Interview: Aaron Gwin on His Break With YT & Becoming a Team Owner

Jan 23, 2019 at 18:38
by Richard Cunningham  



Aaron Gwin would be the first to tell you that 2018 will not go down as the best year of his life. It marked the final season of the YT Mob's contract - the dream team that Gwin himself had assembled. Results were important. Gwin started strong, with a decisive win at the first World Cup round in Croatia and was handily in the green at Fort Bill before a crash sidelined him with a dislocated thumb, of all things. The YT Mobster then had to watch as the series overall was decided before he was cleared to race again. Literally, to add insult to injury, YT announced shortly after the World Championships that they were going to drop out of World Cup downhill competition. Gwin was informed that he didn't have a job the evening after the race.

The road that led to today's announcement began an hour later, after Gwin shook off the disappointment, picked up his phone, and called Jeff Steber from his hotel room in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Earlier this month, Aaron and I talked about the events that led up to the new Intense Factory Racing Team, and his thoughts on the transition from racer to team owner.




How have the last few months been going? A new team, rehabbing your hand, a house under construction... You’ve got a lot going on.


Everything’s been great man. Definitely busy, but all is going really well. My thumb's all good now and it doesn’t limit me at all when I ride or workout - so that’s been sweet. That was definitely an annoying injury last year. The house is coming along great as well. I should be moved in there in the next month or so, we’ve just got a few things to finish up.

The rest of life is good, just been really enjoying hanging with my friends and family, riding, and going about my business. I’ve learned a lot in the last few months and made some big steps forward professionally as a team owner now, so that’s been exciting. I’m just working hard to dial everything in.
Intense
RC photo

Before we get too far into the new team, let’s go back in time. Towards the close of the 2018 season, it appeared that you were back on form and all was good. After the Worlds, however, we heard that YT wasn’t going to have a DH team. And, now they do. What was all that craziness about?


Ya, that whole situation came as a pretty big shock to me for sure. I had been chatting and negotiating with YT for the new contract since the Croatia World Cup earlier in the year. We went back and forth a bit to find an agreement that everyone was happy with and I felt that things were going well. I was happy with where everything landed and it looked like we’d be moving forward. I even had a chat with YT as late as Friday night before Worlds. I was told everything was good - to just focus on the race. We planned to meet again Sunday after the race to get it all finalized. I had a meeting with the owner of YT after dinner that night and was surprised when I was told that they wouldn’t be moving forward with the program. They thanked me for my involvement the last three years, and that was it.

Martin Whitely was managing the YT Mob and he’s known for his sharp insight. He didn’t see the YT break coming? Did he give you a heads up of any sort?


I believe that they told him later that night after they told me. I don’t know for a fact when they began negotiating their new deal together, but a few weeks after Worlds, I got an email from Martin informing me that YT was continuing with the program and that he was going to stay with them moving forward - but without Neko or myself.

I had talked to Martin prior to that email and was already working on finding a new frame (title) sponsor to support our team, so when he dropped out, that news was pretty tough to take at first. In the end, it was more of a blessing in disguise, which resulted in this awesome program that we have now, so I’m stoked with everything.

When you formed the YT Mob, didn’t you ask Martin to run the program that you were putting together?


Well yes and no, I brought him on as a manager but allowed him to keep ownership of the team when he asked me if I wanted to own the team. At that time, I didn’t want the administrative burden and I told him I was fine with him owning the team. He agreed to be an extension of my desired team structure, management, oversight, and administration, and to manage the logistical side of running the program. I already had the YT deal lined up before I chatted with him originally and I negotiated the rest of our contracts to meet our budget.
Proving unstoppable once again Gwin continues to be the ultimate force to be wreckoned with in downhill racing.
Gwin, powerful and confident, winning the opening round of the 2018 World Cup for YT.

I’m sure you’ve read the posts. Do you think it was just about the money and a crop of fresh talent that could be acquired for a substantially smaller investment?


I was told by Martin that YT got everything out of me that they had wanted and that they didn’t need me moving forward. I suppose it was just “business” and as to their future plans, I don’t know.

By the time World Championships roll around, most teams have nailed down their key talent and major sponsors for the next season. I imagine that didn’t leave you with many options. What were your thoughts then?


Haha! It was a tough spot, for sure. I took about an hour to gather my thoughts in the hotel room that night after Worlds and then just picked up the phone and started making calls. Jeff Steber at Intense was one of the first people that I called. I also had a lot of our other sponsor deals already verbally agreed upon, so I wanted to inform them of the news. It really hit us all off guard. From there, everything got put on hold for a few months until I could find a frame sponsor and put together a new program.

Were there any other offers? When did Intense come onto your radar?


I had interest from three other main brands at that time. Intense was one of them. Jeff and I have been buddies for a long time, but the timing had just never worked out right for us to seriously discuss our options. Intense, as a brand, has been in a bit of a transitional stage this year and there are a lot of big things happening behind the scenes. A few key pieces finally fell into place for them around September and October which ended up making the timing of my availability pretty perfect for all of us.

It would be heroic if Intense could fund a World Cup DH team on its own, but I imagine there are some other sponsors in this story, who stepped up?


Primarily, it was Intense who stepped up. They saw the value and wanted to make it happen. It takes a lot of money, time and infrastructure to run a World Cup race team at the highest level, so the amount I was looking for was well worth it to them. They never questioned my value from the beginning. We’ve got a great group of co-sponsors as well, and everyone has been working together so well to support me running this program now. It’s been pretty amazing to put this all together like we have and I’m just excited to be back at the races, doing what I love and supporting our guys the best we can.

Intense
Aaron Gwin, Jack Moir, and Neko Mulally have separate kit sponsors. Drew Ruiz photo

How did Jack and Neko get selected for the team?


Jack was still in the middle of his previous contract with Intense, so we agreed to bring him on to the new set up, which was awesome for all of us. Jack’s a great rider and very professional. I’m really looking forward to working with him.

I was under the impression that Charlie and Dean already had other offers and were on the move when I began talking with Intense, so that left one remaining spot open on the team. I discussed it heavily with Intense and we all agreed that Neko was the perfect fit. I’m so stoked with our group of riders. We’ve got a fun team and I think we’re gonna do some damage at the races this year.

You, Neko and Jack each have different kit sponsors. What's up with that?


I've always fought pretty hard to wear my own gear. It's caused some conflict over the years, since that's not traditionally how teams are run, but I believe that it's fitting to have. Now that I've been in a position to decide on team gear with YT, and now Intense, it's been very important to me that all of the riders are able to pursue their own gear sponsors. A rider can make a good amount of salary on a gear deal and I believe that, in most cases, the rider should be the one benefiting from those funds, not the team. There's also the image thing and I think it's fitting to allow each rider to wear what they want to wear and create their own image that they're stoked on.

I believe it’s good for the sport as a whole to have that diversity. Wearing cool kits is one of the things I've loved since I was a kid and taking that freedom away from a rider just doesn't fit on our program. There's also safety and other things to think about with helmets, which preference of shoes, pedals, and goggles. I wouldn't feel right demanding that a rider lock up all of those categories and be forced to wear something they’re not comfortable with, especially when the athlete is not being compensated additionally from the team for it. There may be a situation where I'd be open to all of our riders running the same gear, but they'd have to be completely stoked on it and I'd split the moneys up appropriately. I think it’s better to just leave it up to them to run what they want.

Being a team owner now. That’s a job in itself. How will you manage the day to day without it cutting into your performance on the track?


Proper infrastructure is really key to me. I’ve put in a lot of hours these last few months to get our foundation solid and I’ve hired some great people that I believe in to help me manage the varying responsibilities. My goal has been to dial things in super solid from the beginning so that everyone will have what they need and be set up for success in a fun, supportive atmosphere.

Todd Schumlick and Cathy Zinck are a huge part of executing my desires about how I’d like this program
Intense
Gwin with Intense Factory Team manager and personal trainer Todd Schumlick. RC photo
to be run. When the season starts, they’ll be the ones carrying out the day to day responsibilities and I’ll be freed up to ride and to oversee the program from the background. I was already doing a lot of these things on my previous program, so this is just another step up as a racer and professional.

Sponsors you have worked with say that you play an active role in their product development. Should we anticipate Gwin-influenced bikes from Intense?


Absolutely. That was a huge draw for both Intense and myself. Jeff and I love to work on product and we’ve already got ideas and projects going to push things forward. We both got pretty excited when this whole program began to take shape because it’s kind of always been the ideal scenario. Our whole team will be in this development process together as well, so we’ll have all of the riders and mechanics involved to make these bikes as good as we possibly can.

How does Aaron Gwin today envision Aaron Gwin four years from now?


Haha! Oh man, I guess you never really know, but I am extremely happy with where I’m at right now. I’m excited about these next years with Intense in a unique kind of way. I enjoy riding my bike and racing now more than I ever have, and that passion somehow seems to keep growing by the day. I get to work with some great people and I’m just excited to be back on the track racing and hanging with our fans. I think we’re gonna have a lot of fun these next few years.





471 Comments

  • + 620
 Seems like YT has been trying to get footing by using riders as expendable resources and once they have what they want out of them, they throw them away. First ripping the rug out from Zink's YT USA distribution when he seemed to have a very good thing going and then one day's notice to Gwin not getting support after he develops a new bike(s) for them. Not cool to do this to people YT
  • + 492
 YT seems to be losing its sainthood status among the Pink Bike bros.
  • + 133
 Its called business. Not saying its right but sports people are commodities
  • + 12
 Doesn't YT stand for Young Talent? And their ad copy talks about Young Talent, at least what is memorable to me. I guess it is a bit to be expected.
  • + 203
 To tell someone you are not continuing with the program.... and then you continue with the program... Well...that's just straight up lying. God's got your back, Aaron. We all know it.
  • + 53
 Martin Whitely is unpredictable.
  • + 292
 gwin knew that YT was going to dump him the whole time. thats why he didn't include the bottle cage...
  • + 263
 @Thustlewhumber: if you're talking to god can you ask him to do something about the millions of starving/tortured/abused people around the world because I think they could use the hand a little more than some professional american mountain biker with a big house. Also please ask him why he created worms that live in starving kid's eyes thanks man cheers
  • + 173
 I’d love to hear both sides of the story. What about an interview with the people of YT, @richardcunningam?
  • + 58
 @TrevZ: did existential angst hit you? Or did you just watch a bunch of youtube videos?
  • + 10
 @chyu: thats a nice way of putting it
  • + 124
 Exactly. I was far from impressed with how they handled the situation with Zink and now reading about this...obviously two sides to every story but I don't have any reason to doubt AG at this point and YT comes off as sheisty to me. "Just business" to some but I'll pass on that kind of bs. Glad I didn't fork over money to them when I was choosing a new bike last year (Jeffsy was a serious contender), now I definitely have no reason to consider YTs in the future.

Mad respect to Aaron, dude's got a good head on his shoulders. Good luck to you guys this upcoming season!
  • + 1
 @richardcunningham - sorry for misspelling your name Richard.
  • + 32
 not cool but, in the end it's all business - i'm sure there's a couple other angles for that same story - maybe results played a big part, given the money spent and maybe YT simply couldn't afford having him for another year - let's face it - their bikes go for half the money many other bikes go for and i don't really think they sell twice as many

one thing AG said that I agreed 100% is gear - it's good to see people wear what really suits them and what they really like - differentiate them all and have the riders create their own image

would love to see AG stay with YT ( it just feels right ) but things change and it's good to see things changing - and since I don't have a favorite when it comes to riders, roll on next season with a bunch of cool streams and great racing and Warner funny commentary !
  • - 34
flag WAKIdesigns (Jan 23, 2019 at 23:24) (Below Threshold)
 @Luis-Sc: at the same time there is a difference between a Team and a companion or a few blokes who travel and race together. Humans in sports get identified as a “Team” by having same kiT. I don’t care much, but it just looks weird. They could at least color match each other even if clothes come from different brands
  • + 30
 So you're shocked and upset that it turns out that YT didn't really care about riders and they were just marketing to make money?
Awwww there there. Dry those tears..
  • + 5
 @WAKIdesigns: very true - but in a way I think all this MTB thingy ( dh, enduro, xc ) might be creating something different - I always challenge my comfort zone, I always try to think outside the box - so this kinda move feels right to me

also, maybe he was saying more like gear - as in, when soccer players are sponsored by certain brands - speaking for myself, I know there aren't many brands I can use their gear because it simply doesn't fit - I wouldn't enjoy being stuck with a kit that doesn't feel right because the entire team is sponsored by it and so I have to make it work - I think gear should change to accommodate us, not the other way around
  • + 64
 Contract ended and they decided not to renew it. It happens every day and as a business they have every right to do it. They also have the right to change their mind and set up another team with a different structure. As long as they paid their contractual obligations I don’t see any problems with it. The real life is uglier than fairytales and in a perfect world they could have handled it differently but at the end everybody got what they signed up for - YT the exposure, Aaron his paycheck and life moves on.
In the past years we saw racers deciding mid season/mid contract to quit WC racing and their teams worked around it without any drama (at least publicly).
  • + 21
 When I mentioned this "using riders as expendable resources" as the news was dropped here on PB that Gwin and Mullaly was dropped by YT, I was immediately demoted to "below threshold"
Now the truth is more apparent to TEMPORARY blinded, it now makes all the more sense to the mass.
As a Brand, Santa Cruz bikes gets my vote for the most devoted to the sport and riders of MTB.
  • + 106
 Why has Gwinner hot enough money to build his dream home and run his own team?

