Mountain bike champion happy to innovate as he seeks more titles

Sam Pilgrim is changing perceptions.

The 2013 Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour Champion spends most of his time travelling the world riding trails, competing on dirt jumps and making videos for his YouTube channel.

But in 2018 Sam began riding for e-bike manufacturer Haibike with the aim of dispelling myths and pushing the boundaries on a type of bike that most thought couldn’t handle it.

E-bikes are criticised in the mountainbiking community for being dangerous and a form of cheating, but Pilgrim puts this down to a lack of knowledge.

He said: “People don’t know what electric bikes are, if you type in e-bike on youtube you get videos of what are essentially motorbikes.

“An electric car is still a car, in the same way that an e-bike is still a bike, some people might say you’re cheating but you’ve still got to keep your legs turning and because it’s easier you go further.

“I know a lot of people hate e-bikes so for me it was a good challenge to try and learn new tricks on a bike that shouldn’t be tricked and to try and change people’s opinions.”

He added that at first there was a lot of negativity but now his social media followers are positive about the change and he is happy to be the person to facilitate this attitude shift.

England is a country where most bikeparks don’t have an uplift to take riders back up the hill once they’ve ridden down so e-bikes have been warmly received.

Sam added: “An e-bike is your own personal chairlift you can go anywhere and pedal to the top and that’s awesome, that’s what I want to go down a hill fast, that’s why people like mountain biking.”

Pilgrim describes mountain biking as the most fun you can have for as little money and his advice for people in London looking to get into the sport is to buy a bike and go for it.

London is home to pump tracks and to the west there is Windhill Bike Park and Tidworth Freeride – two of the best bikeparks in the country boasting trails of all difficulties.

The rest of the summer will see Pilgrim travel to Germany, Austria and Canada for both contests and bike shows.

His bike of choice is the Haibike XDURO all mountain 10.9, smaller, lighter and with more aggressive geometry it allows him to do the backflips, 360s, tucks and suicide no handers he has made his living from.

Sam Pilgrim is an ambassador of Haibike, the leading e-performance brand.

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