Darren Berrecloth will be riding a 210mm travel Canyon Torque in the forthcoming Red Bull Rampage insanity, which is news that might sound odd to anyone who's followed the Claw's career. Much like macaroni and cheese or Red Bull and questionable amounts of sugar, Berrecloth and Specialized just seemed to go together, the two having been married long enough that it will be a weird sight to see him on another brand's bike.

A fresh start might be exactly what Berrecloth is looking for, though, and arriving at Rampage on a brand new machine is somewhat fitting given that it was at this event that he exploded onto the scene when he showed up as an uninvited rider back in 2002. Darren was pretty adamant that it most certainly doesn't feel weird to him, though, and that the fit feels right. ''To be honest, Canyon was my top pick for a bike brand to partner with. I immediately felt as if I would be welcomed into a family when I began talking to them,'' he explained when asked why he's with the German brand. ''The owner is a laid back, easygoing dude that I immediately got along with. So that being said, I felt confident that I was making a good decision."
Darren Berrecloth

bigquotesWell, my mindset is the same as always, to get out there with my buds and shred some bikes. If I can toss a few tricks in and have a good run, then I am happy. Never been the type to set any goals, other than to stomp a few tricks. - Darren Berrecloth, Canyon Bikes

It's been a handful of years since his third place in 2010, with injuries and crashes preventing Darren from shining at Rampage, and thus he is a bit of a wildcard in 2015. That sounds crazy to say when you consider what he's capable of and what's he's pulled off in the past, but, in typical Claw fashion, he's a bit nonchalant about this coming weekend. ''Well, my mindset is the same as always, to get out there with my buds and shred some bikes. If I can toss a few tricks in and have a good run, then I am happy. Never been the type to set any goals, other than to stomp a few tricks.'' Just a casual week in the desert, then.


Darren Berrecloth Canyon Torque


Darren has literally just received his Torque downhill bike, which means that he's heading into what has to be the gnarliest event of the year on a brand new bike that he's yet to actually ride. The Claw, as expected, doesn't sound fussed about it, though. ''Well, for me, I’m not worried at all. Canyon has a great bike for me to ride, and I am actually really excited," he said, going on to explain that his first date on the Torque will likely consist of a few runs down the area's infamously burly King Kong trail. ''There's no better place to get used to a bike than on King Kong,'' he quipped casually, a statement that will likely lower the jaw of anyone who's familiar with the drop infested 'Kong line that descends down from a private rocket testing facility that's straight out of the X-Files.

Darren's Rampage ride is assembled around a production Torque frame that offers adjustable travel between 195 and 210mm. That number is changed by way of an insert in the rocker link that also alters the bike's geometry, and it's not a surprise to see that Darren's bike is set up in its slackest and longest travel mode. The frame itself has seen no modifications for the action that it will see over the next week, but Berrecloth does plan on changing the suspension rates as required - he expects to install a 50 in/lb heavier spring on his FOX shock and run between 5 - 10 psi more air over the usual 69 psi that he prefers when at home.
bigquotesFor my fork I usually throw 5 - 10 psi more air in my FOX 40 than what I normally run when I'm trying to chase Steve Smith down Mt. Prevost. - Darren Berrecloth, Canyon Bikes


Darren Berrecloth Canyon Torque
Darren Berrecloth Canyon Torque


The fact that Rampage forces riders to stiffen their suspension shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, but the demands on tire setup are less obvious. Darren runs Maxxis tires, and while it sounds like he'd usually be using a tubeless setup while at home in British Columbia, the cliffs of Utah require a different approach. ''I didn’t have time to go tubeless, but, to be honest, I would only go tubeless up front,'' he said about of his preferred Rampage setup. ''There are so many big impacts when doing a Rampage run that I would hate to burp my tire and blow a run.''

More air pressure is the answer, he says, but it comes down to if you're planning on hitting the wooden ramps or not. ''My run is all hand made dirt so I will probably go up 8 - 10 psi from normal downhill pressures since the last thing you want is to feel your tire roll [off the rim] on a lip.'' More air pressure means more reliability, but the downside can be less control. ''It is a tradeoff, though, since there's way less traction and higher deflection,'' he said about using more tire pressure for the rocky and silty Rampage zone.


Darren Berrecloth Canyon Torque


The bike is new, but the Claw will always be the Claw, regardless of what he's riding. And while it's been a while since the Canadian has performed to the level that we all know he's capable of at Rampage, I wouldn't be surprised if he threw down an impressive run aboard his new German bike.


Photos: Margus Riga


150 Comments

  • 156 2
 "A change is as good as a rest."

