The Pinkbike Podcast: Episode 70 - The Good, Bad, and Strange Bikes We've Owned - Part 2

Jul 2, 2021
by Mike Levy  
Pinkbike Podcast
Art by Taj Mihelich

Test editors get to ride some pretty nice stuff these days, with the majority of value-minded mountain bikes offering performance that would have been unheard of a decade (or less) ago. So wouldn't it be more interesting to go back to when things weren't so good and reliable? Today's episode is the second part of our bike ownership history chat, with the first covering Kazimer's Spooky Junebug hardtail, rattle-trap RM7, and his Iron Horse Sunday that was powered by Loctite. My old Giant ATX DH and heavily modified Prophet and Remedy made the list as well, but today's episode sees us get much more modern. But don't worry, there are still some sketchy hardtails, exotic downhill race bikes, and modern classics to cover in podcast 70.

What does your bike ownership history look like? Is there one that you're ashamed of? What about the one you wish you still had?

July 2nd, 2021

120 minutes in and still no Slingshot...

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
Episode 64 - Who's On Your MTB Mount Rushmore?
Episode 65 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 66 - The Best and Worst of Repairing Bikes
Episode 67 - The Story of Mountain Biking's Most Interesting Man: Richard Cunningham
Episode 68 - Who Are Mountain Biking's Unsung Heroes?
Episode 69 - The Good, Bad, and Strange Bikes We've Owned - Part 1

Author Info:
mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

  • 6 0
 @brianpark what about a post-race podcast? PB have one of the best world cup filmers/video makers/analysts in Cathro, Christina as a race expert, Henry an ex-world cup mechanic and self proclaimed race fan. It could be a separate affair to the usual PB pod but I think there's a market for it?!?
  • 4 0
 Yo! I got a question for the podcast. I'm looking for a new bike, an all-rounder full suspension that can handle the black level DH tracks where I live, but still ride more XC stuff efficiently. I'm on a high school race team in NorCAL that does NICA XC in the spring and California Enduro Series in the summer. I'm not a full xc racer but enjoy the races. I'm ISO a bike under 4k that could handle 3k+ vertical training days but still shred DH. Any suggestions? I've been on the entry-level Specialized Fuse hardtail for a while and it's just not enough bike anymore... Thank you, I appreciate your advice!
  • 1 0
 Just get an enduro bike and then swap over the tyres for XC racing. Enduro bikes now a days have really good pedalling efficiency even with a coil shock. I'd recommend getting a Norco Sight because they have good reliability for the price and offer a really good suspension set up guide, so It'll be dialled on the first ride.
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy, @mikekazimer,

feel free to come by and test the ATX DH (again), ready to ramble:

As a note, the head angle of the ATX is 66deg.
My favourite park bike is still the SC bullit 2 .... but that's an other story (you may test both in parallel Razz )

  • 3 0
 Wow, mostly original! Even the Formula brakes and (I think) the correct rims. Classic!
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: yes, including the Mavic D521 rims and the closed circuit Formulas...
  • 1 0
 @DrChaos: Closed circuit meaning no timing port?
  • 2 0
 @bicyclelifestyle: no surge tank or bladder , i.e. no compensation of changes in volume, e.g due to temperature.

The further you go down the hill, the further the bite point moves outwards ( that is, if fading does not compensate for it Big Grin )
  • 1 0
 @DrChaos: Does the dial on top of the master cylinder still turn?
  • 6 0
 I enjoyed just having Levy and Kaz shooting the shit and messing around. More of this.
  • 1 0
 That's all we do, so they'll be more Smile
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: Will Kaz be sitting in his bird Avery again ?
  • 2 0
 Until August of 2019 I was still riding my 1996 Trek Y22 multiple times a week. I did not know what I was missing out on so I still loved riding it. At the time I had no issues except I kept having to JB Weld the rear shock mount to the carbon frame every 3 months or so. But as I started trying to catch more air and the trails got tougher I thought I should upgrade. Now I have a Trail bike with modern spec. The Trek is now a museum piece.
  • 2 0
 A question for the Podcast. You guys talked about the Transition Spur and you own one and how good it is. I'm shopping for one but any comments/comparison with the YT Izzo? why would you choose one over the other?
I live in flat Michigan.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy & mikeKazimer: there’s always comments about bikes in tests where you feel it works great in your environment etc.
I get that but, how about you conduct a bike test somewhere completely random, away from your home continent?

