How Much Are World Cup Racers Paid in 2024? - Pinkbike's State of the Sport Survey 2024

Apr 2, 2024
by Ed Spratt  
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Welcome to the 2024 Pinkbike State of the Sport Survey. This anonymous survey is designed to highlight key issues and riders' perspectives on the sport that we, pro riders, and Pinkbike readers all love so much. We surveyed the best riders in the world to hear their thoughts, ideas, concerns, and criticisms on mountain biking in 2024. Now, we're breaking down what we've learned. We're now publishing a series of articles that break down sections of the results, and you'll see the results in full shortly. This year, we introduced the public survey, which will help gauge public views on the sport and should make for some interesting comparisons to what the racers say. Stay tuned for that. To read the introduction to the survey click here, and to see all the other currently published SOTS articles click here.



The salary of athletes can be common knowledge in other sports, but the pay of World Cup riders has always remained secretive as total financial earnings are closely guarded. Since our first State of the Sport survey in 2021 where we tried to give the first public look at the financial side of racing, things have not changed much with the industry still keeping salaries hidden behind non-disclosure statements inside rider contracts.

To continue offering one of the few public datasets on rider pay, we focus on remuneration as a section of our State of the Sport survey.

Rider pay is an important metric, but it doesn't always show the complete financial picture as brands may be spending thousands outside of salary to get a rider to World Cups. Regardless of the rider's remuneration, the total investment from a brand to go racing on an international stage is significant; it's easy to spend $50K+ per rider on travel, accommodation, food, fees, mechanical support, etc. for a season. There are instances where racers take a lower dollar figure to get on a factory team versus a higher wage and managing all their own independent deals.



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It's important to note that the data below only represents those we surveyed who are among the sport's top competitive riders. Anyone who fell outside our selection criteria was not invited to answer the survey and could account for earning lower than some of the numbers covered here. Several riders also declined to answer some of these questions and we have removed the single rider who earns more than USD 500,000 from most graphs to ensure they remain anonymous.

Before we get into the data, you can see a breakdown of who we surveyed and more information about the 2024 State of the Sport survey here.




Overview

Let's look at the big picture and see how the data stacks up across the World Cup disciplines of Downhill, Enduro and XC. Diving straight into the total earnings of riders the largest income bracket was the $50,000 to $100,000 USD range on 22.4% of riders. Sitting with 19.6% of responses was the lowest bracket of $0 to $5,000 USD. It's interesting to note, this was the largest group of riders in our first survey with 27.3% of responses. There is then a drop to the third largest pay bracket of $10,000 to $20,000 USD, this is the total earnings for 13.1% of respondents.
Quick Stats:

Mode Wage: 50,000-100,000 USD

Median Wage: 30,000 - 40,000 USD

The top of the pay range was one rider answering that they receive over $500,000 USD a year. The top rider's income is an outlier in the data as the median wage is far lower for all disciplines at $30,000 to $40,000 USD. We found that 68.5% of survey responders receive a full income from mountain biking. Although sadly, there are still those who do not earn a wage from racing. Even though 68.5% receive a full income from racing, only 34% of racers who responded to the survey have between 80 to 100% of their income from a guaranteed salary.




Going deeper into the pay brackets by discipline, we found both Downhill and Enduro feature 25% of respondents earning between zero and $5,000 USD from their racing. Compared to XC, this bracket contained just 3.3% of riders who responded to the survey. For Downhill, the lowest pay grade is the largest represented group, whereas both XC and Enduro saw the biggest group of riders earning $50,000 to $100,000 USD. It's interesting to see that Enduro, which historically attracts far less coverage than Downhill with no live broadcast, appears to have, on average, a higher level of pay than the top Downhill riders.


Finally, before we take a closer look at each discipline and Junior/U21/U23 racing, we also asked about the fairness of pay and whether anyone feels taken advantage of in contract negotiations. For the perception of fair pay, riders were mostly neutral (33.3%), with riders who agreed they were paid fairly at 29.6% and those who disagreed at 26.9%. Those who felt strongly either way were sitting far below the other responses suggesting at least from our sample of riders that there is not a strong consensus in either direction on this issue.

We also asked riders if they feel taken advantage of, with most responding that they do feel this at least "a little bit." The choice of "a little bit" was chosen by 52.8% of respondents with the next most popular option being "significantly." 15.7% felt that they were not taken advantage of at all during contract negotiations.





Downhill

Not only was Downhill the largest dataset in the survey (at 40.7% of all respondents), but it also featured the greatest income range. Downhill was the only discipline to have a rider who earns over $500,000 USD answer the survey. Despite the expansive range of incomes, Downhill had a mode wage of $0 to $5,000 USD. The median range for Downhill was higher at $20,000 to $30,000 USD.
Quick Stats:

Mode Wage: $0-5,000 USD

Median Wage: $20,000 - 30,000 USD

When looking closer at the earnings brackets for downhill, the $0 to $5,000 USD range accounted for 25% of respondents, with the next most popular option being the $10,000 to $20,000 USD range at 15.9%. While we see 13.6% of riders at $50,000 to $100,000 USD and 9.1% at $250,000 to $500,000 USD, over 50% still earn below $30,000 USD in the sport commonly referred to as the Formula 1 of mountain biking.

Of the riders surveyed who race Downhill World Cups, 70.5% can earn a full income. A further 9.1% makeup at least part of their wage with mountain biking but may need to earn money elsewhere. Sadly, 20.5% of the world's best racers don't earn a wage from mountain biking. These numbers may mean that of the 25% who earn less than $5,000 USD, most will earn $0 USD.






Enduro

This year's financial data from the top Enduro riders follows the previous trend from past State of the Sport surveys, with higher average incomes than those racing at the sharp end of Downhill. Despite many worrying about the future of Enduro racing, the Mode wage sits equal with cross country at $50,000 to $100,000 USD. The median wage was slightly lower than XC, sitting between $30,000 and $40,000 USD. The number of respondents for Enduro was slightly lower than that for Downhill, so it's worth bearing in mind that our samples could have been slightly skewed by having more riders at either end of the pay scale. Of course, this data is all there is to go on across the industry, so it is still useful to gain insight into general pay trends.
Quick Stats:

Mode Wage: $50,000-$100,000 USD

Median Wage: $30,000 - $40,000 USD

While the mode wage for Enduro is $50,000 to $100,000 USD, it was closely contested by the $0 to $5000 USD income bracket with just a 3% difference between the two. The closeness of these two quite different levels of pay suggests a pay divide amongst the best Enduro riders, with top performers either paid relatively well or receiving very little for their hard work. Following that interpretation of the data, it is interesting to see further numbers illustrating that 20.6% of World Cup Enduro racers who answered our survey do not take a wage from mountain biking. However, we did find that Enduro has more riders with a guaranteed salary of 80-100% than the overall numbers across Downhill, Enduro and XC racers.






XC

Finally, we have the XC racer data where none of the top riders surveyed were not making a wage from mountain biking. 96.6% of those who answered our questions earn more than 50% of their income from mountain biking, with 73.3% of these riders receiving a full income from riding bikes. The mode wage for the surveyed riders was equal to the Enduro racers at $50,000 to $100,000 USD with a median wage of $40,000 USD.
Quick Stats:

Mode Wage: $50,000-$100,000 USD

Median Wage: $40,000 USD

For XC racer's total earnings, we found that 50% of those surveyed earn over $40,000 USD, with only 3.3% earning less than $5,000 USD. The XC riders we received earning data from had the highest number of earners in the $100,000 to $250,000 pay bracket, with the second highest totals across the $50,000 to $100,000 USD and $250,000 to $500,000 USD ranges. XC racers were also more likely to have higher guaranteed salaries than the combined all-discipline totals at 40% of XC racers in the 80-100% range. 73.3% have over 60% of their income from a guaranteed salary, compared to 56.8% for Downhill and 67.7% in Enduro.






