Video: Rob Roskopp Owner of Santa Cruz Bikes Interview

Aug 21, 2012
by Tyler Maine  

87 Comments

  • 37 0
 yeah roskopp FUCK THE UCI!
  • 17 1
 Yeah 1 thing i agree with Rob that the UCI put's allot more money & intrest into road cycling & care allot less about mountain biking,the UCI have done enought bad things like dropping 4x which is one of the most exiting gravity sports with in our sport.
  • 7 0
 Yes but only at the World Championships that there is 4x again,other than that we never gonna see 4x at the World Cups any more but now we got the 4x Pro Tour which was awesome.
  • 3 0
 Always seemed that governing bodies in any sport take more than they give.
  • 5 1
 When some organisation grows big enough it becomes inefficient and corrupt. In small companies, organization clubs or whatever as soon as you start to free ride it gets spotted and they either kick your ass bringing you back to normal or they kick you out. In a small group money distributions is also easier to track.

Organizations and Governments have additional problem: the money they spend isn't theirs. They should spend someone elses money on someone else and a bit on themselves to be able to operate, but huh, not only they start to have problems with targeting those who need those money accordingly in the first place, but they also take much more for themselves - anybody wants to support some NGO? Thirdly if there is an out of balance huge accumulation of power, there is less and less bodies to control what that power is doing and eventualy execute consequences upon it.

The natural thing though is that when it gets too big, it starts to fk around too much, underestimates threats, some small brown people get pissed off - (be careful if you have sent them weapons or nuke plans in the past) In case of UCI, I think Freecaster has already shown that Roadie Mafia should watch themselves
  • 16 0
 "really i don't care what the wheel size is, as long as it is a great product cuz in the end that's what matters. When somebody buys one of our bikes, I want them to hop aboard and just be stoked to go ride!!!!!"

AMEN!!!!!!!!!
  • 3 0
 im waiting for 29er hater comments to come flooding....
  • 3 0
 hell yeah!!!

ROB for Prez!!!


This guy is the real deal- anyone want my stumpy? I'm off to get that Tallboy LT c!!!!
  • 3 0
 I hate 29ers and I have never ridden one !!! ; )





nah only kidding I don't give a shit what people ride as long as MTB still lives.
  • 3 0
 seems like cool guy, but also has an extremely intimidating face
  • 13 1
 Massive respect for Rob,my first proper board i ever bought was a santa cruz rob roskopp ramp in the mid 80's,it was huge half the size of me at the time.brings back memories of the bones brigade,animal chin-HAVE YOU SEEN HIM???,s.m.a,christian hosoi and his legendary christ air..Mctwists mark gonzales and natas kaupas and their 3ft ollies,oh i wish my knees could still handle it
  • 8 1
 How can you not like Rob? Done so much for (at least) two sports.
  • 3 1
 Same here, in the 80's I had a Santa Cruz board with Kryptonic Wheels and Taylor Trucks. Man my Board was the shit man.
  • 4 0
 I still have a VHS vid of the Santa Cruz crew wheels of fire. He was a total 80's shredder! Just saw the Dew tour and they had on old guys comp and Cab, Hosio, Mountain and Miller ripped the bowl. Too cool!
  • 2 0
 Wheels of fire VHS - classic... I had a few Roskopp boards.
  • 1 0
 @bikeboardblade: >> Yeah man!!!! I grew up skating and had numerous different SC decks (Stingers and Kendalls), and even lived in Santa Cruz for ten years. Now I'm MTB'ing and here again is Santa Cruz.

And come to think of it, "The Syndicate" is a lot like "The Bones Brigade". LOL

Can anyone tell me what Santa Cruz is doing for Enduro racing in the states? Support for a series that I don't know about?
  • 14 0
 What tooth paste do you use Rob?And do you know if you can get it here in blighty?I'm in need of a girlfriend upgrade
  • 1 0
 rumour has it that this might be his brand.... www.pinkbike.com/photo/8571921

