With little to no racing happening this summer, the Cascade Components crew has been hitting a lot more freeride lines, spending most of their time riding Mainline at 27. A lot of the trails in that area were built back in the early 2000s when everyone was hiking their heavy freeride bike up to hit them. Looking back on that, it’s wild to think how far bikes have come. Being able to get a 150 mm bike to feel fantastic over roots and rocks as well as big hits is more than a possibility these days. This is a quick look at some of what influences our link design and how we set them up on our bikes.
Jimmy’s Santa Cruz Hightower
This bike was built up with the goal of creating the perfect race bike for the PNW. Of course that’s on hold for a little now. It was tested with a coil but switched back to the stock shock to avoid too much overlap with the Nomad. At 150/150 it has enough to absorb some decent sized impacts while still being plenty agile.
Rear Travel: 150 mm
Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe air 210×52.5, 1 volume spacer (all stock)
Fork: 150 mm Foxocchi Z1
Dave’s 29″ Specialized Stumpjumper Evo
Dave likes turning anything into a tweakable jump so he rides a bike that’s great for just that! There is enough mid-stroke support that the coil still feels poppy and it tracks well over things like roots.
Rear Travel: 145 mm
Shock: Fox DHX2 210×50
Fork: 150 mm Fox 36 Performance Elite
Erik’s Transition Sentinel
This is the build that instantly resulted in getting 800% more pitted. Erik has had the prototype link on ever since a quick swap in the parking lot at 27 early in the spring. The geometry of this bike is on point and with kinematics to match there isn’t much left to be desired.
Rear Travel: 146 mm
Shock: Fox DPX2 Performance 205×57.5, 0.6 volume spacer (all stock)
Fork: 160 mm Fox 36 Performance Elite