In ten years downhill has been shaken to the core by one brand and one rider. The past decade has seen both America and Germany regaining the kind of grip it had on the sport when the World Cup series began back in 1993. “Making It” is a mini documentary of how YT and Aaron Gwin came to dominate the sport of downhill.
Today’s dominance is very different to what it was back then in the early 90’s, physicality and technology have swapped places in may ways. Back then it was a German rider, Jurgen Beneke, on American machinery, Manitou, that marauded the podium. Today the athleticism comes from southern California and the machinery from Nuremburg. Ruthless German precision and the American dream are very much back in business.
Aaron Gwin and YT Industries have both delivered success for their countries for the first time and in doing so they have changed the sport. Gwin was the first person to win a men’s world cup series for his country, YT have been the first German brand to take the title.
Their arrival is synchronic, the pillaging of gold quite dissimilar. The approach of YT has been about the good times, while the Californian has ruthlessly disrupted the status quo with his single minded approach to racing. YT moved quick and through direct sales were some of the least expensive on the market. By 2011 YT were winning bike tests although they too were disturbing the mountain bike institutions, Gwin however was simply vandalising the World Cups. At this time even though the YT Tues was well respected it massively lacked the endorsement of a top downhill racer.