The Pinkbike Podcast: Episode 75 - Things MTB Brands Waste Money On

Aug 13, 2021
by Mike Levy  
Pinkbike Podcast
Art by Taj Mihelich


Have you ever looked at a bike and thought, ''What the hell were they thinking?'' Because we have, and not just about bikes. From 80lbs of cardboard packaging to pricey video shoots to the costs of running a factory World Cup team, brands can sometimes seem like they're burning money and getting a questionable return on their investment. Today's podcast sees the group ask those questions, and while it's true that our lack of engineering and marketing experience means our opinions are probably mostly entirely wrong, we're not about to let that stop us from sharing them.

What's the number one way that you see brands wasting money? Where could they save a few bucks?





THE PINKBIKE PODCAST // EPISODE 75 - THINGS MTB BRANDS WASTE MONEY ON
August 13th, 2021

''Yo Dawg, we heard you like cardboard so we put your box in a box so you can unbox more boxes!''


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
Episode 70 - The Good, Bad, and Strange Bikes We've Owned - Part 2
Episode 71 - The Story of Mountain Biking's Most Interesting Man: Richard Cunningham - A Pinkbike Podcast Special, Part 2
Episode 72 - Hey Outers!
Episode 73 - The Details That Matter... and Some That Shouldn't
Episode 74 - The Best Trails We've Ridden and What Makes Them So Special


163 Comments

  • 59 0
 Biggest waste of money is NOT investing in after sales service and customer experience. A few decades ago a happy customer told 1-2 people and an unhappy one told 12 by word of mouth.... that was pre-internet. Now positive reviews are suspected to have been bought and unhappy customers have a worldwide megaphone at their fingertips.
  • 15 16
 Re: YTrash
  • 4 42
flag noideamtber (Aug 13, 2021 at 16:53) (Below Threshold)
 @DoubleCrownAddict: you and badboyleroy should have a wedding, both act like woman with no real world knowledge but "my friend told me"
  • 21 0
 @noideamtber: please don’t bring women into this
  • 1 7
flag noideamtber (Aug 15, 2021 at 23:04) (Below Threshold)
 @TheInsideLine: and that proves my point, half the forum users fuel those 2 and the downvotes prove that there is clearly an issue on this group, we've got two extremely racist individuals and nobody bats an eye at them... downvote me if your a racist.
  • 50 0
 I think we all know it’s a kashima coated hydraulic system for a bike rack,
  • 15 2
 To play devil's advocate, is that really a waste for the company? It gets people talking, it's a coating that's supposed to be extra durable and smooth, and I'm sure they'll sell a bunch of them. Whether or not the people buying it are wasting their money is a different topic...
  • 2 0
 As Kaz said, more so this, "Whether or not the people buying it are wasting their money is a different topic"
  • 9 0
 @SuperHighBeam: Here we are talking about a bike rack, so it worked!
  • 4 0
 @mikelevy: But does that translate to purchases? Don't people have better things to waste their money on? Or even just make a donation to your local trail society.
  • 2 0
 I used to have that same mindset, particularly about a bike rack, but I imagine that rack will last 10+ years so all things considered I don't think it's too terrible of an investment.
  • 4 0
 @mikekazimer: when it's a rack that's a copy of 1up (one of the best racks ever), and looks worse, and costs literally 2x, yes, the kashima and LED's are a waste of money.
  • 4 1
 @trillot: We'd have to ask Kuat, but I wouldn't be surprised if they sold every one of them. People say the same thing about any bike that costs over $500.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: “Mikes Like Bikes”
  • 1 0
 @trillot: The tendency is to spend exorbitant amounts of money willfully on things that bring us pleasure. For some that's donations (selfless giving), for some its top shelf bike parts (selfish gifting). To each his own.
  • 38 1
 I know the comments section is supposed to be for complaining, but there is seriously so much quality content on the site these days. Race coverage, the podcasts, Ben's How to Bike series, the upcoming Field Test... thanks for helping us avoid boredom and productivity at work, PB team!
  • 18 0
 Get back into line and moan about something, please! Jk, thanks for the positive feedback. Field Test videos in the edit room, so it won't be long now Smile
  • 36 6
 Promoting through YouTubers that can't actually ride or provide feedback to the brands about the product like pro riders can.
  • 13 0
 Yes, giving bikes to 'influencers' who are actually just bro friends of guys in the company.
  • 7 0
 I feel like any free bikes/parts in this pandemic year for anyone other than world cup racers is a waste of money. Why did they need more marketing when they didn't even have enough supply to satisfy existing riders?
  • 23 1
 On the flip side, those youtubers probably represent the average rider of most bikes.
  • 18 1
 I don't think this is necessarily a "waste of money" for brands, in fact it may be the economical thing to do, but since you mentioned it: the amount of plastic packaging in/on bikes in boxes that arrive in bike shops to build up is APPALLING. And it all goes straight into the trash. When that article about Trek cleaning up their packaging came out a little while ago that was so encouraging to see.

