Probably about three years ago one of the local riders in my crew shared a trials tutorial video on YouTube from some trials rider named “Aaron Lutze”. That was my first exposure to Aaron – I had no idea who he was. Several months later I started joining and participating in his interactive livestream on Twitch whenever I could. Somehow the 2022 Bentonville Bike Fest came up during a discussion, and I said that I was injured and could not ride, but had been toying with the idea of going out there just to film the event, but I was also quite reluctant, since I hadn’t ever done anything like that in my life. Aaron encouraged me to give it a shot. It was this bit of encouragement from Aaron that pushed me “off the fence” into a decision to go. Not only was it an absolutely amazing time, but I also had the pleasure of meeting Aaron in person. And of course, going to Bentonville was a massive opportunity to hang out with so many other trials riders, and really supercharge my own passion for the trials community. So HUGE thank you to Aaron for giving me the right encouragement at the right time!

Since I first discovered Aaron’s YouTube channel, his viewer base has exploded to over 75,000 subscribers. He has added a significant number of well-produced instructional videos to his channel. And he’s been chasing his dream to resurrect the Super Rider show, as he discusses below.

Aaron has a ton of passion about trials and the trials community. He puts a many hours into growing his YouTube channel, trying to make the Super Rider show a reality, and more. But despite all that he has accomplished in his life, including his most recent projects, he remains, humble, genuine, approachable, patient, and kind. He’s the kind of person who makes you feel good just to be around him.

But enough of me talking, let’s hear what Aaron had to say in this interview!

Tell us a little about yourself (brief background, your profession, etc.)

My name is Aaron Lutze and I’m a Bike Trials rider from Portland, OR (originally Waupaca, WI). I run a YouTube channel called Super Rider and occasionally join the Shin Dig podcast as a guest host. When I’m not riding, filming, or working at my day job – I’m spending time with my family. We’ve got three kids – Teegan, Violet and Bennett – so Cara and I definitely have our hands full. Prior to starting the Super Rider channel, I worked at Red Bull as an Athlete Marketing Manager. Easily the best job I’ve ever had – I got to scout, sign and support the best athletes in the world in every imaginable discipline. I still have a full-time job, but it’s not as exciting as that one. I was at Red Bull for twelve years, so it was definitely time to move on and challenge myself in some new ways.

How long have you been riding bike trials?

I started riding Bike Trials in the summer of 1996. I went really hard until about 2002, made it to the Pro ranks and did Trials demos all over the place (including two summers on the Vans Warped Tour) – then sort of burned out after that. The scene really died down around that time and real life took over. I still considered myself a Bike Trials rider in spirit, but wasn’t riding more than a few times every year (with a few exceptions).

How did you discover bike trials and how did you get started?

My family was on a vacation in an RV and my dad stopped at a random campground in Idaho after a long day of driving. Once we got settled, I was cruising around the campground on my mountain bike and this German kid came up to me and asked if he could ride it. I let him take it for a spin, and he started hopping on the back wheel! After that, he hopped over a picnic table, and my mind was officially blown. I knew about Hans Rey and I always thought Trials was cool – but to see someone actually do it on my bike was the thing that got me hooked. He showed me a few things to get started, and then I practiced those things for the rest of our vacation. By the time we got home, I was far enough ahead of my friends that I officially became the “trials guy” in our riding crew. Since I was also super short (5’2″) in high school, I wasn’t super athletic and couldn’t keep up with them – so that made me double down on the one thing that I could excel in. The following year I went to my first event (NORBA National in Red Wing, MN) and met a ton of riders. After that, it was game on, I begged my parents to organize our summer vacations around Bike Trial events from there on out!

If I recall, you took a break from the trials scene for a while, but came back strong a couple years ago. Why the break, and why such a strong return?

I guess I’ve always had a Trials bike, but I wasn’t riding on a regular basis. When I lived in San Francisco and worked for Red Bull, for example, I would try to get together with Jim Trigonis and a few other riders from time to time. But just like everywhere else in the USA, there weren’t many events or reasons to go beyond a small group ride. After I moved to Portland (2013), I lost touch with all the riders and my bike started picking up dust. I got super into Ultra Running for a while and was pretty focused on racing for a few years, so I was still athletic, but I didn’t have anyone to ride with or motivate me, so the break was sort of unintentional.

