1 1
 Looks like a Kona Not a Session Someone break a bottle over my face, please
  • 65 2
 Carson's a trooper. Ready for a run to the hills.
  • 20 1
 A++ for the Maiden reference's!!
  • 3 2
 [...] Riding through dustclouds and barren wastes,
Galloping hard on the plains.
Chasing the redskins back to their holes,
Fighting them at their own game. [...]
  • 2 1
 @Matt-Pau: Bike should have a little Eddie figure on it somewhere, maybe riding a bike made of skulls and fire
  • 53 3
 Kenda tyres? Brave bastard
  • 25 2
 To be fair they will be in the air for 50% of the run.
  • 17 2
 Situational awareness. Kenda's don't suck right across the board ya know : )
  • 13 2
 People are such babies. I was riding in Revelstoke and ripped apart my michelin. The only replacement in a tiny town was a nevegal. Slapped it on and went and road steep losee terrain and it was fine.
  • 2 0
 @loopie: True ...but they are heavy but worthy in very rough conditions but do cause some lack of pace i the pedaling up department when your on a DH casing but still a reliable in the rough sharp rock dept. which i like to use in those cases but do switch up to shwalbe on other conditions
  • 5 9
flag nickmtb914 (Oct 13, 2016 at 18:17) (Below Threshold)
 *see kenda logo*

*close tab*

done with pinkbike tonight
  • 1 0
 Oh, my XC bike (26' Nakamura Summit Lite XT) has some Kenda tires. Never had any problems with them. However, I wouldn't give my life into their hands on harder terrain, than they're used to ride on (mostly moving my lazy ass, as i freakin' hate to walk). I'm from Poland, so it's not like North America, that having a car is a must. I live in small city (100k ppl) so i can either walk, or ride to my university (or everywhere else inside my town). 4 minutes vs 25 is a big difference. I hate walking, running, nordic walking and all of that sh*t, when you have to go from place A to place B. Doesn't have time to go by foot. At least i'll go by bus, but it's kinda little nightmare in Poland.
  • 32 0
 26 inch wheels woohoo yeah go Carson!
  • 16 2
  • 5 0
 and only the finest rims-- #hopetech
  • 1 0
 YES! Sooo many riders (including Semenuk) are rockin' 26 inch wheels (Semenuk went a little further- he uses Trek Session Park, not a standard DH Session).
#26notdead !
  • 23 0
 That rear triangle looks unbreakable. It is so massive. Never seen such big bearings on any other bike
  • 8 0
 The rear triangle just screams rampage
  • 1 0
 "Why, thank you for noticing (wink)" says Rocky Mountain
  • 1 0
 @skidrumr: The sheer size reminds me a lot of a Banshee Scream. I rented a Maiden recently at WBP - it ain't no joke. (Also a ton of fun)
  • 15 0
 Did anyone else see this.. adjuster kits to run 26" wheels... who'd have though..
  • 34 0
 We designed the Maiden from the start to be set up in either wheel size. The lower headset insert along with the 2nd rear axle position make sure there are no compromises to geometry or steering dynamics.
  • 13 2
 @RockyMountainBicycles: can you guys please get rid of the press fit please?! its the only flaw that keeps me from purchasing a maiden.
  • 6 0
 I like this idea! run 27.5 for racing and when you want to get airborne, run 26s! I rode with Noah Brousseau the other day and he was still running 26s, apparently its just a lot more playful
  • 5 1
 @nug12182: Get a Praxis bottom bracket. Makes a press fit BB into a threaded one and those things spin so well. Now you have no reason not to buy a Maiden right this very second!
  • 1 2
 @bplatte: I was interested if anyone has used one.if it eliminates the awful creaking sound then I would be interested in trying it but.....I highly doubt it works.
  • 6 0
 @RockyMountainBicycles: Thank you for believe in 26" !!!!!
  • 1 0
 @RockyMountainBicycles: This bike has me seriously looking at Rock Mountain for my next bike. Love everything about it, but please go back to threaded BBs. Beautiful bike!
  • 1 0
Is it possible to buy the lower headset cup ?
  • 12 1
 You fucking nailed that WWII Naval breakup pattern. GO GET'EM TROOPER, ACES HIGH!
  • 3 1
 Run, live to fly, fly to live, do or die
Run, live to fly, fly to live. Aces high.

