The best part about mountain biking is the actual biking, of course, but there's certainly nothing wrong with being just as excited by the latest piece of technology or that brand-new bike you just bought. And if you're anything like us, you also love to see the gear that you can't quite buy yet - I'm talking about those grainy spy shots of bikes and parts that are still very much in the development and testing phase. Of course, there are a few different kinds of so-called 'spy shots,' be it a brand rolling their unreleased bike through the Whistler village during Crankworx in the hopes that someone will snap a few iPhone photos for their guerilla marketing campaign on Instagram (yes, it does go down like that), to the honest-to-goodness spy shots that a brand begs us not to post on the homepage. And it gets even more complicated when there are embargoes involved or if an editor already has the information on that bike...
Episode 51 sees Kazimer, Brian Park, James Smurthwaite, and myself talk all things spy shots. We explain how embargoes work, how we cordon off an editor who already has information in the event of a pre-embargo spy shot, and the ethics of whether we should be posting spy shots at all. Spoiler alert: the answer is hell yes, but listen to the podcast to hear our take on this sometimes thorny topic.
As always, hit us up in the comments to tell us what you think. Should we be posting spy shots of yet-to-be-released bikes, or should we be keeping those photos to ourselves until brands give us the green light?
THE PINKBIKE PODCAST // EPISODE 51 - SHOULD MTB MEDIA POST SPY SHOTS?
March 4th, 2021
Has anyone seen where I left my telephoto lens?
Hosted by Mike Levy (usually) 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 PodcastsEpisode 1 - Why Are Bikes So Expensive?Episode 2 - Where the Hell is the Grim Donut?Episode 3 - Pond Beaver TechEpisode 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 BikesEpisode 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 SetupEpisode 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 EpisodeEpisode 20 - MTB Conspiracy TheoriesEpisode 21 - Stuff We Were Wrong AboutEpisode 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 BikesEpisode 27 - The World Champs Special Episode 28 - All About Women's BikesEpisode 29 - Freeride or DieEpisode 30 - Would You Rather?Episode 31 - Wet Weather Riding Tips & TricksEpisode 32 - What Needs to Change in the Bike Industry?Episode 33 - Behind the Scenes at Pinkbike AcademyEpisode 34 - Grilling Levy About Field Test Trail Bikes (and His Bonspiel)Episode 35 - Story Time - Stranger Than FictionEpisode 36 - Grilling Kazimer about Field Test Enduro BikesEpisode 37 - The 2020 Privateer Season with Ben CathroEpisode 38 - Editors Defend Their 2020 Best-Of PicksEpisode 39 - Predicting the Future of Mountain Biking Episode 40 - The Pinkbike Awards! Episode 41 - Racing Rumours and Team ChangesEpisode 42 - Mountain Biking's Guilty Pleasures Episode 43 - Dangerholm's Wildest Custom Mountain BikesEpisode 44 - Mountain Bike Suspension Decoded Episode 45 - What Makes a Good Riding Buddy Episode 46 - Episode 46 - The RockShox Zeb vs Fox 38 Deep DiveEpisode 47 - High Pivot Bikes: The Good, The Bad, and The Why?Episode 48 - Rides That Went Horribly Wrong... & Why That Made Them So GoodEpisode 49 - What's the Best DH Bike?Episode 50 - Are Bikes Actually Getting Less Expensive? (Value Bike Field Test Preview)
PS. NSMB *blocks* my comment on their site, figures.
I only ask because if I was riding something I don't want to be seen, I would avoid the trailhead on a weekend.. So, if that was a Saturday or Sunday the guy wasn't thinking about keeping a new bike a secret.. A less busy day of the week would be better to ride not for public eyes bikes..
"Lets test it at Seymour, that way we can say it was North Shore tested... what could go wrong?!"
And then leave it on a bike rack and park it at Parkgate where all of those same bike nerds hang out pre/post ride.... give your head a shake Devinci... that was just too stupid.
TLDR: don't hate the player, hate the game! protect yo neck fool!
It’s silly everyone acting like this is some thing that just started happening. Been happening for decades, and the manufacturers only keep the pics from existing when they actually don’t want to hear details to leak. Ahem...RN-01...
Thanks pinkbike for doing as you do!