Is it because those bastards at YT paid him AN ABSOLUTE f*ck TON of cash for the past three years for the right to give him bikes to ride that he is allowed to sell when he's finished with them?

Where do they get off? Show him a bit of respect. It's not just about paying him AN ABSOLUTE HEAP OF CASH, No. They have a responsibility to keep paying him AN ABSOLUTE f*ckING PILE OF GREEN for as long as we, the Pinkbike readers, decide is appropriate.

Shame on you, YT.

Poor little Aaron. He only made 18 times the national average salary for the past three years. Now he's been dumped on his arse. It's enough to bring a tear to the eye.
  • + 14
 @Thustlewhumber: I mean... It's not like they signed a letter of intent Wink
  • + 27
 @Fifty50Grip: It's really a shrewd move by YT. For the price of a couple of frames and a McLaren, they got 3 years of race-winning history and pedigree and sold a crap ton of YT bikes by having the world's best rider using their frames.

Now you that they have those things, it was a no-brainer for the Germans to drop AG and move on with less expensive riders. It's a good and practical business move but not a good way to earn a nice reputation with a very small community and consumer-base.
  • + 9
 I think they will now switch resources to a winning EWS team. Next season, one of Maes, Hill, Dailly and Rude will be on YT. I bet you.
  • + 12
 @TrevZ: Just a man expressing his faith and you gotta attack him personally like that?
  • + 5
 @jaame: Signing Rude sounds like a pretty smart investment at the moment ...
  • + 25
 oh no .. a bike-company makes sensible business decisions. they must be really bad people. come on guys just stop whining...
to drop Aaron was the only logical thing to do here. they wanted to get the reputation that they build the best bikes and they got it. so why spent more millions on that team when its not bringing any further benefit to them?
they will surely have a team of young upcoming talents and can only win with this from a marketing perspective. they will be true to their herritage and motto to support young tallents and if one of them has success they proved again that they are building some of the best bikes out there..
with three more gwin years the risk of just burning money was really high because it would only have a positive effect when aaron will continue to dominate te wc.however with more average seasons the marketing affect of the whole program would have been somewhere around zero plus the costs of the current program were probably really high compared to a team with some younger riders..
so any decision maker with a little bit of understanding of business/marketing things trying to run a successfull business would have made this decision. and aaron seems to be a business kind of guy so he probably has more understanding for that than you guys..
the only thing that appears to be not so cool here is the timing.. they probably could have told him earlier..
but things seem to have worked out for him as well .. so whats the big deal
  • + 29
 @TrevZ: yeah, and why did he make chocolate kill dogs?
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: The syndicate got into troubles with the UCI a couple years ago for that : custom kits for their riders
  • - 31
flag IntoTheEverflow (Jan 24, 2019 at 1:21) (Below Threshold)
 @TrevZ: Why don't you ask him yourself?
Try to give him some respect when you do so, cause that would probably make him more inclined to answer.
Maybe start off by asking for forgiveness for your sins.
The answers to your questions might come in ways you did not expect.
  • + 2
 Surely it’s gotta be Phil Atwill on Yt?
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns: youtube recommendations start you off easy with the pimple popping videos - then moves to tonsil stones - then to the parasite worms. Slippery slope.
  • + 7
 We've got one side of the story here. Be interesting to see what YT say.
  • - 14
flag WAKIdesigns (Jan 24, 2019 at 1:50) (Below Threshold)
 @dbodoggle: the biggest downside with pimple popping channels is that it changes the way you see the people around you... you sit on the bus or at the airport and you suddenly see this person - this... gold mine of black heads!
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: ahhh seem I’m thrown, the Commencal team release looked loads better with them all rocking the same gear....... But on the wc edits vitalraw etc unless they have s helmet sponsors it’s thought to tell who’s who. Obvs on the live stream it isn’t a problem.
  • + 6
 @maxx-x: Well it's not so much the decision to drop him or not IMO, more the way to do it. It's business, sure, just that some remember that there are humans behind the business, and some don't care.
This sounds similar to my previous boss, who showed all the signs of a sociopath, no empathy (or faked empathy), just interested in money.
  • + 3
 @Gamsjaga: Yes, there are two sides to a story, and then the truth.
  • + 0
 @Gamsjaga: " I’d love to hear both sides of the story. What about an interview with the people of YT, @richardcunningam?"

what for? c'mon, those schoolar-boys from PB anyway will spread their sh*t about bad YT.
  • - 6
flag WAKIdesigns (Jan 24, 2019 at 2:37) (Below Threshold)
 @teamdoa: oh yes indeed. The Truth is a very nice sounding concept.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: probably, second
  • + 1
 No wonder YT started running new ads earlier. They knew that this information was going to come out.
  • + 28
 I know there are two sides to the story but look back to the Cam Zink episode, then the year long negotiation with Gwin only to drop him at the end like that. Business is business, but shady practices get called out in todays social media world. The MTB is a small world and doing whats right matters. If YT doesnt respond to their side then I will write them off in the future and sell my Capra. You vote dollars people. One of the reasons I only wear Oakleys is because of how they treat their atheletes. Even after career ending injuries Oakley is still there to support them. YT drops them after they get what they want. Would YT continue to support riders who are now in a wheelchair? I doubt it.
  • + 4
 But I could be wrong, as I often am. YT has done cool things in the past, like hooking up Missy Giove with a new bike. But was that out of compassion or was it just great marketing?
  • + 32
 @TrevZ: A Christian's response to this would be that we live in a messed up world because of the fall of man, ultimately because when God created us, he didn't want to create autonomotrons without the ability to reason, so he created us with choice and when we messed up there were natural consequences for us and for the world (something we still see every day in our own lives when we make bad choices and either cause suffering for ourselves or often for others who didn't do anything to deserve it).

The perspective that you see in the Bible is that there is a bigger picture (eternity), you or I may live here on earth for 80 years or so, but this is just a blip in our existence. What everyone wishes was that if God was real, that he would be loving and would rescue us from our pain and the mess we get into. Well guess what, that's exactly who God is. He gave us choice because he loved us, and then knowing we would mess it up (and we sure did) he made a plan to fix it, namely Jesus.

Most people who ask questions like yours don't really want an answer, and that's your choice, but in case you did, there it is.
  • + 1
 @Boardlife69: Oh, what a pretty pink universe full of unicorns it must be to live in for these team riders. I bet the whole Oakley surf (apparel) team is cheering and dancing happily for just getting dropped on short notice and being more or less without a sponsor - ex world champ included.
  • - 2
 @WAKIdesigns @teamdoa and @ka81 What truth? We need more dirt - it‘s the dirty laundry that get‘s us going.
Just take a look at how many comments Miller‘s interview got in comparison to this one ...
  • - 17
flag WAKIdesigns (Jan 24, 2019 at 4:55) (Below Threshold)
 @Gamsjaga: Truth is a gem shining from the depth of the void. It is unattainable, because it does not exist. So when you dive into the void you come back either as a wise man no longer seeking it, instead wanting unity with the universe, or as a liar who claims he found it. The fallacy of meeting God - a prophet who is died inside. In the void you meet all sides of yourself, especially the darkness, the shadow. If you allow your ego to take control, if you don't satisfy yourself with only learning about your reflection, you will merge with your demons. One cannot fight monsters without becoming one. You may as well go ride your bike
  • + 7
 Gwinn is winning the PR because him (and Steber) are bros with so many people in the industry that will lend a friendly ear. Meanwhile... YT, that’s that German guy with all the tattoos. “They obviously must have screwed over our bro... hey look it’s Ryan Dungey!”
  • + 2
 @IllestT: it’s almost like it’s a real business that has to stand on its own and make money.
  • - 5
flag wibblywobbly (Jan 24, 2019 at 5:01) (Below Threshold)
 @Boardlife69: no you won’t. Let’s not act like this is a major moral issue. Out of curiosity what kind of car do you drive?
  • + 11
 @landscapeben: Yes, clearly people brought the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami upon themselves by their sinful deeds. The 227 898 dead rightly fry in hell for eternity for (mostly) not being christian. Oh and the 200 000 infant deaths/year due to malaria is also due to bad choices. The silly children should have obviously chosen to be born in a part of the world free from malaria. But hey, let us meditate on the merciful, all knowing and all powerful god, who is absolutely free of contradictions and not a psycho-cultural construct.
  • + 6
 @ssip: you honestly base your bike purchases on who's riding them in a way you never will? Sounds a bit daft!
  • - 7
flag WAKIdesigns (Jan 24, 2019 at 5:09) (Below Threshold)
 @Gamsjaga: as to comparison to Miller's interview, there is no one to defend, no way to show yourself as a just person. Here: YT is evil and I am on the good side, I will bring the truth to the light.
  • + 23
 @TrevZ: you may already be familiar, but check out “the problem of evil” on Wikipedia if you’re curious how a believer reconciles their belief in God and the existence of suffering in the world. It’s a classic philiosophical question. Personally, I find the two very easy to reconcile. I obviously don’t know you and don’t want to assume too much, but any of us privileged enough to own and ride bikes and kill time jawing about it on Pinkbike are likely far closer to Gwin’s status than than the millions of starving/tortured/abused around the world. Unless we sell our bikes and cars and smartphones and leave our comfortable homes to spend our time and money trying to help, it seems disingenuous to point the finger.
  • + 5
 Riders move around to get the best deal for them. Why should the brands be any different?
  • + 6
 @landscapeben: thanks for that. Well explained.
  • + 2
 @Boardlife69: what's shady about deciding not to renew a contract that expired? Be in has made no secret that he expects a huge paycheck. If yt choose not to want to pay it that's their choice. Having made that decision there is no reason why they should tell gwinn what their plans were for the future
  • - 2
 @BiNARYBiKE: or just encourage people to get into evolutionary psychology... good and evil is a program in our brains that allows us to keep a tribe together and to defend it against other tribes. It's been no longer than 100 years, from the beginning of industrial era, when human work stopped being a near zero-sum game, since the necessity to hold a tribe started to loose ground and the incentive for global cooperation became a viable strategy to propagate genes and develop the species. You can't root out obsolete software from biological hard drives in such period of time. It will be with us for age(s) to come.
  • - 3
 @TrevZ: zing !
  • - 2
 @WAKIdesigns the philosopher going full on nihilistic again here, haha.
So there’s no truth. But I I heard god knows/is the truth. Does that mean god doesn‘t exist? Am I a monster?
  • + 0
 @Konyp: narh a character from an ancient middle eastern fiction novel ate an apple after talking to a snake. So the creator character cracked the shits and left the world to rot and because he loves us so much he raped a woman and had is rape zombie baby killed...because he love us.
"Do onto other has you would have do to you",
said the sadomasochist.
  • - 5
flag mkotowski1 (Jan 24, 2019 at 5:36) (Below Threshold)
 Thought YTs president seemed like a pompous douche
  • - 6
flag WAKIdesigns (Jan 24, 2019 at 5:43) (Below Threshold)
 @Gamsjaga: One cannot argue for the lack of existence of God, one can argue about It's nature (non existence being one of the options). One may want to get to know "God's" nature, reach communion with it. But if they are full of sht, can claim they know what that nature is and manipulate or force others to comply with this idea. Origins for which can be described as well. If Gwinny feels the nature of "God" and it works in his favor, I see no problem with it. At least as long as he doesn't decapitate people filming it on Go Pro. As to truth itself - in the complex situations involving many individuals, (not whether you told your wife that your new bike costed 4k or 5k) the concept of Truth cannot stand up to the relativity.

I'd like to consider myself as a positive nihilist - this is the time and resources (privileges) you have, enjoy them, make the best of them, make it meaningful, engage others in your actions, don't force them to follow your truth Big Grin
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: by this argument every one that happens to wear the same kit is a team. Yeap that's what makes a team, the kit!
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns well said. Amen Smile
  • - 5
flag BiNARYBiKE (Jan 24, 2019 at 5:54) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: you sure state a lot of “facts” for someone who doesn’t believe that truth exists! Or perhaps that’s why your approach is so cavalier. Wink
  • + 0
 @Konyp: That's a standard misunderstanding of what's believed by Christians. You are making everything first person choices and consequences, what I'm saying is that while first person bad choices and consequences exist, so do 10th generation and far, far beyond. Bad choices have far reaching consequences and as a result people suffer, the world suffers. Obviously it isn't children making bad choices to be born in conflict zones or where they could catch malaria. The point is that after all of this is over for each one of us and our short time here on earth is through, the one who made us, also made a way to save us from ourselves.
  • + 3
 @landscapeben: but he all ready knows who will end up in heavens besides him.
That's why there is no reason to make HIM change his mind is it? He set a very good plan trillions of years ago, who am I to pray and change his mind?