It may cost more to package bikes with less damage to the environment - but that is a very good expenditure of money for the long term.
  • 4 1
 P&A is just as bad as full bikes. The one that really gets me is DMR Deathgrips - they come tied to a piece of brown card using twine, all very eco… but each pair comes in an individual, non-reusable, heat-sealed plastic bag. Really annoys me when we get a shipment as the first thing we do is throw them all away.
  • 3 0
 @jadias: FWIW, that individual poly bag thing could be a requirement of the distributor. I hear it’s common. The poly bag reduces customer returns from damaged or dirty new products.
  • 3 0
 The plastic bags, while a huge L from an eco standpoint, are there to reduce damage from shipping much like juice-stain has said. I worked for a company in fulfillment one semester back in college and got to witness their attempt to move away from the plastic. Spoiler: they were back to plastic sleeves before the semester was over. Now, in terms of clothing I don't see why they couldn't put that into one giant bag instead of 100 individual sleeves (which is way more plastic). More environmentally friendly shipping/packaging materials seems like a hole in the market with room for the enterprising individual to get a foothold.
  • 5 0
 If you think OEM full-built bikes are bad packaging-wise, you should see the mountain of retail packaging that piles up doing a custom build. SRAM's component boxes are insane: whether it's a shift lever, derailleur, brakes, or cranks, they come in huge, glossy cardboard boxes w/ full plastic tray inserts. SRAM retail boxes come in two sizes: one big enough to hold 3-4 full-sized, clay bricks, and a "small" one big enough to hold 2 bricks.
Dear SRAM, we don't need "premium" packaging to add even more cost & production waste to your $400 cassettes. Brown cardboard boxes just large enough to hold each part, w/ cardboard inserts would more than suffice!
  • 1 0
 @juice-stain: Upvote for the name, and the comment
  • 1 0
 @juice-stain: I’m sure you’re right, but it just reeks of dishonesty. What the end consumer doesn’t know, etc…

It doesn’t have to be so bad. Lezyne send everything in quite heavy duty ziplock bags - yes, it’s still plastic, but we tend to find uses for them in the workshop. The DMR bags are literally trash the moment you tear them open.
  • 15 0
 Speaking of manuals, years ago I bought a couple of Yamaha dirtbikes. They each came with a manual that was so in depth that it explained to you how to rebuild the entire engine and suspension in detail.... with photos and schematics. So in my opinion, I think mountain bike manuals should be even more in depth so a competent back yard mechanic could tackle the rebuild job him/herself. People will still support shops because rebuilding your entire bike can be a daunting and lengthy task, but having the option to do it yourself would be appreciated by many people.
  • 4 0
 Mine has part numbers, full exploded diagrams of the entire frame & bearings, and torque values for everything in the manual. It’s remarkable. Unfortunately it didn’t include a Fox service manual for the suspension but Fox has good guides on their website available too.
  • 12 0
 To me the biggest waste of money or largest opportunity cost is the haphazard way bike companies run their demo programs, regardless of if it's their demo vans going out and doing events or the programs (or lack of) they develop to provide dealers with demo bikes. Demo vans seem to be run by bros and it's totally haphazard and ad hoc as to which events and what dealers those rigs turn up to. Pre-pandemic, when shops had demo fleets it seemed to me in most cases the demo bikes were on perm loan to some employee or used within the shop's inner circle.
  • 3 0
 THIS, so much this. I worked in shops for a decade. The well organized, well advertised demos *always* led to a higher interest in coming months at the shop. And really, it just makes sense--if you're going to spend 4,5,8k on a bike, wouldn't you want to take it for a lap first? Seems like the smallest of asks for that sort of investment.

