The Pinkbike Podcast: Episode 61 - Athlete Pay, Lycra, Equality and More from the State of the Sport Survey

May 11, 2021
by Mike Levy  
Pinkbike Podcast
Art by Taj Mihelich

May 6th, 2021

Nearly 200 professional riders polled.

While most riders won't find themselves between the tape come Sunday morning, there's no doubt that racing of all kinds has had a massive impact on our little sport. If you set obscenely early alarms to catch live feeds from Europe, or follow all the results and Photo Epics here on Pinkbike, or maybe don't give a toss about racing but ride a bike that was made better by it, there's no doubt that competition has improved mountain biking while also making it more interesting. But what's often missing from the conversation is the athletes' point of view.

With our State of the Sport Survey, James Smurthwaite and Henry Quinney reached out to nearly 200 top professional riders. The goal was to piece together the largest public snapshot ever taken of professional mountain biking in the history of the sport. The survey went out to any rider that's placed in the top-40 of their discipline over the previous two seasons, and it includes everyone from stalwarts to juniors on the come-up. All replies were submitted anonymously, hopefully allowing for open and honest answers. Of the 197 riders who responded to the survey, 61% were male and 39% were female. The majority of riders were from Europe (62.4%) but there were also 45 North American riders, 23 from Oceania, 3 from Asia, 2 from South America, and 1 from Africa. Most respondents either rode downhill or enduro as their primary cycling discipline, but there were 39 cross country racers and 21 slopestyle riders as well.

What'd we ask them? Topics included media and filming, home country support, physical and mental health support, athlete pay, opportunities and equality, racing regulations, and a women's specific section.

''We’ve drawn this up primarily because we love competition and we believe that having more information can only make the sport better for racers and the fans who enjoy it too,'' Smurthwaite explained in the intro article. ''Without a broad, elevated view on the sport, we're unlikely to truly understand the issues that may be at play. Surveys such as this aren’t uncommon in other sports, and we hope that this one adds to the conversations to make the sport more transparent, equitable, and enjoyable for everyone.''


State of the Sport Survey Articles
We Surveyed 200 of the World's Best Pro Mountain Bikers - Welcome to Pinkbike's State of the Sport Survey
5 Key Stats from World Cup XC Racers in the Pinkbike State of the Sport Survey
4 Key Stats on Social Media & Content Creation - Pinkbike State of the Sport Survey
5 Key Stats from Downhill Racers in the Pinkbike State of the Sport Survey
5 Key Stats from Enduro Racers in the Pinkbike State of the Sport Survey
More Than 50% of Pro Riders Feel They Wouldn't be Adequately Financially Supported After Injury - State of the Sport Survey
How Much Do Professional Mountain Bikers Get Paid? - Pinkbike's State of the Sport Survey
Only 8% of Downhill World Cup Riders Want Skinsuits to Return - Pinkbike's State of the Sport Survey

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?
Episode 33 - Behind the Scenes at Pinkbike Academy
Episode 34 - Grilling Levy About Field Test Trail Bikes (and His Bonspiel)
Episode 35 - Story Time - Stranger Than Fiction
Episode 36 - Grilling Kazimer about Field Test Enduro Bikes
Episode 37 - The 2020 Privateer Season with Ben Cathro
Episode 38 - Editors Defend Their 2020 Best-Of Picks
Episode 39 - Predicting the Future of Mountain Biking
Episode 40 - The Pinkbike Awards!
Episode 41 - Racing Rumours and Team Changes
Episode 42 - Mountain Biking's Guilty Pleasures
Episode 43 - Dangerholm's Wildest Custom Mountain Bikes
Episode 44 - Mountain Bike Suspension Decoded
Episode 45 - What Makes a Good Riding Buddy
Episode 46 - The RockShox Zeb vs Fox 38 Deep Dive
Episode 47 - High Pivot Bikes: The Good, The Bad, and The Why?
Episode 48 - Rides That Went Horribly Wrong... & Why That Made Them So Good
Episode 49 - What's the Best DH Bike?
Episode 50 - Are Bikes Actually Getting Less Expensive? (Value Bike Field Test Preview)
Episode 51 - Should MTB Media Post Spy Shots?
Episode 52 - Our Most Embarrassing MTB Moments
Episode 53 - Should Climbers Still Have the Right of Way?
Episode 54 - Best and Worst MTB Product Marketing
Episode 55 - Big Dumb Rides & Staying Motivated
Episode 56 - What Were the Most Important Inventions in Mountain Biking?
Episode 57 - What Were the Best (and Worst) Trends in Mountain Biking?
Episode 58 - Debunking Mountain Biking's Biggest Myths
Episode 59 - Value Bike Field Trip Surprises & Spoilers
Episode 60 - What Kind of Mountain Biker Do You Want to Be?

