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Maximilian Schnell, cycling in total freedom!

What characterizes Max Schnell cannot be summed up in a few words or a few sentences.

In 2017, this former Parisian bike courier wrote on his blog that traveling by bike was his way of ” take the time to live “.
Since then, the years have come and gone, but this enthusiast keeps on rolling no matter what. When asked about this inordinate need to be always on the move, he answers without hesitation:

Cycling is my freedom, it’s my drug. I ride a lot to satisfy my thirst for discovery .

80,000 kilometers by bike, an extraordinary experience!

Ambassador for several brands in the cycling world, Max has trusted us for 2 and a half years now. With 80,000 km covered on his Idéale leather saddle, his sporting exploits and adventures have taken him to the 4 corners of the globe. But our relationship with Max goes far beyond the miles we travel. We are very proud to support him on a daily basis.
As well as being an outstanding sportsman, this young man with exceptional human qualities is a tremendous source of inspiration. Max puts us to the test, without holding back!
We’re working together on new prototypes. New horizons open up for Idéale thanks to and with him.

« Quitte à rouler, j’aime à dire que j’aime rendre mes kilomètres utiles.
Pousser la selle jusque dans ses retranchements, c’est un défi qui me tient à coeur.
Fred et Katia peuvent ainsi voir comment une Selle Idéale évolue au fur et à mesure de son usage. »

March 2024, Max Schnell in South America, a 6-month cycling trip in complete autonomy

Prototype testing is another area I really enjoy. Offer them products to produce that would be a real plus on the market, for all bikepackers. So I’m very proud to have been testing the first prototypes of leather armrests for extenders for over a year now.
For the past 4 months, I’ve also been testing a saddlebag stabilizer with a water bottle holder. A product that already exists on the market, but with no satisfactory solution, and no possible adaptation for Ideal stools. I tested the first prototype this winter and the second should come in the spring with the necessary improvements and corrections.

On the eve of his return to Europe, Max answers our questions

Max, you’re currently in South America, in the Andes. Why did you choose this destination?

“The Andes have always fascinated me. Ever since my first trip to the South American continent, in 2014, this cordillera has always impressed me. Same thing in 2019, on my Alaska – Ushuaia trip, interrupted by the COVID in northern Chile.
There are several reasons for coming back here: to avoid the European winter, which, as a nomad on a bike in a tent, isn’t much fun. It’s also a way of “finishing my 2019-2020 trip, by discovering the southern half of the Andes. Finally, it’s one of the few places where you can pedal at very high altitude, and that appeals to me.

After my Two Thousand project this summer, the aim was to ride for pleasure, without objectives or constraints. The only goals I had were to recover in terms of sleep, and keep a certain level of cycling to be fit enough to honor my commitments this summer.”

How’s your adventure going?

“There have been ups and downs, setbacks, prejudices confirmed and others deconstructed. As is often the case after my trips to South America, physically I’m fine, I’ve recovered a certain freshness. On the other hand, I’m mentally rinsed out, the cultural gap still causing a certain mental washout that drains energy. “

Did you find what you were hoping for in this land of adventure?

“I didn’t have that many expectations, not formally stated at least, so it’s a bit complicated to answer that question. I had some desires: most of them I fulfilled. I missed out on some, and that’s a regret. But I know that this isn’t the last time I’ll be putting my wheels down here, so it’s no big deal. “

What were the most complicated moments?

“Every Andean region has its difficulties. In the North, the passes were 200-300 km long. It’s a 2-3 day climb, with 80-100km/h winds from 11am onwards, making progress impossible. Not to mention the aridity and the need to provide food and water over several days, sometimes up to a week’s autonomy.
In the South, it was the cold and rain that caused problems, given that I had decided not to dip into my physical and moral capital on this trip. So I had to be patient and wait for sunny spells. Sometimes for a very long time. “

The most surprising moments?

“Mmhhhh, complicated. There were relatively few. There have been a lot of unforeseen events, a lot of turnarounds. But after 7 years of nomadism and more than 10 years of traveling by bike, I don’t think many things can really surprise…”

Will you return to this continent?

“It’s a certainty. “

What are your plans for Europe?

“2024 is a year in which I have no personal sporting challenge. It will therefore be a year of sharing and transmission. I’ll be designing road events for Poco Loco, and mapping and managing gravel events for Bivouak. In March, I’m taking part in two gravel courses in Lozère, at Les Terrasses du Lac, and finally, I’m sponsoring Gravel is Mine, a 350km group offroad challenge.
My aim is to avoid motorized transport as much as possible, so to get to all these events, I’ll be riding for myself.
It’s also a necessity for my equilibrium, to be alone with myself between all these social events, in which I’m quite solicited and where I inevitably draw on my energy.”

Above and beyond his sporting challenges, Max is driven by a thirst for sharing and transmission.

To follow Max, you have several options. The first, and by far his favorite, is to join him for a ride!

Itineraries: Komoot
His Instagram: @maxschnell555

Photos Max Schnell / Nina @nnnina_sophie
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