Junior/U21/U23 Racers

For this year's State of the Sport, we have also put the Junior, U21 and U23 earning data under the microscope to find out what the sport's future talents are paid. We think this is more important than ever 2023 saw the Junior Downhill and U23 racing broadcast live, offering race fans the first chance to watch the racing from home and bringing these riders into the spotlight.
Quick Stats:

Mode Wage: $0-$5,000 USD

Median Wage: $10,000 USD

Looking into total rider earnings, 36.4% of the young racers were between $0 and $5,000 USD, with 31.8% of respondents answering a different question stating they earned no wage from mountain biking. While it seems most young riders are not earning much, if any money, from racing, the next most popular earning brackets covered the $50,000 to $100,000 USD range. While we did observe 22.7% falling into that pay bracket, there were still 77.3% of younger racers earning below $30,000 USD.

The guaranteed salary for Junior/U21/U23 racers was also lower than the combined numbers for all riders, with only 9.1% having 80-100% of their income from a guaranteed salary. 50% of those surveyed have less than 40% of their income guaranteed.






Data Deep Dives

After taking a closer look at the income across each discipline and the Junior/U21/U23 racers, we decided to compare the data across questions to present a few different ways to interpret some of the responses we received around remuneration for State of the Sport.


First, we broke down the rider's total earnings data by their position in the overall standings last year. While there are some spikes, the earnings spread covers more of the top 40 than you might think. Just looking at the top 40 data, over 60% earn below $20,000 USD, but there are still 4.3% earning an income of $250,000 to $500,000 USD. The top five overall finishers saw the largest proportion of riders earning over $50,000 USD at 68% of those who were within the top five in the world last year. The best riders also had the highest proportion earning over $250,000 USD at 12%.


Next, we decided to do a similar breakdown as before, but this time with social media followers. While we saw total earnings spread out across riders inside the top 40 in the overall ranking, the social media followers present a more obvious trend. At least from our data, the social media following of a rider appears to have a closer tie to total earnings than the overall ranking position. In our breakdown of the earnings, the lowest bracket of $0 to $5,000 USD ends after riders have more than 25,000 followers with no riders who have built a following of over 100,000 earning less than $50,000 USD.



With ongoing issues in the industry, we added a new question to this year's State of the Sport survey, asking riders how they feel their total earnings will compare from 2023 to 2024. Across all responses, we found 21.5% believe they will earn less this year, with 28% hoping it will stay the same. Despite an uncertain future for many cycling brands, over 50% of riders surveyed believe their earnings will go up in 2024.

When we broke the responses down by discipline, it paints a more interesting picture of the health of each World Cup discipline, with only 6.7% of XC racers believing they will earn less this year. Comparatively, 22.8% of Downhill riders think they will earn less and 33.4% of enduro racers expect a drop in total earnings. Of the Enduro racers, there is the biggest proportion of riders thinking they will earn 'significantly less' at 18.2%, for Downhill this figure is 11.4% and there were no XC racers who believe they would see this level of drop.





Editor's Note We rely on athletes' trust to carry out this survey, any attempts to identify riders will be deleted from the comment section




Author Info:
edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
3,041 articles

269 Comments
  • 194 3
 down to the comment section to see what experts think
  • 4 0
 always
  • 2 0
 My expert opinion is that 1 pro riding DH is earning over 500k a year. And if you think about there can only be a few candidates that fit that bill
  • 4 2
 @enduroNZ: Gwin for the win surely... I don't know of any other rider with a massive self built Cali pad and a McLaren!
  • 3 0
 @enduroNZ: For sure, and I was a little surprised Cathro still counted himself as a World Cup racer
  • 150 8
 50k - 100k is a huge range from borderline poverty to supporting a family in many areas...
  • 29 33
flag justanotherusername (Apr 2, 2024 at 11:17) (Below Threshold)
 Same as any other job in life I guess - ultimately if you make your employer money you get paid more money.
  • 13 12
 I agree 50k doesn’t get you anywhere nowadays, 100k is becoming the needed standard at least in south Florida where I live. But I’m pretty sure you’d be balling w 50-100k in some other states or more rural areas or second n third world countries.
  • 164 2
 “How many of you live at home with your/get your bills paid by your parents”
Should be a question
  • 73 6
 @justanotherusername: LOL In a vacuum or theory kind of. In actuality, its mostly the opposite. Most businesses try to keep their labor costs as low as possible to maximize profits. “If wealth was the inevitable result of hard work and enterprise, every woman in Africa would be a millionaire.” - George Monbiot
  • 66 7
 Okay, so if I started a user survey for Pinbikers and asked the following:

Would you quit your job and ride mountain bikes for a living if you were paid 50K USD per year after expenses?

How many people say yes?

Part of this is perspective, not to undervalue one sport versus another, but in some sports athletes are paid an obscene amount of money compared to others where being paid is akin to working for free.

It's not about fair, it's about what is realistic.

So, how many of you would drop everything you're doing to ride pro mountain bike in the category of your choosing for fifty thousand dollars a year?

I would.
  • 8 3
 @kokofosho: Very well said, I love that quote.
  • 10 2
 I was coming to say the same thing. 50-100k is a bracket that needs to be broken down with 50-75 being harder to live on these days compared to 75-100k that is more the average lower-middleclass bracket... at least here on the West Coast of Canada... and only one of the respondents might be able to buy a home in BC's current market and likely would still need some outside help to do so haha. Would have liked to see a 50-75 and 75-100000 breakdown... but super interesting and great work PB.
  • 50 0
 Note that a lot of the pro riders surveyed are from Europe. In France, 30-40k is a normal wage, 50k is better than average and 100k is quite rare especially for 20-40year olds. Just for reference.
  • 10 2
 'Western' poverty
  • 7 13
flag justanotherusername (Apr 2, 2024 at 12:27) (Below Threshold)
 @kokofosho: who said anything about hard work? The racer that wins or trains the most often doesn’t earn the same amount of business for the company as the rider with a great social media presence doing visually cool shit on the bike.

Sell bikes get paid - that’s what sponsorships all about, it’s not a ‘work smarter not harder’ bullshit analogy, it’s a reality.
  • 8 0
 @sanchofula: Would I love to get paid to ride? Of course. Can $50k pay the bills and keep a roof over my head in my area? Nope
  • 4 6
 @justanotherusername: you dont think that person doing visually cool shit is working hard?
  • 5 1
 @Theysayivebeentheone: keep in mind that Americans make a relatively small contingent of the world scene.
  • 3 4
 @onawalk: I said bike sales determined sponsored riders wages.

Is doing a cool shit as much hard work as training / racing / preparing to the level where you can beat all other competitors, people that are also trying as hard, probably not, no, could it be more risky, yes, could it require a more specific skillset, yes? Rampage vs World Cup etc.

