Fresh off his win at the Whistler Enduro World Series round, we found ourselves sharing a ride with Richie Rude for the launch of the new Giro Switchblade. It wasn’t just Richie though, the whole Yeti/Fox Racing Shox team including Cody Kelley and team mechanic Shaun Hughes were also along for the ride. After a hot pedal up and down some rad trails in Pemberton, BC, we got a closer look at the Yeti bikes used by the team – all three of which were very different…
Starting with the winner of the Whistler EWS round, Richie Rude is also the current overall points leader for the EWS series. The guys shreds. Because of that, Richie was on a Yeti SB6c, taking full advantage of the 6″ of rear travel which for the race included a Fox X2 Air shock. Yeti team mechanic Shaun Hughes mentioned he swapped out the coil shock after the race. Up front, it’s a special orange Fox Factory 36 running a 15mm x 100 axle.
Still in full enduro mode, the bikes feature custom Garmin Edge 520 head units with Barfly mounts that are reading Stages power meters on the cranks. Richie runs his Renthal cockpit fairly low with the stem slammed and a shorter riser than Cody, but what appears to be a slightly longer stem on the medium frame.
Both of the Yeti/Fox Shox team mates are on similar drivetrains, but given the differences in wheel size, the gearing choices are tuned accordingly. The Shimano XTR 1x mechanical drivetrain for Richie includes an 11-46t cassette, though for this race he was pushing a 36t chainring. Richie mentioned that even for him, pushing that big of a ring is hard, but you have to do it for fast races like Whistler. Shaun stated that they are currently switching back and forth between the OneUp chainring on the bike and the new Shimano Plus/Minus rings depending on the stage, simply because Shimano doesn’t have the rings available in all the sizes they need. The well worn drivetrain also includes a OneUp Bashguide and Shimano XTR trail pedals. Want an idea of how fast Richie rides? Take a look at all the rock strikes on the front of the crankarm!
Other bits include Team Yeti/Ergon GA2 grips, an Ergon saddle on a Fox Transfer dropper, and Shimano Saint 4 piston brakes with 180mm Freeza rotors front and rear.
A true tire destroyer, Richie is on Maxxis 3C Double Down casings front and rear with the rear Griffin 2.3″ on a 25mm wide (internal) DT Swiss EX471 rim while the front 2.5″ Minion DHF is on a wider 30mm (internal) EX511. That poor Griffin.
While Cody Kelley has been known to also ride the SB6c in the past, this time the ripper was on an SB5.5c 29er.
The two riders share a lot of the same set up as team mates usually do, including the Chris King headsets, custom Garmin 520, Stages power meter, Barfly mounts, and Fox suspension. Cody was still riding his Fox X2 air shock when we saw him as well as the Fox 36 Factory fork, though his was running a Boost front end indicated by the 15×110 QR thru axle, though running a Kabolt bolt on axle.
Cody prefers a tall front end, even on the 29er and runs spacers under the stem along with a 40mm riser bar. He run a customized set of GA2 grips with extra siping cut into the rubber. Extra grip is also provided through grip tape on the Fox Transfer dropper lever. Note the attention to detail on all the bike from Shaun with tape wrapped around the brake and shift housing which cuts down on rattling.
In contrast to the big rings on Richie’s bike, Cody is running a 32t ring from OneUp, and the narrower range 11x42t cassette along with the OneUp Bashguide. Cody also runs Shimano XTR Trail pedals and Saint brakes with 180mm Freeza rotors front and rear.
Tire wise, Cody is also on the 3c Double Down Maxxis train with an Aggressor out back as well as a prototype 29 x 2.5″ Minion DHF up front. This time, both tires are on DT Swiss EX471 rims. MarshGuard fenders add a bit of protection from spray up front.
Both riders are insanely fast, but each with their own unique style.
If you were wondering what those SH stickers are on the back of each bike, it’s ‘Tuned by Shaun Hughes.’ Not to be left out, the team mechanic does more than just keep the team bikes running. He also is no slouch on the bike and has the most trick bike out of the three.
That’s due to his use of Shimano XTR Di2 which he created a custom set up to be as clean as possible. With the wiring routed under the bar, Shaun didn’t have to drill into the handlebar. Then, using a Fox cable guide to hold the rear brake and dropper post cables in place, the wire goes behind the handlebar and in front of the stem to tuck into the steerer through a custom headset spacer. The battery is tucked into the steerer tube and uses a custom plug held in by three grub screws to keep everything clean. By running moto style brakes, the bike is left with only two hoses up front (one of them is two housings taped together) for a super tidy cockpit.
Otherwise his SB5.5c is pretty similar to the team’s – minus the 170mm dropper post!