5 Things We'll Miss in 2019, & 3 We Won't

Jan 3, 2019
by Pinkbike Staff  
A new year means new beginnings and there's plenty to look forward to over the next 12 months. Before we get stuck into that though, let's take a look back at some of the things we'll be leaving behind in 2018.

Two Cross Country legends

Julien Absalon rode a final lap as his home crowds roared for the champ one final time.

Two of the most successful cross country mountain bikers and two of the very select gold medal Olympic winning club, Julien Absalon and Gunn Rita Dahle-Flesja, called time on their cross country racing careers this season. Between them they have 73 World Cup wins and have been cornerstones of the sport for nearly 20 years.

They leave the sport in the most exciting place it has been in years though and, with incredible racing in both the men’s and women’s series last year, we’re looking forward to plenty more action in 2019. In fact, Absalon won’t even be away from the pits as he moves into a full time team manager role for his own Absolute Absalon team.

The rise of the young guns in downhill

Bastille Day the national day of France and the day Loris Vergier finally stormed the castle to take his first World Cup victory.

2018 was the year the downhill young guns delivered en masse. There were first time wins for Amaury Pierron, Loris Vergier and Martin Maes while a flurry of other riders also claimed podiums and top tens for the first time. It was great to see a new generation ripping up the rankings and challenging Gwin’s dominance of the last three years.

In particular, take a look at the riders who were born in 1996 or later - the three winners plus, Shaw, Greenland, Wilson, Harrison, Iles, Walker - all now firmly established World Cup riders and aged 22 or younger. These are the first wave of riders who were given a junior category to compete in and clearly its introduction has paid dividends in getting them up to speed in elites quicker than any other generation. We’ll be interested to see what a fully fit Minnaar, a resurgent Gee and Gwin on a new team can bring to the table to match them again next year.

Let’s not forget Vali Holl either who emerged as the next big thing in downhill this year and will no doubt continue delivering strong performances week in, week out next year in the junior women's category.

Darren Berrecloth and Brandon Semenuk in competition

Blake Jorgenson Red Bull Content Pool

Two of freeride’s legends stepped away from competition this year. At Rampage, Derren Berrecloth announced he would no longer be competing in freeride and while Brandon Semenuk has given no official word on his future, his absence at Joyride was palpable this year and the YouTube description for AIM hinted he was done with all competitions for good.

The good news is of course, this gives both rides more time to concentrate on the rad video projects they’ve been pumping out for years.

Low(er) bike prices

With Chinese trade tariffs and Brexit uncertainties, a large proportion of us could be looking at price increases on our mountain bikes next year. There are no certainties here yet but keep an eye out in spring for brands to start breaking the news softly.

Those who passed

Ingrid Doerr, Kyle Ebbett, and Dan Hanebrink. R.I.P.

… and three things we won’t miss

Downhill start order chaos

Nervous moments on the hot seat for the two old team mates.

What a mess the downhill start order was this year. Not only were two top qualifiers denied their rightful spot as the last rider down on Sunday but the rest of the field was all over the place was well. The scheme came from Red Bull, who wanted the last rider on track to be the World Cup leader each time but, after an intense reaction to the MacDonald demotion in Losinj, a new interpretation of the rule was found where the fastest protected rider would go last followed by the rest of the protected riders in reverse qualifying order and then… you know what? Some weeks we weren’t sure ourselves. Thank god it has been binned for next year.

Bike thefts

It’s been another stinker of a year for bike thefts with Hans Rey, Orange and Rocky Mountain being the most high profile targets. Scumbags will always be scumbags but let’s hope quite as many people aren’t victims of bike thefts in 2019.

Rampage controversy

Brendan Fairclough took tenth and the Kelly McGarry Spirit Award.

… Ah, who are we kidding? Brace yourselves for another year of robberies.

Posted In:
Industry News


  • 228 45
 I could do with some less POV MTB channels on YouTube. Just too many people trying to make money of riding bikes without actually being close to good at it.
  • 13 11
 Fully agree bro
  • 82 3
 I actually don't mind if the person isn't top EWS or top DH level, as long as the video isn't 50% of the guy talking with a hand held gopro or stick or even if he can't shut the hell up while riding.

I'm watching to discover trails I will probably never ride, watch nice quality and stabilized shoots, not hear constant ramble about his life or his love for coffee or what he ate for breakfast... It most likely appeals to a part of the internet, but definitely not me.

