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  • Kevin has been a road biker for most of the time I’ve known him, but recently, things

  • changed.

  • In fact today Kevin white knuckled this step up to the point where it literally blew his

  • shorts off.

  • So to understand how we got to this point, a little explanation is in order.

  • I don’t remember when it was that Kevin started road biking, but he got way into every

  • aspect of itfrom training, to racing, to eating donuts.

  • He was a certified roady and went by the moniker Steady Spin.

  • He even had a local race team for a while.

  • But somewhere along the line, Kevin got introduced to mountain biking.

  • Actually it was a little over a year ago that Alexander took Kevin to a downhill park, where

  • to everyone’s surprise, he turned out to be really good at not pedaling.

  • It’s worth noting, that I had predicted this.

  • Like me, Kevin has a history in street BMX, so all those bike control circuits are deeply

  • embedded in his brain.

  • Weve seen this before.

  • Somewhere along Kevin’s journey into mountain biking, he began posting Youtube videos documenting

  • his progression.

  • But unlike most roadies who take to the dirt, Kevin had all but abandoned his power meter,

  • heart rate monitor, and cadence sensors.

  • His progression has been defined by bigger and bigger jumps, and I’m not sure well

  • ever see roady Kevin again.

  • Yesterday, he wheeled a downhill bike into my garage, that he bought used for $500.

  • $500 seems like a great deal for a working downhill bike, but the more you learn about

  • this bikethe less you think that.

  • Don’t get me wrong none of these parts are bad, theyre just completely random.

  • I don’t think a stock Giant Glory comes with cross country brakes.

  • Or a single speed chain tensioner.

  • Or the large ring of a two by as the front sprocket.

  • According to Kevin these brakes overheat halfway through each run, and shockingly, he’s been

  • having chain retention issues.

  • Whoever sold this bike may have put a bunch of random parts on it to make it whole.

  • But we had a nice little stack of replacement parts to work with, some of which Kevin bought,

  • and some of which I had on hand.

  • Our goal was to use what we had to make this bike just a little safer and a lot more reliable.

  • Priority number one was to swap out this front gear with a proper single speed Chainring.

  • This one was designed to work with a front derailleur, so the chain shifts off with any

  • lateral force.

  • Our replacement chainring has teeth that alternate between narrow and wide, which goes a long

  • way in keeping the chain on.

  • Also for chain retention we installed a downhill chain guide, complete with a bash guard.

  • This one is made to protect up to a 36 tooth chainring, so it looks massive, but the price

  • was right, and its red color against the green accents made this bike look like a watermelon.

  • So, we dubbed it Gallagher.

  • In the absence of a rear mech, we decided to leave the chain tensioner.

  • But I did spend some time adjusting things and getting the chain line as straight as

  • possible.

  • Eventually well need to install a cassette and shifter on this thing, but for now this

  • will need to do.

  • To fix Gallagher’s overheating brakes, we replaced them with a barely used set of Code

  • R’s that Kevin bought off a friend.

  • But unsurprisingly the hoses had been shortened to fit a different bike.

  • I didn’t have a longer hose on hand, and at 10pm we didn’t know anyone who did.

  • So, we experimented for a bit and settled on a shortcut across the top of the linkage.

  • Although these upgrades were far from perfect or permanent, they went a long way in making

  • Gallagher just a little more trailworthy.

  • And so first thing in the morning, we loaded up and headed to Tennessee.

  • Kevin had a score to settle at one of the gnarliest places I know of, Windrock Bike

  • Park.

  • Kevin had raced here earlier in the season and wanted to come back on a downhill bike

  • to tackle this step up.

  • We’d need to do a couple shake down runs to make sure Gallagher was up to the task.

  • After our first few runs, the spring on the chain tensioner gave out and we needed to

  • borrow an old derailleur as a temporary solution.

  • But overall Gallagher was running way better than before.

  • The brakes weren’t overheating and the drivetrain was pretty much doing its job.

  • Kevin had already gotten the suspension sorted when he bought the bike, so that was working

  • fine too.

  • Oh, and the bash guard did its job.

  • Aside from a few little odds and ends, Kevin was making it through each run without any

  • issues to speak of.

  • Aboard Gallagher, you would never guess that only a year ago Kevin was a full on road biker.

  • Just look at how far he’s come in only a year.

  • I’m not trying to make this about road versus dirt, but it’s pretty clear that Kevin was

  • destined for this.

  • By the time we finished giving Gallagher a proper shakedown, Kevin was on fire.

  • So he focused his attention on the Redbull drop and the rather large step up that comes

  • after it.

  • Gallagher’s suspension certainly did its job because Kevin’s first attempt resulted

  • in a massive case.

  • But he rolled away just fine and was ready to commit to a faster approach.

  • Brakes open, white knuckles.

  • It’s hard to overcook a step up, especially one with such a huge landing.

  • But man did we laugh when we saw this footage.

  • Even I must admit that a shorter travel bike might not have treated Kevin so kindly.

  • I mean, he could have had his balls ripped off.

  • And so today, we welcome Gallagher to Kevin’s fleet.

  • Obviously we need to sort a few things out on this bike, but it’s a pretty a worthy

  • steed for the price.

  • If youre trying to save money, patience and persistence can often get you lot.

  • As for Kevin’s road biking days, I hope we haven’t seen the last of them.

  • But Kevin is following his heart and downhill mountain biking puts a big smile on his face.

  • One could also argue that this is safer.

  • If you want to follow Kevin’s progression and see what he does next with Gallagher,

  • check out his channel in the link below.

  • And if you want to see more from Windrock Bike Park, follow them on instagram.

  • Thanks for riding with me today, and I’ll see you next time.

Kevin has been a road biker for most of the time I’ve known him, but recently, things

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B1 kevin downhill chain biking progression road

Used Downhill Bike gets Fixed, Ridden, and Named

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/03/04
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