Mountain Bike Design With Nukeproof | The GMBN Podcast Ep. 24

Mountain Bike Design With Nukeproof | The GMBN Podcast Ep. 24

(mechanical sounds) – Welcome to the GMBN podcast. So, bikes, bikes, bikes. Are they indeed all created equal, or are some bike perhaps
more equal than others? We have Dale and Rob from Nukeproof to talk about bikes,
the inception of Enduro, and how to make one of
the most winning-est rigs of recent years. Dale is part of the design team and Rob heads up the global marketing. Thank you for coming on. – All right. – How are we getting on? Is everyone settled and
ready to talk some tech? – We’ll try. – We’d hope so, yeah, totally. So, Nukeproof as a brand. Maybe if we start with talking about what Nukeproof, sort of, not what it means in a literal sense, but what the brand
represents, and kind of, how long has it been kicking about, Rob? – Originally 1990. Originated over in Michigan, USA, and then that kind of carried around ’til, I think it was
2004, and then it kind of all wrapped up and then Michael Cowan, our now boss, went out and bought the naming rights and brought it over to Northern Ireland and it is what it is from
today from there, really. – To think when people think of Nukeproof they straight away think of the Mega. – Yep. – The Mega, of course, being one of the, kind of, first all-out endure racer, certainly one of the things that helped start the conversation. To me, Nukeproof as a
brand have this, you know, we’ve spoke about it before, but quite a pragmatic kind of… I think sort of no-nonsense
approach, you know, and it’s really kind of,
sort of, refreshing in a way. In terms of designing the bikes, Dale, is that something, when you’re kind of dreaming up the next itineration or whatever it’s going
to be, are you thinking, there’s like a core theme that makes a Nukeproof a Nukeproof? – Yeah, and I sort of think back. I actually use a ton of the history, back to the beginning when we actually, we had the very first Mega. At that point we were just a bit selfish, we were just kind of, muckin’ about, tryin’a make a bike that
would suit our needs. ‘Cause at that point we
were pretty much riding about on downhill bikes. But, you know, smaller chain rings and that sort of thing, and just to try and get up the hills, so you know, you spend up half a day walking and pushing and about pedaling
until your legs give up. ‘Cause even then your biggest cassette was a 32 in the rear
and that sort of thing. So then we came up with
the very first Mega and that was, you know, quite… In those days 66 was really slack, that was 2009, actually. So we basically made a dino bike. It was designed for pedaling up as well. So it just happens now that that’s now called Enduro, really. – But it’s very interesting, isn’t it? ‘Cause I think the Nukeproof was ahead of its time in some regards I remember, probably 2000 and maybe, 11, it was going to be one
of the single-ring setup. Which was a production bike, that was pretty cool. I remember working in a shop at the time that stocked them, a bit of pushback from consumers. “Only comes with a single ring? Are you crazy?” And I remember being called wimpy by my friends, because I said that 36-36 wasn’t low enough. And everyone was like, “that’s a one to one ratio, mate. What else do you want?” It was a different breed. They also did, what I thought was quite cool, they had the Mega TR, I think it was called. This was quite a few years ago now. And that’s a very common theme now. Maybe it’s called the Reactor, or whatever, but that really capable, super cool trail bike. When you get these inputs, Rob, I imagine you’re in
a lot of conversations with the race team, is it all really racer and rider feedback? Or do you find yourself potentially looking at what the Jones’ are up to? – I think it’s a mix
really, I think as Dale’s alluded to, it seems
a fairly selfish brand in terms of, Dale and Michael want to do this, so they kind of started on this project, and it was never designed to be a bike and it ended up that way. The downhill bike came
when the opportunity to sponsor the CRC team came along, and Nigel Page wanted to push a downhill program with Nukeproof, ’cause they were sponsored by the components. So there’s kind of a need there that we’re trying to go with, and then design the
bike for that velocity, which fits in with what the guys in-house are really looking for. So, the TR is very suited to what the Northern Irish team was of the time and it’s kind of evolved
from there really, a lot of it is your local environment affecting the equipment
that you’re making, rather than just making it for the sake of, because if the
world says that you need this, therefore you need to do that. – Because I think that, it’s funny how, in terms of theme, or in keeping with the tone, that chain reaction team seems to be very, always punching above its weight. If, in the World Cup days,
