At the first race of the 2020 Enduro World Series in Zermatt, Mathew Stuttard was full of surprises – and we’re not just referring to his 8th place in the overall rankings. Also his Privateer 161 race bike attracted a great deal of attention with its 38 mm Öhlins prototype and a number of interesting details.

Matt Stuttard’s racing steed: a Privateer 161 in size P3/ P2 with a prototype Öhlins RXF38 fork and 29” wheels

Englishman Matt Stuttard has been racing the EWS as a privateer for several years and managed to close his 2019 season with a very respectable 19th position in the overall rankings. Even when he’s not riding for his team, Matt can rely on the latest equipment thanks to several sponsors. His Privateer 161 was released last spring and caused quite a stir with its incredibly attractive price. We’ve already tested the Privateer 16 in our “The Best 2020 enduro bike under € 3,500” group test.

Matt Stuttard | Born in 1993 | Nationality: English | Height 1.88 m | Weight 82 kg

The 2020 EWS season, which was severely affected by the corona pandemic, kicked off with a very wet race in Zermatt. The adverse weather conditions forced organisers to postpone the event and cut down the race to only two stages. Quite obviously, Matt coped well with the filthy weather and managed to secure 8th overall. On the other two EWS races of the 2020 season, Matt placed 31st in Pietra Ligure and 30th in Finale, securing 16th place overall.

Ready to race in Zermatt: Matt with his Privateer 161 and the eye-catching Öhlins prototype fork with massive 38 mm stanchions. What might pass unnoticed is that Matt combined a L-size main frame (called P3 by Privateer) with an M-size swingarm (P2) to achieve a more lively handling for the technical trails of Zermatt.

Matt started the race in Zermatt with starting number 19.
The cockpit is made up of an 800 mm FatBar alloy handlebar and 40 mm Renthal Apex stem. Behind the race plate, the emergency card with all the important medical data of the rider.
The AVS Racing handguards protect Matt’s hands and prevent the brake levers from getting damaged in the event of a crash
One picture, two prototypes: In the near future, Öhlins will launch a new enduro-specific fork with massive 38mm stanchions, which should make a strong antagonist for the 2021 RockShox ZEB and FOX 38. For the legendary Swiss stage of the EWS, Matt set up his prototype Öhlins RXF38 fork with 7.6 bar (110 psi) in the main chamber and 10 bar (145 psi) in the ramp-up chamber.

Speaking of prototypes, the young Brit also used an unreleased version of Michelin Wild Enduro tires, which features a new rubber compound. While the Hunt Enduro Wide 29 wheels proved pretty tough in our test of the Privateer 161, they accelerate slowly and need energy to get going.

Matt uses four-piston MT7 Pro brakes with a massive 220 mm rotor at the front…
…and a 203 mm rotor outback.
An Öhlins TTX22M Trunnion shock with a 480 steel spring controls 161 mm of rear-travel
While the cable routing of the Privateer isn’t exactly elegant, it’s practical and allows for quick and easy repairs.
The MRP chain guide keeps the chain in place
The massive chainstay protector, which doesn’t come with the Privateer 161 as standard, should make for a pleasantly quiet ride
We don’t know if Matt read our Clipless Pedals For Mountain Bikers group test, but he made a very good choice with the Shimano SAINT SPD’s – which were our top pick!
In Zermatt, Matt was running a tire pressure of 1.7 bar (25 psi) at the front and 1.5 bar (22 psi) in the rear, with a Rimpact tire insert in both wheels. For more information about the Michelin tire range, read our Michelin tire test.
One-man-band: As a privateer, Matt has no support from a mechanic and also has to wash his bike after the race.
We wish Matt Stuttard the best of luck for the upcoming season. To see how he’s doing, follow him on his Instagram account: mattstuttard46

If you want to know more about his Privateer 161 bike, you can read our “The Best 2020 enduro bike under € 3,500” group test or head directly to Privateer’s website. We also tested the Privateer 141, which proved to be an exciting and sturdy allrounder.

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Words & Photos: Manne Schmitt

About the author

Manne Schmitt

As the proud father of Robin and Max-Philip, Manne has been there from the start and is the wise elder of the editorial team. He won his first cycling race in elementary school at a school sports day. After less successful attempts at football, he found his passion for cycling via endurance racing in 1989! The world of racing still consumes him and no one in the team knows the EWS pros better than Manne. As a former head analyst of a state agency, he knows how to do proper research and finds exclusive news that no one else has. He supports his sons in day-to-day business dealings as the authorised signatory for 41 Publishing – viva la familia!