Motocross Star Chad Reed Rides Mountain Bikes to Top of Supercross Podium

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Supercross star Chad Reed takes a fan photo with Kailey, daughter of Shimano MTB Marketing Specialist Joe Lawwill, behind the XTR-equipped S-Works Epic 29 the Aussie took delivery of just before winning Anaheim 3 Saturday. Photo: Joe Lawwill/Shimano

While most other bike industry marketing managers were warm in their beds on Friday, Shimano’s Joe Lawwill burned the midnight oil putting the finishing touches on Supercross star Chad Reed’s new Specialized S-Works Epic 29. The bike, equipped with Shimano’s line-topping XTR components, would be on display in the Discount Tire/Kawasaki rider’s pit for fifth round of the 2014 Supercross season in Anaheim, Calif. on Saturday and Lawwill wanted it to look just right for the tens-of-thousands of fans who would see it before the race.

Chad Reed’s TwoTwo Mortorsports/Discount Tire Kawasaki sits next to his Specialized S-Works Epic 29 in the pits at Anaheim 3. Bicycles are a big part of Reed’s conditioning program for motocross racing. Photo: Joe Lawwill/Shimano

Aside from doing duty as pit dressing, the bike is actually a big part of Reed’s conditioning program, one that propelled the resurgent Australian to the top step of the podium Saturday for his second win of the season.

Yep, the S-works is one good looking bike. Photo: Joe Lawwill/Shimano

It turns out making a living racing motorcycles takes more than mad skills, gonads, and a strong head. Racers also need to be extremely fit, and, in ever-increasing numbers, our throttle-twisting brethren are riding self-powered bikes as part of their conditioning programs. In the case of Reed—and many other pros—bikes become a big part of their recovery from the inevitable injury.

Video: Chad Reed’s massive get-off in Millville, Minn. in 2011 illustrates one of the many reasons physical conditioning is paramount for motocross racers.

After a devastating crash tore his ACL and put an end to his 2012 season, the Australian used bicycles—road and mountain—extensively as part of his rehabilitation. Though 2013 was a disappointment and many had written him off, Reed trained harder than ever. Clearly his efforts are paying off, much to the delight of Lawwill, and his other bicycle sponsors, Specialized and Fox. Here’s a closer look at his new build.

Chad Reed’s S-Works sports Shimano’s uber light XTR M987 brakes with magnesium body and carbon levers. Photo: Joe Lawwill/Shimano

About the author: Don Palermini

Chicago-born Don Palermini became a cycling-based life-form in the sixth grade after completing a family road bike tour of his home state. Three years later he bought his first mountain bike to help mitigate the city's pothole-strewn streets, and began exploring the region's unpaved roads and trails. Those rides sparked a much larger journey which includes all manner of bike racing, commuting, on- and off-road bike advocacy, and a 20-plus-year marketing career in the cycling industry that landed him at his current gig with Santa Cruz bicycles. Now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, his four favorite words in the English language are "breakfast served all day," together in that order.

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