Racing Rumour: 2022 EWS Champ Jesse Melamed Leaving Rocky Mountain for Canyon?

Nov 10, 2022 at 15:48
by Mike Levy  


For many racing fans, the year is split into two halves: race season and silly season, with the latter holding them over with semi-informed speculation and left-field guesses until spring arrives. We've already had one big move, though; Pauline Ferrand Prévot, AKA the Champion of Everything in 2022, signed with Ineos Grenadiers in October, and rumour has it that there's another champion moving on from their current team...

Multiple well-connected sources have all but confirmed, which means it's not confirmed at all, that Jesse Melamed will be leaving his long-term home at Rocky Mountain to ride Canyon's 170mm-travel Strive for the German brand's CLLCTV Enduro Team. Melamed battled Richie Rude for much of the 2022 Enduro World Series, and the Canadian eventually took the overall title with a steady performance at the last round of the year in Loudenvielle, France, that saw him come out ahead of the only racer capable of staging a late-season upset.

I reached out to Jesse about the rumour that he's signed for Canyon and here's what he had to say:
bigquotesAs it stands I’m a proud ambassador for Rocky Mountain and we’ve been together for a long time. You’ll know if that changes. Also, the rumours I heard had me going to Norco.Jesse Melamed

Melamed has raced for Rocky Mountain for a literal decade, an incredibly long commitment in a world where we often see athletes changing their bike sponsor every other season so, if the rumour is true, it'll be interesting to see how the current EWS champion adapts to a new team and bike. If you listened to my conversation with Jesse earlier this year about bike set-up and data acquisition kit, you'd know that he's a cerebral rider who spends a lot of time and effort developing his race bike to work best for him. Suppose we do see him aboard a Strive in 2023. In that case, it'll likely have RockShox suspension rather than the Fox goodies he's used since forever, as well as Canyon's Shapeshifter system that alters the bike's geometry and kinematics at the push of a button.




THE PINKBIKE PODCAST // EPISODE 135 - JESSE MELAMED ON DATA ACQUISITION, TRAINING FOR ENDUROS, & EWS DOPING
July 21st, 2022

Winning a 13-minute-long EWS stage is no joke.

What about the rest of the Rocky Mountain Race Face Team which consists of fellow Canadians Rémi Gauvin and Andréane Lanthier Nadeau? We've reached out to Rocky but they declined to comment at this point.