Author Info:
mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

  • 50 1
 A few podcasts ago, y'all mentioned the Microsoft Tay chatbot, and mentioned that no one should ever attempt to simulate Pinkbike commenters like that. Well, I DID IT:

It's a Twitter account that tweets AI-generated Pinkbike comments, trained from a library of tens of thousands of PB comments over the past couple years.

Should I have wasted my time in this way? Absolutely not. But I did, so there it is.
  • 18 1
 This is important.
  • 9 0
 This is amazing. Please bring Excited Pinkbike Commenter to the Pinkbike comments.
  • 7 0
 AMAZING. This guy needs to be invited on the podcast ASAP
  • 3 0
 Every comment is just “looks like a session”
  • 4 1
 @TannerValhouli: looks like a dick poud beep boop bleep
  • 2 0
 @boozed: I will look into this.
  • 1 0
 Why did I waste all this time trying to figure out all that nonsense
  • 9 0
 "Levy's fastest time in 2020 was 2.4 seconds, so I think it is safe to say that he is the fastest man in the world. I feel that he too has a lot of talent, but he is a lot slower than most of us."

THIS IS GENIUS. It's like the Infinite Monkey Theorem.
  • 2 0
 Please make an Instagram with this too !
  • 10 1
 @husstler: What an emotional roller coaster of a paragraph.
  • 43 0
 My Hoffman Bikes contract had a clause that said Mat Hoffman had to take me out for Braum’s ice-cream anytime I visited Oklahoma City.
  • 5 0
 A fair and reasonable request...
  • 5 0
 @tajlucas I recently moved from Denver to Bentonville..... my life was missing Braum's and I didn't even know it. Braum's...mmmmm
  • 7 0
 Pro level negotiating detail
  • 9 0
 Only thing that will make xc racing more exciting than it is is more course variation. Make Albstadt an hr long sprint. Make nove maestro a 2 hr sufferfest. Have more natural technical courses that the core mtb guys really shine on, (Cairns was an awesome course) as well as courses where race craft is going to be the biggest factor (snowshoe).

The more varied the races the more varied the results will be which I think is ultimately good for sport and riders. I’d much rather see a guy win the overall cause he wins the races he excels at and does well in the others rather than another perfect season. It will also give more riders the opportunity to focus on getting a win somewhere rather than fight to stay in top 20.

Right now the only thing xc suffers from is other than a few iconic sections it can be a bit hard to differentiate a lot of courses from one another. Some courses should have one giant up and one giant down. Some should be criss crossing on 50 meters of elevation. Way too many are gravel climb to dh to natural climb to dh to sprinting around around a grass field with a bridge.

I currently only watch the courses i like. But if the courses I didn’t like as much offered different results and a different experience i’d watch those too.
  • 7 0
 Very interested conversation. Disagree with Levy in that the sport is only becoming more commercial so a pay structure for 'support' level riders is needed to keep growing the sport. Also I can honestly say I'll never buy or own a DH bike but I do pay attention as to what bike brand wins and what they're doing with their other bikes, so in that case there is correlation to win on sunday, sell on monday.