Best demo event I ever attended was Santa Cruz at Chicopee Woods, GA. They knew what time a model/size went out, approximately what time it should be back. Had more than one person on tour in the van, and had a couple guys from the local SC dealer helping set up bikes. Super well done, and everyone that got to ride a bike was super stoked that day.
  • 3 0
 @mikealive: So interesting - I've been to demo events from Rocky, Giant, Santa Cruz, Pivot, Ibis and they were all top notch. They almost always had plenty of bikes and plenty of people to set-things up. In fact, come to think of it, I don't think I've ever been to a demo event that wasn't run well. I'm in Southern California so perhaps there's a regional difference? But I agree, demo events are key for someone spending a large chunk of change on a bike. I don't think I'd ever buy a bike of that value without demoing.
  • 3 0
 @pumpjumpnflow: I should clarify--I've been to some good, some bad. A few in the PNW were pretty much the demo guy working on a 6 pack, letting people set up their own bikes and only intervening when asked. All the bikes out? Sorry bud. How long until X size comes back? No idea, just hang out for a bit. Only 8-10 people showed up because the LBS didn't get the word out until the day of event. Holding demos at 4pm on a Tuesday evening. Stuff like that. You make a good point about regional differences, and I'm sure localities come into play as well. SoCal has plenty of population. In GA we were just outside ATL. So maybe bike companies send the A squad for bigger events? You said "I don't think I'd ever buy a bike of that value without demoing." and I agree 100%. In my opinion a good all-day demo is worth the investment for any company looking to sell bikes.
  • 2 0
 @mikealive: This has been my experience too. I'd try to get on a mailing list from a shop to find out when the demo truck would be in the area only to see some post on FB the day after the event saying "we had the X truck out at Y place, thanks to all our friends who joined us." ok, lol, I've got $6k sitting here ready to go to a bike, but I'm not on the right list. What demos I turned up for I'd try to find out what was on the truck beforehand...good luck with that. I don't want to use my time to ride a bunch of models I'm not interested in. I want to ride these three specific bikes in the next three months before I buy. The pandemic has all but eliminated the shop demo fleet, but before the pandemic it was totally random trying to get a bike to try out. I call the shop "hey, do you guys have X model in Y size?" Shop "yeah we do but it's out." Me: "When's it coming back?" Shop: "Hold on, hey Karl, when's the X coming back?" Some other voice in the shop: "Not sure, so and so has had it since the spring." Granted, I imagine shops are left on their own to allocated some amount of bikes they order to demo, so it's on them to make the investment and set aside bikes for demos that could be out on the sales floor. This has always baffled me because I'd think the bike companies would carve out demo programs for dealers where dedicated bikes are allocated and they make the dealers keep good track of what's going where and when and for how long. When I lived in SoCal I'd do group rides with bike shop dudes and all the employees were riding demo bikes and it was sort of unheard of to even ask to try one of the bikes.
  • 10 0
 Nothing against Christopher Walken.....but the YT bike release edit featuring a non-bike related actor seems annoyingly wasteful? Also- Specialized did that fancy production with a monster chase? Do this next level bike edits provide returns????
  • 3 0
 These high budget advertisements aren't for us that already enjoy the sport and are looking for bikes. These are for the people that aren't into the sport but looking for a new hobby. If you "discover" a new hobby via a video like the stumpy release or the yt Capra video you're going to remember that bike or brand.
  • 2 0
 I think Specialized isn't wasting money on product promotion. They only invest it in the audience that could be attracted by such promotion. So for instance e-bikes get a lot of promotion but the new Specialized Status remained pretty low key. At least low key enough for Pinkbike to never even bother to review or mention the product (other than make some mention of info retrieved from other magazines: www.pinkbike.com/news/everything-we-know-about-the-specialized-status.html). Even the product website doesn't appear excessively polished: statusmtb.bike
  • 2 0
 @vinay: the status isnt regular specialized lineup of bike. I work in a specialized shop and it's not on my b2b. I've talked with my sales rep about it, he can't order it either. It's supposed to be more like a grassroots project type deal as far as Im aware. It's weird and annoying and I just want a status.
  • 1 0
 @BoyMan: Oh, that's a bummer! This is exactly the product they need to get their cool image back, which they lost to the direct to customer brands. More specifically, I think this the Status 140 and Status 160 are right up against the Privateer bikes even with 1mm less travel. Could it be that the limitation only applies to North America? British/German magazine enduro-mtb.com/en already published two reviews on the bike (the Status 160).

enduro-mtb.com/en/specialized-status-160-2021-review
enduro-mtb.com/en/specialized-status-160-base-2021-the-shortest-review-ever
  • 1 0
 @vinay: pinkbike did review it. The review was only up for about a day because the whole review they were talking about a 160 when they had been reviewing the 140 the whole time! Review just vanished and now radio silence ever since
  • 1 0
 That SC 5010 finger-bike ad was fucken dope
  • 8 0
 Hey guys, long fan of the Podcast Smile .
I am building up a Meta AM 21 in L with a coil.
I ride a lot of park but would love to do some 2-3 hour xc-ish rides. Should I get an extra down country bike, or would a spare wheelset with super fast rolling tires be enough to make the overall ride enjoyable?
Keep up the amazing work, I really enjoy this podcast a lot!
  • 12 2
 That's a great bike. Hmm, depends on where you're riding, who you're riding with, and how you want to ride. If I was going to be out by myself on those bigger riders, it might not matter that my bike isn't ideal for it as I'm not trying to keep up with my buddies who are on lighter/faster bikes. Of course, I'd WANT my bike to make climbing easier, but I think it might matter less if you're doing it solo.