let us know if it works for you....
  • 7 0
 This guy is an icon. I remember that his board was one I always wanted to have. And SCB are one hell of a bike manufacturer. Awesome to see this guy still going strong after all these years. Keep it up, Rob.
  • 12 7
 I agree UCI isn't doing enough for MTB, but I don't think people like him should be shaping the future of anything other than DH the sport. "XC is a road lets be honest"- When was the last time he looked at an XC track? Its changed so much in the last few years. Most parts on my local DH trail (which has been used for national champs last year) are easier than my local XC trails. Just my opinion but I hate the way people look at XC.
  • 6 1
 i agree with his XC comment after watching the london olympic MTB XC which really lacked any technicality to it. it just looked like a ribbon of dirt path with some arbitrary rock sections. it looked lame and something that could have been navigated just as easily on a cyclocross bike. but yes, there are technical XC trails and races out there.
  • 6 2
 I have massive respect for cyclists of all kinds. That category includes xc riders
  • 2 1
 martin-m, O.martinez here do your home work before you type,we need guy's like ROB that are in the know or now and can shape any thing,you'll look back when your older,and you'll know so don't hate on me for my word's to you,sorry O. martinez
  • 3 2
 Well I personally have absolutely no respect for most parts of riding bikes that are referred to as "cycling".
  • 2 0
 @ d-wojo: I agree the olympic trail (apart from the rocky flat section where they were jumping) was pathetic, and agree with the cycloX statement, but again trails like Coed-y-Brenin in Wales are super technical and rocky. CyB was the only place I've ridden abroad, so I havent much experience of foreign trails, but I know Irish trails are very technical.

@ petegson: If you dont like cycling, how do you propose to move the bike?
  • 2 0
 @Martin: I don't want to put words in anyone's mouth yet Rob appears to me to be the kind of person who would be happy not to have any say in the shaping of XC. As he says, XC is all about who is the best climber. I watched the Olympic XC and have to say those guys climbing ability is just out of this world.. unbelievable levels of fitness and skill. However at the end of the day it is all about the climb, and only the climb really. In that respect it is more one dimensional and thus less attractive than say Enduro for many riders.
If I were a frame manufacturer I would be very interested in promoting sports that attract a wider variety and number of participants who would want to get on my company's bikes and take part. As Rob says there appear to be very limited funds available from the UCI for promotion of gravity events so maybe the manufacturers would appreciate the chance to organize things too....
  • 1 3
 orientdave - please don't judge XC racing by Olympics track... that thing is a disgrace, someone has fkd up the order of the letters - it was CX not XC. Watch a replay of 2012 XCO in South Africa. If what some of you wrote was true that it's all about the climb - guys, I wish most of those fast guys you know, could outride those top XC guys on DH track, please that shows that you know little about XC racers. I think Nino Shurter for instance could even show your fast friend how to whip it good. And they don't practice handling skills for fun only, they need it in the race, you win by being a good climber with no technique on Buds fireroad weekender.
  • 2 0
 I stand by my comments: XC I have watched on a variety of tracks, UK, SA, US, Europe and all seem to me to ba about one's ability to climb over descend. Put it this way, you take any fit, competant pro Enduro racer and I would be willing to bet that on the average UCI. XC course there would be very little, if any difference in the times on the descents when compared to the pro XC riders. However on the climbs the XC riders would I bet, wipe the floor with the Enduro guys. Yes, it's only my opinion however that is the only one I am responsible for and it sits fine with me.
The point I really wanted to be seen however was nothing to do with that... I want to say I think Rob seems to be more interested in having a greater say in gravity focused events over XC. I stand by that too until Rob posts otherwise.
  • 2 0
 I'm just an average rider, and XC holds no appeal. That's unfortunately all we have here. I don't even visit the trails they hold the races at- they're by the ocean and feature less than 100ft gain/loss of elevation. An enduro on the mountain side of my town? I would try to enter every possible race.

Enduro- Fun.
XC- No.
  • 8 0
 Hope I look that cool if I go bald.
  • 1 0
 Me too... when I do. TT
  • 1 0
 I wish all bald men looked that great.
  • 2 0
 Why dafaq re u talking about bald guys?
Hahahah just kidin I'd also like to look that good bald
  • 6 0
 How many CEO's are as cool as he is??, none i reckon. Your bikes rule dude, end of!!!
  • 1 0
 Very well put!!
  • 3 0
 Interesting interview.. Rob's one cool and intense guy. I liked what he said about his personality. As far as racing goes, I'd rather see style/skill than the numbers. I guess that's a contradiction of terms.

I worry about our riders. As tech, skill and courses expand so does risk. It seems there has got to be a threshold, can't change flesh and bone. It us truely amazing and terrirfying what is being done today.

I think the next big advance ought to be in trail/course expansion/access. More trails equals options for riders to ride. What good is a $5000 bike if you don't have anything to ride. Don't understand why there's so much opposition. I feel like I'm 16 years old (1986) skating parking lots running from security guards and meathead jocks. I just hope mtn parks/trail take off like skate parks (before I'm too old to ride).

Big thanks Santa Cruz! My Nomad is one of my favorite material possessions of all time. I never regretted a penney of it, ever!