Hope the Claw kicks ass at Rampage!
  • 13 0
 Saw him at Eurobike at the Canyon booth. Makes sense for both. Hope he got good terms.
  • 121 1
 I'm expecting canyons will soon be available in the colonies then?
  • 8 0
 Canyon have been hiring staff in Australia for the last few months. they should be ready to roll here soon.
  • 12 5
 We can only pray.
  • 34 5
 Canyon stole my dingo
  • 12 5
 I'm sure praying will get it done.
  • 2 1
 They took his dawg!
  • 84 4
 Sure hope all of his hardware has been torqued properly.
  • 127 3
 Would suck if he fell in a canyon
  • 49 6
 Dude, you are striving on my spectral nerve...
  • 38 3
 If anything comes loose, the mechanic gets a spank.
  • 4 22
flag rickaybobbay (Oct 12, 2015 at 23:54) (Below Threshold)
 Really worked for that one wink hahahaha
  • 22 3
 Seems like the pressure has risen on the claw.
  • 11 1
 ah it doesnt sound like he's setting the bar too high
  • 30 1
 Torque about laid back.
  • 8 11
 He is a Saint of freeride. He will walk over canyons...
  • 36 1
 I'm not Dakine of guy to lose Hope for someone who's spent 16 years Specializing in freeride. It's good he came to his Sensus.. Now we'll just have to wait and Zee.
  • 7 0
 If he fells doing a 360 drop maybe he will need to be Stitched
  • 2 0
 You know he will always strive for success.
  • 61 3
 I've heard people say he's over the hill. I'll admit he is on the older side of pro riders at 35, but never, ever rule this man out
  • 40 0
 Well look at Kelly... Rampage is where experience can shine in the form of actually being able to get down the mountain..
  • 16 1
 never ever count out the veterans..
  • 6 1
 see: Vanderham, Thomas.
  • 6 0
 Of all the riders competing the Claw is my favourite, but That said, I don't see him winning. He has an immense talent but I just don't see him throwing down the sort of run that zink and Andreau have done these last few years.
  • 2 0
 I agree J-mcBride, the judges these days are looking for an insane death or glory huck fest with a bunch of tricks too and Bearclaw seems like the type of rider who will put together a run that will be amazing and super tech but probably won't score that well not based on how good it is but just on what the judges are prioritising. Excited to watch though.
  • 2 0
 Respect for competing at 35, I'm guessing he's the oldest competitor but a big margin? I believe Thomas Vanderham was 29 when he competed in the last Rampage in 2013.
  • 1 0
 McGarry is 33 I think...
  • 1 0
 Competing at 30+ is not that big of a deal.. look at Cedric and other veterans who are still active racers with fantastic results.
  • 1 0
 Racing is totally different than riding Rampage
  • 39 1
 Good to see a dirty bike
  • 19 1
 I wonder who made it dirty, because he says he hasn't ridden it yet.
  • 17 0
 That down tube is bloody huge!
  • 5 1
 I need a Rob Warner quote that would start like: "that down tube is beefy as a..."
  • 8 28
flag loopie (Oct 13, 2015 at 0:07) (Below Threshold)
 ...and ugly. Looks like the bottom of canoe hull....
  • 3 1
 The downtube on YT Tues are pretty big. The pivot Mach 6 also has a large downtube. But yeah, Canyon has a next level downtube
  • 1 0
 devinci spartan has a rock magnet for a downtube
  • 2 2
 And he's already bent it! Musta been a massive huck.
  • 1 7
flag loopie (Oct 13, 2015 at 13:15) (Below Threshold)
 Yup, still ugly. Just take the front end off and dirt surf that shit!
  • 11 0
 nice schrader valve adapter. Extra freeridey
  • 10 2
 Will be so weird watching Darren riding anything other than a Specialized. The Canyon looks awesome and it being used at rampage is the perfect initiation! Good Luck Darren!
  • 12 1
 Thomas Genon was already at Rampage with a Canyon, so the bike is already proven.
  • 7 4
 I know Thomas Genon has ridden Rampage on a Torque, I mean Darren Berrecloth's first event on the canyon isn't some low key FMB Bronze event, it's one of (if not) the biggest events in the mountain biking calendar...
  • 10 10
 bike looks sick! never noticed that one before on Canyon's site (I am normally looking at their road bikes)
  • 10 0
 26"! Yuppies can suck it!
  • 6 0
 That Torque looks solid as hell. Here's hoping the Claw has a clean Rampage, it's been too long since we've seen him stomping it!
  • 4 0
 It must be pretty nerve wracking as a bike manufacturer having one of your models being used at Rampage - on the plus side it gets you a ton of exposure but on the downside the bike is being tested to its absolute limits and should any part fail a) the consequences are potentially catastrophic for the rider and b) a huge audience of potential buyers gets to witness your product fail. None of us are ever likely to use the bikes to this level but if a frame breaks at Rampage your companies name becomes synonymous with that.
  • 8 1
 that thing is slacker then homer simpson!
  • 7 0
 How do they get the bikes to stay up like that?
  • 38 0
 Magnets.
  • 20 0
 They photoshop the claw off.
  • 8 6
 @mikelevy
please more details, as aluminum is not magnetic
  • 68 1
 @squarewheel - Duh, aluminum magnets, not normal steel ones.
  • 7 0
 It has steel bolts in it, and Canyon can afford really strong magnets!

