Phil Atwill's Propain Rage - Leogang DH World Cup

Jun 9, 2016
by Mike Levy  
Propain Rage


While you might recognize the name from all sorts of rowdy videos here on Pinkbike, Brit Phil Atwill is pretty handy on the downhill circuit as well. He had a great Sunday at last weekend's World Cup race on the always rough Fort William track, with a 16th after it was all said and done for the Propain Dirt Zelvy rider that saw him ahead of a handful of bigger names on his 220mm-travel Rage. He'll no doubt be gunning for a similar result (or better) despite the Leogang track being quite different to Fort Bill.


Propain Rage
Propain Rage
No hot air here. Phil's bike is coil-spung front and back, with a prototype X-Fusion shock and an RV1 fork.

The aluminum bike uses what Propain refers to as their Pro10-suspension system that consists of two short links that rotate in opposite directions, with the being shock compressed between them. His bike's shock is a prototype unit from X-Fusion that doesn't feature the dual in-line piggyback setup that we saw last year, but rather a more normal looking shape and what appears to be concentric dials for external low- and high-speed compression adjustments. The shock's vulnerable location just in front of the rear wheel necessitates a fender to keep it out of the line of fire, and Phil's bike has a trick looking carbon guard in place for the job.

A 200mm-travel X-Fusion RV1 fork means that Phil's Rage is coil sprung both front and back, but he said that it still weighs in at a respectable 38lbs. That's not overly light compared to some of the 34 and 35lb carbon fiber race bikes on the circuit, but it also wasn't that long ago that an aluminum bike with coil-sprung suspension would be hard pressed to be in the low 40lb range.

The concentric blue and gold dials atop of the RV1's right fork leg give away the fact that it has had its standard HLR internals replaced with X-Fusion's new Roughcut sealed damper that the company says provides both a more consistent feel during a run and also a more evenly spread damper adjustment range. The bolt-on shields that you see on the fork's lower legs are simply there for some added protection.
Propain Rage


Propain Rage


While Phil's frame may be made of aluminum, he's rolling on a set of carbon fiber wheels from Zelvy that are said to weigh less than 1,800 grams for the set. That's lighter than a lot of all-mountain wheelsets out there, and one of the big reasons for the bike's decent weight. Zelvy says that a bare rim comes in at 550 grams for the 30mm width option that Phil is using (there's also a 35mm width), and they feature a hookless bead design and a rim height of 24mm.

His Schwalbe tires are set up with the company's ProCore system as well, and the Magic Mary up front is contrasted by the fast Rock Razor out back that probably suits the quick rolling Leogang track quite well.


Propain Rage
Propain Rage
Traction where it counts on the Leogang track with the Magic Mary and Rock Razor combination.


A sharp eye might have also spotted Formula's yet to be released Cura brakes on Phil's bike, which is interesting given that the Cura model is one of the Italian brand's least expensive offerings at $150 USD per end. Up until now, every single one of Formula's mountain bike brakes has employed DOT fluid. Not so with the Cura, however, with Formula making the move to mineral oil for their new offering.

Downstairs, the Cura employs a two-piece caliper that Formula says is easier to work on, and no doubt easier and less expensive to manufacture, and two 24mm diameter pistons clamp down on the rotor.


Propain Rage
Propain Rage
Formula's new Cura brake is one of their least expensive offerings, but it probably isn't lacking in the power department if they're on Atwill's bike.


We're used to seeing absolutely dialed race bikes under World Cup riders, so why is Phil's Rage sporting so much extra brake hose? He explained that the hose is actually a prototype and that they have been told not to touch it at this point. No word on what's new with it, but that order could just mean that it requires different fittings to reattach after trimming.


Introducing the meerkat manual.


Author Info:
mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

98 Comments
  • 223 4
 These write-ups should ALWAYS include a gif of the rear end working
  • 158 2
 That would be nice, but to really see the bike going through its travel you usually need to remove the coil or deflate an air shock, something many team mechanics aren't overly keen to do, especially when they're preparing for a race. Although maybe next time we'll get some slow-mo of Atwill doing bunnyhop wheelies in his rain boots.
  • 39 0
 @mikekazimer: ... now THAT would be cool...
  • 29 8
 You want what in the rear end??
  • 52 6
 @paulskiboard: 8 inches in the rear (no homo)
  • 12 1
 If you go on the Propain website there is an animated thingamybob of the rear end working.

