The path to a professional mountain biking career is often a family one. The attention and respect you deserve can be as important as your results and social media presence. For elite freshman runner Myles Morgan, family ties couldn’t be stronger. Morgan grew up riding and racing in Grass Valley, Calif., lining up for her first children’s event at age five in nearby Downieville. He raced cross-country on the local high school team, earning solid places on the college podium, but when a group of friends dragged him to his first enduro, he was hooked and didn’t looked back since.
This season Morgan will be racing a full schedule with the support of Evil Bikes, where he is a regular office worker when not training or racing. Evil Bikes CEO Jason Moeschler is a former elite XC pro who trained with Morgan’s dad in California. When the young athlete decided to move to Bellingham, Washington to attend college, Moeschler was quick to hire him.
Moeschler knows firsthand the sponsorship battle athletes endure each year, struggling to keep contracts and manage new ones so they can afford to get to events and keep their bikes running smoothly. He decided to take most of the work out of that equation for Morgan, allowing him to select which components he wants to use for the season instead of having to research and send in countless race resumes.
The Evil Wreckoning will be Morgan’s racing pony for 2022, with its 166mm rear axle trajectory and 170mm fork travel picking up the impacts of two of Evil’s Carbon 29″ Loophole wheels. Morgan said he sets up his suspension soft enough with plenty of volume spacers to deal with the long, rough tracks of most enduro events. He’s also quite tall and mostly with legs, so to help keep his weight down on steep descents, he likes the bike to squat a bit. It achieves this squat by running a 35-40 percent static sag in the shock, and a little less in the front to keep the fork higher in its stroke. While these settings change for different trails, the hills from Morgan’s home to Bellingham are steeper than most, and riding them at speed requires a dialed-in bike setup.
Morgan had one of his best results recently winning the TDS Enduro. The race was on the street where he grew up, and some people were complaining about his possible home court advantage. He then finished second in an EWS qualifier in Kellogg, Idaho, and won bronze in the EWS race in Crans Montana, Switzerland, proving he can ride the fastest on unfamiliar tracks, too.
After suffering a break from boxing – a broken hand – during the Trans Sierra del Norte, Morgan is just getting back on the bike to prepare for the 2022 season. He says there is a little more time to gym involved in enduro compared to his XC days, but that a lot of his ability to roll fast on messy tread is due to his ability to relax. Morgan has noticed his times improving over the years as he learns to relax and not push too hard on the bike, laugh with friends between stages and make the day as stress-free as possible . He says that before focusing on do not concentrate so much so that he would overthink all the little spots to go faster and end up missing breakout points and bringing the bike to a standstill in corners. So the lesson was something like: chill + smooth = fast.
It’s not just bikes, bikes, bikes for Morgan. He took a few years off from college and got really serious about stunt scootering. It’s unclear how those other two-wheeled skills will translate to his elite EWS offering for 2022, but we sure will.