Brett Rheeder to Ride Without a Suspension Sponsor in 2021

Apr 2, 2021 at 4:56
by James Smurthwaite  

Brett Rheeder has explained on Instagram that he won’t be riding with any particular suspension sponsor in 2021 after announcing he was parting ways with Fox in February.

After Fox apparently moved all of its freeride athletes over to Marzocchi, Rheeder couldn't come to terms with them so instead decided to test some smaller suspension brands using his own money. So far he has bought suspension from EXT and Ohlins and has been sent suspension by Intend. Rheeder intends to test the dampers throughout the year and see what happens from there.

bigquotesHey guys,

I’ve been getting lots of messages lately asking what suspension brand I’m going to be riding this year so I thought I’d take a second to explain my situation. First of all, I’d like to thank Fox for the last 9 years, it’s been an amazing partnership and I’m sad to see it go. They’ve decided to reserve Fox for race athletes only moving all of their freeride athletes over to Marzocchi. When we were working on my transition, we couldn’t come to terms and instead I decided to test some different suspension brands out on my own dime.

To start things off I bought a set of EXT, a couple sets of Ohlins and Cornelius from Intend has sent me some of his suspension, which I’m super excited to try. It’s the first time that I haven’t been affiliated with a suspension brand and I thought it would be the perfect way to test the waters and give my opinions and feedback. Here’s to a year of testing new brands and let's go from there.
Brett Rheeder

Rheeder has since posted a video of this new build that features an Ohlins fork and shock.




199 Comments

  • 903 8
 Such a coincidence , I too will be riding without a suspension sponsorship this year, again,
  • 14 0
 haha good one
  • 43 0
 Same here, also will be trying on suspension choices on my own dime as well.
  • 35 0
 Same here! It's been a few years now that I am testing the same brand on the same bike..... and always the same fork. Still waiting to see if some manufacturers touch base and send products. ... maybe I should check my junkmail more often
  • 55 1
 We’ll all be teammates then! How sick Wink
  • 5 0
 Only came here to essentially make the same comment; additionally, I'll bet my annual income against Brett's that he has a higher take home then me and a pile of extra shocks that most of us would happily bolt to our bikes and ride for seasons to come.
  • 5 6
 Every so often, someone posts a stellar first comment. You are winning 2021 so far.
  • 8 0
 I will be paying my suspension supplier this year for the privilege of using their components. I will also be paying to service their equipment.
  • 10 109
flag DoubleCrownAddict (Apr 2, 2021 at 9:32) (Below Threshold)
 It would be great to see him also ditch his archaic Shimano derailleur chain drivetrain and go chainless at Rampage. He could have a better and safer run, and win like Gwin without a chain.

