With the official word on the deal between Aaron Gwin and YT Industries now out there and in the public domain, we sat down with company CEO and lead hornblower of the German charge that is YT Industries, Markus Flossman...


YT was still a relatively small and unknown brand when you signed Andreu Lacondeguy, arguably the biggest name in freeride at the time. What positive effect did this have on the brand?

Well, the most positive effect was definitely that we had a stage to prove what a YT bike is capable of. From a visual point of view, in freeriding this becomes a lot more obvious than in other disciplines where we are talking about the precious seconds that could put you on a podium, or not. While a mean drop or a big jump is just something that seems to defy the laws of physics. It simply can not be done on a mediocre bike.

Now, signing Andreu, took it one step further. Of course, his presence in the media is undeniably a factor that you want to profit from. But let me tell you that it is not a guarantee to sell so many more bikes as to cover the investment. As a small company, it takes a lot of balls to do so, especially if you don’t have the financial background to compensate for major setbacks. We risked it because we are riders ourselves, we think and act like riders and we run our business just like we drop, jump and race our bikes. That’s why I am pretty sure, that we actually are the only bike producer that really fits Andreu and who he is.

So signing the number one rider in the freeride discipline was a message and one that worked. The fact that we are here to have a great time and that we are willing to throw it all in couldn’t be explained more simply to the world, than Andreu ruling Rampage on our TUES and putting on a great show at the FEST series. TUES, by the way, is German for “Do it”, and that’s what we’re known for today.

YT s Markus Flossman on Signing Aaron Gwin

bigquotesThat's why I am pretty sure, that we actually are the only bike producer that really fits Andreu and who he is. So signing the number one rider in the freeride discipline was a message and one that worked. - Markus Flossman

Do you predict similar gains in the downhill sector with Aaron Gwin?

Yes, sure. But in a more comprehensive way. Downhill is still the supreme discipline of mountain biking - it’s awfully fast and very easy to provide media coverage of a DH race in a way that makes it gripping to watch - even for outsiders. So the gains we seek are not limited to the downhill sector, but will include the whole sport of mountain biking.


How would you compare the size of YT in terms of sales and market visibility versus other brands?

Comparing is a hard thing to do and estimating will do no good. We are not big, but are not small either. Let’s say we are comfortable, having a size that opens up opportunities that are limited to the big shots of the sport - speaking of R&D, design, production, and service. Yes, we are growing and continuously reaching out to new markets and disciplines. But not randomly in every direction that seems to be prosperous. We are selling a certain way of life to a very special kind of people. Neither of them can be found in every biking discipline and we sure won’t change our identity to reach out to the others. We do what we do and losing our character and our approach would be our worst nightmare.

As a natural consequence, we are proud to say that we have fans where others have customers. So limited to our very own sphere of activity we have a very high market visibility. Within this sphere, we specialize in delivering exactly what people expect us to. Here, we are an innovator and a market leader.

YT s Markus Flossman on Signing Aaron Gwin

From the outside, for a company like YT, this seems like a huge investment - will there be an increased pressure on you to sell more bikes to balance the books?

Well, it definitely decreases the fear of not being on top of the game. For real, this time we wouldn’t have taken the risk if we weren’t able to handle it. With sizing up, come responsibilities and we are ready to face them.

We know how to run a company, although we appear to be nuts most of the time. Aaron fits into our existing marketing budget, therefore, having signed him is not putting any extra pressure on us. In the end, you need to sell enough bikes to keep the party going on in the next year.


bigquotesWe know how to run a company, although we appear to be nuts most of the time. Aaron fits into our existing marketing budget therefore having signed him is not putting any extra pressure on us. - Markus Flossman

YT have built their reputation around being a hard-partying, no-f*cks-given brand, which is pretty much the polar opposite of Gwin's clean-cut, faith-based lifestyle. Do you have any concerns about this being an issue, or is this the beginning of a new brand image, cleaner and focused on a wider market?

Definitely not. We will always stay true to ourselves. But that is not hard-partying or provoking others, in particular, we are just trying to get the most out of this life. Yes, there comes a moment to grow up. For us and our friends, it means to change the vocabulary - but not what we are saying. And yes, it may also mean to come home earlier to enjoy some quality time with the kids the next day. But our general idea of life stays untouched and we always end up having good times and that’s it. Now, tell me how far away that is from any man having his head on straight?

Aaron and us, we are not so far from each other at all. In fact, he’s extremely relaxed, both as a person and in his approach to riding his bike. That’s why he’s a winner: The ability to relax one’s mind and fall into 'flow mode' is exactly what separates two equally talented, prepared, and trained athletes. One going for first place and the other settling for second. That is our common ground. I have met him several times now, we have trained together and also beyond mountain biking we have a lot of common interests. He’s a fine guy, that’s all I can say, he is a perfect fit for our family.

YT s Markus Flossman on Signing Aaron Gwin

bigquotesOne going for first place and the other settling for second. That is our common ground. - Markus Flossman


Were you planning on becoming involved at the sharp end of downhill racing in 2016. Did you specifically go after Gwin, or did he and Martin Whiteley approach YT. If Gwin wasn't an option would you have looked for other riders or was it Aaron or nothing?

We’ve been thinking about getting into World Cup racing for quite some time. In the end, it’s the sport we do ourselves and the thought of officially showing our colors there has always been more than just tempting, so we had it high on the agenda for 2017. That we preponed it to 2016 goes back to Steve Jones asking one day if I thought the TUES could win a World Cup. Yeah sure, why not, was my answer, leaving him smiling. We wouldn’t get this off our minds until some weeks later we decided amongst ourselves to accept the challenge. By this time, it was common knowledge that Aaron was renegotiating with Specialized so we chose to ask him and set up a meeting. We talked a while and it soon became obvious that just as it had been with Andreu before, we were a perfect match.

