Harrison Mendel is one of my favourite filmers of the MTB industry and also, a very stylish rider. When I asked him about doing a bikecheck of his brand new Trek Session 9.9, he was working at Les Deux Alpes, France filming the C3 Project compete at Crankworx. In just a few hours later, he had already sent me all I needed.
Although, with his busy schedule, he hasn’t been able to shoot the photos until now. Between shooting stills for R-Dog’s new edit at the Sunshine Coast, BC Toby Cowley snapped some photos of Harrison’s bike and his effortless riding, and surprised me with a WeTransfer file ready to download.
Read what Harrison has to say about his bike and check out all the photos below.
Frame: Trek Session 9.9 DH
Fork: RockShox BoXXer World Cup 27.5
Shock: RockShox Vivid Air R2C
Handlebar: Deity DC31 Mohawk Carbon
Stem: Deity Locust DM
Grips: Sensus Disisdaboss
Headset: Cane Creek
Brakes: Sram Guide RCT
Rims: Blackhawk Murder DH 27.5
Hubs: SRAM XO
Tyres: Bontrager G5
Cranks: SRAM XO1 DH
Sprocket: SRAM 36t
Pedals: Deity Skyscraper
Chain: SRAM XO1
Seat: Deity Pinner
Seatpost: Deity Tibia
Shifter: SRAM XO1 7-speed
Rear derailleur: SRAM XO1 7-speed
Cassette: SRAM XO1 7-speed
“My bars are uncut 31″ wide and my stem is in the longer position at 55mm. I’m 6’4, pretty tall, so this just feels natural. Plus I would rather my bike feel big than small.”
“Everything on the bike is stock. I was lucky enough that Trek painted the frame for me, but everything else is off the shelf. This paint job wasn’t even my idea to be fair. I had asked the guys at Trek what they thought would be rad. I knew that they’ve painted so many bikes that I was sure they had some awesome ideas. I actually don’t like putting many stickers on my bike, I like to keep it super clean. The odd die-cut sticker sometimes looks sweet, but I’m so pumped on the paint job that I’d hate to cover it up.”
“My suspension is fairly stiff and I like my rebound pretty fast. I have a couple tokens in the fork to help ramp up more. Both air suspension and I like how that feels. To be completely honest I don’t know much about suspension and I just click the dials until it feels good.”
“I don’t really think about weight when I am building a bike. Of course I want my bike to be as light as possible, but I’m not picking a different seatpost because it’s lighter or something like that. This bike is 27.5” and I love it. The frame is an XL and the wheel size looks perfect with that. I’m not about to spin my DH bike so I’m really not worried about it. So far I’ve found all the riding qualities to be better, not a single downside. But for DJ/SS, 26” all the way. I was blown away by how light and fast the bike is. I’m not sure if it’s the 27.5” size or the carbon wheels but the bike rolls quickly.”
“I really like how the Sensus Disisdaboss grips don’t have big flanges, just a little extra rubber on the side to cover the lock on. The Bladerunner pedals are my new favourite from Deity as well. I just like how much grip they offer. I’ve thought about riding clipped in, but I like to move my feet around a lot, and these pedals are crazy grippy so it works out. At this point, I’m not sure what I would change. It’s my dream bike.”
More bikechecks here.
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Photos by Toby Cowley