Trek World Racing at Leogang World Champs

Nov 28, 2012 at 0:01
Nov 28, 2012
by Karl Burkat  
 
You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login

Race favorite Aaron Gwin (USA) saw his hopes of taking the World Title this year come to an end around 1min 20secs into his final race run in Leogang, when inexplicably his front brakes failed, resulting in a crash. Shortly after the crash Aaron pumped the brake to try and get some pressure going but it was insufficient to complete the course safely at speed, and he cruised to the line disappointed he was unable to throw down a full race run. After the brake failure, both brakes were sent to Shimano Japan and were thoroughly evaluated by their engineers, and in Norway the results of their findings were revealed to Aaron and his mechanic Monkey. Testing proto-type products, always to the limit and sometimes to failure, is part of the role of modern day professional downhill teams and riders. The timing couldn’t have been worse, but the feedback and information gleaned was extremely valuable and all part of the process.

Must Read This Week









97 Comments

  • + 92
 Really admire Aaron. He could have been so sour about all that but he just takes it like a man, doesnt whine about it, and just gets more modivated for next season. A-class right there!
  • - 1
 Yeah, either this or his contract states specifically that he's not allowed to bad-mouth a product his sponsor gives him for testing. Hmm...
  • + 19
 Sure there is some of the not being allowed to talk bad about his sponsored products. But that does not take away from the fact that the guy is pure class. Real humble and mellow for a guy that is so consistently killing it at the world's highest level. A true role model and ambassador for the sport. I've seen many local racers get incredibly worked up about their race runs when they are not even close to being pro. There is much to learn from this guy. Kind of reminds me of this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQdqQsivA4U
  • + 13
 I think most people with sponsorships understand that bad-mouthing the product you are given isn't what you're signed on for. Gwin is a true professional and I'd expect nothing less from him. Thems the brakes of prototypes in a race run, sometimes.
  • + 19
 Look at his demeanor as he talks. He realized that it was something out of his control so not something to give a ton of energy to. A philosophy the Japanese call 'shikataganai' or 'it can not be helped'... or from the Christian tradition that states that one can't add a moment to one's life by worrying about things over which one has no control, so let the worry go, or as John Lenin wisely said 'let it be'.

Gwin the racer, Gwin the philosopher, Gwin the man at peace with his world (and his Worlds)... and fired up to have his run next year.
  • + 6
 ^^ *Lennon and Let it Be was Paul's song

Back to biking: even if it states in the contract the he can't blame his sponsors/products, i don't think that is why he is calm. That is just his natural state.
  • + 1
 Was it just the front brake that failed?
  • + 2
 yep. only the one thats used 75% of the time. mad props for even making it to the bottom.
  • + 1
 I've had a front brake fail (well snapped lever) on a race run before and it is impossible to stop without it if your going any sort of speed. If its the other way around you can still ride pretty quick, but just have to brake marginally earlier
  • + 2
 reverend - one of the best things I ever read here! I feel so less that I missed the opportunity to talk to Aaron in Norway, great, great man! It might be a cliche to say it and it's not mine but "he's big enough to be small" Smile
  • + 1
 He does seem to never moan or whinge like some other Pros
  • - 2
 I guess im the odd man out because i can't recall ever using my front brake except for when im just messing around.
  • + 1
 Gawdodirt, then we can guess your race results Smile
  • + 0
 Yep. In front of you.
[Reply]
  • + 20
 Where's ProTour? His commentary on this would make some excellent lunch time reading.
  • + 12
 I'll be ProTour! "trek openly endorse epo and heroine! gwin is a heavy drug abuser and also a ginger, thus he has no soul, if he wasn't a ginger his brakes wouldn't have failed! also my walmart bike is better than his session 9.9 because it hasn't been touched by a doper!" k thats the most ProTour thing I can think of, feel free to add on if you like
  • + 1
 Not bad, sir! Good on ya!
  • - 6
 wow, you guys obviously have no life if all you can do is rag on some douche...go out and ride your bike or something
  • + 14
 Fortunately, I can do far more than rag on some douche. You obviously have no life if all you can do is rag on some douches for ragging on an even bigger douche. Smile
  • + 9
 @deepthought, your user name suits you, my mind was just momentarily f*cked!
  • - 3
 DeepThought - This is so shallow and low that it is almost impossible to be above it... it just drags down everyone that read this in different ways. Why man? What was in it for you? How did that made your day better?

