Video: Dylan Korba Mixes Trials & Freeride on a Hardtail

Feb 11, 2021
by Chromag Bikes  




Put the kettle on, take a few minutes to read Dylan's words, then sit back and enjoy the edit at the end.


How We got here.

Sometimes when you’re out tilling the field, you sow seeds without even knowing they made it into the ground. In some respects the story here is pretty simple. I went to school, I met a girl, I grew a beard, I got a job, and we moved to the mountains. My heart is very much in each of those things (except maybe the beard), and with every simple story there is another chapter before it.

Photo by Matt Bruhns

Rewind to the mid 2000’s and cycling was my life. It was the whole story, and the only thing that really mattered was being on two wheels, I would fit all the pieces of my life around my bike. It was that wonderful time of year, Crankworx, and I had the opportunity to cut some laps with none other than Cookie and a friend of his from out east. I would ride with as many people as I could back then. Whether it was catching a lap with someone off the chair, or riding with some locals from one of the shops, the opportunity to meet people and have positive experiences seemed endless.

Fast forward to “I got a job, and we moved to the mountains” and I find myself strangely positioned as an Architect living in Pemberton and working in Whistler. Still riding my aging stable of bikes until they were little more than scrap metal, from Pemberton to the transfer station. Squishy new carbon bikes are cool but, to be honest, I didn’t really want one but I did really want a Chromag “steel is real” hardtail, all the cool kids shred them.

Photo by Matt Bruhns

If I recall, their website described the Chromag Stylus as a bike that “didn't care what you threw at it” and it “wasn’t built to go uphill fast”, but also that you wouldn’t care because it would let you be the “purveyor of your own destiny”, or something like that. Yeah, I was hooked. Still on a tight budget, I noticed on the Pinkbike Buy and Sell, that Chromag was selling some old stock of the Stylus and I was like BINGO! Of course the DM to buy the frame ended up in Cookie’s inbox, what a serendipitous coincidence.

Photo by Matt Bruhns

My first Stylus was a 26” wheel frame. I didn’t care, I still had some 26” wheels and after cobbling together a mixed kit of old parts through donation and bartering with a few cases of beer, my new dream bike emerged. I ripped it in the bike park, local trails of course, and the Mackenzie Downhill race and the Stylus kind of re-ignited something that had been a bit dormant while pursuing other agendas.

Photo by Matt Bruhns

As 2019 tapered down, Cookie asked if I would ever be interested in putting together a little edit on the Stylus. Finally with some spare time after finishing professional exams, Cookie introduced me to film maker Radek Drozdowicz and photographer Matt Bruhns. We met at the Pemberton Bike Co. and chatted about the idea. After that, Chromag got some 27.5’s under me in the fresh Stylus platform, and after a couple hundred hours of digging, plenty of crashing, forest fire smoke, rain, a failed backflip attempt, a pack rat cabin, driving around with big-ass kicker, snow storms, many coffees, and a global pandemic, we had an edit. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did getting back in the saddle.

Photo by Matt Bruhns
Photo by Matt Bruhns

Thoughts on Filming:

In a lot of ways this project was like a bike of a daydream. I hadn’t ridden my bike in front of a camera in a decade, but there was always something calling me back. I would look at the world around me and just want to ride it. I still had the desire to create lines and ride them but it had been hard to find the time. The edit gave me a cycling goal again and something to work towards. I really wanted to put the best I could into and was curious what the result would be…

Photo by Matt Bruhns

Hurdle one before the filming even started was adjusting to 27.5” wheels. I know this sounds silly but the new standard wheel size was a little bit hard for me to get my head around. The balance points were all slightly different, and I was really unstable for a while doing trials type moves. As I adjusted my riding I realized that the larger wheel was awesome for blending trials and trails, so off we went. The bike rolled smoother, slacker angles reinforced stability and you can roll out of just about anything.


The technical rock hopping is something all trials guys do and I had imagined a few lines on my regular mountain bike rides. The first line Radek and I filmed was relentless, It took us 3 days for maybe 15 seconds of footage. Even though the film had cuts on this line, I was determined to ride the whole line complete just to prove it to myself. Radek was so patient and I am sure at times he thought that I wouldn’t make it, but after 3 days and 60-70 attempts I finally made it and that gave me the confidence to know I could realize this project.

Photo by Matt Bruhns

I had been keeping a catalogue of zones around Pemberton that I thought would be cool to ride and that inspired me in general. I had no interest in just riding along existing trails, I wanted to shoot in zones that inspired me and I hope in the end, those zones inspired Radek and Matt too. The zones ranged from the beautiful alpine to just cool features off the side of the road I had noticed on the way to work. One of the best things about Pemberton is all the amazing trails, but they wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for endless amazing terrain, so you can always find something new to ride.

