Everything they say about gingers is true, but Kyle Warner is the exception to the rule. If you’ve had the good luck to run into him at the local dirt jumps, on the trail or at a race, it doesn’t take long to know that you’re in the company of a genuine, stand up guy – who also happens to be one mean shredder. Coming on the scene recently, he didn’t waste any time getting his chops in order and standing on the podium with the heavy hitters in the Junior Cat 1 class.
His most recent racing adventure turned out to be one helluva story (please note – this incident involved an old bike) for the Oregon Enduro 6 stage race at Hood River a little over a week ago. Kyle’s comments: (we recommend you visit the bathroom before reading) – “In the second corner of the 1st stage, my wheel hit the frame, and I thought someone had undone the quick release as a joke, but my brakes didn’t work either. When I got to the bottom, I checked, and the frame was broken at the seat stay! So the quick release was ok, and I started checking around – did anyone have any tape? Someone had some electrical tape, so I put a stick into the broken frame and used the whole roll of electrical tape to hold the whole thing together. I continued racing the 2nd, 3rd and 4th stages on my stick bike, but when I got to the finish line, the tape had ripped and the stick had broken. With all that hilarity, I still came in 12th out of 49 on the first day, 2 seconds off of fellow WTB racer, world-class Enduro/XC guy Jason Moeschler. On Sunday, SunTour lent me a demo bike, and considering the outrageous circumstances, the race promoters gave me a break about being on a different bike for the last day. With all that, I still ended up 10th overall!!!
Well, that story sums up Kyle Warner – it’s just the way he rolls. Always having fun, being a great guy, and killing it at the same time.
Hometown: Chico, California
What got you interested in DH? A group of local guys found me at the dirt jumps, and offered to take me out riding. The first time I went shuttling was the most fun I ever had in my life! It was cool to be in the woods – liberating, and a big stress release – from then on, I just knew it was meant to be.
Biggest accomplishments in your career so far – 2nd at Crankworx Garbonzo DH as a junior, and 16th at National Championships (with a crash) last year. Oh yeah, and a 3rd at the Pro GRT 2010 at Northstar. It was the Junior Cat 1 class, and the podium lineup was Mitch Ropelato, Bryson Martin and me (even with a crash). It was also my first season racing so I thought – oh, I can DO this!
Favorite venue – Ashland – riding scene there is amazing! A 12 mile loop, and I never get tired. Wild Bill, who runs the shuttles, is an awesome guy – sarcastic, supportive, helping kids out every way he can, like with set up. He is the type of guy who is last on his list.
What’s next for you this year – Crankworx, Canadian Open Enduro and Garbanzo DH.
Talk about your bike set up this year – I’m riding a Canfield Bros ONE DH bike, Sun Tour suspension, MRP chain ring, Deity components, WTB, and FiveTen. The One frame is extremely light, the geometry is super dialed, and it has a short chain stay so it corners really well. It also has a longer top tube so it is stable and helped out by a slack head angle – this bike rips any kind of trail, pedals super well and descends like a bat out of hell. I’m running a Sun Tour prototype dh fork – going to be a really good option on the market due to its weight, durability and price. It is the lightest air spring dh fork, and feels like a coil – super sick! Deity is awesome – bars are super badass; they’re some of lightest on the market, and I have a 5×9 bend, which is perfect for how I ride. My pedals are nylon, which works awesome in rocks – they slide off, and the pins are replaceable. These pedals are super light, and very affordable. WTB is setting me up with seats and tires, and I couldn’t ask for anything more. The MRP chain guide has no issues and is super reliable.
Here’s your chance to spread the love: I’d like to say thank you to Chris and Lance Canfield, and Sean Gollub at Canfield Bros, who are great to work with and make epic products; Eric and Sadie at Deity Components – they’ve shown nothing but love and I really appreciate them, Luke Hontz at FiveTen – he is an awesome guy and even better rider; Darren and Andrew at Sun Tour – two of the friendliest guys you’ll ever meet. Thank you to Nate Byrom at WTB, Tyler at TNT Athletics for helping me with my training, and Loren Teague for always helping me to heal up fast so I can get back on my bike. I want to thank my Mom for always being there, the Thunderbringer crew for taking me under their wing and showing me how to ride bikes, Graeme and Leslie Pitts for taking me in on the East Coast tour in 2011; and thanks to Dave and Betty Nople for being there for me during my Mom’s health issues.
And to see what Kyle is up to, visit him on his website http://kwracing.wordpress.com/