Please Look up more often! We need more people doing this
  • + 1
 Open Pinkbike article. Ctrl+F, Protour. 0 matches. Cry Frown
  • + 2
 Waki - dude, you're not making sense! If something is so shallow and low, it should be quite easy to "be above it," no? Why? Well clearly mine and finnrambo's comments have entertained at least a few people, judging by the scores. I apologize if our fun got you down, but I think it's quite a stretch to say it's dragging everyone down.

ProTour is excellent at playing devil's advocate and getting people riled up. Like I said, excellent break time reading. Considering how heated his comments on Gwin's brake failure were right after it happened, I am interested in hearing what he has to say about this video. Is that so wrong?

High horse > get off!
  • + 2
 Oh, yes I did get into shit again... don't tell me I'm on the high horse, when you defo were by writing this and calling your proppers and supporters out of the caves. Gang up to rag on someone - way to go A-hole!
  • + 2
 You mad, bro?

Those props were there before you even made your comment on the matter. Try again. Smile
  • + 1
 finnrambo and deepthroat oh wait deepthought wowzers lol. U r a huge dbag. This is one of the hardest working wordlcup dh racers. Why hate? Is it cuz hes not from Canada lol. I have no clue were u get ur facts at.
  • + 2
 ummm im imitating protour...? gwin has proved to be a very determined and dominant world cup racer and i have nothing bad to say about him. now go read my comment again and look over exactly what I said and notice the quotation marks, these are to indicate a quote in this case a quote from protour... did you skip the reading comprehension part in english?
  • - 3
 Did I say u were bashing Gwin? No. Oh yeah I dont lol. And I have BS degree lol. Protour certanily has accomplished more then u.
  • + 2
 you did say I was bashing gwin! all those facts are complete BS in protour fashion, question is am I a douchebag for imitating protour for a lil bit of fun? I don't think so
  • + 1
 lol I didnt say u were bashing Gwin lol. read what I wrote lol. Maybe we both misunderstood eachother but either way making fun of a athelete is pretty low especially if ur not one.
  • + 2
 Uh, yeah you did say he was bashing Gwin. Your exact words (except I fixed your incorrect spelling): "This is one of the hardest working World Cup DH racers. Why hate? Is it because he's not from Canada?" See also: "making fun of an athlete is pretty low ..."

If you're not talking about Gwin here, then who are you referring to? Learn to read. No one was bashing Gwin.

