World Cup Downhill MTB Race Talk

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5/22/2019 5:27 AM

Gwinny wrote:

I shoulda been more descriptive and explained things better in that initial comment so that I'm not having to go back and clarify now. I answered a lot of these same accusations in the other responses I made on that same Instagram post but I'll give ya guys the goods too.

I was just frustrated honestly. I had just got a message from the guys at Mountain creek who took the video respectfully telling me that they weren't going to send the video around, which was kind of them. One of the guys had sent it to someone else and that dude blasted it to Vital straight away. I can't control what the media puts out there but with this video and the circumstances being what they were, it just made the whole situation a bummer. They were old parts that we were told not to run and it was a bummer knowing E13 was gonna get hammered so hard. It would have been cool of Vital to ask for any background info to go with the video.

Also, John's my guy, there's nobody else I'd rather have with me at the races and he's been near perfect for the entire 5+ years we've been working together now. I trust him completely and we've built a strong friendship over the years, anyone who's spent any time around us knows this. A big part of having a real relationship with anyone though is being ok to admit when you've made a mistake. We both understand that and he'd tell you the same thing. He'd want the blame for this to fall on him and not E13 because that's reality. We don't try to cover things up by passing blame, we just represent the truth of the situation and move on.

These were old model cranks that E13 told us not to put on a race bike over a year ago because they'd been having issues with them. The bike I was riding last weekend was the very first Intense that I got months ago before I even signed the contract with them. At that time, I wanted to test it back to back with my YT for comparison and we didn't have a lot of spares to build it up since our new parts hadn't arrived yet. We pieced that bike together with random parts that we had laying around, John had saved those cranks for an enduro bike or something and just threw them on because they were the only ones he had at that time. Shortly after I signed with intense I switched to the XL frame and we built that bike up with all the current parts once they came in before team camp. I just recently went back to that large practice bike a few weeks ago after Maribor, I hadn't been riding it much before then and John just didn't think to swap the cranks out. We both had no idea but when he sent the photos of the broken cranks back to E13 for research with the part number, they came back to us kind of like, "dude, we told you not to run those, why were they on your bike?". When John remembered what batch of cranks those came from he was bummed to say the least.

Anyways, just trying to give some back story since it's kind of blown up over my comment. There's so many factors involved that me saying what I did on Instagram gave a really short perspective to the whole situation and I should of explained things a bit better. You guys all know that the media seeks out the drama constantly and only gives a certain amount of truth in a lot of things that are posted. That's ok, it's become a part of our culture these days but it doesn't mean that I should just roll with whatever way they decide to represent things.

The hardest thing that I've had to deal with in my career is harsh judgment from the fans. Might surprise you but it's true. It straight up sucks when people talk bad about you, especially since they rarely understand the reality of certain situations. You guys see a very narrow view sometimes of whatever the media chooses to represent, that's why I've always kind of made an effort to step in and make things clear. Sometimes for better, and sometimes maybe for worse. I'm pretty confident that if any of you were to go out to coffee with John and I to discuss this whole situation, or any other in the past, you'd have a very different view on reality when you saw the trust we have for each other, the factors involved, etc.

Just tryin to be real with you guys.

So how long until E13 replicate your ankle bone structure? I honestly don't know how you didn't rip your lower leg off.
As for the post, in 6 months people would have forgotten about this. It seems to me that the butterly effect came into this more than ever, One person doing on thing slightly different could have changed the outcome of this. No need to play a blame game. Good luck for the rest of the season.

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5/22/2019 8:35 AM

Huge respect, Aaron, way to rise above and be professional. Thank you for responding and clarifying things.

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5/22/2019 8:37 AM

grinch wrote:

E-13 carbon cranks on sale in the "deal" pop up on the vital home page. Anyone getting a pair?

I've had 2 pairs for about a year. Still trust them more than the RF and SRAM carbon cranks I broke in well under a year. I agree the older cranks were sub par (but no worse than the early SRAM X01 carbon cranks out there that broke a ton). The new cranks released this year and reviewed on PB recently come with a 5 year warranty. Cant say for sure but I would assume they will be good with a warranty like that or no $ would be made...

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5/22/2019 10:31 AM

Well, this all has forced me to go through all of my "spares" in the garage and throw out some of those "i'll keep it because someday i'll use this XT derailleur i smashed against a rock, even though it's 10spd, for another build" components and throw them out.

I feel good about it.

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5/22/2019 10:41 AM

fun house wrote:

Interesting to compare how differently things were handled between breaking something relatively small like a crank in this case to when a rival team's leading man smashed a frame in half.

onenerdykid* wrote:

I think they are two totally different instances though. For starters, E13 have had known quality problems with certain cranks, whereas Santa Cruz did not have a known issue with V10s snapping (although I'm sure it can happen, as with anything). Secondly, the E13 crank broke under normal riding conditions and not due to an impact with a wooden post. Had the E13 crank broke by running into a wooden post or a tree, it would have been seen differently but it broke during a relatively normal landing in a race run. Likewise, if Minnaar's V10 had snapped during a normal landing people would have reacted to it completely differently.

