Video: Mathieu Van Der Poel Ripping Bike Park Trails on his XC Bike

Jul 5, 2021 at 4:25
by James Smurthwaite  

bigquotesHave you ever wondered how it feels to be Mathieu van der Poel on a mountain bike? Well, this first-person downhill run might give you an idea! Wheelies incoming...Alpecin Fenix



147 Comments

  • 127 1
 I bet that guitar player has on more spandex than Mathieu.
  • 7 0
 He may have the latest clipless wah pedals though, in which case the lycra is warranted.
  • 4 0
 I kept waiting for the lyrics to start - "KEEP THOSE BALLS IN THE AIR!!!"

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ek0UsA9FkHU
  • 77 5
 all that on a bike downrated by PB testers
  • 56 33
 LoL Yup. PB reviewer/tester "The geometry is too sketchy for aggressive/downhill riding".

More like the reviewer/tester lacking the skill/s to descend confidently. They need to push their agenda though - sell bikes.
  • 41 9
 @m1dg3t: do you actually think the Kaz, Sarah or Levy lack skills to descend confidently?
  • 68 31
 @Narro2: I think they lack the ability to set up an XC bike and evaluate it properly.
  • 15 12
 @Narro2: Having never personally ridden with any of them, and basing my opinion solely on some of their review comments; I guess that's exactly what I'm saying. It's either that, or they're pushing an agenda.

Either way...
  • 11 12
 @Themissinglink83: The bigger Lulz is how most people eat up reviews like candy. I've always looked at reviews, for any products, as more of a sales pitch than something useful. The pictures are usually nice Smile
  • 32 2
 @m1dg3t: PB reviewer/tester "The geometry is too sketchy for aggressive/downhill riding".

Matthieu Van Der Poel: " Hold my Gatorade"
  • 64 0
 @m1dg3t: Yes- because the general feel of the bike when compared to other similar bikes and a the way the best in the world at the moment can ride it on one lap are the same thing. Should they have added "If you are the best in the world this bike actually handles surprisingly well on bike park laps- though we found it did so best after winning the leaders jersey of the TDF for shits and giggles before dropping out to train for the Olympics..." It's a bit like calling people's review of a recumbent bike wrong because Voreis managed to jump it.
  • 26 0
 they didn't say you couldn't ride it downhill, just compared to other options its not a good purchase. Pro riders will be good on any bike they are sponsored to ride, just might not be the best bike for people with options.
  • 11 0
 How stable a bike feels depends so much on what you're used to. You can adapt to a lot but it takes time. These same reviewers claim that a bike with an even longer front center (and equally short rear) makes it hard to weight the front in corners or on climbs. But then still, some others (and obviously the designer of the bike) still manage to do it. It is all relative and that's fine as long as you have a benchmark. So if possible, find a review on a bike you have also ridden. Compare your perception to that of the reviewer and take it from there. What also matters is how the reviewer rides the bike. If the reviewer sits down and you stand on the pedals, you typically have more room to play with your weight so you have more control over the stability. And finally, if the reviewer is clipped in and you ride platforms, chances are you also have your weight more in the front (especially if you both are standing). I've heard some more recent clip-pedals allow for a more forwards foot placement but I don't know how much that is.

TL;DR: Don't only read the conclusion (and the comments section). Also compare how the reviewer rides to how you ride. And take a bike you've both ridden as the benchmark.
  • 15 0
 @m1dg3t: There's a good chance when doing the reviews, they (the reviewers) try to put themselves in the shoes of someone who's probably NOT world-class in multiple bike disciplines.
  • 3 9
flag Narro2 (Jul 5, 2021 at 9:35) (Below Threshold)
 @snl1200: dude, check your punctuation and grammar!!! I had to read your text like 3 times.