Sorry for freakn dissertation.
  • 2 0
 Small correction- not his personality rather personality of his riders. Typing on iPhone not so great.
  • 2 0
 It all depends where you live. There are more trails that I can ride all within an hour of my house, but I live within an hour of Park City UT.
  • 1 0
 I hear ya. We have a fair amount of trails as well. However, it seems there is a constant battle between land management departments and riders.

Killer trails are being torn down left and right. I've been trying to save one of our local favs for past year. It sucks to spend more time writing emails, making phone calls and trying to advocate to closed minded gov officials than spendind time working on a trial with a shovel. It'd be nice if we all lived near epic parks. Funny thing is, if gov/business understood the $$$ potential we can offer there would be a ton more trails (killer trails at that). I know nobody drops the cash we drop without trail access.

Imagine what the bike industry would be like if there was greater community support? I have hope my brothe, we all do.

Keep'm spinning!
  • 4 0
 I'm surprised the question on materials never seems to include Al-Li alloys. They're taking off (literally) in the aerospace world, but not so much in bicycles.
  • 2 1
 I was studying today for an exam (gonna be a mechanical engineer one day) and got to the part with the Aluminum-Lithium alloys and thought the same myself. If i got it right, with only 1-2% of Li the alloy can be lighter up to 10%, but it looses on rigidity. So Al-Li alloys are not good for parts which are exposed to direct hits - such as bike frames. Unfortunately I don't know how to explain it precisely because I'm not studying in english, but I think that that's the point.
  • 1 0
 didnt know they existed.....sorry....i will ask him again....next time
  • 4 0
 awesome interview! really good questions and even better answers; I really enjoyed this.

I would like to see more interviews from industry leaders.
  • 2 0
 Thanks it was a rush job when I did it, hence no mic on his shirt..., im glad you like it....rob has some good well thought out answers.
  • 1 0
 good job if its your first it was a good one thanks a lot words with some meaning thank you,keep going.
  • 1 0
 well done interview! I also like to see more like this.
  • 3 1
 Being a sk8brder in the 80's and still a sk8ter the one thing I remember most about how many boards he had was that all where a different graphic of something comeing out of the wall. He ripped in the Boma Ramp contest and the Santa Cruz videos. Now that I ride Mtn bikes and see his style still hasn't changed. He is a great ambassador to both or our sports. He has and always will have style for miles and a great attitude and passion for something he believes in , his riders. If you get a chance you all should check out some of the footy from the booma ramp with Hosoi . I think it is in San Diego or some place. It was a water park, Like Palmer says Bitchin.....
  • 2 0
 Not real sure I like the sound of manufacturers controlling the racing, as I picture greed for profit dictating what it should be. But I guess that's just semantics(wording), and in reality it's probably the ideal situation for riders. Just the fact he didn't mention customers but only "the industry" and "manufacturers" made it sound a bit suss.
Why were some of his comments cut? I wanted to here the rest of his carbon comments.
We are lucky to have some great people like him in the industry. Would be great if Santa Cruz did a less cooky cutter mainstream paint job like the old decks. But I guess even those were a bit mainstream really.
  • 2 0
 I disagree that refinements will not just be small, If you read this rob I remember when you came down to Del mar for skate comp in 1985 WHEN I worked there. I am now building a sealed drive full sus, this can be made to work,It should happen
  • 1 0
 It's not in his best interests to mention gearboxs etc. So like anyone, he wouldn't.
  • 1 0
 i wish other company's take note to this point of word he's used and take are sport back from UCI,maybe take there rider's off world cup's and make a new cup called the rider's cup of mt. bike,were they can drink good water not UCI water,but in the real world money talks and rider walk the line.i'm just some krazy CUBAN what do i no nothing i guess,but that bike change my life,it made me see the LIGHT of LIFE.thanks ROB for you word's on the real,JAWZO#17
  • 1 0
 @Lehel: Actually aluminum gains rigidity by adding Li. So by adding Li you can decrease the density and at the same time increase the Young's modulus (rigidity) which is a perfect combination for building lightweight bikes. Unfortunately processing of AlLi alloys including forging, casting and welding is everything else than state of the art in industrial application. The main problem is the excessive reactivity of Li with everything that gets in touch with it. Furthermore there is a huge demand for Li these days which makes it very expensive, but that was the same with carbon composites back in the days. So maybe we will see some special AlLi applications in the bike industry as well, maybe as a competition for Titanium.
  • 1 0
 Rob should make Santa Cruz wheels for bikes and bring back the BULLET 66's as a limited run! Throw some old skool graphics on the entire rim and I bet a lot of us old skaters would buy a set..............as long as they aren't as expensive as the ENVE wheels they're running these days!
  • 1 0
 Over the years, Rob has gotten tons of shit about a great variety of stuff, from being a 'sellout' to being accused of manufacturing 'ridiculously expensive bikes', but the man is a seriously good guy. SC has been on the leading edge of a few very tough markets but continues to adapt and thrive; only a smart, savvy leader can help a company do that. While not everyone may like Rob or agree with his comments, he's honest and upfront about the UCI and the financial bullshit that comes with competing in a sport that's not given much from such a venerable organization. Honesty is always appreciated and Rob has loads of it, which may be why he's often criticized for his views.

