Bernard Kerr’s Pivot Phoenix Carbon DH World Championship bike

Fifth place for Kerr's last minute call up

Bernard Kerr had a late call up to the GB squad for the World Champs, with Gee Atherton having to pull out through injury. With other Pivot riders at the World Champs, Kerr was already here, so the late call-up caused no problems.

Kerr runs a Pivot Phoenix Carbon DH bike, which uses Dave Weagle's ‘DW Link’ suspension system, and the bike sits on Fox suspension with the Float X2 shock plugged in the middle of his rig.

Kerr's Fox Float X2
Kerr's Fox Float X2

The shock had 210psi pumped into it, which is relatively high for Kerr's 79kg weight. This is still around 5psi less than he usually runs, a product of the big holes in the track at Val di Sole, and a few psi more than the heavier Brendan Fairclough is said to ride.

The shock was maxed out with seven volume spacers to give plenty of support in the mid stroke. Up front he ran 85psi and six spacers — usually he’d run 82psi, but the extra pressure keeps the front end high for the consistently steep track.

It was just the suspension that changed for this track though, the cockpit set up was the same as it’s been for a few years. To get Kerr's bars to the right height he ran spacers under the stem, which were acquired from Luca Shaw back in 2010 — it was actually his dad who made them! The bars were 768mm wide and had a 35mm rise — having used 750, and 760 in the past, the trend for wider bars hasn’t totally passed Kerr by.

Bite point kept close to the bar
Bite point kept close to the bar

Most racers will have at least one aspect of their bike that they’re very particular about, and for Kerr it’s his brake lever set up. He likes the bite point close to the bar and says that he’ll tweak the feel mid run, stopping if necessary, to get it just right (although we don’t imagine he’d stop mid race run…).

Drivetrain wise, Kerr was running a pretty standard set up. Shimano Saint is the original DH groupset and it looked like he was running a standard road cassette on there. RaceFace’s SIXc cranks are a full carbon set up, one of the few up to the task of pro-level DH racing. He plugged a 36t ring on there, which offers the right balance of gear ratio and ground clearance — an MRP SXg chain guide and taco offered extra protection. Crank Bros Mallet pedals are perhaps the most popular on the scene, so it’s no surprise to see him running them.

Industry9 hubs spin inside Reynolds carbon hoops — pretty bling
Industry9 hubs spin inside Reynolds carbon hoops — pretty bling

Kerr definitely had one of the more bling wheel set-ups on the circuit, with Industry9 hubs running in wide carbon Reynolds rims. Usually he runs Maxxis Minion DHR tyres front and rear, but in the dry and dusty conditions of Val di Sol he used the DHF versions on each wheel. This added a little extra volume and a slightly more aggressive tread for the dust — he didn't go so far as to run Shorty tyres, though. All in, the bike weighed 31.9lb, or 14.45kg.

Tom Marvin

Technical Editor, Tech Hub, UK
Tom's been riding for 15 years, and has always chopped and changed bikes as soon as his budget allowed. He's most at home in the big mountains, having spent nigh on 30 weeks riding the Alps, as well as having lived a stone's throw from the Scottish Highlands for four years. Tom also enjoys racing events like the Strathpuffer and the Trans Nepal.
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Steep and super tech or fast and flowy
  • Current Bikes: Canyon Spectral, Pivot Mach 429SL, Mondraker Vantage R +
  • Dream Bike: Transition Scout
  • Beer of Choice: Gin & tonic
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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