7 Questions With Zerode G2 DH Rider Rupert Chapman

7 Questions With Zerode G2 DH Rider Rupert Chapman

Leading into the next round of the UCI World Cup Downhill event at Fort William, Scotland blurred has had a chance to get some time with New Zealand rider Rupert Chapman who’ll be competing on the innovative Zerode G2 DH bike.

Rupert has had a great summer in New Zealand and is looking to build on that going into an international event this weekend at Fort William.

7 Questions With Zerode G2 DH Rider Rupert Chapman

How long have you been riding competitive downhill?
I starting riding mountain bikes in primary school then started riding more downhill when I got into high school. My first race would have been the Huxster Canterbury Champs, Halswell Quarry where I must have been 4th or 5th form so around 15 years old I guess?

How long have you been riding the NZ designed Zerode bike?
I got the Zerode a couple of weeks before I left to go overseas so I've had it about a month now. Enough time to get a few runs on it and get the feel of it. Definitely at bit different but I love it! It's mint on the real rough stuff and so quiet, almost spooky quiet at first. Can wait to test it out next weekend at Fort William. 

What are your goals for 2014?
I'd like to at least qualify for all the World Cups I'm entered in; Fort William, Leogang, Mont Sainte Anne, and Windham. Maybe try get a top 40 at the European ones would be good. And then try get a top 20 or so I guess in some of the iXS Downhill Cup events. I'm not really too sure though as I haven't raced overseas in a few years so not sure how I stack up anymore. As long as I have a good time I'll be happy. 

What international events are you aiming to race in?
So as I said before I'm racing some UCI World Cup events and a few iXS Downhill Cup events mixed in as well. I've heard good things about the urban races in Europe, so would like to have a go at one of them.

After Windham I’ll be going to Whistler for Crankworx so I'll do a couple of races. Not sure if they are too serious or not though haha. I would like to head back to Europe and race the World Champs in Norway if I get the chance, but I'll have to wait an see how I ride and if I make the team or not. 

What are some of the challenges you cope with racing overseas?
Well we've just overcome our first challenge here in London where we bought our van (so far named the wasp) and didn't check the engine only to drive it down the road and have it over-heat because of the belts wasn't on right. We've fixed it now so were ready to rumble. Being a privateer overseas on a limited budget is always hard because you can't really afford to buy new tyres and flash accommodation all the time so you've constantly got to balance you racing performance and your money situation. Living in a van can be tough at times too when it's wet. 

It's all part of the fun though. I'm not complaining!

What feedback have you had from other racers of the Zerode bike? Who has given you feedback, good, bad or otherwise?
Well I haven't had my one for too long so haven't had much feedback on it except that it looks good. I've heard from some of the boys that have ridden them like Ed Masters and Reece Potter that they're a perfect bike for racing over here as they're pretty bombproof and the tracks are so rough which suits the bike well. I'm looking forward to not ripping a derailleur off into the spokes this year haha. 

What are you thoughts on the upcoming race at Fort William, Scotland? 
Yeah I'm pumped for it. I've never been there before bit I've heard good things so really looking forward to it. Looks fast and rough which sounds fun and the style of track i like. Apparently it's pretty hard on wheels but the Zerode, because of the rearward axle path, helps a lot with that so should be right!

To help Rupert compete as a privateer this year, Zerode are running a supporters campaign, buy a supporters shirt and Rob from Zerode will be able to support Rupert. Just head over to the Zerode store.

7 Questions With Zerode G2 DH T-shirts

Source: Zerode Bikes

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