Bikes Of DarkFEST 2018: Pro Freeride Bikes

Bikes Of DarkFEST 2018: Pro Freeride Bikes

– The first round of the Fest
Series recently took place in South Africa with
some of the biggest jumps in the world, the 90 foot double. Let’s take a look at some of the bikes that were ridden there, and what makes a freeride
bike a freeride bike. Basically, they’re downhill bikes with super stiff suspension
and really slow rebound can help on those those
g-outs, on those big takeoffs. We’ve got six bikes to look
at, but first lets take a look at Carson Storch’s Rocky Mountain Maiden. So the Rocky Mountain Maiden
is a 200 mil travel bike. Front and rear, we’ve got
a SR Suntour fork up front, the DVO coil shock on the back. So Rocky Mountain are one
of the few manufacturers that still make their bikes
available to run 26 inch wheels. So on the rear dropout,
you got two settings. One for the bigger wheels,
one for the 26 inch wheels. And that keeps the BB height and the geometry pretty much the same. However, you can see
this custom made piece, that goes underneath the head tube, just to raise the front of the bikes. With the 26 inch wheels,
the geometry pretty much remains the same as
with the bigger wheels. Now the Freeriders like
the smaller wheels, because they’re just easier to throw around in the air,
and do big tricks on. So you see this part here has been CNC’d and anodized by Rocky
Mountain and it sits inside the standard head tube there, just to bring that stack out up, and make the ride height
of the bike the same as it would do on a 27.5 inch wheel. See the cup and the bearing
sits just inside there. So nice custom touches
like this McGazza top cap and the bike is running
on 26 inch Hope wheels with their Hope pro-4
hub. Let’s take a listen. (bike wheel whirring) So this I Nicholi Rogatkin’s
very shiny, Specialised Demo 8. Again running 26 inch wheels. It’s got air shocked front
and rear on this bike, and it’s also set up really small. So he’s actually a small frame. Where as Nicholi Rogatkin
is five foot seven. So not massive, but he would probably suit a medium frame at least. But he’s got to have his
setup really nice and small so he can throw his bike around. So 25 mil Spanks stem up there, and the bars have rolled right back. So if they’re almost sat right up top of that fork stand which’d
make it feel really short. The bars are Spank Vibrocore
and they actually have this anti-vibration technology in them to make them a
little more comfortable. They’re in the 5 mm rise model. You see how that role’s so far back, you can almost see the logos
in the front of the bars, from the back. Also you can see his shifter is rolled really far out of the way
just so he doesn’t hit that when doing tricks,
especially no handed tricks, when he gets his hands back on the bars. The Bike is running on DT
Swiss EX471 26 inch wheels. There’s two for 40 hubs,
take a listen to those. (bike wheel whirring) He’s also got some prototype Michelin 26 inch tyres on there. Interesting set up we don’t really see many prototpyes in that size anymore. The bike is finished with Ergon
downhill grips and saddle. This is an interesting
bike, this is Sam Reynolds Polygon colossus DH9. It’s the same bike we see
people like Mick Hannah race the World Cup Downhill Circuit on. But this is a completely different beast. SO there’s 200 mill front and rear travel, and on the front we’ve got
that SR SunTour Rux fork. And on the back we have a boss shock, but this is the interesting part. It actually has 1000
pound spring on there. So a normal sort of average spring weight, it’s probably five or six hundred. So this is super heavy, it
makes that rear end of the bike feel really stiff. And where do you find 1000
pound rear shock spring? Well it’s off of a mini motorcross bike. So the bike is really
stealth, all black everything, except for those blue break callipers, and they are Trickstuff Direttissima. So, not a brand you see an awful lot of but they look like awesome breaks. Also he’s got the lime
green DMR V8 flat pedals. Again Sam is running the
Spank Vibrocore bars, but he’s also got Vibrocore
rims on this bike as well. A special foam insert, again
to reduce any of vibrations. See his bars looks super clean, he’s got those Trickstuff
break views on there, that actually look really cool. You can see lots of big
holes drilled into them. A super long moto looking leaves on there. Also you can see he’s not got a shifter, so he’s running this bike single speed. He’s got the SB1 chain tension on the back and an E 13 chain device upfront. You might think this looks overelaborate, this set up to run a single speed. But on a full suspension bike, most bikes, the tension on the chain
changes quite a lot when the rear cycles through that travel. So you need a chain that
gives you enough slack for that rear suspension to move. In that case you also need a tensioner to make sure that chain
doesn’t start popping off. To the wheels, Sam is running
a Kenda Hellcat tyre up front. So, prety much a downhill tyre. But on the rear of the bike,
he’s running a semi-slick, which is going to be super fast. Also running Spanks bike DH wheels. (bike wheel whirring) (upbeat funk beat music) This is Jordie Lunn, the
canadian rider’s, YT Tues. The same bike that Erin Gwynn
races World Cup downhill on. 200 mill travel again front and read. You got a Rockshox boxxer upfront. The vivid RC2 coil shock on the rear. It’s actually got titanium spring on there to save some weight, but
also some tyre hardware like these gold bolts on the bike. See that top cap says get lit not fit. I’m not sure Erin Gwynn runs
one of those on his bike. So he’s also running very
high dirty bar on there but interested to know that he’s drop the forks extensions through on the crown so whether or not he wants a high bar, but what he’s trying to keep the hat angle similar, who knows. He’s also got a low back end on this bike so his saddle is slammed right down. But often we see this with
full suspension bikes, the longer travel ones,
is that the rear tyre will actually hit the saddle. Now Jordie’s come up with an
inventive solution to this, he’s actually cut the
back of his seat out. He also seems to have chopped
the front of his saddle off. Now I’m not sure why. I wonder if this is down
to doing seat grab tricks, like toboggans or Superman seat grabs, but I don’t know, do you know? Let us know in the comments down below. I’d love to know why he does that. He’s also running Census grips
and he’s running Halo wheels. And I recognise this bike, this is our very own Blake
Sampson Scott Gambler. And actually it’s one
of the very few bikes running the bigger wheels so 27.5. He’s running the continental
Kaiser downhill tyre. You can see the rear one
has been really skidded out. Again, it’s almost now a semi slick, so it’s super fast for
hitting those jumps. So we’ve got Foxx 40 fork upfront but also that DH2 shock on the rear. It’s really customizable, so you’ve got high and
low speed compression and damping on that that shock. Now a lot of riders do
set up their suspension, specifically the rear shock,
really slow on the rebound. So when the bike
compresses in to take off, and you actually jump, you don’t want to rear
wheel pinging out too hard ’cause that can send
you way up and forward. Blake’s running the signature
Danny Mac crank brothers stamp paddles in the small size. He’s also got a Crank
Brothers seatpost, a Cobalt 3. On top of there we’ve
got an Ergon SMD2 saddle. Also Ergon grips. Some nice custom touches on his bike. He’s got his name and the
Zimbabwe flag, where he’s from, on the top tube, also a darkfest sticker on the crown of the fork. Let’s finish this up with a quick look at Ethan Nell’s YT Tues. Looks like a small bike again. Actually he looks like he runs
his break levers super flat on the bar so he can reach them when he’s off the back of the bike. We’re got actually an
unbranded fork on the front, but that definitely looks
like a Foxx 40 to me. So why it’s unbranded I’m not sure. Possibly a sponsorship issues. Again, 26 inch wheels, got
air shocks front and rear. Of the six bikes we’ve seen,
actually three of them are air, three of them are coil and all but one, are on the 26 inch wheels. Again this bike has got
a super worn rear tyre. Now is that because freeriders are lazy? Or is it because they
want a fast rolling tyre? Who knows. What do you think? Let us know down there. Now if you want to see a full bike check on Ethan Nell’s bike, click up there, and if you haven’t seen it already, click down there for Blake’s awseome video all about DarkFest. Gives us thumbs up if
you like freeride bikes, and hit that subscribe button if you haven’t done it already.


