What does it take to become the first rider to rack up three wins at the Crankworx Whistler slopestyle competition? A ridiculous amount of talent, perseverance, and the ability to lay down a flawless run in front of thousands of cheering fans are a large part of the equation, but it also takes a bike purpose built for tackling a modern slopestyle course. Brandon Semenuk's Trek Ticket S was designed for just that, a bike created with one goal in mind: winning the biggest slopestyle contest in the world. That goal came to fruition, with a winning run that seemed impervious to the laws of physics, a flip and spin filled exhibition of skill that would make even a non-mountain biker's jaw drop in disbelief. Take a closer look at the winning bike below.
The Ticket S's 100mm of front and rear travel provides just enough give to take the edge off of hard landings, but the bike is set up about as close to a hardtail as you can get. The frame's geometry, front triangle and chain stays are the same as the stock Ticket S, but the seatstays are custom, constructed from carbon fiber in order to provide even more stiffness. The RockShox Monarch RT3 rear shock is set in the locked out mode, and the three position lever has been chopped off at the top of the air can, likely to eliminate the chance of it getting inadvertently knocked out of position. The compression settings for both the front and rear shock are higher then what the average rider would run, but the average rider also isn't throwing corked-720s on a daily basis. The 100mm Pike DJ in the front is set up in its firmest compression setting, with a very slow rebound speed to reduce the chances of getting bucked on a nose-heavy landing.
A SRAM XO1 DH drivetrain, complete with a gold anodized chain, gives Brandon seven speeds to choose from, which he selects using a time trial shifter that's mounted to his downtube. This custom shifter was made by SRAM in 2009 for a select handful of slopestyle athletes, and has been on every one of Brandon's Crankworx winning bikes. The rear derailleur's clutch mechanism combined with the X-Sync tooth profile of the 32 tooth single ring up front provides enough chain retention that there's no need to run a guide, which helps trim even more weight off of the bike.
Maxxis' Ikon tires have a low profile tread pattern that reduces their rolling resistance, but they still have enough cornering grip to help prevent them from sliding out in the tall berms found on the Joyride course. A set of Bontrager rims is laced to a pair of SRAM X0 hubs.
The additional drag and leaking associated with hydraulic gyros prompted Brandon to go without one for the last couple of seasons, but this year he started running a cable actuated version, similar to what you'd find on a BMX bike. An Oddessey lever is paired up with the custom made gyro, which activates an Avid BB7 mechanical disc brake in the rear. This allows for unlimited bar spins without needing to unwind twisted housing.