Throwback Thursday: 19 Bikes From Red Bull Rampage 2012

Oct 10, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  
After Cam Zink's heart-stopping 360 off the Oakley Sender in 2010, Rampage took a year off in 2011 and returned as 'The Evolution' in 2012.

The Oakley Sender had been built up into a fortress and a lot of riders were eying up the new Canyon Gap. With eternal glory and the FMB 'Golden Camelbak Bottle' (yes, seriously) on the line, 33 riders arrived from around the world to take on the updated course, here are some of their bikes:

2012 Shimano Saint launch in Whistler BC
Brendan Fairclough made his first appearance at Rampage in 2012 and had everyone talking as he forged his totally unique canyon line. He injured his left MCL in qualies and was unable to compete in finals but he had definitely announced himself on the Rampage scene and was able to stomp it in 2013. He was competing in 2012 on his mega-slack Scott Gambler that was setup in the short wheelbase mode.

2012 Shimano Saint launch in Whistler BC
All eyes were on Zink after he raised the bar at Rampage 2010. Unfortunately, he took one of the biggest slams in Rampage history in training and was unable to take part aboard his Hyper.


2012 Shimano Saint launch in Whistler BC
The Coastal Crew's Kyle Norbraten cleaned back to back 360s on the upper slopes aboard his Specialized Demo. Safe to say the viewing public wasn't best pleased with his score and a Pinkbike catchphrase was born.

2012 Shimano Saint launch in Whistler BC
Mick Hannah came to bring the speed on his Morewood Makulu race bike.

2012 Shimano Saint launch in Whistler BC
Kurt Sorge took the first of his three Rampage wins in 2012. His run included a huge send on the new Oakley drop aboard his Giant Glory.


2012 Shimano Saint launch in Whistler BC
Tomas Genon was fresh off his Crankworx Joyride win and straight into his first-ever Rampage with a unique set up. Check his rear shifter that is mounted to the Merida's seat collar, as well as the extra rear brake housing.

2012 Shimano Saint launch in Whistler BC
Single crown forks weren't all that rare at Rampage back in 2012. Brett Rheeder was rocking a Trek Session 9.9 fitted with a single crown Fox 180mm fork up front.

2012 Shimano Saint launch in Whistler BC
Kelly McGarry was already out injured when we took this photo of his prototype Diamondback but he would return in 2013 to crush his historic Canyon Gap backflip. R.I.P Kelly.

2012 Shimano Saint launch in Whistler BC
Talk about throwbacks... Wil White was representing on his Karpiel DiscoVolante, complete with Spinergy DH wheels. He took it all the way to 12th and beat some big names on the way.

2012 Shimano Saint launch in Whistler BC
RockShox's Black Gold stanchions were new for 2012 and Semenuk's custom painted Session was black to match them. Just like Rheeder's Session, his 9.9 also seemed to have slightly different seat stays than what was found on the stock bike.

2012 Shimano Saint launch in Whistler BC
Another single crown fork, this one a Marzocchi 66 on Sam Pilgrim's NS Soda. Sam was a rider who we were used to seeing on hardtails at that point so it was interesting to see him throw down on the bigger Soda. Unfortunately, a windy qualifying day saw Pilgrim wash out and miss out on finals. He returned in 2013 on a full downhill bike.

2012 Shimano Saint launch in Whistler BC
In 2012, we called Kenny Smith's Demo the 'best looking bike of Rampage'.

2012 Shimano Saint launch in Whistler BC
It wouldn't be Rampage without Kyle Strait. In 2012 he was riding GT's carbon fiber Fury.

2012 Shimano Saint launch in Whistler BC
Casey Groves' Morpheus Loki was probably the shortest travel rig at Rampage 2012. It's hard to imagine a rider on anything other than a downhill rig these days.

2012 Shimano Saint launch in Whistler BC
Not all Specialized riders were on Demos, the Claw was rocking Specialized's Status, a slightly shorter and taller option compared to the Demo. While most riders went with downhill-dedicated brakes, Darren ran Shimano's XTR stoppers paired with an eight-inch rotor up front and a seven-inch in the rear.

2012 Shimano Saint launch in Whistler BC
Lacondeguy finished fourth in 2010, 2012 and 2013 until he finally broke the streak and took it to the top step in 2014. YT had shown a new carbon version of the Tues in 2012, but Andreu was aboard his aluminum rig for the event.

2012 Shimano Saint launch in Whistler BC
Antoine Bizet was the surprise package of Rampage 2012 as he rode to second place on his Kona Supreme Operator.