Ffs
  • + 1
 @chyu:
Snake in the grass???
  • - 1
 @landscapeben: Quick question for those who force the cultural appropriation of ancient middle eastern theology on their children, how do stop them from suiciding or darwin award nomineeing? Because I've had to babysit peoples kids who do stupid shit and when I've warned them and advise them not to die, they respond with,
"I don't care about dieing because I'll be with Jehovah". What do you say to that?
  • + 1
 “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.”
  • + 1
 Yeah, fuck YT. You can get a great bike from any brand, so when you pick one it comes down to what that brand represents and stands for. YT it's not going the right way.
  • + 6
 @adespotoskyli: That's a Calvanistic approach, that suggests everything is predetermined just because it's preknown. If you're going to go with a Biblical God, then the Bible clearly shows Him as willing to have a conversation with people, being willing for you to argue your side, make your case and yes, change his mind (even if he did know in advance that he was going to change it). The Bible also clearly states that God wants everyone to join him in heaven. But the choice remains yours.
  • + 14
 @ThePM: That line that it's "just business", is bullshit. Business is about relationships, honesty, integrity and quality. And when did it become acceptable that people are only commodities? Not in my world.
  • - 9
flag WAKIdesigns (Jan 24, 2019 at 6:35) (Below Threshold)
 @ismasan: the funny thing is that actions that could be regarded as Good and Evil, do happen. But in the case of Gwin and YT, it is hard to think about it even in the right and wrong categories. Both parties will be fine, possibly better off. The issue is that a good manipulator will turn up a mild right or wrong issue to the size of Good and Evil, and this is where demons come alive. Appearing as a master of Good and Evil, the manipulator will gain power - as to regards to own interest.
  • - 2
 @landscapeben: and you base all this on a disgusion with him, or just conclusions from a f*cked up book whith out any citation on the back pages?
  • - 3
 @landscapeben: willing to discuss?! He killed everybody in that book! God damn you are an...
Ahhh never mind
  • + 2
 @AntN: lol A biblical response to this would be; everyone wants to go to heaven, but its much better to get there after living your life here and doing as much for other people as you can like the bible teaches, than to get there through stupidity. Plus, what if you don't die, what if you just paralyse yourself or hurt someone else in the process? That's not going to make your life any happier or better. Essentially doing something that endangers yourself or others on purpose and without regard is selfish, which is of course against what the bible teaches.
  • + 1
 @Boardlife69: Cam Zink did that, not YT corporate.
  • + 9
 @adespotoskyli: If people ask a question, it's going to get an answer, I don't mind getting shot at or disagreed with for giving an answer in good conscience Beer
  • + 9
 @landscapeben: Are you saying that individual choice is not important? Is a single human life not relevant to god? If god is all-knowing and all-powerful, haven't all the choices already been made? If god created a faithless mind did he knowingly condemn it to damnation? Are people who lived 1 million years ago damned because they had no knowledge of religion? Are people born to Hinduism damned because of their place of birth? Is any religion a path to salvation? Is ethical conduct alone a path to salvation? Is a bad christian better than a good atheist in the eyes of god? How can god be good if he condemned a single person to eternal damnation? If there is no damnation then what is the purpose of faith? If god is not good in our understanding should we not call him something different? Is god good but powerless? If so, why should one worship a powerless god? Why is religious scripture so inconsistent? Why is reality so random? Why did god not provide hard evidence of his existence? Why would he consider blind faith as something good? Why do religions decline with higher income and education?...
  • + 1
 @Thustlewhumber: YT was paying Gwin a lot of money to win races. Had he continued to win some races, they likely would have honored their verbal contract. But Gwin had his worst season to date so they decided to move on. Its reasonable but your God talk is not.
  • - 6
flag scary1 (Jan 24, 2019 at 7:30) (Below Threshold)
 @TrevZ: You must be a hoot at parties.....you know, those things starving people with worms in their eyes can't have either.
  • - 1
 @jaame: not if eye worms suck them out first
  • + 0
 Gwin is the highest paid athlete in the sport. This interview just came across as super caty on his part. His contract was over... Didn't Gwin leave Trek MID contract is search of $$$$$.
  • + 0
 I won’t purchase any more of their bikes. First the Zinks, now this.
  • + 2
 @BiNARYBiKE: God made Arrakis to train the faithful.
  • + 5
 Remarkable how @WAKIdesigns gets downvoted for basically saying live and let live. What a tolerant bunch we are ... not.
  • + 1
 @Konyp: easy there bud. Just go ride your bike and relax.
  • - 5
flag landscapeben (Jan 24, 2019 at 8:11) (Below Threshold)
 @Konyp: I'm saying this according to what I believe as a Christian, not according to anything else:

Individual choice is important that's why we were created with it.
Every life is valued by God.
Knowing the choice someone is going to make does not mean it has already been made or prevents them from making it.
God created a mind in each one of us which is capable of faith.
No, God's mercy is infinite.
No, God's mercy is infinite.
No, religion is not a path to salvation, salvation is through Christ alone.
No, ethical conduct is a byproduct of living a good life, not a path to salvation, salvation is through Christ alone.
The only difference between a bad Christian and a good Atheist is that one of them has accepted Christ's sacrifice and as such has had their mistakes paid for and their relationship with God restored.
A judge is only just if he meets out true justice. However, what "damnation" as you have termed it consists of, is not entirely clear in the Bible as it is made up of a series of pictures that suggest, at their core, suffering. But most Christians I know do not believe in a an actual lake of fire, only that this is a picture of how it will feel, if with full knowledge of who God is, you choose to reject Him (choice again) and subsequently spend eternity without Him. The pain of this complete separation and the lack of anything good as you spend eternity without God is then an intense empty suffering that could be described as a consuming fire.
If God is not good in your understanding I imagine you do call him something else, but that would be because you have misunderstood God.
God is both good and holds complete power, but allows us to continue making our own choices rather than stepping in and forcing us, again you have to understand that in the bigger picture life is short, eternal life is eternal and He has acted to save us from the mistakes and the suffering of this short life so that we can enjoy the eternal.
I have not found The Bible to be inconsistent, but am happy to discuss if someone thinks they can point out an inconsistency along with references to support.
I find reality to be anything but random, but that may be down to a difference in outlook.
There is pretty solid evidence if you go looking for it.
I don't believe that the Bible teaches, or that God requires "blind faith".
Higher income and education often go hand in hand with an increased feeling of self dependency and a teaching of broader values including the targeting of faith within the education system as nothing more than a fairy story and the increased commercial message of materialism. The knock on effect of this is that people choose (there's that word again) to leave God out of their lives and then to justify that by arguing against His existence without necessarily taking the time to investigate it for themselves (wikipedia doesn't count).
  • + 2
 @Whipperman: "Got into troubles" and yet their riders all have different kits. Fox for Vergier, TLD for Luca and O'Neal for the GOAT.
  • + 1
 @twozerosix: Let us not rail about justice as long as we have arms and the freedom to use them.
  • + 6
 @ThePM: I agree with that, AG didn´t have second thoughts when leaving Trek overnight.
  • + 1
 @TrevZ: It's the sins of the world, my friend. He can say "Don't do that, or this will happen..." and if no one listens, whose fault is it?

No one likes people suffering, which is why almost every church in the world has missionaries in those areas to help those people. www.mercyships.org Mercy Ships is a great place for you to start making a difference - donate or volunteer, that way you can help those people as well.
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I discovered it is necessary to believe in nothing. We intellectually have a tendency to believe in something which has no forum and no colour and no physical properties, no matter what god or doctrine you believe in, if you become attached to it, your emotional construct of belief will become more or less, self centered ideal. Striving for a perfect faith in order to save yourself. Eventually you find yourself perpetuating a compulsive and automatic discrepancy of the illusion of perfection, undoubtedly participating in an idealistic practice, constantly seeking/praying to actualize your ideal that you have no time for the internal vachette to tranqulize the mind. That which is within, is also without.
  • + 20
 Jesus Christ how did this devolve into religion?
We are talking about DH racing FFS, or we should be.
  • + 1
 @Boardlife69:
Well somebody thought this was godsent!
  • - 5
flag WAKIdesigns (Jan 24, 2019 at 8:52) (Below Threshold)
 @landscapeben: "I find reality to be anything but random, but that may be down to a difference in outlook.
There is pretty solid evidence if you go looking for it" - this is where it ends for me. The randomness of reality is fantastic and beatiful if one only thinks about it deep enough. "Solid evidence", there is no solid evidence of any of fundations of reality, and ones looking close at human existence give a rather raw picture of it.

bladi bla Lord is merciful, really?! And what exactly did you do to require mercy? Oh someone told you that you are flawed by nature. Oh you masturbated... really? maybe you were lazy! What sort of a parent would like to hear his kids go and see him in a particular place and lick his balls by singing songs to him? Really? imagine yourself and your kids singing to you how great you are. Oh if you think God is like that, good luck! What a great opinion you have of him - an egotistic prick. Quit the church for a few years but keep talking to God - and then we can talk, until then, while you are inside of catholic bubble, rituals, patterns of behavior and thought, there is no way we can have a conversation about the nature of existence, just like itis hard to talk to many folks who never tried to reach God. You can always call yourself agnostic, if that makes you feel better.
  • - 4
flag adespotoskyli (Jan 24, 2019 at 8:53) (Below Threshold)
 @landscapeben: are you good because of afterlife expectations? If tha's the case you are burned!!!!

In good concience always!
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Back to bike topic. NO SOUP FOR YOU!
  • - 2
 @Boardlife69: but I already paid!
  • + 2
 @maxx-x:

Respect. They didn’t have any for AG. And now they have lost a lot of it in the community.

Let’s hope you never get into business.
  • + 6
 @landscapeben: To be clear, I respect all approaches to life, as long as they cause no harm to others.

"Knowing the choice someone is going to make does not mean it has already been made or prevents them from making it." - I'm sorry but this sentence that seems to be the basis of all your other explanations is not internally logical. If god is all-knowing and all powerful than all choices have been created along with everything else. There is no randomness in the universe and no real free will. Reality is just code being executed.
If the universe contains randomness and free will than the god is not all-knowing.

The issue of damnation is indeed very unclear in Christianity, but that only shows how unclear and inconsistent the source material is. As for other inconsistencies;

GE 1:11-12, 26-27 Trees were created before man was created.
GE 2:4-9 Man was created before trees were created.

The list goes on for hundreds or thousands of examples. You can wave these away blaming translation and wrong interpretation, but it not really relevant.

What is important is that there are several large and thousands of small religions that are mostly contradictory. There is no evidence showing superiority of any particular one, what you worship depends mostly on where you were born. Was it god's intention for salvation to be dependent on the post code? Why the distraction all the religions anyway? If salvation is only through Christ why not communicate this in some infallible way to 100% of the population?

Sorry, but there is no solid evidence. All religions claim various miracles, but none could stand as evidence in a modern court of law or, say be basis of proving a new drug as safe and effective.

If god does not require blind faith why did he not include any real evidence in his scriptures? Lets say describe how to avoid infections postpartum, make antibiotics, negotiate peacefully, build a fusion reactor etc. Everyone would be converted within a generation! What we have is a gory history of an ancient middle eastern tribe with instructions to stone to death for basically everything including being raped (Deuteronomy 22:23-29). If these parts "do not count" than who is to decide what counts? The popes? They, they did endorse war on occasions. If everyone decides on his own what is god's true intention than my guess on reality is as good as yours.

Ok, enough silly theology, I'm off to ride a bike Big Grin
Cheers.
  • + 3
 @landscapeben: That was a very on-point response. Hard to say it any better without turning it into a dissertation and losing someone's attention span.
  • + 3
 as I see this particular issue this is is not Greedycorp Inc. taking advantage on the working class, this is pretty wealthy business men negociating 6-7 figures deals that will affect basically themselves.

Don't know if you suggest Gwin being the good/evil master here, but if yes, I don't think so. It's more how the audience reads the available (very little) information.
  • + 2
 @BiNARYBiKE: A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct.
  • + 7
 @landscapeben: What we call the Bible was assembled by Constantine using cherry-picked passages. There is no written 'word of god', my man.
  • - 8
flag WRainey88 (Jan 24, 2019 at 9:43) (Below Threshold)
 @Konyp: Most people who dismiss Christianity outright have never critically analyzed Scripture and Church history. There are almost 2000 years worth of theological and/or academic writings on the Bible that have analyzed it quite thoroughly. Even my secular philosophy class at a University of California school covered the writings of St. Anselm, St. Augustine etc to address the nature of evil or issues of 'the first mover'.

I believe Religion declines with higher income because people who are wealthy can afford hobbies that distract them sufficiently. They don't need to spend time to think about difficult topics such as existence and life's purpose because they are thoroughly entertained each day.

Religion declines with increased secular education because it doesn't force students to critically analyze the Christian religion, by its definition of 'secular' (although I was lucky that mine did). If it did, more people would realize that the Western (Roman Catholic) Church's beliefs are rooted in Western Rational Philosophy. Rather than using philosophical thinking to examine Christian beliefs in the context of Biblical and historic sources, many educated people place a blind faith in a purely atheist interpretation of scientific creation--without actually understanding advanced physics (theoretical, quantum, or even basic Newtonian) or biology (evolution currently lacks a model that explains how complex structures such as eye's were created, for example).

I personally believe in the big bang and evolution and they cause no conflict with all but the strictest biblical interpretations. Unfortunately, I have observed that many people who dismiss Christianity outright also lack a rigorous understanding of the big bang, evolution, or most sciences that they replace religion with in their belief structure. Therefore I am not surprised if they fail to rigorously understand Christianity or any other world religion.
  • + 3
 @mtb-sf: Yes... Doesn't that make their new ad about friendship by a very not YOUNG TALENT actor even more ironic!
  • + 0
 @landscapeben: not to be rude, but I doubt most will read all of this. If it was about bikes then maybe, but even that is a stretch.
  • + 1
 @WRainey88: how valuable for a Christian is whether someon dismisses it outright or after being a theologist for 30 years. Criticizing Biology for lack of ability to explain how eye got into being (if that is true at all) by someone relying on Biblical creation is worthy of direct dismission. And condemnation. Your God of gaps got very tiny. Is that how you repay him? Most 15yr olds do not need to know who Isaac Newton was to realize that Old Testament is a pile of horse shit. Sorry for the language but...
  • + 1
 And i said this months ago at Rampage and got disliked for this. Yt is bad.
  • + 6
 @Boardlife69: Its the corrosive effect motocross has on mountain biking, lol. Every time a Supercross race is won God must be acknowledged for organizing the podium.
Best way to get down voted is to announce you are a Christian and then start preaching to us.
  • + 3
 @TrevZ: Gwin is a Christian and a good man.