when they were racing World Cup in downhill, it wasn’t a big flashy motor home pits. It was very functional, and won’t need to be, and they won World Cups and similarly, that adaptability probably, well, I imagine it lent itself. When they said we want to put a bit more weight behind Enduro. When Sam said he was going to race Enduro, was it like, “Oh my God, this is perfect”, or was it a bit of apprehension from your end? – I think it’s, again, it’s credit to what Nigel Page does, and the passion that he brings into it, is the fact that that’s what the team is, it’s a very passionate group of individuals or group of people all
together that, they all get on really well, so, I think everyone performs really well when they get on, and they’re in their nice environment and Nige puts on a really good environment for the guys to perform in. So, whether they’ve got the flashiest pits or the most basic pits, you don’t race your pits downhill. – Yes, totally, yeah. – You race the bike, and you race, it’s the mental state of the riders. So I think Nige and the rest of the team put on a really good platform for everyone to perform. They’re comfortable, they feel happy in what they do, they don’t feel the pressure from within. The only pressure they have is what they put on themselves. So I think from that side of things it’s credit to people understanding people and actually putting the platform on, and I think that flows into what we do and the way that they help us, really, because they represent Nukeproof the way it is really, I think it’s very much about the people that are in it. Whether it’s Dale, whether it’s Michael, or whether it’s Enrique, our designer, they’ve all been there from the start. They’ve all influenced
the way the brand’s going, which then makes my job a lot easier, ’cause I just have to
tell the people’s story because all the guys are brilliant and they’ve got a really
good story in their own right that I think, the normal riders, the customer, our customers, essentially,
can associate with ’cause of, they’re just normal people, in a very fortunate
position, doing what they do. – And, Dale, when Sam
made the announcement that he was going to ride
Enduro it was dabbling, initially, before committing full time. Was it a case of, “Huh, well thank God he’s already got the bike”, or knowing that it was going to be raced at the highest level consistently, by somebody that kind of
redefined mountain biking, was it a bit of, “Oh my God, maybe we didn’t expect this, when we originally designed the bike,” Or was it just, “No, it’s good.” – Yeah, well, I think, the first time he said he was going to race or dabble either way,
I was like, “Oh, hang on a minute, he’s not a Enduro guy, he’s Sam Hill, he’s downhill racer. This got uphill, you can’t do this.” So, yeah and actually, think that Mega hadn’t been out that long, as well, at that point. So, well I personally was worried, it’s not going to pedal that well, it’s, well, we wanted, the whole design theme was that it would descend as well as, pedal as well as descend, and all that. But, like, “Flip, it’s going to be a real test if he can, if he really flops at this, that bike’s going to look…” and then right enough,
he just flat pedals, he just stormed really, and they’re like, everybody’s blown away, we
actually couldn’t believe it. – And it’s actually done a lot for Enduro. I think it got a lot of
credibility from Sam going over and, although obviously, he’s had three overall
titles on the bounce but, him not immediately wiping the floor because everyone knew how talented he was, it kind of meant that, before there was, a lot of perhaps retired, I don’t know if it would be fair to say, but when you’re seeing someone that you know is absolutely
amazing not winning everything, suddenly, it got a little
bit more respect garnered for the field, I think,
which was really cool to see. – I think it took him a little while. ‘Cause him, JC, Nige, they all work as a really close team, in
trying to get Sam to perform and I think it took them a little while just to figure Enduro out as such. So, their first race they did in 2015, would have been New Zealand and Sam won the downhill stage there and, so, that’s what we’d
expect him to be strong at and he really liked that, the 2015 Mega and then coming into the 2016 season, I think it was Ireland he
did his first race that year. Then he came second and
I think the smile came that he’d kind of, “Oh,
yeah, this is quite good. I quite enjoy the variety
of what the stages offer.” – ‘Cause was it 2014 or 2015 that he won the World Cup in France? – 14. – 14. So he does come off high-flying and I think everybody was
happy to see him win the flap, and I think it was Matt Simmons in second, so like a really feel-good result. (chuckling) And then, I think… It’s often these podcasts
