Good Month / Bad Month - October 2021

Nov 15, 2021
by James Smurthwaite  

Freeride progression

Semenuk ushers in a new dawn for Rampage

Brandon Semenuk wasn't the first rider to bring a single crown fork to the slopes of Red Bull Rampage, but he is definitely the first to truly realise their potential. Semenuk's winning run on his way to a record-breaking fourth title included both bar spins, tailwhips and flipwhips. It was a run that combined slopestyle with all-mountain at the biggest freeride event of the year in the fashion that the 'Keep Rampage pure' detractors always feared and, you know what, it was absolutely sublime.
Semenuk made use of his RockShox ZEB single crown by tail whipping it down his drop in the middle of his run. He also flip-whipped further down his line which just shows you the progression of the technology we have at our fingertips these days. Insane.

A combination of technology, experience, skill and a well-crafted line came together for a run that sets a new direction for Rampage. It's likely we'll look back on this run as era-defining alongside Cedric Gracia's backflip, or Zink's Oakley Sender 360 drops. It was a run that raised the bar for the discipline and will force the rest of Semenuk's competitors to up their games for 2022.

Hand Built Bikes

Pandemic projects break cover at the Bespoked Show

The pandemic left a lot of us stuck indoors with plenty of extra time on our hands to twiddle our thumbs, argue endlessly online about whether Carole Baskin killed her husband and laugh at the beached Evergiven ship. However, some mountain bikers took the initiative and instead created beautiful hand-crafted frames that were revealed at the Bespoked Show.

The steel enduro bikes stole the show from Coal Bicycles' dual short link '84, to the high pivot Howler Frameworks Fenrir and the Ra Cycles .12 made from stainless T45 steel. But there were plenty of other oddballs there too, including a hardtail with almost fully integrated cables, an Italian carbon hardtail with 180mm travel and a bike that has been pedalled at nearly 300kmh.

Of course, there's another small batch project that launched in October - the Grim Donut II. Built in-house at Pivot's facility in Arizona, we're busy testing it as we speak, stay tuned for more because we have big plans.

A sustainable future for mountain biking

Industry leaders sign Cop 26 pledges

COP 26, UN Climate Change Conference, kicked off this week and it is being touted as a pivotal moment in the fight against the climate crisis. If we are to limit global warming to within 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, we need immediate major reductions in Greenhouse Gasses, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Cycling is generally an energy-efficient mode of transport but leaders in the industry have still stepped up to encourage the industry to continually improve on its green credentials. Firstly, Shift Cycling Culture's Cycling Industry Climate Commitment letter is an urgent appeal to acknowledge the industry's responsibility in reaching the UN Paris Agreement targets on Climate Change, and to do so collectively, signed by Specialized's Mike Sinyard, Dorel's Peter Woods, Schwalbe's Frank Bohle and more.

Secondly, the letter asks World Leaders to commit to boosting cycling levels to reduce carbon emissions and reach global climate goals quickly and effectively. Its signatories include the UCI, IMBA, Sustrans and the World Cycling Alliance.

We hope these letters help to produce real change and that cycling can be at the forefront of the fight against climate change.


Henry Quinney

Hallucinogens, home invasion and hypothermia, all in a night for our newest tech editor

There's nothing like a near-death experience to keep you grounded, at least that's the one positive Henry is taking from the latest Field Test. Henry headed up to Pemberton hoping to learn which of the latest crop of trail and downcountry bikes climbs like an ivy watered with jet fuel and descends like an anvil chucked out of a helicopter, but instead he experienced a different set of highs and lows.

If you haven't yet heard Henry's account in his own words, I'd recommend you check it out in the Pinkbike podcast, his story starts at 6:00:

Bones at Rampage

Injured bodies littered the Rampage site

We couldn't celebrate Brandon Semenuk's achievement at Rampage without also acknowledging the bodies that littered the same hillside at this year's event. In the run-up to finals, Brage Vestavik picked up a dislocated shoulder and humerus fractures, Carson Storch broke his collar bone and Andreu Lacondeguy also suffered undisclosed broken bones. Camz Zink also took a slam in training but opted to compete anyway with a bruised lung.

Unfortunately, the list of casualties doesn't stop there and Tom Van Steenbergen had to be transported off the hillside on a backboard with multiple injuries after a crash during his finals run including breaking his left and right hip sockets into multiple pieces, breaking a piece off the top of his femur, breaking a piece of his lower vertebrae, and separating his shoulder.

