Inside Info: Connor Fearon’s Kona Process

Connor Fearon's Kona Process 167.
Connor Fearon’s Kona Process 167.

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If you have seen the latest edit from Connor Fearon and Steel City Media then what you are looking at is the bike Connor rode for most of it. This being the Kona Process 167, a bike perfect for his home town of Adelaide where you often don’t need a full blown downhill bike. We were lucky enough to grab some pictures before Connor departed for the next world cup in Scotland. We have added some simple descriptions to the pictures, enjoy.

As you would expect from the name the bike features 167mm rear wheel travel. The swingarm you see here is carbon!
As you would expect from the name the bike features 167mm rear wheel travel. The swingarm you see here is carbon!
Connor is sponsored by HT so keeps it real with their flat pedals, a single chain ring and guide on the front mean the chain doesn't drop off!
Connor is sponsored by HT so keeps it real with their flat pedals, a single chain ring and guide on the front mean the chain doesn’t drop off!

downhill247com cf 3

A Rock Shox Vivid compliments the Lyrics at the front, Connor didn't actually ride this at the latest Australian Enduro he went for the slightly smaller Process 153.
A Rock Shox Vivid compliments the Lyrics at the front, Connor didn’t actually ride this at the latest Australian Enduro he went for the slightly smaller Process 153.
Front brake on the correct side (that is the right side in case you are wondering!). There is no dropper post if you were wondering.
Front brake on the correct side (that is the right side in case you are wondering!). There is no dropper post if you were wondering (ignore the blurry shot).
"The new Stinky"
“The new Stinky”

There you have a quick look at a very capable do it all bike!

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Inside Info: Connor Fearon – Leogang

Leogang, a track Connor has always done well at.
Leogang, a track Connor has always done well at.

As long time supporters of Connor Fearon this has to be one of our favourite Inside Infos ever, without further adieu we hand it over to the man himself;

Coming into Leogang I had mixed emotions. The first two world cups this year I had a crash and a flat tyre so was disappointed to say the least. Especially after training so hard in the off season I had high hopes for this year. Leogang has always treated me well. In 2012 I placed 3rd in the junior world championships, 2013 I got my first ever top 10 (10th place) and 2014 I got my best result at the time of 9th. I was nervous that I would ruin another race in a row… Fun fact while I’m here, I ended up with plate number 36 for this race. A number I always thought was lucky because C and F are the third and sixth number of the alphabet… I’m not one to be superstitious but I was a little excited when I saw the number.

36 on the plate was a nice way to start off the week.
36 on the plate was a nice way to start off the week.

Anyways, we arrived in Leogang and had a look at the track. There where quite a few new sections which I think made the track better. People always complain about Leogang being to “bike parky”. Meaning it’s hard pack dirt with wide berms and braking bumps everywhere from having a lot of bike traffic on it. There was a lot off fresh loam but after it rained and practice went by all the dirt moved and exposed hundreds of roots. I felt comfortable on the track straight away but took some time setting up my suspension looking for the best performance I could get. In timed training at the end of the first practice day I put in a couple of solid efforts and was around 5th so I thought another top 10 in the finals wouldn’t be out of reach. Next was qualifying. I had planned to just have a solid clean run and not to push the envelope to much because I wasn’t protected. I thought this should land me in the top 20 somewhere. I guess I proved myself wrong when I crossed the line in 2nd place behind Aaron Gwinn. I was happy for about 10 minutes then the nerves started setting in. Getting a World Cup podium is a massive dream for mine and this was the golden opportunity.

A strong qualifying helped points for the overall but also increased the nervousness before the race.
A strong qualifying helped points for the overall but also increased the nervousness before the race.

I couldn’t really sleep that night because I was so nervous and on race day I just wanted to hurry up and get the race over and done with. I had 2 practice runs and then went back to the hotel and chilled for a couple hours before I had to race. My race run was really good. I hit all my lines perfectly and rode on the edge the whole way. I got to the halfway mark and knew I was on a really good ride so decided to just push it to the finish. Dropping into the last section I rode an inch wide off a fade away drop and landed just outside the track for a split second before returning to the course. I knew people had been harshly disqualified for this in the past so I didn’t know if that mistake would cost me. I came across the line in first which guaranteed me a top 2 spot.

Crossing the line into the hot seat, with only one rider left,meant a guaranteed podium!
Crossing the line into the hot seat, with only one rider left,meant a guaranteed podium!
That feeling.... only a racer knows!
That feeling…. only a racer knows!
Yeah Connor! Congratulations all around.
Yeah Connor! Congratulations all around.