usually turn around to me admitting how wrong I was, but I was a bit, I’m a trail rider, so the Enduro bike, the Mega, a bike I spend a lot of my time on but, I was a bit like, “It’s downhill,” and obviously he knew
what he was talking about but as a… As a brand, is it like, was Sam already involved with the feedback on the
Mega, or did he not spend that much time on it? ‘Cause I’ve heard how he does a huge variety of racing and I think it was Doddy telling me that maybe some of the thoughts behind this new trail bike,
was that it’s very adaptable and if Sam wants to go race cross country, he does have the option to do that. Was he involved in the other bikes, before he started racing them, or? – I think he, in the original Mega, he was riding that a
lot because of, I think, in 2015, I’m right in
saying, they had a big bushfire which burnt down a
load of his downhill tracks, in Australia, in Perth. So he got to ride a lot more of Enduro, sort of trails out there. So he was spending a lot
more time on his Enduro bike and just enjoyed riding that… And, so, I think the evolution
of that side of things has come from there, and it was, yeah. – Yeah, so that’s how it was. – Yeah. – Because, from a design point of view, when I don’t think there’s
ever been the criticism leveled of, looks like
a session, at Nukeproof, but this kind of convergence of design, of the four bar, that sort of thing, how does that make you feel a designer? Are you worrying about the pitfalls of falling into a certain category, or are you just that outsider art of, “This is going to be my interpretation of the perfect Enduro
bike, and I don’t care what other people’s bikes look like”. How does that play in? – Yeah, well there’s a bit of running DNA and, I suppose from the first Mega, the four bars setup, and we toyed with different layouts and stuff, but we were just happy enough
with that sort of layout, although, we’ve tweaked it as we went. Just, originally, it was on top tube mind and it’s down tube minded had to compromised water bottle position but we just weren’t going to compromise the suspension performance
for water bottle at that point but it’s just evolved
and we’ve sort of stuck with that layout we’ve sort of tweaked it so it’s working pretty well now. – Because I’ve got to put
my hands up again and say, “I am a water bottle guy
through and through.” I think water bottles are
potentially the only standard we have in cycling and
I think, “Boy, oh boy, let’s hold on to that one.” That is something that must be, you know, it’s a compromise, like everything, especially on an Enduro bike and if it’s really important
to you to have a water bottle and that is, “Oh, my
God, if I don’t have one, the world’s going to come
apart around my ears,” then you should probably buy
a bike with a water bottle if it’s that important to you, but you could say that there could be any number of design
characteristics that could be like if that is absolutely important, then that’s what you should buy. When it does come to the water bottle… Is that something, do you kind of take that on
board or do you just say, “You know what, if you
want the water bottle, then the Reactor” will be,
“will take care of that.” Is this something you even
care about or is it just like– – We care a lot about, I
think, maybe suppose original current Mega started it’s form in 2015. I think the water bottle
was less common then but now it’s a big deal. – The people get laughed at back then. “You’ve got a water bottle, you loser!” – It’s all backpacks then, even (faintly speaking) backpack first few years. Yes, it is a big thing, I can’t deny it. I think– – That’s why bibs have
come around and you’ve got your stash of bottles now
and it’s just different but– – But if we ever do put a water bottle in, it can not, in any way,
compromise the suspension that’s– – Yeah, that is the one. – That is it. – Because, I think… I guess there is a concern. The people don’t wholly understand how varied kinematics
on bike to bike can be and that shock didn’t end up
in that position just because, “Oh, that’ll do.” “Oh we’ve got some M5
bolts kickin’ about, guys.” It was all imagined,
painstakingly developed. Do you all have like
mule bikes and test bikes or does it all look on kind of– – Well, we’ll simulate it first in sort of like each design program and then we’ll see how our pro type mules and stuff to confirm test riding. Yeah, so that’s… One millimeter moving in
(muffled speaking) position makes a huge difference. It can make bike go from
working to not working at all. – And do you think it’s
important, you know, either both of you this question is, is it the same, do you have to be a good bike rider to be a good bike designer? Like, the best football
managers aren’t often the best players. – Well I think it helps– – It probably does help, yeah. – Helps to know what’s
