We bring you the first in a series of photo essays by Kaz Yamamura. Over the next few months Kaz will bring you an inside look at the bikes and riders of the Sea to Sky corridor. Up first is (now) Whistler local Rémy Métailler, 2013 Phat Wednesday Series 3rd Overall and of Whistler FaceShot video fame.
Rémy likes going fast, but not just fast; he likes going fast with style. On board with Commencal bikes this year, Rémy will be piloting his Supreme DH and Meta AM at select downhill and enduro events around North and South America, and shredding the bike park. When not racing or tearing the bike park apart, Rémy will be riding his Absolut dirt-jump bike at the local jumps and pumptrack.
Hailing from Nice, France, Rémy’s story of coming to Whistler is one that isn’t unheard of. Seeing videos and photos of Whistler since 2004, he had always wanted to ride the famed bike park. After finishing his schooling in marketing, he made his dreams a reality and flew over to Canada. Racking up a pile of sponsors after the 2013 season, Rémy decided to stay in Whistler. These days he is racing in the Americas while at the same time giving clinics. I caught up with Rémy just before he flew to Mexico to race both DH and enduro (which, as of the date of publishing, has now won both of on his Meta AM).
“I was tired of scrubbing dishes in France, so I came to Canada to scrub A-Line”*
*not a real quote.
The perfect bike for Rémy to send superhuman transfers and take him down the trails at record speeds, all while having steeze cranked to 11. At 170cm, Rémy feels the most comfortable on the medium size.
750mm RaceFace Atlas bars give Rémy a good balance between control and stability. Half Nelson grips help prevent his hands from locking into claw mode. 10mm TI-Springs spacers help with the rise.
Bos Idylle Rare Air eats up the bumps while soaking up the big impacts. Rémy runs 175psi in the fork (he’s 135 pounds) to stay firm on the bigger stuff to retain speed.
Rémy switches between the Bos Void air shock or the Stoy coil shock depending on the type of riding; the Void for nasty downhill and the Stoy for flowy bikepark. He uses 350lb weight TI-Springs on the coil and 150psi on the air.
Rémy has his Supreme set at the middle chainstay setting – 444.5mm – to give him a little more stability than the short setting but still being able to corner easily. Shimano Saint brakes help stop his 500g Spank Spike Race 28 rims attached to Schwalbe Muddy Marys.
Commencal has some fun stuff for riders to read while they wait in the lift lineups.
Rémy and I were matchy matchy with our Commencal bikes, RaceFace Chute jackets and Bell helmets. Rémy opted for the black Chute jacket instead of the highlighter yellow one; I wonder why…
Staying low and stealthy… Well, mostly stealthy.
Dropping into Whistler DH. Rémy can’t wait for the Garbo zone to open, to get more vertical per lap.
High-speed whippage. Rémy wanted to re-create an updated version of the photo I took of him at the 2013 Whip Off World Championships.
Rémy’s all-mountain/enduro weapon, the 650B Meta AM (again, size medium). Rémy plans to race some enduro events this year in addition to downhill races.
750mm RaceFace SixC bars make it easier to switch between bikes. Shimano XT brakes help stop this high-speed highlighter, while internal cable routing keeps things looking clean.
Deore XT cranks matched to RaceFace N/W chainring. No need for a chainguide on this bike. The Commencal mudguard helps keep the shock clean of mud from the rear wheel.
27.5″ Spank Spike Enduro 28’s and Michelin tires keep things rolling. A Bos Deville 160 rounds out the front. The TRC system in the fork helps keep the fork stiff for climbing and jumping, while running only 80psi.
More internal routing. Cables are virtually non-existent on this bike.
Rémy chooses to not run a dropper post. That didn’t stop him from placing first overall at the Valle de Bravo Enduro National Round in Mexico.
A 1x system keeps it simple and light.
No handers for days.
Pretty much a clipped-in unturndown. I can count the number of times I’ve seen one of those on one hand.
And with that, our first installment in the Sea to Sky Bike Check comes to an endo.
Rémy’s popularity has skyrocketed over the last season, racking up new sponsors in Commençal, BOS, RaceFace, Spank, Michelin, Ti-springs.com, Whistler Bike Park, Dissent Labs, Smith Optics, OGC-Bell helmets, Moveo Brace, Muscle Milk, HT pedals, Acros, 2UNDR, Bikeroom Vancouver, and Vorsprung, while carrying over sponsors from previous years in Evolution Whistler, Shimano, GoPro France and Xsories.
5 sponsors to 22 sponsors in under a year… I’m not even mad, that’s impressive.