If Cesar could only have three bikes
Three bike garage. This is where our favourite people pick their ultimate bike stable. This month’s are chosen by Cesar Rojo, mountain bike progressive.
Cesar is one of those irritatingly talented people who seems to be good at whatever he turns his hand to. A successful and innovative designer, he was integral in the development of Mondraker’s ground-breaking Forward Geometry concept and the founder of the Unno bike brand, and yet he also happens to be a DH World Champion and a really nice guy.
The classic: 1996 GT LTS
This was my first ever full-on DH bike, and has a special place in my heart for various reasons. Nico Vouilloz was, and still is, my favorite DH rider of all times. I won my first downhill race on it, in fact after that, several races. The bike was really special with a titanium link, backwards seat tube and a quite DH-oriented setup. Still had no dual-crown forks or disc brakes, but I remember welding a tab on the back to put a Formula disc brake on it and a proto Marzocchi Bomber at the end of the year… I was so in love with that bike. I was tearing it apart every week to check everything as I was riding it every day as my XC training bike and my DH bike. Was I an enduro pioneer? Ha!
The game-changer: 2009 Mondraker Summum Proto
Another very special milestone in my relationship with the bicycle world. This was my first proper DH-designed bike. I cannot count the hours spent to make the mule and fine tune the suspension. I was happy at some point with it, but then a couple of hours later I was sure I could make it a bit better. And like that it kept going… Same as the frame construction; I really wanted to make the lightest DH frame and that mule was by far the lightest. I’m not sure ever another DH bike will match it. Fabien Barel won a World Cup on it, I won a Maxxis international on it… Can you ask for more? I keep one of those frames at my office. It’s hard to make a bike more special than that, but everything is possible (see the next bike).
The dream that became a reality: 2018 Unno Ever
What can I say? If I spent countless hours on the Summum, I believe I have spent countless months on this bike. This is 20 years experience of riding, racing and designing DH bikes since 1996, when I rode the LTS for the first time, brought together in one bike. The involvement we had on this bike, only very few people will be able to understand. There are almost no bike brands where everything is still done completely in house, where you still get your hands ‘dirty’ during every step of the process. This is the way Yeti, Intense, Specialized and others started making everything on their own, with not many resources or investors – just pure drive and passion. This bike is the result of a dream I had many years ago. To top that, I raced and on this bike and won a World Championships (ok, so it was the Masters Worlds), and that makes the bike super special again.