happening, you know. It’s even, looking at
all the different graphs, you can compare lever’s curves and how they squat off all
the other bikes on the market but if you don’t know how all the bikes on the market actually ride, then you don’t know
what you’re looking at. It’s just numbers. I think it definitely helps you to know, you need a little rider
pro type bike and go, “Oh yes, I’m glad that
levegry,” or whatever. So it’s definitely important. – I heard that Sevello have these glasses, and I’m going somewhere with this, it sounds, it doesn’t sound like it, but I will bring it back, where you can’t, it obscures
the bike from vision and on a road bike I think
it’s less in front of you and it was relatively easy to do until they give testers these glasses and they can’t see. Similarly, a friend of mine
used to test for a Salomon skis and they used to, once a
year, get all their athletes and take all the top sheets
off and buy a load of skis and no one would know and be like, “Oh my God, those skis are bloody good,” and it turned out it would
be Nordica or whoever. How much is… How much do you think the testing in bikes is compromised by the
fact that mountain biking we always see the bike in
terms of inside the shocks and stuff obviously it’s different but for tires you can’t do blind testing, for so many things, is
immediately obvious. Do you worry about that
sort of thing or is it just you think that maybe the knowledge, having the predefined knowledge
isn’t an negative thing? – Well generally, if I ever get a chance, or when I do get a chance to
ride somebody else’s bike, I’ll always go back and I’ll
think, “Yeah, I like the way that felt,” or,
“Small bump wasn’t great,” but the, you know, general,
rest of travel was good or felt very progressive. Hug straight back to the
computer and see if I can find or plot the points on that bike and then compare what I’ve
just felt to leverage ruts or that was good or on the
rise and that sort of stuff those, too, I can’t really get a fact seein’ if what I felt was
what I can see on paper. – And like when you’ve
been going past the bikes of some of the race
team guys, to be honest, yeah there’s an aesthetic thing, but you pass Sam Elliot, Kelan,
and those boys, the bike, they just want the best
performing bike possible and okay, if it looks weird
there’s something mental there but Sam will tell us if
something’s a millimeter out or this is out or this is out
no matter what it looks like. – [Henry] Yes, true. – And all he wants is the
best tool to do his job so I think that’s where, between what Dale and those guys do in-house,
and what we have as external with the team, as a development team, help because if those guys want performance. So, between the two of
us, everyone’s looking for the right sort of thing to produce the best product that we can do, really. – Yeah, I suppose it must also, really, a real asset to have a team that is not only
obviously, like many teams, great riders, great
personality, well-learned, but also having a winning team, you know, I imagine there’s no short
of, obviously, talent but also motivation because
they know the formula works. If we just keep giving the feedback then we can get the
bikes better and better. We win even more, so
we give more feedback. Are you guys in a lot of
communication with the team or is it just kind of chatting through? – I think we talk quite a lot with them, I mean, Nige is very much involved, he’ll come over to the office quite a bit, and be a good link between the team and I’ll go to a few
races and chat to the guys and get some feedback of what, how it’s all working between them and just get some direct
feedback to pass on to Dale and then there’s things
like what we’ll have in the next month or so where we’ll try and get all our athletes together and talk through next year’s bikes and next year’s models and
get people testing bikes, just to make people feel
part of the brand as well as taking their opinion because
at the end of the day, as much as you don’t want
loads and loads of opinions, but these are really a lot of good riders, people coming to tell you
this works this doesn’t work, or this could be better, we’d be stupid not to take that on board. – Yeah, when you are taking that on board how far, for the
uninitiated, myself included, does the bike industry work
in advance in actuality? I mean, we working on like
2035 now or something? – I’m sure the sort of big
component brands, like Sram, are probably working
five or six years ahead they must be, but we only here… It depends what it is. If they’ve come up in new standards they normally give us
maybe two years notice. If it’s a new product we’ll get at least a full year’s notice… But yeah, they must be working
five or six years ahead. We’ll always work, we work