169 Comments

  • 275 5
 He's leaving because of internal routing going through the headset
  • 169 4
 I have it on good authority that RMB is very, very resistant to the idea of headset cable routing.
  • 307 1
 An inside source told me Jesse couldn't afford next year's $17,999 bike, even though it still comes with an SX shifter and 35 Gold.
  • 38 0
 @bishopsmike: hahahaha! as a Rocky owner, i laugh, while breaking out in a sweat.
  • 4 0
 @brianpark: I believe we have the same sources.
  • 6 2
 Jesse Melamed is going to Trek
  • 5 0
 @brianpark: Does that mean he actually wants internal routing through the headset?
  • 4 0
 @brianpark: Or is he interested in the idea of headset resistance?
  • 17 0
 @vinay: Internally, his head is set on leaving
  • 4 0
 @JohSch: I had no idea there was so much bike discussion on Linkedin.
  • 8 0
 @bishopsmike: Him and Moi Moi will share a single XL Canyon
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: I’m glad someone in the industry is. Good on RM for not bowing down to the Acros mafia.
  • 2 0
 There are also rumours that Jack is leaving Canyon… so they could be willing to pay big bucks to get someone of similar caliber to replace him.
  • 1 0
 @islandforlife: Jack to Rocky in a bargain swap for Jesse with 5 extra slayers
  • 1 0
 @islandforlife: that's what i thought.
Fits the rumors that new yt enduro want moi moi.
  • 148 0
 That's nothing! I heard Levy is leaving for Vital MTB!
  • 142 3
 I will arm wrestle Spomer for him.
  • 27 0
 @brianpark: So it's not true that you're going to NSMB?!
  • 31 0
 @AndrewHornor: would that min-max his career?
  • 2 15
flag gubbinalia (Nov 10, 2022 at 16:36) (Below Threshold)
 @Dogl0rd: the sad state of the "because I can" editorial move
  • 11 0
 I heard that Levy is taking all of the reviewed bikes from cyclingtips.com and doing the impossible climb
  • 20 2
 @brianpark: Loser takes him?
  • 3 0
 One can only hope.
  • 3 1
 I heard @brianpark is going to FB Marketplace "Dad's selling infant Gear" group...
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: I would pay genuine money to see a podcast with some of the vital and pb folk in the same room. Especially if y'all could go for a ride beforehand (if there's some crew on the same event like a race or something). Really enjoy the different flavor content both sites make.
  • 132 0
 DN'T BLV T
  • 4 4
 Incredible comment
  • 128 0
 Classic broken telephone. The actual word on the street is that he is going to jump the Grand Canyon.
  • 31 0
 i heard he was vacationing in grand cayman.
  • 25 0
 Huh. I heard he was striving to jump a dwarf caiman.
  • 20 0
 @bwsimmons: easy mistake to make, I'm pretty sure he wants to become a great mailman.
  • 12 0
 I heard he prefers a donut with cnnmn.
  • 7 0
 I heard he was buying a Porsche Cayenne
  • 2 3
 That's Evil...
  • 11 0
 @imbiker: Jesse’s going to Evil???!
  • 5 0
 Who is that malamute anyway? Why we talking about dogs?
  • 5 0
 Something about a hockey fountain?
  • 8 0
 @savagelake: Vacuuming a Grand Caravan???
  • 1 0
 That crash in that canyon on the rocky mountain surface broke his telephone and now everybody thinks he´s leaving rm
  • 1 0
 @GZMS: dags? You like dags?
  • 85 1
 On reflection, some photographic evidence would be vital here.
  • 61 1
 Something to reflect on over an espresso.
  • 12 0
 @jsnfschr:

subtle.

excellent.
  • 9 1
 There was also some specialized trolling by Jesse
  • 44 1
 Not sure why but this news feels like a bummer if it's true. I guess I liked the idea of a Canadian dude on a Canadian brand.
  • 3 0
 Yup, and I'm not a fan of monopolies...
  • 5 0
 @mexicanoportugal: Yeah or Boggles
  • 1 0
 Same. The Jank Files were so good!
  • 35 0
 I’m sure it was irresistible to hop onboard a canyon after seeing their amazing new K.I.S steering stabilization system. Can’t wait to see the competitive edge it gives Jesse!
  • 73 0
 K.I.S.S.= Keep It Simple Stupid.

K.I.S.= Keep It Stupid
  • 2 0
 Talked to Łukasik recently and he seriously doubt they will use this innovation while racing.
  • 32 2
 It's the end of an era for sure. It's been awesome watching Jesse and the rest of the team grow over the years. Success has many parents and I'm proud of what they've achieved. @JesseMelamed I'll be rooting for you (in an incredibly professional, highly unbiased way of course) regardless of what bike you're on next year.
  • 5 0
 That sounded pretty definitive there @brianpark
@JesseMelamed, wish you the best of luck on whatever bike you’re piloting next year (though would prefer it to be Rocky or Norco)
  • 1 0
 Jank files will be no more, or not the same. Frown
  • 1 0
 @font style="vertical-align: inherit;">rrolly /font>:
The same with moimoitv if Jack go off Canyon
  • 22 0
 Jss Mlmd
  • 9 0
 I think its been really awesome that Raceface-Rocky has been a highly Canadian venture. I think that the riders make a great team and the title sponsor brands are candaian as well. Definitely wish the best for everyone going forward as well
  • 10 0
 All pro athletes have a limited window in which to maximize return on their training/labor investment. Now would be the time for Jesse. Get the bag kid.
  • 12 4
 I know that he is not a DH rider but the fact that Rocky doesn't currently offer a DH option is crazy. I would change to Canyon just so I could have big bike now and then.
  • 2 0
 Yeti does not make dh or even dirt/pumptrack bike as well as what?
  • 3 0
 Vaea Verbeeck is still running a Maiden for her DH rig.
  • 1 0
 Slayer can be run with dual crown forks, 180/200 should be enough to ride some DH
  • 1 0
 @GrzesiekDH: True but it is still not a true DH bike. I had a Slayer and loved it but it still wasn't quite the same.
  • 9 0
 Big fan , don’t care if or where he goes , as long as he still races , hope he’s getting paid more too !
  • 10 1
 Rumour has it Jesse needs a helmet sponsor
  • 7 3
 Where are you at Red Bull ?!
  • 4 2
 @dperras: Jesse has more sense than want one of those
  • 11 6
 @mikelevy If you’re going off of my (and others‘) posts in the Vital MTB Team Rumors thread, then I should say that IMO it’s highly likely that Jesse was just trolling. He seems like the kind of guy who would spread some rumors just for a laugh.
  • 26 4
 Nope, haven't seen that thread. This article is based on things we've been told by a few different people who would know these things. It'd be a great 10/10 troll, though!
  • 17 2
 @mikelevy: Pinkbike's rumor articles aren't based on vitals thread? Lmao
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy:

