South Africa’s Johann Potgieter is currently in Germany having recently kicked off his international Downhill MTB race season. YT Industries have also recently released their new TUES Downhill bike, which Potgieter is currently riding and racing.
We hooked up this Bike Check feature with Pottie to get some inside info on the new YT TUES, his racing and more…
Full name: Johann Potgieter
Years racing: 19
Sponsors: Realfin Collective Investments, Dragon Energy, YT Industries, FOX, VonZipper, Skullcandy, Alpha Sports Nutrition and Team Racing Dudes.
Let’s kick things off with your first impression of the new YT TUES?
My first impressions where how good and sleek the bike looks. All cables are now internal so it looks much cleaner and also much smoother lines from the design.
How much has the bike actually changed from the previous model?
Well, each size is about 5mm longer in reach, so for example the reach on the medium size from this year would be 5mm longer than the reach on last years model. It is also 5% less progressive than the previous model as the previous model was really progressive in it’s travel. Another change is the weight, the YT engineers have managed to take 400g of weight off the new while increasing stiffness. It also takes normal headset cups where the previous model had internal headset cups, which means if you wish to have a longer or shorter reach you would be able to fit a reach set.
What did you first notice when riding the new bike?
The first thing I noticed was how stable the bike was under hard braking when it gets rough. This was probably due to being less progressive in the shock. Another thing I noticed immediately was the stiffness, the bike was much more responsive to my input after hitting corners hard or landing off a high drop-offs.
What are your highlight features of the TUES?
I would say that the cables being internal is a really good touch and also the fact that you are able to fit a reach set if you wish to have the bike longer or shorter, it makes setup so much easier.
List your top 5 components that come standard on the new TUES?
Each model comes out with a different component spec and as team riders we get the frames and then build it up with our team sponsors component spec. I would have to say the E-Thirteen chain-guide is a really cool component to have and that also comes out as a standard component spec on the new TUES. The Rockshox Boxxer fork is always a winner and I’m in love with the new SRAM Code brakes, they are super powerful and modulate so well. Then the SRAM 7 speed DH groupset is possibly the best groupo for Downhill currently on the market.
If you could change anything on the bike, what would it be?
If I have to be honest at this stage I wouldn’t change anything as I have a really good setup and feel really comfortable on the bike up to now. The new TUES is rad! Probably one of the best Downhill bikes on the market currently.
How has your 2018 season kicked off and what are your goals for the rest of the season?
Pretty good, I won the 2nd national and got 3rd at SA Champs in Hartbeespoort earlier this year. I also got a podium in my first race abroad in Germany at the Dirtmasters Festival. Pretty happy with how my riding is going at the moment but there are some big races lying ahead and I’m looking forward to see how I go against the big boys this year! I don’t have any specific goals, but I know when I am riding well and when I am not, so I just want to be able to give my best and then I will be happy, and in Downhill Mountain Biking that is easier said than done [laughs]. They have also lessoned the riders who qualify for the World Cup finals from 80 riders to 60 riders, so to qualify will be tough and a goal for sure!
Which are some of your favorite trails to ride back home, and internationally?
At home I would have to say the trails in George are definitely some of my favorite trails. Also Jonkershoek and Hooggekraal in the Cape Town area, and the Downhill course in Mankele Bike Park near Nelspruit.
Internationally it is hard to beat the Downhill course in Schladming, Austria. It is probably the best Downhill course and a real dream to ride. Also the trail park in Klinovec, Czech Republic is an amazing place to train and ride.
What race are you looking forward to most this season?
I would say the European Cup in Klinovec, Czech Republic, because our team is sponsored by the bike park and it is a really cool place to ride. Also the World Championships in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, that is if I am selected of course. It is always an honor to represent your country.
Where are you currently based?
Within my racing season, which is from about May to September, I am based in Germany, and when I’m back home I currently live in Port Elizabeth.
What style of riding do you enjoy the most?
I would say I like slower technical stuff the most as that is what I grew up riding on and I feel I ride that sort of stuff really good. However, I also really like the high speed rougher tracks with some rutted corners and big jumps.
Frame: YT Tues CF
Fork: Rockshox Boxxer World Cup
Shock: Rockshox Vivid R2C
Handlebar: Truvativ Descendant 775mm with 25mm rise and 9 degree back-sweep
Stem: Truvativ Descendant 50mm length and 35mm clamp
Wheels: DT Swiss FR 1950 27.5
Brakes: SRAM Code RSC with 200mm rotors
Cranks: SRAM X.0 165mm
Derailleur: SRAM X.0 DH
Cassette: SRAM X.0 DH 7 speed
Chain: SRAM XX1 Eagle
Pedals: Shimano DX Clipless
Seat: SDG I-Fly
Photos by Gah Krämer | Instagram.