Meet The Riders And Their Rides: Cody Kelley

Meet The Riders And Their Rides

Cody Kelley has been an early adopter of the mixed wheel sizes in the U.S. Photos by Ian Matteson
Utah’s Cody Kelley has been one of the fastest bike riders in mountain biking for years. A top contender in downhill, dual-slalom, pump-track and enduro races, Cody rose to international attention a few years back when he won the Pro Men’s Dual Slalom at the Sea Otter Classic in California. In last month’s issue, we showed Kelley on his way to winning the Pro Men’s Enduro at the Fox U.S. Open in Big Bear, California. We caught up with him this month to learn more about him and check out his new race bike, profiled on the following pages.


Name: Cody Kelley

Nickname: Beau Lee

Age: 25

Birthdate: April 26, 1994

Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 170 lb.

Shoe size: 43

Helmet size: Medium

Waist: 30

Current home: Salt Lake City, Utah

Car(s): Ford Transit, Honda Ridgeline

Started racing or competing: Started racing BMX when I was 5

Turned pro: Went pro in 4x when I was 16

Racing/riding specialty: Enduro, Dual Slalom

Favorite course or riding area (North America): “Whistla!”

Favorite course or riding area (Europe): Finale [Ligure], Italy

Favorite food: Coffee, of course

Utah’s Cody Kelley has been one of the fastest bike riders in mountain biking for years. A top contender in downhill, dual-slalom, pump-track and enduro.

Goals: Ride bikes; have fun!

Heroes: Jared Graves, Curtis Keene, Richie Rude and Brandon Semenuk

Favorite recording artist: Too many good ones!

Favorite movie: Almost any old westerns

Favorite hobbies: Bikes, bikes, bikes…

Jobs held (other than racer): Bikeshop wrench, BMX coach and a “mistified” builder.

Most embarrassing moment: Too many to list (ha ha, this is actually my full-time job)

Always takes on a trip: Coffee

What you would be if you were not a racer: Never really thought about it much. I’ve done nothing but ride bikes since I was a grom, and I honestly wouldn’t change a single day of it!

Cody Kelley’s 29/27.5

Frame: Alchemy Bicycles, Nine7Five, “Mullet” 29 front and 27.5 rear, 170mm travel up front and 140mm out back, XL frame, carbon front and rear triangles.

“I’m loving a lot of things about the performance of the new ’Mullet’ bike from Alchemy. We’ve done quite a bit of testing on it, and I’ve personally found the mixed wheel bike to corner like a dream, which is huge for racing and everyday riding! Along with the cornering, there’s the lower center of gravity due to the small back wheel, which is awesome for a good stable feel on any kind of terrain a trail throws your way.”

Shock and settings. “Out back, we’ve got a Float X2 set up with 160 psi, 1 token, 10 LSC, 14 HSC, 12 LSR, 12 HSR.”

Fork: Up front, we’ve got a Fox 36 (Grip 2) at 170mm, set up with 80psi, 2 tokens, 10 LSC, 15 HSC, 8 LSR, 9 HSR.

“I was super stoked after my first ride on the new Grip 2. The low-bump compliance is awesome, and the support all the way through the entire stroke is exactly what I wanted out of the fork.

Tires: Maxxis Assegai at 25 psi on the front and a Maxxis Minion DHR II on the back at 29 psi.

“I love pretty much everything about the Assegai on the front; it hooks the ground in pretty much every trail condition I’ve thrown at it. Similarly, with the DHR on the back, I like how it hooks to corners and rocks/roots, making it my go-to tire.”

Inner tubes or tubeless system.

“Tubeless all day with any sealant. There are lots of good options out there now, so it’s hard to go wrong. I typically just run 4 ounces front and back and tend to replace it every time I swap tires.”

Rims: Enve Composite M7 rims, Carbon.

“I’ve been on Enves almost my entire career and have loved them the whole time. I personally believe they are second to none in lateral stiffness, which I’m a huge fan of, because I’m not looking for any wheel flex in corners. With the new Rim Strips, they track the ground great over rough terrain.”

Spokes: Sapim, bladed, 14 gauge.

Front hub: Industry 9, Boost, Torch, 6-bolt.

Rear hub: Industry 9, Super Boost, Torch, 6-bolt.

Brakes: Shimano, XTR M9100, 203mm Ice Tech upfront and 180mm Ice Tech out back.

“The new XTRs are probably the best brakes I’ve ridden. The modulation pattern is amazing, and they have all the power I am wanting at the end of the pull. I’ve been super happy with them all year.”

