Hayden Wright caught up with Harry Bush at the Cannonball Festival, to find out more about the rider and his bike on the big mountain.
Words: Hayden Wright
Photos: Amelia Howler
The Thredbo Cannonball festival brings together the top downhill racers from across the country, all of whom have hopes of taming the venerable “Cannonball Run” with various levels of success. Harry Bush is one of the few who have stood on the elite mens podium at this event, a rare privateer within a sea of factory backed riders. A Standout 2nd place finish in 2018 in front on names such as Loris Vergier and Greg Minnar left Harry with a full head of steam and looking to tackle the Elite level international race scene in 2019.
All was running to plan until a practice crash in Rotorua left the likeable Queenslander in the hospital undergoing emergency surgery for a badly fractured C7 vertebrea. Following 10 months off the bike recovering, “Bushy” began his return to the sport with impressive results being mixed in with further injuries, surgeries, and setbacks.
Following some time away from Thredbo Harry is back on a new bike and impressing people trackside with his smooth controlled style and impressive bike handling skills. An 8th place finish in a field of 52 pro men shows that the comeback train is well on track. We caught up with Bushy to ask him a few questions about his race bike and how he likes to set it up.
After spending the past few years on a Devinci Wilson and Kona Operator, Harry is now riding an Nukeproof Dissent. One of a smaller group of companies still committed to producing aluminium downhill bikes for competition use, the Nukeproof rolls on 29” wheels with 200mm of travel in the front and 190 at the back. When asked about any event specific changes Harry makes to his bike, he instantly went to his suspension. “More high-speed compression in the fork, to help with the bigger hits” he immediately replied.
The Cannonball Run is infamous for its high average speed, and rough rock sections littered top to bottom. To help ensure his bike will make it not only through his race run, but also through the entire week of riding, Harry also increases the pressure in his tyres to 24 in the front, and 30 in the rear. It was interesting to see that he has not opted to use any kind of rim insert given the brutal nature of the course, but it is not uncommon to hear of riders leaving inserts by the wayside when running DH casing tyres. In Bushy's own words “you’ve gotta run the good Maxxis tyres” – alluding to the myriad of casing and compound options Maxxis have available. In this case Harry has gone with their most grippy and soft-wearing 3C Maxx Grip compound.
Asides from that, Harrys Nukeproof Dissent is running an entirely OE spec as it arrived from Off The Brakes, the Australian Nukeproof distributor. Outside of having his suspension freshened up by NSDynamics and the changing in tyres, this bike is stock as a rock and proves that you do not need to break the bank to compete on the national stage.
Frame Material Aluminium
Fork RockShox Boxxer Ultimate, 120psi
Shock RockShox Super Deluxe Coil, 450lbs
Shifter SRAM X01, 7sp
Derailleur SRAM X01, 7sp
Crank SRAM X01 DH, 165mm, 34T
Chain Guide MRP Mini G4, 32-36T, ISCG-05
Bottom bracket SRAM DUB
Chain SRAM PC-1110
Cassette SRAM X01, 7sp
Wheel set Nukeproof Horizon V2 DH
Tyre (front) Maxxis Assegai, 29x2.5, DH Casing, Tubeless, Maxx Grip, 3C Compound, 24psi
Tyre (rear) Maxxis Minion DHR II, 29x2.4, DH Casing, Tubeless, Maxx Grip, 3C Compound, 30psi
Brakes SRAM Code R, Sintered pads
Rotors SRAM Centerline, 220f, 200r
Stem Nukeproof Horizon Direct Mount, 45mm
Handlebars Nukeproof Horizon 25mm rise, cut to 780mm
Grips Nukeproof Sam Hill Signature
Seatpost Nukeproof Neutron
Saddle Nukeproof Vector DH
Pedals Shimano DX
Harry would like to thank his sponsors:
Off The Brakes