When I spoke to Dan Roberts from RAAW about KJ's bike for Fort William he had this to say: "We’ve got it set up to have her in a comfortable, aggressive but more importantly a balanced position on the bike with the suspension in that lovely window where the wheels are fluttering fast enough over all the rocks while keeping the wildness in check when the bigger rocks and holes need to be dealt with.
"Confidence in the tire grip seems to be paramount at Fort William, especially in the front tire. So loading it enough to allow the rider to sort of forget about it, raise their eye line and be bang on with their lines and carrying speed, all the while not overloading it and taking a load off the back and having traction issues at the rear. It’s a tough track for everyone involved in making the bike and rider go fast.
"The whole bike is a special feature really. It won’t be available until early 2023, so this year is all about racing the bike and tweaking the hell out of it to be the best it can be while putting it well and truly through its paces at the highest level of competition."
KJ is riding the new RAAW DH frame in size Medium which is running 198mm of travel. The RAAW DH frame offers a lot of adjustment, but KJ is running her bottom backet in the mid position, giving a mid progression setting for the shock and mid chainstay length too. There is a reach adjust headset fitted set in the mid position on the reach (455mm), and the head angle is set at 63-degrees.
In keeping with RAAW's user-friendly frame design, the DH has fully external cable routing for both the gear cable and the rear brake.
Like the Madonna and the Jibb, the DH has larger bearings with extra sealing to keep them rotating smoothly.
KJ is running 165mm Hope cranks with a Hope 36T chainring, and an OChain set to 9 degrees.
Ok, so brakes are where things get a little different rotor wise. There is one Shimano 203mm and one Galfer 203mm. When the Shimano one wears out, it will be changed to a Galfer 203mm. If it isn't broken don't fix it right? The brakes themselves are a set of Shimano 4 pot XTRs. Inside the XTR brakes, you will find a set of Galfer advanced pads in both the front and rear.
This is no ordinary Fox 40. This is a totally custom fork from Jake Ireland at Sprung Suspension in the UK. It has a custom air spring with some chassis tinkering and damper tuning by Sprung Suspension. It is running 203mm travel and has some Mojo crowns to shorten the offset. Settings wise the fork has 67psi of air in it, with the low-speed rebound set to 14 clicks. Low-speed compression 20 clicks. High-speed compression fully open (all clicks from fully closed)
The shock is a Fox DHX2 Factory, once again custom tuned by Sprung Suspension. 225mm shock length, 75mm stroke. It is fitted with a 400lbs spring. The low-speed rebound is set to 13 clicks. High-speed rebound 6 clicks. Low-speed compression 10 clicks. High-speed compression 8 clicks (all clicks from fully closed).