Yeti and Norco Factory Racing EWS Rotorua Team Bike Checks

Mar 28, 2017 at 6:07
by AJ Barlas  
What's it like being on a team running the same, or close to the same bike as everyone else on the program? How much of a difference is there between bikes, despite being on the same team? For Cody Kelley and Richie Rude of Yeti Cycles, and Sam Blenkinsop and Joe Smith of Norco Factory Racing, the differences are few and far between, but they each have different riding styles, physiques, and quirks than their teammate that result in some interesting insights on each of their rides. Here's a look at some of those differences between teammates.

Richie Rude s fresh SB5c ready to go.


Yeti Cycles EWS Team Bikes

The bikes that Richie Rude and Cody Kelley rode this weekend in Rotorua were the slightly smaller travel Yeti SB5c. The 27.5" wheeled bike was chosen over the bigger SB6c for its more lively demeanor and with the trails not being overly rough or steep in Rotorua, it seemed like a good decision. In regards to their setups, both Cody and Richie run bars on the narrower side (to the general consumer), citing that it's all about having clearance on all trails around the world. Not having to adjust to wider or narrower bars dependant on the situation with the trails they're riding. Cody was actually running 740mm bars last season and finds his current 750mm bars to feel "super wide".

One difference worth noting is that although the team run the same hubs and rims, Cody runs the EX1501 wheelset with the 30mm internal rim width, while Richie has custom built wheels using the same parts that make the EX1501 wheelset, but runs a 32 spoke hub/rim combination and with j-bend spokes, noting that he prefers the flex of this custom wheel over the stock wheelset (which is 28 spoke, straight-pull spokes). The team also runs metallic, non-finned pads in their Saint brakes and they run mechanical gearing—as oppose to Shimano's Di2 option—so that there is the ability for the riders to repair gears in the field.

• Yeti SB5c
• 160/170mm Fox 36
• Fox Float X2 – 127mm travel
• Renthal Bar and Stem
• Shimano Saint brakes
• Fox Transfer Post
• Ergon SME3 saddle
• Shimano XTR Drivetrain
• DT Swiss EX1501 wheelset (custom built variation for Richie)
• Maxxis tires (Shorty/Aggressor combo here)


Yeti Team EWS Bike Check Rotorua 2017
Richie Rude
Yeti Team EWS Bike Check Rotorua 2017
Cody Kelley

Richie Rude
Height – 5'10"
Weight – 93kg / 205lbs
Riding Style (according to Cody) – "Richie smash" but try to be smooth

• Frame Size – Large
• Tire choice/size – Front Maxxis 2.5 shorty DD / 2.3 Aggressor with a slight cut on the rear
• Tire pressures – Front 28psi / Rear 33psi

Suspension
• Travel Front 170mm / Rear 127mm
• Pressures – Front 103psi / Rear 220psi
• Damper settings – Front: 4 Clicks of RAD, Rebound 6 out
• Rear: HSC 16 out, LSC 4 out, HSR 10 out, LSR 9 out
• Volume adjustment – 4 front / 4 rear

Cockpit
• Bar height – Stem flipped, slammed, 30mm rise bars
• Roll – Rolled a little forward of his fork/head angle
• Bar width – 750mm
• Stem length – 50mm

• Saddle position – Centred on rails
• Tilt – Quite neutral / level

• Brake lever position – Neutral/average
• Lever throw – Quite a bit of throw and stopping really close to the bars
• Rotor size – 203mm front and 180 rear
• Chainring/Cranks – 34t ring on 170mm cranks

Any customizations or peculiarities?
• Grip tape on gear shifter and dropper post levers
• Grip flange cut.
• Mud kit decals
• Mega fender for this weekend. And a slightly modified version will be run from now on.
• Little something in the rear.
Cody Kelley
Height – 6'1"
Weight – 75kg / 165lbs
Riding Style (according to Richie) – "Dancer"


• Frame Size – Large
• Tire choice/size – Front Maxxis 2.5 shorty DD / 2.3 aggressor with a slight cut on the rear
• Tire pressures – Front 24psi / Rear 29psi

Suspension
• Travel Front 160mm / Rear 127mm
• Pressures – Front 87psi / Rear 190psi
• Damper settings – Front: HSC 14 out, LSC 6 out, Rebound 9 out
• Rear: HSC 14 out, LSC 20 out, HSR 13 out, LSR 11 out
• Volume adjustment – 3 front / 4 rear

Cockpit
• Bar height – Stem reg. way up, 2.5mm spacer beneath, 40mm rise bars
• Roll – Rolled a little back from fork/head angle
• Bar width – 750mm
• Stem length – 50mm

• Saddle position – Centred on rails
• Tilt – Quite neutral / level

• Brake lever position – flatter/higher than average
• Lever throw – More throw on front. Rear he has hardly any throw.
• Rotor size – 180mm front and rear
• Chainring/Cranks – 34t ring on 175mm cranks

Any customizations or peculiarities?
Cody runs his front brake lever with a lot of throw (lever is really close to bar at full lock) because he feels like he will go over the bars if he doesn't. The same goes for his rotor size—running the same 180mm front and rear. He feels like he'll throw himself over the bars with more bite from a larger rotor up front compared to whatever is in the rear.

