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Sam Hill CRC/Nukeproof Interview and video 2013

12:00 11th January 2013 by Billy Thackray
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Following on from the hot news that Sam Hill has moved from Monster Energy/Specialized to CRC/Nukeproof we had a quick chat with Sam to find out more.

Hey Sam, this is a big team change for you, can you tell us your reason for leaving Monster Specialized and signing up with CRC/Nukeproof?

I was basically looking for a change and something fresh. I feel like it was getting too stale where I was at and it wasn’t working for me anymore. I wanted to be with a company whose focus was on downhill and a company that was going to get me excited. Nigel Page told me they were looking to bring on a new rider and I really liked the look of the new Nukeproof Pulse. I actually tested the bike out and after my first run down the hill my mind was made up. I had a huge smile on my face and think there’s great potential working with Chain Reaction and Nukeproof.


Photo:CRC/Nukeproof

How many years have you signed for?

I signed for 2 years with the option for another 2 after that if were all happy with things.

Was it difficult for you to tell Sean Heimdal (previous team manager) that you were moving on?

Yeah, I was a little nervous, we have worked together for the last ten years and we are good friends. I didn’t want him to take me moving on personally and be offended, but its all good.


Photo:CRC/Nukeproof

How much time did you spend riding the Pulse before making a decision and what were your first impressions of the bike?

I felt more comfortable on the Pulse straight away than my race bike from last year. Like I said I had my mind made up after my first run. I was impressed.

Your last bike, the Demo 8 was kind of custom built for you, are you going to run a stock Nukeproof? Have you tried making any adjustments to the geometry yet? Any custom tweaks?

Yes, I have in my contract that I can change things if I want to. I actually tested out a few things just to see how it would make the bike handle and kept going back to their stock size medium. It has impressed me how good the bike actually is.

You, Sean and your mechanic Jacy had a very close working relationship, I know Nige (CRC/Nukeproof manager) is a super nice guy, but how easy do you think it will be for you to adjust to the new set up especially with a new mechanic? Is there a chance that Jacy might join the team?

Yeah, right now there’s a chance Jacy will come and work with us. I hope he does as I think he will really enjoy it. I have always got along well with Pagey and like the way he operates things. It’s going to be different at first but I’m sure a couple races in things are going to feel right at home. Everything in dealing with Nigel and the team so far has been amazing as a rider; there’s been a huge amount of support from them.


Photo:CRC/Nukeproof

How about your new teammates Matt Simmonds and Joe Smith, have you met those lads before? You’ll probably take the pressure off them to perform which should make them ride better too!

I have briefly talked to them both before. They seem like really cool guys and pretty laid back so I think we will get on awesome. They are both awesome riders and showed that last year so I’m looking forward to riding with them and all helping each other.

How about your sponsors? Any change there or any conflict with the CRC team?

Yes, there are a few changes, I’m going to be on a full range of Nukeproof components, Mavic wheels, Schwalbe tires, I’ll still be running SRAM drive train, Rockshox suspension and Avid brakes. I feel comfortable on all the changes and really happy with things.


Photo:CRC/Nukeproof

So, can you tell us which round or rounds of the British Downhill Series are you racing? I know the Brits are going to be stoked to see you racing a national.

Yeah, I’ve wanted to race some British nationals for a little while now. I’m happy that it’s going to work out this season. I’m still sorting the schedule out with the team to see what’s going to work but I’ll defiantly be at 1 or 2 rounds. I’m looking forward to it for sure.


Photo:CRC/Nukeproof

How do you find racing now that you’re a dad? Do you find it difficult to leave your family behind and travel especially with your son Bam being so young? Will they join you at the races?

It has been hard for sure. I think because he was our first child it was hard on my fiancé figuring it all out as first time parents. I also didn’t want to miss out on his development while I was away so I got pretty home sick. He has grown so fast and it’s been amazing but now I have to go win some races for them. I’m hoping they can come support me at a couple races but that’s undecided at the moment.

