Ultimate Bike Check: Phil Atwill's Propain Rage Carbon 29"

May 31, 2018
by Paul Aston  



Phil Atwill launched himself to stardom last year when he proved that there is more to his riding then a good jib-session. A ninth place in Andorra, followed by a 5th place and his first World Cup podium at Lenzerheide. These results boosted him from another hero to somebody with proof of real pace at the highest level.

He has also had many appearances in his own videos and more recently starred in The Biggest Slice of British Pie and Gamble. A slow start to racing in 2018 followed a torn ACL and subsequent rehab during the spring, let's hope that Phil will continue his form at Fort William this weekend and for the rest of the season.

Phil was out in Finale Ligure filming, riding, and enjoying some downtime after the opening round of the World Cup in Losinj, so we took the time to go deep into his settings on his 27.5" bike that had recently received the bigger wheel treatment and plenty of timed runs and tuning with Formula and EXT in San Romolo.


Pre season testing


Bike and Build


Specifications


Frame: Propain Rage Carbon L/XL
Headset Cups +10mm, 461mm reach
Fork: Formula Nero 29" 190mm, 56mm offset
Shock: EXT ARMA custom 247mm x 72mm
Handlebar: Sixpack Millenium 30mm x 780mm
Stem: Sixpack Millenium 50mm
Brakes: Formula Cura4
Rotors: 203mm
Crank: N/A 165mm
Chainring: 36t
Chain: SRAM X01DH
Wheels: Sixpack Matic 29"
Spokes: Double butted 1.8-2.0mm 1200/800nm
Tires: Vee Tire Co. Factory Ride V1 custom
Cassette: SRAM X01DH
Pedals: Sixpack Vertic +4 clicks
Derailleur: SRAM X01DH
Shifter: SRAM X01DH
Seat/Seatpost: Sixpack

Weight: 16.39kg (36.1 lb)
Formula Nero forks


Phil is riding a standard 2018 Rage Carbon frame, the longest L/XL size with the +10mm headset cups. He uses a 50mm stem, with a 30mm rise bar in a 780mm width. This latest version he has been testing in preparation for Fort William with the addition of 29" wheels which fit into the frame when the chainstay is in the longer 459mm setting. They have added a 29" 190mm travel Formula Nero and a custom EXT ARMA shock. The shock has been shortened slightly by 3mm to lower the ride height of the bike with the bigger wheels.


Sixpack take care of the cockpit with their Millenium bar stem and grips.
Sixpack take care of the cockpit with their Millenium bar, stem, and grips.


The shock is driven by two links at either end.
The shock is driven by two links at either end.
The Rage has built-in fork bumpers that double as inlet ports for the internal cable routing.
The Rage Carbon frame has built-in fork bumpers that double as inlet ports for the internal cable routing.


SRAM X01 DH provides seven gears
SRAM's X01 DH provides seven gears


The Cura4 has finally been released to the public and already has one World Championship to its name.
The Cura4 has finally been released to the public and already has one World Championship to its name.
The Cura 4 has finally been released to the public and already has one World Championship to its name. Phil uses 203mm rotors front and rear with organic compound pads.


Phil Atwill
Slik Graphics take keep the race bike looking sharp and displaying all of the team's sponsors.


Phil uses Vee Rubber Factory tires
Phil uses Vee Tire Co. Factory tires mounted on to Matic rims from Sixpack. Standard tubeless setup, 100ml sealant, no inserts, 23 psi front and 26 psi rear.


Vee Tire Co. are a newcomer to the team's sponsor list in 2018. Phil says he met the owners in Losinj who had traveled from Indonesia; they were full of passion and simply stoked on watching and being a part of DH racing. The team has been experimenting with treads, casing, and compounds over the winter season – Vee can turn around prototypes and have them delivered to the HQ in Ireland within two weeks.


Formula s Nero fork comes in a 29 option with two different offset options.
Formula's Nero fork comes in a 29" option with two different offset options of 50mm or 56mm.
More Italian damping in the form of the EXT ARMA shock.
More Italian damping in the form of the EXT ARMA shock.


The Rage was one if not the first bike to come with an oval shaped headtube with different cups to adjust reach and angle.
The Rage was one of, if not the first, bikes to come with an oval-shaped headtube with different cups to adjust reach by +/- 10mm.


The Rage is 16.39kg at full fighting weight
The Rage is 16.39kg (36.1 lb) at full fighting weight with 29" wheels and a coil shock.







Setup and Setting


Phil Atwill


The 23-year-old from the south of England stands at 186cm with a normal arm span of 187cm. His inseam is fairly long for his height at 90cm and he weighs in at a yoga practicing, part-time-vegan weight of 70 kilograms.


