How Injuries Make Professional Downhill Mountain Biker Steve Peat Stronger

Most athletes have experienced numerous injuries and setbacks. Professional Mountain Biker Steve Peat has been in the mountain biking scene for 25 years and for him, having injuries is an annoyance – but it’s also an opportunity that can make you stronger than before!

In this interview, you will learn more about Steve’s MTB career, how he handles injuries and how he uses injuries as an opportunity to get stronger. You will also learn more about his favorite mountain bikes, his best recommendations for new and experienced MTB riders, and much more!

MTB Rider Steve Peat

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Steve Peat. I am a professional Mountain Biker from Sheffield, England. When I’m not riding pedal bikes, I like to ride motorcycles, Trials, MX, Enduro and old custom rod bikes too.

How and why did you get into mountain biking?

I got into mountain bikes around 1990, I always played on bikes from being three years old chasing my older brothers around our local streets and parks. In the early days, it was Jason Mcroy and John Tomac that influenced me.

At the beginning, I raced Cross-Country (XC) cycling, then Downhill (DH) mountain biking became bigger and I chose that path as the training for XC was many hours in the saddle just turning the cranks, whereas DH you could go play on the jumps and the more technical tracks.

MTB Rider Steve Peat

Why is mountain biking important for you?

MTB has been my life for the last 25 years, I have my family, my home, my job all through this sport, and I am thankful for everything. Bikes get me out in the fresh air on a daily basis and I recommend it to anyone. Feel the wind in your face and let the smiles shine through.

How do you train and become a better mountain biker?

Dedication, when a sport is fun for the athlete the training is not so tough, I have always tried to keep my training varied and fun, which has helped my longevity in the sport immensely. I used to use a coach and a sports Psychologist but I retired from World cup events this year so I stepped back on the serious training a little, it has been great to have more time with family and doing different things.

MTB Rider Steve Peat

What are the hardest parts of mountain biking?

Racing at World Cup level is the crème de la crème of this sport. It’s tough and so hard on a weekend but very rewarding in the end. The preparation and sacrifice to be the best prepared is probably the hardest part, many hours spent prepping the body when sometimes all you want to do is go ride your bike. There are constant dangers of getting hurt, crashing while riding in rocks or through trees, keeping the body good so you don’t miss any sessions is pretty tough.

How do you prepare for events and races?

I ride motorcycles to help keep me in shape, which is also fun and breaks up the monotony of training. Once at a race, I have a mechanic to prep my bike so it’s always in tiptop shape. Our calendars are usually set very early in the season and training is planned around key events.

MTB Rider Steve Peat

How do you handle injuries and recovery?

Injuries are a bugga, but you have to keep going and try to get back on the bike asap, I have many over the years and always came back strong. I have quite a few little niggles now I’m older but they don’t generally keep me from riding. I think you need to keep the blood flowing and have a positive mind to help recover quicker, spinning on a bike or walking or just training the limbs that are not injured helps immensely with a injury.

What is your best advice people new to mountain biking?

First of all, I think too many people worry about the level of equipment these days!! It’s not bad to borrow your Mum or Dad’s old bikes and pop down the park or woods to just have play. If you enjoy it, you will keep coming back. Find a few local friends and arrange some rides so you all drag each other out. Most of all, remember, “Skin is waterproof” so don’t be afraid to get wet and muddy, it all cleans up!! ha ha

Best advice for people who have been mountain biking for years?

Make sure you get to explore new areas, people get stuck in their ways riding the same spots over and over, try new things to keep it fresh. A coaching day is great for experienced riders, it will highlight points you didn’t think you needed to correct.

I would change the mentality of other users on trails, it’s one world and we should all get along. The trails are to share and once everyone realizes this, the world will be better.

MTB Rider Steve Peat

How do you balance normal life with training and competitions?

This is tough for me because I have a wife and two children. I travel a lot to events and have sponsor commitments in-between some of those events. I’m always doing photo shoots and filming projects so I do spend a lot of time away.

I have certain rules for myself so that I don’t spend too much time in any one trip away from them, and I also try and bring them along to a few events. The boys are getting older now so it’s a bit easier to plan things with them.

When I’m home, I make sure training is done while they’re at school and make sure I can pick them up and spend time with them when ever possible. I don’t think I miss anything because of my chosen sport, but we have a good life and that has come from what I have achieved in the sport.

MTB Rider Steve Peat

What mountain bikes do you prefer?

I ride for Santacruz Bicycles and have a few of their fleet, my favourite model is the V10, which is a pure DH bike. We generally change chains and cassettes quite often and also brake rotors and pads. Our suspension is tweaked for every single race too.

What has been your best sport purchase below $100, and what other favorite gear do you have?

I think my Seven IDP knee pads have been one of the the best things as I have fallen so many times on my knees and these have saved numerous injuries.

My favourite gear is obviously the companies I am involved with!!!!! Ha Ha.

Santacruz Bikes are the best and such a good company to work along side because each time I put my leg over one of their bikes it brings a smile. I also have a few small things I promote myself, Royal Racing clothing, Peaty’s Push On’s and Peaty’s Tubeless Tire Sealant are things I use and recommend.

MTB Rider Steve Peat

What will the future bring?

I am just about to leave for our British National championships this weekend, it is great track in Wales, UK. I would love to find a way to get more kids on bikes and make riding fun for the younger generations, and I would also like to try a few car events and do more things on motorcycles.

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