Ruaridh Cunningham shot to fame at the tail end of this year after winning the Red Bull Hardline event. We caught up with him to check out the machine that got him to the bottom of the world’s hardest downhill course faster than the competition.

Ruaridh rides for the Unior Tools team a standard Trek Session frame but with a stealthy black colour scheme. For the Hardline he used the standard geometry but decided to up his tyre pressure and increase the low speed compression damping to deal with the big hits the course provides in bucket loads.

He had to change the set up after he crashed into a tree off a jump in practice as his tyre rolled off the rim. You can watch a video of that crash here.

Given the Welsh weather, Ruaridh ran Schwalbe Dirty Dans for the weekend but with cut down spikes so he wouldn’t lose too much grip on the rocky sections.

Ruaridh also has a few custom parts on his bike such as a gimble on his brakes that cut out braking vibrations and spacers under his stem that raise the front end to help cope with steep stuff.

When he’s not racing World Cup downhills, Ruaridh is a coach for Dirt School. His top tip to become a better rider is – go slow to go fast. It’s better to be methodical and plan your ride than attack every berm and end up making mistakes.