Meet The Riders And Their Rides

Downhill racer Austin Dooley shares his bike setup and details about himself

In the last few months we’ve noticed that Southern California’s Austin Dooley has started beating some of America’s top pros in downhill racing. He had been one of the top junior racers in the U.S. in the last few years, even making the U.S. Junior Men’s Downhill team for the UCI World Championships. Now he’s moved up to the pros. After seeing how fast he was racing at Fontana this year, we wanted to find out more about him. Where did he come from? How did he get so fast? Read on to see what we learned about him.

RIDER PROFILE:

Name: Austin Dooley

Age: 19

Birthdate: June 13, 2002

Birthplace: Riverside, California

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 162 pounds

Shoe size: 9 U.S.

Helmet size: Large

Waist: 32

Marital status: Single

Current home: Yucaipa, California

Car(s): 2015 GMC Canyon SLE

Started racing or competing: Cross-country mountain bikes in 2014 and downhill at the National Championships in 2015

Turned pro: This year (2021)

Racing/riding specialty: Downhill

Favorite course or riding area (North America): Whistler, British Columbia

Favorite course or riding area (Europe): Morzine (France) or the Maribor (Slovenia) World Cup Track

Favorite food: Any type of Mexican food

Goals: To have the opportunity to race my bike all around the world for a factory team and run up front battling with the best

Heroes: Loic Bruni for his smooth style on a bike, and Jett Lawrence for just being sick on a moto

Favorite recording artist: I don’t really have a favorite specific recording artist, but I’m a fan of anything rap

Favorite movie: The Great Outdoors

Favorite hobbies: Besides mountain bikes, motocross and just hanging out

Always takes on a trip: Headphones

What you would be if you were not a racer: Since I’m only 19, if I weren’t a racer, right now I would most likely be a full-time student in college

Dooley’s downhill bike is built to win races.
Photo by Haley Ervin

INSIDE THE PROS’ BIKES:

Austin Dooley’s Commencal Supreme 29

Frame: Commencal Supreme 29, size large, alloy

“This year I moved up from a medium to a large, and it’s definitely been a great decision. It feels more stable in the fast, rough sections but still feels like I can corner well. The bike overall just feels like a race bike, and I feel that there’s no limit.”

Shock and settings: Ohlins TTX22M

“With being on a coil shock, it feels really responsive, which is what I like to feel. I also really enjoy the amount of progression it has with it being paired up with the Supreme. As far as settings, I run it pretty stiff with the rebound fast.”

Fork: Ohlins DH38, 200mm travel

“I’m a really big fan of the Ohlins fork. Instead of using volume spacers or tokens like other forks, the Ohlins fork has two volume chambers where one of them acts as volume spacers or tokens. This is great for making smaller adjustments and having the ability to add or take out air in a short period of time. As far as settings, I run it similar to the shock with a stiff and fast setup.”

Tires: Front: Maxxis 29×2.5-inch WT DHR DH (25-27 psi, depending on the track). Rear: Maxxis 29×2.4-inch WT DHR DH (28-30 psi, depending on the track)

“This year I’ve been really stoked on the DHR setup, front and rear. I feel that it’s fast rolling and very predictable with tons of traction.”

Inner tubes or sealant: Tubeless setup with Stan’s NoTubes Race sealant.

“I’m also running Stan’s 30mm tape with their valves.”

Tire liner: N/A

Rims: Stan’s NoTubes Flow EX3 aluminum rims

“This year is my first year with Stan’s, and so far I’m really stoked with everything. I don’t run any tire inserts, and I’ve still managed to keep my wheels in good shape no matter what track I’ve been on this year.”

Spokes: Stan’s NoTubes spokes

Front hub: Stan’s NoTubes Neo hub

Rear hub: Stan’s NoTubes Neo hub

Brakes: SRAM Code RSC, 220mm SRAM rotors

“Brakes are what I’m most picky about, so it’s important to have a setup that I’m confident in. I really like the SRAM Codes because they have so much power with the right amount of modulation at the same time. I think 220mm rotors are the only way to go; they have crazy-strong stopping power.”

