Meet The Riders And Their Rides: Austin “Bubba” Warren
Warren showed off his downhill skills at the Fox U.S. Open.
California’s Austin “Bubba” Warren can rip down a mountain with the best riders in the world, whether he’s racing downhill or dual slalom. He’s become one of the fastest downhill and dual-slalom riders in America. For a long time, though, he was best known as the younger brother of Cody Warren, who was America’s top pro downhill racer of 2005 back when Austin was only 11 years old.
When brother Cody’s racing career wound down, Bubba’s took off. Cody retired from professional downhill racing to become a professional firefighter in California, the same career that Bubba hopes to pursue when his racing career comes to an end.
In the meantime, Bubba has risen to become one of the fastest downhill and dual-slalom racers in America, much like his brother was 14 years ago.
Name: Austin Warren
Nickname: Bubba Age: 25
Birthdate: May 28, 1994
Birthplace: Alpine, California
Weight: 170 pounds
Shoe size: 10
Helmet size: Large
Marital status: Dating
Current home: Alpine, California
Car: 2006 Toyota Tundra
Started racing or competing: “2008, I started to focus on DH and racing seriously.”
Turned pro: “Turned pro when I was 16 in 2012.”
Racing/riding specialty: Downhill, pump track, dual slalom
Favorite course or riding area (North America): Mammoth Mountain, loose and always changing
Bubba Warren, racing in the finals of the Fox U.S. Open.
Favorite course or riding area (Europe): Morzine
Favorite food: Cali Burrito
Goals: Become King of Crankworx
Heroes: My parents
Favorite recording artist: Imagine Dragons
Favorite movie: Transformers
Favorite hobbies: Fishing, hiking, metal fabrication, moto
Jobs held (other than racer): “Metal fabrication at my dad’s shop (Metaltek).”
Most embarrassing moment: “To be honest, it happens all the time. I always have food on my face.”
Always takes on a trip: Bluetooth speaker
What you would be if you were not a racer: “I’m really looking to be a firefighter at one point in time.”
Bubba Warren’s Downhill Race Machine
Weight of complete bike: 32 pounds
Estimated value of bike: $7500
The expression on his face shows how much Bubba Warren likes his bike.
Frame: “Evil Bicycles, Wreckoning LB Park, 29, 180mm fork and 161mm rear shock, carbon fiber. What I like most about the Wreckoning is that it’s so playful and versatile for every trail. Since it’s a trail bike, it can really take on any trail. And for how stiff it is, it handles the rocks and the big hits.”
Shock: “The best shock I have ever felt. Push ElevenSix makes a world of changes on the Evil. I honestly don’t touch it much, but mainly slower or faster rebound. It makes the bike feel like it has 200mm of travel.”
Fork: “Rockshox World Cup Boxxer. Set at 180mm. I run max tokens inside and really stiff. With 180mm, I push through the fork pretty fast. I’ve always liked how small and light the Boxxers are. Makes me move the bikes around a lot easier.”
Tires: “Kenda Hellkat Pro front and rear. These two tires are changing the game for me on the trails. I run a stiffer sidewall on the rear compared to the front. The front is more of an enduro casing. I normally run 27 psi in the front and 30 psi in the rear.”
Tire sealant: “Stan’s NoTubes race sealant. I normally run three spokes wide with sealant and change it every time I change my tires, so every other weekend to keep it fresh.”
Rims: “Stan’s NoTubes MK3 hoops. I like the feel of aluminum wheels for the flex and how reliable they are. Carbon is nice but seems too stiff for DH and makes everything else feel harsher.”
Spokes: Sapim Front hub: “Onyx Racing. What can you say about these? The best of the best—110mm × 20mm. This front hub rolls like a dream.”
Rear hub: “Onyx Racing. Never disengaged it, makes every pedal stroke, and the silent hub sound lets me know what my bike is doing.”
Brakes: “SRAM Code RSC. As a DH bike, I run 200mm rotors, front and rear. Codes have always been a solid and strong brake. Really like the module feeling of the brakes.”
Handlebars: “Deity Speedway bar with 25mm rise cut at 780mm. Really like the feel of these carbon bars, and they always have a good stiffness to them. Never ran carbon bars before this year.”