Do you think World Cup racers have upped their game recently or have you dropped off the pace? I mean, you were in a different league for a couple of years, but after maybe that shoulder injury in Fort William you seemed to struggle, well maybe not struggle but not dominate as you had been. Is injury the main factor?

I think the game has changed. It’s like anything in life things get better and when you’re not there it’s hard to keep up, so being injured has made it hard. I’m happy I stayed healthy last season and although I didn’t get the results I wanted I learnt a lot and know how fast I need to be. I think this season I will be back where I need to be.

What are your goals for 2013? I want to win!

Which tracks are you looking forward to this season? Fort Will, Val di Sole, Vallnord and Mont Sainte Anne are all tracks that have your name on!

To be honest I’m excited for them all. I’m real happy Willingen got cancelled haha. But probably most looking forward to kicking it off in Ft William.


Photo:CRC/Nukeproof

What other races will you do this year? Crankworx? Aussie Nationals?

Yeah Aussie nationals, a couple British rounds, possibly Crankworx.

What does your off season training regime consist of? What sort of exercise and activities do you do? Have you got a personal trainer? Special diet?

I’m working with my coach that I’ve had for the last few years. No crazy diet, just trying to be healthy. Training is going good so far. Been out on the road bike more than normal and testing clip pedals just in case I whip them out somewhere this season.

Are you riding clips now or still on the flat pedals?

Haha downhill for sure on flats for now but I’ll never say never. Even though I want too.

Have you added any more tattoos recently?

Not yet but I’m booked in for a couple before the season starts. Gotta get my little boy on me somewhere.

I love jokes, even bad jokes, have you heard any recently?

Why was the blondes belly button bruised? Her husband was blonde too!

Thanks very much Sam, any final words?

I think I deserve a nice Dirt cover for all these questions. Shredding on the Nukeproof?

Ha, we’ll see what we can do! Thanks very much and good luck for the season.

  1. Matt Collins

    “I think this season I will be back where I need to be”.

  2. enri

    are you kidding me?!!!?! what did the nukeproof guys do to this guy?I mean, he’s told funny things in an interview, to journalists! nonsense….

    1. Alpop

      Dude he is funny as, watch this vid, this is him in real life.
      http://www.pinkbike.com/video/221356/

  3. guideo

    pretty funny joke there! if he’s telling the truth I just don’t get how someone elses stock Pulse can be more comfortable than his custom build Demo 8. My heads in bitz :)

  4. Sam

    That joke was pretty funny! Cant wait to see him at some nationals.

    1. dirt dodger

      i just don’t get it :-( i have read it 5 or 6 times now…..

      1. Eoin

        Let’s say the husband “got the wrong hole”. Hadnt heard it before, pretty funny.

  5. Sam

    Also, I think it shows how much he wants to win that he is even willing to use clips!

  6. Maximilian

    Why does everybody think that Demo is such an awesome bike? Where’s the proof that it is? I vividly remember what Myles Rockwell said in an interview once, being asked how he feels coming from a one-off 45.000 USD US-made Cannondale to a stock Taiwan-made Giant and the answer was “better”. (I will dig that up, if I must.) Now, of course where were different times and it’s not like Giant has done ever something right on the geometry side of things (except this year, if we look at the numbers) and we also need to accept the riders’ willingness to overhype their sponsors’ products, but still. Let’s be real: these guys can race and win on pretty much any platform and it will be set up for them as good as it gets. No reason to whine here!

    Cheers to Sam!
    Mx

  7. Pager

    Haa some of these comments about the Pulse are funny:)
    So you know guys. All of us at Nukeproof are bike riders, we have rode many different manufacturers bikes for years and we design the Pulse to be the best bike with the correct geometry etc that we want. It is a custom factory bike from scratch. If Sam wanted to change anything then thats not a problem!But the bike is right as it is available to the public. Its a bicycle not an F1 car!
    For you guys that don’t believe, go and test one out and see for yourselves!
    Cheers:)
    Nigel

    1. Trumpore

      Problem is too many wankers on forums who spend more energy worrying about spring curves and plotting axle path that they’re convinced they’re riding a line graph instead of a bike.

    2. MoabRover

      Agreed, the Pulse is just a bike, whereas the carbon Demo is F1.

      1. WAKi

        Haha Nige, you are still in way comfier shoes with all team/rider rotations than Specialized and Trek guys – I would not like to be in their skin now.

        And as for F1, c’m on you have a chance to be MTB’s Ron Dennis for fks sake! Call the guy and bring silver arrow colours on! I have a suggestion for you actualy for the development of Sam’s pulse – fill in the front triangle space with a huge patch of carbon, same with non drive side seat/chainstay in the swingarm for logos of potential sponsors. Then ask Mavic to provide you the disc version of Deemax wheels to get additional commercial space!

        Man if I was a marketing director of some energy drink company, I would call you right away with a ready design of a spiral for those wheels (like from aircraft propeller’s nose)to show how you feel about drinking our stuff!

        Do it and make me Bernie Ecclestone of DH…

      2. Cheese dick

        Waki, what are you on about?! Dee max’s are disc only, there isn’t a rim brake version with a braking surface on the rim, never has been, even when they were first released in the 90′s

      3. WAKi

        Cheese penis – oh excuse me. In the times of wheel size confusion in mountain biking, plagued with axle sizes and rotor mount standards, I have made things even worse by adding TT/track wheel nomenclature. I meant the road TT disc wheel, not a wheel with a disc brake mount.

        http://www.yellow-limited.com/search.php?brand=c&type=disc+c%2B

        But to make it worse for you, I want Mavic to make me a Downhill wheelset that is disc in form, with centrelock 20/110mm X 157x12mm spacing that is fucking tubular! To go with that I want a tubular Minion DHF 29″, 3c EX0, 1 ply 2,5″ with Minion DHR 650b, 60a, EXO, 2 ply ,2,35″

        Easy!

        You will spend 5 hours on CRC to order a wheelset and set of tires going with it. The only way I see it can get easier is for CRC to provide packages like: Sam’s rubber surprise of the week.

      4. Cheese dick

        Oh right, I see, Waki. You clearly are a tosser who likes talking shite. Trying to be clever. Good luck with that

      5. WAKi

        You’re lucky it’s internet you suburban gobshyte or I’d whack your arse with the tripple chainset

    3. Dave Hughes

      well said feller

      1. gav

        like the old tioga disc drive?

  8. Eoin

    This season is going to be awesome because of the new teams, but still way too short. About the custom demo, surely he could only play with the geometry. A different bike with a different stiffness profile and kinematics might result in a much different feel, especially now that most bikes have similar angles.

  9. Olliebongo

    Get it outta ye Pager :)tells it how it is.This bike and the news that Sam has joined CRC are probably two of the most exciting thigs to happen all year. As usual the warriors canny hack it. Actually cannot wait to see the proof in the pudding when he Shreds the shit out of it down the track at Ft.Bill. Positive news for both Sam and CRC in my view, therefore only a good thing for the sport and the new season. Jeez if it wasnt so far away tho. Any chance aul Samuel will be coming to Doagh/Belfast for a wee tester?? Fanboy autograph book’s a bit empty at the mo. hahaha

  10. BigBaws

    He certainly looks comfortable doesn’t he, hope he feckin smashes it! Go on Samuel

  11. Johan

    I had the same experience when riding my Scalp the first time. Only thing i would change is add a xl frame that is longer in the reah, otherwise it is probably nicest feeling bike i have tried, it has a really natural feel when riding, just a little short for my taste. Low bb’s feel nice, higher are faster imo (reasonable high)

  12. guideo

    I defer to you Mr Page. My previous comment was just a bit of pinkbike fluff to be honest. I wasn’t expecting a reply from the man himself! Im as excited with the turn of events as anyone. Hope to see Mr Hill mixing it up with the mancs at delamere forest/foel etc. I’ll be at llangollen to see Bam’s father ‘avin it

  13. iloper

    Can you please use more 1000 frames per second please. we cant see sh*t- he’s too fast..

  14. ????

    well said pagey..the nukeproof scalp was by far the most popular bike in the uk in 2012.had a go of my mates scalp and it was one cool bike to ride so the pulse will defo be a master of downhill..nuf said.

  15. dirt dodger

    is the start of the season too long away for anybody??? thank fook for AMA SX and the winter race series’ in Britain

  16. Rasheeeeed JamJar

    I cannot wait to see him at some nationals! He’s confirmed to be racing Llangollen so I’ll be there!

  17. Stikman

    Sam for UCI president!

  18. ronin

    any chance crc flying out and pinning it at Sea Otter? c’mon! sam and aaron on fresh horses!

  19. FoomanG

    Sam gives his feedback for geometry tweaks “Get thet bb slammed i want me pedals dragging on tha deck an see that headtube I want that comin out at farkin right angles moite! Sick!

    1. FoomanG

      PS good luck for the season dood!

  20. PCS

    Hey Pagey now that you have an Australian on the team how about you get your distributors (not dealers) to actually distribute to Australia, that way when the Pulse is available (its still a demo) we can test it! As a shop owner dealing with other “exclusive” dealers and the UK distributor i can tell you its working against uou and wont grow your brand. P.S. the video was awesome, I’m going riding now ow yeah!

  21. Carl Lotter

    Downhill reminds me of MotoGP. If the rider hasn’t got confidence in the Bike/setup he isn’t gonna go fast. I hope Sam has an awesome year. Well done to CRC for getting Mr Hill’s services. Looking forward to this season more so then last years.

  22. ISY

    Damn Sam looks smooth and fast on the pulse, really looking forward to this season with Sam on CRC and Gwinnett on S.. Nice to shake things up.

  23. Sean A

    Sam is awsome and hope he does good this year, but lets not look over that aaron going to be on a demo 8 just saying!!

  24. Aidy

    A good interview.
    Pagey, i agree people are been snobbish about the pulse, eventually they’ll realise the demo started out as a budget bike and only 7 years race development got it to where it is.
    I love my scalp and wish i’d bought one sooner. Cant wait to try the pulse

    1. Cheese dick

      The demo started life as a budget bike. Really? That’s a tad inaccurate. But good luck to Sam and CRC, hope Sam kicks ass this year.

      1. Aidy

        Cheese dick, demo’s were two and a half thousand pounds when the were released in 05, i know, i bought one, then realised it was crap at going round corners and sold it. So it was about the same price as the latest demo frames are now. If boxxer races, hayes hfx9 brakes and truvativ cranks are top end i think somethings wrong. The cheap price was why all my mates bought demos in the first place. Its only since they got the proper dh team in 2010 that they’ve improved them as a high end race bike

  25. SJTank

    I hope Sam rips it up , David verses Goliath, Big Style

    1. Dangerous

      More like Dougal vs Goliath!

  26. James Allen

    Ahh yeeaa boi, I love how Sevn and the Parkin bros got this spot on with there team rumours! yeeeeooowww sambo!

  27. Maverickdh

    So stoked to see the old Sammy back, even that vid he looks so comfortable on that setup, manualing whipping seems like hes having fun again not some robot. I think the whole setup is sick CRC should be taken seriously they could be the next big thing as a pro team and take things to the next level. Wish Sammy and CRC all the best, kick arse in 2013!

  28. Paul

    Guys reality check…. Specialized didn’t make Sam Hill the best, Sam Hill made himself the best!!!!! It isn’t the bike, it is the rider……….the brand on the side clearly doesn’t mean anything just a big marketing machine. Good on SH he is doing what’s best for his family a champion down to earth Aussie…..

X

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