Coming into this conversation attacking someone's belief in God is pretty lowly and overall not appropriate in a conversation about Gwin (or any other person for that matter). The world and God work in ways that certainly not you nor most of us will ever fully understand.
  • + 6
 @ianjones666: Nope, might want to reread my post. I do factor my bike purchases on how a company is run and how they treat their employees and riders. From experience, this naturally translates to their customer service as well.
  • - 5
flag lobohusky (Jan 24, 2019 at 10:40) (Below Threshold)
 @TrevZ: Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world. One that is subject to free will, which allows people to do the torturing and abusing. But it also enables well as those that help them, provide care and love to the sick and weary (are you one of them?). As for the sickness part, perhaps this will help: www.gotquestions.org/God-allow-sickness.html. Sickness is not from God, it is from the Devil. But take heart, there will be a day...

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” - Revelation 21:4.
  • - 3
 @TrevZ: God did do something, he created you to make a difference. We should all be doing something about it. However, everyone responds or helps in different ways.
  • + 3
 I can not comment the form just the result. So if I understand it correctly YT played the same card as AG played few years ago against Trek and Specialized and didn't prolong the contract as the result of their business decision. AG was described as gold digger leaving great brands just because of higher money offered by other brands. He was also protected by fans as super performing athlete with very limited time frame to make a fortune to cover him for the rest of his life. So let's keep it simple and fair - let's just respect the fact that not signing of the new contract is just free choice both sides of the business have...
  • + 8
 @lobohusky: Fallen world?! And you cite something written thousands of years ago? Let me tell you something, you are writing random words on a website about bicycles from a device giving you access to all possible information in the world. The standard of living of people around the world is going up. 99.9999999999% of people living in poorest parts of the world, live a better life than people who wrote New Testament. You live a better life than Caesar of Rome could have ever imagined (maybe aside of the orgies) You are an ungrateful bastard. If you truly believe in Jesus, and he would appear next to you, he would kick your butt for taking sht for granted and not taking care of your god damn business Smile Fallen world... well I love it.

Waki's letter to Flat Sixerians 21333:4
  • + 6
 I came here to read peoples thoughts on Aaron Gwin and what I would suggest is an uncharacteristic interview from him. In the past he has always been less transparent in regards to what transpired and seemed to float above the BS. I've always appreciated his respect for others privacy and his professionalism. I still appreciate his positivity and wonder what happened this time that led him to disclose the interactions in more detail? Either way- that's the discussion I wanted to hear and not some misplaced theological BS. Perhaps relocate that discussion to Reddit- this is a mountain bike website. It's like discussing the research methodology of a climate change study on a fox news article about how dangerous immigrants may or may not be to middle class white people- it's a great discussion but pick your audience and keep it relevant. My preference is we stick to bikes...on this bike site. My preference- if the mass wants to keep the god ball rolling than by all means continue to do so and I'll continue to scroll past it.
  • - 6
flag WAKIdesigns (Jan 24, 2019 at 11:11) (Below Threshold)
 @Boardlife69: I just watched Dr Pimple Popper for 30 minutes. I am at peace.
  • - 1
 @landscapeben: good, theologically sound answer.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: aah Waki, I was wondering how long it take you to weigh in on this! What you say rarely makes much sense to me, but at least you always say it with conviction Beer
  • - 1
 @Konyp: when you've finished your ride if you want to pm me on these questions I'll happily discuss further with you on these points Wink
  • - 4
flag WAKIdesigns (Jan 24, 2019 at 11:45) (Below Threshold)
 @landscapeben: I went through the process of leaving Church, then letting go of spiritual transcendence, yes I know what I am talking about. I wish you to go through that journey too. The road to actual atheism leads through dedication to religion. Only the one that has been sick knows what being healthy really feels like.
  • + 1
 @carym: Pretty sure Cam was sick of the business side and wanted to focus on Sensus and riding (for YT).
  • + 2
 For everything related to evil, I would rather look into neuroscience, and concepts such as theory of mind, cognitive empathy (or lack thereof) which seem to me much more comon than you'd think at first.
Social blindness, which isn't a problem in a solidary tribe with strong interpersonnal bonds fighting for survival in the wild, but which becomes a serious problem when that same social blind person is force fed with egoistic or egocentric ideas in a materialistic, opulent society.
Or brainwash that social blind kid (or even one who's not social blind) with the idea that god will punish him (or as said upon, that he'll be at his side when he dies) and you get a fanatical, either fear-fueled or omnipotent, limit-less human being (replace god with money and you have a different kind of fanatic).
Or take neuro-atypical people (ADHD for instance) and force them to live in a normative society that doesn't suit them, where they'll feel like strangers all their lives without knowing their brain is wired differently, and a bunch of them will undoubtedly develop antisocial personnality disorder.
I'd venture to say that something is the mind was usefull for survival when human was still a huge monkey, but turned into a negative behaviour for some reason as man developped societies.
AFAIK there are murders among certain kind of monkeys for instance.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: in fact Waki, I've been there, left Christianity walked away from it completely for years then took the time to look at stuff for myself and come to my own conclusions which eventually led me back to the truth of Christianity but with a whole lot more understanding than I had before. I hope your journey doesn't end here either, always keep an open mind brother Wink
  • + 1
 What a biased one-sided interview, I know what happened with Gwin and YT and it sure as hell wasn't as simple as this. I'd love it if they took the time to share it as it's an interesting story - gotta pay for that Mclaren and enormous mansion somehow eh Aaron??
  • + 3
 @stella10: caty??? Did we read different interviews? I'd call it Candid, or Frank, but I didn't hear much bitching about being misled. How many times did Gwin say something like 'it's good' or 'worked out for the best'?
  • + 0
 @Boardlife69: too much religious content, moved on to the Miranda Miller article.
Good Canadian Kid
  • + 2
 @IntoTheEverflow: Well I agree with you ????
  • - 2
 @landscapeben: Oh. Fascinating. On my side, I really do hope I won’t be back... transcendalism of any form disgusts me deeply, how I wasted my nerves and see people wasting theirs on paving hell with good intentions, setting standards they are unable to live up to, coming to see God and masturbating out forced stateof ascension, which leaves them not appreciating the every day life, putting themselves down. The road to salvation is only through Christ... this is so sad... when you tll it to a kid, it is child abuse. I felt repulsion when Dawkins and Krauss said it, but now I agree with them. “We are flawed, you are flawed”. Fundamentally, by nature and you never will be good, and God is so amazing, only he can love you, despite the fact how worthless you are. The very thought of a stranger who lives up to absolutely nothing telling it to my kids hurts me. It’s like some Joey coming up to a kid on a trail telling him he will never ride well. Oh but the love, the mercy... no, sorry, fk off. We are quite fine, you may leave your compund guilt to yourself, we get enough of it through our lives. How about you get a gal and a job
  • + 4
 I'm happy for AG, he seems to be able shrug off bad situations and come out strong on the other side. No whining, no name-giving, just dealing with it the best way he can and staying positive.
Also, here's a nice picture of burning church: i.imgur.com/y38ifZp.jpg
  • + 1
 very well said!
  • + 3
 @TrevZ: Up voted straight up!!!


#Amin.... I mean, I'm in! Is that clear
  • + 2
 @ssip: perfectly said.
  • + 2
 weird, a predatory internet fly by night capitalist brand with no backing or story is full of shit? Who'da guessed?

Buy real bikes.
  • + 3
 @kmg0: 10 years is a long night to fly by.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Surely you must know you can't reason with cultists.
  • - 5
flag markar (Jan 24, 2019 at 14:53) (Below Threshold)
 @TrevZ: you're a bigot and moron
  • + 4
 All very interesting and such but the recent comments about YT’s after sales service in the US and Canada is a way more important buying consideration than whether AG is riding for them. It may be touch and go but I think he’ll be just fine.
  • + 0
 @TrevZ: pretty harsh comment
  • - 1
 @JankoGerlach: the only church that enlightens is the burning one Smile
  • + 2
 Everybody got PAID. Wounds heal and team changes are always exciting.
  • + 1
 You want loyalty....buy a dog
  • - 1
 @markar: Right? How could forget about asking what the deal is with bone marrow cancer in children, that one seems a bit sadistic.
  • + 1
 @mtb-sf: yeah, because Gwin is old. sooooo old. 31. wow. how does he even chew his food any more!?
  • + 2
 @Will-narayan: I think there is something to that. “The way to do it” I wasn’t bothered by the drop, only the sudden drop then I thought about it while strolling through the comments and hearing business is business and realized it may not just be a smart business move but a malicious one because they knew he was about to be a competitor with a likely better image. But hold on let me make a tinfoil hat real quick and re-evaluate.
  • + 2
 @Boardlife69: 20k upvotes❗
  • + 1
 @Boardlife69: I neg propped you by accident. I agree with you
  • + 2
 This is one of the most epic PB threads I’ve ever read. YT vs AG on the boards is just a great read.
  • + 2
 @Boardlife69: Oakley is owned by a giant glasses monopoly. also maybe don't forget about all those special YT rampage frames that got donated and used to help Paul Bas, a guy who didn't even ride for YT. In the end these race programs are marketing, and changing up sponsored athletes is business
  • + 1
 the gift that keeps giving !
  • - 1
 @wiscobiker: Yeah, funding falls through randomly for this type of stuff too. Gwin kicks around big numbers so if he needs to produce results constantly, and expect to get kicked to the curb once the costs are too great
  • + 0
 @almacigatrailrider: im no bike expert but it made me realize that YT only need to prove that the tues can be used as a race bike (by aaron gwin) and an extreme freeride(andrew lecondigue), i dont see other bikes out there that can be a good freeride/race bike with winning results aside from trek and yt
  • - 1
 @talaskinos: maybe it's not the bike - it's the rider !?
  • + 0
 @Luis-Sc: you are 100% right on the spot!!
  • + 1
 @TrevZ: You need a band aid for your bleeding heart!
  • + 6
 @thisspock: To summarize: RC trashes YT in the intro and gets Gwin to trash talk YT in the interview. Pinkbikers trash YT and Gwin in the comments, leading Gwin to trash talk Trek in the comments. Specialized and religion also take some abuse in the comments, but Yeti seems to be spared somehow.

No mention of the new M29 in the interview or the comments, and not a lot of talk about the team. Mostly negative comments overall. The whole point of sponsoring a team is to promote the bike in a positive way.

Excellent interview RC.
  • + 5
 @Flowcheckers: now you trash RC, oh irony lol
  • - 1
 @Luis-Sc: good assessment. Gwinn wasn't delivering results, and i'm sure he cost them an arm and a leg--though they should've been more upfront with him.

YT really needs some clout in the EWS--it blows my mind that the bike that has won so many bike-of-the-year awards for it's enduro prowess isn't in the hands of an EWS team capable of placing it on the podium.