From an economical point of view, entering the World Cup was only of interest to us doing it big, therefore, Aaron was the most natural choice. At this point of his career, Aaron wants to put a cherry on the top and for that he needs a rock solid partner, somebody who a) can deliver a product that is meeting his standards, enabling him to do what he’s here to do, and b) somebody who understands the big picture and provides a steady and reliable economical cover, not caring about where markets are seemingly moving to, but willing to put in the effort necessary to actually define these markets.


Is this part of a larger plan to help boost YT's position in the United States?

Let me think about this. Yes.


Will Gwin be helping with the bike development of future YT bikes, or is it purely a business trade of product and budget in return for media coverage and promotion?

Whatever stereotypes people are trying to sell the audience, the truth looks like this – bringing rider experience into development is not a question of realness vs. being-in-it-for-the-money or whatever, the poles are on a scale from a rider-owned to the bald-fat-men company. One of the major benefits we are getting out of this is the input and the vision of somebody who - within his discipline - knows more about the riders' perspective than anybody else on the planet. And so we knew we had the right guy for the job when Aaron explicitly asked for the possibility of taking part in the development process. Already, we have Andreu’s, Cam’s and Bryan’s ideas, which are essential for our range that is meeting the standards of even the most sophisticated pro riders while on the other hand producing something not over-bred and touchy but easy and intuitive to handle. These are exactly the properties Aaron instantly liked about the TUES and he is more than welcome to join forces in the process.

YT s Markus Flossman on Signing Aaron Gwin

Enduro racing has been making massive headlines over the last three years with the Enduro World Series, and one would assume that YT sells more 160mm Capra enduro bikes than the Tues downhill bike. Can you explain why you think it makes sense to invest into downhill racing over enduro racing for the brand?

As I said before, downhill racing is still the most attractive and the suspense is unmatched. Yes, enduro racing is offering that, too, but only if you are participating in the race. Watching it, not so much, at least not yet. This will change with technical possibilities growing up to the demands of creating good footage of such an event. But still then it will be suspenseful in a very different way - watching a DH race is something completely different, with its very own attractiveness.

Coming back to DH being the supreme discipline of mountain biking, most enduro customers choose the product for its versatility and are riding it in parks and on single trails. They are equally attracted by both competitions and so are even many all-mountain riders - who never have set a foot in a bike park.


One would also assume that dirt bikes generate the smallest volume of sales. Will we see the brand moving away from dirt jump bikes and associated sponsorships?

It’s a pity that dirt jumping, the sport YT originates from and which defined our DNA, has become less visible over the years. Still, we want to stay true to our roots and therefore, we are keeping up support in this sector.

I believe that nowadays we are the brand that’s still supporting the most dirt jumpers, taking into account that Andreu and Cam also started out from there once. They just have evolved, but this is where the talent comes from. This is why in addition to Yannick Granieri and Bienve Alba, we decided to sign the Catalan, Adolf Silva. On top of that, we designed a carbon slopestyle frame that’s going to hit the shelves soon, despite knowing from the beginning that we’d never be able to cover the expenses of the development process. We do so because we think that sometimes you just have to follow your heart and let the numbers be numbers.

bigquotesIn our world the times are not gone where it's still all about good times... - Markus Flossman


MENTIONS: @YTIndustries / @aledilullo




197 Comments

  • + 330
 I feel like its rare that I like EVERY answer given during one of these company interviews, but this one was spot on. Love this brand and its attitude.
  • + 43
 I was surprised by the interview and the responses that were given. I am very curious how things will play out this season for both gwin and the YT
  • + 26
 cool relationships between riders and factory that's nice .. lets hope that results will follow .. which I have no doubt about. It's the man not the bike
  • + 8
 I thought the same exact thing , he's no dummy , Wasn't just saying what people wanted to hear
  • + 49
 I think YT and Transition could be good friends.
  • + 43
 Definitely appreciate YT even more after reading this interview. I really like their style!
  • + 21
 "We do what we do and losing our character and our approach would be our worst nightmare."

Hell yeah.
  • - 7
flag aoneal (Feb 8, 2016 at 13:09) (Below Threshold)
 Sort of like the Steve Jobs of the bike industry right there. He's passionate and believes in what he is doing and that makes all the difference in terms of success.
  • + 21
 Seriously, what a sharp and good-natured dude. Can I come work for you?
  • + 35
 I don't follow Apple, but to me Steve Jobs felt like he was rather a billboard with a whole team of marketeers behind him who calculated he will get 12.73% more appreciation if he wears that "adorably silly" high neck shirt. I do know Apple is the #1 example of successful marketing. Where they could have easily put all the things in the first phone, they decided to add features (which they could have added years ago) one by one, creating that people want to buy a new one every single year. Also they managed to create a luxury image, something that people mainly buy to show off (just like Gucci t shirts and BMWs). Because the way they used this, they managed to create a situation where it is only cool to show off the latest model, and all the earlier models are not cool anymore, so you will have to buy the newest one to keep your show off thing.