Yes, Rampage is a great show but it often comes at the cost of the bodies the world's best freeriders who sometimes find themselves on the wrong side of the risk vs reward seesaw.

Light evening rides

Standard Time hits the Northern Hemisphere

It's that time of year again. The clocks were turned back for a lot of the Northern Hemisphere, which means we've lost our precious evening sunshine and will now have to dig out the lights and batteries to get in an after-work ride. The good news is that today's lights weigh less, burn longer and are relatively affordable, but night riding still isn't everyone's cup of tea and can be a bit hairy if you ride alone.

Our advice is to get a group of riding mates to keep you motivated, make sure you have the gear to keep you warm and dry through the worst winter weather and start on some easier trails to work your way into it. Whatever happens, it has to be better than watching shitty Netflix romcoms or yet another scripted reality show, right?
Nikki Rohan stepping into the dark on the Sidehill Dodger trail above Bingen WA.

Author Info:
jamessmurthwaite avatar

Member since Nov 14, 2018
1,770 articles

  • 181 17
 This may be unpopular but I didn't enjoy Rampage much this year. The format needs a total revamp IMO as this one is producing wayyy too many life-altering injuries. For the crew, I was watching with the carnage(and bizarre judging) overshadowing the highlights.
  • 35 1
 After that horrible crash after that amazing front flip, just couldn’t watch anymore. Spent the rest of the event just checking live updates/comments hoping to hear some gone news about him.
  • 35 5
 Agreed: I've been a rampage nut & love seeing some raw footage, but damn, way too risky this year, way too much stop time / bad flow and after hearing The Viking went down, I kinda lost interest. BVS's mega injuries didn't help make it seem any better. I get it - people are gods now but its also fine to not get killed doing this.
  • 23 3
 Couldn't agree more, not interested in watching my favorite riders destroy their bodies.
  • 6 2
 It is a beautiful venue and a treat to watch but yeah guys get so hurt they wont be the same again. I hope to ride their myself one day (does good for tourism).
  • 3 50
flag 14pslope (Nov 15, 2021 at 20:13) (Below Threshold)
 this is so disrespectful, you must not truly love bikes, that's sad
  • 5 3
 Its horrible to watch these guys get hurt especially when you know they are being rushed. I think they need more time to prepare and not be forced to complete their line with amazing tricks so quickly. If that means pre-made courses then so be it.
  • 9 1
 It's similar to the youtubers with the constant need to go bigger. I often just cringe at riding where the price of failure is potential death. Seeing Gee, Fabio et al crippling themselves just to make a video is getting out of hand
  • 2 1
 @lacuna: Totally agree about the cringe on the cost. Fwiw I think Gee is a little different because with Rachel off the scene with a baby, Gee's trying to make their fledgling brand visible and more established. They have other racers, but really the Affy's are what get the most attention(and rightfully so; it is their brand).
  • 6 1
 Part of the problem is that earning a legit income in this discipline of the sport hinges too much on a once-a-year event.
  • 2 1
 Not sure why, maybe just getting older, but I can't stand watching people get injured. I stopped watching football for the same reason, not to make any kind of statement or protest or whatever, little by little it stopped being fun what with knowing people are really risking serious long-term injury.
  • 6 0
 @JakeEPooh: I read your comments and I was like 'seriously, football...' then noticed you're from the States and you mean hand egg
  • 101 1
 What about that guy with the split derailleur? Top plus!
  • 21 0
  • 25 0
 November. But his innovation, that will not work with any of our existing bikes, got almost 500 mostly positive comments. That's amazing in itself!
  • 7 12
flag DDoc (Nov 16, 2021 at 3:32) (Below Threshold)
 I'm amazed that everyone liked that so much.
More parts, more weight, more chain, more drag, more noise...where's the benefit?
  • 4 1
 @DDoc: so slightly more weight but less of it is unsprung, similar or same drag to any other high pivot bike, what's a few more links of chain compared to improving the most vulnerable part of a mountain bike? Granted, it's not for dirt roadies
  • 47 2
 Bad month for Pinkbike with the paywall over on Cyclingtips...get ready to open your wallets folks
  • 12 0
 Trailforks, OK. The rest I can live without.
  • 1 0
 @noapathy: most likely it will be one fee for both.
  • 19 0
 @Jvisscher: Still want to know how this will pan out for those of us that signed up for trailforks pro at the initial $17ish/year for life when it launched last September...
  • 5 0
