- Bike Checks
Sea Otter Classic is without question one of the biggest bike festivals and races in the world today and it allows riders to compete in various disciplines including Dual Slalom which offers the opportunity for Professionals of all backgrounds and bike choices to compete on two separate lanes. The racing is heads up and entertaining not only for the crowds, but for the RACERS!!!
So let’s get into it!
It all started on a sunny morning trail ride in Santa Cruz, California where three individuals named Jake Smith, Alex Chamberlin, and Collin Marcroft would brain storm an idea of making the perfect slalom bike for Jake Smith to race in the Pro Slalom event and the Sea Otter Classic. Some of the concerns of all three riders were wheel size, bottom bracket height, and maneuverability. We had tried everything from slopestyle bikes to long travel 29ers and personally were searching for something in the middle. 5 homies and 5 bikes later we were able to piece together what we call the EVIL Following Slalom Bike.
Alex Chamberlin’s thoughts… “While skeptical at first I knew for a fact that it would work. The bottom bracket sits higher then Cody Kelley’s 4.5 slalom bike so the cranks touching the ground should not be any issues. As far as the bike goes, I ripped it and it shreds hard and I could honestly not see a better set up for Jake to be on this year at the Sea Otter Classic”.
So what is the bike all about?
Well for starters it is a 29” trail bike with 650b wheels and the bottom bracket sits roughly 12.5 inches off the ground in the high setting. We found this to be ideal over the calling because having a lower bottom bracket allows the bike to be a little more planted in the straightaways and also turn on a dime. We put a Fox 36 raised at 140mm to make the bike feel stable on steep and awkward sections and to also allow stiffness in high speed. You will also notice this fork has just three adjustments as a slalom fork does not need as much range. The biggest and baddest part of the bike that ties it all in is the Shimano XTR Brake levers to Saint Calipers which allows the bike to save a tad bit of weight and also have the braking power it needs. Maxxis tires and Renthal cockpit for maximum traction and comfort.
What we found?
5 bikes, 5 homies, and roughly an entire day of thinking it through and actually making it happen went into this bike but we found this bike to be amazing. Jake Smith is working on a very limited budget as a professional athlete and could use any advantage he can get for the Sea Otter Classic this year. We found the wheelbase to be 45.25 inches long and the bottom bracket to sit approximately 12.5 inches off the ground. We also spent around 90 dollars to complete this entire build which was actually just brand new Maxxis tires. This bike was completely built with 5 various bikes (Road bikes--Downhill bikes) which came from 5 different homies and was actually built the week of the Sea Otter Classic. The driving consisted all the way from Livermore, California all the way to Walnut Creek, California but was able to happen all in one day thanks to everyone working together. The bike is amazing and actually corners, manuals, and jumps better than we could have ever imagined. It should be great to debut it at the Sea Otter Classic this year for slalom.
“Jake’s thoughts...The bike is amazing and honestly feels like an extension of myself!”
To see the entire build, opinions, process, and shredding on the EVIL Following slalom bike then please click here to see the video and what actually went on behind the scenes. This is a one off bike but it could be a future option if you so choose.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2S0zhnmITI&t=20s
“Collin’s thoughts.. Still gonna send it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
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Photography: Emily Gines
Writing/ Publishing: Jake Smith
Thanks to all the homies who made this build happen!