20 years/20 questions – Ion

Four of Ion's top bods get quizzed

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.

Ion has always been a water sports brand but in 2012 they turned to the dark (well, dirty) side and brought out their first bike batch of bike gear. Four years later they have five apparel ranges available.

Just like us at Dirt, they are a true ‘work hard, play hard’ kind of brand. Something you’ll spot if you have a scan through this interview. With stylish, functional and durable kit they also walk the walk though and we love their apparel.

Answering questions for us are the tight team of Andi Lipp, Nana Fritz, Sean Reynolds and Robert Scheibenzuber.


What achievement of the company are you most proud of?
“Being asked if we were a rock band at our last company trip”.
(Nana Fritz, Product Designer Bikewear)

What has been you biggest product development?
“It’s called Stash Bag: designed for all those small bike parts you’d lose during traveling – but actually three cans are fitting even better….

All jokes aside, our range of backpacks and especially the Transom with the possibility to regulate airflow on your back has been the biggest one in my opinion.”


(Robert Scheibenzuber, Product Designer & Developer Protective Gear)

What was the brand working on 20 years ago?
“Hard to tell that from the brand perspective. It just didn’t exist yet. But we rock in the present!” (Andi Lipp, Marketing Manager)

What influence has Dirt had on your company?
“Something to ride and get rad on”. (Sean Reynolds, UK Country Manager)

What has been the biggest lesson the company has learnt in the industry?
“Stay true to yourself! It’s the only way to be taken seriously”.
(Nana Fritz)

What do you dislike about working in the bike industry?
“All the beer drinking and bike riding from 9 to 5. It’s exhausting! When your passion becomes your job, you don’t get a break, ever. It’s constantly on your mind. 24/7”. (Nana Fritz)

What has been your favourite moment of Dirt’s history?
“Issue 160” (Sean Reynolds)

What would you like to see from Dirt over the next 20 years?
“More bonfires being roosted”.
(Sean Reynolds)

How were you first introduced to Dirt?
“Headfirst. Feet followed. And it did hurt. Seriously!”
(Andi Lipp)

What has Dirt taught you over the years?
“Welcome to the dark side! We have beer and girls!”
(Andi Lipp)

What would be the first question you would ask Dirt?
“Do you have any stickers?”
(Andi Lipp)

Press releases or journalism?
“Journalism, for sure”.
(Andi Lipp)

Who have been your favourite riders of the past 20 years?
“Matt Hunter, Stevie Smith, Antoine Bizet”
(Nana Fritz)

“Nicholas Crane” (Sean Reynolds)

What Rider has most pushed the boundaries over the past 20years?
“Everyone who has ever mastered the bunnyhop”.
(Sean Reynolds)

What has been your favourite or most memorable race?
“On TV? Danny Hart’s run in Champery, back in 2011”.
(Andi Lipp)

What does the next 20 years bring for mountain biking?
“It puts you in your place, whether that’s hitting adrenalin button or being one with yourself and nature”.
(Sean Reynolds)

What’s your opinion on E-Bikes?
“Call me an idealist or dreamer or whatever, I simply hope that the increasing number of E-Bikes – both E-Mountain bikes and regular E-Bikes – affects or will affect individual human transportation in every day life. If E-Bikes will somehow become what cars are today, I’m 100% pro E-Bikes.

In terms of Mountain biking or E-Mountain biking, it depends on how they are used. And that is just similar to regular bikes: If you behave with respect while shredding in open nature – all good. If not – f**k off!”
(Andi Lipp)

What life lessons has mountain biking taught you?
“Hold on to the bars. Rehydrate with friends after riding!”
(Sean Reynolds)

Were assuming this is what you meant Sean…

What’s been the most questionable thing to come out of mountain biking?
“Injuries!” (Andi Lipp)

Who doesn’t get the credit they deserve in the industry?
“Honestly? All the people that actually work in the factories producing all the stuff we use while riding”. (Andi Lipp)

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