Kyle Strait's Commencal Furious - Red Bull Rampage 2017

Oct 26, 2017
by Mike Kazimer  



Kyle Strait's no stranger to competing at the Red Bull Rampage - in fact, he's been at every single one since the event began back in 2001, when he rolled up as a 14-year-old grom. His impressive streak has been punctuated by two wins, in 2004 and 2013, and if anyone has what it takes to deliver the mix of technical riding and slopestyle trickery that the modern Rampage demands, it's Kyle.



Rider: Kyle Strait

Bike: XL Commencal Furious with custom swingarm
Wheel size: 27.5"
200mm travel
Handlebar width: 808mm
Tire pressure: 40 psi (front), 45 psi (rear)
RockShox Super Deluxe Coil: 600 lb/in spring
RockShox Boxxer: 5 tokens, 105 psi

Kyle Strait


Commencal Furious

Suspension

With so many Rampage appearances under his belt, Kyle knows exactly how to set up his suspension for the monster hucks and steep, loose chutes that make the terrain surrounding Virgin, Utah, so unique. Kyle's built like a linebacker, and it's it's almost as easy to imagine him moving refrigerators or tossing bales of hay as it is to envision him throwing big suicide no-handers. For that reason, his bike setup would be much too stiff for most riders, but it's perfectly tuned for his weight and riding style. There's a 600 lb/in spring out back, and up front the RockShox Boxxer is set up with 105 psi and 5 tokens.

bigquotesI know pretty well how to set it up for around here – just over all the years I have what I need for spring rate, valving, stuff like that. I'm running a pretty similar setup to what I expected to. We're fine tuning a little here and there. This morning I added a little high speed rebound to it, just to keep up with what the spring rate is.

The frame itself has also been customized with an additional brace on the swingarm in order to add the stiffness and stability that'll be required when Kyle drops into the massive straightline he has lined up from the very top of the venue.




Commencal Furious
Strait's custom 'Meaty Paw' grips

Grips

bigquotesThose are my Meaty Paws – I've been running those for over ten years now. Basically, I run a Sensus Swayze Lite underneath a regular Swayze grip that I pull over the top. Hopefully soon we'll have my custom grip from Sensus – it's coming out soon.

Racing World Cups my knuckles were hurting real bad; I have really strong hands, so I couldn't figure out why. One day my mechanic, Colin Bailey, was like, 'Dude, your grips are too small – you have big hands.' And I'm like, 'Yeah, so?' He actually taped like half a roll of electrical tape to each side of the bar, and then slid a Swayze on top of it. It felt weird at first, but literally my knuckle pain went away. I think it's like frame sizes or shoe sizes – basically your grip should be to the size of your hand.


Commencal Furious
Commencal Furious
Blaze orange Onyx hubs are laced up to Stans rims that have been customized with a RealTree camouflage pattern.


Tires

Kyle has switched over to a tubeless tire setup this year, with Kenda's new Hellkat rubber mounted up front and back. The front's inflated to 40 psi, and the back to 45 psi.

bigquotesIn previous years we've had a lot of those big wood kickers, and there's a lot of compression in those. A tubeless setup can't really go to a much higher pressure than where I'm at, so if I had to go more pressure I'd put tubes in. I'm right at the fine line between going tubeless and running tubes, but it's been working good so far.


Commencal Furious
There's a minimal amount of pedaling in Kyle's line, but when it's time to turn the cranks a gold SRAM X01 7-speed drivetrain will be waiting.
Commencal Furious
The previous generation Avid Code brakes have been installed to help keep Lyle from breaking the sound barrier.


