Video: Darren Berrecloth and Specialized Part Ways

Oct 9, 2015 at 11:06
by I Am Specialized  

Slopestyle Photo Epic- Crankworx Les 2 Alpes



bigquotesIt's been an amazing 13 years at Specialized.

It's been such an honour to have worked with some of the raddest people in the bike business that are as passionate about biking as I am.

Gonna miss everyone there!
- Darren Berrecloth


Specialized would like to thank Darren Berrecloth for everything he did for freeride mountain biking and for the Specialized brand. It's been an honor to take this journey alongside him, and Specialized wishes him the very best in his next chapter.


MENTIONS: @Specialized / @claw

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291 Comments

  • + 519
 Norbs and The Claw better be starting up some bad-shit crazy bike company and fuckin blow everyone's mind
  • - 68
flag dirtworks911 (Oct 9, 2015 at 12:19) (Below Threshold)
 The Claw probably demo'd a Nomad and V10... Bring on the hate Special Ed fans, bring it!
  • + 16
 Canyon coming with stile?
  • + 62
 They call him Norby..
  • + 120
 I wouldn't be surprised at all if they went to YT. YT is arguably the next big gun in the bike industry.
  • + 48
 Canyon for sure. They don't have any North American riders. With them bringing their bikes in soon, it would make sense for PR and marketing. Specialized cutting Darren loose could also mean they are making budget space for a new rider. Graves?????
  • + 78
 YT as the next big gun in the bike industry. LOL. Spoken like a true Pink Biker. They make what, 3 models? Maybe a few thousand completes a year? Far from a big gun, just really good at marketing on the three sites most people here visit.

What ever happened to ride monkey anyway?
  • + 12
 Mongoose... just because. I loved that highlight reel. So many amazing shots from NWD and his time competing at Crankworxs. I still cannot believe he 360ed the road gap... twice
  • + 6
 better yet ask sinyard about darren on a live webcast tomorrow on bikemag
  • + 9
 Ratitude, YT is clearly on the rise. Good company philosophy. Signing guys like Zink, McGarry, and Andreu you know total bad asses will do something for their brand and growth. If they sign the Claw aND Norbs it will only do wonders to increase the brand. They are selling put bikes. You know why. Great bikes, fair pricing and direct to the damn consumer.
  • + 46
 Does anyone really make bike buying decisions based on which riders the company sponsors? That sounds absurd to me that people make decisions worth many thousands of dollars based on who rides what. I mean personally I do think its very important for bike companies to get their bikes under some top level riders just to prove the capabilities of their bikes, but I could care less which specific riders it is. If I'm buying a DH bike I would like see the rig I'm buying be proven under the toughest conditions on the WC circuit. But why do I care if its a superstar like Sam Hill, Gee, or Gwin, or some second tier rider like Matt Simmonds or George Braningan. Everyone knows those guys win because they are awesome, not because of the specific bike they ride.

Take YT for instance. Are people really buying the bikes because they sponsor Zink, McGarry, and Andreu? And do you think they'd really sell more it they sign Claw or Norbs? Or are they buying the bikes because they are now known to be solid bikes are a good price? I say its the latter because before YT, Zink has ridden both Corsair and Hyper bikes and I didn't see those bikes flying off the shelves even though Zink was killing it on them. Same with McGarry. Wasn't he on a Diamondback until last year? Didn't see many of those around either.
  • + 10
 Biocoug1, Good point. But brands that stick around and become larger sell to more than just the knowledgeable customer who can work on their own bike. Specialized sells cruisers and kids bikes too and that serves as more in sales than YT could dream of. They'll stick around as long as YOU think their bikes are cooler than Canyon or they can be less expensive than Canyon. But again, not everyone will want a Canyon or a YT. There is a place for smaller brands, I'm just trying to convey that Specialized will sell more cruisers next year than YT will bikes.
  • + 5
 Lol, Youth Tech... Have any of these flash in the pan Euro companies become a "big gun". With that logic Corsair sould of been hudge, remeber they had Zink you sould buy one.
  • + 1
 I have to agree with @raditude a bit, I wouldn't consider them big guns since they mainly have 3 or 4 models, but there is no denying it is a sick brand with probably the raddest riders in the freeriding and big mountain stage right now, and with the addition of Norbs and Claw they would literally have the gnarliest team with only Trek as their main competition
  • + 7
 To answer your question no. I would never ride a bike based off who is sponsored by them.

