Bike Check: Katy Curd's Prototype Privateer 141

Jul 28, 2023
by Nick Bentley  



We recently spotted Fergus Ryan's prototype Privateer 161 at Crankworx Whistler. At almost the same time, Katy Curd was racing her prototype Privateer 141 at the 2023 Ard Rock Enduro.

Now, Katy is famously quite hard on bikes. She not only races, but she also runs a very busy coaching business, all of which she does on her 141, so this aluminum prototype will be getting plenty of miles for sure. The Privateer 141 is on the aggressive end of a trail bike, running 150mm of front travel and 141mm of rear travel, which is where the bike's name comes from.

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Katy Curd // Privateer
Age: 34
Hometown: Forest of Dean
Height: 162cm
Instagram: @katycurd

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Privateer 141 Prototype
Frame: Privateer 141 prototype
Shock: Fox float X with 141 travel
Fork: Fox 36 Grip 2 with 150mm of travel
Wheels: Hunt Enduro wide V2 Mullet
Tires: Maxxis Assegai 29" x 2.5" front, rear 27.5" x 2.4" Maxxis DHR 2
Drivetrain: Shimano SLX/XT
Brakes: Hayes Dominion A4
Cockpit: DMR Defy stem and Wingbar mk4 handle bars
Size: P1 (small)

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The new 141 will have, for the most part, external cable routing, and there is definitely no headset cable routing here. However, there are some really neat cable clamps which bolt to the frame via small bosses. The dropper does go internal on the seat tube, and the gear cable drops into the rear chainstay, but, for the most part, the cables and hoses on this bike are pretty easy to access.

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There are even some bosses on the underside of the top tube to allow you to mount a tool or tube strap or anything else you fancy when racing.

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I'm a big raw aluminium frame fan, but since this is a prototype, I can't say for sure if it's staying, but boy, it looks good. Combine that with the large bearings on each of the pivots, and this looks like a bike that's going to be pretty easy to live with. Katy's frame is a P1, which is the small size for Privateer. This is a new thing for her; last year on the current 141, she sat between the P1 and P2 sizes of bike, so they made her a custom bike that had the front triangle of a P1 and the rear end from a P2.

The other change Katy has in her new bike is the fact that it's now a mullet setup. Last year, if she wanted the P1, she had 27.5" wheels, and she felt that for her it lost a little bit of stability when she was riding flat out on the edge. The addition of the 29" front wheel on the new bike has created a bike that Katy says feels nimble yet still stable at speed.

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Right now, the 141 has a flip chip to allow for chainstay length adjustment, although the crew at Privateer couldn't confirm if this would be a feature of the final product.

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On the Fox 36 fork, the high-speed and low-speed compression are fully open, and the rebound is set to the midpoint, with 69 PSI of air. The rear 141mm of travel is controlled by a Fox Float X shock with the air pressure set to 135 psi, and the compression settings are adjusted to 6 clicks from being closed. Katy has moved away from the rock-hard suspension she used to have when she rode World Cups to a more plush suspension feel now.

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For her groupset, Katy has a Shimano setup with SLX mech and cranks, along with an XT shifter, and it's all obviously 12-speed. Katy's crank length is 170mm, although due to her height, this might be something she looks to change in the future and consider a shorter set. Mounted to the SLX cranks are Crankbrothers Mallet DH clipless pedals.

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Grips are an interesting area for Katy, not in terms of what she uses as they are a standard pair of DMR Deathgrips, but in the way she uses them. Katy isn't a fan of fresh grips; she will run the grips to the point they are almost worn through. It's something she has always done, even when she used to ride World Cups. Once she has the grip feeling the way she likes, she just leaves it alone.

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DMR provides Katy with her handlebar and stem, which are DMR's special edition liquid camo Wingbar Mk4 handlebars. They are made of 7075 heat-treated and double-butted aluminium. Katy uses the 31.8mm diameter version, which she cuts down to 780mm. The bar has a 20mm rise, 5° upsweep, and 8° backsweep. One of the things Katy is picky about is the roll of the bars; she likes to have them rolled backward more than most people would.

