Inside the Pro’s Bikes – Connor Fearon

MEET THE RIDERS AND THEIR RIDES

Kona’s Connor Fearon

On the move: Australia’s Connor Fearon has emerged as one of the fastest riders on the World Cup downhill circuit.

Australia’s Connor Fearon is a young downhill star who is steadily climbing towards the top of the World Cup down- hill rankings. He was ranked seventh in the world after the 2016 race season. Will he make it all the way to the top? It’s too early to tell. We’ll find that out in the next few years. It’s no easy task to beat Danny Hart, Gee Atherton, Greg Minnaar, Josh Bryceland, Aaron Gwin and all the other fast guys at the same time. That doesn’t seem to deter Connor, though. He just keeps getting faster and faster.
Connor grew up in Adelaide, Australia, about 15 minutes away from longtime rival and fellow World Cup star Troy Brosnan. The two riders grew up racing each other on South Australia’s top downhill courses for over a decade.
Sam Hill, Chris Kovarik and Bryn Atkinson were some of the older Australian downhill stars who influenced Connor’s development when he was growing up.
While Connor is primarily a downhill racer, he is no one- trick pony. He loves dual slalom—whenever he gets to race it—and he says he wishes it were still a World Cup event. He also likes to go surfing a couple times a week when he’s home in Australia. On top of that, he also competes in the Whip-Off World Championships in Whistler, Canada, when it suits his fancy. He even picks the site of that event, Crab Apple Hits, as his favorite trail in North America.

The MBA Q&A: Connor Fearon

Young gun: There’s nothing like touring the world in the UCI pro ranks to make a rider grow up fast.

MBA: Where did you grow up?
Connor Fearon: In Adelaide, South Australia.
MBA: When did you first learn to ride a bike?
CF: When I was 3 years old.
MBA: Who taught you?
CF: My dad.
MBA: Did you compete on other kinds of bikes before mountain bikes?
CF: I raced motocross before I did downhill. I was a mid-pack rider, so not so great!
MBA: When did you get your first mountain bike?
CF: When I was 9.
MBA: When did you start competing on mountain bikes?
CF: 2005.
MBA: How did you finish in your first competition?
CF: I won the Under-13 category.
MBA: Did you win any titles as an amateur?
CF: I won State Championships in Under 19s and Elite.
MBA: What have been your best results as a pro?
CF: Second at the Leogang World Cup and fifth overall in the World Cup series.
MBA: Did you attend college?
CF: No.
MBA: What other sports have you done?
CF: Football (AFL).
MBA: Can you tell us something interesting or unusual about yourself?
CF: I have some metal plates in my face from a crash in Norway, and I have fake teeth from a crash when I was younger. I always seem to land on my head.

RIDER PROFILE

Name: Connor George Fearon Nickname: Lord Fearon
Age: 23
Birthdate: January 19, 1994
Birthplace: Adelaide, Australia Height: 177cm
Weight: 73 kilograms
Shoe size: 10 U.S.
Helmet size: Medium
Waist size: 30
Marital status: YTB
Current home: Mitcham
Cars: Toyota Hi Ace van
Started racing: 2005
Turned pro: 2011
Racing specialty: Downhill Favorite course (North America): Crabapple Hits, Whistler
Favorite course (Europe):
Schladming
Favorite food: Pies & Parmy (Parmigiana)
Goals: Keep riding as long as I can Favorite movie: Idiocracy
Favorite hobbies: Motocross Jobs held (other than racer): Bike shop salesman Always takes on a trip: Skateboard What you would be if you were not a racer: The dream would be pro motocross racer; in reality, probably a tradesman!

INSIDE THE PROS BIKES

Connor Fearon’s Kona Operator

Bike weight: 17 kilograms (37.5 pounds)
Estimated value: $8000

1. Frame: Kona Operator, aluminum, 200mm travel.
2. Fork: Rockshox Boxxer World Cup, 200mm. “I have the fork coil spring instead of air. I run it stiffer than most because I like my handlebars to stay up high.”
3. Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF and Shorty. “Depending on conditions, my go-to tire is definitely the Minion DHF.”
4. Tubeless tire sealant: Stan’s NoTubes.
5. Rims: Novatec Demon.
6. Spokes: Novatec double-butted.
7. Front hub: Novatec.
8. Rear hub: Novatec.


9. Brakes: SRAM Code, 200mm G1 rotors. “I like the power the Codes have, and they’re very reliable. They have custom Ti gold bolts for the calipers.”
10. Handlebars: ODI Flight Control. “ODI Flight Control bars with Wingtips cut down to 770 millimeters and a 25 millimeter rise.”
11. Bottom bracket: SRAM.
12. Grips: ODI Motion Elite grips.
13. Cranks: SRAM X0, 165mm. “They are light and strong.”
14. Chainring: SRAM 34t–38t, depending on the track, and an MRP SGX chainguide.
15. Pedals: Crankbrothers Mallet; Crankbrothers Stamp for 2017. “Although, at the world champs, I was running HTs.”
16. Chain: SRAM XX1.
17. Rear derailleur: SRAM X01DH, 7-speed.
18. Front derailleur: None.

Soaking it up: Connor flies through the downhill course at Val di Sole in northern Italy. Connor ended up fifth overall in the final 2016 World Cup downhill standings.

19. Shifters: SRAM X01DH, 7-speed.
20. Brake levers: SRAM Code.
21. Rear cassette: SRAM X01DH, 7-speed.
22. Saddle: WTB.
23. Seatpost: Kona.
24. Headset: Chris King.
25. Shock: RockShox Vivid RC2; 500–550 spring “Depending on how many pies I’ve eaten; depending on the course.”
26. Stem: ODI.
27. Head angle: Stock, 63.5 degrees.

Lofting it: Connor appreciates the 200 millimeters of suspension on his Kona Operator when he’s launching off jumps on the World Cup downhill circuit.

Note from Mathieu Dupelle about the paint job:

“We raced this frame at the beginning of the season, and we kept it as a spare in case of emergency. I drove back to Montreal from Whistler and stripped the paint in my workshop and then polished the frame. I tried to paint it myself overnight, but the resultwasn’t great, so in the morning I drove three hours to Quebec City and my friend Pat from Impact Designs painted it translucent green so we could see my aluminum polish with gold-metal flakes in it. It was barely dry when I drove back home that afternoon and prepped everything to go to Europe the next day.”


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