Sylvain André | Interview

March 2017

Sylvain Andre Fifteen BMX - Fabmx1.com

Wiawis Bikes pulled off a bit of a coup late last year when they signed France’s Sylvain André. Had anyone heard of the Korean brand in the BMX world until André climbed aboard the carbon ‘Rokon’ frame late last year? Already making podiums on his new set up at the top level of the sport and still telling it like it is! We caught up with Sylvain André to find out a little more … the bike, the USA BMX nationals, his plans for the year … it’s all here.


15: You’re out in the US at the moment for some winter training … what tracks are you getting to ride while over there and who are you hitting them with?

Sylvain: Mostly Chula Vista, ABA and SX … and Perris if it ever stops raining here !

 

15: You where at the Phoenix mud fest … fun? How do you change your tactics when faced with those kind of conditions?

Sylvain: Fuck no, I didn’t enjoy it. No one did … or they’re lying. There’s nothing fun when you have to pump every jump, praying you stay on your bike. I didn’t really have a tactic, in the semi I took lane 8 ’cause it looked less slippery, but that’s it.

 

15: In contrast to Phoenix you had a great weekend in the Florida sun at the Gator Nationals with a brilliant podium on day two as part of the French white wash!  We assume you enjoyed that! Big French celebration on Saturday night?

Sylvain: Yes, I enjoyed that more ahaha. It was good to get some good results with such a stacked field, good to survive too! The rest went to party, I went to bed before 1am, had to wake up at 6.45am for the pro-open race on Sunday! I won’t pay the bills with the $700 I got for 3rd …

15: There were a lot of bad looking crashes in Florida, was it the track, start of year jitters or just one of those things?

Sylvain: I really don’t know, I raced there twice and nothing terrible happened …

 

15: Ignoring the mud and bad weather do you prefer to race the Phoenix (ABA) or Florida (SX) type tracks? Are we imagining it or do Europeans look more at home on the SX tracks?

Sylvain: I like both. There are some real cool ABA tracks to race on and some bad SX tracks too. For me it’s not really a matter of the hill as long as the track is good.

 

‘This is bad for our sport, real bad … I don’t really know what to feel about it to be honest’

15: We’ve seen you comment on the new reduced USA BMX payouts for this year, what are your thoughts on the whole thing?

Sylvain: I could understand if they had good reasons … they kept the same entries fees and cut the payout. We basically pay ourselves … and the girls too by the way. This is bad for our sport, real bad … I don’t really know what to feel about it to be honest.

 

15: What’s the rest of your race calendar look like for this year, where will we see you pop up?

Sylvain: Rock Hill and Austin are the next two USA BMX races I’ll race. Then back to Europe for the World Cup. French Euro’s and Worlds in July. In between, I still need to decide if I want to race here, fly to America for $700 for the win on the ABA format.

 

15: Rock Hill has to be the goal right?

Sylvain: It’s a goal, not the goal. Obviously I want to do good there.

BIKE CHECK:

Frame: Wiawis Rokon XXXL 22″

Forks: Wiawis tapered 10 & 20mm

Bars: BOX One 3°

Stem: Promax Banger

Grips: BOX One

Headset: BOX Glide

Seat: Tioga D-Spyder

Seat Clamp: Wiawis

Cranks: BOX Vector M30 177.5mm


Sprocket: BOX Cosine 44T

Brake Caliper: Shimano XRT or BOX Carbon 

Brake Leaver: Shimano XRT or BOX 108 

Pedals: HT Components T1-SX

Front Hub: Stealth S3 20mm

Rear Hub: Stealth S3 15mm

Rims: BOX Focus

Tyres: Tioga PowerBand 1.85 front & rear

Plate: BOX Phase One #39

BIKE CHECK:

Frame: Wiawis Rokon XXXL 22″

Forks: Wiawis tapered 10 & 20mm

Bars: BOX One 3°

Stem: Promax Banger

Grips: BOX One

Headset: BOX Glide

Seat: Tioga D-Spyder

Seat Clamp: Wiawis

Cranks: BOX Vector M30 177.5mm

Sprocket: BOX Cosine 44T

Brake Caliper: Shimano XRT or BOX Carbon 

Brake Leaver: Shimano XRT or BOX 108 

Pedals: HT Components T1-SX

Front Hub: Stealth S3 20mm

Rear Hub: Stealth S3 15mm

Rims: BOX Focus

Tyres: Tioga PowerBand 1.85 front & rear

Plate: BOX Phase One #39

15: The USA BMX Grand’s was your, and many others, last race with Redline. How long before that did you know your partnership with them was coming to an end?

Sylvain: I heard people talking during September/October. Going to the Grands I knew it was over.

 

‘There are some real cool ABA tracks to race on and some bad SX tracks too. For me it’s not really a matter of the hill as long as the track is good.’

15: How did the Wiawis deal come about? Before you turned up on one we hadn’t heard of them.

Sylvain: The timing was great. Julian (Perrier) came to me a week after I knew Redline was gonna end. We just started talking and we worked out a deal real quick.

 

15: How do you like the bike? Is there anything special we should know about it, they are doing something innovative in the way they build the carbon tooling for sizing, right?

Sylvain: I love the bike. It has a classic geometry, nothing too fancy. The innovation is that it’s not a mould. Top and bottom tube are screwed and glued … screwing, is that word right? It makes it stronger and stiffer. I’ve had some real 50/50’s and I can tell you,  it’s strong!

15: You’re on board the disc brake train … what do you like about them? We assume they are just going to become more and more popular.

Sylvain: Yes I’ve been running it since last summer. I like the fact that whatever the condition, your brakes just work and you don’t have to clean/change the cable the next day.  It’s as light as classic V-brakes too.

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Photos: Sylvain André | Derek Betcher | Fabmx1.com | BMXNews.com | Theo Chaoelle | BMX Mania | Saskja Lack

Sylvain Andre Waiwis Rokon