My Bikes and Kit


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Pics courtesy of Doc Ward

I thought i should dedicate a page to the bikes and kit i use.

People often ask me about setup and bar widths and all that tech stuff that comes with a bit of experience.
I have to say i still run my bars a bit narrower than most these days, but i go on what feels right.
I always run 1x 10 gearing for simplicity and i find for what i ride it is fine. The only time i felt like i could maybe use a few lower gears was out in Spain after riding for 4+ hours and doing 2000m climbing days.

All my stuff is standard kit you can buy other than a few tasty Renthal parts that i help develop.


Suspension is setup by Mojo

Frame- Santa Cruz Bronson C Medium

Fork- Fox 36 Float FIT RC2 160

Shock- Fox Float X CTD

Seatpost- KS LEV

Bars- Renthal Fatbar Lite Carbon 740mm wide

Stem- Renthal Duo 40mm

Grips- Renthal Lock ons extra soft

Brakes- Shimano XTR 180 discs

Tyres- Continental Trail King Tubeless 2.4

Hubs- Chris King

Rims- Enve Composite AM

Chainring- Renthal SR4 35 teeth

Cassette- Shimano XT 36-11 teeth 10 speed

Shifter- Shimano XTR

Rear Mech- Shimano XTR clutch

Cranks- E13 TRS +

Chain Device- E13 XCX guide

Pedals- Crank Brothers Mallet DH

Seat- WTB

Frame Protection- Invisiframe

Riding Kit- Royal Racing

Helmet- Troy Lee Designs

Eyewear- Smith Optics

Shoes- Giro Chamber

Pads- Seven IDP

Pack- Evoc


  1. New bike pal, very nice!
    What’s it weight?
    720mm cut bars, they look wider than that.

  2. Thanks. Im not sure on exact weight but it is pretty light. I like to go for a strong build though on wheels etc so i’m sure it could be a bit lighter.

  3. Hi Neil
    I know you’re busy but any chance updating your kit spec/thoughts re the Bronson?

  4. Sick kit,

    Does the Fox 36 Float RC2 fit the 650b wheel OK? Did you have to reduce the travel or something?

    • Cheers Andre, it is an amazing bike. The 650B wheel fits ok but the clearance is reduced, it worked fine for me for the Trans Savoie but i am now back on the the 34 fork for general use.

  5. Hello Neil, are the ArchEX in the pic strong enough for you?

    • Hi Sam, yeah they have surprised me.

      I bent the rear one so that it hit both side of my frame- re trued it and it has been fine ever since. I was waiting for some new wheels to show up from Hope with Flow rims but they didn’t get here in time for the Trans Savoie but they survived an absolute battering in France. Don’t get me wrong, you wouldn’t want to buy a second hand rim off me ;) But I actually think a little bit of ‘give’ has been good. I run the Flows on my other bikes and they have been really good as well.


  6. Hi Neil, do you think weight is as big of a deal than people make it out to be? I’m riding a 2013 meta sx1 which is around 31lbs but I have had no issues with it. Yes it’s heavier than most but it flies downhill and climbs better than my anthem!??

    • Hi Mark,

      I guess i am spoiled with the bikes i ride but weight is important to me and it is definitely better for racing at a high level. A light bike climbs a fair bit easier and handles nicer, but i always go on the side of having a strong build if i can. I haven’t weighed my Bronson, i don’t really go quite that far into the geekery, but i don’t need to. It is plenty light enough for me and takes a lot of abuse, i don’t even have a downhill bike anymore- i just thrash the Bronson down everything.


  7. Hi there, I am about to order a Bronson myself. Ive been looking into getting the float x shock for it. What are your thoughts on the shock, bearing in mind santa cruz dont offer this shock option, and clearly say they feel the bike works better with the stock shock? ive seen alot of people switching to the float x, and everyone has said it makes the bike feel much plusher, esepcially over small bumps, and therefore is better for rough descents. They also say they didnt really notice it having too much of a negative affect on the pedalling performance. If this is the case, why are SC so stronly against it? Its hard to get an honest opinion…!
    Thanks for the help in advance!

  8. Also, what front and rear tyres pressure do you run for general messing around riding?

    • Hi AJ,

      I love my Bronson, you can’t go wrong. Personally I like the Float X, I don’t see any downsides other than maybe a little bit of weight. I think a better shock is a better shock. You just get the benefits of a bigger can (doesn’t heat up as much) and the climb mode really locks the bike out. But I think if you are just using the bike for trail riding maybe you don’t need the bigger shock.
      I run somewhere about 30- 32 psi in my tyres.