(replace the guy/his/he by girl/her/she, still applies)
  • 110 4
 dude - dont watch them - bloody simple as that, and think on, if they are POPULAR it means people want them!!!! There is an audience for these channels are they actually represent the talent of most riders out there, and real people, they like and want that - gone are the days when we are meant to worship only the best of the best, the internet is here, there is plenty to go around - more will come, many will fade, BUT, again, all this is optional - just don't watch them, I don't watch them as they don't interest me, ergo, i'm happy in my ignorance of them
  • 46 4

Totally with you.

Really don't get people that moan about shit like this.

No-one is forcing them to watch it!
  • 18 5
 While there is a flood of those channels on YouTube nobody forces you to watch them... it's supposed to be a free world.
  • 10 7
 @bikeinbih: But you don't what you're watching until your minutes in and realize it's just another shitty POV video. Damn thumbnails.
  • 12 1
 I totally disagree. I like to see the trails I’m going to ride before a trip to come ou with some sort of game plan.
  • 19 2
 I'm ok with these videos unless the guy points the camera at his face. Guy, your face is for your mother to look at. We want to see some trail action.
  • 21 2
 Less digital panhandling would be a nice change for 2019.
  • 7 20
flag projectnortheast (Jan 3, 2019 at 6:16) (Below Threshold)
 @NinetySixBikes Don't shoot me... But that's exactly why I started my own channel. I like youtube for when I'm tryin to find new places to ride around the country, or just enjoy good, stylish riding. Nate Hills, Phil Kmetz are basically the only channels I watch as I respect both of them as much better riders than myself. But, I know on a trail ride I could hold my own, I've ridden with Phil and he'd lose me on the downs obviously, but only the downs. But watching the lines he took was the funnest thing about riding behind him. Which is why I like his and Nate so much as they followcam to show pov and the rider in front. I know I may get blasted, but here's the link to my channel... happy to take any constructive criticism and subscribe if you like. I've worked really hard on a few videos to be featured on pinkbike, but honestly, it's pretty exhausting as it takes alot of work... www.youtube.com/channel/UCTQTdNfeJc5ZLlPYscQ2jaA?view_as=subscriber
  • 10 2
 Who is forcing you to watch them?
  • 3 1
 I do ask myself very often how some of these YouTube channels have become so popular... But I hope with enough work and consistent videos by really talented riders we will see the droves of crap POV kindof fall to the bottom. But, some people watch for the entertainment, almost as much as the riding which I personally don't get. Different strokes for different folks I guess.
  • 3 3
 @projectnortheast: You're one of the few POV heavy channels that I can actually watch. But, it's because you've been to some pretty epic places, and you do a lot of follow cam, so I'm watching someone's lines rather than just a stem and set of handlebars like most other POV channels. If you mixed in some of the personalities of the riders you're with I think your videos would be hard to beat.
  • 2 0
 I'd like to see more pros give it a shot. For example I like Kerry Werner's vlogs even though it's a lot of him talking and some CX course previews. It's cool to see the day-to-day of people at the top level. Would really be stoked to see someone like Kabush or Keegan Swenson do something similar. It seems like most of the amateur guys feel like they need a gimmick and end up just being annoying.
  • 5 1
 Cmon!?! Didn’t you read the PB article?? Viewers are not going there for the riding!! It’s the quick and witty commentary! Makes me want to start a channel that just follows me around the house uncloggging toilets and mowing my lawn. Maybe throw in a trip to the gas station as I fill up w some petrol! For the season finale I’ll show you how to program a cox remote. Bingo!! Here comes a million views! Do you think youtube will pay water bill?
  • 6 0
