The last time we heard from Kilian Bron, he was zipping down the rocky sides of Farwell Canyon in British Columbia, Canada. Now, the French freeride mountain biker is back with another video for Red Bull, the fourth in his dazzling and frequently terrifying “Mission” web series.
Bron’s latest, acrophobia-inducing ride takes him to the Dolomite mountains in northeastern Italy, where he shreds the via ferrata, or “iron paths” first carved into the Alps by 19th-century explorers for climbers, and, later, soldiers in World War I. Today, the via ferrata are popular with both experienced and beginner climbers for their easy access to breathtaking ascents without the need for safety support—solo climbers can simply clip into the steel cables and ropes that line the pathways.
With such an incredible venue for safe, solo hiking, it’s only reasonable that Bron would decide to bike down these tiny mountain pathways.
His descent shows off his deft bike handling skills and a complete disregard for the cost of minor mistakes in line choice. For viewers, it’s stunning both for the audacity of the stunt but also for the IMAX-worthy backdrop. You can feel the tension build as Bron navigates tight stairways and switchbacks at the edge of a precipice, and breathe a sigh of relief when he hits open terrain.
For this expedition, Bron used a bevy of products from supporters of his Intense/Mavic Collective Enduro team. While it’s hard to say for certain, it seems that he tackled the trip on an Intense Tracer 27.5 and trusted Hutchinson Toro tires to keep his Mavic DeeMax Pro wheels stuck to the side of the mountain. A RockShox Lyric fork and Monarch shock kept him from bouncing straight off trail, and such a feat would be almost unthinkable without the aid of a Reverb dropper post. His bike was hung with SRAM XO Eagle components, and his presumably white knuckles were tightly wrapped around Renthal bars and grips.