The Pinkbike Podcast: Episode 64 - Who's On Your MTB Mount Rushmore?

May 27, 2021
by Mike Levy  
Pinkbike Podcast
Art by Taj Mihelich


Carving a few 60ft tall faces into a granite mountain in South Dakota is no small task, which is probably why it took fourteen years to turn Six Grandfathers (also known as Cougar Mountain by the Lakota Sioux) into what we call Mount Rushmore today. And despite not being completed until 1941, a time not exactly known for its worksite safety, not a single laborer died during construction. Luckily for us, we don't need to set dynamite charges while hanging from the end of a tattered rope - our MTB Mount Rushmore is make-believe.

The massive faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln on the real Mount Rushmore are meant to represent the first 150-years of America's history. Specifically, the country's birth, growth, development, and preservation. With that in mind, who - or what - do you believe represents those four points well enough to deserve to be up on mountain biking's hypothetical Mount Rushmore?





THE PINKBIKE PODCAST // EPISODE 64 - WHO'S ON YOUR MTB MOUNT RUSHMORE?
May 27th, 2021

And why is it just Bender's face four times?


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?
Episode 61 - Athlete Pay, Lycra, Equality and More from the State of the Sport Survey
Episode 62 - Editor Preferences and Why They Matter
Episode 63 - Our Best (And Worst) Bike Buying Advice


149 Comments

  • 47 2
 The Godfather. Wade Simmons.
  • 2 1
 Was omw to say that
  • 2 0
 he was just on Tippie's podcast.
  • 2 0
 @jaydawg69: Tippie has a podcast!?
  • 2 0
 @chacou: yup. Just started on Spotify
  • 1 0
 @jaydawg69: Thanks, I'll check it out! I'm sure it's good.
  • 2 0
 @chacou: Wade was/is first guest.
  • 1 0
 As a Fro Rider?
  • 43 3
 SAM HILL
  • 3 1
 Indisputably.
  • 3 0
 Uh hundy percent!
  • 2 0
 The purest raw talent ever in mountain bike
  • 30 2
 Next podcast: who's on the mtb's equivalent of the fbi's list of the ten most wanted fugitives. i.e. who are the biggest villains of mtb? I'd nominate whoever decided that boost should be invented instead of just using the existing 12x157. Also whoever decided on 15 instead of the existing and superior 20mm thru axles.
  • 18 2
 i bet the guy at giant who said 650b was the future is probably on the giant offices wall of shame
  • 2 0
 @GumptionZA: Definitely. We need a name lol
  • 2 2
 With 157 the rear ends can get too wide imo. I was brushing the seatstay on the couple that I’ve ridden. Unnecessary.
  • 33 1
 Any company selling a frame that requires you to remove the bottom bracket to install the dropper post line...
  • 1 0
 @GumptionZA: It is the future, for the rear wheel Wink
  • 1 0
 @ichabodchain: i still want to try this, i know its the norm in moto, but is it really better than full 29? or is it just really good for people who buzz their bum on the wagon wheels?
  • 14 1
 If you squint, the artwork for this podcast *sort of* looks like faces on Rushmore, with too many faces.

