Richie Rude, #1, SB6.
We normally start these bike checks with an introduction about the rider, their background, and their bike, all we need here is:
A surprisingly narrow 740mm Renthal FatBar Lite Carbon with a 30mm rise for Richie.
Renthal takes care of Richie's cockpit, and his choice of parts seem to shun current fashion. At 5'11" he uses a medium sized frame with a 60mm stem, along with his mechanic Shaun Hughes, they have been testing out large frames but always settle on the medium. Bars are seemingly narrow but Shaun said: "If you look at Richie's hands you will see that he has massive scabs on his fingers, he seems to hit trees a lot, even with the 740mm. It's another safety thing, narrower bars will work with all different tracks around the world, he's used to them now and doesn't seem to be struggling with them."
60mm stem and a medium frame for a 5'11" rider, what is this, 2014?
Richie chooses an Ergon saddle for hundreds of hours of sitting over the year.
Fox 36, what else?
Richie is stacked and it's no surprise that he weighs in around 205lbs/93kg's. The fork has undergone a couple of internal mods, but nothing major. 98psi and full to the brim with four orange volume spacers still gives him around 25% sag, and Richie still manages to get through all of the travel regularly.
Damping wise Fox tuning wizard, Jordi Cortes, suggests that Richie, along with Aaron Gwin are both using a harder compression damping tune than anybody else in the world.
At the rear end of the bike, Richie uses a Fox Float X2 with the climb switch. Pressure fluctuates between 200 and 205psi depending on the venue with a few volume spacers in there, but not maxed out, "We have the SB6 really well balanced at the moment if you watch Richie riding the bike, it's looking pretty comfortable for him." Shaun says.
Fox Float X2 with the addition of the 2017 climb switch.
It's interesting to note that Richie doesn't use Shimano Di2 electronic shifting. Mechanic Shaun prefers them to use mechanical stuff that the riders can repair themselves, to some extent - both Richie and teammate, Cody Kelley, carry spare gear cables for example. Shaun says: "Ritchie is the ultimate bike tester, he can wreck anything if he wants to!"
Richie chooses the 11-40 tooth, 11-speed cassette from Shimano, a narrower range than most riders at the EWS.
A 36t chainring from OneUp combined with their chain guide and bash guard.
Skateboard grip take for extra precision on the Fox Transfer Post's actuation lever.
Tuned by Shaun Hughes.
Stages Power Meter says: "All of them."
Richie mixes Shimano's XTR levers with Saint 4-pot calipers for extra stopping power. People often mention that fast riders don't need brakes as much as regular guys, as they don't use them, Richie's sheer speed and size means that when he does occasionally pull them, they better be ready.
Minion DHF on the front paired with a Griffin on the rear.
The new DoubleDown casing from Maxxis isn't lightweight, but safety first when it comes to the race track.
The team has been relying on the 25mm internal width EX471 rim from DT Swiss for two years now. A 30mm EX511 has been added at the front with the 2.5" Maxxis Minion DHR. Shaun says, to be honest, they haven't spent enough time testing the wider rims and are worried that a 2.3" tire on a wider rim on the rear can leave the tire sidewall exposed to damage from rocks. More testing is needed before they take it to the race track.
Pressures are also pretty high compared to most other riders but so is Richie's weight and the force in which he smashes into the earth, 27psi in the front tire and at least 30psi in the rear Griffin - safety first.
The alloy EX471 rim from DT Swiss is an enduro and DH rider's favorite, it's same model rim that Gwin used without a tire at Leogang two years ago.
Will the same devoted riders make the switch to the new wider EX511 rim with its 30mm internal width?