Meet an Off Roader - Dave
Date Posted:10 January 2024
Meet an Off Roader - Dave
Tell Us About Yourself
At over 40 years of age I still think wheelies and jumps are awesome, and hope my kids grow to enjoy a passion for bikes too.
I've been into riding bikes since I can remember. As a kid I did that more than anything else. Started with zooming around the yard then stand-up wheelies in the street on my back-pedal-brake BMX, then got into riding freestyle BMX and skate parks, before eventually getting into mountain biking.
I live in Perth and am lucky to have a lot of facilities nearby now days, skate parks that have been around for ages, and now there are more jump and pump tracks than ever before. Not to mention the beach. I love to spend time in the sun and water there or at home in the pool with my kids.
When I'm not enjoying the outdoors I enjoy weight training, music, or sim racing including creating car designs.
What off road riding do you do?
I love heading into the Perth hills for a group adventure, the bush is such a great place to be and there's lots of location choices on offer. Thursday night is trails riding with The Faffers, usually about 25 km around Kalamunda. Weekends are usually about getting a bit more rad, like following mates into a rocky single-track adventure somewhere off the beaten path or the Goat Farm for a bit of freeride action. Unless it's a KMBC monthly social ride or occasional shuttles, sometimes as part of a trip down south to Murray Valley or Linga Longa.
I try and get out on the DJ weekly but that doesn't always work out especially in windy ol' Perth. Kingsley (Shepherds Bush Park) is definitely my local favourite, and I still enjoy the odd skate park session.
Recently I did a pre-Christmas Beer-Enduro which was a lot of fun, about 50 km of heritage trails and some single trails between pub stops! Finding myself on one of the local downhill tracks as part of the route was a bit of surprise, especially as I was on my hardtail! Ooof.
The KMBC annual Margaret River muster is another great one on the hardtail or trail bike and makes for a memorable long weekend away with the family.
New year’s day group ride has become a bit of a Faffer’s tradition. This year’s was a great adventure including the new Noolbenger trail at John Forrest then onto more rowdy things, hitting about 50 km all up, and at about 1000 m of climbing it definitely proved more epic than the regular weekend ride!
Why Revel Bikes?
It’s all smiles. When first rode on a Revel Rail I couldn’t stop smiling, and it still happens every time.
When I first settled in Perth about 2006 I got into downhill. But as Perth's surrounding areas lost most of those tracks to logging a few years ago I migrated towards more available trail riding as did a lot of my riding buddies. Then over the years trails development has taken off,skills and bikes have progressed, so I wanted to get back on a bigger bike but one that could still pedal. Sam owns a couple of Revels and kept saying "you should get a Rail". It started to make sense. The Revel Rail did seem an ideal proposition for Perth adventure riding. With the CBF linkage and relatively light carbon frame affording great pedal efficiency, as well as the 27.5" wheels for negotiating tight single tracks, quick acceleration, and agility on freeride jump trails.
I looked at some other bikes but factors pushing me towards Revel where the options to build from a frame with a lifetime warranty, and ride before you buy through ORBO’s rental program. There's not many factory builds available out there offering top level suspension with a GX level drive train, which was the perfect price-performance point for me. There's even less choice in Perth with availability to ride before you buy. I am bit between sizes so swinging a leg over a complete build was also a must. It also helped me figure out if I wanted to go full 29er, mullet, or stick with 27.5”.
So I rented a Rail and the CBF linkage absolutely lived up to, or even exceeded, my expectations. Not only by feel, but first time out on the bike I got Strava PRs, not just down but up too! That’s despite recently setting Strava PRs down the same local trails riding another demo bike just the week before. It was hard to comprehend at first how something that pedalled so well on the way up is also so amazingly plush and composed on rough braking bumps on the way back down. The CBF linkage could be the holy grail for someone who usually rides to the top for a rowdy decent.
This thing is so much fun. It manuals like a dream, has more precise handling than mullet bikes I tested, and is also so super balanced on freeride jumps, offering lots of pop and agility while still feeling very stable. So I was sold on sticking with Rail’s 27.5” configuration.
Tell us about your mountain bikes?
Well obviously, there's the Rail 27.5", I had a vision for the orange tang colour way with slab grey lowers of the Rockshox ZEB, with silver and orange components. I am really stoked how it came together and performs. It's the regular weekend warrior now.
My Trance Advanced 27.5" has gone from the do-it-all bike to mostly just the Thursday night or long haul trail rides. We both feel safer now. Amazing how capable of a bike it is really, it's tackled a bit of everything on offer in Perth-Peel region, especially with a few small upgrades like the MRP ramp controller and a nice big shock volume spacer. But I am so much more comfortable tackling rowdy terrain on the Rail.
A couple of years ago I jumped at the opportunity to buy a unique Titanium hard tail frame with modern geometry that was custom built to order by a mate. It’s full 29", short chain stays (so still good for manuals!), 65° head angle, and a 160 mm Formula Selva fork with bronze highlights. So it's a blast to ride downhill and capable of keeping surprisingly close pace with the dualies. It’s also good for cruisey rides with the family.
One day I might try mulleting the Rail with the fork and wheel from the hardtail, but for now I am really enjoying and still fine tuning the Rail as it is.
For urban off road riding I have a Commencal Absolut RS, in silver with a few metallic blue bits around the place. Love it. Having always ridden stee frame DJs (and BMXs) before I was a bit apprehensive about going Aluminium, but definitely no regrets. Having a lighter bike has helped me progress.
Any exciting riding plans coming up?
Yes, Tassie! Heading to Hobart and then on to Maydena this month with a great group of guys. The boys have done a similar trip almost annually for the past few years and I've kept putting it off for family, health, bike reasons. But now the new Rail will be perfect for it. It will be my first time going on an out of state riding trip in about 9 years! No coincidence that's just a bit longer than I've had kids. Absolutely stoked.
Though I get excited any time I get to ride with mates so try not to miss any opportunities these days.
Great overview - cheers DaveBy: David “Faffer” Gibson on 25 January 2024PS - Tassie was awesome❤️
Top BlokeBy: Andrew Withers on 25 January 2024Nice one Dave. Great article. Like the photo of you trying to tail whip into the dam. Almost made it. It was fun day out at Pauls place.