Feels like they had rampage in mind when writing that song Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @winko: Do You remember NWD segment with Peaty? This song was there, as he was blasting down some hills. Don't exactly remember the number, 2 or 3.
  • 5 0
 cool to see a company offering real choices to let people use either 26 or 650b. 650b not necessary but if you wanna ride it that's a ok by me but i just want the choice to ride what i want you know just like the industry promised. cool paint job by the way...wasn't sure of it at first but i rather like it after a longer look.
  • 11 2
 Now that is a sexy bike.
  • 13 6
 Thank you Carson, 26 wheel is still alive because of you!
  • 5 0
 Cool bike, Even cooler kid! Go Kill'em Carson, we're routing for you back in bend!
  • 7 0
 I like this bike a lot
  • 6 0
 Lot a bike this I like
  • 3 2
 @colincolin: Bike I this lot a like
  • 2 0
 good one
  • 5 1
 Also, a bit eclectic on the mismatched suspension. Is he not sponsored in his shocks?
  • 44 0
 He is, but Suntour doesn't currently make a DH rear shock. DVO manufactures their products in the Suntour factory, so Suntour provided Carson with the Jade.
  • 13 11
 @hamncheez - give the man a break... he's given Kendas to ride Rampage...
  • 6 1
 Yeah Carson, get it! #Storchenator
  • 5 4
 Hey effin bike indust even the pros want 26er wheels. Stop selling us he planned obsolescence ones size fits all crap. Stop trying to kill of the sales of dh and freeride bixe. (Normally I wouldn't name names but) bow cycle has like 600 bixe on their show room floor and 2 of them are dh bixe. Calgary cycle used to be so fun to go to because more than half the showroom was dh, now none. 26" wheeled dh/freeride bixe please!!!!
  • 3 0
 A Canadian bike with an American themed paint job and a name that evokes the best 80's metal band ever. On 26". Best of everything!
  • 6 1
  • 2 0
 smart engneering, a seriously rad paintjob,....young gun's rig looks very pro.
  • 2 0
 is rampage this weekend? Im i gonna wait and then find out I can't watch it at the last min?
  • 2 0
 Rampage takes place tomorrow, Friday the 14th, at 9:30am.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: oh dam! DAM 9:30 there's an AM?
  • 1 0
 I want this bike, and can't wait to see the stuff he was riding in the Yukon.
  • 3 0
 RAMPAGE!! Go get 'em!
  • 2 1
 Strange, he is running a 180mm rrotor in the back. Wonder why.
  • 3 0
 People who run 180s always say it's for "better modulation"
  • 37 0
  • 3 2
 @endlessblockades: What's their argument for that? Wouldn't a larger rotor theoretically provide better modulation due to more rotor surface area and better cooling efficiency?
  • 7 0
 @gramboh: I really don't know - maybe because the 180 produces less immediate stopping power (weaker), there is more lever-throw to play with before full-stop bite? I've never really thought much about it - I come across that modulation argument/statement from time to time.They both work fine for my needs, but I happen to have 200s F&R.
  • 3 0
 I almost always run that combo, from 120mm trailbikes all the way to DH bikes. I like the way it makes the brakes feel, with a slightly less powerful rear. Only time I ever go 200/200 is for full on DH racing.

Maybe he feels the same.
  • 2 0
 @gramboh @groghunter: There you have it!
  • 3 0
 @endlessblockades: To address some of the other comments I couldn't see when I typed mine: I wouldn't really call it for modulation, more that it feels like I can pull both levers the exact same amount & get exactly the balance between front & rear braking I want. makes braking simpler, I guess. but 90% of it is that it just feels comfortable to me, & I'm used to it.
  • 1 0
 It is easier to lock up larger rotors, a feature I doubt he would want.
  • 1 0
 @Rubberelli: agreed. the whole 185/180 changeover screwed me a couple times.

(If you didn't know, you cannot get 185 post mount adapters, only 180. so when I switched from a bike with IS mounts to post mounts, the new rotor & bracket I had to buy was unexpected.)
  • 1 0
 The more I see of that frame the nicer it looks.
  • 1 0
 Yeee Carson!!! Rootin' for ya dude!
  • 2 2
 Sintour...please release a few different rear shocks
  • 2 1
  • 1 0
  • 4 5
 let me get that when youre done with it, thanks.
  • 1 2
 Suntour I ment
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