Meet The Riders And Their Rides-Christopher Blevins and His Specialized S-Works Epic Hardtail

Meet The Riders And Their Rides

A former champion of both BMX and road bike racing, Blevins has amazing bike-handling skills combined with the fitness of a cross-country superstar.

Pro cross-country racers will often travel to races with both their hardtail bike and a full-suspension bike. If the course is rocky, they’ll usually opt for the full-suspension bike. If the course is smooth, they’ll usually opt for the lighter hardtail. For Christopher Blevins, that bike is his Specialized S-Works Epic Hardtail.

Blevins has been one of the top cross-country riders in America since 2016. That was the year he first started winning pro men’s cross-country races at the national level, beating the top stars in American cross-country racing when he was still in high school at 17. In the years since, Blevins has cemented his status as one of the top race talents in America. Read on to learn more about him and how he sets up his bike to compete at the top level of the sport.

RIDER PROFILE

Name: Christopher Blevins

Nickname: Blevs Age: 21

Birthdate: March 14, 1998

Birthplace: Durango, Colorado

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 150 pounds

Shoe size: 43

Helmet size: Medium

Waist: 32

Marital status: Not married

Current home: Durango, Colorado; San Luis Obispo, California

House: Yes

Cars: 2005 Toyota 4 Runner, James Baroud Rooftop Tent

Started racing: BMX at age 5, MTB at 10, road at 12.

Turned pro: 2017

Racing specialty: High-speed descents, short track

Favorite course (North America): Crested Butte, Colorado

Favorite course (Europe): Val di Sole, Italy

Favorite food: Chocolate chip cookies

Goals: 2020 Olympics, Elite World Cup podium, create lasting and positive change through bikes!

Heroes: Kobe Bryant, Jenny Rissveds, Malcolm Gladwell, Barack Obama

Favorite recording artist: Dylan Owen, Hippo Campus, Rainbow Kitten Surprise

Favorite movie: Pursuit of Happyness, Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society

Favorite hobbies: Basketball, music and poetry, rock climbing—and exploring novelty

Jobs held (other than racer): Nada

Most embarrassing moment: I can’t think of one. I’ve probably blocked them from my memory.

Always takes on a trip: Headphones, journal and some good-luck tokens.

What you would be if you were not a racer: I would be the exact same Christopher; what I would do on a day-to-day basis would just change a little. I’d still be at the same school with the same friends, and I feel like who I am doesn’t depend on me as a bike racer. I can honestly say that I’d be pretty much the same; I’d just be pursuing a passion in another form.

Inside The Pros’ Bikes

Specialized Epic hardtail

Weight of complete bike:
“19–20 pounds.”

Estimated value of bike: $8500

Blevins rails a corner earlier this year at Vail Lake, California.

1. Frame:

“I ride a Specialized S-Works Epic hardtail for much of the smoother races and all of the U.S short tracks. It’s a large, full-carbon frame.”

2. Fork:

“The fork is the RockShox SID with 100mm travel with the Brain technology of course.”

3. Tires:

“Typically, I run a 2.3 Specialized Fast Track in the front and a 2.1 in the rear. But recently, I’ve really liked the Renegade tires. They just roll so fast.”

4. Inner tubes or tubeless system:

“I use Stan’s in a tubeless system. This always limits flats.”

5. Rims:

“The rims are the Specialized Roval Control SL rims. They are stiff, durable and light, of course.”

6. Spokes:

“Stock spokes on the Roval wheels.”

7. Front hub:

“Roval Control SL with sealed-cartridge bearings. The stiffness while cornering is awesome.”

8. Rear hub:

“Roval Control SL.”

9. Brakes:

“I am using the Magura MT8 and standard rotors on the Roval wheels.”

10. Handlebars:

“I like the Specialized S-Works Prowess XC Carbon flat bar with 8-degree sweep, 0-degree rise and 700mm width. I’ve always liked flatter bars for better control while handling.”

11. Bottom bracket:

“On the bike is the SRAM PF30.”

12. Grips:

“I use foam Supacaz grips with Togs on the inside to help me get a better grip while climbing.”

13. Cranks:

“Racing and training with a power meter comes with a lot of benefits, so I use a 175-size Rotor power meter.”

14. Chainring:

“The normal setup is a 34-tooth chainring with the Rotor chainring.”

15. Pedals:

“Look Cycle, X Track Carbon Ti.”