I didn't make the comment in the first place though - you miss the bit where I asked who said anything about hard work.
  • 1 0
 @sanchofula: One thing that is tough is the constant training, riding, and pressure to preform. When I was racing and training full time I was always exhausted. And, if riding is your only source of income it's tough to get support when you have an injury. If its in off season then you can't train, if its race season ya can't race.
  • 2 0
 I thought that the range of 100k to 250k was too broad too.
  • 1 0
 @scary1: what are you trying to say--that children don't deserve fair wages? Spend another USD 25¢ and you'll win this election. Bwaha
  • 7 0
 @sanchofula: in a second. In fact I’d go as low as 35k. So any of you companies out there that are interested let me know. I have no social media and am not the best looking dude.
  • 2 4
 @justanotherusername: MY bad,
Pretty hard for any of us to say that one person (we dont know) is working harder than another person (we dont know.)
Blows my mind some of you guys have so much insight into other peoples worlds to be able to make assumptions like that. Not sure why you arent using your crystal ball to give out lottery numbers, then again, maybe you are, maybe I'm just not on that list....
  • 8 1
 @Mugen: Good point made. The diffeence is that in the US our taxes do not go to things like heath care and college or skilled labor education or other social programs that make it much easier to live off of less money.
  • 1 0
 @sanchofula: I wouldn't.
  • 2 0
 @sanchofula: Nope, I support a family of 5. If I were single with no children, then yes.
  • 9 4
 @keithbellpa: yeah but at least your taxes go to a huge military with tons of guns, bombs, ships and aircraft that make it easier to... Oh wait. That helps NOBODY.
  • 3 1
 @sanchofula: I think a lot of people would including myself. It's not a job if you enjoy doing it.
  • 2 0
 @sanchofula: Considering I currently make less than half that number before expenses, absolutely Big Grin
  • 14 0
 50k a year for somebody 20-30 who spends half the year on all expenses paid trips and gets free bikes, equipment and apparel probably isn't hard to live on
  • 6 0
 @kokofosho: hard work ≠ value created. I feel like that quote is often misrepresented as pointing out something unfortunate or even sinister, when in reality it's just stating an economic truth.
  • 4 0
 @Theysayivebeentheone: a childless tax free 50k > 100k with 2 kids, mortgage, car payment etc
  • 1 0
 @sanchofula: are you magically making me competitive at world cup level? I'd still probably do it for a year just to be part of the scene!
  • 2 1
 50k to Risk your health, body , and the stress you go thru a race to not lose your job!!!!
  • 2 2
 @sanchofula: you can't just go and race you need to be good at it thi is not football where the is like 16 people an the pitch that can't really score in a Mach!! A gool
  • 31 2
 50k per year in Pyreneas mountains with modest needs and a balanced life is more than OK.
north Merica is overpriced (and overrated) anyways.
Obese countries have obese needs.
  • 5 1
 @onawalk: it is pretty obvious that by being more valuable to the one paying you, you command more money. You can work as hard as you want doing something that no one with the money to pay for that thing cares about and you will never get rich.
Value delivered to an employer comes in many forms. It’s not just about training hard and winning races.
  • 2 0
 It really depends where you live. Many software engineer do not earn much more than 50K€ that in south / eastern europe for example and they live fairly comfortably. There are a lot of people in same countries with much lower paying jobs below 20K€/y

I think to be completely thorough we would need a graph that index income with cost of living / GDP in the country of residence of the rider.
  • 3 1
 @snl1200: 50K after expenses is still good money. Whilst away they will be on expenses for large part of the year
  • 1 0
 @Mugen: Yep, healthcare is cheaper in Europe. There is no need for separate insurances. Rents and apartments are also cheaper, as is childcare.
  • 12 3
 USD 50k is more than half of Americans earn and more than 98.2% of people worldwide. To call that borderline poverty seems pretty out of touch.

www.givingwhatwecan.org/how-rich-am-i?income=50000&countryCode=USA&numAdults=1&numChildren=0
  • 2 0
 @Mugen: Thank you, I didn't know this. For additional perspective, fast food workers in California now make $20 per hour, equivalent to around 40k per year. My takeaway from this article is that most professional racers are making less than the barista who made my coffee this morning.
  • 1 0
 @ccrida-pnw: I wield the magic wand, POOF!, you are a world cup racer ... but I can't afford to pay you much, cool?
  • 1 0
 @gforcedh: It's hypothetical, soooo you gotta use your imaginations Smile
  • 3 0
 @codypup: Yeah for example I have a bachelor's degree in business economics/ IT management and having used that for more specialist type roles instead of just wanting to make a shitload of money doing whatever pays the most, I've at best made a little less than 40 000 € (just over $40 000) a year.. That's definitely at the low end for that type of jobs here too and wages are lagging behind compared to the cost of living, but still absolutely more than OK for a single person to live comfortably enough.
  • 2 0
 @seb-stott: you're right. regardless, this data is useless then without normalization according to local cost of living of the respondent.
  • 1 0
 @smith888: Sure,
Did I contradict that idea somehow?
  • 1 0
 @chrismac70: I think what the comments are showing is that cost of living/wage looks different depending on a lot of different factors. Depending on where someone is located, what their needs are, where they are in their career etc these figures can mean lots of different things.
  • 1 0
 @snl1200: Agreed. In California, 40k = roomates, just like when you were in school. Or living with your parents, which is at the highest rate in many many years.
  • 2 0
 @seb-stott: I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’ve got no data to back that up. I’m just saying that depending on what part of the world (in my case the US) you live in 50k doesn’t go very far. So while it may not be poverty by the numbers, it’s not exactly a great living. Depending on personal situation obviously.
  • 1 0
 @Mugen: agreed the salary should be compared to price level of where they reside (i.e. in real terms)
  • 1 0
 @warmerdamj: totally agree. Have you seen the US bombs that they’re using abroad? They create 500 new terrorists every time they drop them.
  • 1 2
 @font style="vertical-align: inherit;">font style="vertical-align: inherit;">sanchofula/font>/font>: moi je dit non et je peu t'assuré que j'ai toucher ce "métier" de très très près . Mais le risque , les déplacementset le stress mon fais dire que pour 50 K ca n'en vos pas la peine
  • 1 0
 @prouttee: reading your "french" and your "deep thoughts" make my eyes bleed.
  • 2 0
 @danstonQ: I like the sounds of that..I'm getting pretty tired of the constant ever increasing costs and taxes to live here in Canada.. The wealth gap is widening disproportionately so and it is getting harder and harder ..This coming from a 6 figure wage earner.. Also , I find I have less and less free time to do the things I enjoy because u need to be on that grind...
  • 1 0
 @bohns: if you are considering coming to France/Europe to reduce your taxes, I have some very bad news for you!
  • 1 0
 @Mugen: There appears to be a ballpark 5% difference in tax rate between Canada and France.....that feels signifigant

www.uktaxcalculators.co.uk/world/tax/compare/france/against/canada
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: it’s not just about income tax. It’s about all the indirect taxes (or which I’m sure the UK is king) and the cost of living. They have PPP but it only tells half the story on cost of living too.
On that subject, I don’t think any of the “developed” economies offer good value for money but some are definitely better than others.
  • 1 0
 @bohns: I am the same way. As a medical provider I can’t even afford the healthcare costs in US!
  • 1 1
 @smith888: I was just providing some quick insight.
Canada is a fairly high taxed nation, obviously with all its own different taxes.
You wanna buy a used car, gotta pay tax on that. You wanna sell your house and make some money, gotta pay tax on that, then pay tax on it again when you buy another house.

Theres no winning when it comes to playing the game of "how bad we have it", its silly.
Theres pros and cons to everything in this life
  • 75 3
 Stay in school kids.
  • 6 0
 What kids will actually take from this survey: SOMEONE IS MAKING OVER $500,000 riding their bike!
  • 64 0
 We’re hiring a plumber/hvac tech if any pro riders wanna quit their day job make more money.
  • 17 0
 Bro I just paid a plumber 150$ cause I tried to install a new garbage disposal myself, didn’t know there was some plug inside the thing that needed to be removed. The dude had a brand new tundra. Maybe I should be a plumber.
  • 7 0
 @blueH2Oj: greyH2Oj
  • 48 0
 @blueH2Oj: from that anecdote, no, you should not be a plumber.
  • 2 1
 @blueH2Oj: I made the same mistake, so I punched that thing out with it installed.
  • 2 0
 @blueH2Oj: rookie blunder!
  • 6 0
 A plumbers skillset if more common than a professional bike riders, but that plumbers skillset is vastly more useful than a professional cyclists in the real world.. So it makes sense that a good plumber/hvac technician should make more money than someone who rides a bike for a living.. One of them provides a useful skill to society.
  • 3 0
 @swan3609: NFL players make millions and their entire existence is to entertain and make their team owners money. They aren’t contributing to society.
  • 2 1
 @dirtmakesmehappy: Very true but what's your point. NFL players have a much higher value to their employer
  • 4 1
 @chrismac70: my point is that pro sports is not a good way to assess value to average society.
  • 3 1
 @dirtmakesmehappy: they are contributing to society by entertaining society. When you have 100 million people who enjoy watching what you do best, then you can get paid millions to do it.
  • 4 0
 @11six: I enjoy pro sports at any level, they earned their spot, but I also don’t view their contribution to society on the same level as other professions.
  • 2 0
 @blueH2Oj: home EV charger installer. My electrician stopped doing anything else.
  • 2 0
 @somebody-else: I don’t doubt that. The guy who installed ours wasn’t cheap.
  • 1 0
 @blueH2Oj: I think South Park covered that in their Panderverse episode with the Handyman.
  • 3 0
 @blueH2Oj: yep..Don't underestimate trades..I'm a heavy duty diesel tech myself ..Earning well over 100 now.. People don't want to do these jobs anymore ..Wages will only go up because of this.
  • 1 1
 @dirtmakesmehappy: yeah and I think professional athletes are a complete waste of money.. But apparently they are "worth" that much as advertisements.. I hate the value placed on their "skills". But apparently our society's attention is worth those millions.. I hate it.
  • 1 0
 @swan3609: I spend way more money on tickets to sporting events than I do on plumbers. I also engage more on sports news than I do on plumbing news on the internet. For example, we aren't having a conversation on a plumbing websites comment section.
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: Take a Google on Plumbing Forums..Literally trumps the PB comment section's..haha ..But I know what u mean..
  • 1 0
 @bohns: I dont remember 20+ editions of "plumbing 2kxx" being released on any video game consoles. I've never seen videos of plumbers on TV at a bar. I cant recall the last time I overheard 2 people debating who the GOAT plumber is.

