Good Month / Bad Month: October 2018

Nov 1, 2018
by Mike Kazimer  



Brett Rheeder
2018 Red Bull Rampage Champion

It was clear from the start that Brett Rheeder wasn't planning on holding back at this year's Red Bull Rampage. Even after a crash in practice, he still laid down a perfect run, one that included an opposite 360 to start, a huge flat drop backflip, and multiple large step downs into steep terrain.

Fast and fluid, with big moves and tricks added into the mix, it was a run that had all the ingredients required for a winning run. The judges agreed, awarding Brett 89.66 points, a score that remained unsurpassed for the rest of the day.



Team Rumors
The yearly game of musical chairs has begun

The World Cup and EWS seasons have come to a close, which means its time for the rumors to start flying about who's going where. Team announcements typically don't come until a little later in the year, but that doesn't mean it's too early to start speculating, especially when an athlete is spotted on a bike from a different brand, or stops tagging a sponsor in their Instagram posts.

So far we've seen Josh Bryceland depart from Santa Cruz, Jolanda Neff join Trek, and Martin Maes re-sign with GT, but plenty of unanswered questions remain. Will we see Aaron Gwin and Neko Mullaly on different frames next year? What about the Athertons? Will they stay with Trek, or move on? We'll find out eventually, but in the meantime there's plenty of time for all sorts of guesses, some wild, and some educated.
A rough day at the office for Aaron Gwin...and we haven t seen too many of them... ever. Let alone a muddied leader jersey and bloodied teeth.



Wealthy Linkage Fork Fans
Trust Debuts 'The Message' Fork

A carbon fiber linkage fork designed by Dave Weagle? I don't think many people saw that coming. There have been multiple attempts at bringing linkage forks to the mountain bike world, but Trust Performance are hoping that they've finally cracked the code and created something that sticks around for more than a season or two.

Of course, with a price tag of $2,700 the fork (it's called 'The Message') will be out of reach for many riders, but for those that can afford it, it's supposed to feel “like XC suspension when pedaling, and enduro suspension when descending.” Those are some pretty bold claims, which is why we have one in for extensive testing to see if The Message lives up to the hype.
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The East Coast MTB Community and Beyond
R.I.P. Kyle Ebbett


Kyle Ebbett made a name for himself in the mountain bike world during the early- to mid-2000s, traveling around the country with Aaron Chase, Eric Porter, Jeff Lenosky, and many others to film and race. He was also a skilled trail builder, and big (literally and figuratively) part of the East Coast mountain bike scene. In what was described as a “freak accident,” Ebbett drowned after his boat capsized while he was out fishing on a lake in Vermont. His presence will be missed.
Kyle Ebbett sending the garden pump track at Knight Ide s annual IdeRide Jump Jam.





Rocky Mountain Bicycles
160 new high-end bikes stolen


This brazen theft actually happened at the end of September, but I'm sure it still made October a not-so-good month for Rocky Mountain Bicycles. Semi-truck driving thieves stole an entire container of high-end mountain bikes, with a total estimated value of between $600,000 - $800,000 CDN.

Several of the 160 stolen bikes have been located in Ontario, almost 3,000 miles away from where they were stolen, but the majority have yet to be recovered.
Thomas new Altitude



Anyone Hoping for a Controversy Free Rampage
Who got robbed this time?

Another Rampage, another round of “So-and-so got robbed.” There will always be disagreement at a judged competition, and this year it was Brendan Fairclough's creative run that caused a furor in the comments section. Fairclough was the second rider to drop in, and when he finished his line, which had a big drop off a boulder, not one but two canyon gaps, and a super steep, rubble filled chute, he was given a score of 67.66. That score was good enough for a 10th place finish, but many viewers though it should have been much higher. It wasn't a winning run – Rheeder had that position locked down – but it did seem like the raw, creative nature of the line should have been worth a few more points.

Is there a perfect solution? Probably not, but there were plenty of ideas tossed around here. Personally, I'd like to see a little more transparency when it comes to the scoring – why not show how each judge rated the runs? It'd provide a little more context, and help make viewers understand why run X scored higher than run Y. We'll see what happens next October.


94 Comments

  • + 198
 If bearclaw had dropped that rampage run he would have got 3rd and praised for "bringing rampage back to its roots" its a popularity contest
  • + 26
 If only bearclaw involves in judging
  • + 10
 What if there was a way where the judges didn't know the order riders were dropping, or be able to ID them by their bikes or kits? Might make things a little more impartial. Blacked out bikes, helmets, and kit. Would the real Semenuk please stand up?
  • + 6
 @chyu: Creating an opportunity for judges to revise their previous scoring could help to. By time the last rider drops, the judges might see something that causes them to re-evaluate the weight of something a previous rider did. if they could go back and adjust that based on new information, we might get more overall objective results. Example: Say rider 1 does a pretty impressive drop/trick and is scored quite highly. Then rider 10 does that same drop but a way gnarlier trick. Rather than just pumping up the score of rider 10, they could go back and tune down the score of Rider 1.