Phil s mechanic Rusty has a secret book of settings and girls phone numbers.
Phil's mechanic, Rusty, has a secret book of settings and phone numbers.


Suspension

Formula Nero Fork

Travel: 190mm
Main Chamber Pressure: 130psi
Bottom Out Pressure: 150psi
Negative Chamber: 140 psi
LSC: +4
HSC: +3
Rebound: +7
Sag: 15%
EXT ARMA

Custom length: 247mm x 72mm
Spring Rate: 425 lbs
LSC: -10
HSC: -14 (full open)
Bottom Out Control -4
LSR: -6
HSR: (internal setting) standard
Sag: 27.7%


The wheelbase is a generous 1290mm perfect for high speed downhill.
The wheelbase is a generous 1290mm, ideal for high-speed downhill.


The adjustable dropouts are always set in the longer 460mm length regardless of wheel size.
The adjustable dropouts are always set in the longer 459mm length regardless of wheel size.


The headangle is slightly steeper than on paper due the the ride height of the fork.
The head angle is slightly steeper than the 63° on paper, due to the ride height of the fork.
The headangle is slightly slacker with Phil in riding position
The head angle 1.2° slacker with Phil in riding position


The headangle is slightly slacker with Phil in riding position


The bottom bracket under sag is 304mm from the ground.
The bottom bracket under sag is 304mm from the ground.
But unweighted it is 352mm from the floor
But unweighted it is 352mm from the floor


29mm of sag on the 190mm travel fork works out at 15 .
29mm of sag on the 190mm travel fork works out at 15%.
Phil has 20mm of sag on the 75mm stroke shock which is 26.6 sag.
Phil has 20mm of sag on the 72mm stroke shock, which is 27.7% sag.


After adding the bigger wheels to the frame, Phil and Rusty wanted to lower the ride height of the bike. They did this by using a 190mm travel Formula Nero and lowering the stanchions through the crowns slightly, and they also fitted a custom length EXT ARMA shock which is slightly shorter than the standard 250mm x 75mm metric shock. Using a shock with a 72mm stroke reduces travel from 210mm to about 201.5mm, and lowers the ride height accordingly.


The centre of Phil s handlebar is 36cm behind the front axle.
The center of Phil's handlebar is 36cm behind the front axle.
The top of his saddle is 62cm from the centre of the bottom bracket.
The top of his saddle is 62cm from the center of the bottom bracket.

Phil runs plenty of nose extension at 14cm to keep his weight on the front wheel.
Phil runs plenty of nose extension at 14cm to keep his weight over the front wheel.


Handlebar height from the floor is 108cm
Handlebar height from the floor is 1080mm
The 780mm bar totals 785mm with the lock-on grips.
The 780mm bar totals 785mm with the lock-on grips.


Saggy sags
Front wheel axle centre to handlebar centre is 75cm.
Front wheel axle center to handlebar center is 75cm.


The centre of the brake lever clamp is 27mm from the inside of the lock-on grips.
The center of the Cura brake lever clamp is 27mm from the inside of the lock-on grips. Phil runs UK/Moto style with the front brake on the right-hand-side.
The rear brake is 45mm from the grip at full extension
The rear brake is 45mm from the grip at full extension. His front brake is further out at 60mm.


His finger contact point on the front brake at bite point is 40mm from the grip...
His finger contact point on the front brake at bite point is 45mm from the grip...
Where his rear brake bites at 28mm from the grip.
...where his rear brake bites at 28mm from the grip. Phil sets it like this as it helps him to drag the rear brake less.


Phil s total weight including the bike he forgot his riding kit was 86.3kg.
Phil's total weight including the bike (he forgot his riding kit!) was 86.3kg.
Phil had 40.9kg s of weight on the front wheel.
Phil had 40.9kg of weight on the front wheel.


Phil had 40.9kg s of weight on the front wheel giving a 53 47 weight balance between the front and rear wheel on flat ground.
Phil had 40.9kg of weight on the front wheel, giving a 47/53% weight balance between the front and rear wheel on flat ground.

Pre season testing


Good luck to Phil and the rest of the Propain Dirt Sixpack Race Team at Fort William this weekend.



