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The Pinkbike Podcast: Episode 158 - PB Snow Day w/ Levy and Henry

Dec 28, 2022
by Mike Levy  
Pinkbike Podcast
Art by Taj Mihelich


Episode 158 sees Henry and I sit down at Pinkbike HQ to chat about a few of our favorite bikes and components of 2022, some PBR BTS, enduro bikes not being downhill bikes, ideas for the coming twelve months, and a whole bunch of other barely-bike-related things in this rambling Pinkbike podcast.





THE PINKBIKE PODCAST // EPISODE 158 - PB SNOW DAY W/ LEVY AND HENRY
Dec 28th, 2022

The snow's falling and we're avoiding work.


Featuring a rotating cast of the editorial team and other guests, the Pinkbike podcast is a weekly update on all the latest stories from around the world of mountain biking, as well as some frank discussion about tech, racing, and everything in between.

Subscribe to the podcast via your preferred service (Apple, Spotify, RSS, LibSyn, etc.), or visit the Pinkbike Podcast tag page for the complete list of episodes.



Podcast presented by Bosch
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Author Info:
mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

75 Comments
  • 52 1
 1000000% Levy and Henry should do some more loose podcast. The multi day ride/pod sounds rad.
A lot do the enjoyment from the podcast is the opinions and thoughts. Keep it up!
  • 20 0
 You know, for all the crap that was spoken about the PB changing hands to Outlook, these guys have done a great job of not forgetting where they came from. This site could have gone the way of the Mitsubishi Eclipse V6, but they stuck with the turbo four and made it better. Nice work dudes and dudettes!
  • 10 0
 single trail on a fatbike is surprisingly fun, it can be loose and wild. berms tend to rut out and become a deep track and can get pretty spicy at speed. I haven't ridden anything super steep or technical (technical portions tend to smooth out with snowpack.) Hardpacked XC trails are also fun, but not as exciting. you don't really ride on flat powder, but you can bomb down a powdery hill with a fatbike which is pretty wild. it keeps the bike control over the winter and is more fun than jumping on a trainer to keep your cardio. for context, i live next door in alberta. banff/canmore/bragg creek have great groomed trails and local edmonton trails get enough traffic that keep most of the popular trails running great throughout the winter.
  • 1 0
 I'm in your neck of the woods and I think about getting a fat bike every fall, but the way the weather is changing it seems to make less and less sense. The only thing I can rationalize is getting something like an RSD Sergeant or an old Suzi-Q that can run 4" tires but also be turned into a decent hard tail for the non-snowy months.

Last winter in particular was the worst winter for any kind of biking I can ever remember. Everything was covered in glazed ice for 2 months. This was Feb 12, 2022.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/23953291

The winters of my youth would have been perfect for fat biking, but that was the 80's unfortunately.
  • 1 0
 @silverstanktions: I have co-workers in Calgary that ride their fatties year round with a tire swap. some wish they had a fork for shoulder season where they would ride snowy conditions up top and dryer conditions down low. basically running it as a hardtail as you mentiuon. mostly feel fork is not required for winter season since everything kind of smooths out.

I never rode last winter but yes....it would have been a year for studs for sure. this year, I'm not sure my studs are needed since we haven't had much of a freeze/thaw cycle.

many seem to feel 2.6"-3" with studs is all you need for edmonton winters. i take my bike down to bragg/canmore about once a month on top of local single track so I'm quite pleased with my purchase. definitely a needed change from the basement pain cave riding on zwift.
  • 8 0
 Seems like bikes are being judged by price, rather than ride quality. $2k can buy a bike that can do everything better than an 6 year old $10k bike can, But then you could have a $3k and $4k bike.. You’ll never know what you’re missing!
  • 11 0
 Exactly that, you nailed it. Everyone should definitely expect a certain level, of course, but let’s also step back and look at how good nearly every bike is, especially the less expensive ones.
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: I do have to say though that the part about pricing getting too high is also all relative. The cost of housing, rent, interest rates, food, gas, heating and generally everything that you need for living has gone up so drastically. I am still getting paid the same as I was 5-6 years ago.