I'm not hating on plumbers in the slightest, just being real about the situation. I've spent more on bikes alone than the plumbing in my own house.
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: Thomas Crapper is the GOAT plumber. Someone mentioned plumbing comments on YouTube and they were correct. Some fun Saturday morning reading on the “crapper”
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: weren’t the Mario brothers plumbers? How many video games are they in? Movies? Shows?
  • 1 0
 @blueH2Oj: when did they start plumbing in games?
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: they are in plumbers and pipes are involved. I’m not sure what plumbing entails but there are a lot of plumbers in video games.
  • 2 0
 @blueH2Oj: ok, you win the argument, Mario and Luigi are more culturally enriching and valuable to society than actual plumbers.
  • 3 0
 @RonSauce: I don't see MTB on vid consoles or on tvs at bars ..Nor so I hear mtbers argue who the goat is..It is a niche sport with a relatively small following in comparison to mainstream sports or even skateboarding/snowboarding for that matter. Mtb circles that I've been involved in rarely talk about pro mtbers..They just ride..
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: I install 20-50k septic systems regually many times on secondary recreational lots that are not primary Residencial lots.. So pretty easy to say that lots of people spend many times more more money on plumbers and turd herders than they will ever spend on tickets to watch sporting events..

We are talking recreational things versus infrastructure. But my point is that a plumber has much more real world value with their skill set. Athletes just have a value because we as society are willing to pay so much for "entertainment". Which I think is dumb, but it is what it is.
  • 1 0
 @bohns: im not talking about mtb, im say professional sports vs trades. Im also not actually narrowing down to just plumbers, its just an easy example.

And there are networks like chive TV that do show pro mtb, ski, skate and snowboarding videos at bars on the regular. The point im making is the social engagement involved with sports as a whole is pretty universal. Also, there is Decenders on consoles which is a freeride mtb game, there are also plenty of skate and snowboarding games too. Pipe Dream is the only plumbing came i can think of and that was 1989.
  • 3 1
 @RonSauce: if the NHL disappeared next season it would not threaten the infrastructure of North America. A continental plumbers strike would literally back up shit into the streets from Vancouver to Tampa.
  • 1 1
 @dirtmakesmehappy: you are really missing the point. Stop and think about how much money, time and engagement you have spent on sporting goods, then do that same equation for plumbers. Think about how many athletes names you know, and what teams they play for or who sponsors them. Now think about all of the plumbers names you know and the companies they work for.

Once again, im not saying plumbers (or tradesmen) are useless, just saying athletes have a much higher roi and to many people provide much needed entertainment.
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: you’re conflating worth with public name recognition and ROI to an owner of a team.

Also, I have a septic system and an old house—I pay my plumber quite a bit of money along with other tradesmen. If Loic starts doing work on pre-80s systems then he can get my money—not buying a Specialized until he specializes in hardline soldering.
  • 2 2
 @dirtmakesmehappy: and yet you are here engaging on a sport related forum. Every post you make to prove me wrong just drives up the value of athletes, maybe only by an immeasurable fraction, but it does. You aren't helping sell ad space on plumbing.
  • 4 0
 @RonSauce: lol , sorry but nothing in the pb comments section drives up athlete value in anyway whatsoever...
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: my comments and contributions to this forum do absolutely nothing to prop up the value of pro bike riders. They are not compensated for my comment on a OneUp dropper or even how little they are paid, as showcased in this article. You can die on this hill, but I won’t bring you flowers.
  • 47 2
 Percentage of Responses (%) is so misleading and makes the data nearly impossible to actually understand. All of this should have been more accurate with actual response numbers, not percentages.
  • 17 0
 But the colors and the graphs and the science!
  • 5 0
 The relative size of the bars within each discipline is the same regardless
  • 40 8
 How is it possible you didn't break the income distribution down by gender? The male/female pay gap is one of the big hot button issues year after year, so I hope it wasn't addressed in this analysis because it's getting it's own standalone article in the near future using this same data.
  • 20 10
 Male / Female pay gap is almost irrelevant in this kind of sport - its only relevant when competing for your country e.g. when the country is paying you to compete in the football world cup or any other world sporting event, here men and women should be paid equally.

When you represent yourself or your private team though any pay is dictated by the business that the sportsperson brings to the sponsor and in most cases female sport doesn't put anywhere near as many bums on seats / sell anywhere near as much product as men's sport does, especially in a male dominated sport.

Hopefully the future closes the gap and things progress, we should all try and pave the way for this to happen, but for now it is what it is, though I imagine a small handful of the fast women out there do pretty well in terms of pay, people like Tahnee and Vali, but Tahnee has a great social media presence too.
  • 7 15
flag browner (Apr 2, 2024 at 14:47) (Below Threshold)
 No because waaaah waaaaah something pinkbike comment oh female racer super proud of you hen don't want data waaaah?
  • 7 1
 Also missed a "Slopestyle" category. In light of recent events, that might have been quite enlightening.
  • 45 5
 Female mountain bikers aren't paid less than male mountain bikers. Women's mountain biking is paid less than Men's mountain biking. People commonly commit the fallacy of equating a categorical market truth with a personal attack. Nobody values Susie less than Tom. They value the impact of Susie's marketing and the audience she speaks to less than Tom's. These are things that are valued, NOT people. People are valued the same.

It's not personal; it's business. And if you would like it to be different, then start a brand and sponsor women only or sponsor women more than men. This is how the free market works.

If you'd suggest that some company should be a visionary and beat the market to it, then you may just be right... it may pay off for them. But expecting the market as a whole to shift on command because "fairness" is a little obtuse.

Life will be a lot easier for you if you make an effort to not be so offended over everything.

Standard disclaimer: women doing the same job with the same results of course deserve to be paid both fairly and equally to men in the same job with the same results. And vice versa. Of course.
  • 1 1
 I came here to say this. Also, the responses to this comment completely miss the point. You guys are literally getting data that's been manipulated. Perhaps if we were to see Male and Female categories, you'd see that the men's has a smaller range and higher average than is being reported now. Maybe not. We can't know because PB decided to leave that information out. The fact that dude bros took this as insult to spout off about marketing differences is insane.
  • 1 0
 @emwooldridge: I’m not sure what you mean by the post, you say we are missing the point but don’t explain the point being missed - genuinely, care to elaborate?

Are you suggesting some form of unfairness in terms of female v male pay for professional cyclists from their sponsors?