Lighter wheels and tires will make a difference on those long climbs, but your Meta AM is a heavy bike and not ideal for those rides no matter what you put on it. I might skip the extra wheelset TBH Smile
  • 11 0
 @mikelevy: Thanks Mike, you are awesome! I was for 2 Days in Schladming, asking 6 different people this question and your answer is a testament to your knowledge and experience. Thank you, this finally gives me peace. I wish you and your dogs (and also the mini) all the best and I hope that you and the team, stay happy and healthy, best greetings from Austria 3
  • 8 0
 I commented on Episode 72, pitching the idea of Mikebike. No mentioned was made of said comment throughout this podcast. Luckily, I trademarked the name after posting the comment and realizing the value. You will be hearing from my lawyer.
  • 16 0
 Shit, that's where it came from! I knew I heard or saw it somewhere - my bad. Please send all legal action directly to the new Outside offices in Boulder, Co Wink
  • 30 1
 I’ll slide the paperwork under the pay wall.
  • 6 0
 @mikelevy:
Mikes on Mics, On Bikes
  • 2 0
 @kylext: 7.5/10
  • 3 0
 Mikesperts!!!
  • 5 0
 Also, all Outside brand podcasts should henceforth be named "Outcasts".
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: is MikeBike consulting still happening? @DigitBikes need help determining the right amount of stupid: instagram.com/stories/digitbikes/2650323022432909268?utm_source=ig_story_item_share&utm_medium=copy_link
  • 6 0
 R&D suspension layout and ideal shock mounting then throw it all out the window and move the shock only to facilitate an extra water bottle
  • 6 0
 Eeeeeasy now
  • 7 3
 Waste of money showing someone going down singletrack and doing a dickhead rear wheel flick which wrecks the trail. Every company advertises like this. How about a company shows how to go fast without trashing the trail? That would be unique.
  • 6 1
 Those are really fun to do, though...
  • 8 2
 Save money - put a nice cassette, mid range shifter, and bottom end mech on a gravity oriented bike.
  • 3 27
flag mior (Aug 13, 2021 at 7:42) (Below Threshold)
 should be mid range cassette and shifter and the best mech possible
  • 4 0
 @mior: that's like 300hp sports car with Michelin energy tires.
Mech will perform as well as shifter tells it to
  • 18 0
 @mior: Honestly I'd rather have a mid range cassette and mech and go for the nice shifter.
  • 2 1
 This one 100%. If you're going to throw an extra pound of unsprung weight onto a bike, at least get some reliable tires out of the deal. Heavy, dinner plate sized cassettes with large tooth jumps and poorly controlled shifting ramps plain suck.
  • 1 0
 @kanasasa: correct. Shifter is the driver and the more critical part of the equation. Aways get the better shifter with ball bearings.
  • 1 0
 @atrokz: Never knew. I currently run a Zee rear mech with a Zee shifter (and XT cassette). If I upgrade to a 10sp XT shifter, will it improve shifting noticeably? I have no complaints about my shifting quality but of course it is one of those things you'll only learn to appreciate once you've experienced how much better it can be.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: the XTR or Saint is the one to get. They have ball bearing pivot vs a bushing and it is noticeably better. Much crisper and lasts a lot longer. It's also not that much more and you'll definitely notice an improvement.
  • 1 1
 Sorry im dumb
  • 1 0
 @atrokz: Thanks, I'll look into that. I suppose I will have to consider too whether or not I'd want to upgrade my rear brake to an I-spec compatible one or to just stick with what I have and get a shifter with clamp. I'll look into it, cheers!
  • 3 0
 Regarding the Warden sizing ... back in the intro article in 2019 (www.pinkbike.com/news/knolly-launches-new-wardens-and-delirium.html), I was startled at the numbers Knolly put in their geo charts and straight up asked if they had mixed up the sizes. Knolly responded with:

flag KNOLLYBIKES PLUS (Aug 12, 2019 at 21:21)
Those are correct. Incredibly steep effective seat tube angles make a long reach seem less long because you sit more forward on the bike.
  • 7 1
 Which is sort of an odd answer, because reach measurements matter the most when you're descending, and you shouldn't be sitting for the descents.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: fair point. That does not appear to address the "size" of the bike when standing. I would be interested to hear from @KNOLLYBIKES about that apparent discrepancy. Then again, the comment section for the review got a little heated and I wouldn't blame them for not chiming in.
  • 3 0
 This Knolly sizing thing is interesting and deserves some more insight. I have just compared my personal bike, 2019 Meta AM 29 with this Knolly. I happen to have a RAD calculation spreadsheet. I am 5'11 with very long legs ( 34,5' inseam) and my comfortable setup is:
Meta AM size L, 43mm stem, 760 renthal bars with 20mm rise, 20mm spacers + 8mm headset stack, which gives: effective reach of 462mm, effective stack 730mm, RAD 863mm and RAAD 57.7 deg.
Knolly Warden LT M, to give me the same position would need: a 40mm stem, a 40mm rise bar, and 36mm of spacers. This gives a RAD of 858mm, which is a bit less than my Meta 29 (i wanted a fixed RAAD of 57.7 deg).
Knolly Warden LT L, would need a 40mm riser, 58mm!!! of spacers, 40mm stem which gives RAD of 886mm (again, with RAAD of 57.7 wich is ok for me). This also gives a 474mm of effective reach! (but effective stack of 750mm, so a 20mm higher than Meta and M-sized Warden).
So, the M-sized Warden is slightly smaller than Meta 2019 in L. But I am 5'11', not 6'2!
  • 6 0
 As an unofficial urban camper, is there a way this podcast could be in Town Square Crier format?
  • 3 0
 As an illustration of why investing in racers is a waste of money, I am familiar with many of the top names in DH and EWS, but remember almost nothing about what teams they race for. I might remember a few because there was a big story about changing teams (Danny Hart), or if there's a bad news story (Pierron), or if a rider makes a lot of their own edits (Brendog), but beyond that I just can't keep track of it all!