m.pinkbike.com/u/DoubleCrownAddict/blog/derailleur-failure-and-why-its-time-to-evolve-beyond-them.html
  • 1 2
 Me too although the fine people at Ohlins sent me a free fork and rockshox sent me a free shock. I'm one spoiled/lucky guy.
  • 34 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: your crusade against shimano derailleurs is just sad dude. Seriously. at this point its just spam.
  • 3 3
 @nmlo90 I feel like somehow this is the final time this comment is gonna be funny for some reason and if I see the same comment again on another article it's going to annoy me. You get an upvote this time, but the next person is getting thumbs all the way down.
  • 5 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: you do know that, wheels, chains, pneumatic tyres, the double diamond frame and many other things on a bike are older than the rear derailleur right?
  • 8 0
 Imagine contacting a rider because you care what suspension they’re on. Lol.
  • 2 7
flag Don23 (Apr 2, 2021 at 19:57) (Below Threshold)
 @codfather1234: to be honest shimano derailleurs are the worst hahahhahahhaha
  • 16 0
 Luckily I agreed on my terms with Fox.
Paid them 1499$ to let me ride their 36s.
  • 2 0
 Yeh it was a hard choice
  • 1 0
 @chamoisbutt: He's earned it tho..
  • 1 0
 This is exciting. Having ridden forks and shocks Rock Shox, Fox, Marzocchi, DVO, RST, SR Suntour and Öhlins over the years, I can hands down say that nothing compares to the Öhlins RFX36 M.2 I have on my trailbike right now. I'm upgrading my DH bike to Öhlins next. Excited to see what an unsponsored rider of Brett's caliber has to say about the different brands. I'd love to have a go on Intend tho...
  • 3 0
 I wouldn't even ride if I was him.
  • 4 0
 @ReeferSouthrland: He could take up a real sport such as darts...
  • 1 0
 i read the headline and thought i hadnt done any interviews this week either
  • 1 0
 @curendero: eh you do realise darts stopped being a top sport when they stopped the athletes drinking on the job , up to this point it was an eery skill of being as unpissed on 20 pints of lager as possible whilst still being able to hit triple top, i reckon it got easier when they tried to make it more helthier
  • 1 0
 @codfather1234: whatever floats your boat sir.
  • 104 9
 Can't really blame him. They force move all their athletes over to their lower end line....can't imagine many people are pumped on that. Kind of a slap in the face to the freeride folks..."here, take this second tier shit and get out of my face, we have a photoshoot with Emily Batty in 10 min".
  • 59 2
 I mean don't they all basically ride their forks with 200 psi anyways.
  • 26 3
 This is about money given the internals of the 2 brands are the same
  • 11 0
 Which doesn't help when Fox is recording 22.7% profit, and the CEO is quoted as saying they "really, really like what they are seeing."
  • 13 0
 I'm sort of surprised that it sounds like Fox was going to have him ride stock Marzocchi stuff. I would have assumed it would be pretty straight forward to drop a grip2 damper into one of the Marzocchi forks, and slap Marzocchi stickers on whatever shock he wanted.
  • 2 0
 They can swap internals im sure
  • 2 0
 Was thinking why couldn't he just swap the internals... seems silly
  • 1 0
 @gibspaulding: probably as much about being mucked around as anything else.
  • 5 1
 im saying its a business strategy by fox to get more sales over at Marzocchi as they have clearly been hurting for a while and free ride guys in my opinion have more of an impact on our sport and sales then racing does so keeping the racing team on fox is won't hurt or gain them sales as they have an known reputable suspension that everyone loves but It definitely back fired on them with getting Brett to switch witch im happy it happened honestly cause I don't see him liking marzochi suspension! I think he can do much better on another team!
  • 3 1
 @ctd07: It's not only the internals, but the externals are quite different as well. The Mz forks are quite less refined and weighs quite a bit more than their Fox counterparts, which is important at Brett's level of riding.
  • 1 1
 Foxzocci Freeride is dead to me now because of this....
  • 3 0
 @curendero: yes I've never been a fan of Marzocchi but always loved fox and RockShox but this has really change my opinion on fox as they clearly have gone to the corporate world and don't actually care about the riders anymore so my next suspension setup ill definitely with be going to try an Olins setup as I've heard nothing but great things from them
  • 4 0
 @MotoMitch420: every brand has its foibles, cane creek seems to be a bit shonky/inconsistent with quality and performance, Ohlins shocks use 16mm shock eyelets so you'll have to factor in another $60 for proprietary hardware that's impossible to get hold of... Fox and Rockshox are most popular for a reason!
  • 1 0
 @ctd07: oh I completely agree with your statement!!
  • 1 0
 @me2menow: Marz chassy is heavier.
  • 1 0
 @MotoMitch420: Indeeed!!!
  • 1 0
 @ctd07: yeah and the worst thing about ohlins imo is the lack of service manuals, they don't want you to service their products, which is a deal killer for me
  • 1 0
 @Charlotroy: didnt they publish full service instructions and all some time ago.
  • 88 12