2012 Shimano Saint launch in Whistler BC
Greg Watts' Haro would be considered a big-travel bike anywhere but Rampage.

2012 Shimano Saint launch in Whistler BC
Chris Van Dine was on Yeti's carbon fiber 303wc downhill bike, a machine that Jared Graves had been using at World Cup races that season. The carbon front end featured very similar lines to the 'standard' 303wc. Hidden up against the seat tube is the bike's vertical rail that the swingarm-mounted shuttle travels up and down on.

Watch the full event highlights here:




150 Comments

  • 224 5
 Norbs got robbed.
  • 25 1
 Norby got robbed
  • 21 0
 @adrennan: Norby, as they call him
  • 20 0
 Norbs got ENGAGED
  • 10 1
 Every single one of those bikes is still 2019 Rampage compatible. Word.
  • 5 0
 @streetkvnt-kvlt: I wouldn't want to rampage on somebodies 2010 rampage bike, shit if it survived it should just go on a wall somewhere and never risk being ridden again!!! Smile
  • 3 0
 wasnt he doing speed wheelies?
  • 4 0
 Rear forks
  • 4 0
 Loosing speed with each pedal.
  • 5 0
 I came here expecting this to be the top comment
  • 2 0
 @stiingya: 2012. My point was and is, 26 inch wheels, frame geo, forks etc etc are still 2019 compatible. Not about riding someone pro's old Rampage bike.
  • 1 1
 @streetkvnt-kvlt: Sorry, just joking... Smile Yeah those bikes would still be fine for a lot of riders, flip side is a lot of riders would prefer more modern geo...?
  • 1 0
 @stiingya: All good man, all good.
  • 1 0
 @rideyobike86: one day the dream will come true.
  • 44 0
 Always treasured Norbs runs at Rampage. Glad he took the route of mastering a blue collar trade (electrician) while still ripping bikes. Thats a good balance in life.
  • 99 11
 Electrician and bikes... careful...
  • 6 3
 yea i dunno. one bad crash and your career is pretty f*cked. a better option imo is maybe software/web development or accounting. something that you can do when you have broken ribs or ankle.
  • 11 0
 Adam Brayton is also an electrician by trade
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: yeah man. Part of this club for 17 years now haha
  • 2 0
 @CarrotCorn: Brain injury pretty much ends any career.
  • 2 2
 @makripper: yeah it is super easy to apply electric shocks to Pinkbike audience
  • 2 0
 Damn sparkies @makripper:
  • 1 0
 Just wish they could be elevator men
  • 1 0
 I think a lot of these guys were/are closet tradesmen. I know McGazza was framing houses at one point.
  • 1 0
 @dro-cfr: negative. I work in power generation. Definitely happy where i am
  • 35 0
 I never knew Sam Pilgrim was in Rampage. He really has done everything
  • 11 0
 I think it was more a case of “not because I want to, only because I have to” for pilgs as he needed any points he could muster for the FMB overall that year.
  • 3 0
 Yeah, more than a few silly crashes over a couple of years. Seeing him and other slope/DJ riders there for the first time is always a fun time.
  • 12 0
 @scott-townes: It wasn’t fun for him from what I recall of his interviews afterwards! Good on him for dropping in though, knowing that he was hopelessly out of his depth. And I don’t mean that in a negative way. I’m a big fan of pilgs, I think he’s a right funny c*nt. That video of him last week changing his old fox forks for x fusion, where he was filing his cut steerer tune in the kerb had me creasing!
  • 8 0
 He even did take me out.
www.nsbikes.com/2015/,159,.htm
Pure gold.
  • 9 2
 He missed a dentist appointment
  • 41 5
 The best job for a Freerider is post office since you keep sending stuff all day. You can also go around neighbourhood delivering bike parts and shagging wives of dentists
  • 3 1
 @WAKIdesigns: you meant "shagging bikes" don't you?
  • 2 0
 @jaame: LOL yeah his interviews after were even better.
  • 3 0
 @scott-townes: good dude. He copped a lot of stick for winning the FMB because he wasn't as good as semenuk and didn't deserve it blah blah blah. I felt a bit sorry for him at the time, reading the comments at least. A lot of negativity.
Good on him for laying down see sick runs and scraping the points together.
I've always enjoyed his interviews and media content. Funny f*cker he is.
  • 3 0
 @jaame: He also did it in a vest I believe
  • 2 0
 @billythegerbil: He's just a total lad!
  • 4 0
 He's well good.
  • 28 1
 #26aintdead
  • 2 0
 I thought about selling my banshee darkside in 26, just cant.
  • 23 0
 Kelly McGarry, gone but not forgotten!
  • 9 0
 His bike still hangings in a pub in Queenstown. Mcgazza forever!
  • 17 0
 Bring back single crowns at rampage! Just throw 5 volume spacers in there and you're set!
  • 2 0
 You said Fox 38 ?
  • 2 0
 they have 5 volume spacers in their forks already hahaha
  • 10 0
 This wasn't as bad as I was expecting when I saw the headline. The GT Fury's and the Demo's look pretty dated but outside of the smaller wheels everything else still looked fairly modern.
  • 1 2
 I thought the same thing to be honest, only bikes that seemed ' old ' to me was the Demos.
  • 2 0
 The Haro is basically a SC Bullit, so not entirely modern looking. Morpheus and Merida not looking too fresh either. Yeti is sexy AF though.
  • 1 0
 It's great to see the older stuff that we all lusted after a decade ago. Shows us all where we have been with this mtb thing. I love these throwback pieces for the bikes and the people who were throwing it down in those days. Some icons in these photos.
  • 4 0
 @timrippeth: 7 years. And I’d ride any one of those bikes today.
  • 8 0
 Corsair Taiwan still has some of the Dominions in stock, the bike Cam Zink rode in hyper colours. Semenuk did some kind of time travel to compete on the exact same bike he is using this year!
  • 13 1
 you have been banned from china for referencing Taiwan.
  • 1 0
 didnt even know corsair were still a thing.....miss my marque
  • 3 0
 @Nikewatch: They fell off the radar along with a host of other small brands in what I call the small brand wilderness years, from about 2010 to the last year or two. Smaller brands are making a comeback. Corsair has been plugging away all the time, hand in hand with atomlab. Some good designs and good ideas on both sides of the office, but sadly lacking the marketing budget required to move a lot of product.

