Matt Simmonds | Privateer 161 Öhlins Build

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Earlier this year Privateer rider Matt Simmonds announced he was taking a step back from World Cup racing to focus on Nationals and his new venture, ProLine MTB. To help him along the team at Privateer helped him get his Privateer 161 ready, along with his sponsors HUNT, Shimano, J-tech, Mudhugger, Pro Components and Kenda tyres.

The Privateer rider caught up with our mate George for a Making Up The Numbers Podcast back in March. Matt raced downhill professionally for 14 years, achieved a World Cup 2nd place podium finish in Méribel, has competed for Great Britain in the World Champs six times and he’s a CTC qualified skills instructor with over 10 years of coaching experience. So this guy knows his bikes. Check out his Privateer 161 build below:

Matt Simmonds Privateer 161 Spec

  • Model // Privateer 161
  • Frame Size // P3
  • Wheel Size // 29″
  • Fork // Öhlins RXF36 M2 Coil
  • Shock // Öhlins 457lb spring
  • Drivetrain & Brakes // Shimano XTR
  • Wheels // HUNT All-Mountain Carbon
  • Tyres // Kenda Hellkat Pro
  • Mud Guard // Mudhugger Shorty

Full XTR groupset 10-51 cassette with 32T chainring. Matt runs 26-28PSI in the rear tyre and no tyre inserts front or rear. Pedal tension set up in a pretty neutral position of 6 clicks from max.

Front tyre pressures vary from 24-26PSI on his Kenda Hellkat and a Mudhugger Shorty X to keep the mud off his happy face.

180mm rotors front and rear. Brake levers at 30 degrees from level and a lever reach around 42 mm from the bar.

Bar width with grips sits at 810mm. A 180mm dropper with a Pro DH saddle to keep things out of the way when things get steep.

So how is Matt getting on with his Privateer 161?

“Since the start of lockdown I’ve been riding the 161 and can honestly say it’s been a highlight of many a day.
Its steep seat angle makes tackling the climbs so much faster and it smashes the gnarliest descents. The 161 does it all and I’m really looking forward to taking it further afield and finding it’s boundaries, if it has any!”

Matt Simmonds

Suspension Tuning


  • Öhlins RXF36 M2 Coil
  • 600lb spring
  • Rebound 8 Clicks
  • LSC 6 Clicks
  • HSC 2 Clicks


  • Öhlins 457lb spring
  • Rebound 3 Clicks
  • LSC 5 Clicks
  • HSC 2 1 Click

Watch Matt Simmonds build his Privateer 161:

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Amanda Wishart

Art Director

Amanda is our resident pedaller, who loves the climbs as much as the descents. No genre of biking is turned down, though she is happiest when at the top of a mountain with a wild descent ahead of her. If you ever want a chat about concussion recovery, dealing with a Womb of Doom or how best to fuel an endurance XC race, she's the one to email.

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