MEET THE RIDERS AND THEIR RIDES
The Queen of Crankworx, Jill Kintner, and her Norco Optic
The MBA Q&A:
“The Queen” speaks
MBA: Where did you grow up?
MBA: What kind of work do (did) your parents do?
Jill: Mom worked for United; Dad was a tile and marble contractor.
MBA: When did you first learn to ride a bike?
Jill: Supposedly 2 years old.
MBA: Who taught you?
MBA: What kind of biking did you do before mountain biking?
Jill: I grew up racing BMX at our local track, North Sea Tac BMX. I did well enough to take it to an Olympic medal.
MBA: When did you get your first mountain bike?
Jill: In 1999 I had a beater Rocky Mountain XC hardtail. My first real mountain bike was an Intense Tazer 4x bike.
MBA: When did you start competing on mountain bikes?
Jill: In 1999, I raced that XC bike at Sea Otter. In 2002, I raced Pro 4x and slalom.
MBA: How did you finish in your first race?
Jill: I won.
MBA: Did you win any titles as an amateur?
Jill: In BMX I did. MTB, I won Sea Otter slalom but couldn’t shift or keep my chain on.
MBA: What have been your best results as a pro?
Jill: World titles, an Olympic medal and 17 national championships across five disciplines.
MBA: Did you attend college?
Jill: I did. I went to school for graphic design in Rochester, New York, and San Francisco.
MBA: What awards did you win in school, if any?
Jill: High school honor roll, MVP on varsity soccer and #1 singles in varsity tennis.
MBA: What other sports have you done?
Jill: Soccer for most of my youth, tennis, racquetball, snowboarding, [motocross], minimal climbing and lots of hiking.
MBA: If possible, please tell us something interesting or unusual about yourself or your family.
Jill: My brother was a professional BMX dirt jumper in the X Games long ago. My dad did downhill skiing for the University of Washington. My mom likes African drumming. My husband, Bryn Atkinson, is a professional downhill mountain biker from Australia.
MBA: Is there some other interesting fact or trivia that people might like to know about you?
Jill: I’m left-handed. I’ve been on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” I drive a sprinter van.
INSIDE THE PROS’ BIKES
Jill Kitner’s Norco Optic 7.5
Bike weight: “I dunno—really light.”
Estimated value: “Priceless!
1. Frame: Norco Optic 27.5 Carbon, size small, 120mm.
“This is meant to be a ‘modern trail bike,’ but it works perfectly for slalom.”
2. Fork: Fox 34 Float, 130mm, sag set at 10–20-percent travel, rebound set fairly quick.
“It’s set up like a trailbike but firmer to keep it snappy and take the edge off.
“HR2 is my favorite tire for everything. I will go firmer sometimes if needed.”
9. Brakes: Shimano XT, 180mm, Centerlock rotors.
“XT brakes are really good and powerful, and an alloy lever is sweet for racing. Love the textured bumps on Shimano brakes.”
10. Handlebar: “Renthal Fatbar Lite, carbon, 30mm rise.
“Renthals are the best bars. The Fatbar Lite comes stock at 740 millimeters, which is what I run.
11. Bottom bracket: Shimano XT.
12. Grips: Renthal lock-on, traction ultra-tacky.
“These are stickier than most grips. They are good in wet weather, and I like how they feel with gloves—extra control.”
13. Cranks: Shimano XT, 170mm.
“They work perfectly and are stealthy.”
14. Chainring: Shimano XT, 34-tooth.
15. Pedals: Shimano DX-M647.
“The platform pedal feels the best to me—more contact with the shoe and good for getting in and out.”
Replacement cycle: “As needed.”
17. Rear derailleur: Shimano Saint.
“I wanted a short cage on my slalom bike.”
18. Shifters: Shimano Saint.
“Same as my DH bike.”
19. Brake levers: Shimano XT.
20. Rear cassette: Shimano Ultegra 10-speed.
“[I] think 11-23.”
21. Saddle: Fabric Line saddle with chromo rails.
“This saddle is short, narrow and well constructed. I run it on every bike I have—love it.”
22. Seatpost: Thomson, cut short.
23. Cables and housings: Shimano.
24. Headset: Cane Creek 110 series.
25. Shock: Fox Float EVOL.
26. Stem: Renthal Duo, 50mm.
“I like this older model because it’s smoother on top.”
27. Special touches: “There are Ti bolts mounting my brakes.”
28. Extras: E*thirteen TRS chainguide.
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