 Hopefully some company will spring into action.
  • 8 109
flag vemegen (Apr 2, 2021 at 5:01) (Below Threshold)
 why would they? they are selling everything they can make, no reason for excessive sponsorship.
  • 78 9
 Think Fox will rebound after their loss?
  • 37 9
 @ridealltheb1kes: Hopefully they'll be able to get a Grip2 of the situation...
  • 28 309
flag MillerTFB (Apr 2, 2021 at 5:09) (Below Threshold)
 Guys & gals, constant puns on every pinkbike article aren’t as funny or clever as you think.
  • 29 4
 surely some other company is going to intend a collaboration
  • 76 4
 @MillerTFB: I know, right? They're pun-ishingly bad!
  • 74 6
 @MillerTFB: Stop dampening the spirit.
  • 18 5
 With his experience he has alot of leverage, some will step up and everything will click
  • 16 6
 @MillerTFB : someone needs some slick honey for all the friction theyre creating
  • 21 3
 Why did his former sponsor stanchion him?
  • 6 3
 @BenPea: lockout when sag in contract numbers wasn’t accepted
  • 8 4
 @MillerTFB: At least they are more original and better reading than your complaining.
  • 3 4
 @fatduke: *damping ?
  • 13 3
 @MillerTFB: you must really put a damper on parties.
  • 7 7
 @MillerTFB: I agree for the most part because 90% are just regurgitated from previous articles, but you do find some good ones from time to time.
  • 3 20
flag mhoshal (Apr 2, 2021 at 6:40) (Below Threshold)
 @rarrity: good one bud we haven't heard that one a million times already...
  • 8 5
 @mhoshal: you've just described 90% of all PB comments. I've said this before.
  • 16 1
 @MillerTFB: to be honest, I find your view on this quite shocking... Hopefully you will be able to adjust and rebound from this
  • 5 2
 This comes as quite a shock
  • 4 2
 I'm sure he'lll rebound after this sponsorship setback.
  • 3 2
 @MillerTFB: it's tradition at this point
  • 3 13
flag Yamaha168 (Apr 2, 2021 at 8:06) (Below Threshold)
 @MillerTFB: I second this!!
  • 1 0
 @vemegen: Sad but Truth.
  • 2 1
 @BenPea: knob. Negotiations bottomed out
  • 2 1
 @ceecee: couldn't seal a deal? An issue with juristiction?
  • 1 1
 @BenPea: stacked up and shafted. I recoil in horror. Chart a new path
  • 2 1
 @ceecee: That was just a token effort.
  • 1 0
 @BenPea: all arms and no legs
  • 1 0
 @ceecee: someone's inverted our props
  • 1 0
 @BenPea: I may be a dropout, but I tip my cap. Neg-sayers punt
  • 1 0
 It’s a shock that he’ll have to fork over some of his own cash.
  • 1 0
 @BenPea: He's holding his line.
  • 3 2
 @MillerTFB: looks like the crowd does think it still is funny.
A sign of the times, it explains the popularity of cover versions of old songs and the same old concept in new shows on TV.
Bottom line: those who deem themselves progressive are conservative indeed.
- and downvote differing opinions.
  • 57 0
 This is awesome. With athletes like Brett choosing the suspension they think is best, rather than what they get paid to run, I'll finally know the fork to buy that will make me be able to do backflips and shit
  • 29 0
 I know. I'm so tired of only being told to buy RockShox or Fox. Boring. Tell me to buy something new please!
  • 18 0
 @Lanebobane: Buy something new, please.
  • 3 6
 @mbosko7: yeah hell yeah a monster green sr suntor... how sick.... bro looks suntor performance...
  • 47 4
 Kinda of lame of fox to do that. Brett has shown soo much dedication to fox over the years. He painted his whole bike in kashima! I can understand why he wouldn’t want to ride heavier suspension from marzocchi.. But I’m stoke to see what Brett has to say about these more exotic suspension brands.
  • 10 0
 Dunno why they didn’t just make them use marzocci branded fox forks
  • 33 5
 @toad321: Marzocchi are branded FOX Forks, however they never get the top end stuff but only some kind of OEM innerts. They even made 2 different performance levels out of the Grip 1 Cartridge by removing the detents for a klick on the compression lever. That´s how ridiculous FOX Marketing has gotten. The whole model table is a convoluted mess out ouf the same parts, stuck together differently. It is like a set of LEGOs.
  • 13 0
 @Helmchentuned: you missed his point, he literally means, let them use FOX forks with Marzocchi stickers
  • 29 0
 Sound's like the paycheck on Marzocchi is smaller and they didn't want give him his Fox quote
  • 14 0
 @Helmchentuned:
When fox bought marzocchi it should’ve been a high-end coil option; what they were known for, and left fox the high-end air option
  • 2 0
 @Helmchentuned: And they cost more than a lyrik ultimate by around 150€
  • 6 1
 I love their products but doing something incredibly lame is an annual tradition over at fox. I'm honestly kind of surprised fox didn't threaten to sue him for painting his bike kashima while he was on his way out the door.
  • 7 1
 @ipreferdirt: No did not. A Marzocchi Z1 is a 36 Performance E. You can even stick a Grip 2 in without any changes to the rest of the fork. Then you got a 36 Performance Elite E-Bike Edition Wink Marzocchi Forks are Fox Forks with a different label. The Springs, dampers, Chassis are all the same except for the lowers which might feature a different Arch depending on model. They can easily be brought up to Fox Standards by putting the "good stuff" in to the odd labeled packaging. I do it all the time!

