Words by Mike Rose
Photos by Fresh Paints of Whistler

We first got to see Chris Kovarik's newly painted M29 frame back at the end of March. We were blown away by the super skills of the team at Fresh Paints of Whistler and the amazing amount of detail that they had managed to put into the frame. It was a kind of ‘Heavy Metal meets horror slasher movie’ kind of deal.

Since then the frame has been wrapped by Ride Wrap (“which is a rocks throw away from the guys at Fresh Paints”) to protect the art work, as well as a few extra bits that have been given the Fresh Paints treatment – the coil spring on the rear shock and the forks have had the ‘Metal Mayhem’ touch.

It’s taken a little bit longer than anticipated but finally the build is complete, and of course it features a whole load of products from Chris’ personal sponsors… with an extra heavy dose of local brand Chromag.

As we mentioned in the original article, the word ‘legend’ is often used a little too freely, but  Chris Kovarik really is a legend of the downhill mountain bike world. And there are very few (if any) professional mountain bikers that have been with just one brand for such a long period of time. Twenty-two years, well over two decades of loyalty and dedication, during which time Chris has won multiple Australian National Championships titles, four World Cups, including his unforgettable +14 second demolition in Fort William 2002… one of the greatest race runs of all time… and all on flat pedals let’s not forget. Here’s the full breakdown.


“For the past three years I’ve run 800mm bars, but this year I’ve gone back down to 780mm, which has allowed me to be more playful and move and lean across the bike much more.”
 Chris Kovarik

“I’m using an O-chain X-ring, 
which is made in Italy. It has kick back play to absorb chain pull  and derailleur clutch tension (pull), allowing your suspension to move more freely through its travel rather than have the chain pull on its up-stroke. Kinda feels like it’s chainless, and is super quiet.”

“The bigger Maxxis 3.0 tire on the front adds to the moto look, and it also absorbs small bump chatter... and at 15 psi it ploughs down anything.”

“The STFU cable slider helps keep the front brake cable secure and moving up and down neatly, and not side to side or banging on my race plate.”

Frame: INTENSE M29 2021, size Large
Shock: FOX Factory DHX2, 550lb spring
Fork: FOX 40 Air, 90 PSI with 5 tokens
Bars: Chromag BZA, 780mm width, 35mm rise, 9º back sweep, 5º up sweep
Stem: Chromag BZA 50mm length, 35mm clamp
Grips: Chromag Basis
Headset: Cane Creek 40
Shifter: SRAM GX 7spd
Rear Mech: SRAM XO 7spd
Brakes: Magura MT7’s with HC3 levers
Seat: Chromag Overture
Seatpost: Chromag
Crankset: E.Thirteen LG1 alloy, 165mm length
Chainring: O-Chain X-ring, 36T
Chainguide: E.Thirteen LG1R
Cassette: E.Thirteen 7spd
Chain: SRAM Stealth
Pedals: Chromag DAGGA, Kovarik signature pedals
Wheelset: E.Thirteen LG1Race carbon
Tires: Maxxis Minion 3.0 3C front, 2.5 Minion 3C rear
Extras: STFU chain dampers and cable slider, and FOX Factory mud guard