MEET THE RIDERS AND THEIR RIDES

Riley Amos and his Trek Supercaliber

While a lot of attention was focused on the quest for Olympic gold this past year, something happened in the younger ranks that we don’t think we have ever seen before: an American, Riley Amos, won a U23 Men’s World Cup race.

It’s not easy to win a U23 World Cup race. Those riders will soon be racing at the Elite level and will be among the top pros in the world in another few years. If Riley can beat them now at age 19, his first year in the U23 ranks, there’s a good chance he’ll be able to beat them again, even when they move up to the Elite division. In other words, Riley could well be one of the top cross-country racers in the world in the years ahead.

Riley is only 19, but he’s fast.

RIDER PROFILE

Name: Riley Amos

Nickname: RJ

Age: 19

Birthdate: March 2, 2002

Birthplace: Durango, Colorado

Height: 6 feet

Weight: 145 pounds

Shoe size: 44 or 10.5 US

Helmet size: Medium

Waist: Unsure

Marital status: Single

Current home: Durango, Colorado

House: Living at home!

Cars: Toyota Tacoma

Started racing: 2015

Turned pro: 2021

Racing specialty: XCO cross-country

Favorite course (North America): Mont-Sainte-Anne

Favorite course (Europe): Leogang, but I have only raced three courses in Europe, so that might change [laughs]

Favorite food: Eggs Benedict or sushi

Goals: Paris 2024 Olympics, World Champion

Heroes: Todd Wells, Ned Overend

Favorite recording artist: 50 Cent, Outkast

Favorite movie: Stepbrothers

Favorite hobbies: Fishing, camping with friends, working on my truck

Jobs held (other than racer): None currently, but I have worked in a bike shop, and I coached for a local cycling program.

Most embarrassing moment: At the Nove Mesto World Cup this year, there was this flat rock garden after this muddy woods section, and they broadcasted our race on the local Czech TV network. On one lap I couldn’t get my cleat in coming into the rock garden, and I smashed my groin into my stem. They replayed it over and over in slow motion, and all my teammates were watching the race, so it was actually quite funny.

Always takes on a trip: Extra snacks, because I’m always getting hungry on the plane or between meals.

What you would be if you were not a racer: I’m not totally sure, but I am pursuing a degree in economics, so maybe something in that field—or a mechanic, as I love working with my hands and learning how machines work.

Riley’s Trek Supercaliber is a veritable rocketship on the World Cup circuit.

INSIDE THE PROS’ BIKES

Riley Amos’s Supercaliber

Frame: “Trek Supercaliber, size 19.5, carbon, 60mm of travel in the rear. The best XC race bike I’ve ever ridden. So light and efficient, but plenty capable on the descents.”

Fork: “In the U.S., I ride on a Bear National team bike with a Fox 32, 75 psi, three tokens, 100mm of travel. But, in Europe, I have been staying with the Trek Factory team and racing their bike, which has a SID Sl that I run with 90 psi, two tokens, and 100mm of travel. Both are great forks, and I’ve grown to love them.”

Tires: “Bontrager XR3 when it’s dry; depending on the course, anywhere from 18–22 psi in the rear and 18–20 in the front. In the mud, I will run a Bontrager mud tire with lower pressures, typically around 18 psi rear and front.”

Tubeless setup: “Stan’s NoTubes. Always keeping me rolling, and I will usually run an insert in the rear tire as well—Tubolight. Tire pressure makes such a huge difference in traction, especially on roots or when it’s wet, so I am always trying to go as low as I can without ripping it off the rim or breaking a rim, so the Tubolight insert is a little extra safety.

Wheels: “On my bike in the U.S., Stan’s Podium wheels, and overseas, the Bontrager Kovee XXX. Love both of these wheels; they have very different ride characteristics.”

Brakes: SRAM Level Ultimate, 160mm rotors

Handlebar: Bontrager carbon, 740mm

Bottom bracket: SRAM DUB, 92mm, PressFit

Grips: ESI Chunky grips

Cranks: SRAM carbon, 175mm

Chainring: “SRAM, 34- or 36-tooth. Will swap between, depending on the course.”

Pedals: Shimano XTR

Chain: SRAM XX1 rainbow.

Rear derailleur: “SRAM XX1 AXS. I love the wireless shifting—so smooth and so much less maintenance.”

Shifters: SRAM XX1 AXS

Brake levers: SRAM Level Ultimate

Rear cassette: SRAM XX1 AXS 10-52

Saddle: Bontrager Aelous 155mm

Seatpost: RockShox Reverb AXS

Headset: Knock Block integrated

Shock: Trek Isostrut, 135 psi, 8th rebound setting

Stem: Bontrager Kovee Pro, 80mm length

Extras: MRP chainguide

Head angle: 69 degrees

Bottom bracket height: 32mm

Weight of complete bike: 21.5 pounds with pedals and bottle cage

Estimated value of bike: $11,500

Riley is a lean, mean, racing machine.

MBA Q&A

MBA: Where did you grow up?

Riley Amos: I was born and raised in Durango, Colorado, and still call it home!

MBA: What kind of work do your parents do?

RA: My mom works as a manager for IBM, and my dad is a firefighter.

MBA: When did you first learn to ride a bike?

RA: I learned to ride a bike from a young age from my parents. We had neighbors who were from Switzerland, and they saw my parents trying to teach me on a little kid’s bike with training wheels. They told my parents that they needed to take the training wheels off and take off the cranks so I could first learn to balance (just like a strider bike, which we didn’t know about then).

MBA: Have you competed on other kinds of bikes?

RA: I never competed in any sort of other cycling disciplines, but I wish I could have!

MBA: When did you get your first mountain bike?

RA: When I was 7.

MBA: When did you start competing on mountain bikes?

RA: I first did a local fun race around a park when I was maybe 8 or 9, but never competed in any real races until I was 13. I raced my first national-level race at 16.

MBA: How did you finish in your first competition?

RA: I think I was just middle of the pack. I do remember wondering why one of the other kids was crying because he got second and didn’t win!

MBA: Did you win any titles as an amateur?

RA: I won the National Championships when I was 16 in XC and STXC in the 15–16 category in my first national champs, and then did the same the next year in the junior UCI category.

MBA: What have been your best results as a pro?

RA: My most recent result was in the UCI Leogang Under-23 World Cup, where I won. That was definitely my best-ever result, along with second place at the round before.

MBA: Are you going to college?

RA: I just finished my first year of school at Fort Lewis College, where I am studying economics.

MBA: Did you win any awards in school?

RA: I always had pretty good grades and usually made the honor roll, but nothing I can think of other than that.

MBA: What other sports have you done?

RA: Throughout elementary school, I tried many of the normal ball sports, like soccer and baseball, and I really enjoyed lacrosse in middle school, but ended up liking biking so much that I decided I would rather be doing just that!

MBA: Is there some other interesting fact or trivia that people might like to know about you?

RA: Until I was 14 years old, I always rode in a full-face helmet. Like most little boys, I was constantly crashing and hurting myself, and my mom made me wear it every single ride. I even raced the Cross-Country State Championships and won in it at 13!

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