Dickson Hepworth’s Santa Cruz 4x
It kind of goes without saying that if you work for a bike company then you run their stuff, you’ve just got to pray that the company that you work for is a god one! But with so many companies offering so many different bikes, we thought that it might be interesting to have a look at what bikes industry people chose and why. You know, they might go for a full–on DH rig, a sweet hardtail or a mid travel flyer. I mean the choice is theirs. And of course they get a good deal on the bikes, these guys aren’t paying full whack you know.
DIRT ISSUE 66 – AUGUST 2007
Words by Mike Rose
So what would you choose? You’d spoilt for choice surely. We hooked up with Dickon Hepworth, Director of Jungle Products (Santa Cruz Distributor), to see what his weapon of choice is. Now I guess you’d be thinking that he might go for something like a Nomad, but that is not what he is about, “I ride, don’t race, absolutely love speed, hate fireroads, love singletrack, natural trails, man made trails. All of it. I mountain bike I guess you could say”. When you choose a bike you have to be really honest with yourself about what kind of riding you actually do, so we were a little surprised, but also interested to hear, that Dickon rides the Blur 4X. What is that you ask?
Well the name 4X does pigeonhole the bike a little. Of course you can race 4X on this bike, but what you really have is a neat 4” travel bike with some sweet and friendly geometry. This is not rocket science, but the 68º head angle, slightly lowered BB and short travel makes for a great bike. More than capable at coping with forest loops, long XC rides, days in the woods, but also a spot of jumping and a bit of ‘razzing about’ (as we like to call it). This is an easy to get on with bike, maybe the amount of travel is a little unfashionable, but what the hell. It is fun and usable, and the kind of bike that a lot of us would enjoy.Dirt: Tell us about your bike?
Dickon: It’s a ’05 Santa Cruz Blur 4X with a bastardised parts selection that generally doesn’t change very often.Why did you choose the 4X over the other bikes in the Santa Cruz range?
I was really into the Nomad for a while, but it was actually when Rob Roskopp (Santa Cruz main man) was over from the US for Fort William a few years back and he mentioned he rode one (a 4X) for trail riding. I’d never really considered it before, mainly due to the name. So I got one built up and I’m still riding it. There are four of us working at Jungle and three of us ride 4X’s. I just love the short travel rear end for feel and trail feedback, combined with the long wheelbase and slack head angle for stability and speed.Describe your bike set up?
Like a dragster in reverse! The frame is very small height wise (17” seat tube) for a lanky git like me at 6’2”, so when I drop the post down it feels like a BMX and you can really crank it. The Pikes do have a great travel adjust system, but I pretty much always leave them on 140mm for everything. So it’s tall (ish) front and low rear.How do you run your suspension?
Very soft, around 40% sag.