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Loic, Loris and Finn on Specialized for 2016

Jan 6, 2016 at 3:29
by Pinkbike Staff  
So far, its been a roller coaster off-season of rumours and movements within the world of World Cup downhill racing and with more news yet to come, the Pure Agency and Specialized dropped today's bombshell announcing the formation of a brand new team. By new, we mean the team that was formerly the Lapierre Gravity Republic team, who will now be running Specialized frames under the new 'Specialized Gravity Team' banner.

The Specialized Factory Racing team that was Troy Brosnan and Aaron Gwin remains as a one man team in 2016 with Troy manning the fort alone. Will we see another rider join Troy, time will tell, but in the meantime, here's the press release with all the information regarding today's news...

Specialized partner with Pure Agency
  Loic after a race winning run in Andorra - Photo by Michal Cerveny

Specialized will partner with Pure Agency in 2016 to form a new Specialized Gravity Team, supporting the 2015 World Champion Loic Bruni, Junior 2014 Junior World Champion Loris Vergier and first year junior Finn Iles on the UCI World Cup circuit. The team will all be racing aboard Specialized bikes and select equipment pieces next season. Troy Brosnan will remain and star on the Specialized Racing Factory team, a separate set up, but with the same ambition.

bigquotesI'm really excited about changing rigs for many reasons, and it gives me coherence in the way I see my career. The team and I have worked hard during the past few years to reach a high level. We have all ambition and we are all able to deliver really professional work while still having fun. I was really seduced by joining such a big family. The brand already has a great history, and I'm excited about being part of it - it's always been a dream. Reaching this step is a big satisfaction for me and the team, it is what we need and we know Specialized is the right partner for new things. I'm looking forward to ride well with my Rainbow Jersey and the Demo, of course, I'll try to do great stuff with it. We are already working on the bike and tires to be ready for the season 2016 that is promised to be a blast. - Loic Bruni

Specialized partner with Pure Agency
  Loris Vergier - Photo by Seb Shieck

bigquotesI've been with the team since I started on the World Cup circuit, and I always thought that it was almost perfect, with good friends, good atmosphere, and good sponsors. And now, a dream came reality, riding with the biggest brand in the world with still the same crew is an amazing opportunity that I'm really proud of. Really excited for the future! - Loris Vergier


Specialized partner with Pure Agency
  Loic and Finn - Photo by Seb Schieck

Specialized partner with Pure Agency
  Photo by Dave Trumpore

Specialized partner with Pure Agency
  Photo by Dave Trumpore

bigquotesThis, my second year in the team (Pure Agency), is going to be exciting. I am super happy to be continuing on with such a good group of guys. Last year was an awesome experience, to see how well the team worked together blew my mind. With this upcoming year being my first year of racing junior, I am honored to have such an amazing brand behind my back. I think this is an amazing opportunity, and I can't wait to see what the future holds. Heading to California in January to link up with everyone is something I'm really looking forward to! - Finn Iles


Specialized partner with Pure Agency
  Jack Roure, team mechanic - Photo by Damien Rosso

With a full team presentation to follow in early 2016, Loic, Loris, and Finn will rely on the radical S-Works Demo 8 carbon downhill race frame with single-sided seatmast as well as Specialized 2FO shoes and full complement of Downhill Tires.

Specialized partner with Pure Agency
  Prepping first equipment and gear for the team - Photo by Damien Rosso

bigquotesI was really proud to work with our partners, and in the eight years, we created something really special, but we had first contacted Specialized, we felt that it was time to move. The opportunity was unique, because we had the chance to keep the same working process with the same staff and rider. They understood that a good result is not just a good athlete, but also a great atmosphere, where everybody in the team is able to make his own contribution to perform. To be honest, we also had another good financial offer, a higher one, but it was definitely a different way of work, and it was not the first choice of the key guys in the team. When the boys tested the bike, it confirmed everything. We had the feeling, too, that R&D is really strong and all details are well thought on the bike. One last detail, but maybe the most important detail in our decision: Loic and I received a personal message from Mike Sinyard, and I don't know a lot of bosses who are involved like this in Sports Marketing. It showed us how the company is passionate about DH and racing. We really appreciate this. - Laurent Delorme, Pure Agency Manager



352 Comments

  • 491 28
 All for the price of gwin
  • 101 13
 Exactly. This is why they didn't want to pay for Gwin. For probably not much more they got a whole other team!
  • 73 11
 OK, I may still buy a Demo.
  • 163 4
 If you read the article this is the same Gravity Republic team with new frame (shoes,ect) sponsor. This is not Specialized Factory team.
  • 74 19
 *All for probably less than the price of Gwin.
  • 48 8
 Yea you can see why they held their ground. With two young guns, a world champ plus Troy, they'll have a strong presence on the WC in 2016.
  • 4 1
 Do it !
  • 15 0
 Great business plan, you see teams just expanding and getting bigger like Trek etc, more bikes on the course is giving them greater exposure.
  • 11 2
 As you can see from what darkstar said it is not quite the same thing. Factory would cost more of course.
  • 38 1
 My guess that factory teams are more expensive, rider for rider (oops, already been covered). Also, I could be way off, but Bruni's "fair market value" can't be that far off whatever Gwin calculated for himself, within 10-15%? How many second place finishes last year, plus Worlds? Whether or not he'd demand that value is a different issue (guessing not because Loic, and because they turned down a higher offer). I bet Spec planned to add Gravity Republic all along, and really wanted to keep Troy and Gwin and achieve total world dominance, and a raise for Gwin just wasn't in the budget to make it all happen. Could you imagine? There may have been races where Demos take four of the five podium spots. Any marketing guy would wet himself at the prospect.
  • 46 1
 DARKSTAR63 has it right.
People seem to forget that adding 3 people to your factory team and supplying frames + selected gear to an already existing organisation is something completely different.
For PureAgency this was probably a perfect deal, because they could keep the partners they acquired while riding lapierre frames, for example 100%, while still benefitting from recent frame developemt and the powerhouse that is Spesh's R&D itself. Also keeping there staff and not having to argue with Spesh Management must be the perfect case.
And why wouldn't they be involved in R&D!? They can give constructive feedback in there position at least to the same extent that a member of the factory team could.

All in all, probably the best option for both sides, also budget wise.

Also from a marketing perspective this might be the best move by specialized since adding Sam Hill to their team. Loic Bruni alone might create more marketing value in the first season, than Gwin did in his whole time there. That kid is the perfet role model for todays DH targetgroup!
  • 2 0
 it 'says '' By new, we mean the team that was formerly the Lapierre Gravity Republic team, who will now be running Specialized frames under the new 'Specialized Gravity Team' banner. ''
  • 25 1
 This is manufacturer support, Specialized wont pay wages Pure Agency will.
  • 1 0
 No, not exactly. Different source of money.
  • 21 1
 Specialized won't be paying wages directly, but as the new title sponsor of the team they are likely paying a large amount of money to the team, which will indirectly be covering the team's wages.
  • 18 12
 HELLO! ITS NOT THE FACTORY TEAM! Just sayin.
  • 4 3
 gonna be some tough shoes to fill there.
  • 25 7
 Could this thread be any more picky and pedantic. FFS!
  • 31 3
 If by picky you mean expecting those who comment to actually read and remotely comprehend this short article then yes I suppose that's right.
  • 29 11
 "All for the price of gwin" is ridiculous. Why celebrate gravity republic and their desire to take a smaller salary than Gwin? All that says to me is the hustle is weak as hell! We should selfle rate Gwin for having a hustle stronger than graves and gravity republic combined!

