20 years/20 questions – Scott Sports

First up, Scott Sports

To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Dirt we’re speaking to the brands and riders that have supported us throughout the years. We’ll be asking 20 questions on the past present and future of mountain biking to those who are truly in the know. Check out our 20th anniversary book that’s available to pre-order here.

Scott has been around since 1958 as a snow brand. In 1991 it entered the mountain bike world with its Unishock suspension system before launching its first full suspension bike in 1992.

In short, as long as there has been Dirt, there has been Scott. To this day they remain at the very top of the sport in everything from freeride to downhill to cross country.

Ben Walker, marketing co-ordinator and product manager – Scott Bikes

As Dirt’s editor Mike Rose put it, ‘If I were a man I’d like to be Ben Walker’! Ben Walker lives the dream from his chalet in Champery and is one of the most talented and undoubtedly one of the most interesting of mountain biking’s influential industry types.

1. What achievement of the company are you most proud of?
Gold at the Olympics on a new frame design.

2. What has been your biggest product development?
This year Nino won so many World Cups and then the Olympics on the brand new Spark.  That was pretty ideal on all fronts.

3. What was the brand working on 20 years ago?
Twinloc? Motorcycle seats on a DH bike?  I’m not exactly sure since I’ve only been there for 15 years.

4. What is the direction of the company setting up for the next 20 years?
Super light bikes with incredible suspension and geometry.

5. What influence has Dirt had on your company?
We dreamed of being in MTB’s coolest magazine.  When the 26″ Gambler and Grenade 2 knee pads made the Dirt 100, we were very proud!  It was like we finally ‘made it’.

6. What has been the biggest lesson the company has learnt in the industry?
Humility and the never ending pursuit of knowledge on how to make a better bike.

7. Give us a story from your wildest moment in mountain biking?
Maybe when pint glasses were raining down on Main Street in Champery after Worlds?

8. What has been your favourite moment of Dirt’s history?
Sam Hill’s wet run in Champery…

9. Your favourite or most memorable Dirt Cover?
Brendan’s low scrub shot when he was still on Specialized.

10. Dirt is well known to be controversial, what experience do you have of this?
I always felt like you had your finger on the pulse of MTB.  Maybe more of a case of when keeping it real gets confrontational?

11. What would you like to see from Dirt over the next 20 years?
More James McKnight table covers.

12. Do you have a favourite or memorable feature from Dirt’s history?
At home with Ben Walker, for sure!

13. How were you first introduced to Dirt?
Reading one on the toilet of the Boarding House bike shop in Durango, Colorado.

14. What would be the first question you would ask Dirt?
I would buy Steve Jones 5-10 pints then just listen.

15. Who have been your favourite riders of the past 20 years?
Voullioz, Barel, Hill, Fairclough, too many to list.

16. What Rider has most pushed the boundaries over the past 20years?
Hill, then Gwin, but The Year of the Rat was pretty incredible too.

17. What’s your opinion on E-Bikes?
Impartial.  I can see the draw and the criticisms.  I prefer a KTM 2t 300 either way.

18. What life lessons has Mountain biking taught you?
Mountain biking has completely shaped my life and given me a purpose.  There     are too many lessons to list here.  Maybe something like, follow your dreams until it works out?

19. What’s been the most questionable thing to come out of Mountain biking?
Automatic chain oiler?  Suspension stems?  There’s been a lot of “innovation” over the years.

20. Who doesn’t get the credit they deserve in the industry?
Trailbuilders, buy your local builder a beer.


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