BULLET PROOF TALENT: COLE SUETOS
Cole Suetos is pure, raw talent… of that there is no doubt. Spotted at the age of just 12 years old, his natural ability was clear to see. Powerful, skilled… and he just looks so damn good on a bike, so stylish. We are stoked to have Cole riding on INTENSE bikes.
Who is Cole Suetos?
I’m 20 years old out of Murrieta, California. I race downhill mountain bikes, pump track and enduro.
How would you describe yourself?
As a guy who just loves to have a good time on his bike with friends and family. It doesn't matter if it's racing or just riding, it's all about having fun in the end and I make sure to do that every time.
How would your friends and family describe you?
I think they would describe me as a humble and kind person when it comes to riding bikes. I'm not the type to be talking big or anything to say how good I am at something. My dad has always taught me to keep quiet when it comes to that stuff and show them your skills by doing them, never by talking.
Tell us about your life in bikes?
I got into bikes from my dad. He grew up racing bikes from when he was a little kid too. I first rode a bicycle when I was three years old. I did a mix of motocross racing and BMX racing from age 6 to 10. I got my first hardtail mountain bike at the age of 10 and my dad and I started riding our local jump spots and even went up to Mammoth Mountain (California) multiple times.
Then I got my first downhill bike at 12 and fell in love with it. I loved the feeling of being able to ride anything with the confidence the suspension gave me. I did my first downhill race a few months later at Fontana (California) for their winter series. There were five races in that series. By the third race I was on team ODI/Specialized with Aaron Gwin and Charlie Harrison. The team was run by Rich Houseman and he offered me my first free downhill bike and gear. I was so stoked to have that huge opportunity at such a young age. From then on I’ve just been chasing that dream and have been loving every second of it!
And you mix in a bit of moto too?
Yes I mix moto in there too! I think it's a great way of cross training and just works on a lot of different skills. And it's obviously super fun.
We know that you have got some serious skills on a bike, what do you put that down to?
I think it is a bit of everything when it comes to riding. I ride at least five times a week and I’ve just always been riding my whole life. So the skill just continues to grow with the more and more practice I do. There are also bits of luck in there too on race days!
How would you describe your style?
I would describe my style as flowy and smooth. I like to treat every bike I'm riding as if I were riding a pump track. I try to hit every backside on the trails, whether it's the backside of a landing or even a rock. I look for every little thing to gain more speed.
What’s your favorite type of riding?
This is a very hard one. I don't think I can pick a favorite just because each type of riding is unique in its own way. With downhill I feel a huge rush of adrenaline and honestly scare myself, but in a good way, every time I ride. Whereas on a pump track I feel like it's just so smooth and everything clicks together as if I were at one with the track.
What bikes do you own?
I currently have an INTENSE M29, Primer 29 and a hardtail for a dirt jump/pump track bike.
Which is your favorite?
I'm going to have to go with the M29. The bike is absolutely insane. It eats up everything it goes through and it's definitely the fastest downhill bike I have ever ridden. Not to mention how light and playful it is to throw around either in the air or to different lines on the trails.
Describe your perfect day?
My perfect day would start off with some downhill runs or moto laps with all my friends. Then after that go somewhere and grab a California burrito. Always gotta have one of those. And always have to end the day with a pump track session with all the homies pushing each other to try new things.
Where is your favorite place to ride?
Probably the same as everyone else's, which is Whistler, Canada. I've only been once for Crankworx 2017 but it was the most fun week I've ever had on a bike.
Do you have a list of places that you have never ridden that you’d like to hit up?
I think one of the places I'd want to ride and visit the most is New Zealand. All the riding there looks absolutely insane and it's just a beautiful place in general. Another place is Kamloops, Canada. I've always watched videos in old and new edits growing up and all the jumps and freeriding looks unreal.
You made it to the pump track Worlds in Portugal this year, what can you tell us about that?
I was really stoked to make it there. I hadn't raced pump track until May this year. My first race was at my home track where I won. The next race which was a pump track Worlds qualifier was all the way in Arkansas so I was not planning on going or doing any of that. I ended up driving cross country to take my girlfriend to school and that race was at the same time so I just decided to try it out on the way over.
I wasn't expecting to do good or qualify for World Champs at all because there was some tough competition there such as Bas Van Steenbergen and Alec Bob. I just rode my bike and had fun that day and ended up qualifying and winning a paid trip over to Portugal for Pumptrack World Champs. I was shocked and it had all set in that this was going to be a real thing that I'm doing. Once I got over to Portugal I wasn't officially in the actual race yet. So I had to do another qualifier the day before World Champs. They took the top four and I ended up second and made it into the big show the next day. I was absolutely exhausted by race day but I gave it my all and ended up 14th in the world out of 33 of the world's fastest riders. I surprised myself with how I did and I can't wait to better myself next year.
What have been the other highlights of 2021 for you?
Beating Aaron Gwin at the Bootleg Canyon winter series in Boulder, Nevada! Me and Aaron are friends and ride back at home together during the off season and I've always looked up to him and he's always been one of my favorite riders.
If you could go riding with three people, who would they be?
Bernard Kerr, Laurie Greenland, and Brandon Semenuk. These guys are probably three of my favorite riders.
Did you have any heroes growing up?
My Mom and Dad have always been my heroes growing up. They have always been there through it all with me and have supported me the whole time. I can't thank them enough for everything they do. I will always look up to them and strive to be like them one day.
What does the future look like for Cole Suetos?
I think the future consists of Crankworx races for Downhill and Pumptrack, Enduro races, Downhill World Cups, and many Pumptrack races and wins. And hopefully make it into both Downhill and Pumptrack World Champs next year.
Check out Cole’s Instagram page
Cole rides our Primer 29 trail shredder and M29 Downhill bike. Check them out.