That or they wedged a stick under the pedal and then photoshopped it out like everyone else, but who can say?
  • 28 0
 It's the ol' 3-2-1 and release routine, then you grab it again before it falls. No magnets, no witchcraft.
  • 8 0
 Aliens!
  • 6 0
 Was this taken at area 51?
  • 5 2
 You don't know? Hold it straight, quickly move away and the photographer takes a photo before it starts falling.
  • 9 0
 That's how badass the bike is, it rides itself.
  • 8 14
flag WAKIdesigns (Oct 13, 2015 at 1:35) (Below Threshold)
 @mikelevy - those answers were like a true muscle car - starts short, weird and a bit high in the rear, then peaks at the wind shield then drops quickly and goes flat for the kids, just to drop completely. Make it F80 next time... just sayin'
  • 24 1
 @WAKIdesigns - that comment was like true prog rock song... unnecessarily intelligent and a touch too long.
  • 3 1
 Let the Canyon, see the Pornhub. Bolt upright. Everytime.
  • 4 0
 The bike has good balance
  • 2 0
 It's not that hard actually. If you have the patience to hold a trackstand for an hour or two, you'll find that the bike can do it without you for at least a few minutes. And that's more than enough time to take a photo.
  • 5 0
 Specialized dropping Claw and Keene, picking up Graves. Barel retires and Claw joins Canyon.
Now where does Keene go and who is filling the Yeti slot.....?
  • 1 6
flag jaame (Oct 13, 2015 at 2:32) (Below Threshold)
 I didn't know about Curtis Keane. Minnaar to Commencal, Keane to Santa Cruz?
  • 1 0
 Is Keene even getting a new deal? Been a pretty disappointing season for him.
  • 1 0
 I don't know if Curtis is going.. Sounds like Mitch is no longer on the Enduro program judging by his "first and last Enduro season " post on Instagram. Curtis may not have results he's happy with, but he's got good marketing value with the support of Redbull. Mitch's role seems to be more on the R&D side...
  • 1 0
 where is my team rumors, I'm having withdrawals.
  • 1 0
 Graves left Yeti?
  • 2 0
 One would have to guess specialized made him an offer he couldn't refuse. I mean, why else would anyone join specialized?
  • 6 1
 Now all he needs is a line to ride! Bummer to here about the territorial drama between riders.
  • 6 0
 Riding down canyons on a canyon!! Perfect way to introduce his new bike
  • 6 0
 Looks like a..... Status.
  • 3 0
 this. should be fairly quick for him to get used to. fsr and all
  • 1 0
 agree, looks like his old Status back in 2013? when Surge won the Rampage. It seems manufacturers these days like to put almost all the connections and linkages on the down tube, its like a trend nowadays.
  • 1 0
 LOL Status i remember those back in the day! so 2013
  • 2 0
 i own a canyon torque and in the long travel mode the bike steepens so he won`t be riding it in the longest travel and slackest setting. it`s a great bike though and pretty light but hopefully still strong enough for rampage. anyone looking for a good all rounder check out the canyon torque dhx dropzone ! fox 36 floats, cane creek db air and all good and pretty light kit. got mine down to 32lb with single plys and losing the chain device and fitting a thick/thin chainring.
  • 3 0
 You know the frame has four settings right? 210mm slack, 210mm steep, 195mm slack and 195mm steep. And the dropzone is a pre 2014 model so it cannot be bought new. The rockzone on the other hand is an awesome deal. Mine is 15.5kg with boxxer wc and MM supergravity. 30t N/W ring and 11-42 cassette, and it pedals awesome.
  • 2 0
 I have a Canyon Torque, got at the start of the year, bloody love it as well and the spec/geo and value for money won it for me when looking at similar direct from manufacture brands.
  • 4 0
 So when is Canyon going to be available in US/Canada?
  • 10 5
 looks like a Tues
  • 4 1
 If you're going to play that game, try Transition Gran Mal, circa 2005
  • 5 0
 ha 69 Wink
  • 4 0
 Yeaa i like to see he win at rampage
  • 2 0
 I'm not particularly a DH specific guy but is there really a need for an adjustable travel frame on such a dedicated DH bike?
  • 2 1
 In terms of rampage and the more 'normal' stuff it can make a difference...