He's going to trek
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Are you going to go deeper into this on Pinkbike TradeCentre?
  • 7 0
 So, if thats true we will never see again the best trio in EWS and Youtube world, Mr Legs, Party Boi and Mr Bomba? Noooooooo!
  • 3 0
 Yea, rumors are that Jack is leaving Canyon. Makes sense if Melamed is filling that void. Sad Frown
  • 2 0
 Yo facts. Sheer entertainment. 3 stooges of the elite enduro scene
  • 2 0
 @dylansmyth: wonder where? Hes a beast so probably trek or spesh type heavy hitter. Id like to see him on norco
  • 4 0
 Just in! I heard Jessie is going to Canyon, Jack’s going to Yeti and Richie’s going to Rocky, just to see if it makes any difference to the results next year. They’re all on loan, so the season after it’s business as usual.
  • 6 0
 His statement basically confirms he's leaving, or he's just messing with us. I like it.
  • 1 0
 They don't call him Messy Jesse for nothing
  • 7 0
 Remy just sold his bikes so maybe he’s leaving?
  • 2 0
 Barely used?
  • 5 0
 They've started shipping some 2023 bikes already, ALN had hers in Sedona last weekend. Chances are he's just gotten his new rigs for the off season.
  • 1 0
 looks like rocky is either cancelling the race program or does a total new team-setup.
  • 2 0
 @striveCF15:

