Bike Check: Brage Vestavik's GT Force 'Jib' Bike

Jul 8, 2022 at 12:38
by Mike Kazimer  

At this point, Brage Vestavik needs little introduction. The Norwegian freerider's X Games Real MTB segment left jaws on the floor last year, and his attempt at a ridiculous drop during Red Bull Rampage later in the season cemented his position as a fan favorite for mountain bikers around the world.

His 27.5" GT Force is purpose built for his unique style of riding, which combines elements of street and big mountain. That's why you'll find enough housing to do bar spins on a bike with 170mm of travel, a single speed conversion, and parts chosen to handle the massive impacts that Brage subjects his bike to. The Force is GT's enduro bike, but Brage has turned it into his 'jib' bike, the freeride Viking's weapon of choice for half cabs on skinnies, massive sprocket stalls, and whatever other creative lines strike his fancy.

Brage Vestavik

Age: 23
Hometown: Mysen, Norway
Height: 185 cm / 6'1"
Weight: 95 kg / 209 lb
Instagram: @bragevestavik

GT Force Spec
Frame: GT Force alloy, size L
Shock: Marzocchi Bomber Air, 350 psi, max volume spacers
Fork: Marzocchi Bomber Z1 Air, 130 psi, max tokens
Wheels: DT Swiss FR1950
Tires: Michelin DH34: 27 psi front, 30 psi rear, Peaty's sealant
Drivetrain: Singlespeed, Shimano Zee derailleur for chain tensioner, 165mm Saint cranks
Pedals: Burgtec Penthouse Flat MK5 pedals7
Brakes: Shimano Saint BR-M820, 203mm rotors
Cockpit: Burgtec MK3 stem, Sensus Dissisdaboss grips
Seat: SDG Apollo

The teeth on an old cassette have been filed down to act as a chainguide for Brage's singlespeed setup. A spoke is used instead of a cable to keep the derailleur in the desired position for improved durability if it does get hit.

One of the flanges of the star-fangled nut has been punched out to allow the front brake line to run inside the head tube.

Brage even has his own signature frame protection from RipTape.

Well-used Sensus grips, Shimano Saint brakes, and 50mm Burgtec aluminum bars cut to 760mm.

Brage's been keeping busy with film projects this season, having recently finished a shoot with Teton Gravity Research, another one with Freeride Entertainment, and there are additional projects in the works with Red Bull. Brage's also been digging and riding near his home in Mysen, Norway, for a long-term project with Blur Media. In any case, there should be plenty of footage of Brage doing what he does best coming out in the near future.


  • 69 0
 I like Braga. When I look at the bikes of other pros, everything usually looks as expensive as possible. But at Brag - Shimano Zee is instead of the chain tensioner, a bolt from the garage for attaching the shock absorber. Just like typical riders!
  • 54 1
 A spoke instead of cable to hold the derailleur exactly in place, and a ground down chain ring as a guide. Love it.
  • 14 0
 @pisgahgnar: loving the spoke hack
  • 10 0
 @pisgahgnar: yeah that's one of the coolest things I've seen in awhile. Love the creativity.
  • 5 1
 I love how Brage apparently doesn’t seem to be even slightly bothered about the aesthetics of his bike.
  • 39 7
 I'll be the guy. Frame design is wonky and saddle is higher than it needs to be for a job bike. Catching saddle on your foot during tailwhips just so GT can have that awkward triangle there. Meh.
  • 7 0
 It's supposed to be a really well-rounded frame from what I've heard. I'd definitely consider one for a park bike. I also don't do tailwhips though :p.
  • 8 0
 To be fair, brage is a giant compared to most people in the jibbing scene.
  • 5 0
 It's ugly so you you don't mind to trow it away, purpose ugly!
  • 26 0
 Is anyone gonna mention the crazy top tube height? Hey GT/Dorel/???, can we put some $$ together and support this guy with a better product? All he does it send it ALL THE TIME! Remember the old days when people would black out frame names like Maxxis tires? Maybe it time to do that again.
  • 7 0
 It’s makes total sense - You don’t want your athletes to waste time raising family in there prime riding years. Keep the top tube ball busting high so we can see sick tricks for perceivable future GT…
  • 18 0
 Zinglespeed mod , the gift that keeps on giving
  • 15 2
 It's funny. We still want 27.5 and 26 bikes to ride, huck and play, yet we get 29ers and now mullet bikes with wheelbases that would challenge your grandmas 74 El Dorado; less progressive suspension to "improve comfort" for the masses.

Not just us regular dirt rats, but pros are even having to use older frame models that are out of production and still have to be heavily modified.

Thank you to the few core brands that still offer the bikes with "small" wheels that can be ridden hard and take big hits.
  • 11 0
 That poor bike Smile
Absolutely love what Brage does on the bike!!!
Love the spoke to position the rear der.
  • 11 0
 That bottom shock bolt look like straight from home depot
  • 5 0
 When this many pro's are using older discontinued frames it means the bike industry is going the wrong way. 29 limousines are great for covering distance quicker and smoothing the blue enduro trails out but are pretty limiting for everything else
  • 8 0
 Seat and top tubes should be modifyed in order to low the seat quite more
  • 6 0
 What's the max. pressure on the fork and shock? 300/100? Or does he actually run it within warranty limits?
  • 79 0
 Warranty got left behind about 50 feet ago…
  • 3 1
 @scottyrides5: probably within its first fifty feet of riding, haha!
  • 5 0
 . Do not exceed maximum air pressure: BOMBER AIR shocks have a maximum air pressure of 350 psi.

