Here it is, my new DH steed!

The bike’s race pedigree speaks for itself, its most impressive trait? The way it accelerates out of corners!

V10a webV10b web  V10c web V10d web V10e web

Frame 2017 V10 C, XL

Shock Fast Suspension Holy Grail

Fork Fox 40 Performance Elite (coil)

Wheels E13, 27.5″

Brakes Hope V4, 203mm/200mm

Crankset Truvativ

Seatpost Thomson

Bar Raceface 6XC, carbon, 780mm/30mm

Stem Santa Cruz

Grips Santa Cruz

Saddle WTB

Chainguide E13

Pedals Hope F20

Shifter Sram GX DH

Chain+K7 Sram GX DH 7spd

Derailleur Sram GX DH

Tyres Maxxis High Roller DH
Total weight: 16.3kg

A massive “thank you” to, Santa Cruz Bicycles, Hope Technology and Fast Suspension.

In 2017 I (Jo) will be riding on Santa Cruz bikes, after 9 years on a different brand, it’s a big change!

Here is my enduro bike… this thing rip!

Bronson CC

Frame 2017 Bronson CC, Large

Fork Lyrik RCT3, 160mm

Wheels Hope Enduro with Pro4 hubs

Brakes Hope E4 Tech3, 203mm/180mm, floating rotors

Crankset Hope 170mm with 30t spider ring and Hope press fit BB

Seatpost Yep Uptimizer HC 150mm

Bar Alpha 780x30mm

Stem Hope AM 35mm

Grips ODI

Saddle old Fizik (Fabric Spoon coming soon)

Chainguide OneUp

Pedals Hope F20

Shifter Sram X1

Chain+K7 Sram X1 10/42

Derailleur Sram GX

Tyres Michelin Wild Rock’R2 Advanced Reinforced
Total weight: 14.2kg

A big “thank you” to Santa Cruz, Hope, Fast and Yep for their support.

This year, for a few reasons,  I’ve decided to build one do-it-all bike instead of one enduro and one downhill bike.

It has to be stable and suspended for the lift assisted riding we do over the summer in the Portes du Soleil but still be a reasonable climber for… the rest of the year!

With its adjustable head angle, 160mm of DW link managed travel and carbon frame, the new RFX ticked all the boxes.

Jo 8

Here’s how I built mine:

Frame 2016 XL RFX, with FSA Option headset (65°)

Fork Pike RCT3, 160mm , Fast Suspension compression cartridge and custom stickers.

Wheels Hope Enduro with Pro4 hubs

Brakes Hope E4 Tech3, 200mm/180mm, floating rotors

Crankset Hope 170mm with 30t spider ring and Hope press fit BB

Seatpost Yep Uptimizer HC 150mm

Bar Alpha 780x30mm

Stem Hope AM 35mm

Grips ESI Fit CR

Saddle Tioga Outland (test version)

Chainguide OneUp

Pedals Hope F20

Shifter Sram X1

Chain+K7 Sram X1 10/42

Derailleur Sram GX

Tyres Michelin Wild Rock’R2 Advanced Reinforced
Total weight: 14kg

A massive “thank you” to Turner, Hope, Fast and Yep for their long running support.

I have been riding with a Rock Shox Pike solo air 160mm on my Turner Burner since last year. I originally choose this fork because it works great straight out of the box, is light but stiff and is also pretty easy to service. Although the fork works very well, I have never been really happy with the low speed compression adjuster. If you want the fork not to dive too much under braking or when the trail gets steep, you have to nearly fully close the knob, which affects the grip in the wrong way. I also have no use for the pre-set compression setting which allows you to lock the fork (the best way to hit the descent with a still locked fork in my opinion).

So I was pretty excited when Fast Suspension announced their new compression kit for the Pike. Very similar to their DH offering, it is essentially a “proper” compression piston with 24 clicks for low and high speed fine tuning. The kit is machined/assembled and fitted in-house in Brittany.

The result on the trail is amazing! It feels very similar to a DH fork, to the point that the rear suspension (and sometimes the rider) struggles to keep up when the trail gets rough. You get a fork which stays high and is very confidence inspiring, but without compromising the grip. It obviously takes a bit more time and patience to find the “sweet spot” but it’s definitely worth it! So if you’re looking to improve the way your fork works and have no interest in the lock out option, go for it! You won’t recognise your fork afterwards.

Fast Suspension Pike

My “Fasted” Pike.

The wet weather this July hasn’t stopped us from riding, but the conditions do take their toll on the bike and the rider. Here are a few tips which should make your muddy rides easier for you and your steed… you might even start to prefer it!

The rider:

  • Adapt your kit, a rain jacket + trousers will keep you reasonably dry (make sure not to over dress underneath to avoid condensation) and most of all will keep your clothes clean… your washing machine will be thankful for it! To clean your rain kit, hose it down before taking it off and Bob’s your uncle!

    What we use: Patagonia Torrentshell jacket + trousers

  • Keep the extremities warm, Merino wool socks are a must and a pair of neoprene gloves (not too thick) will make a big difference when the temperature drops.

    What we use: Seal Skinz socks, Mavic Cyclone gloves

  • Keep your vision clear, it’s the biggest problem and unfortunately, there isn’t a perfect solution, but a dry clean cloth kept in your sleeve will allow you to wipe your glasses/goggles every time you stop.

  • Do not hose your muddy shoes or they will never dry again! Just let them dry (you can stuff them with newspaper) and then brush the dry mud off.