But dude has got some seriously good looks... Like sugar on bitter medicine, it makes his honesty a bit easier to take. Wink
  • 1 0
 Still riding the old super 8, 14 years old and still going strong! Went to woburn recently, and realised for the first time that there were some kids riding the trails who it turned out were younger than my bike. Nothing more to add really other than that my super 8 is a testiment to the durability of good engineering, granted, it's not the lightest out there, but it's still in one piece after 14 years of abuse!
  • 3 0
 I like this man and couldnt agree more with everything he said. And UCI well....
  • 4 5
 Looks like SC has a good dental planWink I agree with him that carbon is still black magic and there is still a lot to iron out. Carbon still needs to improve in durability. Even the top carbon manufactures don't have it perfect yet.
  • 2 0
 Carbon is pretty much the best material for bicycle fabrication, but it's in it's infancy still, and very easy for manufacturers to get it wrong. In todays day and age with our over population and desire to consume, carbon frames can and should be made to last for decades IMO, and still perform ridiculously well, and still be light weight.
  • 2 0
 Seems like he was very careful on what he said so people don't take it wrong. Good interview
  • 1 0
 LOL, I was just about to post this reply to the guy wanting to know what brakes Cedric had and refrained as it was a bit over the top.

What would it matter? It's this sort of generic generalizations that made the interview so stale, and makes people keep opinions to themselves. Rob couldn't really speak his mind, or young muppets would parrot it out of context like some sort of gospel.
All brakes use pretty much the same form of parts, and similar designs, it's pretty much the mechanical advantages that differ, and weight. It was no doubt just a freak rock strike, or his mechanics error.

But yes, in this industry, you really just have to play it so cool and mainstream.
  • 1 0
 Good interview. Very smart and sincere guy. Owned, and still own many of his products; including a road bike. Quality stuff!
  • 1 0
 great interview..... A1....... props to rob for the candid and honest comments.. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 3 0
 Once SC, always SC!
  • 3 1
 Video doesn't work for me Frown
  • 2 0
 Try it on Vimeo. Embedded did not work for me, but the Vimeo feed did. michael
  • 3 0
 It's jason statham!
  • 2 0
 This dude just knows what's right. Period.
  • 1 0
 So awesome to hear how a CEO supports his riders! This is why MOUNTAIN biking is like no other sport!
  • 2 0
 Great interview.
  • 1 0
 Ragin Waters in San Jose with Christian Hosoi and Claus grabkie
  • 2 2
 Superduper interview!
PS: Roskopp means Horsehead... somehow the name fitsssss...
  • 1 0
 I had a his skate board growing up.
  • 1 0
 What a humble dude. Get well CG!!!!
  • 1 0
 Great interview. Just gained alot of respect for that brand.
  • 1 0
 rob roskopp is a legend !
  • 1 0
 I was just curious. Thanx.
  • 1 0
 only by greg? really i do believe bulldog beat gwin hmmmmmmmmmm
  • 1 0
 this interview was done the week before....
  • 1 0
 From skate legend to a growing legend in cycling. CEO and hero!
  • 2 0
 Well spoken boss man!
  • 1 0
 Great interview
  • 2 1
 Greg Minnaar rips!
  • 3 0
 He is still the only rider currently that can take an overall win from Gwin in my opinion . He's got the skills but more importantly he has a great attitude , not gonna name and shame people but a fair few of the top 10 either have thier head up thier arse or in the clouds mentally.
  • 1 0
 Yes Mr Roskopp!!
  • 2 3
 Anyone know what brakes Cedric had on his rig when he crushed his pelvis?
  • 2 0
 He rides (or brakes) for HOPE but you can't blame the brakes in his situation, a rock slashed the brake hose open. Great interview! Rob has such a great honest view on MTB it's just great to hear it coming from such a well respected leader in our sport.

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