Video: Aaron Gwin Interviewed About Fort William and Val di Sole

Jun 15, 2013
by Karl Burkat  


Aaron Gwin talks Fort William, frame sizes and racing in general with Steve Jones from Dirt.


164 Comments

  • + 70
 Hes right, it just goes to show how fast these guys really are and that winning a WC race isnt easy...i just dont get why there are so many gwin haters out there, i guess its like he said at the beginning, when you win so much that if you take second people start to freak out
  • + 37
 I don't get it either. Literally one bad race on a new bike at the first round. It proves about as much as timed practice results. Still rooting for my main man Sam Hill... among others.
  • + 15
 I guess a lot of people don't like Gwin for much of the same reasons why lots of people don't like Sebastian Vettel - Because he always wins and they think it makes for a boring season. I personally support the Athertons but I still think that Gwin is a fricking Lad! I'm surprised he runs a 450ibs spring! I know he rides at mach 10 speed compared to me but I am the exact same height and weight and ride my demo 2012 with a 300ibs spring which feels lush. Each to their own though...
  • + 10
 I agree. I mean the guy did win at Sea Otter, even if it wasn't a World Cup event or as technical of a course. But I love his positive attitude and I'll be rooting for him regardless of where he falls on the results sheet.
  • + 7
 No, people don't like Vettel because he's just a shit who'll piss on his team mates, apologise and then do it again.

Some people don't like Gwin because he won a few races? But he's never screwed over anyone on the WC circuit to get a win!

Vettel and Gwin and completely different.
Gwin is a properly skilled rider who can win with his own merits. Vettel is more akin to a doping roadie who's been blessed with a great 'bike'.
  • + 68
 "you guys are getting to in to this stuff man"
  • - 12
flag scottrallye (Jun 15, 2013 at 10:25) (Below Threshold)
 Because he's American, and he was/is-going-to dominating the world cups.
  • + 44
 I got more and more annoyed as I listened to this. I was wondering what the hell happened at Ft. Bill too, but this seemed like a 60-Minutes fact-finding mission for answers. This is his SECOND World Cup on a Demo after several years on Trek, and it takes time to get used to a new bike and getting it set up the way you want it. Totally OVER-ANALYZING this.
  • + 6
 ^this
  • + 5
 @T1mbo vettel is an amazing driver you idiot Smile
  • + 14
 Wtf 300 lbs spring is so soft
  • - 3
 see, that's what I was expecting and it is just awesome! It may be helped by the cane creek db shock because I've been able to adjust is so much so that it just ramps up loads in the last 10%ish
  • + 3
 I don't get what the big thing about Gwin going to a larger frame is. He's looking for a ride that's more inside the bike. I know I do. Certainly some people don't like to ride inside the bike but it's apparent that Gwin does!
  • - 10
flag muzzLe (Jun 15, 2013 at 11:35) (Below Threshold)
 I personally can understand why there are gwin haters.
big respect for his achivements and his relaxed personality, but sometimes his chosen words are inappropriate.

"quiet success" is not a part of his personality. you never say (by meaning) things like "because of my wins i'm the best and fastest rider in the world, thats fact, so i'm the guy to beat for all the others! blabla" ... it may be true and his opponents may think the same, but saying such things in public is disrespectfull to all the other guys on the circuit.
there are more diplomatic and respectful answers.

that's like if a fkn hot gril, which is know as the hottest arround, tells all the time, that she is hotter than all the other girls.
it may be true, but for all the other girls she's "THE biatch".
  • + 16
 Great interview, and good on Steve Jones for delicately asking some pretty tough questions.
  • + 12
 Being American has nothing to do with it. Stop being paranoid
  • + 3
 I agree, Vettel is not liked for one reason, he simply is not gracious in any way when he wins. Gwin on the other hand is more like a Kimi Raikonneb when he wins, he's happy but there's no in your face I'm number one firework display. I support the Athertons, but I'm rooting for Gwin tomorrow.
  • - 8
flag stefan-ram (Jun 15, 2013 at 12:57) (Below Threshold)
 This is the most stupid excuse i`ve ever heard in my life
eve in my poor country some guys have custom bike geometry (not dh)
  • + 6
 People don't like Gwinn because he's god squad. Nothing else.
  • - 7
flag jaydmf (Jun 15, 2013 at 13:59) (Below Threshold)
 For me i have nothing against Gwin, i dont think he has the character of some of the other racers like Peaty or Gracia which is why some people may be a bit off with him, hes just very professional/straight up with interviews etc.