Other bikes like a scott gambler it's adjustable for 26" or 27,5" tyres which i use regulary, but i think with this you set it and leave it..
  • 2 0
 A truly slack, DH race bike is too slack for my local trails, both because we just don't have the steeps like the Alps, & because they're not bike specific & have tight radius switchbacks. But if I hit a bikepark, I'd love to be able to slacken things up. So if you're designing a bike purely to win World Cups, no, adjustable geo isn't that useful, but if you're designing a bike for a weekend warrior, adjustable geo could be the difference between a sale, & a person saying "too much bike except for my 2-3 trips to the bike park per year, why would I buy that?"
  • 5 3
 Why do they call him the Claw? it isn't even punned from Darren Berrecloth.. Perhaps it's due to his digging skills I guess! Neg prop me all you want.
  • 6 0
 An other nickname of him is an alternate way to write his name : Bearclaw, he even has t-shirts with a bear as logo.
The Claw come from that one.
  • 4 0
 I believe over there they pronounce his name "Bearclaw" rather than our way. They call Brendog "Fairclaw" too. Just a different pronunciation. Like Beck-ham and Birming-ham.
  • 6 0
 Its like jim connor to gymkhana Smile
  • 5 0
 26" tires!!
  • 3 0
 26" for the win!
  • 4 0
 The Claw can POACH any line he wants. Haha.
  • 11 8
 Well, at least it ain't a Session. Big Grin
  • 2 4
 Happymtb goes wild!
  • 3 2
 Not gonna lie, "Darren Berrecloth, Canyon Bikes" looks a bit weird to me. But it's cool that the direct buy brands are shaping up to be real players in the industry.
  • 3 1
 claw canyon do anthing !!!
  • 2 0
 This article is beautiful
  • 2 0
 Is this the 26" bike? or is there a 650b version coming?
  • 3 1
 So Canyon actually managed to deliver his bike in time? Wink
  • 1 0
 I think I will get a new Canyon Torque bike for the next trip to turpan from Hong Kong.Here we go.Gobi Desert.
  • 1 0
 I think I will get a new Canyon Torque bike for the next trip to turpan from Hong Kong.Here we go.Gobi Desert.
  • 1 0
 I`ve been using this bike since August 2014 and it's a great bike !!! Hope it will be great for Claw too !
  • 1 0
 after the video of keene in scotland i see why he hasnt won anything and lost his sponsorship...
  • 2 1
 Well i guess the first ride on his bike will be Rampage.
  • 2 1
 i was going to get the 2013 one
  • 1 0
 but the Claw will always be the Claw, regardless of what he's riding
  • 1 0
 bike is perfect for the Claw! both are made to kick ass!
  • 2 2
 Schwalbe Pro Core might be his answer to run tubeless and not worry aboute rolling a tire off or burping
  • 4 1
 3 pro core fails in this year's world cup......
  • 1 0
 So 3 failures out of how many successful applications. Small percentage if you think about it. How many tubes pinched and standard tubeless failures?
  • 1 0
 3 failures on a £120 system supposed to ELIMINATE pinch flats...........
  • 1 0
 Im going to say they were cut tires then
  • 1 0
 fist time on a new bike at rampage.. sketchy
  • 1 0
 how is this bike 'brand new to him', yet its covered in dirt?
  • 1 0
 Hope Darren wins it this year. Dude deserves it! That Canyon looks dope.
  • 2 0
 69psi
  • 1 0
 Excited that Canyon specs GXP BB. No creaks.
  • 2 2
 There must be some carbon on there somewhere??
  • 1 1
 that bike is a monster ! two monsters together could be dangerous !
  • 1 0
 not bad !!
  • 2 2
 downtube lines look like a specialized status
  • 1 0
 wow, looks like a Specialized..... And the travel chip is similar to the 2000 FSR, but that had an interrupted seatpost tube.
  • 1 1
 Scott Voltage with new paint job
  • 2 1
 Looks like a... tues
  • 1 2
 He still runs a Specialized saddle tho. I guess it takes some of the pain away from riding a Canyon bike :-)
  • 1 0
 sick ride
  • 1 0
 Think he is 33
  • 1 0
 Well, That was fast.
  • 1 3
 I ride the same Tire Combo, but the Minion DHR II on the Rear and High Roller II in Front. :-)
  • 2 3
 looks a bit like a yt tues
  • 2 4
 I'm sorry, but that is like reading "Santa's new bikini"
  • 1 3
 Looks like... it's gonna snap.
  • 1 4
 Unfortunately I feel this is the beginning of the end for the claw
  • 1 0
 How come?
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