The bike:

  • Use the right lubricant, use a wet conditions lubricant before you go out. A silicon lubricant applied to your frame (kept away from the brakes!) will stop the mud sticking on it… at least for a while! After your ride, lube every nook and cranny of your bike (transmission and suspensions of course but also suspension knobs, shifters, brake levers,…).

    What we use: Muc Off Wet Lub and GT85

  • A small mudguard under the arch of your fork will keep most of the projection away but will also protect your fork’s joints.

    What we use: Marsh guard

  • Mud tyres make a massive difference! If you don’t have the budget or if you need to pedal, change just the front tyre, you will feel a lot more in control.

    What we use: Maxxis Wet scream or Specialized Hillbilly

  • You can make a small “cover” for your rear brake caliper to stop the mud getting in (mud means pads wearing more quickly and pistons getting dirty), I personally use some blister plastic (Hope’s brake pads do a great job!)

    Here is a posh example :

 

photo by: my-new-stuff.com

The skills:

  • Choose different lines from usual to avoid the biggest obstacles (roots, ruts,…), don’t be afraid of staying away from the most obvious line to find “clean” spots to brake and turn.

  • Keep some pressure on your front wheel to get the most grip out of it.

  • Keep your braking smooth.

  • Stay loose on the bike.

  • Speed is (still) your friend! If you ride too slow, your tyres are going to clog and you won’t move at all anymore… remember to keep your braking smooth though!

Well equipped, riding in the mud is fun… and there’s only one way to get better at it – get out and ride!!

 

Burner 2014

For their 20th anniversary, Turner Bikes has created a special edition of the Burner, their first model, here is how I built mine:

*Frame Size & Color: Large Burner, Polished

* Rear Shock: Fox Float CTD Factory

* Fork: Rock Shox Pike Solo air/160mm

* Brakes: Hope E4 Race, 203/183mm

* Shifter: Sram X.9

* Cranks: Shimano SLX with Hope Bash and 24/34 chainrings

* Chainguide: custom

*Front Derailleur: Sram X.9

* Rear Derailleur: Sram X.9 type2

* Pedals: Hope F20

* Stem: Hope 50mm

* Handlebar: Renthal Fat bar Lite

* Seatpost: Yep Uptimizer ST

* Saddle: Fizik Gobi

* Cassette: Sram 11/36* Headset: Hope

* Grips: Renthal Kevlar

* Tires: Michelin Wild Rock R’ 2 reinforced Magic’X&Gum’X

* Rims: Flow EX 27.5″

* Hubs: Hope Pro2 Evo

The bike rides amazingly, DO believe the hype, 27.5″ wheels carry a ton of speed through the rough and the low BB is brilliant in corners. A massive thank you to Turner Bikes, Hope and Yep components for their help.

DHR 2014 2

Here come my new DH beast! Low, slack and with finely tuned suspensions, this thing is FAST!

Here is the detailed build :

*Frame Size & Color: Large DHR, Orange anodised

* Rear Shock: Elka Stage 5, Ti spring

* Fork: Boxxer Race with Fast CO3 cartridge and black stanchion

* Brakes: Hope V4, 203/203mm floating rotors

* Shifter: Sram X.9

* Cranks: Race Face Atlas

* Chainguide: Shimano Saint

* Rear Derailleur: Sram X.9 type2

* Pedals: Hope F20

* Stem: Hope integrated

* Handlebar: Renthal cut to 760mm

* Seatpost: Easton EA70

* Saddle: Reverse

* Bottom Bracket: Hope

* Chainring: Race Face Single 36t

* Cassette: Sram 11/26

* Headset: Hope

* Grips: Renthal

* Tires: Maxxis Minion F, 2.7, ST

* Rims: Mavic EX721

* Hubs: Hope Pro2

I’ve just got my Boxxer back from Fast Suspension… and it’s had a few nice tweaks!

The standard stanchions have been changed for some custom black ones, stiffer and more importantly with less friction than the original ones. Internally the CO2 open cartridge I used to run has been upgraded to the new CO3. This new version keeps the key features of the former one, open bath and all parts machined in-house in Brittany but with an added external adjuster for high speed compression via a very neat push/pull knob. To finish it off, I had a set of custom moto stickers made by Slik Graphics… bring on the summer!

fast suspension boxxer

Jo is selling his trusty 5.Spot. This is an amazing trail bike, it will take you anywhere and back with a smile.

The frame has been fully rebuilt at the end of the season (new axles and bushings), got a couple of minor scratches and a dent under the bottom bracket (see photo). Suspensions have been serviced.

Built as follow:

Frame : Turner 5.Spot 2012, Large (1.78cm/1.85cm), RP23, custom colour “sparkle white”
Fork : Revelation RCT3, 150mm, dual air, 2013
Wheels : Hope ProII Evo, ZTR Flow, 2012
Gears : 2x10v, X9, dérailleur+chain+k7+cables/housing new
Brakes : Hope M4 Evo Race, match makers, 200/180, rear disc=1 week old
Crankset : XT 24/34, 175mm, Hope bash, 2013 /new BB
Seatpost : Reverb 2013
Stem : Hope 70mm
Bar : Renthal Fat bar Lite, 2013
Grips : Renthal kevlar
Sadle : WTB Silverado new
Tires : Specialized Butcher Control 2.35, new
Headset : Work Components -1.5°

Price= 1620£/1900€