American SkiBike Association
- Vice-Chairman of the Board for the American SkiBike Association
- Director - Race Events & Sanctioning for the American SkiBike Association
- Owner/manufacturer of LenzSport
Devin Lenz Bio
My first real interest into bikes was in the early 70s when I took my broken down banana seat 20" bike and striped it down and built it into a MX style bike. Then converted it into a BMX style bike that later got stolen. At that point I built another bike and rode, and BMX raced up until high school. During high school I became interested in shop class and the art of designing and building cool things to ride or drive and I took metals classes and vocational welding classes all through high school.
Once out of high school I began to acquire tools and machinery to fabricate with metals and got into drag racing with my dad and built several drag race cars and raced for about 10 years. At the same time I got into ski racing and moved up to qualify for my first FIS race which I didn't get to race because I blew out my knee before the race and wound up quitting after 4 years of racing.
I built my first MTB frame in 1989, and then my first full suspension bike in 1996. In 1997, I began selling my first full suspension XC mountain bikes under the name Lenz Sport. From then I moved toward long travel DH style bikes and sponsored a race team and traveled to many of the national NORBA races promoting my brand. In 2004, I changed my focus from the gravity-type bikes and 26" XC bikes and made my first full suspension 29er bike The Leviathan. That was an untapped niche area which I was able to develop many sorts of the new big wheel format bikes and lead the way in designs and technology for 29" mountain bikes.
In 2004, Matt Hansen contacted me about one of my DH bike models being a good design to work with his skibike conversion kits. He got me interested in skibikes and I traded him an old frame for 2 kits. I built up 2 bikes with my Alpine Brawler mountain bike frames I had hanging around. I took my apprentice at the time, Masa Hiromoto from Japan, to Copper Mountain and there we tried to skibike for the very first time. Not having anyone to show us how to ride we made our way down the hill any which way we could to keep in control though there was almost constantly thrills and being scared to death as we didn't have the knowledge we have today about bike control, skidding turns, and making hockey stops. From that first day I was hooked on skibiking and wanted to push it to the level of riding and terrain that I was accustom to with ordinary skiing. Matt assured me over the phone in our many calls about skibiking that he knew guys that were riding all the bumps and steep stuff that alpine skiers were hitting, so I went out to try and master that stuff myself. So first chance I had to try a steeper run with deep powder I learned that there were some limitations to the conversion kits related to how much control they had to the pivoting of the skis and also ski design for powder. It was at that point that I worked on a system to control the ski pivoting so I could have the control I needed to skibike the more advanced terrain. A few years later I was running out of my mountain bike frames to make into skibikes so I built my first prototype skibike. That was not a good design at all and I took what I learned and built the Brawler Skibike which was revolutionary to performance skibike designs and riding. Looking to make a bike that wasn't so difficult to make, I designed the Launch which is more like a bicycle-style bike without the moto seat. I wasn't expecting it to be as good of a handling bike as the Brawler, but it turned out to be a better handling bike and quicker handling bike as well.
After about 4 years of developing and tooling up for our own ski manufacturing, spring of 2012 we were able to test some of the first skis we made. Ever since we started into skibiking we have relied on what the ski/board industry was making to run on our skibikes. We could not find a ski with the proper shape or size to work just the way we needed, though testing dozens and dozens of skis I had a very good idea of what we needed to make these skibikes be able to go to the next level. Our first skis pressed are just a basic all-mountain with the main aspects I wanted designed in and you can ask anyone who has ridden them they are hugely an improvement to the sport. We'll be making speed specific skis and all sorts of powder boards as well to test and sell this year to finally round out all the main aspects to make our product as good as it can be and ready for prime time.
Another link to what I have been able to contribute the development of our sport of skibiking along with the manufacturing capabilities in the MTB industry is my background as a skier. I have been a ski racer and in 2002, I hired on as a part-time instructor at Vail Ski Resort. I had the opportunity to go through their training program and learn the methods of one of the premier ski school programs in the world. That along with certifying as a ski instructor through PSIA enabled me to develop a teaching method using the same principals for snow sliding and controlling speed and teaching bike handling skills. I have now been working with Winter Park Resort to develop their skibike instruction program and instructing clients and instructors since 2007.
Now as a director of the ASA, I will be working to advance our sport in the area of teaching / training programs, race and event organizing, and resort rental program growth and education about skibikes.