MEET THE RIDERS AND THEIR RIDES
Bernard Kerr’s Pivots
While it sometimes seems that the top professional downhill racers come from backgrounds in BMX or motocross racing, Bernard Kerr may be the exception. He rode bikes, of course, but he also spent a good part of his youth riding horses and playing ice hockey, even winning a National Championship title with his hockey team.
Bernard took up mountain biking at age 13 and soon rose to be one of the top riders in Great Britain, then the world. He now competes in both downhill and dual slalom, and he’s a phenomenal rider in both disciplines. The highlights of his career have been his King of Crankworx title in 2015, where he was the top overall rider competing in multiple disciplines, and his more recent win of the Red Bull Hard Line event in 2016, which was one of the wildest downhill races in history, an event put on by his fellow Brits, the Athertons.
Bernard showed us his Pivot Mach 6 for our feature this month. It’s pretty much his all-purpose bike when he doesn’t need the long travel of his full downhill bike, the Pivot Phoenix.
Bernard has two Pivot Mach 6 bikes—one that he uses for trail riding and the other one that he uses to race dual slalom, an event where acceleration and cornering speed are as important as the bike’s ability to handle jumps. Read on to learn more about Bernard and how he sets up his bikes.
MBA: Where did you grow up?
Kerr: Surrey, England, just outside of London.
MBA: What kind of work do (did) your parents do?
Kerr: My mum owns a party/fancy dress shop.
MBA: When did you first learn to ride a bike?
Kerr: When I was young.
MBA: Who taught you?
Kerr: I guess my parents.
MBA: Did you compete in other kinds of sports before mountain bikes?
Kerr: I played ice hockey and rode horses before, which I have some trophies in.
MBA: When did you get your first mountain bike?
Kerr: When I was 11.
MBA: When did you start competing on mountain bikes?
Kerr: Twelve years old.
MBA: How did you finish in your first competition?
Kerr: I came in third but won the following day.
MBA: Did you win any titles as an amateur?
Kerr: Yes, I was the Junior 4x national champion twice, Junior DH champion and European DH champion.
MBA: What have been your best results as a pro?
Kerr: Ninth Hafjell World Cup, King of Crankworx 2015, seventh Leogang World Cup, fifth Val di Sole World Championships and the Red Bull Hardline 2016 winner.
MBA: What awards did you win in school, if any?
Kerr: Probably none.
MBA: What other sports have you done?
Kerr: Ice hockey, horseback riding, tennis and now some motocross.
MBA: Can you tell us something interesting or unusual about yourself or your family?
Kerr: I was part of the ice hockey national championship-winning team when I was younger.
MBA: Is there some other interesting fact or trivia that people might like to know about you?
Kerr: All of my brothers’ and sisters’ names begin with the letter B.
INSIDE THE PROS’ BIKES
Bernard Kerr’s Pivot Mach 6 race bike
Bike weight: 26 pounds.
Estimated value: $8000
“I ride a Pivot Cycles Mach 6 Carbon, 160 millimeters, size medium for slalom racing but a large for normal trail riding.”
“Fox 36, 160 millimeters of travel that is set up stiff, 110 psi for slalom.”
“I run a Maxxis Minion semi-slick 2.3 3C Maxi Terra on the rear with 38 psi, and a Minion FR 2.3 3C Maxx Terra up front with 32 psi, which are both a lot harder than usual.”
4. Inner tubes (or tubeless system).
“Tubeless with Squirt sealant—works like a dream.”
“Reynolds 27.5-inch Blacklabel Enduro, wheels straight out of the box.”
“Sapim spokes, running around a 24-tension on a Park gauge.”
7. Front hub.
“Industry 9 Torch.”
8. Rear hub.
“Industry 9 Torch—just listen to it.”
“Shimano XTs with 180 millimeters front and rear for good stopping power into those tight turns after rhythm sections.”
“Race Face SIXC carbon, 760 millimeters wide, 35-millimeter rise, with 8-degree backsweep and 5 upward. It’s the same for all my trailbikes, but 768 millimeters on my DH bike, so just a little narrower.
11. Bottom bracket.
“Race Face Press-Fit.”
“DMR Death Grips, which I love, as they only have a single lock-on.”
“Race Face SIXC carbon, 175 millimeters—the stiffest, lightest cranks out there.”
“Race Face narrow-wide, 34-tooth, orange.”
“I run Crank Brothers Mallet DHs, which offer great float whilst on the pedals. This becomes super beneficial when you’re pinning it and getting wild.”
16. Chain—and how often you change it?
“Shimano XTR, and fresh for events like Crankworx, but I just run it for as long as it lasts in between events.”
17. Rear derailleur.
18. Front derailleur: None.
19. Brake levers.
“Shimano XT. They have so much power, it’s crazy!“
“Shimano XT 11–42, 11-speed.”
“Race Face Aeffect.”
“Race Face NEXT carbon.”
23. Cables and housings: Shimano, stock.
24. Headset: Pivot, sealed bearings.
25. Water bottle cage: None.
26. Head angle.
“Fox Float X with rebound slow and 225 psi for slalom.”
“Race Face Atlas, 35–50-millimeter length.”
30. Special touches, like carbon or titanium bolts? None
31. Extras (for example, cycling computer, chain-retention device, etc.)? None
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