Two Pro Bikes from Downhill Southeast - Windrock II 2020

Jul 20, 2020
by Ed Spratt  
Christopher Grice's Specialized Demo

After becoming the 15-16 US Downhill National Champion for two years running, Christopher Grice joined Loic Bruni and Finn Iles on the Specialized Gravity Team for what would have been his first year racing in elites. With World Cup racing on hold, Christopher has been getting some extra training time in and finished with an impressive fourth place in the elite race.

Rider Name Chris Grice // Specialized Gravity Team
Instagram: @christopher_grice

The 17 year old from Asheville, NC is riding the Specialized Demo for 2020 with a whole host of top level componenetry. Christopher's race bike for 2020 features Ohlins suspension front and rear, with a 388lb spring. For tire pressures, Christopher is running 21 psi up front and 24 psi in the rear, although he says that he sin't too picky about bike setup and just prefers to ride rather than focus on the details. We'll see how long that lasts when the Specialized Gravity team start strapping their telemtry to his frame as World Cup racing begins again.

Fork Pressure: 100psi upper chamber / 185 psi lower chamber. 388 lb spring in rear.

Frida Rønning's Commencal Supreme

Although we have yet to see much racing this year, Frida Rønning already has a couple of wins under her belt with back to back DHSE victories at Windrock.

Rider Name Frida Rønning
Instagram: @frida9

For 2020, the Norweigan rider is rocking a Commencal Supreme with Rockshox providing the suspension duties front and rear. So far she has found the bike to be extremely stable through rough terrain and at high speeds, more so than other bikes she has ridden. Frida is also running a coil out back using a 450lbs spring, she's paired this with 118 psi in her Rockshox Boxxer. For tires she has opted for the classic combo of a Maxxis Minion DHF on the front and a DHRII for the rear, these are running on Factor Components hubs, laced to NOX rims that she chooses for their apparent durability.

Photos by Mack Faint


  • 106 4
 Rønning's dog is the highlight of this article.
  • 17 2
 dog photos > bike parts
  • 35 3
 the dog at the end is all the added value i needed
  • 11 4
 "he says that he sin't too picky about bike setup and just prefers to ride rather than focus on the details. We'll see how long that lasts when the Specialized Gravity team start strapping their telemtry to his frame"

That's the great thing about the telemetry. Riders can just ride, mechanics can adjust based on the numbers. A racer who doesn't focus on the details can only go so far. If you don't care about tire pressure or choice, you're going to be f*cked on a super-rocky course or when it rains. But with the data taking [some of] the judgement out of the riders' hands, even just a bit, they can go out and ride faster without having to personally focus on the details. The mechanics can deal with that, and the rider will just _know_ it's either faster, or it isn't.
  • 15 1
 hes still a kid so its ok
  • 7 0
 That’s actually a very valid point.
  • 5 0
 That's a good point actually. Being happy riding 'whatever' gives more freedom to the mechanics to adjust things. Super picky riders who know _exactly_ what they like could actually be at a disadvantage in professional racing, because a greater sense of 'this feels weird' when making changes to what they're used to might negatively impact performance on objectively faster data-driven setups.
  • 1 1
 @Preachey: mate how’s a mechanic going to tune a bike they’ve never ridden for someone who isn’t them? He’ll learn when it’s down to fractions of a second but he’s young and it should be all about having fun.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: umm, via the data aquisition we've been talking about...
  • 1 0
 @just6979: what data aquistion can set your bike up for you? Lol.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: "how’s a mechanic going to tune a bike they’ve never ridden for someone who isn’t them?"

Did you forget your own f*cking question? The mechanic does the setup, based on the data analysis. Since the rider "sin't too picky about bike setup and just prefers to ride rather than focus on the details", that's the perfect dynamic.
  • 1 4
 @just6979: you do know magic 8 balls don’t actually exist right? You need to be able to do it yourself and mechanic with a iPhone app isn’t going to do it for you.
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: you're an idiot
  • 4 0
 1) That dog is a good girl/boy. Amazing smile.

