Tech Randoms: Fest Sessions Malmedy 2021

Oct 1, 2021
by Gavin Steder  

The majority of our tech highlights come from meticulously built race bikes, tuned for a fine balance of being supportive and sensitive all in one perfectly packaged platform. However, there is so much equally interesting tech if we swing the pendulum to the other end of the spectrum to purpose-built free ride machines.

There is no better place to get an up-close look at bikes built specifically for going full send than Fest sessions. The brainchild of Nico Vink, one of the master builders and pioneers of hang time. Fest sessions is a magnet for riders and bikes looking to log sky miles and get loose in the process. Here is a look at some of the tech that goes into these purpose-built beasts alongside some interesting randoms from Fest sessions Malmedy 2021.

You can't talk about unique setup and bike tech without having Remy Morton at the forefront of the conversation, normally running gear-less with 135 Hope cranks, it's on another playing field to everyone else

With Remy running no drive train, it frees up space to be used in alternative ways. For example, cutting off the hanger and turning a Fox 40 stanchion into a grind guard cover over the freehub. After getting a taste in Sound of Speed and his Raw 100, you can only try to imagine what he is cooking up for the future.

For everyone else, single-speed dominated the field for drive train set up, this one specifically is a Shimano Saint derailleur set to the gear of choice for this course but could be adjusted if needed

However, SB1 was by far the preferred dedicated single speed set up among those who want to keep things simple

Alongside all the usuals, Vinny T arrived with the Box One 7 Speed drive train

Although not unique to free ride, you have to appreciate the custom paint and color coordination of Szymon Godziek's NS Fuzz

It's all in the details

All the way down to matching the chain guide to the Ohlins shock

Known for his iconic superman seat grabs, Andreu Lacondeguy putting grip tape on his saddle to ensure nothing slips when throwing down.

This idler pulley is showing its versatility. Running the chain underneath it acts as a chain guide/tensioner. Why not when you don't need the advantages it normally gives to technical terrain

When you throw some of the most unique shapes in the game, Jaxson Riddle adding padding to areas of the bike no one else needs to.

If we were to talk about suspension settings, it's easily summed up as uncomfortably stiff. This one is specifically set up with all the compression and all the ramp, thanks to some mods allowing you to set up a ramp pressure instead of using tokens and Push Industries' aftermarket compression system.

After getting the suspension stiff enough to give a sag measurement well below what's suggested, other parts of the bike need to be beefed up to handle the compressions that are far beyond what would be considered in the appropriate range.

With all the rigs being built to go big and endure constant punishment, it makes Hannah Bergemann's TR11 all that much more impressive with it being one of the lightest bikes in the field, having a fighting weight of approximately 33lbs(14.9kg).

Also looking mint with the subtle color matching details.

The groms were beyond on point with their attitude, riding, and bike setups. All that can be said is the future is bright!

Speaking of groms, here is a spy shot of a grom-sized rotor that Reverse has been in the process of developing... but in all seriousness, some really interesting perspectives and developments in the works.

Development in the wild.

Prototypes of the Hope Tech 3 V4 brakes being put through their paces.

You have to equally appreciate all the shred sleds that are just gritty and wear their battle scars with pride

Among all the triple crowns were a couple of really interesting rigs. Such as another one of Remy Morton's creations, his fully custom-built BMX

"Above & Beyond"

Discs on a BMX for when you're riding big park lines on 20" chrome wheels

Lastly a proper hybrid between both worlds.

You know you want to try it.

Photos Provided by Hanna Retz and Martin Vinje


  • 123 0
 Now I much prefer watching racing than freeride but man the freeride bike checks are far more interesting. Article is on point Pinkbike. Thanks.
  • 12 58
flag DoubleCrownAddict (Oct 1, 2021 at 6:22) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah I can't wait to try the chainless mods on my own bikes later today, and the crank cut down.
  • 6 0
 So much RAD going on here.
  • 11 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: man you really think you're the sharpest tool in the box but in reality we all see you as the biggest tool in the box.
  • 59 0
 Best bike.... The last one. Oh yes I want to try it please.
  • 2 0
 pls i want it
  • 7 0
 That little Manitou 20” JUnit fork was made for kids going huge with nice internals. Who know it’d be a damn BMX fork too lol.
  • 84 32
 Was this page Nico Vink's approved? Is it dark enough? Could we have a black background to make it look less commercial while still being?
  • 22 45
flag nojzilla (Oct 1, 2021 at 4:12) (Below Threshold)
 Fuuucking Yaawwwwwwwwn......
  • 6 2
 I’m pretty sure Nico doesn’t give a f**k about this whole page, and even less about what you think.
  • 1 6
flag EnduroManiac (Oct 2, 2021 at 4:57) (Below Threshold)
 @DutchmanPhotos: recent events may indicate a different trend.
  • 2 0
 @EnduroManiac: please explain
  • 3 0
 @EnduroManiac: well done a 4month old article.... that got blown out of proportion.
  • 17 0
 What size is that rotor and wheel? It looks huge!
  • 13 1
 Without a doubt the coolest thing is Ruben's hybrid BMX MTB monster. Seems a shame to not mention the legend's name while showing a bike that he painstakingly crafted himself with the help of some experts since it was no easy task. Remy and Ruben are just doing amazingly cool things on 2 wheels and breaking down any arbitrary barriers that may have existed before. Freeride is so rad, BMX is so rad. And what these guys do is unfathomable to us mortals.
  • 13 0
 Not gonna lie, that 20" knobby tire full suspension bike looks fun as hell
  • 11 0
 What crank length does Remy ride on his BMX. I’m very intrigued by his 135s and the logic there.
  • 11 0
 He talks about it in his podcast with Gypsy Tales, obviously it keeps it feet closer together but mostly seemed like he liked how it kept his body higher on the bike so has more room to trick. makes sense and I believe those are the cranks Hope makes for kids.
  • 4 0
 Well it certainly ain’t to prevent pedal strikes with no chain on the bike.

