Tech Randoms Part 2: Crankworx Rotorua 2019

Mar 25, 2019 at 2:13
by Daniel Sapp  
The dust is starting to settle on the first big event of the year in Rotorua, New Zealand. It's a chance for riders to put their new bikes and components to the test, and to see if that off-season preparation paid off.

Here's a collection of what we saw while roaming around over the last week in Rotorua. There's a little tech and gear with a lot more random.


Liam Keenan had a crash two years ago that changed his life forever, leaving him a paraplegic, paralyzed from the chest down. Keenan didn't let that stop him. He competed in the DH events on his his highly modified Pivot Phoenix. With the help of his friends strapping him in and getting him going, he took a coast into the start of the Air DH, tripping the sensor and starting the clock. Hands down the most inspiring thing I witnessed all week. No excuses here.

We found this fella racing Justin Leov's old Yeti 4x.

Ride Concepts had samples of their shoes out on display.


TLD were painting helmets, and this one was going to go home with one lucky winner.

Endura's trail helmet and Bontrager's new WaveCel technology lid.

This tandem was raced and sent off of some jumps by two crazed pilots riders.

Trek had all of their athletes' custom painted frames posted up in their booth. Always some of the best looking paint jobs.

Mmm, thermoplastic. Can anyone name this GT and what year it was produced?

With strict biosecurity measures in place in both New Zealand and Tasmania, everyone traveling to the next round of the EWS was washing bikes and then carrying them to the pits to be packed. Clean bikes help avoid delays.