These handlebars are mounted to Katy's Fox 36 forks by a DMR Defy 35+ Stem, which has a 27mm stack height and 35mm of reach. Katy is a new convert to using a Garmin. She found that she would train and coach all day, and then on her day off, she was truly tired. So now she runs her Garmin to keep on top of her miles and monitor her tiredness level throughout the week.

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Brake-wise, Katy has a set of Hayes Dominion A4 brakes. These are the 4-piston version that are running on a 200mm front rotor and a 180mm rear rotor. Katy's lever positions are what I would say pretty neutral, meaning when she's in her normal riding position, her wrist is in line with her arm, not angled up like we see many DH riders use. The lever pull is also pretty normal, with the lever stopping around 20mm from the bar, so it's a pretty standard brake setup. Katy finds that the change to Hayes has really helped her with reducing arm pump - she feels the extra power they give means she's on them less.

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There is a mullet set of Hunt's Enduro Wide V2 wheels fitted to Katy's bike, with a Maxxis Assegai out front, which is a 29" x 2.5" tire with no insert, running tubeless with 17 psi inside it. Out back is a 27.5" x 2.4" Maxxis DHR 2, again with no insert and 18 psi.

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When it comes to dropper posts, Katy just has a spare one in right now in her prototype, which is a touch too long for her and won't be something you will see on this bike when it goes into production.

Author Info:
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Member since Nov 28, 2019
269 articles

45 Comments
  • 52 0
 Privateer once again providing us a sensible bike without headset routing
  • 22 0
 Huh - you can’t tell this is an amateur-hour kinda company when it comes to designing ‘proper’ headset routing;
Instead of providing customers with what we REALLY want (true innovation in the form of badly fitting proprietary stems and spacers, sometimes nightmare-ish cable routing through the (now short lived, thanks to the water ingress holes directly above it) upper bearing and other such delightful cable tourism traps), they’ve instead vone and stuck the cable guide in a thoughtful place (allows both brake routing directions, doesn’t wear on headtube finish) with easy-to-use external routing that my Mum could successfully install (and she thinks a pestle & mortar is a hi tech product…)

Can’t see why anyone would like this. Won’t they ever learn…??
  • 12 0
 Don’t worry, this is just a prototype, they still have time to implement a complicated and unnecessary cable routing to satisfy our need for difficult to service bikes Wink
  • 12 1
 With all the arguments about length of chainstays, why aren't flip chips like this standard. Along with the different size lower headset spacers Guerrilla Gravity use that allow to run 27.5/29 on the front. The bike industry is infuriating forcing Verdun setups on us. We could easily have a bike that you could run 29, 27.5 or mullet with adjustable chainstay length, sigh...
  • 7 0
 UDH makes it very difficult to have a flip chip in the chainstay. Is there even a bike that has both ?
  • 6 0
 I think srams transmission will make flip chip chainstays rarer unfortunately
  • 26 4
 @emptybox: I would rather have the flip chip and decent drive train that sram T nonesense
  • 4 0
 @emptybox: altitude and Slayer?
  • 1 0
 @emptybox:
Stumpy Evo
Because the chip is not at the dropout, but in front of it.
  • 8 1
 Owner of the current version of the 141 here, people at Privateer know how to make bikes that are nice to ride and practical to maintain. With big bearings and robust frame parts there is not much need for maintenance anyway. Never heard of anyone having any issues with their frames either. I see the seatstay bridge is gone on the new frames though...