What’s a ‘dude bros’?
  • 3 2
 @justanotherusername: The point of the original comment was, "How is it possible you didn't break the income distribution down by gender?" And it's been answered by the follow-up article that PB posted today. The point was where is the data for the women? And it should matter to everyone because lumping them together can skew the data, which everyone is using to form an opinion, clearly.

Most of the comments devolved into arguing about the pay of male riders or arguing that women don't deserve to be paid as much men because "marketing." But how can any of you be arguing these things when the data as presented doesn't show you what men are making specifically or women.

Dictionary.com can help you with that.
  • 1 1
 @emwooldridge: Ah got you now, completely agree and didn’t realise the point you were making or that PB followed up,

I don’t think anyone is talking about ‘marketing’ as such by the way and I still don’t know what a ‘bros’ is but at least mixed in with the attempt at a condescending and stereotypical nonsense comment you helped me to understand the legitimate point you had.

And no athlete deserves to be paid as much as any other athlete unless they provide, in some way or another a comparative benefit to the business paying them, man or woman is irrelevant, why does one male get paid more than another - the same reason a male athlete gets paid more than a female athlete.
  • 2 2
 @justanotherusername: I'm going to quote the comments directly above mine, including yours, where they were making this about marketing/revenue.

"Nobody values Susie less than Tom. They value the impact of Susie's marketing and the audience she speaks to less than Tom's."

"When you represent yourself or your private team though any pay is dictated by the business that the sportsperson brings to the sponsor and in most cases female sport doesn't put anywhere near as many bums on seats / sell anywhere near as much product as men's sport does, especially in a male dominated sport."

And if you go to the new article, you'll see plenty of it. To be clear, no one knows the actual impact a sponsored rider has on the sponsor's revenue. I'm fairly sure even the brands don't accurately measure this. What does one male win bring in? What about one social media post? So, how would you know that a woman's win (or take Vali, who won more than twice this season, unlike any man) didn't generate the same revenue? How does a brand correlate salary to revenue? Where's the ratio posted? If these brands are basing salary on potential revenue, there must be a calculation for it. If Vali makes 100k (she said that on a podcast) and an elite male rider makes 200k, he must bring in twice the revenue right? Where is that shown? How many more bikes do they expect to sell when a brand brings in a better rider? How much does a venue lose in ticket sales when a top male rider is injured and doesn't plan to race? Let me know because to be stating the opinion you have, you must know.

It's always really telling when men make several assumptions in favor of devaluing women with little evidence in support.
  • 1 2
 @emwooldridge: Ok - somebody else directly mentioned marketing so fair point, it wasn't myself.

As I will say again, lets simplify this by removing gender - why does one male athlete get paid more than another even if they have similar performance? - Its all about company revenue, nothing else, not a patriarchal conspiracy.

As you discuss, there are many factors at play, results, social media reach etc but it all adds up to the potential value that athlete brings to the company - I assume with larger brands they do attempt to quantify this and this calculation is something we should have absolutely zero expectation to see as consumers.

What do I know as actual fact? - well more men ride mountainbikes, so more men buy mountainbikes, so men are better athletes to use to sell mountainbikes to other men, so male athletes get paid more than female athletes.

Its called reality, not some bullshit made-up 'gender pay gap unfairness' - this is sport and its unlike most other types of employment out there, its not the same as a male and female engineer of the doing the same job but getting paid a different amount.

Female mountainbikers likely get paid way more than they did a few years ago due to the fact more women are getting involved which is brilliant, and I imagine when a company believes a female athlete will sell as many bikes as a male athlete could the money will be waiting - I doubt its too far away realistically.
  • 3 2
 @emwooldridge: I suspect that those who control budgets are not trying to accurately guess what the exact output of a male sponsored rider is over a female sponsored rider and more-so looking at participation data and concluding that since more men buy high end bikes than women, they need to tailor their efforts in that direction.

To be clear, they may in fact be wrong... women might actually sell bikes to men better than men sell bikes to men. But marketers are often times not that sophisticated in their understanding of consumer psychology (especially in niche markets like this where there is under-developed data) Also to be clear, I think men sell bikes to men better, but that's just an opinion that I personally hold. I could also be wrong.

I think the whole point that's worth making is that this isn't a personal attack on women. At worst, it's a miscalculation in total impact. At best, it's an accurate asseessment that the economics don't support the request.

And I think JustAnother makes a fair point. Why should Woman X make more than Woman Z? The fact that woman X is more valuable has nothing to do with the amount of woman she is. It's all impact. 1s and 0s. Data. There are no feelings here. As they say....don't hate the player; hate the game.
  • 2 3
 90% of clothing and bikes in end of season clearance sales are women’s ones. I wonder why that is. A guess would be that no one buys it, because contrary to the fantasy promoted by the media there aren’t actually very many female mountain bikers. It’s a tiny fraction of an already tiny market. No one cares, and if no one cares you don’t get paid.
  • 2 1
 @smith888: I cant remember the exact figure but users of PB and Vital are over 95% male.
  • 3 2
 @justanotherusername: You can make this about whatever you want, but you didn't answer any of my questions. Never mentioned patriarchal conspiracy or gender pay gap unfairness. As I've said, everyone who commented in the beginning was forming opinions without the full data and we're all still forming opinions without the full data because no one actually knows the direct revenue a rider brings in vs another - you can't give me anything, a ratio, an Instagram follower count, number of wins, etc. All I'm pointing out is that you're over here making a ton of assumptions without a lot of support. You're free to die on that hill.

I'd recommend you check out the newer post where a guy made a really thoughtful comment that may help give you some perspective. Women are an untapped market.
  • 4 2
 @smith888: ...has it ever crossed your mind that clothing designed mostly by men might not be popular with women? And that perhaps, we might differ from men as consumers? Brands still consistently struggle to design pants that fit women, why would I reward them by spending $150 on them? Luckily, that's allowed brands like Wild Rye and SHREDLY to come into the market and they're doing just fine supplying women with MTB clothing.
  • 2 3
 @emwooldridge: Women MTB is very much an untapped market, but a much smaller market than the mens MTB market, like 95% smaller.

I will say again, it's upto the sponsor to define the value an athlete brings to the company, not the public and this is the case male v male or male v female or female v female, it always has and always will be.

How the company defines the athletes worth is absolutely nothing to do with anyone except the company and the athlete in question, there never has, never will and never should be a drive for any form of artificial equality in terms of athlete / sponsorship pay, be that for the same or different gender of athlete.

As for the clothes bullshit - diving back into the old, tired stereotypes again? Are you assuming companies producing clothes for women are all designed by some kind of mens club in a mens only club room who aren't capable of consulting women or shock! including women in the design process, maybe even having a women designer? Surreely a woman wouldn't be capable of designing bad clothing for other women?

Lots of mens clothes dont fit me in the slightest, because I am not the 'typical build', just because riding clothes dont fit you its not just because of the evil patriarchy - Do you question every aspect of life in this way? Must be exhausting, grrrrrr men!
  • 1 0
 Oops, never mind, someone else already said it.
  • 2 0
 One of my team was moaning to me on Thursday about how she took her car to Kwik-Fit for tyres and they quoted her £160 for two “because I’m a woman”. She stated 3-4 times the same reason.
I asked her if she thinks they would try to take down the trousers of a man who they thought didn’t know anything about cars. An old grandpa or a posh-sounding man in a suit driving a Range Rover.
Yes, she answered.
They tried to fleece her but it wasn’t because she’s a woman, it was because according to their assessment she didn’t know anything about cars, and they were right. They would do the same to a person of any age or gender. It’s not part of a conspiracy against women, or heaven forbid “misogyny”.
This is a tired and frankly boring argument that doesn’t hold water.

Most women don’t ride bikes. The ones that do aren’t as good at it as men in general. The market is tiny and the women’s slice of the market is a tiny bit of that. Pretending otherwise doesn’t change the facts.
  • 2 2
 @smith888: to be fair the garage situation sounds like misogyny to me as they are perceiving she knows less about cars because she is a women - the other examples don’t excuse that.