I believe atomlab was the first company to make a seven speed rear hub (with the smallest seven sprockets of a nine speed cassette) to build a dishless rear wheel.

Corsair have rehashed the "unit" linkage, which is a four bar linkage in a space about 4" square. Great for making a super solid back end. Plus they had a wild pearlescent green colour on the toro DJ bike.

Some cool stuff over the years. I wonder if we will ever see a resurgence.
  • 9 0
 So bikes haven’t changed all that much in 7 years then.
  • 1 2
 Yeah the only bikes that seemed ' old ' to me were the Demos and GT's.
  • 5 0
 @bigburd: those are still some of my favorite demos just because of how prevalent they were in big mountain riding
  • 2 0
 No they haven't, but it was hurting sales. ...so the industry changed the new "standard" sizes of a few things.
  • 7 2
 Quite a few of those bikes above were carbon. Dudes sending it at Rampage on carbon bikes in 2012, at a time when everyone on Pinkbike comment boards were like, "dERp, CarBON IsN't StRONg eNOuGH."
  • 3 0
 I still own the Session 9.9 from 2012, the same frame Rheeder had,bike is rippin’ in the bikeparks and is super stiff,no need to change after all those years.
  • 8 0
 we want a throwback every 4 days until rampage please!!
  • 8 1
 Whats Will White up to these days?
  • 19 0
 Fighting for lines, at old venue.
  • 3 0
 Lmao - still remember the “who stole wil white’s line” drama that year. So funny
  • 1 0
 Probably nothing lol dude hardly even rode when he was in Ramage. Swear one year he said something like he was only on his dh bike like 3 times that year before rampage. kid had potential but just never seemed that motivated.
  • 2 0
 Just checked his insta and it seems he broke his next last year and is on the comeback