88 Comments

  • + 39
 ‘97 GT STS-DH.
  • + 4
 1998 maybe? but maybe not, haha
  • + 2
 Argh, yes the STS. The Lobo, I think came later.
  • + 6
 '98 STS-1000 DS
  • + 2
 @h82crash: Yes, just what i would have said, but you got their first, good too see this frame out lived GT, Yes the name lives on, but the company died with this thermoplastic frame?
  • + 3
 @gdharries: Yeah, the lobo was the next generation
  • + 2
 1999
GT Lobo Year of production: 1997-1999 Weight: 17.2kg / 38lb Rear travel: 165mm / 6.5in.
  • + 0
 @barbarosza: been there road that
  • + 1
 @barbarosza - I think you may have got your info from pinterest who missed by a year - '98-'99 for the STS Lobo.
After a closer look I think I was wrong too and @jason745 nailed it.
  • + 6
 That's what I thought. Had a '97 GT catalogue as a kid that I probably looked through every day leading up to Christmas. Got a Raleigh.
  • + 1
 Fark. My mate still rides one.
  • + 2
 This was the STS based on the original LTS linkage set up. 98’. I think. Either way. I’m too old if I remember this being in the shops!
  • + 1
 Defo GT STS DH (possibly 98 )
I had the 97 one.
Same AC cranks/chain device and Azonic kit
but they didn't come with Boxxers or discs. they came with a rockshox DHO (4" travel) and XTR V-Brakes.
The 97 frame didn't even have disc mounts, it needed an aftermarket bolt on adapter to fit them.
Frame above looks like it has disc mounts and no canti bosses on the seatstays.
  • + 4
 Looks like the Athertons new enduro model.
  • + 1
 i'm glad i didn't get the STD-DH
  • + 1
 @zutroy: Same generation just the Lobo was DH version
  • + 2
 @aljoburr: No, the Lobo moved the upper linkage down to the middle of the seat tube and moved to a pull shock from the push shock. It was a step up in design from the original LTS setup.
  • + 1
 What ever happened to IRC tyres? they were amazing in the 90's, everyone was riding them, way ahead of the times in so many respects (great aggressive tread, wider than most others, foam lined sidewalls to reduce pinch flats) but then they just disappeared!
  • + 26
 Yeti 4x dude is a legend!
  • + 5
 Old bikes real bikes
  • + 1
 @RedBurn: every time there's a vintage bike at our Trailhead it always draws more attention than a state-of-the-art $14,000 carbon dream machine. Nothing like picking a used bike up off Craigslist for a few hundred bucks and it shines brighter than the $14,000 glamour rig. Been the icing on the cake is if you can actually go out and ride it and pass that modern-day overpriced Taiwanese thing.
  • + 2
 This dude is called Michael Bias and he is an absolute beast.
www.instagram.com/p/BuRyZL1lpJZ/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=19k8ec2yz6kdt
  • + 1
 I love seeing some of the classics still out there smashing trails and racing. We spend too much time focused on the latest tech, design, and materials, and forget where we came from. Would love to see that as a category on race day. 10+ year old bikes.
  • + 19
 Tandem dropper posts... this is the future pinkbikers want
  • + 28
 But one goes down and the other goes up hahahaha
  • + 2
 @twozerosix: haha, the seesaw bike
  • + 1
 What's up with the barends?
  • + 3
 @goose8: They are hand protectors for the stoker.
  • + 2
 @killerisation: Makes sense. Thanks for that!
  • + 12
 They're serious about environmental contamination there. I once had to ship a crane from Canada to Australia. Once it arrived they found a clump of mud under an axle. They made us ship it to another country to be cleaned and repainted and sent back! A bit costly, I must say!
  • + 10
 Definitely learning from other island's invasive species introduction mistakes, no doubt.
  • + 6
 Yeah, it actually is a big deal and it is good they're serious about it. It would even make sense on a same continent (not necessarily Oz) when traveling between sea level and the higher alpine because these are also very different ecosystems. Would be a bitch though, to completely clean your bike after every single Megavalanche practice run before you go all the way up there again.
  • + 2
 I flew into NZ with my bike, customs inspected all my stuff and found some dirt on the tires. I had to step aside and wipe my tires clean into a trash bin before repacking and leaving the airport. Not nearly as much work as a crane, but yeah...they're picky.
  • + 14
 Since when did Tasmania become a country?
  • + 2
 Haha same reaction from me, what a wonderful place tho... Where I'd live in Oz
  • + 9
 Where is it? I've never even seen it on a map.
  • + 5
 @Chickenwithshovel: it's where all you guys tried to escape from when you were sent to Aus for being naughty
  • + 12
 Should be paraplegic= 2 limbs, quadriplegic= 4 limbs I believe.
  • + 3
 I was gonna say Idk how that works if you're quadriplegic? I'd need footage if that's the case
  • + 10
 Some Quadriplegic's have the use of 1 or more of their limbs. It just means that all 4 limbs are effected to a certain percentage. There's a quadriplegic that runs a BMW on the track. Kid was racing super bikes and was a pretty solid DJ rider back in the day. Crashed riding DJ's.