Are you all fishing for compliments? sheesh.
  • 9 0
 I'd have Martyn Ashton in there.
Along with McRoy, Peaty, Warner and the other Martin, Martin Hawyes they were part of that MBUK scene back in the 90s over here and they made some great videos which I loved watching. He probably had the first viral bike video with Road Bike Party (first that I remember anyway). Then post accident being a real inspiration by remaining so positive and still loving mountain biking.
  • 1 0
 Agree 100% with Ashton. Legend. Got me excited about mucking about on bikes back in 1997.
Also Peaty is a titan, esp. here in the UK
  • 1 0
 Can I throw Chris Porter in the mix as well? Arguable he has done more to progress the modern mountain bike than any.
  • 10 0
 The AI Pinkbike comment bot should pick the specs to put into Autodesk for the next Grim Donut design.
  • 3 0
 Not a terrible idea...
  • 8 0
 @brianpark: can you guys do a poll based on who you discussed, then have Taj draw up the hypothetical Mount Rushmore and have it as a t-shirt? Golden marketing/merchandise opportunity there.
  • 10 1
 Furtado, Tomac, Simmons, and Vanderham. Aging myself. Probably.
  • 6 1
 Ned Overend
  • 3 0
 No Tinker?
  • 4 0
 If I am just sticking to 4 people like Mt. Rushmore. If I were able to go more then I would absolutely have him, Giove, Peaty, Palmer...
  • 3 0
 @Vudu74: I think Gary Fisher needs to be on it. Help invent the mountain bike and was the first person to push 29er wheels.
  • 1 0
 @Garantson: Forward Geometry too
  • 6 1
 Haven’t listened to the podcast yet, but lots of racers and freeriders mentioned in these comments, but no bike designers yet. What about people like Keith Bontrager, Tom Ritchey, Richard Cunningham, etc? I would think any Mount Rushmore of MTB should have at least one influential designer or inventor.
  • 2 0
 Just put a trek up there instead as a homage to 90% of designers
  • 4 0
 @toad321: looks like a session.
  • 8 1
 Lunn and Chainsaw. Those guys were ambassadors to the whole sport. If there was ever two people that could spread the stoke to the younger generations, it was them.
  • 5 0
 Breeze,
Missy,
Lenosky (very influential to young me)
Weagle (arguable but I think he took us into the modern era of understanding bike suspension and opened the door for all the pedalable Long travel bikes out there now.)
  • 1 0
 Yes but def not Lenosky. He’s just another regular pro that didn’t do anything special
  • 8 0
 It's a shame that Digger wasn't mentioned
  • 3 1
 Oh, that's a good one. What a legend.
  • 2 0
 chazzie !
  • 1 0
 I was shouting digger the entire time!!
  • 2 0
 @e-tav: I actually feel sick that we didn't talk about Digger. Huge impact.
  • 9 2
 Bender. Hill. Peat. Gracia. Smith. R.Atherton
  • 5 0
 Yes, was waiting to see Bender on this. And also thanks to whoever said Missy too.
  • 1 0
 Yes! Watching Gracia is the reason I started mountain biking
  • 1 0
 I think Rachel is too 'modern' but I think that she would have to be included if there was a tuning of the rules.
  • 3 0
 How about the loggers, probably the main reason we are even able to access the trails in the forests we love. I know it's a little chicken before the egg, but if not for the pursuit of sweet sweet timber who would have broken trail into the sea of green?
  • 2 0
 Agreed. Mountain biking would have a hard time in many places without all the logging road access.
  • 3 0
 Gary Fisher cause I wanna see someone carve a 60 foot face with that mustache Rob Warner cause I wanna see someone carve a 60 foot face taking a drink Sam Pilgrim cause I wanna see someone carve a 60 foot face missing a tooth Kate Courtney cause I wanna see someone carve a 60 foot face with her emoji smile
  • 6 0
 Hill, Schurter, ACC, Peaty, Wade, Semenuk, Sydor.
  • 8 0
 There’s 3 kinds of people in the world, those who can count and those who can’t
  • 2 0
 Love the Podcast guys, and I love the thought of the obscure hippy.