Make a note to yourself kids: when you have an opportunity to "name you worth" name it. As long as you have the skills and work ethic to back it up, you are probably in for a pay day. far to many people in our world today settle for mediocrity.
  • 7 1
 f*ck... Here come the typo roast. Celebrate ****
  • 4 2
 Don't forget the grammer roast. ;-)
  • 18 41
flag juanny (Jan 6, 2016 at 7:37) (Below Threshold)
 North country, has gwin even anounced a new sponsor yet? Until we know who hes with and what thay are paying, im more than ready to beleieve that he "done f*cked up"
IMO these younger gravity riders will speak to the grass roots market way more than gwin and represent a much more intelligent marketing budget spend for specilaized.
The only recent media i remember from aaron was essentially marketing a KTM mx bike. The coastal crew eclisped gwins marketing ability. Realistically what use is gwin as a marketing tool? Aside from the wow factor a gwinning chainless and being damn fast, his lack of memorable marketing output makes me feel that hes almost entirely worthless.
  • 15 14
 It is not always about the money my friend. Going from Lapierre to Specialized is a big career move! And personally I never liked Gwin so I couldn't be happier to see him leave and Loic to come.
  • 27 2
 Yikes "entirely worthless"?? .... I can agree that it's possible he "over-valued" himself - I have no way of knowing, none of these numbers are disclosed. But "worthless" ... He's arguably the finest Dh rider the sport has seen when he's on- nobody can touch him. I think there is some value there.
  • 6 0
 @jonnyboy- unfortunately it's all speculation right? I guess we can just be happy for everyone in meantime. Oh wait, that would make too much sense! Wink
  • 12 1
 There is no arguing the upside of signing on to title sponsor the former gravity republic team. The cost is likely to be much less than employing an athlete like AG for the year. Specialized gets a much needed infusion of youth and cool from Loic himself let alone adding in Loris and Finn. They get to run rainbow stripes on a demo for the first time since when exactly? Remind me please.

All of that said, those who doubt that Gwin was a good ambassador can just look through the comments on this page. Despite his overt faith, serious face, and lack of "cool" edits, each one of us knew who he rode for and can't wait to see who he rides for next. Whoever he signed with will get a massive boost in exposure and we will all know every bike spec in their line-up. Cool or not, that is really all you want from an athlete.
  • 6 1
 @AaGro Most recent World Champ victories on a Specialized Demo 8:
Elite Men - 2010, Sam Hill
Elite Women - 2012, Morgane Charre
Junior - 2011, Troy Brosnan
  • 3 0
 Thrilled to see these guys running specialized this year, and can´t wait for the beginning of the championship, but the question is.: Where will Gwin be?
  • 19 1
 Gwin set a high value on himself purposefully (and not without reason), took a bet on whether he could get it, and apparently won. Gwin knows perhaps better than anyone that winning WC downhill races is extremely hard and he won't be doing it forever. I think he knows that because of the very talented competition, chance of injury, etc., it's a very real possibility that, no matter who he's riding for he might only get two or three wins and a handful of podiums over the next contract cycle, after which he would simply be another strong rider in a crowded field. Right now he's "special," now is his chance, and he went for it. Hard to see fault in that. Or maybe he wins 10 and gets to roll the dice again next time. No loss either way.
  • 3 6
 Do you know for sure that Specialized is paying them less than Gwin? Apples and Pears...
  • 23 1
 Bottom line is that no one should get on Gwin for trying to get the most money he can. I was less than impressed a few years ago with how he handled his exit from Trek but this time around he seems to have done in right with no BS. His contract was up. He knows what he wants to be paid and thinks he is worth and when Specialized refused to pay it and another company agreed he left. Thats how the business works. No one should be hating on Gwin for this.
  • 38 1
 Although i'm not the biggest Gwin fan to suggest the guy is 'almost worthless' is pretty funny.

The article last week about him leaving a team got nearly 1000 comments, and is probably one of the most read articles on Pinkbike last year. This has been live for nearly a day, I doubt it will even get close.

The same article about the entire ex Lapierre team generated about a third of the comments.

You can't argue with the stats. Dirt's article had it summed up - the guy has won more World Cups in the last 5 years than the ENTIRE top 15 racers put together. The guy is a machine.

I think he's probably worth quite a few $$$. He might not do sick editz brah, but when it comes to racing & results, no-one, even comes close in recent times.
  • 5 2
 Seriously though... did anyone read the article.......
  • 4 0
 yeah, you're right, sorry. Doesn't say anything about Gwin or salaries...I'll stop now. With that in mind, this is awesome for Bruni and Co. and, while Spec really doesn't do much for me, great for them, too. Gonna be a good year!
  • 4 0
 would be nice if ktm hired gwin and start making dh frames again.
  • 12 6
 At jonnyboy Up there, who's comment is quickly being voted into oblivion, it's laughable to say his marketing value is nearly worthless. Go check out the article below.

dirtmountainbike.com/news/aaron-gwin-is-he-worth-it.html#1fiFQ8SD0QM6mUvV.97

That should put in perspective how much he's accomplished and what he's on track to continue doing or accomplish.

The far larger gamble here is Specialized, who is betting on people (with the exception of Jared Graves) who don't have anywhere near the record that Gwin does. Don't get me wrong.... It was a great move for Specialized to grab these two up, but let's hope it wasn't at the expense of Gwin. That would tell me they chose a couple of popular guys with potential (like Hart, Charre, Feniak) over a known heavy hitter at the top of his game who is on track to (at current win rate) to win 4 world cup titles and better Peaty and Minnaar.

Until Loic and Loris actually put wins on the board, their only draw is popularity.
  • 5 2
 I guess you can count out that World Champs win then, and all of the marketability that comes with the rainbow stripes.

The rainbow stripes are $$$. Specialized are a big company, and they can use Loic's World Champs success to sell regular bikes to regular people.

Sure, many DH fans will argue that a WC overall is a better prize to win than a World Champs, and I would agree, Gwin has a very strong record in that respect.

Fact of the matter is, Average Joe will recognize the stripes, and he'll know what they symbolize.

Danny Hart has never won a World Cup, yet he was prime real estate back in 2012 when he wore the stripes.

Gwin is a great asset, and so is the Pure Agency team. They will both sell bikes for whoever they ride for.
  • 8 13
flag jclnv (Jan 6, 2016 at 9:26) (Below Threshold)
 Gwin rides all out as evident by the fact that he can't finish a Worlds run. He runs a fine line between finishing a race and a career ending crash. Bruni is a far more intelligent racer and doesn't ride for god before his sponsors. Specialized already have the fastest guy on the factory team, he just needs to back it off a little, and now they have the two ripper Frenchies who will have far more impact in Europe (where most races are held) than Gwin.
  • 4 1
 @BDKR You didn't read the article. Specialized did not "pick these two up" in place of Gwin. What they pay to have these guys on their frames I can guarantee is not even close to what they pay to have riders on their own Factory team (i.e.Brosnan). For all we know all they do is provide bikes and gear. We have no idea on the money involved it's speculation but what we do know is that this is a product sponsor for Gravity Republic, not a Gwin replacement.
  • 3 1
 I don't get it why is it separated from Factory but I'm glad that the Lapierre team goes on!
  • 6 3
 Guys this has NOTHING TO DO WITH GWIN'S VALUE, remember Specialized say they found someone else to replace him as troy's teammate !! !! !! I wonder who it's gonna be !!! so yeah, two different Specialized teams next year, pretty special
  • 4 2
 @ecologist. Chainless. Win.

Thats why gwin is worth so much more than everyone else.

Also

Overall. Win.

He's consistently bumping out golds man
  • 2 1
 @DARKSTAR63 I did read the article. You may not like my choice of words, and that's cool too, but we are all free to speculate here.

A quick point: I was responding to assertion of Gwins marketing worth.

Another quick point: I said, "let's hope it wasn't at the expense of Gwin". In other words, I did not say they picked them up at the expense of Gwin. Reading comprehension for the win!

Question: If Gwin was staying, does that mean they still would've have picked up Loic and Loris? Who can tell or say with certainty unless someone from Spesh pops in and says otherwise. Short of that, the only option is speculation based on the available facts at hand. Nothing wrong that.
  • 3 0
 @timlake I'm not counting it out, but there is a reason I said, "like Hart, Charre, Feniak". They've all won championships but have continued to come up blank on world cup wins.

This is the exact place Loic and Loris are in. 5h1t loads of potential and truck loads of pressure.

