Aaron Gwin and Specialized Part Ways - Here's Why

Dec 28, 2015
by Mike Levy  
After three seasons together that produced five World Cup wins and an overall title, Aaron Gwin and Specialized are parting ways. The reason? A differing of opinion when it came to how much Aaron believes he's worth.

Whispers of the separation, of which both parties say is happening on good terms, had been making the rounds over the last few months. Even so, it's still somewhat surprising that the quickest downhiller in the sport, who also happens to be an American, is parting ways with one of the largest American cycling brands. It all just seems like too good of a fairytale, a marketing team's toe-curling wet dream, to not continue. But here we are. Unlike a real fairytale, however, this one was cut short because of a difference of opinion when it came to the size of Aaron's paycheck. He simply wanted to be paid more than Specialized was willing to dish out.

''I proposed what I believe to be my reasonable market value, and they differed,'' Gwin explained to me in a straightforward way. ''It's nothing to be upset about, it was just a difference of opinion.'' It's rumored that Aaron's proposal would have made him the highest paid downhiller by quite a margin, although neither he or Specialized are willing to disclose the actual figure. Whatever the number was, which Aaron says is more than he was making in 2015, Specialized wasn't inclined to sign the cheques. ''When a brand decides to direct their monies in a different direction, I don't take it as a personal knock towards me,'' the World Cup champ said of what he clearly views as a business decision. ''These guys all have their own ambitions and passions, which is normal, and I wish them well in whatever direction they decide to pursue.''
One season four wins. Only in Switzerland and Canada did Gwin show the slightest of gaps in his armor and the rest was pretty much pure perfection.

bigquotesIt's normal for athletes in any sport to switch companies or teams, not because they do or do not desire to continue, but because either the team or the athlete doesn't value the other according to the other's perspective. - Aaron Gwin

Specialized has had a winning program for many years, so it's no surprise that they've used the budget for their mountain bike race program to keep that on track in the future. They recently announced the signing of Jared Graves to their enduro team, and there are rumors that they've signed another top downhiller to be Troy Brosnan's teammate in 2016 and beyond, both of which were likely made possible by using funds freed up by Aaron's departure.

And as for Aaron, he's not quite ready to spill the beans on his future, but he says that a similar offer to what he made Specialized has been accepted by a different, yet to be named company. ''After doing my own research and evaluations of the market, I calculated my own proposed salary and believe it to be very reasonable. That proposal was later quantified "proven true" as I now have a contract that I intend to sign which is based upon my original proposal,'' he told me of the accepted offer. Queue the speculation.


Aaron Gwin s World Cup Story Infographic Copyright geebeebee media

bigquotesRegarding what would have had to change for me to stay, it was only their perspective of my value that would have needed to change. If our evaluations would have been unified, then I'd imagine we would have finalized a deal moving forward many months ago. - Aaron Gwin


While they did decline being interviewed on the subject, Specialized Sports Marketing's Gavin Noble released the following statement about Gwin's exit: ''Aaron is the greatest American World Cup DH racer ever - straight up. In a perfect world, we absolutely wanted to continue, and we know that, to a large degree, that feeling was mutual. Anyone who's ever worked in sports marketing, or has simply been involved with any kind of business decision making, however, knows that these decisions aren't as simple as they may seem from the outside. In this case, there were factors on each side that ultimately meant both parties were better off pursuing a different direction moving forward. Both sides came jointly to this conclusion, and there are no hard feelings whatsoever because of it. We had a great run with Aaron, and we will always consider him part of the Specialized family. We genuinely wish him the absolute best, both professionally and personally.''

Unlike more mainstream sports, mountain biking is notoriously secretive when it comes to anything related to a rider's contract, and it almost feels like a faux pas to mention either when talking about guys like Gwin, Minnaar, or Atherton. That is slowly changing, though. As you'll see in our conversation below, Aaron was uncommonly forthright and open about his reasoning behind not re-signing with Specialized.




Interviewed: Aaron Gwin


Mike Levy: After no World Cup wins in 2013 and a single victory in 2014, you had your best season racing for Specialized in 2015 with four World Cup wins and the World Cup overall title. That's an upward swing if I've ever seen one, which begs the question of why both parties wouldn't want to continue the relationship?

Aaron Gwin: It wasn't an issue of whether they or I wanted / desired to continue the relationship, it was a matter of belief concerning my value to the company. It's normal for athletes in any sport to switch companies or teams, not because they do or do not desire to continue, but because either the team or the athlete doesn't value the other according to the other's perspective. In my case, I proposed what I believe to be my reasonable market value, and they differed. It's nothing to be upset about; it was just a difference of opinion.

Some companies/teams might say that they do value an athlete accordingly but that they don't have the budget or funds to properly compensate them. That may or may not be true in some cases but for large, lucrative brands, generally, it's not a matter of if they "have" the funds. Rather, it's a matter of if they want to allocate those funds towards the athlete in order to support that certain division of their brand. I'm not intending to speak negatively towards any particular company or brand. I understand that every brand has different priorities based upon their business model and where they believe they can maximize their incoming revenue. In that case, those factors are usually related to the following divisions of cycling, whether it be downhill, road bikes, cross country, enduro, etc. However, unlike a lot of bicycle brands, my focus isn't spread across many different divisions of cycling; I value downhill specifically since it is my profession. That being the case and the fact that downhill is a rapidly growing market with a vast influence and a very promising future, I have a certain perspective on what my market value is to a brand. And personally, I just think that downhill is more awesome and more fun than every other cycling discipline, haha! Just kidding. Not really, but anyways...

With all of that being said, I proposed my value, which was a certain number above my previous contract, and they decided to allocate my proposed increase of funds somewhere else. When a brand decides to direct their monies in a different direction, I don't take it as a personal knock towards me. These guys all have their own ambitions and passions, which is normal, and I wish them well in whatever direction they decide to pursue.


Sun-baked dirt boulders stars and stripes. The 2014 DH mountain bike season got lit up in the most explosive start to the racing in recent memory and it was the long-awaited return of the all-American king Aaron Gwin.
  Aaron's first World Cup victory with Specialized happened at the Pietermaritzburg World Cup in 2014 after a winless first season with the team the year prior. He was quickest on the pedal-intensive course using a heavily modified Enduro. Four more wins and an overall World Cup title in 2015 would follow.


Levy: Do you believe that a World Championship win would have seen you continue with Specialized for 2016 and beyond? What would have had to change for you to stay with Specialized?

Gwin: I cannot speak for Specialized and the value that they place on a World Championship title, however, I can state my perspective. I believe that a consistency of wins over a consistency of years defines an athlete's legacy and the value of that athlete to a brand, more than any one race. For instance, there is a certain marketing shelf life to a one race win like that, where as many wins over multiple years gives a rider credibility far into the future. Thus, I believe the majority of one's overall value to a brand is better determined by their consistency of wins rather than any single win.

As a personal note, I'd also like to add that I still view World Champs as an awesome race. Hopefully someday soon I'll stop sucking when it counts and win a few of those as well!

Regarding what would have had to change for me to stay, it was only their perspective of my value that would have needed to change. If our evaluations would have been unified, then I'd imagine we would have finalized a deal moving forward many months ago.



Levy: How much do you believe that a top racer, a racer who’s consistently winning World Cups and is among the quickest the sport has ever seen, should be getting paid per year?

Gwin: It's impossible to know the exact amount that a top downhill racer should be paid per year. However, it is not impossible for me to come up with a number that I believe to be a reasonable amount. In order to come up with an exact number, you would need to know all of the information concerning the total revenue amount of each brand.

There would need to be a disclosure of each brand's costs and profits in order to make a more technical evaluation of salaries. At this time, the sport has not developed to the point where this information is expected to be made available. All great sports have gone through these growing pains and hopefully, eventually, a full disclosure will be made available so that a proper evaluation of downhill salaries can be calculated.

After doing my own research and evaluations of the market, I calculated my own proposed salary and believe it to be very reasonable. That proposal was later quantified "proven true" as I now have a contract that I'm intending to sign which is based upon my original proposal.
DFL for Gwin but you gotta give the man credit for riding a tire wheel combo from halfway to the first woods at the top of the track all the way home. Sure 39 seconds off pace but he never let off the gas.
Leogang has always been a place of drama for Gwin. In 2014, he did most of his race run without a rear tire, but we'd have to wait until 2015 to see what he was really capable of.


Levy: Performance and win bonuses can add up to big money in other sports, but how big of a factor are they in top tier mountain biking? What sort of bonuses can a top racer expect for a win?

Gwin: Again, it's hard to know exactly since that information isn't made known publicly. From my own observations, I've seen bonuses for a World Cup title or World Championship [win] ranging anywhere from no money to $50,000 USD plus, each. Bonuses for individual races seem to vary largely as well. Ultimately, it's really up to the brands and how they want to structure value within their contracts.



Levy: You had a great - and eventful - 2015 but have changed teams regardless. What sort of factors do you keep in mind when considering signing for a company?

Gwin: Apart from monetary compensation, which I've already discussed, there's a few other factors that I always look at. First, the bike has to be able to win races. It doesn't necessarily have to be the best bike at the time, but it does have to be a solid start, and I have to believe that I can win on the bike. Concordantly, I have to believe that the brand is willing to accept and value my feedback in order to make the proper improvements that will result in the best bike on the market. Almost equally important is the company's social vibe. By vibe, I'm referring to an overall direction, image, style, etc. To accurately sum it up, I value a consistently professional relationship that is both cordial and enjoyable during obligatory cultural activities. Haha!


Full tuck and carrying speed without a chain. Gwin went full beast on this track.
  No one would have believed that a World Cup could be won without a chain, but then Aaron did exactly that at the 2015 Leogang event after he broke his right out of the gate. Three minutes and thirty five seconds later, the internet nearly exploded.


Levy: It looked like Specialized did a lot of in-season development to get your race bike to your liking. How big of a factor was this in-season development in your success, and do you think you would have had as good of a season if you had been on the same bike from the beginning of the year onwards?

Gwin: We actually didn't change anything on the bike during the season this year. We had a less "polished" bike at the first rounds of the World Cups, but functionally it was identical to the bike I rode for the rest of the season. That being said, and the fact that I won the first race of the year, the bike was great to start out the season, and it didn't affect me any differently from the first race to the last.



Levy: Are you a numbers guy? Do you care about things like being at the top off the all-time World Cup win list, or maybe sweeping a season?

Gwin: The only number I care about is #1! Ha, but seriously, the main motivation to race is to win, and I'd think that most other top racers would tell you the same thing. For me, I wouldn't be racing if I didn't think I could win. I want to win, my sponsors want me to win, and my fans want me to win. That's kind of the point when you race for a living. My desire is to win every race, and if that doesn't happen, I want to win as many as possible. I don't focus on or care about the total amount of wins or possible records to break right now. If those things happen, I'll choose to focus on them and be stoked when the time comes. I want to enjoy my racing and give it the best effort I possibly can, and hopefully the wins will continue to follow.

bigquotesTo just love something is to utilize it so as to enjoy your life. For me, to be "in love" with mountain biking would mean that I couldn't be happy without it.

Levy: Some people have said that you’re not “in love” with mountain biking and that you probably wouldn’t be doing it if you weren’t racing and winning. What would you say to them if given the chance?

Gwin: I'd say they were correct in saying that I'm not "in love" with mountain biking. However, let me explain what that actually means. To be "in love" with something is different than loving something. I'm not "in love" with mountain biking, but I do love and greatly enjoy it. I also love iced coffee and chocolate chip cookies, but I'm not "in love" with those things. To be "in love" with something makes it a governing factor over your life and your decision making. To just love something is to utilize it so as to enjoy your life. For me, to be "in love" with mountain biking would mean that I couldn't be happy without it.

To love mountain biking means that I'm free to enjoy riding and racing, but if I have an injury or bad result, I'm still content with life and happy regardless. I'm also then still happily motivated to continue riding with the hope of winning future races. Regarding my love for riding, it seems to grow more and more every year, which is crazy since I've been riding bicycles since I was three-years-old. There's no other sport that I enjoy more, and the fact that I get to do it for a living is a blessing that I'm thankful for every day.

So with that, I'm sure you get the point. You could say that I'm "in love" with God, or possibly "in love" with a hot babe (wife) someday, but a mountain bike, no.
Gwin QUOTE
Mountain biking is obviously a major part of Aaron's life, but he explains that he would be happy without it as well.

Levy: Has retiring from racing entered your mind over the last handful of years, or do you see yourself continuing for the foreseeable future?

Gwin: If you would have asked me this question a few years ago, I might have said yes, but right now, no. I don't foresee myself retiring anytime soon. As I've matured as a person and grown in my belief over the past few years, I've really started to enjoy the racing side of my riding a lot more. In previous years, I would get more worked up over the need for results. The pressure that I would place on myself made it hard to enjoy the races. Since then, I've chosen to believe what I already knew, that is that God will work everything out for my good, regardless of results. It is always my goal to win, but I'm genuinely at peace with wherever the results fall. I get excited at the challenges which racing provides, and it's fun to see how much I can get out of myself for those few crazy minutes.



Levy: What would Aaron Gwin be doing if he retired in the near future? Do you see yourself staying in the mountain bike industry in some capacity?

Gwin: At this point in my life, I don't see myself retiring anytime soon, but when I do, I have no idea. I see myself riding mountain bikes for as long as I'm physically able. When my racing career is over, I'd like to continue to be involved in the industry for many years. However, at this time, it's hard to know what opportunities will present themselves. I really enjoy the product testing side of the sport, and I also have a lot of fun putting on riding clinics and aiding in other people's enjoyment of the sport at a higher level. Maybe I'll continue to be involved in those things down the road. Or maybe, I'll put on a race-suit and drive a trophy truck. Or maybe both, or maybe none of the above! Guess we'll have to wait and see.


Aaron Gwin after crossing the line knowing that without a doubt the World Cup overall was his for the third time.
  The 2015 World Cup series finale, and also Aaron's final World Cup race with Specialized, was held in Val di Sole, Italy. He won.




Aaron and the Future


A racer moving to another company isn't usually internet-breaking news, but Aaron Gwin isn't just any racer, is he? No, he's the first truly dominant American male downhiller who, up until just now, had been notching up his most recent wins for an American company. And not only that, but Specialized made the decision not to re-sign Aaron, the current World Cup champion, when they were given the chance. So now we'll see him working for a different company in 2016 and beyond, a company that Aaron alluded to paying him what Specialized refused to. Let the assumptions and opinions roll in.

Will he be able to keep steamrolling the competition with or without a chain? Will he continue to win World Cups? I'd argue that the current state of top tier downhill racing is just too knife edge, too hectic, for one guy to consistently dominate for multiple years, but if there's one man to do it, it is probably Aaron Gwin. Just look back to his days with Trek, and to 2015, to see what I'm talking about.

It's been said that a person should always aim to be paid what they're worth, and the thing that's stopping most people from doing exactly that is their inability (or reluctance) to realize this. Aaron evidently does not have this problem, and now all he needs to do is keep winning.




1,045 Comments

  • + 1413
 Motherfucker won a wc WITH NO CHAIN... For fucks sake, pay the man what he wants.
  • + 192
 Gwin will be riding to win on a Schwinn
  • + 323
 Schgwinning?
  • + 54
 Schgwinning rolls off the tongue like crunchy peanut butter.. A- for effort, though.
  • + 136
 Think of all the fun rhymes though.. Gwinn rides a Schwinn and he grins while he wins. Their marketing team could retire on that.
  • + 103
 im thinking santacruz ? then ENVE can charge 1k per rim !
  • + 45
 They could have afforded Gwin, but that damn veteran at Cafe Roubaix had to take the lawsuit public.
  • + 150
 All these roadies sucking up the budget
  • + 238
 Gwin doesn't need Specialized to win races, and Specialized doesn't need Gwin to sell bikes. It was a good match while it lasted, but they both have to part ways. Gwin is worth more than Specialized is willing to pay him, and Specialized can sell the same amount of bikes with Troy. This is good that Gwin is asking for more money, because it will allow other racers to ask for better pay.
  • - 8
flag Vanguard (Dec 28, 2015 at 3:56) (Below Threshold)
 He would fit with Canyon more than YT. Even though the team rumors sketch points towards YT's headquarters at Forchheim, they just might have messed up German geography.
  • + 80
 What would Jesus do?
  • + 38
 Jesus needs money??????
  • + 44
 @viatch, i was thinking the same LOL. Gwin should race for santacruz gwindicate Wink
  • + 2
 I believe he died a couple of thousand years ago. You can't spend money when you're dead.
  • + 10
 @Mattin Dam veteran- really? Maybe Specialized needs to stop being a shit company instead.
  • + 44
 Nothing un-Christian about getting paid what you are worth.
  • - 36
flag driftmonster (Dec 28, 2015 at 6:11) (Below Threshold)
 Did Gwin get less money in previous seasons when his results were Shyte? Did specialized deduct money from his salary when we wasn't on the podium ? They revamped a perfectly capable bike as proven by previous athletes to suit his needs . R&D costs money , one off parts for him to get him on the podium . I get the face that he got results in 2015 and in a very short time holds a high number wins . Either way I'm seeing pattern . It's F@$k you Pay me
  • + 13
 Too much r and d for new ways to put stuff in your shorts
  • + 4
 @theoriginalonetwo: It was sarcasm, showing how i hate specialized and how we will not forget all the nasty things they have done.
  • + 45
 "The love of money is the root of all evil". Somebody allegedly said that at one point in time.
  • - 123
flag MJ4LIFERIDER (Dec 28, 2015 at 7:25) (Below Threshold)
 Specialized im telling your ass right now if u don't pay the man his $ you've lost my love for will Sell my demo 8's & all! You've got to be ducking kidding me specialized! Pay the f*ck up!!!!!!!!!!!!
Aaron gwin is the future and will be for atleast the next five years damn specialized !! Troy cannot deliver!!! No one can has the balls or line choice like Aaron gwin who the f*ck else made the transition from Moto to DH with stripes cmon f*cking specialized y'all f*ckked up!!!!!!
  • + 32
 @MJ4LIFERIDER you have to at least consider the possibility that Gwin asked for a paycheck that was larger than Specialized's ROI on selling Demos. If Specialized is going to sell out of Demos (which they do almost every year), then why do they need to pay Gwin the equivalent of his 2015 contract salary PLUS the new amount that he wants in addition? At some point, it simply is not worth it for a company to pay a rider what they want given the sales the company generates from that market. I think you are overlooking this highly likely possibility.
  • + 74
 It's a simple business decision on both ends. Gwin thinks he's worth X and wants to be paid X, but Specialized thinks he's worth Y and doesn't want to dish out anymore. Gwin decides to go to another company who is willing to take the risk of paying him that. Both Gwin and Specialized seem to understand this, some Pinkbikers are taking it a little too personal.
  • + 15
 knowing what your worth.. priceless. best of luck aaron.
  • - 59
flag MJ4LIFERIDER (Dec 28, 2015 at 7:58) (Below Threshold)
 @ Ka-Brap--Aaron Gwin is the BEST!!
In order to be the best you need to be payed like te best!
For gods sake the man won with no f*cking chain!

