The Pinkbike Podcast: Episode 33 - Behind the Scenes at Pinkbike Academy

Dec 2, 2020
by Sarah Moore  
Art by Taj Mihelich

Kaz, James, & I grill Pinkbike Video Supervisor Jason Lucas on what it was like to produce Pinkbike Academy this summer and how the ten episode reality TV show came to be.

Find out how the contestants were chosen, the best moment that didn't make the final cut, the answer to the most-asked question in the comments, and more. As always, we also chatted about the latest mountain bike news, and answered a few listener questions.

December 2, 2020

Why did Pinkbike make a reality TV show?

Hosted by Mike Levy (usually, except when he's at curling camp) and 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.

Previous Pinkbike Podcasts
Episode 1 - Why Are Bikes So Expensive?
Episode 2 - Where the Hell is the Grim Donut?
Episode 3 - Pond Beaver Tech
Episode 4 - Why is Every Bike a Trail Bike?
Episode 5 - Can You Trust Bike Reviews?
Episode 6 - Over Biked Or Under Biked?
Episode 7 - Wild Project Bikes
Episode 8 - Do We Need an Even Larger Wheel Size?
Episode 9 - Why Are We Doing a Cross-Country Field Test?
Episode 10 - Getting Nerdy About Bike Setup
Episode 11 - Are We Going Racing This Year?
Episode 12 - What's the Future of Bike Shops?
Episode 13 - Are Bikes Too Regular Now?
Episode 14 - What Bikes Would Pinkbike Editors Buy?
Episode 15 - What's Holding Mountain Biking Back?
Episode 16 - Who's Your Mountain Biking Hero?
Episode 17 - XC Field Test Insider
Episode 18 - Electronics on your Mountain Bike: Good or Bad?
Episode 19 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 20 - MTB Conspiracy Theories
Episode 21 - Stuff We Were Wrong About
Episode 22 - Does Your Riding Style Match Your Personality?
Episode 23 - Grim Donut 2 is Live!
Episode 24 - Why Even Buy a DH Bike?
Episode 25 - Fall Field Test Preview
Episode 26 - The Three Most Important Mountain Bikes
Episode 27 - The World Champs Special
Episode 28 - All About Women's Bikes
Episode 29 - Freeride or Die
Episode 30 - Would You Rather?
Episode 31 - Wet Weather Riding Tips & Tricks
Episode 32 - What Needs to Change in the Bike Industry?

Author Info:
sarahmoore avatar

Member since Mar 30, 2011
1,295 articles

  • 17 4
 It’s funny that using Trailforks is being used as a challenge...I agree how complicated it is to use.
  • 3 1
 Compared to what? Paper trail map?
  • 5 3
 @dorkbike: MTB project is much easier to use.
  • 1 1
 @unrooted: ah, totally forgot about Mtb project app. I haven't used it in a while due to lack of listed trails compared to Trail Forks, so maybe it's better than what it was.
  • 3 0
 @dorkbike: I forgot about it too, just like I forgot about
  • 12 0
 how has there not been an impossible climb challenge on PB academy?
  • 9 3
 I want more negativity: How about a list of annoying cliches in mtb edits, e.g. making breakfast, driving to the trail head, etc. Also consider where many of these originated. I postulate that Anthill productions is the origin of many of them. The OG breakfast scene was "Jordi eat your porridge" Rip Jordi...