In terms of performance, 1 race proves nothing but IMHO (and i know i'll probably get flamed for this) the Demo just aint the right bike, its just doesnt cut the mustard as everyones stepped up there game and changed geometry etc, for me the demo always seemed more of a hucking machine than a race bike. but im no frame designer. It just seems odd to me that Hill goes from a demo to a pulse and starts performing (theres the factors of new team and a new drive to win off the back of that i know, but to me it points more toward the bike)

I think spesh need to stop flogging the horse and redesign (they probably are doing this as we speak although when it will arrive who knows). If it really is that dialled then fair does but i just dont see it. And just before anyone says "if it aint broke dont fix it" im an advocate of that theory i love orange bikes which is a prime example of that but the demo just seems dated.
  • + 4
 I don't think people like Gwin because of his complete profesionalism, they like someone that's a bit unpredictable and exciting, such as your Stevie Smiths and Brook Macdonalds. That's only what I reckon though..
  • + 2
 It's not the fact that he didn't win. Its the fact that he was 10 seconds off the pace with no apparent crash/bobble/etc. He hasn't been in that position in over 3 years. That's why more than the usual suspects took notice.
  • + 3
 so gwin pls give me your old frame it will suite me fine
  • + 6
 @jaydmf what are you talking about? When has Sam Hill started "performing"? I hope you don't mean Ft. William because he placed higher there last year on a specialized. He may very well end up killing it this year but you are jumping the gun man.
  • + 6
 Ok Gwin, sounds like a challenge to me!! No tracks in the U.S that could be training grounds for the worlds??? Thats like dangling a carrot for all you trail builders out there.... I'm going out to our property again soon and start planning my next trail, STFD!!!!!! challenge accepted!!
  • + 5
 I guess Gwin hasn't been to the Pacific Northwest, New Hampshire, Vermont, Colorado, Utah, or Wyoming. The USA has much more to offer than just California.
  • + 4
 Yeah, the northwest does have trails that are similar to some of the technical World Cup tracks, but the best ones are snowed in at least at the tops, and not all of them can be shuttled.

I don't think there are that many Gwin haters out there. The vast majority of people respect what he has done in the last couple years; riding a mountain bike downhill faster than anyone previously and raising the level of competition to insanity.

Awesome interview, almost seemed like Jones was allowed to ask whatever questions he wanted since he gave up his test bike for Gwin to ride. I thought the Specialized employees were also pretty honest in their answers.

If World Cup track are getting faster and straighter, then maybe World Cup DH bikes should have longer chainstays? He shouldn't be feeling cramped if he is on a medium frame, I can't help but wonder if the instability he says he was feeling was from the shorter chainstays on the Demo. Unfortunately I think the med and large have the same short 421 mm chainstays, but the larger cockpit will help.
  • + 4
 Protour you make this SAME point every week. We heard you, we hear you, and we've heard enough. Go call Specialized and send them your résumé...
  • + 2
 @S-Va-Dijk Never said anything about Vettel not being amazing… just that he fights like a bitch.
  • + 2
 Joey, I say this because he looks more planted on the pulse than when he was back on the demo. Simple as that. im not saying the demo is a shit bike because its not its just no longer the pinnacle of race design IMHO. Lets just look at the new fury, same riders, new bike they all look way more planted on that new frame than the old one. you can tweak and tweak and tweak but if it aint right it aint right simple as and personally i think the demo has had its day. And at the end of the day this is all opinion. but speshs big bikes have always seemed more FR than DH to me.
  • + 1
 The demo does need longer chainstays to suit Gwin. Not everybody rides at his pace, and his reasoning of riding at home vs WC tracks makes effect sense. But going to a larger bike will not give him the wheelbase he's looking for. Room in the front center won't give him te stability he's desiring. Even he said it, the smaller bike is good for tighter tracks, this may not be best bike for him. Nothing wrong with the bike, it's how his riding style applies to the bike.
  • - 1
 Funny to hear the pissed off Demo owners making excuses for the bike..."It's a great bike, but the fastest rider in the world just doesn't know how to ride it." Smile

The Trek Session has 440mm chainstays, the Demo has 421mm chainstays. That's a huge difference when you consider they are both DH bikes.