 @makdthed: oh cmonnn!?! You know there are literally millions of mtb riders out there that are super jealous that we cannot make a living out of a van, showcasing our crappy riding, and our uninteresting/annoying personalities. This is a 100% honest statement.
  • 4 0
 I watch skills with Phil, Seth's bike backs, Paul the punter, and some bcpov, but there are dozens if not hundreds of others that are so terrible in comparison. But they still have tons of views, which doesn't make any sense to me. Just a different way to be sponsored and support a lifestyle. And that's fine. I just won't watch the shitty ones or fall for their click bait.
  • 1 1
 Agree. Except RJ the bike guy. He’s the man.
  • 5 0
 @gbeaks33: Paul the Punter. now that guy's f*cking tool if there ever was.
  • 1 1
 @chriskneeland: Thanks for the feedback! It's still in it's infancy but hope it'll grow. As predicted on pinkbike my link is now below threshold haha
  • 2 7
flag projectnortheast (Jan 3, 2019 at 9:09) (Below Threshold)
 SO, those that neg repped my comment above... did you actually check my channel and see if it's any good? And reguardless, if everything out there is garbage, and your qualified to call these "youtubers" "not even close to good at it" you must be way better and why not show us what you got?
  • 1 0
 I sift through a lot of POVs and love it all. If the rider won't shut up or if either the riding style or editing is choppy, I'll just move on to the next. But I really enjoy checking how a dozen different people ride a familiar trail, figuring out how they hit the doubles, berms, and drops and learn what I can safely improve. This desktop research is almost as skill-building as riding a lap. And I always get jazzed when a great rider doesn't hit a feature as well as my best. I just bought a better camera model and I can't wait to use it. I occasionally post up my own POVs, not for view count or income, but just for friends and family to understand why I spend so much money and time on a bike. As a side-effect, I hope mine benefit someone else's off-trail research.
  • 2 0
 @projectnortheast: some of us arent thirsty for internet fame. Imo thats the facts. Most of these pov channels come from nothing more than a desire to be noticed and applying any ability one might think he/she has to facilitate that.
  • 2 0
 @pargolf8: I realize that... but what more can you do than ignore the crap and support the goods? Instagram is just as bad... I do it for fun, just like I race for fun, bike for fun, organize races for fun, there's a theme there somewhere... Smile
  • 4 0
 Trail Peeks are brilliant. I usually watch their latest as I’m having my pre-ride snack before getting on it myself. Gets me in the mood.
  • 2 0
 @jamesbrant: Yeah I truly really enjoy Paul the Punters content. As a slightly above average rider myself (ie. I'm way better than those who have only been riding a year or so but way worse than basically anyone hitting any sort of gap jump), its really relatable. I find the POV videos from pros or experts boring, to be honest. It's not something I'm ever going to be able to do anytime soon, and am more interested in the build up or lead up to how to get better to get to that skill point.
  • 6 0
 I also don't like that so many youtubers are showing off trails they have no hand in building or maintaining. Its like publishing a list of all the best powder stashes at your local ski resort... Its great to share cool finds and places with your friends in person, not with every Jerry in the world in pursuit of monetizing your hobby.
  • 3 0
 @CaptainBLT: I completely agree about concerns of overuse, and the chance of turning secluded trail systems into popular destinations that can make them reach a breaking point. I'm also big into kayaking and hiking, and the internet/YouTube has destroyed a lot of truly special places by popularizing them...the foot traffic alone has literally altered some of them. I'm not saying restrict anyone's rights, but people need to realize unsuitability is an absolutely real thing and be conscious about it before Instagram'ing a quarter million people about a place that once only saw maybe a half dozen or so people a day.
  • 3 1
 >> No-one is forcing them to watch it!

