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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.