And if the riders don't like doing social media, and if we all know their posts are BS just to get clicks for their sponsors, can we just drop the whole social media charade? Let the brands handle that since they're the ones benefiting the most from it. I feel like brands are valuing 'social media presence/status' because they're too cheap or lazy or both to do their own marketing.
  • 9 1
 I have to say I really appreciate unleashed @henryquinney , loved the ideas for a better structure in racing, and enjoyed the social media rant from Henry and Levy. There's some really poignant thoughts hidden in that rant.
  • 8 0
 I can’t think of anything more equitable than calling us Pinkers.
  • 11 1
 We’re all Pinkers Smile
  • 14 0
 @mikelevy: all I heard at the end of this episode was “foreskin suits”
  • 2 0
 @klazzymoto: Agreed. Best line of the episode!
  • 6 0
 Levy can say pink pod but James has to read ad copy? Levy must has some good dirt on Brian!
  • 11 1
 Once we get that Tim Hortons cash I'll make Levy do the read.
  • 4 1
 Question for you guys, though slightly off topic. I've really enjoyed the latest value bikes field trip and it has me wondering on your thoughts on used bikes in the $2,000-$3,000 range. I've always recommended used bikes to newcomers in the sport, with the caveat that they should purchase the bike alongside someone with a bit more mechanical knowledge and to include a full tune up in the total cost of the bike. What are your thoughts?
  • 3 0
 Some good stuff..

DH racing..For a sales standpoint, one of the worse things out there.. But, from a marketing perspective, a lot of eyeballs see the brands.

R&D... I think we are starting to see that shift to enduro bikes and then the manufacturers upscale it a bit for DH, downsize for trail.. And to touch on Henry's point, once that carbon "prototype " is out there, it's no really a prototype at that point, it's preproduction. Not much will dramatically change once the molds are made..

Social media is a double edge sword.. For riders, its the easiest way to show their reach.. Followers, views, likes... The numbers are there.. Sales numbers aren't really a solid way to show if an athlete is truly selling bikes unless a lot of people are saying "I bought Brand T bike because Rider J rides one.. On the other hand, it's easy for a company to look at those same numbers and say "Yeah, but this rider has pretty good results and way more followers..."