So when I am wanting to buy a bike or saving towards one, and you have kids and other expenses, the fact that bikes keep creeping up (some marginally, others by quite a bit), it feels like a much bigger jump because they seem to be getting so much further out of reach. I think that is why there are complaints about bikes getting too expensive maybe. Then you are looking at forgoing a new bike and getting a used one and forgoing warranties etc. Which is sad.
  • 1 0
 Untgrad - Good call. This is where a bit of "min / maxing" comes into play. Get a good frame and suspension and then hang what ever you want on it. Also hardtails are really great these days and you don't have rear suspension to service / bearings to replace.
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty:
Right? Can you imagine jumping into the wayback machine and making a hardtail with modern geo?
If the bike industry got ahold of that in the ‘80’s, we’d all be working for robots with giant metal bugs flying us to our jobs.
I’m an ex Moto racer that could have had a real pro career because I had all the required elements. Plug me into a bicycle and it gets weird, but I make it work. One thing I find to be pure positive is “slack”. My current bike is nearly 5° slacker than my previous and I find no difference climbing tight switchbacks. Rocks, roots, it’s the same.
  • 1 0
 @Untgrad: or even a rigid bike with modern geo like Andrew Major (NSMB) Walt 2.

Slackish is good. I'm at about 64 degrees and it's fine. Any slacker and the flat trails would get too boring.
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty:
Absolutely!
Yeah there has to be a point of diminishing returns. Including front end traction.
I assumed my new slack bike would be a compromise on the super tight switchbacks in Crested Butte CO. I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong!
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty:
Although, a lifetime of turning MX bikes around tight switchbacks is why..
  • 4 0
 wait til you are actually older lol! All the outdoor sports and the towns near them have changed. The truly passionate people who will sacrifice almost anything for their sport or sports are getting diluted and pushed out by the new mountain crowd. They generally have lots more money and way less skill and are much safer. So boring and talk about their last great meal and decadent vacation every 15 minutes. Lets help them learn to take chances, have etiquette and create more recreational opportunities for everyone.
  • 4 0
 Great pod cast, thank you.
I’d love to hear Dave Turners story. Turner bikes have been around for a long time and the story seems to be a David vs Goliath type of story. Horst link to TNT to DW. Aluminum frame sourcing dried up in the US so they went to carbon. DHR’s at one time were a preferred pro DH frame and you would frequently see other sponsors stickers on their downtubes. The Turner forum on MTBR used to be THE forum you went to for great information.
Dave was a smart man who really cared and I’d love to hear his story.
  • 5 1
 This has been one of the most enjoyable (and re-playable) episodes in a long time. This up there with the episode with RC and sketchy adventures as a favorite. Hats off for making this both interesting and off the cuff.