104 Comments

  • 261 0
 This is indeed the "Ultimate" bike check. You can never have enough details in these - well done!
  • 30 0
 Ya that was actually super cool. 186cm and 70kg, XC territory right there haha.
  • 49 0
 Even Phil Nose this
  • 4 0
 @konarrider2007: At 14cm have they measured Pinoquio?
  • 3 0
 Only thing missing was a good non-drive side shot.
  • 9 0
 My inner bike geek is thoroughly satisfied. Good work Mr Aston - keep em coming.
  • 6 0
 Waiting for enduro bike checks with the same level of detail
  • 5 0
 @Protato: Phil has the shape of a Somalian pirate
  • 2 0
 Wasn't even one naked picture, c'mon guys, LIFT !
  • 2 1
 @Protato: slim people can't be DH? That's a weird thing to say. Or are you saying that only fat guys ride DH bikes?
  • 4 1
 @alexsin: chill dog
  • 1 0
 @Waldon83: Phil charges primo $$ for those now that he's made the podium : )
  • 2 0
 hey i was here for brake lever angle.... summertime sadnesssss
  • 1 0
 Indeed
  • 3 0
 There's one more thing to measure.
  • 79 0
 I will be greatly disappointed if PB does not do a "nose extension" measurement on EVERY bike check from now on. Top reporting from PB on this one!
  • 8 0
 I totally came here to write this. Nose length is the cornerstone of any good bike check.
  • 8 0
 @eblackwell: it could even develop into other biometric data. Nut diameter, for example. We need proof that nut diameter correlates with DH pace. Photo evidence optional.
  • 77 0
 Now that's a bike check!
  • 32 1
 Very informations, so much scientifics. wow
  • 30 0
 So much info! I feel like this is Paul Aston telling pinkbike commenters "Find something to complain about now" lol
  • 5 1
 You know that it won't survive being smashed broadside into a pole at world cup speeds. Those carbon fiber 29ers are complete and total deathtraps!!

(sarcasm font engaged)
  • 16 0
 Pfff, he didn't even include tire pressure, the most important number. I'll go and add that now...
  • 36 8
 This looks waaaay better than the new V10. Change of guard I guess... Senna Yellow, can't go wrong with Senna yellow... you just go fast. All the best to the team, Phil is always great to watch on the bike.
  • 1 0
 Agreed! Super nice
  • 18 0
 the rear linkage on these bikes is soooo cool to me
  • 4 7
 Yes, the best design ever! I am somehow still able to respect myself after saying that...
  • 2 0
 I agree would love to try one out see how it rides
  • 1 0
 @grantgeesmith: I have an alloy Rage and it rides amazing!
  • 9 0
 14 Centimeters will really Hoover up a sack.
  • 5 0
 I never gave a second thought to my weight distribution on the bike, but I desperately want to know it now.

In fact I am going to go home and rig together something with a bathroom scale, PVC pipe and an old tube so I can determine this.

50/50 is best right? Or would I be faster with 52/48?

This is highly important to two things: me cruising the jump trails this weekend and me talking to people in the lift line about my bike. "10% less air pressure in the front tire but shifting my weight distribution forward 1% is 100% not the reason I keep casing that one jump under the lift"
  • 2 0
 That bike looks awesome. I think the rear shock placement looks very intuitive. Like a vertical shock makes a lot of sense. But, maybe slap a mud guard on that bad boy. I can see wet rides flinging mud and debris into the coil and onto the stanction.
  • 3 0
 Well normally there is a mudguard on there to protect the shock. I can only assume it had to go to make way for the bigger wheels. Although i have already seen a Rage with 29" wheels and a mudguard last time i was at the Propain HQ... so perhaps they installed 30" wheels... who knows
  • 4 1
 awesome numbers, if not done passive agressively lol.

62cm saddle height at 186cm body height? thats pretty short. 70kg at 186cm is also mega skinny for a DHer. betting he's not really 186cm.
  • 8 0
 After seeing pretty much all of these guys and gals in real life recently, you can definitely say that there is no "DHer" as a singular form or a vague measurement (compared to say a "basketball player"). Some riders are skinny and short, skinny and tall, strong and short, and finally strong and tall. And of course any size in between. Well, didn't really see overweight people there truth be told. The sport seems to give everyone a good chance and should be praised for that.
  • 14 0
 Phil and I basically have the same build and annoyingly pretentious yoga and dietary habits. We measured everything in the garage, I personally made sure inseam was correct. The most important thing is that skill outweighs muscle every time, and Phil has mad skillz.
  • 6 1
 well I'm 190cm and 78kg. people who arn't from the USA don't tend to be as fat
  • 1 0
 @applepie: Fat is the far other end of the spectrum from Phil!! I don't think the surprise here is just because we're fat Americans, though we are certainly less used to seeing many skinny people. It was a realization that I've assumed you need to be pretty muscular to handle the forces of pro level DH riding and make the bike do what is needed.

I'm the same height as Phil but even at my fittest point in the last 5 years where I was maybe 15-17% body fat, and then subtracting another 5% of my weight assuming I got really lean, I still had 9-10kg on Phil!
  • 1 0
 @applepie: chris froome is somewhere around 68kg and is 185cm.

he has to take drugz to get that skinny. that is REALLY skinny.
  • 3 0
 Haha, I love the sarcastically detailed measurements! Phil is a living stick figure! He must have hollow bones like a bird to be that light and still have enough muscle to work a DH bike at pro speeds
  • 4 0
 i can't tell if we're being trolled by all of this additional information, but i love it! ask/complain enough times and you shall receive?
  • 7 0
 It's way too much work to simply troll the readers, all I need to do that is subtly drop the words 'eMTB' and 'like' into an article...

