Dave Ziegman Interview | Endtroducing

From Dirt Issue 113 – July 2011

Words & Photos: Ed Haythornthwaite

Most of the time if you’ve got a great job in the bike industry people will say something along the lines of ‘you lucky bastard’, but 99% of the time if you delve a bit deeper you’ll discover that it had very little to do with luck. Yeti’s Dave Ziegman is a perfect example. As an R&D test rider for Yeti he must have what many would consider to be a dream job. Actually, scrub that, it is a dream job. But, as you’ll read in a second, he kind of made it hard for Yeti not to take him on in one way or another. So, the lesson is that if you want it then go and work for it…or failing that just beat every rider that a company has. All I can say is that he must be amazing with a spanner! Oh, and the fact that he’s ‘sound as’ can’t have hindered him either. Who is Dave Ziegman?

A ‘never was’ downhill racer who is a lot better with tools than a bike.

Where do you live?

Denver, Colorado U.S.A.

What’s your job title?

Research and Development, Test Rider, Mechanic for Yeti Cycles.

What do you do?

Help develop and improve our bikes and try to make our racers the fastest in the world.

What part do you like the most?

Seeing our bikes get better during each step of development, knowing I had influence on them.

How long have you worked for Yeti?

One year in–house and two previous to that as a test rider/racer.

How did you land the job?

Chris (Conroy, main man at Yeti) gave me some bikes after I decided to go racing on my own instead of with a team. At the first race I ended up beating the entire factory team. He then asked me if I would like to start riding some prototype bikes and giving feedback, the rest is history.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

Audi/VW mechanic, the worst cars to work on ever.

Where’s your favourite place?

By a clear stream with my fly rod in my hand. Or on the Mount Snow or Durango DH courses.

Where’s your favourite place to ride?

Any really fast, wide open, rough DH tracks, or XC trails close to the office.

When are you happiest?

Riding or fishing with my friends.

What makes you angry?

People that feel they are owed something.

What makes you happy?

Steelers’ football, and my lady.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

If you are afraid to die don’t be afraid to live.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever given?

Don’t spend good time feeling bad.

What are your extravagances?

I like really nice tools and fly rods.

Who do you admire?

People with skills and motivation.

What’s the most important thing in your life?

Happiness, enjoying what I do.

What would you never throw away?

Nothing, it’s only stuff.

What’s your greatest fear?

Not being able to walk or ride.

What was your luckiest escape?

Getting out of the bike shop and into Yeti.

What’s the first thing you do in the morning?


What’s the last thing you do at night?

Last night…had a scotch and rode home from the bar.

What would be your dream meal?


What things do you always carry with you?

Pins, plates and screws in my arms and legs.

Do you have any regrets?

I wish I would have committed more to training when I was serious about racing.

What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learnt?

Don’t judge a book by its cover.

If you could have dinner with three famous people (dead or alive) who would they be?

My lady, Moga and Matt Thompson.

Who is your favourite rider?

Mickael Pascal.

What’s your favourite bike product of all time?

Old Atomlab Aircorp pedals, the U.S. made ones.

What’s your least favourite bike product of all time?


What’s your favourite motto or saying?

That’s what she said.

What saying do you use too much?

The one I just said.

What bike are you riding at the moment?

303 World Cup and a bike that if I told you about I would have to kill you.

What was the last magazine you read?

Fly Rod and Reel.

What are you listening to at the moment?


What one thing would you change about yourself?

I would like to have less of a temper.

What are your weaknesses?

Trying to see things from other’s perspective.

What does the future hold for you?

Hopefully a lot of fun and a bunch of fish.

What does the future hold for mountain biking?

More trails with less rider conflict.

How would you like to be remembered?

As a racer who won practice and helped make cool bikes even cooler.


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