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Manon Carpenter's Dream Build

Former Downhill World Champ Manon Carpenter has just completed a Dream Build video that's so hot we had to give maximum credit. Manon built up her Radon Jab from the bare frame at her local bike shop, Bike Shredz in Wales complete with Shimano XTR DI2 before taking it to her local trails for a first ride.

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With the release of this latest Dream Build we caught up with Manon to ask what's occurring. 

Where did you do the build?

We built the bike at a shop is called Bike Shredz. It’s a relatively new shop started up by local riders in the town where I live - Caerphilly. It has been my regular since they opened and they help me out. So it was a no brainer for me to do the build there. 

Where were you riding and why do you like riding there?

I also chose one of the hills close to Caerphilly to film the riding on. It’s been a haunt for a very long time, and recently a number of new trails have appeared there. The hillside is quite different to the typical South Wales trails, as it is all native broadleaf trees and so light and green rather than conifer forest. It’s also not as steep as most hills around here, and I like the flowy nature of the trails. They are mostly natural, apart from a couple of berms or kickers, just working with the shape of the ground.

We actually filmed most of the riding on the oldest trail there, which was going to be a warm up but we ended up spending a lot of time on it! Then we made it over to some really cool rock features that I’ve found recently. The gully I ride at the end blew my mind when we found it, it’s such a cool feature and it’s only a 20 minute ride from my house. That hillside is also a nightmare in the wet as it becomes super slippery clay, but we filmed at the end of a really dry period and it was perfect. There was a downpour in the hour after we finished filming!

Why did you choose XTR Di2?

I was given the option to try XTR Di2 last summer and I’ve been really impressed with it since then. It is simple to assemble and works faultlessly with very little need for adjustments once running. The idea of the Dreambuild was to build up a special, one-off custom bike and I like that it has an interesting build. With XTR and carbon rims and components it is a saving weight in many areas, but it also has burly suspension for big hits and fast trails. It is eye catching for sure - high quality, simple, and built to take on everything with confidence.

What riding plans do you have for the rest of the year?

My next big trip is going to be to the Alps in September. It’s something that has been on the cards for a while and is finally happening! We will be riding and documenting a four day alpine tour around (and hopefully up) one of big peaks in the French Alps, just taking back packs and staying in mountain refuges around the route. The idea is to travel light and make the most of the riding on the way around, without being restricted by bulky kit. Much of August has been trying to get in some longer rides and conditioning for the trip, but it’s also hard to replicate that kind of terrain around here. I’ve very excited, and nervous, to see how it pans out. Not long after that my final year of studies begins, but I know there will be some trips slotted in around that come the Autumn!