Plus y'all Ain't never gonna get an
AMERICAN winner like Aaron gwin !!!
  • + 35
 @jaame, Jesus rose Smile
  • + 15
 I think this says more about what S thinks of Brosnan (who actually wears all the S gear) and his potential than Gwins
  • + 10
 The value of Gwin goes across the entire mtb line, just as Honda and Ford, et al support their race programs despite the fact they are not racing what they are selling (outside of Rally). Winning races inceases brand cache and the only type of mtb riding anyone watches is DH.
  • + 57
 "I want back Trek!" - Gwin
"Sorry, we have the Athertons." - Trek

LOL.
  • + 17
 MJ4LIFERIDER - I'm a big Gwin fan, and I too think it's awesome that he won with no chain but for crying out loud this is a business decision and nothing more. Sometimes it comes down to dollars (and not feelings and emotions) and especially not what 13 year old Pinkbike fanboys think. Also, Specialized is a GLOBAL company, they'd be happy with anyone on their bikes.
  • + 2
 Show me the money! I say pay the man what he thinks he's worth
  • + 90
 Gwin left Specialized so I did too
  • - 5
flag driftmonster (Dec 28, 2015 at 8:32) (Below Threshold)
 @rivercitycycles

if i ever tried that in the real world ie. work it wouldnt fly . is he one of the greatest of all times? yes but even hes making it sound like hes asking for unrealistic money. this isnt moto and hes not riding for KTM ... or is he ???
  • + 79
 this man has generated 360 comments and 55000 views in two hours, I dont know how much money he deserves to get, but it has to be a lot
  • + 11
 @driftmonster - I've negotiated every employment offer I have received in my 20 year engineering career with great success. If you don't then you will never know if there was money left on the table. He might be asking for an unrealistic amount but we will never know because those contracts are not public.
  • + 39
 He was obviously not asking for too much as he got what he asked from another company. That much is very clear.
  • + 7
 @driftmonster maybe if youre making minimum hourly wage at mcdonalds cause any f*ck could do that. But when you are the best of the best in your particular profession, especially in something as niche as downhill mountain biking, and you ride for one of the biggest bike brands in the world then it should be common sense to demand as much money as you'd like and go from there. Its obvious a company out there jumped on the deal
  • + 28
 @Rubberelli What he was worth to Specialized doesn't necessarily equal what he was worth to someone else. It's about the ROI. Someone else thinks the ROI is worth it. Specialized didn't.
  • + 5
 ^this.
  • + 1
 Sure @facingtraffic. But Spesh's needs do not affect the worth of a person's labor, just what that one company see as their worth. It's why a VP from one company leaves to become a CEO of another for far more $$$. That is the value of that person's labor, regardless of what company A could get from them.
  • + 8
 With Peaty retiring, this would be awesome to see Gwin join the syndicate.
  • + 8
 That clip fits quite well... www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFrag8ll85w
  • + 1
 @Rubberelli And that goes to the point I was making. "Too much" isn't one number.
  • + 1
 I bet they won't be selling as many next year lol
  • + 1
 Posted my Enduro for cheap.
  • + 5
 @rivercitycycles Negotiated is the key word .and im sure what you settled on was within a certain percentage of the peers in which you work with or around . had you attempted to negotiate out side those percentages they would have bough you back to reality .

I am all for free enterprise and im almost positive he was getting paid extremely well already I'm also certain specialized was expecting some form of salary negotiation but what number could Gwin of possibly hit them with that that didnt even come to terms ? and more so who actually met those terms ? its not about size of the company. specialized is a global multi million dollar corporation but apparently their downhill budget either cant or doesn't want to handle his demands .

btw i ride a sworks demo . sj evo expert and a crux #IamSpecialized
  • + 9
 All-time Pinkbike hipocracy here today.

When Specialized protects their copyrights etc they're the spawn of the devil and "they have too much f*ckin money, what about the little guy blah blah" but when a racer keeps switching teams going after the $ he's a hero and Specialized should pay him what he wants. Too funny.

The bottomline is they guy is only half as marketable as he should be because he's god squad. Everyone in Europe cringes when he starts thanking god or saying that god will work it all out. Holy shit dude are you that mentally ill that you really believe that shit? He might sell sell DH bikes in the US but DH is 1% the sales of trail and AM so he's a brand ambassidor more than anything. On the whole mountain bikers are an informed and secular bunch so to many companies a guy riding for jesus will always have a big question mark, rather than a supernatural creator, hovering over them.
  • + 11
 Are you not curious on the amount Specialized turned down? I know I am!
  • + 7
 In all honesty though, which company can pay a single ride more than the big S can?
  • + 5
 God bless America and it's athletes. Just kidding. But seriously, US athletes loves thanking God.
  • + 4
 No hypocrisy whatsoever@jclnv. Some people think Spesh's lawsuits were unethical/wrong. No one believes the fastest racer in the world is wrong to ask for what he's worth. Re: his beliefs: Many people I know could care less what he believes. He wins, many times by huge margins. When spending $6k on a bike, that will definitely cone into play. According to Gwin the bike is the 2nd most important factor when choosing a team to ride for.
  • + 42
 Jclnv - If you do know people her in Europe, that would get deterred from purchasing a Specialized bike because Aaron talks about God then please! Tell us where they are we need to find them and stop them from breeding at all costs. Relating Spec sale numbers to Aarons public talks about God is like saying that Global Warming is caused by decrease in number of Pirates worldwide...
  • + 7
 jclnv - No one is saying the guy is a hero, they're saying he has the right to ask to be compensated for what believes he's worth and that S is also has the right to decline to accept his salary demands. It's simple business, nothing more. It happens every single day in situations outside of DH racing. It happens in stick and ball sports, auto racing, lawyers, engineers, architects, accountants, etc, etc. The only people getting their panties in a bunch are irrational Pinkbikers making statements like yours.
  • + 1
 I'm talking about the marketability of the guy. It isn't just what they do on the race track is it?

Peaty hasn't won a World Cup for years but he's hugely popular/marketable. Do you think he would be as popular if he had gone on about god every interview/win? Not a chance.
  • + 2
 You win mr. Neil-g
  • + 23
 I wouldn't want Peat talking about God after every interview/win - that's not who he is. I wouldn't want Gwin to be something to be he's not either. People respect realness.

As for your claim that Gwin isn't marketable, you are dead wrong. Some other bike company was willing to dish out the $ he wanted, doesn't that say something? They believe he's worth it.
  • + 11
 @jclnv What you're missing out on entirely is the way that brands use riders to market products. I'm not going to shoot you down, just give you an opinion from the brand side.

Firstly, the majority of people who will know/support Gwin will have no idea about this "God" issue you've mentioned. Fans these days watch clips, look at social media and sometimes watch live streaming - podium interviews aren't exactly big. It's the really, really hard core fans the watch that - IE, the people that aren't going to watch him ride a Specialized and think "ZOMG I NEED ONE".

The marketability is far more relevant to those who aren't as much of a hard core fan. They associate him (or any other athlete that wins) with the brand. Winning = Specailzed. They're the people that these deals influence.
  • + 11
 If I was in Gwin's shoes, I would do EXACTLY the same thing, and maximize my earnings while I was still on top; make hay while the sun is shining. Dude isn't going to be winning World Cup races forever.

But sadly, I'm not in his shoes, as no one seems to be paying Cat 2 30-39 racers (and rightfully so).
  • + 35
 He is doing the same thing as the Athertons, graves etc, he is just more upfront and honest about it. I actually have a lot more respect for him now, as rather than being all PR bullshit 'its a new opportunity and challenge/ I have always wanted to work with (insert brand) that most people come out with. Differing opinions on what a rider is worth is the reason most riders move, they just aren't upfront about it it's refreshing
  • - 17
flag MJ4LIFERIDER (Dec 28, 2015 at 12:14) (Below Threshold)
 Y'all know it Aaron Gwin is a Boss! He is the best! Yes specialized f*cked up & yes I'm sure GT or Santa Cruz or any other top notch Company will capitalize on Spesh's mistake!

Get ready specialized y'all ain't winning Gold for shit from now on!
  • + 13
 The tomb is empty.
  • + 7
 Sometimes it's just not in the budget. I'm sure they were willing to pay him more but perhaps they just couldn't meet on a number. Keep in mind that Specialized has more all-star cyclists on there roster, in all disciplines of riding than any other company. As much of a fan I am of Gwin, he needed the big S more than they needed him and it shows. DH market is the tiniest sliver of Specialized sales. And with the signing of Jared Graves for the 2016 they already opened there marketing options that much more considering Enduro is taking off as much as it is. I'd imagine they'll be putting a bit more into supporting Graves and Keene this season.
They also just spent millions of dollars on building their own wind tunnel, third party wind tunnel testing was running them over 1000$/hr, and they logged over 1600hrs testing their new ViaS Venge alone. As much as Specialized often emotionless decisions makes me dislike them as a brand, you have to remember they're a business at the end of the day. Most of they're decisions are cool and calculated by people who get paid to crunch numbers and statistics. They'll both go on and do just fine without each other. It's the nature of the sport. This isn't even close to the first time this has happened, yet it's a "surprise" all the time. Things like this get too hyped and sensationalized. Do I think Gwin deserves more money? Yes. I think everyone in the sport professionally, is incredibly underpaid. But sometimes when you ask for a raise you get told no. That's life. But good on Gwin for knowing his own self worth and sticking to it.
  • + 5
 I honestly don't know anyone that buys their DH bike based on a rider. It's price, availability, and warranties that sell bikes not riders.
  • + 5
 We will se him with Bruni on YT organized by the former Lapierre Gravity Republic. Peace out
  • + 2
 What you are saying is true to solve extent but what you have to remember its that major bike brands (there is a video I think it might be from bike radar, is downhill dead) aren't expecting to make money swelling downhill bikes. The video mentions one of the brands selling into I think Japan and the company was told use downhill riders /bikes/teams as they are the aspirational part of the brand that sells the range rather than downhill teams being used to sell downhill bike sells the brand rather than trying to sell downhill bikes. Trek also talks about how much it cost to develop the 9.9 vs the sales in Steve Jones's interview on dirt. So what you are saying about not settling enough extra bikes is probably true but it isn't about selling just downhill bikes. Downhill bikes are just a small part of it
  • + 1
 Global warming is caused by the increase in piracy ????. correlation or causation?
  • + 8
 I guess that's why when Sam hill was at his peak every second person owned a Sunday and then everyone owned a Demo. Maybe not the people you know but it works
  • + 22
 All of you who complain that he's asking for more money is a straight up asshole. Every single professional athlete in every sport does this. Shit, every normal person changes jobs every 3-5 years for one with better compensation. Get out of your parents basements and get a job, you dipshits.
  • + 1
 If yt are putting a team together I'm sure they would do the same as the free ride initiative and have a rider from each of their regions Europe America Australia ??
Anyone like to speculate?
  • + 0
 THE ONLY QUESTION THAT I WANT ANSWERING IS (NO BS OR RUMOUR): WHAT SALARY DID GWINNY ASK FOR???
  • + 4
 Gwin doesn't talk about God more than the typical American athlete, and he's got nothing on your average American motocross pro.
  • + 2
 @nyhc00 the feedback that the rider gives to make the bike better and faster makes the bike a more appealing package. I know I buy bikes for how they ride and if I wanted to win DH races I would ride a demo first most likely. I may not buy it but would see if it was as good as its marketed.
  • + 5
 reading this gave me cancer.. you genius think he will go for yt or canyon or some other small brand that dont even have a running wc team right now when specialized is not able to pay him enough... i can only see giant left with big money.. or maybe specialized are cheap as fuck too.
  • + 0
 I hope Yeti gets him. Get em back for talking Jared Graves into selling out.
  • + 2
 he doesn't have to rely on just the frame mfger for the bulk of his income. without knowing the extent of his requests with specialized one can't say who can and can't fish for him. he obviously had plan b ready to go.
  • - 11
flag jclnv (Dec 28, 2015 at 14:16) (Below Threshold)
 The bottomline is Specialized now have the most talented bike rider in the world on the team so Gwinn is no real loss.
  • + 7
 Curious, whens the last time a pb article got over 500 comments on the first day?
  • + 4
 I like gwin but i own an intense frame. I don't wear branded bike clothes. I spend my money on replacing worn out parts so i can ride every time i can... So yes aron...you can have any team you want and I'll still be watching your race run and praying to god everyday that we can have world peace.
  • + 7
 I can only suspect Giant has the bankroll to pick him up considering trek is tied up with the athertons
  • - 2
 DAFUQ! DID I JUST READ?
  • + 3
 @driftmonster Perfect. One winning season and he thinks his value had gone through the roof, yet while he struggled 2 straight seasons all was well in his pocket. I understand wanting to make more money, who doesn't want that? But I think it's a bad decision to jump ship because you think you deserve a 50% raise after you exceeded your expected performance 1/3 of the time in 3 years. He should be thanking them for not dumping him after those two shit seasons.
  • + 1
 I'd like to see him rip on a Straight 8!
  • + 6
 I think he should go privateer. Chad Reed style. He gets 2-3 main sponsors (not bike exclusive) and can then pretty much choose which bike he wants to try. Simple. Main sponsors can easily cover cost of racing and frame company as well as component sponsors can get great exposure for great return while keeping expenses down.
If YT fits the bill for the season great. Nxt year they can renew or not. Win win
  • - 1
 I hope Gwin robs whoever for the most cash he can and rides off into the sunset. Good for him. I'd rather see him making ridiculous money instead of some "thing" like Bruce Jenner.
  • + 7
 im just here to watch this post get 1000 up votes. dont think ive ever seen that.
  • + 14
 He'll sign with Yeti again. After his feedback they'll refine their suspension and trademark it "Switch Gwinfinity".
  • + 4
 @hamncheez interesting you mention motocross pros. Ryan Villipoto totally turned down his talk of God as his career progressed. I think he's still a believer so I've always wondered if his agent or someone in marketing asked him to tone it down.
  • + 1
 GT, Giant, Trek but they wouldn't.
  • - 5
flag kingfish666 (Dec 28, 2015 at 19:46) (Below Threshold)
 Your a fool!
  • + 14
 @thuff4130 , just for perspective. The two straight seasons Gwin struggled he pulled nine top tens, five of which were podiums, and one of those was a win. Seems like the results Gwin achieved during his two "shit" seasons would make for a pretty darn good career for the vast majority of racers on the World Cup circuit.
  • + 6
 I could only assume Giant has the bank account for him, they haven't really been huge on the dh side of things aside from their actual bike; the new Glory.

He's already been through Trek and I'm sure theres some bad blood there from his sudden move to Spec. Gt I belive already has a team lined up since the Athertons left.