Grips: “ODI. Model is the Elite Motion Pro. I like how thin they are and how soft they are on your hands. Makes it easier to hold on during race runs and daily riding for me.”
Cranks: “SRAM Descendant. Depends on the track, but I normally run 170mm-length cranks. Get a little more pull every pedal stroke.”
Chainring: “SRAM Eagle 3mm [offset]. I’ve been able to get away with a 34T all year long. ”
Pedals: “HT Components AEO5. I’ve been a flat-pedal guy my whole life, so pedals are a key aspect to my liking.”
Chain: “SRAM X01 7-speed chain. I will change the chain about every three races. I wish I could change it every race to be safe, but I get good use out of them.”
Rear derailleur: “SRAM X0, 7-speed, short-cage derailleur. One of my favorites to run—makes it easy to set up and, with the cassette being XD drive, to set up for a 7-speed.
Stem: “Deity Intake direct-mount 35mm. New to the game for Deity this year is a new line of 35mm bars and stems. Amazing feel and will always be top-notch.”
Shifters: “SRAM X0, 7-speed shifter.”
Brake levers: “SRAM Code RSC aluminum levers. Really liked the old Code lever feel, though.”
Rear cassette: “SRAM X01 7-speed (10-24t).”
Saddle: “Deity Sidetrack, I-beam.”
Seatpost: “Deity I-Beam, 31.6mm [diameter].”
Cables and housing: “All SRAM shifter cables and housing.”
Headset: “FSA Integrated, tapered, N0. 57/68 upper bearing, 30.2×41×6.5mm; 36/45 lower bearing, 40×51, .8×8, 36/45.”
Water-bottle cage: “Has mount for water-bottle cage, but I don’t use it.”
Bottom bracket: “SRAM Dub, 73mm, BSA.”
Carbon or titanium bolts: “If I had a choice [laughs], I would choose titanium bolts. I just run what comes with the bike.”
Extras: “The Evils come with an upper chainguide that makes it simple and safe for the chain to never come off.”
Head angle: “65.2 degrees.”
Bottom bracket height: “355mm.”
MBA: Where did you grow up?
Matthew: I grew up in Alpine, California, right where I still live today.
MBA: What kind of work do your father and mother do?
Warren: Dad is a precision sheet metal fabricator, and Mom is a hairstylist.
MBA: When did you first start riding a bicycle?
Warren: In my backyard on my track I built with my bigger brother. Learned everything in that yard.
MBA: Did you ever race BMX or road bikes before competing on mountain bikes?
Warren: I never raced either—stuck with just riding and having fun with all my buddies until I got older.
MBA: When did you first start competing on mountain bikes?
Warren: I first started racing in Fontana for the SRC races. Learned a lot there and loved every time I went.
MBA: How did you do in your first mountain bike event?
Warren: My first MTB event—oh, man! I think I actually won the Sport class and was so stoked, and it made me just want to do it more.
MBA: What have been your best national and international results?
Warren: My best World Cup was 23rd, and [I got] a second place for pump track in Innsbruck, Austria. This year I was so close to winning the pump-track and dual slalom overall in Whistler for Crankworx. Ended up in second place in the overall for both. Ended up fifth in the series, so I’m really getting excited for the 2020 race season.
MBA: Did you attend college?
Warren: I attended an EMT [emergency medical technician] course and got my basic EMT four years ago. I plan to go into the medical or fire field one day, so that’s why I studied and got my EMT.
MBA: Do you have any other career training?
Warren: I do not have any other field training, other than working on metal and working in tractors.
MBA: What other sports do you like to do now besides mountain biking?
Warren: I really like to play basketball and tennis, but moto is my main sport I do outside of mountain biking. It’s always fun lining up against a big field and going as fast as you can. I’ve actually done better than I thought. I’ve always been on the podium most of the time or just putting a solid battle down with all the riders.
MBA: What were your best results on motocross bikes?
Warren: First place during a WORCS motorcycle race in Pro 2 racing a 250cc two-stroke in Lake Havasu.
MBA: If possible, tell us something interesting or unusual about yourself or your family that is not widely known.
Warren: One thing that I think is cool is my dad was the last mechanic to have a rider make it into the main event [in Supercross] with a two-stroke in Seattle. That’s something.
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