Why would they cancel they’re at the top of the game right now
  • 6 0
 I heard the change was discipline, not team
  • 21 0
 Has he been bad?
  • 4 0
 @gnarnaimo: he’s switching to bodybuilding
  • 3 0
 @sudochuckwalla: I heard he was going to ride gravel for Landyachtz
  • 10 6
 Must want a bike he doesn't have to put an angleset in to get it how he likes.
  • 6 0
 I mean to be fair I'm pretty sure Jack runs an angleset in his Strive to get it how he wants.
  • 8 1
 All bikes would be better suited with adjustable reach and head angle, that's clean looking and problem free ,TBH.
  • 2 0
 He will need adjustable chain stays instead if he goes to Canyon
  • 4 0
 @likeittacky: Sure would. But barring that evolution happening industry-wide, you gotta admit it's pretty telling when a brand introduces their new flagship enduro race bike, and one of the best racers in the world immediately slaps in an angleset, and keeps it in.
  • 2 0
 Good luck to him. If Canyon are offering him a better deal then why not? As often said on this forum riders have short careers so he should maximise what he can get whilst he can
  • 5 0
 I'm here for the rumors
  • 6 2
 Crap! I'll have to sell my Altitude and buy a Canyon
  • 4 0
 Business is business......
  • 2 0
 I dunno. I saw him ripping at Seymour with a big Rocky contingent last weekend… Seemed like a happy-go-lucky squad of shredders.
  • 1 0
 Mannnnnnn i've just bought a RM Slayer... now i need a new 'name' to come in so i can be one of the gang.... At least with Jesse there i knew i had a superstar in my 'team' Big Grin
  • 5 1
 This is the worst news since Sam Hill left Iron Horse.
  • 3 0
 No way, he is a diehard Rocky dude. Nobody can break up the flippin Jank squad.
  • 3 0
 Wheres that leave Moi Moi? Hope he goes to Pivot, seemed to be having a good time on some of the LSD's
  • 3 0
 I love that Jesse's quote adds fuel to the rumors mill while also pullingNorco into it. What a dude!
  • 2 0
 I actually heard that Jesse is moving over to road racing with Ineos next season. I'm looking forward to watching him race the spring classics.
  • 3 0
 I heard it's for sure Canyon. There were people mentioning it on moi moi.
  • 1 0
 please tell me you are basing this off that Coffee machine photo that was on Vital literally weeks ago lol. He's trolling us all, I love it!
  • 2 3
 I don't thin Moir is gonna be happy at all about this operation if finally confirms.. Quite unfair and threatening for him... For one side I doubt he gets increased his baggage if they go for Jesse ( when Moir should be one of the best paid on this industry... Sincerely... What else could a brand ask more in a rider...) And for the other side is like we don't need to pay you more... we have more top notch riders like you if you want to leave it's all fine...
  • 1 0
 Soon there will be a surprise there...
  • 2 0
 Moir is leaving, hence Jesse joining
  • 3 0
 So I guess Jesse gonna be on a XS frame size then...
  • 1 0
 Jesse on a Norco front triangle, Propain rear, specialized rubber and a Shapeshifter somehow. No one had the budget to get him to rise the KIS.
  • 4 3
 The espresso photo posted on Vital. And like a week later, there was a photo of him wearing a specialized shirt. Relax.
  • 1 0
 That was my original thought too, but then it would be a great way to obfuscate the original mistake though wouldn't it?
  • 1 2
 Then I understand PB is helping to pull a better negotiation for Jesse with the S... if you don't give me what I ask for going with an European who is gonna hurt you ..
  • 2 0
 Get some of Lebrons china $.
  • 1 0
 Well, I just wish Jesse the best. RM seems to be an ideal fit for him. JMO.
  • 2 1
 Canyon is like the most whack bike brand. At this point, I'd rather ride a Cube.
  • 3 0
 Gossip is fun
  • 23 26
 Commencal stacking their roster with the who's who of freeride and building some of the most dominant WC teams on the circuit, Canyon with Moir and now maybe Melamed, not to mention their stacked XC and road team.

Although I love to see guys and girls chasing their dreams and making more money, it is sad to see direct-to-consumer brands taking such a big bite of the culture. Their media is wild (especially commencal), the paychecks are lucrative, but it feels so impersonal. These brands do nothing but take a bite out of your LBS sales, and do very little to engage with communities on a grassroots level. I understand the appeal in well-made bikes at an "affordable" price point but something about these D2C brands with zero community incentives snapping up the best riders we all look up to makes me a little sad.
  • 17 0
 Moir to YT (YouTube)?
  • 26 39
flag mknott9 (Nov 10, 2022 at 17:48) (Below Threshold)
 Bike shops suck in general, overpriced crap with crappier attitudes and service, let ‘em die
  • 14 3
 @mknott9: If bike shops die who is going to troubleshoot your bike when you have a problem you can't figure out? You need a tube before a ride? Too bad, there's no more shops.

Do you want to ship off your bike every time you have a problem? On a trip and broke a derailleur hanger? Too bad, there's no more shops.

I know a guy who bought a $20,000 Canyon Speedmax, he's currently on his 3rd warranty frame.
  • 12 3
 @mknott9: Sad to hear you've had such a negative experience. Anywhere I've ridden, LBS makes up the backbone of the local community and trail initiatives. I'll take the fostering of a meaningful riding community and culture with accompanying infrastructure over... what? Seriously, what comes when the LBS dies and the only seller-consumer players are stratospherically removed from the local scene and the community (literally) as they fly their private jets from tax haven Andorra?


