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The Pinkbike Podcast: Getting to Know Mike Kazimer

Jul 14, 2023
by Henry Quinney  
Art by Taj Mihelich

You may have seen our "Getting to Know" series of interviews, where we talk with the great and good of racing and mountain biking to understand them better or maybe just familiarise ourselves with their career.

I thought I'd bring that to a long-form interview format with some Pinkbike staff and contributors. I'll try and squeeze them in over the summer as and when time allows. Is there anyone you're desperate to hear from? Let me know in the comments section.

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.

Subscribe to the podcast via your preferred service (Apple, Spotify, RSS, Megaphone, etc.), or visit the Pinkbike Podcast tag page for the complete list of episodes.

Author Info:
henryquinney avatar

Member since Jun 3, 2014
348 articles

  • 95 2
 I think it’s about time to give Kaz some love. No need to bring others into this. He’s been an anchor of this site for a long time. If he went missing, you all would be going nuts about that, too! Enjoy what you’ve got while you got it!
  • 29 0
 Absolutely. Thanks Kaz for the many, many hours of enjoyment your work here has given me over the years. Really appreciate your willingness to both sing the praises and also call out bad bikes and industry BS. Thanks also for being almost the same physical dimensions as me, which has meant that I can judge how riding gear and bikes will fit me based on how they work for you!
  • 1 0
 Agree, and I’m also hoping Kaz writes the first mtb novel, titled Kryptotal the Pretty Horses
  • 1 1
 I also agree. Now for the next podcast, do Levy.
  • 1 0
 Kaz is my #1 review source. How he approaches riding and analyzes bikes/gear is unrivaled for me. It also doesn't hurt that he has a similar build and riding style to me. I am the poor man's Kazimer. . . check that; I'm the poor, poor, poor man's Kazimer. haha
  • 69 0
 Kaz is friggin awesome and I hold his work in high regard. Long live Kaz.
  • 27 1
 Thank you. I appreciate it.
  • 2 0
 Amin ! I love Kaz ! Plus this episode was awesome to comprehend as they stopped talking one over the other like kindergarteners! Thank you guys for this aspect as well!
  • 2 2
 @mikekazimer: thanks for your years on pinkbike. Your reviews and comments on bikes are so spot on and insightful. Also, I think you make such an entertaining team with both Henry and Mike. You make a great “straight guy” in the comedy/entertainment team.((Comedy term people, not referring to sexuality) which makes for a fun listen while keeping the podcasts and videos about MTB and from going off the rails.
  • 11 0
 I've been wanting to hear an episode like this for ages! Please keep it up with the other presenters!
  • 31 21
 Waiting for the Getting to Know Mike Levy episode
  • 3 0
 SRAM just did that
  • 18 0

Pinkbike: “Look at this Mike!”

Pinkers: “Where’s the other Mike?!”
  • 16 4
 As an employer I get the need to protect employee privacy, but it definitely felt weird when we had all the radio silence about first Alicia and now Levy. In both cases there's so much love for them here, and all the video and forum interaction creates such a strong parasocial relationship, it definitely gives me odd feels when they just disappear and it seems like PB are pretending they never existed! If Levy had actually left I assume PB would be giving him a huge send off, so I guess something else is going on. Hope all is OK.
  • 1 3
 @Woody25: I hope what happened to levy isint a serious as what happened to Alicia, the less life threatening crashes the better in my opinion (might be putting myself out there a bit)
  • 91 4
 Ha. Yeah - I really don’t know what to say. I had planned this with Kaz for a little while ago and it’s odd to be covering for Levy and then he is doing pods elsewhere. I think you could take the radio silence as some damning indictment or some conspiracy, or you could see it as people tend to, all of us, have complicated lives and sometimes we don’t know how things are going to look in the long run. When we don’t know these things it’s hard for us to front up some plan, especially when it comes to personal commitments in such a public place. It’s just that these complications always come across more grandiose in internet-land. I can tell you I support Levy, and I hope he’s enjoying his time away but that’s it. If you genuinely wish him well you’ll understand, and if you do you’ll maybe appreciate how this meme-worthy level of constant asking really is not helpful.
  • 8 3
 @henryquinney: Ahhh don't let it get to ya. I love the energy you bring to the podcast (an PB in general).
  • 1 2
 Do you also keep up with the Kardashians? Does your amount of "followers" or "likes" keep you up at night?
  • 3 0
 @henryquinney: can you be surprised that we have conspiracy theories about the PB conspiracy theory expert. I blame the lizard people.
  • 14 4
 @henryquinney: Absolutely, I just wondered whether PB statements to the effect of "We won't be talking about Alicia's accident, but we are totally there for her" and "Just a heads up, Levy's got some external stuff going on and is going to be out of the picture for a while" head these things off at the pass, give the PB staff something to point at and nix all the endless speculation. I'm sure greater minds than mine have long since thought all that through though!