Giant seems to be the only one left in my train of thought.
  • + 1
 Worth is understood as an amount you should be payed, because of what you do for a organization. In reality worth is a measure of how hard you are to replace. Being a business as successful as Specialized needs to understand the cause and affect of making this decision. Is replacing Aaron Gwin going to beneficial? With the amount of exposer and profit Aaron brings to Specialized there's only few who can effectively replace him. Giving Aaron a raise is a small price to keep one of the most influential riders in the sport.
  • + 5
 He'll always ride for jesus before a bike brand.
  • + 1
 Come on!!!! hurry up an drake this post reach 1,000+ votes
  • + 0
 Jclnv - is this your voice of reason?
  • + 1
 ????????thats great
  • - 4
flag TguzDH (Dec 28, 2015 at 22:58) (Below Threshold)
 I wonder if mullally got a $ 50,000 bonus for winning with no chain...
  • + 4
 ^Dafuct? Neko didn't win.
@powderturns Villipoto + god + Volcom likely wasn't a good combo. Gwin should go to KTM to join the other Jesus boy!
  • + 2
 ha ha, 1,019 votes this post just went nuts. Much like the Leogang venue this year...
  • + 4
 Hah! Does this mean I'm popular? Or am I stealing Gwins spotlight? lol
  • + 0
 I don't believe in buying bikes based on the brand name, but that made me want to buy a Specialized bike less.
  • + 2
 In this case just pay him what he wants in chains.
  • + 2
 Actually, Mr Min is the best ;P
  • + 7
 Minnaar is the greatest of all time, but Gwin is the fastest right now. Greg was just interviewed by Warner and said it is just a matter of time before Gwin surpasses him. Even being the guy who was chasing Gwin's heels all season admits there is something superhuman about him when he turns it on. It would take Sam Hill coming back at full power to challenge this superhiman ability.
  • + 1
 @Rubberelli link to interview?
  • + 6
 The question is whether Sam Hill is able to go faster than Minnaar or Gwin these days. The game might have changed a lot since his glory days. Fast and loose seems to not be the way anymore if you look at how Minnaar railed everything in super dry Lenzerheide. Even the young guns like Bruni or Vergier keep it grippy with both feet up. When I saw Adam Brayton on final run in Val Di Sole it felt like he's going mach speed,causing earth quake. Minnaar was jumping from stone to stone in total control, like a mountain goat. Everything timed and precise. Gwin rides like a super human indeed but I think people will figure it out and catch up. It's like it's been with Hakkinen and McRae in WRC. Precision and tactics vs flat out.
  • + 2
 Only time will tell if Sam can still grab it, bit he has never ridden like the other leaders. When he came on thw scene everyone began adjusting their riding style to copy his magic, but it didnt work for them. He was still picking up wins and podiums just two seasons ago, so it is hopeful he will return to his legendary power. Like Hill, people will not "figure out" Gwin's riding because they are not superhuman either.
  • + 4
 gwin seems to be a bit of both hill and minnaar.
  • + 6
 What is incredible with Aaron is that I saw him going straight through incredible gnar where others at least pretended that they pay attention to some rocks. While Minnar or Brosnan had some sort of sinal wave going through the steepest part, he seemed to stay leveled, either planted or bouncing on tops of stuff. Quite honestly I have no fricking clue what I am talking about and how I could apply it to my riding.
  • + 4
 If one were to 'ride like Gwin' then you would need special access to a suspension company to customize a tune vastly more firm than anything available to the public. You would need to be strong as an ox to be able to handle the bike with such a suspension at speed through the gnar. And you would need jedi-like reflexes to see whats coming before it comes to be able to corner, lean and avoid obstacles at such a speed, pehaps 5 mph faster than anyone else, and with an unforgiving bike whose suspension would be working agaibst you at all times.
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns something something chainstays too short pivot too low
  • + 6
 Aaron never farts, his arse is never itchy, his balls are never sweaty - even on a plane. Aaron has beaten Chester on his favorite track on North Shore while riding it for the first time. Chester stopped using Strava after he added Aaron to friends list. Aaron taught Jesus to dive
  • + 2
 I've never been to a WC race, can you tell that the riders are much faster than your average DH rider? Can you tell the difference between the top 10 riders and the bottom 10? I was curious because TV can be very deceiving when it comes to speed.
  • + 1
 It's pretty obvious feet away that one rider is going faster than another. You will also notice that one rider seems to almost float through a section while another rider will seem to really ride that section. The floater is a blink-and-you-missed them kind of thing.
  • + 0
 so..bruni to canyon to hang with the claw
  • + 4
 Bruno to Spesh. Read the interview with Gwin carefully noting the stuff about the value of winning world champs,
  • + 1
 Gwin is Loeb while Minnar and Hill are the former.
  • + 1
 @Wakidesigns , wrong Finn. You mean Mäkinen, not Häkkinen. ;-)
  • + 1
 I agree about his value being slightly limited by his God squad personality. Not really the God part, he's just not very likeable or endearing is he? The sentence about he'd like to win a few world championships came across as a bit of a tit thing to say, given he hasn't won even one yet. To me anyway.
Agreed also about Sam Hill, Colin McRae. People's champs. Win it or bin it. Kevin Schwantz was too.
  • + 0
 @therealtylerdurden This is just why they had to let Gwin go. Once he said that the suspension works so much better without a chain, he wasn't worth a dime to Specialized anymore. You can't sell FSR like that. Aaron disagreed saying that he had very reasonable results at the WC races. As Specialized mentioned earlier, they aren't just about the results though. It is all good though. As we all know by now, he is racing for DMR now and will use his experience to fine tune the upcoming reincarnation of the Exalt frame. In honor of his time with Specialized, this new Exalt frame will come with a curved top tube.
  • + 5
 Jaame - For me personally, the expression "God squad" sounds as intelligent as "Heathen" or "Infidel" if you catch my drill Wink There surely are morons out there who chose brand of bikes based on belief system of it's team riders. I want this and that kind of bike and Ensuro 29 fits the picture, oh the S-Works is on 30% sale! Noo! i buy Bronson, because Spec support ms a guy from the God squad! WTF Jaame... If some Atheists or Agnostics can be so fkng stupid then what gives them right to laugh at the burning bush or virgin Mary?
  • + 2
 You must have noticed a lot of people in Europe find religious people irritating. Like a penis. Love it, but don't pull it out in my face. For me, the point of having sponsored riders is so that people will like them or want to be them, thus making them want the bike that said rider uses. Gwin is a machine. He is just so good. Too good in fact. I don't like him. I don't know why, I just don't. I wouldn't want what he rides. Bryseland? He's a rock star. I like the V10 more because of him. I might even buy one if the price was reasonable.
  • + 10
 Some of you act like Gwen is standing in the pits after races screaming at people "you're going to hell!". Additionally, it's ok for other rides to cuss and act like they are in a college fraternity, but that doesn't bother you. It seems like this is just your own bias showing through so much so that you feel the need to speak out about someone mentioning God in their interview and how that annoys people.
  • + 8
 He actually finished 2nd in 2014, only beaten by ratboy who was on fire! Hardly a shit season!! Haha, also in the same season at leogang he picked up no points when he rode the entire course with no rear tyre...
  • + 2
 Bryceland is a rock star? Now I've heard it all. The guy is funny and a supremely talented rider, but to say he is a rock star...get real. He might be a "rock star" on this site, but the rest of the world probably has no clue who he is. Buying a bike because you think their rider is the bees knees, well that's just silly.
  • + 4
 jaame - Indeed I'd love to hear less btchn no religion around. There is a quite big difference between being non-religious and anti-religious. The latter is the exactly same thing that annoys me in the dumber part of religious people. Gwin is super soft with his God thing. In Europe there is a plague of scientism and anti-theism - people who think that it is perfectly fine to throw sht at religion, you may be religious just keep it to yourslef - how about you keep your anti-theism to yourself. A-theism is about absence of God, how can there be no God, if quite a substantial group of idiots keeps on talking about him not existing, thus acknowledging a non-existing point of reference? So if you are really true to your "keep religion to yourself" values then please keep your anti-theism at bay, unless someone really tells you that you will go to hell or tries to cut your head off. And a fine example of such behavior is thinking that Gwins faith keeps people off bikes - So let's pretend that we are true New Atheists - what data, what facts do you have to support such argument? Can you at least present a logical chain of causalities of situation: Aaron thanks God > sales of Spec bikes? Hey, we are the non deluded people, we are the atheists, we need to try to keep it real Wink oooor did we just fall for an existential fab?
  • + 2
 mentioning God probably helps in the american market. I'm curious if the entire European market is bigger than north america.
  • + 1
 ratboy is indeed a rockstar, not as much as CG, but a rockstar still
  • - 2
 how about not mentioning or going on about it here. there's gotta be elsewhere on the interwebz for it.
  • + 3
 @fullbug pinkbike interviewed him, this isn't an ad taken out by Gwin. He mentions God indirectly once or twice, and that bothers you? Its a part of his speed pattern. No matter what the context or setting he will credit God when he talks. Its part of who he is. I don't see what the big deal is, and (hold your breath) I actually agree with Waki on this.
  • + 3
 him stating once or twice is no bother. run what ya brung. i guess it is enough to some to make it a drawn out discussion that even gwin himself probably would not care to participate in. there is nothing to disagree or agree with imo. if part of his pattern then i guess equally part of that pattern is this type of discussion to drag about. nbd. just stating my take. carry on then.
  • - 1
 WAKI, Religious tolerance is tolerance of stupidity. Like every subject it should not be excluded from ridicule and freespeech. It's that kind of protectionist attitude that has allowed it to persist for as long as it has. It's societal mental illness. Simple as that.
  • + 3
 Dunno if I'd call it societal mental illness but to Waki's point, being anti theist isn't the same as being atheist. Most (not all) atheists don't go around spouting their views about God unprovoked. A big difference. Their response and corresponding claims of science etc usually follow someone's spouting off about creationism or "gods will" etc. For what it's worth I don't find Gwin's religion to be particularly noteworthy. He's quieter about it lately, if anything. And god, or no god, he's easily the fastest man on two wheels at the moment. I can't wait to see where he ends up (YT) and how his season goes next year.
  • + 7
 yall need jesus
  • + 1
 I'm gonna walk up to my boss right now and tell him my worth, he better agree to it but something tells me I wont have a job to go to next week. Yes... Im working on NYE, sigh.
  • - 5
flag jaame (Dec 30, 2015 at 21:15) (Below Threshold)
 All I'm saying is, he's not a cool guy. I don't dislike religious folks by default, but that is part of what makes him uncool. Of course I respect other people's religions, just as they would respect my belief in
  • - 2
 the tooth fairy. She's the reason I have a job, a house and a loving family after all. I would probably never have even met my wife, or indeed learnt to walk and talk, without the tooth fairy.
  • + 3
 (disclaimer, I am not religious) If I was to be completely cold and rational I would say that Muslim fundamentalism plays in favor of most of us here. There can be no doubt that it turns the middle east into medieval times, which means their natural resources are out for grabs for developed civilisation. This is a symbiosis. Religion is as instrumental for us Westeners as it was 700 years ago. You may laugh at it as much as you want but religion puts food on your table. Without ideology US & Allies would not be able to invade Iraq, since they would not get the acceptance of the public. Oil from middle East, raw materials from civil war raged nations of Africa, are everywhere: in your food, in your household equipment, in your going to work everyday, in Minion DHF tyres. Bush said that God told him to strike Al-Qaeda. Religion is an ideology like any other, Master Race, One socialist nation, Manchester United. It does not matter what you are told to believe in - as soon as you are prone to group dynamics without being conscious of it, particularly ideology driven group dynamics (including immigrants welcome, stop Islamization, French or Rainbow flag over your FB profile) you are easy to get manipulated, Jew, muslim or atheist - no respect in that matter. If you cannot separate your self, your being from the rest and use group for particular purpose, if even for entertainment, you are done. Every individual should be able to realize at least a basic set of externalities of his actions and what makes his life the way it is. We have to move forward as humanity but this means lowering our standard of life, so are you willing to live a life without Mountain Bikes being a great deal of surplus? As much as religion stops us from developing as a life form in many ways, getting enraged because someone said he thanks God, is equally depraving us. We are a speck of star dust and spark in time - remember that. You may as well enjoy it. So again: if someone has a problem with bike brand because some team rider thanks God, where you have little clue what he means by that (and you assume quite bad things with no foundation what so ever because you do not know him) is a really retarded way of thinking. Be more than that if you do claim to be more reasonable than religious people. You simply fall under what psychologists call Hero archetype - you see a guy on TV or on your screen, he is famous and you expect him to be the perfect human being, that is one fitting personal values of yourself and of your peer group. Luv YA my fellow most developed agglomerations of atoms in proximity of X light years distance Big Grin
  • + 10
 PC Principal ^
  • + 2
 It's not really about religion. It's about is he a bloke you want to be, or a bloke you can identify with? For me, it's a no no both counts. I don't know what it is exactly, but certainly the magic friend references are a part of it, along with the other straight laced things he says. I just find myself watching him, expecting him to win but hoping he crashes. I can't be the only one. I don't know him, but from what I see, I don't particularly want to. I guess I'm all sport we're following a show, and there are heroes and villains. He's a dead set hero, but also a villain. Perhaps he should spend some time training his public image instead of his body. All great champs work as hard on winning the fans as they do on winning races. Tomac, for example. He was a bit of a weirdo too by all accounts, but when I was eleven I hard out wanted to be him.
  • + 1
 I think the is exactly right. For a company with 2 of the top racers and reaching their max market share for a given bike, is not worth the increased investment if you can maintain those sales at current or lesser cost. Much more worth the investment for a company with less market penetration which could easily double their sales with a top race winning on their bike.
  • + 4
 @jaame I wonder how much of it is regional or country specifi. I doubt many Americans would pick Gee as their favorite rider and ditto with Brits and Gwin.
  • + 2
 That is an extremely valid point.
  • + 3
 i pick sam hill
  • + 3
 I only write this for adding one more comment... wtf, I'd like to see a thousand, never saw it before. happy new year to all
  • + 2
 nice name benito, maybe on the fantasy contest of the DHWC there where 1000 comments
  • + 3
 Happy Nwe Year. Let it be the year of E-Bikes!
  • + 2
 @jaame Gwin's public image is exactly as it needs to be, this interview and any post race interview are examples. Whether you agree with his image is irrelevant. Countless others DO agree with his image and he is marketable because of it.
  • + 0
 He's maRketable because he's the fastest man to ever ride a bike. It's not because of his image.
I love e bikes! Have you seen that electric v10?
  • + 2
 I have seen that electric V10 and the Nomad. In person :/
  • + 1
 For an old weekend warrior like myself, that electric v10 would truly be the one bike to replace them all.
  • + 0
 There is no way to take this thread to 1000 comments, even if protour, ambatt and deeeight were here.
  • + 1
 Is 1000 the record?
  • + 1
 Only 99 to go now.
  • + 0
 @wakideisngs LOL on @ambatt!
  • + 1
 Is it confirmed about bruni going to specialized? Or is he going to Rocky mountain?

Also I remember hearing minnaar was leaving Santa Cruz. Was that just bs?
  • + 0
 I heard the Lapierre team is moving to Canyon. We should find out any day now...
  • + 2
 ^this. it makes the most sense
  • + 1
 The vast majority of racers aren't asking for 6 digit contracts.
  • + 2
 The vast majority of racers, that's quite a lot. Only few of those can even get close to Gwin. I think that's an important relation there. Plus, Gwin seems to be very sensitive to how his bike rides (not to say he can't ride it well when something is broken) which is very valuable for the R&D department of the bike manufacturer he rides for.
  • + 2
 When the duck are they going to ducking announce his new team!
  • + 1
 He has to be going to Giant ....right?
  • + 2
 Giant can afford it but I doubt they would want to. The Taiwanese are famously stingy with wages. That's why they always peddle the "developing new talent" line. The reality is more like, we're already the biggest company in the world without a top dollar rider, so why bother? If x won't do it for that price, someone else will.
  • + 1
 Probably a team that likes to hire well-established legends who have many years ahead of them. A team with resources to nurture the talent for a long shelf life, a winning bike and a winning team. A team that does not just discard their riders if an injury takes them out for a season. One of their legends is probably retiring and will need to be replaced. You do the math.
  • - 1
 well, the fact is that he will be riding fot YT, if you are that blind or dumb to not see it is another problem. The real question is, will YT make a factory team or will gwin make his own team sponsored by redbull
  • + 2
 The lack of an announcement yet is most likely due to the ink not yet being dry on a contract. The numerous debate and now thousands of comments has only upped his stock. If YT was certain, there is nothing holding back an announcement. Spesh has announced he's leaving. They have announced their new team. YT doesn't have a team so they have no courtesy wait period for a current rider who may be switching.
  • + 1
 I don't think YT have ever dealt with Fox, and Gwinner is a Fox stalwart. That is an interesting one to figure out. I wonder if the cash to buy his own Ford Raptor will be enough of a draw to get him to give Fox their Ford Raptor back and buy his own with big SRAM stickers on it.

As for tyres, he likes Maxxis, and rightly so.

What about Bos? I'm sure th3y would love to have him, but couldn't afford him.

I have to agree, if the deal was done it would have been announced.
  • + 0
 then most probably he will make his own team, and YT will provide the frames and some cash (like spec will do with Bruni and company)
  • + 2
 He won't go to YT. Just half a year ago, Stefan Willared, an engineer from YT, said that they have made very few experiences with world cups, so they won't launch a team and that Gwin's just too big to join them. You just can't build up a one man team with Aaron f*cking Gwin out of nowhere. We'd already know if the deal had been sealed.
  • + 1
 He seems perfect for YT, since he can easily put them on the top. The face of high tech MTBs would never be the same, imagine V10cc on Enve, Sessions, S-Works Demos being beaten buy a bike costing half, developed by a new company. So it's a big chance for YT unless he gets seriously injured. He didn't have a big one yet, which is usually what separates men from the boys and so far only Greg managed to pull it off with getting back all the way up. The closest one is Hill. So it's a big gamble for YT for sure. Canyon would also be perfect, especially since they are bigger than YT
  • + 2
 So, if Gwin is injured at some point, what happens to the hundreds of thousands put into just running a WC team, if he's a one man show? He would have to form his own team and hire other riders to ensure a presence at all the races, theoretically, and then contract to be the YT team. Does he want to go in that direction? What available riders are there that he could get that would be fit to be along his side? Seems a big undertaking. We shall see. I was buying the YT thing, but the lack of an announcement made me wonder if he wasn't fielding other offers. I say its Santa Cruz.
  • + 4
 I doubt he is going to YT for the reasons stated above, and there is no evidence whatsoever to support him going that way. Trek just signed the Athertons, and bad blood. Giant is already the largest bike manufacturer in the world, and they tend to stay cheap buy signing up and coming talent. Who else can afford him who already has a team? GT? They announced their team already. Santa Cruz? I have a hard time seeing them dishing out that much cash when they already have two WC winners from last year. Scott has that kind of money I suspect, but no carbon bike. Does that matter to Gwin? Does Intense have that much money? They are local to Gwin.

THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING ME
  • + 1
 SC does have Peat retiring, which means they will have a void to fill. Honestly, outside of Sam Hill, who else could possibly fill those shoes? Lucky they got themselves a cash infusion in the way of a new owner this year to afford it!
  • + 3
 gwin with the partying ways of the syndicate? i say no but
  • + 1
 I agree, I have a hard time seeing a drunken, rambling, laughing Ratboy in the same team video as Gwin
  • + 1
 Is Minnaar some hard partying pothead or something?
  • + 0
 no one can be a pothead on the wc sir your argument is invalid
  • + 2
 I also can't imagine Gwin taking a picture while he's peeing in a bath tub. And yes, Ratboy did this.
  • + 3
 By not announcing the new frame sponsor Gwin keeps the hype machine rolling. His IG and twitter account traffic likely has gone thru the roof since the announcement of leaving Specialized and this article going online. It seems the contracts run a calendar year...
  • + 1
 What about Commencal, Lapierre, or Devinci? Are any of them possible?
  • + 1
 just maybe he's thinking.....French girls are hot !
  • + 3
 In my opinion commenCal can't afford him. LaPierre had the world champ and canned the team to focus on ebikes, and devInci can't afford him and probably don't want him. I hope the Steve Smith of old comes back this year.
  • + 1
 Intense makes the most sense. Or maybe a Redbull team. Then Giant is a slim third possibility.

1. Intense
2. Redbull (frame?)
3. Giant
  • + 1
 With Intense, he can continue on with his American flag look. Palmer and Gwin Team USA.
  • + 1
 They must get paychecks from the US government ????
  • + 1
 Palmer did mention get a big name or two for a team last year, didn't he?
  • + 1
 Palmer said #1
  • + 1
 Intense would be a good fit for the both of them, I could see it happening. They sell a lot of bikes, not nearly what specialized does but maybe they can swing him considering they don't have much going on at the moment.
  • + 1
 Team Intense USA ! It's hard to see Gwin joining a team that isn't American. Almost guaranteed it's going to be Intense. I have a hard time with the idea of YT but I guess anything is possible.
  • + 0
 It would also benefit Specialized since Gwin would still be on a VPP bike. They'd probably even indirectly subsidize Intense for it to happen. I would now put money on it! It will be Intense for sure.
  • + 2
 13 more comments and we do have a 1000 C'm on! Which other athlete got so much attention, he's worth 7 figure salary, big time! Yes, Intense would be a great match, Muricah it should be! #Iwriteforaaron
  • + 1
 "We had a great run with Aaron, and we will always consider him part of the Specialized family" Specialized Sports Marketing's Gavin Noble
  • + 2
 ha, I am hung over....just realized I got Santa Cruz and Specialized all mixed up! So much for the VPP theory! haha....
  • + 1
 I've been thinking, hoping and saying intense since this article first hit. It would be awesome to see the original badasses of DH back on top!
  • + 1
 991. Come on intense! Totally makes sense. The Fox vs rockshox debate makes yt unlikely for me. Gwinner is Fox through and through.
  • + 2
 Gwin in the palm's gold jacket after hill?
  • + 2
 I just went to Intense's website. They already have Gwin's bike all dressed up in American flag. So far, they're calling it the M16 Palmer edition.
  • + 1
 M16, Uzzi, Gwin, Palmer.... god bless America. haha
  • + 1
 Next thing you know, he'll be sponsored by the US army. that would just send it over the top to ridiculousness ????
  • + 0
 Team America.....Fook ya'll 997
  • + 1
 Over 1000 comments !
  • + 1
 Turn the thread gold please @pinkbike
  • + 1
 @Rubberelli Is SC getting a new owner again? I thought they just went to PON Holding. PON also distributes VW cars so I wonder if they still have so much money left now that they've got to cope with all those recalls because of the ugly fraud thing.
  • + 2
 @vinay ugly fraud thing.... Cars still get 50+mpgs...can't be that bad for the environment.
  • + 2
 PON is the new owner.
  • + 4
 Was it only me seeing the irony of VW being busted for cheating on emissions in a country with most V8 per capita in the world?
  • + 1
 Though I think he's a hero, Arnold came across as a hypocrite saying they cheated the tests and damaged the environment. They did cheat, but he also claims to have invented the hummer.
  • + 1
 It's irrelevant anyways. By the time I get 50, that is age when you can get a bit wilder with spending on cars, the majority of personal vehicles will be electric and fuel cells, IF there will be such thing as privately owned cars as a social norm. I am already fully enjoying car pool rental.
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns I find it pretty damned fun vw won green car of the year twice with their dirty diesel. If anything they should get a reward for developing a program that can sense it's being tested.
  • + 1
 It is pretty ingenious. I'm surprised it got approved at the management level.
  • + 1
 The thing is, it is not about the numbers or the diesels being dirty, but about that they cheated on the numbers in general. I think a Ram, F-Series or Silverado V8 or what ever is still worse than a Golf 4 cylinder.
  • + 2
 They cheated an unjust, stupid law. They should be rewarded, not punished. .
  • + 3
 It's like that time IKEA cheated with meatballs making them from unhealthy foods which were consumed by kids. Someone from USA was a whistle blower.
  • + 2
 @hamncheez- how is it unjust and stupid?
  • + 0
 While we're waiting for more news on Gwin, we just go off topic, right Wink . Sorry for triggering that, didn't mean to. Now that we're on it, yes I think it was unfair by VW and yes there must have been some clever engineering behind that. See, fuel efficiency is a major thing to consider when buying a car and there are many manufacturers doing their best to do well there. A large number of customers in that part of the market went for a VW because the numbers looked right and therefore didn't buy a car from a competitor which may have been close. Many of those customers would have bought a different brand if they would have been able to compare the fair numbers. So this makes it unfair competition. The other thing is that, to promote the sale and development of fuel efficient vehicles, the government gives a tax discount on those vehicles (or it may be different in different countries). That's tax money, money from society to promote the sale of fuel efficient vehicles. So by their practice, VW does not only cheat on their customers (who may not even care that much) but also on their competitors and on the tax payer.

