17/11/2017, CANYON Racing on the job
Practise What YOu PReach
At Canyon, we don't get our kicks by simply watching from the sidelines. We get stuck in. The feedback that flows into all our top racing developments doesn't just come from the teams we partner with, it's also the direct result of what our engineers and product managers learn every time they pin a start number on and toe the line themselves.
Johannes Thumm is a Development Engineer, Julian Biefang a Product Manager. For them, the lines between "work" and "riding" get blurry. Away from the day-to-day they compete for Team Embrace The World Cycling, a high-flying squad of talented German road riders and mountain bikers on a mission to improve the world with every pedal stroke.
But this isn't your standard amateur setup. Team ETW's racing calendar reads like an exotic travel guide with Tours of Tobago, Guadeloupe and Martinique appearing alongside races closer to home. Along the way, the team collects donations which are distributed throughout the year to a wide range of humanitarian projects. This year alone they have succeeded in raising thousands of Euros for several good causes.
Johannes and Julian's 2017 seasons reached a high point at Brasil Ride, a gruelling XC marathon stage race covering 600 km across the stunning and mountainous Bahia region. Contested by pros and amateurs from across the world, the event has quickly grown a repuation as one of the most challenging on the planet.
While racing, Johannes and Julian always have an eye on their work, "Just being there means we see new trends early on and get to hear what works well for riders and what doesn't. In stage races like the Brasil Ride, you are in constant contact with other riders at the end of each day, pro and amateur, it's a huge learning opportunity for us."
Testing their own products and ideas also takes on a whole new dimension in a race setting, "The moment you pin a number on, you ride differently. You're always at the limit. Because of the higher stresses you're placing on your equipment, any potential weaknesses become more obvious."Alongside weaknesses, the benefits of other components become clear. Dropper posts, for example, previously never seen anywhere near an XC race are becoming a more common sight with more technical courses on offer, a development which is reflected in our 2018 range.
Despite illness putting an end to Johannes and Julian's hopes of a high finish at the 2017 Brasil Ride, there are always positives to take away. How will those learnings manifest themselves in the future? Well, stay tuned...