Meet The Riders And Their Rides-Cam Zink and His Custom YT Tues

Meet The Riders And Their Rides-Cam Zink and His Custom YT Tues

Photo by Ale Di Lullo

Cam had no problem getting his YT Tues upside down at the latest Red Bull Rampage, even with the bike’s unusual 27.5-/26-inch wheel combination. Photo by Ale Di Lullo

In the world of mountain biking, it’s not easy to find riders who have both the skill and the nerve to do backflips over canyons in the desert landscape of the Red Bull Rampage.

Cam Zink is that kind of rider. He has done those backflips, and he has even won the Red Bull Rampage. Zink has long been known as one of the most talented riders in the world.

Cam has become a business man, too. “I started YT USA with my brother Howie and Cole Yeager,” Cam told us. “We launched the brand in the U.S. as the sole retailer/distributor, providing the service Cam had no problem getting his YT Tues upside down at the latest Red Bull Rampage, even with the bike’s unusual 27.5-/26-inch wheel combination. Photo by Ale Di Lullo center, demo tours, warranty, etc. We ran it from 2015 to the end of 2017, when they essentially bought our exclusivity back from us. I still ride for them, but my main business venture is Sensus, the brand I started in 2009. We are mainly a grip company but are now expanding to many other products.”

For his most recent Rampage, Zink rode a bike with two different wheel sizes and a frame designed to accommodate them. What’s more, Cam ran one tire with tubeless sealant and the other one with a tube inside. Read on to find out more details about Cam and his bike.

RIDER PROFILE

Name: Cameron Zink

Nickname: Cam

Age: 32

Birthdate: March 8, 1986

Birthplace: Carson City/Lake Tahoe

Height: 5-foot-10

Weight: 165 pounds

Shoe size: 10

Helmet size: Medium

Waist: 33 inches

Marital status: Married

Current home: Reno

Cars: Cadillac Coupe DeVille, Chevy 2500

Started racing: 9 years old

Turned pro: 17 years old

Racing specialty: Big mountain

Favorite course (North America): Rampage

Favorite course (Europe): Chatel

Favorite food: Pepperoni pizza

Goals: 150-foot backflip and world distance record

Heroes: Eric Carter, Shaun Palmer, Kirt Voreis

Favorite recording artist: Wu-Tang

Favorite movie: Lemonade + Ducktape Stuffs

Favorite hobbies: Moto, snowboarding, surfing

Jobs held (other than racer): Window washer (one month)

Always takes on a trip: Headphones

What you would be if you were not a racer: Hopefully a professional snowboarder

Inside The Pros’ Bikes

Bike weight: 33 pounds
Estimated price: “Based on the YT Tues Pro Race’s price of $6000, just the hubs would be more expensive. To build it piece by piece would be closer to $9000.”

 

Cam shows off his bike at the Red Bull Rampage. Photo by Ale Di Lullo

1. Frame: YT Tues, carbon, 27.5, with a custom rear end for a 26-inch rear wheel (420mm chainstays).

2. Fork: Fox 40, 27.5-inch; custom Rampage tune—80 psi, rebound almost fully open.

“The custom graphics they made for it are amazing.”

3. Tires: Michelin “22” Prototype, front, 27.5 inches; Michelin Wild Rockr 2, rear, 26 inches.

4. Inner tubes: Tubeless front; Michelin Airstop medium-weight tube in the rear.

“Control up front but tubes in the rear keep it from burping when spinning off cliffs.”

5. Rims: Stan’s NoTubes Flow MK3.

6. Spokes: Stan’s.

7. Front hub: Onyx.

“One of my favorite parts on my bikes. Silent, instant engagement and fast-rolling hubs.”

8. Rear hub: Same.

9. Brakes: Shimano XT with metal-backed pads; no heat fins.

“Pretty much the same as the Saint, but I like the color of the XT better. The metal-backed pads are a little heavier, but they bite harder.”

10. Handlebar.

“My signature Deity CZ38 bar! A 38mm rise, 9.5-degree backsweep and 4.5-degree upsweep.”

11. Bottom bracket: Wheels Mfg.

PF30 to Shimano ceramic BB.

12. Grips: Sensus Swayze single-ply.

“This is my grip company I founded in 2009 and my first grip, also my signature grip. No lock-ons needed, but we make them, too.”

13. Cranks: Shimano Saint, 165mm.

“They are extremely stiff and will never break.”

14. Chainring: Shimano Saint, 32 tooth.

15. Pedals: Deity TMac.

“Best pedals ever.”

16. Chain: Shimano.

Cam says he changes it “every month or so.”

17. Rear derailleur: Shimano Saint.

18. Front derailleur: None.

19. Shifters: Shimano Saint.

20. Brake levers: Shimano XT.

21. Rear cassette: Shimano 11-23.

22. Saddle: Sensus/SDG Patriot.

23. Seatpost: SDG Carbon.

24. Cables and housings: Stock.

25. Water bottle cage: None.

26. Headset: Cane Creek AngleSet.

“With the big front wheel and little rear wheel, I run a 1.5-degree reducer to get the head angle to 64 degrees.”

27. Shock: Fox Float X2. My tune is based on their custom Rampage tune but with far more high-speed rebound.

28. Stem: Deity Intake directmount stem.

29. Special touches.

“Sensus stem cap, Ti bolt and carbon spacers. I use as many Ti bolts as I possibly can to lighten it up, and it’s just sweet.”

30. Extras.

“Shimano chain device with the bottom pulley taken off.”

31. Head angle: 64 degrees.

32: Bottom bracket height: Unknown.

Cam boosted some big air at Retallack Lodge in British Columbia last summer. He rode with the same custom frame geometry and mixed wheel sizes there as he did at the Red Bull Rampage. Photo by Blake Jorgenson

MBA Q&A

MBA: Where did you grow up?

Cam: Carson City, Nevada.

MBA: What kind of work did your parents do?

Cam: Dad owned a screen-printing and embroidery business. Mom was a realtor.

MBA: When did you first learn to ride a bike?

Cam: Three, I think.

MBA: Who taught you?

Cam: My dad and brother.

MBA: What was your first bike competition?

Cam: My first competition of any sort, besides soccer and baseball, was an XC mountain bike race.

MBA: When did you get your first mountain bike?

Cam: When I was 9. It was a fully rigid Giant that we warrantied three times and painted. I rode that frame until I started getting bikes for free at 17.

MBA: When did you start competing on mountain bikes?

Cam: Nine.

MBA: What titles did you win as an amateur?

Cam: Junior National Slalom champ; Nevada State Downhill champ.

MBA: What have been your best results as a pro?

Cam: FMB World champion; 2010 Red Bull Rampage champion; Crankworx Slopestyle champion (twice: 2006 and 2010); two current Guinness World Records—Dirt-to-Dirt Jump (119 feet, 10 inches) and Backflip on a Bicycle (100 feet, 3 inches); I also have four podiums and three Best Tricks from Rampage.

MBA: Did you attend college?

Cam: Nope.

MBA: Did you win any awards in school?

No matter what size jumps he’s hitting, Cam always shows plenty of style. Retallack Lodge. Photo by Blake Jorgenson

Cam: Nope.

MBA: What other sports have you done?

Cam: Snowboarding, motocross, surfing, soccer, baseball.

MBA: Can you tell us something interesting or unusual about yourself or your family?

Cam: My dad got into mountain biking from Stan Fale, who started Kooka Components. He showed my dad some cool mountain bikes, and he wanted to get us into it immediately.

MBA: Is there some other interesting fact or trivia that people might like to know about you?

Cam: I just had my 14th surgery.


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