My 40th birthday was the first actual day of the pandemic, which kind of put racing and running on hold for a while. I had a realization a few months later that I probably only had ten years or so left of being able to REALLY sidehop, which is one of my favorite things in the world. I realized I was squandering something that I worked so hard to get, and it was time to blow the dust off.

I started by getting a new sidehop bar and my goal was to get back to my former glory – I wanted a 38.5″ sidehop over a bar – and it took a lot longer to get there than expected. I started filming my attempts, and that was the origin of the channel.

How would you define/describe “bike trials” in your own words to someone who never heard of it?

Problem solving on two wheels! I feel like all the obstacles we ride are sort of like puzzles, and you have to use the right skills to solve them – and sometimes there’s more than one solution. Sometimes I’ll describe it as rock climbing on a bike, or parkour on a bike, too.

What type of bike trials riding do you prefer (style, obstacle types, moves, solo/group, etc.) and where do you like to ride?

I don’t know if I have a specific style, I feel like I really love aspects of both comp and street bikes. Sidehops are my favorite, but I also really like two-wheel riding where you have to be super precise with your wheelbase hops (and even better if you can flow through the line). I could be just as happy on natural terrain or concrete – and thankfully we have both in Portland. The Shred Spot has been a lifesaver in winters when it rains non-stop for months at a time, too – and it’s definitely helped me get a lot more consistent with my riding.

Why do you ride bike trials and what keeps you motivated to keep riding?

I feel like it’s an infinite game. No one ever completely masters this sport – there’s always a new thing to learn or a way to polish a skill or throw in some extra style. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to realize how much there is to learn, but even at age 43 I still feel like I’m improving on the bike.

How often do you ride trials? What sort of routine do you have for practice versus riding for fun versus making edits, etc. – how much time is dedicated to each?

I usually get 1-2 rides in per week – a lot of times it’s to film, but we usually get out on Sundays to ride with the local crew. We’ve thankfully got quite a few spots nearby (and indoor) that I can sneak in a session or two. Not every time is a mega progression session, but we’re having fun. When I’m making an edit, I usually have a list of the different things I want to use as b-roll (action footage) in the edit, and I’ll just set up the camera and knock those out back to back. I’ve got it set up in an efficient way, so I can prioritize what I need to get…and then play around a bit after that.

I’ve got an e-bike coming in the next few weeks, and I’ve seen a bunch of riders (Ali Clarkson, Jack Carthy, Hans Rey) doing stuff with e-bikes, so I’m excited to try it out. I may put the trials bike down for a little bit to get comfortable on the new bike. I actually think e-bikes could be sort of a gateway to Bike Trials, too – since you can pedal up difficult terrain with them. I think there’s something there worth exploring.

What’s the bike trials scene like near you? Are there other riders? Group rides? Comps?

We have five or six local riders, and we’ve all connected in the last year for the most part. I met Kylee through Moto Trials, and then once we put it out into the universe that we were going to ride every Sunday, riders started coming out of the woodwork. I feel like there are a lot of Trials bikes hanging up in people’s garages, and by committing to a regular weekly ride, it somehow created an opportunity for more people to connect regularly.

There’s also a really strong scene up in Seattle, which is just a few hours away. Peter Hellenbrand has built a great crew of riders up there, including guys like Todd Cook. I try to sneak up there a few times a year to ride with them, and eventually I’m hoping to make it up to BC to ride with those guys, too.

How do you manage fear when doing scary lines?

To be honest, I don’t do scary lines. Or at least, lines that are scary to me. I suppose you adjust and make calculated risks based on what you’re confident you can do on the bike. I’m a bit older with kids, a job, responsibilities, and I feel like I don’t really have anything to prove at this point. I’ll let the younger guys send the big lines, and I’m perfectly ok with that. I want to push myself in some ways to progress, but I’m also totally comfortable walking away from something that scares me.

What are your personal goals with respect to trials (near-term and long-term)?