Danny was and still is fast and brilliant at times and holy hell did I want to see him win, but my desires aren't the same thing as him getting it done. Same goes Charre, and even Blenky. They are all frackin' rad but being rad and winning aren't the same thing.
  • 2 1
 @BDKR In your post you explicitly compare Gwin to Loic, and Loris, and their potential worth/value to Specialized. Since they in way shape or form directly replace Gwin it is simply not apples to apples. It appeared as though you may have misunderstood this press release. My apologies. I agree that this is all fun speculation, something we enjoy year after year. Truthfully I just want to know where Gwin went!
  • 15 1
 Church.
  • 5 0
 I there need to be some clarification of how things work on the level or WC mountain biking.

@DARKSTAR63 - you said " For all we know all they do is provide bikes and gear". You are right that no one really knows the details of the arrangement. But to suggest that Specialized would get their name as the title sponsor to a team of this caliber simply by providing them with frames and gear is beyond silly. Free frames and gear is like amateur stuff. Thats what companies to for grassroots teams. They are clearly paving money, and likely alot of it to be the title sponsor of this team.

@BKDR - I don't think you need to backtrack your words here. This was at the expense of Gwin. Just because this is not a new factory team doesn't mean its unrelated. For companies looking to sponsor riders there are two different ways to go about it. Have their own factory team or partner with a private team. This is why Specialized simply could not just add Loic and Loris to the factory team. They were already under contract with the private team (Pure Agency).

Some companies do it one way, some do it another, and some flip flop. Look at GT. They were a factory team a few years back with Mick and Beaumont, then partnered with the private Atherton team, and now are back with a factory team. Specialized chose to partner with a private team now. What does this mean for Troy now? Who know but If I had to guess it means this dual team setup is temporary and Troy might be moving on to another team once his contract is up.
  • 5 3
 Some food for thought on the whole "three riders for the price of Gwin" argument... It's not that anyone wanted a cheaper option, but rather a different option, and they could pay loic the same or more than what Gwin was asking for all we know. In simple terms the cost, value, return on investment for one option outweighed the other, regardless of which was cheaper. In other words, nothing's to say they didn't pay more if they felt they would get more in return.
  • 2 0
 @DARKSTAR63 No apologies needed mang! We're just shooting off our mouths.

And yes, I am comparing them in terms of marketing value based on accomplishment.

But it's all good. I dig all of these guys and gals and LOVE sitting down with some hard cider to watch a DH race!
  • 1 0
 @sino428 I agree completely, I was only using that to illustrate that we zero idea what money was involved. It certainly doesn't match what they would pay their athletes directly, I wouldn't think.
  • 1 0
 @DARKSTAR63 - I would think its probably similar actually. At the end of he day the total cost of the race team (Athlete salaries, staff salaries, travel, etc) is what it is and someone (the sponsors) have to pay for that. Regardless of whether its a factory team or a privately run one there are always supporting sponsors helping to pick up the tab.
  • 1 0
 Yea I really don't know. At that point why wouldn't they just put them on their own team and take 100% of the credit? I really have no idea how the financials break down. @sino428
  • 3 5
 The real winner here is whoever is going to sign Gwin. I think the man will now be riding with a chip on his shoulder, and he has already been winning races chainless. Specialized had more exposure having the number 1 then they will having more "last" place riders.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPFMzskXZvY
  • 1 0
 @DARKSTAR63 - Well like I said, those guys were under contract so adding them to their own team likely wasn't an option. It probably doesn't much matter from the standpoint of who gets the credit team wise, whether its "factory" or priavte. This whole game of professional mountain biking is nothing more that marketing and advertising. All that really matters is that the riders are riding the specialized bike. What kind of team/structure they use to make that happen really doesn't matter rmuch from a marketing standpoint.
  • 3 11
flag Benito-Camelas (Jan 6, 2016 at 12:45) (Below Threshold)
 changing gwin for a bunch of frenchies doesn't seem to be a smart move
  • 6 4
 yeah, he ll continue to win a lot of world cups ... more than the 3 yougsters reunited
  • 5 1
 The rainbow shirt guys ... The rainbow on a demo. That's all
  • 2 0
 I agree with @GetREkTm8...the riders need to demand more if the sport wants to get to a level like Supercross. Those guys make so much more money for a sport that has a similar amount of risk and skill. I don't think it should stop with just World Cup racers though, I think all MTB athletes should be paid more. Sure the top few guys are making good money but you would be surprised with how little most of the World Cup field is making. There are still guys racing at the Worlds level who have to fundraise just to get there.
  • 15 4
 A lot of very ignorant comments in this thread that should be addresses.
1- Just because specialized COULD be paying the same amount for all three of these riders as it was for Gwin alone does not mean the riders are being undervalued. We do do not know what the contributions to their salaries is coming from other sponsors and pure agency.
2- For all we know at this point (although unlikely) Gwin could be racing for a private team like Redbull, KTM and optioning to just stay with the bike that he was so successful on last year by riding a KTM branded Demo. This would mean specialized would have their cake and eat it too.
3- Gwin is incredibly fast and that is great but he is not overly personable and not necessarily the greatest brand ambassador. People really like Loic and and the 2 youngsters.
4- The potential of Finn Iles is immense. Have a young talent like this on specialized who not only is fast as all get out but has style for miles is great for the brand. (Also he is Canadian not french)
5- Gwin wins and is generally consistent but Loic and Brosnan are right there on any given sunday and are getting better and coming into their own a little more with every race. Also Loic has little to prove, he has actually done it on the biggest stage where Gwin has yet to prove himself.
  • 4 4
 Also I will add look at how Gwin has performed at first every single time he switches frames, this is why I would not be surprised to see him stay on a demo or even on a Session next year.
  • 6 0
 What about his first year on Trek, was that a bad year?
  • 5 0
 the real question is WHEN DO WE FIND OUT WHO IS SIGNING GWIN???

I just want to know who is willing to dish out more $$ than the big S
  • 3 0
 Giant has only Marcelo ..................................mmmmm I love and I hate this suspense at the same time
  • 4 0
 @mixmastamikal He has had two major changes in frame over his WC career. After the first change he went on to dominate for two straight seasons. So what exactly is your point?
  • 8 1
 What's the problem of riding for god ? He has a love in his life for Jesus and he can express it all he wants
  • 2 0
 Haha mixmasta you think gwin has more to prove than loic!
  • 4 0
 Gwin signs with HUFFY bikes rides a hardtail on cheap ass rims no chain and wins the WC! should of paid the cunt!
  • 1 1
 @russthedog Were you reiterating what I said or asking a question? If you were asking the question then the answer is yes, at world champs, I most certainly do.

Yeah it was only the first year at specialized, you guys are correct. I had to go back and look, and yes he was always dominant on a Session, which is why I would not be surprised to see him on one again.
  • 3 0
 @RedBurn So are you daring Gwin to ride the Dare?
  • 3 7
flag BDKR (Jan 6, 2016 at 15:57) (Below Threshold)
 @mixmastamikal :

"....Also Loic has little to prove, he has actually done it on the biggest stage where Gwin has yet to prove himself."

Seriously? By that logic Danny Hart and Morgane Charre have accomplished more than Aaron Gwin.

World Champs is just another race with a different name on it. I wouldn't be surprised if lots of those guys don't really care much about it deep down inside.

Sure, Finn Iles does have potential, but so do a lot of other people. There are tons of guys there right now with tons of potential making vids that are far sicker than anything I've seen from Finn. Brannigan, Atwill, Brayton, Jackson, and even Querre all come to mind. These are all guys with massive style and speed but we're not collectively praising them as much as Finn. What's that about?

Speed and style doesn't mean you're going to win races. Potential to win is not the same as actually getting the job done.