Aaron finished and just beat me with no chain somehow but I really didn’t care I had rode the best race I could. Still feeling so nervous I was going to get disqualified I didn’t feel relieved until after the podium. It felt amazing to stand up there with the worlds best riders and especially my mate Troy who I’ve been racing for 10 years since we where 10 years old. It’s definitely a massive weight off my shoulders to get a podium and I think it’s going to make racing easier for me in the future with this new confidence.

Massive thanks to all my sponsors Kona Bikes, Fox Head, HT components, Fast Twitch gym Adelaide, Yakima racks, Maxxis and all the other team sponsors!

Follow Connor on Instagram @connorahoyhoy

Images:A�http://www.lukasnavratil.cz/ FacebookA�hereA�or Instagram @luknav

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Inside Info: Connor Fearon – Fort William

Welcome to Scotland!
Welcome to Scotland!

Coming off a devastating result at the first World Cup at Lourdes I really wanted to get a good result in Fort William. In the past I’ve done pretty well there and last year I was inside the top 15. Everyone who follows the world cups knows that Fort William is the roughest and longest track of the year. It has technical woods, flat out rocky sections and the infamous highway at the bottom where you have to pedal the last 45 seconds of the track. By the end your physically exhausted that’s for sure. This year there was a new woods section that had no shortage of slippery roots.The worst part about this race was the terrible weather. It rained non stop and was insanely windy. Especially the top half which is completely exposed as there’s no trees what so ever .

The top half of the track saw riders battling headwinds before having to use even more energy on the lower parts negotiating the 'highway' section.
The top half of the track saw riders battling headwinds before having to use even more energy on the lower parts negotiating the ‘highway’ section.

Practice and Qualifying was average for me. With the high winds it was hard to feel good on the bike. The whole top half felt really slow battling a head wind the whole way and also added to the exhaustion because sections of the track you could usually roll with quite some pace everyone had to be pedalling hard to maintain speed. Due to the high winds qualifying and practice was cancelled on Saturday. This meant that qualifying and racing would be held on Sunday, starting at 6:15am!

Sunday was a big day for everyone with the pits coming alive at about 5am. The weather didn’t seem much better although the rain had died out a bit the wind was still terrible. My practice runs where better on race day. I kept changing springs on my shock and never got comfortable on the Friday but I felt like I had it right finally. Most people only got to do one practice run in the morning due to the changed schedule. Since I was out of the top 20 I wanted to have a smooth run to guarantee me a spot in the finals. I must have hit something pretty hard because I broke about 8 spokes in my rear wheel about a minute from the finish. I could feel the wheel slapping both sides of my frame so cruised it to the finish to avoid the wheel collapsing. I still qualified 25th which came to a surprise. Still disappointed because if I hadn’t broken the wheel I could’ve got points for qualifying in the top 20.

My race run started out great I was riding all my lines fast and confident. My improved fitness was also helping me in the more technical sections because I wasn’t as fatigued as the last few years. I noticed my front tyre starting to go flat about halfway and I was devastated. It held enough air to ride but slowed me down significantly and was completely flat by the last section of the track.

Footout, Connor can swap between flats and clips as needed, handy!
Footout, Connor can swap between flats and clips as needed, handy! Look closely at that front tyre and see if you can spot an issue…

I finished 34th still which means I at least got a few points. The last two races have been really disappointing for me because I know I had potential to do really well at them. The next race is Leogang which I’ve done great at in the past so I’m really hoping i’ll have a clean race there!

Thanks to everyone that helps me race- Kona bikes factory team, Fox head, fast twitch training centre Adelaide, Yakima rack, HT components

Follow Connor on Instagram @connorahoyhoy and we will check back with him after Leogang this weekend.

Images: Isac Paddock follow on Instagram @_paddock

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Inside Info: Troy Brosnan’s Demo

Always cool to have your name on your bike/components!
Always cool to have your name on your bike/components!

Are your eyes glazing over? Is your mouth open and drool running out like a waterfall? If it is already you may just be eating some donuts or you’ve just seen this beast in front of your eyes! If you’re not you will be after casting your eye over Troy Brosnan’s fresh new Specialized Demo race bike. Put together by his ace (or should that be race) mechanic Aaron Pelttari (look out for an interview on Downhill247.com real soon!) we were fortunate to have Kaneophoto shoot it before it got packed up bound for the UK and more specifically Fort William.