Thereby, I feel like Apple is the exact opposite of YT.
  • + 18
 Steve Jobs was simply a power hungry money grabbing twat that wanted to flood the world with shitty disposable fashion item products. I don't really get that vibe with YT.
  • + 100
 Yaepp, awesome company, awesome dude. I am pretty sure that big companies, especially Trek, Spec and Santa are shittin their pants. 5k bike beating 10k bikes - that will be beautiful. No more envy for ENVE Wink
  • + 3
 Hopefully he's not a psychopath like jobs
  • + 13
 I love yt as a brand and you can't really fault the rider roster.As soon as they make an xl Tues, count me in.
PLEASE MAKE BIGGER BIKES @YTINDUSTRIES
  • + 7
 @WAKIdesigns maybe in euros, but its more of a 2K discount in US. Still incredible, but its not like YT is slashing pricing by 50%.
  • + 4
 dhx42 - yes in Euros and GBP.
  • + 0
 Nice. Good deal for you.
  • + 0
 I'd rather prefer buying Fox suspension at US Prices. In Europe you get Lyrik and Pike for the price of 36 180
  • + 6
 I'm not a YT guy as descrided. But I really appreciate the way they are. I'm probably too old and too far from talent. Can't wait the first WC round !
  • + 30
 This man is a marketing genius. He has found a way to entirely win over the pinkbike mob
  • + 2
 I didn't know The Spanish Fly (Alba) was also on YT - the kid was doing 2x fronties 2 years ago.....

www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSyYLQzHI8Q

"What's with the shirt ripping?" said the pasty American Me....
  • + 2
 They really are for the young talents out there.
  • - 7
flag jaame (Feb 8, 2016 at 16:18) (Below Threshold)
 He sounds pretty awesome and I love yt but, and this may be too cynical, he's still the boss. I've never had a boss that I liked, and that's because you don't become the owner of a successful business by being a nice person. My current boss, if you asked her customers they would all say she's a really great person. From an employee's perspective, she's a fucking cunt!
  • + 6
 XL Capra available for 2016
  • + 3
 Don't fuck it up Gwin!
  • + 2
 As much as I like both, I still think it's a bit of an odd couple. YT's communication style/brand identity seems a bit more 'dudey' where Gwin comes across as the clean cut professional athlete, delivering MX style speeches.
  • + 0
 A new GT3 every year sealed it :-)
  • + 1
 this winner it's just another PB joke !! Razz
  • + 25
 Jaame WTF?! I mean WHat the f*ck are you on about with such shitty speculating?! Ever heard of privilege of doubt? Assuming that someone is cool is waaaaay healthier than assuming he's an a-hole - trust me. Do it for your own sake and world around you will be better off for fuks sake. Why... what kind of shit depressed crap sits in your head, minority complex... I don't know what pushes people to spawn such sht.

I don't know the guy but so far he provided one best interview in years (maybe one with Jeb Stebber about 650B was close). You know who is full of sht? That a-hole from Marzocchi who can talk only about third party interesting in purchasing some part of assets. He made Marzocchi dead for me. If they surround themselves with such douchebags I will never ever say a good thing about them.

As to YT, if I wouldn't be getting a great deal for my new bike, I'd buy a Capra, this interview convinced me to it. Honesty is a rare thing these days.
  • + 1
 Specialized fits that mold better, marketing specialist
  • - 9
flag jaame (Feb 9, 2016 at 3:35) (Below Threshold)
 What I'm saying is, everyone I've ever worked for, who was actually a business owner, in my life, was an arsehole. The only bosses I've ever liked were ones who were not invested in the business. All the others have had a very clear understanding that it is their money they are paying me (rather than the company's money) and if it's in my pocket, it's not in theirs. Workers are workers, nothing more, nothing less. What can I say? If you've had a boss you liked you're luckier than me. I bet you if asked every worker at yt, off the record, whether or not they like the boss, some of them would say no.
  • + 1
 That interview was nice mix of chatting and economics and speaking to the point. It was not just jubberish from the top with the same answer for everything. It was informative to read!
  • + 1
 Jaame - i have two bosses - one is a loonie and the other is a super cool guy, cold and straight to the point but cool. Business is quite successful. My previous boss was a loonie too, but what can you expect from an university. My first boss was an a-hole and he is out of business at the moment. I still wouldn't succumb to pattern seeking impulse, especially to come up with a negative impression, having no data to back it up.
  • - 8
flag jaame (Feb 9, 2016 at 5:02) (Below Threshold)
 I'd be happy to share with you some of the shit that's been done to me over the past ten years. Maybe I've been unlucky but they are the facts as I see them. Your first reply was a little over the top Waki.
  • + 1
 Dude its a good comparison but we hope we dont see a tues mini or a tues 6s..lol
  • + 12
 Jaame,ever thought that maybe YOU are the common denominator in all your "all bosses are mean" stories?
Once you realize this,you can fix YOU and you'll be happier in your life and work.
  • + 2
 His captions on his instagram feed sometimes crack me up, a big contrast in how mature and composed he seems in interviews on video. My guess is that, if you know him on a more personal level he is actually a blast to hang out with. If I and my 2 cents are right, YT and Gwin should be a perfect match.
  • + 1
 Thanks man. I scrolled to the comments section first, to find out if I should read this or not. Reading now...
  • + 1
 @scary1: thank you (exactly my thoughts)
  • + 1
 I guess it depends who you work for. Ten years in Taiwan would change your mind.
  • + 54
 "Aaron fits into our existing marketing budget, therefore, having signed him is not putting any extra pressure on us."

I don't in any way mean to rag on Specialized. Business is business, and I'm excited to see these two new teams shaping up. But think about YT and think about Spesh.... think about how their marketing budgets must compare. YT generates a lot of hype, but I can't imagine they spend anything close to what Specialized does. So EXACTLY how much did Gwin ask for, I wonder? It can't be insignificant if Specialized was willing to exchange Gwin for both Graves and a whole new DH team, albeit not a factory one. But it can't be obscene, or Flossman wouldn't be so comfortable with his investment.