Photo by Matt Bruhns

Our Alpine shooting was hard and we didn’t have a helicopter that’s for sure. The alpine zone is a good way into the backcountry without a ton of access, you can’t exactly drive up there with a truck. To get these shots really showed Radek and Matt’s dedication. I carried the camera gear on a moto-trials bike and Radek actually pedaled and pushed my bike up about 18 km and 1700m. Matt did the same thing a day later on his bike to meet up. We wanted an early start so we went the night before and stayed in this little hunter’s cabin at the treeline. We had been warned that the cabin was full of pack rats, but thankfully someone had eradicated them and left many notes to remind others to keep the doors and windows shut. Bright and early we had a final push into the alpine and a great day of shooting ahead of us.

Photo by Matt Bruhns
Photo by Matt Bruhns

One of the key lines was in the North Rutherford Creek area and really was collectively imagined and created. I had seen a big boulder that I had wanted to use as an obstacle and when I was showing the zone to the guys, they gave me some input on how it might be cool to do a line down the ridge leading to the rock. That line ended up taking me most summer to build and I think was a bit of an emotional one for the whole team. I think we each had our struggles on that line. I had a really big crash that thankfully only ended up with some bruising for a few weeks. Cinematically, we had issues with lighting and weather changing all the time and it just not being possible to finish filming that segment in a single session. We had smoke, rain, sun and snow all in about a 4 week window and I only had weekends to film. So that line was a major push, and I didn’t quite get what I wanted, but the big rock isn't going anywhere.

Photo by Matt Bruhns

In the end the project was a really important self-exploration for me, and I was really happy to prove to myself that I could still ride uniquely enough to be part of something special, and super thankful that Cookie and Chromag were on board to set that opportunity in motion!






Chromag bikes, parts, apparel and accessories are available online and at quality bike shops.




68 Comments

  • 71 1
 Not only was the video fantastic, but I really appreciated being able to read through your story with the amazing photography after the fact... thank you! Incredibly well done to all involved, wishing a great year ahead to all of you. Ride on!
  • 52 1
 Should be a ‘MUST WATCH’......
  • 3 0
 @brianpark Come on man! How is this not deserving?
  • 12 0
 100%, let’s go @sarahmoore @brianpark this is deserving
  • 7 0
 Korba got robbed
  • 8 0
 *korbz got robbed
  • 3 0
 +1 for must watch! That was fantastic!
  • 34 1
 That was awesome: the video, the photos and the article. Thank you for sharing!
  • 20 1
 Chromag stylus, proper weapon
  • 2 2
 Do they do a 29er equivalent?
  • 4 0
 @enduroNZ: rootdown
  • 1 0
 Have one. Indeed, not built to (easily) go uphill, but sure is fun!
  • 11 0
 Big props not only for the riding but also for the writing and carrying us through the process. Awesome stuff!
  • 13 1
 Super Sick!!
  • 10 1
 Really inspiring. So good to see that there is another talent beside Danny, Fabio and Chris who makes me enjoy my lunch break. Looking forward to see more.
  • 10 0
 100% on all counts. Hardtails rule.
  • 6 0
 My son has an autographed poster of you mid-flip onto a container with a wood swoop, whistler village is in the background. "To Sam, Ride Bikes!!!. It has been hanging in his bedroom for what I would guess is well over 10yrs. I see it every day and have wondered over the years how that upside down kid on the poster was doing. Sound and looks like you're doing just fine. Cheers. We still ride bikes.
  • 1 0
 Still got mine, right by the dinner table.
  • 7 0
 This is the stuff that makes biking so fun. It’s timeless, dedicated, community oriented, story driven. What a rad time. Thanks for the time and effort you put into it!
  • 5 0
 This was SO RAD and refreshing! Nice work Korba & Team!

While the article touched on it very briefly - what this article fails to mention is, Dylan's pursuit and mastery of "balance".
He is an architect AND he manages to find time to build, ride and create. (Ironic because of his roots in trials)

Dylan has always made time for things that were important to him, even if it meant staying up til the wee hours of the night to get it done. Happy and fortunate to have spent many years when we were younger going to university together. Despite him now living in Pemberton, I'll always owe him a debt of gratitude for visiting me weekly in Vancouver when I was hospitalized.

Korba is the real GOAT!
  • 4 0
 I am so honoured to have been able to help bring you guys this film.

As the story says I met Dylan at the 2005 Cranworx and was taken by his talent and generous nature. He let my friend and I oogle his Norco XXXX for an uncomfortable amount of time. I was a fan already. He had his trials shit down for sure but his video segments were laced with a street/skatepark full huck kinda mentality that always impressed me. Like the hop to 360 drop off the big box in the slopestyle comp that year which was literally unheard of and not repeated to this day.