421mm chainstays might work good for a trail bike, but when you combine it with a super slack head angle the rear wheel wants to slide out too easily in corners without berms, like in Brosnans crash at Worlds last year.
  • + 1
 Don't think anyone would be freaking out if he got second... or third.. or fourth...
  • + 28
 Hard to believe a guy like Gwin hasn't ridden a rough track all winter. Assuming his priority is the world cups, seems very odd that he hasn't been testing/tweaking his bike and setup and training on rough stuff - especially with the big sponsors behind him.
  • + 19
 Sadly, most of the mountains in the states with the best terrain are off limits to anyone but hikers.
  • + 7
 I know it might sound a bit akward for an American, but You guys now, that limits can be broken?Smile
  • + 23
 Limits can be broken, but fines have to be paid.
  • + 9
 This is right. Anyone who thinks he went into a WC race blindly on a demo for the first time is an idiot. Sadly PB is full of idiots. Id bet my pension and left nut Gwinn has access to whatever terrain he wants, period.
  • + 4
 Eastern Europe really seems to be a freeride/ all mountain/ enduro mecca - forrests from Germany to China with little people, meaning you can probably ride and build wherever you want. I know Poland is quite popular for walkers because of this.

Forget Whistler or SoCal..

Wink
  • + 3
 well he said he didn't change his routine from the Trek days so its possible that the trek just had more cumulative refinements from all the world cups. Then on a new frame its gonna take a while to iron out those issues.
  • + 5
 Get the boy's @ss to Queenstown in the winter!!
  • + 2
 The story with polish foresters is that, they cannot catch you because of lack of equipment. I ride enduro on my dirtbike and we do build illegal trails, but they cannot catch you... ;-) Same with driving cars. You might get catched, but thats really not likely if you drive off the main roads. It's not like in US: empty road in the middle of Utah, and 55 mph speed limit controlled by aircraft Smile
  • - 1
 yup, and he's pretty much thrown his season away by staying at home...
  • + 2
 Look up the video "Aaron Gwin blazes a trail". Two weeks before Fort William I was shuttling that trail, and Aaron was up there shuttling it as well.

After actually riding it, it is insane how fast he is actually going in the video, mind blowing. It is one of the better trails around, but it is not world cup status at all. There truly aren't any world cup level tracks around where we live.

Great interview.
  • + 2
 I have nothing but respect for Aaron Gwin, but you can tell the pressure of high profile racing is starting to wear on him.
I think he has lost what keeps us all coming back for more.....The joy of the ride!

Stevie rides this ugly crap all winter long.
He doesn't care about the cold, pissing rain, and mud....He loves it!
I can't tell you how many times I see Stevie and his buddies at the base of Mt Prevost after another mud infested run.
They look nasty (like somebody sprayed them down with liquid Sh1t), but Steve always has a huge (HUGE!) grin on his face as they laugh about the great run they just had. Pure rider bliss!

Gwin needs to find his soul...Once he does God help them all.
  • + 1
 True. I don't get how a real mountainbiker doesn't love mud though, nothing better than sliding around on wet roots..
  • + 30
 He's so humble, it's amazing.
  • + 2
 totally, yet there are still people who think he's cocky. it's annoying, they'll nit pick anything he says just to have something to complain about. i'll chalk it up to jealousy
  • + 1
 he seems humble or at least extremely chilled out, and his team (and lovers and haters and media) should learn that too!
5 min. of explaining why he picked up size which is more comfortable... Big Grin geeez
  • + 23
 the interviewer was great in that he didn't seem to have much care fo tip-toeing around the corporate behemoths. he wasn't disrespectful at all... he just pushed for answers that the likes of us couch-riding-wanna-bes formulate in our minds. it was a great, revealing interview. you could sniff a touch of squirming in the air. but as mentioned, one race does not a season make. i'm having a blast already this year! thanks for the great coverage.
  • + 16
 1. What works for pros rarely works for the rest of us.
2. Everyone acknowledged the bike didn't work for Gwin, so the speculation is over.
3. High speed stability and cornering precision are on two different ends of the spectrum. (slacker does not = better cornering Smile )
4. Short chainstays with a long front center will require an exaggerated forward riding position. (contrary to the myths out there.)
  • + 16
 watch the video on angelfire's pinkbike page then think about gwins statement about nothing rough enough in the US.
www.pinkbike.com/video/317097
  • + 14
 He said that there is nothing at home (California) and ALMOST nothing in america. Which is true since most of the mountains in the US that have the most potential are on federal land that can't be ridden. There are exceptions like angelfire. But you have to remember that angelfire is in one of the most ignored states in the union. Most americans don't know anything about New Mexico (other than Area 51). Don't take the guy's words out of context.
  • + 19
 pretty sure angelfire is covered in snow all winter Wink
  • + 3
 Angelfire was my first thought as well when he said this. ^^ one of the gnarliest DH race edits (outside of world cups) I've seen.
  • + 3
 Well compared to the WC tracks like Val Di Sole and Fort William... I'd agree with him, judging on all the footage I've seen on this site, especially in Cali. I don't think many people understand how gnarly these trails are that they race on and I'd trust the word of someone who has raced on more trails than well... a majority of people, haha.
  • + 4
 I have to dis-agree a little. I suspect that Gwin has been riding primarily on the west coast, which last time I checked does not represent the entire continent. I've ridden spots on both sides of the continent from Whistler to Big Creek in Atlanta, Ga and can say that there are some gnarly spots on the east coast and south east that might have made some good testing.

