[Editor’s Note: When our reviewers aren’t out testing various frames and forks and whatnot, what do their own personal builds look like? The Bike Check series asks some of our riders to detail their setups, and explain why they’ve chosen these particular frames and components. We’ve heard from Marshal Olson, Noah Bodman, Kevin Bazar, Joe Hanrahan, and Jeremy Benson. But Marshal Olson recently moved, and where he rides has changed up what he rides.]
Marshal Olson: 6’2’’ 205 lbs.
Ride Style: Downhill bike
I recently moved from the Colorado Front Range to Salt Lake City, Utah. SLC has a ton of great riding, but it’s different than Colorado: less emphasis on blasting high-speed, steep, technical trails, and more emphasis on tighter, less-fall-line oriented trails. My bike setup changed because of it.
Frame: 2012 Transition TR-250, Large, Fox RC4 rear shock
I went away from a full World Cup-level DH bike to a shorter travel mini-DH bike. I feel the increased maneuverability and playfulness, combined with shorter travel, excel in SLC’s tighter trails and is much more fun now that I have been spending more time in the dirt jump lines.
Fork: 2012 Marzocchi 66 RC3 EVO TI
I wanted a smooth and plush fork that is still controlled and stable at speed. This is the perfect setup for me.
Wheels: ENVE Carbon DH 26” rims laced to Hadley DH hubs with DT Swiss spokes
I generally try to run the least expensive parts that do not sacrifice performance on my bikes. The ENVE wheels break this model: they are about the most expensive wheels currently out on the market. The difference here is that the ENVE wheels simply ride and hold up better than anything else I have ridden. After testing them, I could not let them go. They are just too good.
They just work. There is no magic. I want a tire that rolls smoothly, brakes well, and holds a corner well.
Cranks, Chainring, and Guide: e*thirteen LG1+, e*thirteen 34t Chainring, Straitline Silent Guide.
My intention for the drivetrain is always predicated around making the cranks and chainring the stiffest possible so that my energy goes into driving the bike forward, not flexing the cranks, all in a package that does not have drag or maintenance. Set and forget.