Get Stoked: Downhill season 2015 is here!! Just in time, here is’s 26” Downhill Bike!

Posted on 6 May 22:13





Check out our latest downhill bike build. Listed below is the bike’s specification list, some notes on our thought process, and photos of the build. We have also included a handful of product links that we feel are great deals right now on used, closeout and new product. This downhill bike was built for a few purposes. We wanted to show how some well chosen parts could build a high value bike. The fork on this bike is a prototype test model for a project is working on in partnership with Risse Racing. Stay tuned for more info on this exciting fork. If you are not farmiliar with Risse Racing do yourself a favor and head over to and check them out. Risse Racing services a extremely large variety of suspension components. Kevin Risse has been doing mountain bike and motorcycle components and suspension for decades and did suspension work for Yeti Cycle back in their famed and reveled days of the early nineties.  Overall this bike was built for fun. We know alot of downhill shredders out there are asking themselves if they should upgrade from their 26” downhill bike to 27.5” downhill bike. We think the answer for most is to stick with the 26” bike and maybe make some well chosen upgrades. A few smartly chosen upgrades for your 26” bike will keep the fun to cost ratio in off the charts territory! This bike was built to showcase how a few upgrades to a great 26” downhill bike can produce a ride with highly desirable performance characteristics for shreddin’ your local mountain downhill!  

If you missed it, you can check out our first 26” enduro bike build here:

and our updated 26” enduro bike build here:

Our 26” Downhill build came in a little under 45.5 pounds. 46 pounds does not register in the ultra-lightweight downhill bike zone these days but we think it is not pigish either. If we built up a carbon fiber bike we could certainly lose 10% or more of the weight. We still understand why the serious racer would want to do that, but we think for most riders it is difficult to make the case that to save a couple pounds in weight and maybe have slightly larger wheels you need to replace your whole bike, especially when most of us (we will define “us” as mountain bikers who have been in the sport for more than a year) already have a pretty nice bike. 

Spec & Notes

Frame: 2012 Turner DHR 8” travel DW-Link suspension

We aquired this frame used. The Turner DHR are well regarded in downhill circles. We think the bike’s DW-Link suspension is a strong pedaller that lends itself to a nimble feeling bike. We like the 1.5” headtube that allowed us to run a Cane Creek angleset which in turn slacked the head angle by about a degree. The Turner DHR sports a 150mm x 12mm and 83mm common spacings so it’s easy to find many good component choices. We suggest looking the frame over carefully in the photos and you are rewarded with the high attention to detail in the frame’s fabrication. We are rocking Fox's RC4 w/ a Nukeproof Ti-Spring - titanium springs are a very nice upgrade, very supple! facebook photo album

Fork: project fork

Not allot we can say right now about this fork. It is a work in progress we are excited about. We can tell you some parts are made in the far-east to control costs and some parts are made in Kevin Risse’s factory in Redmond, Oregon so we get it right. Redmond is about 15 minutes north of Bend, Oregon. The fork has 8” of travel and is currently set up for boxxer style direct stem mounts, a 203mm rotor, and a standard 20mm x 110mm downhill mountain hub. Stay tuned for more details on this project.

Headset: Cane Creek Angleset

Adapts a 1.5” frame head tube to a 1 ⅛” steer tube and gives you the extra benefit of being able to adjust the frame’s head angle. We decided to slack out an extra degree.

Stem: Straitline 50mm stem direct mount stem - This stem was in our spare parts box and matched the fork crown’s color.

Handlebars: Spank Spike 800 Race bar 5mm rise 31.8mm clamp chrome

The Spike 800 Race is probably our best selling handlebar. It has a great shape, comes in a zillon different colors and sizes, and has a big and bold look. Check out the handlebars here:

One of our favorite suppliers is located here in the Pacific Northwest: Victor at in Vancouver, Washington got us set up on the handlebar, pedals, and wheels for this build. Victor has been passionate about downhill mountainbike racing for longer than we have know him and we have known him for a long time! The bicycle industry is a small world!

Saddle: WTB Pure V comfort zone

We have always liked the Nor-Cal brand WTB. We think they have a nice range of saddles and many high value price points. The white color on this Pure V seem to match our build. We often have many good deals on used WTB saddles. Used saddles are nice in that they save you $$$ and are usually broken in just right and often have thousands of miles left in them.

Brakes: Sram Guide RSC -

-We think this is THE BEST value in 4-piston hydro disc brakes. 4-piston give you the power and modulation you want and price won’t bust the wallet. Check out the deals we have on Guide brakes here:

-We think the R model at $199 a pair is a smokin’ deal - and the RSC model at $299 a pair is not bad either- The silver models say “Bling” to us (see the photos)

The RSC model (as opposed to the RS and R) has a new feature called contact point adjust which allows you to dial in the point where pads make contact - We are still playing with this one but we will let you know what we think.