Yeti Team EWS Bike Check Rotorua 2017
Yeti Team EWS Bike Check Rotorua 2017
Custom, color coded decals on the frame, cranks and other places to cover areas where mud could get in.




Norco Factory Team EWS Bike Check Rotorua 2017


Norco Factory Racing EWS Team Bikes

Like with the Yeti team, the Norco Factory Racing team of Sam Blenkinsop and Joe Smith ran very similar bikes to each other at the EWS in Rotorua. The bike of choice was the recently released Norco Range C7.1 27.5" wheeled bike and while Joe had only spent 3 days on the bike before the event, Blenki had gotten a few more rides in, but still not a lot. Both bikes are almost identical in terms of parts, with the exception being Joe's flat pedals (verse Blenki's clips) and Joe opts for the slightly thinner Deity Waypoint grip, while Sam opts for the slightly larger diameter and cushier mushroom patterned, Deity Knuckledusters.

Joe confesses that he tends to run his tire pressures quite firm on his trail bike, mainly to decrease the risk of getting a flat tire. He also looks for his bike to feel really balanced front to rear, and for the brakes to feel the same in terms of lever position, throw, and bite. While many riders are quite particular about their cockpit setup, Blenki sounds to be incredibly so and he has some pretty interesting ways of setting his lever angles for one – essentially sitting over his rear wheel and reaching his arms straight out to his bars to set the levers position.

The Norco Factory Team bikes are each kitted with the following parts:

• Norco Range C7.1, 27.5" wheels
• 170mm Rockshox Lyrik
• Rockshox Super Deluxe – 160mm travel
• Deity Black Label bars and Copperhead stem
• SRAM Guide Ultimate brakes
• Rockshox Reverb Post
• Deity Speedtrap seat
• SRAM X0 Eagle Drivetrain
• Novatec Diablo wheelset
• Schwalbe Tires (Dirty Dan here)

Norco Factory Team EWS Bike Check Rotorua 2017
Sam Blenkinsop
Norco Factory Team EWS Bike Check Rotorua 2017
Joe Smith

Sam Blenkinsop
Height – 6' 1"
Weight – 79kg / 174lbs
Riding Style (according to Joe) – "Lively. Likes to huck. Lit af.

• Frame Size – Large
• Tire choice/size – Schwalbe Dirty Dan Super Gravity 2.35. Squarer cut across profile
• Tire pressures – Front 24psi / Rear 30psi

Suspension
• Travel Front 170mm / Rear 160mm
• Pressures – Front 85psi / Rear 165psi
• Damper settings – Front: 10 out / Rebound: Whatever feels good
• Rear: Rebound 5 out
• Volume adjustment – 4 front/max in rear

Cockpit
• Bar height – 15mm of spacers under stem, 25mm rise bars (the size large has a stack of 612mm)
• Roll – Pretty equal to fork angle
• Bar width – 775mm
• Stem length – 65mm

• Saddle position – Forward of centre
• Tilt – Quite neutral/level
• Brake lever position – Neutral/average
• Lever throw – Very little. Straight to bite
• Rotor size – 200mm front and 180 rear
• Chainring/Cranks – 34t ring on 170mm cranks

Any customizations or peculiarities?
• Always runs full volume spacers on trails bikes
• Likes the longer stem to keep the wheelbase shorter. Finds he has more traction on the front and better weight distribution over the bike.
• Sets his brake lever distance from bar by sticking two of his fingers between the grip and lever
Joe Smith
Height – 5'8"
Weight – 70kg / 154lbs
Riding Style (according to his mechanic) – Smooth and calculated, but it can get wild

• Frame Size – Medium
• Tire choice/size – Schwalbe Dirty Dan Super Gravity 2.35. Rounder cut to front, squarer cut in rear
• Tire pressures – Front 26psi / Rear 32psi

Suspension
• Travel Front 170mm / Rear 160mm
• Pressures – Front 75psi / Rear 165psi
• Damper settings – Front: LSC 13 out / Rebound: 6 out
• Rear: Rebound 2 out
• Volume adjustment – 3.5 front / 3.5 rear

Cockpit
• Bar height – 25mm of spacers under stem, 25mm rise bars (the size medium has a stack of 603mm)
• Roll – Little back from fork angle
• Bar width – 780mm
• Stem length – 50mm

