Crankworx Cairns- Testing Times

When I think about all the things I have built over the many years (theres been a lot) I think about the driving force behind the build.

One that sticks in my mind was the Hilux build, I remember the highs and the lows depicted in the Dream.Build.Drive documentary and the elation of feeling it work as I intended it to at Hampton Downs Raceway in New Zealand.

It’s like a personal tick of approval that brings joy and relief knowing that the years of effort and sacrifice have been all worth it.

I have mentioned it before but I was reluctant to build a mountain bike, I knew the time and effort that would be required and was skeptical about the reward. I mean how can a small team of three people build a bike that performs as good as those ones currently available off the shelf?

Since then my perception has changed and the amount of personal growth throughout this project has already given me the value I was looking for. Downhill bikes are the Trophy Trucks of the bike world and the engineering that goes into them is only understood by those who undertake such a build.

The ultimate goal with this project though is to go racing, just one day after fabrication and assembly was completed (which you can see in this post) we boxed up the bike and got on a plane to Cairns.

When I say “we” I mean Mic Williams, Mic is 1/3rd of Trinity and the racer among us, unfortunately the effort of building a bike takes a lot of time away from riding a bike so Cairns Crankworx was a return to riding for Mic and the first time our Trinity MTB got between the tape.

I mentioned this bike was fresh out of the JIG, it had done less than 10 minutes of testing and that was on my driveway, so we were apprehensive about what the 5 day festival would have install for us.

The Fox Suspension guys had our back (thanks George) and we were able to pit and use their tent for the entire festival, not only that they had their technicians on hand should we require any setup changes.

This proved to be extremely helpful as we swapped out the DHX2 coilshock for a Float X2 air shock, our setup has a large leverage ratio and we like the bike fairly stiff, the 550lbs spring in the DHX2 shock wasnt enough so we went to air and fitted a single token (volume spacer) along with 285psi of pressure to get the bike feeling perfect.

While that was happening Mic geared up for Downhill practice which was a great chance to feel the bike and get comfortable with its new settings.

I havn’t mentioned it yet but walking into the Crankworx Cairns amphitheatre revealed a dream layout that included some of the largest dirt features Australia has to offer, almost a year in the making World Trail and Flux Trail created a Slalom, Slopestyle, Whip off, Speed and Style course that had to be seen to be believed.

The largest of these features played host to the Whip Off contest, Mic was entered in this and the Trinity V3 Prototype was set to send. One practice run in Downhill gave Mic some confidence in the bike but would it be enough to get it to the top of the roll in and through this huge set?

I spoke with Mic and he agreed that he would head up to the top of the roll in and think about it, I mentioned that there was no pressure, I think we both knew he wasn’t walking the bike back down the hill.

Although we are completely transparent throughout this build process I had a moment where I thought this is a very very bad idea, the bikes hardly left the ground and it’s now at the top of a roll in about to complete the biggest jumps in the southern hemisphere. Thousands of people line the hill, millions of people tuning in on RedBull Tv and the industry’s eyes all seeing this bike get tested in real time.

My heart stopped when I saw Mic rolling in, looking up at the big screen I saw the bike pop out the other side only to do it over and over again till the session ended. That elation I was telling you about before (the one where a hand built project performs at its designed peak) rushed over us and the proof was right there in front of us that we are on the right track.

Throughout the next 4 days the bike performed flawlessly, we didn’t get to put down the time we wanted on Downhill race day due to a flat front tyre in turn 4 but we met a lot of people that had some great things to say about the project.

I could say a lot more good things about the Crankworx Festival but I have another prototype to build so ill leave you with a gallery to look at. Oh and by the way photographing and videoing MTB’s is hard work, I was bummed with my shots from the event but I know exactly what I need to make them better.

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