The tech that made pro freeride mountain biker Sam Pilgrim a world champion

When you think of ebikes, you might think of something built to take some of the strain out of commuting – but that's not always the case. Extreme sports brands are getting in on the action too, and British pro freeride mountain bike racer Sam Pilgrim is a real fan.

Pilgrim, who has been biking since he was 10 years old, shared his personal kit recommendations with TechRadar – from his favorite bike to the action cams he uses to capture footage for his YouTube channel.

Haibike Xduro AllMtn 10.0

The Haibike Xduro AllMtn 10.0 is built for serious off-road riding, with a light but powerful motor protected by specially designed shielding to guard against impacts.

It features Haibike's eConnect system, with a GPS tracker, GSM chip and Bluetooth. In addition to the usual route tracking and sharing, eConnect includes an anti-theft system detects movement of your bike, and warns you via a smartphone app if it's stolen. eConnect can also detect if you've been in a crash and send your location to a contact number if you don't respond in time.

“I like the ebike because it helps me to ride for longer and further," says Pilgrim. "I also find that the added weight is good for jumping because it becomes super stable in the air!”

GoPro Hero 7 Black

Pilgrim is well known in the mountain biking world for his videos, and the GoPro Hero7 Black is his first choice for capturing the action on the trails.

“The GoPro is great because it captures all the awesomeness of my ride and it’s small enough to be kept out of the way,” he says.

Many of the Hero7 Black's key specs have been carried over from its predecessor (including its 12MP sensor and wide angle lens), but there's a bevy of extra features to sweeten the deal, including enhanced image stabilization – essential for any action camera. GoPro's Hypersmooth technology produces smooth results (which it claims are comparable to using a gimbal) and can be used even at 60fps. 

Read our full review: GoPro Hero7 Black

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GoPro Fusion

The waterproof Fusion sits at the top end of GoPro's range, and is capable of capturing 360-degree video that you can either watch with a VR headset, or pan around using your mouse.

It's somewhat larger than the GoPro Hero7 Black (above), but that's to be expected when it packs two cameras – one on the front and another on the back. The camera's software stitches together the two images almost seamlessly, and the OverCapture mode lets you change perspectives and reframe a shot to best present your subject.

As VR truly hits the mainstream with affordable standalone headsets like the Oculus Quest, this kind of camera will really come into its own.

Read our full review: GoPro Fusion

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iPhone 8 Plus

The iPhone 8 Plus might not be one of Apple's latest handsets, but it's still an impressive device, and is Pilgrim's phone of choice on the trails.

Although it retains pretty much the same design as its predecessor, its specifications show a clear step up, and its larger size makes it more enjoyable to use than the iPhone 8. The glass back gives a real premium feel (though you'll need a good robust case to avoid damage out and about), and enables wireless charging, which can be a real time-saver.

The iPhone 8's photography chops are particularly impressive – especially its portrait mode, which is a real highlight. It's a whole lot of phone, and much more affordable than Apple's newest models.

Read our full review: iPhone 8 Plus

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TSG Evolution

A quality lid is an essential investment for any mountain biker, and the TSG Evolution has Pilgrim's personal seal of approval.

TSG, founded in 1988, is made up of former pro snowboarders, mountain bikers and BMXers, so the company knows what makes great protective gear. The Evolution is one of its slimmest hardshell designs, offering a low, snug fit and available in a huge range of colors and graphic options.

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Sam Pilgrim is a a professional freeride mountain biker and former FMB world champion. He appeared at this year's Cycle Show which will be returning to the NEC Birmingham from September 12-15 2019. For more info, or to book your early bird ticket head to https://www.cycleshow.co.uk.

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