Either way, this is shaping up to be an excellent story. Gwin and Alonso versus Bruni, Vergier, and Iles; cutting-edge YT versus mighty Specialized - money, talent, business and adrenaline, champions versus prodigies. I can't wait.
  • + 18
 A living wage?
  • + 45
 im guessing Spec's entire marketing budget is massive comparatively but they probably allocate that money into lots of different silos. maybe their marketing budget is (and im totally making these numbers up) $10 million. but they already have commitments to spend $9.5 million on other marketing stuff. Now Gwins comes in asking for $750K. They cant "afford" that even though their budget is $10 million. they can afford it, but just choose to spend it elsewhere

Maybe YT's marketing budget is $1 million. They want to make a big splash and spend 75% of their marketing budget on Gwin. Their budget is only 1/10 of Spec's, but they are a smaller company and probably more nimble and able to make marketing budget decisions on the fly.


again, I totally made all those numbers up. I have zero idea how much anyone's budget is or how much riders are paid. Guessing its much less than what i put up there. but the point is, YT probably spent a large portion of their marketing to get Gwin and for a company trying to gain a foothold in the US, maybe not a bad idea. Certainly is gaining a lot of news today
  • + 6
 There is tax breaks for sponsoring athletes in the UK, not sure if its the same for the rest of the EU/Germany, but an athlete may not cost a company as much as you think once moneys been moved about a bit.
  • + 8
 You have to remember, Specialized is making products for many more markets than YT is, most of which demand more effort to engage their consumers than people obsessed/involved in strictly competitive disciplines. Specialized's marketing budget gets divided into many more pieces.
  • + 4
 Millions and millions and millions
  • - 11
flag robaussie99 (Feb 8, 2016 at 12:36) (Below Threshold)
 "I don't in any way mean to rag on Specialized" -

But you should Wink
  • + 5
 I think the biggest difference is that YT has their focus on freeride and downhill, where as Specialized is a big money wolf that rather sees DH as product development than as a cash cow. Money wise they will probably create more profit if they invest that extra money into road cycling. And YT, even know they know what they are doing, they seem to go full YOLO: all or nothing. Which I really appreciate. Like they said about they won't get the return on investment on the carbon slopestyle frame, but their passion still drives them to push themselves to the limits anyways.
  • + 4
 The interesting thing that nobody is even considering is that maybe Gwin didn´t even ask for a raise. Maybe Specialized marketing office decided that he´s not worth the investment for the company as a whole and therefore Gwin may have been left with a "take it or leave it" offer.
Sometimes you just have to compromise and make a statement in order to still be taken serious in the business.
Like, if your boss refuses any future possibilities of a raise, would you rather stay in that company or maybe switch over to another one which will offer a little less in the beginning but with a future prospect of stepping it up?
I think this move has been more an investment into the future for both sides. If Gwin boosts sales for YT, i´m pretty sure they are likely to also up his salary.
Also financial stability may be another factor. If you trust the company to stay in it for a while that provides more stability than being with someone like Giant or Specialized who just might completely drop out of the whole szene as soon as customer interest starts to fade. For me personally that would be well worth a few bucks less per year.
  • + 9
 Without knowing the numbers, it's hard to say if Specialized actually did "trade" Gwin for Graves and en entire DH team. It's entirely possible that Graves is making more than Gwin was asking for, and the higher ups at Specialized simply see Enduro as a better investment.

The risk of putting all their eggs in Gwin's basket is that he could pull a Stevie Smith in the off season and scuttle their entire DH program with a broken ankle. With the Demo's racing reputation well established, that's a risk that's not always worth taking when you can hire a few lower priced athletes and get some solid top 10s and maybe a couple wins, even if a few of them get hurt. Granted that's exactly the risk they appear to have taken on Graves, but their Enduro program has been hurting, and it seems more financially justifiable to gamble on a super-star than it does in DH.
  • + 6
 IMO He's got a slice of the pie. Potentially worth much more than any salary he could of got..
  • + 1
 Ya. Spesh prob makes way more money off road bikes then all mountain bikes, and more off xc bikes than gravity bikes.
  • + 2
 It wasn't only Gwin, but also Bearclaw that freed some of that budget up to afford Loic Bruni, Loris, and Finn.
  • + 4
 I got a number once, from the dude making trail centers in UK. According to his research XC/Marathon stood for 90% of the market, gravity bikes stood for 3%, and still there were more Freeride bikes sold than DH. It was like 5 years ago. These days DH bikes probably don't even make it to 1%. Nevertheless DH surely brings publicity and helps selling all sorts of bikes in the net game.
  • + 24
 Specialized got a team of young exciting riders to help their image as an always serious company. YT got the most high-prifile DH rider to show that the bikes and brand are able to complete with the best. A good move for both brands.
  • + 4
 specialized is sponsoring three road pro tour teams.. that's probably a huge chunk of their budget right there.
  • + 3
 Remember, yt is only supplying frames and gwins 'new contract' is what martin and gwin put together 'en total, from all sponsors.
  • + 4
 Wittupausten - there can be little doubt that a single pro-roadie costs more than the whole Spec Gravity Republic. They get paid lots in salaries (5k Euro a month, in an average team) then they have camps few times a year, sleeping in luxurious hotels, having luxurious treatment on races. DH riders are basically hill-billies living a van life.
  • + 7
 @WAKIdesigns and excellent pharmaceutical and medical support!!! let's not forget about it!
  • + 8
 @ekho And a worldclass electrician hiding motors in the seat stays ^^
  • + 2
 IMHO, the hill bullies thing is due to the fact that that's what our community wants - van living, hi giving, 'down to earth', care free dh duds who are happiest with beers on one hand and bbq on the other aka Happy Time all the time? Sponsors just ride with it happily, laughing all the way.
  • + 1
 Hill billies...annoying phone autocorrects
  • + 2
 @alexs1, go into your phone settings and turn it off. Easy
  • + 2
 Then every other word would be misspelled not just a wrong word spelled correctly every now and then! Our Education system sucks!
  • + 1
 Hill bullies is a nice concept though...
  • + 1
 After winning the title in 2015, Gwin would be stupid to not ask for a raise. Honestly though I don't see how Specialized can gain anymore of the market share of DH bikes. All the PB/Vital polls show it way out in front of all other bike brands in terms of the bike brand most people want to buy from next. I think it is more about brand awareness and drawing people to the whole line of Specialized bikes.