Stem: PNW Components, Range, 35mm.

Handlebars: Enve Composites, M6, Carbon, 770mm width, 25mm rise, 9 degrees backsweep and 5 degrees up.

“The compliance of the bar is awesome! I like quite a bit of bar flex, which is why I am riding a trail bar instead of an enduro bar. Typically people like a little more beef on the bar front.”

Cody is a master bike handler.

Grips: Ergon GE1 Evo Factory.

“This is my fourth year in a row on Ergon grips, and I’m a huge fan of the fitted design. It helps me personally so much with hand fatigue on the long, demanding stages that we encounter at enduros, which is awesome because the last thing I want on a long stage is my hands going numb.”

Shifters: Shimano XTR 9100.

Rear derailleur: XTR 9100 GS.

Pedals: Time Sport, Speciale 12s.

Cranks: XT M8000, 170mm.

Chainring: OneUp Components, 34T.

Chain: XTR 12-speed, M9100.

Rear cassette: XTR, M9100, 10-45T.

Saddle: Ergon, SMD2 Comp.

Seatpost: PNW Components, Bachelor, 170mm.

Cables and housings: Jagwire, Basics.

Headset: Cane Creek, Integrated 40 Series.

Bottom bracket: Shimano XTR, threaded, BB93.

Head angle: 64.5 degrees.

Bottom bracket height: 338mm (13.3 inches)

Weight of complete bike: 33 pounds, 8 ounces (15.2 kilograms)

Estimated value of bike: $9,500


MBA: Where did you grow up?

Cody: Salt Lake City, Utah.

MBA: What kind of work do your father and mother do?

Cody: My mom runs operations at a local electrician’s office here in SLC and my dad is a freight broker.

MBA: When did you first start riding a bicycle?

Cody: I started riding bikes in the neighborhood when I was 3 or 4 and started racing BMX when I was 5. It’s been nothing but two wheels since the first race!

MBA: How long did you race BMX?

Cody: I raced BMX for a little over 10 years, and the switch was rooted in a couple of things. I loved being in the mountains, and most BMX tracks are in the middle of dumpy towns—not where I was looking to spend the rest of my life [laughs]. Also, Mitch Ropelato transitioned into mountain bikes from BMX right as I was going through some injuries and stuff of my own, and it looked like a good time. I needed a fresh start at that point in my life, to be honest, so I went to a mountain bike race and never looked back.

Kelley grew up riding in Utah so he knows how to ride mountains.

MBA: What were your best competition results in BMX?

Cody: I won some BMX Nationals growing up and had a few NAG (National Age Group) Plates along the way. That’s about it. As I said, it has always been two wheels.

MBA: When did you first start competing on mountain bikes?

Cody: My first race season of being 100 percent committed to downhill was 2011. I raced a few odd races before that but didn’t take it seriously until that 2011 season.

MBA: How did you do in your first mountain bike event?

Cody: I actually won my first downhill race. It was a local race here in Utah, and it was snowing on us at the top of the hill. I remember feeling so miserable, and I had a few crashes in my run, but when I made it to the bottom in one piece, I was so pumped!

MBA: What have been your best national and international results?

Cody: I’ve been fortunate to win a few national downhills, enduro, and slalom races throughout my career. But I would say one of my biggest wins so far was Sea Otter Dual Slalom, and then I’d say the best result of my career was getting 9th at an EWS [Enduro World Series] a couple of years ago. Hopefully, more to come ahead! I’ve got a lot of racing left in me!

MBA: What titles have you won?

Cody: As a junior downhiller, I won a U.S. Grand Prix title and a Pro GRT title, as well as coming really close to a National Championship. Since turning to Enduro, I’ve won two Enduro Cup titles and came close to a North American Enduro Tour title, along with getting second to Richie Rude in the Big Mountain Enduro Series.

MBA: Where did you go to school?

Cody: I went to a charter school called Paradigm because they were awesome about working around my race schedule, with that being my main focus, which I’m super grateful for.

MBA: Did you attend college?

Cody: Ummm, maybe college one day. But as of right now I’m just going to keep chasing the dream of riding bikes!

MBA: Do you have any other career training?

Cody: Just some retail experience is all.

MBA: Did you earn any awards in sports while in school?

Cody: I never did any conventional sports really. Plus, going to a charter school, it wasn’t sports-focused, so nope.

MBA: What other sports do you do besides mountain biking?

Cody: I get pretty stoked to do some bouldering in a gym as well as hitting some skateparks, dirt jumps, BMX tracks, or a road ride when I can!


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