Take the new Jeffsy out into EWS, as well.
  • - 4
flag moroj82 (Jan 25, 2019 at 13:13) (Below Threshold)
 @almacigatrailrider: I dont think they got as much brand recognition out of Gwinn as people think. I run one the YT INDUSTRIES USA
  • - 5
flag moroj82 (Jan 25, 2019 at 13:14) (Below Threshold)
 @almacigatrailrider: I dont think YT got as much brand recognition out of him as people assume. I run the YT INDUSTRIES USA facebook page, and 99% of the people on there have no idea who Gwinn is. They're just middle-aged men chomping at the 29er bit for the Jeffsy.
  • + 2
 @moroj82: you run the US page from the Philippines? Plus it’s Gwin and not Gwinn.
  • + 0
 @Aaronhuang: I (and the other 250+ upvotes) don't see TrevZ attacking anybody, personally or otherwise. @BiNARYBiKE: @TrevZ: @WAKIdesigns: et. al., TrevZ calls us out on keeping priorities straight, and y'all freak a bit? WAKI the self-agrandized ATHEIST for some soulful reason feels the need to discredit/ mock Trev pointing out the suffering and tragedy 80% of the world lives in? Funny... or disgusting...
  • + 1
 @WoodenCrow: bruh, chill. It’s all about bikes anyway.
  • + 0
 @stella10: ooo, people don't like it when people diss Gwin. I bet you anything he asked for more money. YT is a cool company that can't keep up with demand so this is the right decision.
  • + 1
 @Boardlife69: I think it was Zink that hooked the Missile up.
  • + 0
 @WoodenCrow: if you cannot grasp the fact that 99,9% of humanity, including developing countries is better off than they were 100 years ago, 50 years ago and 10 years ago and in 10 years will be better than they are now, then you are simply ignorant. Just because their state doesn’t live up to whatever standard you have personally set, doesn’t mean that humanity as a whole isn’t developing. Warzone areas go down, people killed in conflict is going down, child mortality is going down, access to basic health care is going up, number of people killed due to “the act of God” is dimishing (which must mean he likes the way things are going) If you look for fairness and equality of outcome then you should maybe wake up in Stalinist Russia. Where desparity between rich and poor was way bigger than in any capitalist reign. If you are to call me an atheist you better call me an agolfist, aporschist, ascottist, asodomist and quite a few millions other a-ists. Just because one does not acknowledge that a humanoidal entitiy created th universe, and now counts the times we masturbate, to make us bad about it ehile we live, only to forgive us after our death, doesn’t make them an atheist, agnostic or whatever.
  • + 1
 @Boardlife69: dude you're the one who keeps talking about Jesus.....
  • + 1
 @snl1200: amen. I mean, right on.
  • + 1
 @Thustlewhumber: it's just politics. Bullshit if you ask me. How can one race determine that. It was stupid for yt not to sign him. Intense sales will go through the roof. Looking forward to the results.
  • + 1
 I dont the move specifically is met with any of us misunderstanding the financial reasons to pay Gwin big money to prove the bike was a viable race bike and then moving on when they have that established. Probably just that they told him the program was a go and pulled the plug. Everyone needs to see the very positive things that came of this though. Gwin demonstrated to kids coming up to have contingency sponsors in place even at the 11th hour. The other positive...he's helping the 2 riders on his program by allowing them outside gear sponsors. Sure, if you're a new grom with no leverage, you could make no money at all on gear if you don't have exposure yet. But at the same time, you know you're not on an hourly wage or low salary. You have the ability to market yourself if you see opportunities and are smart enough to leverage them
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Waki no judgement toward any atheists here, just trolling the king troll... Except the part where your comment suggested the suffering of others is no biggie let's just lounge in our elitist intellectualized comfort-&privilege-buffered heady realm of abstraction and pretend it's all fine.
Tho I should't have trolled you about beliefs/-isms - sorry, here's to more positive PBing.
  • - 1
 @WoodenCrow: there’s not himg intellectual here. I can however see quite a lot of regular good intentions lunacy.
  • + 1
 @Boardlife69: As far as i remember, it was YT who put their used Rampage frames to auction just to support the injured rider Paul Bas...
mbaction.com/werideforpaul-yt-industries-auction
  • + 1
 @Thustlewhumber: I completely agree... I was also a YT supported rider but have lost all respect and interest in their product since watching the last year unfold with Zink and Gwin. But as many have mentioned, some do straight up business and some do side angle business. We win some, we lose some but hopefully we learn some.
  • + 0
 @TheR: man this is so true. The Zink brothers got screwed by YT and now Aaron Gwin. I hope YT and E13 make it. E 13 sucks and so does YT
  • + 3
 @jaame: Aron did the same to his tire sponsor, more cash from Kenda so he bounced. Weird if he complains about YT doing the same thing.
  • + 1
 @dirtybikejapan: no one said he screwed Onza. Did you listen to his vital mtb interview? It sounded more like Onza may be hurting financially & they agreed upon a mutual split. Tires are a tough market to profit in.
  • + 2
 @bizutch: I imagine they have the margins to be profitable but they are priced $10 more than Maxxis so why the F would I buy them? They look like great tires, but I can't invest in my tires, ha ha.
  • + 117
 Gwin ditched Trek in a real bad way, when he didn’t get what he wanted. Specialized showed him the money and he was gone. Probably should wait to hear some details on YT’s side about all this. Money talks loud, no matter how much you may not like what it says.
  • + 21
 I am pleased to see there are one or two people being sensible here. Controversy gets interest, support and keeps people talking. That's all I see here.
  • + 42
 Agreed. Gwinn has been pretty ruthless with sponsors in the past. I'm not saying it's bad, he just knows what he wants and moves forward. But then he, and others, should not be surprised when the same happens to him.
  • + 9
 I don't think we will hear much YT in thid regard - which is fine. After all, it's just business - just like Gwin is handling his side of things. Maybe Gwin was just asking too much, maybe they were not confident he would offer them enough cvalue for that money... Whatever it is, "it's just business". For all involved.
  • + 1
 @MrJimLahey: I wonder if this will ultimately be bad for Gwin. I understand he is an incredibly talented rider and a bonus for anyone that signs him. But his last three contract exits have been controversial. People were bad mouthing Specialised when they let him go, people are bad mouthing YT when they let him go, dunno what happened with him and Trek.

Personally I wonder if the podiums are worth it for a company if you are undermined at the end of the season.
  • + 16
 I don’t really see a ‘controversy’ here, contract ended and they parted ways...
  • + 5
 @bikeinbih: You might not but there are some pretty dramatic statements being made in the comment section.
  • + 250
 I didn't ditch Trek, the team owner backed out of his original agreement and tried to force me to sign a contract that wasn't what we agreed on. They then went online and were dishonest about how it all went down. Just because I stayed quiet during that time, doesn't dignify their accusations. Years later we talked again and they apologized for their actions and those conversations eventually led to me working with Martin again to form the YT Mob. It's a business and I don't take this stuff too personal, all these brands are just trying to do what they think is best for themselves, it's their job. I've not always made the easiest or most popular decisions initially but there's more that goes on behind the scenes than you see. I can say for sure that I have always been honest, had integrity, and treated people kindly.
  • + 0
 @tufty:
It's just a symptom of the time we live in. You can't operate as a business at all if you worry about these things too much. People will take any chance to get offended and stand up for the "little guy". There are ways to handle it better than they did,but then again the pinkbike population isn't representative of the biking community at all. Most people won't ever know about this "drama" which really isn't any more than a minor footnote. YT will continue to thrive and if not this most likely has nothing to do with it.
  • + 13
 It sucks that you have to see the crap posted on here Aaron. Good luck this year though, the bike looks amazing!
  • + 6
 @AaronGwin1: As always you can let the riding do the talking and during the season you are the ultimate professional. And really it's not my place to be concerned about how you are perceived in the industry and by manufacturers, you are at the end of the day, gold.
But as I said earlier pinkbike loves controversy and it's sad that this news is followed by a bunch of people saying "f*ck YT, I'll never buy them again" and things like that. I don't want their shade cast in your direction
  • + 3
 AaronGwin1 (1 hours ago)
I didn't ditch Trek, the team owner backed out of his original agreement and tried to force me to sign a contract that wasn't what we agreed on."
  • + 4
 @AaronGwin1: Nice one Aaron, new team looks great.
  • + 11
 "I was told by Martin that YT got everything out of me that they had wanted and that they didn’t need me moving forward" - That's the line that makes this tough. I totally get that from a business standpoint from YT - everyone has to make those choices.

However, stringing Aaron along while negotiating a new deal until the last day of the season is not the best way to handle it. Plans change and requirements shift that make certain partnerships not feasible in the future. These changes and plans with partners need to be managed well and this doesn't sound like that was the case with YT. People can say there are two sides to the story; but if Aaron is willing to make these type comments with one of the largest publications in MTB, they clearly didn't manage the change well with Aaron.

Anyway, looks like an awesome team and stoked to see Intense still going strong at the WC for the next few years
  • + 22
 The fact that Aaron can pop into the shitshow that's Pinkbike and make a eloquent and well spoken defense of himself is a true example of his professionalism. Even in the highest office such restraint and dignity is lacking. Most people would need to hire a PR firm, but Gwin does it himself.
  • + 5
 @PHeller: yeah man that’s dope that he would even get involved here
  • + 3
 @AaronGwin1: can’t wait to see you out there shredding this season! Tough seeing you miss a few races last season
  • + 1
 @AaronGwin1: YT must've really screwed you. It doesn't seem like it's in your character to not have a single 'thanks for the good times' sort of diplomatic, professional parting remark. Sorry to hear that, dude. Good luck with the next chapter, and thank YOU for the good times on YT.
  • - 1
 @AaronGwin1: So stoked for you to partner with Intense! I’ve been a fan of Intense since the 90s. Tell those guys to ditch VPP and go back to Horst link. Looking forward to watching you ride this coming season! Best of luck!!
  • + 2
 @AaronGwin1: Thank you for raising the professionalism of the DH athlete and doing your best to make the risk we take match the amount of income it should demand.

Also, really appreciate you watching out for Neko & Jack by making sure they can earn their own money within the team with gear contracts. If their stock grows, they have the ability to leverage it for better pay to match the impact their results should garner.

Not sure who your counsel is that keeps you looking big picture, but it can only help our sport. Most of us appreciate your efforts to stay true to your faith and I'm sure almost ALL of us appreciate you making sure the professionals of our sport are educated about their true worth to sponsors.

Last, I completely understand your desire to hold people accountable to their word. Too many depend on a piece of paper to form a bond that is of substance and let their tongues speak in a manner that allows them to change and morph as the need suits.

A man is only as good as the truth he speaks and holding others to that standard and letting the public know when promises spoken are not honored is of utmost importance.
Stay true.
#merica
  • + 54
 So stoked for Intense to field this team! Even better to see a bright future for Gwin - owning a team and coaching athletes. It's a U.S. powerhouse with Jeff, Aaron and Ryan. Not cool YT. I get business is business, but to have a loyal and talented athlete build your brand only to drop him short notice. F that noise. Will be selling my capra frame and keeping the kit. Haha similar to what Aaron does for the Mob - riders benefit from parts.
  • + 3
 Yeah, seems like YT is more talk as of late after dropping Zink's distribution and now this. I never would've considered YT a race winning brand/bike if it wasn't for Gwin showing what they were capable of.
  • + 4
 Business is business but they could always part-ways in a better way unless YT and Gwin already had some sour plums at the beginning of the contract. Hope Gwin snap the media crew too, those lightning fast post match highlight is awesome.
  • + 18
 @Albe23: The bike was already praised by mtb magazines like Dirt. It's funny how people react. A brand is cheap => not good. A bike is not carbon => not good, it's heavy => not good etc... I found it really cool when Sam Hill won at Méribel on the cheapest and heaviest of bikes.

As for the Gwin-YT split, we hear a lot Gwin talking about it and I would like to hear the other side. Especially as Gwin keeps forgetting saying he doubled his financial expectations.
  • + 5
 @EnduroManiac: life goes on. This new team is cooler than the mob ever was. That Whiteley, he's a bit of a snake isn't he? Plus he wears age inappropriate sunglasses. I can never respect people like that.
Gwintense is a dream team! Can't wait for the stars and bars paint!
  • + 4
 @jaame: He is responsible for the modern world cup format as we know it (qualifying, hotseat, top 5 on podium, 80% rule in XC, etc), literally wrote the rulebook for the UCI as its first MTB technical delegate and has either created and/or managed some of the biggest MTB teams in history. Not disagreeing with you, but maybe what you perceive as 'snake like' is what it takes to succeed in this business.

With you on the sunglasses - he would have Oakley Medusa Headgear in a drawer at home, I bet.
  • + 4
 @Feideaux: He comes across as someone who knows his shit and knows his own mind, and doesn't have any reservations about doing what to takes to get what he wants.
  • - 2
 First I had to burn the Nikes, anyone with an idea on how to burn the YT?
  • + 0
 Maybe they can get a World Cup race in the US in the next few years!?
  • + 1
 @mkotowski1: uhh how about this year
  • + 47
 Seems like such a stand up guy with a good head on his shoulders, and very business savvy. Really enjoyed how he talked about being on the gear that you're comfortable with. That's a no brainer. Wish the guys the best of luck this season!
  • + 49
 Gotta say i agree on gwin's view on kits. Kits are very personal and you should be allowed to have it that way
  • - 7
flag ChazzMichaelMichaels (Jan 23, 2019 at 22:53) (Below Threshold)
 I'm on the other side of the fence on this. When watching on TV, the bikes aren't as distinctive as the rider kits, so when the teams have mixed riding kits for riders, or even different days, it takes me awhile to work out who is who. I'd rather they wore the same kit each day, perhaps leeway for the helmet to tell individual riders apart. From front on all the riders are using either a 40/9 or Boxxer, you barely see the bike.
  • + 8
 @ChazzMichaelMichaels: they literally tell you the name of the rider multiple time during runs and in some cases have the name on the screen of the tv lol
  • + 0
 @mhoshal: I'm thinking more of the Vital Raw and other perhaps non sanctioned or actual official race run footage.
  • + 3
 @ChazzMichaelMichaels: When watching on tv, the riders names are displayed on the screen and the announcers state the riders names many times before, during and after each run. Try listening for that and reading the names on the screen instead of judging by kits.
  • + 14
 @ChazzMichaelMichaels: but what Gwin is also doing is empowering his team mates ability to earn a decent living. He's benefited from it in his journey so far, so he's sharing the pie.
Super cool imo.