Also, please do more off-topic podcasts.
  • 6 0
 congrats for a great career at pinkbike levy, fitting end to the year! good luck at the Wall Street Journal!
  • 4 0
 I wouldn’t last a week haha
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: @masonguy got me good, listened at 2x just wondering when that bomb would drop haha
  • 4 0
 Henry is brilliant. Can we please leverage a very few of those big Outside dollars to get him a proper microphone setup and/or an intern to adjust his levels on post?!? @brianpark I know you’re with me
  • 4 0
 Thoroughly enjoyed this one gents. You mentioned people to interview @mikelevy, Be great to get Steve from Vorsprung on if you haven't already. The guy is a suspension master and would surely provide some great insight.
  • 2 0
 I understand the stereotype of skiing /snowboarding being a rich persons sport but its hard to do math where mtb doesnt cost more more.....snowboards havent evolved in any meaningful way in 20 years. A grand or 2 at max can get you kitted up completely in gear that will last a decade or more, a season pass at the best hills in the world is 1000 bucks a year......thats less than a "value" full suspension that is far from perfect and has you in upgradeitis eternally......mtb is definitely the rich mans sport cost wise, its just too hard and not glamorous enough to become a lifestyle for the rich...
  • 7 0
 As an avid mtber and snowboarder, I really feel like you can make either sport exorbitantly expensive or reasonable depending on your approach. If you want new gear and to travel to different resorts all winter, the lift tickets, food, and gas bills are going to stack up insanely fast. But, if you want to ride your local hill all winter with the gear you have, yeah, you can probably swing it for a couple grand a winter. Same goes for biking—you can buy the several thousand dollar bike and ride from your house or drive to local trailheads inexpensively if you aren’t a gear head. Or you can go down the gear junkie rabbit hole and spend thousands. That said, it’s pretty hard to swallow lift ticket prices that cost over $200 per day at resorts that used to cost $70 not long ago (Jackson Hole, Big Sky, etc.). Since I enjoy shiny new parts that I get to keep, I can rationalize (perhaps erroneously) bike part purchases, but a lift ticket for a weather-dependent snow day is tough to wrap my head around. The resortiness and bougie factor hurts my soul too.
  • 3 0
 I've thought about this as I live in Squamish and there is an assumption amongst many that you 'have' to partake in winter sports (and I have). The thing is, in order to get to Whistler you really need a decent AWD / 4WD vehicle, which I don't want for 10 months of the year. I like my nippy little economical hatchback.... Winter clothing is very specific, but my MTB stuff for the most part I wear for general use, trail building etc. I'm not going to wear snow boarding pants to go shopping in, or wear a jacket with no side pockets. Also, the winter season is pretty short, and for the most part the MTB season is very long (around here). It's not a big deal to hang the bike up for a couple of months and watch Netflix.... Even the opening hours in the winters are short. So when you factor all that (and more) into $ per run, I'm pretty sure skiing / boarding will work out much more expensive. So yeah, the price of the equipment swings positively towards winter sports, everything doesn't, unless you happen to live near a ski hill with easy transit options and you use the facilities for 5 months of the year.
  • 1 0
 Not to mention ski gear for kids is definitely cheaper then getting them a new bike every year or two as they grow.
  • 2 0
 Always a great listen, thanks guys. I particularly liked Henry’s insight into the business model of selling a bike - it’s (in simple terms) about a frame to hang OE parts off and not about making the best frame and profiting enough just from that. Makes sense why almost all brands have this last year moved away from frame only, and maybe a(nother) reason to support the brands that are trying to manufacture the best frame and offer it frame only (eg We Are One, Atherton). Or time to support the local frame builder.
  • 2 0
 Great Podcast fellas. I never jumped on the Fatbike bandwagon, but I quite enjoyed skate skiing over the years which was an amazing workout and there were some great sunny days skiing, but that being said, we're spending the winter travelling around Arizona, checking out all of the mountain biking trails, which has been awesome. Any chance of you guys doing a podcast on the various locations where we can ride year round? I'm sure a lot of people would be interested in listening to the various pros/cons of some of these areas.
  • 1 0
 Hawes, south mountain and white tanks. There. No podcast needed.
  • 2 0
 Look forward to more podcasts, they are my favorite part of Pinkbike...
Fat biking definitely seems to have a more narrow window of fun factor-you need hard packed/cold snow/groomed trails, not too soft or wet... Then it can be quite enjoyable... And biking at night with all the snow sparkling in the headlamps is quite enjoyable. But I do it more to keep some bike handling skills through the long, 6 month winter we have, not because I think it compares to skinny tire biking fun.
  • 2 0
 Off topic idea. One of my lecturers at Oxford Brookes (Adrian Ward) worked in the bike industry for Nukeproof and Whyte. Busy also worked for Benetton while Schumacher was there and was an ohlins engineer for world super bikes. I know he has some very interesting stories that could fill multiple podcasts.
  • 2 0
 You need to Fatbike here in Quebec, @mikelevy and @henryquinney, or you don't ride from late November to April, and when the conditions are right and the trails are groomed its your regular trails turned into a snowy pump track! Just different enough from mountain biking to be super fun and alot less serious, good high speed crashes with low consequence! Fat bike field test 2023?‍♂️
  • 1 0
 Good rambling guys!

On the lower groupsets, I remember thinking "Great, SRAM dumbed down the Eagle stuff..." I now have 2 bikes with GX and it works well. Spend that money on suspension and brakes..