• Saddle position – Little back from centre on rails
• Tilt – Quite neutral / level
• Brake lever position – Quite flat. Joe feels it helps with arm fatigue.
• Lever throw – Quite a lot of throw but quick to bite when they do
• Rotor size – 200mm front and 180mm rear
• Chainring/Cranks – 34t ring on 170mm cranks

Any customizations or peculiarities?
• Likes everything to feel really even and balanced front to rear and brakes etc.
• Tire pressures were a little lower than normal due to how wet and slick it was out there

Norco Factory Team EWS Bike Check Rotorua 2017
Blenki's interesting method for setting his brake lever reach
Norco Factory Team EWS Bike Check Rotorua 2017
Joe's flatter brake position and lever reach



MENTIONS: @norcobicycles / @yeticycles




178 Comments

  • 278 1
 This detailed comparison is how all bike checks should be. It's very interesting to see the differences of setup between the different riders with different styles.
  • 50 0
 Love seeing all the exact details. I probably wont use any of these numbers on my bikes considering Im not a wizard, but its fun to imagine how I'd have my bike setup with a pro team mechanic.
  • 11 0
 @johannensc: A lot moaned at me for saying tyre pressures were not relevant in the previous article but I think with the rest of this info it is interesting as we know the type of tyre, rim and rider weight and style.

Lets just hope people dont try and copy Richies setup, unless they are also a tank that is capable of riding that fast too that is, think of how crap the bike would feel at average pace.
  • 4 0
 yeah, hopefully this site bring us such focus examination on details !
  • 14 0
 This was done PROPER!! I'm interested to know how many tokens Sam and Joe are running in their Lyriks. Also is there anything new with the 2017 Lyrik other than the decals.
  • 6 0
 It would be nice to see the specs lined up in a column, just to keep from scrolling up and down. Otherwise very cool!
  • 15 1
 @johannensc: Be your own pro mechanic! Just keep a log of what you are running and you'd be surprised at how sometimes, when your bike feels "off", you check the log and realize that, say, the rear pressure is a bit lower than you usually like it. I always do a couple "test days" at the beginning of the season (especially on a new bike or after I make changes). Check your pressures (also dependent on what tire you're running), measure your lever positions, note seat angle, etc. Maybe I'm just a nerd!
  • 17 0
 Blenki's running a 65 mil stem?!?!

I'll that I've been taught is unraveling.

Time to rethink my life.
  • 4 2
 @WasatchEnduro: It's because he want to ride a smaller frame for maneuverability. He should be on an XL frame with stock 50mm technically. So to fit a smaller bike he needs a longer stem to not be cramped.
  • 4 0
 @trialsracer: Oh boy how I envy your organization. I've made half-assed attempts at recording my numbers on the bike but I always lose my notepad or change air pressures without writing them down. I think Ill give it some more effort this season and get my ride dialed. Getting a new enduro rid this season so Ill spend a day at the bike park tuning.
  • 1 1
 @triptex: He's only 5'9. He's probably just got ape arms and short legs
  • 3 0
 @johannensc: Nope, Sam Blenkinsop's over 6 feet tall. Last season he was also on a frame that was technically "too Small" for him but a longer stem made up for that.