For example I currently run a Z1 Coil with Grip 2 compression damper in a Grip 1 cartridge with revalved rebound, best fork I could build for the money!

My wife runs the exactly same setup, only her fork reads "36 Rhythm" on the label. The forks themselves are indeed identical from a technical view.
  • 6 0
 This sounds more about money than the product. I’m sure did internals would fit
  • 2 0
 @Helmchentuned: when the Z1 was first released I remember reading that the Z1 also has thicker gauge stanchions compared to the 36. Heavier but possibly marginally stiffer/stronger.
  • 6 0
 @Helmchentuned: Marzocchi Z1 is a 36 Rhythm**. The CSU has thicker, heavier upper tubes made of lesser aluminum and a beefier, solid crown. You can drop the damper in just fine because the tubes are machined and threaded to the same size at the top as Performance series/factory series but you can not swap air pistons as the Z1/Rhythm piston is ever so slightly smaller in diameter due to the stanchion wall thickness increase. This also means that the coil conversion for the Z1 will not work in any Fox product other than a Rhythm series fork because the lower spring retainer/guide (and sealhead for the B/O force adjustment done via oil volume...) is a smaller diameter and will not install into the thinner upper tube of the higher end Fox forks.
  • 1 0
 @brycepiwek: weak logic, fox has done "high end" coil before
  • 1 0
 @subwaypanda: Yeah, it got the Rhythm Stanchions, same as the E-Bike Version of the 36. Yes, the E-Bike Version got the smaller Air Piston to. The "cheap" version also use different bushings than the high End forks but the striction is the same according to my measurements.
  • 12 1
 Fox doesn't care about its athletes. 2012 I crushed 3/4s of the year, top tens podiums top 5 in the rankings at the time, broke my leg, tib fib missed only crankworx and rampage. Dropped me like I was nothing didnt even respond to my emails.
  • 1 0
 @mitch1616: Aye, so sorry to hear that. You rock Mitch! So stoked to see you ride. And yeah, I've heard similar stories from other riders, where Fox has gone silent on them. Sad sad. On the flip side, Cane Creek has been super awesome both as a product and a company (you get a lil card where the person who put your suspension together introduces themself, and sometimes even writes a note. Can't explain the feeling of something personal.) The fork has been really solid, even running a 26 Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @Helmchentuned: another correction: the e bike stanchions are made of the same higher quality alloy found in the performance elite/factory forks, and is in fact even THICKER than a rhythm/z1 stanchion, as the 36-e bike fork uses a much smaller piston designed for the 34mm forks.
  • 37 0
 I'll give you $690 to put pit viper stickers on all of your suspension for the year
  • 24 0
 Will he be using the new blacked out Maxxis tyres too?
  • 1 0
 No, they’re whited out
  • 23 4
 This shocks the community, what the fox is going on
  • 13 0
 Like Brett, whenever I decide it’s time for a new fork, I purchase 3-4 different ones
  • 11 2
 Not a smart move from fox. Dividing their athelets as a racer and a freerider is not a great move because social media is the key part right now instead of a athelete's race times or a freerider's rampage score. Yes scores are important but social media is the key part now
  • 8 2
 100% smart move and guts most product branding strategies. Zoke is traditionally and free ride oriented brand, Fox geared towards racing. Isuue is money...they didn't want to pay what he thinks he is worth. Simple
  • 5 1
 @bman33: where does Bren-Dog fit in? Does he have to pull his Fox gear for Rampage and Fest events, then throw it back on for World Cups? What about us riders that ride our bikes for both racing and jumping? I agree, it seems pretty dumb to give up on free ride, but it's their dumb decision to make.
  • 2 0
 @gilby82: not sure. Depends on his contract I suppose. I don't recall Fox saying you can't 'jump' your bike with there forks/shocks. It's a marketing approach. Nothing Fox is saying relates to 'don't ride our stuff for Freeride'. All they are trying to do is market to slightly different riders (yes many cross over) with different branding. Sure they will be just fine regardless of what us Pinkbike comment sections say.
  • 9 0
 Fox separating their freeride athletes from their racers in terms of suspension brand probably means the Fox 831 is going to be killed off after this year. Goodnight sweet prince.
  • 10 2
 I think he will still be ok with his bike sponsor, crank sponsor, drivetrain sponsor, clothing sponsor, shoe sponsor, gonch sponsor, hat sponsor, goggle sponsor, glove sponsor, shoe sponsor, brake sponsor, etc
  • 3 0
 Ooh different sponsorships for each shoe?
  • 3 0
 @boozed: Insoles and laces too!!
  • 2 0
 @curendero: don't forget his socks
  • 2 0
 Cbd sponsor, food bar sponsor, breakfast cereal sponsor....
  • 11 0
 Riding rigid?
  • 11 0
 Manitouuuuuuuu
  • 8 0
 He’s trying all the super exotic stuff. Sounds like a good time. Somehow I bet none of it holds him back.
  • 8 0
 I'll gladly take his old Fox forks off of him.

