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: Rowan Sorrell
Occupation: Trail builder / Co-owner of Bike Park Wales (BPW)
Background: Racing Downhill for 20 years, trail building for the last 11 years.
Bikes ridden at SOHO bike test: Orange 324 Downhill bike | Orange Alpine 160mm trail bike | Orange Segment 110mm 29er
Favourite?: “Probably the DH bike, it’s nice to be able to ride a track where you can feel the benefit from a DH bike, but to be honest the trail bike felt great and I enjoyed riding that just as much. The 29er was lacking travel, but was still fun, and the big wheels felt good.”
Which felt most fun?: “The Alpine, maybe the Segment if it had more travel.”
Which felt fastest?: “At a guess I’d say the DH bike would’ve been fastest.”
[Ed – Not quite – After seeing the results it was amazing to see Rowan was nearly 2 seconds faster on his trail bike with a 03.03.61 and a 03.05.19 on the DH bike, and amazingly on a bike with just 110mm travel on the roughest track at Bike Park Wales (50 Shades of Black) he did an impressive time of 03.08.96 on the 29er].
If you only had one bike what would it be?: “The 27.5 trail bike, to be able to ride a track at a similar pace [actually faster – Ed] than a Downhill bike is pretty impressive. It’s nice to have more than one bike, but you can comfortably and competitively have one bike.”
What is the biggest change you’ve seen in Mountain Biking?: “Over the last 10 years accessibility for riders and riding has increased dramatically, Along with bike technology improving and evolving, trail bikes now are way better than the downhill bikes we used to race on, but it’s mainly how accessible and popular the sport is. A once niche sport is rapidly growing and now extremely popular.”
What will/should be the next step in Mountain Biking?: More venues to help introduce people to the sport. There’s a lot on the cusp, it’ll be interesting to see where it goes with the Electric bikes and the 27+ (plus) size wheels. I find it frustrating how sizing and standards change so much, it’s something the industry need to be cautious about, I’m lucky to be given a lot of my bikes and components, but it’s not easy for the core and bread and butter of the industry who spend £3000-£4000 on a bike that will most likely need updating in a year.”
After a good day on the bike, what’s your go to meal?: “Probably a burger, good old fashioned comfort food.”
For more details of what Bike Park Wales has to offer, click here.