I want a YT because I like that you can get virtually the same bike the pro riders have for a fraction of what other bike brands sell them for. Im not spending 7 to 10 grand on some overpriced *cough* santa cruz. Plus both the Capra and the Tues are just absolutely sick looking machines.
  • + 9
 you mean marketing, highest level exposure and potential sales?
  • + 18
 I'd be more sold on a bike if I saw a video of some weekend warrior casing jumps and just generally beating the bejeebus out of it and it surviving. I'm glad that YT can sponsor those guys because it brings money and longevity to the sport. But some NOOB (like me) beating a bike and it coming out relatively unscathed...? shut up and take my money.
  • + 2
 YT might become the new big player in a few years, but I honestly doubt they make enough money by now to pay for Zink, Claw and the rest of their team. That is, unless YT's marketing strategy is to spend every coin on marketing and team development. I would seriously consider Canyon wanting to enter the North American market with bang.
  • + 3
 hokiedoc2010 ... that would be Bender and Karpiel Smile .... I agree with you on this one.
  • + 1
 Yeah I guess anything that can handle the "jaw drop" that Bender hit and only barely survived would be more than enough machine for me to ride off curbs with.

for you youngins:

iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/eOjOQh6tiqs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>/iframe>
  • + 0
 Ratitude, Agreed, very good points but you certainly couldn't fault the smaller brands for trying to rise up, sign some major talent. Major Icon talent at that in order to push bike sales. Everything you said is spot on so I agree.
  • - 9
flag McArley98 (Oct 9, 2015 at 16:46) (Below Threshold)
 Ratitude: 'A few models'? YT make 4 downhill bikes, 4 enduro bikes and 2 dirt jump bikes.
  • + 7
 I absolutely think that a sponsored rider helps sell a bike. Air Jordan=Nike sales. seeing your favorite rider ripping down a trail absolutely influences decisions. Love Clementz for instance and I was intrigued about Cannondale. It helped sway my decision. If the bike would have sucked then of course no way would I have made the purchase. If they dumped Berrecloth shame on them, he should have had a lifetime deal regardless of his decline in skills and age.
  • + 1
 People absolutely buy bikes on the basis of who rides for them. Win races or put out awesome edits and your going to sell bikes of the back of that. Find me a better review than a World Cup win or remi metaliers whistler edit.
  • + 9
 Look at what Sam Hill did for Iron Horse back in the day. Everyone had a Sunday.
  • + 12
 Realistically YT makes 3 models. A DH bike, an enduro bike, and a dirt jumper. Different build kits really don't constitute additional models. Neither does carbon/aluminum if it's essentially the same bike just made of different materials.
  • + 6
 So, Richie Rude is riding for Shit Bike Next Year; Anyone Buying?
  • + 3
 Company motto-Watch out! We roost the brownest of pow!
  • + 5
 @likeittacky I've got exclusive pics to his new rig. And we thought Shitbike was dead!

velocult.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/otis_product_usa01.jpg
  • + 3
 If the brand listen to their (test) riders it's good to have riders like cam in the team. But gues what, all those freeriders do not like 650b and what is YT selling? 650b!
  • + 9
 Errrm, Pro riders do have influence on what kinds of bikes people buy and ride, that's like N-Daaaa?! People who get into the sport always go: "I wonder what bike he rides". I remember myself doing it. What do you think kids moan about to their parents when they want to get a bike? They think: I want to be like Zink and connotation will always be there. A direct form of such brand loyalty may not exist in adults but once you come to a point when you try to justify the "rationale" of your choice of one bike over another "Bearclaw" synapse may light up in yourbrain to make you feel better about your choice. It is not a decissive factor, but it still sits in the back of your head. Most of all those guys fulfill the main role of marketing: show up where things are happening. This one time you will see a bike check or interview and you'll go: "I actually like that bike". Please don't hurt yourself with saying that you are above such things and always use performance, functionality and price rationale. We are all just humans
  • + 3
 I just add a word to last sentence of WAKIdesigns: We are all just "manipulated" human.
  • + 2
 of course I care what rider ride said bike, there was a time where everyone was bashing kona bikes, well if is good enough for aggy is good enough for me. Also if richie rude starts winning on shitbike, maybe they are not so shitty. (It can be the other way too, like with gwin during his first year on spec)
  • + 3
 Recreational sports rely on the pro athletes to help sell product. And they do. Not everyone buys based on what their favorite pro is riding/using...but a lot of people do. No name riders that cannot ride at a 'pro shredding' level are not going to entice the buyer too much.