Don't get me wrong however. I like Loic and Loris both a lot. And Loic is every bit as personable as people say. I met him at Crankworx in '13 not expecting him to give me time of day, but he made a point to shake hands and say Hi. Color me surprised!!! I like them both a lot and I hope they make Gwin work for it!
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez
I know everybody is bitching about everything and I'm back here still wanting to know who's Gwin riding for....lol
  • 1 0
 @mixmastamikal I am saying that what you said is ridiculous. look at what @BDKR said for a more thorough response.
  • 7 0
 @bdkr

Finn has a ton going for him. Personality, style, and a ton of speed. You must not have been paying attention last year ;-). His recorded times as a pre-runner at world cups consistently had him top 5 in juniors, and I believe his time in Leogang was around 40th in elite.... All this while still only being 15 at the time. I'd say he one worth investing in for the future.
  • 3 4
 @davetrump : Yeah, I've been paying attention and I'm aware of how fast he's been going, but until he lives up to that potential and starts putting wins on the board I'm going to put him in the same place I put all of those other super fast ripping chaps that haven't started putting wins on the board.
  • 5 2
 So @bdkr with that logic you would call any first year junior overrated ??? It hard to put "wins on the board" at a WC level when the rules state you are too young to compete. It's called development and potential. If you don't see a ridiculous amount of potential in Finn then I'm not sure what you are looking for.
  • 3 7
flag BDKR (Jan 6, 2016 at 17:46) (Below Threshold)
 @davetrump : I'm just looking for wins. That's all. When he starts doing that, I'll say he's lived up to his potential.

But short of that, I refuse to join in the chorus of well wishers. Lot's of people of have shown potential of some sort and come up short. I hope Finn doesn't (come up short that is), but I want to see Phil Atwill and Nico Querre win races too. Considering only one person can win a race and there are far more riders then races held in a calendar year, I don't think all of those blokes are going to do it.

But I still think they're rad.
  • 1 2
 Much better deal for specialized to supply frames rather than paying wages. $10000 in wages costs them $10000. Ten grand in frames costs them two. "You do the math."
  • 8 1
 That's not exactly how being the title sponsor works.
  • 3 2
 I heard Gwin is riding for the new Vatican Gravity Team. They're trying to work on their image through action sports. They also want to take on the Bull. Ha.... just kidding obviously.
  • 1 1
 @BDKR Sponsorship is most certainly NOT about just race wins. There is a reason that certain riders who have won multiple World Champs, Overall World Cups and Rampage events have reduced offers year on year...
  • 1 0
 Is that a fact?
  • 1 0
 @timlake : Is this based on my comments about Finn or something else? Because up to then, my commentary was a question of sponsoring popular riders vs racers with an impressive list of accomplishments.

As a builder I WOULD PREFER to see my design proven by and/or improved as a result of being piloted by the best. But there are only so many of those guys.

If not that, I'll take a personality. DVO was ecstatic to have Cedric! Roskopp himself talked about Cedric being "a personality". AND THAT'S A GOOD THING. Marketers LOVE seeing someone that everyone likes riding one of their bikes.

If given a choice between a personality or someone that is clearly dominant (which is what our conversation is about), I'll take the dominant one. Marketers and designers both want the world to see that history was made on their design. On their product. They want that accomplishment associated with their name. Whether or not he or she is a personality.

And somewhere up above, I did say I think it was good for Spesh to grab these guys. :-)
  • 4 0
 @BKDR It's based upon your comments that point towards validity only comes once you've won a race.

Marketers and designers for the most part don't really care if someone wins on their bike or not. Their job is to sell the product they're paid to sell. In most cases that comes through sponsoring riders that are fun and personable, just like Loic.

Obviously wins top it off, and Loic, Loris and Finn are all capable of winning a World Cup, as are many of the people in the top 20, but what sets these guys apart from many other names is their marketability off the podium. (Which is far more likely to happen than not).

Anyway, it's great for the guys and it's a great move by Specialized. I am sure their European Gravity sales will grow over the next few years.
  • 2 0
 @timlake : With the exception of two points, it feels like we are in agreement.

Where do we NOT agree?

1) Where did I actually say or imply that guys like Loic, Loris, Atwill, etc, are not valid in some way. You're mixing that up with me making a distinction between those that have learned how to win consistently and those that haven't.

2) Marketers are one thing, but you CAN'T TELL ME that a designer (engineer) doesn't care if someone wins on their creation. Nobody is going to pour significant amounts of time into the details of a racing machine then turn around and say they don't care how well it does. As an owner, I'd fire that MOFO!

Anyway, I agree with everyone about "person-ability" and "potential". And I agree that Spesh made a good move to secure this agreement with Loic, Loris, and Finn.
  • 1 0
 Genteel. Nice.
  • 47 1
 This is exactly what the image of specialized needs. Three young buddies just having fun and shreddin their bikes.
  • 62 3
 Amen! Oh wait, hes gone now.
  • 15 6
 You mean that thanks to three young boys, the old Euro deviants will start buying Spec bikes now?
  • 14 3
 @WAKIdesigns It´s not about selling/buying bikes. But I think these three young boys will give the brand a better touch than it has at the moment. Don´t get me wrong, I like specialized bikes but I think in the past the image of the brand was rather formal or a bit burgeois. And I think the feeling of the crowd can now be changed.
  • 20 0
 How can you say its not about selling bikes? Thats the only thing any of this is about. Race teams, sponsorships, branding, etc is all about only one thing. Selling bikes. This whole professional mountain biking thing is only about marketing and advertising. Thats what it is.
  • 14 21
flag WAKIdesigns (Jan 6, 2016 at 8:11) (Below Threshold)
 That was a joke damn it! It was pointed mainly at limited group of Swedish, German and Dutch rich 50+ men who are so frustrated with what their too fat wallets can't buy, so bored of their wives and lives that they go places like Thailand to have sex with teenage boys... ha-ha-ha-ha-ha
  • 8 0
 Specialized just went up a notch in my book.. That puts them at notch 1.
  • 2 1
 Agger has a point. The Demo's the most popular bike in the Whistler bike park, so they obviously sell well. Who do they sell to, and when that market demographic watches a World Cup race, do they care more about who won, or who got down the track with the most style points? I'd argue the latter ... and in that case, three young and smoking guns plus Troy Brosnan are going to make great ambassadors.
  • 9 1
 There is definitely more than one way to gain exposure. Its can be winning or it can be many other things. I mean look at Gwin. He seems like a real nice guy but lets be honest the dude is kind of bland pretty buttoned up. His appeal is mostly that hes just flat out kills it on the bike. I think the same could be said about Minnar. They are about wining races. You don't see much else from them.

Other guys its different. Bryceland for instance is a colorful character. People like him because he is a nut. And now he's coupled that with winning as well.

Then you have a guy like Brendan Fairclough. Guy hasn't won a WC race (ever?). Yet he's consistently one of the most covered and photographed riders on the circuit because he is just super stylish on the bike. His appeal goes beyond winning.

Then there are guys who don't even really race or compete and can gain a similar following just by putting together awesome web vids. Someone like Rémy Métailler comes to mind.
  • 4 0
 and Matt Hunter
  • 2 0
 Exactly. Remember the original North shore riders, and then the huckers and freeriders that came after them. Up until then it was all about racing. Brands were dropping racers like hotcakes to pick up the latest and greatest freerider.
  • 45 4
 I think Gwin is just trying to make enough money over the next couple of years so he can retire and not worry about being hated by small minded people who ignore the fact that he seems to be a nice person and is highly professional as a rider and spokesman for his sponsors. The only thing that I ever hear is people making jokes about his religion and that he is American, he never pushed religion on anyone he just thanked God when he won a race. I think it is his right to say what he wants and it is sad that people feel the need to be hateful because they don't share his beliefs. We all have a right to have our own opinion but we sound foolish when we are hateful to someone just because they are different or have views than we do.
  • 16 0
 Well said. . . . I know I have thanked God a couple of time after a ride!
  • 4 0
 100% agree
  • 4 1
 Watch the music awards, Rappers who say bad things about women and people of their own culture almost always thank God, so why do we hate Gwinn?
  • 2 0
 Well said!
  • 44 7
 The worst kept secret since Jimmy Savile!
  • 14 1
 Haha!
  • 16 1
 Haha!
  • 15 2
 Haha!
  • 6 23
flag fla3h (Jan 6, 2016 at 11:46) (Below Threshold)
 Hehe!
  • 9 1
 Haha!
  • 8 3
 I love laughing haha
  • 27 5
 Awesome move! Check those bars & stem. #ridejoystick
  • 2 2
 i thought they were thomson?? purely because of the seatpost... i know it used to be easton...
  • 15 1
 Great news! Think theses guys will do well on the Demo frame, tires and shoes and Specialized have cast a bigger net with this deal so great deal for them.