Or even if they had a present weighting criteria. Backflip over this drop = X points. 360 over this drop = Y points etc. That might kill rider creativity, knowing that you're essentially tailoring your run to a score card. But, it might help with objectivity.
  • + 24
 They definitely made sure some of the Europeans didn't get well ranked...
  • + 14
 @kurt2: l know, they can do it at nighttime.
  • + 3
 LOL yeah that must be why Darren got a 13th last year, an 11th the year before that and a 7th the previous year because its like totally a popularity contest.....
  • + 11
 Randy rolled into rampage a day late...still sent it. The boys gave him 89.69. Hi fives were given. Beers were drank. It was a good month.
  • - 13
flag Jhou (Nov 1, 2018 at 16:19) (Below Threshold)
 Theu need a people choice for the end of rampage.
  • + 13
 @Jhou: They already do.....
  • + 80
 Rampage has become a glorified super slopestyle. It ain't freeride no more.
  • + 56
 It might seem like it from the videos and drone shots, but standing there in person those insane drops they are tricking are 100% freeride.
  • + 7
 I agree that the tricks seem to be taking more prescient, But the fact that the pros didn't want to take a second run says quite a lot. So they were going to sit on their score, OK, I understand, it's huge risk. But the risk apparently was so big that just riding down your line wasn't worth it or even enjoyable. That was a little disappointing.
  • + 9
 it's still freeride but with tricks now. I would say it has progressed. Backflipping a 50 ft'r should score higher than a steep chute. Judging was on point imo.
  • + 17
 Freeride isn't free
It costs folks like you and me
And if we don't all chip in
We'll never pay that bill
Freeride isn't free
No, there's a hefty in' fee.
And if you don't throw in your buck 'o five
Who will?
  • + 10
 Go ride the smallest line there, then come back to pinkbike.
Things evolve and change with the riders who are capable of riding at that level. Landings are packed and buff so people don’t tomahawk when they land a 50-60’ drop, especially when they land imperfectly.
If shit didn’t change we’d all be on karpiels with super monsters and nokians. I’m glad we are where we are currently. If you want to see freeride change so badly, sack up and push the sport that way with your vision. Otherwise it’s gonna be up to the dudes hunting that podium each year, the ones who actually have the skill and desire to be there.
  • + 1
 Define "freeride" ; )
  • + 1
 I think they should have an event that has no altering of the mountain. Just pick a line and drop. However, it would get less ratings because people want to see the tricks.
  • + 3
 @tacklingdummy: yeah, cause it would be super boring. Even Brendans "super raw" line took a bunch of days to build.
  • + 52
 I can’t believe you havent featured a good month for Randy and a truly awful month for Apu
  • + 4
 Don't ruin November by bringing Randy into it. Can I have your Goggles?
"Wealthy Linkage Fork Fans" that's a f*cking tenuous premise for a paragraph.
  • + 23
 #Randygotrobbed
  • + 2
 I've heard rumours that Apu will be the new big name rider for Cannondale next year.
  • + 1
 @BenPea: I'm so intrigued that I'm waiting for a full-length article profiling these wealthy fans of linkage forks.

More importantly, how long until the aluminum version for us plebs?
  • + 1
 Randy doesn't have good months....he has damn good years!
  • + 46
 Bad month: Andreu Lacondaguy - had 1st place run scored as 2nd.
  • + 31
 Hard to not love Rheeders run too, but goddamn was Lacondeguy on fire with that run.
  • + 3
 Agreed, the linking of the tricks made the run more technical in my opinion. During his first run, the judges were literally speechless, they couldn't keep up with the throwdown. Fairclough got the spirit award...well deserved. I view that as the sickbird belt buckle, which is more coveted than the comp win itself.
  • + 6
 Agreed, throwing the backflip with no time for setup blew my mind.
  • + 2
 Agreed
  • + 8
 that look back
  • + 4
 @connorjuliusjohnson: agreed Rheeders was pretty amazing for a bike park , Brendog however got absolutely robbed
  • + 29
 Bad: Wharncliffe Trails at risk. I may not live or even ride there, but still all the good mtb stuff comes from Sheffield. They need somewhere to ride for inspiration.
  • + 10
 "Several of the 160 stolen bikes have been located in Ontario," I just want to say that I called it, I feckin' called it! Put them in a lorry and drive them to Onterrible I said and look what they did. Never change Ontario, never change.
  • + 12
 Go over to Aaron Gwins Instagram and check out his latest post. Go read the comments and specifically one from clifflane3.
  • + 5
 That's interesting, would've assumed Gwin and the Mob were like a package deal. Plus he says it wasn't his decision which raises some questions considering how popular he is
  • + 0
 Nonetheless excited to see where he goes!
  • + 8
 His comment said "my program next year is gonna be epic" Since Specialized owns that word....
  • + 1
 Probably far fetched but the only Bike brand he follows on IG is KHS...
  • + 1
 to quote Aaron "aarongwin1@clifflane3 haha thanks man, the Mob will stay where it’s at though"