Compare it to road cycling (for those who have been following that). Lance Armstrong just was an amazing athlete and could probably perform very well without the doping. There was also a very advanced system behind hiding the whole thing. But if you take away all those who've been riding with the stuff or at least have had everyone ride without it, a different athlete would have won. Probably an athlete who's never received the success and respect Lance had experienced some point in his career.

Now, as long we don't know more about Gwin, this thread will now fork into a VW branch and a Lance Armstrong branch. Sorry for that Wink .
  • + 5
 The EPA laws governing fleet emission rates for cars is thousands of pages long, contradictory, favors billionaires like Elon Musk, and there is good evidence that it increases emissions, or just exports emissions to developing countries like China.

First, the US mandates that part of our fuel is ethanol, from corn, which by some estimates takes .8 gallons of diesel (to run the farming equipment) to grow enough corn to produce 1 gallon of ethanol. All this corn also takes huge amounts of synthetic fertilizer, which takes huge amounts of electricity to manufacture (most electricity in the world comes from fossil fuels like coal). Adding ethanol to gas reduces the efficiency and mileage of cars, making them pollute more per mile driven and per pound of freight hauled. Ethanol also has worse emissions than standard gas. Ethanol also ruins your engine and requires more servicing, higher turnover of parts that have to be manufactured, etc. Finally, this has raised the global cost of basic food groups, a wonderful thing if you're in a developing economy and you make $5/day.

Second, the EPA generally regulates on a "fleet" level, meaning a horribly complex formula where all the models across a manufacturers line are averaged out to reach emission compliance. This incentivizes auto manufacturers to put SUVs on truck chassis instead of something like a crossover so they can be classified differently and held to a lower emission standard. A true SUV is larger, heavier, and is far less efficient than a crossover like a CR-V or RAV4. More weight means more steel that has to be mined, smelted, and refined, all of which consume enormous amounts of energy and produce emissions. These dumbfoundingly stupid fleet rate formulas is the reason why GM continues to dump billions of dollars into failed cars like the Volt (that gets huge subsides from taxpayers) and other hybrids. There is a reason why in Europe, where gas is over 4 times as expensive as the US, you won't find many hybrids on the road; they don't make sense without the EPA distorting market prices. The fleet regulations are also arbitrary and capricious. Telsa, a company by billionaires for millionaires, gets a large portion of its revenue from selling what amount to "pollution credits", which they don't need to sell their cars because they pollute from burning coal instead of gas. They sell these credits to other manufacturers, which the EPA gives in a disproportionate amount to Telsa because they are "green".

Thirdly, diesel is better than gas for most auto applications. From an emission standpoint, its more complex than saying diesel pollutes more/less than regular gas, but most EPA regulations control diesel on fuel consumed rather than work performed; diesel in many ways pollutes more per gallon used, but you get better mileage as well so its much more complex than just an apple-to-apple comparison. Diesel cars are more expensive, but this makes it pay to keep a car on the road longer, and they last longer than a gas-powered vehicle, making the turnover rate for new cars lower. Many studies claim that manufacturing a car pollutes as much as a lifetime of fuel consumption, so lowering the turnover rate of new cars will enormously reduce emissions.

So the EPA creates this complex game of fleet rules, emission credit swapping/selling, and incentivizes people to buy new cars more often. All this dramatically raises the cost of buying a car, which hurts poor people the most. If you can afford to drop $40k on a new truck or sportscar, that X% increase in its price is not an issue. If you're a working father and you need a new minivan to get your kids to school, that X% increase in cost is crippling. The EPA laws governing emissions and efficiency generally don't work, transfer wealth from poor/middle class people to the rich, and enables Elon Musk to make billions off of selling supercars to millionaires at the expense of everyone else.

~
~
~
PS: I dont' mean to hate on Elon Musk, I'm just using him as an example. I really admire what he has done and I would love to have a Tesla, but the regulatory incentives put in place by the US government push a genius to spend his smarts, resources, and charisma on gaming the system rather than on truly innovating.
  • + 4
 Dude. What the f*ck. This thread was about Aaron Gwin and Specialized, now it's a forum for discussing IKEA, the EPA and Elon Musk?

f*cking pinkbike, man.
  • + 3
 I blame WAKI
  • + 2
 Hamncheez, for freaking once I could not agree more with you on government regulations. All people related to propagation of fuel made of purposefuly grown vegetables deserves a stick dipped in tabasco being put down their urinal all the way to the bladder. As to Tesla - I love the idea if it ever contributes to creation of less toxic batteries.
  • + 1
 @hamncheez Its not WAKI's fault its vinays....Then I ran with it having just bought a brand new TDI a ,month before manure hit the fan...
  • + 3
 Yep, it is my fault. Don't blame it on WAKI.

I also agree that it sucks turning food into products or fuel. Also don't forget that a lot of land is not being used to grow food for the people there. Instead they grow soy for the animals who're then shipped halfway around the world just to be slaughtered in a western country just for the meat. Those who don't die along the way, that is. That same amount of land could be used to feed a lot of people there. Or just remained the beautiful rainforest it used to be.

I was actually surprised to receive my Seasons DVD (from The Collective, currently Anthill productions) proudly stating that part of the packaging was made from potato starch. Why was that?

I know, Aaron Gwin isn't featured on the Seasons DVD but at least it is bicycle related. It is my contribution that hopefully will bring this thread back on track. I understand the importance of the internet media nowadays so if Aaron Gwin appears at the Lourdes' startline on a Loekie, blame it on me. Please don't blame it on WAKI.

That said, Loekie does have a few bikes without chain and with airless tyres. Gwin should be fine.

Sorry again.
  • + 1
 Hamncheez giveth credit, Hamncheez taketh...
  • + 0
 It's official he's signed with YT why aren't you covering it? @pinkbike
  • + 0
 who cares
  • + 2
 Because it has leaked and thereby both Gwinn and YT refuse to comment if it is true or not. Now please stop commenting about it, all the updates are getting annoying.
  • + 1
 Riding for ktm, Audi, red bull on fox / YT bikes.
  • + 2
 Hamncheez, great post regarding the EPA, gov. regulations, etc.

So this whole YT/Fox/RB/KTM/Audi thing seems to be true. Will there be other riders on the team?
  • + 1
 1000+ comments.....yes people, aron gwin is pretty much a big deal.
  • + 1
 thanks mate, I knew it
  • + 2
 I've been stoked on YT for the past year, I want to get a bike before the 2017 season, but with Gwin on board... goddamn. Dude is a living, breathing marketing tool (which is, incidentally, a good thing) and everyone and their mother is going to want to be on Gwin's bike. Demand for the Tues is going to go through the roof, and I really hope I can snag one.

If YT can hang with the demand, and Gwin clicks on the bike, well... this will be an absolute f*cking goldmine for them. And you know what? Good for YT. I'm happy for them. They're innovators and deserve the success. They're shaking up an outdated and needlessly complicated industry model while delivering value to their customers, and getting their bikes underneath the most prolific riders on the planet.

If people want to continue shelling out $6000+ for a DH bike because outside reps, shop owners, mechanics, sales staff and store managers want their piece of the pie, they're welcome to keep doing just that. I've known many people in all of these positions, some of them are great guys, and some of them are greedy, money-hungry ass holes. Maybe it's that I'm cheap, or jaded, or that I'm just not all that generous. I'd rather make up my own mind as to what my needs are, speak directly to the manufacturer, pay for just the BIKE and the SHIPPING, then learn to assemble, maintain, and repair my bike myself, and save a few thousand dollars because 5-10 additional people weren't in some small way involved with my purchase.
  • + 1
 Totally agree. Paying someone 40% to make a phone call is not cool. I know they have to pay their mortgage. I do too.
  • + 2
 Those links don't mean it is official, they just used the unofficial source as their source. As long as Gwinn and/or YT themselves didn't post anything about it, it is NOT official.
  • + 2
 I totally agree Martis. The world is changing in high speed, and as a company you have two options: start whining about how people should not change and go bankrupt while whining, or see the change as a new door that opens in front of you; an opportunity that can make you more successful than ever.
A good example of this are the cd stores that were complaining about people downloading music. But the smarter companies saw their opportunity in downloading and hopped on it, built a legal downloading platform where you still have to pay for the music, but don't have the inconvenience of having to use an old school CD player (since everyone started to buy smaller MP3 players), and these companies got extremely rich from hopping onto this change.
Same for CRC, started out as a small bike shop around the corner, saw the demand for an online bike shop, was one of the first ones to hop on it, and now they are huge. Or they could have gone bankrupted if they would have been like most bike shops complaining about people buying online. Same goes for YT and Canyon, it is the next step forwards.

But at the same time lets not forget that most people here on Pinkbike I think are people who actually know stuff about bikes. I know way too many cyclists who litterally can't replace a tube and bring their bike to the lbs when the headset has a bit of play in it (which means paying €15 or more for loosening and tightening 3 bolts, and not being able to ride for 2 days until they fixed it and you get your bike back). Sadly I feel like the majority or cyclists over here is like this.

Thereby YT and Canyon are perfect for the type of cyclist who knows their stuff, knows how to build and maintain a bike, does his research about what is good and what not, instead of the lbs trying to sell him that one bike they can't get rid of. YT and Canyon are the next big things, at least the way they work. But only for "real cyclists" who know their stuff.
  • + 1
 @Mattin gets it!
  • + 1
 Mattin, in that case you should also include Commencal in your comment as they have also shifted their business model and became a direct seller. Now where would trek fit in here?, they are also doing something along the lines of YT, Canyon and Commencal but without excluding the retailer.
  • + 1
 But when commencal went consumer direct they forgot the most important thing about that business model.
  • + 1
 @jaame They don't actually send you the bike? That sucks indeed.
  • + 3
 Ok the second most important part. They didn't reduce the prices.
  • + 1
 In the states, it's YT and Commencal right now. Trek can't be included, as you still have to go through a dealer and pay the inflated prices that come with (as I said before) the many unnecessary parties remotely involved with the sale of the bike, who all want their cut. Canyon still isn't up and running in the US, and Airborne... well, I like the bikes, and they have the right idea, but they're still sort of stigmatized as a company selling re-branded Iron Horse Yakuzas with bargain-basement components. Plus, I hate to say it, they don't have Zink, Lacondeguy, McGarry, Granieri, or now probably Gwin riding their bikes. I like to know that there's riders out there who go 100 times bigger than I do on the same frame I'm on. It's why I simply TRUST my bike right now, a Session.

Truth be told, I didn't even know until right now that Commencal was direct in the US. I've been checking out their site... the bikes look okay, the prices look eh... but I still feel like the best value for the best product right now is YT, and from what I understand, this is possible because of their no-frills business model. If Canyon is available by the time I'm ready for a new bike, I'll take a Torque for a spin and see if I enjoy it. But as of right now, YT gets my money. They're really doing a lot of things right.

Keep in mind, I'm proud to be a cheap motherf*cker. I fly on Spirit Airways, live in the smallest place I can handle, and drive a perfectly functional 14 year old WRX. I just don't see the point in flushing money down the toilet when you don't have to. Mountain biking has become incredibly expensive, and it really doesn't have to be that way if you're dealing with companies who have trimmed the fat, so to speak.
  • + 2
 When I was working in a bikeshop, we offered most brand bicycles in two packages. A complete package and a discounted package to compete with the webshops (which we didn't have ourselves). The discounted package gets you what you get from a webshop, the nearly assembled bike in a box just like we received it from the distributor or like you'd receive it from a company like YT. The complete package gets you the typical bike shop deal with the assembled and tuned (gears etc) bike. We'd cover warranty and shipping and you could borrow a replacement component if a major component (frame/fork etc) is off for warranty or repair. We sold both packages and we were fine with that as we understood some don't mind or like to work on their bike and some others (typically road cyclists who ride technically much simpler bicycles) prefer to just stick to riding and basic maintenance and leave the rest to us. We only didn't offer the discount on bikes we had to build to spec including frames welded to spec. It doesn't make sense to semi-assemble a bike and then prepare it for shipping. It is actually easier to build a complete bike right away. Thinking of it the model to semi-assemble a bike at a distributor for shipping and then do final assembly at the bikeshop makes little sense in terms of the amount of work you pay people to do. I'm with most of you, I don't mind assembling my bike. I'll have to anyway if I replace anything or if I have to travel with the bike.
  • + 191
 The change of team is probably because shit kept falling off his bike
  • + 172
 It's designed to get lighter as he gets close to the bottom...
  • + 38
 Was actually waiting for him to start riding without a frame
  • + 31
 Gwin was going to be the frame. Like they say, "be one with the bike..."
  • + 17
 Yeah just tuck the hubs between your hands and feet and there you go.
  • + 6
 "Almost equally important is the company's social vibe. By vibe, I'm referring to an overall direction, image, style, etc. To accurately sum it up, I value a consistently professional relationship that is both cordial and enjoyable during obligatory cultural activities. Haha!"

Specialized sucks at this.
  • + 5
 I'm just waiting for Mike Sinyard to announce that he's going to take over riding duties. Kind of the Jackie Moon of downhill racing.
  • + 1
 Please not another hub standard! !!
  • + 1
 Mike Sinyard, America. Mike Sinyard, America..
  • + 179
 No one can be a top rider forever, fair play to Gwinn for trying to make as much cash from his success now because he won't be able to command a top salary when he's 50+. Bet its still a crap load less than the road team riders command.
  • + 73
 And light years away from pro moto riders.
  • - 12
flag Mattin (Dec 28, 2015 at 2:47) (Below Threshold)
 Good to finally see someone use 'light years' in the correct way. Most people seem to think it is a form of time, while it actually is a distance
  • + 110
 If "light years' is an amount of distance, not an amount of time, is it 'correct' to measure an amount of money with it?
  • + 4
 I guess he's doing the right thing. being paid below your market value is a shame. I hope they're paying Jared well
  • + 1
 Haha nice one Smile
But since it is a superlative degree of a know saying, I would say it is correct
  • + 78
 Jared, the subway guy? I hear he gets paid in footlongs now... Sick bastard.
  • + 2
 Bet he is on..... fantastic money. Much more than most would even think is available. Way more than pinkbike reported and that's just the frame deal. Let's see if everyone goes out and buys a Yt now.
  • + 31
 @Mattin I'm with ya, I get paid in light years, I buy mcdonalds with light years and I tuck light years in strippers g-strings when I'm out. It's just a shame I have to drive 100 dollars to the strip club.
  • + 13
 @timwdavid - we measure money with terms like 'sh!t ton' and 'butt load', not 'light years'.
  • + 9
 But it is a saying to say difference in 'miles' though right? As in also things that are not measurable in cm, m, feet or whatever. Such as "the geometry on that old bike was miles ahead of their competitors", for example referring to an old bike with a slack HA and short chainstays. Or am I wrong about this being a saying? if so, I will have to take some English lessons again..
  • + 19
 A light year is the DISTANCE in which light travels over the course of a year... He is expressing the great distance between the two salaries. Am I the only one who understands this?
  • + 0
 @Mattin "Miles ahead" refers to the length of a metaphorical line of progression, while the original comment, "light years away from pro Moto riders" refers to an apparent hypothetical chart of pay scale of all two-wheeled professional athletes. Your comment was downvoted and called out because you got super technical but were not being technical yourself. Go ride yer bike now.
  • + 8
 I see the difference now, thanks for explaining. English is the 3rd language I speak, so it's not perfect, but I'm working on it Smile
  • + 3
 i would be veryyyy willing to bet this was the deal breaker right here! Vincenzo Nibali won the 2014 tour de france for specialized. gwin probably wanted something comparable in salary or bonus for winning the title and specialized laughed. i give props to gwin for leaving.
  • + 0
 @Mattin good on you. Keep trying! ????????
  • + 3
 Nah, you were right; he was saying there was a large gap between salaries, metaphorically a distance.
  • + 1
 Well they might, they will just have to wait awhile to get it.
  • + 0
 Who here has bought a bike because of a rider or team? How much per bike would you pay for a brand that has a big race budget?
  • + 2
 @mattin I apologize if my comment was course, I also understand the challenges associated with speaking another language. Have a nice day
  • + 4
 No worries man!
  • + 3
 villapotto got 22 mil this year to race gp, he was getting 11mil+ to race in america prior.. DH riders have a ways to go in getting more monies allocated to their division. I love gwin but dang is he boring, not hating but yeesh
  • + 8
 Dungey gets 1 metric ass ton of money. True story. All mtb riders need to be paid more. You know who doesn't need more money. Roadies
  • + 7
 yeah but if roadies get paid less, their personal "doctors" and "nutritionists" will get paid less. and they're the backbone of pro cycling. we cant have the whole system collapse!
  • + 2
 A metaphorical 9,000,000 km distance, to be exact.
  • + 4
 @dangeruss - Wrong sport to be in if you want to be rich. You get 10 years at a salary not much higher than a decent white collar job pays, but you can't do it competitively past 30-35 and then you're left with zero transferable skills. Only the TOP TOP TOP guys can make a life long career out of cycling.

@ccolagio - road cyclists get paid more because more people ride road and thus more people are interested and watch the events. Most people don't even know what DH racing is much less care enough about it to watch.
  • - 9
flag TFreeman (Dec 29, 2015 at 9:13) (Below Threshold)
 More people ride road because it's for the weak and feeble. Don't believe me? The % of 50 and up roadies is much higher than 50 and up down hill riders.
  • + 11
 ^^^ that may be the most ignorant comment I've ever seen on PB. You have no clue what you are talking about...
I have done both and they are so different you cannot compare them.
Weak and feeble? A top level Master racer would crush you on a climb.
Time to get out of your parent's basement and enter the real world.
  • - 8
flag TFreeman (Dec 29, 2015 at 9:55) (Below Threshold)
 Yes. I see from your name you carry no biased. Also, road riding is discipline, nothing more, just put in miles and time and eat well. Mtb requires you to pretty much fall down and get back up time and time again as yiu push yourself to new speed, find your limit and push past it. Also it takes more of a toll and requires a stronger body. Not just leg strength but core and arm strength. Yeah, road biking at a top level isn't for everyone, but the road bikers I usually see in my area are mainly from 45 and up. I'm just saying you can participate at a solid level, maybe not expert, but a good level, and be older.
  • + 6
 Clearly you have never had a lay down at 60+ km/h descending on a road bike. It's like falling on a cheese grater and all you have to protect you is a skin suit. This does not happen once- this happens many times (at a competitive level). But as they say, ignorance is bliss.
  • + 4
 Yes sounds so fun. Enjoy that.
  • + 4
 Peter Sagan makes 4 million Euro (about $4.5 million) per season under his current contract. He has said he prefers MTB to road but has virtually no time for it as the training schedule for road stage races and classics is very intense. The top road racers spend almost two months of each year in all-day races. Sagan is one of the top-paid. Other stars of road cycling reportedly make between 2-3.5mm Euro per season. www.skysports.com/cycling/news/21683/9914043/just-how-much-do-chris-froome-and-the-rest-of-the-peloton-earn.