Also, gives you the chance to test out the “would a modern 2021/22 geo bike beat a classic DH racer down a track”. Get over to Europe and create an edit on your bike if choice down a euro track. Fort bill would work as there isn’t a drastic change in track Lay out.
  • 1 0
 We've definitely reviewed bikes in many other places, and we also have test editors in different locations in America and in Europe where the terrain is vastly different Smile I think we emphasize how rough/steep/technical it is here a bit too much TBH, especially as there are plenty of flowy, smoother trails that we test the bikes on.
  • 1 0
 Fair enough @mikelevy:
  • 3 0
Kaz had a norco optic a little while ago (pre-commercial meta) that he mentioned he liked a while ago. How does that compare with the spur?
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: so…. @mikekazimer
Spur vs optic?
  • 1 0
 Driving down the road, going on a road trip with my 2002 specialized bighit(with monster t), 2003 block 8 journeyman(set up for jibbing) and a 2005 santa cruz nomad hanging over my tailgate feeling all alone in this world...I left my modern bike at home (2019) because it's a hardtail and I've listened to that podcast too...I guess I don't belong on pinkbike anymore.
  • 2 0
 Retro road trip?! Driving an old Chevy?
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: you got the truck, I got the bike!
  • 1 0
 I hope this gets seen and I'm not too late with my comment. I love downhill racing but with recent events on the world cup and the french nationals I am starting to wonder if all the injuries can be justified. I would love to see a podcast on the subject if downhill racing is getting too dangerous and what actions could be taken to reduce risk for the riders. Healing vibes to Amaury Pierron, Thibaut Daprela, Nina Hofmann, Marine Cabirou, Tracey Hannah and everyone else nursing an injury...
  • 2 0
 There definitely something to talk about there. We'll put it on the list Smile
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: could actually also be a topic for an industry insider article now that i think about it.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy @ Mikekazimer

K, bike park etiquette questions here and its a two parter

1) riding my local park in BC this weekend and kept coming up on slower traffic. I am faster than most, not all of course but I kept hitting slower traffic. Sometimes I hold up and let people go on their way while I wait. For example if there is a family with kids ahead. But then I kind of expect those people to let me pass when it's safe. No one was doing this. Just wondering what you think the ethic is here.
2) I hit a road gap with a blind landing on a flow trail and there were people stopped in the landing. Almost killed me and then. In skiing the uphill skier is responsible for not hitting the downhill skier but on a ton of park flow trails you are jumping into blind landings. Am I wrong for expecting no one to be in these blind landings? Or do we need to spot every landing on a flow trail now?

Tough questions, just looking for opinions.
  • 1 0
 1) Bike parks are full of all sorts of riders these days - it's more accessible than ever - so I'd argue that the onus is on the faster, more experienced rider to be chill about things, regardless of if the other person is in the wrong. In a perfect world, slower riders would always move over and the flow would never end, but I don't think anyone should expect that when doing casual bike park laps. I'd say that the answer is to kill 'em with kindness and remember that it could be their first day in the park and maybe they're scared shitless Smile

2) I've had exactly that happen to me a handful of times. It cost me a fork once. This is more difficult to forgive as everyone should have common sense, but that's not life. I think the other person is in the wrong, of course, but I've also been spooked enough that I'm pretty careful about blind landings. Some new riders might not even recognize that they're standing on a landing, which sounds crazy but their perspective is very different. Stay safe, look at the landings!
  • 1 0
 I see short travel trail bikes become more and more common, but where are the ones with external brake routing? As someone that changes the brakes the second I get a new bike it is quite frustrating to deal with internal routing and I would also like to avoid cable knocking, which all my previous bikes with internal routing have had.
  • 1 0
 I had been racking my brain trying to decide to buy either a V4 Ibis Ripley, or a Transition Spur. Levy and Cassimer never agree about anything, especially bikes. They both agree that the Transition Spur is an awesome bike. Ordered one that very day.
  • 4 0
 unpopular opinion: euro style repurposed hiking trails are the best
  • 4 0
 Finding flow on a hiking trail built 1,200 years ago - so good.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: You're joking, but to a large degree that's actually how it is for most mountainbikers where I live. One of my favourtie trails is an ancient footpath down a hill from a monastery that was built 600 years ago. You can only imagine the views.
  • 1 0
 @BenTheSwabian: Only half joking! I've been lucky enough to do plenty of riding in Europe and appreciate that kinda stuff. I'm a bit of a history dork, so it just feels rad to be on old trails like that, coasting past old refugios and old huts. Amazing.
  • 2 0
 Loving this! In the first instalment did you mentioned there's an article that goes with this too? I 'd love to see pics of the actual bikes!
  • 1 1
 Great followup to ep. 69 - skip the effin' alien junk. Might as well have an episode about Teletubbies. It's BS along with bigfoot, the Bermuda Triangle, the Deep State, Vaccine Magnetism and all the other cartoons of the modern era.

