Bike Check: Adrian Tell

Find out how the Norwegian giant is preparing his ride for the winter slopestyle event White Style.
Adrian Tell's 2014 Merida Hardy Pro Team MTB
The 2014 Merida Hardy Pro Team © Danil Kolodin
By Kris Kurowski

Adrian Tell is somewhat of a mountain bike ‘superman’. He leads a double life, one as a school teacher, another as a mountain bike star renowned for his cashrolls and huge front flip no handers.

Last year the Norwegian came just shy of victory at the European FMB World Tour kick off event – White Style in Leogang. Pavel Alekhin eventually took the title in 2013 with a backflip double tailwhip during the final jam session.

Adrian is heading back to the Austrian Alps for another crack at winter glory at White Style 2014 so we wanted to know what bike he will be riding for this unique snowy contest and how is his preparation going for the event.

Adrian, are you feeling stoked about the new season?

Yes, I am looking forward to riding with the guys again. The off-season at home is pretty quiet when it comes to riding.

White Style is a slopestyle course made from snow - Does living in Norway give you an advantage over the other riders?

I guess it could seem that way, but I don’t really think it does. Maybe we are used to the cold here, but there is no place to ride your bike during winter. I would rather say it’s a disadvantage, because I can only ride indoor skateparks, or I have to travel south to ride some real jumps.

Adrian Tell with his second place cheque
Adrian Tell © Bartek Wolinski 2013

What are you currently riding?

I am riding the 2014 Merida Hardy Pro Team. It has an aluminum frame, MTX rims and a Marzocchi DJ1 fork. Actually here's a funny story – I recently bent my fork during my last training day in La Poma. No ‘dis’ to Marzocchi though – they took an epic hit! Luckily, I got my hands on a Fox fork. I am not sure of the model because the fork is still at the Norwegian Merida Bikes dealer, as they are going to rebuild it for me from 160mm to 100mm. I like my suspension to be pretty tough for White Style.

The bike comes with Hayes Prime Comp rear brake as standard; I’ll ride this all season probably. Hopefully I will get a gyro as well to make everything a little bit easier.

When it comes to handlebars – my bars have a 'Sunline' logo on them. I don’t know this brand, but I bought the bars five years ago and just stuck with them. The width is about 710mm, I think.

A close up of the headset and forks on Adrian Tell's 2014 Merida Hardy Pro Team MTB
A closer look at Adrian's 2014 Merida © Danil Kolodin

What is the most crucial part of your bike set up for White Style?

I would say it’s the tyres. I have some new Geax AKA tyres in the garage with good grip. I need pedals with good grip for White Style too, but I forgot my old Éclat BMX pedals with extended pins in Barcelona. Hopefully I can ride with the ones I normally use – Straitline AMP.

Last year Pavel Alekhin attempted to ride the course with no brakes. Was he nuts or was it tactics?

I think it was neither. I got to know Pavel when we filmed together in September, and although he seems it, he’s not crazy. However, he’s just used to riding with no brakes. It’s like putting on a wrist watch if you've never really worn one before. It feels strange and can be distracting.

Adrian Tell performs a no hander on his 2014 Merida Hardy Pro Team MTB in Norway
Adrian Tell, No hander © Danil Kolodin

Do you think you have the right machine to put you on the podium?

Yes, I do, but it’s not just the machine – it’s the mind as well.

White Style really is a one of a kind event. Take a look at the teaser clip below and see for yourself! This year's contest takes place on February 14.

© Bartek Wolinski
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