"To be honest, we also had another good financial offer, a higher one" wonder who that was?.
  • 4 2
 Possibly the same company set sign with Gwin? it would make for a pretty knock out team!
  • 5 1
 pretty weird! so good to see they chose fun and team spirit Smile
  • 2 0
 I may want a demo again! haha

(and winning @RedBurn ) they have a good balance Smile
  • 18 1
 Who was the other big offer company they turned down? Please insert rumours below:
  • 12 1
 Somewhere I read it might might have been Canyon, but, you know.. the internet... I could just be passing out info I made up or someone else did, but at least I'm not being all "I know something you don't know" cryptic about.
  • 21 4
 Perfectly vague but convincing rumour! Imma go with Trek, meaning Athertons were their fall back option lol
  • 17 1
 I heard it was Huffy.
  • 14 2
 I heard they turned down one of the best looking bikes in the biz, Ellsworth.
  • 1 11
flag ka-brap (Jan 6, 2016 at 8:22) (Below Threshold)
 Probably Lapierre who wanted to keep the success of the athletes associated with the brand...?
  • 3 2
 Canyon?
  • 15 0
 Canyon, confirmed by Pure Agency's manager in an interview for velovert.com
  • 2 4
 Cube! You here'd it here first ;-)
  • 1 0
 So they turned down Canyon because Fabien would have been the team manager?
Or they didn't like the Torque DHX?

If Canyon made a higher offer for them, possibly for Gwin too.
Though YT would be nice...
If Intense has the money, their sales would explode...
Trek, Giant and Scott seem more likely because of their size...

If Gwin goes to Canyon I'm curious to see what changes they will make on the bike (carbon? 27.5?)
  • 22 6
 Wonder what Troy feels about this?
  • 36 3
 Bruni, Vergier and Finn are Specialized Gravity Team Troy stays in Specialized Factory Team
  • 4 34
flag FernandoRV (Jan 6, 2016 at 4:20) (Below Threshold)
 I would guess that Troy will move out soon once he is the only rider on the team.
  • 7 5
 It says they will be adding another one alongside Troy.
  • 21 6
 Hopefully Blenky.
  • 8 2
 @fspalterg -- yes, but he wonders what Troy feels about the arrangement, not which team he's on. I also wonder what the dynamics will be between the teams. Will they cooperate and work together at all, or behave as though they are with competing brands? I think it would be tough to enjoy a season and do well if you felt like a one-man show.

@MTB-Colada -- it says "will" they be adding another..."time will tell." Tell you what, would be mighty strange to be a one man "team."
  • 5 0
 Cedric Gracia and Ben Reid had/have their one man team. Can be done but yeah, seems a bit lonely to me.
  • 15 0
 One man wolf pack
  • 3 0
 Spec is just a product sponsor, not a full factory sponsor so I doubt he would mind much ahha
  • 12 0
 What about Mitch Ropelato? He is off enduro and said he was heading back into DH. There is also Andrew Needles he's been seen with specialised new mtb shoes. Is he still on polygon this year?
  • 1 0
 Needles has been on specialized shoes the whole 2015 season already
  • 1 0
 yeah i heard mitch was gonna dh again, so thats my bet.
  • 6 0
 We want Mitch!
  • 2 0
 Thinking of it, Gracia and Reid weren't quite on a factory team back then. More like privateers and you have many of those. But with Honda, wasn't it that Matti Lehikionen and Brendan Fairclough entered after Greg Minnaar already had a season under his belt?
  • 1 0
 if there was money to be made/paid riders could go procircuit or 22 moto style
  • 4 2
 I feel like Troy has been put in a terrible position, for me he's one of the best riders in the world and with the potential to hit the top step every week. No doubt he's ready to be the team number 1 but they need to put someone with him or he'll surely leave - no one to train with, track walk with etc. Just consider this though - Loic and Troy on a demo, shit if they could get Bryce they could dominate the world for years!
  • 2 0
 @frankwizza specialized is just a product sponsor. GR has their own team. Troy is on the factory team. 2 different entities completely. Specialized will get one more on the team, plus Mitch Ropelato. Troy is specialized and they'll take care of him. On that, Troy and Gwin didn't have much of a comaderie. They never trained together and I remember troy's and sam's track walks better than troy and gwins haha
  • 2 0
 yeah man i get that, was just talking about the prospect of 2 absolute killers standing on the steps with a shiny demo, regardless of team! Interesting about the Troy/Gwin thing though, without knowing anything about them i'd have presumed that they'd have been good team-mates and sharing some stuff. Not everyone has a Fabien Barel inside them i suppose.
  • 1 0
 I hear that @frankwizza Just watching the specialized WC edits I always noticed that they seemed like they were on other sides of the pits for the most part.
  • 1 0
 Interesting man, wonder what other teams are like? Santa Cruz seem to have a great bond but Greg seems to take himself out of the Peaty/Bryce tandem at times, maybe just his personal preference to do the track walk and some aspects on his own? Not trying to start SC split rumours here! haha
  • 1 0
 Mitch Ropelato has already been confirmed to be moving back to the DH team.
  • 1 0
 Peaty and Greg always got along really well back from when Peaty let Greg stay at his place while he started out racing in Europe. I would absolutely understand if team mates like to maintain some distance whenever they can while on the road. Who wouldn't if you spend that amount of time really near? I suppose this goes in particular if the team is small.
  • 10 1
 Just looking at the demo s-works there in the picture...how good-looking a bike is that compared to how gangly and awkward the old demos used to look! I just want to hang one on my wall, but if I did that it would be there for about an hour before it was back down again and up the hill getting hammered!!
  • 1 0
 ... or stolen Wink
  • 14 1
 What Specialized now need is a girl in the Factory Team
  • 5 0
 to bad Emmeline Ragot retired, was a constant threat to the podium.
  • 2 0
 blain80 Good shout mate, you wonder why a team like Spesh doesn't go after a Manon Carpenter as one of the few who can get close to Rach
  • 4 1
 I hate to be real here but, getting second behind trek and Rachael does not sell bikes very well to consumers or make specialized look very good.
  • 3 0
 @ibishreddin That might be the case, but then people are seriously under appreciating how good Rachel is and has been. It does not necessarily mean she always been on a better bike.

Secondly, the girl does not need to win, as long as she is able to contribute to team because they have the potential to be the best, like they were with Emmeline Ragot.
  • 9 1
 Thumbs up for Specialized! And BIG THUMBS UP to the team, for how they made their decision. Not purely based on money but based on the overall package and fit to the needs of the team to perform well. It's just got a great vibe to it. I wish the team all the best, really looking forward to next season.
  • 15 2
 And Gwinn to YT...
  • 3 8
flag Yudistira (Jan 6, 2016 at 5:58) (Below Threshold)
 or Polygon UR :v
  • 6 2
 Must be a company with a bigger balance sheet. Giant, Scott etc. Although Polygon has a massive low-end retail market in Asia etc, being an Indonesian company.
  • 2 0
 Agreed.
  • 1 2
 Scott
  • 7 0
 @yudistira Gwin to Polygon, good one ... ha ha ha
  • 1 1
 gwin to yt for sure, check zink's twitter
  • 5 0
 I can win with no chain, why not on a Polygon? :-)
  • 5 0
 Gwin and Greenland will both be on YT for 2016.
  • 2 1
 I've a fiver on cube. New bike, looks like a session etc ;-)
  • 2 5
 Gwin and Gutierrez sprinting to the finish line on their Giant Glory's. No to Scott, plus their DH frame is hideous. Neg prop away.
  • 5 0
 @Thustlewhumber (Thustleweiner) - but does YT have the $$$ and support for Gwin?! Would love to see it, a top racer on a d2c brand. I don't think they have the capital yet to sponsor a DH team or even a top DH rider. Sales would skyrocket, tho.
  • 1 0
 It's been unofficially confirmed for months now, with Cam Zink/YT/Aaron Gwin giving heavy hints the past few weeks. Laurie Greenland just makes sense as he is basically the last man standing...
  • 1 0
 @polygonbikes its just a gwin sign on a paper, just simple but with more "effort" Big Grin
  • 12 0
 Its going to be a lot harder to hate on Specialized when they have Bruni
  • 5 0
 What's to hate about Brosnan, Graves, Soderstrom etc etc...?
  • 12 2
 One of my favourite riders with one of my least favourite brands :/ Ah well, hope it works out for them!
  • 10 4
 Well now I wonder how this partnership will work between the big S and Pure Agency. Frenchies rocking the colours of Specialized ... it's like chalk and cheese ... on paper at least Wink

Let's see what their grease monkey -Jack- will do to the Demo -since he can't get rid of the FSR design :'(. His very professional approach, the use he makes of data, the custom made rockers etc etc ... Not sure Specialized will like his feedback about the bike though lol.

