Video: Martin Maes on Fatherhood and his Return to the Podium

Nov 17, 2021
by GT Bicycles  

Take a look back as Martin Maes re-shapes his perspective on racing after entering a new phase of his life, fatherhood. Martin's 2021 Enduro World Series season would start on an immense high with the birth of his daughter, Clementine. A disappointing low would soon follow, when a tough crash in his season opener at La Thuile resulted in a concussion. Sometimes results don't match expectations, but Martin would begin to find his flow and re-build confidence in Crans Montana with a return to the podium, and the flat out race pace he is known for.

EWS Crans Montana Switzerland.

EWS Crans Montana Switzerland.

EWS Crans Montana Switzerland.
EWS Crans Montana Switzerland.

EWS Crans Montana Switzerland.

Film/Edit: Jules Bellot
Photos: Sven Martin


  • 55 1
 Having a small baby is the real enduro, if people would actually realize how tough it is, there would be like half of current population Smile So great respect for racing on the highest level and having a baby simultaneously.
  • 29 1
 The lack of reliable sleep is no joke
  • 13 1
 "It takes a village" is true.
  • 22 0
 Part of the miracle of human reproduction is that the parent brain performs a Jedi mind trick on itself and erases the memory of how hard babies and little kids actually are. Otherwise, no one would ever go through that more than once!
  • 6 1
 @DHhack: Here's a joke about it being joke:

My favorite cousin is like a brother to me. He had his first kid at 37yro and she sleeps through the every night. I now hate him.
  • 5 4
 @VtVolk: On the top of this, having a single child is not good for it anyway, as a single child I definitely lack this fight for everything attitude and it's a real problem in life. So you can have one child because of ignorance and another to make them tougher. But having more is just plain masochistic Wink Ok, just kidding, there are people who apparently love it, good for them and good for us, at least in europe where every citizen means more retirement money for me.
  • 4 2
 @VtVolk: True, said the dad of five. Ha ha ha Smile
  • 11 2
 @VtVolk: reading this as I’m in the hospital with my wife and second baby Big Grin

I remember being so tired with the first one I repeatedly left the garden sprinkler on all night and would frequently walk in to rooms only to forget why I wanted to be there. And now I get to do it again, but 3 years older.
  • 3 1
 This is my future (we're talking about another), will be chasing a 2nd one around the house with minimal sleep once again, lol. Congratulations BTW on your #2.
  • 5 2
 @SangamonTaylor: I do not know how to say it, it's much worse with two kids because the rivalry instinct kicks in and they start fighting about everything, and it lasts like ... forever, mine are 9 and 12 and I want to kill them at least once a day ...
  • 1 1
 @Svinyard: both of mine are great sleepers now, but it was tough getting there!
  • 6 1
 I’m 39 and the wife I are expecting twin boys this coming March. We currently don’t have any kids and I get to ride and sleep as much as I want. My life’s about to be over as I know it.
  • 5 1
 @wtmorgan1: life changes permanently. But having kid(s) is the hardest job you'll never hate.
  • 3 1
 @wtmorgan1: abso-effin-lutely! You are not going to ride much, but you are not going to get enough sleep for proper performance anyway. Coming from a Dad of a 1.5 year old who considers 5 hours of interrupted sleep an 'ok' night.
Still, it's a great job, all the best for you!
  • 14 1
 I swear I always think he is 30+. He's been on the scene at a high level forever, now has a kid etc. Its so impressive to see what he has done and he is only 24.
  • 2 0
 I was thinking the opposite, he just stepped out from juniors, how come could he have a child???
  • 5 1
 @GTBicycles Since Martin now has kids...its time to build some proper kids bikes for Martin's kids to ride. It'll take a couple of years to get supply anyways. Kids market is blowing up, might as well make them proper shred sleds.

1- BMX - just copy what Cult/Fit are doing but more affordable. 12", 14", 16", 18"...real freestyle bikes. Perhaps a kids most important bike.

2- Proper Hardtail in 20" and 24" that's somewhat affordable. Copy Orbea Laufey as the benchmark.

JUnit fork (can save cost for consumer via the OEM Comp version) - JUnit fork is a must
66d HTA with compact chainstays! Its a hardtail afterall
Brakes with short levers
Rocket Ron tires or Minions...not super heavy Vee FlowSnaps
Decently light i30 tank heavy wheels.
  • 1 2
 Totally agree about the need for a proper kids bike. It's a challenge to find something with a relatively slack HA.
I'm looking at the commencal meta HT20 for my grom, but this orbea looks dope- never seen it before.
Do you know if they sell it in the US? It doesn't appear on their US site.
  • 2 1
 @solar-evolution: I don't think Orbea is selling them in the US. They did with their old models but seemingly not these. One thing I noticed is that it has the JUnit Comp, which is a great fork but not as good as the Expert/Pro versions. Expert has a better custom dual chamber air spring so its quite a bit nicer if money is equal. If we are talking about the "best" bikes...then perhaps the Nukeproof Cub Scout Race might be it now.

You are right to want something slacker, especially since these are Hardtails (under sag or chunder the HTA quickly becomes that of a DJ or steeper). We got a BIG improvement moving from 68d to 66d with no drawbacks. Something in the 66d should be default for kids, their little front tire gets hungup way to easy and tossed OTB. The OTB's for us went away almost entirely when moving to a JUnit fork and slacked the bike out. Even at the bike park.

Nukeproof Cub Scout Race: 66.5 HTA, JUnit Expert, decent drivetrain and the tektro brakes are their slightly nicer ones with the smaller levers and their Urchin kids components. You can get those in the states at times I think. its nice that Nukeproof has continued to update it. Its like 1200$ but tricky to find. There are dealers in the US and Chainreactioncycles will deliver a bike to the US quickly too.

Good luck. The Meta HT 20 isn't a bad bike at all. I think the wheels will be tanks but its not the end of the world. You could prob slacken it out with a Wolftooth GEOshift headset for like 90$ too I think if its a problem.
  • 1 1
 @Svinyard: Thanks Svinyard. Cubscout looks rad! And it's a little bit cheaper than the Meta. I was already thinking about the angle set for the meta. Too many near OTB incidents with her ridgid bike and she loves to charge into the chunkiest lines. It will probably all come down to which one is actually available and shipping costs. I appreciate your input!
  • 7 1
 Danny Daycare V2 downhill edtion? Shlap some fox 40s on the carrier and itll be fine.
  • 2 1
 Rampage edition!
  • 4 1
 Maes is a top quality on and off the bike, total beast on the bike, full of insight when speaking about the sport
  • 3 13
flag weebleswobbles (Nov 17, 2021 at 14:30) (Below Threshold)
 But also a doper who got caught
  • 2 0
 Clementine !? Awe! So cute! I'm sure she's as sweet as she sounds! As a dad of just one girl who is 7 now...I approve! Big Grin
  • 3 1
 That gap at 5:18 is mad!
  • 1 0
 Congrats on the beautiful baby girl Martin!
  • 10 10
 Maes leaving GT press release in 3...2...
  • 2 1
 Great coverage.
  • 2 1
 so cool!
  • 2 1
 Allez le cuivre!
  • 1 0
 This guy!!!
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