But "OFF SEASON" is the key right? That leaves out Snowshoe which has some gnarly sh1t!

But Windrock, and even TTC in Chattanooga are plain evil.
  • + 1
 Piss poor excuse really regarding US style tracks , do you think all the brits train for WC's by riding our 2 minute tracks ? No they go to Spain/France/Italy and ride some proper shit in the off season.
  • + 4
 @BDKR thank you for the shout out, I guess there is a need for some more gnarly trails, I'm going back to the drawing board, makes me want to build some more tech gnar at TTC.... Glad to hear that you like em, that makes my heart swell just a lil bit!!
  • + 4
 Area 51= Groom Lake Nevada
Roswell= New Mexico
  • + 2
 Area 51 is in Nevada, I think you mean Roswell.
  • + 2
 If you go to either of these places don't you run a high risk of being probed by aliens??
  • + 1
 @bikermaniac101: Of course mang! TTC is awesome! Scared the living 5H1T out of me the first time, and trail 6 in the mud was brutal earlier in the year, but the place is cool as hell. I'm dying to get back there later in the year just to rip trail 1 again! It owned me the first time so it and I have a score to settle. :-)
  • + 2
 @smash and yeti951, you are correct, I mean Roswell. Though that just proves my point even further about how little people know about NM. I even lived in NM for two years and got it wrong!
  • + 14
 I still say, he ranted and raved about how good the bike was over the winter and how good the Specialized was. Then first race OOPS I was on the wrong size....How much preparation???? Hmmmmmmmm
  • - 1
 PB will surely post a link to Dirt's test of the carbon DH bikes soon… The Demo pretty much came out on top of that test.
And if I heard right in the video its that large frame that Gwin is now riding?!
  • + 2
 Yup, sized up. And Deathchr- if you're racing on a factory team, you're never going to down talk your sponsors, also Cali is a bit different than the WC tracks so it stands to reason that he cannot be fully prepared until they're at the WC tracks racing at WC speed.
  • + 3
 Surely though, regardless of where he's been training, he must've noticed the new bike was smaller than the one he'd been riding?
  • + 2
 yeah I think another vital point is that the first world cups of the last two seasons have been in South Africa. We all know how less gnar that track is over fort bill or val di sol and for him to get in the swing of things on a track where only the most fit will win (gwin, gee, minaar, etc.) i think South Africa was a better transition for him into the world cup from all his training in Cali.
  • + 2
 There is no true a test as a WC race, although 10 sec is huge in racing, you won't know that gap is there until your up against your competition. Gwinn may have felt fast pre season and not realised he was off the pace. No way Gee did any runs like that in pre season, even at the fort bill BDS round. He was pretty much collapsed at the bottom, he gave everything.
  • + 10
 So, he finally has an off-weekend and people finally question his training routine. Funny how nobody questioned it when he was winning almost every race. Quite honestly, I was more shocked that Minnaar was as far back as he was at Ft. Bill but nobody seemed to worry about him. What gives?
  • + 8
 Rather than ragging on AG the interview is really about bike size trends often not talked about in DH. At 6'1 (three inches taller than AG) i have exclusively ridden a large trail bike for years without issue. Every time I have gone to demo a DH bike, I've always gone medium as that is highly recommended. I think as we see DH become more popular at resorts and the market gains more momentum, more of us average mountain bikers will want to transfer our trail skills to the DH parks for more levels of fun.

That being said, this winter, I bought a large DH bike having not even tried too many. I regretted this decision initially, until I actually got some lift served runs in this past week. The longer top tube is very stable at speed, and for an average rider, this proper fit is more important than having the "flickable" smaller frames that is good for a few corners on the runs.

I think the interviewer was trying to hint towards the new trend of longer bikes. When asking AG about so many specifics, AG shrugged it off like "who cares"? I think a lot of us regular folks do, and these kinds of things will impact the market in the future.
  • + 5
 I`d sort of disagree with you on the "shrugging off" thingy. From my point of view, people are overly interested in what pros ride, because they think it would make them ride better. Remember trends of flat bars, etc? He rides what he`s comfortable on. 99% people might not be. He might not even know the exact dimensions, because he simply doesn`t know. He rides it because it fits him. Who cares if he rides 50mm riser bars or zero? People should try to ride what makes them comfortable, not what pros ride and that I believe was point of more than just a few sentences.
  • + 3
 Makes me think of a little piece on Team Robots blog. According to TR (pro) riders could basically be divided in two groups: first off guys that really think stuff through (like Fabien Barel) and secondly, guys that just do what they do and happen to have a feel for it.