www.ride100percent.com/team/sam-blenkinsop
  • 2 0
 @moutnbiker: as far as i know there is no "real" 2017 model of the lyrik right now, it's the same as 2016. the new decals on the factory riders are for the 2018 lyrik from what i've heard, don't know if the fork is new too. the new sid has the charger2 damper, maybe that's comin to the pike and lyrik in 2018.
  • 4 1
 The Yeti Headtube and Seattube junction looks a little funky this year. All stretched out looking. I know, I'm asking for your mom jokes on that comment.
  • 8 0
 @WasatchEnduro: It just shows you how much bullshit there is when it comes to lengths, widths and angles of mtn bike components. In the right hands, any thing will work.
  • 2 0
 @johannensc: I write my pressure on my fork/shock with a paint marker. Wipes off with a bit of lube, best thing I have ever done.
  • 1 0
 @johannensc: Google docs. Impossible to lose, but does require at least a smartphone to load
  • 1 0
 @Triber66: yeah, agreed. We have intentionally set it up that way on bigger screens (check it out if you can?) but the mobile site doesn't grant much room to do it this way.
  • 60 0
 127mm out back and 170mm up front? Wild.
  • 48 0
 party in the front business in the back
  • 6 1
 Im thinking the fox 170 AC measurement is close to the pike 150/160...? Then they stiffen up the fork a to balance. A 150 fox would proly give em too steep HA...
  • 2 0
 @wheeled: reverse mullet! it works
  • 7 1
 So it's a reverse mullet bike. Chuck Norris might not approve.
  • 4 0
 I wonder if this was a rider decision or a Yeti decision. BTW the Fox fork is only 4 mm shorter length for length in comparison to RS so the forks are still considerably longer than stock.
  • 2 0
 I would think that the riders get to choose whatever they think is the best tool for the job. Also, I was really hoping this was a disguised SB6c revision.
  • 2 0
 Graves ran a shorter travel bike with quite a bit more travel up front and won with Yeti a few seasons back.
  • 47 0
 Great article. Really interesting. Thanks. Rude dude, over 100psi in the fork. Sh1t me.
  • 9 0
 Seriously...I've had the chance to feel his fork and I might as well be running 30mm of travel. Dude's a beast!
  • 19 0
 to be expected, he's upwards of 90 kilos and wants a fork that remains relatively stiff so he can actually ride fast without having too much unneeded fork dive or sag
  • 6 24
flag adrennan (Mar 28, 2017 at 7:07) (Below Threshold)
 someone should let him know it isn't a supercross race
  • 16 0
 @adrennan: Yea maybe then he would do well at this ....
  • 37 3
 It would be funny to try to do this with Jared Graves, pretty much every detail would be classifiedddd
  • 10 1
 Graves isn't usually that shy about going into detail about his bike setup - here's this one from last season: www.pinkbike.com/news/troy-brosnans-and-jared-graves-specialized-s-works-stumpjumpers-ews-round-4-la-thuile-italy.html
  • 7 0
 The tire pressure thing had to be a joke. He released all of the details on his current setup recently someplace, just can't remember where.
  • 7 0
 And was that JG wearing a white kit..seriously?
  • 3 0
 @salespunk: Jared puts up bike setup run-downs on his instagram every now and again, maybe it was there?
  • 1 0
 @Smevan: I think that was it
  • 33 0
 Life goals: having my riding style described as "lit af"
  • 27 0
 Best bike check anywhere, ever. Pay attention internet, this is how it's done.
  • 24 0
 With Joe Smith, they've said he rides a Large frame size, then given his stack height for a Medium frame in the handlebar/stem section. Now I can't sleep because I must know the exact size he rides.
  • 4 0
 Joe rides a medium, that was a typo.
  • 24 0
 I think everyone would benefit from 4 additional "clicks of RAD"
  • 1 0
 Just came back here to compare my settings, i don't have RAD on my 36's !
  • 18 0
 I was surprised to see that Richie is 93kg, the guy must be pure muscle.
  • 10 0
 must be all natty brah
  • 66 1
 It's all testicle weight
  • 5 0
 Me too. I have a hard time believing he's so heavy (even pure muscle). I would have thought in the 80 kg (175+ lb) range...
  • 7 1
 @cool3: Why not, I am 5'8 and 85kg and certainly dont look the tank Richie is, (I am also considerabley more fat)

I admit he is heavy, but he has a much bigger frame than a lot of the guys, we are all different.
  • 2 0
 I'm the same height at 95kgs, without too much fat. It doesn't take that much muscle to be north of 200 pounds.
  • 22 0
 You have to be built when you're a stunt double for Jason Bourne.
  • 5 0
 @cool3: My dad was a body builder and is built like a block. He's almost 60 and still has a 6 pack (claims he could drop 10 lbs though). He's 5'7 180lbs. Richie looks like he has an even bigger frame (his knees and forearms look like they were sourced from a rhinoceros), so I think it's totally believable. Just a f*ckin powerhouse
  • 3 0
 @jimmythehat: wna explain how u know?
  • 3 0
 @cool3: There was an article on PB back when he was still a JR DH Racer with Yeti. Kid had calves bigger than most people's thighs.
  • 10 0
 Interesting that most of the guys are relative short arses (like myself at 5"8ish and some change) and all run large frames.

Nobody running shorter than a 50mm stem either, it seems that none of the top guys do, weight on the front wheel?

Richie's got 40lbs on his 3 inches taller team mate there too, no ex XC racer build there thats for sure!
  • 29 3
 This is one of my main complaints with bike sizing in general.

Hey Norco, if your 5'8" team riders are riding a 'large', you should rename it a 'medium' and make 2 sizes that are larger for people 6'2-6'4"+.
  • 7 0
 @grandmastere: Strange isnt it, the bike industry needs to bump heads about this sizing thing.

Its bad in that if you are not a PB bike nerd and you picked an expensive bike based on typical sizing you could end up with something far too small for you.
  • 2 0
 @Racer951: Only last year did I finally realize I needed to size up. 5' 10" and been running mediums forever. It was an epiphany going to a large. Have a buddy who is 6' and had been on mediums also, finally went to large. Awhile back I rode a friends large full sus XC rig, and felt great, but with a 20.5" seattube I thought it meant that frame was too big.

Its throughout the industry staff, I've been to 2 demos recently, had a Kona rep tell me I should be on a small. Then a Salsa rep disagree with my choice to ride a large when asked what size.
  • 5 0
 @Nizhoni:

This is strange to me since at 5'9 most shop guys tell me I should be on a medium/large but I've run mostly small bikes and it feels good to me. I do take a medium road bike though.

