Talk about drinking from the mystical fountain of youth. In the modern era of downhill racing where riders are pushing the limits of reality, threading the needle down mind-bendingly steep and gnarly trails at warp speed, Greg Minnaar is the GOAT.
After two full decades at the pinnacle of the sport, one man continues to not only defy the laws of physics by being competitive weekend after weekend on the biggest DH stages on planet earth, but he’s also defying the laws of aging.
Having just completed his 40th lap around the sun, last year South Africa’s Greg Minnaar became the DH World Champ for the 4th time in his career! Greg has been a close friend of the mag since day one and he’s genuinely one of the nicest human beings you could ever cross paths with. Somehow though we’ve made it through 64 issues of the mag without putting him on the cover, until now. Better late than never, eh! We could not be more stoked or honoured to have the big guy staring up front on the mag that you’re holding in your hands! So without further ado, let’s catch up with Greg for a chat…
[R]: Mate let’s start this with a couple of congratulations; first and foremost you’ve been a friend of [R]evolution Mag and made regular appearances across our pages right from our very beginning 18 years ago, but this issue is the first time (surprisingly!) that you’ve actually been on the front cover! Welcome aboard page one mate. Tell me, after all these years as a pro, does it ever get old seeing yourself on the front cover of a good ‘ol print mag that has tens of thousands of copies sold?
Greg: No way, it’s been 18 years since you guys launched the mag and it’s still going stronger than ever… That’s amazing. Man, time waits for nobody! I really am honoured, thank you very much for wanting me on the front cover. You know lately there’s not too many good magazines still around, so I am pretty stoked on this!
Awesome to hear buddy. And now for the second congratulations in as many questions, amazing work on your dominating race run at last year’s World Championships in Italy, which is the 4th time you’ve won the rainbow jersey!!! I’m sure you’re sick of being asked how it feels to have won that race this deep into your career, and so I won’t bother you with it. Instead can I ask what’s your favourite flavour ice cream these days? Haha
Hahaha well mate I would have to say ‘choc chip cookie dough’ is my favourite! You know, I always say that there are only 3 real flavours of ice cream; chocolate, vanilla and caramel. Don’t go messing up a perfectly good ice cream recipe by trying to put fruit or anything else in there. Haha. Back to racing though, thank you very much mate. Honestly that win last year was by far the highlight win of my entire career, and to make it even sweeter it was on the most tech track we race on.
I remember watching you come down the hill in that final run and it was electrifying, you were on a whole different level that day! Well done. As they say ‘to the victor goes the spoils’ and thus SantaCruz have crafted a rather epic paint job for your new season V10 race bike. What a stunner! Upon close inspection there are loads of tiny details and cool features within the paint scheme. Can I ask which are some of little details of the paint that you like most yourself?
Sure, I just love the whole concept of it, and BTW I absolutely don’t get involved with the design at all. Dave Smith from Santa Cruz bikes is a legend, I love his work, so I asked him to “go to town” with my bikes
Besides the custom paint are there some other cheeky custom goodies hiding out on your current bike or is most of the gear you’re on at the moment stock?
Our bikes are always pretty trick and we’re often changing little parts but as of right now the thing on there that isn’t stock is the Shimano proto drive chain I think?
From a distance you’d be forgiven for thinking that the silhouette of your SantaCruz V10 race bike really hasn’t changed much, if at all, for a lot of years, which means SantaCruz are clearly onto a winning formula. Tell is though, what are some of the most noticeable changes to the frame and your set-up that you and the team have implemented on your bikes during the past few seasons?
With the V10 being carbon, we race the stock V10 frame. What we do play with is the lower link, helping us get the exact geo, feel we are wanting to get out of the bike, as well as the suspension curve we want.
Are you still running 29” front and rear or does a 27.5” wheel find its way into the rear of your bike at certain races these days?
You know I’ve tried the mullet, but it’s just not for me. I like the drive of the big rear wheel putting weight on to the front end of the bike, being so tall this allows me to get more traction out of the front end.
Shifting away from your bike for a second, another notable change for you this year is that you’re now riding in Fox Racing apparel and helmets. How does all of that kit feel to ride in?
Yes bru!!! Our new kit looks amazing I think and it fits amazing to. I actually rode for Fox Racing way back in 2000 so it is cool to go full circle and be back with an amazing brand like Fox. I love the way they are pushing to continue leading the way with innovation and great products
Thanks a bunch for taking the time to chat with us today Greg. Wishing you only the very best for the rest of this season and beyond!
JT thanks a lot my bru, it means a lot to me. I am hoping to head back down to Oz and catch up again soon now that the borders have opened. I miss sipping a few of those XXXX beers and chucking a few shrimps on the barby with my Aussie mates! Haha. Take care brother and cheers again! Here’s to the next 18 years of the mag!
Tech Specs: Greg Minaar’s Santa Cruz V10
Frame: Santa Cruz V10
Fork: Fox 40
Shock: Fox DHX2
Drivetrain: Shimano Prototype derailleur, Shimano Saint cranks