"aarongwin1@clifflane3 haha welll that doesn’t mean I’ll be a part of it, just that it’s staying "
  • + 1
 Khs makes some of the worst looking bikes but has some awesome riders right now. If only they could make them look good @asboites:
  • + 8
 It can't be a good month having this happened just recently - www.pinkbike.com/news/russian-freerider-kirill-benderoni-in-a-coma.html

And this guy is the definition of freeride for many folks in russia and around
  • + 2
 not sure how there wasnt anything on this
  • + 10
 is a bad nonth for the kid who couldn't have any goggles
  • + 9
 RIP Ebostrich!! You are missed buddy!!!
  • + 3
 Would taking the approach used in high diving be useful? After the riders & diggers create their lines the judges go out and rank the lines in terms of level of difficulty. That line-difficulty score would then be made known to all prior to the runs. It is an imperfect comparison because whether a rider chose to trick something vs not would obviously have an impact on scoring. However in spite of the tricking aspect it might help create a more equitable basis for scoring.
  • + 3
 Not sure about Rheeders being a clear winner. For me Andreu took the win. Not taking anything away from Rheeder but the slopestyle course he built himself did not compare the the gnarlier run of Lacondeguy! And we all know Brendog should have been top 5 at least
  • + 3
 First and foremost, a big RIP(Ride in Peace) to Kyle Ebbett. I grew up in the same circle of friends as him on the East Coast back when Street/Park and DJ was unknown on mountain bikes.
In regards to Rampage, some buddies and I were talking and the conclusion was that the judges need to understand that the foundation of Rampage is ultimately steep, gnarly lines and sending big/techy gaps with natural landings and not always glorified slopestyle runs on DH bikes. Brendog's run should have easily cracked the top 5, giving him 10th was a complete insult we thought.
  • + 1
 You know who the judges are, right? Pretty sure they know what the foundation of rampage is. Doesn't mean they cant botch a score or that the system is perfect but they're some of the most qualified guys there are.
  • + 2
 @keeqan: Qualified doesn't matter, the judging criteria is wrong according to most fans on PB. I tend to agree
  • + 2
 @drunknride: that is exactly what I was saying, judges know whats up, if anything its the system that isn't perfect. As a biker I like seeing raw steeps just as much as huge flat drop flips and oppo tricks at the top of the mountain.

Most fans on PB haven't been there, so while they are the main live audience, I wouldn't listen trust their opinion of whats the sickest and what isn't. different people have different tastes but I guarantee all those pro's lines were just as f*cked as the next ones.
  • + 2
 I can´t believe how much we get stucked on the EGOS of a Freeride competition like Rampage... when the overall standings are not the most important I guess is the show the riders and the organization provides... and here is where all should focus cause could be improved this year the show wasn´t as exciting as previous years for multiple factors maybe. My first reason is the ANT POV of the helicopter half of the way... and it sucks when there is this drone technology available allready.
  • + 2
 my transition was stolen while volunteering thanksgiving I had it back within 5 days looking on my own. all my toys are now equipped with tracking ticks as the security cameras are useless in situations like I experienced
  • + 5
 That was a good month for Randy
  • + 9
 Randy has a good month every day.
  • + 2
 Still no women's event at the Rampage. Not sure how many would show up, or how they would do, but it would be a nice show I think.
  • + 4
 It was a winning run. There I said it.
  • + 2
 Did the rocky mountain container have Rodgers on the side? Someone needs to check out the back of Dominic Toretto's house. Damn street racers.
  • + 2
 IIRC, Brendog didn't drop in first, he was just the first to (cleanly) complete his line. He was like 2nd though, so...
  • + 4
 Ah, you're right - Szymon was the first rider. That's been corrected.
  • + 7
 Anyone who has to run that early in the lineup is gonna score low because it really seems like the judges always score people low in the first round in order to push the riders to bring it in their second runs. It’s not a very fair way to judge something as eclectic as Rampage.

Also, the coverage this year was abysmal. Too many shots were way too wide and too far away. It really didn’t do anything to showcase the terrain and how massive a lot of the features were. I feel like Redbull really dropped the ball in terms of showcasing the immense scale and treacherous terrain as opposed to previous years.
  • + 2
 the link in the "Anyone Hoping for a Controversy Free Rampage" is broken.
  • + 1
 Good month aside from Rampage being far away from what they boasted on.
  • + 1
 RIP Ebot miss you my friend 3
  • + 1
 More content or Recycled content?
  • - 1
 Good month of Randy. They missed the biggest story.
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