When Trek Bicycle Company launched its newest line of high-performance mountain bikes last year, the company chose the trails that crisscross Transylvania’s DuPont State Recreational Forest and Pisgah National Forest as the proving grounds.
“Traditionally, most launches in North America happen in Moab or Whistler or other major mountain biking destinations on the West Coast,” said Travis Ott, Trek’s global mountain bike brand manager. “But we knew the Pisgah area would be all-time, and with Penske Racing’s complex located nearby in Mooresville, this was the perfect opportunity to hold a global media event in Transylvania County.”
Trek invited about 30 writers and editors from around the world to test the bikes, which feature an exclusive shock developed with partners, Penske Racing Shocks and suspension manufacturer FOX.
The journalists came from Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Mexico, the United Kingdom and several other countries, representing the world’s most popular cycling publications and websites, including Bicycling, BIKE Magazine, Bike Radar, Pinkbike and MTBR.
Ott explained that what really sold him on Brevard was his relationship with Ryan Palmer at Bike Magazine, who came here for the Bike Bible issue in 2012, where the magazine showcases the latest and greatest products each year.
“Ryan told me it was one of his favorite locations. That really solidified it for me,” said Ott. “What we do at the launches is try and provide a story, as well as an experience. These folks are capturing the essence of the sport, the behind the scenes action.”
“What’s great about Transylvania County is that you can have two completely different riding experiences between Pisgah and DuPont,” said Ott. “Pisgah has that legendary, rugged terrain while DuPont offers more purpose-built, flowy and smooth mountain bike trails. The variety of terrain between Pisgah and DuPont will make it a perfect test for these new bikes and this new technology.”
Trek showed off their new damping technology it developed with Penske Racing Shocks, which supplies custom suspensions to the world’s top automotive race teams, and FOX, an industry leader in the design and development of high performance shock absorbers and racing suspension products. According to Trek, the new shock absorbers, dubbed RE:aktiv, deliver a level of control that’s unlike anything else currently available.
The Trek event is just one more example of Transyl-vania County’s role as a biking destination.
“The Transylvania County Tourism and Development Authority has been fantastic to deal with and making everyone here feel welcome and putting their best foot forward for the county and Brevard,” said Ott.