Cam Zink's Mammoth backflip bike
Cam Zink's Mammoth bike build
In preparation for the Mammoth world record 100-foot backflip, Cam Zink is riding an aluminum YT Industries TUES 2.0 production model with mostly off-the-shelf components. The TUES 2.0 is an ideal jumping bike, fine-tuned with a more progressive free-ride suspension curve, compared to normal downhill bikes' very linear travel. Beyond new wheels, tires, pedals and a custom jump-tuned rear shock, it is virtually the same bike he road on the downhill trails of Whistler, B.C., the week prior. Zink will run a very similar build for next month's Rampage, but will swap in a newly available YT Industries prototype carbon frame featuring the same geometry.
The rear triangle utilizes the YT Industries four-pivot Virtual Four Link suspension design, enabling 200 mm (8 inches) of rear travel to handle the tremendous forces in play.
The rear suspension is paired with a RockShox Vivid rear shock, using custom tuning and prototype BlackBox parts to offer an extremely stiff steel spring and specialty valving for both compression and rebound. Coined the "Livesaver Tune," it's stable under the hardest hits the bike can take.
The front shock is a standard off-the-shelf RockShox BoXXer fork, also offering 200 mm of travel. The latest production design allows the insertion of volume reducers to make the shock more progressive. The triple crown design is optimized for downhill performance, versus a single crown commonly found on slopestyle bikes to allow barspins and tailwhips.
Cam is running stock Kenda Nevegal 26 x 2.5" tubed tires. He'd normally run a tubeless setup, but the added gyroscopic effect of the heavier tire/tube combo is actually beneficial for stability in this endeavor. Tire inflation is maxed out at 50 psi, for low rolling resistance and optimal speed, and also to prevent sidewall deformation on the lip of the jump.
Cam mounted up brand-new stock Novatec Demon 26" wheels when he arrived on site this week. The 32-spoke, alloy-production, downhill-specific rims are built to take the punishment of the 50 mph run, not to mention the G-forces and the impact of takeoff and landing.
The drivetrain features the newly released SRAM X01 DH 7-Speed with SRAM XD Driver cassette body, allowing the fitting of the smaller XO Mini Block cassette with a 10-tooth bottom gear, in turn allowing a smaller front chainring for lower weight and greater clearance. The cassette also offers larger gearing jumps between gears, reducing excess shifting in Cam's initial acceleration.
The SRAM clutched rear derailleur and XO DH X-Sync Crankset (featuring new narrow-wide chainring with alternating thick and thin teeth) reduce play in the chain and minimize the need for a chain guide.
Brand-new Decoy Deity pedals already reflect the abuse of forces in play from a morning full of speed checks and 50 mph run-ins. Cam will pedal hard out of the start, working quickly through the gears before spinning out in the first 20 percent of the run-in, and from there it's all tuck to achieve the optimal takeoff speed. On landing, the Deitys will provide a stable platform to absorb the impact.
Standard SRAM Guide hydraulic disc brakes won't see much action en route to the jump, as Cam will accelerate through virtually the entire run-in to hit the the optimum 50 mph mark for the takeoff. Touching down 100 feet later, he'll lay on the brakes hard to decelerate in the runout.
The riser bar setup features Cam's signature Sensus grips manufactured by ODI in Riverside, California, sourcing gum rubbers not available to many traditional grip manufacturers. Along with Guide levers and X01 thumb shifter, other personal touches include numerous titanium bolt packages throughout for added strength and performance, not to mention requisite sticker placement to hype many of the players that are making this attempt possible.