It’s like saying there’s no racism because several different races get treated differently, not just one.
  • 2 1
 @justanotherusername: misogyny is hatred of women isn’t it?
It might be considered sexist but I can’t see any evidence of misogyny. And to be honest, she doesn’t know anything about cars so they were right!
If she had heard them saying they were going to do x because she’s a woman I might believe it. That didn’t happen. It’s just her assessment of what happened based on nothing. That’s not misogyny.
  • 2 0
 @smith888: you used the term misogyny here - and yes it stands for those things and also prejudice / discrimination against women.

Garages taking advantage of women isn’t anything new and they don’t need to take advantage of a person because their knowledge of cars is low, it’s a choice and they do this to women as they perceive their knowledge of cars will be low as they are women - prejudice, discrimination, misogyny, whatever you want to call it.

It was your example, and it was a bloody terrible one.
  • 29 1
 Can we play "guess the influencer" for the person who is earning $250-500k, has 250,000+ followers, and is outside of the top 40 world rankings?

Jk. Cool data set. Seems like people are getting paid better than last year so I guess this information is helping athletes in contract negotiations?
  • 15 5
 It could just be Gwin? 2023 ranking is nonexistent with the injury, he's somewhere in the 100s.
  • 11 2
 Aaron Gwin
  • 10 2
 @sagemtbs: @pisgahgnar:

Gwin is earning more than $500k/yr.
  • 3 0
 Gwin was also my first thought. He's got the assets that seem to confirm, but I think "income from mountain biking" likely includes royalties from products, Windrock (provided it makes money), salary, etc
  • 1 0
 @mrbrighteyes: You think he still is?
  • 5 0
 @mrbrighteyes: who the feck is paying him more than $500k a year in 2024? Crestline?
  • 12 3
 All y'all think it is a dude? Perhaps you are all crazy, or maybe a little bit batty.
  • 1 0
 I was thinking Minaar until I saw the rankings lol. I'm sure he's not too far behind...
  • 1 0
 Brendog is the highest paid rider isn’t he? He makes bank off Deathgrips. Literally everyone has at least one set. Heck I’ve got about six. Even my kids’ bikes have them.
  • 27 0
 Depends where you’re from too. 50-100K for a uk rider is entirely different to 50-100K for a us based rider
  • 6 13
flag sagemtbs FL (Apr 2, 2024 at 11:40) (Below Threshold)
 they converted it all to USD
  • 19 0
 @sagemtbs: yes, but it doesnt convert the living cost, housing market, healthcare, etc... I Moved from Europe to Canada 10 years ago. Up here I need around 100000 CAD to get about the same life standard as what 60000CAD would give me up there. Happy to take the hit though, BC is totally worth it!
  • 2 0
 This is what some of us commented already under the post about the PB riders survey. When we were asked what we deemed a reasonable pay for pro riders, I'm pretty sure everyone replied based on what they know of cost of living for themselves. Even if the amount asked was in USD, of course I replied from Finnish point of view. Even if my responses would be "pretty OK for any kind of job" here (and the same or more I've ever made with a university degree), someone living in the US would find the numbers ridiculously small. I understand privacy wise separating the responses by area wouldn't probably have worked for the rider survey, differences in the replies at least from us fans would be great to see to keep the numbers more clear.
  • 5 0
 @EggsandApps: Well Col varies incredibly acros the US. You can buy a house for 100k near Windrock but pay 10 times that in Seattle easily.
  • 5 1
 Quite, £40K (~50kUSD) is well above the median salary in the UK. £80k (100k USD) would put you into the top 10% of British earners.

I don't think a lot of people in the UK realise how low salaries are in comparison to elsewhere.
  • 1 0
 @EggsandApps: Even in BC, that 100k/yr buys a different living standard depending if you live in Vancouver or some little mountain town. Although I have to say, even in many small BC towns the housing price has skyrocketed.
  • 3 0
 @korev: the only people who know are the people who have lived elsewhere and they are a tiny minority. Most people living in the UK who have never lived and worked anywhere else never question what a shitty deal they’re getting.
  • 34 10
 Half of you don’t know what you’re talking about.

I’m 5’ 7” and I ride a medium Chilcotin 167. The sizing feels fine as I’m sure a medium or small here would feel fine

Weighed 37lbs with coil shock, 200mm rotors, DD tires, Cushcore in the rear.

Weighed 33 lbs without all of that.

Less than a lot of your boujie carbon bikes
  • 20 2
 How does that affect rider salary?
  • 12 1
 Did you somehow comment on the wrong post, or did it get caught in some sort of PB glitch?
  • 5 0
 Yes, but no matter how light it's going to ride like shit without a shock or tires
  • 23 0
 @onawalk: Bro I’m so confused haha. Just finished reading the Chilcotin article. I have no clue how this ended up here
  • 40 0
 @TheGrey724: The first sentence works in any comments section!
  • 3 0
 @PAULO77: Youre prolly right
  • 4 0
 @TheGrey724: Thats fair,
I did as well, weird
Glitch in the matrix I guess!
  • 2 0
 @TusconDon: Does it matter? This is good content. Upvoted OP.
  • 9 1
 Funny how “Half of you don’t know what you’re talking about” is a relevant comment on any PB article…
  • 24 0
 I ride hard to earn my health and I smoke old ladies on my local bike paths (eat dust grandma) It ain’t much but it’s honest work
  • 3 0
 Is this a rap song?
  • 2 0
 @NickMosca: hahah i got some more for ya- Shrink shrink blinkety blink gonna make me think go to my sink, and vomit. earth is my Plawnet (if you haven’t seen Malibus most wanted in a while this is your reminder)
  • 13 2
 I'm curious (maybe I missed it) was product included in "salary"
like if you received 2 bikes from your sponsor is the cost of those included in this survey?
Im willing to bet the CRA would consider those items as part of total compensation, and would tax accordingly if they could.
What about racers that have food, travel, accommodation paid for, vs those that dont?
What about training, coaches, medical, therapists, managers, etc are any of those benefits accounted for in total compensation?
  • 11 1
 This needs to be brought up. $50k plus two $10k bikes plus vacations seems like a good gig.
  • 4 4
 @BrianColes: no, it really doesn’t. If my job requires a laptop, my company provides a laptop, and it’s not taxed as additional compensation. Same thing if I have to travel for work - I get a company car and my flights and rooms paid for, that’s not salary nor a benefit, it’s just the materials and tools to do my job.
  • 4 0
 @tommyrod74: yeah... but you don't get to sell your laptops at the end... they go back to the company. Not the same with this industry. And I bet many pros get more than 2 bikes - plus all the backup components... Great when you can find one of their backup bikes on pinkbike. (and $10k for a pros bike? that's low).
  • 1 0
 @trillot: It's definitely not a "vacation" - workers should be paid their worth. But there is a grey area in compensation packages. True, some pros can resell their bikes vs. returning a laptop to the company. A bike and travel is required to do the job (i.e. race), but you might consider all the sway (apparel, clothing, etc.) as additional compensation.
It's getting into the conversation what does a rider get "paid" vs. what is the total costs for team to support a rider. This is why you saw several teams shutdown recently.
  • 1 0
 Some of this will considered a taxable benefit in Canada. A Pro-deal or even the cost of freight on “training bikes” is better than free for tax reasons. The CRA is coming after influencers now for promotional trips as taxable benefit. I would think the 30k threshold as well will apply.
  • 10 0
 I'm surprised at the number of racers indicating that their income is increasing for 2024. Especially for enduro. Given the state of the industry, I would've expected more staying the same or even slight reductions (especially in the case of enduro).
  • 4 0
 The number can slightly increase but still be worth equal or less due to inflation. Depends on region of course.
  • 4 0
 When you look at that, and look at the amount of full-time employees who have been laid off in the bike industry, the mid to high-end riders seem to be doing okay all things considered.
  • 1 0
 Yeah I'd be curious to see how many riders who had a contract last year are privateers this year.
  • 12 1
 I bet Nino Schurter didn't answer, as many sites estimate he makes nearly 1 million dollars annually.
  • 5 0
 $1M > $500k
  • 3 0
 I'd be curious to know how many people qualify as "pro" in each category, and the number of people who actually responded in each category.
  • 11 3
 Likely unpopular opinion here, but the pay is pretty damn for a non mainstream hobby 'job' and the market really does seem to pay people their worth...top 5/10 and big social following will get you paid...not there...good luck, but how is that any different from any other job?
  • 14 0
 You just said “is pretty damn ___” and forgot the most important word of your whole paragraph lol
  • 7 0
 @shandtke: choose your own adventure!
  • 2 0
 @shandtke: lol see that. Pretty damn good IMO
  • 9 0
 I have a guaranteed salary in every discipline of $0 USD, I have another job to support these earnings and I think that's fair. My riding income in 2024 should be similar to my riding income from 2023.
  • 12 6
 Anyone who has spent any time around professional sports (and isn’t a whiny, self absorbed, idiot) understands that professional sports are primarily an advertising medium and the real money is in endorsements. To get that money an athlete needs to create a measurable audience, put together a prospectus, and demonstrate to potential sponsors what value they (the athlete) has to offer. Then they need to aggressively pursue those endorsements and protect them once acquired. Crying that the promoter (who created the venue in which you can ply your trade and promote your sponsors) needs to give you more money is pathetic and lazy. Furthermore, comparing a professional athlete to a more mainstream occupation is silly to the point of ignorant. If a random YouTuber can out earn you by doing what your sponsors are paying you to do your lack of income is your own damn fault.
Personally I’d support Redbull pulling the sponsorship and/or uninviting any athlete as ungrateful as the crank works crybabies.
  • 6 1
 It's worth considering that even if it's all in US dollars, different riders will pay different amounts of taxes depending on where they live. At the same time, some European riders will have 100% of health, their kids education (including college), retirement and many other services covered by the taxes they pay.
  • 4 0
 I think a big portion of total compensation really relies on the rider’s ability to market themselves and negotiate. Being on the podium regularly would help a lot of course.