www.propain-bikes.com/Rage
  • 3 0
 It would also be cool to know about the actual measurments such as wheelbase, CS-length, BB height, head angle and so on.
  • 70 8
 I demand shim stack details. How much rebound is he running? Tyre pressure? Analysis of kinetics would be nice as well. What bottom out bumper is he using? Is he running sintered brake pads? How short will he cut the spikes if he will be running spikes. How much sealant is he running. Give us some relevant information Pinkbike - do some proper journalism God damn it!
  • 3 3
 Ugly is such a smelly word.
  • 13 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I'm happy enough with the picture of him wearing mud boots and standing on the rear wheel.
  • 1 0
 @Monarch87: see above link?
  • 1 0
 @BallerBoy33: most cool! I had checked the propain site but I couldn't find much coz I don't read german as well as some.
  • 2 0
 @wolf-amongst-lambs: Luckily my site was in english haha. Otherwise I probably wouldn't have found it either haha
  • 2 0
 all i could think was jim lahey and bubbles singing propain propain
  • 49 0
 It's great to see Atwill getting more press.... He's an animal on that bike.
  • 12 0
 Hes an animal on any bike! On the Orange website theres a vid of him giving their "crush" hardtail an extremely hard time!
  • 4 0
 @slowrider73: That Crush vid is like the Bible of hardtail edits. If it wasn't so awesome I'd be kind of embarrassed about how many times I've watched it.
  • 13 0
 If that wheel set weighs less than 1800g and the rims are 550g a throw thats rather impressive! I would like more details on these please
240 hubs?
DT comp spokes?
Alloy nipples?
  • 3 0
 Yeah, for real, I want the deets on hubs and spokes. A Mavic 721, which is as bombproof as anything is under 600, I believe around 590
  • 4 3
 They are light, After seeing my friend going through 3 of them though. Wouldn't say I trust them.
  • 3 0
 Actually they come in 450g Enduro, 500g DH, and 550g Heavy Duty, all exactly the same looking rim.
  • 2 0
 Light and durable rims; not stated for dh use, but they ve been holding up damn good through some enduro-racing this spring: the DT XM 481, 32 holes. Claimed weight: 29"= 525 gr and 27,5"= 490 gr.
AND wide enough: 30 mm i.w.

www.dtswiss.com/Components/Rims-MTB/XM-481
  • 2 0
 @mnorris122: www.zelvycarbon.com/collections/downhill There are quite a few up in Canada already as well. The article is a typo, although Zelvy do offer a 550g Super Duty rim (overkill for the front, and only needed for the rear on tracks like Fort William etc.), They also offer a 450g and 500g
DT Comp Spokes Brass ProLoc, FUNN hubs
  • 4 0
 @SPOKEn: Zelvy are happy to help your mate out if he has any issues with the wheels or his bike/tyre setup. Zelvy have plenty of other riders who race EWS and World Cup DH rounds to (podiums even) in the past that have never had an issue. They are the toughest carbon rims on the planet.
  • 6 1
 I've ride it and tested the Pro model with onyx hubs on my Commen├žal Meta V4, feeling's awesome, extremelly rigid precise and fun.

We thought the wheight was impressive so ... we tried to blow them away, we whiped, we droped on flat we where as wild as we could switching them between us ( some professional riders on DH world cup and some EWS ones)

At the end of the day we just put them on a wheel truing stand and nothing happened ... wheel was like new, it didn't moved ad all.

Just to show you how good it was and much we get astonished ... during the same day, one of the guys just blow a crossmax XL pro ...

In one word AWESOME
  • 2 1
 Most riders are on DT Swiss EX471 rims - 500gr
  • 1 0
 @LemonadeMoney: Doesn't mean they are better... Riders/ manufacturers have contracts and deals

what would you chose ?

standard look and Light but fragile or awesome look ( in my opinion) reliability and funn ( still being light).

On paper lighter is better, at the end of the day, having fun and finish your run is what matters
  • 2 1
 @Jol-Vilhjalmsson: Yes riders do have contracts and deals . . . . Which is why Gwin is definitely riding only Onza tyres of course . . . . *cough*
  • 1 0
 @LemonadeMoney: I think if you are looking at weights alone you are missing the point of a carbon rim.
  • 11 0
 That tire combo business up front party out back
  • 11 0
 Can't wait for the Maxxis "Mullet" matched tire set!
  • 2 0
 Semi-slick for all that mud? I know I would be a party crasher with that on my bike...
  • 11 0
 Phil's high-standing manuals are so weird and cool
  • 2 0
 That trick's what the street riders around here call a "Stallion"
  • 8 2
 i know Waki will hate me for this, but I'm not a fan of the shock placement
  • 12 2
 You're not a fan of low-centered weight placement? Ok then ...

ps: I'm a fan of that last pic :thumbsup:
  • 8 3
 @hamncheez - that's too little to bite on Big Grin
  • 4 1
 @WAKIdesigns: That's what she said.
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Ok, how about this:

The financial crisis of 2008 and nearly all financial crisis are the result of centralized government banks and not the free market.

And carbon rims aren't too stiff for trail riding.