What Gwin is so expert at is, ahem, more specialized, and could not possibly be done on the same scale -- anymore than football players could play 162 games per year. I would guess that Gwin will be in the low seven figures, but sadly most of the great downhillers make nowhere near this amount, unlike in road cycling where there are probably several hundred riders making a very comfortable living. There just is not enough money in the sport to pay these men and women according to their skill and the risks that they take. The money can come from sponsors, TV rights, and paid tickets, but none of those are pumping out sufficient levels of cash.
  • + 3
 so AG apparently on YT, not made official yet but ---> twitter.com/CamZink/status/682009167666622466
  • + 0
 @RLenglish You make a valid point, I don't know anyone who bought their bike because of a sponsored rider
  • + 3
 Direcltly; not. Indirectly; for sure, many people. They think the bikes are the best because the pros "choose to ride it". Or "if it's good enough for a pro rider, it is definitely good enough for me". It takes away the insecurity before buying a new bike; you're investing your money into something safe if even the pros ride that same bike. There's a big reason why companies sponsor pro riders: it is not a charity, it is because their sales go up a lot.
  • + 1
 Hmmm, subliminal messaging, you also have a valid point @Mattin
  • + 1
 Just so you know Mattin, I think he meant 'coarse' and not 'course'....
  • + 1
 I think the reason yt canpay him the $120,000 he wants is because they are already selling them faster than they can make them. But I feel like there is more mileage in enduro and the capra. They should have gone for graves or rude. They already have three big dick playas riding the Tues.
  • + 1
 @jaame - Wait, $120k is a RAISE? Pro DH is paid that little??
  • + 1
 $120k?? That MUST be a typo...
  • + 1
 if the salaries of DH riders increase, the prices of our bikes will do also
  • + 1
 That's American dollars, not Zimbabwean.
  • + 2
 @Alias530 @therealtylerdurden rumour was Gwinn asked for $500k from Specialized on a frame only deal, so $120k doesn't make much sense.
  • + 1
 I heard he asked for his retainer to go from 100 to 120, and his win bonus to increase from 25k per world cup to 50k, and 100k for the overall, plus 100k for the world champs. So if he won three world cup races and the overall and the world's he'd be doing 500k approx from specialized. I heard a word he did about half that in 2015. Obviously it could be inaccurate though.
  • + 1
 If these figures are correct, it is fairly shocking. If accurate, riders who finish outside the top 30 are probably barely making enough to pay for rent and buy burritos.
  • + 2
 You have to remember Specialized is not his only revenue stream. He's also getting paid by Red Bull, SRAM, Fox (who even give him a Ford Raptor for free. It might not be his but who cares if you get to use it?). Troy Lee too. Not shitty companies by any stretch. As for top 30s struggling to pay the rent, I would say that's fully accurate. Outside the top ten it's a lifestyle choice. Look at Cam Cole and Justin Leov.
  • + 2
 Thanks @jaame. An eye-opener for me. It is too easy to assume that, because they are so highly skilled and dedicated and draped with logos and such, they might actually be making some serious coin. Not that anyone is "entitled" to make megabucks doing what he or she loves, of course, but holy cannoli, I bet top sport fishermen make more than top mountain bikers (nothing against them either).
  • + 1
 I think that's a lot of money! I'd love to be making half or even a quarter of what he makes! It might be a load of shit anyway. It's just what I heard. you can't really believe it unless you hear it from the horse's mouth
  • + 148
 At least the guy said it as it is, instead of some drawn out rubbish about stuff that doesn't even make sense. It begins with a passion that ends up as a job, the dichotomy between fun and finance will forever haunt our sportsmen and women.
  • + 6
 Couldn't have put it better - also when the fun starts fading and the ride feels more like a job than a willful act of joy then you definitely need to examine where you're at. Finding that middle ground doesn't pay the bills but it sure keeps the thrill of it all alive. I think this was a bad move on either part - Aaron's either pushing too hard for monetary gain and Specialized is like we just got married I'll give you the check book soon enough. That's what it sounds like to me and from Aaron's last exit from Trek being a similar fashion of butting heads. This will definitely make for an interesting season - begs the question - can any other frame handle a no chain World Cup win or was that just Aaron's raw power - I think it's a bit of both. Best of luck to whoever can nab him and hopefully lick him down - if one of the strongest companies can't pay out what he wants the only other company on my mind is Scott. Let the betting begin!
  • + 28
 Specialized went about this much better than Trek when Gwin left.
  • + 9
 I agree, people often forget that in these high risk sports, just any pro sport really, you need to stack paper as quick as possible because you are always one injury away from never riding again. I feel like he'd destroy on a V10, but I don't think SC wants him or can afford him with the god of DH on their team because if Gwin is the Jesus of DH then Minnaar is god. Would make for an amazing series though... Gstaad-Scott is a good guess. Maybe we'd see more course previews with Gwin and Claudio.
  • + 8
 the price of SC they could pay him in gold ingots
  • - 3
 Yeah, I still think he's a egotistical and uncharismatic, but at least he's honest.
  • + 4
 Yeah, both sides seem ridiculously professional in a business sense here. Kind of refreshing seeing a split play out like this.
  • + 1
 @abzillah to be fair we must recognize this as a very different situation. His contract with specialized was done and they simply were at 2 different places when negotiating a new one. In his trek contract there was still time on the contract but huge disagreements pertaining to whether both parties were honoring their side of it.
  • + 2
 Hence why anybody mentioning that Santa Cruz should grab him must be ill.
  • + 2
 @mixmastamikal I understand the situation wasn't exactly the same, but it was similar. Both were over contract renewal. Everytime someone has left specialized, the company has only good things to say about them. When Sam Hill and Darren Derrecloth left, specialized appreciated the time they worked for them, and said good bye kindly.
  • + 5
 @zeerob Can't see Gwin on SC. They've always been a different brand and their team reflects it. Greg, Peaty and Rat have all bought into the brand vibe at SC. Gwin would be an absolute stick in the mud.
  • + 2
 I agree, it was more a comment about the V10 and seeing him switch to a bike that rides much different. I wouldn't want him with Syndicate, you are right, and I don't think they allow you on the team if you aren't drinking beers after an a-fib diagnosis and every race. Be crazy to how many comments the announcement for his new team gets.
  • + 1
 I think the v10 is probably the best bike. The best rider on the best bike would be unstoppable.

What happened with trek world racing anyway? Did it ever emerge?
  • + 1
 He's going to he riding for Intense. It's almost way too obvious. First Palmer, then Gwin...both love American flags!
  • + 126
 I pity the lad if he signs for Canyon because he will miss the entire 2016 season waiting for his bike to arrive :-(
  • + 45
 Same could be said for YT.
  • + 20
 It is astounding, the amount of people that cant read the litle canyon website time thingie of when the bike will be actually available.

Im courious do you people throw money at the screen without even cheking if the bike is available?
  • + 10
 Shots fired!
  • - 15
flag onemanarmy Plus (Dec 28, 2015 at 8:41) (Below Threshold)
 YT will build him a few of exactly what he asks them for. But I would not be surprised to see him go back to Trek now that they're getting their isht back together.
  • + 5
 @fercho25 before assuming people are idiots, you may want to know that canyon has had huge delivery delays relecently. Compared to usual, it's catastrophic.
  • + 6
 "Catastrophic"

Uuno- 2015
  • - 7
flag RedBurn (Dec 28, 2015 at 10:24) (Below Threshold)
 Gwin "First, the bike has to be able to win races. It doesn't necessarily have to be the best bike at the time, but it does have to be a solid start, and I have to believe that I can win on the bike."

no way he goes for YT ... these bikes wheigh 18kg it can t win a WC .. NO WAY ... GWIN TO THE SYNDICATE and BRUNI TO SPECIALIZED
  • + 5
 @RedBurn Please dude, Gwin ride with the best components in the world and the carbon YT Tues bike is at 15,8Kg for the best one and 16,5kg for the "worst"... Only the low-end alu Tues weight 17,9kg. Wink

And don't forget that they don't have a "catalog" bike from Astro or a Taiwan brand. So they can create a new bike with Gwin feedbacks.
  • + 4
 @Redburn...
You dont think a YT is able to win races??? Lacondeguy can ride the wheels of.. Or are you a snob who only believe in the
"BIG" brands.!! Johnny !!!
I own a YT tues cf pro; 15.8 kg. MF !!!!!!!!
  • + 3
 Gwin to KTM! I'm tellin' ya!
  • + 9
 @RedBurn

You're delusional if you think Gwin would go to the Syndicate. Do you think really think that religious, no beer drinking Gwin would put up with Ratboy's antics for 1 second?
  • + 0
 The YT tues is one of the best bikes on the market... I'd much prefer that over a demo.
  • + 2
 yeah after thinking you right .... what's "sure" is Bruni to Specialized or Santacruz ... but WHERE could Gwin go ?? imo, YT or Canyon can't afford .. (if even Specialized can't anymore )

What I thought is that, MAYBE, Yeti is preparing something big, like a new DH bike who includes the fox infinity or I don't know what ... According to me, it's a logic move.... They lost Graves, and have more than full $$$ ... and they're a bit out of the dh world these days but we know them... they come back!!

I know he was already at yeti before .. but it's not impossible! Ragot came back at Mondraker after one year by Lapierre ... Wink

Anyway, we'll see, but GWIN to YETI would be the BOMB !!!! Smile
  • + 4
 Pretty sure Bruni will go to Spec. There is a picture of him in his new One Ind gear and he is wearing Spec's new gravity clipless shoes.
  • + 0
 where is that?
  • - 1
 I don't think you kids get it. Specialized could pay him triple what he wanted. The fact is, he isn't worth it. You can't pay Graves less than Gwin.
  • + 6
 AARON GWIN stops DH and begins a NBA carreer www.instagram.com/p/_zXJxdFStw
  • + 1
 @Redburn Ive talked to people that he knows and there is a very good chance he his going to YT
  • + 1
 would be interesting ! (edits with Andreu !! ) we'll see!
  • + 4
 I think it would be very clever of YT to have Gwin on the team. The Tues started out as a pure DH race bike, not necessarily freeride. Their point was to provide younger (talented) riders with an affordable bike good enough to perform at a high level. To do so, they went with a single build instead of a million versions around the same frame. That was the whole concept. After a while, the started doing some incredible deal by the end of the season. Pre order an amazing bike and receive it early spring. This way they wouldn't be left with an expensive overstock. Apparently this made them so popular that they could continue having several build in their line up and still be sharp with their pricing. They had some dj riders like Mats Haugen and that's how Andrieu Lacondeguy got in as well. It is just that he also rides big mountain stuff on their downhill bike (Tues) and that's what probably got the brand noticed overseas. Remember though that Lacondeguy rode the Mondraker Summum before this, he just likes a big bike for the big stuff. It is not uncommon, Nico Vink also rides a pretty long and slack downhill bike for freeride. But the Tues is still very much a DH bike and judging by the comments here, not everyone is aware of that. YT already has enough capable riders showing how much of a freeride bike the Tues is. It would indeed be wise to sign a skilled DH racer to get that point across. Especially in the US where the brand is fairly new. I'm not saying I know more than you do, but I agree having a successful DH racer like Gwin on the team would be a good move. No doubt they have the money. A SC V10 is more expensive indeed and that is just why YT will probably sell many Tues completes for every V10 (frame) sold.
  • + 1
 Gwin s last post on instagram www.instagram.com/p/_7p_-BlSvc

"Bikes ARE rad" which suppose the three guys ride the same bike, and his friend on the left at the end of the vid got a Scott GENIUS :

----> GWIN ON SCOTT ???
  • + 2
 Well, Scott has the money
  • + 1
 Who would benefit from Gwin. A company like GT or Giant already sells bikes. A company like Intense would see their sales explode. We'll have to see if a medium sized company can afford him.
  • + 1
 @RedBurn Yes if the whole religion thing is still an issue. Nico Vink is a big fan of this old Catholic rock band so that should make a good match.
  • + 2
 I would love it if it turned out to be a small to medium sized brand
  • + 103
 For sure he asked less than a top roadie, so huge propa for Gwin for trying to change that proportion.
  • + 46
 From what you can read about the financial change in the sport since Palmer came and went leads me to think that all the racers should unionise. The market is far bigger than it has ever been, with increasing sales, branding and popularity, not to mention the racers are going faster and harder than ever... Time to cough up.
  • + 4
 @downhillnirvarna you might be onto something
  • + 4
 I'm a big union guy myself but they all have their own manager to bargain contracts ... I don't really see the point. I guess if they all just collectively had access to information on eachothers pay and benefits there would be something to build on ...
  • + 8
 now that we are talking about Palmer... is it possible that Aaron is moving to Intense? defo the V10 is cappable of winning races
  • + 5
 karoliusz - I am quite sure that he asked less than an average pro-roadie...
  • + 20
 Your out of touch, the average road rider is making pennies compared to the big guys who are actually winning big stage races. Certainly a livable salaries but not six figures. Also we need to stop comparing road salaries to downhill salaries, road riders have contracts with their teams, not individual contracts with each of their sponsors the way Gwinn and many other downhill riders have. Road riding also has a far larger base of spectators drawing in far bigger sponsors outside of the bicycle industry so certainly there is a larger cashflow from title sponsors to teams and eventually down to the riders, but saying that average pro roadies are making it so downhillers cant earn the salaries they want is simply inaccurate.
  • + 4
 Downhill bike sales are just a fraction of road bike sales so the economy of scale is well off. Gwins talking to a miniscule share of Specializeds market... I guess his "research" missed that point.
  • + 8
 Plus DH riders risk their balls every time they get down the hill. Ok. Rodies risk their balls too, only because of something else...
  • + 2
 When Gwin leaves the sport I fear it will be like when Palmer left. Everyone who sticks around will get paid substantially less and downhill will decline again
  • + 9
 @johnnyboy I'm with you on that. What was Gwin's 'research' that led him to decide on himself what his 'market value' really is? Simply put, outside of the downhill world his marketing strength is basically zero to the world at large. However, throw the tour de france winner into an advert for something and people will notice more.

It may not be the way we all want it to be, but the sad truth is, in real terms, downhill is not big. It is not loaded with money. And outside the realm of downhill and mountain biking in general, the riders are not 'big' or 'famous'. Certainly not enough to be deciding what their own market value is.
  • + 4
 @schofell84 Agreed. While collective bargaining can be important, it's there to correct the problem of unbalanced work negotiations. most of these guys have smart people negotiating their salaries that, say, a gas fitter doesn't.
  • + 1
 love the unionized idea: I could even race when I am 64yr old, finishing the last and getting the same pay as Aaron.
  • + 3
 well, I don't know what method Aaron used, bit it was on point since someone is willing to pay him what he thinks he is worth.
  • + 1
 @downhillnirvana Unions represent employees. I'm not sure Gwin was an employee of Sepcialized. Even if he was an employee, I'm not sure how being a member of a union would have benefited Gwin. He informed Specialaized that he wanted more money, Specialized declined, then another company offered Gwin more money. What would a union add to the situation?
  • + 6
 Maybe they (the racers) need a professional organization to share information on wages and benefits?
  • + 2
 Unions represent any interest of a body of people who get together, they just need to identify as interested in the same ends, that's why it's called a 'union', because people unite. Racers are underpaid compared to the growth of the MTB market, Palmer took a mint over a decade ago when there were very few beyond the professionals who rode DH bikes. Now a DH bike amongst the enthusiast is very common; so where is the bank roll for the guys we all idolise and buy products off of the back of the efforts of?
  • + 2
 The nhl, the nfl, and other huge sports organizations that use contracts still have players unions that fight for the players and their pay/benefits. Would make sense for the same here.
  • + 3
 Players in the NHL/NBA/NFL sign employment contracts, not sponsorship contracts; there is a big difference. @downhillnirvana general definition of union is probably correct, but it is not an adequate enough definition to define labor union as the term is used in the USA. I'm not commenting on whether unions are good/bad, just observing that a union may not have beneffited Gwin's situation.

@schofell84 has a good idea; such an organization probably would have been more helpful to Gwin than a union.
  • + 2
 @josebravo I think the method he used to work out his market value was "throw a big number out there and see if someone will pay it". If they do, that's the market value.
  • + 2
 Gwin is the Rosa Parks of DH. Everyone will thank him later for raising the value of their lives
  • + 1
 I bet he will be on YT!
  • - 1
 Specialized seem to pick up guys when they are near the top of their game, Santa Cruz and Yeti tend to get guys early, and develop them. Obviously Troy Brosnan is a rider who Specialized are looking to develop and Graves is their at his peak guy. I could easily see them having contenders in both DH and Enduro in 2016 or maybe not, their gamble. Equally Gwin is clearly an awesome rider, but it did take him two years to really dominate with Specialized, so he is also taking a gamble. Good luck to the lot of them. I also think Enduro results are going to have an increasing impact on bike sales, closer to most peoples actual needs from a bike, while still being heavily DH focused. Problem being Enduro coverage sucks and will continue to until drone/camera technology can follow riders through the tree. I would think if a smaller company picked Gwin up he will be their only contender.
  • + 2
 ^This
I had Bryn Atkinson walk into my shop yesterday, while it was filled to the brim with customers, and not a single reaction from anyone.
  • + 3
 @JoseBravo I like the intense idea. They seem like they're wanting to be back on top of the DH game.
  • + 0
 Guys, if specialized can't afford him, intense definitely can't, unless they cut a lot of their other teams and have almost exclusively gwin
  • + 1
 @TFreeman and yet he is going to YT.
  • + 0
 Where has that been announced?
  • + 2
 @TFreeman You'll see soon enough.
  • + 0
 Well IXS grabbed quite a good share of TLD athletes...
  • + 1
 @TFreeman they only have Luca comcetti palmers team and lopes in the gravity realm. Why couldn't they?
  • + 1
 @RichPune and @schofell84 Don't all WC DH racers already belong to the UCI?
In the Pro ranks, trade team salaries should be available to the other Pro-ranked riders. Most riders sign with an exclusive trade team: Giant Factory Off-Road, Trek World Racing, Santa Cruz Syndicate... Additional personal endorsements be it energy drinks, automobiles, sunnies or jimmy-hats shouldn't be included. Same way Stamkos, Ovie, Crosby all have endorsement deals beyond their team contracts that 4th liners, and 60-100th UCI ranked guys don't get either
  • + 1
 I'm pretty sure the UCI is about as far as possible from a labor union. Ahah
  • + 2
 I know. That was the joke. The CPA isn't though
  • + 2
 @gonecoastal Santa Cruz Syndicate isn't a trade team...
  • + 1
 Neither is TWR. or for that matter: MS mondraker., United Ride, Or the lapiere team from last year. neither was specialized until the last couple years. Trade teams are just now becoming common, they were kinda a rarity until 2013 or so
  • + 2
 ^Yup. I messed up. Very few factory teams in DH. Most are as you listed, a team with a manufacture agreement
  • + 90
 Sounds to me like Specialized had the money but would rather divert that to the Enduro fund so that they could sign Graves. At first it seemed a little crazy to me, but then I remembered how close to the mark Brosnan has been. They've got a solid stance in both disciplines for sure, in terms of securing results. All the best to Troy in 2016. Also just want to say I'm glad that if they're diverting any money away from DH at least it's going to EWS and not e-bikes like Lapierre...
  • + 31
 Jared Graves moving to Specialized clearly has an impact on this. Enduros and Stumpjumpers must massively outsell Demos, and having a high profile wining rider on one (Curtis Keene was only noticeable due to the video series) will help them sell even more and importantly help with product development. Where five years ago Specialized were out in front with the Enduro, they've been caught up and mostly passed by a lot of others out there. Graves' involvement in development of the SB6C and its subsequent wins must be something that Specialized want to replicate.