  1. Hello to all of you definitely some serious bikes , seat cut off NO IDEA maybe just wants the space . Cheers 🍻

  2. which better between: –
    -SENDER AL 6.0
    -TUES AL
    -furious origin 650b.
    – Propain Rage Comp
    please i need a i need opinion. tanks

  3. I run 27.5 on my enduro bike but if a had to choose another wheel size it will be 26 because they are more durable and 29ers are gayyyyy

  4. the saddle is carved out incase they bottom out the rear suspension I'm 12 and know that and I really want to set up my own channel but for juniors and I have a scott gambler same as blakes but maxed out with hope

  5. nicholi rogatkin have his tire mounted going the wrong direction???? the tyre arrow looks backwards if the shots haven't been flipped. back tyre looks right but the front looks like its on backwards.

  6. I wonder if the front of that saddle is cut off to avoid hitting it with your foot when doing can can or tail whip tricks?
    Perhaps he just found he was slightly catching the foot each time

  7. 26 out back 29 up front 200mm travel full on xc bike. Basiclly manual nust by leaning my head back lol. Schreddin giant hangin off the back laughing all day.

  8. Slick in the back, knobby up front! In my opinion the best setup ever if you ride mostly in dry conditions.

  9. The front of Jordie's saddle may be cut to create a little more room to maneuver with more space between the bars and nose of the saddle.

  10. How come YT Tues it is 26”? If it is only 27.5 in their website? Is it a custom made modification or you can just swap the factory 27.5 for a 26” without any changes needed?
    By the way one of the greatest and in depth reviews of my favourites bikes and riders !! Cheers for that!

  11. dude he got blake samsons shock wrong he said dhx2 when its actually the float x2 cause the dhx2 is the coil shock

  12. Maybe cuts the front of the seat to keep it from catching on his pants/shorts? Or maybe hes got elephant nutz and needs more room for them 0.o

  13. I ride some jumps not real big,and I ride like just a bunch of off road like a trail tipe of riding and I do go up hill like climbing so idk what bike I need

  14. wow this is a great tour of the bikes! Thanks
    I'd love to see each one of these suspension compressed in slo-motion! I could watch that footage for days

  15. I want an 1000 lbs shock spring 😢 idk where to find it, I tend to ride jumps mostly with my dh which is my freeride bike and don't like soft suspension, I just have it there to save me from an overshoot or a huge hit

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