We normally start these bike checks with an introduction about the rider, their background, and their bike, all we need here is: Richie Rude, #1, SB6.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.