Commencal Furious








107 Comments

  • 118 1
 *Talks about a custom swingarm*
*Doesn't show it*
  • 5 0
 I know! I was thinking the same thing.
  • 4 0
 And me... ffs. Scumbag Steve.
  • 1 0
 There's a brace on the seat stays connecting the two sides together before the seat tube, there's a photo in the album where you can just see it.
  • 110 1
 45 PSI in moon dust? Shows how much i know about anything.
  • 5 0
 especially dropping into that line!
  • 23 1
 its probably better to get the whole tire to cut through the dust (almost like a ski) than to try and float on top of it
  • 66 0
 It's more so he doesn't rip his tires off the rim if he lands a bit skewed off of one of those massive drops and so it doesn't squirm around under compression on the kickers.
  • 23 0
 What made you think any of these guys are normal?
  • 2 1
 Very interesting considering that's exceeding the max pressure for those Stan's rims. 37psi with a 2.4" tire and 26psi with a 2.8".
  • 1 0
 @mtnbykr05: he weighs about 110kg. The tyres probably feel soft to him.
  • 1 0
 Many Slopestyle guys ride pressures like that on their slopestyle bikes even.
  • 58 6
 Sweet build! That's why I continue to use Stan's Flow rims... If they can hold up to Rampage, then they can hold up my amateur ass! No need for me to buy into this carbon rim craze!
  • 19 55
flag fercho25 (Oct 26, 2017 at 12:29) (Below Threshold)
 you do realize pro athetes break shit all the time, specially rims they obviously dont post about it on instagram. and they can use any brand because breaking it means it does not come out of their pockets.
  • 46 2
 @fercho25: What's your point man? Dude is obviously saying that if the rims can survive a run down the Rampage course without folding over it can probably survive whatever he's doing. Surviving a single run at that extreme is probably a pretty good baseline for all of us mortals I would think.
  • 12 9
 Got some Stan's Flows. The front tacoed in 3 months, the rear is beyond truing at the end of the season and I had to bend the rim flanges back into place to get the tire bead to seat after a day in the bike park. Going back to DT Swiss.
  • 26 2
 @phalley: The only way that's true is if a hack built your wheels, or you didn't take care of them after they were built. Or maybe both. Probably both.
  • 2 0
 Junk-in-the-trunk:

I’ve had Flows and if I ran them that firm I wouldn’t have had all the flat spots I got but traction would have been shite. I’ve got nothing against them tho.

Would like to see more of this. Pro setup for such an extreme event is a curious thing.

Some would say Kyle may get free rims so what the hell. But a free rim that breaks isn’t doing anyone favors. I’m surprised a Flow is run under such a gnarly and big rider for an event like this but damn Kyle knows better than us.
  • 3 2
 @Rucker10: I built them. I also built my DT rims, and after an initial re-tension I haven't had to touch them for 6 months. Same hubs, same method, same spokes, same bike, same rider. Flows deflect under impacts like they're supposed to, they just don't always return back to shape.
  • 3 0
 @phalley: Same story for me, more dents and bends in MK3 than anything I've ever rode. The real kicker, due to the low profile, is they don't just get a small ding in the bead on a hard hit, the whole damn thing bends and flat spots! I'm not saying some of those aren't my fault for riding too fast on a trail I don't know, but seriously a rim should not bend that easily. 25psi front, 28psi back
  • 1 0
 @phalley: I had the mk1s. I thought they were soft. Never again. Spank all the way.
  • 44 0
 Sensus over Sensus for the bear paws.. that is gangster as shit.
  • 6 12
flag fercho25 (Oct 26, 2017 at 12:32) (Below Threshold)
 what I dont get is that he has been doing that for years. sensus should make him some gigantic ones just for him rampage is without a doubt the biggest piece of advertisement they get all year.
  • 1 0
 @fercho25: yeah i would have thought the same, 10 years is a long time, maybe sensus thought there wasn’t a market for fatter grips. problem is getting enough circumference without it being annoyingly heavy. superstar did wide grips. gangster sh*t gets +43 wow..,
  • 34 0
 Good thing Lyle will be able to stop
  • 11 0
 We don't want Lyle accidentally riding Kyle's lines.
  • 3 0
 It sure is.
  • 3 0
 I was wondering who Lyle was, breaking the sound barrier and all
  • 4 0
 Lyle is Kyle's nickname. It is pretty common to see him referred to that way.
  • 14 1
 Sick bike! Sad that the matte green foil covering the whole frame looks so bad in the last picture...
  • 12 1
 i can't unsee now.
  • 3 0
 Yes, I have wrapped a few bikes, this is an inexperienced vinyl installer for sure!
  • 2 0
 @Bomadics: Foil covering an entire bike frame must an exercise in frustration. Why wouldn't you just paint it? Does it ever turn out well?
  • 2 0
 @Otago: One example of it working; www.iamspecialized.com/news/the-s-works-demo-8-of-dylan-dunkerton

Can't remember who it belonged to, but someone this summer had a demo 8 wrapped in a bunch of photos, looked amazing.
  • 6 0
 @Otago: Yes for sure, for two examples search Dean Tenant's bikes, I did not wrap them a shop in Victoria did, but they are both excellent, one frame appeared in Higher Calling 2

Photo Here
www.pinkbike.com/photo/13451993

Video Here
www.pinkbike.com/news/must-watch-dean-tennant-higher-calling-2-video-2016.html

I have done a few partials as sponsorship, and one for my son, there are always seams, but hiding them well is the key!