Now….. Troy was good enough to let us get some shots of the bike and show them to you guys but with a condition, we can’t show you guys too much of the bike as there is some trick prototype stuff going on! So we are going to show details but there is a good reason you wont the bike layed out fully in front of you! A sneak peak if you like…

Are you looking at the winning bike for the upcoming Fort William World Cup? Quite possibly...
Are you looking at the winning bike for the upcoming Fort William World Cup? Quite possibly…
A nice looking narrow wide 36 tooth Renthal sprocket.
A nice looking narrow wide 36 tooth Renthal sprocket.
There is neat rubber protection and well thought out cable routing/guides all over the frame, schmick!
There is neat rubber protection and well thought out cable routing/guides all over the frame, schmick!
An air shock is now in the mix, more and more riders are making the switch. Will this be on the bike for Fort William, one of the longest, most punishing tracks on the circuit...?! We will just have to wait and see.
An air shock is now in the mix, more and more riders are making the switch. Will this be on the bike for Fort William, one of the longest, most punishing tracks on the circuit…?! We will just have to wait and see.
More little touches! Troy is running a tubeless set up., this helps lower rotational mass and increase protection from punchers.
More little touches! Troy is running a tubeless set up., this helps lower rotational mass and increase protection from punchers.
A real touching tribute to a dear old friend of Troy's and the whole Brosnan family, who are all animal lovers.
A real touching tribute to a dear old friend of Troy’s and the whole Brosnan family, who are all animal lovers.
You have to admit from what you can see it is tasty enough!
You have to admit from what you can see it is tasty enough!

Well wipe the drool up that’s a wrap! Now we can’t wait to see what Troy can do on it at Fort William.

Images: A big thanks to www.kaneophoto.com.auA�

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Inside Info: Connor Fearon’s Process

Connor Fearon has been riding this handy little rig over the past few months, we sat him down and asked him a few questions about it!
Connor Fearon has been riding this handy little rig over the past few months, we sat him down and asked him a few questions about it!

Enduro bikes are in. We saw it at the first Australian national round late last year and whilst that was mainly due to the track set up there is no denying that enduro type bikes make good downhill bikes in a lot of places! Add to the fact and we can’t all afford to have multiple bikes so having a do it all bike is an even smarter idea!

Connor Fearon rocking the enduro rig at the national round at You Yangs.
Connor Fearon rocking the enduro rig at the national round at You Yangs.
So we have full downhill tyres but tubeless to save weight and still be good over the rocks.
So we have full downhill tyres but tubeless to save weight and still be good over the rocks. The stem spacers can be swapped around depending on the height Connor wants for the front end. He made the switch to clips recently for most tracks, it definitely makes sense for the flat Australian tracks. A stiffer set up in the front end as well for trails that don’t need as much compression.
Compared to the stock bike there is a bigger chainring at the front, this makes sense when you are primarily using it to go down and you don't want to be spinning out.
Compared to the stock bike there is a bigger chainring at the front, this makes sense when you are primarily using it to go down and you don’t want to be spinning out.
Just like his downhill bike there are 7 speeds at the back. No dropping gears into the heel and nice close ratios.
Just like his downhill bike there are 7 speeds at the back. No dropping gears into the heel and nice close ratios.
Connor had the dropper posted removed for the race, not like you would need it! Plus it saves weight and then you don't have to worry about the extra cables getting caught on anything or bashing against the frame and making noise. A quiet bike is a fast bike!
Connor had the dropper posted removed for the race, not like you would need it! Plus it saves weight and then you don’t have to worry about the extra cables getting caught on anything or bashing against the frame and making noise. A quiet bike is a fast bike!
A 40mm stem and as you cans ee a pretty low set up, getting the weight further forward over the front wheel to carve the turns.
A 40mm stem and as you can see a pretty low set up, getting the weight further forward over the front wheel to carve the turns.
Bars are cut down to 750mm which is wide but not ridiculous.
Bars are cut down to 750mm which is wide but not ridiculous.
Third at the first national round shows the bike is more than capable.
Third at the first national round shows the bike is more than capable.
It was also the bike he used at the enduro race he raced a few weeks prior, which he won!
It was also the bike he used at the enduro race he raced a few weeks prior, which he won!
When we talked to Connor he had the new DebonAir upgrade which is available to the public. Essentially it  makes the shock feel plusher and bottom out less, useful for the bigger hits on the downhill track.
When we talked to Connor he had the new DebonAir upgrade which is available to the public. Essentially it makes the shock feel plusher and bottom out less, useful for the bigger hits on the downhill track.
Being a factory rider would be nice.....
Being a factory rider would be nice…..

IMG_7400

That’s a wrap for the moment, we will be checking out a bunch of other bikes too so stay tuned!

Images: Stock Downhill247.com images,A�RFPhotographics (FacebookA�hereA�or follow on Instagram @rfphotographics) and JBPhotomediaA�A�(Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JBPhotomediaA�or follow on Instagram @jbphotomedia)

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