As for the minimum wage, a lot of riders are not on factory teams.. Of the top 40 polled, how many on on smaller teams that may not have the funds of the top tier teams?
  • 2 0
 Yes, a very good point and a pre-production bike is maybe a far better label. However, sometimes the pre-production bikes, which get ridden by the team, are then changed for the full production run which is weird and even infuriating. Haha. I probably didn't flesh out what I was saying enough and wouldn't want to misrepresent anyone. I think how different brands design bikes is fascinating and there certainly isn't a one size fits all approach. I think you get mountain biking brands and cycling brands that happen to make mountain bikes and their approaches often differ hugely. Could make a great topic for another podcast.
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: it would definitely be interesting to hear the difference in design philosophies amongst some different product managers.. They are all taking different paths to a similar goal...
  • 5 1
 Lots of interesting stuff, but skin-suits in DH? f*ck off. And when you get there, f*ck off from there too. Then f*ck off some more. Keep f*cking off until you get back here. Then f*ck off again....
  • 5 0
 So much anger for some tight clothes!
  • 1 0
 I know - shameful right? I blame Covid!@mikelevy:
  • 6 1
 Henry is such a great addition to the pinkbike team! Lots of great insights and ideas. Look forward to hearing more on future podcasts
  • 7 0
 No UFOs again! cmon!
  • 11 1
 We’re saving special guests Elizondo and Lazar for Pinkpod #69 Smile
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: Can't get enough Bob Lazar stuff. Big Grin
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: i would actually pay for that
  • 2 0
 @Narro2: Me too... but I don't think PB will haha
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: you need to tell Brian that you are not sure what gave you the inspiration for the grim donut, you need to invite Bob Lazar to find out out, the concept of the donut is pretty far fetched.
I am not saying it was aliens, but...
  • 3 1
 I'd also say that you're slightly confused as to what is the motor of capitalist industry. What you're paid has nothing to do with how much output you create. A capitalist invests their money in a process which will return the money forwarded along with a surplus, profit. They will do what they can to make the outlay in wages as small as possible so that the surplus is as large as possible. The money they spend on wages are no more than that which the worker considers they need to keep them living the quality of life they have become accustomed to. The capitalist has to do this because if they don't, another capitalist will and eventually outcompete and subsume them with the extra surplus. The only bulwark against this is the power of the worker to demand more of a share of the value of the product. It's why union jobs tend to better paid, why high profile riders can wield their status for more money and why lesser riders, desperate to make it get exploited. In a toss up between quite how much profit already incredibly wealthy people make Vs professional athletes making a living from a full time sport, I know which I choose....
  • 1 0
 This is perhaps the most sensible and economically correct post I have ever read on Pinkbike. No disrespect to other regular posters on the forum, but most riders fail to fundamentally understand the concept of surplus value and its relation to the labour theory of value. I read Das Kapital cover to cover and I still often struggle with the finer points of it, so I am sympathetic to some folks failing to get their heads around it. I respect the fact that for most mountain bikers, classical and neo-liberal economics and the concurrent right wing political ideologies that often go with those economic viewpoints, are very very popular on the scene. However there are still a small minority of us at the fringes of mountain biking with progressive and egalitarian viewpoints and it looks like you have read Das Kapital, or at least have a working knowledge of it and willing to make a point on a forum that may well be very hostile to this kind of economic theory, so massive respect to you, sir, for doing so.
  • 1 0
 @matttrandom: you're quite right! I have indeed read Das Kapital and find it extremely useful in understanding the workings of daily life. Life is much less bewildering when you have a philosophy with which to approach it.

I'd encourage anyone with the time to do so to read it too. There is a very good series of lectures by David Harvey available for free that breaks it down section by section that he recorded from his university course.
  • 2 0
 I would argue ones pay is directly related to how critical one is to process that produces the output/surplus and how irreplaceable that individual is in the process. In essence ones value is determined by their skill set, the scarcity of that skill set, and its significance to the economic activity in question.

In capitalist industry all participants are capitalists trying to maximize their return regardless of their role in the system. The goal is to constantly get more whether that is through contributing as labour, investing, etc.
  • 1 0
 @riklassen: in that case why is it that in most industries, the people actually doing the work that produces the goods or services are paid less than the their managers? I don't know about you but in my work I often see plenty of managers that don't fulfil any useful activity other than occupying a position in the company hierarchy being payed well beyond what their skill and usefulness would justify.

On the second point, I think you are confusing the existence of money for capitalism. Money has existed for most of human history as a way of mediating the exchange of disparate goods through one central marker of value.
If you sell your time as labour and live from the proceeds, you aren't a capitalist regardless of how well you are renumerated. At any point your means of subsistence could be withdrawn by the interests that own it.

If you own money as a commodity that you are free to invest in the expectation that you will set someone else in motion and receive back your investment with a profit, then you have become a capitalist. Your subsistence (however grand) is unmoored from your own labour and realised by a share of the labour of someone else's.
  • 1 0
 @hitmansam: Managers bring a more scarce skill set to the table, which is more valuable. Not everyone can be a manager and being an effective manager is not a skill set easily acquired.

Simply the less skill labour has the less they get paid and this is born out almost everywhere, even in marxist societies where the leaders or people with specialized/scarce skill sets reap more rewards, income, than people who have less skill or abilities.

unions are a great example: Trade unions demand higher wages than general labour unions and within unions those with greater experience and skills command better compensation and perks, than those with less experience and skills.
  • 1 0
 Capitalism: an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

Nope not confused at all. My words stand.
  • 1 0
 @riklassen: depends what you mean by value. I mean use value, creating the material and societal conditions of life.

