This article originally published on BikeRadar
Sometimes a downhill bike isn't actually the best machine for downhill racing. Canadian racer Steve Smith (Devinci Global Racing) headed south this past spring to race at the Sea Otter Classic but given the relatively tame course, he pushed his usual Devinci Wilson Carbon aside in favor of a much lighter Dixon Carbon enduro rig.
Despite having about 60mm less travel at either end and vastly different geometry, team mechanic Nigel Reeve told BikeRadar that Smith still, "wanted it to feel as much like his downhill bike as possible."
Part of bridging that gap came from setting the Dixon Carbon enduro machine in its lower and slacker setting for a 347mm (13.7in) bottom bracket height and 67-degree head tube angle. Reeve said the suspension feel is similar as well even with just 145mm of travel out back and 160mm up front.
Reeve wouldn't go into specific details as far as the internals were concerned but stressed that friction was reduced as much as possible to make the suspension ultra-supple. However, both the RockShox Pike RCT3 fork and Monarch Plus rear shock were also set up with more progressive spring rates than stock, "so he can push it as hard as he wants but not feel like he risks going through the travel."
Other SRAM goodies include a signature Steve Smith Truvativ Blackbox aluminum handlebar, Avid X0 Trail four-piston hydraulic disc brakes with Smith's name sealed beneath the clear coat on the carbon fiber lever blades and comparatively tiny 160mm stainless steel rotors, a short-cage SRAM X0 Type 2 rear derailleur, 170mm-long Truvativ X0 DH carbon fiber crankarms, and a Truvativ stem and seatpost.
Smith used a SRAM PG-1070 cassette out back as well although one that was slightly modified. Instead of the usual ten cogs, Smiths' customized cassette has just eight with a very tight 11-19T spread plus a carbon fiber spoke guard to guarantee that an errant derailleur cage won't ever ruin his run.
Other special touches include a lined upper cage on the e*thirteen LG1+ chain guide for quieter running, a special Schwalbe Nobby Nic 4-Cross rear tire with harder center rubber and softer side knobs, custom etching on the ODI Lock-On grip collars, and a number plate that's backed with several strips of thick tape to give it a little more structure and decrease noise. Reeve even uses his own zip tie setup for the derailleur housing and brake hose that's supposedly less constricting.
Total weight as pictured is 12.56kg (27.69lb).
The Devinci Dixon Carbon uses Dave Weagle's Split Pivot suspension design