Out Of The Box With Connor Fearon And The Hei Hei Trail

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Sometimes you’ve got to get out of the box. Live a little. Breathe. And then shred.

Connor Fearon certainly knows how to shred.
Connor Fearon certainly knows how to shred.

The Hei Hei Trail is an out of the box thinker, like many of Kona’s bikes. Everyone who swings a leg over one notes that it outrides its numbers, surpassing their expectations of a trail bike’s capabilities.

Connor Fearon rides the Hei Hei Trail in picturesque British Columbia terrain.
Connor Fearon rides the Hei Hei Trail in picturesque BC terrain.

Light and efficient with its full carbon frame and Fuse suspension design, snappy and playful on the way back down.

The base level Hei Hei Trail 27.5" retails for $6199.
The base level Hei Hei Trail 27.5″ retails for $6199.

While the Fuse suspension design is shared with our race-ready Hei Hei cross-country bike, the Hei Hei Trail, with 140mm of travel and 27.5′′ wheels, is a completely different beast. It’s the kind of bike that challenges preconceptions, and redefines what a bike in this class can do.

The Hei Hei Trail DL retails for $8999.
The Hei Hei Trail DL retails for $8999.

RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX AND UNDER OUR WORLD CUP RACER:

With the Hei Hei Trail’s lineage, it may have been expected of us to produce a video featuring one of our Endurance Team racers. But the reality is, this bike may just get you out of your box, thinking differently about the Hei Hei name from which this bike found its lineage, and pedalling to places you previously considered outside that box.

The box metaphors don't seem to apply so much to Connor.
The box metaphors don’t seem to apply so much to Connor.

So, we sent World Cup downhiller Connor Fearon into British Columbia’s Selkirk Mountains with the Hei Hei Trail. And what we came out with was exactly the proof we needed that this bike doesn’t belong in the box, but up in the hills, getting loose. We tend to think you’ll agree.

Up in the hills sounds good to us!
Up in the hills sounds good to us!

HEI HEI TRAIL DETAILS:

All three Hei Hei Trail models feature the same Kona Race Light full carbon frame. From the top-spec Hei Hei Trail Supreme through the Hei Hei Trail DL and the Hei Hei Trail, you can expect to find wide rims, great tires, and high quality suspension components. No matter which model you choose, you can be assured it’ll be ready to shred right out of the box.

The top of the line Hei Hei Trail Supreme.
The top of the line Hei Hei Trail Supreme.

You can find more information on the Hei Hei Trail here.

Brosnan Again Proves He’s The Best In Bright

Troy Brosnan (SA) has claimed his fourth consecutive Elite Men’s Downhill title with a nail-biting win on the final day of the 2016 Subaru Australian Championships at Bright, Victoria on Sunday.

 

It was an anxious wait for the third ranked rider in the world as Connor Fearon (SA) had the opportunity to knock his mate off top spot, but couldn’t better Brosnan’s 3:45:46 to again take silver behind his fellow South Australian, with Josh Button (NSW) in third.

 

“Its been such tough battle between Connor and I, we’re really good friends and I thought he might’ve had this one this year,” Brosnan said.

Connor Fearon
Connor Fearon

“It was hard to get down in one piece to be honest.”

 

Plenty of talk surrounded the big time battle between Brosnan and five time World Champion Sam Hill (WA), but it was Fearon who threw himself into the mix with the fastest seeding run to ensure he’d be last down the hill for the final.

 

With sister Tracey having claimed the Elite Women only moments before, Mick Hannah, was keen to add to his national title haul of four, the last won back in 2013. The Cairns kid would finish fifth.

 

As hundreds lined the course to get a chance to see Hill in action, the West Aussie wonder couldn’t produce, with a time of 4:01:79 seeing him finish 8th.

 

Sam Hill
Sam Hill

Button, who last finished on the podium back in 2009, produced a sensational run of 3:51:59 to tighten the screws on the last two on the course in Brosnan and Fearon.

 

And despite only getting back on his downhill bike for the first time since he crashed and dislocated his shoulder in Thredbo earlier in the week, the 22 year old was dialled in.

Elite Men DHI Podium 

“I was coming to ride for fun but felt good this weekend and thought I’d give it a crack and put it all in the back of my head of what’s happened before this race and it all worked out.”

 

For Fearon, it’s the third straight year he’s been out-classed by Brosnan to the Australian jersey.

 

“It always seems Troy is one step ahead, but still trying to catch him and hope to beat him one day.”

Fresh Product: New FLEXAIR Gear From Fox Brings Motocross Revolution to MTB

The MTB team at Fox is excited to introduce the new FLEXAIR gear collection. FLEXAIR uses Fox Racing’s proven Trudri(c) and Trumotion(c) fabrics to create racewear that is lighter, more comfortable, more durable and offers more proven performance than any other product on the market.

FLEXAIR earned its stripes on the Supercross track, with 2015 champion Ryan Dungey running the gear, and revolutionising motocross kits in the process. The Fox R&D team then proved FLEXAIR’s value for downhill mountain biking by testing the gear throughout the 2015 UCI World Cup Downhill season with Fox MTB athletes, including champions Josh Bryceland and Steve Smith.Stevie Smith, Mark Wallace and Connor Fearon in Maui, Hawaii, USA

Stevie Smith in Maui, Hawaii, USACONNOR_FEARON_PGore Stevie Smith in Maui, Hawaii, USAWed Fox MTB Photo 2 Derrick BuschStevie Smith in Maui, Hawaii, USA Mark Wallace in Maui, Hawaii, USA LIFESTYLE_3DBusch

“Maintaining our position as the world’s number one brand in motocross means we’re constantly innovating,” said Mike Redding, Director of MTB Marketing at Fox, “and the gear we’re designing for the champions of the track gives us the opportunity to share cutting edge technology with mountain athletes.”

