17 Freeride Bikes from Proving Grounds 2021

Sep 11, 2021 at 0:31
by Trevor Lyden  
Ryan McNulty
Ryan McNulty

Brook Anderson
Brook Anderson

Ethan Nell
Ethan Nell

Paul Genovese
Paul Genovese

Carson Storch
Carson Storch

David Lieb
David Lieb

Samantha Soriano
Samantha Soriano

Cam Zink
Cam Zink

Damon Iwanaga
Damon Iwanaga

Kyle Strait

Jaxon Riddle

Camila Noguiera

Nicholi Rogatkin

Johny Salido

DJ Brandt

Harriet Burbidge-Smith

Hannah Bergemann



72 Comments

  • 66 0
 When half the bikes are discontinued or modded to shit... The bike industry only wants to make 29" race bikes but riders want freeride bikes. Commencal does it right with the furious but there's a reason Nicolai still rides an older Demo.
  • 25 0
 THIS! Industry is trying to push FR onto either enduro or DH race rigs - f*ck Yeah Commencal, the Furious will be my next bike. Currently on a Capra shred which is an amazing FR bike but the new MX sucks - less travel, mixed wheel only, carbon only, less progressive, crap spec etc....I feel like a lot of brands are down spec'ing to cater to mainstream/casual riders...thank god for the Furious but there needs to be more FR specific bikes.
  • 4 0
 @trailsmurf: Loving my Commencal Clash for that reason
  • 4 1
 @trailsmurf: it could be a lack of good spec components that's causing the lower spec stuff. But should be priced accordingly. Like that's gonna happen.
  • 4 1
 @luckynugget:
I get what you mean but in this case why would the industry base their bike designs on needs of few freeriders that ride 20m jumps when non of the market is doing this kind of riding ?

Also, Are there really regular users riding only FR stuff ?
  • 2 1
 @zede: this is the point. Freeriders account for 0.01% of bike sold, the number of Demo’s or Sessions sold barely are a blip, compared to Slash’s or Stumpy’s. The furious is awesome for that niche and it commands the market of 700 people a year how globally buy a full price “free ride” bike.
  • 1 1
 @zede: @bonfire you guys are out to lunch. There's probably 700 freeriders within a 100km radius of me. Maybe if you live somewhere flat and boring but look at instagram, go to any bike park. The world is full of people who want to sesh jumps and do tricks way more than pedal up a hill or go in a race. To me it makes no sense that the majority of DH bikes are designed to race and stay locked to the ground.
  • 1 0
 @luckynugget: go into Cafe and ask them how many people wanted to buy a Status or even asked for a free ride bike. Hell, ask them how many people bought a dh bike this season. Then if the answer is more than 5, ask if they paid full price.

The furious is a wicked choice for the niche market. Everyone in that market should just buy that bike.

Look at any bike park is a good point. My 2019 season riding BC parks single crown forks dominated the lift lines (outside of whistler). Was bizarre to see after a few years out of Canada.
  • 1 0
 @zede: I hear you but it sucks being the guy trying to find a FR rig...

ALSO pre-2010s FR and DH were super small markets, v few bike parks so pretty much just racers and feature building FR guys so a very specific market, YET at the time I could name you 15 bikes I would give a limb for, these days I'd be lucky to name 5!

TBH I dont buy any economic necessity argument for needing to sell lots of consumer bikes - the brands are funnelling their cash into mainstream down specd crap to chase bucks, theyre not interested in chasing core rider dollars anymore when the suburbs are awash with dentists and yuppis who buy based off how light the bike is and how much carbon is on it....
  • 1 0
 @luckynugget: AY! I mean I live in BC so obvs above average but from the content I see online FR is still going hard in every corner of the world! I dont believe theres no market, there just trying to push us onto EN/DH rigs so they dont have to make FR bikes...in my opinion...
  • 1 0
 @bonfire: Dude single crown FR bikes have been rippin since Bourdon so I dont feel like thats a good proxy but hear you nonetheless, a shit ton of 160mm or less trail bikes in Whis Bike Park last few seasons...that said like 10% of that crowd is going to rip, most of them are just going to roll everything...
  • 29 0
 Zink still on a YT...still no new sponsor?

Cam Zink with old SRAM Code calipers?

Rogatkin with a S-Works paintjob on a Demo with the normal rocker?
  • 8 0
 The newer asymetric Demos all have alu rockers (with a small link to extend the shock and increase progression). But the S-Works chain stays are made from carbon (as seen on this demo). Strange thing is, It looks like it has the old alu rocker without the increased progression. Maybe this suits his needs better. So you are right in this way

And to me it looks like Trickstuff brakes on Zink´s bike. - A now I see, you meant Strait´s bike, they seem to be the old ones, yes
  • 4 0
 @NinjaskinShinguards: @dh-corn those look like complete 2011 era Code brakes on Kyle Strait's bike. I prefer that brake over every other brake I've ever ridden. I still run them on my dh, dj and looking for a pair for my trail bike. Great brake.
  • 2 0
 Kyle Strait has the old Code calipers actually.
  • 2 0
 @NinjaskinShinguards: Kyle Strait of course.