That get your goat?
  • 5 2
 @hamncheez: you fed me with that all the way to the top. It's like gluten to me. Give me some laxative...
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Seriously though, I got some carbon Nextie rims (30mm ID) for my E29 and they are awesome. Not too stiff at all. My Carbon SIXC 35mm bars, however...
  • 2 2
 @hamncheez: I am actually able to believe that on a 29er carbon rims can work well, because the wheel is quite big and prone to flex. Especially on a very fast 29er like E29.
  • 9 2
 Boutique brand 16th in worldcup. Dollar for dollar, that's amazing.
  • 1 0
 Such a sick bike with such a sick crew of lads who ride it!
  • 14 3
 Boutique? Propain is direct seller, as Canyon and Yt. They are pretty affordable, which isn't something I'd think of a "boutique" brand.
  • 6 1
 Coil front and back, all day every day. If only there were coil options across the board.
  • 3 1
 There are quite many coil options out there, at least in downhill.
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I'm hoping to see coil options for AM/enduro. Marzocchi has the only one that comes to mind.
  • 3 1
 @bigcrs: cane Creek coil CS is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G
  • 1 0
 Sure you can find coil x-f vengeances out there for AM...
  • 6 1
 Where is the geometry info? Heard he was riding an XL, which Rage don't sell to the public. What is the wheelbase? 1260mm?
  • 6 1
 You missed the zelvy part out of the sponsorship name.
  • 3 0
 Thanks for the support!
  • 3 2
 A mate is on their enduro "Tyee" rig and ive had a belt on it. Like a magic carpet ride! Sooo smooth!
......big up to Slik Graphics too. They do some awsome sticker kits for a multitude of frames/rims/forks etc. Cheap worldwide shipping you can bling out your rig for mot much coin.
  • 2 0
 Had a nose at their site, looks like amazing value too
  • 2 0
 If I were in the market for a new bike (which I am definitely not...) I would be seriously considering it.
  • 3 0
 @alexhyland: yeah and you get to pick colours of both the frame and the graphics. Plus a fair bit of customizing the parts too. With my mates bike its the closest 160mm bike ive ridden that actually does feel like a dh bike. Feels like its got way more travel and is stiff as laterally. Hes got the alu one so the carbon can only be better. Pedals and handles awsome into/out of corners. Doesnt climb too bad ( not any worse than many other alloy 160mm bikes ). Its not so much one of those pop around on the trail type bikes, its nimble enough, but due to its stiffness and such smooth and progressive rear end its a bump eater/plow!!
Im signing up for a carbon one when i can!
  • 6 0
 Clipless wellies FTW!
  • 2 0
 Tried the Rage a couple of years ago in Beerfelden...propain was holding a demo day there. most sensible rear end ever (it sounded better in my head, i have to admit). Really nice suspension and bike.
  • 3 0
 Good to see X fusion getting some air time on pro bike. Underestimated gear thats for sure. Especially the new roughcut stuff!! Awsome
  • 3 0
 *sings in Lahey slur* Propain Propain Times to start the game. Propain Propain, Propain propane.
Nice looking bike right there.
  • 4 2
 So much cool tech on his bike. I wonder what the rough cut damper feels like in the rv1.
  • 1 0
 With the counter rotating links, does that make this a VPP suspension linkage? If so, aren't Santa Cruz and Intense going to be mad about this?
  • 6 1
 well VPP is expired, for one
  • 1 0
 am I the only one who is confused about the scratch on the front triangle you can see in the second picture? This doesn't look like it will last long...
  • 1 0
 Sharp eye, that don't look good!
  • 1 0
 It is just where a rock was stuck between swingarm and mainframe. Scratch, not crack.
  • 1 0
 Looking at the Propain config tool, you can order your frame with your preferred fork / shock spring rate.
FAO all other manufacturers: also do this please. Thx
  • 2 0
 I'm not sure if I've seen someone has as much fun as this guy on a bike in a while. Shred on.
  • 2 0
 If you buy spare/extra parts for this bike would they be called propain accessories? Big Grin
  • 1 0
 really missed the opportunity to title this Propain and Propain Accessories
  • 2 0
 Looks pretty comfy only on the back wheel in last pic. Hell of a bike
  • 2 0
 Wierdest bike but sickest rider!
  • 2 0
 Love the straight lines aesthetics on that frame
  • 2 0
 Let's see if he really runs a Rock Razor in Austrian muddiness
  • 2 0
 Proper DH bike. i like it!
  • 1 0
 I feel like Sigourney Weaver is going to climb into that frame and kick the alien queen's ass. And I would approve.
  • 2 0
 Propain Buzz
  • 2 0
 Awesome bicycle!
  • 1 0
 The fork looks like its running metric lowers....
  • 2 1
 They are the same lowers for both forks.
  • 1 0
 nice one Phil, enjoying the comfort of a full-suss..good result
  • 1 0
 I dont know the numbers but I like the way the bike stands. It looks good.
  • 1 0
 Love it...Fatboy on World Cup ????
  • 1 0
 Pinkbike give us a review of this bike.
  • 1 0
 i'm seriously considering a propain, anyone ridden one?
  • 1 2
 ZELVY rims r dope ey.......I bet U have never ridden this good rims yet...!!!
  • 3 2
 Pro pain Rage?
  • 1 0
 haha pretty aggro
  • 1 0
 sXe
  • 1 0
 Master of Huck to Flat
  • 2 1
 First gen V10 anyone?
  • 1 3
 Looks like a session.??
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