There are two things you need to know before you meet Tydeman. First, he's probably faster than you. Second, you'll be stretched to find someone who gets so stoked on riding. The combination of these two factors makes for a dangerous mix. So we decided, at the very last minute, to see what makes Tydeman tick as we wrap up the Hill Climb season.
At the unofficial Hill Climb World Champs in his native California, Tydeman rode his Cannondale (equipped with 991g Hill Climb SL wheels) to the top step of the podium. Coming from an off-road background, there is more to the 16-year-old than punching out reps on the road.
Take it away Tydeman...
Name: Tydeman Newman
Born and Bred: Born and raised in Southern California by Welsh and English parents
How long have you been riding?
I’ve been riding bikes since I was 2 years old. My dad raced and rode mountain bikes, and from a young age I was always pedalling. I played other sports like baseball and soccer, but in the end, I was just in love with riding my bike.
Icebreaker – describe yourself in three words.
Fun, stubborn, and risk-taking.
First Bike and Favourite bike?
I can’t really remember my very first bike. It was probably some kids bike that I covered in stickers. My first real bike was a Cannondale Flash 26 with headshock. My favourite bike ever has perhaps been my Cannondale SuperX. I got this bike about a year and a half ago, and I don’t know how I ever lived without it. Super light, fast, and nimble for racing CX but a tank when it comes to ripping up gravel. I’ve ridden this thing on proper DH MTB trails and somehow it is still in one piece.
Finish this sentence: Climbing on my bike is… painfully fun.
First of all, congrats on taking the win at Hill Climb Worlds. Tell us a bit about what was it like coming into the race. Did you do any specific HC training?
Hahaha thank you. That was a fun one. I really came into the race mostly out of shape. It’s right in my off season so I just thought it would be fun to go out and give it a go and see what happened. The couple weeks leading up to the race I did do some 20-30 min efforts seeing as the climb is about 35 min. I think that really helped. Feeling the burn in your legs and lungs fuels the fire.
Being from around the area, is Gibraltar a road you generally ride?
Surprisingly I don’t actually ride that road a lot. It’s about a 35 min drive from my house and right around my home base is some of the most incredible climbing in California. We get a lot of the pro teams coming out and doing training camps in my area. Climbs like Fernwood, Piuma and Stunt are all about a 15min ride from my house.
Did you do anything to make your bike super light or stick with a stock setup?
I didn’t make too many equipment changes from what I would usually run. Cannondale was super rad and sent me an insanely light Supersix Evo to borrow which was nuts. I kept that mostly stock except for the insane Hunt Hill Climb Wheels and my favourite Fabric ALM saddle.
Even without paying too much attention to his bike, Tydeman was able to take the win...
During the race did you pay attention to any data such as heart rate or power? Was there any strategy for pacing since it was a relatively long climb?
When racing, I try not to pay attention to my numbers too much. I’ve only been using HR for about a year and never used power. I feel that I have a really good idea of my limits without seeing numbers going just on feel. I still had them in front of me so I didn’t kill myself in the first mile, but I was mostly riding on feel. My pacing was basically save something for the end. Gibraltar has an insane kick in the last 1.5 miles, and I knew that that would be the decision maker. I mainly stuck with the group and then gave it something right there and managed to stay away for the rest of the climb.
Since the HC worlds are done and dusted, are we going to see you at more HC races?
I would be super into doing some more hill climb races. Unfortunately, SoCal doesn’t really have these type of races, but I’m looking at putting together just a fun little one myself. Also might try and come over to the UK some time to give the short climbs a go!
What is the single best thing about living and riding in California?
The fact that I can do an insane 40-mile MTB ride to the beach and meet my mum down there and go surf in Malibu.
Coming into the North American winter what are your plans? We see you are a huge fan of ‘cross so are you going to be tearing it up between the tape?
I am a huge fan of 'cross, but this year I’ve decided to put it on the backburner a little. I have some big goals for MTB season this year so all my focus is on that right now. I’ll still get out to a couple of the fun local races but it’s mostly training for me this winter.
It seems you ride literally anything. From HC to gravel to xc. When are you going to cave in and start racing Enduro MTB?
The second that I get my hands on a squishy bike haha!
Tydeman may of use the Hill Climb SL tubulars for his HC race, but you're more likely to find him on the dirt aborad his CX or MTB.
Outside of racing and riding what takes your fancy?
I’m a California teenager so of course I surf haha. Surfing has always been a way for me to relax and get away from everything else; just you and nature. I’m also studying Sports Medicine and Athletic Training in my high school. In the last year, this has become one of my favourite things, and I’m looking at it as something to study in uni.
We always like to finish with a good crash story. What’s been your worst crash?
Hmmm. Knock on wood, but I haven’t had any terrible crashes. I couple years ago I broke my wrist riding dirt jumps, but the best story probably has to be riding down a proper DH trail on my cross bike. Just that sounds stupid enough haha. It’s this insane steep trail near my house, and we decided to go ride it one afternoon. I managed to impress everyone bike cleanly making it down all the crazy steep stuff which was nuts. I’m talking so steep that guys on MTB were walking. After all the steep stuff we got down to the faster but still steep bit. I was following a bunch of people and they were going so slow that I couldn’t brake any slower. All of a sudden my rear wheel locked up and I basically lost all control. I started bouncing my way down the trail and then both feet unclipped. I bounced on the saddle for another few seconds till I hit a turn in the trail that I didn't make. I launched myself 15 feet off the side of a mountain. All my friends at the bottom saw was a pile of dust and my bike bouncing down the hill. Somehow I managed to not hurt myself and got up and rode off. It was nuts. The next week I went back and got redemption though so it’s all good.
Cheers Tydeman! Ride On!