As much as I loved seeing the MadCatz train of superstars, I'd prefer to know they're getting payed what they're worth.
  • - 1
 @ChazzMichaelMichaels: I like the idea of riders being allowed their own custom helmet design, along the lines of Formula 1. The rider's own identity and colours on their helmet design. But changing up kit in different races is just going to make it a nightmare to identify anyone.
  • + 0
 @ChazzMichaelMichaels: if you’re watching non sanctioned footage and you can’t tell what team and what rider it is based on their individual kit, you either need to watch more world cups and pay attention to who’s riding what or don’t bother watching at all. You’re not a true fan until you can identify who’s who from just their kit. Having whole teams on the same kit makes it super hard to identify riders and takes the fun out of watching vital raw because you have to think who is on the specific team and make a guess of who the rider is based on their number plate, riding style or specific components on their bike.
  • + 32
 Sounds like some shady maneuvers from YT. Kind of cold to cut a guy out who was so essential in building their brand. Seems to me they used Aaron to sell bikes and once they had an empire going kicked him out. I own a YT and a big reason I bought it, besides the good value was because AG was riding one. Can't say I'll ever buy a YT again.
  • + 70
 They needed the money for Christopher Walken.
  • + 13
 @TheR: Although, I can see Walken doing a bang up job acting like a villain explaining to the audience that it's just business, nothing personal...
  • + 5
 I think it needs more cowbell
  • + 1
 Yeah, I'd be lying if I said Gwin riding for YT didn't influence my decision to get a Tues
  • + 10
 Just remember, there's two sides to every story. Even if YT was that cold about it, sounds like his contract was up, maybe they didn't see the value in renewing it for another 2-3 years? Plus, didn't he do something similar when he left Trek, no doubt it was nothing personal, just business?

www.pinkbike.com/news/Did-Gwin-Breach-His-Contract-With-Trek-World-Racing.html
  • + 12
 @charmingbob: They lied about it. Said they were discontinuing the team. Then turned around and had a team.
  • + 1
 @TheR: What if they wanted to and couldn’t find a solution satisfying enough for AG?
  • + 4
 @Gamsjaga: then you tell him straight up. It's not anything personal right?
  • + 3
 @ssip: Didn‘t he state they told him that they wanted to continue? What if they actually believed in it tried until the last second but failed to get the money together he expected? Let‘s hear from YT.
  • + 2
 +1 to this statement. They increased their prices then kick Gwin out. No thanks.
  • + 1
 @TheR: Maybe they are scumbags who lied or maybe at the time their plan was to get out of WC racing. Sounds like maybe Martin as team owner negotiated a new deal a week or two later. Either way if his contract was up and they didn’t want to renew it, what would they gain from lying about it?
  • + 3
 @TheR: Do you happen to know all the details? I would guess the team structure and budget that they negotiated with Gwin and decided not to continue is completely different to the one they eventually set up. Business is business things can change. We don’t know all the details (I don’t even care) the main thing I see is that nobody breached their contract and that’s a great thing in today’s world. YT got the exposure, Gwin got his well deserved paycheck and the life moves on.
  • + 4
 @ssip: The owner of YT told him straight up, personally at a dinner.
  • + 2
 @InstantBreakfast: I bought mine, then he signed (clearly I influenced), then I sold the frame and now he's left....

But seriously.......they must want to put the money into selling the bigger volume bikes like Jeffsy and Capra? If you believe people buy what they see winning then presumably we will be seeing a Jeffsy and Capra based enduro team?
  • + 3
 @TheR:
There's a big difference between intentionally lying and hiding intentions and reversing a decision due to new developments.
They certainly didn't do it just to f*ck him over so how can we hold then accountable for anything more than bad timing?
  • + 6
 Could be loads of reasons;
Maybe their budget changed because an investor pulled out or a bank loan was refused or their manufacturing costs increased.
Maybe there was disagreement within the company the people pushing for gwin thought they had won the argument but they hadn't.
Maybe they didn't want to unsettle the rider right before world's.
The zink situation sounded shitty but he still riders for them.....
  • + 1
 @Loki87: Maybe. It doesn’t look good, regardless.
  • + 1
 @bikeinbih @Gamsjaga: Possibly, we may never know what was/wasn't said. Either way, we're all speculating and outside looking in, it seems sheisty. Factor in how they dealt with Zink, a picture starts to form about YT and at this point, what reason do we have to give them the benefit of the doubt? Outstanding customer service? Ha!
  • + 2
 @ssip: What is all the 'Zink' BS? You guys have no idea what you're talking about - even less than me!
  • + 2
 It wasn't cold as this is being made out to be, in fact AG dug himself this hole. I really hope Martin or Markus steps in and fills in the missing details here so that everyone knows the full story.
  • + 0
 @ssip: We agree on one thing, "we're all speculating". I cannot factor in how they dealt with Zink either because - just like in Gwin's case - I don't know all the details. At the end of the day, it's a business decision and as long as everybody fulfilled their legal/contractual obligations I don't see the drama. The bike industry is volatile right now and brands need to adapt quickly or they can go down... just look at the past couple of years at Intense.
But I get it, people need to hate and now it's YT's turn for some. Would they get more love on PB if they kept Gwin and pulled the plug halfway next season?
  • + 3
 @bikeinbih: Absolutely and there isn't any drama from what I can tell. It's also fair to say that we all form impressions of things/people/companies based on what we've been presented, here and elsewhere much like people who bring up the AG-Trek episode to counter the argument. The difference there, however is that AG has come on record, multiple times now I believe, to clarify that situation. Until YT and Martin do the same, this is what we're left with.

Considering YT's customer service record and the, "YT got everything out of me that they had wanted and that they didn’t need me moving forward", it gives me (and likely others) the impression that they don't value the people who give them value, us consumers and their athletes. If people are ok with that sort of 'business' then carry on, just don't whine about the subpar customer service or inability to meet customer demand.

The fact that we have many options on brands to choose to spend our hard-earned money on, some of which do put emphasis on people who give them value and the above impressions, I don't have any reason to consider giving my thousands to YT. No hate, just not the way I see how to do "business".
  • + 1
 @ssip: "they don't value the people who give them value" - Gwin didn't do it from a charity he's got his paycheck. He can pay his bills, buy his car, build his house and he can now have his own team, that's a pretty good deal if you ask me... He worked for it and deserves every penny.
But I don't see why YT or anybody has to 'come on record' to justify their business decision to us... that's just bollocks. Smile
  • + 1
 Wait until you hear how they treated Christopher Walken....
  • + 1
 @bikeinbih: value comes in many forms, money is only one. There's also respect and transparency for an athlete who brought your company World Cup success and with that a worldwide audience to your brand as underlined in this very interview www.pinkbike.com/news/interview-marhus-flossman-yt-2016.html

As a few others have commented in one form or another, waiting that late in the season after World Champs to tell your athlete (who brought your company value as mentioned above) that you won't be continuing with the program after telling them everything is "good" then renegotiating and continuing with the program anyway just without them...hrmmmm. Then consider business relationships like Ibis and Wallner and Polygon and the Hannahs. There's a way of doing things and then there's a better way of doing things. Businesses can choose to be run however they wish, doesn't matter to me because at the moment there are many brands to choose from in this industry.
  • + 29
 So the new YT team is Walken and the goat head Guy?
  • + 22
 The dream: YT cut their downhill team to focus resources on improving distribution and customer service.

The reality: YT cut their downhill team because they don’t have their shit together.
  • - 3
 You really know a lot about what happened. By the tone of your post, I assume you were there for the entire process and therefore this is your first hand account.
  • - 1
 Downvotes but no comments... well, alright then.
  • + 24
 Losing respect for YT on the daily. I hope gwin crushes this year.
  • + 12
 Yes. They do seem to be making negative withdrawals from the Bro credit they’ve built up over the years.
  • + 15
 They offer some of the best bang for the buck bikes out there. No worries, that alone is going to keep their sales going.
  • - 1
 @WAKIdesigns: You're wrong Waki. They have really upset the apple cart with this one. There is no coming back from this. They might as well pack up now.
  • + 0
 @jaame: righteous!
  • + 4
 @jaame: whoever downvoted this has absolutely no sense for irony/sarcasm.
  • - 1
 @Gamsjaga: and no RESPECT for irony/sarcasm
  • + 18
 Based on this article, one would think Gwin is highly motivated to top YT and Martin at the podium. If there is one thing I wouldn't want to do, it is give Gwin any more motivation.
  • + 4
 Hope he puts his old team in the dust, I root for Gwin not YT
  • + 12
 BRAVO, BRAVO, BRAVO!!! As a business owner and rider with ZERO college education and ZERO trust fund/rich parents - I make it happen every damn day. I created my environment, I excel at what I do and I get PAID!! And in return I have a very flexible life that allows me to ride and enjoy the outdoors. Take notice my little 'Pinkbikers' cause one day you will wake up and say SHIT what the hell happened??? 25 to 35 than 35 to 40 then 40 to 45 and then BAM you're going on 50 - it happens fast, real fast. Enjoy the ride but have goals and reach for the stars......Gwin is a class act, a businessman and a machine on the track - he deserves what he has. You are what you think about most...
  • + 1
 I thought for sure there was something to buy at the end of this post...
  • + 11
 There's always two sides to a story, but that was an interesting move by Whitely. The first article I ever read on PB was an article about this Gwin guy leaving Trek late in the sponsorship season and Whitely being really upset.
  • + 1
 Pretty sure Whiteley and Aaron are OK. Whiteley seems to have been a pawn in this as well and it didn't sound as if Aaron was suspecting any shady business from his side. Not cool on YT's part,but then again i called this the second they got Gwin on the team 3 years ago. It was a pure marketing move for brand recognition and not one to build a solid and lasting foundation in racing. So i guess he should have been suspecting something would happen eventually.
  • + 3
 @Loki87: If they wanted to keep him on indefinitely, he would have been on a permanent contract. A three year contract expires after three years. One must at least be ready for the contract to end at the end of the contract period.
  • - 2
 @jaame:
Agreed.
Yeah,it's not cool to just drop him after keeping his hopes up in negotiations, but then again Aaron himself is no stranger to this practice himself. In the end it still worked out fine for him. Personally i didn't condone the move when he pulled it back then and i don't know,but it's business and in the end new and good things resulted from it. We shouldn't get our panties in a bunch over this too much.
  • + 4
 @ttblue That's because Trek lied about the whole thing. Gwin clarified that in the comments on this post.
  • + 10
 "I was told by Martin that YT got everything out of me that they had wanted and that they didn’t need me moving forward"

If Gwin gets treated that way by a company, we're all f'ed.
  • + 9
 Man, I really admire Aaron's attitude towards life. Just focusing on enjoying oneself, having discipline while working towards a goal and being a straight up person, then just letting the rest fall into place.
  • + 8
 Wow! Obviously AG to Intense wasn't much of a surprise but the rest of this back story is very interesting and really is BIG news. I had assumed it would be basically be Gwin, Whitely, and the Mob with Intense as a new frame/title sponsor. Any WC DH historians out there? Is Gwin the first ever rider/owner of a World Cup team? I've gotta say I admire the fact that a guy in his prime with Aaron's ability and love for winning is also willing to shoulder the burden of team ownership. I think he is really breaking down some barriers in terms of contracts, sponsorship (his thoughts on team kits make a lot of sense), and team building in ways that will benefit current and future WC racers.
  • + 6
 Fabien Cousine.
  • + 3
 The Syndicate works the same way with team kits...
  • + 3
 Ben Reid was running his own thing from his van which morphed into the dirt / Norco, orange then propain squads.
The Kitchin brothers were owners of animal and therefore the Animal/Orange team that gave Minnaar his big break.
Claudio was running the Scott team while racing for it.
Did Sven Martin 'own' the Honda Turner team? Seeing him in full race kit with the camera after his run looked so badass!

I can't think of anymore at the mo but Gwin is certainly not the first team owner and rider at world cup level.
  • + 7
 Gwin is one of the few guys who knows that he is the best rider only for some years, then it's over and time to move on. Clever as he is, he asks for a high (the highest?) pay check. YT paid that which is a big thing for a small and upcoming company. He got what he wanted, they got what they wanted.

YT is a business too and a clever one at that. Their whole presentation suggests that they are only out for fun and games. But never trust the bells and whistles.
  • + 6
 Honestly, YT needs to focus more on their distribution and warranty/support, and less on WC racing. Great bikes, but terrible infrastructure behind them. The name and reputation are in place, now they just need to keep their customers happy.

I’m really excited to see what the intense product range looks like for 2020.
  • + 6
 I think YT deserve a little credit, or maybe not credit, but they were in a tough spot. They didn't tell him prior to the World Champs as that would have been a distraction and at least they were honest in their reasons.

As a Intense, Gwin and KTM fanboy this new team/business is tits IMO.
  • + 3
 That was my first thought about the timing. Let him race with a clear head, then inform him ASAP so that he can start planning during off-season.
  • + 1
 I wonder had he won what happens. Do they still say we are letting the World Champion go? I seriously wonder how much his season played a factor. If he was still dominating all season what happens?
  • + 1
 @mfoga: I think the entire point of bringing Gwin on was to prove the bike was WC worthy. Job thoroughly done.
  • + 5
 Its business buttercups... some people with their panties in a buch on this thread. Remember Lucas and Harrison lost thier slots at intense due to this program. No blah blah about how Intense dropped them like a stone... and nore should their be... its business. And to the people saying thier changing bike dues to this.. wow its the stype of dramatic reaction I get from my 10yo says when her favourite band breaks up.
  • + 3
 Read Dean's interview about his leaving. Not exactly what happened.
  • + 5
 I think YT got more out of their 3 years with AG. Yeah, Aaron got his money but he would have been just as successful on track regardless of the sticker on his bike.

YT got lots more:
1. Legitimacy for their brand by having the sport's best rider riding for them.
2. 2 WC Downhill championships
3. A race-winning and championship-winning "history" that they can now boast of. Even big brands like Norco and Kona don't have that.
4. A lot of Tues, Capras and Jeffsy bikes were sold because of AG.