 @RBalicious: i was wondering the same thing. I just got charged last month for my second year at that deal price. Usually they have to honour old contracts but not necessarily give us the extras - unless we end that deal and buy in at the new price. Ill give the money to my local club instead. Outside doesnt need it as bad.
  • 7 6
 @noapathy: that paywall is dumb too. "Want to find your way out of a trail system and not die? Pay us $3 per month... You better hurry, I think I heard a bear over there and it would sure be a shame if you didn't pay us before you got eaten"
  • 13 1
 @Bobtheguy: For real. Users created all the content on there, put in the effort of mapping, naming, and updating trail conditions. Trailforks got that all for free, and now hide it behind a paywall
  • 2 1
 @mnorris122: all about platform creation, hosting, maintenance, updating. Content is one (very important) element of a complex solution.
  • 3 0
 @Bobtheguy: If you don't know if your app you're relying on works before you're lost I'm not sure what to tell you.
  • 4 3
 @noapathy: I think you missed my point. The point was, why the hell should we be forced to pay a monthly subscription to be able to use a f*cking trail map? Maybe a one time purchase I'd be ok with... maybe, but a monthly subscription fee for being able to not get lost is completely absurd. It's not like there's any alternatives either, the MTB Project is the closest and it doesn't have half as many of areas mapped as trailforks and we all know Google maps will send you through some old lady's window (if it can even send you anywhere because trails are never mapped on it) before getting you out of the forest.
  • 2 2
 @Bobtheguy: Not really. I get what you're saying, but I think you missed why it costs. They pay to have it exist. From hosting the service, updating trails, features, etc to security updates - none of it's free.
  • 2 2
 @Bobtheguy: sounds like there’s a market to make some money in reliable, effective mapping of trails for people that don’t want to get lost…
  • 2 2
 @GPP2117: Bobtheguy doesn't want to pay for said product... LOL
  • 3 2
 @noapathy: then how did it exist for free for multiple years before the paywall? Especially now that it's owned by a giant corporate entity with plenty of money to throw around they should have no trouble keeping free like it used to be when pinkbike was independent. I get that companies gotta make money and all but it's just greedy to lock something behind a paywall AFTER being given exponentially more resources than you had before when it was free.
  • 2 2
 @Bobtheguy: It was a paid service at least a year before Outside came around. Still don't know what to tell ya. I got in from the beginning when they offered it for half price, but it's still like a cheap burger per month.
  • 31 2
 I feel great about bicycles as environmentally friendly...until I go into the bike shop and see them dump every bike and part box and its contents into the trash bin just to go to that invisible trash pile somewhere far away. It just reminds me that we had decades of awareness of our footprint on this planet and we have done about 1% effort to just provide simple commitments to remedy it. Glad to see this consensus building...but its too little too late IMO. I'll blame the boomers because it is funny but it is really all our faults.
  • 29 5
 I would LOVE to see products get taxed based on their packaging. The company that zip-ties their product to a piece of cardboard backing pays almost nothing, while that dumbass company that sells a microSD card under 17 layers of non-recyclable blow-plastic would pay accordingly. Maybe higher visibility would still make it worth it to have big packaging, but maybe not. Companies won't change until there is financial sense for them to do it.
  • 10 0
 @bishopsmike: What about the people who make the packaging being responsible for its proper disposal? I mean f*#k i watched a very senior official of a chemicals company (essentially every piece of plastic has a component/ingredient in it sold by them), be asked about recycling the products they help to and make. His answer was "there's a multi billion industry for a someone out there create a solution to this." yeah, true, but why not do something about it yourselves and quit passing the buck to make a buck! Rant over....
  • 6 1
 Companies love disposable products and nobody is talking about all the waste created by covid laws - gloves, masks and plastic food packaging are piling up quickly.
  • 1 2
 @bishopsmike: so the consumer can pay more for a product at the till and the packaging still will be an issue?
  • 2 0
 @themouse77: Correct. Stupidly-packaged products would become a touch more expensive. This tax revenue could be spent on environmental cleanup (or whatever). Opens the market for another company to bring out a similar product with less packaging at a slightly lower price. Or the original company could reduce their packaging to get back to their original price.