For those of you getting all butt hurt about the "ProTour bashing," (I'm lookin' at you, Waki), it's all in good fun. ProTour posts some crazy (in my opinion, anyway) stuff here sometimes; and I find the ensuing debates entertaining to read. I mean, come on, it's the internet.
  • + 1
 Well at this point I DGAF lol. 60% of the people on here are very unintellgent and I couldnt give a flip about there opnions. Oh sorry did I miss spell that lol. Once again I couldnt care less.
  • + 1
 Oh the irony. You're alright, socalshreder.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 My respect for Aaron, his mechanic and Shimano has grown by watching this. When you are winning and on top, most people can react well. Its when things go wrong that true characters come out. Respect!
[Reply]
  • + 7
 Gotta hand it to Shimano for being that honest about product failure. I'm curious to see how SRAM would've handled this.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 The fun starts at 10:27. Wholly crap Batman. Now THAT is good footage. F@#ck all that pretty, perfectly lit, freeride sh*t . That last 40 seconds of this video is what I want more of .
  • + 1
 Yeah my jaw dropped when he gapped high up over the roots and straight into the corner. Pure class.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 i wasn't a gwin fan until this year's champs run, he seems so down to earth and so chilled - i've got total respect for him now, and this video just backs that up. He totally deserves to be called (in my opinion) the world's fastest DH rider, without a doubt.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I had a chat with Aaron at the local bmx track in temecula. He threw out number on how many 9.9 frames he went thru this season.LOL all I can say he's a genuine guy.
  • + 1
 Want to share?
  • + 1
 I'd be interested to known how many frames he went through... care to share?
  • + 1
 How many frames, dear enlightened one? imma guess 5
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Is it just me, or did that Norwegian guy NOT explain why the brake failed?? First he said the piston was bent and tank damaged because of the crash, but he crashed because the brake failed. Then he wen't on to say the piston scratched the cylinder because it was bent ( I think that's what he was trying to say), so that still doesn't explain why it failed. Even if the cylinder was scored then that would have implied Monks fault for getting dirt into the cylinder, or bad sealing, but none of that was mentioned. Also he seemed obsessed that Gwin said both brakes failed, when it was always known that only the front failed, it's just the front does 90% of the work..
  • + 0
 Listening to it a 3rd time, I suppose he could be implying that the crash was an earlier crash and not the one in the race run...? Not what I would call clear though! If a brake got bent in a crash, even somehow the internal piston and nothing externally, a pro athlete would notice, the smallest changes to geometry and tyre pressure is noticable but not a broke and bent master piston and cylinder?!?
  • - 2
 Dude must have been the last one to work that day to have to be the one to go tell Gwin why his brake failed. I still maintain Gee sabotaged Gwin's brakes.
  • + 1
 yeah, i don't really understand what was being said - it sounded like the brake failed BECAUSE of the crash in his champs run - which is what caused the brake to fail? makes no sense. Either way, no fault of Gwin's, just bad luck, as he said. It is a shame, but nice to mix is up a bit, because after all, that's racing Wink .
  • + 3
 I took it as he crashed earlier in the weekend and bentit then, but not noticably. But when you talk about the tolerances inside the brake cylinder half a degree could cause the inner piston to rub against the walls. Eventually it would wear enough that it would lose all pressure, nothing to do with dirt in the cylinder.
  • + 1
 I get that, but IF it bent in an earlier crash, I find it hard to believe Gwin didn't notice! Look at the picture, that bend isn't exactly subtle, it would have caused massive resistance to movement had it been like that before the crash. I call BS, and they don't know what happened.. He still rode the hill, so if it bent in the race crash, it would have caused all the scoring in just one run.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 DH mountain biking is dismissed as a niche sport but I cant think of one single sport that couldn't benefit of more people with an attitude like Aaron's. That said, most, if not all pro mountain bikers have an awesome attitude and show insane sportsmanship that all other sports should take note of.
  • + 5
 Which is the reason they are where they are; gratitude, respect, humility and perspective can do many things for an attitude. Most people who lack those never make it very far, especially in the action sports industry. He's got an attitude that speaks volumes about his mental and emotional state... It's no wonder he's on top: he has the mind of a champion.
  • + 2
 He's kind of Senna of DH racing Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Well I for one am dumbfounded that Gwin, THE moto crossover guy if ever there was, is running his brakes traditional style (left front)! I thought pretty much all world cup guys ran them moto (Fab Barel being one exception). At least I share one trait with Gwin, now I just need the speed and style Big Grin
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Holy crap that video was boring...but watching Gwin rip those lines at the end was all worth it! His flow and the lines he takes are just insane. +9000 for the turn he rips at 10:45 where his shoulder brushes the pad and he doesn't even slow down. Dude's got balls!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I found watching the video strange in some parts; The guy from Shimano was not an engineer, he was marketing. Marketing departments are often nowhere near engineers in big companies.

The piston in the video at 8:12, picture: right hand side, middle, is very bent.
In the video at 5:51after Aaron's run the lever clearly goes all the way in to the bar and out as you would expect it to do if there was a fluid loss.
I would not expect the bent piston to slide in and out like that if it was bent!
I could believe it if Aaron crashed, causing the piston to bend like this if the lever was not working at the bottom of the run, I would find it hard to believe that the piston was like this when Aaron went up the hill for his run!
If Shimano are like other large companies the "prototype" lever/piston assembly would have had extensive testing before being received by the race team.
You would expect several characterization builds, then at least 1 verification build before a race team gets their hand on something from Shimano, they may get something from a V1 build but not for using for many months.
  • + 0
 They want to hide the fact that Shimano gave him the prototype Di2 Saint brakes that has no fade due to lack of fluid and that can be programmed to hit the brake spots perfectly on the track basing on GPS data confronted with dynamic input from the sensors in the fork. The hose was just for wheel anti-lock system just as ABS in cars. As Aaron was passing by on his race run, some bloke picked up a cellphone and interference occured reseting the system in his Garmin making it think the bike is on Aarons home track.

