SETUPS: Felix Prangenberg

"It’s a dream come true to work on my own signature products"

11 Jun 2019

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Photos and words: Wes McGrath

Over the past couple of years I've had the chance to see Felix Prangenberg on quite a regular basis. On his many visits to the United States he spends most of that time in Long Beach, California enjoying the many luxuries of my living room, and the many surrounding spots, with his WeThePeople teammate and LBC roommate Dan Kruk, as they take to the SoCal streets, now filming for the upcoming WTP dvd.

I've had the opportunity to witness Felix take part in two Simple Session contests back to back too, including his 1st place win this year in Tallinn, Estonia. At the age of just 21, Felix is showing some serious style and ability that is all his own. Blowing minds in major contests and simply setting a higher standard in the streets. So, as 2019 rolls on, Felix has been busy traveling around the world with the support of Wethepeople and etnies BMX (along with KunstformDoomed), which has landed him once again in Long beach for a month or so. I caught up with him to have a few sessions and see what he's been up to since we last saw each other in Barcelona.

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Where were you born?

Neuwied, Germany. It’s a small town near my village, about an hour form Cologne.

Where do you live now?

Honestly, I spend most of my time in Cologne right now with my Girlfriend who lives here. But I still come home every now and again to say what’s up to my family in my home town.

So being from Germany, what is your favourite aspect of BMX in your scene?

I really love how everyone knows each other here. Germany has a real super tight knit and close riding scene. I get to see all my friends so much here because everyone comes to the same events, it’s always a good time.

 Which companies and crews do you currently represent?

I ride for Wethepeople Bike Co, Kunstform BMX Shop, Etnies Shoes , Doomed Brand and Heimwaerts Tattoo shop in Linz.

When did your relationship with WTP begin?

The funny thing is that I’ve known everyone at the brand for years before I even rode for them. I was already good friends with many of the guys on the team and working at the brand so in 2015 they asked me to ride for them and it felt like the perfect fit. Given that I live so close to the office it just made it way easier to work with them on projects. I’m always stopping by the office to hang out and chill with all the guys there, I really feel connected to the brand and get a lot of input on what happens there which is a great feeling. I’ve been stoked ever since, and I can’t wait to see what the future brings.

How did all of your signature parts with WTP come to be and what’s is the 'Pathfinder' line all about?

We started working on my Pathfinder sprocket back in late 2015 shortly before we started filming Foundation. I wanted something a little different from what WTP currently offered at the time and a little thicker to resist impacts and grind damage. The name “Pathfinder” comes from the fact that I love to travel and I’m always on the road with my bike. I was so hyped on how the sprocket came out that we started discussing new projects shortly after. The frame came about originally as a suggestion from my side on how to improve one of their current frames to fit my kind of riding. After spending more time with Dave and the guys at Wethepeople on some ideas, the frame evolved into my own signature model complete with my own 4pc handlebar. It’s a dream come true to work on my own signature products and I could not be more hyped on how they came out.

Do you have any specifications made to your frame that is different than your past frames?

The main difference on the Pathfinder frame to any other frame out there is the custom extruded chainstays and offset bottom bracket shell. Because I do a lot of pedal/crankarm grinds I wear through this part of the frame very quickly compared to most riders. Wethepeople developed special chainstays and a BB shell which is thicker on the bottom part where you grind and thinner on the top where you don’t. This makes them incredibly grind/dent resistant a without being too heavy and also makes it last a hell of a lot longer. I also have a steeper 76 degree headtube angle and a taller 9.35” standover height, this geometry helps keep the bike responsive but also stable. My bike feels perfect for my riding and I get stoked whenever I see people riding any of my signature parts.

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How many years have you ridden in Simple Session and tell us how you feel to have won 1st place in street there earlier this year?

I think this year was my fifth or sixth year at Simple Session, I’m not 100% sure. I definitely know that when I went there for the first time I placed somewhere in the 40th or something and now winning it felt unreal. It still does. A week before Simple Session I wasn’t even sure if I’ll be able to ride in the contest because of my left elbow that I’ve been struggling with for years. I tried everything to get it working and the first day of practice was the first day that it felt fine again. The park was super fun, the vibes were good and I just had a really good time the whole weekend and winning it on top of it was just amazing! Especially a contest full of so many talented riders. 

After that you landed in Barcelona for an etnies team trip, how did you enjoy the city and your first official trip with them?

I was really hyped to go back to Barcelona because I haven’t been there in quite some time and Barcelona is definitely in my top 3 of favorite cities. It was pretty cool to go on a trip and hangout with a different crew of people with like BennyL, Phill, my friend Daniel P that I never had the chance to go on a trip with before and getting to film with Peter. It was definitely a pretty productive and fun week with everyone. So yeah I really enjoyed my first etnies trip and I’m really thankful that I got invited on it and can’t wait for more!

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So now that you’ve been back to California already this year, how was the trip? Did you work on anything in particular?

California was a great experience; I love it out there. It was great to be back and hang out with all my friends and team mates who come from there as well as escape the German weather. I was out there mainly to focus on filming my section for the new Wethepeople DVD with Grant Casteluzzo.  I’m hyped with what we filmed and can’t wait for people to see the footage when the video drops.

 Can you say when the video might be dropping?

At the moment we don’t have an exact date but early 2020 looks likely.

Can you explain your California experience in just three words?

Sunburnt. Knees. Hurt.

Do you have any major travel plans coming up?

Yeah this Summer will be hectic. I just got back from Shanghai for X Games and I’m currently driving to the north of Germany for a Jam with all my homies. We have a Wethepeople trip to New York coming up next week to film for the DVD, after that I will be heading to Minneapolis for X Games and for Wethepeople’s Manifesto product launch and party. I’ll also be going to the UK for NASS and a Doomed trip after that.

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Any thanks to give for all this bad-assery!?

Thanks to Wethepeople for all the fresh bikes and for everything they do for me, thanks to the best BMX shop in Germany- Kunstform - with the best people behind it!. Thanks to Doomed for all the sick clothes and good times, thanks to Ian and etnies for the best shoes, thanks to the Heimwärts Tattoo Collective Crew and the Vodafone Shop Neuwied! Also, thank you guys and everyone who does something great for the scene to keep BMX alive! 

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