Unlike TR I consciously don't use the term 'talent' because both are extremely gifted, the difference being it's either in the head or the body.

Gwin probably has a natural feel for things so there's no need for him to go into extremes when it comes to analysing bike set up or line choice. I know a kid that rode our trails on a beach cruiser, without having any experience on a bike. When I asked him how he managed to do this he shrugged it off saying he just did without giving it much thought. This was quite a shock to me as I've looked at these jumps for an hour when we built them, going through all possible scenarios.
  • + 1
 Gwin can ride with feel, but I bet his mechanic takes the bike settings into great consideration. . . Since it is someone's job to be so technical about bikes, why not ask some of these questions in an interview? No one is setting their suspension settings based on a pros just cause they read it on line, for example. I still like to see these:

www.pinkbike.com/news/msa-fox-racing-shox-set-ups-2010.html

I agree though, lets get on with it and see some shredding on Sunday, already.
  • + 7
 To me its not about Gwins previous dominance, Johnny Tomac is probably my fav rider of all time, but I just don't warm to Gwin in his interviews, actually US guys try to play stuff down to much, current crop Peaty is my fav, but Im a fan of Hill, Stevie, Macca Hart etc, they tell it straight, Gwin is always nonchalant and that wears on me. You can say its just a race thats his attitude, he doesn't really get into the roots of the sport, he could walk away tomorrow go do something else, people participate on these forums in the most part because they love the sport, the history, the tracks, countries, riders, bikes, we immerse ourselves in it because its our passion. I don't get that from Gwin, thats his choice, I also don't like his attitude to World Champs and it shows his lack of respect to that title, history, the sport and how hard it is to win on the day, Peaty took 19years, but he never gave up, he never dissed it. Gwins a great rider, but a typical American stereo type me me me, its the same in Motocross now, I remember growing up with Ricky Johnson, David Bailey, Johnny O'Mara, Jeff Ward, Bob Hannah, my heroes, they are the Peatys of that sport, watch them on utube being interviewed they made the US great, dominant and they loved riding, they respected the sport, especially the outdoors even though they brought Supercross to mainstream, none of those guys would have been a Supercross only rider, they let they're riding do the talking respected the sport that treated them so well, they paved the way for today, I wonder what they think of the riders now! Just not a Gwin fan. Rooting for SamB or Hill and Stevie this weekend.
  • + 8
 Q you running a 30 rise bar...? A. "a comfortable rise handlebar"
Q a 45 deg. stem with 0 rise...? * eyes glaze over* A "you guys are getting too into this Wink "


top answers!
  • + 1
 that was by far my favorite part.
  • + 6
 Haha I think this is hilarious - just the title now.

You win so much and then you do bad once everyone starts about "what happened " , "why'd you do bad " etc.

Give the guy a f*cking break he's at the top of the sport it ain't easy.
  • + 9
 Quite a bit of squirming from Spesh.... lol
  • + 1
 I agree, it's so obvious and it makes them look like a bunch of entitled kids
  • + 8
 Ok, so after six month of testing and one World Cup, they just understand that medium size is too small for him.
  • + 3
 At least for tracks with less tight, techy corners and more flat-out sections - something he hasn't had much exposure to on the new bike.
  • + 1
 Can't race Nürburgring with the same setup you've been practicing at Laguna Seca all year. Could you?
  • + 5
 It appears Specialized didn't do their homework. You'de think with all that has been invested, a new rider, on a new bike, they would have spent a bit more time getting things dialed. It seems like all the other big teams do it; SC, GT, Trek, CRC. Why they didn't spend a week getting things sorted on propper tracks is beyond me. Aaron said he doesn't like to travel in the off season, but that seems like a poor excuse considering the number of changes that took place.

He just wasn't prepared, while all the other guys went above and beyond this off season. There is no way that 20 guys are suddenly faster than him. He just wasn't prepared.

It will be interesting to see the redesign of the Demo this off season. Those guys are shitting a brick right now.
  • + 1
 so spec were going to tell gwin what to do? yea that would go down well. he's got it sorted so get over it...
  • + 1
 I totally agree. The other guys worked there ass off to beat Gwinner. They had extra special motivation. It baffles me why there was not more testing in wc conditions. Everything seems just so last minute.
  • + 1
 Well put TG-air. I think that's exactly right.
  • + 4
 Thank you for this interview. It was really informative especially with the bike setup.I too would like to say something about this 'issue'.