Personal goals for me, I’ve been doing a “sidehop your age” thing and I’m about to turn 44 in March, so that’s on my mind. I’ve also been working with Damon Watson and his Power Program to get strong (and stay strong) for the past year. We’ve been having really good results so far, that’s sort of a near and long term goal, to be honest. I just want to be able to ride and have fun as long as I possibly can.

I guess my other Trials goals are really tied more to the wider scene. I’d like to see more riders be able to make this a full time thing. There are so many talented riders out there, and I just wonder what it would look like if a guy like Joacim was properly funded and could do projects and travel around the world. And then like ten more riders doing the same thing. It would be pretty cool, right?

Who are your bike trials ‘heroes’ and/or influences? Favorite trials video(s)?

Hans Rey was my original hero, I learned almost all the basics from “Monkey See Monkey Do” and I wore out every single VHS tape that he published. I eventually got my hands on some Monty videos (Ot Pi and Cesar Canas) and then the world famous “Dirty Tricks And Cunning Stunts”. If you haven’t seen that film, as a trials rider, you need to. It’s Martyn Ashton and Martin Hawyes dressed in 1970s gear doing tutorials and it’s actually pretty awesome. I’m sure it’s on the internet somewhere.

The rider who had the biggest impact on my riding, however, was Jeff Lenosky. He really took me under his wing and not only put me on Schwinn, but he helped me get started with Trials demos. I was doing demos all summer long at bike shops and stuff, and then he and Ryan Leech helped me and Dan Drain take their spots on the Vans Warped Tour. That was incredible, 45 tour stops across the country. We’d do three shows a day and then meet up with the local riders in each city to ride all night. Best summers of my life for riding, easily.

Through Red Bull and other stuff, I’ve been able to meet so many of my riding influences, but the one rider who I have yet to meet in person is Martyn Ashton. He was always a hero, and for some reason we’ve just never crossed paths. He gave me a shoutout on GMBN a few months back and I nearly cried. Easily the most inspiring human, maybe it’s better that we haven’t met…I would likely go full fanboy and embarrass myself.

What are your perspectives on the trials biking scene in general and in the US in particular?

I think the internet has been such a net-positive for Trials. I always knew it was such a small sport, but now I seem to find another incredible rider on Instagram every day. Like that Italian rider who won the Inspired contest this summer? Incredible. When I was in London earlier this year with everyone, it was just like we’d all been friends for ages – just having a chat and a ride together with my friends from Instagram. Freddy has done such a great job with the USA Trials page on Facebook, and the Bentonville event that Mike and Kenny pull together is another high point for the scene.

I just feel like we’re finally able to do all the right things…events are happening, riders are connecting, there’s a podcast (shout out to the Shin Dig crew!) and YouTube channels focused on Trials are growing. If we can all continue building, it’s only going to gain more momentum and eventually get easier for the next generation of riders.

What would you like to see happening in the US with respect to bike trials?

I’d love to see 3-4 events like that in the USA every year, maybe in different regions, so more people can have that experience. It takes a lot to get to Bentonville, if I’m honest, but it’s always worth it. How cool would it be if we could replicate that in other zones? The USA is a tough one, we’re all so spread out. I don’t have an easy solve for that, and no one ever really has. The NORBA Nationals – and Motorama – were the two things that helped connect the USA riders back in the day.

How did you decide to generate trials tutorials on your YouTube channel? What was the turning point where you realized that you were really on to something? When you started, did you ever think you’d have over 75,000 subscribers? Now that growth of the channel is accelerating, what’s next?

Eric Porter (PorterMTB on YT) is one of my best friends, and we used to travel and film together all the time. He started growing on YouTube and kept telling me to get into it – especially since I used to make bike movies (including all 9 issues of Match Videozine, which started as a Trials-based video series). I had the filming and editing chops (sort of), and he mentored me and helped me get started with the channel. He’s been incredibly patient with me, this whole thing has been a huge learning curve.

I think the first turning point was getting the keys to the Shred Spot a few years ago. Having that space and doing the livestreams brought a lot of people together, and it also kicked off our Discord channel, which is one of the things I’m most proud of. Teracis does such an awesome job with that, and the whole crew there just gets better and better with time.

