Bike Check: Curtis Keene, The American Dream, and his Specialized Enduro Race Bike

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Today’s level of competition at the Enduro World Series is so high, that it takes nothing short of perfection to even crack the top ten. So after a season filled with bad luck, it was great to see Curtis Keene put everything together for a career best 3rd place performance at the most difficult race of this series.

Head past the break to learn more bout the the setup that help him get there.

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While he may be sponsored by Specialized, Curtis is a die hard fan of these old school Intense Grips by ODI. I didn’t get it either until I grabbed them. With a MX style half waffle and that perfectly broken in feel, I’m ready to buy a set for my own bike.

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With a spare tube taped to his frame, and a multi tool integrated into his Specialized water bottle cage, Curtis generally rides without a hydration pack.

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What internal wizardry lies inside this Vivid Air? We don’t know, but if the tech pans out, it will probably be available to consumers in a few years.

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While many claim that 1x specific drivetrains have heralded the end of chain guides, they’re still a common site on Enduro race circuit. Curtis is currently running a Gamut Trail SXC Guide, which we reviewed here. During practice days at Crankworx, he was running a smaller 32T chain ring in order to save his legs, but switched to a 36T for raceday.

Sharp eyes will also notice the Quarq power meter installed on Curtis’s XX1 cranks. Currently, number junkies on with a one by drivetrain fix have had to turn to Shimano or SRM for their data, but is appears that SRAM is working on an in house offering.

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With the timed section of EWS being held on courses rugged enough to host a World Cup Downhill Race, Curtis asked RockShox to build him a custom Reverb with more travel so he could get the saddle out of the way. An outcome of that request is that now anyone can buy a 150mm Reverb.

Curtis is also running the new Fattie Roval Traverse wheels. The carbon wheels have a healthy 30mm internal width, reliable DT Swiss Internals, and with the exception of a few replaced spokes, have been going strong since Sea Otter.

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To give you an idea of how hard the very top EWS athletes push their equipment, this is what the Specialized Slaughter rear tire Curtis was running looked like after 40 miles of racing.

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With a tube, multitool, power meter, pedals, and a burly enough build to withstand the abuse of the Whisgnar course, Curtis’s 650B Enduro hit the scale at just 31 lbs 10 oz (14.3 kg).

Special thanks to Curtis for taking the time to chat with us at Crankworx. Follow him on Facebook here or check out his Specialized Athlete Page here.

Comments

Dave - 08/24/14 - 5:14pm

I do find it funny that Specialized did not want to support the 650B / 27.5 platform and due to it’s popularity hey had to as I am sure sales did drop on them. It would be nice though if a big company like this just said we mis judged the market and we were wrong.

CC - 08/24/14 - 6:39pm

Why should a company apologize for misjudging the market? Are you offended by the 26 inch wheel size?

Dave - 08/24/14 - 6:52pm

I love the 26 wheel size. And the 29er and the 27.5. Each of these sizes make sense for different reasons. I just think it is funny when the reps go around telling shops why 29er is so much better than 27.5. And it is for some people and some terrain. Again I love all 3 sizes and I own all 3 sizes and each does certain things very very well and each does certain things not so well.

JG - 08/24/14 - 9:04pm

seriously wtf “the american dream” ….can you get a more cheesier nickname…

Betty Beige - 08/24/14 - 11:12pm

People don’t give themselves nicknames dip [edited]. Someone else calls them that, then somebody else hears it passes it on and it sticks.. He doesn’t walk around calling himself that.

nsp234 - 08/25/14 - 7:11am

Hey bikerumor, thanks for regularly posting metric weights as well! This is not common amongst english speaking websites and it helps us metric guys to easily read your articles without having to convert units. As often, good things are in the details..

Equine Master - 08/25/14 - 12:05pm

@Dave

“…due to it’s popularity hey had to as I am sure sales did drop on them.”

Business 101. Don’t take it personally.

Should they send you a bouquet of roses with their apology, too?

Reformed Roadie - 08/25/14 - 2:43pm

Dave, you are right on…the begrudgingly release and in their marketing say they still think 29ers are superior.
Then their enduro racers and DH racers are all on 650b now…what a joke.

satisFACTORYrider - 08/25/14 - 3:18pm

still talkin about wheel sizes is the joke

kevinblayn - 08/25/14 - 5:27pm

The Gravity/MTB editor hasn’t owned the Intense lock-ons!? Daaaaaang!

Saris Mercanti - 08/25/14 - 5:57pm

@ KevinBlayn

I know, I know. I’m sorry. I’ve been blinded by my love of ODI Ruffians and (more recently) RF Half Nelsons.

bummer - 08/26/14 - 8:01pm

@JG

Well, you DO already have “American” in there. But yeah, you could add “Swiss,” “Muenster,” “Camembert,” “Brie,” “Asiago,” etc. Any of those would augment the cheese quotient.

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