10 Bikes of DarkFest

Mar 29, 2017
by Pure Darkness  
Ahead of the release of the DarkFest highlights edit tomorrow, we thought the timing was right to give you up close and personal looks at the machines that make going big possible.

Sam Reynolds' Polygon DH9
Bikes of DarkFEST Eric Palmer

bigquotesBlack is beautiful! When Polygon told me they were making a black bike for 2017 I begged for the first one of course. Building it up with the all black SR Suntour RUX fork, Spank Vibrocore bars, and E13 wheels and cranks just looks awesome. I'm the only guy riding 27.5" wheels, I prefer it because I'm pretty tall, so throwing it around isn't an issue, but I think they feel better for big whips and slicing through the air. I'm testing out the new prototype Kenda semi-slicks too, they were so good for carrying speed. So good that everyone else followed and cut their tires down for speed too. Sam Reynolds


Kurt Sorge's Polygon DH9
Bikes of DarkFEST Eric Palmer
Kurt's bike is similar to Sam's, but with 26-inch wheels and Rampage champion gold graphics all round


Adolf Silva's YT Tues
Bikes of DarkFEST Eric Palmer
Special tuned Honey suspension and Spank Vibrocore bars for those heavy hits.


Andreu Lacondeguy's YT Tues
Bikes of DarkFEST Eric Palmer
Note the lack of front brake - if you don't need it, why have it?


Ethan Nell
Bikes of DarkFEST Eric Palmer
Bumblebee YT Tues built up with Spank parts all round


Cam Zink
Bikes of DarkFEST Eric Palmer
The man himself aboard a YT Tues with a special Rampage paint job


Clemens Kaudela's Merida Freeride
Bikes of DarkFEST Eric Palmer
Only one of two guys running less than 200mm of travel, the C-Dog was sending it on his all black 180mm freeride bike.


Nico Vink's Scott Gambler
Bikes of DarkFEST Eric Palmer
Again some signature black paint (seems to be a theme) and suspension so hard I could barely move it; this thing is made to go big


Kyle Jameson's Scott Voltage FR
Bikes of DarkFEST Eric Palmer
The other 180mm travel beast, KJ's steeze machine!



Aggy's Kona Operator
Bikes of DarkFEST Eric Palmer
All carbon beast; it was good to see this thing back in action after Graham Agassiz's huge slam at Rampage.




Keep your eyes peeled, the edit drops tomorrow!


99 Comments

  • + 167
 Thank you for making FEST SERIES! Mountain biking need's this BIG AIR Badassness. DVD for each FEST event sold as a collection at the end of the year please! Take my money!
  • + 107
 what is a DVD? is that from the olden times?
  • + 8
 Good to see more coverage of those pushing the sport.
  • + 17
 Now we just need some proper bike checks.
  • + 12
 @cmkneeland: Now that Tippie is on YT they need him at FEST stops doing 30ish second bike checks!
  • + 7
 @parallaxid: Hey! I still need DVD's! I have a cheap DVD player and TV in my garage, and I put discs on loop while I work on my bikes.
  • + 4
 @nuttypoolog: I totally know how you feel. Not sure how old you are or when you started riding but keep rocking those DVDs... I still have VHS ????
  • + 134
 Cam Zink may have dropped some building-sized cliffs, and Andreu may have backflipped 70ft jumps, but the biggest balls award goes to the dude riding a f*cking Merida bike.
  • + 15
 Aren't they made in the Taiwanese factories that make other big name brands?The sort of in house brand if you like
  • + 25
 @jase111171: More than that, they have their own factories. In fact, they probably make bikes for a bunch of other brands (they own 49% of Specialized, I wouldn't be surprised if they made some of their bikes).
They actually have a pretty impressive record in road cycling, but their MTB's are just fugly and quite supermarket-y.
A joke is like a frog...
  • + 2
 @fabdemaere: yeh,just read they make bikes for Specialized.A couple of reviews I've read say they're a pretty poor ride though
  • - 3
 @jase111171: I'm sure i recall something about them being owned by Specialized.
  • + 10
 @jase111171: more like other big names are being made in Merdia factories Wink
  • + 1
 @mate1998: that's what i meant,just didn't put it over too well.cheers
  • + 6
 @alexhyland: think its the other way around, merida owns a sizable chunk of spesialized.
  • + 4
 @fabdemaere: They make all of specialized's bikes that come from Taiwan. They have far more experience actually making molded carbon frames then the big S has. Can't agree more that their bikes look like they got beat with the ugly stick one too many times...
  • + 1
 @b45her: Surprise, they both own a bit of each other actually.
  • + 1
 Looks like the joke's on you!
  • + 1
 @b45her: yeah looks like i got my comment in a bit late
  • + 60
 You mean "The YT bikes of DarkFest....plus some others."
  • + 32
 So awesome, I think the Kona looks the coolest
  • + 3
 yep
  • + 6
 The old carbon 26 Kona at that.
  • + 25
 Brakes are overrated, all they really do is slow you down
  • + 16
 Just when I thought Andreu couldnt be any more insane, he goes and pulls off his front brake...now I have seen it all- Actually, show me the highlights!!
  • + 8
 Silva doesn't have a front brake on either....
  • + 2
 Next year it'll be brakeless
  • + 13
 Aggy is not human.
  • + 37
 Whatever the hell he is, I'm just glad he is back on a bike again.
  • + 9
 26" wheels.
Someone better tell them that 26" wheels suck and that theyll be shunned in the street if they keep riding them.


Ps. Im being sarcastic.
  • - 3
 26" wheels are for ppl who still watch dvd
  • + 1
 @Gasket-Jeff: well i thought it was funny
  • + 11
 Kona operator saving the best for last
  • + 7
 Serious questions: At what point did SR Suntor become a respectable brand?


All I can remember is people bashing on them back in the day, and now a bunch of big name pros are riding for them....
  • + 2
 They aren't the lightest, but they do make some quality suspension. Burly, durable and easy to rebuild. If you're like these guys and aren't worried about a few extra grams then they make total sense.
  • + 4
 @ratedgg13: Hello old school Marzocchi. Hello DVO. Out of interest, what company manufactured you?
  • + 6
 @jaame: Seeing as DVO is manufactured by SR Suntour....
  • + 2
 @jaame: see, these are all things i was not aware of. thanks for an actual answer. i was expecting a bunch of negative votes.
  • + 3
 @the-lorax: You're welcome.

I think in a lot of cases, people are not aware of how bikes and components actually come into being. Someone is making them, and by that I mean getting the metal and actually manufacturing them.

People are so easily fooled by brand names and fashion, they don't think to look past them.

For example, there was one the other day. It might be in this thread even, about Merida. Obviously written by someone who didn't know Merida manufactures Specialized's bikes and they own a considerable stake in each other's companies.

Nothing wrong with Suntour. Except they don't have a cool sounding name and big name athletes... but it's changing I guess.
  • + 1
 @jaame @the-lorax Fortunately not all of us on pinkbike are purely trolls
  • + 1
 @jaame: Ya, just like Giant makes bike frames and components for half the industry. Thanks for the info though. I was unaware. If Suntour manufactures for DVO, why do they not have access to the technology of DVO and make lighter weight suspension of the same quality as well?

And they do have some big name athletes now, seeing as Reynolds is riding them, and I just saw a post from Tippie that he was taggin suntour in.
  • + 9
 I can't fathom riding without a front brake....use it or not, it just feels weird to not have one at all.
  • + 3
 Coming from a BMX background it actually feels funny to me having a front brake. My DH and Trail bikes both have them, but I definitely prefer the feel of my bikes that don't. Personal preference.
  • + 2
 I broke my front lever off on a ride once, and couldn't get a replacement for a few days. Sketchiest few days I've had in a long time on the trails!
  • + 0
 @MTBrent: Sounds like something to work on! Most of your braking should be with your front brake, imagine how good you will be if you learn to control it with just the rear.
  • + 8
 Gambler and a Voltage...wonder if it's just the "whip-able" nature of the Voltage?
  • + 5
 omg this article is epic, but where are the darkfest highlights?

Aggy's bike is totally dope btw!!
  • + 1
 it will drop tomorrow, can't wait!
  • + 6
 Voltage for the win
  • + 6
 Nico's on Ohlins????
  • + 3
 for a while m8
  • + 4
 WTF is Honey Suspension? never heard of it and Google is not giving me any hits.....
  • + 4
 Is YT making 26" Tues for their team still?
  • + 7
 I read somewhere they have custom rear ends
  • + 10
 @nojzilla: My gf has one too. Boom.
  • + 12
 @MTB-Colada: Ass implants are never something to brag about.
  • + 1
 @isolationismdivision: She makes great selfies. #duckface.
  • + 4
 Yt party up in there! Yeah boi!
  • + 1
 "Ahead of the release of the DarkFest highlights edit tomorrow..."