Also, that rear shock is not Öhlins, is that not a normal Fox DPS?
  • 6 1
 Probably also not a coincidence that Brett decided not to compete in 2020 and hasn't produced much in the way of marketable value recently. His biggest project seems to be the Matt Macduff Title vid.. which was awesome..but Matt's riding Marz. No one gets a free ticket...ok poor turn of phrase as it appears Brett is still getting free Tickets from trek.
  • 1 0
 I think a broken hip might have had something to do with that. If anything , by not competing he will be doing more video projects and more exposure.
  • 1 0
 I'm sure in all these video views, exposure counts, analyitcs ect go into it. If Fox doesnt see it for Brett than fine, but also consider that he probably asked other suspension companies for a similar deal and they also said no.. so he's out a suspension contract. Next year who is going to pick up the guy who tested a bunch of brands and gave honest opinons on them? Wierd strategy but I wish him the best.
  • 5 1
 For me, this is a good thing. The more riders that do this the more likely we are to get more choice. Kinda shitty on fox's behalf to do that. Man I would love for DVO to start making a dirt jump oriented fork, would be nice if ohlins sold the fork they made for Matt Jones too instead of it being a one off.
  • 7 0
 I like how Ohlins made him a custom DJ fork.
  • 12 0
 I think they already made it for Matt Jones, but hey. Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @makkelijk: die had een 27,5 110 mm naar 90 mm gezet met wat spacers
  • 6 2
 imagine losing one of your most popular riders because you couldnt let him ride the kashima coating he likes. Bonehead move. Dude had like 2 kashima bikes.
  • 2 0
 Doesn't make any sense why FOX would decide to divide the two sports. Both utilize suspension to its fullest and is good for FOX to have the pro's ride them and to test them to their potential. And yeah the exposure is great too.
  • 6 2
 Whichever brand he goes for will get quite a vote of confidence; hopefully he'll be honest if he gets paid and/or free stuff
  • 4 0
 I've always wondered what the top guys would pick if they weren't sponsored. Excited to see what Brett says.
  • 3 0
 Whenever I see Brett's name I hear it in the voice of the guy at the top of the rampage hill who announces which rider is dropping in
  • 2 1
 Pretty dumb move on Fox. Few watch Enduro races, a few more watch DH but most watch Rampage. Everyone wants to ride like Brandon Semenuk, Remy Metailler, Brett Rheeder and all the free riders. Post an enduro highlight, DH highlight and Rampage highlight.See how many people tune in to each. Give the riders the best.
  • 1 0
 Everyone wants to, almost no one does. But we all ride trails and pretend we enduro.
  • 4 0
 Would love to see Intend Suspension on a Slope Bike
  • 4 0
 I always knew me and Brett had something in common....
  • 1 0
 And there is another inetersting thing .The MAXXIS IKON 26*2.20 are not offered the Light Tan Wall color on official site,how ever Brett Rheeder ‘s new bike used this color.The sponsored riders only?
  • 1 0
 I mean... slope style riders make their suspension super stiff so I'm not really sure I care what Brett or any other Slopestyle rider rides. They could be riding fully rigid for all I care.