two years ahead, pretty much. – ‘Cause I sometimes find
myself, how to put it, viewing with skepticism things
that are too reactionary. You know, the… If a company came up with
the Mullet bike next year, or even like, you know,
now, sort of thing, or plans, I think that’s fair enough, but when Mullet bikes kind of almost seem to happen over night when
(speaking foreign language) and then the first World Cup. People are, “Oh, we’ve
got Mullet bikes now, they’re bloody brilliant, check this out!” It seemed a bit too good to be true and I’m always very
suspicious of a golden ticket. If somebody says, “This is going
to solve all your problems.” Wow-ee, you know, light
’em up and knock ’em down. I’m always quite like, “That sounds a bit too good to be true.” Do you find yourself kind
of reacting to the market or are you just saying,
“Actually, we’re going to do our own thing,
we’ve got a good formula, we’ve got a good process,” and you kind of trust the process or do you think actually there’s probably, you know, from the
business side of things, I’m sure you’re thinking,
“There’s a bloody quick buck to be made here, if we just get, just whoop the wheels around,
guys, it doesn’t matter! Get ’em swapped.” – I think it’s like Dale, and you’ve got to look at
these things but I think, as Dale said before, we kind of have to try it ourselves. – Yes. – So whether it’s the
guys in-house trying it and testing or– – I’m sure it’s dead easy to go, “This is the next one,
let’s get on the bus,” but we’ll try it and there’s
been a few sort of trends or, lets see, no, fads in the past where we’ve went, we’ve been
told, “You should get on this,” and we’ll try it and, “This
is pants, I thought–” If we don’t think this is a good thing, then it’s not going to happen. You know, there’s been a few things in the past that we just,”
Now let’s just sit back and see what happens,” and then we made the right decision just
to wait it out and see. Mullet’s the same thing. We don’t even know, like
a lot of these guys, like, how they just squeeze a 29 inch wheel into a, you know, into 27.54 with no tire clamps, how they just jack the front up, how they reduce the travel, the fork, there’s loads of compromises or they just got a special
CN seat back end made, you know, so we need to take a longer term if it’s first of all,
benefit to the riders or technical gains, “Is it a good thing or not,” and then even thinking about, “Is there an easier way of doing it,” so it’s just a, like, spec change, “Can we just, you know, 27.5
rear end on 29 inch front end and it’s just a matter of changing the part number?” – Because when, you know, last week we’re doing a podcast about Freeride and they were saying they
were learning tricks, not even that they knew that
had to do to be competitive, but they were trying to guess the tricks that everyone else was
learning for next year and so it was very hard for
them to place themselves. When you see a big company, like Giant, who are, obviously, huge and
they bring out like new Reign, which is actually quite, the
region numbers on it are huge I think it’s like 490 for a large. That’s quite, and that bike is probably
going to sit within their cycle for three or four years and
then suddenly you think, well, this is kind of
how I think so I think, well in 2023, there are going
to be a lot of bikes like that because there’ll be a reaction, you know, and it’ll all kind of bubble
up and feed off each other. Are you designing the bikes
that might market demands now in trying to sell them, or
are you trying to think, “We’ll need to be one step ahead,” “Where is this market going?” Is there any kind of,
sort of, pieces of data that you kind of really
look at and metrics and you think, “This is a good indication of what will happen.” – It’s just following when
the leader’s bikes come out, really, and seein’… Well, at the same time, we
have to be comfortable in our reach numbers for medium,
you know, or large, you know, if you start putting a large
rider on a certain reach and they’re saying, “Yeah,
we’re happy with that, don’t really want many more.” So you need to consider that. Then need to have a look at new bikes coming on the market and they do tend to be gettin’ bigger, but not drastically, maybe the rim is pushing it a bit. – I think it’s learning why
people are doing it as well ’cause humans haven’t
really changed size– – Well talk to yourself, mate. In this last six months… (man whistles) – But they’re not like,
they’re still people the same size as they were that should be looking at the same size but we’re, it’s whether certain people are telling them they should
be having a bigger bike or a smaller bike or this and it’s looking to why they’re doing that and like what we’ve said about, previously, about whether you
make something slightly slack or slightly longer or slightly steeper seat angles, which affects a reach’s figures but then actually doesn’t
