In the conclusion of one of the least well kept secrets in mountain biking, it’s been announced that American downhill rider and current UCI World Cup champion Aaron Gwin will be riding for German direct-sales specialists YT Industries in 2016.
Though speculation has been rife that this would be the case since he parted ways with Specialized at the end of 2015, reportedly over a difference of opinion over how much he should be paid, this is the first official announcement about the move. Gwin has certainly been having fun with the online conjecture, repeatedly teasing and trolling his Instagram followers over which brand he was going to sign with.
How much Aaron Gwin feels he is worth – and how much YT Industries has paid – is still unknown, but it’s likely to be a good move for both parties. Gwin is seemingly at the height of his powers and able to bring a lot of marketing power to a company that’s still relatively small, having only started in 2008.
Signing an American rider is likely to have been a highly calculated move, coinciding with the announcement earlier this month that YT would begin shipping bikes to the potentially vast and as yet untapped American market.
The new team is to be called ‘The YT Mob’ and Gwin, 28, will be joined by Spanish rider Angel Suarez, 20, who shares a history of success in motocross racing before moving to downhill.
They’ll both be riding stock YT Industries TUES carbon frames with Fox Racing Shox suspension and will also be outfitted with gear from co-sponsors e*thirteen, Onza Tires, TRP, Renthal, SDG, Motorex, ODI, Cane Creek and Alpinestars.