To me a size small feels a lot more neutral in the corners but it seems that a medium is easier for me to jump with but I'm weird like that. I feel like sizing is pretty personal and as such I don't mind manufacturers having different recommendations
  • 3 1
 @grandmastere: Speaking as a big guy (I'm 6'4") I'm so tired of most manufacturer's decision to make their largest bikes with overly short head tubes, like Norco.

Yeti at least uses a proper-sized head tube length of 165 mm in their XL frame. When you're tall, you often have to keep adding more and more headset spacers to bring your bars up to a reasonable height, negating the benefits of a lower front-end.
  • 1 0
 @parkourfan: I don't take issue with different recommendations, I just wish there were more size options for taller people. It's fine if they want to call the smallest size 'large' and go up from there like NASA (ca.complex.com/pop-culture/2014/03/nasa-condom), but I just think if a 5'8" rider is riding your second largest size, chances are there's nothing in your range for riders that are 6'3" or taller.
  • 1 0
 @grandmastere: I think the issue is that making a bike with a long reach for a 6'3" rider leads to an ultra long wheelbase, especially if you size the chainstay proportionally.

Though I agree a taller rider may be able to handle the longer wheelbase better you are going to reach a point when you are riding a barge or having to adjust head angle etc to bring the wheelbase back to a realistic figure.

E.g. a 450mm reach bike for a shorter rider vs a 480mm reach for a larger rider plus 10mm of chainstay length means the taller riders bike has a 40mm longer wheelbase.
  • 1 0
 @Racer951: This might be just me, but that makes me think of two points: 1) I'm not sure 99% of riders can really tell the difference of an inch in wheelbase (myself included even though I would consider myself to be a very skilled and experienced rider) as it relates to 'agility' with the bike, and 2) a longer wheelbase is just like the rest of life for tall people. Everything is bigger and we're used to it already.

At any rate, I'm sure the market for XXL bikes isn't huge, so I understand why there aren't more of them, but that doesn't stop me from wishing there were more. If the biggest bike in a model range is the right fit for someone who is 6'0" I feel like there may be an underserved market.

www.pinkbike.com/news/behind-the-bike-developing-the-xxl-santa-cruz-v10-2016.html
  • 10 0
 Richie's such a beefcake. Really telling how he's a little bit shorter than Cody yet almost 20kg heavier. I wonder how much he benches?

Seriously tho, great article and super interesting insight into how different styles (and physiques) of riders influence bike setup. More of these!
  • 5 1
 At his height and weight I wouldn't be surprised with a 275+ bench at all.
  • 2 0
 @ksilvey10: he will never 27.5+ Wink
  • 10 0
 Richie Rudes must be made with neutron star alloy to be that dense...this explains also why rocks get the f**k outta the way when he rides.
  • 11 0
 5 10 205lbs!!!! Rudes a monster!
  • 16 12
 an average American... without the fat
  • 14 1
 @zede: Hah, seriously though. I bet on a BMI chart he falls into the obese category (obviously he isnt).
  • 4 2
 @Racer951: yeah, bmi isn't clearly not made for people built like Richie. Btw i feel skinny now, im the same size but I'm 152 lbs...
  • 12 0
 I don't see why everyone is so surprised by Rude's weight...he is 1" shorter and 10kg lighter than I was in my rugby playing days....

Muscle is more dense than fat, and don't underestimate bone density. The man is a tank and clearly very strong.

BMI has always been bullshit for power athletes. I remember Barry Bonds qualifying as morbidly obese (not overweight, not obese, morbidly obese) and this in the prime of his career.
  • 3 0
 @AaGro: Exactly - You find if anybody shows visible muscle / weighs above that at which the reader sees as 'normal' then either the person is on the juice or weight is wrong. Nothing to do with the fact that some people train their butts off.

BMI is bullshit for most people - Its a good way or a Dr scaring an overweight patient into cutting out a few pies though.
  • 5 1
 @AaGro: bonds WAS obese. Just a different kind.
  • 3 0
 @AaGro: just look at gwin or bruni, they are mtb athletes too, but way lighter. What is surprising with Richie is that he has more the body of q rugbyman than a mtbiker
  • 2 0
 @zede: yep those two are completely fit but different body types. You can also look at Keene who had to lose weight from his downhill days to be 190lbs for enduro - and as strong as he looks, he is not close to Rude in tank-iocity.