-Shimano ICE-tech brakes were an innovation in  heat management tech, but we see other companies are stepping up their brake game. Kool-Stop are showing their tech in the heat management area. Check out  to see their new line of heat managment pads called Aero-Kool. We are stoked to be trying a set of Aero-Kool pads for the Sram Guide brakes on this build. We are not engineers here but we gotta beleive the pins on the Aero-Kool pads have way more heat sinking surface area than finned pads. We will be listing these pads for sale soon. We have no official connection to Kool-Stop but we our stoked they are are a great cycling company and they are located in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Rotors: Brakco 203mm front / 180mm rear  - Shimano Ice-Tech rotors.

Shimano’s Ice-Tech brakes are very popular right now. We like the rotors. They are unique in that they have stainless steel brake surfaces but aluminum cores to save weight. Think steel and alloy Oreo cookie ;)

Shifter and Derailluer: Shimano Saint M810 9-speed

If we were going to buy a brand new downhill drivetrain we would probably get Sram’s new 7-speed XO1DH kit, but since this build is about saving $$$ and having fun we went with used shifter and derailleur. We get in a good amount of used Shimano Saint M810 components and they sell fairly fast. M810 is no longer current but the parts if found in good condition work great and can handle the rigors of serious DH riding.

Seatpost: Thomson Elite 30.9mm -

Thomson is the gold standard. We cut our down about 5” for the lower downhill profile

Crankset: Gravity 170mm 83mm cranks

The crankset we another item we obtained used. We liked the clean lines of this downhill specific alloy crankset. We spec'd a 170mm instead of a 165mm which is more common in DH because the rider has longer legs and we wanted the rider to be able to capitalize on the pedal ability of the Turner DHR

Cassette: Sram’s PG970DH cassette 12-26

This is a nice downhill specific 9-speed cassette that can be found new for about $50 bucks! not bad check it out here:

We also like that this cassette has an anodized red core and lockring. We thought this was cool looking on the red anodized Spank hubs. If you think your bike looks cool, doesn’t that make you want to ride it more?

Chainring and Chain: RaceFace 36T Narrow-wide chainring & KMC gold 9-speed chain

A narrow-wide chainring is probably the single best upgrade you can make to your downhill bike. We love the simplicity of the 1x style drivetrain. We feel this works so well we wonder why anyone would run anything else. If you don’t know what narrow-wide is, all you need to know is it is a tooth profile that makes your chain stick to the ring like glue. This surprised us how well it works. We decided to We also ran a MRP ISCG5 chain guide because this is still downhill which is pretty gnarly! We will have more deals on Race Face Narrow-Wide rings soon! KMC’s gold chain because BLING! :)

Pedals: Spank Spike in Ti-Grey

We love the Spank Spike flat pedal here at The Spike is thin, tough, and the pins are in the right places. We love the closeout grey pedals even more at $99 buck! Check it out!

Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF 26” x 2.7” super-tacky front and DHR2 26” x 2.4” super-tacky rear.

We see alot of guys running 2.5” tires front and rear and the 2.7” that was popular 10 years ago has kinda faded, but we are bringing back - The wider front lends itself to a wider footprint and better traction in the corners. The slightly narrower rear tire save a little bit of weight in a weight critical area: the rear drive wheel. We hope this helps bring out the pedal ability of the Turner DHR. Maxxis is our go to brand for downhill tires. Many people will tell you used tires are a sucker’s bet, but we often get used downhill tires with plenty of the good stuff left. Check out the deals:   

Wheelset: Spank Spoon32 26” 20mm front and 150x12mm rear red

27.5” wheels may have captured the racer’s and the industry’s heart, but we think there is still allot of value to be found in 26” wheels. 26” wheels are the wheel size of fun! People say 26” wheels’ benefit from being nimble and playful, we agree. We think the Spank Spoon32 wheelset is one of THE BEST values in DH wheels. They are solid, look great, and won’t break the bank at $399! Check them here:


We think we built a super fun downhill bike here.

  1. We saved $$$ by going with a combination of used, closeout, and high value parts!
  2. 26” wheels are still super playful, fun, and affordable
  3. We love the 4-piston brakes with aftermarket heat sink pads
  4. Stay tuned for more details on our fork collaboration with Risse Racing!

Thanks for checking out our build - Let us know if you have any question:

For more photos check out our Facebook page:

Need some guidance for your own build? Check out our build guide:

Got a interesting gravity bike build? Send us a pic and we will post it on our Facebook page:

Thanks for checking out our build! Happy Shreddin’!