Kona Dream Builds: Rob Parkin’s Island Loving Hei Hei DL

If you have ever followed downhill – actually scratch that – if you follow mountain biking whether you know it or not you would most likely have watched something Rob Parkin filmed, such as “Parkin Brothers,” his OG Would Cup and UK DH film project with his brother John. It may be one of the many Red Bull bike videos he’s filmed and produced in more recent times, heck it may even have been our Honzo CR and Hei Hei launch videos from a few years back. Wherever it was, there is no doubt that you’ve seen his amazing filming and editing. Unless you live on Vancouver Island though, you probably haven’t witnessed Rob’s skills on a bike. The guy can ride a bike, with Island Cup wins in both CX and XC, a seventh at the Nimby 50 and a fifth at the BC CX provincials Rob can most likely tear your legs off (he can also pan and zoom better than most). After witnessing Spencer Paxson rip around Bear Mountain whilst filming for the current Hei Hei’s release, Rob grew fond of the bike and not long after the shoot built up this Dream Build to race when he wasn’t traveling the world filming that is.

Rob knows what he wants and his Hei Hei is a testament to that, with a number of quirky features established by years of high-level local BC racing.

The drive train is built around an 11speed SRAM XX1 groupo. Rob is an oval chainring convert “It helps to get over the dead spot when doing technical climbs, which is pretty much all I do in Victoria.” The rear mech is also an amalgamation of a Force and an XX1 rear derailleur.

Up front, you’ll find a 120mm Rock Shox Reba Race, some narrow arse Truvativ Noir carbon bars and a Bontrager stem. Tire wise Rob is running a 2.4 Maxxis Ardent up front and Maxxis Aggressor 2.3 out back “Cos that’s what Richie Rude runs.” And you may have noticed the front and rear rims don’t quite match. “I run a Light Bicycle carbon front rim for stiffness and a Stans Flow Ex alloy rear for flat protection on rocky Island terrain.”

Those wheels are laced up to classic I9 hubs, with a little race trick Rob picked up from a pro-XC race mechanic.

“I run four bolts on my rotors, I heard from a World Cup XC race tech that you only need three bolts, but they come loose on bigger rotors so an extra one helps. Oh and they are Ti.”

Brake wise and Rob relies on some damn sexy stoppers from SRAM… Level Ultimates these puppies weigh in at a mere 318 grams!