I guess surprised because a guy with Rude's build is such a great rider sure, it is rare - but I am definitely not surprised that a guy with Rude's build weighs what he does.
  • 1 0
 I was surprised myself maybe a type-o? I'm the same height and fit and I tip the scales at 180! His legs must look like Popeye's forearms to push his mass around. Dude is a beast!
  • 1 0
 Closest to Rude cycling wise Nathan Rennie???
  • 9 0
 I'm obsessed with knowing the different small details between similar bikes in these races. Thanks for this, do more!
  • 7 2
 "Likes the longer stem to keep the wheelbase shorter." Can someone explain this? Pretty sure I can put my stem on backwards and the wheelbase stays the same. Maybe it's so he can size down on the frame, but 5'9" on a L doesn't seem like it.
  • 10 1
 I think he means proportionally. Like, the reach is proportional to the wheelbase. I dunno. Also, thought it was strange that Rude runs his stem flipped and slammed...and then has riser bars? Why not just run a flat bar and normal stem setup?
  • 6 2
 Think Blenki is more like 6' rather than 5'9 as stated here, on a large Range (452 reach), and Smith's likely on the medium with 430 reach. Large SB5 444mm reach. So many pros on appropriately sized frame for their height, but reading UK bike magazines the writers still keep preaching that bikes are too short.

Re. flipped stem, the SB5 has a lot of stack at 625mm, scientifically differing flex characteristics on different rises, but mainly higher riser bars look way cooler than flat bars.

Love these sort of articles.
  • 6 1
 He's most likely setting his cockpit based on a reach number... A lot of guys now want longer front ends with a shorter stem... Sounds like he would rather have a slightly longer stem on a shorter front end of the frame to keep his weight a little more forward.. I like a set up like that as I tend to get back on the bike a little too much so it helps me get a little more weight over the front wheel for turning..
  • 1 0
 @lumpy873: that's how I read it too
  • 2 0
 you got it - he would go with an even bigger frame to keep the same reach if he didn't have a long stem.
  • 1 0
 @MortifiedPenguin: because his front end is so jacked up with the massive fork he had to slam/flip to get his bars at his preferred height. Hm. Yeah not sure what rises he has the option to run for his bars tho.
  • 3 0
 Just means he can choose a smaller frame size but keeps a longer stem so his hands are far enough forward. Like we all used to do.
  • 1 0
 @acali: nailed it. He rides a smaller frame with a longer stem to compensate.
  • 6 1
 Found it quite interesting that despite all the bike media saying run less pressure in your tyres for years most of the pro men seem to be in the 25/30 psi range, which is what ive tended to run ever since 1989.

Maybe the press dont know best.
  • 4 0
 "they run mechanical gearing—as oppose to Shimano's Di2 option—so that there is the ability for the riders to repair gears in the field."
Reality check! I'm sure some will disagree but it seems to me like electronic shifting breaks the KISS rule for no good reason.
  • 4 0
 "• Little something in the rear. "

I wonder what this is in regards to on Rudes bike? Potentially a longer stroke shock? Something in the rear tire like Huck Norris?

I'm guessing the latter as Maxxis Agressor is not offered in double down and the rear is where more impact resistance is needed.
  • 1 0
 Agressor is offered in DD, I have one, and you can clearly see the logo in the pictures.
  • 1 0
 The Aggressor is available in DoubleDown. Richie and Jared were really instrumental with developing DD technology during the 2015 season. Richie normally runs DD front and rear but occasionally will use DH-Casing rear tires if the course demands.
  • 1 0
 @Maxxis: My bad, I think I confused the two the other day when I was looking to see if it was available in 3C compounds.
  • 1 0
 The Aggressor actually is offered in DD, and I run it on my bike as a rear tire. It is pretty damn bulletproof so far.

www.maxxis.com/catalog/tire-506-121-aggressor

I, too, am curious what that 'little something' is...
  • 1 0
 Only one to catch this? Hmmm. ????
  • 1 0
 @AJBarlas: Care to shed a little light on this????
  • 2 0
 @AJBarlas: CushCore
  • 4 1
 Can we some clarification on the Yeti Team wheels? If Cody uses the stock EX1501 wheelset (28 straight-pull spokes) and Richie uses wheels with 32 j-bend spokes, how are they using the same parts?
Sounds like different rims, spokes and hubs to me.