physically alter the reach figures so likes of, I don’t know,
Sam’s always on a 435 bike and then he’s just jumped on to a Mega 29 and which we were a little bit worried about the sizing being
a little bit different but because the seat
angle is slightly steeper and some elements changed
the physical distance between him and his bars
hasn’t changed that much but it’s just matter of making sure that we’re not just following a fad to make the longest bike to– – And how does it feel, being someone that is responsible for the
marketing of a, and you know, and heading up many aspects,
I’m sure, of new proof, not solely that, but when
there’s kind of this attitude within the consumer of the
boogie man, the boogie man Mr. Marketeer, you know, like kind of, “Well they all want us to ride 29ers,” well actually, I’m sure you actually you don’t really, you’d want
a good bike to be a good bike. How do you kind of feel
about that sort of attitude? Do you think it’s kind of– – There’s enough bike brands out there for everyone to find what they want. I think… I’ve been really lucky, to be honest, in the past couple of years, whether we’ve had the perfect storm of, like, when we had
the 27 and a half bike first coming out as a carbon bike, Sam performing really well on it and going and winning the championship on that. That helped launch that bike and then– – Funnily enough, he’s now on a 29. – Funnily enough making the
decision and so this year– – What was I saying about
not believing in coincidence? – But I mean that, like
literally, I think, when he moved onto it in Madeira and then we were launching,
like, a limited edition one on the week everyone was like, “Oh, that’s why he’s got on the bike” and it’s like, literally, you’re not going to be able
to tell that guy what to do. He’s got to decide. He decided after the first two that holes are gettin’ bigger, he needs to move on to a
wheel size that fit it. – I remember speaking to Sam
about, ’cause I heard, kind of, rumors that he was doing
these 130/140k trail rides. “Are you really riding
140k on your Enduro bike?” He was like, “Yep.” I was like, “Okay.” I mean, he said it with so much certainty I felt foolish to ask. I mean, “Good, but what was
the motivation behind that?” and he was just like, “Well, say this race is
going to be really brutal finalie’s, you know, 60k or whatever, if racing 60k is difficult,
if I go train 130k, then 60k doesn’t seem so,” you know, so it’s just like
a no-nonsense approach. I can imagine, yeah, the difficulty of trying to wrestle him on a bike that he didn’t want to be on. It’s not going to happen, is it? – You know, that’s the
same to all our athletes, you won’t tell them what
bike they’re going to, they’ve got to be on the
best tool for the job. ‘Cause, again, racing is generally mental rather than physical for them ’cause they’re all really fit athletes. So they’ve just got to find the best tool for their job and try that. So there’s no point in
telling them what to do. I can make a nice glossy story about whatever I want to do to try and make the best
of what they are doing but yeah, I mean, it’s just been, we’ve been very fortunate. It’s been a perfect storm this year. – Yeah, and I think, I mean, fortunate would be the right word, you also have good personnel, anyway, but like, Elliot, just
choosing to race Forecross and obviously doing it to
an incredibly high level on his Mega. It must just be quite, sort of, it’s nice that it comes back, you know, like, you’ve see support in these
guys, sponsorship, etc but they’re not just like,
“Yeah, I only want to do this,” they’re like, “Okay, cool,
I want to go do this,” and you got a quite outgoing group, some races cross-country and all this, it’s pretty– – It’s because of, I mean,
the general fundamental of the whole athletes, mean,
we’ll get a lot of inquiries of a lot of people that
want sponsorship and such but at the end of the day,
our athletes generally just love bikes. Like Elliot loves being on his bike. He’s probably one of
the most talented guys I’ve ever seen on a bike naturally because he loves his bike time. He’d go out and play even
if it wasn’t sponsored. Same with Kelan, loves riding his bike, same with all our youths
that we have riding the bike, generally, they’re just
stoked to be on the bike and that’s fundamentally
the most important thing about what we want is, I don’t know, to inspire anyone to want to buy a bike. You don’t want someone that’s just there to ride the bike as fast
as they can on Sunday. It’s really good to go
and see at a trail center loving riding their bike and doing what they’d do for free anyway and it’s just so happens they’re some of the best athletes in the world. – I, yeah, riding with Elliot
and Kelan in New Zealand, in Queenstown and Elliot,