Actually stoked to see Darren leave the Big S. Been a fan of his since he came into the scene before any sponsorship. I'm not a fan of Specialized and have always felt Darren could be represented better by another company.
  • - 8
flag geerumm (Oct 10, 2015 at 9:53) (Below Threshold)
 Specialized has no room on their roster for good people. A sh*t company deserves sh*t riders. Mathews, gone. Norbs, gone. Bearclaw, gone. You can keep Gwin and all that Jesus fanaticism.
  • + 2
 What if Norbs quit for mo money? Can't pay everyone what they want. Don't agree with the Bearclaw drop though.
  • + 3
 @josebravo haha that's a good point gwin sold more sessions riding a demo than he ever did when signed to trek.
  • + 1
 Yes, and so many more hearts he has broken this year
  • + 5
 So Canyon it is for the one's that don't Instagram.
  • + 2
 @paparotus and it looks like a nice build !
  • + 5
 Right! instagram.com/p/8uun-Gvtoo
Is that a new torque?!
  • + 2
 Yeah, he seems to be on Canyon Torque now... Crazy.
  • + 1
 I love your comment! Haha, I got a good laugh, and not a spiteful one either. Just one dude, daring to play devils advocate, and getting shit all over... You my friend are the man. Both company's are awesome. Both would do equally well having the claw rep their product.
  • + 3
 Good for Darren, good for Canyon, sweet match up! Wishing him luck at Rampage, just want him to stick a run.
  • + 1
 Canyon. Sweet.
  • + 132
 This is like Henry Ford leaving Ford
  • + 31
 This is like Hitler leaving his own birthday party... wait...
  • + 12
 Wrong. so wrong.
  • + 3
 It's like Chuck Norris not making it.
  • + 7
 Like pikachu leaving Nintendo
  • + 1
 Twice
  • + 127
 Please not Trek, please not Trek...
  • + 11
 Looks like a session
  • + 77
 YT with Zink and Andreu Wink
  • + 4
 @johnyyy that would be the sickest team in MTB
  • + 4
 Canyon
  • + 8
 Supercycle.
  • + 13
 Schwinn
  • + 6
 ^bicycle shaped objects, not bicycles
  • + 1
 YT would officially be the raddest bike company out if they got him. It would truly show the big guns what's up.
  • + 14
 Could it be that big guns don't care about Freeride?
  • - 5
flag RedBurn (Oct 10, 2015 at 2:37) (Below Threshold)
 he may retire from dh freeride and go enduro.. not really happy about that
  • + 1
 you forgot the giant kiwi mcgazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzaaaaaaaaa he's on YT tue
  • + 82
 First norbs leave the coastal crew and now this??? whats next, minnaar to commencal?!?! I cant take it any more!
  • - 16
flag makripper (Oct 9, 2015 at 12:26) (Below Threshold)
 Minnaar doesn't list sponsors besides Oakley anymore
  • + 5
 Umm have you checked his website? Listed six personal sponsors, as well as 12 that sponsor the syndicate.
  • - 17
flag makripper (Oct 9, 2015 at 15:08) (Below Threshold)
 used to on his instagram. doesn't anymore. should have been more specific/don't care
  • + 4
 Matt Hunter to Diamondback.
  • - 11
flag RedBurn (Oct 10, 2015 at 2:38) (Below Threshold)
 my gess is Brandon semenuk ---> specialized for 2016+
  • + 3
 are you crazy C3 has been killing it for Trek, its pushing the riders so much as well.
  • + 55
 This may just be me, but I'm not really surprised. Haven't seen much going on with spec and Darren lately, and a lot of his interviews seemed to point to some strayed tensions between the two. Especially a few years ago when they wouldn't let him ride a carbon demo at rampage, to which he blatantly said they probably think he'll break it.
  • + 1
 ..who has more info on this? Amazing. I started riding mountain bikes because of the review he gave on a 2011 Specailizied SX-4x slopestyle bike. I still watch that video..haha
  • + 1
 www.pinkbike.com/news/Darren-Berrecloth-at-Rampage-Ask-Me-Anything-2013.html

It's in the comments.
I guess it wasn't blatantly said, but insinuated. Still though, Specialized clearly didn't want him or Martin to ride one that year.
  • + 28
 Race bike not a freeride bike!
  • + 1
 @claw what bike will you ride at rampage?
  • + 1
 And they let Rogi ripping the new demo.
  • + 5
 I bet he goes to Knolly!!!!
  • + 4
 He went to Canyon!!
  • + 44
 Specialized fucked up.
  • + 34
 Not sure who left who but from the outside this was one of the best rider/sponsor combinations. Super classy guy who definitely displayed what Specialized bikes were capable of. I was assuming this was going to be one of those never-ending deals like Ned Overend/Specialized or Hans Rey/GT. Best of luck to Darren.
  • + 5
 Agree! I thought they will work together forever too because they just fit so good together.
And why bevor Rampage, why like Norbs. What's nest, Gwin does sign up for a new contract? Looking forward to some answers.
  • - 11
flag Narro2 (Oct 9, 2015 at 12:35) (Below Threshold)
 how old is Darren anyway?, I kinda like the idea of the big S kicking someone out so they could sponsor a descent EWS contender. But Keene should've been the one kicked out instead. We might never know.
  • - 5
flag gnarbar (Oct 9, 2015 at 12:49) (Below Threshold)
 have any of you geniuses ever thought it was still early proto phase and hadn't been fully tested, uh yeah let's just risk killing a star athlete by letting him ride a proto in high risk FR events. think about it. TOO MUCH DRAMA! armchair Cheeto eating experts
  • + 14
 Especially one with an axle path that will BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN. Wink
  • + 8
 @Narro2 Are you kidding? drop an OG like the claw to add some guy for that flash in the pan EWS? that might be enough to keep me from riding the big red S ever again! that might be the douchiest thing i've ever read.
  • - 6
flag Narro2 (Oct 9, 2015 at 14:05) (Below Threshold)
 @krash, calm down, it is just a comment, what's OG anyway?
  • + 4
 I've noticed that too, but they are kind of doing that with all of their freeride team with the exception of Rogatkin, they really need to get on top of it! With trek showing video after video of their riders, specialized looks small in comparison
  • - 2
 Old Guy Original Goon who knows...
  • + 3
 Damn right @JoshJeffrey !
  • + 1
 Original Gangsta!
  • + 2
 @JoshJeffrey Yes! Thank you!