My Son's old bike, a partial wrap to hide all the original colours, we went all black and blue, the black is satin, and the blue is all gloss
www.pinkbike.com/photo/13341096

Kyle's Commencal is also a partial wrap, the black is left original and it looks like they covered up a green metallic flake with the matte. The ideal wrap will hide the seams underneath or in welds and joints.

On my Instagram feed there is a Santa Cruz V-10 I did for a local ripper I sponsor with all the turquoise taken out with orange and black, then customised the wheels and shock, added clear paint protection film to the forks, downtube, chainstays, all rub spots and cranks too.
www.instagram.com/p/BSTtopKDVl4/?taken-by=designsnanaimo
  • 1 0
 @Otago: I got to talk with a painter when I wanted to custom paint my single speed. He was the commissioned painter for the HD shop and was doing helmets as well, stunning work.

Basically, the guy said that painting a bike frame is a nightmare. The tubing being so thin makes the paint very prone to drip/move before drying, ruining the design. Helmets are overall easier in that they feature larger curvature radius. Another thing he told me and that I wasn't expecting was that there was a lot of loss in the painting of a frame. Since tubes are thin, you lose a lot of paint by going over them, rather than an helmet and gas tank.

All in all, I believe wrap is the best answer for complex yet repetitive patterns cost and time wise.
  • 1 0
 @polarproton: Actually I got a frame powder coated a while back and it was very cost effective, and stronger than paint. It was about $150.00 to get it sandblasted and powder coated. Way cheaper than it would be to wrap.