First of all i hope this whole thing isn't something like the 'Ducati syndrome' of MotoGP, where the factory team/bike cost many riders their careers. Even the mighty Rossi couldn't handle it for two seasons and after his departure, he said that the Ducati team just didn't listen to him and didn't do the necessary things to sort the bike. He also said that he couldn't understand how Stoner could handle that bike in the past. Excuses or not, that was what he said. The fact is, he couldn't win with that bike.

Now i don't know if Demo is a good platform for DH applications or not. I read many demo owners saying that the suspension didn't feel alive for DH stuff. We will see how much of this is true this season. Aaron Gwin dominated downhill scene last two seasons. It just can't be a rider issue. Maybe it was just bad luck in Fort William and that was it. We will see.

I'll just say this nevertheless; Gwin should have stayed with Trek. It's his career and his life so we can't dictate anything but i just think it was a bad move. Bike was obviously working for him and he was dominating the field already. 1-2 more seasons would have kept pleasing our eyes. Maybe he wanted more challenge and that's why he left, dunno Smile

In the end i wish him best of luck. I hope everything goes well for him this weekend and he gets the top spot.
  • + 3
 Jacey S is awesome btw, and I thought Jason Chamberlain was also great with his answers to some of Jonesy wierd line of questioning, I know what hes fishing for but sometimes hes like a dog with a bone on whats been anaswered 5 times already, but Jason handled it well, nice work, my only real neg and a surprise is with a team with so much experience why werent they testing this before hand, I mean off season is about testing, everyones making excuses so as to support the American hero, but thats my question!

And Specialised should have a rack of frames ready for him esp at a WC, didnt he go to Specialised because they offered better support, hello! Pretty unprofessional from one of the biggest bike brands in the world, Im sure its no one persons oversight, but this is a good learning point for any pro team I would have thought.

If you analyse especially the Euro top riders even ones that have great DH training tracks, they still go overseas for the off season to race train test to build up for WCs, Gwin said it himself, surely he has the means to do this, maybe it shows a lack of life experience on the World Cup esspecially when success has come so quick!

Maybe this is Brendogs problem he goes to America to train, but I suspect its more of a good time, while his country men who improve come to NZ, or indonesia, somewhere its good in winter with nalry tracks and events to train and test, something to think about dawg and maybe Gwiny?