FLEXAIR will be available in downhill jerseys and shorts.

Claudio vs Val di Sole with Connor Fearon

The Val di Sole track in Italy is a brutally technical maiden. Packed with slippery roots and plenty of rocks, it drops steeply through the forest into the valley floor. The 2,200m long course has had a facelift for 2015, with more line choices and northshore added to the classic track.

Regarded as one of the most technical downhill runs in the world, the Italian course is going to be an incredible showdown for the season-ender. With the overall downhill title still to be clinched, it’s set to be a weekend of fast and furious racing.

Watch the action unfold right here on Saturday, August 22.

Watch the Best Bits From the Leogang World Cup

The 2015 Leogang World Cup will go down in history. We’ve got all the highlights in one tasty stew.

Fresh from the editing suite we bring you highlights from one of, if not the most incredible races of all time, featuring Aaron Gwin’s logic defying race winning run in all it’s glory, the moment Manon Carpenter crossed the tape and got disqualified, together with the many other incredible moments from yesterday’s Leogang World Cup final.

For a full race report and results click here.

For a full replay of the Leogang World Cup click here.

Five From Five for Aussie Elite at the Oceania Championships in Toowoomba, Queensland

Connor Fearon, Tegan Molloy and Paul Van der Ploeg have all recorded wins to complete an Australian Elite-level whitewash of the 2015 Oceania Mountain Bike Championships in Tooowoomba, Queensland presented by Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA).

Downhill

Downhill mountain bike racing is said to be one of the hardest challenges in world sport, requiring a unique combination of skill, fitness and bravery.

In the Elite Men’s race, the hot favourite for the win was local Jared Graves (QLD), a rider who has helped design and build the ‘McKenzie Frenzy’ course.

JaredGraves2-Credit_ElementPhotoAndVideo

JaredGraves-Credit_ElementPhotoAndVideo

Graves is a true superstar in the world of cycling, and the 2014 Enduro World Champion has almost unparalleled results across a myriad of dirt cycling disciplines.

Today Graves was fast enough on his home track to walk away with the silver, but it was Connor Fearon (SA) who was on fire, finishing the challenging course in 2m 40.16s to earn the title of Oceania Champion.

On finishing in front of Jared Graves: “I wasn’t expecting that,” Fearon said. “It’s his track and he’s riding really well and he’s fitter than anyone else so I knew he’d be almost impossible to beat.

ConnorFearon-Credit_ElementPhotoAndVideo

“I’m sure he’ll be trying harder on Sunday so I’ll have to try to stay in front of him.

“Last year I did well but I was actually pretty disappointed. I had some crashes and some bad luck. So this year I want to be in the top 20 every race and fight for a podium at each race and hopefully finish inside the top ten this year.”

Bronze went to 2013 Oceania Downhill champion Chris Kovarik (QLD).

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In women’s racing, Tegan Molloy (NSW) is the reigning Junior World Champion but has stepped up to the Elite in 2015, and she continued her rapid ascent to the top with her second win at the highest level delivering her the Oceania Championship.

“It’s pretty cool to get a title in the Elite ranks coming up from junior, it’s a bit of a step up and I was stoked to come away with the win today,” said Molloy.

“This is the first time I’ve been here [to Toowoomba] – this morning it was pretty tricky to ride, it was so muddy I was just struggling for the bike to roll so I only ended up having one practice run, so I was coming in to racing a little bit blind.

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She spoke of the challenge that awaits in two week’s time at the National Championships: “Tracey [Hannah] will be there – it should be a good battle between us I think. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top.”

Second place went to Sophie Tyas (NZL) and third to Michelle Crisp (NSW).

Special mention goes to Richie Rude Jr (USA) and Claire Buchar (CAN) who are not riders from within the Oceania-confederation, but who both walked away with the fastest times of the day.

Cross Country Eliminator

Today also saw the Elite Men battle it out to be crowned the 2015 Oceania Cross Country Eliminator Champion, a title that was eventually bestowed upon Australia’s Paul van der Ploeg (VIC).

In his first Eliminator race since the UCI World Championships in 2014, van der Ploeg rode strongly against New Zealand’s Cross Country National Champion Anton Cooper in an exciting final that saw riders go up against tough conditions.

“It was pretty crazy racing with lots of rain last night, the course was very muddy for the time trial,” said van der Ploeg.

Paul van der Ploeg in the XCE - Credit Russell Baker The XCE Oceania Podium - Credit Russell Baker

XCE Finalists - Credit Russell Baker

 

The 2013 Eliminator World Champion from Victoria has spent much of the last 18 months recovering from two shoulder reconstructions, but said he is happy with his performance today and excited to be back on the trails.

“It’s been awhile since I won something so it’s a good confidence booster and really good mentally to get a win on the board, especially against someone like Anton who is a super fast rider,” van der Ploeg explained.

The mountain bike action continues with the final round of the 2014/15 Subaru National Series, where Australia’s best riders will once again take to the Cross Country course in an attempt to take out the National Series crown.

For all Oceania and Series information, please visit:

For full 2015 Oceania Championship Results: