20 years/20 questions - Cube
Anything but square
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 ORDER HERE.
With over ten years with the brand, Dan White is CUBE UK’s longest serving employee and introduced the brand to these shores. We sat down to chat to him about all things mountain bike (and Dirt).
20 Questions - Cube
What achievement of the company are you most proud of?
“We’re independent and privately owned. This means we can make the bikes we want without thinking about our share price or satisfying various stakeholders."
What has been your biggest product development?
“We made an early commitment to 27.5" wheels and we really got ahead of the game. We came up with some very light 160mm trail bikes. Later on with the help of the CUBE Action Team we learnt fast and it really pushed the company forward.
"This helped us in getting all of our Stereo Enduro platforms to EWS wins which we are really proud of:
What was the brand working on 20 years ago?
“20 years ago CUBE was just 3 years old. So we were incredibly busy designing new models as well as continuously improving our production and distribution plans. And of course recruiting CUBE dealers to sell our bikes! Twenty years later and we still place as much emphasis on our dealer network. It is instrumental to our brand’s success."
What is the direction of the company setting up for the next 20 years?
“It’s impossible to forecast that far in advance in the bike industry because it changes so quickly. However, we intend to continue to offer bikes for all disciplines and predict that E-Bikes will feature heavily."
What has been the biggest lesson the company has learnt in the industry?
“This industry moves incredibly fast. So ‘Keep going & Keep growing’ - because if you’re not, your competitors are!"
What do you dislike about working in the bike industry?
“There are certain points in the year where we all need to work incredibly hard (product launches, public shows etc). You work more, drive more, earn less and spend a lot of time away from home – so I guess it depends on how you feel about home I guess!"
Give us a story from your wildest moment in mountain biking?
“My wildest MTB stories are not publishable, but the last ever Cheddar Challenge was pretty nuts. Very rowdy behaviour from the usual offenders with Oakley picking up the bar bill. We behaved so badly they cancelled the event! Every now and then photographic evidence pops up on social media when the old guys start reminiscing."
What has been your favourite moment of Dirt’s history?
“We had some great film premieres at The Custard Factory in Birmingham (my home city). Mike Rose got thrown into the pond out the front of the club - Camera bag and all!"
Your favourite or most memorable Dirt Cover?
“Steve Peat & Martin Murray battling it out in a 4X corner. 4x was buzzing at this stage with many Pros choosing to race 4X at Wold cups as well as DH. Lots of BMX guys coming to the sport, this shot of Steve & Martin really hits the nail on the head."
What would you like to see from Dirt over the next 20 years?
“More of the same but perhaps a little more coverage on UK racing."
Do you have a favourite or memorable feature from Dirt’s history?
“The first E-Bike piece I did with you guys was great. I was into the E-Bike thing but there were so many haters. I was totally unsure of how Steve was going to react, but he absolutely loved it!"
How were you first introduced to Dirt?
“I think it was called Grip when I first started reading it but I remember meeting Mike Rose at the Gold Run at Nantmawr Quarry - we were all so young and shiny!"
What would be the first question you would ask Dirt?
“Is the kettle on?"
Who have been your favourite riders of the past 20 years?
“Josh Bryceland for killing it and for just being Josh Bryceland. Scott Beaumont for introducing me to it all."
What Rider has most pushed the boundaries over the past 20years?
"Danny Mac. He is doing things that most other riders haven’t even thought of."
What has been your favourite or most memorable race?
“Steve Peat’s Fort Bill Win. “today British mountain biking won at Fort William". I loved that line."
What does the next 20 years bring for Mountain biking?
“Faster, lighter, stronger and……E-Bikes! (Which will also be lighter, faster, stronger)."
What’s your opinion on E-Bikes?
“Incredibly fun. I think people need to get over this idea that they are ‘cheating’. It’s funny - the guys who regard it as cheating seem to be the guys who don’t race and have never raced…. interesting!"
What life lessons has Mountain biking taught you?
“That the best things in life take time, energy, sweat & tears."
Who doesn’t get the credit they deserve in the industry?