The next real turning point for me was at Sea Otter earlier this year – a bunch of people came up to me and said they liked the channel. The interesting thing, 90% of them were just mountain bikers who liked the skills I was teaching. They saw how it applied to their riding and they were stoked. After hearing the same thing all weekend from all these people, I went back and started packaging trials tutorials as mountain bike tutorials. It was incredible to see how many more people I could reach, even teaching essentially the same skills. I still sneak in my comp and street bikes here and there – and I think if we can get the MTB community just a little closer to Trials over time, it’ll have a big effect on our scene.

So, I guess what’s next, I’m going to continue down this path of sharing our techniques with the mountain bike community – and then I have a few ideas how to combine the two.

You generate a lot of well-produced content in addition to having a family and full-time job? How do you do it?

I wake up at 5am every morning, well before the kiddos get up. Tuesdays and Thursdays are filming days at the Shred Spot, and I try to edit every other day of the week. Usually I have it mapped out and scripted ahead of time, which helps the rest of the process. I’m a relatively fast editor, and going into the shoots with a plan makes the whole process go quickly. I mean, it’s still tedious and “fast” editing probably means 6-8 hours per video at best. It’s still almost the entire week to get each video done, mostly because I have to chip away at it a little each day.

For anyone who hasn’t heard about it, what is the “Super Rider” show concept and what can you tell us about it?

Super Rider was originally a segment inside a Japanese TV show in the late nineties. Think of “Ninja Warrior” but on bikes, and the courses all had different themes. It was too perfect, and in its original era, I would have done anything to have been on it. I still remember the first time I saw photos from one of the shows in Observed Trials Magazine. It looked so wild!

When my channel started getting some decent momentum, I decided to put it out into the universe that I wanted to make that show come back to life. That’s the reason why I changed the channel name to Super Rider in the first place. It’s an incredible concept and I think it would make a massive impact on the scene in every conceivable way. It’s a huge effort to put together a production like that, but I’m committed to finding a way.

How is the “Super Rider” show project coming along? Any news about it that you can share with us publicly?

Red Bull Media House expressed interest in the idea and we’ve been working on the project for about a year now. We were making great progress, but due to some budget stuff, it’s on hold for the moment. I don’t know what the next step will be in the near-term, but even if it takes another year or two to get back on track, it’s faster than I would have been able to do it alone. I wish I had more updates, but everything is sort of paused for a bit.

For those who haven’t been following your channel, what is the “Shred Spot”? Do you have any upcoming plans for how you plan to use the facility?

The Shred Spot is a 1,000 square foot warehouse where I film all the tutorial videos. When I first started the channel, I was ducking Portland’s rain and trying to find quiet spots to film the tutorials, which was a huge pain. I was talking to Seth Alvo (Berm Peak/Seth’s Bike Hacks) about my dream of one day having my own space, and he said, “Dude – you should do that right now!” One week later, I had the keys. I think we’re in our third year in that space, which is crazy.

I was using it for livestreams on Twitch for a while (and eventually on YouTube live), but the cost of the internet was crazy since it’s technically a commercial space. I had to pull it back a little bit to keep costs in check, but I’m still planning to hold onto the space. I have a few concepts in mind that I want to try with the Shred Spot, but right now it’s just a mix of different size/shape boxes that I can use to teach skills tutorials.

I serendipitously stumbled upon the “Super Athlete” account on Instagram, which you subsequently confirmed was one of your new projects. What can you tell us about it?

I haven’t officially launched anything yet, just locking in the accounts, but the Super Athlete project is going to be a second YouTube channel where I share what I’ve learned about YouTube with athletes from every discipline. The biggest thing that stood out to me when I was at Red Bull was how many athletes weren’t building out their communities and content channels. There was a HUGE gap between the athletes that focused on it and the ones who didn’t. I did my best while I was there to help athletes start their own content programs, and it worked out great for them. So basically, I just want to try to do that again. I feel like if I can build a YouTube channel and a community of like-minded people at age 43, anyone else can find their people, too.

