We ride bikes. We’ve been riding bikes together for years, and worked with several brands developing and designing bikes for them in the last 10 years. World leading hardtail mountain bikes that were tagged as “too extreme” before being adopted years later by the mainstream, strange big wheeled full suspension bikes that followed a similar route to mass adoption. We’ve ridden fat bikes in races above the Arctic Circle. We’ve thrown prototype bikes down hills and gone to the pub to work out what worked and what didn’t. We do bikes.
Santa Cruz make amazing bikes. Ed’s got several. World Champions ride them. Men in Audis aspire to own them. They were born from the skateboard company, created by pro skateboarder Rob Roskopp. Somehow, they decided to launch their new bike, the Chameleon with a photoshoot here in Hebden Bridge.
Ed’s sponsored by them as a brand ambassador. His videos and events mean they support him with frames, which his other sponsors, Mavic, Shimano, Sweet Protection, WTB, Invisiframe, Sealskins, Boss Suspension and KS supply the rest of the parts to equip him and his bike.
When Santa Cruz watched our Welcome To Trouser Town video, something clicked. They loved the post industrial landscape of Hebden Bridge, loved our story, and somehow, someone made the call that the photos for their newest bike, the Chameleon should be done right here in Trouser Town.
And so that’s how in Mid February, we found ourselves riding top secret world exclusive bikes around the our secret and not so secret trails in town, and entertaining the team from SC USA who were tasked with keeping it all secret and coming back with the goods to send to the magazines and websites around the world heralding the launch of the new bike.
That whizz-bang-boom launch was deflated somewhat when an over-keen bike shop somewhere in the middle of the back end of the USA somewhere made breaking secrets great again by posting a photo and details of this new bike a full two weeks before the press embargo.
Anyhow. There are lots of places you can read largely the same information – our friends at SingletrackWorld have a good version of events, as they tagged along with us on some of the rides, but here’s our behind the scenes of what really happened.