We do pretend a lot from our bike, for both performance and reliability. We have to trust our mtb, not just for the fun factor, but for our own safety. Performance plays a fundamental role but never at the expense of durability.
We do take care very often of our mtb, we do a complete check almost at every ride. We make sure that the brakes have a good feeling, that suspensions run smoothly, that the frame does not make weird noises, that the chain is clean and well lubricated, and the list could go on over and over.
However, there are professional riders who, in some sense, do precisely the opposite. Not that they don’t take care of their bike. Their job is to find the limit of it, and therefore they have to mistreat their mtb a bit. They have to move into a new, unexplored field. They have to go beyond that limit and see if everything is fine. And if something goes wrong, then something will break. What these riders do is critical to developing outstanding products. They do ride pretty much prototypes only; as soon as a new product is out, they already have a new prototype on their bike. Maybe something that will hit the market a few years later, or perhaps something that will never find his way out there. Very often they have to play the bad-rider game. Maybe riding a thirty minutes descent squeezing the brakes all the time, or deliberately blast the components with the power washer, as many riders unfortunately do. They don’t have to be good just at riding the bike to the limit, sometimes they have to mistreat it a bit.
These riders must have an excellent relationship with the engineers they work with. They have to trust them when they ask things that would make an average rider shake. What would you say to an engineer who asks you to cut the arch of your DH fork and throw yourself at full gas on the most technical trail you know? Well, a good tester has to go with it and come back with a helpful report.
Very often, these testers live in areas full of trails because they have to ride pretty much every day, week after week. One of our most active test riders is Matteo Lupidi, a professional mtb guide who operates in Finale Ligure. People like Matteo are critical to our job. Their contribution to product development is crucial.
We want to show you some pictures of Matteo’s bike, just to give you an idea of how the mtb of a professional test rider looks. Stuffed with prototypes made of raw parts, sometimes machined at the very last minute just to push it into the bike.
If you have a Formula product on your bike and if you are happy with it, as we hope. If you happen to take a ride in Finale Ligure and meet Matteo, well, thank him, maybe get him a beer, because the smile on your face you have every time you go out with your bike it’s also thanks to him.