Now, to give your rider a one-day notice that there would be no more racing then change your mind later once he's gone is not the best way to handle things.
  • + 0
 Aaron got lots more:

1. Money
2. Money
3. Money
4. Money

It's not one day notice if the contract he signed three years ago has a defined end date. It's three years' notice.
  • + 4
 Back when I was still riding, a certain frenchman kind of won the world championship twice in a row on a kona. Their history is not worse than YT's, they were one of the pioneering brands of the sport, imo.
  • + 2
 Please google Kona and Barel Wink
  • + 1
 @jaame: you're right on this. Furthermore, AG wanted more:

1. Money
2. Money
3. Money
4. Money

And from what I understand there wasn't one days notice, there was in fact a deadline that someone ignored while they were hunting for more of points 1, 2, 3, and 4.
  • + 1
 @NickB01: two sides to every story
  • + 5
 Amazing "friendship redefined" Gwin must be shaking his head at that advert.... Just business doesn't mean you can treat people like dirt, (smack them with a spade and then jump off them) good luck Gwin... Can't help but think it would have been better if yt had just said they couldn't afford him!!!!
  • + 7
 YT had to choose between Aaron Gwin and Christopher Walken...what are you guys thinking? Big Grin
  • + 4
 It sounds like a lot of things coming together at the right time and the right place for Temecula residents AG1 and JS Tuned. I really think Intense will be the bike that Aaron Gwin will eventually retire on, with the same relationship as Peaty has with Santa Cruz, Barel has with Canyon, and maybe even Hans Rey and GT. Unless Intense goes under, that is, which I hope doesn't happen.
  • + 4
 @RichardCunningham - One question that would have been great to ask: "Looks like you will be riding Kenda Hellkat Pro tires this season. Are you planning to ride these tires for the entire 2019 World Cup season or is it possible that you may ride your signature Onza Aquila tires? What are your thoughts on the Hellkat Pro so far, do you like them, how do they compare?"
  • + 5
 Gwin and YT showing their true colors respectively. Glad they separated! I really liked what Gwin said about the kits, that makes a lot of sense.
  • + 3
 So YT gets 2 WC Champ Seasons out of 3 Season and they cut the guy(it's like cutting Eli Tomac)? I get they proved their frame is a WC contender and it's just business. But why even run a WC team now when your #1 guy is a top 20? and you have a great female rider but she's still a Jr? My point is your bike will NOT see Redbull live air time. And people forget very easily.

You go from possibly winning on any given Sunday to possibly top 20? I think YT made a very bad business decision and they will see it in sales in 2019.

BTW.. I think the Intense team is more dangerous than they YT Mob with Jack Moir. He's a serious threat..

P"
  • + 6
 I hope Intense makes a 150-160mm 27.5 and 140mm 29er. There is gaps in their trail/enduro lineup;
  • + 1
 Aluminium and made in USA Smile
  • + 2
 Throw a link/shock from a recluse on a primer 140mm 29er.
  • + 3
 @mfoga: I did it and it’s great. Unfortunately it’s not long enough, or slack enough, or enduro enough to qualify as rideable on PB.
  • + 1
 @likehell: Reeb & Guerilla Gravity have jumped in and snagged that market!
  • + 2
 @stuie321: Yeah, I have been reading about recluse link hack. It is not Enduro-bro enough.
  • + 3
 An Intense bike would now be in my top list of contenders when replacing my Jekyll (hopefully sooner than later). Would a rider or team influence my decision? Yes. There are so many great bikes out there that perform so similarly, that choices are now becoming more based on looks and image, rather than function (that's all too similar). I would prefer to buy a bike from a brand that supports the riders and sports that I like. I also don't care about bottle cages.
  • + 4
 Make Intense Great Again! In all seriousness, this could be a great partnership. I used to love my OG Intense Tracer. Would be great to see them back up in the top podium spot.
  • + 2
 My old 2010 Tacer VP is still the funnest bike I have ever ridden, I miss that bike.
  • + 3
 Aaron is a very savvy business guy as well as being a talented rider. Steber is a brilliant designer, craftsman as well as passionately devoted to his brand and to the sport. With Steber, you’re talking about the guy who basically invented the DH bike as we know it. Paired up with Gwin, nothing but good things can happen for this sport. I’m thinking with this team we’re going to see a real revival of DH on this side of the water, and a season for IFR reminiscent of the glory days of the Syndicate.
  • + 6
 A lot of heavy stuff in these comments. Can we just appreciate how sick Jack's black ADIDAS kit is?
  • + 5
 Thanks! It is our new TROY LEE DESIGNS x ADIDAS colab, seen at Rampage on brendog too. We will launch it in a month, along with some trail lids (A2 with adidas) and trail kits (shorts and short sleeve jersey). Super limited edition, so act fast.
  • + 3
 This story is straight up and peeks into the real world of not so nice business practices and the realities of the day to day of even the greatest of champions. BUT - notice what it takes to be a champion - shit happens, move on, don't complain, rise above, make the people around you greater and finally pin it. I didn't read a bit of whining, just the facts. Props to AG - way more respect to you sir and hope to your team KICKS ASS at podiums!
  • + 3
 I remember speaking truth to the matter of YT just using up and ditching athletes to jump ahead, when I said it, I was immediately demoted to "hidden below threshold" status by the masses. I still believe this and stand by certain Brands that further the sport stand by their athletes. I say no to a FLY BY NIGHT companies.
As a Brand, Santa Cruz bikes gets my vote for the most devoted to the sport and riders of MTB. etc. Steve Pete, the Goat ...
Shout out to Willie over at Santa Cruz bikes, love the CC orange Nomad Sir.
  • + 1
 Agreed, I think the fact that Ratboy is still using Santa Cruz wheels is a testament to your comment. Even if you are getting down voted..
  • + 3
 No more program sorry, one week later, okay program is back on.....Sounds like shady dealings to me from YT and Martin but as always,........he handled it like a proffesional.
  • + 4
 Gwin seems like a very insightful guy. Hopefully Gwin and Neko get another video series going now that they have Shark Attack Jack with them.
  • + 2
 I sort of got the feeling that YT racing with Gwin was out of they're comfort zone to begin with. However they saw an opportunity to get some real development happening, and they did. Gwin was able to have a bike built for him, and they did. YT where never really big on the racing thing and took the a stab at it when they could. I don't think its a negative to say 'they (YT) got what they needed'. Both YT and Gwin are better off having done the time together. It would have been good to see a send off YT mob video though....
Thank-you Next.
  • + 2
 I haven't seen any comments regarding the Moto connection to this team but I think it's really significant. I know AG has his own trainer but I can't help but notice the connection of Ryan Dungey to the team. Ryan Dungey was trained by Aldon Baker who is known as a trainer of Champions. I think it's 13 of 17 championships he's won in the last little while and there are a couple that he didn't win due to injury. Ryan Dungey wasn't as fast as other guys but he was more consistent. This goes the same for many other of the Baker trained Motocross and Supercross champions with Jason Anderson winning last year Supercross championship as the latest. So now we have Aaron Gwin who is arguably the fastest rider teaming up with someone who is super consistent. Aldon Baker was a cyclist who qualified for the Olympics for I believe South Africa. All of his motorcycle riders train on bicycles. I'm not a big fan of Aaron because I'm Canadian and I like the underdog but it's going to be hard to bet against him. Nice work.
  • + 2
 I personally think it would be a good idea for this team to get involved with DVO as a suspension partner. What Ohlins has done for Bruni's bike and from what I see, DVO is starting to get Marcello's bike to perform similarly. I think having the dedicated smaller suspension partner giving them more personalized attention than what the FOX guys currently can would be a big step in the right direction.
  • + 2
 I would say Gwin gets plenty of attention from Fox. Have you seen his truck?
  • + 2
 It's a cycle, when Gwin left Trek for Specialized some people said it was a dick move, this time around it's Whitely getting the bad rap. but all in all it is business. Gwin seems happy to be where he is at right now, Martin does too.
  • + 6
 YT should have got RATBOY!
  • + 1
 Why would they want ratboy?
  • + 2
 Does anyone know if Ryan Dungey (KTM/Redbull MX racer) is part of Gwins setup or just a general investor in Intense? Noticed on his insta 'Excited to launch the next step of my professional career as an investor! Looking forward to learning and growing in this next chapter, and investing in the future of an iconic American brand #Investor #IntenseForLife #IntenseCycles'

If so thats quite a partnership with Dungey's racing pedigree.
  • + 2
 Great interview and insight! I suppose it was the right move from Markus' point of view not to say anything about the contract ending right before Worlds as it most definitely would have messed with AG's mental state going in. Stoked for the WC and the sick team that's been built! Glad Steber was able to pull it off! Wootwoot!
  • + 2
 Here's the two ways I can see to look at this as:
1. YT dicked Aaron by not yelling him as early as is customary in the industry. They did this either to stop him from negotiating a great deal elsewhere or else they are just kind of flaky and don't really plan too much in advance.
Or 2. Aaron should have known YT could not produce as many bikes as he can bring buyers to a brand; therefore, he should have anticipated they wouldn't conitnue their deal, even if they didn't tell him when they should have.
  • + 0
 Or 3, Aaron was asking for the moon on a stick and YT, being a business, realised the business case didn't stack up and let him go.
  • + 1
 Eh, I would have to say that for YT's business model, value proposition, and what YT stands for, I was kind of surprised they could afford Aaron in the first place. I think having him on did what they needed -- get some brand respect -- but they should be a stepping-stone team for talent moving up through the ranks. Not saying how they handled it was right, but as a business move, probably the right thing. Loving what I am seeing from Intense, so I'm excited for the season.
  • + 1
 YT stands for young talent. That never felt right to me, with them being a bicycle company. "Young Talent" sounds more like a modeling agency, but the sketchy kind. Well, they did pull a sketchy move with the whole lying about not having a team.

The one thing that wasn't mentioned in the article, which I think played a big part on Gwin hooking up with Intense, is that they're from the same city.

I'm kinda excited about Gwin's involvement with the design of future Intense models. I hope they drop the whole gun thing with the names. Intense is a SoCal company, so go for SoCal vibes like The In-N-Out, The Unaffordable Housing, The Congested Freeway.
  • + 4
 YT and Specialized have something in common. It's strictly business. Cold, practical business.
  • + 5
 And Gwin is the same. Remember his letter of intention to sign for Trek?
  • + 1
 Which business is different? Love of sport etc. is just marketing BS we all seem to believe in...
  • + 1
 @bikeinbih: Business is business, humans can make it different.
  • + 1
 @smartfartbart: Sure, and in this case, the owner of YT sat down for a dinner with Gwin and told him their decision. That's different to what we are seeing very often these days...
  • + 3
 @cliff-huckstable More like YT and Trek have something in common. Specialized hasn't lied to their athletes like Trek and YT did to Gwin.
  • - 3
 @dualsuspensiondave: Aha. So Companies can't lie, but Athletes can? What kind of moral rules do you have?
  • + 5
 @EnduroManiac: What are you even talking about? No one should be lying. Trek changed the deal after the notice of intent was signed and tried to screw Gwin. If you trust a big corporation like Trek with shady business practices over an athlete making an honest living, maybe you need to check your own morals.
  • + 2
 @dualsuspensiondave: do you believe Gwin is a victim of the world? do you think he's an angel? Certainly a good guy overall but he also sees his own interest and is certainly not as innocent and naive as you may think (which is best in fact, I'm in reality not criticizing him).
  • + 1
 What are you babies crying about? Everybody is out for themselves.
  • + 2
 @dualsuspensiondave: Where did YT lie or screwed over Gwin? Plans have changed as they change very often in our lives too and we need to adopt. We don't know what happened behind the scenes that made the WC team with Gwin financially unfeasible. Some plan didn't come through, lower sales etc. But in this case, both parties fulfilled their contractual obligations and nobody was screwed over. It's still much better than start the season and throw in the towel halfway through...
But it's funny how YT is held to much higher standards than the POTUS by all the 'experts'... Smile
  • + 1
 @EnduroManiac: Speaking of Angel....Does he get a sponsor this year?
  • + 4
 Seems shady, at least they gave Gwin bikes for a few years, most of us can't even get hold of one for money.
  • + 1
 I am interested in how all of this will impact the sport in the long run. As I look at the new members of the team and their background in motocross and supercross, it will be interesting to see if we enter an era of teams having private trail zones in SoCal (similar to how moto teams have private test tracks) and other aspects of the “big money” teams in supercross.

I hope not, as supercross has lost its personality over the past few seasons and reminds me much more of WWE than the sport I knew growing up.