      • Thanks for the reply. Although currently im not doing any long alpine’esk enduro events, i do have a downhill background so like to have confidence in my setup, so im thinking the float x could be the way to go. Do you know if they suit the bronson straight out the box so to speak (obviously set it for your own weight and adjust rebound and compression), or do they require a certain factory tune to get them properly matched to the bike?

        • I had Mojo put the largest air spacer in it so it ramps up nicely. Very easy to do, it just involves unscrewing the shock body and replacing the original spacer.

        • AJ, I’ve just bought a Bronson also and was considering the upgrade to the Float X. Did you end up pulling the trigger on it, what are your thoughts on the performance?

  9. Hi Neil what settings do you run on your 36’s. I’ve just got a set and I’m looking for a good base setting for racing enduros

    • Sorry Paul, I have swapped back to 34s now and have no idea how I had the 36s setup. Mojo help me out and know their stuff, also the manuals are actually very handy for base settings.

  10. Hi Neil,

    Do you ride 150 or 160mm FOX34 on Bronson?

  11. Hi Neil

    Sick ride! How are these ENVE rims holding up compared to ztr Flow ex or Arch ex?


    • Cheers Michael, the Enve’s are holding up great. They are super strong and stiff so I don’t expect any problems, they ride differently to the Stan’s just down to the fact they don’t flex at all so the bike feels super responsive.

  12. Hi neil, great looking bike . Im aftually looking for a new bike and im torn between the tallboy ltc or the bronson.. The nomad looks good but infind the geometry not fitted to my riding style. Im not a pro descender so im afraid i wont do justice for a nomad.

    Anyway, have read a lot of good reviews on the bronson compared to the tallboy so i want to ask you how do you love it.. Can you consider the tallboy as a “one bike to do it all” steed except of course for full on dh runs. Do you feel the lack of travel (135mm only) during repititive square edged hits and long descents on the tallboy? Also , what was your setup like on the tallboy? What fork did you run. Seems like youre not using it anymore.

    Last question: please rank the tallboy,nomad3 and bronson if you can only have one bike.

    • Hi Luis,

      I would say the Tallboy could be a great all round bike if you can only have one. I love mine and it is great on everything except the really gnarly stuff, 29ers can flatter an average rider and make them faster. 135 feels like more on the Tallboy. I run a 160 fork and still ride it a lot and have swapped between the Nomad and Tallboy for racing.
      Choice really comes down to where you ride and what you like doing. The Bronson is a great bike but the Nomad takes over when you go downhill faster. The Tallboy is a great all rounder. Cheers, Neil

  13. Hi Neil!

    Can you make a bike check on your new Nomad? I`m also interested on your height, because I`m going to buy Nomad, but I`m not sure which size is best for me. I`m 5`8 and thinking between M or L size. Thanks.

    Keep up the good work!

  14. Hi Neil,
    I’m off for a week with the guys at Trail Addiction riding the trails at Les Arcs this summer, this will be the third time out there but have experimented with tyres and never been 100% happy.. I’m keen on trying the continental Mountain King protection 2.4’s on my “old school” stump jumper evo 26 but would appreciate your thoughts on a go to choice for alpine enduro stuff.


    • Hi Chris, I would go for something a bit heavier and tougher out there, maybe even consider a DH tyre like a Kaiser. Although they aren’t going to roll as well or be as light they will offer good protection and grip and if you are mainly using the ski lifts the weight doesn’t matter quite as much. I usually go for sturdy tyres in the Alps. Cheers, Neil

  15. Great, thanks for the advice Neil..I think I am with Trail Addiction the week before you are out there!, let’s hope the weathers a bit dryer than last year :)

  16. Hey Neil,

    I don’t see you riding your Nomad in your GMBN videos lately so not sure if you’ve moved on, but I’m really curious about your bar/stem setup on it. Are you running a 740mm bar and 40 stem on it as well?

    I’m coming from a fairly narrow bar/long stem setup by today’s standards and setting up a Nomad myself at the moment. The last decision to make is bar/stem. 740 sounds nice to me but the internet mostly rides wider. I ride mostly in the north shore in Vancouver where lots of the old school trails I ride are still tight with lots of things to clip. I’m 5 foot 8.5 inches and everything will feel wide to me at this point no matter what I try. Do you think a 50mm duo stem with 740mm fatbar lite will suit me well on a medium frame? I ask specifically because I’ve found a great deal on that bar/stem combo :-)

    On a side note, very jealous of the Strive I’ve been seeing you on. I really wish they were available for order in Canada.

    Thanks in advance for your time!

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