Question. Y'all talk about how some of those early times set on old bikes are still hard to beat today. So, if you were to race each other tomorrow on a bike built before 2000, what would you choose any why? And, how can we make this video happen?
  • 4 0
 @mikelevy oh no you didn’t. You didn’t just bag on Tomac. We are so not internet BFFs anymore! I saw him at a cactus cup and he was on his Raleigh with Tioga disc wheel.
  • 2 0
 I would go with all the trail builders out there except Greg (you know what you did, you tool stealing jerk), and the old dude in the BMW who called the cops on my buddies and me for having trail head beers after a ride cause I want EVERYONE to know that he is a kill joy.
  • 2 0
 I think at very least a nod should go to Kurt Voreis. When you talk about impactful contributions it is the outliers that come to mind. The man has embodied innovation and fun on a bike with a style and approach that never seemed held within dominant views of what the sport was. His street skills from skating and BMX had him pushing aspects of the sport towards new frontiers waaaaay back and go well beyond his success on the race course. He appeared fearless and embodied a lot of what the sport became. Guys like Vories are the Shane McConkey or Travis Pastranas of our sport and need the nod as they make riding fun and not just about results, technical developments, or sheer speed. My vote is for Voreis- your favorite rider's favorite rider.
  • 1 0
 Agreed, Kirt = fun.
  • 4 1
 Julien Absalon, Rachel Atherton, Anne-Caroline Chausson, Thomas Frischknecht, Brian Lopes, Gary Fisher, Nicolas Vouilloz, how big is this mountain?
  • 2 1
 For me and my friends Bender was a MTB god and had to be the guy who defined the spirit of everything that brought us into the sport. For us MTB was still very rough and tumble and fairly counter-culture. It's funny to see these prissy kids on the high school downhill team in my town. The mainstreaming of MTB has definitely brought a lot of positive but sometimes I lament losing the "send it like Bender" mentality
  • 1 0
 How do different levels of Shimano brakes that are
4 piston have different levels of power? Is a slx 4 piston brake with the same rotors and pads any less powerful than an XTR equivalent? If they use the same hydraulic fluid how could one be better at heat management? I just am looking to limit brake fade and am wondering what factors contribute.
  • 3 0
 There's a lot of legends in MTB, or people who have done legendary feats. To bring it a bit more recent - Lacondeguy, Ratboy, Minaar, Mackaskill, Gwin.
  • 1 0
 If magazines can be a candidate for Mt Rushmore, then what about Youtube? Yeah, I know, there was mountain biking before Youtube, but what would the last decade have looked like without it? How many people have been inspired to get a bike after countless hours of watching Youtube edits? How many great bikers are able to generate income so that they can take their riding to the next level? How many people choose their bikes after seeing youtube bike reviews? How many boutique bike makers depend on Youtube as a way to easily show off their stuff to an international audience? etc and so on ....

And, ok, if it's not Youtube, how about someone who was an MTB pioneer in seeing Youtube as way to do awesome stuff and make a living out of it (directly through ad revenue and from attracting sponsors)
  • 1 0
 Heyho,
big fan of the podcast, I particularly like Brians take on stuff, he's just such a smart, chill dude. 3
My question to the specialists: This winter I will build up my Meta AM 29 and I really want to go coil.
I am a steezy rider who loves to jump. Are there any poppy coil shocks? What are your preferences (Fox, Rockshox, Marzochi,...? (And no Levy, I am currently not interested in a Push or EXT shock ^.^ )
Thanks for your immeasurable wisdom,
tristan
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer, @mikelevy, @brianpark (I wrote this under the 4 predictions article, but wanted to post here as well) -- does the future of mixed wheel sizes mainly have a presence in the longer travel cycling disciplines such as enduro/DH? Would there be any advantages to having XC or shorter travel trail bikes setup as mixed wheel sizes, maybe a Spur/Blur/Epic Evo type bike? If you had to guess, what amount of travel would be the cutoff for mixing wheel sizes and will Levy do a downcountry 130mm travel or less mixer video series for it.
  • 3 0
 I am all in for the Alien podcast, open a patreon, gofund me or something, but make it happen.
  • 4 0
 Kyle Strait: Rode every rampage. Preservation.
  • 7 0
 I think preservation is avoiding every rampage, but that is an honorable mention for sure
  • 4 0
 Jaquie Phelan (yes I am dating myself).
  • 3 0
 Derek Westerlund (NWD)
Christian Begin (Kranked Series)

One of those two guys should be there, I think!
  • 2 0
 Oh man, definitely some of the early videographers had huge impacts on the sport. Good call.
  • 3 0
 @brianpark: Kranked (1) was so revolutionary for me. It absolutely blew my mind.