Managers fulfill more of a purpose of profit maximisation which is of little use to anybody other than the person/people that stake a claim to that profit.
  • 2 0
 @henryquinney so i don’t know how much you know about the technical side of bikes, but just because the mold of the bike is done, doesn’t mean that the whole bike is done. A lot of designing a carbon fiber bike isn’t the outer mold, it is the layup inside. You can have the same mold and test 50 different carbon layups, reinforcing some parts, using less material in other parts, and i think that is probably where most of the “testing” of the new bikes come from
  • 1 0
 @Lhillgamer Hi there, yes - a good point. Although, and it's only my personal experience, this isn't often the way. That said, I've only had a comparatively small experience compared to the industry at large and I'm sure plenty of companies do go down this avenue. For me, I suppose the crux of my criticism is the cringey "oh please don't see the bike" paint jobs and that rider feedback is always taken on board and used to modify bikes. I would kind of reject that idea, at least universally, and just consider it a nice marketing tagline and only that, to be honest.
  • 1 0
 way back when, as a Jr racer, IOC decided DH was not going to be an Olympic event. I decided to not peruse racing as a "professional" for a courier. According to the pinkbike survey i could buy and sell riders on a whim as a team owner. i think i made the right choice.
Maybe ill create my own trade team, pay myself and still get as much media coverage as 80% of the start list at a World Cup, that is to say no coverage at all.
lets face it. thats already what most of us do anyway.
  • 1 0
 Question: been thinking about a bike for my friend who's getting into the sport. The trails around here are pretty rough with lots of roots and rocks, but he's not looking to bomb stuff. Would you recommend the Ripmo AF or Ripley AF? He's on the cusp of a M and L and would go with a M to make it more manageable. Seems like the Ripmo will be more bike to pedal around, but be more forgiving and comfy on the chunky downs. Guessing Levy will say Ripley and Kaz will say Ripmo.
  • 6 1
 That Ripmo pedals so well that it might make more sense, especially if the trails are rough.
  • 4 0
 Supply and demand. There is no shortage of 20 somethings willing to huck their meat for a free frame.
  • 5 4
 LMAO, my take away from the PB staff, capitalism, BAD! Which is quite funny for a company/website that exists purely on marketing dollars and brand partnerships... And show me a non capitalist based country that has not only had an impact, but any involvement what so ever in mountain biking?
  • 5 2
 Wrong take away. Yes you heard enthusiasts wishing for more and better Sport I.e. racing. However dreaming of improvements, and coming up against current Financial realities in the conversation, is not a Stalinist cursing the Banking industry (or whatever). Tweaking a system is not fundamental change.
  • 3 1
 @flaflow: Ok, but you realize you just said nothing of value there. Just like Brian literally went HERP DERP capitalism in that podcast about 20 times. WHAT IS THE ALTERNATIVE?

You may not like how the cycling industry is "structured" or how social media is currently changing up the paradigm, but capitalism has absolutely nothing to do with "holding these athletes back"; their career wouldn't exist without capitalism, full stop.
  • 3 1
 @pbfan08: That the same point I was going to put on the table.You can't blame capitalism for everything related to the pay gap, specially when capitalism is what made all this possible. Incentives are the main thing here, Money, winning etc. Not all companies live for the money, but its a big part of it... Athletes should be employed by the brands.... that would give them more benefits and a more stable income.

  • 1 2
 @pbfan08: you may be blinded on this topic by a need to express a love for Capitalism. No one here is searching for an alternative. Do you think because France supports youth sports at a level not seen on this continent, they aren't Capitalists?
  • 2 0
 @flaflow That's a strange take away from the handful of points I made, and not sure why France supporting youth sports would have any overarching impact on they're overall economic system... And this leads me to my main point, Brian just literally interjecting capitalism as the enemy every 10 min, just like your baseless retort that I'm married to the capitalist economic model?