As for the enduro vs DH bike... I am kinda one of those guys, but I say my enduro bike will go down anything my last DH did and I can pedal it up... But, the last DH bike I owned was forever ago and I understand the new DH bikes are better too.. However, the only way I think I could justify owning one was if I lived close enough to the lifts that I would ride it regularly. Outside of that, my Slash is a good time most places I ride..
  • 3 1
 @mikelevy Off topic episode, do you think you can do a Feeding Off Each Other crossover episode with @mattdennison @jasonlucas and David Wiggins that doesn't discuss bikes for more than a few minutes?
  • 2 0
 The multi-day pod sounds like a recipe for some enjoyably delirious rambling. Actually, pretty much any occassion with a mic in front of the two of you. Also, F1 pod. F1 POD. EEEEEEEFFFFFFF ONNNNNNEEEEEEE POOOOOOOD!
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy @henryquinney - podcast idea - both of you go on a big ride / rides (12 hr plus per day) and record it. I'm sure there will be a few hours of quality that will come out of it. It would be less scripted than your idea of recording at the end of the day.
  • 1 0
 1hr20 and I’m still here @mikelevy @henryquinney

More PB Podcast? Yes please!
What would I like to hear? The Life and Times of RC were some of my favourite PB podcasts, I’d like to hear some more chats with figures who shaped the sport. More RC, Jeff Steber, Scott Nicol, Frank the Welder, Rob Roskopp, that sort of thing. I’d love to hear from some of the sometimes controversial figures like Mark Weir, Chris Porter, Martin Whitely…

Ahem, headset cable routing. I actually own a bike with headset cable routing, I have to look at that fugly mess every time I ride. What a shambles. Ugly ugly ugly.
  • 1 0
 Yes, more RC!
  • 1 0
 Lots of talk of how brands carry a downhill bike, but the model brings in near zero revenue. Similar to how cyclocross was nearly non existent (at least in the US) until gravel riding became a thing. Would gravel have caught on without the brands that stubbornly kept the cyclo models? Think about that while you cry yourself to work after the long vacation. Happy new year.
  • 1 0
 Any idea why episodes on Pocket Casts might be showing up as 4+hrs long? Episode 143 shows 3hr 43m, 147 is 4hr 43m, 152 is 4h 34m, 156 is 4h 1m, 157 is 6hr 36m, and 158 is 6hr 22m. It seems like random segments keep getting repeated...
  • 1 0
 I listened to this episode while shoveling snow. Thanks for keeping me company.

Can I circle back to headsets with internal cable routing? I know, beating a dead horse, but hear me out. Why are people complaining about bearing service when the obvious drawback is the extreme cable angles? I suppose that only applies to us plebs that still ride mechanical, but as a mechanic it drives me insane. It adds tons of drag to the system when the cables are new, and it wears them out faster.
  • 1 0
 I know I am late to post but I am catching up on the podcast and only just listened to it. In regards to bikes being overpriced I would like to make the argument that they are getting cheaper.

In 2011 a session 88 was $6038 and the State street S&P 500 was trading at $1,280 so we can relate our Session 88 in terms of the spy price and it was around 5 Bikes per share of spy.

Fast forward to 2023 a Session is at $7200 and the State street S&P 500 is trading at $3,824. So now our Session only costs 1.8 Shares of the SPY.

Engineers are Deflationary. They make things better for less every year. But our purchasing power in terms of dollars is slipping away.