I say that because if someone is making $500k+, that tells me there’s potential to make great money. Let’s assume that’s #1 on the podium all the time. #2 clearly has the close potential to make a similar amount of money, but if that isn’t happening, I can only assume a large portion of the reason for not making the same (or close to the same) amount is because of personal ability to negotiate.

Yes, luck is involved. Being in the right place at the right time.

Also, perhaps the #1 earner has access to more resources through corporate sponsors, like contract negotiation advisors, marketing/pr advisors, etc.

Putting yourself in the right conversations, in the right rooms, knowing the right people, and knowing how to manage relationships in a mutually-advantageous manner goes a lot further than actual results… in all areas of life. If you don’t already know this, you need to learn.
  • 5 0
 What about Slopestylers/Freeriders ?... No longer mtb athletes after breaking world views ?... Plus in one of your last surveys they were the ones who earned the most...

Also would be nice to compare racers VS youtubers...
  • 29 0
 We did send out surveys to Slopestyle/Freeride athletes but we received no responses from any of them.
  • 8 0
 @edspratt: you would think after the Crankworx blow up, if the free riders were not getting paid as much as other MTB athletes, you would think you would want this highlighted. I'd be interested to know the difference between freeride events and other racing events in regard to how riders are paid. I would have thought that racers don't get paid by the event organisers, income comes from sponsors and/or the race teams.
  • 7 0
 @edspratt: sounds like a strategic group consensus... they are clever.
  • 5 2
 50k-100k is pretty rough considering the cost of being a pro rider. Trainer, diet, PT, random travel cost, increase medical cost, and probably a whole bunch of other crap. Honestly being a pro rider in North America has to cost at least 25-40K once you invest in yourself they way you need to.
  • 2 0
 Factory team riders aren’t paying for any of that stuff.
  • 1 0
 @shandtke: I wouldn't be so sure, there are a lot of cost associated with being a pro athlete in any sport. You got to think, you're basically running a businesses where you are the product. Always lots of cost associated with running any kind of business.
  • 3 0
 I'll be curious to see the regular rider results, especially if there was a question about type of bike (can't remember at this point). It makes me think that the Enduro riders do well because they are riding bikes that sell well and make videos on bikes that sell well as I think that's the case with XC as well. Also, local/regional XC and Enduro races seem to be well attended but not sure about local DH races. Most brands make one DH bike and I would imagine the sales of DH bikes are significantly less than that of the All-Mountain/Enduro range or XC.
  • 4 0
 Missed a question:
How many in the bike industry (doing non matter what) are with a partner that has a real job with a respectable income?
That’s the real sponsorship question to make this lifestyle possible.
  • 4 0
 “Do you have a trust fund and don’t rely on your MTB income to survive?”
  • 6 1
 Do they actually say anywhere how many riders the actually surveyed? 10, 20, 100?
  • 17 0
 We received 108 responses to the pro rider survey.
  • 8 0
 @edspratt: That should be very clear off the top of the post/article. Actual respondents matters.
  • 4 7
 @btjenki: None of it matters, for heavens sake.
Its an entertainment article, about how much young people earn from racing bicycles in the woods. How the hell does that matter to you?
Doughnut
  • 9 1
 Since we were told that only one person was earning $500+ and then we see they make up 0.9%, we should know off the top of our head that it's around 110 riders. Or we can calculate a minimum of 106 and a maximum of 117.
  • 2 4
 @iamamodel: get frigged with your basic understanding of math, and ability to extrapolate from incomplete data...
  • 1 0
 @edspratt: Not many between all the categories. For reference, how many people could be qualified (registered) as pro, in each category?
  • 1 0
 0,9% = 1 rider earning more than 500k$… I’ll let you do the calculation to find the number of rider surveyed
  • 3 1
 @edspratt: How many did you send? Can we have the n numbers to make sense of these numbers
  • 3 0
 @edspratt: I'd strongly suggest editing the article to include the sample size.
  • 1 0
 @edspratt: how many were asked?
  • 6 0
 What about the pros that make negative?
  • 27 0
 they didnt survey slopestyle riders
  • 1 0
 @farkinoath: that’s good!
  • 2 0
 Then you are not a pro
  • 5 0
 Mode and Median are used as pieces of data to describe a data set.... yet somehow a range was provided for both.
  • 3 0
 I believe it's because the questions were asked in form of given ranges, not asking the riders to give exact numbers themselves. I.e. "do you make A) 0-5000, B) 5000-10000 or C) 10000-20000 USD per year". Which isn't to say it's a bit confusing way of presenting the answers.
  • 2 0
 It means the riders were given salary ranges to tick, and did not provide their actual salary to the nearest dollar.
  • 5 0
 Also I don't think you can really call it a median or a mode if the histogram bins are not of fixed width.
  • 1 0
 @donimo: I think you're right... and this makes it somehow worse.
  • 2 0
 With the recent rider strike at Crankworx maybe there needs to be a Freeride category.
Also, the question of where your money comes from? A percentage for sponsor, teams or event promotors.
Some riders would have individual sponsors, some would be race team riders and some like free riders would get paid by the event promotors..
  • 2 0
 There is an issue with the data in that ~20% of riders answered $0-5K. Going to assume that most are privateers? But privateers and factory racers are completely different populations if you're trying to analyze an industry. The responses should be segmented by paid vs. unpaid and run again.
And the other lower salary segments seem too low. Might need to add a question on total compensation because other industry surveys would count bikes, gear, apparel, etc. under a compensation package.
  • 1 2
 I would argue that if your making less than 5k a year then you are not a professional racer, Professional by definition means earning a living from it.
  • 2 0
 @chrismac70: nope. Just a racing category.
  • 1 0
 @chrismac70 The latest PB podcast had a great interview with Remi Gauvin, he raced DH elites as a privateer. He wasn't paid, he funded himself by working the oil rigs in Alberta in off season. He is/was a pro as he competed with the other pro's even if he didn't have a salary from a team or brand. Privateers should forsure be included in this data set as they are part of the racing group.
  • 2 1
 Interesting

So in layman’s terms. If you’re not a top ten rider, you better hope you can edit video. Also, winning the most races will not necessarily guarantee you are the best paid at what you do. But your exposure and ability to sell bikes and promote the brand is paramount. I wonder if having a social media presence is something that is now getting built into riders contracts.
  • 1 1
 You cant tell that from the data because you dont know enough about who the respondents were. Im not suggesting anyone puts any names to the numbers but without more detail its impossible to draw objective conclusions from the data.
  • 1 0
 @chrismac70: like, it literally states in the article:

“Just looking at the top 40 data, over 60% earn below $20,000 USD, but there are still 4.3% earning an income of $250,000 to $500,000 USD. The top five overall finishers saw the largest proportion of riders earning over $50,000 USD at 68% of those who were within the top five in the world last year. The best riders also had the highest proportion earning over $250,000 USD at 12%”.

Also

“At least from our data, the social media following of a rider appears to have a closer tie to total earnings than the overall ranking position”.

This mean that Downhill mountain biking as far as I can tell from the data, is one of the few sports in the world we’re having a strong media presence can ensure you have a greater income than success as an athlete.
  • 3 0
 Let's all take a moment and realize that a lot of countries can't watch these racers compete live this year!! Congrats Warner Brah
  • 1 0
 So grim. I'm hoping someone comes through at the last minute, but after reading Flows article, I'm not holding my breath.
  • 1 0
 The Comparing the Income Brackets of Riders with Overall Ranking and Comparing the Income Brackets of Riders with Social Media Following graphs would be far more comprehensible if they were regenerated using the same colors as the legend and with the distributions ordered the same as the legend within each group. But, big up for doing the survey and presenting the results. Very interesting.
  • 1 0
 If the rider is well known and has a strong social media following plus their own YouTube channel and they earn $100k a year alone on mountain biking

They are doing pretty good especially because you know they also have endorsement deals. Which can push their income even higher.

But that is the minority.

As much as we love this sport to death this sport is just not big enough to draw in huge audiences like football or soccer.

It's tough for many riders but this is how it'll be until this sport gets a bigger audience.
  • 5 0
 Can we get the Fantasy League updated with REAL rider price ?
  • 1 0
 This survey tells me one thing…. Riders need to get paid more!!! In many sports the salaries are waaaaay higher. MTB is where baseball was in the early 20th century. Yogi Berra used to have to tend bar during the winter just to make ends meet. Player’s unions and the consequent better contracts changed all that for future generations. Remember athlete’s careers are relatively short lived compared to “normal” jobs. Pay them.
  • 1 0
 About DH racers, there are a couple of guys making low millions. There is only 3 that are, one is American, and one is South African, do the math... These guys have BIG famous names. Enduro, one guy is making low millions as well. He rides a turquoise bike. Do the math... In the enduro scene, he produces no doubt and dominates. I can't imagine racing for 50-70K and get all busted up! NOT worth your health longevity. They are not paid like NFL, NBA or MLB players. It's a dangerous sport.
  • 4 0
 The poor viewing coverage is not helping.
  • 1 0
 I’m curious as to if teams/sponsors pay for rider’s housing and other living expenses in addition to their salary?

If so, then the $50-100k range doesn’t seem *too bad - for a younger, single rider at least.
  • 4 0
 This is important. Where I work I have to use a lot of expensive tools, travel, stay in hotels, etc. My employers pay for all of this. My salary is mine to keep.
  • 1 1
 I would imagine they do when they are not at home, which is probably more of the year than not. Look how many have spent a chunk of time in the southern hemisphere. Is that on expenses or not?
  • 1 0
 Not much upside for making money downhill, enduro racers and even top paid XC racers. You can make more money working lower level jobs. But I guess it is for the love of sport. More power to them.
  • 1 0
 Why do I wake up early hours of the morning and work my ass off for £25k?? People on here saying need 100k to survive. I got a mortgage and 4 kids as well yet still make it work.
  • 2 0
 I know a certain union that is international and has experience with cycling. Maybe they can help lol.
  • 2 0
 I’m open about my income relating to my MTB career. It’s on the very lower side of the 0 to $5k range.
  • 2 0
 Mountain Biking: still just a hobby.
  • 3 1
 Don't forget to Like, Comment and Subscribe!
  • 1 0
 Would be interesting to see how some one person YouTube mtb channels go, earnings wise.
  • 3 0
 Crankworx is watching...
  • 1 0
 - Why can't the graph have commas, I'm squinting at $10,000 vs $100,000
- Again the $50,000-$100,000 is pretty darn wide imo
  • 2 0
 No category for my racing annual racing salary of approximately -$10,000?
  • 1 0
 Am I the only one interested in knowing who's between LOIC and GREG making the 500k haha !
  • 1 0
 Wow, so the most making is a couple of DH riders, would not expect that.
  • 2 0
 STAY IN SCHOOL!
  • 6 5
 Zzz…
  • 15 17
 Life is a lot better when you don't worry about how much others are getting paid.
  • 3 1
 My life is great, so I must not be worried about other people Smile
  • 22 4
 Life is a lot better for EMPLOYERS when you don't worry about how much others are getting paid.

For everyone else: share your salary, ask coworkers their salary, use this information as leverage. It really can only help you, and despite what your boss probably told you, in the US it is ILLEGAL for an employer to forbid you from discussing your salary: www.nlrb.gov/about-nlrb/rights-we-protect/your-rights/your-rights-to-discuss-wages

If you share salaries and it turns out NOBODY's making decent money, then it's time to start a union.
  • 10 4
 found the management. gtfo with that anti-worker BS.

edit: maybe you meant just that comparison is the thief of joy. Thats true. But as @charliewentoutside pointed out, its really important that we talk about our wages with others in our lines of work. Being secretive about it benefits only the employers, who take advantage of us.
  • 5 0
 @charliewentoutside: you sound like an HR nightmare.
  • 1 2
 @warmerdamj: if HR did their job properly all the time then the everything @charliewentoutside: mentioned wouldnt be needed
  • 1 3
 @warmerdamj: HR exists to protect the company from having to treat workers fairly. Its really telling that you think that a working person who expects to be treated fairly, is a nightmare.
  • 2 0
 @Torbo24: Sir, this is a Wendy's...
  • 1 0
 @Torbo24: Yes it is telling for sure, tells me that I like to put my head down and work while you guys are in the lunch room bitching about how much you get paid and how unfair work is. After one of you probably stops at my office to chit chat to me about shit I couldn't care less about just so you can waste a bit more time before claiming that you have too much work to do.
  • 1 2
 @warmerdamj: I do my job well, and i expect to be paid the same as my coworkers for doing the same job. Youre saying that youre fine with doing the same job as everyone else, but its cool if they pay everyone else more? Because youre such a good self sacrificing martyr for the company that the satisfaction of working harder than everyone else will pay your bills? c'mon.
  • 3 0
 @Torbo24: I 100% expect people doing the same job to be paid different based on experience and quality/quantity of output. That being said, I could not care less how somebody's pay/work quality stacks up to mine. It's nothing to do with being a martyr, it's all to do with the fact that I just want to do my job, do it well like you and then go home to do things that really matter in my life. I'm thankful to have a job I like and one that also allows me to live the life I want. Other peoples pay is the last thing I'm concerned about.
  • 2 1
 @warmerdamj: big manly "you got soft hands boy" guy arent ya. Big strong "i work every damn day and i aint asked for a raise in my life cuz im a hard worker brother" kinda guy
  • 1 0
 @clappedbikeenthusiast: I'm not big at all and my post clearly indicates I work in an office, so I have the softest of hands. Plus I said I work hard so I can get out of there to go home and focus on more important things, avoiding working every day at all costs. So no, none of that applies to me at all.
  • 1 4
 pinkbike suck at making free apps and also making good graphs
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