Is Gwin the next Mitch Peyton or Roger DeCoster? I hope so.
  • + 1
 Sounds like YT had money to continue with a DH WC team, just not Gwin money. At least YT signed young, upcoming riders instead of dumping Gwin and going with another high-profile rider that didn't cost as much as Gwin--now that would have been messed up. Business is business at the end of the day.
  • + 1
 Aaron has been nothing but honest so I have no doubt believing his story. Was seriously considering the new Jeffsy, but now no longer. Negative publicity usually impacts an organization at least for a while initially. No thanks, YT - you guys sound shady AF.
  • + 4
 Wow. I had no idea YT is the invitation point in this ...at that level at Least
  • + 1
 *initiation*
  • + 1
 YT: Aaron I'd like to take the opportunity to thank you for developing the bike and the team and winning the world cup series twice starting from our rookie year as manufacturer which is unbelievable
Aaron: No problem
YT: That said, it is with regret that we will not be continuing the world cup program for the foreseeable future and in light of this we are unable to renew your contract
Aaron: ah man that sucks, well if you can't you can't I guess your hands are tied, thanks for being honest.
YT: Just kidding we are running a world cup team, we just don't need you anymore
Aaron: Huh
YT: Yeah, well, good luck
  • + 1
 Hot damn y’all AG ain’t crying but safe bet he’s more motivated than ever to do what he does perform at a high level and ironic how so many apparent athieists cast judgement us on high over AG fans expressing their view of situation, judging like they themselves are deities that they don’t even believe in! You gotta go to YouTube to see mike nonsense than the comment sections than PB....and I looooovveeeee it....thank you!
  • + 1
 Wow! so, heres my takeaway from this interview..."primarily it was Intense who stepped up" Jeff Steber just won some major biz/style points. If I wasnt already riding a new Knolly, I would order an Intense frame. Call me impulsive, but this is the stuff that gives you onsight into the passion behind a brand.....no points for YT for their shape shifting
  • + 1
 My take away is surprise that intense could find enough money to interest him
  • + 1
 AG is the man to beat, not only when it comes to riding, but also when it comes to acting honarably and professionally. Any brand he rides for is going to have so more of my attention than it ever did before. YT got what they wanted from the deal and AG got well paid. Shitty timing from YT, but apart from that a quite rational decision. Looking forward to following AG on Intense this season.
  • + 5
 We need Tippie to ‘splain all of this...
  • + 0
 Personally I think YT made a correct business decision, both them and Gwinn had run there course, time for new blood to have a chance other wise a brand stagnates and fails to appeal to a wider audience, none of the DH riders influence what I choose to buy as DH is not my chosen discipline so a DH bike would be a pointless purchase, also I don't like the buy direct format so that again reduces my options, seeing as a lot of top end Enduro Bikes are as capable I could never see myself buying a one trick pony DH bike.
  • + 0
 Intense: congratulations on being the new Pinkbike darling. It's both a blessing and a curse. YT: you can now tone down the lame bro marketing and just get back to making damn good bikes.

That is all.

Bonus prediction: ~2022, AG leaves Intense for other ventures. PB: "OMG, Intense sucks! Sell, sell, sell."
  • + 3
 2022 Ebike become self aware destroys humanity. Jeff Steber and Gwin in a cave welding frames out of salvaged scrap metal.
  • + 2
 @AntN: I for one welcome out future ebike overlords
  • + 1
 @Grmasterd: Roko's Basilisk
  • + 1
 @AntN: can AI have morals and ethic's....and if so would they still torment us??
  • + 0
 Ive always kinda had a feeling YT was all about the money and their name, not about the riders, the passion of bikes or the community. The fact that YT played this the way they did just reiterates my feelings about the company and what they are to the world of mountain bikes.
  • + 0
 Which is why gwin was a good fit. He is all about getting the biggest paycheck come what may
  • + 2
 YT retains Gwin, Bike prices increase= PB'ers complain
YT ends contract with Gwin, bike prices stay the same= PB'ers complain
  • + 0
 Wish AG would've included what he was asking for from YT ... I mean the contract was up and there were negotiations. Just like any sport where there are contracts and negotiations, maybe the literal face of YT was looking for more than the suits were willing to provide. "Just business" is just what that means. Loyalty is one thing but if the line in the sand was clear and Gwinny was pushing it then I totally see the way they handled it. Get 'dat money! And super awesome to let the guys run what kits they want, my OCD says uniformity is key for a team but my ADD says YEAAAAAAAAAA!
  • + 0
 Seems like just yesterday that all the haters were saying Gwin was jumping ship for more money...now they hate YT for dumping him. Then we have people posting religious beliefs/ disbeliefs and so much stupid shit like that. Please just go ride and clear your mind!
  • + 2
 Good on you Aaron,now that you are with Intense a great bike innovation company sock it to em, I think YT and others will be left trailing in your dust !!
  • + 3
 this has been a very deep , soul searching ,insightful ,revealing ,comment section
  • + 0
 Looks like you guys were all drinking the Hateorade this morning. Haven't any of you figured out the bicycle industry Fux everybody they can every chance they get. It's all about money and business. No one stacking the cash cares about your feelings.
  • + 2
 Reading the first question it was obvious the answer was going to be "Everything’s been great man", to the letter Smile
Peak Gwin.
  • + 4
 Nothing about the move away from Onza?
  • + 2
 Someone cue the dude who will come in here talking about how he can buy three Tueses for the price of one M29. You know he’s out there.
  • + 4
 Looks to me like he's already here.
  • + 3
 @TheR you can also buy six Tueseses being sold in protest on PB classifieds for the price of one M29

(PS I accidentally downvoted you, all thumbs over here sorry mate)
  • + 3
 I'm just looking forwards to seeing Gwin back racing and injury free. 2019 is set to be a great year for DH!
  • + 2
 I rate his decision on the gear choice for the team and the run what you brung attitude. Fair play indeed and the reasons behind it are solid
  • + 1
 I suspect that has more to do with money rather than his view on the kit.
  • + 1
 His kit sponsors are giving him a lot more $ than his teammates.
That's his $ not team money.
  • + 2
 Gwin is going to kill it on Intense. Bringing it back home, creating such a sick vibe for the team, it's going to be an insane season.
  • + 5
 Skies the limit Gwinner!
  • + 3
 Should be some great racing this year. I think it's the most excited I'v been for an upcoming World Cup season.
  • + 1
 Do people actually sell bikes because of this news? I buy bikes because I enjoy riding them...not because of who’s on the payroll. Or have I not reached level 100 of fanboy fantasy?
  • + 3
 People do based on business practices. If you dont like how a company starts to operate and you have the means I can see replacing that bike. You are advertising for the company.
  • + 2
 Stoked on this, all the best to team Intense for ‘19, got seasons worth of beers chilling already!
  • + 2
 what a nasty move from YT, after making loads of cash thanks to gwin and zink....
  • + 1
 Gwin isn't punching a clock! He is living out his dream. Don't we wish we could all say this? Keep turning those pedals people!
  • + 1
 Great interview PB! Gwin always comes across well, takes his job seriously and represents DH to a very high standard. Good luck to him and Intense for the coming year.
  • + 2
 Really stoked about this, best of luck for 2019 Intense Factory Racing and Jeff!
  • - 1
 Always thought YT owner was a bit shady. What they did to Gwin is a perfect example of this. Cool that Aaron understood it was evil big business YT was playing. Good luck getting young talante standing on podiums this season. Now is time for Intense to kick ass this year, and YT can go sit and spin!
  • + 3
 What evil about a contract reaching its end and choosing to not renew it?
  • + 1
 It wasn’t the fact his contract was was up. What was evil is YT said they where going forward with his contract and then decide to not resign last minute. YT knew all along they where threw with Aaron. Don’t beat around the bush if your no longer up for contact renewal then say so. Be professional @chrismac70:
  • + 2
 YT spent all of their money on Christopher Walken and could no longer afford Aaron.
  • + 1
 Up this if you scrolled past all the religious mongering...get a pulpit gents then a radio/tv show, an addiction, and a fall from grace.
  • + 0
 Gwin is a serious homie for this:

There's also the image thing and I think it's fitting to allow each rider to wear what they want to wear and create their own image that they're stoked on.
  • + 3
 YT will be the next Karpiel... My 2 cents
  • + 1
 HAHA Jan was the epitome of shiesty.
  • + 2
 Kinda sounds like Martin was a bit of a dick here.... Hope Gwin & Intense have an amazing season - bet they will.
  • + 2
 I know everyone has a right to a living but I would never trust Martin Whitely if I were Aaron.
  • - 1
 All the people who are salty at YT need to unbunch their pantys. Yes Gwin had some rapid changes. Yes money matters. Yes YT switched up a bit. Yt sells bikes to make money, that’s all that matters. Capitalism > your feelings about a brand
  • + 1
 There must be two sides to this story. Can you interview YT please? I love my 2018 Capra. And I think the YT is great. I hate it when you hear stuff like this.
  • + 2
 All the bollocks aside, I just can't wait to see Gwin shedding that beauty of a bike.
  • + 3
 Can some one let a grom know what "team owner" means?
Thanks
  • + 1
 I wanted to ask the same!! please let us know thanks
  • + 2
 They basically create a small LLC or sole proprietorship business to hold the liability for the team. They front the money for the overhead, e.g., salaries, insurance, travel expenses, team truck, and then are compensated through the team's sponsors over the course of the contract. A factory team is where the actually title bike company owns everything and holds the liabilities for the team.
  • + 1
 Can a Rider Owned Team be called Factory Team ? I supposed all the factory teams out there are owned and administrated by the company it´s self..
  • + 4
 Gwin is a class act
  • + 2
 Welp...there goes the notion from the recent YT promo video that "friendship" is something they value ????
  • + 3
 I like Gwins take on letting the riders wear their kit of choice.
  • + 1
 I wonder if KTM bike will be rebranded Intenses. They'll sell alot of those amongst the moto crowd. SXF and rebranded KTM Intense Tracer deals, would be a winning combo.
  • - 1
 YT made great bikes before Gwin, they make great bikes now. Hell, I think I saw more people on YT before Gwin era than I do now here in Canada and PNW. I think Zink and the freeride crew do more for YT than Gwin. More people watch one rampage than 3 seasons of world cups.
  • + 2
 Another reason not to buy a YT
  • + 1
 Wasn't there a problem with the between the Syndicate and UCI when they wanted to have a separate kit for each rider ?
  • + 1
 But they do now as well - Fox for Vergier, TLD for Luca and O'Neal for the GOAT.
  • + 3
 His mechanic?
  • + 4
 @juanhall went with him to Intense.
  • + 6
 His Mechanic is moved with him on Intense now, both are a good team together! Smile . anyway I'm not surprised about YT, I always seen that company as a ghost, they closed the ware house in squamish and they disappeared. They run them business and than, poof...as ninja!
  • + 2
 Good luck to Intense! Good guys working over there
  • + 2
 Gwin and kovarik 2 wheel drift video please.
  • + 2
 My son just wanted the flag to pop up.
  • + 1
 No YT bike for me. At one point I considered getting One. Not now. Not a cool way to treat people.
  • + 2
 Mountain biking is business!
  • - 1
 After reading this, I guess it's time to sell the jeffsy and I'm going back to Ibis and get the ripmo. Good luck to Gwin and the new team hope you get back the no 1 plate this season.
  • + 1
 Took YT only three years from cool/different to normal moneysucker company. E-Bike comes out this summer for sure. Sad.
  • + 3
 VPP rules!
  • + 0
 So funny to read comments about "i'm not going to buy YT bike", " i'll sell my YT now",...
Like in Buy/Sell world someone cares.. ))
  • + 1
 Opportunity missed with "Gwin-influenced bikes" -- "Gwinfluenced" would have nailed it
  • + 1
 Coincidence that there’s a YT ad right above this article on the home page? I think not.
  • + 1
 Gonna be awesome watching the World Cup this year. Can see a Intense, Syndicate, Mondraker battle !
  • + 3
 @poppagee Oh yes! And the lonesome knight Bruni crashn the place! And hopefully Brosnan is finally getting his shit together!!!
  • + 2
 Wait what?!?! No Commencal?! i put my money on Amoury

Intense = okay, I agree "thumbs up" for Gwin
Syndicate = hhm, only if Luca and Loris keep their nerves calm. but never underestimate the G.o.a.t.
  • + 4
 Im going to say Intense/Syndicate more than anything else. But Amoury will be right there on Commencal. The only thing I can see happening that MAY ruin that is if Intense as a team comes out swinging for the fences and snatches the wind right from Amoury's sails. But regardless, this season should be amazing if everyone stays healthy!
  • + 1
 @RodneyPierce: Put my money on McDonald and Greenland this year!

Can´t wait for the DH Game!
  • + 1
 @RodneyPierce: i think Amaury might just go a bit too much this year, to back up what he did last year. i have visions of some crashes potentially but yeah hes definitely one to bring it on !
  • + 0
 Unbunch your panties pb users mad at YT
Capitalism > your feelings about a brand
  • + 1
 Good Stuff Good luck Carry on......
  • + 1
 YT seems to apply the same philosophy to their athletes as their warranty.
  • - 1
 How come so many people claims YT and bless A. Gwinn, and so less of followers for him here - www.pinkbike.com/u/AaronGwin1 @AaronGwin1
??

)
  • + 0
 Yesterday it was only 30, tomorrow already 51. Ah, that's hilarious, just like with monkeys.
  • + 1
 Last year's fantasy team just became reality
  • + 1
 I wonder if he used Chad Reed as a team owner consultant
  • + 2
 Good article.
  • + 2
 Excellent interview.
  • + 1
 Just don't stop making the M16 please Intense!
  • + 1
 Great interview. One of the best I’ve read
  • + 1
 Reading this got me stoked for the season to start!
  • + 1
 Can they get Shawn Palmer on the team???
  • + 1
 Lol so much YT dickriding in the comments
  • + 0
 What's Martin Whitely doing this season?
  • + 2
 Sounds like he is running the YT Mob with some new riders.
  • + 1
 Not cool YT Frown
  • - 3
 The answer to this is not to ride YT , palming off riders for their own personal gain isn't cool. Plus the fact returning the bikes to their awful warranty isn't good either! Poor show YT
  • - 1
 That's business, nothing to whine about. Atleast not for AG. Remember him popping out of his Trek Contract last minute?
  • + 1
 You Twats
  • + 1
 We need footage!
  • + 1
 YT is not OT
  • + 1
 #YesterdaysTrash
  • - 1
 Sounds like Gwin got Dick Cheneyd
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