I mean, obviously, they’re both riding incredibly
hard, but the bike handling skills of both them, Elliot in a car park,
unclipped his pedals, doing garden, like, proper trial stuff on 160 mil, 170 mil bike whilst talking and you know all this
and you’re just like, I mean, what, a couple
of years ago, it was at the top of Fort William and
Elliot was racing the downhill? – Yep. – Him and Wyn Masters
got into a game of bike, on downhill bikes, like
bunny-hopping it downhill but onto a proper high ledge like, you know, wheeling up onto it then manualing up, just incredible to watch. There was that video of
him on the Cyclocross bike and, you know, must be
such a, like, such an asset not to be like, have to
shoot when I’m into stuff, but just to have somebody, like I said, is outgoing a bit, like, “Yeah let’s make a cool Cyclocross video. I’m going to eat some
pies (yells) ya know?” – I think, it just comes down to the fact that he’s really good at what he does and he loves what he does and that’s what makes my job a lot easier, when you’ve got these guys, when that’s what we try and
do with our sponsorship, is surround ourselves with guys
that want to do what they do and so when do, “Can you
come and do a video shoot,” which sounds brilliant to a lot of people but it’s a long day and it’s
really hard pushing back up to do the same shoot again and again having someone on-site that’s just like, “I can do that better,” or “I want to do that,” “I
want- oh let’s try this,” “Let’s do that,” and so that’s, yeah, it’s so good having these boys on. They’re so much of an asset that we’ve got and I think, hopefully, that comes across to the end customer, that they see our guys and you know what, these bikes look fun, as well as race well and win races, whatever. It’s just, yeah, it’s
fun having those guys on and when you get to meet
them in the pits of race or go and get an autograph with them, they’re generally bubbly
guys and nice to meet, see, they’ve got time for you. – Totally. – So they’re really good
ambassadors for us as a brand. – I’ve got to say,
they’re both, obviously, I did a bit of wrenching for them, but they’re both pleasure
to wrench for like, you couldn’t ask for two nicer
guys to work on their bikes. So, almost too accommodate, “No, it’ll be all right like that.” But like, “I can help
put it anyway you want.” “Whichever way it is.” “Yeah, but if you tell me what you want, I’ll do it that way.” “Yeah, whichever way it comes,” “It’s not any way, yet.” “What do you want?” “Oh, okay,” if it’s like that you know and just being out of kind
of passion and enjoyment. How satisfying is it for you to go from the concept of a bike to, however long down the line, seeing it kind of roll off the factory. Is it, it must be a pretty special thing. – Yeah, to us that’s the most, probably the most exciting part. Like the recent release of the Reactors because there’s, you know, two wheel sizes, aluminum and carbon, it’s just, for us, it’s been
dragging on for a long time. (men laughing) We’re kind of like oh,
just these bikes, just, you know ’cause we lookin’ at ’em for a long time trying to get everything to come out together, on
time and all that stuff, but actually seeing the painted final, painted samples going through photography and then hitting the
internet it’s just like wow and then we actually shape
painted bikes in proper colors not just, you know, raw
aluminum or raw carbon finish. So it’s just enthusiasm just, like, spikes then really and
the next step we’ll be starting to see customers
actually riding these bikes. – Quite a busy year with the
Dissent, the 29er carbon, sorry, Mega, with the revised
kind of kinematics, etc and also the Reactor. I’ll bet it was, you know, all
to the wall at some points. – Oh yeah, there’s been
lots of ups and downs, trying to get everything
move smoothly along. – I imagine you’re pretty tight-lipped on what you’ll be working
on come Monday morning. – Oh, yeah, we’re even busier. (men laughing) – I think it’s credit to Dale and his team and the guys in the office that we haven’t got the
biggest team in the world and that’s where certain
things do take us a long time to maybe react and that’s
what we have to get right because of… there’s a group of, small group of people, basic compared to a lot
of bike brands out there. There’s Nukeproof as a brand isn’t huge but the guys, when they’re
trying to get it right, ’cause they’re not just
doing bikes they’re doing components and now we’re
doing a bit of clothing as well so, there’s. We bite off far too much. – Yeah, I was going to say. You’ve got, yeah. – Very busy. – Dale’s doing bikes, and
then maybe working on a pedal, and then maybe working on
something else, and something else and so there’s, it’s keeps you motivated
and it’s good to see. It’s, I think, yeah, it’s
good to see that people like the work that they,
