RICHIE RUDE’S ENDURO BIKE

Richie Rude and his Yeti SB150

Richie Rude has been one of the top enduro riders in the world for years. Now 27, the Connecticut-based mountain biker has already won the Enduro World Series overall title twice and is widely considered to be the top men’s enduro racer in the world.

Photo by Dave Trumpore

Before he became an enduro star, Richie looked like he was going to be one of the top pro downhill racers in the world. We remember when he was 17 years old and placed in the top 10 percent of the world’s best downhill racers at the Windham World Cup in New York back in 2012.

That was the same year he placed second in the Junior Men’s 17–18 Downhill class at the World Championships. The following year, 2013, he won the Junior Men’s Downhill title at the UCI World Championships.

Back then, we expected that Richie would be one of the top downhill riders in the world for years to come, but Rude soon switched his focus to enduro racing and started winning events in the Enduro World Series. After checking out his results for the last five years, we’d say that Richie is probably the best enduro rider in the world right now.

Coming from Connecticut, Richie is used to racing over rocks and roots. That background might give him an advantage when he’s racing in Europe
Photo by Dave Trumpore

 

RIDER PROFILE:

Name: Richie Rude

Nickname: Dick

Age: 27

Birthdate: January 1, 1995

Birthplace: Redding, Connecticut

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 200 pounds

Shoe size: 44

Helmet size: Medium

Waist: 34

Marital status: Girlfriend

Current home: Wilton, CT

House: Apartment

Cars: Audi

Started racing: Age 7, doing some XC races here and there; went on to do some BMX and then DH

Turned pro: 16

Racing specialty: Enduro

Favorite course (North and South America): I like most tracks, but some natural tech that flows well is always a good time. Argentina was one of the most unique tracks.

Favorite course (Europe): I like a lot of different places, but anything around Italy or southern France/Spain is always super fun. Last year, 2021, Crans Montana put together a pretty challenging set of stages.

Favorite food: Anything with pesto. When in Italy, the place we stay, they make a pretty mean pesto pasta.

Goals: To win as many races as I can and have a good time doing it

Heroes: Shaun Hughes, Damion Smith, Jared Graves, Nathan Rennie

Favorite recording artist: My Spotify summary says Escape the Fate

Favorite movie: Star Wars

Favorite hobbies: Bikes? I just got into riding trials moto and can always go out for a fish.

Most embarrassing moment: Always crashing in front of the guys going about 2 miles an hour.

Always takes on a trip: Shawn Neer has gotten me into coffee pretty hard, so gotta make sure to bring a setup.

What you would be if you were not a racer: Hard to say….

Yeti’s SB150 is the kind of bike that helped establish the company as one of the most respected mountain bike makers on the planet. It’s worth noting that Richie rides a medium-sized frame, even though he’s tall enough to use a larger one.
Photo by Dave Trumpore

 

INSIDE THE PROS’ BIKES

Richie Rude’s Yeti SB150

Frame: Yeti SB150 Turq Series, carbon fiber, medium frame, 150mm

“Yeti’s 29er race bike. It’s been my go-to over the past couple of seasons.”

Fork: Fox Float 38 Factory Series, 29”, 170-180mm travel, slowish rebound, firm compression, 110–120 psi

“Always playing with settings, but been especially happy after going to 38 with the added stiffness.”

Tires: Mostly Maxxis 29×2.5” Assegai 3c, DH tire, front 25–26 psi; Maxxis 29×2.5” Minion DHR2 3c DH tire rear, 27–29 psi, Maxxis Minion 2.5 3c

“Can’t go wrong with these three tires. I usually end up with the Assegai front. It’s a great all-around tire, perfect for enduro.”

Tubeless sealant: “120 milliliters front and rear, changed multiple times in a race event, as tires change every day.”

Tire inserts: “CushCore Pro 29 all the way, front and rear—adds nice stiffness to the tire and allows me to run lower pressure.”