2) Glad I am not the only one who is amazed at how durable Nox rims seem to be. Going on 5 years and many, many hard hits on the first set of 29er AM rims (back when they were still called that). Other than a very minor trueing job once a season, they have given precisely zero f*cks no matter what happens to them.
  • 4 1
 Christopher Grice is now 17 but would be racing in elite category at world cup?
  • 6 0
 It'just a writer's error i guess. He would have been racing in the juniors
  • 3 0
 Was Isak’s homemade dh bike there? I’d love to see the latest version.
  • 3 0
 Vital has some photos
  • 1 0
 Interesting that Grice's Demo is running DT Swiss enduro rims instead of the DH. I also run those rims on my DH bike but it was because I got them cheap....
  • 3 0
 Just ask Gwin at Leogang
  • 4 1
 Spesh probably runs them for the same reasons you run them. For light riders these rims are enough to handle DH duties for a few race runs. They are also reliable, compliant, cheap, and disposable. The same can be said for the DH-rated DT wheels. I've seen the piles of destroyed rims the big S accumulate after a World Cup weekend. They only need one solid run out of them, and that's about what the Elite riders get. Just like tires in moto GP or many other motorsport disciplines, controlled use-cycles are just race economics. I think the disposable nature of some parts on the WC circuit would surprise most people.
  • 2 0
 Well those little guys are lighter and can ride lighter components.
  • 8 0
 Loic Bruni has beenn running 471's forever and he's a speedy-boi.
  • 17 0
 @Ryan2949: Bruni, like most pros, probably goes through 20+ rims per year, just from race weekends (not counting training). I'm not a WC mechanic and I'm not saying these alloy wheels are bad or that they blow up catastrophically. However, I have it on very good authority that this is the norm in the WC: alloy wheels simply get dented to hell and don't hold air after a few runs under these extremely fast riders, whether they're running tire inserts or not. PB should do an exposé on what happens to all the alloy rims that get thrashed during a WC weekend.
  • 3 2
 @grizzlyatom: I think they have before. Tires too. It’s a little wasteful really.
  • 1 0
 @cougar797: shouldn't it be possible to recycle both, the alloy rim and the tires? One would hope so....
  • 3 0
 @saladdodger: would make an interesting read if someone went through each team's post race garbage. Prizes for most rims, tires, brake pads, and beer cans
  • 1 1
 He's pretty light if he's riding a 388# coil shock. Frida's on a 450# coil.
  • 4 0
 @Banda18: Different bikes, different leverage ratios. Different riding styles, different shocks and settings.
  • 2 0
 Would be interesting to know exactly how long he's had that Demo frame for given how bad the heel rub is on the chain stay.
  • 2 1

Hanging with Chris G back when he was just a grom, but a hella fast grom even back then.
  • 2 0
 Frida's shirt made me turn on Florence and the Machine. The Dog Days Of Summer are over.
  • 2 0
 Nothing sexier than those race yellow Maguras.
  • 3 0
 Signature orange John Tomac hydraulic rim brakes...sexiest nostalgia.
  • 1 0
 @blowmyfuse: had to look those up, I approve!
  • 2 0
 @OCSunDevil: Yeah, when I was able to upgrade to those, i was so thrilled. We had cantilevers and then V-brakes for a short time, which still felt amazing coming from canti's.
Rumor was that if you had a thin rim, the hydraulic rim brakes would crush the rim. Never found anybody that ever happened to, but it added to the mystique.
You also had to have a Bullet Brothers brake arch booster to run them otherwise when you squeezed them, they just flexed the crap out of the fork arch. Man...people have no clue about the "technology" we risked our lives on for the sake of DH
  • 1 0
 @blowmyfuse: That's awesome, it's amazing how far we've come. Thanks for being a guinea pig so I can have brakes that work. I love watching the old Kranked movies and seeing the bikes that those guys were using. crazy what they (and you) were using back in the day.
  • 1 0
 @OCSunDevil: Yep. And when Hayes came along and made the first legit real deal mountain bike brake and you could stop immediately???
Everybody under the age of 45 I think has no idea what that was like. We went from wet rim brakes and 2 finger braking having to squish some water out of them before sort of slowing you down to all of a sudden coming to a full and complete stop with 1 finger. It was wizardry and magic.
  • 3 0
 NOX farlows are the shiz
  • 1 0
 Anyone notice the front tyre on Chris G's demo ???? New 29er Specialized dh casing tyre ????
  • 2 1
 What rear tire is she running? Looks different then a normal dhr.
  • 6 0
 Dirty one
  • 1 0
 Chris Grice, he ride nice.
  • 1 0
 Nice to see Factor hubs here. They are good stuff!
  • 1 0
 Should have matched the grips to the dog's scarf.
  • 1 0
 29 or 27" dog??
  • 1 0
 Edit: Nevermind i see
  • 1 3
 Was hopeing for more bikes but if they are the only couole racing should be a good race for an hour lol
  • 3 3
 that dog though
  • 3 5
 I guess Grice is a closet yeti fan. Nobody else would love that colorway- Aka- Pepto-Blue.
  • 1 0
 I like the Pepto-blue, reminds me of the Le Mans Gulf blue Porsches.
  • 3 4
 Looks like a dog
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