Not sure if you honestly don't understand or just trying to play devil's advocate.
  • 1 0
 Reminds me of my dental office. We ship in a pickup load of what turns into trash each day for like 20 patients worth of work. Not taking care of your teeth with that free toothbrush has a huge environmental impact.
  • 33 1
 *Standard Time Hits the Northern Hemisphere.
  • 27 0
 username checks out
  • 20 0
 Came here to say this as well. The only reason we don't have DST all the time IMO is that half the population in the northern hemisphere can't tell you which one they're in and they all blame DST...
  • 4 1
 @ehvan: Try walking up in northern states or Canada 3 hours before the sun for 3 months every winter, you’d hate DST too
  • 5 0
 @DizzyNinja: I already go to work and leave work in full darkness during the winter with standard time. At least if it was DST all year there'd be a little sunlight after work
  • 5 0
 @DizzyNinja: Yeah I hate having a sunset at 3:50 for the darkest parts of the year. I'll take a time change that gives me usable time after work...not before it.
  • 20 2
 Henry went up quite a few notches in my book with that story!
  • 4 0
 Agreed, I have to say that was the highlight of my month on PB
  • 5 1
 That story about "making friends" in the woods was simultaneously the funniest and also saddest shit I've heard in quite some time.
  • 7 0
 He went full send for sure
  • 6 1
 More PB staff getting out the psichodelic closet soon?... Let's be honest Wink
  • 3 0
 Really glad he had that 30 mins of clarity to get himself to civilisation.
Whether it's riding, drugs, or any other activity, if you're trying something new and/or risky, try to find a safe place and make sure you can either help yourself, or you've got buddies who can assist you if things go sideways.
Anyone taking bets on Revenant inspired content in the next "Things that didn't happen in the bike industry"?
  • 7 6
 He went down in my books. Drug abuse is stupid and this story perfectly illustrates why.
  • 5 3
 @BenTheSwabian: No. Since drug abuse isn't funny in the slightest, it was actually just sad.
  • 2 2
 @SimonJaeger: precisely psilocybin it's used for aiding drug addictions... and mind corroded structures... but hey be safe be well!...
  • 4 1
 @SimonJaeger: Trying phycoactives one time to see how it affects your brain (in minus-too-damn-cold-ʼC) is (irresponsible) drug use in my books. Getting off your face every other day to block out the world is more like substance abuse to me
  • 2 0
 @ROOTminus1: The way he told the story, it just seemed like a terrible idea to begin with. First of all, don't do drugs. Ever. But if, at least do it somewhere safe with someone you trust and not in the middle of the night in a forest away from civilization with random strangers while it's freezing cold. That's like literally the dumbest way imaginable.
  • 2 0
 @PauRexs: Yes, but that is literally not "drug abuse". It's "taking drugs for medical reasons" and not just randomly abusing them for fun as a leisure activity.
  • 2 0
 @SimonJaeger: Mushrooms in the woods is a lot of fun though Had some pretty magical times over the years.
  • 2 0
 @SimonJaeger: mushrooms are something I wouldn’t recommend to everyone; however, there is a reason why they are being studied hard by major universities medical programs for their medicinal values. Some of there studies are not around small doses.. hamiltons pharmacopoeia for more psychotropic knowledge. Dont fear the unknown
  • 11 0
 Good on 9point8 for making Slack-R anglesets available for pretty much all of integrated headset types. I'm well aware that head angle isn't everything, but man, upsizing a bike with decent standover and then knocking 1.5-2 degrees off the headangle brings a lot of perfectly good used bikes from 5-7 years ago back into play as viable options for budget conscious shredders. I hope they sell a lot of them!
  • 26 14
 climate agreement, flown to on private jets, excluding most of the worlds major polluters, trying to make biking more "green"... echo chamber stuff here...
  • 6 3
 Most of the developed world lives in an echo chamber, look at us posting from our comfy, well lit, heated cubical. Don't take it so hard though, humans tend to require things to get really bad before they change. I'm thinking 2121~
  • 4 4
 @nurseben: can't disagree with you there sir.
  • 6 4
 Did you think the President of the United States was gonna bike and canoe all the way over to the other side of the world with his entourage following in various canoes, kayaks, dingies and the Secret Service following wearing water wings?