...and then, as you say, there is Brosnan, who has been so close to Gwin this season that Specialized get a lot of coverage from him and feel he may be enough rider for them, to be their number one rider
  • + 9
 I see rear centers growing.
  • + 4
 Having the money and wanting to spend it are two totally different things. With brosnan there it absolutely makes sense to get someone in enduro that can win
  • + 12
 They're diverting the money into a downhill Turbo e-bike team.
  • + 10
 specialized will be spending cash on dh this year................. bruni, vergier, illes.
  • + 13
 It makes more sense to put all their money into Troy. He rides specialized shoes, clothing, helmets, tires and etc. While gwin rides a mismatch of different stuff. Plus Troy is on the verge of being a dominant winner. The next 3 years should be an interesting 3 way battle between, Gwin, Troy and Loic.
  • - 3
 Troy a future dominant winner? Not likely looking at the other guys his age
  • - 1
 Really? Troy is at least as fast as Bruni. They kid just needs to calm down a bit.

If Specialized had to choose racing budget allocation between Gwin, Brosnan and Graves they made 100% the right decision.
  • + 2
 Troy has finished in the top 3 of the world cup standings 2 years in a row. Just like Bruni it's only a matter of time until they start winning all the time. Remember the days (05-09) when it was mostly minnar, peaty and hill winning world cups. Dominant in that sense.
  • + 89
 God knows the Catholic Church pays well...
  • + 104
 Pope World Racing?
  • + 25
 Scientology Racing Team
  • + 15
 Creationism Repbublic
  • - 54
flag vhdh666 (Dec 28, 2015 at 3:52) (Below Threshold)
 that's blasphemy is not fair from the believers perspective
  • + 18
 Atheist Alliance Racing
  • + 50
 Darwin Downhill Destroyers
  • + 20
 Noah's Factory Team.
  • + 6
 Saul Cruz Syndicate
  • + 24
 Praise The flying Spaghetti Monster Syndicate !!
  • + 15
 Holy Ghost Racing.
  • + 6
 Karma Factory Racing
  • + 13
 Bismillah Al-Rahman Ul Rahim Enduro Team
  • + 14
 Haha he's not Catholic, though.
  • + 5
 Really? He's that obnoxious, and only a protestant? Pfffff
  • + 10
 Santa Cruz AGNOSTICate

(probably not where Gwin ends up)
  • + 10
 He's like a guy that believes in god, not in a religion. He explained it somewhere in an interview.
  • + 2
 Jesus and Sons Plumbing. Wait, thats his side business
  • + 8
 churchoflatterdayrecreationalists- yourselves are all members and don't even know it
  • + 1
 @fullbug

woooaaaaaaaaah
  • + 1
 welcome, priest!
  • + 13
 Aaron has no soul you fools!
  • + 2
 I appreciate the ginger reference @WAKIdesigns
  • + 0
 He steals them from other harmless people like babies or the elderly.
  • + 3
 Satanic syndicate
  • + 7
 SmashedFungi - since when babies are harmless? They are life sucking monsters. Elderly are even worse!
  • + 2
 My grandmas nice.
  • + 0
 Pastafary radical racing
  • + 3
 Tom Cruise and John Travolta for team managers
  • + 2
 This has come a long way from the catholic church to John Travolta.
  • + 3
 The Church of so called Reason and Logic. Members believe they are masters of science despite no credentials in any of the fields and spend half of creative libidal energy on calling Christians xenophobes and child molestors, labeling all Muslims as savage, wife beating executioners. For some reason they pay no attention to Satanism
  • + 1
 okay i'm done with this thread now
  • + 1
 Dudes with Black Nikes on Spaceships Racing
  • + 75
 Pinkbike Poll: How Much Should a Top World Cup Downhiller Be Paid Per Year?

More than $1,000,000 USD

- Gwin
  • + 43
 One meeeelleon dollars!
  • - 2
 I heard rumors that that's what he's approximately getting paid now
  • + 3
 @russthedog

that's exactly how i said it in my head hahahaha
  • + 46
 My word, if one of the biggest bike companies in the world can't meet his demands, they must be some pretty huge ass demands.
  • + 126
 Hey, but some much smaller company (hint, hint) is willing to paY that amounT!
  • + 83
 and they don't have roadies who suck up all of the available revenue
  • + 5
 hahah well remembered..
  • + 13
 The world will end if he really joins them. Either that or YT will double their prices.
  • - 17
flag joaob111 (Dec 28, 2015 at 3:06) (Below Threshold)
 Well, YT called, they said Cam Zink has being a such a "pretty face" for the company, so they will hire Aaron to change it for a more "aggressively ugly" you know? I think it is too much, but...
  • + 8
 Not so much can't as won't.
  • + 22
 Gwin is worth what he's demanding, but why should specialized pay such an amount when they can sell just as many bikes without Gwin?
  • + 4
 I guess they just don't want to allocate more money to DH racing hope Troy gets a fair wage
  • + 21
 It's not about being able to pay him, it's chiding wether they want too or not. Remember this is a sponsor driven sport, not a spectator sport like mainstream sports. These guys make thier money buy advertising a product. And to these companies they are no different than a really expensive billboard or ad in a magazine. It comes down to how much they think having gwin advertise their products helps thier sales. It's as simple as that. Most people think a company like specialized should logically have the best rider but in reality thier bikes are so popular they likely don't need to pay the best rider to sell it for them. Whereas he could have more value to some other company looking to gain recognition.
  • + 15
 People seem to forget it is not ONLY about winning races. It is certainly a big contributor but being a great ambassador to the brand/sport is also a fairly important part of the package too. Aside from consistent wins, I really fail to see how guys like Aaron/Gee bring much else to the table especially for a brand like specialized whose reputation has been heavily damaged the last few years and are probably looking to change their image a bit. Their Sam Hill days are far behind.

Also, it's a monetary decision. I've been told by people in the industry that the DH segment is so insignificant revenue-wise for some brands ("we could kill off DH and it wouldn't even dent our sales") that their accountants probably figured out that its not worth paying for a Gwin if he wants "that much" when the investment isn't going to translate into sales anyway. They sell a LOT more enduro/XC bikes so laid back grassroots guys like Hunter/Akrigg/mackaskill that most likely demand much less money are probably a lot better deals when you see it as an exposure:money ratio. Don't forget that even though specialized is one of the big names, they don't make nearly as much money as redbull does and people are often conflating the two. There's a lot of money in the sport but it's not all in the manufacturer's hands.

Also, the Demo is well established. Emerging brands would probably benefit a lot more from having Gwin cross the line on their bikes as it would prove their steeds are just as capable as the other big names (which remains to be proven) as opposed to brands like Trek who have nothing left to prove with their Session.
  • + 4
 Hunter sells so many bikes!
  • + 4
 He doesn't but people relate to him and he costs them next to nothing I bet. Meanwhile enduros/stumpjumpers sell like hot cakes. I bet a lot more people would like to see Graves on spesh than Gwin staying on the team.

Gwin's the best but they don't sell much demos anyway so why even bother paying him? The demo works, he proved it last season, why pay him a ton of money when they already got what they wanted out of the deal?
  • + 15
 No, I really mean it: Hunter sells so many bikes for Specialized through his videos etc. as their brand ambassador.

Regarding the Demo: DH wins don't just sell Demos. They sell Enduros and some Stumpys, as well. They enhance the whole brand, much like in motor sports.
  • + 4
 Gwin is like the poster boy. He would get more coverage than any of those other people. This is effectively better advertising. Gwins image helps build specializeds image, which sells all types of specialized bikes, not just the demo. You know a company can make fast bikes if gwins on it. That's the thinking anyway. Hunter can ride great for sure, but he's never inspired me to want a bike. When gwin won everything on trek I believed that was a fast bike. I also extended that to other trek models. When he started winning on the demo I also believed that was a fast bike and that the big s could make bikes to go fast - they hadn't shown that in a long time. God knows my old demo was sloooow. They obviously just didn't want to pay him that much, they obviously recognise he is worth a lot.
  • + 4
 Ah ok, I wish we'd see more of him. Videos like his lone wolf one speaks to me (and the average rider I bet) a million times more than any WC superstar footage.
  • + 2
 YT could put more funds to a Gwinn as he rides for the only sport they cater to. all they offer is "Gravity" bikes and a DJ. The big brands sell every style of bike so DH is a much smaller piece of their pie
  • + 1
 Yes and they are called lawyers. Drop a couple of them and pay the athletes instead.
  • + 2
 The fact that DH only accounts for a small portion of a bike companies sales really isn't relevant. DH riders do more than just sell DH bikes. DH is the testing ground for much of the technology that eventually trickles down to other bikes. @Vanguard said it above. You have to think of it like motorsports. Auto companies aren't selling race cars or monster trucks to the general public are they? But the sponsorship of those teams and events gains the brand recognition.
  • + 1
 If they really cared that much about the recognition though they wouldn't have dropped arguably the best rider on the circuit. They drew a line and figured it wasn't worth it and if they did so, its because the numbers didn't add up for them.
  • + 2
 The difference is that autosport actually has a wide audience, where as downhill races are pretty much only being watched by downhill riders
  • + 1
 Racing, Freeriding or Ambassadeurship have completely different roles in marketing. Racing proves that bike is fast on the clock, kind of factual experiment in reality - it makes you feel that bike is a great performer. Provides excellent exposure for the brand, since lots of people see the bike when the dude wins. In Freeride competitions are not as important, what you want from freeride is photos, videos of guy putting helmet on in slo-mo. You want your athlete upside down and backwards 20m in the air with your bike taking him up there. Then we go into riders personality and it is about ambassador-ship. Matt Hunter is a golden boy - respected in local community, very talkative, showing up on small events, arranging skills clinics, group rides, throwing same insane vid from time to time. They give you this down to earth feeling that top racers never give you, they make you feel that in a way you are just like him. They are more humane. Lone Wolf was perfect, it is something that 99% of MTBers can relate to, can do themselves. Brand comes always in the background, for you to have it in the back of your head.
  • + 41
 Next year, Tour de France will have a new rider
  • + 2
 Very funny. Like when Nino Schurter skipped a World Cup race last year in order to compete in the Tour de Suisse (which he finished 53d place in the General Classification, 17th place in the points competition), and lost the overall World Cup title as a result.
  • + 35
 If we're talking money, then Gwin to Giant? They're probably in need of a high profile, consistently podium DH man. Otherwise, canyon?
  • - 3
 For the attitude alone, Canyon rather than YT.
  • + 4
 Yep i agree. My money is on Giant or Canyon as Santa Cruz and GT already have riders. Plus Fabien Barel retiring frees up cash.
  • + 39
 Cant be Canyon,they wont be able to get a bike to him until week 46. Or answer emails.
  • - 3
 Canyon would be interesting. Gwin and Barel on the same team....
  • + 1
 Barel retired. He is on board with Canyon for R&D, but no longer racing
  • + 2
 Exactly. Barel and Gwin developing bikes together could be a good team.
  • + 1
 I finally realized that it's way too obvious he's going to Intense. Go to their website and check out his new bike. So far they're calling it the M16 Palmer edition.
  • + 28
 Gwin will sign Yamaha and will be partner with Valentino Rossi next year!
  • + 0
 He's get lapped.
  • + 27
 Interesting that Gwin doesn't seem to value the actual bike - at all
  • + 24
 It's not about the bike folks!
  • + 13
 Do you really think he was able to do what he did because of the bike?
  • + 13
 That's the overwhelming message from this, the brand of bike is not that important. As long as the bike is 'good', you can win on it. He's won on more than one brand....
  • + 9
 "Gwin: Apart from monetary compensation, which I've already discussed, there's a few other factors that I always look at. First, the bike has to be able to win races. It doesn't necessarily have to be the best bike at the time, but it does have to be a solid start, and I have to believe that I can win on the bike. Concordantly, I have to believe that the brand is willing to accept and value my feedback in order to make the proper improvements that will result in the best bike on the market."

How on earth did you get the "overwhelming message" that the bike isn't important? He said it was basically first on his list that the bike is already pretty damn good, and that the team are willing to change the bike to his liking. The Trek Session clearly suited him, the old demo clearly didn't. With the new demo he is close to his old Trek form. The bike clearly matters a lot. IMO Trek still sell more bikes due to what Gwin did on them, and failed to do on Demo's, than Spec do because of what he does on their new demo.
  • + 7
 "It's the Indian that makes the difference, not the arrow"
  • - 11
flag owlie (Dec 28, 2015 at 6:34) (Below Threshold)
 He won on the worst suspension design in the world...
  • + 12
 Calm down protour
  • + 2
 @owlie go ride an old Kona. Your ignorance is showing.
  • + 4
 least someone got it...
  • + 0
 Protour made so valid points.
  • + 1
 @gabriel-mission9 I didn't say the bike wasn't important, I said the brand of bike. Anyway, I'm off to ride my bike now in the warm sunshine...
  • + 2
 Mmm, unseasonal sunshine. I know its supposed to be a bad thing, but its quite difficult not to enjoy it. Rode to work in a t-shirt this morning. Last year I was wearing 2 tshirts, a jumper, a coat, and some goggles to keep the snow out of my eyes. Nearly wore sunglasses this morning. Haha
  • + 25
 Gwin to Ellsworth?
  • + 10
 it's is a serious thread .. ;-)
  • + 12
 YES!!! 17" bb height for the win!!!
  • + 23
 Just worked it out. He is going to Lapierre to set up the e-mtb race circuit. You need a big name and Gwin has raced moto.
  • + 21
 Rich groms everywhere are asking if their parents kept the receipt for the new demos they bought while frantically cleaning their bike so they can tell the LBS it never touched dirt.
  • + 19
 every time I see a gwin post/interview I like this guy a little more, down to earth, honest and hardworking. He is smart, he won't go to a team if he is not sure he will dominate in the near future. Also if every rider talked about their salary they would all earn more, it taked to be a superstar to actually make the change, props to Gwin
  • + 22
 Where will Gwin go? My money is on YT.
  • + 5
 This has been whispered for months! The old adage involving smoke and fire seems to be ringing true!
  • + 33
 INTENSE? usa company
  • - 14
flag groovygreg10 (Dec 28, 2015 at 2:42) (Below Threshold)
 Heard a rumor he's racing privately, but still on Specialized Bikes though?
  • + 13
 YT would be crazy since they wouldn't only have to pay Gwin but also a whole WC Team around him
  • + 36
 YT's "good times" motto doesn't seem to fit with the heavy training and loads of discipline that Aaron gwin has. They're more of a FR brand in my mind. Neg prop me all you want but I see the tues as a bike meant for popping off jumps and throwing gnarly whips and back flips, not tucking and carving.

I just hope Aaron can find a company that's willing to pay the amount he rightfully deserves as THE biggest name in downhill, and arguably mountain biking in general.
  • + 8
 I hear exactly what you are saying, however you've also got to ask yourself, why wouldn’t they build a team around the a true DH racer. They have the Rampage credentials and it's brought them great success, why not go after the racing pedigree :-)

YT are doing exceptionally well in Europe, the value for money and quality of the goods is absolutely bonkers, plus they've popped across the pond to do the same in the US, they really are mixing it up! A scoop like Gwin would be a marketing managers wet dream.

To be fair it is all very speculative, god know what will happen, it will be interesting to see wherever he goes.
  • + 4
 I see a ratboy-kinda guy much more fitting to the vibe of YT.
Gwin says: "important is the company's social vibe. By vibe, I'm referring to an overall direction, image, style, etc."
Edit: @TFreeman already said this...
  • + 7
 Cant see it, unless Gwin sets up his own team. YT arent big enough to pay the salary he would need, UCI entry fees, support team, etc... Its also not a space they (currently) need to operate in. The danger for them would be being victims of their own success, which we're all aware of with the stories from YT owners on the forums having issues.
  • + 1
 YT still has a lot to prove on the WC. Getting your bike on the top step of the podium means a lot more for an emerging brand's image than it does for brands with DH bikes that are already "race proven". Guys like Gee/Aaron can manage to win on just any brand so they're a good bet if that's your goal.
  • + 3
 My guess is that Gwin will run his own team with the bulk of his salary coming from companies that do not produce bicycle frames.

As for frame choice, I am going to guess Intense, with partial ownership of the brand as part of his compensation (either right now, or when he is retired from WC racing.)

Or he will run his own program and Trek will supply him with frames.
  • + 2
 YT doesn't seem big enough to pay for Gwin, plus they gotta pay for all their freeriders. Their DH bike isn't WC proven either. That Gwin team theory is interesting, however.
  • + 9
 Intense is located in Aaron Gwin's hometown of Temecula, too. He must have a relationship or spent time with them at the same local spots, I imagine.
  • + 1
 Maybe GT? They just parted with the Athertons and are from the US (At least used to be, before being bought by Dorel)
  • + 1
 Whatever happens we could be in for an interesting 2016 Smile
  • + 1
 The troy lee connection is at yt via cam so...yt, sc, or intense.
  • + 6
 Maybe going to Cube? They're announcing a new WC DH team for 2016 www.cube.eu/en/pilots/theonlywayisup
  • + 0
 In terms of size the only other companies would be trek, giant and Santa cruz. Not even yeti could handle him (plus no dh team I know). MAAAAAAYBE pivot. But that'd be a stretch.
  • + 1
 @rattpoison a lot of the home town guys in this area are sponsored by intense, but they don't really have a huge WC team
  • + 6
 If Gwin signs up with YT and wins a world cup, it will take 2 years before you get your order from YT here in north america.
  • + 3
 Gwin to Foes
  • + 0
 The biggest name? He's not popular but saying that everyone loves a good villain.
  • + 2
 Gwinn will be rocking an M16!
  • + 2
 Idk about that. Intense isn't a big. Company. Might not be able to afford the Yung Aaron "bone thug money pants" gwin
  • + 1
 and now he deleted the tweet.
  • + 1
 what was the tweet?
  • + 2
 Cam Zink: "Man, I wonder who @AaronGwin1 is riding for next year..." (deleted post on twitter)
  • + 16
 Allegedly, he got wind that the Big Hit was NOT coming back in '16 despite my crushing efforts on mine last 'season'. the plastic Demo POS was only ever a stop gap until that moment so he had to jump, can't blame him. #24aintdead
  • + 19
 That read like his lawyer typed out most of the answers with Gwin adding in a comment or two near the end of each paragraph.
  • + 2
 Exactly, concordantly!!
  • + 12
 I'm an attorney, and while I was reading it I was thinking either Gwin has his head screwed on extremely straight, or his attorney has done a masterful job prepping him.
  • + 2
 Yeah it was really really dry and inoffensive.
  • + 17
 I like the part about the love a lot! Smile
I'm excited what team it will be. Also a nice statement by Gwin not to reduce his proposal. I wish him all the best.
  • + 4
 yes that part was good did relativize the sport a lot a sign he's matured a lot
  • + 15
 not sure I have an opinion about gwin... but I hope nobody got paid for that infographic
  • + 2
 Brutal honesty on the infographic, but I'm with you. It took me way to long to figure out what it was trying to communicate. Infographics are supposed to elevate a story and add dimension. This one was partially successful.
  • + 1
 Too harsh, I admit, please don't upvote. I find these things a little bit too abused on the internet even when some raw data could portray the information better with less bling. This is actually a good one, if you don't have any issue with the low contrast text accessibility. Sorry for the bad comment, I wish I could take it back.
  • + 11
 Wouldn't be surprised if Gwin is racing on a new team with "XXXX" as the title sponsor (non-bike brand, maybe Redbull/car company) while on Specialized frames. This way he is able to secure the pay check he wants while Specialized are able to maintain him on their roster in the eyes of the masses even if he's not on their factory team. It's a Gwin gwin situation for both parties.
  • + 10
 Welcome to Dorel / GT

Only Dorel Group may have the money he's asking...