Anyway, MVDP is a f%cking beast.
  • 6 0
 Not being funny but like, pros can make bikes do stuff most people can’t. Just because a pro can do a 2:32 Champery on bike A doesn’t mean it’s a great bike. That same pro could maybe do a 2:30 on bike B, or even a 2:27 on bike C, if bike C was a Commencal Supreme.
  • 7 0
 @m1dg3t: That's because its f*cking MVDP on this bike. He could shred a unicycle down these trails. That doesn't mean a unicycle descends confidently.
  • 2 7
flag 2wheelzgood (Jul 5, 2021 at 10:17) (Below Threshold)
 @m1dg3t: i have to agree, I haven't trusted bike site reviews in years (although they can be fun), I go by user reviews mostly.
  • 3 0
 I would also bet that there was a rigid seat post in his way as well. The rider makes the bike. Always has. Always will.
  • 15 0
 @tatchle1: yeah Danny Mac, Chris Akrigg, and Martyn Ashton did huge hucks on road bikes. Guess that means we're all suckers for lapping up all that marketing BS about suspension...
  • 18 0
 @2wheelzgood: I'm not being an argumentative dick (honestly), but user reviews are waaaaaay more biased and inconsistent than journalist ones.
  • 1 2
 @tatchle1:

Whatever haven’t to munis anyways?

There used to be a guy who would ride hard North Shore trails on one.
  • 4 0
 @jaame: 2:20 on the Grim Donut
  • 2 0
 @hllclmbr: Kris Holm? Pretty sure he's still around Smile . I don't understand the first sentence in your post though.

Either way, as for descending on a muni, front-rear balance is pretty good actually. It is never like you have too much grip with one wheel and too little with the other. Also, whereas a bicycle tilts forwards when you descend, on a unicycle you can always tilt the frame/fork whichever direction suits you best. I think back when Kris Holm raced the BCBR, he was actually gaining time on the technical sections where the bicycle riders were struggling.
  • 4 0
 @m1dg3t: I will agree with you in spirit, but I don't think those reviews are meant for the bike geniuses like MVDP...but the average rider? Sure people can wing down hills on 26er full rigid like they did 20 years ago, but the average rider wouldn't be confident doing so...relative to say a modern dh bike. Just my two cents
  • 2 0
 @DBone95:

facts. when i see sam pilgrim flaring kids bikes and suicide no handing walmart bikes at whistler, it makes me feel wholly inadequate
  • 3 1
 @m1dg3t: I mean I shouldn't bitch, the xc bike review pinkbike did this spring was pretty good...but when you have nonracers reviewing xc bikes that aren't fitted the way they are supposed to be you get less than ideal results. I read the reviews for a BMC agonist and the reviewer was complaining that the 73 degree sta was too slack and he had the seat pushed all the way forward...I pretty must stopped listening after that.
  • 6 6
 Professional cyclist rides XC bike down blue trail.

Pink bike peanut gallery: See, nobody needs an enduro bike!!!!!!
  • 4 0
 @Themissinglink83: Are you referring to the nonracer reviewer who has ridden XCO world cups, or the nonracer reviewer who has racked up high finishes in the BC Bike Race?
  • 1 0
 @Ginsu2000: you can look through the all the reviews of XC bikes on bikes and compare them to world cup bikes that pinkbike also photographed. If you know you know.
  • 2 0
 I think the point that PB was making with their review is that MVDP may be even faster on a different bike...
  • 2 0
 At the end of the day, there is a world of differences between riders of all levels. What you're used to and how you expect it to behave. Someone used to enduro type bikes would be able to ride that trail on that XC fully as well, but he/she needs time to come to terms with it. Because you need to be able to react intuitively. So you need to know exactly how front-rear balance is, how stable or agile it steers etc. Because you need to be able to pop right into the right position when you need to, you don't have time to "find" it. So if Mathieu would ride that same trail on a "slack" enduro bike he's never ridden before, he might actually be slower initially. Because he needs to learn and be confident with how it corners, jumps etc. And you may even need to tap into a certain mode. I usually ride my local pumptrack on my BMX. Steep angles, 20" wheels etc. It just takes a few minutes every time to get along with it and then I'm fine. Especially on the pumptrack as that's what I use it for. The other day I brought my mountainbike. 26" wheels, 63deg HA, 460mm reach etc. Aside from being a bit harder to accelerate, I mostly had to come to terms with the tight berms (this is no big Velosolutions track). I was just not cornering tight enough. I'm more than used to the bike but as I was on the pumptrack, my mind was in BMX mode. It just took time to get along with it on the mountainbike.