But Zink still on a YT?? I thought they had not had a good separation and what makes me wonder even more that he still have no new frame sponsor.
  • 2 0
 And that’s an older Tues, pre-2018, current version doesn’t have the seat tube bridge like that. Very odd.
  • 3 1
 @dh-corn: I thought he’d gone back to Hyper?
  • 3 0
 progressive leverage translates the rear wheel movement into tiny amplitudes at the shock in the beginning of the travel. Larger amplitudes allow for low speed compression to be more effective (I forgot where I heard it, but it makes simple sense). This would make a bike feel less like a pig trying to pop out of jumps. Also the higher feedback force from the spring (lower leverage) may not be good for traction, but will make a more efficient bike on a jump line. But since more riders prefer a monster truck with plush ride that does not bottom out, even the pro riders need to hold on to their old bikes to have an efficient jumper with long travel to handle those massive drops.
  • 2 0
 Zink doesn't ride the old SRAM Code calipers but on Trickstuff MAXIMA
  • 1 0
 @dh-corn: Don't believe everything you read on PB about people's relationships.
  • 9 0
 Nice to see some pros reusing bikes! It's almost as if custom built custom painted bikes can be used for more than one event
  • 8 0
 IN THE HILLS GANG!
  • 6 0
 Rogatkin sworks paint - yah or nah?
  • 14 5
 yah, but the misalignment of the front tire logos...nah. Ruins the whole bike!
  • 9 3
 Hard nah. McNulty's and Salido's frames tho.. yah.
  • 10 1
 Nah, I prefer the soothing tones of the Commencal green personally. I bet some folks would love it though. Damn there are some good bikes around now.
  • 2 0
 @james182:
I think it´s not misaligned. It just looks like that.
The diagonals did there work well. Haha!
  • 5 1
 But also note how old that frame is! Interesting to see a pro rider using a frame from around 5+ years ago. They almost always ride a new frame. Im guessing its a 26?
  • 3 0
 yah, but the fork and shock should be black
  • 5 0
 Depending is it night or day Wink
Quiet few mullets here 26 at rear and 27.5 up front
  • 4 0
 @drjonnywonderboy: this one came out in 2016 as a 27.5
  • 4 2
 s-doesn’t work
  • 1 0
 The ugliest bike made even uglier !
  • 5 0
 Jaxon Riddle - Magic Mary Ultra soft in the rear and a Big Betty Soft on the front - quite an unsual tire pairing....
  • 4 0
 Given the approach many take to free ride and how many tire get destroyed, I wonder if the tires were just slapped on without much thought. They probably have piles of aggressive tires and just swap out as necessary.
  • 5 0
 What is Cam Zink riding right now?
  • 6 2
 One of the uglier bikes I’ve seen.
  • 5 0
 I see only one freeride bike in the bunch. Can you spot it?
  • 1 0
 It's not the SC. Nemesis_999 and Urban Freeride Brotherhood will differ
  • 4 0
 quite the medley of bikes and parts
  • 1 0
 Is Damon Iwanaga on mullett or that is full 27,5? I tried to spot is but could not. I thought Marzocchi bomber 58 is only for 27,5 but that front wheel seems a little bigger than the back.
  • 5 0
 The rear might be a 26 then!
  • 1 0
 He is running 29 up front, 27.5 in the rear
  • 3 0
 I want a patrol with a dual crown now
  • 4 0
 zink rocking the old yt
  • 2 0
 "n0t MaNy MuLlEtS hErE" someones now reached DCA levels of insanity with their anti-mullet rants.
  • 2 0
 Anyway to watch this event? Stream?
  • 2 0
 this is nice content very nice
  • 2 0
 Bomber party! Smile
  • 1 0
 Looks like a Michelin party! Nice to see Maxxis taking a back seat.
  • 2 0
 Storch's RM looks wicked
  • 1 0
 Genovese brings the daily driver, nice.
  • 2 3
 Was that exact juliana v10 once ridden by Nina Hoffmann?
  • 3 0
 With 1 shoe on?
  • 1 4
 Look, actual downhill bikes and not an enduro that you label a "downhill" bike.
  • 4 1
 While i completely understand the frustration with the ignorant efforts of some pinkbike editors to declare enduro bikes "just as good" as downhill bikes, there are at least two enduro bikes pictured in this article.
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