Wouldn't​ more spokes, mean less flex in the wheels?
  • 2 0
 The rims come in 28,32,36 hole options, and presuming they are running 240s hubs then those options are available also.
  • 2 0
 Straight pull spokes to not flex as much as J bend. In addition you have to think about vertical flex vs lateral flex. Straight pull do not allow much vertical flex and therefore have a harsher ride. Richie most likely has less tension in the build as well. They can still both use the same rims and the hub model is the same with different drilling. Look at I9 and you can get the same hubs in straight pull and standard drilling.
  • 1 0
 @salespunk: less tension does not give you a softer riding wheel unless you run so low tension that the bottom spokes completely looses tension. At that point the wheels are a liability.
It has been tried before but is more of a placebo just like soldering spokes together at crossings.
  • 1 1
 Although I understand the principal of using the same hubs and rims (EX511/240S), I see them as different SKUs therefore different parts. One SKU for the straight-pull hub and one for the j-bend hub and so on. Kind of a weird way of thinking, but for my job it makes sense
  • 2 0
 The statement about the Yeti wheel sets isn't entirely true. Rude is running EX511s and 240s while Kelly is using the EX1501 wheel set. While the 1501 is built off the same 240s hubs, the rims are actually the XM481 30mm internal width models
  • 1 0
 @gonecoastal: actually it is true. The EX1501 wheelset uses a the ex511 rim, the XM1501 wheelset uses the xm481 rim.
  • 1 0
 @doe222: this. The parts that make up the ex1501 are available individually, but are labelled a little different. Richie is on the same rim and hub, but with more spokes and j-bend rather than straight pull.
  • 1 0
 @shaun7005: Shit. Got them mixed up. My bad. Dt has no plans to release an EX511 29er rim though. Frown
  • 6 0
 What is the 'little something in the back?'
Drive train related obviously. OneUp 10t cassette maybe? IMUSTKNOW
  • 3 0
 "...to the general consumer". No. You've created the trend that the "general consumer" finds 740mm narrow. And by "you" I don't mean PB specifically but all the sites and so on. In every review 740mm is considered narrow. Does the "general consumer" review the bikes? Just sayin' - Other than that, these are amazing bikes!
  • 2 0
 Knowing these trails pretty well having built on them ridden all conditions for years! I'm really surprised that many riders didn't opt or train on the newer 29ers, esp for the rain, better roll over for the roots, better carry speed esp for the mud with such a long day on the bike as well. Having ridden both wheel sizes on these networks in all conditions it surprised me then newer gen 29ers how much more grip and carrying of speed on many of these trails! Local experience and setup really showed here and days of practice in the dry imo might have provided the rope a dope to more than a few riders from OS, not taking away anything from the winners they deserved it all the way and more! Just saying I would have gone with the bigger wheel, find it very conservative option when most now have a dual option, also really surprised the Norco team didn't use the Muddy Mary up front, again Wyn had that dialled!
  • 4 1
 Probably because they feel (and are?) faster on the 27.5 anyway. They all had the 29er option and I'm sure have tried them out. According to the internet, larger volume tires would have been faster as well, but hey...
  • 1 0
 Richie has stated that he does not like to change bikes at all throughout the season. For this reason I was surprised to see him on the 5c. My guess is that most riders wanted to stick with the wheel size they knew best. At the speeds these guys go knowing exactly what a bike will do in any situation is key.
  • 1 0
 @salespunk: that's true too. they race on this size, are probably comfortable with it everywhere. I do think it has some clear advantages for guys who can handle the rough and don't need everything tamed out to go fast. Maybe the juice isn't worth the squeeze to them and where we see advantages in traction and angle of attack, they see advantages in the ability to move it around easier and quicker?
  • 2 0
 Another good example is Jake Moir 6th rode a proto Intense LT 29er and its a break out result for him Greg Callaghan a good result too 7th for something quite different to what he'd be used to, except the wet and mud, sure he gets plenty of that in Ireland haha!
  • 7 2
 Wait does Joe ride a Large or a Medium? Maybe a typo on frame size?
  • 4 0
 No carbon wheels!! And Rude actually builds his alloy wheels to have even MORE flex -- oh my who woulda thunk it!
  • 3 0
 Blenki has shrunk a lot since last pinkbike bike check
www.pinkbike.com/news/ews-bike-check-sam-blenkinsops-norco-range-2016.html
  • 2 0
 Yep, that article looks right. I'm 5'9", and he's definitely taller than me.
  • 1 0
 I was about to comment that he's more like 6'2".
  • 4 0
 This is a great look into the details of setups. PB should keep this going!
  • 3 0
 Am I the only one who things 170mm Front / 127mm Rear is an odd suspension balance?
  • 8 0
 How do you feel about a hardtail with 130mm forks?
  • 1 0
 @Racer951: I thought the balance was weird too, then I saw your comment. Just sold a hardtail with a 150 fork. I stand corrected.
  • 1 0
 Hey are these 5'8" & 5'9" dudes running large frames b/c they don't sit and pedal a whole bunch during the race? If not then it seems weird they would not be riding a medium
  • 3 0
 "Richie smash, but try to be smooth", funniest thing I've on Pinkbike all week!
  • 3 0
 Its a sad day when I see a yeti I don't like. Just saying I like the Norco way more!
  • 1 0
 177cm and 93kg!?? Rude is proper animal...f*ck! That is almost like heavyweight boxers. Tyson was around 178cm and had about 105kg.
Can't believe that a guy with that much mass can be that good in enduro. :O
  • 1 0
 ugh. I am 5'9" - the average height of a male. This should be a size medium (according to the size chart as well).