Thanks for the podcast @mikelevy @henryquinney, absolutely sterling work.
  • 3 3
 Fat biking on snow covered trails is surprisingly bad. It's a lot of work to get the bike rolling and you need to ride on hard packed trails. Veer off the hard pack and prepare to go down. Too warm, the snow gets soft and ruts form, too icy and you need studs to find grip. Not to mention you need to balance wearing too much and getting hot or too little and getting frost bite. Plus you have to deal with all the Karens telling you what size tires you need and when you can or can't ride your bike. For three months I'd rather wrench on my bike and drink beer than fat bike.
  • 7 0
 Same. Winter is a good reason to relax on the riding so I enjoy it even more in the spring. I don’t know what the number is, but I only have X amount of rides in me per year so I want to maximize my enjoyment on the bike.
  • 8 0
 You just don't live far north enough. We hav snow from Oct to May, and hard packed snow rides like dirt and squeeks like Styrofoam. It's great. That said, I see the snow conditions fat bikers get excited for in southern Canada, and I wouldn't want to ride that garbage either.
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: this sounds like an excuse to avoid the fatbike group efficiency test.
  • 2 0
 @RKingan: I would call it that
  • 5 4
 I agree. Fat biking is good maybe 1% of the time. The rest sucks. Fat bikers are also the worst breed of mountain bikers. Don't even think about touching the trails with tires narrower than 4.0". They will lose their minds. It's even worse if you walk on them without snowshoes. They will basically try to fight people hiking. It's embarrassing.
  • 6 2
 @matyk: Have you ever met an XC Skier - kinda the same personality... With that, a ton of effort goes into grooming and it can all go to waste with a winter warmup / thaw. There's a ton more places for people to hike than Fatbike or XC Ski... And if I'm being honest, hikers are the most entitled trail users out there - you know the people that at all costs work to get mountain biking banned so they can have their quiet time in the urban woods, 5 minutes from highways... Ugh.
  • 1 0
 It sucks if the conditions are not right, sure. Sounds like you just don't have the right conditions very often. If you live in a cold, mountain town, that gets trails and roads groomed, the conditions are great pretty frequently, especially if the skiing conditions are not very good. And yes, Karen is right, you would not be able to ride the trails on a regular mountain bike. You are going to need close to 5" tires, running 2 psi. You also need fatter skis to ski deep powder than groomers. That's just physics.
  • 1 1
 @blum585: You know what's a good way to get mountain biking banned from a trail system? Fat bikers getting verbally combative with hikers because they had to ride over snow with footprints in it.
  • 4 0
 I know you love the Spire Henry, but have you ever ridden a sentinel?
  • 2 0
 Thanks for the great podcast but please leave it a bike podcast and offer the F1, alien, mushroom, ... podcasts under a different title
  • 2 0
 They’ll be in addition rather than replacing the bike pods.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: totally on board this!
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy - bring on @canadaka and hassle him on what's happening with TrailForks. (Can you also push for my secret desire of having the app show secret trails in the maps once i've ridden them.)
  • 3 0
 Best podcast you’ve done! Well done fellas!
  • 1 0
 I spent a few days on a Salsa Bucksaw in southern California, and it was fantastic. I have a lot of sand in my area that I got to explore.
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney I would like a full write up on this Argentina situation. What was the plan? Where did you want to stay, why did you come back early? Thank you!
  • 2 0
 Very good podcast. I actually enjoyed Henry's comments for a change. Thank you Bosch for presenting this.
  • 2 0
 Nothing better than a "free-ride" format of podcasting. You should just plan them like this.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy tag me in and we can do a california weekend of ski/ride/trackday.
  • 2 0
 I love listening to you two nut jobs waffle on, please don't ever change!!!
  • 1 0
 Great podcast. Amazing listening to two friends chat sh*t and would definitely tune into more random episodes. Cheers Mike and Henry. Happy new year.
  • 1 0
 These are my favourite kinds of podcasts, just mates chatting about whatever they want to talk about. Obvs it helps that @mikelevy and Henry have bags of personailty
  • 2 0
 Part 2 of this Snow Day podcast: Christina and Tom shoot the shit for a while.
  • 2 0
 Luckily ebikes are here to help our well walleted chums
  • 1 0
 Shit. I zoned out while it was playing and heard almost none of this episode lol.
  • 2 0
 Less complaining and more rejoicing is a good New Year’s resolution
  • 2 0
 Really enjoyed this one. Rambling, seemingly unstructured, but honest.
  • 1 0
 I can’t find it on Spotify!
  • 1 0
 Disappointed this isn't Autoplay
  • 1 0
 Loves the podcast idea of multi day ride brews and chatting over the fire!
  • 1 0
 Is Wayne on this episode?
  • 1 0
 Only in spirit
  • 1 0
 “3k or $4k”







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