In fact santa-cruz may have the money too but santa-cruz doesn't need to proove them v10 as a winning machine, santa already made they market as the best Downhill machine and it sells them bikes by it self.
  • + 1
 And Santa-Cruz Syndicate has a "full" team already. Peat, Minnar, Rat-Boy.
  • + 2
 SC already has the two greatest DH racers of all time and one of the top five. They will need another for 2017, not rigbt now.
  • + 10
 I have so many thoughts/ideas!

Gwin starts a RedBull DH program (like Athertons did with Trek) with Trek/Specialized providing frames.
Santa Cruz probably doesn't need a Gwin but Peaty is in his last season.... Santa Cruz has a HUGE social presence.
Although someone like Luca Shaw runs a V10 and is sponsored by SRAM so the V10 is well represented.

They said they got Brosnan a new teammate and with Lapierre bikes going down maybe Bruni can continue the Specialized dominance that 2015 brought.

GT has their team together.
Trek has their team together.
Scott has their team together.
Kona isn't paying Gwin,
Giant lost Danny Hart and maybe has the money and willingness?
MS Moodraker lost Emmeline Ragot and could make a nice team with Danny Hart?
KTM starts a team and finds a frame sponsor?

So many thoughts!
  • + 1
 KTM starts a team and finds a frame sponsor?

EPIC!
  • + 1
 It's too obvious now. He's going to Intense.
  • + 9
 I hope Gwin is not going to YT, YT is not a race bike company...I mean that's my opinion about them. If YT is going to shell top dollar for Gwin then that means less dollars for development and less money for cool bikes! I think YT is on good track with Cam, Andreu and Kelly that have cool personalities and really have fun on their bike and where Gwin always looks to me like he is to serious on the bike.
  • + 1
 I can see YT maybe affording Gwin, but they need to get a whole team together too, all the big rig that a top rider like gwin should have
  • + 9
 There needs to be more transparency (pay wise) in the sport. The secrecy only results in less leverage riders have when negotiating.

I'll start. I make $0,000,00.00 riding for my private team, which does not race or enter any events.
  • + 13
 Rumor is he's going to be riding for BikesDirect.com
  • + 12
 It's not gonna be YT.
And does anyone believe that Aaron Gwin used the word 'Concordantly' ???
  • + 2
 That made me cringe a little, I'm hoping it was a typo.
  • + 8
 Gwin did what he had to do! most pros in this sport are underpaid... and for sure most bike brands have increased sales by qiute and amount lately to afford it. Also, how about going back to the old days, when car brands also sponsored teams?? could make them win more!!!!
  • + 11
 Too bad Intense doesn't have the $$$$ to get Gwinn, that would bring them back up to where they once were
  • + 7
 Specialized released the demo s-works, and Gwin made that the number 1 bike. There is a new Enduro coming up, that's why they got Graves, Like it or not all brands are in the business to sell bikes, they are not in the business of sponsoring athletes, having good guys racing for them is good to sell bikes, the new demo bikes won't change anytime soon, but they need someone to sell the new enduro that will be coming later 2016 and the recently released stumpy... Keene is already racing with the stumpy, graves will be racing the enduro... Specialized is focusing her $$$ on enduro this year, it's pretty obvious, plus they still have brosman on the dh team doing a great job...
  • + 8
 Sam Hill made the Demo what it is.

Gwin only showed it does not suit him because of the short chain stays (amongst other things). Then he got a redesign that worked for him.
  • + 1
 i was referring to the new Demo carbon...
  • + 1
 The Demo is a legend (whatever @protour might say). The new Demo carbon is just another version of it.
  • + 7
 “I’m super excited to start this new chapter in my career with Specialized bicycles. The entire Specialized staff has welcomed me with open arms and I’m blown away by the level of support they’ve shown me. This is my dream program and I can’t thank them enough for this opportunity. Bring on 2013!”

– Aaron Gwin
  • + 7
 What a cool cucumber . Gwin comes across as very articulate , well educated and has great mentors . Not only can we learn from his riding but also lean how to be men , know what want in life have goals and go for them . I really like and admire AG great role model . I just can wait for 2016 cups to start .
  • + 2
 I appreciate what he's saying, and I'm not claiming to be more articulate than him, but this read like he wrote it using the thesaurus too much.
  • + 7
 Heres a theory... Gwinn riding for KTM under Martin Whiteley, using a frame from a german bike company until KTM build their own DH frame using Gwinn's input. Martin's done it before with Honda, and since Trek World Racing was owned and operated by Martin it ties up with the 'going back' rumours.
  • + 5
 KTM bikes and KTM motorbikes are a two different companies. For sure they listen to the same name but that´s it.
  • + 6
 All you fuck bags talking about greed, not a one of you have ever accomplished anything that gives you the right to talk about self worth, because you do nothing that is worth fighting for. There is a reason some people get paid more than others, because they fight for what they want and believe they are worth it. until you have gotten to that level you know nothing.
  • + 4
 Couldn't have said it better! Bunch of self loathing 18 year old bitching about greed gets a little old eh...
  • + 6
 I hope he goes with intense. They have to have the $$... I see more intense here in CA than just about any other bike and they haven't had to foot the bill for a WC team for a while now. Not sure what their market share is worldwide but it's noteable I'm sure. If santa cruz can win then so can intense--it's the same bike. How cool would it be if Gwin's frame sponsor was right in his back yard.
  • - 1
 Intense is a bike company headquartered in temecula, ca. Ever heard of them?
  • + 5
 Intense would be sick. It would be like the old days when Kovarik was killing it on the WC DH circuit with Intense. I don't think there's any way they could afford him though.
  • + 4
 Yeah I might just have a skewed impression of how big intense is living in Lake Elsinore. I see tons of Intense everywhere... I'm just nostalgic i guess. Also, it would be awesome to see some more love for one of the last bike companies to at least do some of their manufacturing in North America.
  • + 6
 I'm going to guess that Specialized pulled the "you are going to need to ride all of our stuff moving forward" card.
Jared Graves gave up all of his outside deals and is fully kitted out by them for next year.
If you are representing a brand, they want you to represent all of it just not the bike.
He is going to YT where he can keep all of his sponsors happy and will still have a great bike.
  • + 11
 Lolo + spe ??
  • - 1
 I still see him on SAnta..and Gwin on Mondraiker
  • - 1
 nop
*****************************************************************
=> Frenchies on Spe === they already test the bike !!!

give me two of them ;-)

*****************************************************************
  • + 6
 " Three minutes and thirty five seconds later, the internet nearly exploded."

Seriously, it didn't even come close to 0.1% of "internet nearly exploding". Any soccer player farting on tv would make more noise...
(fart... noise...)
  • + 6
 My guess is he wants a 100k per race plus a win bonus and a championship bonus for the overall and world champs .

Pretty standard race contact in supercross

Wouldn't surprise me to see him on Santa Cruz
- peaty is paid out
- the company just sold so it's got the capital
- V10's sell and sc supports dh racing
- has a a strong fox connection

Yeti
- would be cool but won't happen
- strong fox connection
- do they care about Dh anymore??

Yt or canyon
- I doubt it .
- if so massive massive money has been paid out

Giant
- former wc power player
- deep pockets
- good bike

Intense
- new bike
- no big racers ( love ya Chris and Claire ) but no wc talent
- with there new capital investors they have the cash
- American company
- There racing legacy is missing a World Cup title
  • + 1
 Weighing my 2cents in, I think your spot on. Hopefully he goes with Intense I'd love to see him on the M16, Or second choice santa cruz. Doesn't matter really I'm going to watch every race hes in. Even if its on a SuperCycle
  • + 10
 Money. It's all about money.
  • + 5
 Can't imagina how much money they are talking about, but for Specialized would have been money well spent: Aaron has given them back all the credit they had lost with the Demo, and having Gwin for DH, Graves for EWS and Contador and Sagan for road racing would have made an unmtached image of a bike brand...
  • + 1
 Gwin gave them less than what Sam Hill had given them. And less he gave Trek.
  • - 12
flag andrew8404 (Dec 28, 2015 at 9:23) (Below Threshold)
 No one cares what the has been Sam Hill has done for the demo!
  • + 3
 haha has been @andrew8404 ? pretty sure he killed it in 2014 and injures yook him out last year (im not a fan of him ) but pretty sure he would smoke you
  • + 0
 @wally333 it was meant to be an absurd comment similar to @Vanguard.
  • + 1
 @andrew8404 What's absurd about giving Sam Hill the credit he deserves?

Legend.

The only absurd thing is a noname rider on the Internet calling one of the best DH WC riders a "has been".
  • + 1
 @vanguard you just discredited the second most winning DH rider (a few wins behind Minaar) stating Gwin gave them less then Sam Hill. If that's not a discredit I don't know what is. Especially a no name rider on the internet calling Gwin out like that. This article had nothing to do with Sam Hill.
  • + 5
 What if Gwin and Bruni ended up on the same team? Can you say unstoppable? Maybe intense now that they have Palmer back as a team manager with the m16 Carbon? Canyon? It would have to be a team that lets Aaron run fox suspension, that's the only sponsor he has kept since his days with yeti. But Norco, and other "ok" teams could use a great rider/coach like Aaron did with Troy, minnar/peaty with rat. Maybe we will see blinky and Gwin on the same team again. Gwin won't fit in with YT, can't go to trek. gt, giant, devinci, other major teams are full, Santa Cruz syndicate can't pay since they aren't a team in the eyes of UCI and peaty doesn't retire till the end of 2016. There aren't a lot of options out there that I see. Intense bikes are here in SoCal where Aaron lives. Canyon can't have a lot of money left after the free ride and slope style team that they have. Scott doesn't have a carbon gambler yet, and I don't see Aaron on an aluminum frame, just like I don't see him riding for transition, pivot, kona, or any other company that hasn't had at least a couple podiums over the last few years.
  • + 2
 Aaron didn't coach Troy, Sam Hill showed Troy a few things to help him develop but Troy is very much his own rider, he has his own style and you can see it, he's only small but he rides like the bigger guys, he showed that at Fort William last year. Aaron seems like a nice guy and power to him for going after what he thinks he's worth but he comes across as arrogant at times.
  • + 1
 "I'd like to win a few of those too" (world championships). Oh not just the one then, Aaron?
  • + 5
 Scott? Him and Neko would be an awesome sight. Not sure how Brendan would fit in there, but all three of those guys are true professionals.

Its either Scott or KTM. With all the KTM bling he got last year, I would think it would be them.
  • + 2
 I would love to see Gwin on a gambler
  • + 1
 Yeah i think that would be a good match.
  • + 1
 I was thinkng that Scott needs a consistent podium rider, but the best of the gstaad-scott team will always be Claudio
  • + 3
 No, no. Brendan Fairclough all the way. That guy has some of the sickest lines out there. I am so pissed off that he hasn't had his turn on the podium. To say he's overdue is an huge under-statement.
  • + 1
 Gwin would be an excellent compliment for the Scott brand. I'd love to see that happen.
  • + 5
 For those who don't know. Bruni and his Gravity Republic team will race on Specialized next year. Bruni and Vergier have been spot training in France and Italy on Specialized Demo bikes. My source? French downhill forums! Few guys left hints about it about 1 or 2 months ago and in the last week, Bruni and Vergier were riding along Joe's like you and me in some mountain ressort. Thanks the lack of pow Big Grin .
  • + 1
 team rumours said they were going to canyon
  • + 5
 Not possible bro. Some riders I know had eye contact with Loris Vergier riding the La Mouliere bike park up north Nice in the mountains. The location is not too far away from where Vergier and Bruni live. Long story short Vergier was on a Demo. Few weeks ago in Lourdes, at the world cup track, Bruni was riding a Specialized Demo according to the locals. It is just a matter of time. Bruni and the rest of Pure Agency teaming up with Specialized ... they're like chalk and cheese mate! Maybe DH racing is more mature than what I think but a french team riding for Specialized well ... there is a first for everything. Bruni is one of the most popular riders and Specialized is the biggest premium brand in France with Lapierre. Can't wait to see what Bruni's grease monkey will do to the demo. This lad looks like a wizard -in a good and positive way. I've always liked his motocross approach and how clean and tidy his setup look like.
  • + 8
 Bruni on spcialized?
Gwin to......? Who had more $ than spesh?

Back to trek? Wink
  • + 1
 I believe you got that right with Bruni. No Doubt Specialized had the deepest pockets, but weren't willing to put up. Imagine the pressure Gwin will have now - to win -every time - to justify the paycheck he's demanding from whoever is willing to commit.
  • - 2
 Jus read a roumer Bruni on Intense!
Gwin on YT would be great, if YT have the $?
Gwin for syndicate? To replace Peaty would rule!!!
Jus read Heart's off giant?
  • + 4
 Santa wouldn't put Gwin on with Minnaar - and Peaty and Rat boys party ways aren't too congruent with Gwin's lifestyle. I say Bruni to Santa.
  • - 1
 racing with the Athertons on Trek Factory Racing. that would be like the dream team
  • + 2
 Minnaar said he will stay (and likely eventually retire) on Santa Cruz, plus Ratboy, and Peaty for his last active season. Plus he does not fit really well.
  • + 1
 His demands are still nothing compared to road riders and other sports. Relatively speaking the pressure isn't that high...
  • + 2
 Giant deffo got the dollar......
  • + 5
 Novara Gravity Republic
  • + 2
 I find it amusing that people think the Syndicate is a party 24/7, simply because they watch a 10 minute video edit each week of the season. I guarantee those guys train their as*es off to win. It's not a non stop party, you simply can not be like that all the time and expect to win - the competition is too good. You have to remember also that SC is no longer owned by SC, they are also now a big conglomerate with a bottom line.
  • + 5
 Goddam he hit the stair case section in leogang faster then most riders did with no tire, won a world cup with no chain, won the first race of the season with a massive crash in qualifying, come on specialized you know he's worth the money!
  • + 5
 Curious - Gwin's first season on Specialized he didn't win anything, but I thought they then went around and made a whole bunch of changes (based on his feedback?) which culminated in the new 2015 model - then he started winning/dominating again? I'd love (not in love mind you) to know how much sales of Demos changed from 2012 (before he was on a Demo), to 2013 and 2014 (when the results weren't really there making it appear the bike may not be as competitive) to 2015 with the new model (based on his feedback? or maybe more just in house engineers?). Maybe seeing those numbers (ie. did they go up and down based on Gwin's results, or remain stable?) would explain Specialized's decision.
  • + 1
 I know for a fact that gwin sold more treks after he left the team than he ever did on it and that demo was the must have bike when Sam hill and brendog was riding it.
  • + 1
 +1
  • + 5
 The guy is a true pro and I like and respect his point of view, he said it as it is without bashing Specialized. I guess they are too big to value one rider greatly probably it doesn't fit their image or something...
Good luck to Aaron I hope he will continue to amaze us as he did this year! Smile
  • + 5
 My 2 cents.

Sponsored athletes are walking, talking advertisements. In the case of mountain bikes, I would argue that they have two primary responsibilities:

1.) Win races. This shows that the product is functional. "So-and-so is fast and wins races. You will win races if you ride this bike."
2.) Represent the sponsor's brand image in public. "So-and-so seems like a cool guy, thereby so-and-so company is cool."

Whether consciously or subconsciously, these walking, talking advertisements affect our purchasing decisions. The rub is determining just how much of a company's sales can be attributed to the fact that Gwin did those jobs extremely well. That number is extremely difficult to ascertain, if not impossible. Gwin thought he was responsible for $A of sales and deserved $B compensation going forward. Specialized thought he was responsible for $C of sales and deserved $D compensation going forward. I'd be interested to know how much hard data Gwin had access to for the purposes of backing up his argument.

So that doesn't work out with Specialized and Gwin is on the market. Gwin's sales pitch needs to change a bit. If he had data from Specialized, he could present it as "This is what I did for Specialized, this is what I think I can do for you, and here's how much you need to pay me to do it." If he didn't have data, or was legally prohibited from sharing it, it's more like "Here's how I'll make it worth your while to give me $B compensation to ride your bike." New Company looks at their numbers and either buys it or doesn't. Someone eventually did.

I'd probably argue that company size probably doesn't matter as much as people think, especially if the new contract duration is short, say a year. Since everyone is speculating YT, I'd venture that they could get a hold of whatever they needed to for a year if they wanted to. It would obviously be much riskier for someone their size rather than Giant or any other larger manufacturer should it not pan out as hoped. "Can we do it?" often has a different answer than "Should we do it?" in reality and often the truthful answer to "Should we do it?" isn't able to be uncovered until it's done. Not saying that's the case with whoever he signed with, but it frequently is the case with companies in all industries.
  • + 1
 That's it exactly.
  • + 4
 I hope everyone noticed the part that Spesh will be getting another top DHer and then the in-depth part on what is a World Champs worth, asked to a guy who hasn't won one. Clearly, they are referring to Loic being picked up as reason Spesh couldn't afford Gwin's increased salary.
  • + 8
 Dude is pretty damn smart. Class act all around!
  • + 5
 You can say that agwinn.
  • + 7
 Too bad Canfield is to small for a world cup team, Gwin would crush it on a Jedi.
  • + 4
 Why can't ANYONE talk about how much they are paid in this country?? That's the reason these riders never get paid what they're worth for destroying their bodies in the name of the sport. It's the same in any industry Managers WANT people to not discuss how much they make because it gives them all the power in negotiations. Specialized gives the typical Bullshit Corporate response..."oh it's just not in the budget this year..." Thus no one knows what they are worth anywhere in this country. I make 30,000 a year working hotel front desk what do you make??
  • + 3
 Come to Brazil and receive 350 bucks a month ( minimum wage ) than save money and buy a civic for 120k reais ( 1 dollar = 3.80 reais )
  • + 9
 Like 5 million euros. I sell people real state on the moon. Very lucrative business. But sometimes sells are though.

Angry buyer: you dont own the moon

Me: yes i do

Angry buyer: ok there have my monies.
  • - 1
 More than you, but I have less job security and a PhD.
  • + 1
 Sorry, the minimum wage is ( most people receive ) is 221 dollars
  • + 5
 I hate my comment too.
  • + 9
 Jesus Christ.
  • + 19
 didn't know he made bikes? Wink
  • + 6
 El dia de los Inocentes is a spanish tradition, much like April Fool's that is celebrated on December 28th...I'm guessing that is what this is.
  • + 4
 "Almost equally important is the company's social vibe. By vibe, I'm referring to an overall direction, image, style, etc." - Aaron Gwin

He is pointing straight at YT with this comment. They have the best vibes in the bike industry. Chill, cool, calm, but yet still aggressive with the riders they have now. Like YT says..... "Good Times"
  • + 7
 I think there are not many companies able to pay more than Specialized. Maybe Trek or Giant?
  • + 3
 Giant has a good line up with some promising young riders and Marcelo has found some good pace recently so I don't see them going after gwin and trek has the athertons so they don't need anyone else, they're guaranteed results.
  • + 2
 @GRIEVE99, you're right and that is why I'm extremely curious where will he go.
  • + 4
 Reading the comments, i am amazed how young most people here.

Aaron Gwinn said, Specialzied makes xxxx amount of money as a company and they should pay me xxxx amount of money. He is going to be the biggest downhiller of all times, huge brand recognition. For years. 30 years from now, people will still talk about him.

he will move to another place for less money, if he has too.

And this shows again how specialized is runned by bankers rather than sport people.
Paying him whatever he ask- would be absolutley nothing for them.
But they rather do"better business investments".
Instead of having a lengend associated to your name, maybe spend money on e bikes or whatever.