Anyway, as you have explicitly now approved it as a choice, I shall be regarding this all as a massive conspiracy and will be proceeding on that basis.
  • 13 1
 Man, give Kaz a day in the sun.
  • 11 1
 @henryquinney: Honestly, it's all just out of love. Miss you Levy. Hope all is well.
  • 34 14
 Mike took a big shyt and is recovering from a torn anus. Mike quit. Mike got fired because reasons. Mike is simply on vacation. Mike has been struggling with anxiety and depression so he's taking some time off... WTF do you people want to know exactly? Bunch of gossiping high school girls.

My neighbors dog just died. I ate a grilled cheese for lunch. My friends cousin got into a car accident. I'm thinking about buying an RV. My neighbor just installed leaf filter on his gutters. Do chipmunks fart?

How's about you all stop being so concerned with other peoples lives? Give it a try, it's refreshing. You all have a sick sick addiction to social media culture, caring more about other peoples lives instead of living your own. It's pathetic and scary.
  • 10 4
 Maybe we could leave him the F alone?
  • 11 3
 You all need more friends so you can pry into their lives instead of a guy on the internet you don't even know.
  • 31 28
 @NYShred @henryquinney

No decent PB fan wants to know Levy's peronal / private details - he has every right to full privacy. But that has nothing to do with PB failing to make a pre-emptive statement about a major PB figurehead for years - Levy - who just dissapperars, and that's the issue.

What does compromise PB's quality, PB fan's intelligence, and and now Kaz's (excellent) invterview is the endless speculation about Levy - all of which would've been pre-empted by a simple PR 101 one-liner back in April or May. No biggie - we would've all thought "Levy's taking well dserved time off" - even if he was never coming back.

I don't care if Levy was fired, quit, was abducted - none of my biz. But for PB to think fans aren't gonna wonder why, be pissed, inquire, speculate and whiz on every article - esp about the conspiracy master himself - is naive and pretentious - and 1000% avoidable.

Levy was the PB & the pod to me - but Henry seems to have taken over, Kaz is awesome, Dario's sharp & proving himself (and Sarah's missed too...uh oh, where's Sarah??? Smile The pod is almost as good as it was w/ Levy - 9.5 of 10 stars. But PB has a hand in all this by not saying shit and leaving it to us to ruin.

Now back to Kaz's moment. He's a cool guy too.
  • 7 6
 @henryquinney: don't try to confuse us with sound logic and mature reasoning. WHERE IS LEVY.
  • 111 11
 You all need to go ride your bikes more. Levy's taking some time off. Now chill out and step away from the keyboard.
  • 4 1
 @mca896: get a grip. None of your business. Or anybody else’s.
  • 16 19
 @Woody25: Agreed, and I'm confused at all the clutching-at-pearls about privacy here. ALL of the podcast hosts are constantly gushing about personal details they volunteer willingly on the pod for years: where they're from, bikes they've had, Levy's 1.5 mini, hobbies, fave foods & music preferences. See SRAM's youtube channel interview they just posted today: Levy divulging 100's of personal details - he offers them freely - hardly private.

PB could've precluded this with a single, simple professional PR 101 statement "hey people, Levy's taking a year off" (whatever) vs head-in-the-sand no statement - which is exaclty what lead to all this distraction & nonsense in the comments here.
  • 6 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: sarah is hanging out with her new baby
  • 5 2
 @Mtn-Goat-13: that’s HIS choice. Why is it hard to grasp the concept?
  • 9 3
 @Mtn-Goat-13: How can you not see a difference in somebody divulging their personal details themselves vs their employer doing it? Also pretty contradictory that you think a person has every right to full privacy but also think something should have been shared.

They sky is blue, but it's also green.
  • 6 1
 @mikekazimer: Good for him, hope he has an excellent break, thanks for letting us know.
  • 6 0

For what its worth, I am enjoy these types of podcasts the most. Especially the ones with people like RC and Chris Cocalis, etc.

I am looking forward to hearing about you, the person, and not the bike for a change. I appreciate that you pride your reviews on keeping all about the bike/ gear, etc. But I also do like to see what got you to where you are now.

Keep up the good work, I hope everyone there is good or taking the time to get good. Here’s to more podcasts, more field tests, and yes, more riding!
  • 195 2
 @Mtn-Goat-13: My dude, it's all good. I didn't get fired, and there's no need for a PR about me taking some time off. It's as simple as that and the same as I've already commented under a previous podcast: I'm just taking some time off. Nothing is wrong, I just feel like I need a break from the internet and computers Smile This Changing Gears podcast with Dave was recorded three-ish months ago.