This may illustrate my bad memory more than their bad investment though!
  • 3 0
 Tandem bike is definitely relationship particle accelerator…
Tandem during COVID shutdown even more so
Only faster way to sort it out is tandem kayaking… but there’s a lot of false negatives in the boat because the coordination is more difficult
  • 7 4
 I raised this question a few times and all I got were downvotes:
Could it be that brands increased prices on regular bikes due to the cost of developing e-bikes?
That's something I really would like to know.
  • 1 1
 or the large profits from the ebike sector slowing down the ever increasing price rise of normal bikes. (note; i said slowing down, not stopping or reversing, we all know that will never happen)
  • 2 1
 I'm not sure the development cost would be significantly greater. They don't design the e-bike systems, they just package them.
  • 5 0
 The SB100 was better than the SB115. Yeti made a new bike...and it got worse
  • 1 0
 do tell more? I have to say that I don't quite love my SB130LR as much as I loved my SB100 with full cushcore and aggressive tires. I sometimes think that the 115 might be ideal.... Though that being said, the SI joint on my hundo couldn't handle the abuse I gave that bike. It required retightening every couple of weeks. Haven't had to touch it on the 130.
  • 3 0
 Ohhh, that's a good example. I LOVED that SB100 so much, and while I think the SB115 is just fine, it's not the sharp tool that the 100 was. Agreed, I liked the SB100 much more than the new version using the same frame (w/ updated links and shock).
  • 3 0
 @laksboy: took me a second when I read SI joint to realize you were talking about Switch Infinity, not your sacroiliac joint taking abuse from riding a short travel bike through the gnar !
  • 1 0
 @laksboy: They basically took a bike that was perfect for its intended use (there are of course limits to that, which it sounds like you found) and tried to pretend they made a new bike in what will hopefully go down as the laziest "new product release" of the decade. Also, the 100 is a really fast versatile bike and 120mm forks are really light and stiff now (Sid Ultimate) but going to 130 bumped up to another class of fork etc. At that point, they really jumped from a heavy duty XC bike (I'm refusing to say downcountry...though that is exactly what it is) and made a kind of weak trail bike.
  • 2 0
 @laksboy: If they redo the 100 with a sideways SI...take the dentists money! :o
  • 1 0
 @TBaldwin90: I absolutely agree, laziest "new" product award, but given how I rode the hundo, a 115 is still compelling to me. Other than the weekly SI maintenance. That was getting lame and has been non-existent now that my 100lb son is riding it. I rode it today for the first time in 5 months, swapped the DHF/DHR cushcore combo for a RocketROn & RaceKing, AND HOLY COW. Absolute rocketship. Interestingly enough in the Enduro-mtb "Best of 2021", the SB115 came away quite favorably. I guess I better go check those SI bolts now Frown
  • 2 0
 Hey Pinkers! Re: the listener question about the popularity of mountain biking - I think you were conflating the idea of mountain biking as a recreational sport with sponsorship and visibility of mountain bike racing as a competitive endeavor. As much as it pains me to admit this, I started mountain biking in 1994. While I agree with Kaz with respect to whether mountain biking has ever been “cool,” I think it’s objectively true that sheer participation in a recreational sense has never been more robust as it is now.
  • 1 0
 I agree with Kaz that traditional trail riding still isn’t “cool”. It’s for us weirdos that like the challenge, the nature experience, the adventure of a good pedal! But you have to admit, chairlift bike parks have sort of become the new ski/snowboard park. The “I only ride park” bros sure think they are cool Big Grin
  • 2 0
 In regards to mid-tier racers being sponsored :
I race radio controlled nitro buggies, one of mybblocal racers is the equivalent of a mid-tiered rider - top 10 in Oz, top 40 in the world, not going to appear in any ad campaigns anytime soon.... HOWEVER
What he does do at a local level for other racers with advice probably covers what he gfets in sponsorship. He's happy to tell anyone who asks what his suspension settings are, what tires & compounds he's running (or going to run) - when he changed tire sponsors a number of our local racers changed with him (and we're all paying for our gear) so we can run his recommendation. He's also got spare parts for his chassis manufacturer, if someone breaks something he'll happily give you a spare & help you fit it if you need the help. His brand ambassadorship is a much bigger part of the value he brings to the brands sponsoring him than his results.
  • 1 0
 Those nitro buggies are wild. I had a 2wd brushless Traxxis thing that I thought was quick and then went to a race... not so much. I want one!
  • 2 0
 OMG - I hate to say it ;-) but @mikelevy you are totally right regarding tandems. My wife is not a biker and we rented a tandem a few years back no a trip to Montreal (back in the good old days when we could cross the border up to Canadialand) - it was so weird for me riding a bike and feeling the impact of someone else's body movements on the steering / feel etc. What annoyed her more though, was that I could clearly tell when she wasn't pedaling and called her out on it. I totally agree with your take - if your marriage can survive riding a tandem, it'll survive anything. We are now just past 20 years happily married and she still has zero interest in bikes. :-) And I have no interest in getting us a tandem.
  • 2 0
 Do brands have some sort of insurance for warranties(wether through a private company or through their manufacturer overseas), or do they just eat the cost? I’ve broken a frame a year for the past 4 years(same frame, same brand, same spot). I ride a dentist bike but ride 3-4x more then the average dentist. I plan on riding the same frame until there’s more than just a small incremental improvement as I like the way it rides (also dentist bikes are expensive for non dentists.) Customer service from the brand has always been excellent and fortunately I have a second bike(and good relationship with the LBS if I want to borrow something) so it’s not a big deal... just wondering if they feel any financial pain beyond shipping and salaries for in house employees dealing with the claim or just the threat of bad PR.
  • 2 0
 This podcast left me confused, no agreement on any of points.
What you guys think about brands that invest on proprietary suspension components, like Cannondale (pull shock, lefty) scott (nude shock and pull shock before that), specialized (brain, autosag), etc?
With so many refined options out there , isn't that a waist of resources?
  • 1 0
 It's better when we don't agree Wink
  • 6 1
 Nobody wastes more money than me
  • 3 1
 Question: What are some drawbacks to large sweep angles on handlebars? I love the Jones bars on my "gravel" bike (45 degree sweep!) and they are super comfy. Why don't we see mountain bike bars with more sweep?
  • 4 0
 Turning radius.
  • 2 0
 There are no downsides other than not kinking your wrists and not losing feeling in your fingers on long climbs. Try the SQLab bar in 16* or Answer's new 20x20 bar, they just finally rereleased it in a modern width.
  • 3 0
 45 degrees! I don't think there are downsides, other than needing to take a chance on something that looks different and needing to get used to them... not something us mountain bikers are very good at haha.
  • 2 0
 @sngltrkmnd: Can you explain a little more? I mean, if I set them up so that my hands land roughly in the same position as straight bars (relative to steerer/BB/etc) then isn't is basically the same? Or is there some biomechanical business going on the limits range with your wrists at a different angle?
  • 4 0
 @Joscience: For me, the greater the sweep, the less aggressive the riding position, which means less confidence in rowdy terrain.
  • 2 0
 @laksboy: Oh nice, SQLab has all sorts of different configurations! Need a rental service for bars like saddles now... haha
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: Yeah, kook-factor will be through the roof! (And those Jones bars are great. Lots of position like curly bars, but I can run all the sweet MTB parts...)
  • 1 0
 @TwoNGlenn: that was my experience. SQlab bars Felt really comfortable just cruising along, but I just don't feel like my arms/upper body were in the right position for more technical or aggressive riding??
  • 1 0
 @Joscience: yes. If your hands are in the same location (using a longer stem to compensate for the higher backsweep) there's no impact to turning radius.
  • 5 4
 The biggest waste of money that affects consumer pricing is Race Teams. People claim it is what leads to product development, maybe marginally. If that were the case there would be no need for product reviews. We would be able to conclude a bike is great based on wins. Again, some small truth to that but its mainly the riders skill. Most experienced riders know if a bike is good or not, we don't need a paid racer to tell us. Most people look to other non racers to review bikes, like Mike and Mike. I don't care about racing and would rather have cheaper bikes than support a factory team, primarily because trailbikes aren't what's used to win races and that's what I ride.
  • 3 0
 I can honestly say I’ve never bought a bike because of who was racing in that bike.
  • 5 4
 When are we going to roast muc-off for their hypocritical pattern of behavior?

