We're at Audi Nines in Birkenfeld, Germany, for the second year at this venue, and caught up with the course builder Sam Reynolds to get the low down on his freeride setup.
Reynolds is a fan of aluminum frames and components: "This is my Polygon DH9 frame with an alloy front because that gives me a bit more confidence than the carbon stuff breaking, and SR Suntour Rux suspension on the front pumped up probably quite hard for a normal person as there’s a lot of compression on the ramps here, so you need that.
I’ve got the Spank Vibrocore wheels which are great because they take a bit of the vibration out of the impact, along with the Spank Spike 800 Vibrocore bars, cut down to about 760mm wide. I know people like to know that."
He's also using high tire pressures for fast rolling and no burping: ''I’ve got 40psi in these Kenda tires with a big, fat knobbly Hellkat up the front, and then more of a fast-rolling enduro tire on the back to keep the back quite light to flick around here on the jumps. I’ve got the Trickstuff Direttissima brakes; they're quite seriously powerful brakes and really cool.''
More and more freeriders are ditching derailleurs, and Sam explains why: ''I also don’t have any gears. I run single-speed because it's just nicer up the front, much cleaner with only two cables and you don't really need to pedal anywhere except into the jumps, so it's just a nice heavy gear to crank in. It's also much quieter and a little bit lighter, and simpler as well; if you go to events and stuff breaks, it's easier just to have no gears, and then there's nothing to fix. You don't have to take spares.
Got my signature seat on there, too, which is cool. It's a bit fat which is good for grabs, and it's got that grip on the front and the sides for doing no handers and cool stuff like that.''
Sam's signature saddle and his ultra-powerful Trickstuff Direttissima brakes.
Reynolds' freeride rig is two years old: ''I've actually had it for two years now, but I love it, and it's my favourite bike. I've got a different bike; I've got the Square One set up for downhill, but then just this one which is a bit more playful, less monster truck for the big jumps like this! Oh yeah, I've also got DMR V12 pedals on there. They're orange and cool, which matches my helmet and kit and little bits on the bike. You've gotta look good, haven't you, when you're doing it right?''
Reynolds is running a Kenda Hellkat upfront and a faster rolling rear tire, along with a set of DMR's V12 pedals.