So yeah, you don't necessarily need a more skilled or more experienced reviewer to test XC race bikes. But you might need someone who consistently spends time on similar bikes and tries to go fast. But it is a tough call, isn't it. "Hey, do you want to ride these XC loops or do you want to come ride bikeparks and big natural terrain?" It takes a special somebody to make special decisions.
  • 2 1
 @vinay: exactly. People generally don't move to BC to be xc racers and ride the epic xc singletrackSmile
  • 2 0
 @Themissinglink83: you are not using the sarcasm smiley.

Anyway, lots of XC racers move to Kamloops and Vancouver Island to prepare for World Cup
  • 1 0
 @taprider: These BCBR trails seem like fun and should be more than doable on an XC bike (with appropriate skills and fitness, of course).
  • 1 0
 @vinay: BCBR uses the easier XC trails
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: not really, maybe the initial ones, everyone gushes and wants to validate their expensive decision but I’m talking about the extensive feedback on those long threads you can find, you’ll uncover everything you need in those.
  • 2 0
 @DBone95: Yeah, MVDP is for some reason NOT a fan of dropper posts, but prefers a rigid post.
  • 67 1
 I think it’s fair to say Mathieu Van Der Poel is good at bikes.
  • 1 0
 I concur.
  • 5 0
 Yes, the guy is awesome... First tour in the TdF, wins 2 stages and has the yellow jersey for 6 days, then pulls out to rest/prep for the MTB XC race in the Olympics...
  • 5 2
 I liked how he picked and easily cleaned the more gnar tricky lines. If he ever gets bored of road bikes then a successful career in Downhill/Enduro awaits him.
  • 46 0
 quit the TDF right in them middle of it after putting on a show; winning a stage and holding the yellow jersey for a few more, just to focus on the MTB race in the Olympics. MVDPs a real one
  • 28 0
 I love how this feel like "nuff said with this roady shit, let's go to the park" !
  • 20 0
 Dropping roadie pros as a side gig. Nuts
  • 34 0
 .... i rode this trail yesterday on my enduro bike... and trust me i can tell this is nuts on XC bike !
  • 5 29
flag radrider (Jul 5, 2021 at 7:27) (Below Threshold)
 Looks like a standard trail to me.
  • 8 0
 @radrider: i might be wrong but it looks like black 8 in les arcs, that trail is no joke especially if your racing the funiclar train to the bottom.
  • 2 0
 Ou est ce que c'est ?
  • 9 0
 @radrider: thanks GoPro...?
  • 30 2
 God I love how far we've come from stories of fit-but-incompetent riders modifying XC courses in the night to make them easier and faster.
  • 24 3
 They seem to haunt the recreational riding scene now. Due to their surging popularity our local trails become slightly more sanitized each time I ride them... a stone gone here, a corner cut there...
  • 12 1
 @pourquois-pas: Been noticing this lately as well on my local trails.
  • 15 1
 @pourquois-pas: Ugh, don't even get me started. We recently had a bunch of well-built features removed from our local trails and apparently the action was sparked by a complaint to the operating authority by a mountain biker who personally assessed it as too dangerous. For reference, this was all blue-trail level stuff by Ontario standards, which is borderline Green trail by BC standards. And every feature was completely rollable and/or bypassable.
  • 8 1
 @m1dg3t: Strava warriors at their finest
  • 3 0
 @big-red: I've had the same complaints here by guys who build green trails and complain when someone takes out a root or a rock, then they come to my black/dbl black trails and want to modify the bypasses so they can handle the ride arounds (and have a chance at strava times). It doesn't even strike them as hypocritical.
  • 2 0
 Happening here too. I spend 20 minutes every other ride dragging logs and branches across the straight lines that are starting to appear everywhere. A lot of them are developing on flat bits of trail through deep leaf fall and other detritus, so I'm thinking it's mostly ebikes as it would be a real slog and far more effort than just sticking to the established trail on a normal bike. Trouble is these lines become the main line surprisingly quickly and the fun twisty stuff gets lost. We've also had people reducing the size of some jumps, actually making them more dangerous as you're now much more likely to land flat now, rather than making it to the downslope that the jump was originally built for. The growth of MTB has it's downsides.
  • 1 2
 They all went to "faddy" gravel riding Wink
  • 3 1
 @SonofBovril: please don’t use that vile word ‘gravel’ on here.
  • 29 4
 Hey! I posted this video in the comments last week in response to some dude who said MVDP couldn't ride. Maybe pinkbike should hire me as a content editor.
  • 7 0
 Aahh I upvoted that comment, I'll handle your marketing!
  • 2 0
 @HankHank: The makings of an empire!
  • 25 1
 Where in The Netherlands is this?
  • 17 0
 This is what below sea level looks like.
  • 21 1
 The man is incredible. Power, skill, annoyance that he can't whip well because of the knock block, you name it.
  • 3 22
flag jaame (Jul 5, 2021 at 9:54) (Below Threshold)
 Is he on the juice do you reckon?
  • 6 2
 @jaame: uh, he won a TDF stage......
  • 2 2
 @jaame: Its a contentious topic no one wants to talk about...
  • 3 1
 @SonofBovril: weird how people feel the need to defend celebrities so vehemently. I had an argument with a bloke at work this year about the Rock being on the juice, and Chris Hemsworth. I don’t care if they are, and they are. He just could not accept that there was any chance at all they would do that, even in the face of supporting evidence like the plus 10kg of muscle and minus 10% of fat in three months kind of stuff. Quite an interesting phenomenon actually. Same with Lance. People would scream bloody murder that he was clean!
  • 2 0
 @jaame: gin n juice
  • 3 0
 FWIW I don't care if MVDP is on the PEDs. I think most people in the peloton are to be honest. Of course the ones that are on the PEDs lie and say they aren't, but those liars also make the clean ones seem guilty by association.
I think for some, it's not a case of being clean, so much as a case of getting paid. Just don't get caught. Stay one step ahead of the testers.
And like, why is caffeine legal when it's a performance enhancing substance? Water also enhances performance. Sleep does too, but it's not a substance.