I purchased a medium Range and it's small, and now I see everyone running a size large?! #regret.
  • 4 1
 That Yeti is really quite beautiful... Excuse me for a second Wink
  • 3 0
 Great bike check PB!!! Thank you!!!
  • 2 0
 Awesome article more of this please on the other Factory teams if possible from this rd would be great! Cheers PB..
  • 1 0
 Agree! Would be rad to see a comparison between some of the women racers as well (like Anita and Caro Gehrig or Casey Brown and Katy Winton).
  • 3 0
 Is there any reason not to use finned brake pads? I found that odd.
  • 1 0
 Funny cos his picture on Insta clearly shows finned pads in the rear caliper ????
  • 4 0
 93kg??? Rude is Hulk!!!
  • 1 1
 "Blenki... has some pretty interesting ways of setting his lever angles for one – essentially sitting over his rear wheel and reaching his arms straight out to his bars to set the levers position." Good thinking, Blenki!
  • 1 1
 Out of interest, who picks the bikes.... Anyone know?
.. Riders or team manager... Just wondered why Yeti didn`t have a rider on a 4.5 29er or 5.5 29er as these must also be great enduro bike?
  • 1 0
 "Slight cut on the rear" For a moment you had me thinking that they were running tires with a sidewall cut or something. LOL
  • 3 0
 Fuck yea, proper bike check. Keep these coming!
  • 1 0
 Pretty much perfect bike check, thanks for including the riders' dimensions, as well as all the other new details. This stuff is just endlessly fascinating.
  • 2 0
 Regarding the rebound what is the starting point in order to count the clicks out? Fully closed or fully open?
  • 3 0
 5'10" 205 lbs...
  • 5 2
 knees weak arms are heavy
  • 1 1
 @wheeled: theres vomit on his sweater already...
  • 1 0
 Vomit on his sweater already
  • 2 0
 5'10" and 205 lbs - Wow, Richie is a tank!
  • 1 0
 Shame there weren't any more pictures though, would have like to see that custom wheel
  • 2 0
 Love this format write up f the bike checks!
  • 4 2
 preference i know...but Yeti "blue" is just plain ugly.
  • 1 0
 Hey pinkbike the formatting of this article is messed up on my phone (android, chrome)
  • 1 0
 At 5'8" and Joe is on a large C7.1 frame. Interesting. I wonder why so big?
  • 2 0
 Wasn't Richie riding a medium before? I'm pretty sure I read it somewhere.
  • 2 1
 Yes, he moved up a frame size this season.
  • 1 1
 Great article! Nice to see that the pros don't run ridiculously low tire pressures. I was beginning to think that I was just weird running my rear north of 30psi...205 lbs.
  • 2 0
 More bike checks like these
  • 1 0
 Is the tyre strap the back country research one? I'm guessing they work if the Yeti team use them.....
  • 2 0
 Who else didn't read about the Norco
  • 1 0
 I don't think it is true, 93kg are too many
  • 2 1
 it's not at all. Most guys around 6' with muscle on em are going to weigh over 200 unless they are cutting a lot, aren't actually strong in the legs (lower body mass weight a lot), or are built scrawny (see Nate Diaz for example). I'm 6'1", was 220-240 when playing rugby jacked up as a prop.
  • 1 2
 @atrokz: Nate Diaz might be "scrawny" but he sure as shit would snap your ass like a twig
  • 4 0
 @leftCoastBurn: What a dumb response. It's an example not a challenge you chump. And he would because he's skilled, not 'strong'. Back to the bong for you, kiddo.
  • 2 0
 @atrokz: yeah it was pretty dumb, "scrawny" just sounds like an insult. Nate probably prefers "skinny guy ripped" ????
  • 1 0
 @leftCoastBurn: thats probably more accurate. haha.
  • 1 0
 No carbon and 93Kgs
bit.ly/1QVd42Z
  • 1 0
 Wait, a 50mm stem is long??
  • 1 0
 That comment is under Blenki's setup, he has a 65mm stem and the 50mm is on Joe's.
  • 1 0
 This article is an MTB nerd's wet dream!
  • 1 0
 Puts camera down after taking pic of Rude's bike. Chips for double-bogey.
  • 1 0
 Jeez I must not be Enduro running my 800mm bars on my trail bike.
  • 1 0
 A lot of the Kgs are in Richies kahoonas!!
  • 1 0
 Wow those SG dirty dans at 26/32psi should feel like marble ...
  • 1 0
 Where are the cuts in the aggressor? Is it for better rolling resistance?
  • 1 0
 Could be. Usually though cuts are to add extra siping so the tread will open up more to increase traction. Obviously that comes at the cost of longevity but sponsored riders don't care about that. I looked at the tires in the pics and couldn't see any obvious cuts so hard to say.
  • 1 0
 93kgs????
  • 1 0
 Take a look at his shape ... muscles, lots of them.
  • 2 4
 NO WAGONWHEELZ HA HA! no Range 29, they mustn't be able to wrestle them through these trails...

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