Anyway this was one of AGwins better interviews, I guess everyone is going to be selling theyre medium frames for larges now huh, Ive always been riding a size bigger myself and Im 5'11" thanks Jonesy, never subcribed to the smaller frame theory never liked it.
  • + 3
 Nothing in America that is world cup rough? How about the Windham "World Cup"! It was a world cup track after all, and lots of spots on the east coast are rough, like Plattekill. The past few years Aaron has been racing with trek world racing at Mountain Creek and Plattekill before the world cups, but this year he decides not to and isn't quite up to speed at the first race. On the contrary, Brook Macdonald did both those races and nabbed second at Fort William. I think that could be something that has to do with it. Aaron only did sea otter and Port Angeles, while loads of dudes like Gee, and others did the BDS rounds right before Fort William. I think these tune-up races are a lot more important than people think, and Aaron not doing too many of them may have negatively effected his readiness for Fort William.
  • + 6
 let the mindless commenting begin Big Grin
(good luck on the race tomorrow to all of the racers)
  • + 2
 I really don`t get it how people know so much about stuff they don`t have a clue.
  • + 3
 That was probably the most uncomfortable interview I have ever seen. Everyone in the tent looked like they wanted to punch that dude for asking the same question over and over.
  • + 2
 Thanks Dirt, Mike Jones and Pinkbike for this video. Please, please please more of it, Steve Jones can actually articulate a lot of good questions and it's about time that we get a bit more than just the wam bam in your face sponsors all over it and just a great piece of journalism. If you ask anyone who is a professional bike fitter that at the same height, other factors can make a huge difference on bike size like arm length and leg length and or general body proportion, not to mention shoulder width and overall weight of the individual. There was a comment posted above that was bang on the money the last 2% of tuning is where the difference is. Jacey mentionned that Aaron didn't want to change too much and that was the difference on the monster track of Fort William, length and speed!
  • + 1
 His switch to Specialized seems to be going a little rough. Just judging from his comments on the frame geometry and style, it seems it's not an easy adjustment. Not meaning to knock his decision in any way, but I wonder if there is any regret on his part for leaving his Trek sponsorship. Hope to see him continue to do well and keep climbing the ranks this year!
  • + 1
 High rear spring rate but I bet his fork is the same as last year. If the medium had 445mm chainstays he would run less rear springrate, have a more forward/balanced weight distribution and a more stable, faster bike in his size (medium).
  • + 1
 Nice scoop from Dirt. But the constant questioning regarding size as if some new discovery has been made for the general bike buying public is annoying. Clearly while its not just about the bike, it is about how you feel on the bike. I think we all recognize that; why should it be any different for the pros?
  • + 1
 That interviews annoyed me.. How many times do you need to ask why did you go to a large?! Seriously, you got he answer from the horses mouth then proceeded to ask the same questions again and again. Personally, I don't see the need to know the exact stem and bar height etc that one person rides. Everyone is different, even if you found 2 people with exactly the same body proportions they would have different riding styles so would still probably use different setups. It was constantly remarked last year and before how everyone (other racers) were noticing and that Gwin ran really stiff suspension, yet people are shocked he runs a hard spring? He wasn't happy on the medium, he swapped to a large. Bang, next question! How about something interesting like, will you be redesigning the Demo now to suit Gwin more, will you be changing geometry etc.. This interview could have ended after 2 mins for me.
  • + 0
 He did a great job. His repeated questions about the size change were to expand upon the answers they had already given him. He never asked the same question to the same person twice. I just wished he had asked a question about the chainstays..
  • + 1
 I disagree. But then again I also don't care for Steve's over opinionated, pretentious, attitude to most things. But yeah, he asked the same question more than once. And it was pointless to ask it of anyone other than Aaron as his opion really is the only one that matters on the subject. I think what Gwin said at the end said enough.. People are way too hung up on details, even on of the best doesn't care and just gets on and rides.
  • + 1
 great great interview. I wish there was more of this with the details of fit in regards to body measurements as to what these maniacs are using. I've just changed up frames to fit my short leg/long torso for a play bike, def not there speed/racy type bike. went from a med951 to small demo. confirms I've gone in the right direction. bar/stem reach and width is a component to that. bought the med 951 for reach but while vpp eats up trail awesome, the rear axle felt way back behind me with my shorter legs. the small demo has good reach with the shortest chainstay feels better for me so far. still apprehensive because the 951 has been so good on some terrain regardless and only had this demo a couple days. fingers crossed, I just wanted more of a custom fit for me over actual suspension system. thanks pinkbike and i'd vote for more of this
  • + 3
 Man AFTER you ve ridden a VPP you wont like the F S R ! Believe me ! I owe a DEMO for 1 year NOW and I hate my days since I bought it ! It corners super swwweeet ! It jumps awesome ! But on the rough sections because of that short chainstay it sucks !

You might love it thou because besides the " measuring thing exposed here by you " I think the frame was designed by Sam Hill WHO was RIDING a SMALL size frame ! Mine is a Medium and I guess it isnt proportionated right because Specialized only makes one REAR TRIANGLE ! so is the same REAR TRIANGLE for all sizes
  • - 1
 Apparently. .demo will have a hard day on wc circuits ..and makes mr.gwinning difficult. .LOL
  • + 1
 proper test day. all good. felt right in the first 50 ft. had the 951 in the shortest setting but that made it steeper angled and it still felt like a super g ski in the turns for me. I've been sweating the details and the rear wheel on the demo feels where it should be for me and the head angle a touch more than a degree slacker. way more playful. above all I just wanted fit for my measurements. FSR was totally fine in the rough
  • + 1
 I like Aaron and I don't like to see him loose, aldo I am more a fan of the Athertons, but I think that the bike that Aaron is riding is just not as good as the other bikes out there, and Specialized now know that and they are in the mind of many people so this is a big problem for them, so to me this video is just a lot of excuses, so that people don't blame the bike, but for those who have some sense in their brain we know that it's the bike to blame, not Aaron.
  • + 5
 Go big aaron like last year!!
  • + 6
 go BIG. like, large.
  • + 1
 Big McHugelarge.
  • + 5
 Gwin isn't looking too frisky in that interveiw
  • + 8
 He seems a bit annoyed, but at least he was a good sport about it.
  • + 5
 Its tough to be honest about the problems, without badmouthing your employer.
  • + 4
 Gwin now rides a Magnum size, end of story!!!
  • + 3
 This interviewer has an unparalleled ability to make everyone feel uncomfortable
  • + 1
 I was waiting for one of the guys to ask him not to lean on the tent-pole. Perhaps they did and it wasn't in the edit? Wink
  • + 4
 he literally stood right over the engineer and was putting questions to him like the bad cop.
  • + 1
 I liked his interview.
  • + 3
 If your ball cap is worn over your ears, it's too fucking big for your head! Get a clue!
  • + 2
 It looks low rent.
  • + 1
 Yeah I can't stand this fad right now
  • + 2
 So there are no comparable/similar tracks in America? I find that hard to believe. Why not go and train abroad if there isn't.
  • + 2
 They would need to go into BC but that is nearly as far as Europe. The main point I got was that he needs some time at home in the off season, since the schedule is so hectic. The Demo felt OK at first, but that last 2-3% that takes so much time in fine tuning was actually closer to 5-10% with the odd geometry that the Demo has. They couldn't get it in the timeline they had. The spring rates are excessive (too high leverage ratio in the rear suspension,) the balance of the frame was off, and could not be compensated for with the medium, and there was not enough time or resources to set up the large. On the other hand, the demo makes a great park bike, with the short chainstays, and playful nature. It isn't a well sorted race frame though, but that would be worse for most riders.
  • + 2
 .... That are open in the winter. Like he said, he has has a specific training regiment and didn't want to screw it up. He already had a lot of drama with the team change, so he probably felt he need to keep some consistency. My quess is he'll head to Italy next off season for a week to dial in his rig.
  • + 1
 Agreed, the schedule isnt that hectic...everyone has been moaning about the long wait. He only needed a week somewhere 'rough' which im sure spesh would have forked out for... Im sure he'll come good, hes too good not to.
  • + 1
 Funny how this only became an issue THIS season, since this has been his training regiment for the last several seasons...ones which he totally dominated.
  • + 3
 The bottom line is he's fast. Faster than you. He went to specialized, so I did too.
  • + 0
 Even with his 2nd yesterday, he's not even close to being as fast, as he was last year (almost 8 sec ahead in both runs). Makes me conclude, that he lost all his advantage from last year because of the bike still NOT suiting him well (be it a M or L).