Stem: Renthal 45mm, 31.8

Handlebar: Renthal Carbon 30mm Rise, 31.8, 780mm width

“I’ve been really happy with the carbon Renthal bars. In the past, I’ve struggled with getting some arm pump, but I feel that Renthal found a great stiffness in their product for me to no longer struggle with arm pump.”

Grips: Sensus Lites

“The Sensus Lites are on the smaller side for grips, but they’re exactly what I like. I don’t have the biggest hands, so I like having a smaller grip that I can wrap my hands around. The Sensus crew is also just such a sick group of riders running it!”

Shifters: SRAM XO1 DH

Rear derailleur: SRAM XO1 7-speed

Pedals: Crankbrother’s Mallet DH

Cranks: SRAM XO1 DH 165mm

Chainring: SRAM Eagle, 34t

Chain: SRAM PCX1 118 link

Rear cassette: SRAM XO1 DH 7-speed

Saddle: Ride Alpha 245 TI alloy rails

Seatpost: Ride Alpha

Cables and housings: Standard SRAM cables and housing

Headset: Acros ZS56/ZS56

Water bottle cage (if any): N/A

Bottom bracket: SRAM DUB Press-Fit

Special bolts.

“Just the regular standard bolts, nothing fancy.”

Extras: Marsh Guard mud guard for rainy days.

Head angle: 63.8 degrees

Bottom bracket drop: 11.5 mm

Weight of complete bike.

“Somewhere around 37 pounds.”

Estimated value of bike.

“Unsure of the exact price, but I would guess somewhere around $7000.”

Dooley is famous for looking smooth when he’s riding, even when he’s blasting over the nastiest rocks on a downhill course.
Photo by Jerry Walton/SoStoked Aerial

MBA Q&A

MBA: Where did you grow up?

Austin Dooley: I grew up in Rancho Cucamonga, which is a city in SoCal about 30 minutes from where I currently live.

MBA: What kind of work do (or did) your father and mother do?

AD: Both of my parents own and work at a signs and graphics shop (Elite Signs and Graphics).

MBA: When did you first start riding a bicycle?

AD: I first rode a bicycle when I was 2 years old.

MBA: Did you race any other kinds of bikes before competing on mountain bikes?

AD: I raced motocross from the age of 7 until I was 13. My dad was into mountain bikes, so when we moved to Yucaipa, my middle school had a mountain bike team, and I decided to join that for fun. Ever since that first ride, it has stuck with me.

MBA: What were your best competition results on non-mountain bikes?

AD: While I was racing moto, I was able to win some local races, and then I placed seventh overall at an amateur national in Mammoth.

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

AD: I first started competing in cross-country mountain biking in 2014, and then in 2015 I made the switch over to downhill.

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

AD: I can’t completely remember how I did in my first cross-country race, but in my first downhill race, I believe I got seventh in Junior 13–14.

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

AD: My best national results would probably be my two Pro GRT wins as a Junior in 2020. As far as international races, my best Junior World Cup result is an 11th. It has also been an honor to be chosen for the world champ’s team in both of my junior years.

MBA: What major races and titles have you won (or come close to winning)?

AD: In 2020 I won the Pro GRT Junior overall. Hopefully, one day I can be up front battling for that World Cup overall!

MBA: Where did you go to school?

AD: I went to Yucaipa High School for three years until I was a junior and then switched to online schooling for my senior year.

MBA: What about college?

AD: Right now, I’m currently attending Crafton Hills Community College, which is based about 10 minutes from my house.

Since I’m just in community college taking a few classes, I’m working on getting my general education classes done and then will decide what major field I will study later on. After racing, I would definitely like to stay in the mountain bike or moto scene.

MBA: Did you earn any awards in sports or academics in school?

AD: Throughout my time in school, I received several honor roll awards.

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

AD: The only other sport I do besides mountain biking is moto. After being so invested in it for so many years at a young age, it’s impossible to completely give it up. As of right now, I haven’t competed in any moto races since I was 12 or 13. I now just ride for fun and like to use it as a cross-training tool as much as possible during the offseason.

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