Rims: DT Swiss EX 1700, aluminum

Spokes: DT Swiss Competition, 1.8-2.0

Front hub: DT Swiss 350, J Bend, 32H, Centerlock

Rear hub: DT Swiss 350, J Bend, 32H, Centerlock

Brakes: Shimano XTR Trail levers, Shimano Saint calipers, non-finned metallic pads

Handlebars: OneUp Components Bar, 35mm rise, 750mm wide

Grips: Ergon GA2

Bottom bracket and bearings: Shimano XTR Pressfit

Pedals: Shimano Saint, clipless

Cranks: Shimano XTR, 165mm

Chainring: Shimano XTR 32t-34T

Shifter: Shimano XTR, 12-speed

Rear derailleur: Shimano XTR, 12-speed, medium cage

Rear cassette: Shimano XT 12-speed, 10-45t

Chain: Shimano XT 12-speed

“New for every race event.”

Chain lube: Motorex Dry chain lube

Saddle: Ergon SME Pro

Seatpost: Fox Transfer, 200mm drop

Headset: Chris King drop set

Shock: Fox Float X2, 230 x 62.5mm, 220 psi

Stem: OneUp, 50mm stem

Special touches: “Cables taped with cloth tape to stop rattling.”

Extras: OneUp chainguide with BashRing, Occam Tube strap. Victory Circle Graphix frame protection and name decals

Head angle: “64.5 degrees, approximately 64 with 180mm Fox 38.”

Bottom bracket height: 13.7”, 347.9mm

Weight of complete bike: “Maybe 35 pounds?”

Estimated value of bike: “Priceless!”

Richie’s racing results rank him among the best mountain bikers on the planet.
Photo by Dave Trumpore

 

MBA Q&A

Where did you grow up?

Redding, Connecticut

When did you first learn to ride a bike?

At the local park with my dad! And lots of time spent playing in the driveway riding over things my dad and I made.

Who taught you?

My dad got me into riding, and he helped me to get going. We went to all the races together and learned as we went. I did a few camps with Lars Tribus as I was older. Racing as much as we could around the East Coast really brought a lot of skill with it, and I can thank that for a lot of my ability. Our area for riding tends to be pretty technical, so it breaks you in for roots and rocks.

Did you compete on other kinds of bikes before mountain bikes?

I raced BMX for a few years around 10–12 years old. I was decent at it. I still go to the BMX track a lot to train. I think it’s a great skill set to have, so I like to keep on it. My mom used to take me there for hours at a time when I was younger. After that, a buddy and I got into some more free-ride-style riding, which led to us starting to race DH. You can’t not want to hit some drops after watching all the great free-ride movies. My first DH race was in Mount Snow, Vermont—pretty sure I was hooked after that!

When did you get your first mountain bike?

I think I had a 24-inch hardtail for a little bit. I rode a few small women’s bikes before I could fit on a normal-sized full-suspension.

When did you start competing on mountain bikes?

I think I did my first XC race when I was 6 or 7. It was just fun to be out there competing! I was definitely not an XC build. If enduro racing was around, I think I would’ve jumped at that, but DH at the age of 11–12 was when I really got into racing.

How did you finish in your first competition?

I can’t really remember how I finished—pretty sure I got crushed but had a good time doing it.

Did you win any titles as an amateur?

I had two national championships in the 11–12/13–14 category for downhill. I didn’t race national champs until about 10 years later. Really thankful I could make it to both world champs for Juniors and made the podium the first time and won my second year. Racing on the East Coast, I tried to compete early in the Junior Expert category and moved up to Pro at 16 to try to get the best competition. We had such a great field of guys then. I placed pretty well at the U.S. Open a few times as well.

What have been your best results so far?

I had a lot of fun racing when I was younger, diving into the Pro races early. The East Coast had a strong field! I won Junior Downhill Worlds in 2013 and got second in 2012. My best WC result was 15th. Two-time Enduro World champ and second in the world in 2021. Had a few good years racing the Big Mountain Enduro Series, winning the overall three times. Cody Kelley, Shawn Neer and I won the Trophy of Nations event in 2019—such an amazing race with the guys.

Where did you go to school?

Hometown.

If you were going to go to college, what would be your major?

I really like to think that I’d enjoy engineering, but I’m not sure how that’d go—ha!

What other sports have you played?

I ran a little track in high school and played some football at the end of middle school.

Can you tell us something interesting or unusual about yourself or your family?

My family also loves dachshunds! Currently, we have four miniatures. Not really unusual, but I am thankful to have such a supportive family who also loves bikes. My mom and dad used to do a lot of running and triathlons, 24-hour races, so that was always fun to watch when I was little.

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