Used Downhill Bike gets Fixed, Ridden, and Named

Used Downhill Bike gets Fixed, Ridden, and Named


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 it—from 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. We’ve 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 we’ll 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 bike—the less you think that. Don’t get me wrong none of these parts are
bad, they’re 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 we’ll 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 you’re 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.

About the Author: Michael Flood

66 Comments

  1. The gloru he rides and the single speed he use at that glory is slop style bike. The slop atyle bikes are mountine bikes but with single speed kit

  2. LMAO Downhill Mountainbiking being saver?!?!?!? Seth you kiddin' right? I am a roadie myself for about 15 years, and (by no small influence of yours) I'll be a Downhiller in the near future. I am scared by the idea… and hyped as f***! What I want to say is this: Downhill is pure adrenalin glory but also has the potential to so much worse crashes and injuries.

    Hell I washed out of a turn yesterday… nothing serious but you just crash so much more on mounties.

  3. Kevin liked bmx for the thrill.
    He like road biking for the speed.
    Kevin was good at both.
    Kevin was unknowingly setting himself up to conquer mountains.
    (theory=

  4. Thank you so much for showing me that video I have more confidence in myself thank you so much you save my life for mountain bike Ing I wish I could pay you back you guys are one of the best mountain biking channels

  5. Watching this video inspired me to find a project bike, found a decent shape frame and suspension bike for $700, worked on the brakes and the shop bled them, replaced the headset bearing and tightened some stuff and it was good to go!

  6. I’m the same way too – roady converting into mtb. Decided to get a $1k full suspension and basically beat everybody going down the trail in their $5k plus bikes like they are standing still. So here I am selling my roady and “entry” mtb to get a proper carbon dh bike 👌🏻 here’s for 2020 mtb season 🍾🙌🏻

  7. Thank you for getting him off the streets , no prob with road bikes in the residential areas but stay out of 45 mph roads n getting in turn lanes

  8. I wish this was more about fixing up a second hand bike, checking it over from top to bottom, stripping it down and putting it back together.. have you done this on a previous episode???

  9. just to be safe, I think it would be wise to take Kevin's road bike… hang it on the wall and hurl slices of watermelon at it… you know just to confirm his ascension, this will also likely prevent him from experiencing any relapse…

  10. Damn, my dream bike is a downhill bike and they are very expensive in my country south africa I bougth a hardtail Titan Drone Trail MTB and she cost me $600 and here you bought a downhill bike and she is full suspension for $400 and its a Giant wonderful good brand I just want to 😭

  11. he may have been a roadie for quite a while , but lets be honest , hes the kind of guy who could bunny hop a road bike on to a picnic table

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