16. Chain:

“I use the SRAM XX1 drivetrain. I switch it every three months or so, and also a little while before big races.”

17. Rear derailleur:

“I’ve got the SRAM XX1 Eagle rear derailleur.”

18. Shifters:

“SRAM Eagle shifters.”

19. Brake levers:

“I use the Magura MT8s. They have a bit of a smooth, gradual pull, as opposed to the hard knock of some other brake levers.”

20. Rear cassette:

“SRAM XX1 Eagle, 10-50 cassette.”

21. Saddle:

“I use the Specialized S-Works 143mm Power saddle, and it’s a nice bright red to match the decals on the frame.”

22. Seatpost:

“It depends on the race—sometimes an S-Works high post and sometimes a LEV dropper post.”

Blevins has been one of the top cross country pros in America since he was 17.

23. Headset:

“I run a TH Industries, hybrid, alloy, sealed cartridge; upper 1 1/8 inches, stainless, 1.5 inches lower.”

24. Water bottle cage:

“The Specialized side-loading bottle cage is super light and makes it easy to throw the bottle back in.”

25. Shock:

“My legs!”

26. Stem:

“I run a pretty standard stem: Specialized S-Works SL, 100mm × -6-degree rise.”

27. Special touches:

“Nothing too special, but the moments on the bike always are.”

28. Extras:

“Wahoo Element and Togs.”

MBA Q&A

MBA: Where did you grow up?

Blevins: Durango, Colorado

MBA: What kind of work do your father and mother do?

Blevins: My mom was a nurse up until she had me and my sister, and now she teaches pilates classes. My dad just retired as an orthopedic surgeon, and now he’s got more time for riding as well.

MBA: When did you start riding bikes?

Blevins: My first time without training wheels was 3 years old. I remember it pretty clearly. It was on my friend’s driveway, and my mom started yelling with joy when she saw me rolling on my own.

MBA: When did you first start competing in events on a bike, and what kind of bike was it?

Blevins: My first BMX race was right after my 5th birthday. I was hooked right away.

MBA: How long did you do that, and what made you switch to mountain bikes?

Blevins: For years I was really serious about BMX. When I started mountain biking at age 10, it began the slow transition over to road and mountain. My last BMX National Championship was when I was 16, but by then I was almost completely focused on road and mountain.

MBA: What were your best competition results on non-mountain bikes?

Blevins: I won the national age-group title for BMX 9 times growing up. My best result on the road is a stage win in the Tour of Gila, and I won U23 Cross [Cyclocross] Nationals in 2017.

MBA: When did you start competing on mountain bikes?

Blevins: I think I started with some local races in Durango, but the first race I remember on the mountain bike was nationals at age 10 in Vermont. I can’t believe we made the trip all the way out there for that one!

MBA: How did you do in your first event?

Blevins: I won, although there were only a couple other little guys in my nationals category.

Blevins rails a corner earlier this year at Vail Lake, California.

MBA: What have been your best national and international results?

Blevins: I won Sea Otter in 2019 on this bike! And then for sure, my silver medal at the U23 World Champs last year was my best race to date.

MBA: What titles have you won (or come close to winning)?

Blevins: I won the National Cross-Country Championship as a kiddo from ages 12 to 19. I also won the Elite Short Track National Championship in 2018.

MBA: Are you going to college?

Blevins: I’m three years in at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. I’m a business administration major, concentrating in entrepreneurship and minoring in sociology.

MBA: Do you have any other kind of career training?

Blevins: I’ve done some work volunteering for an organization called Restorative Partners in San Luis Obispo. Every week when I’m in SLO, I go to the juvenile hall and hang out with the kids. Sometimes we do a creative writing program. Sometimes we just play cards. It’s given me some experience in social work and opened my eyes to what’s important in the criminal justice system.

MBA: Did you earn any awards in sports or academics while in school?

Blevins: The proudest non-sports-related award I’ve received was first at my high school poetry slam in 2016. I’ve made the dean’s list at Cal Poly a few times.

MBA: What other sports do you like to do now?

Blevins: I am a huge basketball fan. I played JV for the first two years of high school, and I love dropping in for pick-up games at school. I also grew up playing soccer and competing in freestyle skiing.

MBA: Can you tell us something interesting or unusual about yourself or your family that is not widely known?

Blevins: My passion for bikes is probably surpassed by my love for music and poetry. I released a little EP a couple of years ago, and I’m excited to write more in the future. If you want to check it out, go to MileMarkersProject.com.


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