Anyway MvdP my or may not be clean. I simply posed the question. No need to downvote me for that. I wasn't the only one thinking it.
  • 2 0
 @jaame:

Caffeine become illegal at a some point! I don't remember the exact dosage but if you take too much caffeine your are positive to caffeine!
  • 1 0
 @hugosxm: i do, 1200mg in 24 hours i.e. 15 coffees
  • 22 1
 680mm bar no gloves
  • 15 0
 For what exactly have i bought a 15kg Enduro?
  • 3 0
 mine is 16.5kg do I win?
  • 2 0
 Durability, I hope!?!? Or I’ve been packing extra too..
  • 5 0
 For the extra margin of error so you don't have t be MVDP to do that same trail
  • 14 1
 I want to watch him at an enduro race
  • 9 0
 On this bike.
  • 8 0
 Looks dangerous when his handlebar turns sideways mid air. He obviously needs wider bars so he can keep his steering straight.
  • 10 1
 Yes Mathieu, I know I suck at mountain biking. You don't need to keep reminding me...
  • 14 5
 yeah but can he do a bunny hop
  • 8 1
 Can you?
  • 7 1
 @Eland: sure, but it's a reference to the doubters in an earlier MVDP story
www.pinkbike.com/news/mathieu-van-der-poel-wins-the-second-stage-of-the-tour-de-france.html
  • 5 0
 @oldejeans: wish i could find the clip of him riding in a pack casually flipping a stone off the road with his front wheel
  • 12 0
 @heckler999:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7OuDeVbhxs

