Traharn spent the day at Bike Park Wales with Soho Bikes who were filming their latest video for Soho Bikes TV. The day was all about riding different wheel sizes to try and answer the impossible question ‘which is best?’. Traharn grabbed a few minutes with some of the riders to find out more about their answer to this question, and more.
Words – Traharn Chidley
Photos – Dan Wyre Photography
Name: Rob Warner
Background: Downhill, BMX, Trials, Motor-cross, Motorbike Enduro, Mountain bike Enduro, talking (probably the best talker I’ve ever seen).
Discipline: Competed in downhill for years, and now predominately follows downhill commentating and presenting.
Bikes ridden at SOHO bike test: Giant Reign – trail bike, Giant Glory – Downhill bike
Favourite?: “Downhill bike, but it was always gunna be unless it was a perfectly smooth blue run”. Safe to say Rob likes to be as comfortable as possible when out on his bike.
Which felt most fun?: “The downhill bike felt the most fun, it wasn’t as rough as the trail bike, but ’50 shades of Black’ is the steepest track here, just about steep and bumpy enough to warrant a downhill bike. Any other decent at Bike Park Wales would be more fun on a trail/enduro bike; because you can be so much more active on a trail bike, pumping and making it work more. If you don’t mind getting knocked about a bit, then you could have just as much fun and maybe even go just as fast on a trail bike.”
Which felt fastest?: “Without putting in a full run,” [that just ain’t Robs style] “the downhill bike felt quicker, carrying more momentum.”
If you only had one bike what would it be?: “Nowadays, it would definitely be the Enduro bike .. [INTERVIEW PAUSED: A classic Michael Jackson tune starts belting from Robs phone.. Rob answers the phone while casually sipping a coffee in the BPW café while Peaty is waiting for him at the top of the hill.. I can hear Peaty on the other end of the phone in the bustling wind, Rob shouts to peaty so he can hear him over the wind and says he’s on his way.. Then gets back to the interview and sipping his coffee, (hillarious)] – “If I wasn’t racing downhill, I wouldn’t have a downhill bike, not in this country anyway.”
What is the biggest change you’ve seen in Mountain Biking?: “The bikes are just f#ckin’, you know, they keep getting better and better and better and better, until a point where now the enduro bikes are just incredible; You can go up on them, down on them, they’re not hard work, capable of almost anything, so I’d say that’s the biggest change.” “Also the dropper seat post is one of the best things to have changed in mountain bikes.”
What will/should be the next step in Mountain Biking?: [doesn’t think for too long until confidently stating] “Electric motors in all the bikes”, he then laughs and knows his idea of mountain biking and hard work isn’t quite on par with other athletes. “It’s hard to think where they will or could possibly take it next, bikes are incredible now, you don’t have to run a chain guide, the seat drops, you can have 6inches of travel which you can lock out if you want, and it works incredible; the geometry of the bikes have got so much better, when I was racing the bikes were so small and horrible, and now I can barely reach the bars on an enduro bike, and they’re so much better for it; so I don’t know where they’ll go. I like 29er wheels; if I could get a 6inch travel, 29er enduro bike that would probably be it for me.”
After a good day on the bike, what’s your go to meal?: “Well I’ve gone off curry now.. F#@kin’ scampi and chips.. Satisfies on all levels, and you can justify the fat intake.”
[He then leisurely finishes off his coffee and heads off to meet Peaty .. still waiting for him, in the wind, on top of the Welsh hills.]