a) previous over sexualized/sexist marketing
b) disingenuous virtue signaling regarding pierron
c) new kit with lightning bolt logos reminiscent of nazi ss

Flame on!
  • 1 0
 Seems like champions who ride for trek are always getting caught for substance abuse . At least she only tried to press charges against the doping committee and not everyone else around her including the pinkers media team . Walsh= levy
  • 1 0
 So the new bike design wasn’t needed….
Interesting premise
I remember Kaz saying he likes the playfulness of the (pull shock) 2nd Jekyll and the 3rd gen was a little blah - faster but not funner
As a big fan of the 2nd gen Jekyll what I heard was ‘the second gen was better than the 3rd unless you were on the ews circuit.’
So what bike redesigns do you guys think took the bike in the wrong direction? As in, they could have evolved the current design more instead in the spirit of cuz as opposed to starting from scratch…
Cannondale didn’t have another bike for long travel trail riders other than the enduro Jekyll so does there need to be a splinter at the 160mm platform?
Discuss the gaps in product lines or the redundancy?
I think of the slayer being the so called enduro sled whole all the pro ews racers were on the altitude anyway…
  • 1 0
 the reason companies launch the lighter bike, only to fatten it up when they break, is easy....

in year two of a model, no one is going to notice the weight gain. It simply isn't a thing that anyone would think to check, especially if it's hidden behind: a new flip chip, revised kinematics, updated color scheme, it's now coil compatable(BRO I JUST NEED A COIL!!!) etc.
  • 2 1
 So the manufacturers aren't forcing you to buy the $12,000 bike?
*Insert latest release model here*
Top spec: $12,000; stock available = 500 (all sizes & colours)
Mid spec: $9,000; stock available = 10 (all size S in the worst colourway)
Low spec: $6,000; stock available = 0
  • 1 0
 Can't agree on investment in racing, especially developing the younguns.

Agree with kaz on making minor tweaks more often instead of 'step' changes where possible. What could make it cool for companies is the ability to sell the 'new' individual component to existing riders for a discount when they've bought a new frame, and some RRP for other consumers (as a guy that hasn't bought a new bike in over 15 years, I would fit into the latter camp). Would create a lot of brand loyalty and I am sure that bike companies can pretty comfortably undercut specialised companies for links etc., and would make a nice 2nd hand market for front triangles. They could even sell different versions of some parts simultaneously so riders can tweak their rides around the brand's 'platform'. Would also allow same size shocks to be used for longer periods, allowing a rider to say 'OK, I'll invest in this as I know I have a long term support from the frame manufacturer'... flipside is that it might place some constraints for the radical redesign that'll change the world.