It's a no win situation, half the world doesn't want to change and refuses to believe what's in front of their eyes. The other half can't agree on what to do anyway...
  • 5 5
 So, world leaders are supposed to fly coach and risk assassination?
  • 15 1
 @stiingya: They could have had a zoom meeting and saved the carbon Wink
  • 14 1
 Quinney’s story was defo one of the positive highlights of the month…sorry, year!
  • 1 0
  • 15 2
 Bad month for: Pinkbike Academy. #torigotrobbed
  • 3 2
 she wasn't going to win anyways....
  • 3 1
 @jaydawg69: With her FTP, everyone else would've been racing for second place on ep. 4
  • 3 2
 @Chadimac22: apparently it takes more than just FTP
  • 14 1
 @jaydawg69: for sure. Pants that fit and a good pillow should do the trick.
  • 3 2
 @Chadimac22: still not sure how Tori got robbed when you finished minutes back in a race? The person with a lower FTP should go home even though they are faster?
  • 3 2
 @Chadimac22: And don’t forget the background in BMX.
  • 10 0
 "undisclosed broken bones" makes me wonder just how excited Lacondeguy was to send that line
  • 8 2
 It's November 15th now, was COP 26 a good thing for October? I completely lost track of when the whole thing started. Either way, I'm not sure how much the agreement is supposed to do for mountainbiking. I think the main (and most beneficial) goal is to make commuting on the road as safe as possible so that don't just prefer the car or bus just because it is the safer option on their route. It seems like in some countries commuting by bike is reserved for the brave. The infrastructure should be such that it is safe for everyone. Little kids up to the elderly.
  • 5 0
 I can't believe that we are wasting all of this daylight. Just look at it, wasted in the early morning hours! It's tragic. I'm gonna start bottling the light and using as a low carbon light source for night riding.
  • 4 0
 I like that.
  • 1 0
 Yup, using more power now throughout the day...fewer people outdoors and more car accidents. Brilliant
  • 6 0
 If DST ending in the northern hemisphere is a negative then surely DST beginning in the southern hemisphere belongs in the positive list?
  • 6 0
 Danny harts bike park got broken into. They lost everything from their two cabins.. The criminals cleaned house. Terrible news.
  • 4 0
 No big announcements, but local shops have been getting some bikes in. Hopefully the supply chain issues of the past year will continue to ease.
  • 4 0
 that's so very english:
partying somewhere cold and nearly dying (or actually dying) because you passed out al fresco as if you where in Benidorm...
  • 2 0
 Good one haha
  • 3 0
 Reminds me of the time I got locked out of an Airbnb. It was snowing, NYE, Istandbul. I was in a t shirt. Us f*cking Brits, man
  • 5 0
 .... waiting for the PB article on Williams Racing Products WRP AXS gearbox (a modern Honda RN01).
  • 5 0
 "another scripted reality show,", wait, are you talking about pinkbike academy ?
  • 15 10
 And a bad month (s) for Kyle Werner.
  • 8 8
 Why downvote him lmao?... he's 100% right!
  • 7 7
 @p-m-z: only reason I bring it up is because I’ve met him and he is a great person, didn’t deserve it at all.
  • 1 1
 Jaxson Riddle's run in the Redbull Rampage 2021 was better than Brendan Semanuk's. It's obvious to anyone, but the judges.....(they had to give it to B. because they wanted a multi-champ champ this year, and he rode a single crown)
  • 3 0
 What’s up with “R-A-M-P-G-E?”
  • 4 0
  • 3 1
 Another scripted shitty reality show ???
  • 9 8
 Even a bad time on mushrooms is good for you.
  • 5 0
 It's always the right experience you need at the given time...
  • 1 0
 We can buy the Grim Donut? Preferred the looks of the mk1
  • 1 0
 bike theft up
  • 15 17
 Shout out to Kyle Warner..people support you. You deserve better. Fuck Pinkbike.
  • 5 0
 Who even is this guy you people keep mentioning? I've read this name in the comments a couple of times in the last week or so, but no context to be seen anywhere excet that he supposedly got screwed over or something.

I've googled "Kyle Warner" and found all kinds stuff, but nothing MTB related. Is this something related to US politics?
  • 4 1
 He’s a pro MTB rider. I think I read somewhere that he had a horrible reaction somehow to one of the vaccines. Terrible cause he seems like a really nice guy in his videos . @SimonJaeger:
  • 1 0
 @Crankhed: Thanks. I found his and his girlfriends YouTube channel in the meantime and he really does seem like a nice guy. A shame his case is instrumentalized by these anti-vaccination people. It's tragic enough. People should honestly just leave him alone.
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