I’m hoping to get content rolling in the next few weeks…but Super Rider will continue to be the top priority when it comes to content.

Do you have any other trials projects in the works?

I’m working on a Titanium street trials bike at the moment. I’ve been working on it for a year off and on with my friend Oscar who runs Simple Bicycle Co. He’s an incredible welder and extremely experienced with titanium frames. It should be fun to watch it come together. The bike is going to be like an Inspired Hex, just a few tweaks here and there. I love that bike, but the opportunity to have one in Ti was too good to pass up!

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start bike trials or has just started? What types of things do people starting to learn trials do WRONG and what should they do instead?

I would tell them to spend the more time than they think is necessary to get the basics locked in before moving on. Everyone wants to learn how to jump to front wheel or do a footjam tailwhip, but then they can’t pedal kick and ride smooth. Same thing happens in almost every sport – people go for the backflip before they can even ride in a straight line. Basics are so foundational in this sport – if you really think about it, most moves are just a combination of two basic techniques. If you don’t build that foundation, you’ll be in real trouble eventually. I also think style comes from a command of the basics, and while it’s not necessary, you can always tell who has put in the time.

Anything else about bike trials that you’d like to share?

I think it’s so important to support the things that you love. This sport means the world to me, and I’m trying to put time and money back into it to help it grow. Aside from my channel stuff, I also put money into Patreon to support Ali Clarkson and Charlie Rolls. I hired Damon Watson to be my trainer. I buy merch. I really want to see everyone be successful, so I’m voting with my own dollars to support them. It might be a couple bucks a month, but that adds up over time and becomes meaningful. This stuff is hard, it’s not free, and if we came together and supported the people putting in effort like that, this sport would be able to move even further ahead. I’m definitely not even close to breaking even on YouTube (especially with the rent from the warehouse), but I’m happy to put in the time, money and effort because I believe it’s valuable to the sport that I love. I hope this doesn’t sound like too much of a rant, but I feel like our community could rally to make a real impact here.

You’re an avid promoter of trials and supporter of the trials community – what have I forgotten to ask you about that?

We’ve covered a lot – I just hope that what I’m doing (and have done) has brought value to beginner riders and made an impact on our sport. For me, my time to be a “pro” is long past, but if I can use what I’ve learned to help build a foundation for the next generation, that would be meaningful.

How do people find you online? (i.e., YouTube, web, social media, etc.)

YouTube, Instagram and TikTok: @superriderTV — and you can also go check out www.SuperRider.TV if you want to support the channel and get some gear (I’m dropping the new technical fiber riding shirt with the “practice makes progress” graphic this week).

What other US bike trials rider(s) should I interview here?

I agree with all the other people that have been called out by the other people you’ve interviewed, but here are three more I’d like to see: Grant Memmott, Max Mitchell and Aaron Faust (one of the FIRST American Trials riders!).

One of Aaron’s tutorials on fundamental trials skills
Aaron’s interview on The Shin Dig podcast


JoshW · October 13, 2023 at 9:55 am

Thanks Aaron for pushing Tim to go to Bentonville in 2022, it was my first comp, he was the first trials rider I met (after watching trials for 5 years on youtube), and helped me navigate my first comp!
Butterfly effect 🙂

Interview With Matt Meyer - This Is Bike Trials! · November 18, 2023 at 4:16 pm

[…] some of them but I’m going to list them all so I don’t miss any. Freddy Astrada, Aaron Lutze, Mike Steidley, Robbie Pfunder, Ross Winsor, Sean and Ian Farrar, Mike Friddell, Tom […]

Interview with Bob Beal - This Is Bike Trials! · November 24, 2023 at 12:02 am

[…] many fronts. Kenny Belaey is leading the charge on getting events for high level competitors in the US. Super Rider, Aaron Lutze is putting out awesome content to coach riders of various levels. Between video content and […]

Page not found – This Is Bike Trials! · December 6, 2023 at 5:09 pm

[…] Interview With Aaron Lutze (a.k.a. Super Rider) – This Is Bike Trials! on Interview with Grant Memmott […]

Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *