For those of you that subscribe to our newsletter or keep an eye on our social media channels, you'll have seen that last month we announced that Lewis Buchanan joined the J-Tech Suspension team. Lew will be running J-Tech tuned ÖHLINS suspension for 2023 and we'll be keeping his suspension running sweet throughout the year.
We took the opportunity to have a sit down with Lew and fire some questions his way to find out what he has planned for 2023 and to find out what his initial thoughts are on his fresh suspension setup.
First of all, just wanted to say how awesome your new bike is looking, how was the first ride out on the new bike?
The new bike is epic, I honestly really love how it turned out. Fresh paints of Whistler hooked up a design that I wanted to come to life and it turned out perfect. The first ride went smooth and better than I expected, I pretty much hopped on and done some bolt checks throughout the day but there was minimal tweaking going on which was nice.
What are your initial thoughts on the J-Tech tuned ÖHLINS?
I have been blown away with the performance. I heard great things but to get to hop on the bike and experience it myself was amazing. Buttery smooth and support where I needed it and plenty traction to be had! I love how it’s tuned for my riding style, weight and the kinematics of the bike too.
What are your riding plans for 2023?
This year I’m going with the flow, I have some trips planned. I am now in Canada for sometime, I am racing and doing video content out here so I’m stoked for all that.
For those that have been living under a rock, you took on sponsorship from OnlyFans this year and it created quite the stir, tell us about that? How did it come about, what happened with the UCI?
They reached out to me, but I had been on the look for a brand that is outside of the sport and that is on a much larger scale that a mountain bike brand and I wanted the space of my helmet filled up and it to be a paid deal. Some racers out there are ok with accepting for example a £5k-15k helmet deal from a cleaning product company but I wasn’t and I was looking for significantly more than that, that’s where stepping outside of my comfort zone came and branching out. Having your helmet painted with a brands logo is probably the biggest marketing tool for a company that you can use other than the frame itself that catches people’s eyes, but a price comes with that. We began discussions and it went on for some months to see if it was the right fit. I ran it past my whole family and people close to me and everyone supported me. Most importantly I wanted to do it, so I signed the deal regardless of what my sponsors would think at the time. I’m in the best position I’ve ever been in my career and it lets me do more of the sport I love and buy whatever bike I want. Regarding the UCI, it’s a long story. You can watch my YouTube video about it on my channel
Has this meant that you’ve missed out on racing that you would have done otherwise? The whole uci situation?
Yes it’s put a spanner in the works but s’all good.
What’s the latest from the UCI? Have they been in touch with you since? Zero contact from their side…super unprofessional organisation that is super narrow minded too. I don’t need anything from them or their help as there was none there to start with haha. I’m back doing what I love and I’ll be racing again.
How did you get into riding? What made you want to get into racing?
We moved to Innerleithen in Scotland and when you live there, I feel it would be hard not to get into riding bikes. I watched a race when I was a kid and decided to give it a go with a bit of a push from my friend Robbie, and yeah ended up really enjoying it. I then began racing and it just snow balled from there and I got better and better and began winning a lot. It all happened really fast and I then turned pro when I was 16.
Is racing still important to you?
I wouldn’t say important, but I do enjoy it and the challenge and the thrill and feeling it gives me is mega. If I can race and share my practice runs and race runs with my audience that is the important part to me.
You’ve been experimenting with different bike brands this year, what makes the ideal bike for you?
It’s still early, but I would say the Raaw could be the ideal bike and build for me. I am stoked to test it properly in Whistler this week so stay tuned for that video. I am after a new dh frame after this…so we will see what’s next.