My point is this I think its hilarious when the one person(Brian) on the podcast that actually worked for a brand(rocky mountain) and also worked with athletes(as he's talked about many times on this podcast), couldn't do anything to affect change with athlete, pay, but then blindly laments CAPITALISM as the real enemy. Is just laughable, he should know better than anyone the reason athletes in this sport don't make much money is because there is not much money in it to begin with. If you think MTB athletes have it bad look at freestyle skiiers and snowboarders, there just ISN'T MONEY IN ACTION SPORTS, there just isn't. Anyone with a JuCo Business degree could look at this and understand, this sport is hobby and it pays like it.
  • 1 0
 @pbfan08: no doubt I made assumptions from your few dozen words. I've been trying to point out how you did the same from Parks comments. His statements decrying the state of athletes compensation, then blaming it on "Capitalism" while less than perfectly accurate, still are on point. It's simply economic policies (choices) to blame, not the entire system. I tried making that point using France as the example.
  • 1 0
 I actually think XC courses are in a great spot right now! There's enough variation from course to course that it lets different skill sets shine, and the majority of them are techy enough that a rider can't win an overall series without being a seriously good bike handler. Also nice work on the survey, it's creating a ton of insight and good discussion!
  • 1 0
 I think it would be cool if all disciplines of bike racing went to a franchise model similar to professional ball sports. Then the owner of the franchise could build that brand as a business with marketing, merchandising and all that fun stuff and separate the franchise naming from the sponsors. This way the fans wouldn't be left wondering who's who at the end of each season, there would be more continuity between each year and hopefully your average Joe would be able to sport your teams merch without looking like a tool or a want to be. Maybe this model is more relevant to the road world were the team plays a bigger role and less on the dirt side where an individual rider is more dominant, but I think its still worth exploring. We don't have to sell ourselves short just because we are riding bikes. We can be just as big of a money and time sink as any other sport out there.
  • 2 1
 I have thoughts.
For starters, Henry Quinney is a fantastic addition (he is newish right?) to the team. Great insight and future thinking. And I know that you all have unlimited time for podcasts, so please record another 5-6 hours on these topics, mmkay?

I come from the snowboard industry and it is pretty easy to make parallels and glean the future using the history of what they have been through. Also, this will likely read with little cohesion. It could be smoother/clearer, but meh.

On pay, the number one fact or concept to understand about a pro athlete before any further conversation is that they are a marketing tool, and most of their value as such is view time for the audience. Road was mentioned and a factor to be considered there, that also somewhat applies to XC, is that much of the field is in the same shot as your top performers. So even ignoring the team level aspect of the sport, the rider that has little to no hope of ever being in contention for any color jersey is at least valuable as another body with brand names attached to it. It was briefly mentioned, but in downhill your coverage is pretty much limited to the top 10 or even just the top 5. You will likely never even see the rider, or what they’re riding, if they’re below 20. Bridging the topic to social media, without it that rider in the bottom half of the field is frankly pretty useless to any sponsor if they aren’t utilizing social. In a snowboard shop, the “best” board is rarely the one that sells the fastest; there are truly VERY few options that are just garbage, so people buy with their hearts. Bikes have hit that same level at this point. I’ve done gear reviews for years and have ridden well over 300+ boards in the last 10 years, but your average rider will get on maybe 5 over their lifetime and not ride anything different in short enough time, so the minute performance advantage is lost on them. It’s the same, if not more pronounced on a bike. So how good a bike is, or how fast it is only affects the core of mtbr’s which as mentioned DOES effect the general public by proxy, but only by proxy. They otherwise will only be influenced by how that bike brand makes them feel. And social, more than any other media, is targeted at eliciting an emotional response. Also, the same people that are so quick to shoot down social media are also the ones that love to reminisce about the old videos and magazines and how much they consumed that media. Same thing new age, adapt or die. The OG media in snowboarding is all but dead, they didn’t adapt. People hunger to be a part of a tribe, if that tribe they feel pulled to rides Trek, that’s what they’re going to buy, period. Slope and Freeride’s ties to social make too much sense to me, those disciplines fit socials short-time instant eye-candy more than any form of racing. I have little sympathy for riders that have established careers and once they stop racing or putting out content lose their support. Sure it sucks to see, and if you hit legend status you should be cared for, period. But also remember there is always someone younger and probably better/faster that is ready to huck their meat for a paycheck. Make yourself valuable outside of riding your bike if you want a more stable future. This is already way too long, so I’ll stop, but I could talk these topics for hours.
  • 1 0
 Great having Henry able to speak his mind a bit more at Pinkbike as compared to last place. It's refreshing.