He might do well this weekend, as the track suits him, because he's such a skilled rider, but he's not going to put a dent in the WC universe this year, unless S comes out with something adequate.
  • + 1
 The course IS a little different from last year, so you shouldn't go off of last year's times against this weekend.
  • + 0
 I am well aware of that - I am talking about him being eight seconds up on Minaar who got 2nd (both quali and race).
  • + 1
 Fair enough. That said, I'm sure the rest of the big-guns are doing everything in their power to bridge the gap between themselves and Gwin. I also think the later start of the season may have been a disadvantage to some riders, while it played out perfectly for others. Whatever the reasons, it sure is setting up to be one of the more tightly-contested seasons ever.
  • + 3
 Cheap drama continues... Who normal cares? Stop making a freak out of the guy. Let the lad just ride his bike, f*ck...
  • + 1
 Dear Orpheus Productions,
For such an important interview, why did you use an intern camera man? I mean really. You should have asked Rob Warner. Even he could have done a better job with the camera.
  • + 2
 Brilliant interview. Rider, mechanic, managers etc.. And the funny guy in the background.
  • + 1
 got to talked to araron in val di sole ans aksed him what happened in fort william and said the same thing, he said he was on a medium frame and now on a large one
  • + 2
 Did he complained about the Demo or it is just my idea? Not a bike he can feel comfortable in as easy...
  • + 0
 "At the end of the day, the rider has to be comfortable, be confident, and have trust in his bike, and whatever set up that is, he should ride."

...So long as it's a Specialized.
  • + 3
 more video's like this please!
  • + 5
 Then go here:
dirt.mpora.com
:P
  • + 1
 :o)
  • + 2
 Investigative reporting! LOVE IT! camera in the specilized guys faces with a hail fire of question. Awkwarddddddd
  • + 1
 Poor guy, haters want him to go downhill. Careful you don't get there first.
  • + 2
 Now all people will sell their smaller demo and buy a larger frame
  • + 2
 I actually prefer the paint scheme of that bike to the tld one..
  • - 1
 I love how he rides so well, and has no idea what rise bars he has lol. I really hope I'm proved wrong about his winning days being almost over. BUT I'd like to see UK staying on top! Especially gee. He's from my village!
  • + 1
 I have a few trails he should try out...
  • + 1
 You guys are too into this stuff... haha
  • + 1
 Specialized did a good job covering there asses
  • + 1
 Still rootin for gwin no matta what!!
  • + 2
 Steve jones awkwardness.
  • + 2
 get it gwin
  • + 1
 PS Brilliant interview strategy Steve Jones!
  • + 1
 He's got a great attitude!
  • + 1
 But this video is getting SUPER cooperate. The worst kind of factory
  • + 1
 why cant I see de video......??? just a black screen
  • + 1
 GWINTERVIEW
  • - 2
 what a twat
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