No one even mentioned that this is Olympics year in Rio, and Specialized will no doubt be dumping money towards that event. Can't have Gwin and gold medals too.
  • + 49
 PB is going break today...
  • + 35
 ...dang it! now i gotta sell my new demo....
  • + 30
 Today, it's The Gwinternet, tomorrow the Gworld Cup.
  • + 11
 highly Gwintertaining...
  • + 1
 @endlessblockades hahaha I laughed too hard at this!
  • - 8
flag trahantonic1 (Feb 8, 2016 at 16:09) (Below Threshold)
 meh
  • + 5
 I preferred the Gwinterview
  • + 47
 "We do so because we think that sometimes you just have to follow your heart and let the numbers be numbers". Bravo!
  • + 20
 agreed 100% - but negative propped you by mistake

Someone should move the green and red buttons further apart for touch screens. Please.
  • + 5
 propped for you cat!
  • - 5
flag fracasnoxteam (Feb 8, 2016 at 14:58) (Below Threshold)
 oops, sorry, neg proped you
  • - 7
flag AllMountin (Feb 8, 2016 at 16:19) (Below Threshold)
 and i neg propped you. now someone get me!
  • - 4
flag Triber66 (Feb 8, 2016 at 18:31) (Below Threshold)
 I neg propped you, it was intentional and therefore I'm not sorry in the least.
  • - 3
 I neg proped the wrong comment, it should been a joke... I of course totally agree these comment.
  • + 33
 With a desperate hope that someone at YT will read this:

Please do a ~140mm. trail bike... Pretty pretty please?
  • + 12
 Yes! They need a slack-ish 140/150mm trail bike. Something to stop me wanting a Transition Scout.
  • + 0
 For what purpose?? The Capra is capable of every trail! If 160mm is too much for you just increase pressure and compression. If you complain about uphill issues (I don't have) YT is not your company. Wink
  • + 10
 Hm... slack-ish 150mm vs. 160mm. Is that 10mm really worth investing in a new product line?
  • + 2
 @yoobee I agree. I just took the flats off mine, set aside the FiveTen and put some clips back on, and rode the Capra like an XC bike. It felt as fun hammering uphill and pedaling for two hours as it does doing steep gnar and drops and jumps. It has been my trail bike and park bike and I even raced it on a DH trail at Mammoth. I can't complain.
  • + 2
 Reading between the lines of this interview, you'd have to say they're definitely developing a ~140mm 29er trail bike
www.pinkbike.com/u/mattwragg/blog/from-the-top-stefan-willared.html
  • + 2
 Hm, right. I'll ask him next time I meet him Smile
But I won't need a bike like this, definitely.
  • + 2
 @bedeabc What about the Spitfire? Or does it have to be carbon?
  • + 4
 @yoobee Because the Capra is (sadly) just too much for most trails. Believe me, I have been SO close to pulling the trigger on a Capra - but in the end it would be too heavy and soft for just about every trail around where I live. I already have a TUES WC Edition sitting around, blaming me for not taking it abroad more often :p

What "we" need is a Camber Evo/Hightower/5010/Scout/etc. killer with 27.5" wheels, 130-140mm. of travel and a YT sticker on it... I would kill for that bike!
  • + 2
 @yoobee @Nygaard nailed it. I'm sure the the Capra can do XC but lots of my riding isn't rad enough for a bike that flattens everything. A dialled 130mm bike pumps over and manuals better over small trail features better than an enduro sled. Less travel usually means shorter stays which for better or worse, is what a lot of people are asking for.

@winko The Spitfire looks great! Don't know how I'd missed it until now. Looks like my perfect bike, although I'm a sucker for internal routing which makes me lean towards the Scout.
  • + 1
 Yes, a light but lairy 120-130mm aggro trail ripper in carbon
  • + 24
 YT will be good for Gwin's image ( a little less straight) and Gwin will be good for YT making them look like a "serious" brand with a race focus now too.
Looking past the god stuff it's hard not to root for Gwin. From my limited time around him he seems to be really nice ( helping kids at the local races etc) and he always says the right thing in interviews. In addition he is a beast on a bike.

Can't wait for the world cup!

My .02 on the $$'s is that no DH guys get compensated enough for risking life and limb. If Gwin raises the ceiling a bit that can't be a bad thing and he deserves every penny.
  • + 18
 I think this is so rad! Gwin is putting it all into this new team for a fresh start, I just love the vibe. The fact that he is signing with all these new companies and sponsors will help them become more popular. I can see how Gwin wants to get away from all the red tape of larger companies because he has been dealing with that throughout his whole career. Excited to see this season go down in the books! Cheers!
  • + 18
 I know YT isn't exactly a "little man" bike Co. anymore, but I still love the idea of "sticking it to the man" of the "big boys" in the bike industry.
  • + 8
 many of those "big boys" came down this path too.. I'm still a SC fan, but if I ever get my "Two Wheeled Guilty Pleasure", it could be I wannabe like Gwinn YT!
  • + 10
 It makes me sick when you see the big brands investing their money in e-bike development and pulling out of DH. I hope YT ends up making a lot of money this year
  • + 2
 keep the lazy e-bike zombies off our trails.
  • + 15
 3 articles in a row on YT... who most of us knew was going to sign Aaron in the first place.