For the weight frame argument, think that while there is an argument for starting conservative then trying to reduce weight, but it would be hard to justify a new release being heavier than the last! So maybe the lesson is for companies to not go too aggressive with any developments, but admit it is very hard in a fickle industry.

Packaging/manuals - resealable bags to promote reuse? is reflector 'tape' on rims legal?

My pet peeve is that just like the auto industry, bikes under the same 'name' get bigger and then there are too many 'big' (in this case, long travel) bikes within a company's range, then they have to develop something else to replace the void left in the 'smaller' lower travel space. I think this aligns with Sarah's comment... could we make 20-30mm 'steps' for travel, for example? However with part options - if you only went for one brand to get better prices, you might push customers away altogether as loyalty to components can run much deeper than frames, so can't see that as a waste.

Brand name... likebikeslikeMikes.
  • 1 0
 Spokes absolutely make a difference, they are a spring in the bike's suspension just as much as rims, tire casing, and handlebars are. Maybe not as much as the actual moving suspension or tire pressure, but spoke stiffness effects how the wheel tracks and feels over terrain and through corners.
  • 2 0
 They definitely make a difference, but I'm pretty sure I'd never be able to tell between a wheelset built with CX-Rays and the same hub and runs built with some inexpensive straight gauge spokes. Reliability aside (which is certainly a good argument) I doubt any of us could on a mountain bike. Might be different on road/gravel where suspension and high volume tires aren't as much of a factor.
  • 1 0
 I heard of a dealer launch that sounds like an urban myth, but was it? The story goes that at a Cannondale new bike launch, maybe 15 years ago, the press were kidnapped and driven in the back of a truck into the desert to see the new bike. Real or spiel? Can you find out?
  • 1 0
 @brianpark, I cannot see how your hypothetical suggestion of reducing frame/component weight *after* the initial design would work.

Ultimately, you cannot know where to remove material in a design without in-situ failures born from a massive amount of test hours. Simulation can only get you so far as the forces/loads must always be idealised or guessed.
If the manufacturer spent all that time generating those failures using their handful of test riders, it'd be out of date before release.
For the record, I don't think such highly optimised parts are needed for 90% of MTB, save for racing applications.
  • 1 0
 What’s an appropriate time from when a race ends to when some mention of the winner is in the title of the article? I’m so tired of whiners about spoilers. It’s actually quite easy to NOT visit news sites before watching a race.
  • 1 0
 Contact Mavic for customer support. I dented a both rims of a Deemax Pro wheelset and couldn't get them repaired due to poor customer support. I had approx 40 emails and multiple phone conversations with the LBS and the distributor trying to get replacement parts to rebuild them, but without success.
  • 1 0
 There is this saying in backpacking/through-hiking.
When you want to get something you have to look at weight, durability, and price. And then you pick two of those. You can’t get all 3 so you pick what’s most important to you. I think the same is true with mountain biking.
  • 1 0
 Hello Pink Out Podcasters I remember a few shows ago Mike and Brian both said they low their seat posts 1 inch to assault uphill tech climbs. I had never heard of this before and tried it. It works great! I'm now wondering if the crew has any other dropper post settings they use besides all the way up and slammed down. Thanks!! I love this podcast more than any other please keep it going. BTW I think Mike's Bikes should be called Mike's Bikes Squared, for the extra engineering appeal
  • 1 0
 I'm sure I'm gonna get downvoted but Jesus Christ most of that was drivel.


Just to pull out one point.... brands spending money on things like dealer events and parties. Consider this. A brand drops some cash on booze and airfare. They get people stoked. People remember that. Guess what... that creates brand loyalty and brand loyalty creates sales. It also creates security. Consider right now... the past years many brands have had a hard time supplying consumers. But because of the effort they put into creating brand loyalty many of their customers are WAITING instead of buying something else. Shining example is that Shimano is showing amazing sales numbers despite having huge issues with supply. And this is literally just one minor example. If brands don't have the money to do these parties they won't. If it's not moving the needle they won't do it.

Warranties.... dahell are you talking about. Warranty claims again... create brand loyalty. If you aren't fixing people stuff you lose their business... usually forever. Warranty claims are still gonna happen no matter how fat you make your frame. Beyond that we're talking about a relatively small chunk of money. Even for a frame. usually it's one of the triangles. So it's a couple hundred bucks in their cost to do a warranty claim. Couple hundred of those is well worth the benefit seen in having a frame that you can advertise as lighter. How often is your number one complaint... and often only complaint on say... a transition frame... is weight. I'd bet their warranty numbers are similar to say a Trek frame that's substantially lighter.

Packaging... all that crap is legal requirements. Period. You leave off reflectors and some ding dong gets smoked by a car they're gonna sue you for MILLIONS of dollars because you put them at risk. You put them on there and they take them off... it's on them.