It was amazing to see his name pop up in my inbox 10-15 years later, it was super rad helping him get on a bike from a brand I so strongly believe in, it was rad having him show up and compete in my Mackenzie Cruise downhill race on it (a 12-15min double-black course) and it was an absolute joy getting him to work on this with the ever so talented team of Radek and Matt. I'm most happy that we all get to call ourselves friends and neighbours. Pemberton represent!
  • 1 0
 Spelled Crankworx wrong. Awesome.
  • 1 0
 @cookielowc: keep your good work up buddy. More videos need
  • 5 0
 Man this is SO good!! I got my first hardtail last year and it’s become my favourite bike of all time. And I can’t even do any trials stuff!
  • 5 0
 Man i haven't heard his name since back from Island trials? i think it was maybe 15 years ago now? Awesome to see him still riding!
Great job dude!
  • 3 0
 oh yes, Dylan Korba is a legend in case yall didn't know. He dominated the trials scene in the late 90s, early 2000s. The only blemish on his record is losing Squamish Test of Metal to yours truly back when it mattered. Smile Good to see you back at it and making us old guys jealous, again.
-Tapmasta
  • 4 0
 Really enjoyed all aspects of this, the background story turned this from 'just another quirky edit' into something very interesting. Nice skills too!
  • 2 0
 You should have all seen this legend going through architecture school. He was as ridiculously dedicated and resilient as his bike career shows. It's very apparent how his attention to detail, dedication to pushing harder when things get difficult and talent for narrative is showing through this segment. So immensely proud to count him among my close friends. The segments, the stills, The write up, choice of location, trail building and riding are all an amazing accomplishment and the work really shows. Brappp!
  • 5 1
 Bravo Dylan, Chromag, and team. That was a joy to watch.
  • 4 0
 That was great. Cheers Chromag! Love that low-key mountain style.
  • 4 0
 That was fantastic, love the overall vibe
  • 3 0
 This is a jerk thing to say, but that was WAY better than I expected!!!! Beautiful and some burly moves!!!
  • 3 0
 Dylan FREAKING Korba!! So rad and one of my favorite all time riders! Nice work dude!
  • 2 0
 Love where you live, especially these days. I'm more than happy to shelter in place for another summer. Sick edit. Goose bumps.
  • 4 0
 hell yeah zach galifianakis can shred
  • 3 0
 Really enjoyed this, feeling inspired to build another hardtail.
  • 3 0
 Quality work right here! Awesome.
  • 3 0
 Tim armstrong at the end was the icing on the cake, so good.
  • 2 0
 Great riding. Makes me want to keep flailing away trying to pedal hop up a curb.
  • 2 0
 Beautiful, can't wait to touch the green again once the white melts! Thanks for the inspo.
  • 4 1
 This is very good!
  • 5 2
 Wow, loved it!
  • 2 1
 So RAD but, who else was expecting a giant gap,huck,jump when he was shooting Down towards that huge launch :'D
  • 2 0
 After the backflip up went wrong it was more evident how much hurt could happen there.
  • 2 0
 Well that was pretty sweet.
  • 2 0
 Nicely done. Beauhootiful valley etc.
  • 2 0
 Rad, real, and humble. All 3 of you guys did an outstanding job!
  • 2 0
 Nice squeaky moves Dylan!
  • 1 0
 Team Street! Remember when i broke your bike box and cut your hair real cool?
  • 1 0
 hahaa
  • 2 0
 Stoked you see you fully back on the shred man!
  • 1 0
 Excellent Edit and great video. Loved it! Check out the Grateful Dead version of Big River. Great song.
  • 1 0
 I got to ride with you in the early 2000's and it was a pleasure dielawn. Glad to see you're doing well!
  • 2 0
 That was very engaging. One day I will ride my bike like that
  • 1 0
 That was nice. Great riding and not overstated. Made that HT work. Video has a great vibe. Should have been a MUST WATCH
  • 3 1
 Voilà!!! Smile
  • 2 0
 Killer edit!
  • 2 0
 That rocks.
  • 2 0
 Great riding and vid
  • 1 0
 Nice work you guys killed it ! this should be a MUST WATCH .
  • 1 0
 So good!! Love everything about this
  • 2 0
 Loved this!
  • 1 0
 excellent skills and great camera work.. top notch vid!
  • 2 0
 Well done!
  • 1 0
 Lovely sound work, congrats
  • 1 0
 That was the craziest shit I've seen in years
  • 1 0
 Freaking awesome!

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