these guys put in basically, I think. – It’s good seeing customers
even just the weekend riding past on one your bikes. – Yeah, I want to going to say,
that must be really surreal. – It’s just brilliant. – Yeah. – And then you see one, I
remember, you see bikes going past and they’re not quite set
up right and your like, oh, you just want to run
over and fix it for ’em. – Totally. – Sometimes you just
have to stand by and go, “Look, it’s fine.” (men laughing) “You’re running 40
percent sag, come back!” – Yeah, totally, I find myself
doing that sometimes, like, because of this show, sometimes
I’m recognized at the trails and people will say, oh, from like, so often people are super nice anyway, and they’re like, “Oh can you,
do you know how to fix this,” and they’ll say something quite minor, then I’ll notice something
actually perhaps, like a safety issue and I’m like, “I’ve got my toolbox in the
van, let’s get to the car park,” and then we’re there and this
one time, me and this guy, he was absolutely lovely,
it has to be said, we spend quite a while working on his bike and we got it like (kissing
sound) like absolutely. He was in his GMBN
t-shirt, proud as punch, and it was super cool, man, it was like, real, like, nice to see that, you know, right for your eyes to behold. – I think it’s been, it’s always good, okay, the online thing now allows us to communicate directly
with some customers and you see, like, some
of the Facebook forums and owners’ clubs and things like that and just to see the passion
that people now have for the brand and it’s
brilliant, like I say, it’s a real credit to what
the guys have been creating the past few years. It’s so much passion now for the brand. It’s kind of like, “Wow.” – Wow, yeah, wow it must
be pretty humbling like, “Look what we’ve done.” Wow, fantastic. Well with that, I think we’ll
leave it on that lovely note. Thank you very much for coming on, guys. It’s been absolute
pleasure gettin’ to know a bit more about yourselves and the brand. As always, guys, you can listen to this on your streaming service of choice, be it Spotify or what have you. Thank you very much and
we’ll catch you next time. (mechanical sounds)

35 thoughts on “Mountain Bike Design With Nukeproof | The GMBN Podcast Ep. 24

  1. #askgmbn
    Hi guys. I love the show. Can you please recommend some full suspension Xc bikes are very cost affective
    Thanks 😊

  2. This is great! Top podcast. I loved my Nukeproof mega, sold it to a friend now he loves it as well. Quality brand with amazing products. Next on my list is their digger gravel bike

  3. 00:34 What does Nukeproof as a brand represent?
    03:23 Pro rider feedback or looking at what regular riders want?
    07:12 Sam Hill making the announcement to ride enduro on the Mega
    11:20 Do you worry about designing a frame that may look like another brand?
    15:14 Do you have to be a good bike rider to be a good bike designer?
    19:50 How far ahead does the bike industry work in advance?
    23:45 Designing bikes for today’s riders or trying to guess the future trends?
    26:25 Sam Hill switching to 29er?
    30:30 Elliot Heap shredding
    32:15 From design concept to retail reality.

  4. That was very entertaining and informative! Thank you to all the people at Nukeproof for creating such cool products and thank you Henry for doing a great job on this podcast.

  5. Question: Are you planning to make the Digger Pro in 2020? I have been looking but seems it is not on the available bikes list for this year? Really want one!!!!!! but nobody has stock…

  6. Love the podcast! Got a bit of an off topic question though… so the head tube of my aluminum mtb frame just fell off and I want to swap it for a proper dirt frame now. I want to ride a lot of street and skate park but also want to get more into dirt/slopestyle riding! I know most people will recommend an aluminum frame but I kinda like the idea of a steel frame (especially for street riding)! Wat are your thoughts? How stupid on a scale would I be if I went for steel?

  7. Really enjoyed this episode. Had me thinking that I would really like to see some video's on how rear suspension leverage ratio's actually affect how a bike rides, and how to spot these things when looking at a bike. So some nerdy content on linkage suspension kinematics would be pretty cool. Maybe one for the tech channel.

  8. #askgmbn hi im going to buy a dirt jump bike next summer but i dont know what frame size to get the bike i have now is a trail bike in a size medium

  9. Is hearing a Northern Irish accent on youtube/tv etc, as weird for people not from here? 😂😂😂 Top job though guys!

  10. These guys didn’t give up much. No leaning opinions, no real insights. Are they trying not to pass info to competitors?

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