www.instagram.com/p/B3DvQBpn-R5
  • 1 0
 @harrybrottman: oh boy, we are in for an interesting comeback....
  • 2 0
 @JDFF: and pinkbike puts it a cover/thumbnail of the story. birlliant
  • 7 1
 Damn, that Haro looks like a Wallmart bike. Scary that he rode Rampage on that thing.
  • 5 0
 Dang. YT has come a long way. I have two friends who have new Capras. I chose to go the Commencal meta route......
  • 2 3
 Good choice
  • 3 0
 We had a Morewood in the quiver until last year. It's a shame they have fallen so far and away from the bikes they used to make.
  • 1 0
 From what i gather the people who ran Morewood are the people behind Pyga now.
  • 1 0
 @rideonjon: I really liked that industrial looking single pivot design, from Morewood.
  • 1 0
 @privateer-wheels: Well your in luck...Orange make one.
  • 1 0
 @rideonjon: Yes! I'd ride an Orange, for sure. I'm a fan.
  • 4 0
 Holy smokes, Chris Van Dine had some balls dropping into rampage on that crank brothers front wheel.
  • 5 0
 Hyper ! you can not buy our bike since 2012 !!!!!!! ????
  • 4 0
 Still in development.
  • 5 0
 WIL White collecting scalps :/
  • 4 0
 Go right back..... Through every year and line up those rigs. Big Grin
  • 4 2
 Bikes have come a long way in such a short time- a comparison article comparing the top 5 2019 bikes with the top 5 from 2012 would be cool
  • 1 0
 This
  • 1 0
 So many Vivid Air shocks...what happened to those? They are still in the Rock Shox catalogue but I haven't seen one on a pro's or Joe's bike since about 2012...looks like an X2.
  • 2 0
 I really wonder when carbon frames became a thing in the event. I recall most guys were sending it on plastic last year.
  • 2 0
 can't lie, I'm always sad not to see a NORCO in the mix...this is freeride for pete's sake!
  • 3 0
 Everything looks so dated... except the Trek Sessions haha
  • 2 0
 Being only a few years into mountain biking, I never thought a Diamondback or Haro would have been used at Rampage.
  • 2 0
 It was only fairly recent that both of those brands were outsourced and became department store steeds.
  • 3 0
 "His friends call him Norby"
  • 1 0
 Norby was robbed !

( and renamed ).
  • 2 0
 When rampage was freeride as fuq! No water on the hill made the digs a lot more interesting and the lines a lot more raw.
  • 3 0
 McGazza....damn onions cutting ninjas....
  • 2 0
 Scrolling through the photos with my wife beside me and I come across the Kyle Strait pic and she just says "meatypaws"
  • 2 0
 C'mon GT!! You can't copy the Sanction from a Hyper!!
  • 2 0
 Feels like not that long ago I saw those photos for the first time
  • 3 0
 Karpiel Smile
  • 3 1
 How about some 2019 news?
  • 1 1
 this is beautiful 3 Fairclough´s bike need a linkage on it´s shock linkage that seems to be missing from that frame.. maybe add another 2 o 3 sets more?
  • 1 0
 Damn. Bikes and riding have come a long way since 2012ish. Sorge's run prob wouldn't make the top 10 this year!
  • 1 0
 Ahhh, short and steep, my kind of game, and I'm still on a disco just like Will's
  • 1 0
 2012 was an interesting crossroads between cool modern designs and kill it with fire ugly
  • 1 0
 You folks should do a gallery of the winning bike from past Rampages, starting with The Godfather
  • 1 0
 Damn those bikes. The HeyDay
  • 2 1
 Some of these guys still had a fair bit of baby fat back then..
  • 1 0
 #26aintdead. Oh, wait, it's 2019.
  • 1 0
 claw's status was siiiiiiiiiiiiick
  • 1 0
 I want that yeti. Please make another DH bike.
  • 1 0
 There is a yeti DH bike at one of my local pawn shops. Im tempted
  • 1 0
 @Shafferd912: Which one? Not that it matters, they were all good, if you like 26s. They run small though...
  • 1 0
 @robito: Its just some 26er. I dont know the exact model, but it looks like some good classic fun.
  • 1 0
 Kurt Sorge winning run audio totally ruined my day.
  • 1 0
 Karpiel and Bender go together like PB and J
  • 1 0
 Trek Session and Gambler: still relevant.
  • 1 0
 Crazy how Semenuk is pretty well the only one not on a production frame
  • 3 1
 That Yeti!
  • 2 0
 Yes, stunning especially in Carbon. I raced the alloy one for two seasons and it was a seriously quick and stable bike. Still yet to ride anything better at high speed through the rough. The tracking was unreal. Proper race machine. If they had a slightly longer version now I'd trade my current DH bike for it in a flash!
  • 4 0
 @Freakyjon: bring on the SB200!!
  • 1 0
 What happened to Casey Groves?
  • 1 0
 Totally forgot CVD was on Yeti. Such a cool bike. Great retrospective!
  • 1 0
 WWWOOHHHHH SHIITTTTT, THIS IS RAD AS FUCK.
  • 2 0
 Wil White!!!
  • 1 0
 oh fuck would i love to see sam pilgrim back at rampage !
  • 1 0
 i just sold my 2012 specialized status a couple months ago
  • 1 0
 That 26 Life!
  • 1 0
 NORBS WAS ROBBED
  • 1 0
 Speed wheelies
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