Also I think it would be great to invite/put out feelers to the pro athletes if any of them DO want to talk openly and not anonymously about the results. It would be great to hear from some athletes who are willing to talk about these topics and get their perspective too
  • 2 0
 I won a pair of goggles and $20 gift card to our local pet shop last year in my hometown beer league DH, so I have that going for me!
  • 3 0
 "Good day pet shop owner, sell me $20 worth of pets please!"
  • 3 0
 Professional mountain bikers of the world unite! You have nothing to loose but your chains (Not joking)
  • 5 2
 Brian really came across like a dick to me on this one.
  • 6 1
 Frown sorry, I am a condescending prick sometimes but I hope it’s clear that I’m largely being descriptive rather than prescriptive in this one. I’d like to see racing and marketing be more equitable and Henry’s got some great ideas for improving the sport, even if I don’t think all of them are realistic.
  • 7 0
 @brianpark: Put a bonfire to jump over between each and every double. There's another belter.
  • 3 3
 you should have seen @brianpark on the NSMB forums back in the day.... total dick.
  • 5 2
 @henryquinney: probably more likely to happen than top 40 riders making a living wage tbh. Frown
  • 8 4
 I dislike it when people think it's dickish to use rational thought to point out obvious errors in another's view point in a friendly debate. Brian is often right, and I think it's funny when he's a little salty.
  • 2 1
 @kcy4130: Brian’s the perfect wet blanket on these podcasts. But we need to be brought back to reality so it’s fair play.

I think mandatory 10ft high skinny’s in XC races should be a thing. Or at least two extremes - flat non technical boring terrain with at least two 25ft drops to flat.
  • 3 1
 Brian is now PNW woke. They know everything.
  • 1 0
 Does the survey include podium prizes/ winnings or just company pay checks. For people like Brandon Semnuk podium prize checks can boost income dramatically.
  • 2 0
 Levy is definitely foreskin suit... I mean for skin suit... nope had it right the first time.
  • 2 0
 Question: how do we get the UCI to be better for mountain biking? Like could we elect people or something?
  • 1 0
 Has to come from the riders. Need to unionise themselves, with several proper rider reps representing different groups/levels in the sport. Having just one rep, from the very top end of the race rankings is not providing a fair reflection of the views of the field (I would imagine)
  • 2 0
 None of my buddies or myself was ever influenced in our buying decisions by race results in any discipline.
  • 1 0
 not that they know of, the subconscious works in may different ways
  • 2 0
 Grim Series
All same bike, all same components - lowest end (tyre inserts) and skin suits.
  • 2 0
 Pinkpod, lol... so evocative!
  • 1 0
 What's that you were saying about foreskin suits at the end there, @mikelevy?!
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy please please never ask again if folk are in favour foreskin suits......
  • 3 0
 Isn't that just a turtleneck?
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy did you just say ,"foreskin suits?"
  • 1 0
 No. Maybe.
  • 2 2
 WTF @39:10, PinkBike,
stop being biased and
stop throwing like that
"companies/drands in the ditches" !!!
  • 1 0
 Not sure what you're referring to here?
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: No worries man!

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