"Can you hear me nao?" - BAAAANG!!!
  • + 1
 LOL - That cracked me up (but for other reasons)
I love the fact on here that nobody (well a couple do) knows who you have worked for, do work for and in what position :o)
  • + 2
 I'm glad you took it as a joke as I meant it to be so, no kind of an offence... now - what the hell are you talking about?!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Great bit of marketing turnaround from Trek there. A high profile product failure becomes all about Shimano being such an open and honest company and Aaron being such a humble and sweet guy.

Not saying any of this isn't true, he's a true Pro, but if we walk away from this thinking no less of Shimano, then this video was worth the price and the marketing dept' have done their job. Great video too. Love watching him ride at full speed (not slo-mo), so f-ing rapid.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 That's a serious bummer that your world champs run ends due to a failed brake , after dominating the World Cup season and to have your world champs run end like that is just shit.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 In case (like me) you were looking for the earth-shattering barhump, its at 5:30 in. You're welcome.

We're all looking forward to seeing you next season Gwin.....
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Was the team using the 9.8 or 9.9 for the end of last season? It was hard to get a straight answer out of the trek crew at that race. I heard the trek road squad used 9.7 milligrams of steroids before each race but not sure if the dh squad on the same regimin. 9.9 seems like a large dose and likely to start a roid rage before the race even starts. The one steroid side effect that could benefit riding is the shrinking of your testiballs. That might actually help comfort in all forms of cycling.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 SHIMANO should buy the patent of the add on mod of Charre's saint brakes on her demo 8!
Consistent lever feel and does not fade = world champ Gold.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 gwin is super proffesional!!!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I didn't know the brake failure made him crash.just thought the brakes shit out and he had to throttle down. looking forward to next season. Gwin for the win!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Awesome dude, sick rider and hes signing my hippo at 7:22 to top it off BWAHAHAHA....
[Reply]
  • + 1
 ive seen fake lookin sh*t and that partly acted shimano-trek guys conversation. blame me if im wrong but it did look "premeditated chitchat"..
  • + 0
 yes its called brand recovery... the world knew he had a brake failure. Shimano was the name - damage control is the game. The dude told them in a very politically correct way, that if you've crashed, don't risk it, swap out what the weakest link.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 End-riding is steller, Aaron's line @ 10:40!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I wanna be like Gwin when I grow up ...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 That jersey makes me proud
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Sweet vid. Love how Gwin doubles everything. So stoked to see some DH racing again!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 WOW!! That speed with no front brake, that is why i'm not a pro.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 true professional in the sport ,mechanical's can happen to anyone at anytime , and killer riding for all the Trek riders
[Reply]
  • + 1
 he aint no CG yaaaaawn Razz
[Reply]
  • + 1
 at 10:41 that was i don't really even know......
[Reply]
  • + 1
 What happened to the skin suit??
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Aron is king!!! Last 1:30 is proof of that!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 he was running the same brakes for 2 years!! shit...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 still faster than most with no brakes!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i hope that's not whats wrong with my rear brake .
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Aaron Gwin what a guy!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Cool vid. Cor van Leeuwen has a beautiful dutch accent! Haha.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Neko is cool.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 His front brakes failed? Those that were attached to the front forks?
[Reply]
  • + 0
 ..that was a little much..
[Reply]
  • - 1
 so who is the guilty? Monkey? Shimano brakes? engineers? all together?
  • + 1
 I would say shimano since they were protos.
  • + 3
 If you listen closely, the Engineer said the resulting failure was AFTER the crash - the crash caused the failure, because they took a hit. It was not the design prototype. The brakes were fine and always were. Mystery solved.
  • + 4
 If you crash and spank your stuff (shimano guy mentions an earlier crash) it isn't the manufacturers fault. Guilty monkey if there is one must be Gwin for not noticing (surely a bent brake piston feels a bit odd?) and Monk for not checking thoroughly enough after the incident but I'm not about to cast aspersions at one of the the best tech and rider combos on the planet so lets blame Gremlins!
  • + 2
 Who needs brakes anyway? Gwin should have went balls to the wall and braked bmx style with his foot! haha!
  • + 1
 mudmandhbrazil - as long as Shimano realized what's the problem, and there is no need to recall all the latest Shimano levers, so one is at risk, unless you don't own such Saint lever - why care? Why blame anyone?
[Reply]
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2014. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv88 0.033102
Mobile Version of Website