Meet Mountain Bike Pro Hans Rey
Hans Rey started trials riding almost 40 years ago and has been a professional rider for more than three decades. He was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 1999. Currently living in Laguna Beach, California, the 50-year-old continues to ride, travel the world and share his passion for bikes.
Stan's NoTubes: What sticks out in your mind when you look back on your career thus far?
Hans Rey: I have a lot of ways to measure success, and my goals also have changed over the years. One of my biggest and proudest accomplishments is that I have managed to live my dreams for the past 30 years. Founding and running my own charity, Wheels 4 Life, along with my wife Carmen is also a highlight. Having met so many cool and interesting people and visiting so many beautiful places ranks high on my list.
Looking at it other ways, I could mention winning world championship titles, performing at the Olympic Games closing ceremonies, meeting Presidents, climbing Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya back-to-back and teaching a monkey how to ride a bike.
NT: You’ve traveled a ton during your career. What are some of your favorite places to ride?
HR: My favorite place is always my next new destination, I love to explore new places. There are so many great riding destinations around the globe; some I prefer for their great trails, others for the surrounding nature, local culture, etc.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Livigno in the Italian Alps. It has such great riding for all sorts of bicycles, and the and the cycling infrastructure is spectacular as is the surrounding nature. I also like South America, especially the Andes.
But I like the fact that new biking destinations - with amazing trails - are constantly popping up all over the world
NT: What Stan’s NoTubes wheels do you currently have on your bikes?
HR: I run a mixture of bikes and wheels. Here’s what’s on each bike right now:
- Arch MK3s (27.5”) on my GT Force, which is my all mountain/adventure bike.
- Avion Pros on my gravel road bike
- Flow MK3s (27.5”) on my GT Fury, which is my downhill bike
- Hugo (rear) and Crest (front) (26”) on my trials bike
- Valors (27.5") and sometimes also Bravos on my GT Sensor, which is my trail bike.
NT: How do you decide which wheels to use for what types of riding?
HR: It depends on the function and performance of the bike. I usually go for performance over weight, but sometimes weight plays a role, too. I tend to ride wide rims and rather bigger than smaller tires.
My trials bike is a good example. In the rear, I ride a super wide Hugo rim; weight is secondary, since performance of the rear wheel is so important in trials. But the front wheel is less important and often in the air (as we hop on our back tire); therefore light weight is most important for it.
NT: Given all your experience on so many different wheels, which Stan's wheel set is your favorite and why?
HR: I think the Arch MK3s are amazing, especially when considering price point, performance and weight.
NT: Also given your experience, do you have any advice for others riding or considering riding Stan's wheels?
HR: The exactly right tire pressure is very important and can make a big difference. To get it right takes some expertise and experience. It depends on the wheels, tires, tire size and sidewall strength, body weight of the rider, riding terrain and riding style. I recommend that you experiment a little and take notes - you will soon find your own sweet spot.
NT: Got any cool bike-related projects or trips coming up this year?
HR: I’m working on cool project in my hometown, the TransAngeles - more to come on that soon… I’m also doing more and more speaking engagements and talks. I’ve planned a 10-city U.K. tour this November.
NT: When you are not riding a bike, what do you like to do?
HR: I like relax, travel, garden, do other sports like hiking, skiing, moto enduro, golf, etc…
NT: Anything else you’d like us to mention?
HR: Live your dreams.