ON TOUR WITH KRUSH

AN IN­SIGHT INTO THE ROLLING ROAD­SHOW ON THE KRUSH TOUR

Australian Mountain Bike - - Contents - WORDS: MIKE BLE­WITT PHO­TOS: MATT STAGGS

Band tours to bikes - we catch up with the crew be­hind Krush.

It shouldn’t be any sur­prise that moun­tain bik­ing as a sport and an in­dus­try is full of pas­sion­ate peo­ple who love what they do, and where it takes them. Hav­ing met Matt D’Arcy from Krush it’s clear that a love for moun­tain bik­ing and a pas­sion for the de­tails drives the new Aussie brand.

GET­TING THE BAND BACK TO­GETHER

I met up with Matt as he has rolled into Nerang ahead of the first round of the Shi­mano En­duro Se­ries. It’s wet, about to get wet­ter, but Matt is stoked to be here. He’s had a long drive up from Vic­to­ria, but time on the road isn’t new for him. “I started play­ing drums when I was 14 and I stud­ied re­ally hard un­til I was 19. Play­ing the drums isn’t just hit­ting shit – I even taught for 6 years. I joined bands and yeah – it was great times.”

With­out go­ing too far into the he­do­nis­tic joy of tour­ing to play gigs in a band in the mid to late 90s, it is clear that get­ting used to life on the road while play­ing in bands prob­a­bly helped set Matt up for the amount of travel he and his wife Emma now do vis­it­ing events with their Krush vans. They visit events around the coun­try with their bike clean­ing and de­tail­ing prod­ucts, sup­port riders and shops at a grass roots level. Like many of us, Matt’s first bike was a BMX, and it gave him a sense of free­dom.

“As a young per­son your first BMX when you’re four is your first sense of free­dom. Grow­ing up in the early 80s we had a lot more free­dom. Bikes have al­ways been there. I have al­ways had dirt bikes too.”

So how does a mu­si­cian and dirt bike rider tran­si­tion into set­ting up a bike clean­ing and de­tail­ing prod­uct brand in Aus­tralia? Like many peo­ple mov­ing into the bike in­dus­try, it in­volved Matt fol­low­ing what he loved do­ing and look­ing for a bet­ter work-life bal­ance.

“I stud­ied to be a sound en­gi­neer, and so I was al­ways a gear nerd and into vin­tage record­ing equip­ment. I’d do a 10 hour day in the stu­dio with a band, and when fin­ished I’d go to the shed, get

the dirt bike out and go rip in the for­est. The love for bik­ing has al­ways been there. I got my first moun­tain bike in the early 2000s. I owned and op­er­ated a record­ing stu­dio for 14 years, but the hard­est thing was be­ing in front of a com­puter for 12 hours a day 6 or 7 days a week. On the tail end of that pe­riod I was start­ing to ride the moun­tain bike a lot, and the dirt bike too.”

The thing is, Matt’s fas­tid­i­ous na­ture and gear nerd lean­ings meant that although he liked to have nice things – he loved look­ing af­ter them too. “I’ve al­ways had a love for clean­ing things. If I had a nice car at the time, I’d be the guy de­tail­ing it for hours on the week­end. I have an un­healthy ob­ses­sion with hav­ing my stuff clean. I have about 6 dirt bikes at home in the shed, all clean, and some­times I think maybe I won’t ride them. I feel more com­fort­able know­ing my bikes are away clean.”

And so while Matt dab­bled with the idea of set­ting up a high-end car de­tail­ing ser­vice, it was the op­por­tu­nity to de­velop his own clean­ing prod­ucts for bikes that lead them down the path that launched Krush.

“We set up in 2016 and there was a good 6 months lead up in de­vel­op­ing the prod­ucts. I was us­ing a bunch of other brands that make great clean­ing prod­ucts. I was re­ally ex­cited with how the Aus­tralian scene was grow­ing, and I felt no Aus­tralian brand was mak­ing a clean­ing prod­uct solely fo­cused on moun­tain bikes.”

And that’s not to say the prod­ucts only work on moun­tain bikes. It all works well on road bikes, trail bikes, cy­clocross bikes and other hy­brids. It’s just that Matt and his part­ner Emma are moun­tain bik­ers, and that’s what they gen­uinely know and love. The list of events that you will see the Krush tent and vans at does read like a tour list for a band. It’s pretty non-stop.

“I’m used to tour­ing, so we are pretty much on the Krush Tour,” ex­plains Matt. While they get to some of the big­gest events, like the UCI World Cup in Cairns, the EWS in Derby, Crankworx Ro­torua and more, they also pack up and travel to smaller re­gional events sup­ported by those who sup­port them. “When you start a small busi­ness and see stores buy and stock your prod­ucts – it’s hum­bling. So I feel ob­li­gated to be there. They’re sup­port­ing us, so I want to be there.”

That means that Matt and Emma are also in di­rect con­tact with peo­ple like you and I, the riders who use their prod­uct.

“We deal with riders one on one, so it is also mar­ket re­search. That’s the beauty of be­ing a small owner op­er­ated busi­ness. It’s a re­ally fun thing and just so im­por­tant. One of the coolest things is meet­ing peo­ple, and ed­u­cat­ing them on the ex­pe­ri­ence of de­tail­ing your bike.

“A lot of peo­ple think bike wash­ing in­volves hos­ing your bike, us­ing some de­ter­gent, wash­ing it off and chuck­ing it in the shed. But look around, ev­ery­one is rid­ing ex­pen­sive pieces of kit. There are ways to main­tain and look af­ter your bike so it rides well, feels awe­some and your com­po­nents last longer. It’s cool to in­ter­act with peo­ple at events, rid­ing is such a pos­i­tive thing. They should pre­scribe less an­tide­pres­sants and pre­scribe a bike!”

As fun as it all is, set­ting up a brand and busi­ness is still a lot of hard work. Matt ad­mits that their sched­ule leaves lit­tle time at home, and they re­ally have to com­mit to their brand and the riders and stores who have sup­ported them by us­ing it.

“You just have to get in and have fun. It’s not al­ways fun, but if it’s some­thing you’re pas­sion­ate about you just have to make it work. We of­ten com­bine work and fam­ily trips, like up to Alice Springs for The Red­back. It was awe­some. I did one of the stages and nearly died! I’d never been to Alice Springs.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.