It's a pity bike companies have to choose between a flipchip and a UDH these days though. I fear this one won't't make it to production, who would risk loosing future SRAM drivetrain (sorry, transmission) compatibility?
  • 8 0
 I wish they did get rid of trunion. Especially on an alloy bike, trunion is bad. If something is not perfectly in line, trunion ads a lot of stress. Horstlink bikes a also perfectly doable without trunion.
  • 3 0
 It's so you can get a big shock in a smaller space, leaving room for a bottle. I'm not arguing that trunnion shocks are a great idea. Having another bearing to look after is a pain in the ass
  • 3 0
 Privateer got rid of the horst, changed the rear brake from post to IS, and still has a DR hanger. I expected the horst to stay, them add a udh. I love my 141, but I don't think I could justify the upgrade to the new one unless the suspension kinematics are that much better. The first one is so good I feel like that would be hard.
  • 9 2
 69 psi, nice
  • 3 2
 Nice
  • 2 3
 Noice
  • 2 0
 Nice
  • 2 0
 I had a quick snoop around the bike today at FoD. Looks like it would be more capable than what the travel suggests! Be nice to see the adjustability on the production version as well
  • 4 0
 Luckily for Katy those deathgrips easily reach her preferred point of wear.
  • 5 2
 Moar mid travel mullet bikes. It’s about the maneuverability more than tire buzz.
  • 2 0
 Yea there are very very few mullet compatible bikes 140mm or under.

I want a playful bike rather than the fastest in a straight line…
  • 2 0
 Interesting tire choice with a DD in the front and EXO in the back. I would probably run the opposite, but I'm no pro and have no clue.
  • 5 0
 Or maybe she just ran what she had in the shed.
  • 8 0
 @sfarnum: I must be on the pro level then because that is what I do!
  • 3 0
 Really enjoy seeing a dialed yet attainable build like this. That's the ultimate comment section drivetrain spec.
  • 2 0
 I've never liked Privateer brand bikes, but I must say this one really looks good.
  • 1 2
 So, flip chip on the chainstay….what happens to the pad/rotor interface. Are there two mounting point options for the caliper, a fore/aft type position? I wouldn’t imagine the brakes set up spot on in one mode, would then be able to be just run again with the axle moved, without altering the caliper position?
  • 3 0
 I can't tell from the pic, but it could be a custom adapter that suits both positions depending on which direction you turn it.
  • 2 1
 @AndrewHornor: I was wondering why the rear brake looked like an IS adapter instead of post mount, this might be why (or there might be two adapters to accommodate the flip chip).
  • 1 0
 raaw does it the same way. They have removable brake mounts for the different CS lengths.

raawmtb.com/en-us/products/brake-mount?variant=30772000522343
  • 2 0
 Looks great. Can't wait to see a review on this one.
  • 3 0
 Nicest stem cap ever
  • 1 4
 I find the worn grip thing interesting. I'm the complete opposite and like mine as new as possible. I run Deathgrips and change them every few weeks riding to keep them as fresh as possible.
  • 4 0
 Death Grips are not the best choice if you prefer your grips to stay like new for long. Ergon's rubber isuch longer lasting, completely different shapes though.
  • 9 0
 You and Katy should be in touch
  • 9 0
 Every few weeks? That's so crazy wasteful.
You might look into some grips that you can get more time out of so you aren't throwing that amount of trash away.
  • 4 0
 @justwan-naride: I have been using the same pair of ergon grips for 3 years and they show very little wear if at all , and I ride every week….
  • 2 1
 @BarryWalstead: best grips I've ever used, honestly nothing better out there imo.
  • 1 0
 @BarryWalstead: Just think of all the rubber these mountain bikers are leaving on the trails.
  • 1 2
 Those are freeride travel numbers. Headset too slack though... Damn I'm old.
  • 2 3
 In stock: year 2025, maybe.
  • 1 2
 The chainstay seatstay pivot is a weird one, not sure what to call it.
  • 1 4
 That rocker links main pivot bolt is massive and thats not a Horst link, is more of a Donkeyt
  • 1 4
 Looks nigh on identical to a 2015 canyon spectral.







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