@ 0:31 and 0:38 for the slow motion.
  • 16 4
 @heckler999: pretty telling that he knocked the stone away with his front wheel instead of hopping it. Looks suspiciously like a man who can’t hop if you ask me.
  • 8 2
 He bunny hops the barriers on a cyclocross bike. He's a talented all-around rider. No need to hate dog.
  • 9 0
 @oldmanbucksaw: sssshhh don’t let the truth get in the way of a good troll.
  • 6 0
 Anyone else think the song sounds like a powerangers them
  • 5 0
 Power ranger metal music is the shit
  • 5 0
 From now on all yellow Jersey wearers ads required to take a lap of the track.
  • 5 0
 Well, there goes my excuse not to ride my XC bike more…
  • 6 2
 2022: MVDP quits TdF in leader jersey preparing for the UCI DH Worldcup "
You heard it here first
  • 4 0
 mon dieu - Mathieu! Nice riding! Just keep it safe till the olympics
  • 2 0
 Was it wheelies? Looked like a manual to me but hard to see from this angle. He was on a downslope and I suppose the bike wouldn't be so stable if he'd been pedaling.
  • 4 1
 Well done! Getting some proper air and distress after so much asfault...
  • 2 0
 This dad joke has me in distress.
  • 3 0
 All yellow jersey wearers need to do this.........
  • 3 0
 it was a Alpecin double, MVP as more than two hands and legs for shure
  • 6 3
 Professional biker is good at biking... Who would have thought?
  • 2 0
 Here is The Question, if I ride to ride my Lux like that, will Canyon respect the warranty?
  • 3 1
 No wonder he blasted to a stage win in this year's tour! style rider!
  • 5 4
 MVDP would win EWS. They just st don’t pay enough to make it worthwhile.
  • 4 1
 I think he’d be competitive, but I’d be surprised by a win.
  • 1 0
 @hllclmbr: you’d be surprised then.
  • 1 0
 @adamszymkowicz:

Based on what?
  • 1 0
 @hllclmbr: Skills and fitness.
  • 1 0
 I eagerly await the year he gets invited to Rampage and practises by road gapping over the TdF Peloton.
  • 1 0
 leaves the tour de france after 7 days in the yellow jersey to focus on MTB. man after my own heart
  • 1 0
 MVDP can do things on an "outdated geometry" Lux that I couldn't do on a modern Enduro bike.
  • 1 0
 Skills to pay the spandex and enduro getup bills.
  • 1 0
 Check out Canyon lux head angle, 70 degrees?
  • 1 0
 That hand gripping the handlebar with full power grab and locking.
  • 1 0
 Remember the time Fabio Widmer rode a shopping bike downhill?
  • 1 1
 Je is gonna be ready for rampage 9in no time... Wink
  • 2 0
 He made no claims of riding rampage, that was Pidcock…
  • 1 0
 XC tires ?
  • 2 0
 Maxxis Aspen semislick
  • 2 2
 WTF is going on with the music selection.
  • 2 2
 Give that kid a real mountainbike!
  • 1 2
 Defiantly 820mm bars there
  • 9 0
 "Defiantly" eh?
  • 3 0
 @m1dg3t: that autocorrect always gets me
  • 2 0
 @Ironchefjon: LoL. Autocorrect is for complacent, obsequious automatons. Wink
  • 5 2
 @m1dg3t: I'll have you know I am also obese, ignorant, and mildly aroused... your serve!
  • 3 0
 I heard the inventor of autocorrect died and to that I say Restaurant in Peace you bastard!
  • 2 3
 Cheesy 90’s music sets it off.
  • 11 0
 90’s? Where were you in the nineties?

This is clearly 80’s hair band style music. By the nineties we’d all moved on to grunge, alternative, and electronic dance music. Oh, and the Spice Girls, for reasons that were not really about the music…
  • 4 1
 @MB3: 80's? That's when thrash and death metal thrived (until halfway 90's). Wasn't this glam/hair stuff 70's? Surely not 60's, that was hippie stuff. 50's was rockabilly, 40's and 10's was world war (so probably only straight march music), 20's and 30's was crisis so music must have been sad and slow. So I'm pretty sure this was music from the 1900's. This is what the Wright Flyer flight data recorder has recorded.
  • 10 0
 @vinay: 1900's? Where were you in the hundreds?

This is clearly 1890's post bellum romance/frontier hybrid. By the 1900s we'd all moved on to pre-revolutionary Marxist group-chant/Cossack Oktavism.

You must've been a nerd.
  • 1 1
 @MB3: I was in the USA, mountain biking and watching MTB Videos of guys ripping XC bike with music just like this.
  • 2 1
 @jaycubzz: Oh the good old 1900s. Music was annoying though.
  • 2 0
 @Rumpelhumpelheld: Sure was. But they sure did have some neat S-MTBs (steam-powered mountain bikes) back then.
  • 1 1
 Sick bar turn
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