Ultimate problem is people running these company go for the quick buck to get bonuses and increase their pay. Dont care about long term result. They preach "brand royalty" but they are the last to be loyal to anything.
  • + 1
 Loyal to the game mate. Worshippers at the altar of money.
  • + 8
 I just want to leave a comment.
  • + 4
 I think it is a smart move on both parts to go their separate ways. Props to Gwin for sticking to his guns on what he feels he should be valued at. I think that was a bold move and will ultimately change the pay scale for all DH riders. Grand Tour riders get a lot more money I would bet than DH or any MTB discipline. Obviously there is another brand out there that wants to put their money behind a top tier DH racer. It could also be a case where Gwin gets his money from someone outside the industry and just picks up a frame sponsor which would allow another company to have him ride their bikes for less money out of their pocket and they can offer up any changes he wants to make along the way with the frame. Specialized doesn't need to hang on to him either. They clearly put a little more money into EWS with Graves coming on board and Brosnan is the perfect DH rider for them for marketing. He is young, quick, super likeable and now they have him running all Specialized gear. He is the poster child for their new gravity clothing line and at a World Cup level. Gwin was not going to give up Troy Lee for Specialized gear. I bet whoever they bring in to replace Gwin comes at a much lower price tag than he had and they run the full Specialized gear like Troy. Hopefully Troy can be the head guy on the DH team instead of being second fiddle to Hill, Brendawg and Gwin. I think he has earned it.
  • + 4
 I value a consistently professional relationship that is both cordial and enjoyable during obligatory cultural activities. Haha!

Google Translate: I want to race with dudes I want to party with too.
  • + 5
 But there is one think I'm looking forward to... The new season of DH... What a very interesting season to watch... Athertons, Gwin, new teams new bikes, who's going to win?
  • + 6
 This is about a company that has a history of screwing people. Not about Gwin. It's time for a Specialized boycott.
  • + 3
 Does he really need a trade team? Has contracts with Fox Suspension, Shimano, RedBalls, HT, Renthal, TLD, Smith, ODI. All he needs is a frame. He only used the Demo from Specialized and ran his own components, suspension and clothing. Get a frame supplier and buy a rig. That what most of the teams are (Gravity Republic, Factory Racing, Atherton Racing, MS, Ben Reids program, etc)
  • + 5
 Pay him the $ millions he wants plus the $100k for each win...I really want bike prices to increase! I'll say he's not the best investment for a diversified company.
  • + 3
 I'll be surprised if it's YT, but only because I perceive them as a smaller company. They have been getting a lot of exposure with the freeride crowd lately, which should be good for the sale of their DH bikes. For that reason I feel that they might be willing to invest in marketing more on the DH side vs the enduro side of the market. Good for Gwinn though. I think he's well on his way to being a legend, and people at the top of the sport need to push for higher salaries for the good of those below them. On another note, from the sound of the interview above, I think Gwinn could have a successful career as an attorney if this DH thing doesn't work out for him.
  • + 3
 Does it bother anyone else that he's not "in love" with biking. It's extremely disturbing, and to add insult to injury he compares biking to eating cookies. Sure, Aaron is a biking God in terms of ability, but for me to be able to look to someone for inspiration (this is obviously just a personal opinion so grain of salt) they have to be more passionate than me, and considering I couldn't possibly live without biking in my life, it's rather disheartening. Mad respect to Aaron, but love for your respective sport is more important than any results (again, grain of salt). So I'll keep my list of favourite riders full of the kids from the neighbourhood bike shop who ride their bikes and build trails for hours a day for no other reason than the love for bikes, and Aaron can go to whatever renders him the fattest check. All in all kinda disappointing.
  • + 1
 yeah, that part surprised me too. I'm fukin in love with biking, I couldn't function without it. I don't give a shit about cookies though. Maybe just my opinion, but I thought he would've said he's in love with mountain biking and not cookies
  • + 3
 Kind of makes you think maybe some of the big names are backing out of DH. Yeti doesn't have a dh bike or team anymore, La Pierre doesn't either and more money is being thrown at the Enduro market. As much as I hate to say it because dh is such a niche market for both bike sales and the athletes that ride for professional teams this might be the beginning of the end for dh. Hopefully not but all emotions set aside it seems Enduro is more mass marketable.
  • + 2
 You are probably right. Honestly though, the DH market would be much better served by a few companies building perfected bikes. Each company would have big enough market share to optimize production and technology and HOPEFULLY prices would stabilize--something like the MX market has done. There really is no need to have hundreds of botique companies using gimicky marketing to sell $9k bikes. The reality is that yes indeed there is much more money in the "enduro" market b/c it's just more fun to have a bike that can be ridden everywhere and consumers identify with this.
  • + 3
 I agree there may not be the production numbers as far as MX bikes go but having only a few big suppliers I think would really drop the price, if not like you said stabilize it. As much as I would love to support a US company like Intense or Yeti, companies like Giant are already doing it right (for consumers in my mind) of offering an affordable entry level DH bike and a high end one. I can say that from experience as well. My first DH bike was an 09 glory, couple years later bought a 951 and a couple after that I went back to Giant. Hindsight makes me regret my Intense purchase, it was a good bike but the older I get I like to get more bang for the buck.
  • + 1
 Exactly. It's just a toy for a couple of hours at the weekend. YT all the way. What they offer for €3000 makes me wonder how any other company is still in business. Who in their right mind would pay twice the price for the same thing?
  • + 3
 I think the bike industry need to rethink what they pay riders, these undervalued contract for riders are only discourage the sport of MTB downhill racing to grow in value. All riders should be questioning 'am I getting paid enough!?' why not add more wealth to the sport, road cycling has it, MX has it. it might encourage more now cycling brand sponsors to get involved.
  • + 4
 mountain biking is a drop in the ocean compared to road and MX bike sales....

It's the same reason Football players get paid stupid money, yet ping pong players struggle... snowboarders v skiers..... there's always a minority sport that you'd think should get paid more but you've got to look at the £$£ generated by sales....
  • + 8
 Doping sniffing roadies are rather an example why there should not be more money involved in the sport.
  • + 6
 Gwin sounds like a robot.
  • + 2
 I can understand both points of view. Gwin is a professional athlete, has dedicated a big part of his life training and racing. As with any other athlete's career, age will sometime get in the way, so he might as well ask for what he feels he's worth while he's on the peak of his ability, producing good results. After retiring, he may get an industry job but it's doubtfull he'll do better financialy than his racing days. Furthermore, DH racing is a risky sport, so the potential for serious injury that may affect the ability to race or win only add to the demands. Sounds very reasonable to me. Specialized on the other hand sponsors riders so that they help product sales. If the specific products Gwin promotes do not represent a significant part of sales with the potential for growth, it makes sense for them not to invest more money. Again, makes sense.
  • + 2
 How many DH bikes sell a year compared to XC or Road? I am guessing DH is a much smaller market.

7 or 8 races a year can't compare to a MX/SX contract in my opinion?

Did he ask for more from RB, Smith or TLD or was he already getting what he is worth there?

Tough game but good for him on getting a contract for what he wanted. Only time will tell if the results will remain. Can't wait for 2016!!!
  • + 2
 There are many quotes saying Gwin doesn't fit YT's line of thought: I hold the Good Times thing for a marketing slogan. nothing more. YT has been very clever at creating it's image of being the people's bike company. I nevertheless think their aim is to make money still and hence the slogan might change from Good Times to WC Winner Bike at any time.
  • + 6
 God Times?
  • + 6
 I heard gwin is signing on NASA?
  • + 3
 This isn't just about riding bikes anymore at the WC level, it's about business, and being a business man. Gwin isn't my favourite rider on the circuit - but he's certainly one of the smartest. Good luck to him in 2016.
  • + 2
 One thing that's not making a whole lotta sense(to me) is in this 'interview' he stated point-blank that a(nother) team/manufacturer has come up with the beans to pay him what he's asking, thus he's all but signed the contract.
So what then is the hold up?
After reading that, I expected to see a press release from his new team the same day, and when I didn't see that, I expected to see it the next day.
Like everyone else, I also don't know how much he asked for, other than speculating that it must've been a lot.
Buying into that, I don't personally see how a 'small' company such as YT can afford to a) pay him, and, b) then shell out the $$$ to build an A-level team around him, complete with all the accouterments he's used to, and the A-level staff to support the effort
  • + 1
 I expect an announcement Friday.

I think what makes it possible for YT, is that in reality it will be Team Gwin regardless of name i.e.. TRADE TEAM or FACTORY TEAM. The Atherton's run their own program and now Gwin will too. Gwin will modernize the game. KTM can run the team and YT, RB, SMTH, TLD, RNTHL and the rest can fund the program. More $$$ from sponsors and less from the Frame Manufacturer will open opportunities for smaller/newer frame companies to work with top tier riders. I, personally would like to see him bring Intense back.
  • + 6
 Show him the money dammit !
  • + 5
 When Ken Roczen is specialized's highest paid athlete, but they won't pay Gwin enough -_-
  • + 1
 Ken Roczen is the best german motocross driver. And also one of the best drivers in the AMA Supercross Championchip. But I dont know why he is in the specialized family. His bike is from suzuki.
  • + 3
 All MX and SX riders put in huge hours on the road bikes as fitness training. Specialized sponsor a number of them (Roczen, Reed, Villopotto)
  • + 3
 Gwin's not on TV every Saturday night for the next 5 months either!
  • + 2
 With DH being an extreme sport and bikes selling at $10K plus, our DH Pro/ Elite should be paid at least a 1-3million$s a year, plus bonuses when their life on the line. That's just change money for some of these manufacturers and sponsors like REDBULL.
  • + 1
 Fair play to the man. He should and so should all the top end riders be paid more when you think about the risk in comparison to football/soccer players along with basketball etc along with the amount of skill it takes. To be in the top 100 riders you should be getting good solid pay
  • + 3
 With Graves going to Spesh, they definitely spend a big part of their MTB budget on enduro. But remember Spesh: #nevergofullenduro
  • + 1
 Props to Aaron for keeping a professional attitude towards this. He may have come up with what he considered a "fair market value " but the bottom line the Specialized sells more Enduros and Stumpjumpers than Demos.. But, he has a new contract with someone else. .
  • + 1
 He signed with KTM......there is no real basis to this other than the fact that Gwinn has been riding his KTM dirt bike a lot. And KTM dominates Super Cross and Motocross, they make a few MTB bikes, they sponsored Tomas Slavik in 4-X for a while. Why not jump into DH with one of the best racer in the world and maybe all time.
  • + 4
 KTM bike and KTM moto are two entirely different companies totally independent from each other.
  • + 2
 well that's disappointing!
  • + 2
 Gwin is a machine! Pay the man what he's worth. Rumours say he's going to YT but I think it would be sweet if he went to Intense and rocked the new M16. That would give Intense a huge marketing advantage!!!
  • + 3
 i say fairplay to him,
how many people have given there notice in as there boss hasn't given them a pay rise or they have had a better offer elsewhere and they wont match it?
  • + 1
 I'm thinking Intense! SoCal rider, SoCal company that just so happened to start up a factory team again with some of the Palmer kids! They're going to need a good leader for that team of young guns and Gwin would fit perfectly.
  • + 4
 Why do I feel like it's not my business why is Aaron leaving Specialized? Does that make me a hater?
  • + 5
 Not sure why you feel that way, but I assure you it is your business. If Ratty pulls out his weiner and shakes it at Gee, it's your business. If Rach hooks up with Manon, it's your business. If the new Rocky DH bike looks like a Session, it's your business. If Gwin makes one million dollars a year....... it's your f'n business. If anyone is reading this, it's your business. Or quit now and pick up golf.
  • + 1
 Sounds like a pretty rational business decision from both sides.
I have no idea of the numbers but if your profit was $50m annually and you were paying an employee $500k and the following year he came and asked for $2m would you say yes?
Do Specialized state anywhere how many of each bike they sell annually?
As mentioned over and over again, DH is a tiny niche. Yes more people are watching thanks to better coverage, but trail bikes sales are much bigger and appeal to more people. And even that probably pales in comparison to commuter and road bikes.
  • + 1
 As far as I can tell most WC racers outside the men's top 15 and the women's top 5 are barely making a living. It's fair enough for Aaron to bargain for what he sees as an appropriate wage, but to be honest I'd rather see the big brands running bigger teams and supporting more up and coming talent than offering huge wages to the top 2 or 3 riders. If, as some commenters suggest, they've swapped gwin for loic and vergier, then that sounds like a smart deal to me
  • + 5
 I feel like my dad's just divorced an evil step-mom.
  • + 2
 Intense would be a good fit. They have that new M16c and need to sell some more bikes. Probably part of the strategic plan to build up sales volume before they sell to a bigger fish...
  • + 1
 Based on all the comments, it's looking like Giant. But, what about Marcelo? Can Giant afford both? It's too bad that Graves to Specialized is overshadowed by this story. Graves is an awesome ambassador for the sport, a great writer, and will do an amazing job with the video series. There is way more to being a brand ambassador than winning races. This is to take nothing away from Gwin. He's an amazing champion. But, his priority is to win races and he seems uncomfortable being a sports personality. What he's doing with this move is great for the sport. Until all of the companies release their numbers, how do we know which companies are truly treating their riders in a fair manner? Large companies are not always morally corrupt and smaller companies are not always morally superior. Nothing is ever that simple.
  • + 4
 Bye Gwin god needs your money, Bruni on a Demo will kick your YT ass hahahaha
  • + 1
 Good on Gwin for staying true to what he believes he is worth, for Specialised though never a better time for them either to explore the top talent available on the market after World Champs this season! Good luck to Gwin will be interesting season and sure he will do well on his new team.
  • + 2
 One thing I believe Gwin needs to get right though and this still eludes him, I believe he tries to justify this , prob because hes an ex Moto X guy coming to MTB, I think he is smart enough though to know how important World Champs is, but cant in his mind comprehend
a: it is the most important race and event and legacy in cycling esp MTB. While Im sure it had no bearing on above outcomes, this is one aspect he needs still to learn or accept. World Champs are the most important, and history shows and backs this up, so his data or belief his totally wrong! It still erks me he brings this up in nearly interview!
One reason I have always struggled with him as a fan, but totally respect his riding ability and skill.

No one really remmbers Nico for his 4 or 5 World Cup titles, hes remembered for his 10 World Championships, (rainbow jerseys) Steve Peat broke the internet when he finally won his in 09, after 17years of trying, ask him which he values more if he had to choose. Fabian Barrel while a fantatsic DH rider again is remembered for his World Championships, its being called World Champion, regardless of opinion, in cycling, thats the only title that gives you that, hes never had it yet, the fact Peaty had to endure many years and possibility of not getting that title shows how hard it is to win, that alone shows its not just a one off race. imo Gwin either dosent get it, cant understand it, the history, the factors it takes, incl. luck to win that jersery, until then he wont Imo, so under his reasoning hes under value with his potential value to the cycling community esp, fans and sponsors alike and until he does look at the history the riders who came before and how in DH theyre legacy is legitmised and valued, thats not to say World Cups arent important or valued, again that would be a misread of cycling compared to other sports, if its not clear yet to Gwin and the rest of you, its World Champion, not World Cup Champion, its the rainbow stripes that are and will always be remembered first and more likely like Nico, Peaty and Fabian, when reffered to thats how they get remembered by the normal punter, only magazines remind people of how many races they have won, or World Cup Series titles they have in history. We remember the rainbows!
  • + 2
 no chain winning is enough : )
  • + 1
 That came across as sour grapes to me. He wouldn't be saying it's overvalued if he'd won it.
  • + 3
 It will either be Giant, the brand with funds in its own coffers to pay a salary, or it will be a team with a large secondary sponsor like MS, Chain Reaction, etc.
  • + 1
 It's too bad that they didn't find an arrangement to maintain the sponsorship that both parties could feel good about. I thought they were a good fit. Hope Gwin continues to be successful and represent USA on top of the world cup scene.

It would be really fascinating to know the numbers behind this story. I have no sense for what the top guys earn, and it doesn't sound like the riders really do either. I found it a bit odd that Gwin would look at Specialized revenue and profit in determining how much he thinks he is worth. Perhaps a much more reflective number of an athlete's value would be how much product they specifically are responsible for moving. I have no sense for whether people ultimately buy their bikes because of the racers, even the winning ones. It that doesn't factor into my decisions.

The allocation of sponsorship funds also comes down to the overall team--I don't know if Gwin would expect that the overall budget increase or if he would have preferred to get his $ and the team drop Brosnan. i am personally glad that they have kept Brosnan, and I hope he is there for his entire career. I have no idea how Santa Cruz has been able to keep such a strong team together for so long, but I think it is really cool that they have. It kind of sucks to see riders move around as frequently as they do. I am not sure what level the money is at, but hopefully these guys are getting ahead financially during the short careers they have.
  • + 1
 CAN WE MAKE IT TO 700 COMMENTS Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile

As a previous NCIS agent ~ I can see that Gwin has gone to YT that has sponsorship from KTM ( $$$$$ )

Very excite !

Maybe he will help revolutionize the bike by having a gearbox ?

Lets just wait and see Oh Lord lets just wait n seeeeeee
  • + 5
 Good for him. I but he goes to Giant.
  • + 4
 What is the record for most posted comments for a single article ?
I'm sure this one will hit the top 3.
  • + 1
 We're almost on 1000
  • + 1
 Only the big guys can afford a rider like him. I think the return on investment is pretty low as downhill sales are low relative to all other disciplines. So my guess would be Scott or Giant. The only bigger companies he hasn't been with. No one's mentioned Cannondale, they used to be big downhill player... Missy, Rockwell, Gracia etc.
  • + 2
 "In life or sports..you never get what you feel you deserve..you get what you have the leverage to negotiate..owners have no cap on profits!"-Jalen Rose, former NBA player.via his twitter.
  • + 1
 wouldn't it be funny if Schwin actually made a DH bike for Aaron Gwin and paid him the amount he asks for.

I can see it now...all the marketing ads will be like: "GWIN with SCHWIN!"

And all of the sudden Schwin becomes a best selling bike company and all the cool kids started to ride Schwin. The chances of that happening is like winning the lotto and then getting struck by lightning. HAHAHA
  • + 4
 Alibaba is going to develop a bike for him and pay him 15 000 000 dollarosSmile
  • + 2
 I wanna say giant for his next team, they have the budget and at the moment they don't have a strong dh team. Also, isn't the current glory due a re-design to boost sales soon?
  • + 1
 I bet its because he needs a bike that will accommodate his huge balls.. Leaving the big S is a ballsy move, but I'm sure he already has his new gig lined up. Part of me understands the wanting more money.. He's elite, he risks his life every time he rides, and his name probably sells bikes for the company. But the other part of me is saying.. He's already making more money than most people do... by riding a bike. If he can command more money, then props to the dude, and I hope his new gig works out!
  • + 3
 Would love to see Gwin riding for Intense. Been way too long since Intense has been dominate in the WC scene. Besides, Palmer and Gwin, what a match that would be!
  • + 1
 After reading these hundreds of comments i have it narrowed down to three possible outcomes. Most likely, after looking at the artwork from YT, He goes with them and YT releases a new frame at the same time they announce they signed gwin. Or Intense signs with him because of the California connection, I would hate to see gwin on a foreign bike. Or the third guess Yeti gets back in the game with a new bad ass DH frame. I don't think this is very likely but i really want it to happen!!! and wouldn't it be awesome to see grave do both EWS