Do not exceed maximum air pressure: BOMBER Z1 and BOMBER 58 maximum air pressure is 120 psi. Minimum air pressure is: 40 psi.
  • 6 0
 Brage is sponsored by Marzocchi. Warranty is not important.
  • 1 0
 They call it Bomber for a reason - these people riders run way past max to see if they will explode….
  • 5 0
 That is the most battered rear mech I’ve seen in recent years
  • 10 1
 Pinkbike for Sale: " usual scrapes from normal use " Smile
  • 4 0
 @scoot34: Sorry we were looking for “never raced” or “mechanic owned”
  • 2 0
 I’m starting to wonder if those grips are well worn or wear quickly. Seems like a constant quality issue across multiple riders who’ve had them disguised as the result of riding a lot.
  • 4 0
 I got the senus lite and they last a long time ... i‘m casually riding around 1-3 times a week and they have lasted me 3 years and still go strong
  • 1 0
 My Sensus Swayzes have held up pretty well.
  • 4 0
 Or maybe they're just more comfortable when they're broken in like that? BMX grips are like $10 but most sponsored riders I know prefer em nice and worn.
  • 1 1
 @evehmeyer: maybe. I’ve had great grips from a lot of the race faces and psi’s. The ergons and such. Never managed to make them look that bad. Maybe gloves and less acidic body alkalinity.
  • 1 0
 Grips are like good pair of broken in shoes... It's a feeling things. I've been running the same grups for well over 10 years. Yes, I'm I desperate need of new ones. Yes, I have new ones. No, I'm in no hurry to change em.
  • 5 0
 That spoke in the derailleur is the coolest thing on this bike
  • 1 0
 Came to say the same
  • 1 0
 could do the same thing with a same size length of derailleur cable....I carry a 3" section in my pak in case I have to do the same thing to get home....
  • 1 0
 @jokermtb: somehow that’s safer than carrying a 3” section of spoke…
  • 1 0
 @jokermtb: yes but cables snap and it’s annoying, I keep a spare in my cranks bent in half , but I’d prefer to not need to replace it. So spoke looks like a fix
  • 3 0
 This spoke trick in is going to save me a lot of headaches / broken cables on my single speed ! Thanks Brage
  • 2 0
 Looks like he uses the DT Swiss EX 1501 for the front rim and FR 1950 only on the rear.
  • 1 0
 So an Enduro bike is a freeride bike with better gearing. So wouldn't stripping the better gearing just make it a freeride bike? Old ideas are new again.
  • 2 0
 That's basically my suspension setup with the pressure maxed out. People ask me why I don't just go rigid front and rear.
  • 16 16
 That bent piggyback reservoaire is probably one of the most useles solutions on rear shocks ever created. Absolutely no purpose.
  • 29 0
 I think they were really just trying to get them to fit on stumpjumpers.
  • 9 3
 It’s lack of symmetry offends my eyes so I could never own one.
  • 2 0
 @CustardCountry: yep it’s a super ugly frame alright
  • 1 0
 For how long it's gonna survive?

I really like the build, smart touch here and there
  • 1 0
 why not just use a tensioner, and have a shorter chain (still accounting for chainstay growth under compression, obv)
  • 2 2
 Is he using the oldgen frame because the new could not take the "pressure"?
  • 1 0
 No, he's using the older model of the frame because the new one is only 29", and he probably detests 29" wheels like I do.
  • 1 0
 And here I was hoping it was a sighting of the new Sensor...
  • 1 0
 Love that Kaz quotes ‘jib’
  • 1 0
 That is a well loved bike!
  • 1 0
 Isn’t that the old Force? No high pivot jib bike?
  • 1 0
 Yes. That's the old Force. HP and geometry on the new Force isn't ideal for jib bike.
  • 2 1
 Nobody's going to mention the headset cable routing?
  • 1 0
 Every bike is a ‘jib’ bike for Brage
  • 1 0
 Looks like a bloody shit, cool.
  • 2 4
 I like everything about this bike! Def better than the endless stream of hideous looking clown bikes that most all of the major bike companies shove down our throats these days. Shittiest time ever for bikes IMHO!
  • 1 0
 The biking Viking. Awsome Sender....
  • 1 0
 That looks mental! I love it!
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 That paint job!
  • 2 2
 Is that a dork disc?
  • 1 0
 Only dork I see is you.
  • 1 2
 Hey look a trek ebike!
  • 2 5
  • 3 3
 Most likely, maybe.
  • 4 0
 Frame is 27,5 version (MY 2019). Looks like dual 27,5
  • 25 0
 The tire says DH 34, therefore it's a 34er
  • 2 0
 Yeah I think that listing suspension air pressure over wheel size is a little silly -but hey, we have to complain ab something in the comments ;p
  • 3 0
 @mountguitars, it's 27.5" front and rear.
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