I met some of the Kranked guys in Rossland (Dave Swetland and Chris "Lunchbox" Lawrence, and the legendary Christian Begin). Such rad guys. I even rode the Fort Shepard dirt chutes with Dave. The Rossland premiere of that film was an insane party. I heard Tippie's crazy laugh from well outside the building! Those boys were sending it that night!
Since then I've owned a lot of Rocky Mountains. I'm currently riding a Wade Simmons replica Slayer with Marz suspension.
As well, Christian Begin inspired me to get into film. I shot snowboard movies for 15 years, and now shoot commercials.
Basically, my whole life changed because of that movie.
  • 1 1
 I'll get neg proped for this but personality comes a long way when being influential, and Nico even though he won a lot of trophies, personality wise he comes short. My MR pick is RC, Peat, Nino and Tomac. Maybe swap in Wade for Nino.
  • 2 0
 It was all worth it. It was all true, including asking my wife to sell my frame and suspension on Facebook because I am not a joiner.
  • 1 0
 Quite the journey.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: My biggest concern was the frame size and geometry wouldn't work for me. We ordered a bike for my wife a couple years ago that was just slightly too big and she just gave it to my mom. I was going out of my mind like wait two years and my daughter will fit. It was a great bike for the money. Now my mom rides it like 2 times a year.
  • 1 0
 Wade Simmons, Nino Schurter, Greg Minaar, Juli Furtado, Anne-Caroline Chausson, Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesja. Undisputable leadres of mountain biking. Change m mind (trick question, you won't)
  • 1 0
 The Jah Drop does still exist but it would take some serious bush whacking, fence hopping, and potentially trespassing to get to. The road you see it from is a good ways from it
  • 1 0
 I would love to see someone land it today. That'd make a killer video.
  • 4 1
 For all the XC people, we gotta have Nino
  • 2 0
 I dont consider myself an XC People, but have great admiration towards Nino. Amazing rider and Athlete.
  • 2 0
 Nino can’t go up, he isn’t human
  • 4 2
 As Canadians I'm disappointed you all do not have Shandro on your list... @mikelevy @brianpark
  • 2 1
 It was a toss-up for me between Furtado and R. Atherton, but while Atherton is certainly dominant, Furtado was the trail balzer.
  • 3 0
 Bearclaw FTW! My personnal fav! The reason why I had a specialized Bighit!
  • 3 0
 all right ill take one for the team and get my face carved out
  • 1 0
 John Tomac, Gary Fisher, Tom Ritchie and Matt Hoffman. I know Hoffman's not really a mtb guy but he was a tremendous inspiration to me.
  • 1 0
 Well, of course it's gotta include Gary Fisher, Joe Breeze and Charlie Kelley. But I'd make sure to fit in Anne-Caroline Chausson, Wade Simmons, and John Tomac.
  • 1 0
 Tomac and the Great Mountain Biking Video is on Vimeo: vimeo.com/ondemand/greatmtb
The trailer is as good as you could hope for.
  • 2 0
 Thanks! (I'm one of the producers of "The Great Mountain Biking Video") I have posted the interviews gathered back then (1987) in their entirety here for the true mountain bike videophile: www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLS1LbyHc0qQEn_plXGpQrlUP3haQ6iUsX - (Including Ned Overend, John Tomac & Tinker Juarez)
  • 1 0