Spesh boss ain't stupid. His brand his one of the two major players in France -for premium products-, yet they had to support french top gun mtbikers. No offense to some other markets, but Specialized sells a crap ton of dually stumpy in France. And yet they were supporting some cycling bozos -not talking about DH- coming from super small market without too much return in terms of sales.

At least the big S is cool again, kinda like the NaPalm days bru.
  • 6 0
 We may know Jack as another character.

"A guy that might just snap, and then stalk from office to office with ball crushing wheelpath theories fed into colleagues and co-workers. This might be someone you've known for years. Someone very, very close to you."

If Jack is Protour, I'm curious to see what feedback he will give. And that would explain why he looks so angry on the pics.
  • 1 0
 @Uuno Don't you remember the rules? We are not supposed to talk about it bru!
  • 10 0
 Protour made so many statements out of this world that if he was a team mechanic for those guys, he'd lose job long time ago. He also didn't have French accent in his comments... Protour is still on the run
  • 3 0
 Just compare protour's science
www.pinkbike.com/photo/11738545
To something clear
www.pinkbike.com/photo/12605932
  • 7 1
 The armchair quarterbacks of the world are going to eat Gwin alive if he doesn't win more races then Bruni. If Bruni does finally have his breakout year, I feel like Gwin will be burned at the stake by the fans. Imagine 1. Bruni 2. Rat 3. Atherton 4. Brosnan 5. Minnaar 6. Gwin. The fanboys will Shit and die.
  • 5 0
 I don't know...he'd be getting paid more to not do as well. That's pure brilliance on his part, if you ask me.
  • 1 0
 @Trudeez - maybe we're not making predictions yet, but I think Steve Smith is overlooked. I'm stoked for his return to the top, hoping he's been killing it on the off season and is now injury-free and can return to the top 5 overall..... but as long as he can beat Gee-man I'll be happy.
  • 6 0
 IMHO Spesh (and Gwin) were smart to part on a high note. In a way he may have done Spesh a big favor. He won't be the best forever, though he'll always be a legend. From a product/results standpoint he did what Spesh needed... worked an older, FR based 26" design (that wan't getting results) into a fully realized redesigned bike that he crushed the WC on in 2015. The Gwin and Spesh era has ended and ended well. I'm not saying there would have been nowhere to go but down for him or Spesh, but there is no harm in starting a fresh chapter... and it you can't fault either party for doing so on their own terms. Looking forward to 2016 Racing!!!!
  • 8 0
 poor Lapierre they had the winning combo, and then through it all away for? the rest will be history.
  • 8 0
 E BIKES! ...but ya I agree
  • 2 2
 @iwasjustridingalong I was just reading the interview of GR manager somewhere else. He stated that Lapierre and GR partnership was supposed to end in 2016. But they had a way to get out, and they used it. No offense to the demo, but the Lapierre bike is kinda MX bike without engine in terms of tunability and suspension design and the way it performs.
  • 2 0
 @Euskafreez in what way the Lapierre bike is so good? (sincere question, I don't know its kinematics and tunability)
  • 6 1
 @Uuno the guys behind the new DH bike from Lapierre cut the usual marketing BS. Their bike was solely designed with racing DH at WC level, both in terms of suspension and geometry. They were not trying to sell a proprietary suspension design for once. What have they done then? It's a motocross design adapted to DH bike. The suspension ratio is superb, the bike is predictable. Very easy to change the geometry, to switch from a rocker to the other. The local importer gave us a demo one and my customers were pumped. They all race at different level, so they were not looking to something more casual. And that Lapierre ain't a casual/park kinda rig. And more durable and reliable than what it replaced ... oversized bearings, less moving parts. Ain't perfect neither, you have to use a bit of foam around the rocker if you're riding in muddy conditions.
  • 1 1
 That's an interesting view. Apparently they felt that the Demo is a better bike than the Lapierre.
  • 2 0
 @dualsuspensiondave from what I've understood they were not looking at a bike replacement.
  • 2 1
 Yeah, I don't think that any rider at that level would ever come out and say that. Not saying the Lapierre is a bad bike either. It just says in the article above that they pursued Specialized and after the boys rode the Demo's, it confirmed everything for them. That can be interpreted in many different ways I guess.
  • 2 1
 I guess we were both wrong. The GR tried two different bikes and went with the Specialized. The other two wasn't a Lapierre. Rumors state it was a Canyon.
  • 9 1
 Gwinn next year will ride no name bikes................ and still win.........................
  • 3 0
 Walmart is giving him a killer 20% off of their bikes. I hope he goes that direction.
  • 1 0
 Walmart sponsor?!? hummmm seems pretty huge hahahaha lots of zeros on his paycheck hauhahuauhauhauha
  • 10 2
 2016 is gonna be Bruni's season.....
  • 1 1
 *would have
They will go otb every other race
  • 7 1
 Seems like there's a big gap still in the Spesh Factory outfit for a top rider. Young, fast, American..? Richie Rude to follow Jared Graves but race DH?
  • 1 0
 One could hope. I think Troy is more than fitting and able to be a "top rider" on the team. Having Rude underneath him would be awesome. Him and graves are actually training together in AUS right now, if that says anything.
  • 3 2
 Or maybe Hill to return and work with Troy, Specialised have already pulled off the unexpected with Graves and Chain reaction haven't confirmed their 2016 roster yet?
  • 3 0
 hill will not go back to them he has it good at chain reaction
  • 11 3
 So Spec has chosen cheaper child labor Smile
  • 4 1
 If you consider a 16 year old riding for the worlds biggest company and getting a phat cheque each month, fresh gear and bikes, and a class atmosphere child labour, then yes.
  • 1 1
 Jack-McLovin - I do hope that he will be still happy with that deal in two years time.
  • 2 0
 Most teams have a Junior on their roster. He is the real deal. He will do fine!
  • 1 1
 @mx298 Let's hope that he won't get #ucked with salary etc. I'm not entirely sure that this is really such a great deal afterall.
  • 1 1
 Who cares? Do you think he's upset about the fact he rides bikes for a living lmao?
Even if he *might* be on, say, minimum wage, which I'm sure he isn't, or definitely won't be when he's 18, the kid is living the dream.
I think what Aaron did was a selfish move. That man had it all and he still wasn't content. We don't want the sport becoming like football, where people are in it for the money rather than the love of the sport...
  • 1 0
 @jack-McLovin I think that you think that he thinks that he's "living the dream" And dreams usually end when you realize the difference in wages but it take sometime years to figure it out.

What Aaron did was showing that he's aware of his value just like Palmer did years ago. For you it selfish but for me it proves that Spec just don't give a duck about people riding for them. When athletes become to expensive they are replaced with cheaper ones just like all other corporation does.

Top dogs were and always will be expensive to have them on the team and Aaron proved that he's top dog.
  • 1 0
 No, I disagree in the fact it's entirely a 'corporate move', Specialized will have a hell of a lot of money, raising AG's wage isn't a problem whatsoever. It would be far less than change in their pocket. The chances of AG having another year like he just had is slim, very possible, but slim. We all know Loic is going to have a banger of a season soon, and that he has potential to be faster than AG, and he's like 4 years younger. Plus Troy is going to smash it this season as well, or sooner or later anyway. I think it was a clever move. And of course Spec care for their riders. Aaron just got greedy.
  • 1 0
 No @Jack-McLovin, Spec cares for its sales efficiency and on of the ways to do it is lowering the costs.

I don't think that Aaron got greedy. In my opinion he finally set the price bar where is should have been a long time ago.