So because of pre-existing quality problems and breaking under normal riding conditions, I think E13 feared some public backlash that Santa Cruz never had to worry about. And because of this fear, the parties involved jumped to defend their image more so than normal. I'm not justifying how "E13" handled it, just providing an explanation as to how & why these are two different scenarios.

This is such an important point.
We have all these communication channels today, but sometimes it is better to not use them.
Santa Cruz have not jumped on twitter claiming how Marshy was experimenting with frame flex on that particular frame and had made cuts in the downtube and toptube the night before. They accepted that stuff breaks on the top level of racing. Especially when smashed into a post. Even if there´s a perfect excuse, people won´t ever know if it´s the truth and there are too many companies out there using these lame prototype/pre production excuses on a daily basis, so people are just fed up with it and start calling bs on any excuse made.
Maybe it´s a symptom of todays twitter mob mentality to instantly release a statement, but in this case it would have been better to just leave it up to peoples interpretation.
Personally, i saw the whole thing as one of the gnarliest riders alive breaking stuff on an overshoot. Simple as that.
Yes, the known quality issues of e13 were in the back of my head, but this wasn´t the straw to break the camels back and surely it wasn´t for most other people out there.
A lot of things came together to make this whole thing blow up the way it did and i assume it is just another lesson learned for Aaron and the team.

I will also say, there is another angle to this, Aaron.
People really wanna like you.
Their reactions will be more harsh, the more they like/idolize you.
I´m pretty sure most people were most angry because of the whole thing being "blamed" on John.
People reacting in this manner to your actions might not be pleasant, but it does show they do care.
I´m damn sure most people in this thread weren´t just blindly hating, they were disappointed BECAUSE they like you.

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5/22/2019 11:10 AM

Loki87 wrote:

This is such an important point.
We have all these communication channels today, but sometimes it is better to not use them.
Santa Cruz have not jumped on twitter claiming how Marshy was experimenting with frame flex on that particular frame and had made cuts in the downtube and toptube the night before. They accepted that stuff breaks on the top level of racing. Especially when smashed into a post. Even if there´s a perfect excuse, people won´t ever know if it´s the truth and there are too many companies out there using these lame prototype/pre production excuses on a daily basis, so people are just fed up with it and start calling bs on any excuse made.
Maybe it´s a symptom of todays twitter mob mentality to instantly release a statement, but in this case it would have been better to just leave it up to peoples interpretation.
Personally, i saw the whole thing as one of the gnarliest riders alive breaking stuff on an overshoot. Simple as that.
Yes, the known quality issues of e13 were in the back of my head, but this wasn´t the straw to break the camels back and surely it wasn´t for most other people out there.
A lot of things came together to make this whole thing blow up the way it did and i assume it is just another lesson learned for Aaron and the team.

I will also say, there is another angle to this, Aaron.
People really wanna like you.
Their reactions will be more harsh, the more they like/idolize you.
I´m pretty sure most people were most angry because of the whole thing being "blamed" on John.
People reacting in this manner to your actions might not be pleasant, but it does show they do care.
I´m damn sure most people in this thread weren´t just blindly hating, they were disappointed BECAUSE they like you.

Exactly, I’d be willing to bet most of us watched the clip to make sure Aaron’s foot was still attached, not to hate on e13.

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5/22/2019 12:50 PM

Back to Maribor, this video from Sleeper.co sheds some light on Phil Atwill's process and some behind the scenes bits:



Full immersion, focus, involvement, and enjoyment of a process. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does, resulting in a loss in one's sense of space and time.

For athletes, flow is essential but elusive. This is a story of working with the flow state and the consequential ups and downs of a professional mountain bikers career.

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5/22/2019 6:45 PM

grinch wrote:

E-13 carbon cranks on sale in the "deal" pop up on the vital home page. Anyone getting a pair?

Milkman55 wrote:

I've had 2 pairs for about a year. Still trust them more than the RF and SRAM carbon cranks I broke in well under a year. I agree the older cranks were sub par (but no worse than the early SRAM X01 carbon cranks out there that broke a ton). The new cranks released this year and reviewed on PB recently come with a 5 year warranty. Cant say for sure but I would assume they will be good with a warranty like that or no $ would be made...

Dont know why those stats haven't been mentioned until now but good to know. Hope hour cranks continue as is. What model of race face cranks did you break?

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5/22/2019 8:21 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/22/2019 8:41 PM

Sweet Bar Drag. Sweet everything else.

I was about to say, why does this man with so much flow not win every race? From the first time I saw him? That last line says it all. Soon come Phil. Soon come.

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5/23/2019 7:37 AM

Wow the #GwinSaga is really something else, went down quite the rabbit hole this morning

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5/23/2019 10:36 AM
Edited Date/Time: 5/23/2019 10:36 AM

That whole interview really is something else.
I don´t know what to say to that.
This is getting blown way out of proportion by them.

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5/24/2019 1:01 AM

Old style cranks? Photos and email from e13 or I'm not buying it. Sorry.

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5/24/2019 7:46 AM
Edited Date/Time: 5/24/2019 7:46 AM

Loki87 wrote:

That whole interview really is something else.
I don´t know what to say to that.
This is getting blown way out of proportion by them.