trying to be patient, but c'mon west coasters... get up, down that cup o' joe and hit the upload button already!!!
  • + 1
 Is that a DVO on the Merida? The glint of the sunlight is confusing the image; all black, gold lowers, and upper stanchion script that looks like Manitou. Whazzat?
  • + 1
 @ski-or-die: Guess I never saw the gold lowers before, only black
  • + 1
 Fest series needs way more coverage to keep the Stoke going. I pretty much wait all yr for these events and rampage. Deff need proper detailed bike checks on these rigs.
  • + 1
 YT definitely has the best looks in my opinion but damn look at reynold's bike...
  • + 1
 What rear shock s reynolds running? Cane creek maybe? Or a fox with custom graphics or a proto SuntourWink
  • + 1
 Looks like a CC with some gold graphics.
  • + 1
 @ratedgg13: I would guess at DVO or suntour, since he is sponsored by suntour.
  • + 1
 @jaame: Tippie's distributor sponsor has Suntour but they don't have a piggyback shock (unless its a new proto) so they let him use a DVO in the back instead. I wouldn't be surprised if they did they same with Reynolds - letting him use what he wants of what they distribute. Silhouette looks like a BOS Void or CC DBAIR to me...
  • + 1
 @ratedgg13: Suntour owns half of DVO, right?

I don't know what it is though, because it's sunny and the phone isn't bright enough.
  • + 1
 @jaame: Suntour manufactures DVO, I don't know if they own them though.
  • + 1
 @ratedgg13: yep, it looks like a BOS to me. They were on BOS last year right?
  • + 2
 Whats up with so many of these guys not running chain guides?
  • + 3
 there aren't any bumps or rocks, therefore no chain retention required? also have you seen the roll in?! probably barely any pedalling required
  • + 1
 Clutch mechs. I still run a guide with one personally.
  • + 1
 @isolationismdivision: I'm guessing narrow wide chainring as well...seen a lot of people rocking this in the bike park last year
  • + 1
 @MikeyMT: Yes. If you're a smooth rider (or you only ride jump trails) you don't need a guide if you have a narrow wide chainring.

The worry is less your chain falling off and more bending the chainring on a rock or something.
  • + 2
 @samsq: I run a narrow wide with the bottom guard of a chain guide to save the ring from rocks/cases/etc. I had a guide but the top ended up somehow bending and snapping my chain. It's all preference!
  • + 1
 I thought the in thing was low front ends...all these bikes look like they have pretty high rise.
  • + 1
 Free ride bikes look fu.cking awesome!
  • + 1
 So Hope rims must be strong
  • + 1
 Love these edits. Modern day gladiator's!
  • + 1
 Isn't it unlawful to name your child Adolf?
  • + 4
 No worse than Joseph surely?
  • - 1
 Just one question - why the hell they ride DH bikes on DJ/slope course?
They ride it on pure darkness on dj/ss bikes, throwing tricks, and now DH bikes?For what?
  • + 3
 Looks more moto?
  • + 3
 They made the jumps bigger before the contest for the bigger bikes
  • + 10
 I dunno man, I don't think I'd call most of the FEST series events anything like a DJ/Slope course. I mean, compared to what they're hitting, they'd look at a DJ/slope course and ask, "What is this? A course for Ants?"
  • + 1
 @ratedgg13: Look at the old BMX dh races from years ago, that shite was huge also for 20" rigid riders
  • - 6
flag Hyperx (Mar 30, 2017 at 0:02) (Below Threshold)
 @ratedgg13: lol, in fest series events there are more flat and nontrickable features. And on dj/slope more steep lips. It's stupid to compare fest with fmb. Especially when fmb riders easily shred on fest series, and noone from fest can ride fmb.
  • + 3
 @Hyperx: I'm not comparing - I'm pointing out that the size of jumps they're hitting are HUGE - and not tricking them a ton- at FEST events and that therefore it makes sense to use DH bikes rather than DJ or SS. Why ride a DJ or SS for big hucks when you aren't doing big tricks - ride a DH instead.

I don't get your comment about FBM versus FEST riders... You're trying to tell me that guys like Lacondeguy, Semenuk or Berrecloth can't do both FEST and FMB? Sure theres some specialists that stick to their thing but theres often a lot of overlap...
  • + 1
 More info please PB
  • + 1
 Yes merida
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