Time will show who's gonna have another great season. Bare in mind that you can never predict serious crashes.
  • 1 0
 Every bike company cares about their sales, that's what being a bike company is about. It's clear you've made your mind up about taking a dislike to Specialized. Just because they refused to pay AG probably a ridiculous amount of money, it doesn't mean they don't care about their riders. They don't have to worship the ground he walks upon... Also, take note on how the new bike company AG is going to isn't actually paying the full price he asked for, so god knows how much he wanted... Everyone else is happy at Spec, and everyone seems to be keen to ride for Spec as well. Graves and Loic seem to be over the moon about it, so if they ill treated their riders we'd sure know about it by now.
  • 1 0
 "probably a ridiculous amount of money" is the key. Second thing: I hope to see equivalent of chainless run by the new boys. Third thing: I'm not Spec freek but I've used their stuff and it was very good.

Spec is purely a business venture without any sentiments but it takes some real live experience to see this.
  • 2 0
 Watch the vid on Bike Magazines YouTube channel, called 'Ask a Founder with Mike Sinyard'. There's a 15 min highlight video, as the original is 2 hours. Specialized do what they do and they do it bloody well, obviously with popularity comes hate...

Okay, maybe I should have used the word 'was' instead of 'probably', hint why no one is paying the amount he wanted.

A business venture without any sentiments? What makes you think this?
  • 1 0
 A business venture without any sentiments? What makes you think this? - real life business experience. Trust me on this one: there's no sentiments with cash involved.
  • 1 0
 I don't know much about business to be fair, but what do you mean 'if there's cash involved'? There's cash involved in everything, amiright?
  • 1 0
 Spec is a corporation so they are focused on profit and profit only. If rider doesn't meet the company profile, by being too expensive in this case, they just kick him out despite his achievements in World Cup. For young guys putting Spec in CV is great at that moment but in future they ways will way apart as theirs financial expectations will grow.

Don't get me wrong: I really love some of Spec stuff (like Body Geometry components) but it's a corporation so they do as they pleased.
  • 5 0
 So if Loic pulls in victories, hed move to the factory team? Is that a possibility? I will miss Gwin but having Loic ride the big S is getting me all excited again! Dudes on fire!
  • 5 0
 man...didn't know mechanics have to lace shoes, too. If I were wrench, I'd try to get that out of the contract...leave that monkey business to the manager...
  • 4 0
 This is great news for the Gravity Republic but im more excited for Troy staying with SFR. He's been a monster these last few seasons and now he gets undivided attention. Hope to see Troy on many podiums this year.
  • 8 4
 So Spesh steps in as frame and equipment sponsor... I wonder if the Pure Agency riders will ever be part of product development.
  • 1 1
 Good point
  • 2 0
 Sensible: not only S has the official factory team with Brosnan "selling" bikes, but also they have the current world champion "selling" bikes in a different team. So the thing is, I don´t care what team wins because they´re all selling MY bikes. Keep buying teams, keep selling bikes, be yourself and the rival too. I don´t mind who wins, I always win.
  • 6 1
 I couldn't be happier! Loic is both a fantastic rider and a great guy!
  • 6 1
 Why didnt i see this coming.....
  • 7 2
 Nice lineup! All 3 riders are super talented. 3 for 1 is not bad at all.
  • 4 0
 and finnaly after six year, specialized demo had a rainbow stripe (maybe) :v
  • 6 0
 Well....they had to buy the stripes but now they have their stripes.
  • 6 0
 Sam Hill 2010
  • 3 0
 But this was for the post-Hill Demo @davetrump
  • 6 0
 Elite Men - 2010, Sam Hill Junior - 2010, Troy Brosnan Junior - 2011, Troy Brosnan Elite Women - 2012, Morgane Charre
  • 1 0
 yes, they had to buy rainbow stripe from Lappiere Big Grin
  • 4 1
 More accurate would be that Lappiere walked away from the rainbow stripes...
  • 2 0
 Darkstar said he thinks Gwinn is the best downhiller he has ever seen I beg to differ. To me the best ever was Nico V!!! By far.. I think the new team will do very well with the riders they added. Good exposure!!
  • 2 1
 Value, Over valued, Under valued, ROI etc... I think It all is relative and really can only be answered by people cutting checks and selling bikes.... It cracks me up when I hear people say "Just give AG what he is asking for, he won with out a chain"

There is no doubt the run was amazing.. maybe the best ever? And there is no denying the results, speed and skill of AG...but what if he is asking for 3 million per year for 5 years? Is it really worth it? Hell no... Sales just won't justify it... So it all really is relative.

With that said I think AG has played a perfect hand, There is nothing wrong with a man asking for what he feels he is worth As absurd as some may think a crazy number is... If there is one buyer at asking price then you've scored. Clearly the company he is signing with must feel he is worth it.

I also think Specialized has played a very good hand... Assuming how most of these deals work and that they don't have all the added cost of supporting the three new riders with expenses etc. and are able to supply just equipment and money to a already dialed in program. They get 3 riders with great public image, bright futures and the current elite World Champ.
Plus adding a guy like Jared Graves, arguably the most versatile cyclist of all time. You have to take your hat off to that kind of off season dealing.


World Cup racing is awesome and amazing.. but make no mistake... It is all business... and budgets are drawn up and are justified mostly by sales... If bikes don't sell the money allotted for team's to go racing dries up... La Pierre is a perfect example.

I would love to see the before and after sales #'s of Specialized and who ever AG ends up riding for.


I am excited to see how this all plays out, There will no doubt be a learning curve for all the guys getting onto new bikes/programs... We'll see how steep or flat the curve is at the first race....Can AG, Athertons, the new Spesh and GT programs ride the new bike psych.. figure it out and come to the first race with both guns blazing or do the guys like Steve Smith, Troy, Sam, GM. Rat etc..Have an advantage by returning on equipment they are completely familiar with.

Only time will tell.
  • 2 1
 The article is very clear on The formation of the team and who makes up S-Factory team.