I'm sure the final hunting gathering tribes of the planet looked up at blimps / balloons, the 1st simple aircraft then WWI & II planes & bombers, then spacecraft and now drones & said "Ahhhhh - that's just the Germans or the Americans (whoever)..." - or would have any way of differentiating us from any ''ufo's'' or "aliens" (our term) that might arrive. The similarity is us & "aliens" is just too close to distinguish.

Face it - humans are the aliens on our very planet. Who knows less, is dumber & less informed, has zero actual ability to clothe, feed, maintain ourselves independently and completely drunk with ourselves (self included) on this planet than us... non-earth aliens are laughable. You are them right here.
  • 2 0
 Oooof, you sound very convinced. I don't think I could convince you otherwise and wouldn't want to try Smile
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Ironically 1) I'd still listen to the podcast as I'm addicted to PB podcast and listen to each of them 5-6 or more times to let it sink in and; 2) I am certain our solar system (and the universe) is teeming with life and that easily there could be others out there but that they have the technology to get here is kinda boring and beside the point compared with most life on earth and how little people know or give a shit about it on our very own planet. They'd also be likely (if not more interested) to study & care more about all the other forms of life than only humans because: drama. Besides - seriously if there were aliens w/ technology that could get them here, humans wouldn't be able to tell them apart from us anyway - they could blend right in. Its the rest of the earth that is so different and more interesting that yet more humanoids anyway - my opinion.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark I'd like to see @mikekazimer and @mikelevy swap their personal bikes and spec them as if it were their own then swap back for a ride. Could be great TV for the potential tears and tantrums.
  • 3 0
 where tf is my podcast about Aliens?!!!!
  • 3 0
 Ugh, I know. I left it too late and wanted a bunch of interviews with some people that I'm trying to get in touch with... but maybe it should just be me yelling at @mikekazimer about aliens for an hour lol
  • 2 0
 I'm also waiting for that one. Might I suggest a book in the mean time? Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock. Hancock is, shall we say, a topic of contriversial debate among scholars, but mainly because he questions the standard model of anthropology. The guy definitley knows how to do his research and I think most of his arguments are made in good faith. What I like most about him is that he isn't one of those crazy conspiracy nuts, but just a skeptic, in the philosophical sense of that word.
  • 1 0
 @BenTheSwabian: That's a great book. I wish people had more open minds; much of the history crap we learned in school was wrong at the time and is either wrong or in question now. It's fair that things change slow (especially school curriculums lol) but it seems like the old, classically trained scientists just refuse to even be challenged that there COULD be a very different story to our past. I believe there's a high chance that our history is drastically different from what we think happened.
  • 1 0
 @BenTheSwabian: Thanks for the recommendation, I just placed the order, let's see how it goes.

I was actually looking for a recommendation like this, my dad owns a first copy of chariots of the gods, we loved reading that book back in in the mid 90s, then internet came, ancient aliens got popular on History Channel and the spark was kind of lost for us.
  • 1 0
 Shout out for the Kona. I’m still riding my 2014 Kona Process 134 every week. It’s my only bike. Those Kona’s are bullet proof.
  • 1 0
 Solid AF bike. Running a front derailleur or did you convert to 1x?
  • 1 0
 Good to hear the appreciation for the 111 and 153 in recent episodes. The 111 was such an eye-opener and I loved it so much I bought a 153 as well.
They were both brilliant fun - sturdy, playful and predictable - but the downside was that they pedaled like a sack of spuds. Perhaps lacked anti-squat? That's why I moved on, anyway.
Looking back, Kona and Transition deserve a lot of credit for sticking their necks out with longer reach numbers (and shorter seat tubes) quite early on.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: Converted to 1x but still running a 36-11 cassette. what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
  • 2 0
 tour de france fan arrested
  • 2 1
 Does anyone get distracted by the birds in the background of these podcasts?
  • 2 0
 We're actually starting a bird-specific podcast where it's just RC and Kazimer trying to talk over loud bird noises. Stay tuned!
  • 1 0
 Can someone please explain all the whistles you hear while watching the DH World Cup highlights?
  • 2 0
 The whistles are course marshals letting course-side fans know that a racer is going to come flying through in a few seconds. The whistle really means, "GET OFF THE COURSE!" Smile
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: However this does not apply to french drivers...
  • 1 0
 How do you buy a bike for “your wife” that also fits you? She is a small I’m a medium?
  • 1 0
 I don't think you do, sorry Smile
  • 1 0
 If you boys like spurs, how you feel about chaps?
  • 1 1
 I hope there's more Orange content in this one Smile
  • 2 0
 You know it.
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