Behind the scenes at Ridley Bikes
Because we love (gravel)bikes and with Ridley as our main partner, we wanted to give you a "look" behind the scenes at Ridley. And their link with Dirty Boar. Pieter has already ridden Dirty Boar 5 times and is R&D manager at Ridley. So time for a short interview.
Pieter, you are R&D Manager at Ridley. What does that mean?
As R&D Manager I am responsible for all our product developments. Together with our product managers and founder/CEO, I determine which models we will develop. Then I follow up the development work together with our R&D engineers. I am also responsible for starting up and monitoring our strategic innovation projects, for example on sustainable material use and circular economy.
How long does it usually take between the first idea for a new bicycle and the moment when we can buy it in the store?
This varies greatly from project to project.
For example, some products are developed with certain components or technologies in mind that are also still under development. Then a project can easily take several years.
For the development of a new frame that uses existing parts, we calculate approximately 18 to 20 months between project start-up and commercial availability.
For example the first prototypes of the Kanzo Adventure were build in June 2021 and those were then extensively tested (also during Dirty Boar 2021). The launch of the bike was on March 31th 2022.
A prototype Kanzo Adventure ready for testing
Picture by Ridley ©
Ridley has invested heavily in the gravel segment in recent years. According to you, which Ridley is the ideal bike for the Dirty Boar?
We do have a wide range of gravel bikes at Ridley. Both the Kanzo Fast and the Kanzo Adventure can serve as ideal Dirty Boar bikes, both 100% gravel bikes. In the right hands, even our Grifn could serve as a Dirty Boar bike.
My personal preference is the Kanzo Adventure, especially because you can "let it go" in the downhill sections. Something that suits my background as a mountain biker.
Unfortunately there is no bikepacker this year, but we will make up for that in 2024. What is the ideal Ridley for you for a solid portion of bikepacking?
That's without a doubt our Kanzo Adventure. Equipped with all the features that a bikepacking bike needs (mounting points, clearance up to 2,1¨tyres, internal routing for a dynamo light) in combination with stable and forgiving handling.
You already participated 5 times, what is your best memory of the Dirty Boar?
Two editions stand out.
The first edition (2017) because it was my first introduction to an organized gravel event. The atmosphere was unique and the rain made it heroic. This edition I rode on a singlespeed which made it even more 'interesting'.
The 2019 edition was also one from the 'hashtag epic' category, the weather was bad, but my legs were great that day. Together with my buddy Ief I reached the finish after only eight hours.
What was the toughest edition for you?
The 2022 edition. Not because of the weather or the course, but because of the mental aspect. For me it was a mix between the warm feeling of cycling together with like-minded people and processing the death of my brother.
Can you summarize the Dirty Boar in 3 words for people who don't know us at all?
Big Dirty Fun
Do you have any tips for people who are going to participate in the Dirty Boar for the first time?
Save yourself for the second half and the final because it's always tough. But especially enjoy being together with other gravel riders and the fantastic scenery in which you can ride.
Pieter Potters on a Kanzo Adventure at Dirty Boar 2022
Picture by Wouter Hendriksen / Gravelicious ©