Bye-bye NS Bikes, hello pedal-assist

UK freerider and slopestyle star Sam Pilgrim has left long-term sponsor NS Bikes and signed for German electric bike brand Haibike.

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“I wouldn’t ride something if it sucked would I? This thing IS rad, we’re at Chicksands bike park and we’re smashing some laps.” – Sam Pilgrim.

He continues: “I don’t care whether you like them or not., If you do like them then obviously you know they’re awesome too. And if you don’t like them then you obviously haven’t tried one because they will change your life forever”.

Electric slopestyle?

It’s a move that will surprise many. Partly because Pilgrim’s move to Haibike is one of the first bigger name riders to sign with an e-bike brand. And partly because slopestyle and pedal assist bikes don’t initially seem like an obvious match.

Haibike do make normal non-electric mountain bikes – and Pilgrim will be getting his own signature dirtjump bike soon – but their main proirity and focus has always been on e-bikes.

How Pilgrim manages to work in Haibike models into his videos is going to be fascinating to watch over the next few weeks and months. He has stated that he won’t just be riding e-bikes, he will be riding regular mountain bikes as well.

Knowing how inventive and up-for-it Pilgrim is we here at mbr can’t wait to see what his brain comes up with!

In the video above his weapon of choice is a Haibike XDuro all-mountain, an e-bike with 150mm of travel front and rear. “The added weight – I don’t even feel it. In fact it feels like it’s better to ride with the added weight. I feel better in corners. When you’re doing big jumps it’s super stable. I actually can’t pick anything wrong with it.

The reaction online to Pilgrim signing for an e-bike brand has been typically and predictable… mixed. Well, that’s rather a polite way of saying that the majority of commenters are from the apoplectic anti-electric brigade and there are a handful of positive comments (almost exclusively from existing e-bike riders).

Haibike Press Release

Haibike is making big leaps with Sam Pilgrim

Schweinfurt, 1 January 2018 – Haibike is proud to announce the signing of British Freeride pro Sam Pilgrim to our ePerformance team for 2018 and beyond. The 27-year-old Freeride specialist will utilize the potential of the XDURO series to redefine the limits of what is possible on an eMountainbike.

Pilgrim, from Colchester in the UK, started his Dirt Jump career at the age of 14. Ever since, he has always been one of the leading figures in international competitions: In 2011 he won the Red Bull District Ride in Nuremberg; in 2013 he carried off the victory in the Freeride Mountainbike World Tour, and since then has built up a huge fanbase of over 500k social media followers!

“We warmly welcome Sam Pilgrim to the Haibike family and are looking forward to pushing ePerformance to the next level on the international stage”, says Bernd Lesch, Director of Marketing / Product at Haibike.

When asked why he chose to ride for the ePerformance Pioneer Haibike, Sam Pilgrim replied, “I really liked the look of what Haibike was doing in terms of being more extreme with e-bikes and pushing the freeride side of things, it was an obvious choice really!”

Sam continues, “I personally hated pedaling up hill, it was just something that sucked in between the fun stuff, but then I actually tried an e-bike and now everything is fun! I actually still can’t believe how fun it is even when I’m pedaling up!”

Pilgrim will participate in several events of the FMB World Tour with his custom-made Haibike dirt jump Bike in 2018 and continue his series of regular adrenaline-fueled YouTube videos. “I want to show what’s possible on an e-bike with new tricks and big jumps!”

R&D feedback from Sam over the next years will be used to contribute to the further development of the Haibike XDURO models to keep them at the head of the pack.