Justin Dowell Bike Check

Justin Dowell expected to be in Tokyo competing at The Olympics this week, so we figured giving you an up-close look at his bike was the next best thing. Justin is very meticulous about his bike - from his custom frame to the rundown of parts - and nothing is present without a well-thought-out reason. Take a look at the bike and into Justin's brain!


Frame: Lairdframe

Fork: Snafu Magical

Bars: Alienation - 9.25"

Grips: ODI Longnecks - Soft

Barends: Odyssey Par End

Stem: Profile Push Stem - 48mm

Headset: Odyssey Conical Integrated

Cranks: Profile RHD - 170mm, 5.625" Titanium Spindle

Bottom Bracket: Odyssey Mid Bottom Bracket - 19mm

Sprocket: Profile Spline Drive- 28t

Chain: KMC K710SL

Pedals: Crank Bros Stamp 7 - Small

Seat: Snafu Solo - Padded

Front Wheel: Alienation Malice Rim, Titanium Spokes, Profile Mini Hub- 3/8" Threaded Aluminum Axle, 3/8" Titanium Button Head Bolts, Tubolito Tube

Rear Wheel:  Alienation Malice Rim, Titanium Spokes, Profile Mini Rear Hub - 3/8" Threaded Aluminum Axle, 3/8" to 14mm Titanium Button Head Bolts, 9t Titanium Driver, Tubolito Tube

Front Tire: KHE Mac 2+

Rear Tire:  KHE Mac 2+

Pegs: Total Skinnies

Weight: 18lbs 8oz (8.4kg)


Who are your current sponsors?

Monster Army, USA Cycling, and Levi's.

When did you build this bike up? 

The first day I rode the bike was May 16th, but it took nearly three months of ordering to get all of the stuff to my house. 

Justin Dowell Bike Check

Justin Dowell Bike Check

Give us a rundown on the specs of the frame and why you chose them...

Head tube is 75°, top tube is 20.6°, rear end is 13.1", bottom bracket is 11.55" - mid, seat tube is 71°, stand over is 8.5". No integrated seat clamp, dropouts are 14mm, and nothing brake-related.

Everything about my frame is average, I would say - and I did this for a reason. I wanted a bike that would work no matter what I was riding. To me, a low stand over is below 8" and a high one is above 9", so I wanted to be right in the middle with 8.5". With this stand over, I'm still able to pinch on my barspins, but my frame isn't too tall for tailwhip tricks. A long top tube is 21" and a short one is 20", so I again went right in the middle with 20.6". My head tube angle, rear end length, bottom bracket height, and seat tube angle are all standard measurements as well. These will work with any kind of riding!

What do you call this color?

The name of the color is "New Teal" from Prismatic Powders. I had a local powder coater in the Raleigh Area - JC Powder Coating - do the frame, forks, bars, and rims. I didn't want the blue to look bland, so he suggested doing layers of colors. He base coated in a shiny silver and then applied the blue. The blue on the bike turned out absolutely amazing and the gold and white parts compliment it well! I couldn't be any happier with it.

Justin Dowell Bike Check

Justin Dowell Bike Check

This isn't your first frame from Laird. Do you switch them up each time or have you figured out your perfect dimensions?

This frame is the same exact geometry as the frame I rode the previous year. I have been experimenting with frame geometry since I was young and I finally figured out what works best for me. Also, this will not be my last Lairdframe. You can expect me to be riding them for a long time!

If we were in Tokyo right now, is this the bike you'd be riding in The Olympics?

No. This would be the bike I would be training on. I have an identical bike ready for the Olympics because I was practically confirmed to go when the UCI qualifying stopped. Since then, however, USA Cycling let me know that the qualifying would be resuming whenever events start up... 

Justin Dowell Bike Check

Justin Dowell Bike Check

How often do you build up a new bike?

I try to do one bike for the whole year - from January to December - but I might speed this up a little bit. In the final months of riding a bike, you start to feel unsafe on it. I had a few instances on my 2019 bike that scared me. Haha!

Do you change parts regularly or is this basically your ideal setup?

I used to change parts a lot, but I am locked in now with this setup. It suits how I like riding at the moment and it's working for me. Maybe, in the future, I'll shift some things around, but not yet.


When traveling exists, do you travel with a backup bike?

I like traveling with one bike only - while also having spare parts. It's too much of a hassle to bring two bikes, so I just bring tubes, tires, spokes, chain pieces, bolts - stuff like that. If you're willing to bring my second bike with you to events, I won't be opposed to it. Haha!

Do you ever ride brakes?

I took my brakes off when I was seven-years-old and, other than one month in 2013, I have never ridden them since. I actually really like brakes and I'm pretty good at tech tricks with them, but I am not able to do my barspin combos with them. So, no brakes for me. 


How good are you at working on your bike?

On a scale from one-to-ten, I am like a seven at working on my bike. I am able to completely build one if you lay the parts out in front of me, but I struggle with lacing the wheels. I have a brother that always did this for me, but he's not always around when traveling, so I've managed to learn it myself. 

What's the best thing about your bike?

I would say the best thing about my bike is the complete freedom to ride whatever I want. I don't ride for a bike company, so I can choose whichever brand suits me and this helps my riding tremendously. To me, the bike should never be an excuse on why I can't do something because it was me that made the decision to ride these certain parts!

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