The latest cliche is the drone shot looking straight down on a pine forest, again from Anthill, or that was the first I'd seen it. I'm not blaming Anthill, emulation is the sincerest form of flattery.
  • 3 2
 “I want more negativity” should title everyone’s comments that are hating on this free content
  • 2 1
 @bike-lair: Don't under rate negativity. It can be helpful and useful in moderation. Without dissatisfaction there wouldn't be progress. Problems can't be solved if they're not identified first. Defining "moderation" is the difficult part.
  • 9 2
 @mikekazimer No reality TV? A few episodes ago you admitted to watching the best reality TV - Great British Baking Show. Maybe next season of the Pinkbike Academy the contestants should have to bake their own trail snacks.
  • 11 1
 Ha, busted. I totally forgot that’s 100% a reality TV show. And yes, I’m all for a bake off. I’ll volunteer to taste test.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: Here's a request I'm sure the PB staff will hate - How about reviewing riding destinations (once the 'rona is under control), and/or expedition companies/guided trips? Aside from the quality of trails and amenities, you could probably give good insight into what bike(s) or types of bike would be best to pack for each destination. Not to mention local beers.
  • 7 4
 I think the podcast and academy are great content. Thanks for doing them both.

I would love to see a podcast on what kind of salary (if that's even relevant - wage, win bonus, $/shredit?, $/follower?) a pro cycling athlete can make on a given contract. On the gender disparity in DH cycling that Sarah mentioned in another podcast, maybe most women riders are simply too wise to commit to a high risk, low return, short duration career. lol

On water bottles. Having done some design work in a different discipline, I think about about what actually needs to happen when laying out a frame design to accommodate a full size bottle. Will water bottles be responsible for a convergence of frame layout? I feel like once the horst layout was freed up (FSR expiry) frame design started to converge toward a similar look from so many manufacturers. And if that's the case, shouldn't they eventually get cheaper? Some of my favourite bikes to look at SB66, Mojo HD, or to ride like the older Banshees had no room for bottles (I choose to ignore bottle mounts on the underside of the downtube - what kind of stunt artist do I need to be to reach that while riding?). Does industrial design take a hit from #waterbottlesaintdead?

Keep on keepin on
  • 9 7
 Question for next week's podcast. What are everyone's ultimate dinner + dessert combo? Are you steak and potatoes people, or do you prefer a light poke salad? Maybe Levy is a dessert before dinner kinda guy. I'll be listening for your response in podcasts down the road. Great work y'all, keep it up!
  • 4 1
 Levy is all donuts no main course
  • 1 0
 Nachos followed by some of those foam banana candies and a bag of Lil Yachty rap chips.
  • 2 0
 I'm sure it would be fun to be in the Pinkbike academy even if you don't like watching it. Even if you bomb you get 2 weeks of riding!

The production quality of it has been very good. I can't believe how many hours of footage must be sifted through for each episode.