From memory, they've had fairly frequent articles about stuff like how to keep old bikes with old standards relevant, alternative drivetrains, how to make a low-spec bike perform better for less than the cost of a higher spec bike, etc. and they've got that guy (I like his articles, FWIW) that seems to mention that he rides a rigid singlespeed or whatever it is in just about every piece that he writes.
It's a weird departure that they'd now argue that it is the role of the media to withhold information from consumers in order to maximize the industry's profits on existing product.
As for the NSMB rant, that photo was on a forum the day before PB posted it.. I think its a bit of sour grapes that they didn't get an email..
There's always going to be manufacturer and media relationships within a given industry.. And sometimes the manufacturers don't like what is published and complain. An old boss of mine would freak out on the magazines that our product was great, but a little heavier than the competition. He would be calling, threatening to pull ads, the whole nine yards.. And me as a salesman just said, "Well, they are right.. And that's the only negative they had, so its not that bad.."
On the shop side, we don't know how far that off the actual production model is.. There's always that customer who says, " I hear the new one is coming next year.." Even when the new one just came out.. There's always something new coming.. That's the nature of the world.
I like the spy shots and speculation too...
Now, if PB was actively looking to get pictures of the prototype, it could ruffle some feathers.. But, this is another rider who shot the picture in a public place. No different than a race or a lift line.. If you're riding something that's not supposed to be seen, it's your responsibility to hide it..
The budget bike reviews are really cool and in particular the budget field tests are an excellent addition to the site, but this would allow us to see some real, top quality bro-science difference between the bike that a lot of us buy, and the fancy one in the Catalogue close to what a pro-racer would actually ride. Are we 10% faster? 20? ....5? Is the difference tiny on a blue trail versus a much bigger gap on a demanding double black? Bro-science it up!
The testers would of course be free to comment on stuff like "the bike felt lighter and nicer under me, even though that doesn't show on the clock" or "the improved ergonomics made me much happier spending time on the million dollar bike" and be a valuable portion of the content.
Of course there's a lot more desirable parts on more expensive versions that factor into the feel etc and people will always want the latest and greatest.
GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT PINKBIKE
Also if a spy photo of a bike gets out, it’s practically free focus group discussion/arm chair analysis/new things to improve etc for the company.
Speaking of car prototype photos, that new Porsche Taycan Sport tourismo with the Porsche Design e-bikes on the back, when’s the review coming!?
It does get complicated if a publisher publishes a picture of something that hasn't been filed for protection. That could be considered a public disclosure and the manufacturer then only has 1 year to file for protection. After that, it may be considered to be in the public domain. So, a spy shot could put a manufacturer in a bind by rushing development.
a photo of a proto frame getting laps at whistler by a top 10 rider in the world is NOT A SPY SHOT.
I really think these types of bikes are perfect for those who want to sometimes ride an e-bike and sometimes still analog pedal but but can't afford/justify two nicely spec'd carbon trail bikes. This is the future of a hybrid class of bikes. Will also let people go knock out a couple solo e-laps before work on a Wednesday and then pull the motor/battery out for the social ride with analog friends on Saturday.
The point is, what will pinkbike do to get spyshots.. Is there a new generation of paparazzi coming, cashing in enormous sums for crude shots of unimportant versions of another new bicycle?
@mikelevy: when are you going to talk about the bike you *did* pull off the site?
Goal: full suspension that fits you reasonably well. You are Of course allowed to upgrade it after purchase but the goal is to have a rideable, reliable bike for the listed price, you can buy complete or piece it together it's up to you. But keep it reasonable, the real world doesn't have 8 sets of carbon wheels and 37 forks kicking around to choose from haha.
Budget: $1500CDN, $1200USD, $900GBP
Limits: bike must be within a day trip of you, so let's say 400KM/250MI. Any further you have to pay shipping so subtract $300CDN, $240USD, $170GBP.
I think this will really appeal to people looking to upgrade or enter the sport through the used market. In my case I was going from a hardtail, so I did have a good set of brakes and used 34 I had bought and ran on the hardtail last season.
I wonder if a radical model change like the high pivot Devinci will cause people to wait for the new one because they want a high pivot, or go buy the old one quicker because they don't. Seems like it might be a wash?
Either running out of content or you guys are very sensitive