Stoked for YT and stoked to see Gwin get to see where he's at at this point in his career. Still very competitive/championship caliber rider (clearly). But also a leader and a guy that can really help build a top quality team at YT and bring the young Bell sponsored Spaniard in.... and help develop top end DH bikes for YT.

It makes a lot of sense for everyone involved. Gets YT instantly on the map in the DH game. Get Gwin paid. Etc.
  • - 4
flag endlessblockades (Feb 8, 2016 at 15:23) (Below Threshold)
 There's still a YT Factory Tour article to come............overkill!
  • + 15
 Does anyone know if they've had VC funding or anything? So stoked for a brand like this to come out all guns blazing and risk it all.

Now, if only they'd let someone come in and sort out the customer care side of this business... *cough cough*
  • + 16
 "...we are proud to say that we have fans where others have customers."

+1 for the by-riders-for-riders mentality.
  • + 13
 'Sometimes you just have to follow your heart and let the numbers be numbers' Love this.
  • + 14
 Gotta give it to those guys, that was some first class marketing talk.
  • + 6
 And this is meant in a positive way. Very impressed by the level of professionality of the YT Team!
  • + 13
 Interesting to hear about the carbon slope bike.
  • + 3
 Zink had a proto months ago Wink
  • + 2
 I have been wondering when/if they would be releasing this bike since I saw cams proto on insta 51 weeks ago.
  • + 5
 Fascinating and probably the best PB interview I've read. I'm not a huge DH fan, but have attended the race in Leogang. Gwin on YT in 2016 will definitely be a story I follow.
  • + 4
 "YT sells more 160mm Capra enduro bikes than the Tues downhill bike" - definitely. Enduro bikes its pretty versitle, many DH riders are ripping enduro bikes as a training nowadays + many sunday riders - as Peaty says enduro its super fun but not ready as a big professional sport. All in all stoked they choose DH.
  • + 3
 Made sense to me. Watching the coverage etc of ews is boring as hell as far as I'm concerned. Wc dh is rad, and exciting as hell.
  • + 3
 i think indirectly all the stoke involved with watching WC DH races translates into an average joe actually buying more enduro bikes.
  • + 5
 Yo Markus, Please send a container of wearable goods to Cam and Howie so us YT early-adopters can rep your gear. I live in SF and with Summer coming, I'm going to need a couple more hoodies - the fog struggle is real.
  • + 6
 This got sounds like the kind of guy I'd want to have a beer with after having out laps at the bike park
  • + 3
 I simply love the meaning of the "TUES" name... me and probably many others used to call it "tjuuhs" but regarding it's meaning of "DO IT" (tu es, like said in the interview) it should be pronounciated tuuu-ez. A truly genius name to show off your attitude (giving no f*ck, just doing it, and kidding the english-speaking internet) and give credit to your german roots. Makes this company despite their direct-sales-concept very symphatic!
  • + 2
 It's funny how everybody believes every Word this Business man is saying. Just because he rides bikes and has tattoos doesnt make him more trustable.

Dont get me wrong i dont think he lies with everything he is saying. But this answers are just To polished and (bike) political correct.
E.g: As a CEO he would never Tell us: hey Guys, WE just singed gwin but had To spend half of our r&d Budget and all of our Marketing Budget for that.
They Mist likeley are starting their business year with january so I guess they will just have defined a marketing Budget before that fits Aaron salary.

This Interview is an example of very very good Marketing. Dont believe everything you read Wink (thats for every Media and Internet as whole by the way...)

Still i like them dont get me Wrong!
  • + 2
 YT: If you're listening, any chance you are going to speed up production.... I would love one, but an impatient bastard such as myself cannot wait that long for a bike.....

This really is discrimination against impatient bastards such as myself... Get ready for a lawsuit Razz
  • + 2
 After reading this news I have so much respect for Aaron Gwin. He just walked away from a solid company like Specialized (which is good all in all) to YT, to be true to himself and to his life views. Life is a journey and he is specially making a good one! Good luck Gwin and have a great season!
  • + 2
 I wonder if Gwin is getting a % of the increase in profits that he generates from some of the small companies he is riding for, if that is correct the money he makes from YT might not be the main part of his income. The idea that he is getting away from the big names seems to be a move that could be very good for him. I think he is a class act and I can't wait till the D.H season starts
  • + 4
 Has Aaron ever stopped smiling? He always has the same face on him, guess it could be the bike? Or the pay check? I would have a permanent smile if I was living his life!
  • + 6
 I'd smile if I could ride that fast too (and get paid to do it). Few things have me smiling as much as when I get to ride DH.
  • + 2
 "Yes, we are growing and continuously reaching out to new markets and disciplines. But not randomly in every direction that seems to be prosperous. We are selling a certain way of life to a very special kind of people. Neither of them can be found in every biking discipline and we sure won’t change our identity to reach out to the others. We do what we do and losing our character and our approach would be our worst nightmare"

