Mike Ross Talks Crankworx Whistler, Slopestyle Dreams, and Maxxis Tire Choice

Mike Ross seemingly burst onto the Crankworx scene when he pulled out double backflip after double backflip during this year’s CLIF Speed & Style Innsbruck event and earned himself his first ever Crankworx medal… but he is anything but new to the sport of mountain biking. The Australian rider has put in countless hours of hard work to get to the point at which he finds himself today – invited to FMB Gold level Slopestyle events and a top contender for Crankworx podiums.

Ahead of a busy few weeks riding Crankworx events in British Columbia – Ross will be at Crankworx Summer Series Canada for Title Slopestyle at SilverStar Bikepark and Crankworx Whistler for CLIF Speed & Style Whistler – we checked in with Mike on his year so far and what’s still to come.

Ross recently took to Instagram to share the exciting news that he’ll be riding for SRAM and Rockshox. Stoked to head into the next few weeks riding in Canada kitted out with SRAM and Rockshox components, we asked him why it meant so much to him: “It’s amazing and I am so grateful. To have their support means a lot and it’s the dream products to be running and to have all my bikes running so well is only going to help push my progression.”

This wasn’t the first time that Ross took to Instagram to share exciting news though, as he recently posted a heartwarming, motivating video that showed he had saved space on his gym wall to hang a future Crankworx medal. After placing third during CLIF Speed & Style Innsbruck earlier this year, he finally got to hang that medal up. Here were his thoughts on that: “Writing something like “winning a medal” on the wall was such a motivator for me. In the way that I know I have it in me to tick this goal of mine off, but I have to work damn hard to get there. It was quite emotional getting to hang that up on the wall, a flood of all the hard work and battles I had to get to this point came back to me. It was an incredible feeling of happiness and proof that if you put in the time, work hard, and never give up, you can achieve your goals.”

While important to celebrate your achievements, we asked Ross how he continues to push for more after he accomplishes the goals that he sets out for himself. Pushing his own limits is what keeps the Rockshox rider on track and motivated to work harder: “This year I have gone all in on achieving my goals. I love progressing myself; in my mind I know I can be better, so I’m constantly chasing myself and this year it has proven to me even more, that this is what I love to do most. So all my motivation comes from loving what I do and just trying my absolute best to see how far I can go.”

Speaking of going all in on achieving his goals… As a frequent competitor at Slopestyle events sanctioned by the Freeride Mountain Bike Association, we’ve seen Ross on more than a few Slopestyle courses. However, an invite to Crankworx Summer Series Canada at SilverStar Bikepark was something Ross was really pushing for. So what was his reaction to being on the rider list for Title Slopestyle at SilverStar Bikepark? “I’m soooo excited! But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. It was a goal of mine to just get an invite to this event. So I am over the moon to ride the course with everyone. I’m going to throw down the best run I have ever done and whatever the outcome, I’m going to be happy!”

After a quick stop in the British Columbian interior, he’ll be on his way to Crankworx Whistler for the first time since 2019. It seems his stoke for Crankworx events is a common trend: “I’m so excited to be back! I’m most looking forward to riding the course again. It is one of the most challenging courses, it has got grass, flat turns, and lots of technical turns. It is a course that challenges every aspect of riding.”

We also checked in with Mike on his bike setup ahead of different events, for all you keeners out there wanting to know what he’ll be riding across each event. As a rider passionate about setting his bike up for maximum performance, we asked Ross to explain the main things he considers when it comes to bike setup: “For Slopestyle and Speed and Style, I’m running a Trek Ticket hard tail. The main difference between Slopestyle and Speed & Style set up is my compression in my fork. For Slopestyle I run it very stiff and for Speed & Style I run the compression a lot lower. Running my fork a little softer for cornering helps so much with traction. I also remove my crank stopper to get max pedal power.”

The Maxxis rider continued to talk about tire choice and the impact it can have on your cornering ability: “I’m running Maxxis on all my bikes. For Slopestyle I run a Pace 26 x 2.1 in the front and rear, as I find it rolls fast and still has all the grip. For Crankworx Whistler, with a few flat turns and grass section, I’m going to run an Ikon 26 x 2.3 up front and Pace 26 x 2.1 on the rear, for a bit more support and grip up front so I can be more aggressive in my corners.”

Mike Ross has already had quite the year, but it seems like he’s only just getting started. Fired up and ready for Title Slopestyle at SilverStar Bikepark during Crankworx Summer Series Canada, Ross is no doubt going to drop one of his best runs. So make sure you check out the livestream of finals on crankworx.com Sunday July 31 at 2:00pm PST. Then tune into live coverage of Crankworx Whistler events on Red Bull TV, starting August 9.