Inside the Pro’s Bikes – Bruce Klein
MEET THE RIDERS AND THEIR RIDES
Bruce Klein and his KHS DH650
Photo by Philip Beckman/PB Creative
At 19, Bruce Klein is one of the fastest up-and-coming downhill pros in America. He’s already winning pro races at places like Fontana and Bootleg Canyon, putting to rest any notion that a young pro has to pay his dues for a while before he can move up to the top step of the podium.
Bruce is also one of the most upbeat racers we’ve ever known. He almost always has a huge smile on his face. His friends call him the “Stoke Master,” because it seems like he’s almost always stoked.
Klein is also fast. He was leading the Fontana Downhill Series for the winter season when last we checked, usually finishing first or second in the pro ranks. When seven-time national downhill champion Aaron Gwin came out to compete in his first race of 2017 at Fontana, Bruce finished only 0.68 seconds behind him. The next fastest pro, Luca Cometti, was over six seconds further back.
KHS knows a good rider when they see one, so they signed Bruce to their downhill team for 2017. “I’m doing the whole World Cup series, as well as the National Series,” Bruce told us. “There are going to be a lot of races and a lot of traveling. It’s going to be a fun year.” On the following pages, you can check out the bike that Bruce is racing.
The MBA Q&A:
Bruce Klein—The Stoke Master
MBA: Where did you grow up? Bruce: Pasadena, California
MBA: What kind of work do (did) your parents do?
Bruce: My father works with NASA and my mother used to be a teacher. My dad is a thermal engineer for the Mars Rover project. He’s always working.
MBA: When did you first learn to ride a bike?
Bruce: When I was just 2 years old
MBA: Who taught you?
Bruce: My father. One of my older sisters was learning how to ride at the time, so I had to show her what was up and learn to ride as well. I have three older sis- ters and one younger.
MBA: What other bikes have you raced?
Bruce: I raced on a 2004 Santa Cruz V-10, then switched to a GT Fury before going back to a 2014 Santa Cruz V-10. Then I rode a 2015–2016 Intense M16 before my KHS DH 650.
MBA: When did you get your first mountain bike?
Bruce: My first mountain bike was an XL Kona Kikapu hand-me-down from my uncle that was way too big, but I loved it. I must have been 14.
MBA: When did you start competing on mountain bikes?
Bruce: I did my first local cross-country race in November of 2011 and then competed in a few downhill races in 2012.
MBA: How did you finish in your first competition?
Bruce: I finished first in my first competition, but it was such a mud-fest that we all converted to dragging our bikes up and down the hills for the entire race.
MBA: What titles, if any, did you win as an amateur?
Bruce: My biggest amateur win was the 2014 Enduro World Series in Winter Park, Colorado, and a few National Series wins.
MBA: What have been your best results as a pro?
Bruce: My best result as a pro would be third place at the National round in Mammoth Mountain. I’ve won multiple Fontanas. I think I’ve won two Fontana races this year, and I’ve been on the podium for all of them. I won one Bootleg Canyon race. I was fifth at the Pro GRT in Tennessee.
MBA: Did you attend college?
Bruce: No college for me yet. I just finished my high school years through online studies and am now fully committed to my training and racing. When I do go back to school, I am very interested in sports psychology and medicine.
MBA: What awards did you win in school, if any?
Bruce: Just one or two sports awards
MBA: What other sports have you done?
Bruce: I grew up playing soccer my whole life before running cross-country in junior high and playing water polo in high school.
MBA: Can you tell us something interesting or unusual about yourself or your family?
Bruce: My family loves going on back-packing trips together. For some reason we find it awesome to go hike miles and miles with cardboard food and 60-pound packs [laughs]! But, being in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by mountains and getting away from the hustle and bustle of the cities, is really nice.
MBA: Is there some other interesting fact or trivia that people might like to know about you?
Bruce: I’m sure everyone knows that I am always stoked [laughs], but an interesting fact that not many people know is that I really enjoy cooking and eating yummy food.
Name: Bruce Klein
Nickname: Stoke Master
Birthdate: November 25, 1997
Birthplace: Pasadena, California Height: 6 feet
Weight: 180 pounds
Shoe size: 11
Helmet size: Small
Marital status: Single
Current home: Pasadena, California
Home: Still living with my family
Cars: Ford E350 Race Van
Started racing: 2012
Turned pro: 2016
Racing specialty: I think finding some strange hucks is one of my specialties Favorite course (North America): Mont-Sainte-Anne
Favorite course (Europe): Fort William, Scotland
Favorite food: Eggs and veggies with some strong Better Buzz Coffee
Goals: To have fun racing as long as
Heroes: Aaron Gwin
Favorite recording artist: There are too many favorites, but recently a friend has had me start listening to Logic, and I am digging his music so far
Favorite movie: All Out, an older mountain bike movie
Favorite hobbies: My all-time favorite hobby is definitely ripping dirt bikes with the homies.
Jobs held (other than racer): I grew up working at a small, local bike shop for a few years
Most embarrassing moment: Ah, man, there are so many [laughs]! One of the most embarrassing moments
for me was when I forgot my helmet at home for a race!
Always takes on a trip: Foam roller.
What you would be if you were not a racer: If I were not a racer, I would probably still be shredding anything with wheels and just having fun with the homies.
INSIDE THE PROS’ BIKES
Bruce Klein’s KHS DH650
Bike weight: 17 kilograms (37 pounds)
Estimated value: $9000
1. Frame: KHS DH650 XL, alloy, 203mm travel.
“This frame is a bit larger than I am used to, but I am really enjoying the extra length. I feel more confident and stable at high speeds while still being able to jump around tight sections quickly.”
2. Fork: Fox 40, 203mm travel.
“Having been on the first few rides on the new suspension, I am blown away by the performance of the Fox. I am cur- rently testing different settings, but everything feels dialed!”
3. Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF F/R.
4. Inner tubes or tubeless? Tubeless.
“I’m pretty sure we’re running TruckerCo. That’s what we have in our trailer. If I were to change tires, that’s what I would put in.”
5. Rims: Enve M90 carbon.
“Having Enve wheels on my bike is such a big factor in how the bike rides. They help accelerate out of corners and make pumping backsides so quick!”
6. Spokes: Enve.
7. Front hub: Shimano Saint.
8. Rear hub: Shimano Saint.
9. Brakes: Shimano Saint with 203mm Ice Tech rotors, front and rear.
10. Handlebar: Shimano Pro, 790mm wide, 30mm rise.
“I think the backsweep is either 8 or 9 degrees.”
11. Bottom bracket: Shimano Saint.
12. Grips: ODI Elite.
“This will always be my go-to grip—so comfy! I tried a few others, but these are what I like to use.”
13. Cranks: Shimano Saint, 165mm length.
“They are stiff, reliable and bombproof.”
14. Chainring: Shimano Saint 36.
15. Pedals: Shimano XT.
16. Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace.
“Run it for the season.”
17. Rear derailleur: Shimano Saint, 10-speed.
18. Front derailleur: None. 19. Shifters: Shimano Saint.
20. Brake levers: Shimano Saint.
21. Rear cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace. “It’s the road cas-
sette, so it’s a little bit smaller than normal.”
22. Saddle: WTB.
23. Seatpost: Shimano Pro.
24. Cables and housings: Shimano.
25. Headset: Works Components.
“Depending on the track, I can change my
reach or head angle.”
26. Shock: Fox DH X2.
27. Stem: Shimano Pro, 50mm reach.
28. Extras: Garmin for testing at home.
29. Head angle: 63 degrees.
30: Bottom bracket height: 13.9 inches.
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