@gnarbar Original Goon is the exact opposite of an Original Gangsta!
  • + 8
 Darren's a legend he's been blowing people away for years. Which enduro rider can come anywhere close to matching that? I couldn't even tell you who won the EWS that's how little I care about it.
  • - 1
 ^ exactly!
  • + 13
 I thought so too!
  • + 7
 @thenotoriousmic I am sorry to ruin it for you but there are more people who know who won EWS than those who know who won Crankworx. Then Darren @claw is one of people who made Enduro happen earlier. His iconic segment in Roam opened everyones eyes on how that 6-7" bikes can take lots of beating.
  • - 3
 What are you talking about have you even seen roam? The guys hitting massive drops and riding super high skinnies... Enduro guys are riding 15 min red routes.

I can't name any of the top enduro racers and I suspect not a lot of other people can as well or the bike company's would use them to promote there bikes instead of using pro freeriders and downhillers.
  • - 3
 Downvoted for nailing it. Classic pinkbike.
  • - 6
flag thuff4130 (Oct 10, 2015 at 9:50) (Below Threshold)
 Ews is and will always be bigger and have more of a following than freeride. Freeride just sounds old and out dated now. When I hear somebody say freeride I think of the early 2000's.
  • + 1
 Followed by who? You and your imaginary friends? Look at Brendon semiuks unreal section. It literally broke the Internet. You had people who don't even ride losing there shit over it... Sharing it on Facebook etc last years rampage is still be talked about. Enduro isn't even in the same league.
  • + 0
 ''Literally broke the intenet'' wow!! Pathetic.
  • + 7
 I would never expect any XC marathon race to break the internet, but there's still 90
29ers with slick tyres sold per 1 freeride bike every day. There's like 90 thousands of people per 1 that watched Semenuks segment not picking up mountain biking, saying wow and moving along with their lives as they are. If you are Semenuk, you can be proud of the views numbers on youtube or vimeo but if you are not, there is no frickin way that you can get entitled for taking credit for being a "freedider". If you feel better about yourself for being a member of Brandons team, you are just fooling yourself. Realizing your own insignificance can be extremely liberating...
  • - 1
 what he's doing is promoting trek like a mother f*cker and putting that brand out there for the world to see so when people go and buy there first mountain bike or a bike for there kids etc trek is the brand that's checked first even if it's just a £500 hardtail for riding to work on. Now 150mm enduro bikes is where the money's at these days. I'm not doubting that bike company's are selling way more bikes like this than freeride / dh bikes but it's the World Cup racers and the freeriders that sell these bikes and that's why bearclaw' sway more valuable than any Enduro World Cup racer. Look at how Santa Cruz promote there bikes perfect example.

m.youtube.com/watch?v=xOUEIJf698I
  • + 9
 sorry to break it to you @thenotoriousmic but if any company thinks that slope/dh will bring them more sales than a top enduro rider then they are definitely mistaken. Your posts make sense, I get it, because you are imbersed in slope you think its the be all and end all, but It isnt, sorry! Trust me when I say there are many people that follow enduro and have no idea whats goin on in slope. Every major brand makes their money selling everyday bikes, also known as Enduro bikes. sure semenuk edits get good exposure, but if you think that translates more directly to sales than enduro does then you are delusional. Expecting the neg props, but you know im right.
  • + 2
 F1 does (somehow) influence people regarding car sells, or inspire people. Why can be the same fact not true for Freeride?
When I watch the DH WC I often look who rides which brand and bike, even knowing that I will never ever ride as fast as these guys.
  • + 0
 @coloradoguy how about Santa Cruz they obviously think dh will bring them more sales and looking at how many people own a bronson its hard to argue with that is it?
  • + 1
 @Thenotoriousmic, amigo let it rest. You are definitely not getting the psicological approval you are looking for in here.
Freestyle is cool but not as much as you subconsciously want it to be.
  • + 1
 I think, in the short term, downhill sells bikes better than freeride which is a long term strategy, since it is adressed to kids who have not yet posessed purchasing power
  • + 2
 Who is Brendon Semiuk?
  • + 33
 Well... there's one more reason to dislike Specialized.
  • + 29
 Did we need more?
  • + 26
 Major mistake specialized, you dont cut the godfather of free ride and one of the nicest most humble dudes in the Mtb word. Long Live the CLAW. Never go full retard specialized.
  • + 43
 The godfather of free ride? Perhaps you need to look up the little known name of Wade Simmons. Not to take anything away from DB but there's many who could be credited for pioneering freeride before he came along.
  • + 14
 they did, they went full full retard
  • + 19
 Simmons = godfather?

Claw = stepfather?
  • + 2
 maybe Norbs and Claw to Rocky? they could start their own mafia...
  • + 2
 Matt Hoffman
  • + 3
 Marlon Brando.
  • + 4
 Rocky Mountain have great relations with all their athletes as well!
  • + 24
 Specialized does not keep many people around as ambassadors.....other than Ned Overend it seems? I was expecting The Claw might be one of them. Moreso than Keene at least.

Pay big bucks for them in their prime, market the $hiz out of them and then move on once their value has subsided a bit.

I would have to imagine they are going to land a big enduro name for next year to actually be in the EWS mix.
  • + 40
 What would you call matt hunter?
  • + 2
 yeah i hope he's got something good lined up and this was at least close to a mutual parting of ways. the cynical side of me worries it may be as you say, S rode him while he was popular and have cut ties now that injury, age, etc. are keeping him from the top of the slopestyle/freeride game. especially in this industry, which is so hard on the bodies of its athletes, that would be a pretty despicable thing do to
  • + 13
 So you'd expect them to pay every retired athlete forever? I understand it can be pretty harsh to get the boot after having risked life and limb for your sponsor but then again everyone knows the deal and it remains the athlete's responsibility to work on a plan B for when sponsor deals dry up.
  • + 10
 Speculation. Perhaps it's not Specialized. Perhaps Berrecloth and Norbs signed more lucrative deals when their contracts were up.
  • + 8
 Or because they just signed Kittel to sell the shiv and Sagan needs a raise.
  • + 2
 It depends his good they are as Brand Ambassadors. Matt Hunter.
  • + 9
 I heard Rude and Graves will not be teammates next year... So i would say one of them will go to Big S$
  • + 2
 @AdamOdh smartest comment yet, i heard the same.
  • + 5
 Graves has signed for Specialized. Even my Mum knows.
  • + 2
 That's what I keep hearing also that the Gravey Train moved to the Big S. Wonder if he's going to stay with Shimano and Fox too. Can't blame him as he got married and now have a kid.
  • + 1
 Rude
  • + 2
 Claws vague comment above tells me that spec. Dropped him, but again speculating..
  • + 2
 Of course they dropped him. They've got money coming out of their ass. Why would they want a washed up "freerider" when they could get 3 kids willing to risk their lives for the same $.
  • + 3
 wonder what they'll do with Jesu- i mean Aaron Gwin.
  • + 22
 Claw is hands down one of the most down to earth athletes going. He was open to have any fan come up and chat with him or sign an autograph with no complaints. Growing up getting stoked on his NWD parts is one of the best memories of biking for me, and I could never forget watching him try crazy stunts in the woods and then wanting to go out and build something. I wish the best for this legend, and hope he can continue to inspire us as the sport moves forward.
  • + 14
 What a gnarly dude, year after year throwing down massive moves. And he still throws down hard, his Builder seggie was insane. I hope the change is for the best.
  • + 3
 SHREDUCATION!
  • + 10
 This is one of those announcements that you couldnt imagine happening.....but eventually does. It seems like yesterday that the Claw was the leader of the new school of riders. Time flies man, time flies. His influence is everywhere with regards to what riders are doing today.

Time for the Claw to head up to Mt Washington and make that place actually work......pretty please????
  • + 2
 Yyyeeesss!!!!
  • + 2
 That is the greatest comment here bar none. It would be incredible if that hill was reopened for the island, and who wouldn't make the trip to ride the hill shaped by the claw. With his guiding company and I think I read he is opening a pub, I doubt there is time to make Mt Washington cool again. But that's a good dream to dream.
  • + 13
 you have to be fucking kidding me, like the heart attack from seeing norbs leave cc wasnt enough.
  • + 12
 It's because they dont want to ride the new demo!
  • + 9
 @protour
  • + 10
 In this case I can full comprehend their decision. Might also be, that the new Demo is so expensive, Specialized can't afford to give one to every team rider
  • + 11
 As this announcement comes just before rampage. What will he be riding?
  • + 18
 Darren will run down the mountain on his own two feet, throw a few 3's here and there, a couple backflips, and WIN RAMPAGE
  • + 12
 Knolly
  • + 5
 I suppose he could join his brother, but how would they pay him? Stickers?
  • + 2
 it would be great if he joins Knolly bikes but I have to agree with herzalot, it must be one hell of a contract. Hope he gets what he's looking for, any company would benefit a great deal for signing bearclaw!!
  • + 12
 Norb's got robbed
  • + 10
 First Norbs and now this... there is nothing good in this life anymore,
  • + 8
 Crossing my fingers for a NorClaw brand. What guys know more about what works well and what doesnt work well in a freeride bike...
  • + 10
 99.9% of comments posted above are f*cking retarded.
  • + 0
 hahahaha word
  • + 1
 @sx-ripper You are correct.
  • + 7
 Pretty smart for this to come out a week before Rampage. A big story of the weekend will be everyone waiting to see who's bike he will be riding.
  • + 5
 Clearing up space in the marketing budget to make a play for Rude - Graves - Maes - someone to bolster the Enduro Worlds team other than Keene and Ropelato. On the other side, perfect time for Intense to step in and make Claw a brand ambassador. I mean, they've already got the all old guy team rockin, and it would be a great way to gain some traction in the free ride world.
  • + 6
 Ropelato said he won't be doing ews next year which makes me think even more they will be picking someone up.
  • + 9
 The video explains why...it ends with footage from 2012.
  • + 10
 YT!
  • + 2
 YT for sure!
  • + 7
 Well I think we now know which sponser pulled out of the Claw Invitational...
  • + 5
 This one hurts man.... I understand the reality of these sponsorships but the Claw is such an ambassador and literally helped shape the world of riding we know today. This does make me feel old.
  • + 4
 Lookback 360, Indian Air step-down, hand plants galore!... I love seeing steezy tricks like those in comps and always dig the Claw's video parts - style for miles. Whatever comes next, I look forward to his perpetual West Coasty good vibes and signature shredding.
  • + 4
 Nice touch of specialized to make a farewell video when an athlete moves on, like they did we sam hill a couple of years ago. So much classier than some other companies, Trek when Niko left springs to mind.
  • + 7
 bbbbbbbrrrrrrrrruuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhh why thats just not right
  • + 4
 Gotta say it's sad to see them part ways, but that was a classy exit video they put together. I remember watching many of those clips over and over again back in the day. Best of luck to the CLAW.
  • + 2
 They're going to pay an enduro rider(s) to promote enduro bikes cause that's what sells. DH bikes aren't selling in big numbers anymore, freeride is even less. It's a reflection of where the industry is at. Would not surprise me in the least to see Matt Hunter get the same treatment in the next year.
  • + 6
 what the fuck is hapening man.I'm gonna sell my specialized now haha
  • + 4
 I had to check if it was April 1rst. going to be weird seeing him ride anything but specialized . but he sure had quite the career with them.
  • + 4
 Darren got robbed at crankworx. When he 3'd that road gap. The judges were sleeping for sure. I've always been a bit upset about that one.
  • + 2
 Going to be weird seeing him riding anything else. Felt so strange seeing Paul Bass on a Scott gambler now, the man had his own signature frame at Kona, but I guess these things always eventually happen.
  • + 1
 YT or Intense? Hm.. YT invite proven crazy guys like Zink, Laco and Dandy Crocodile.)
Intense is waving for invites the old far....sorry, the old stars like - Lopes and Cadillac-Palmer + they have Kovarik family for DH..no.... toomany old stars under the wing of one brand.

I think that Knolly will take care about Claw brothers both)))))
  • + 4
 The man who single handedly changed mountain biking forever. Not enough props goes out to this guy.
  • + 2
 This might be one of my favourite web edits of the year. Darren has been pushing the sport for as long as I can remember - that turndown 360 at crankworx was unreal. Definitely a freeride legend!
  • + 5
 Fuck it. Claw off to better pastures. Hope he takes Rampage this year!!
  • + 1
 I don't care what people say Darren Berrecloths segment in NWD 5 or 6 w.e it was inspired me and got me into biking he He was shredding to this song, this man is a legend and one of the nicest people I've ever met. He's an absolute animal.
  • + 2
 so after watching this, my first thought was - oh how nice of Specialized to send him off with a video. Then I realized its just them trying to suck one more oz of flesh from the claw.
  • + 1
 What a shitty move from spec. Darren is awesome, as a rider and ambassador of the sport. maybe doesn't shine too much on the comps, but surely does on the movie segments, and whole movies for fucks sake, wtte was awesome and I understand they are working on a sequel. I'm sure there are people lining up to give the claw a bike to ride at rampage, maybe ask Zink on how to get new sponsors ahaha
  • + 1
 @xTwoSnakesx that's why I edited it out almost immediately surprised you even saw it.
BG was so ugly and evil looking he made a big impression on me when I bought an early 45. it's too bad he was a junkie. I saw them many times I'm hella old. Way to stand up for the underground...Standardized doesn't belong on the same sentence.
  • + 1
 Im just stoked whenever my favourite two things collide: MTB and Punk, so I was stoked to comment just about anything on yours haha.

Even if you're hella old, you're hella lucky. If you were in SF back then you must have seen some crazy things.
  • + 6
 Suddenly I feel old.
  • + 3
 Specialized: You can't just let The Claw go (no matter your expectations). He's put you on the X map together with Palmer! I guess only money is on the agenda these days...
  • + 0
 you are talking with your heart,not your pocket. the claw have been paid for what he has done for the big s. specialized or any business need to keep up moving forward. lapierre got rid of blenky and emeline ragot to make space for loris vergier and finn iles, I think they took a wise decision. money rules the world,i am also sad for the claw, but feelings don't bring bread and butter on the table, unfortunately.
  • + 1
 ^^^^ this. Sucks but bikes aren't free to make or ride.
  • + 1
 @dxfox you're pointing out the obvious Smile
  • + 1
 With the fair wells specialized is giving him it almost sounds like it was Darrens descion to leave. It is sad to think but maybe he is looking at retirement. Regardless super amazing guy. I wish him well with whatever he is planning to do in the next chapter of his life.
  • + 2
 I love the fact that Specialized makes farewell tributes to the riders who choose a different way. Class act (even if they f*cked up on that one). YT please !
  • + 3
 Awesome send off vid Spesh! Both athlete and company class acts all the way.
  • + 0
 I was arguably the fastest MTB guy (multi-discipline of course) in Parksville BC back in the day, when on day some punk beat me in the local dual slalom on his rigid pink stump jumper, long before his big S sponsorship - twas the Claw.... Long live the Claw not Specialized!
  • + 4
 Claw on Knolly would be rad
  • + 1
 I am confused...

...They parted ways..." usually means that a person was fired. He didn't announce that he decided to leave the company nor retire. Why on earth would they fire a legend of the likes of him?
  • + 5
 eh, they'll survive.
  • + 3
 Maybe they had to save money to finally put a carbon rear end on their $10,000 Enduro?
  • + 3
 I hope Matt Hunter leaves too. A dude that cool working for "the man" doesn't sit right.
  • + 7
 @Dobbs59 only intelligent comment in this ridiculous fan boy circle jerk.
Seriously who gives a shit what any of these people are riding?? They are just bicycles. Relax people. Turn off the computer, life is happening.
  • + 1
 There are brands owned by cool people, and brands owned and operated by aggressive, globocorps who couldn't GAF about the sport they are making money from. How many of specialized's retained lawyers do you think ride mountain bikes?
  • + 4
 Sort of similar to Chas eleaving cannondale...
  • + 4
 Now, the guessing game begins. What frame will he sign for next?! Go...
  • + 3
 I hope him an Norbs will sign for the same brand. There has to be some connection. Really hard to guess which one though. I guess I'm going to lean out on a limb and say Trek or Scott. Potentially even YT.
  • + 1
 Its good to see a company and person part ways like this it gives me hope for humanity and the industry n it needs to happen more often not just in mtn biking but in the rest the industrial world
  • + 1
 One of the nicest guys out there, that opening 360 in NWD4 blew my mind when it was released. Back then people hucked stuff or did tricks, Darren throwing down off a drop was like **BOOM**
  • + 2
 Hmm... It seems both want to go in different directions.. Claw seems to have matured into more of an ambassador role.. Some company will benefit in having him on board..
  • + 4
 Megadeth soundtrack weeeaaa \m/
  • + 2
 Foreclosure of a dream
  • + 1
 Symphony of Destruction
  • + 1
 yeah but the other song might have been more appropriate Big Grin
  • + 2
 This totally blows but on a side note Darren is freerider and that targets a very niche market now a days especially with specialized. Great ambassador regardless.
  • + 2
 That was a classy as fck farewell video, even if you don't like specialized
  • + 1
 or... as mentioned by @jeastman, a last effort at extracting a final ounce of promotion out of The Claw before sending him packing. Two-for-one because the evil S looks benevolent in doing so! Best wishes Darren. Go join your brother!
  • + 4
 Evil
  • + 1
 W.t.f. Other than that, I have nothing. Blown away. I expected that relationship to last through hell/high water. Best of luck to Darren, wherever he may go.
  • + 2
 Definitely was one of my influences growing up, I'm excited to see what his next move is.
  • + 2
 i think riders like Darren need a lifetime contract, they are working a full life for a brand.
  • + 2
 My good friend just put together the claws new bike but is not allowed to say what it is
  • + 1
 canyon its on Instagram, the build for rampage
  • + 1
 What's next? Semenuk and Trek part ways?? Or Peaty and Santa Cruz part ways?? I can not imagine anything more worse than this.
  • + 1
 When I think of Darren Berrecloth I think of Specialized and vise versa. I don't know what to do with myself now. Maybe go watch NWD6.
  • + 3
 With Mt Washington sold hopefully his comp comes back to the Comox Valley!
  • + 1
 Woah, sold?! This is good news....
  • + 1
 New i saw a bike of his that wasn't a specialized. Hmm wonder what brand two next ?! Maybr he should make his own unique bike company claws the raddest.
  • + 1
 canyon its on Instagram, the build for rampage
  • + 1
 Well at least it be nice to see what will happen now. I'm just used to Darren to ride for Specialized but yeah, sometimes changes happens.
  • + 3
 Hey @YTIndustries, now's your chance.
  • + 1
 Makes budget room for Gwin. Gwin submits letter of intent. Gwin on Norco. Specialized has no riders. Sad specialized
  • + 2
 Kick was video though. Best of luck to you!
  • + 1
 Life is about change.......one of the godfathers of freeride, a badass dude. Best of luck sir.
  • + 1
 If I had a bike company, I would be calling Darren right meow... Such an awesome ambassador to the sport.
  • + 2
 Any rumours where he is going to land? Rampage bike?
  • + 1
 Perhaps he's realized the younger competition has an edge... Quit while still to ten... Steve peat style
  • + 1
 W...T.....Fahhhhhhhhhhh.!!??!?!?
Oh boy........gonna be a good ride people!
Now hang on
  • + 1
 Anyone notice the oppo-360-oppo-tailwhip.... Can Brandon Semenuk even do that?? The FOK that was smooth as butter
  • + 1
 Don't care what @claw rides, just hope we still see him in some more video segments!
Shred the gnar Claw
  • + 1
 Did Specialized something crucial that I missed? There must be a reason for all the athletes leaving
  • + 1
 Im way older than the claw but I feel like I grew up watching his shit. Onto bigger im sure. Rampage next to cam?
  • + 1
 Is this the beginning of a new era? Some serious movements are going on, I tell you.
  • + 2
 YT is the first that comes to mind
  • + 2
 Like the ______ without _________
  • + 2
 Yo buddy I feel what you're trying to say, but I have to say two things:

1. Brian Gregory is great, but Kid Congo Powers is also sick.
2. Never compare Specialized to The Cramps or any other amazing underground band.

PS RIP Lux
  • + 2
 Wasn't expecting that............
  • + 3
 knolly he I come
  • + 1
 wow, sh*t just got interesting... Wish you the best Claw. you deserve it. Specialized? this one is gonna hurt.
  • + 0
 Spesh can eat a fat wiener. I used to be a fan boy, until I ran into issues with their "proprietary" BS, and also the fact that they don't make XL frames.
  • + 3
 Gwins next!
  • + 1
 I have a feeling in the grand scheme of things both Specialized and Berrecloth are gonna be just fine...
  • + 1
 Boo specialiZed. And there right myswell let Hunter off the team too!! And really thecoastal crew as well!
  • + 1
 That REALLY sucks. Right after that sick video of him on the Stumpy and new Enduro too.
  • + 1
 This news legitimately makes me sad. I wish all the best to Darren! You will always be one of the best to ever ride a bike!!
  • + 1
 fare well barren bear claw
  • + 1
 Canyon torque- called it!
  • + 1
 Off topic but Specialized hired Jared Graves for endure racing.
  • + 1
 Darren signed with Canyon !!!
  • + 1
 I hear that the claw is taking Norbs spot on the coastal crew.........
  • + 1
 f*ck you specialized! Thats it Smile
  • + 1
 Giant Off Road team here you come!
  • + 1
 My money is on Rocky Mountain.
  • + 1
 They dropped him....probably a money thang
  • + 1
 Well I guess we'll find out what he's riding next week ... Rampage!
  • + 1
 My bet is a Canadian brand.
  • + 1
 Too many deaths while over-rotating every 360...
  • + 1
 Its heartbreak hotel all up in this October.
  • + 1
 One of the biggest Specialized fault. Good luck Darren
  • + 1
 that 360 at crankworx tho...
  • + 1
 like watching my child hood that
  • + 1
 First Norbs and the coastal crew and now this? Hell nah man.
  • + 1
 Just shows how far the sport has come!!!!!
  • + 1
 Pretty good resume, smart guy he'll be ok.
  • + 1
 2.44 in in that video HHHHNNNNNNNN!
  • + 1
 I just wonder which bike claw will ride in the coming RAMPAGE!
  • + 1
 I hope to see him on YT, it would be like the modern day Kona Klump!
  • + 1
 Damn.
  • + 1
 Canyon!
  • + 1
 Such a legend!
  • + 1
 CANYON
  • + 1
 CLAW WE LOVE U !
  • + 1
 class act bearclaw
  • + 0
 He's starting his own bike company. www.clawbikes.com
  • + 1
 Wha....?
  • + 1
 Long live Berrecloth!!!
  • + 1
 Polygon for sure !
  • + 0
 What bike will darren ride for rampage.........? DEMO..or somethin else!
  • + 1
 looks like canyon......dam
  • - 1
 Why?
Just why.
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