Note: This episodes contains language some listeners may find offensive.

Mark Weir is a legend in the mountain bike world, having won the Downieville Downhill eight times and making his mark at WTB as a demanding product tester over two decades. He even has a mountain bike tire named after him, the WeirWolf.

In this wide-ranging interview, we talk about enduro racing, climbing a million vertical feet in a year, his near heart attack, trail advocacy, and electric bikes. Mark is an entertaining guest who could easily host his own podcast, so you won’t want to miss this one. It’s already one of our favorites!

Here are some of the questions we asked.

  • How is downhill endurance racing different from the more traditional, UCI-style downhill mountain bike racing?
  • How does enduro racing connect with the ethos established in the early days of mountain biking?
  • How and when did riders like yourself bring the French enduro race format to the US? Was there a natural transition from races like the Downieville Classic and super-D events to enduro, or was the change more abrupt?
  • When did you start to see frame geometry and components shift in the enduro direction in the US?
  • Based on your experience over the years, what’s more important in mountain biking: will or skills? Obviously, you need both, but what’s a good percentage split in your opinion?
  • Last year you came dangerously close to suffering what’s known as a widowmaker heart attack. Part of your recovery following surgery has involved riding an e-bike. How has that helped you get back into riding and fitness?
  • One of your many claims to fame is you climbed 1M vertical feet on your bike in a single year. Why did you set this as a goal for yourself? What did it take to make this happen?
  • Mountain biking has taken you all over the world. What are some of the best trails that stand out in your mind?
  • You’ve worked closely with WTB for at least a couple decades now. What are some of the projects you’re most proud to have been a part of? Where do you see opportunities for MTB product improvement in the future?
# Comments

  • Richard Shoop

    This was one of the most entertaining podcasts I have heard on Singletracks. I know he had some controversial opinions, so thank you for your willingness to bring it to us.

  • mrfallover

    Undoubtable the best podcast you have ever done, Mark is one great person. Thank you.

  • Super-Clyde!

    Probably the best MTB podcast that I have ever heard. Always loved seeing Mark Weir’s huge grin while rampaging the mountain. Exceptional skills, phenomenally fit and totally stoked to spin two wheels. Mark is an encouragement to those of us that are advanced in age and limited in physical abilities. I never understood the hatred of the Elitists toward E-bikes and their riders. Partially disabled veteran, with a family history of heart disease- Yes, I will definitely embrace an E-bike once I can afford one! Thanks Mark for the fortitude and resolve to call out the Liberal nonsense. We love you and keep spinning the pedals and showing the rest of us the way!

  • landonarkens

    I think E bikes are too fast. It seems to me that passing on singletrack trails is the root of trail user conflict. More passing equals an increased perception of trail congestion, danger, and annoyance, and you get more passing when trail users are traveling at dramatically different speeds. I think we’re inviting more conflict when average bikers are riding at 10 mph on a flat and ebikes are cruising at twice that speed.

    Consider this, a ski chairlift travels at 12 mph. Maybe that’s a good speed for E bikes to stop providing power assistance.

    Thanks for the episode! It was totally entertaining and thought-provoking.

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