But hey, if SuperBerm HI-WAY™ (bench cut to IMBA standards) is your preferred style of riding, then yes let's say screw the LBS and let the big players take over.
  • 8 5
 @csmtb99: few shops do full suspension service in house so has to be sent out anyway, everything else I do at home.
  • 9 7
 @Venturebikes: not sure what shops have to with what types of trails are being built
  • 6 2
 @csmtb99: Your classic bike shop carrying multiple brands model is slowly dying and will be replaced with official brand stores / service centers with online sales. Giant is a great example and their transition is surprinsingly fast, you can buy the bike online, have it shipped to a Giant store and voila...online shopping & great service. Specialized and Trek also started this transition, but it's not as extensive yet.
  • 3 0
 @rick26: As some who works in the industry, I would argue that is not completely true, and there are some brands that are actually backing off of that approach.

Norco offers something similar, but they ship to your nearest dealer, A.K.A an LBS. I can see brands pivoting to that model instead, as they don't have to build an entirely new network, just use the existing one.
  • 4 0
 @Venturebikes: I've seen both. There are some great shops in town that put tons of effort (and money) into the local trail networks.

I've also lived places where there are only one or two shops and have the classic "I work in a bike shop and know what you want to ride better than you do" and have flat out refused to order the bike or parts I want. This was years ago, before supply was any kind of issue. Same thing happened with my mom last year. She just wanted a run of the mill, Trek hybrid bike for cruising around the city and the shop simply told her "we don't sell those and won't bring any in". Again, not a supply thing. Every shop around here had tons in different colours and sizes. We ended up buying from a shop where I live and I delivered it to her.

Those shops need to die.
  • 2 0
 @mknott9: Most of the overpriced crap you mention is usually MSRP so its the MFG companies you should be vexed at. Quality control is defiantly in dire need with shop service tho.
  • 2 5
 @likeittacky: why are you so defiantly definite? But yes…even the best shops have bad QC so why support em? I can turn an Allen wrench, that’s about 90% of bike maintenance.
  • 1 0
 @mknott9: My spelling has been defiantly shit lately lol.
  • 1 0
 @bscic: 23 degrees of misalignments, might be involved in a way
  • 2 0
 @likeittacky: w'a'll under stood u tho .
  • 1 0
 No one is stopping any brand building a team and buying the best talent out there. There sales model is irrelevant
  • 1 0
 @csmtb99: like the auto industry bike retailers know that not everyone needs a shop (dealership). There will still be car lots (bike shops with inventory) but for experienced riders the idea that we need a shop is well outdated. If you're buying your 10th bike chances are you don't need a bike shop to make a decision.
  • 1 0
 @csmtb99: My local bike garage. They only do repairs and maintenance. They don’t sell bike or even components
  • 2 1
 Moving on to down country gnar. Bc pb says that's the thing.
  • 2 0
 God NO!
  • 1 0
 Makes sense. Canyon has all the money.
  • 2 1
 Jesse please don’t go…..isn’t that a song? Or a lyric at least….
  • 2 1
 Moi Moi TV with Jesse. Dreams do come true.
  • 1 2
 Don't think for Moi... ( Check my comment...)
  • 2 0
 @PauRexs: Honestly, he is probably already gone which left this slot open for Jesse. Two top riders who could push each other while fighting for the number one spot would be great. But, probably unlikely.
  • 1 0
 Where would Moir go? or would he race along side him?
  • 1 0
 Do they make a Strive small enough for @jessemelamed

Haha jks
  • 1 0
 In 2025 EWS and DH will be exclusively Canyon and Commencal
  • 1 0
 And now we’ll have 2 JMs in the Canyon team.
  • 1 0
 Yup he is riding a Canyon I just saw him today riding my local trail
  • 1 0
 He's going to trek
  • 1 0
 candyman candyman candyman
  • 1 0
 MOIMOI!
  • 1 1
 Epic fail on the part RM!
  • 1 1
 No way this happens
  • 1 3
 Say it ain’t so… the only reason I just picked up the new altitude was because Jesse…
  • 3 5
 Who is jesse melamed?
  • 1 4
 Who cares
  • 5 0
 A lot of people, it seems
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