Patrick Schweika and Lukas Knopf
Dirt jump and slopestyle at the limit: two MTB riders join the best in the world.
Riding a mountain bike is, above all, about having fun. And about pushing the limits. That’s what lifts uvex riders Lukas Knopf and Patrick Schweika to new heights. “At night, when you go to bed, you want to feel that you’ve gone one better than yesterday,” says Lukas. “But the fun must never be lost, otherwise you won’t get lasting progress.”
Patrick also has the drive to give it everything, to improve. “Nobody wants to stand still.” Sometimes, a rider’s will is stronger than his body’s skill. “Yet it’s just what you need,” says Patrick. “The only way is to go to your limit and push beyond it.” To rise to world elite level.
In slopestyle and dirt jump the two riders are at the top, travelling to competitions and shows around the world. Talk often comes round to personal highlights. “I often think back to the 2014 District Ride in Nürnberg, Germany” says Lukas. “Dropping in with thousands of people in the town’s main square, then throwing a double whip. It was truly memorable.”.
What about the future?
Time never stands still. Just as progress on two wheels can’t stopped. “Slopestyle will continue to develop,” believes Lukas. “It will go higher, faster and longer. With tricks it is important to create new combos and sequences over different obstacles to achieve perfection, not just on the best side.”
Sometimes I ask myself, what will come next
Thanks to social media it only takes an upload, to add a new trick to the network, and inspire and motivate other riders. “Sometimes I really do wonder what will be next,” says Patrick, who thinks the limit of what’s possible has already been reached in some areas. “But, I’ve already been thinking like this for a couple of years. Then, someone comes along... and goes one better.”
Ambition pushes you to your limit. And beyond.
Lukas and Patrick on safety at the limits.
... what is protection?
Lukas: “Protection is important. Vital. It’s such a good feeling to be able to rely on your protectors and your helmet, especially with big jumps, such as those at Nine Knights. A lot can happen. Danger is our constant companion.”
Patrick: “You only have one body, so you need to treat it well. Unfortunately, it is almost inevitable that, now and then, you will have a hard crash. Protection is super important. Without it there are times I probably wouldn’t have got back on my feet so quickly.”
Without a helmet there are a times I wouldn’t have got back up so quickly.
... what do you wear on your head?
Lukas: “I like to wear the uvex hlmt5 bike pro half shell. For big events I wear a full face helmet, like the uvex hlmt 9. This season I am increasing my protection and will wear a full face helmet for riding a hardtail and slopestyle.”
Patrick: “In daily training I like to wear a half shell, which gives me more freedom of movement. When jumps get bigger and bolder I immediately put on a full face helmet.”
... what makes good eyewear?
Lukas: “A good goggle shouldn’t break up light too much, the view must stay clear at all times, so you keep a close connection to your bike. Some eyewear restricts the field of view, which stops you feeling part of the action.”
Patrick: “My goggles give me a large field of view. To adapt to changing weather the lenses should be interchangeable. Mirror for sun. Clear for riding at dawn or dusk.”