If only more brands had this attitude, hats off to them!
  • + 2
 I hope this team won't burden us, the customers, with increasing prices in their future products. I like YT because they have fair prices, not because of the bike. There are countless bikes out there that are just as good, but more expensive. So, raising prices will effectively cause the loss of my interest and possibly of others like me. That being said, I can't wait to see YT throw it down in the world cup.
  • + 3
 It's hard for me to see YT raising prices. I can't see a reason for it. Like you said, they're kind of known for their low prices - their bikes get fantastic reviews, but the value is what draws customers to the brand initially. Furthermore, if/when demand increases, their revenue will increase as well. I don't doubt that they'll find a way to keep up their supply, and there'd be no other reason to try to widen their margin - it might damage their reputation. Might be clever marketing, but they don't seem like that kind of company.
  • + 2
 Well my thinking is that YT is still very fresh and therefore I have my doubts about how resilient they are to new costs (racing in the world cup and all that comes with it). However, i should say that I'm definitely not trying to pretend to fully understand the financial dynamics of a bike company. Lets hope you're right so that we can continue to be excited about YT! haha
  • + 3
 no worries, the reason these bikes are cheaper is because they cut out your local bike shop and not because they did not plan on doing marketing.

In fact its very likely the have a % of marketing money than other, a lot bigger, brands by not having to share $ with a lbs...

so no its not gonna get more expensive but if this business model gets adopted more widely you will have to mail in your bike to get your brakes bleed and your derailleur adjusted some day soon...
  • + 3
 As the guys have all pretty much said, the chances of YT raising there prices is probably not gonna happen as its a massive USP of there product. If they did they would simply blur into the majority of brands and become a boutique brand, not out of choice but simply if your paying top whack for there products and the big S is selling XX bike with similar geo etc for 500 less or the dealer gives you a discount, most will go for the corporate companies.

Re the savings made, I don't wanna make anyone feel sick but when it comes to the chain of company to customer it isn't pretty for us hence why YT are smashing it.In my experience previously working in different sectors of the industry I'll give you an example, if you take a £6000 bike made by XXXX, so I'll start at the lbs level, they will have bought the bike for anywhere between 50%( if big shop and big bike co) and 80% so in this case we'll say 75% is what the shop bought the bike for, then the distributor for that country will have again around 20%-30% to play with, at this point the bike is worth around £3000, now the bike comp itself has sourced said frame from the far East and has around 40%+ margin on that (including OEM parts etc) so the bike itself from the company perspective is worth to them about £1400. So YT selling you a bike directly actually increases there profit margin but also sells you the benefits of that by giving you a great bike for alot less than anywhere else. Win win.
  • + 2
 right up until it breaks, after sales service is generally appalling with the direct brands and not just warranty stuff. even buying spares can be neigh on impossible.
  • + 1
 That's both reassuring and of course worry some for our lbs. Things are always changing I guess. Thanks for clearing that up, guys, and it's always nice to learn something new along the way.
  • + 1
 I like YT, def one of 3 bikes I would look at buying right now, and I do wish them and Gwin well, however as Ive said even before this annoucement, once the 2016 site went up, here atleast prices have gone up by atleast 2k on all carbon models and no BOS? its already happening, so direct here is as expensive as most other top end brands. which is disapointing.
  • + 1
 @maverickdh00 The price has sadly had to go up, but I'd say they're still good value for money. I mean look at the Capra Pro Race with XMC1200 carbon wheels for $9500! A Giant Reign Adv 0 is only $300 less with alloy wheels, and a base model Nomad is still $10500! Likewise try finding a carbon DH bike like the Tues Pro for anywhere near the same price, like a Santa Cruz V10, Speccy Demo 8 or a Trek Session 9.9. The switch from BOS to Fox was practical as BOS had trouble meeting supply, and word is the new '16 Fit4 40 rides better than the Idylle FCV, and will be much easier to service here in NZ. And both the Capra and Tues have almost continuously won bike of the year in their categories, so don't just take my word for how well they ride... though if you're ever in Taupo/Rotorua I'm sure I can lend you mine to try out, you won't look back!
  • + 1
 @michibretz it is up to bike shops to adapt to their changing environment, not for bike manufacturers to maintain the status quo, which at least in my part of the world sucks. I've been into mtb for about 18 months, I started doing all my own maintenance after the first 2 months because that is how much time it took reading online and in books like Racetech's Suspension Bible before I knew more than the vast majority of techs at any of the lbs' here and with very little hands on practice could do a better job myself. I am a busy guy and I would love to have more riding time by leaving this fairly simple work to others, but I cannot get the standard of service I expect at any price, let alone one I am willing to pay. Within my group of friends, both local and international, this is not an unusual experience by any means, and this is an issue many shops need to fix to have a viable business case, irrespective of the rise or fall of direct sales. If shops like the Sacred Ride in Nelson, BC, offer the same kind of experience and quality of service to cyclists as I've experienced as a snowboarder, they have nothing to fear from direct sales of bicycles.
  • + 1
 @spoochypants,

