20 years/20 questions - Mondraker
We chat to the World Champs dominators
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.
There aren't many brands that could go from not existing to taking 1-2-3 at the World Championships in 15 years... in fact, there's only one - Mondraker. The Spanish brand have shot to prominence in the mtb world thanks to their revolutionary attitude and gorgeous bikes... and it's only just beginning.
We chatted to CEO Miguel Pina about mountain biking past, present and future.
20 questions - Mondraker
What achievement of the company are you most proud of?
Creating a brand that has been a leader in some cases with regard to much more powerful and experienced brands, especially regarding geometry trends with our world-wide recognised Forward Geometry.
What has been your biggest product development?
I guess that Foxy Carbon helped to place Mondraker within the top-level bike brands in the industry. With all the technology involved previously, such as Forward Geometry and Zero suspension system; the addition of the Stealth Carbon manufacturing process added a big step forward in quality and performance.
What was the brand working on 20 years ago?
Mondraker was stablished in 2001! Mondraker was just a dream maybe 20 years ago…
What is the direction of the company setting up for the next 20 years?
To consolidate our core business, referring to DH, Enduro and All Mountain disciplines, but also in XC, where we are putting a lot of effort with high-end engineered products such as the new Podium Carbon and the full suspension XC bike to be launched soon.
We are also working hard on taking the brand to the USA and Canada soon, where we plan to create a stable business structure.
What influence has Dirt had on your company?
Being downhill racing bikes one of our core business and the success we’ve had in the last few years… being DH racing our number one investment for our company... We guess Dirt mag must have had some influence somehow!
What has been the biggest lesson the company has learnt in the industry?
We’ve learnt many things in terms of business and all those that have been acquired through different experiences. However, there is one fundamental factor that has shown to be a key one, which is passion. We create our products with passion, almost as if the bikes we make were for ourselves, and this is something that is clearly seen in the final results, and even more, our customers really appreciate it.
What do you dislike about working in the bike industry?
We would not point out any special fact or things we dislike. We just try to do our best every season, manufacture the best bikes possible every year… A healthy baby that’s growing. You have to love what you do; it’s in our veins. Mondraker is our passion, it’s our company and it’s something beyond words.
Give us a story from your wildest moment in mountain biking?
For us it’s easy, 1-2-3 for Mondraker at Val di Sole 2016 Worlds. Incredible achievement for a single DH race bike making a clean sweep at Worlds this year.
What has been your favourite moment of Dirt's history?
Any 1.04 tests-bikes-racers comparisons.
Your favourite or most memorable Dirt Cover?
There was one with Shaun Palmer which was rad. Another cool one with Myles Rockwell at Sierra Nevada 2000 Worlds where he won, or more recently a scrubbing cover of Brendan Fairclough.
Dirt is well known to be controversial, what experience do you have of this?
Well, in the past we’ve suffered from not so good reviews or critical thoughts, more than we’d expected.
How were you first introduced to Dirt?
Dirt was the DH mag to read.
What would be the first question you would ask Dirt?
Who have been your favourite riders of the past 20 years?
John Tomac, Dave Cullinan, Shaun Palmer, Nicolas Vouilloz, Tomas Misser, David Vazquez, Sam Hill, Fabien Barel… and of course Danny Hart & Laurie Greenland, future World Champion.
What Rider has most pushed the boundaries over the past 20years?
Over the past 20 years it’s huge, but we’d say Nico Vouilloz followed by Sam Hill and Fabien Barel both at the same era and more recently Aaron Gwin, winning with big margins and unbeatable on certain races for the past 3-4 seasons.
What has been your favourite or most memorable race?
Val di Sole Worlds 2016.
What does the next 20 years bring for Mountain biking?
Hopefully DH racing roots stay as the sport it is today, but with high technology items involved in the bikes.
What’s your opinion on E-Bikes?
e-Bikes are amazing. One of the best things you can ever experience. Simply great for mountain biking too for us all. The future is there. Unknown. Brilliant.
What life lessons has Mountain biking taught you?
Determination to be competitive. Mountain biking as a lifestyle too. Life values. All positive. Passion.