Christoph Döttelmayer - Philosophising on 2-wheels

Christoph Döttelmayer - Philosophising on 2-wheels

Photo by: Gabor Nagy, Sportograf

Taking a new approach to adventure

Lake Cycling Shoes ambassador, Christoph Döttelmayer, isn’t just a mountain shoe and boot designer for one of the world’s best adventure shoe brands, Dachstein; he lives in the mountains, runs through them as often as possible, and he rides his various bikes on their roads and trails with a passion. Yes, Christoph loves the mountains so much so that in 2023, he and his wife moved their family home directly into the Dachstein Mountains in Austria, so that they wouldn't have to drive at all, to take on regular daily adventures – be them on 2 feet or 2 wheels!

Having worked as an outdoor shoe designer for many years, Christoph is fully aware of the unique requirements for specialist sports shoes, designed for the right adventure - which is why he wears Lake cycling shoes on tarmac and trail. He knows what works and he wants to challenge himself at every opportunity, and that means kitting yourself out in the very best – it means choosing Lake.

A year of development

Whilst we were busy last year, designing our latest range of cycling shoes, it was also a challenging year for Christoph. He unfortunately lost his father during 2023, and this unfathomable loss gave him a change of focus, creating a more reflective and philosophical outlook on life and how he lived it - how he took on adventure at every opportunity. It was, as he puts it himself ‘a crazy year where I had my main goals, and where training and cycling became an escape from the obvious emotions that I was going through. Time on the bike was time alone and a time for me to think – to be alone with my dad. On the bike I was always thinking of him, in nice ways and about the adventure’s we’d shared.’ As Christoph says, ‘Cycling and endurance sport is a philosophical and meditative place to be. I also have best design ideas when riding the bike!’

Riding the Rift – Icelandic adventures

This new feeling sparked a passion for training with Christoph, and it coincided with an invitation to participate under sponsorship, in the Rift Gravel Bike Race in Iceland, which is regarded by many as the toughest gravel race in the world. Riding a new production bike for the developing bike brand ‘1OF1 BIKES’, it would be a challenge on so many fronts, and they also planned a 20-minute mini-documentary film to capture events and emotions. The Rift Gravel race was the first serious gravel bike race for Christoph. It was, as he says, ‘like jumping in cold water for the first time. Lots of training in the hills, in all weathers.’  

And so, it was time to kit up and to ride out on a long and intense training regime, with Christoph mixing things up a bit, with a defined blend road cycling, gravel riding and even the odd training adventure in the worst of winter, wearing our Lake winter mountain boots. His choice for the off-road shoe was our best-selling Lake MX238 gravel shoe, which has a racing feel to it, providing all day comfort in a sleek and secure design, and where the carbon sole, dual BOA closure and a choice of Clarino Microfiber or ecco full grain suede leather provide a tough, high-performance product for adventure racers. The upper also has mesh inserts and Helcor abrasion resistant panels, ideal for the rugged riding in the toughest terrain. The mesh in particular proved invaluable once Christoph was in Iceland and racing. Tackling the numerous river crossings, the water was easily moved out of the shoes, allowing them to dry out in the air over the next few hours of racing.

Food for the soul

Racing in Iceland was all about the journey, the personal one, for Christoph. It was a super cool experience, to a place he’d visited 4 times previously, but this being his first time as an adventure racer! It was an opportunity to find his limits and to find himself, with a level of off-road gravel riding that was as tough on arms as it was on the legs. Thankfully, the MX238 gravel shoes were a performance revelation for Christoph, keeping him on track and as comfortable as is possible, racing hardcore across the wild and rugged Icelandic environment for days on end.

Since completing the race, Christoph has continued his new interest in the gravel race scene, wrapped in Lake cycling shoes of course! Like many of the world’s best riders in this new discipline, he often chooses to wear the Lake CX238 road shoes, and to fit road pedals onto the gravel bike, increasing performance and speed, as he has no intention to stop and walk! He says that the CX238 is a surprising super comfortable and versatile shoe, when used in this way - for pure gravel racers. Like all great designers though, he’s always thinking ahead, and will be helping us here at Lake, with some ideas for future Lake off-road adventure shoes, as we’re always looking ahead, and have innovation running through our veins.  Now back home in the Austrian mountains, Christoph is helping to arrange a UCI level Gravel Race close to home. It looks like our friend and ambassador has found his niche on 2-wheels – and he’s on route to finding to himself once more, at home in the spectacular and sublime scenery of the Alps.

Here at Lake, we’re always challenging ourselves to be better, and to work towards giving you the very best cycling shoes in the world – on and off-road. People like Christoph help us on this journey. They keep us focused, always innovating and challenging ourselves, as we strive to be one of the best cycling shoe brands in the world. After all, life is not a dress-rehearsal, and we all owe it to ourselves to be the best version of ourselves that we can be – to seek excellence and adventure as often as possible. It’s a philosophy that we’reproud of, and we’re proud of our people, like Christoph, who help us to be who we are – Lake. The most innovative and forward-thinking cycling shoe brand in the world, leading the way for over 45 years.  Come on in and join us on your own adventure!

Link to Christoph’s own website: https://doettelmayer.com/


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