Here's an idea for those of us who aren't going to get near a pro contract. How about a Pinker Party? $500 plus a $500 donation to any registered charity gets 3 nights and 3 days of mid week riding at a bike park in BC. Rent the whole place, have sponsors, challenges, lessons, after ride events, things for kids/families, concerts etc.
  • 4 0
 Question for Kaz/Levy - high pivot bikes...will we see the mainstream brands making these in the future?
  • 3 0
 honestly I'd love to try one, maybe the forbidden druid will be my next bike idk. Its not a long shot anymore since the go-to brands are all sold out for months
  • 3 0
 Norco and commercial aren't mainstream eh?
  • 2 0
 @j-t-g: I think he was meaning high pivot trail bikes.
  • 4 1
 @j-t-g: They are not. Volume of sales for those brands is minuscule compared to Big S, Giant, Trek. And yes I meant trail bikes.
  • 2 0
 @mariomtblt: Same. If I cant get a Stumpy EVO will look to get a Druid.
  • 1 0
 @mariomtblt: I ordered my Druid in July. It hasn't arrived yet.
  • 1 0
 @j-t-g: They ain't no Trek!
  • 1 0
 My druid arrives in about two days!
  • 2 0
 We're gonna see a few more, that's for sure.
  • 1 0
 @MikeyMT: idk if they've changed now, but I copped a 6 month delay on top of the 8 month wait on my druid earlier this year and just canned the order.
  • 1 0
 Thank you for the great show. My family of 5 follow the show religiously every Thursday. The show really inspires my kids - and they are so hoping for a Pinkbike Academy Kids edition so they can compete! Thanks for the great content.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer Question for the podcast:
Do you all think it is time to rename/re-categorize e-bikes? I feel like e-bikes should be electric bikes that have a throttle and do not require the rider to pedal and that a new group called e-assist bikes should be created for the bikes that have no throttle and require the rider to be pedaling to provide any power assistance. They could then use the cat 1, 2, 3, etc based on the amount of power/cutoff speed for each of the groups. Feel like that would make it much easier for trail management organizations (both dirt and pavement) to more easily allow certain e-assist bikes (or e-bikes if they want) and make it clearer for the users to know if their bike is allowed on the trails. Maybe even require the bike group type and category be labeled on the bike?
  • 7 5
 You were so obsessed with the fact you could, you didn't stop to think if you should! and this is why you now have a reality show.
  • 1 0
 I love color on a bike. I also like black bikes. If I got to choose, I'd always choose color. No ugly 80s color splashes please.
  • 4 3
 I think it’s great that PB did a show, I just hope that in the future you use a good show like Alone to use as inspiration instead of using the survivor model.
  • 1 0
 It would be great to see a more complete bike shootout from pinkbike, not just the bikes you haven't reviewed but a full selection of what people might actually buy.
  • 4 5
 Ah people make fun of it but like any guilty pleasure it is pretty entertaining. My kids have been watching it and they like it. And hey if I get to watch something mountain biking related with them over some of the other junk they watch, how can you go wrong?
  • 3 0
 It will be worth 5 stars when Levy is back.
  • 2 0
 I miss Levy too buddy.
  • 4 5
 The podcasts have been lacking wtihout Levy. We need some personality in there. Also, have you considering producing the podcast a bit more? It could use some transitions or recurring segment titles with short sound effects/jingles.
  • 4 0
 Maybe someone could blow an airhorn and shout an obnoxious catchphrase.
  • 2 0
 @chakaping: I am back to be obnoxious.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer question for the next podcast episode how often do you guys ride your personal bikes with all the test bikes you have
  • 3 1
 These podcasts are great. Thank you!
  • 6 4
 you guys need to drop no-bolt-check-angie
  • 2 1
 Cmon now I think Angie is pretty rad.
  • 2 3
 @nskerb: most definitely not
  • 2 2
 As a big Top Chef fan the format is very familiar. love it. Cant wait to see the post-covid edition too. Hats off to Orbea the 2013 Alma was my first 29er.
  • 1 0
 Question: Do you think we'll ever see wireless/hoseless brakes? (not volunteering to test them)
  • 6 0
 Found the dentist!
  • 1 0
 Not anytime this century.
  • 3 4
 Just caught up on last week’s podcast and realized I was on Comment Gold! Shouldn’t I get some kind of Pinkbike swag for making Kaz chuckle? Come on Pinkbike! You didn’t spend your entire budget on curling!
  • 2 1
 It was cool hearing the behind the scenes details from Jason. I was wondering how long it took to film the whole thing.
  • 1 0
 Is Mike Levy going to curling camp the Pinkbike equivalent of my parents saying they were taking the dog to a farm as a kid?
  • 1 0
 Mr. Boppers is still at the farm my parents took him to when I was 7... right?
  • 1 0
 Are you still going to do the audience poll on your top 10 outside-of-Canada candidates?
  • 1 1
 it really is an interesting show and a pretty good idea. just needs some refining.
  • 2 0
 Make it stop
  • 1 0
 I haven't watched any of them and I'm fine if they continue making them until the end of the internet. The only annoying thing is that it is so prominent on the PB front page with the video already loaded. It would be ideal if there was a way to opt out of that. Wouldn't that be an option? Just like they have their e-bike filter, couldn't there be a PB Academy filter. If that's too difficult, just put them all on e-bikes and I'll engage the e-bike filter. That should do the trick.
  • 1 0
what is a dentist bike?
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