The Birth of Mountain Bikes and How to Buy One - Sunday Comics with Taj Mihelich

Feb 2, 2020
by Taj Mihelich  

Before I got super rich doing cartoons for Pinkbike I used to have to make hard decisions at the bike shop. Use this buying technique if you have trouble finding a good reason for that next big bike splurge.

Sunday Comics with Taj Mihelech

I have so many good/bad t-shirt ideas in my sketchbook. Here are a few royalty and trademark free designs for you.


  • 83 1
 The less you think about a big purchase the better off your bike will be.
  • 70 1
 I like to tell myself that bike upgrades are for my safety. It’s an investment in my well being. Even my sick ass looking new stem I just got that has the same specs as my stock stem.
  • 25 0
 that sounds very reasonable.
  • 5 4
 Or be like me:
"I want to get this fancy new $150 stem but am not sure about the length, so let's get a cheap one to see how I like it"
*Goes to the bike shop*
"This stem is $20, but I am unsure of how good of a build it has, better get this $60 stem to be on the safe side"
*Rides with that stem for 2 weeks*
"I like this length, time to order that new stem"
  • 3 0
 @matt-15: It's funny how many guys like their 5 cm stems these days. One has to applaud the XC boys and especially roadies.
  • 1 1
 @TheJD: I'm currently running a 40mm on my bike and really like it, may try to go even further down to a 35mm but idk
  • 62 0
 Taj, a 10 speed and BMX bike may have met on the dance floor but it was the beach cruiser that left that night with the 10 speed. Check the paternity results.
  • 21 0
 Not in spirit. Bmx brought the knobbies and the dirt, and spirit to shred... cruisers brought a full size platform. It was a groovy 70s 3-way love affair.
  • 25 0
 @5afety3rd: So the Roadie was the Mother, the cruiser the Daddy, and the BMX raised the baby MTB as its own?
  • 6 0
 @ROOTminus1: fast times at klunker high
  • 4 0
 @ROOTminus1: Jerry Springer must be DYING to have them on the show.
  • 1 0
 Who is the mummy and who is the daddy?
  • 3 0
 Using that equation, the cruiser is the biological dad to many other bikes raised up by more reliable, though less exciting, stepdads. And possibly did a stint in prison.
  • 1 0
 @5afety3rd: Good point - I was riding my bmx in our local mountains before Mountain bikes were around my area!!
  • 22 2
 What if up votes on your comments here got you money and you could then use that money for bikes.
  • 69 1
 Would WAKI have to walk?
  • 61 0
 *username autoupdated to WALKI*
  • 6 0
 @FuzzyL: sometimes if I check Pinkbike from a computer where I'm not logged in, his comments are always hidden due to downvotes. Amazing.
  • 16 4
 @FuzzyL: Say what you want about Waki, but you know who he is. The rest of us, not so much. (There are a couple others — Redburn, the dude who had it out for the Specialized Demo, etc.)

I guess we can argue all day about whether that’s a big whoop-de-doo accomplishment... I guess in the grand scheme of history it’s not. But we all know who he is, and you don’t get there by commenting, “Cool bike, bro.” In terms of building a brand here, he’s crushed the rest of us. Something to be learned by that.
  • 4 0
 Feel like I need to add “as insane as that is” to all that, because yes, it is kinda crazy, and the dude can range anywhere from incomprehensible, to ugly and mean spirited, to off the wall, to surprisingly insightful.
  • 13 0
 @TheR: Waki is a staple of the PB connects section. It just wouldn't be the same without him. I look forward to his comments, even when I may not always understand them.
  • 4 0
 If up votes and down votes counted, like YouTube, he would be a rich man.
  • 7 0
 @steveczech: He’s as much a part of the site as Kazimer and Levy. If he’s failed anywhere, it’s that he’s not paid for it. But then they ran a couple of his cartoons/illustrations a few years back.
  • 2 1
 @TheR: Waki the brand is worth trillions!
  • 1 0
 @TheR: I don‘t know if I‘d like to learn from the way WAKI „built his brand“, but I enjoy reading his comments nevertheless... well, the comprehensible ones anyway.
  • 3 0
 @steveczech: yep, which is also how we all feel about crazy Uncle Jim who keeps Thanksgiving dinner entertaining...
  • 1 0
 @TheR: wow you seem to put a lot of self worth into this. Weird.
  • 4 0
 @CircusMaximus: Self worth? No. None of who I am is tied into what Waki does. I’ve put some thought into it, I guess. I can promise you it hasn’t taken up much of my time — it’s all fairly obvious. I do enjoy his comments, the ones I understand, anyway. He’s part of what makes Pinkbike, Pinkbike.
  • 1 0
 If anyone doubts what I’m saying, think about it. We are all talking about him in a long thread in an article that has nothing to do with him. And it’s not just here. His name is always invoked in various comments. He’s living in our heads rent free.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: waki pisses all over redburn for entertainment and is definitely human
  • 4 0
 @steveczech: Wow, WAKI is not on here yet. Maybe that's how you keep him away: Say nice things about him.
  • 1 0
 @BenPea: BenPea! I was going to add you to the names I recognize, too.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: He did the Grim Donut concept drawings!
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 @TheR: you too buddy!
  • 13 1
 Hey dammit! I AM looking for an excuse to eat ranch dressing!
  • 3 3
 Taj, the people are asking.
  • 1 0
 Just put it in a water bottle and say it's a milkshake of some sort
  • 10 0
 "...before I got super rich...."

  • 3 0
 My Top Tips:
1. Only think about how much you’re saving buying the bike used instead of new
2. Estimate how much you can sell the bike for in “a few years” (actually probably 6 months) and only think about the net cost
3. When buying upgrades, buy them in multiple transactions to lower the cost (again, net cost justification is your friend here)
  • 7 0
 If you consider that an hour with a psychotherapist costs about $100, it's pretty easy to justify all kinds of investments into bike stuff...
  • 3 0
 @g-42: you are my new hero
  • 3 0
 Just start thinking of a mountainbikes and mountainbike related spending as investments in your mental and physical health and all of a sudden its not so hard to justify anymore. You like riding? Then why shouldn't it be ok to spend some money on your favourite hobby. After all it makes you smile, keeps you in shape and isn't even bad for the environment. Win-win.
  • 8 1
 Bikes are rad
  • 2 0
 As are a lot of the people who do a lot of riding. Hard to have a bad time in the woods playing bikes.
  • 1 0
 What is the next new type of bike that will happen?
they are all bikes & do the same job, but some are better at some stuff then others,
but a good rider can do anything on any one of them!
  • 3 1
 HAHA... once again Taj...Brilliant! Gotta buddy who would rock the first t-shirt Smile
  • 3 0
 Taj is rad. Bikes are rad.
  • 3 0
 ...and the postman is a beach cruiser Wink
  • 2 0
 I’m going to look away and the birth of a cyclocross bike.
  • 6 3
  • 1 0
 it begs a question when a computer met a bike and they produced the devils imp, was there consent.
  • 2 0
 I want those T-shirts.
  • 6 4
  • 2 0
 Send me an angel...
  • 1 0
 We Just Came To Pinkbike For MORE BIKES!!! haha
  • 2 1
 Terror Babble Won.

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