@jlawie: except youtube - you watch one video and the next thing you know they're pushing everybody with a channel on you, road biking, ebike channels, "how to" videos...
  • 2 0
 @gbeaks33: Even these are hit-and-miss. Seth has been injured but still has the pressure to put out content so it's a lot of non-riding and affiliate marketing; Paul the punter doesn't even end up riding a lot of the stuff in his videos and that one where he rode a walmart bike @ whistler then returned it was offside. I generally like Jordan Boostmaster as he seems like a genuine guy, is a decent rider and I've watched his videos improve on PB over the years as well.

So even the "good" ones are sometimes lacking. I still love that people share their love for biking but don't expect to make a living at it.
  • 4 1
 @projectnortheast: I didn't neg you but I don't owe you the service of checking out your channel to "see if it's any good". You're coming across like the door to door sales guys who seem to think I "owe" them the chance to sell me something after they interrupt my dinner.

Free Unsolicited Advice: you're in the sales game, and the product is you. Get used to a lot of undeserved rejection and a-hole comments and stay positive. Responding will just get downvoted as well.
  • 2 0
 @Ploutre: you are so right. So many youtube dorks out there that love themselves too much
  • 1 0
 @gbeaks33: I like skills with Phil, Seth is good, and the single track sampler is pretty cool dude.
  • 2 0
 Crumby POV is lousy but I can't get enough of Nate Hills. Simply the best! High quality footage of world class trails. #followcamfriday
  • 1 0
 @plyawn: haha Noted... I try to stay positive but sometimes its hard. No one owes me anything and I dont owe anyone anything just love biking and riding new to me trails. Half the views on my channel are probably my own as I enjoy watching and remembering where Ive ridden... but also sometimes makes me wanna move lol
  • 92 4
 Brendan was robbed
  • 23 1
 we should call this the Norbs award
  • 30 3
 thats some serious bezzfeedlike journalism, good job, now quizzes plz
  • 43 0
 What wheel size are you? Take the test!
  • 7 0
 @kornbrot: 'choose some random bike gear and we will reveal your best quality as racer!'

i would soooo do that
  • 17 4
 Ehhhh it's the start of a new year and time to reflect a little. Also it's dumping slushy rain. Frown
  • 13 1
 @brianpark: i get it, just hire me and ill do the quizzes
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: not in Phoenix!
  • 2 4
 Just like the POV videos, if you don’t like it, don’t read it...
  • 2 0
 @TheDoctoRR: and how do i make my opinion without reading it, mr smart
  • 2 0
 @nikifor88: easy, formulate your opinion without reading or understanding it. It's called web 2016.2, enjoy.
  • 1 0
 @nikifor88: wait! 2016.3!
  • 1 0
 it's... so much easier, thank you @BenPea

now what will our thoughts be this trump fella? seems cool!
  • 18 4
  • 11 2
 Rampage was robbed. Should be top of the list.
  • 8 0
 Rampage needs some decent coverage and filming and get rid of the helis that are buzzing place the entire time.
  • 7 0
 Things we'll miss: the good times that articles didn't have lame clickbait titles.
  • 7 3
 I won’t miss those stupid manual machines. Please stop that shit. Go out and ride your bike!
  • 6 1
 I won't miss people writing "robbery" when they really mean "burglary".
  • 4 0
 "Brendan got Burgled" ...like that? I like it, hahaha
  • 3 0
 @loopie: Ha, we should use that just because. But I was referring to the Hans Rey/Rocky/etc. actual burglaries.
  • 1 0
 @MtbSince84: Sure, I'll do my part 2019..."_____ got burgled"
  • 3 2
 I was looking forward to another wheel size with even more boost & bikes with even more travel so that all our recently purchased super expensive bikes are no longer relevant and are basically the worst bikes ever & we all have to buy a new ones keeping the BS trends going so we can be cool & all ride like the pros in the vids......
  • 2 1
 You are right, i would rather be riding a 26” shitbox that hasnt changed since 2006.
  • 1 0
 @zyoungson: LOL!! Hey those 26" shitbox's made you the rider you are today
  • 1 0
 Liked the article & the comments. I watch youtube riders no name to bigger budget channels. My issue with most is they fill it with music (slightly worse than the constant talker). I could turn off the sound but prefer to hear what's happening around the bike to get a better idea on how rough or fast a trail is. A camera can flatten out what I know is a hilly trail or make a fast rough descent look slow. Chain slap, tires pinging off rocks or racing along the trail, the goofy yell going too fast into a rocky corner gives a better perspective.
  • 8 4
 some will miss 27,5 DH wins
  • 4 1
 We'll have Martin Maes be the judge of that!
  • 2 0
 I'm looking forward to Claudio narrating while doing POVs of DH tracks.
What happened to bazooka? Funny as hell!
What crazy stunt will Jordie pull off this year?
  • 5 6
 "The scheme came from Red Bull..." - well, judging by the way Foxhunt was held ( the only redbull event I attended to ) it doesn't surprise me much - I'm sure they've done a lot of good for the sport, but also managed to balance it out with a lot of bads too...
  • 1 0
 Absalon v Schurter one rivalry that I loved watching over the past 10 years!!
  • 1 0
 Aggie riding for Kona and Ratt riding for SC. Looking forward to Lenosky on REEB.
  • 2 1
 I think we'll miss more Darren Berrecloth than Derren Berrecloth.
  • 1 1
 Aggy called him Derren in yesterday's IG post. Is that his actual name?
  • 2 1
 PEDs in Enduro
  • 2 3
  • 2 0
 must first disappear in order to be missed, or not, (depending on your feelings about them).
  • 1 2
 Randy got robbed.
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