The Specialized Factory Racing team that was Troy Brosnan and Aaron Gwin remains as a one man team in 2016 with Troy manning the fort alone. Will we see another rider join Troy?
  • 1 0
 Aaron Gwin decided to go his own way! Specialized made their offer but it wasn't what he wanted, it happens all the time with moto and bike teams. The same way lapierre sent their own way. Hey who knows, maybe we will see Aaron on one of those bikes! Haha
  • 1 0
 If Gwin is currently training with his new team, than it is time to let us Know. If he is not, than it will take Him half the season to get acquainted with the new steed. So than, this could be a mirror year as His first with Spec...
  • 2 0
 All these flat-brim hatted youngsters could shred the crap out of any bike so I don't give a rip who rides what brand. Name dropping doesn't persuade me to buy a certain brand. BOOM. Eat that, marketing nerds.
  • 3 2
 Specialized dissolved the Monster Energy Team couple seasons ago because they wanted to have their own factory team. Weird but cool to see that they let Pure Agency have all the control.
  • 5 1
 "The Specialized Factory Racing team that was Troy Brosnan and Aaron Gwin remains as a one man team in 2016 with Troy manning the fort alone. Will we see another rider join Troy, time will tell, but in the meantime, here's the press release with all the information regarding today's news.."
  • 8 0
 Laurie greenland . Junior worldchampion 2015 still no team after Trek FR welcome Athertons. If he join to Spez FR as Troy mate. Spez would be truly The Young Gunner.
  • 5 1
 FINNteresting? Cranx those whips, ILes be watching!
  • 8 4
 Who cares, the question is where did Gwin ended up going
  • 9 0
 Find out next TUESday, but in the mean time, make me a cup of TEA, don't ask WHY...
  • 3 0
 It was obvious Gwin and PB knew when they were discussing the value of world champs vs the WC title in his interview.
  • 1 0
 Wouldn't be at all surprised to see these new arrangements being the tip of the iceberg for the direction of sponsorship in the sport. Gwin is no doubt going to do the same thing.
  • 7 4
 That's gonna be a unstoppable combo, loic and a demo....
  • 5 1
 Great news for Bruni!
  • 5 2
 Looks like... the next overall World Champion!
  • 4 1
 No surprise! Good luck Bruni!
  • 6 5
 Well played, Specialized. You found a way to get even more talented riders on Demos without paying nearly as much as it would have cost to keep Gwin.
  • 11 2
 They are more talented than Gwin?
  • 3 0
 only if you get all three on the bike at once!
  • 2 1
 Yes. Gwin is a hard worker but Bruni and to an extent Finn Illes, are prodigies.
  • 4 2
 Hahaha! OK. Whatever. You do realize Gwin began racing BMX at 4 and was racing nationals by 8. He went on to race MX at 12. He never rode downhill before, borrowed a bike when he was 20, got 3rd at the Fontana Winter Series, and 8 months after first getting on a DH bike, he was racing World Cups, getting a 10th place finish at Mont Sainte-Anne. No natural talent there at all. Just hard work obviously! Hahha
  • 4 1
 vw is not saying they're more talented just the fact they got more rides that are talented on their bikes.
  • 2 0
 Not more talented than Gwin, just as a whole, an increased number of talented riders. ktmrider got what I was saying.
  • 3 2
 2016 is going to be hard on Rob & Claudio... Having to remember everyone's new team and team name while announcing them in the start hut!
  • 3 0
 that's really awesome welcome to specialized bruni!
  • 2 1
 Huge loss for lapierre! ...just as many foreign to the brand(or disinterested) were taking notice via some of the best edits(of those riders).
  • 3 0
 It's going to be awkward when this team does better than the factory team
  • 1 2
 Best of all for the riders is they'll be practically no adapting to the new frames as they're merely going from one 4-bar horst link to another 4-bar horst link. Not like Aaron who went from a single-pivot linkage with a floating brake to a 4-bar horst link and took a year before he even managed a world cup win.
  • 2 2
 I'm excited to see Gwin on a new bike, think he did the best on the session but can't wait to see him smash all over the competition and would love to see another bike company rise above.
  • 1 0
 Be willing to wager that once gravity republics contract with their riders is up, that they will move onto specialized factory
  • 2 0
 wouldn't it be something if Yeti came out with another DH bike and started over with gwin......
  • 2 0
 How long ago did AG say he'd all but signed a contract with a team ready to pay him what he wanted?
Something's not right...
  • 6 3
 awesome!!
  • 4 3
 Somehow I have a feeling that it's not going to last longer than 1 season. Time will show...
  • 4 1
 I reckon 3 years.
  • 2 0
 2 year. From Finn's Instagram.
  • 6 5
 Why the need for 2 separate teams though? Why didnt they just roll them into one?
  • 1 0
 Because Specialized Factory Team is the factory s official team ( along with other sponsors ) and thats one thing and then Specialized decided its a good move to have their frames and gear ( tires / shoes ) on the circuit as well ( more exposure of the brand ) so they decided to be the sponsors for another team - Gravity Team ( pure agency ) - cool how they convienced Pure Agency to put the name of the team as Specialized Gravity Team ! - that way they managed to get you confused
  • 3 0
 What I think is that Pure Agency wanted to keep their team as is (rider, manager, mecanic, sponsors/partners).

If you look last year they were running easton wheels/bar/stem while specialized factory team was running DT Swiss wheels and Renthal bar/stem
  • 6 0
 I'm sure it was very easy to convince them to name the team 'specialized gravity'. They are not just providing frames and gear here. They are the title sponsor of the team and are surely paying a large amount of money for it.
  • 1 0
 You re right! I missed it !
  • 1 0
 like a moto gp team, one factory have two team Big Grin
  • 1 0
 I wonder how this will effect renthal and DT swiss since Gwin isnt there
  • 1 0
 like in motocross there is jgr and factory yamaha both on the same stuff just different owners
  • 1 0
 Damn it, April seems so far away right now . Can`t wait for Lourdes ! Also, great move by Specialized.
  • 4 2
 I wonder if Loic will win a world cup with no chain? #demosareamazing
  • 2 1
 So a proper racing team. But which freeriders are actually riding for specialized? Genuine question....
  • 1 0
 Mr. Soderstrom
  • 1 0
 Martin Soderstrom, Nicholi Rogatkin, Simon Pages. All dirt jumpers used to sell P bikes and P-Slopes. I guess the freeride scene isn't their focus anymore?
  • 1 0
 Matt Hunter Soderstrom Kyle Norbraten Coastal Crew Nicholi Rogatkin
  • 2 4
 Am a bit disappointed cause I would have liked to see Bruni join the Santa Cruz Syndicate rebel crew as that would have been a great match since he has the character + attitude for it - Though this is a very good move indeed for him with the big S empire.
  • 10 1
 Where is the Rebel is the Syndicate. It just pure marketing BS they are a professional race team just like the rest.
  • 2 1
 I think Ropelato is still on the factory team. Yes, no? Can anyone confirm. If he gets his head straight, he could do well.
  • 1 0
 He did mention he was done with enduros! So either PRO-GRT or World Cup!?
  • 1 0
 Loris was in San Remo in November when I went there for riding that amazing trails. He was hiding the bike in the van...
  • 2 0
 The Dark side grows in power...
  • 2 0
 let's hope the mechanic get a rise, it might cheer him up !
  • 1 0
 I think it's a poorly written article cause no one here seems to know what it meant. Hahahaha
  • 1 0
 Yo Specialized, how about you support and grow some of the ladies in Downhill? #snagfest
  • 1 0
 Gwin on CUBE-Bikes? cubeglobalsquad.com
New Team, said to consist of well known riders who got worldcup experience.
  • 4 2
 Congratulations lolo!
  • 5 6
 While this is exciting news. I really just want to know where Gwin I going!! Even though I'm probably wrong, I hope it's Santa Cruz.
  • 6 0
 Why Tea.
  • 4 3
 I was hoping that Bruni would end up at Santa Cruz this year.
  • 4 0
 I'm not sure I could see him in the Syndicate with Ratboy :o
  • 3 3
 bruni and ratboy completely different caracters...wouldnt work together at all
  • 8 0
 Gwin likes riding on a TUESday
  • 5 1
 Good thing they don't have to race a tandem bike then. Let's not exaggerate the meaning of team in a sport like this. It's still an individual sport.
  • 1 0
 Agreed^^^^
  • 3 0
 Ratboy is a hippie lol, him and Gwin are like opposing magnets. You can force them to work together, but naturally they just don't want to...
  • 3 2
 4in price of1 GWIN IS THE BOSS!
  • 1 1
 I did not see this coming! Guess Specialized realized they could sign 3 riders for the price of one!
  • 1 0
 Nothing else in this world matters at the moment when reading team changes
  • 2 0
 Fresh powder in socAl, white and brown!- stay focused out there Smile
  • 1 0
 Savage, looking forward to this season already..
  • 1 0
 Well I can't say I saw that coming.
  • 1 0
 i see they got the same rocker arm as gwin n troy used to run
  • 1 0
 I bet they got all three of them for a cheaper price than one Gwin!
  • 3 0
 Buy one Gwin, get another half-price!
  • 1 0
 The mechanic doesn't seem convinced.
  • 1 0
 Didn't Zink say Gwin is going to YT???
  • 1 0
 gwin is going to nukeproof with sam hill
  • 3 2
 Just WOW
  • 1 0
 Agency Staff
  • 1 0
 Saw that coming.
  • 3 0
 How could you have seen that coming? I only saw it coming because I read a few weeks ago that some french dude saw Loic and the team riding demo's and he commented it on a post. But other than that, what gave you this vision to the future?
  • 1 0
 HELL YEA
  • 1 0
 HOLY SHIT
  • 1 0
 yeah loic!
  • 1 0
 sHAME gW
  • 1 0
 hy
  • 5 6
 Gwin to Canyon. fuck over the evil S empire. YES PLEASE
  • 6 0
 Oh look, a Canyon rider...
  • 1 0
 OMG! Canyon? he was ride on strive next season Big Grin
  • 6 7
 Gwin will win more races than all of them combined.
  • 1 0
 LMFAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 2 0
 anything can happened next season. just look at how gwins first season with specialized went. same can happen againt, this goes all of them. one thing is for sure tho, gravity republic is one of the best, if not the best, team out there. Imagine Loic pulling thru and getting the top step next year and Loris having the same kind of development as loic had. That would be a dominant team.
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