I did another one a few years ago with CousCous, proof it is not trolling! www.pinkbike.com/news/fabien-cousines-polygon-collosus-dh9-ultimate-bike-check.html
  • 1 0
 @paulaston: Oh, so you're the one responsible for those Paradox ads... Wink
  • 4 0
 That’s where I’ve been going wrong - been running too little nose extension...
  • 6 1
 Plenty of room for a Bottle cage but no mounts??
  • 6 0
 Drill some
  • 4 0
 Great nose choice! Mines a bit gunked up, I may need to pick it a bit better next time.
  • 4 0
 i Knew It.... Im in need of a couple Nose Spacers to keep that front wheel planted
  • 5 0
 These Ext shocks are seriously badass
  • 1 0
 While the weight distribution isn't exactly meaningful per say and varies a lot during riding, I'd be curious to see mine, with my bike feeling a bit too short.
If we could get a dynamic monitoring of this data (through suspensions pressure ?) it could be quite interesting.
  • 4 0
 It seems like you forgot the most important measurement ...????
  • 4 0
 Are you not entertained?/informed???
  • 4 0
 29er DH bikes are all the Rage right now!
  • 4 0
 I need to know how low his balls hang, for corner gravity!
  • 3 0
 Best bike check I have ever seen, nice one PB and good luck to Phil for Fort Bill.
  • 2 0
 So about the click counting, do you begin from 0 or from 1?
Remember Minaar and the fox tech guy about this in a recent video..
  • 4 1
 I’d hate what mud would do to the shock. Yikes.
  • 3 0
 The bike comes with a nice carbon fender to keep mud away from the shock when driving in the wet, most leave it there all the time.
  • 2 0
 it's my stupid flat nose - this is way I not racing at a WC level, bad weight distribution
  • 3 1
 Funny, this team was more against 29ers than anyone at all. 8 monthd later there lapping it up. . . .
  • 2 1
 Lol my thoughts exactly
  • 3 0
 Perfectly made you guys really rock.
  • 1 0
 Glad to see I am not the only one with the spacer between the caliper and Post Mount Adapter. Why is the measurement 203mm. I don’t get it.
  • 3 0
 203mm = 8 inches... remnants of the past.
  • 2 0
 The new standard for bike checks! No one cares about ppl typing what can be clearly seen in photos!
  • 3 0
 Tire pressure?
  • 5 0
 23/26psi, standard tubeless, 100ml fluid. I knew I would forget something...
  • 2 0
 Is that tape measure calibrated?
  • 2 0
 What's the total length and depth of the crack on the wall?
  • 2 0
 "The longest L/XL size". Was that the bike or his nose? Wink
  • 1 0
 L/XL, who nose? Make up your mind... This indecision fills me with Rage. Big Grin
  • 2 0
 Oh god yes....keep it coming baby.
  • 2 0
 And thats how you do a bike check!
  • 2 0
 Ahh mate this is sweet! Hope Phil kicks some ass
  • 1 0
 Propain logo using Pinkbike typeface? Hey, one of the graphic designers on here had to point it out...
  • 1 0
 Bike check overload. Dirty rig though!
  • 2 1
 Crankset seem to be Truvativ Firex
  • 1 0
 Looks like I need more nose extension
  • 1 0
 Minitab regression calculus here I come
  • 1 0
 Really interesting, chainstay essentially as long as the reach.
  • 2 0
 Pain is Temporary!!!
  • 2 0
 Glory lasts forever!
  • 1 0
 I want trails bikes with these headtubes/headsets-adjustable reach!
  • 1 0
 Phil is kinda' the new RAT.
  • 1 0
 The lever reach/bite to reduce dragging the rear brake is interesting
  • 1 0
 Always wanted one of these bikes. It’s drop dead gorgeous Drool
  • 1 0
 Daaaaaayummmmmm
  • 1 0
 It's 47% at the front.
  • 1 0
 Perfect bike check.
  • 2 2
 There's no way that guy weighs 86 lbs.
  • 4 0
 Europe = kg's
  • 2 3
 @paulaston: USA = too dry international conversion jokes
  • 1 0
 Ultimate alright
  • 1 1
 I love Phil, but I have never even heard of half the shit on his bike!
  • 1 1
 Anyone know if SRAM have a NoseWiz in the pipeline?
  • 1 0
 Now this is bike porn!
  • 1 0
 Pls do more of these
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