One of our mechanics has a nickname that more people know him by than his real name. He's called Downhill. Young and reckless, he's constantly putting his bikes through the ringer. We often tell him he needs to be a product safety tester at some mountain bike manufacturer on the west coast. I've seen him do things on a cyclocross bike that I wouldn't do on my full suspension.
Downhill is forever testing the limits.
The latest test vehicle is something the mechanics have been conjuring up for a few months. They felt the need for an SB 5.5 with a little more racey feel up front. The 4.5 wasn't enough and the 5.5 was too much. Their solution? 140mm Ohlins RXF36 fork up front on an XO1 Eagle SB 5.5.
Nickname be damned, this bike is a little less downhill than intended, but the kid wanted to go faster.
"Low and high speed compression are externally adjustable and fully independent. Thanks to the easy to tune, 3 Chamber Air spring and contrary to most of the forks available, the shape of the spring force can be adjusted, such as increasing sensitivity without bottoming out all using your regular shock pump." - Ohlins
"The Float DPX2 for the SB5.5 has more consistent damping with a revised oil path. On the trail, you will feel more mid-stroke support and less overdamped feeling. Additionally, the new shock design allows for compression and rebound to be tuned more independently." -Yeti Cycles
We're a big fan of Industry Nine and Enve Composites around here and there would be no room to fuss around with anything less than the best for this bike. i9 hubs laced with DT Swiss Aerolite spokes to Enve's m730 rims were a no-brainer.
Topped off with a RaceFace Next R crankset, Enve risers, Saint brakes and a RaceFace Turbine dropper, every bit of this bike is dialed just the way Downhill wants. Weighing in at 29 pounds, this bike is capable of just about anything. From Richmond's technical single-track to the demanding descents of Sherando and Reddish Knob, I'm interested to see what this bike can't do.
I just hope he doesn't break it first.