 What about Jeff Steber? How many late 90's and 2000s downhill frames were rebranded Intense frames? How much did those frames change downhill racing?
  • 2 0
 Tippie 4x with various expressions. Although the mountain might need to be 70' tall for that noggin.
  • 1 0
 Regarding Levy's comment about the most expensive components going back to metal in the future: please see current price list for anything titanium.
  • 1 0
 Everytime I am about to ride I hear Mike levy's voice behind me reminding me to check my tyre pressure... horrifying yet helpful
  • 1 0
 Mission accomplished Wink
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: So Happy you are not dead. got a bit worried for a minute when you were missing from a couple of the podcasts. strange fact , I can't fall asleep without your podcast. Thank you Sandman.
  • 1 0
 Question: When are you guys going to do a nerd alert (pinknerd? nerdpinker?) segment/spinoff for this podcast? Henry and Seb seem perfect for this.
  • 3 1
 Wade, Missy, Stevie, Digger. But, artwork by JOE BARNES.
  • 3 1
 No Steve Peat? You've gotta be kidding
  • 3 1
 Shandro, Tippie, Sam Hill, Peaty
  • 4 1
 Stevie Smith!!
  • 5 2
 Minnaar..
  • 4 1
 Me, myself and I.
  • 2 0
 Gary Fisher, Joe Breeze, Charlie Kelley, John Tomac
  • 3 0
 Alison Sydor!!!
  • 1 0
 She’s the reason why I bought a Cannondale back in those days. Still have (and ride) that bike today, albeit with lots of modern mods.
  • 1 0
 The Marzocchi jump story is told in "The Moment" on Redbull TV by the people that were there.
  • 2 0
 Bike mag especially bc of Mike Ferrentino
  • 2 0
 Mount Rushmore Fantasy League
  • 1 0
 I guess Tomac was a one the fist guys using a peak on a helmet or at least set the trend!
  • 1 0
 Which one of the editors listens to “Pardon My Take” to come up with this idea???
  • 1 0
 Wade, RC, Composite of Ned/Tomac/Tinker and Missy Giove (pioneer for women and bridged, literally, pot smoking and racing)
  • 2 0
 ZAP! Always revered his journalism, bright red shoes, and ear gauges.
  • 1 0
 Dylan Tremblay 360ed a drop before Darren's road gap....on a hardtail...just saying
  • 2 1
 Tomac, Minaar, Digger, Furtado
  • 2 0
 Only 4? I can't do it.
  • 1 0
 Peaty, Simmons, Smith, the Claw
  • 3 4
 Can't believe you didn't suggest adding Seth's Bike Hacks to that Mountain!
Think how many people wouldn't have bought a DNM dropper. Geek
  • 2 0
 Randy
  • 1 0
 Tomac, Nico, wade and Berrecloth
  • 1 0
 Correct.
  • 1 0
 Tomac Wade Missy McAskill
  • 1 0
 Without Chazzie, no freeride !
  • 1 0
 Vouilloz, Hill, R.Atherton, Gracia (and ACC!)
  • 1 0
 Tioga DH, Hutchison Coyote, Maxxis DHF, Maxxis Assegai
  • 1 0
 Tippie,Simmons,bender,minnar.
  • 1 0
 The fro-riders, of course
  • 1 0
 "Life's to short not to go big. Gotta go big" - Bender
  • 1 0
 I can hear the dial-up when Be see tries to put a thought together.
  • 3 3
 The 4-man Rock Group who don't sing nor play instruments
  • 3 2
 Dave Jenvey
  • 1 0
 WADE!!!
  • 1 0
 Monsterman156
  • 1 0
 BIKER FOX
  • 1 0
 YES
  • 1 0
 Wonder what he looks like now. Actually, no please don't show me.
  • 1 1
 IMBA - Would that face be Tim Blumenthal?
I feel like that's a biggie.
  • 1 1
 Gary Fisher, John Tomac, Lance Armstrong, Jimmy LeVan
  • 1 0
 John Cowan
  • 1 0
 Kabush
  • 2 2
 RC.
  • 10 13
 Mike Levy
  • 2 0
 Really?
  • 2 0
 Agree!!
  • 1 2
 @Spamlight:

#downcountry4life

@mikelevy
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