I just find it interesting that especially on pinkbike people tend to be very pro LBS and at the same time they tend to be supporting and celebrating brands like YT that don't give a dam about that.
On the other side the same people hate on older well established brands that support the classic system and therefore have to have a different price structure....
  • + 4
 Its amazing how far YT has come in such a short time - they must be doing something right, and its going to be interesting to watch the brand evolve in the coming years...
  • + 6
 Damn, Markus pretty much nailed that interview.
  • + 1
 Those pics are shot in Woodstock Cycleworks in Cape Town! If you appreciate vintage and rare bicycles, you will love that place! It's like one big museum of amazing pieces of cycling history where you can also buy stuff. For me it is by far the coolest bike shop I visited in my life. Very friendly and helpful staff as well. Definitely visit that place if you're ever in Cape Town Smile
  • + 1
 (2nd and 4th picture)
  • + 1
 Shot at a bike shop? I thought they were consumer direct everywhere. Why would a LBS let that guy through the door?
Do they serve Coffee?
  • + 1
 Haha quite funny indeed. I'm sure Woodstock Cycle Works doesn't sell YT as they are into vintage stuff, so YT won't be a competitor for them. They have good coffee indeed Smile
  • + 0
 So US based bike makers passed on the Gwinner
Spesh (USA) sponsoring French and Australian riders (lots of them)
Santa Cruz (USA*) sponsoring UK and SA riders.
Trek (USA), sponsoring UKers
Both top Americans are picked up by overseas companies (Scott, YT)

Wonder why DH racing is going nowhere in good ol USA...
  • + 3
 So many Gwinterviews today. Excited to see how the YT mob does this season!
  • + 1
 "Will Gwin be helping with the bike development of future YT bikes, or is it purely a business trade of product and budget in return for media coverage and promotion? "

This is the best question.
  • + 2
 After watching Gwin's interview and reading this one it really seems they are the perfect match. Can't wait for the season to start!
  • + 4
 the interview worked on me... now i kinda want a YT Wink
  • + 2
 I have been seriously planning on copping the MrTee hair for the summer for about three months now. this is gunna ruin my steez
  • + 3
 Will Aaron be sporting a " f*cking God Times" t shirt?
  • + 1
 Damn he makes a good arguement...not sure but my dream bike DH bike might have just switched, for many reasons including the fact that the tues is just so damn hot...
  • + 1
 Well, I'm sold, this dude's answers were spot on! If I ever have enough money to get a brand new DH bike, I'm getting a TUES and repping YT for life! F*ck corporate money!
  • + 2
 This is going to be off the chain, the brakes just won't work.its going to be a great race season
  • + 2
 One positive in that he doesn't use them much
  • - 1
 It's not just about supplying a solid bike. YT has to build a COMPLETE A-level FACTORY RACING structure to support AG, and they're having to do it WAY behind the 8-ball. Other teams have been testing since the end of last year,but I'm guessing any 'testing' this team has done, has solely been in the form of getting a bike to AG so he can ride on his own. I sincerely hope they've already hired techs and purchased a team transporter. As good as AG is, he's still gonna have to get to know the bike well enough to know what he wants changed, and there's gonna need to be people-it'd be really nice if they good get a tech or two that he's worked with in the past, and has obviously gotten along with, That at least would give them a leg up on communication- that are able to not only make the changes, but know him well enough to be able to read his mind. This isn't amateur hour. It's the freaking World Cup.
  • + 1
 ....and it's a 3 year deal. So by year 2 he should be dialed.
  • + 1
 oh damn, you forgot to say this to martin whiteley and john hall. with your hint they would had never changed to yt. seriuos: these guys are experts - and who are you?
  • + 1
 YO YT. Maybe answer your emails and phone messages about some simple questions about purchasing a bike in CANADA! I got fed up and bought another brand!
  • + 1
 i might buy this bike but not because of gwin but everyone is going to think i did haha Frown
  • + 2
 yt is going to crush the big brands now, in every way!!
  • + 1
 If Gwin does win the first World Cup race of the season, I'd love to see what YT sales do for the following weeks.
  • + 0
 Their bikes are great - we love them - They need to produce a aggressive 29er ASAP to smash the market ! That would be great....
  • + 2
 Thanks for my Capra its frickin awesome Smile
  • + 1
 Awwwww Yeeeaahhh! All i care is the word that YT carbon slopestyle bike will come on for sale!!!
  • + 2
 I hope Steve Jones gets a decent redundancy package. Smile
  • + 1
 So Gwinns teammate rides Fox but isn't sponsored by them? Look at his jersey.
  • + 2
 I'm one of the fans for 5 years now. Bottom line - I'm stoked Smile
  • + 1
 Dude gets it, I'm impressed. "We will learn a new vocabulary, but will say the same thing." Brilliant!
  • + 1
 They are laughing about something Gwin is measuring with his fingers...I wonder what it is?
  • + 2
 There is no end in this soap opera???
  • + 2
 Maybe now YT can get it's own group in the PB and MTBR forums..
  • + 1
 That picture shows what great climbers they are.
  • + 1
 Looking forward to them announcing the YT Sunday
  • + 1
 I never neg propped anyone.
  • + 1
 I wish they asked when YT bikes can be bought in the USA
  • + 1
 Everyone just wants to be the next marketing budget
  • + 1
 Best of luck Gwin, YT and Jaame
  • + 1
 Did somebody say carbon slope frame?!
  • + 1
 Let numbers be numbers. I liked that.
  • + 2
 KILL IT GWIN
  • + 1
 Numbers never change. The greatest starting point.
  • + 1
 I think the winner here is YT.
  • + 1
 Thought I'd put a U in that!
  • + 1
 Flossmans left hand says GOOD TIMES and i bet it is.
  • + 2
 James Franco owns YT??
  • + 1
 ................
  • + 0
 "Gwin moved to YT and so did I…"
  • + 1
 BRING THE PAIN ?????
  • + 1
 I knew it
  • + 0
 YT bikes will be more expensive than Specilized bike soon
  • + 1
 Realest in the industry.
  • + 0
 MEH
  • - 3
 Just guessing.... YT doesnt pay Gwin, Gwin just bought YT easy as that ??!! So gwin is getting all the profits
  • + 1
 *LOL*
  • - 2
 Five years YT will be out of business
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