www.instagram.com/p/BLw3-SCgFLC/?taken-by=designsnanaimo

For complex patterns though, yes wrapping would be cheaper than a custom paint job.
  • 1 0
 @Bomadics: Yes, I was talking about parterns//drawing.
I eventually got my frame painted by a car painter. A slightly tweaked British Racing Green and got away for ~100$. The guy did a lovely job!
  • 10 1
 600 in/lb hmmmm that is a lot of displacement per pound of force...
  • 3 1
 pinkbike in with the ninja edit on the article
  • 7 1
 He’s sofa king chill. What a lad. Did he really compete in rampage as a 14-year-old?
  • 2 0
 wtf, a child riding rampage. What a world we live in.
  • 3 0
 It continues to amaze me that so many (all?) complete bikes are spec’d with super thin grips. If someone buys a XL complete bike, it comes with paper thin grips, and said customer will have knuckle pain like K(L)yle. A smart bike company would spec grips on complete bikes that are proportionate to the size of the bike.
  • 7 2
 Such a nice guy, met Kyle at nationals. Super nice, humble and focused. Super sick bike.
  • 6 1
 I yelled hi to him on the chair at crankworx this year while he was scouting the dual slalom course, he looked around confused for a second, then looked up and waved. made me feel warm and fuzzy inside
  • 8 1
 Who is Lyle though??
  • 2 0
 Yeah lol
  • 5 1
 nick name
  • 2 5
 @adrennan: Idk, it's gotta be a typo. K and L are beside each other on the keyboard after all...
  • 6 0
 @Katakalism: look at past coverage of Mr. Strait. That "typo" sure gets around.
  • 1 0
 @adrennan: Oh, well then nevermind Smile
  • 12 0
 Kyle is the guy that shows up to ride when its light out. After the sun goes down and the Natty lights come out is when you meet Lyle.
  • 2 0
 @Bigernmcracken: haha you know it. Late night alter ego.
  • 7 0
 No pic of the brace?
  • 6 0
 Yeah, I really wonder where that brace sits on the swingarm... Come on pb, do us that favor!
  • 1 0
 Right! I want to see more of this bike
  • 4 1
 It would be awesome to know rider weights as well for these bike checks to make better sense of the suspension settings. Especially extreme riding situations like rampage.
  • 3 0
 40 and 45 psi Eek And why is he running the old Codes? Are the new ones not any good after reading all these reviews raving about them???
  • 1 0
 600lb. spring sounds a lot, but on my Furious, I run a 550 lb. and get a perfect 30% and I am about 190lb. geared up. I was bottoming the stock 350lb. so I bought a 400 lb and still bottomed, then got a new "take off" Vivid coil instead of my Kage, and it came with a 550lb. I come close to bottoming, the bumper is about 1/8" from the end, but it feels nice and progressive. I may give 500lb a try since I don't get full travel
  • 4 1
 What does Kyle Strait do these days besides Rampage? Does he do any other events?
  • 6 0
 Slalom and speed and style
  • 4 0
 Crankworx events
  • 85 1
 Rachel
  • 9 0
 He just did an adult jumping camp at Highland Bike Park. My friend took the course and was blown away by his effortless and incredible skill.
  • 1 0
 @mayha49: Yea he's awesome. That why I was curious what else he does since you don't see him in many contest or putting out much in terms videos.
  • 6 0
 Drinks beer
  • 4 0
 @mtbakerpow: Well at least we have that in common.
  • 2 0
 @Ron-C: hahahah
  • 1 0
 Fishing.
  • 4 0
 Can we get one of these for every Rampage bike?
  • 2 0
 i approve, looks strait outta the Bass Pro catalog
@COMMENCALbicycles, can we get this added to the options on the a la carte range?
  • 4 0
 A fatbike
  • 2 0
 Damn, why didnt I think of doing that with the grips. I have a problem with grips being too a skinny.
  • 3 0
 Kyle Strait just keeps on shredding...
  • 2 0
 So that's why my knuckles hurt! Need to look into some bigger grips. Thanks Kyle.
  • 1 0
 Well I’m headed to the bike shop tomorrow for a set of thin slip on grips to slide on over my old stock grips that were too thin.
  • 1 0
 man that bike is so stiff, it wouldn't even move if i jump around on that saddle. just rampage...
  • 1 3
 The front is't extremely stiff. Jack moir's fork is stiffer. However it would be too stiff for normal riding.
  • 1 0
 Thanks Pinkbike!!!!!! I was so looking forward to this !!!! MOOOOOOOOOREEEEE pleaseeeeee!!!!!
  • 2 0
 Stoked to see Lyle send it
  • 1 0
 Adjusting grip sizing according to the size of your hand seems too logical for someone playing tennis and golf...
  • 1 0
 Rad-Commencal really nailed it on the bikes this year.
  • 1 0
 That shock is huuuuuuuuge !!!!!!
  • 2 0
 frame size!?
  • 2 0
 What hubs are they?
  • 5 0
 onyx. i do recommend. intant engaging
  • 2 0
 Onyx.
  • 2 0
 love my Onyx hubs!!super fast and completely silent.
  • 1 0
 Onyx yes!! Got em on my DJ, enduro, and DH. Will never ride pawls again. Every Onyx rider will say the same.
  • 1 0
 @LOTCP: dj is the only place i want a different hub and thats just because i feel like dj hubs need to be loud haha
  • 1 0
 Those hubs look so damn good.
  • 1 0
 Old codes in stead if the new ones: nuff saidWink
  • 1 0
 Anyone knows how tall Kyle is?
  • 1 0
 way better looking bike than the supreme.
  • 2 1
 without chainguide?
  • 2 1
 no chainguide ??? crazy
  • 7 0
 Its really not that crazy. Look at the lines they ride. They are very gnarly in terms is how big, steep, and fast it is, but they are relatively smooth and buffed out. They aren't hitting any roots or rock gardens out there. With clutch derailleurs and narrow wide chain rings its more than enough.
  • 1 3
 @sino428: I test rode a Furious without a chainguide, and while the chain stayed on just fine w/ a narrow ring, it made a lot of noise bouncing around the chainstays.
  • 1 1
 Is commencal furious the name was already taken?
  • 1 1
 Honestly the no hander to win Rampage twice in not deserved.
  • 1 0
 Furious is BACK!
  • 1 0
 600 lb spring, beef cake
  • 5 7
 Carbon crankarms?!? Sketchy...
  • 5 7
 Carbon anything sketchy!

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