Racing is a massive part of brand power. Period.

Freeride content was one that you guys mostly made solid points. Well... one of you did.

Wasted money on marketing.... Don't ever go into marketing. Proper launch is gonna cost a lot more than $100k. These big videos... try 2-300k. How's that a waste? You're talking about it. Everyone talked about it. Those videos get watched thousands sometimes millions of times. They create conversation. Clicks. Sales. What's the difference between say a company like YT or Specialized selling a bunch of frames and say Moustache selling substantially less? Is it a crappier bike? Nah. Marketing sold those bikes. So how's that a waste? Big companies spend big dollars because they have big impact.

These types of conversations happen all the time in companies all over the world. That's why marketing budgets are usually the first thing to get cut when companies are trimming the fat for the board of directors vacation homes. But guess what... 2 years later when everything is down they start going... hey why aren't people buying our stuff.... why aren't people talking about us... etc etc. Guess what.... because no marketing. So guess what happens.... they bring back the marketing budgets and usually increase them. But in that time all those awesome people that created the hype are now creating the hype for their conversation and now you're 4-5 years behind them.

Want to talk about waste... electric car batteries. That's a waste. Forest fires because PGE won't burry their lines because of hippies. Waste. This post... waste.


Seriously. This one kinda had me going... wtf the entire time.
  • 18 13
 Carbon Fiber
  • 3 0
 Biggest waste of time: incremental changes/marginal gains that don’t lower consumer prices.
  • 2 1
 I LOVE my spank 359 wheels!
Stiff and strong as f*ck (my oem wheels lasted 3 months, going on 1 year with the spanks) but super ompliant vertically.
Only cost 650$ CAD to have them built, too.
  • 2 0
 Yep they make a lot of great stuff.
  • 2 0
 i've recently swapped away from carbon everything, including wheels, using 359's and Horizon v2's... not had any issues. 359's are stiff and strong asf - add vibrocore in front and they are seriously good wheels... but no, everyone wants a hard on by spending 4 figures on wheelsets that dont help them or their riding except cost alot to replace.
  • 3 0
 Time for another page to list all of the previous podcasts. That list is becoming quite the scroll.
  • 6 0
 Crazy that we're on number 75. Maybe number 100 will be about UFOs?
  • 4 0
 @mikelevy: If it's not just go ahead and mark me down as disappointed right now..
  • 3 0
 maybe the amount of time, money, and effort spent copying the dhf and Five Tens?
  • 3 0
 Oohhh, that's a great thing to talk about. Added to the list!
  • 2 0
 Doesn’t seem like a waste though!
  • 2 0
 I'd like to see a poll on this with maybe 10 things you'd like a bike company to spend money on and ten things you don't want them to.
  • 1 0
 Incoming.
  • 2 0
 Companies should spend less on marketing and more on customer service and warranty claims.
  • 1 0
 IIRC Levy liked the OG Ibis Ripley more than LS version (v1.5?). But probably now likes a bike more longer and slackerer than the LS. (TBH I’d probably mirror this)
  • 1 0
 My 2018 specialized enduro weighs 30.6 (33.8 with full SWAT) with dual casing tires and beefy rims and the front triangle is the only carbon part.
  • 3 0
 Mikemightbike
  • 2 0
 M&M, as good as chocolate
  • 2 0
 MikeOut....OutsideMikes...keep the new corporate overlords happy.
  • 2 0
 Mike Bike behind a paywall is the only way to go....
  • 1 0
 Podcast question: how long do your hands hurt after installing tubeless tires with inserts?
  • 2 0
 They've never stopped hurting...
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: I think I got it down to two days but that was just one tire. First time was no joke two solid weeks. I about killed myself when I realized I mounted one backwards. Mostly for the shame I brought to my family honor but also because of the pain.
  • 1 0
 Does Schwalbe ProCore count as insert? Installation is pretty painless. Haven't tried other inserts (or tubeless without ProCore) so I can't comment on that. But I understand Cush Core has this tire lever tool which should help with installtion. I can imagine if people use other tools and let it slip, things could indeed become more painful.
  • 1 0
 I THINK ANY MONEY POURED ON PINKBIKE ADVERTAINMENTORIALS IS WELL SPENT
  • 1 0
 Was that username Gobofo or Jobofo? First one means "go big or eff off"
  • 1 0
 'Frig off'
  • 1 0
 Can we talk about how much money they pump into Pinkbike ads?
  • 2 1
 anything proprietary made by bike companies are a total waste
  • 1 0
 Most of the bike/product release promotional videos make me cringe.
  • 1 0
 Someone needs to sanitize the Maribor DH trail ...
  • 1 0
 pinkbike name mikebike pt 10 armada pt 100
  • 1 0
 Lax bought a SUP? EFoil review dropping next week. #commentbronze
  • 1 0
 Lax?!? What the hell kinda autocorrect was that? Kaz….. totally ruined my not particularly funny to begin with joke.
  • 1 0
 Fuck I always misspell whether. Google what wether means everyone.
  • 1 0
 drop the mike, mike drop
  • 1 0
 Mikes Talkin' Bikes
  • 1 0
 Drop the Mike Mike Drop
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