Specialized Athletes you may not have heard about
Every week our news feeds are filled to the brim with the latest on Peter Sagan, Lizzie Deignan, Finn Iles and the other Specialized-sponsored superstars, but there are dozens of other riders under the Big S brand who ride their bikes up and down mountains, over trails and even across dams. Arguably some of the more exciting and awe-inspiring riders fly relatively low beneath the radar, so we’ve amassed some of the brightest new talents and heroes below.
This young American sensation and 2016 world freeride champion turned pro at the age of 13 and has taken the MTB world by storm. After winning the BMX Worlds in Germany and ASA Triples in Miami in 2013, Rogatkin went on to become the first rider ever to win both the Best Trick Competition and the main event at Vienna Air King in Vienna, Austria in 2015. Later that same year, he hit the headlines again with his “spectacular crash” at the freeride MTB event Redbull Rampage, named one of the scariest crashes in Rampage history. Despite what looked like a catastrophic tumble from a cliff and subsequent collision with terra firma, Rogatkin got up, put his helmet back on and proceeded to finish his run in an inspiring show of resilience and determination.
Rogatkin’s ride of choice is the indestructible Specialized P3, a hardtail dirt bike with Rockshox front suspension and hydraulic disc brakes.
Matt Hunter is a Canadian professional mountain biker who started riding cross country on the singletrack at the age of 12. By the age of fifteen, he was building jumps and throwing himself into downhill riding. His pro career began when he won the “Ultimate Freeride Challenge” in 2003, attracting the attention of Specialized, however, he chose not to pursue competition like so many of his fellow freestylers. Instead, he embarked upon a career of MTB movie-making which takes him all over the world. Most recently, he headed to Patagonia to brave the elements and ride some awe-inspiring volcanoes.
Hunter rides a collection of bikes including the Demo for faultless downhill runs, the “all-mountain” Enduro and the ultimate trail bike, the Stumpjumper FSR. Check out (more bank account-friendly models of) these bikes for yourself:
Two-time MTB World Junior Cross-Country Champion, Simon Andreassen is a young Danish professional cyclist who has competed in both cyclo-cross and MTB with Specialized. He’s also a coffee fanatic and at the tender age of 19, he has very recently opened Cranks Coffee, a cycling café in Copenhagen, with a couple of friends.
As a cross-country racer, Andreassen’s bike of choice is the S-Works Epic FSR, tuned for lightning fast responsiveness and incredible handling. For the Road Simon rides the Specialized Venge ViAS Disc
Austria’s answer to Danny MacAskill comes in the form of 21-year-old street trials rider Fabio Wibmer who has joined MacAskill’s Drop and Roll tour on many occasions. He has earned a reputation for daredevil stunts, big lines and massive tricks. In 2016, he rode along a skinny rail on top of one of Europe’s highest dams where the ground was covered in ice and rode downhill on a granny bike. Wibmer is a man always looking for the next opportunity for shock and awe on two wheels, whatever the size, with or without suspension.
On the street and trail, Wibmer chooses a Stumpjumper FSR 6FATTIE.
Hailing from Sweden, Martin Söderström is a Freeride Mountain bike rider whose professional career already spans ten years. Like several others on this list, Söderström is another who spends a lot of time in front of the camera making wild videos for the delight of his fans. However, he has enjoyed some competitive success in the past with multiple podiums at the FMB World Tour, Crankworx and Redbull Joyride.
Like Nicholi Rogatkin, Söderström spends a lot of time on the Specialized P3, a bike built for pulling tracks and flinging through the air. Elsewhere, his top pick for the trails is the S-Works Camber:
Cycling media can get saturated with tech news and impersonal jargon-filled swathes of information that cannot possibly get to the true depths of the joys of mountain biking. The Coastal Crew seeks to change that with “juicy nutrient filled filmic packages”. That is, cinematic gold that shows off more than just the bike. The young bikers from British Colombia aim to bring to light the vibrant lifestyle of mountain biking, the beers and parties, socialising, hardwork and discoveries. Dylan Dunkerton and Curtis Robinson ride custom Demo 8s with SRAM components and RockShox Boxxer fork when not testing the capabilities of other Specialized bikes like the Turbo Levo ebike (https://vimeo.com/191759944).
Leave a comment
Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.