Once you get used to it low bb and short cranks is awesome but this is on another level of out there.
  • 2 0
 Actually I’m dumb with how remy rides he probably lands fairly bottomed out and being able to catch a crank low on rough terrain would be ideal.
  • 10 1
 Fun fact(s), it appears that cranks all the way down to 120mm aren't really less efficient than "normal" sized cranks, and optimal sprinting power can be had with 145mm cranks
  • 1 0
 I'm sure it would be awesome from a jumping/tricking standpoint, but it would be too weird for me to go from the stance I am so used to, to this stance, then back again on a standard setup.
  • 1 0
 @freeriderayward: Go to 165mm cranks. Literally no downsides, and a small enough change for most people to make an easy adjustment. I personally would prefer 160mm cranks, but no one outside of Canfield (back when they were bros) made them that I know of.
  • 8 0
 Mr Godziek is clearly a man of great culture, if I read correctly, with "ride fast eat ass" plastered on his downtube. Hopefully he doesn't encounter any fuzz during his off bike pursuits.
  • 17 9
 Fest will be really upset at this level of coverage. It's far too high
  • 5 0
 I don't think those are Tech 3s, those would be the prototype Tech 4 levers. The Tech 3 V4 already exists and is simply a larger caliper than an E4. This is a new lever. Tech 3 levers are run for E4 and V4.
  • 5 0
 So appreciate this article. Would love if they added some info on chosen wheel sizes too.
  • 8 1
 It would be bad for the bike companies. Pro riders are all on a different size of wheel than whats actually sold on downhill bikes these days.. Bike companies are still convinced only racers by DH bikes.
  • 5 0
 FK YES! more of this sort of ti g PB. Aboot time!
  • 2 0
 What happened to my n!?
  • 2 0
 @nojzilla: it was down voted!
  • 1 0
 @dglobulator: fingers X'ed it's not behind a paywall...
  • 5 1
 It's Malmedy, not bikes tho! Long Live Vink.
  • 1 0
 Where does it say Malmady? O_o
  • 4 0
 Presented by Hope cranks!
  • 8 4
 Who leaked this media
  • 7 1
 Julian Assange
  • 2 0
 I already knew I wanted one of those BMXs... Maybe I'll need to get my hands on a manitou fork for my cheap BMX...
  • 1 0
 Why is it better to use an idler pulley as a chain guide than to have a chain guide?
  • 2 1
 I'm just speculating here but I would say it's because they are running their suspension so firm for the few big hits when they land that they don't need to utilize the suspension design to its fullest and because of these big hits they prefer to have the safety of a guide/tensioner to keep the chain on, that is of course unless your Remy. It makes sense to repurpose the idler pulley in this case as it seems to do the job. The high pivot/idler pulley suspension design has benefits for Downhill and Enduro with its rearward axle path during compression but I don't think it's necessarily a benefit or a detriment for these freeriders.
I'm just an uneducated hack so like I said, I'm speculating here.
  • 2 1
 @lifeofloon: A problem with idler above the chain is it worsens the pedal kickback in general. If the rear suspension has very little chain growth and it's used mostly in high gears than it may not be so severe but on standard MTB application it would be terrible behaviour.
  • 3 0
 @fluider: at the speeds these guys are going, pedal kickback is unlikely to occur.
  • 1 0
 Not an idler, more of a chain guide/tensioner.
  • 3 1
 That BMX....4x, pump track, dual machine
  • 3 0
 Fingers Crossed!
  • 1 0
 I'm sure the significant others are appreciating how the Ride or Die mentality has evolved recently.
  • 1 0
 Are they the original prototype tech 3 levers, or are they a new lever in development?
  • 1 0
 love the bmx with the disc brake Remy is by far one of my favourite riders to watch
  • 2 0
 Full Serd
  • 7 9
 The bikes are impressive, but fixed gear really drives home the point of those bikes just being oversized BMX bikes.

Also: All the aluminum frames you see on the hucking bikes drives makes me happy.
  • 38 0
 Your comment really drives home the point of you not knowing what fixed gear means.
  • 5 0
 @SquamishSucks: I had a fixed gear once. Ate it trying to hop a curb.

Could you imagine the disaster of fixies on these jumps
  • 1 23
flag Explodo (Oct 1, 2021 at 9:21) (Below Threshold)
 @SquamishSucks: It's almost like "fixed" can have more than one meaning...gosh....who would've thought?
  • 17 0
 @Explodo: Nope, fixed means fixed, like a track bike. You are thinking that fixed means single speed, which is not true.
  • 5 1
 Fixed gear means no freewheel.
  • 2 1
 But to your real point. These are overgrown BMX bikes, the same as a motoGP bike is an overgrown moped. True, but not really.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: wasn’t there a fixed gear hub on a dh bike with an Alfine hub or gearbox integrated? Someone help reference this.
  • 1 0
 @leviatanouroboro: I think you are thinking of something where they just moved the freewheel up front, which would not make it a fixed gear bike.
  • 3 0
 @leviatanouroboro: I think you're thinking of this thing:

It requires a fixed rear hub, so the chain is always spinning.
  • 1 0
 @toast2266: using a hub as a gearbox has been done a bunch and there was likely one that uses a fixed gear hub and utilized the freehub at the hub as the only freewheel mechanism on the bike.
  • 1 0
 I think that was it @insertfunusername:

The actual rear hub was fixed and the alfine or other shift hub was integrated into the frame as a high pivot of sorts…
  • 1 0
 The handlbar wrapped in electrical tape...
  • 1 0
 Timmeh2k … ah! Well, then I’m impressed!
  • 2 1
 Hope finally realising their brakes need longer levers
  • 1 0
 Remi Morton taking cues from Jackson Goldstone with an adult balance bike
  • 1 0
 Give me that rotor.
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