The whole thing is ridiculous. It's such a non story that has been made into a massive thing. I can't believe how badly this was handled by everyone involved (the PB interview doesn't help either).

Part the reason for going racing is about product development. Having someone like Gwin testing products to destruction so that us mortals can benefit from better products. Hell, he rides harder and faster than anyone on Earth, I'm surprised he doesn't break more stuff.

Things break. Everybody knows this. No need to make a song and dance about it.


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5/24/2019 11:57 AM



You can see in this photo that the cranks are the older style. They have the white letters that say "ethirteen components" and the newer 4th gen on e13's website are different cosmetically.
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5/24/2019 2:25 PM

freedurogasgas wrote:

You can see in this photo that the cranks are the older style. They have the white letters that say "ethirteen components" and the newer 4th gen on e13's website are different cosmetically.


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5/24/2019 3:26 PM

Here’s the positive spin-“My HT pedals are too strong!”

I’m a DH fan. Been riding DH since ‘94 and now have a 15 yro that rips and loves the sport as well. I couldn’t ask for more. American DH “fans” are horrible...at least the ones living their lives online. As a whole, there is more bitching and complaining about DH related stuff than I’ve ever seen in any other sport.

I’ve never understood why AG has been ridden so hard..and half of it has nothing to do with the sport. People have issue with someone who acknowledges something in his life that he feels helps make him a better person (faith)? Seriously!? WTF? I don’t care if you acknowledge Buhda, the tooth fairy, or John Jacob Jingle Heimer Schmidt..if it helps you be a better person, good for you.

I personally think AG is the best thing that has happened to DH in the US (and the world) in a long time. I’m also a Palmer fan. I think he’s one of the greatest athletes this country has seen...but I also think he was one of the worst things that happened to DH in the US. People didn’t see below the surface and basically thought the way to be rad was to act like a punk and party even harder. I’m no saint, not even close, but I would much rather my son model himself as an athlete, and human being, after Gwin than Palmer.

So yeah, was I disappointed in the IG post etc. yeah, I was. But i’m glad I didn’t go spouting off about it until hearing the full story. The guy is human. End of story.

That being said; Aaron, the only way to truly save face in this scenario is to punch Lance Armstrong straight in the face.

Hoping he returns strong and stays healthy through the rest of the season.

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5/24/2019 4:32 PM

freedurogasgas wrote:

You can see in this photo that the cranks are the older style. They have the white letters that say "ethirteen components" and the newer 4th gen on e13's website are different cosmetically.

Loki87 wrote:

Shopped my @ss I took the video that went viral. Neko came up to us and asked for the crank and pedal back and we gave it to him. The video was air dropped to a Canadian rider who also broke a crank there and he sent it to Vital. Believe it if you want but that’s how it went.

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5/24/2019 4:44 PM

It´s a meme dude.
Lighten up a bit.

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5/24/2019 4:54 PM

Alright well didn’t mean to get all up in arms but I think Gwin is telling the truth. Maybe it wasn’t the most thought out press release but those look like third gen e13 cranks. Either way I still wouldn’t run them or any carbon crank for that matter. Ti is the way to go but not affordable.

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5/24/2019 6:37 PM

Yup, i hadn´t even doubted the crank story before any proof.
The problem is when an athlete or manufacturer gets all up in arms over such a trivial thing, people will inevitably start to doubt the story. Now, after that interview, these things will pop up like mushrooms. That´s what i wanted to express.

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5/25/2019 11:38 AM

Here's an interesting feature on Steve Peat's continued involvement and changing role within the Santa Cruz Syndicate: https://www.santacruzbicycles.com/en-US/news/steve-peat-and-the-syndicate

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5/28/2019 7:23 AM
Edited Date/Time: 5/28/2019 7:24 AM

Bummer for Gwin! I guess this will sort out what size he's going to run

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5/28/2019 7:27 AM

ugh, that sucks!!!

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5/28/2019 8:34 AM

Did you ask Gwin for an interview or at least if you are allowed to publish it?

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5/28/2019 8:39 AM

At least that takes out the Large vs XL debate.

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5/28/2019 9:17 AM

Gwin & company can't catch a break this month.

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5/28/2019 11:06 AM



Nukeproof joining the DH 29er game.
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5/28/2019 3:38 PM

I wonder why one of the most important bikes on the race circuit was stored in a van with windows and not the big safe secure box Intense were towing ? and why was the bike fully built if they only just arrived in the country ?

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5/28/2019 8:09 PM

peecee wrote:

I wonder why one of the most important bikes on the race circuit was stored in a van with windows and not the big safe secure box Intense were towing ? and why was the bike fully built if they only just arrived in the country ?

1st year team owner and 1st year in business might be like most businesses where you just can't catch a break and learn a bunch of lessons when you are starting off.....

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5/29/2019 1:08 AM

bturman wrote:

Here's an interesting feature on Steve Peat's continued involvement and changing role within the Santa Cruz Syndicate: https://www.santacruzbicycles.com/en-US/news/steve-peat-and-the-syndicate

Nice. Probably had to write this himself 😁

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