Duncan Riffle's Honda Iron Horse | Pro Bike

How do they get it to stand up like that?For Duncan Riffle bike set up is all important. For many racers they just ‘run it’ but Riffle is meticulous in his choices and preparation. Riding for the Honda Iron Horse team this year he has been able to travel the globe racing the World Cup series, taking in places such as Europe and South America. He has also recently taken the US DH National title for a second time. He is focussed, professional and dedicated. He is 100% racerhead.

His team Iron Horse frame is a little different to the ones you or I can buy. Both Riffle and Sam Hill are running prototype 2007 links with 10mm shock bolts this year. And interestingly all Iron Horse sponsored riders (including the MadCatz team and others) are running special lightweight tubed Sundays. When you are at the top every little thing helps. That apparently includes ice baths the night before a race!

Dirt: Name?

Duncan: Duncan Riffle.

Age?

19.

Job?

Professional Cyclist.

Home?

Santa Barbara, California.

Front brake on the left or right?

Why would it be on the right?

Flats or SPD’s?

I’ve been clipped in since I was 12.

Tell us about your bike?

It’s a Medium Iron Horse Sunday, US Factory Production with ‘07 prototype links. SRAM, RockShox, TruVativ, Avid equipped, Mavic wheels and Michelin rubber.

How different does it feel to last years bike?

It’s a pretty big difference from last years bike for me. I was on the factory Yeti team last year helping with development of the new 303 DH frame, Which was completely unique and unlike anything else I had ever ridden. This bike seems to be a whole lot more versatile and suitable to a larger range of courses. The geometry is nearly the same just closer to what I wanted in all the right areas, a bit lower BB and steeper head angle. I am extremely happy with the bike right now.

Describe your bike set up?

I always get my bars as low as they will possibly go, zero stack with zero spacers and my forks slammed to the minimum height. I like my bikes small for some reason, I did some experimenting with larger frames that were meant for a rider my size last year and it never seemed to be as comfortable for me. I think its because I used to be small and I never got a bigger bike and now I’m 6’2”. Plus I can be a lot more aggressive on a smaller bike, which suites me.

How do you run your suspension?

I typically run my suspension pretty soft and fast on the rebound. I like having the top end of my suspension, whether it be the forks or the rear end, extremely supple and soft to absorb the small bumps and chatter and I like it to get very progressive and stiff toward the bottom end of the travel as to hold my weight up and not destroy my momentum exiting turns or G–outs. RockShox has been working with me a lot getting the forks where I want them and they are doing a great job on accommodating for that with some new things they are working on with the air volume in the ‘06 World Cup fork. Fox Racing Shocks as well has been amazing at working with me on getting the top end as supple as possible with a large curve for the progression. The DHX is easily adjustable in that manner.

Do you run different settings for different courses or do you pretty much stick with the same setting throughout the year?

I really don’t change much once I find out where I want everything. I know some guys tend to change the fork height as to make a steeper or more slacked head angle for slower or faster types of tracks. I’m not a real big fan of that, I find out where I want my height and or set up and I typically just run it. I do change the air volume in my suspension quite often for different types of courses to make it a bit more progressive or stiff but nothing too drastic, maybe a few pounds here and there. If it’s not broken…don’t fix it.

What’s the most important part on your bike?

That’s a pretty tough question…I think I would say that tyres, geometry, and suspension are the three components that are most important to me.

Have you made any modifications to the bike?

Nothing to the frame at all, Iron Horse has me set up with some new stuff with the DW and main links on the bike, hardware and some light tubing but that’s pretty much it for real modifications. No holes or filing necessary. I’m pretty into the little mods though, like chain stay protectors, cable routing and such, I get pretty into it, it has to be tight. Oh and I can mount a pretty clean lookin’ number plate too.

Do you go in for Titanium bolts and lightweight stuff?

Yeah I have been known to do that. I try and get away with all the light stuff. Carbon, Ti. I’m a pretty big kid and I don’t ride all that soft either so I tend to go through a few things. I run four rotor bolts…yeah, I’m that guy.

What about tyre selection?

Tyre selection is extremely important to me, I do a lot of tire modifications as well, snipping, cutting all of the above. I am riding Michelin rubber for the second season now with a year in between on another brand and its always important to me to get some serious training time in on different tyre compounds and treads before I start the season.

Any top secret stuff on your bike?

Oh you know…a few things here and there I guess, nothing too crazy. Le’ System by Michelin, new prototype links from Iron Horse, some wicked valving by Fox Racing Shox and some internal adjustments in the forks, by RockShox. Nothing too ‘secret’.

What parts do you break the most?

I go through a lot of rims, I’m not very nice on them at all. I don’t like to slow down for rough stuff. I train and ride on some of the most brutal and rough trails in the world and the bike definitely feels it. During the season things hold up pretty well as I try and work all the kinks out in the off season, figuring out what parts I will be running and exactly how to set them up so they will get me to the bottom. So mostly rims I guess.

How would you describe your riding style?

Pretty aggressive I think. The rougher the better. I also like being precise, a bit too much at times possibly.

How important is bike set up to you?

It’s everything really. I know some guys can get on anything and rip it. But for me, things have to be my way. I can feel the slightest difference, weather it be bar height, reach on the break levers, pad contact with the brakes, suspension changes. I think if you are aware of your settings and the way you like your bike set up and why you like it that way, it’s easier to build confidence in racing situations. You never question your set up, you can just focus on your riding and getting down to business.

Duncan Riffle

SPEC

Frame – Iron Horse Sunday US Factory – (‘07 Prototype Links)

Shock – Fox DHX 5.0; 350lb Fox Shox Spring

Fork – RockShox BoXXer 2006 World Cup

Stem – e.thirteen direct mount

Headset - Cane Creek, zero stack

Grips – ODI Lock On/Red/Rogue

Bars – TruVativ Holzfeller

Shifter – SRAM X.0 Trigger

Rear Mech – SRAM X.0 BlackBox Short Cage

Brakes – AVID Juicy Carbons, 185mm rotors ( 7” )

Seatpost – SDG I–Beam

Saddle - SDG I–Fly, Custom White

Crank - TruVativ Holzfeller, 170mm

BB - TruVativ

Ring – e.thirteen 36 tooth

Chain Guide – e.thirteen SRS

Cassette – SRAM 24-11

Chain – SRAM PC-911 Hollowpin

Pedals – Crank Brothers Mallet Magnesium

Rear Hub – Hadley

Front Hub – Hadley

Rims – Mavic 721

Spokes – Mavic

Tyres – Michelin

Tubes – Michelin 12c, or “Le’ System”

For Duncan Riffle bike set up is all important. For many racers they just ‘run it’ but Riffle is meticulous in his choices and preparation. Riding for the Honda Iron Horse team this year he has been able to travel the globe racing the World Cup series, taking in places such as Europe and South America. He has also recently taken the US DH National title for a second time. He is focussed, professional and dedicated. He is 100% racerhead.

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