youtu.be/HZbxwYQThSQ
  • + 1
 Was thinking the same thing.
  • + 2
 @onemanarmy: Jesus that's impressive. Also f*ck getting into dirt jumping I guess
  • + 11
 Fuck yea, Liam Keenan. Fuck yea.
  • + 12
 Cheers mate!
  • + 7
 Would be rad if Martin Ashton and Keenan would compete in a race. Keenan's rig looks pretty similar to the bike Martin rode at the Whistler Air DH, right?
  • + 21
 I'm hoping to get over and race the US open and air dh whistler later on in the year. It's definitely similar to Martyns same concept just different parts. The biggest difference being that he has a 4300watt motor while I have a 1500.
  • + 2
 Those STS bikes were infamous for snapping between the thermoplastic and alloy lugs, mainly at the headtube of course. Pretty crazy advanced tech though considering when they came out.
  • + 1
 Seeing the old and new GTs almost overlaid really shows just how much bikes have changed in the last 20 years! I hate how often the standards change in the bike industry, but seeing the bikes back to back like that shows there are some benefits.
  • + 3
 I have Leov’s 303dh from around the same timeline, beast of a bike but still to this day one of the best bikes I’ve ever rode. Sticks to the ground like crazy glue
  • + 1
 Right on! Those 303s were such awesome sleds.
  • + 0
 So many riders in NZ on a new Fox fullface and Pinkbike ignores it. I am missing the days when bike media did report real news instead of waiting on a scheduled release where all bike websites post the same info with more or less the same words.
  • + 4
 There was an article dedicated to the new Fox helmet 5-6 days ago.
  • + 1
 @Distelb: Your right, sorry for that particular example. I still think it's annoying to have the same news all over the web. I am missing the time when all Media went to Eurobike and the first day all new products for the upcoming season popped out of the expo.
  • + 3
 Errr.... Tasmania is not a country just yet.... Maybe one day if the wish big!
  • + 4
 Footy of the tandem senders please!!
  • + 2
 I watched them come down stage 2 of the EWS and couldnt believe how fast they were going, bloody amazing!
  • + 2
 There's a short film about them here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=hui8406h-K4
  • + 1
 @dolface: Ah thanks I have seen them ride then, just wasn't sure if it was the same crew!
  • + 1
 www.pinkbike.com/news/video-this-couple-rides-jumps-teeter-totters-and-drops-on-their-tandem-downhill.html#cid2190060 Or just google Jackson & Rose Tandem. They have lots of vids.
  • + 1
 @Thermoplastic GT: GT STS DH model 1997. Had the same bike, which I got from Martin Papala, Slovak DH Champ and a GT ambassador.
  • + 1
 1998 GT STS Lobo. I had one. Bushings instead of bearings in the rear. Made it flex as much sideways as it had travel Frown But sweet bike anyway!
  • + 1
 Bad eyes it seems. Its not the Lobo. ????
  • + 3
 I'm really curious: how did Liam Keenan steer his bike? That's amazing.
  • + 2
 Liam still has the use of his arms. His riding is still mind blowing though!
  • + 2
 article says quadriplegic though
  • + 3
 @jacks0n0: But the article says he's a quadriplegic. Google tells me that means all 4 of his limbs are paralyzed. Am I missing something?
  • + 6
 @wpplayer18: Yes - you're assuming that the author of this article knows the difference!

Liam is paraplegic... Thanks to his Leatt helmet and brace he was wearing at the time that he headbutted a fence post - could have been worse otherwise (i.e. quadraplegic)
  • + 2
 Mind Quad
  • + 7
 yep, my error there. It’s been some late nights for us editing and getting everything out. Fixed now.
  • + 5
 I'm sitting up pretty high but it works pretty much the same as a standard bike, although being a chest down paraplegic with no core use I can't weight transfer, so I just hold on for the buck!
  • + 7
 @wpplayer18: quadriplegic means all four limbs are effected, I know some who can walk and have more function than I do as their spinal cord damage was higher up and not as severe.

I'm a t4 paraplegic so I literally stop feeling and use past my nipples, with the exception of my lats as they start above my injury level.
  • + 3
 @Lkeenan22: Well that's just downright amazing. Huge props to you!
  • + 3
 Sts dh 97, it's write on it!
  • + 2
 1997 GT STS-1, most underforked DH bike of the time. 4" in the front, 6.5" in the rear.
  • + 1
 Everyone who watched GMBN tech last night can tell you the name and year of that GT! Wink
  • + 0
 GT STS Thermoplastic. Saw a couple of them snap the headtube clean on late nineties DH races. Wouldn't ride one if someone was paying me!
  • + 1
 Guess whenever RC is on bike review duty we're going to be seeing a lot more RC shoes Smile
  • + 2
 Go the R&R Sport jersey! Good memories...
  • + 2
 Yeti 4x is one of the best looking bikes of all time.
  • + 1
 Great to see Keenan back on a bike!
  • + 1
 What about the new fox full face helmet!?
  • + 1
 I love old school GT's!
  • + 1
 SCRUB THOSE SHOES JORDY!
  • + 1
 96? Lobo it just works.
  • - 2
 1997 GT STS

And some heartless douche will still rip the guy for being on an E bike. #getoveritalready
  • - 3
 Wasn't that the GT Lobo? I'm going to guess and say 1999. Maybe 1998.

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