  • 3 0
 he literally has like 3 bikes painted kashima gold tho
  • 3 0
 I guess not using his Title gyro either?.......
  • 3 0
 Hope this leads to his own Title dj fork... that would be sweeeet
  • 2 1
 Not a bad move. He INTENDs to ride all three brands and will Ohlin make a decision based on how they ride and who pays EXTra.
  • 3 0
 Well you could start racing ... problem solved
  • 1 0
 He did a race or two in 2020 if I recall.
  • 2 0
 I Trust he Intends on heading in the right direction with this call, good luck buddy murder that shit whatever you choose!
  • 2 0
 Let's see Marzocchi is Fox's heavier more budget line so can't blame him for giving them the old hard pass.
  • 1 0
 Can make quite a bit with some good quality review Videos. I'd imagine there'll be no shortage on views about a proper athlete properly reviewing suspension.
  • 1 0
 He's probably buying what half of the pinkbike crowd would, given no budget limit for a build. Defo checked out the reviews before shopping
  • 1 0
 hayes should give him a mezzer and see what he thinks, sounds like an impartial platform, well up to the point here fox are concerned
  • 1 0
 Well what ever he’s running is prolly the best now. I bet it’s a onlins ext combo
  • 4 3
 If you’re Rheeding this Brett could I have the RCfox truck you got from them please? I’ll cover shipping etc
  • 3 0
 Meanwhile, on YouTube...
  • 3 0
 Ahhhh, muffin!
  • 2 0
 Came here for the puns...wasn't disappointed
  • 3 0
 Already in the article! "Rheeder intends to test the dampers throughout the year and see what happens from there."
  • 2 0
 So,is this Ö's first 26 fork?
  • 1 0
 Someone else may have said this already but theres always the PB buy and sell... Wink
  • 2 0
 Don't let this dampen your spirit Brett!!
  • 2 0
 This is stellar "journalism" Pinkbike.
  • 1 0
 Why would RockShox pick up the phone? They have most of the Trek C3 athletes including Brandon and Emil.
  • 2 0
 Brett Rheeder will be riding without suspension this year.
  • 2 0
 It's a new ERA!
  • 1 0
 Shocking news. Time to chill to some psi-trance.
  • 1 0
 Cornelius already forgot the first rule.
  • 1 0
 or Rupert, or whatever his name is
  • 1 0
 ...couldn’t resist—it’s the dad in me. ‍♂️
  • 1 0
 So he is riding a rigid bike then. Hope it's not carbon!!!
  • 1 0
 i'm in tears...
i'm with you @RedBurn
  • 1 0
 Don't freestyler run over pressure so that the fork is more of less rigid?
  • 2 1
 He could always use his own dime to errrr buy Fox forks?
  • 1 0
 hey Brett can I have your Ticket when you're done?
  • 1 0
 That is definitely not a ohlins rear shock looks like a float
  • 1 0
 Marketing. He’ll choose Marzocchi
  • 1 0
 Give this man a proper set of Allen keys!
  • 1 0
 soooo Brett Reader things he's to good for Marzocchi????
  • 1 1
 He is though
  • 1 0
 It took him eight hours to build a bike??
  • 1 0
 @Woody25 Me too!
  • 1 1
 i wonder where he would be riding anyhow. not any competitions!
  • 1 0
 Welcome to the club.
  • 1 0
 Well I am my sponsor.
  • 1 1
 Ha! No Rockshox...
  • 6 0
 Yeah bc then shimano would not be happy usin sram suspension
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