It does give me a warm, fuzzy feeling to see that I'm missed, but let's chill with the "Where'd he go?" comments and appreciate the podcasts and videos that Henry and the rest of the team are making.
  • 48 3
 @Mtn-Goat-13: There ya go, directly from @mikelevy himself, he got fired.
  • 9 0
 @mikekazimer: I'm not too big to apologise for a) failing to big up this article on you before making my other point and b) not limiting my original point to just noting my interest in the business aspect of it all. I've ended up taking attention away from your good work and furthering the speculation I was wondering why hadn't been dealt with, so my bad on both of those - apologies.
  • 6 1
 @Woody25: classy. Good on you.
  • 9 26
flag Mtn-Goat-13 FL (Jul 14, 2023 at 12:46) (Below Threshold)
 @warmerdamj: You're not reading my words. Do all these BS comments (mine included) give Levy more privacy? Hardly. Levy just literally replied above - easy. That was simple.

Not asking about anything personal - just saying PB could've avoided all this endless junk w/ a basic generic statement acknowleding the obivoius sky blue / grass green fact that Levy disappared. Has zero to do w/ privacy - his life is still private. Simply a matter of a hugly public person being gone - simple, and doesn't involved privacy. Saying nothing only promotes instability.
  • 7 20
flag Mtn-Goat-13 FL (Jul 14, 2023 at 12:47) (Below Threshold)
 @mobil1syn: TMI - not asking about it and don't care 100%. Don't care what Levy's doing either, just saying generic PR 101 goes a long way, and avoids all this kinda of BS.
  • 10 29
flag Mtn-Goat-13 FL (Jul 14, 2023 at 12:53) (Below Threshold)
 @mikelevy: Great to know - but you misunderstand me. I don't care at all that you're taking time, left, fired, abducted - irrelevant. Not my biz, I never asked and do not care. You've been the face of the pod & PB (for me) so when it was clear you were absent I simply thought PB should say "hey, Levy's taking time off - and now onto the pod". Easy. Instead plenty of people have gone wild w/ comments here.

I'm not interested in anyone's personal life whatsoever, job goals, lives, etc. so as numerous people have stated - for such a publically visible person to vanish w/ zero explanation from PB (which would've pre-empted the vacant speculation) - is disconcerting.

Glad you weren't abducted and we're all stoked for your to visit the aliens, drink hot Monster on the overpass at sunruse, catch a gravel lycra ride, shop for mini's and whatever you want. All good. I'll still never understand why this simple comment couldn't have been offered by PB upfront - most of wouldn't have thought about it again (even if you left, were fired, whatever). Its the commentless vanishing that stupifies.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: Please tell us you will get a matching semicolon tat!

Thanks for all the presenters for making us laugh, providing insight, and making this sport even more fun. I hope that all of you are able to take enough time off to recharge through the year.

These podcasts are a staple to listen to on the way to the trailhead. Keep them going, thank you!
  • 10 4
Why do you feel like anyone owes you an explanation? Mind your own business.
  • 11 23
flag jubilee55 (Jul 14, 2023 at 13:59) (Below Threshold)
 @henryquinney: Maybe just stop responding then. You guys broadcast your preferred bikes, gear, books, and music. You create “getting to know” podcasts. Then, when people disappear and the audience wants to know what’s up they’re met with contemptuous replies. This seems to be what you signed up for. Stop selling your personalities if you don’t want people to give a crap.
  • 4 17
flag OneBikeStand (Jul 14, 2023 at 14:23) (Below Threshold)
 @Grady-Harris: No surprises SRAM did a fluff piece on their product hype guy. I'm certain he's been on their payroll from the start.
  • 2 2
 @OneBikeStand: listen to his interview with the Shimano rep where he fawns over their stuff too. Maybe SRAM and Shimano are both doing some incredible engineering right now (though only Shimano is applying it on their affordable stuff) and he’s giving credit where it’s due.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Enjoy your time!
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: fake news from the lizard people obviously. Use a semicolon if you need help…
  • 7 4
 @henryquinney: well said. We tend to feel that you all are “our friends” and since we care we have a “right” to know what’s going on. But if we care about Mike”s well being and respect that he is a person and not a character created for our entertainment, we should all exercise some restraint and give him the space he is obviously looking for. It is not easy navigating life in the public eye, even when the feedback is positive. When he is ready, he will tell his story, just like Alicia did. Or maybe he won’t, but if that’s what he needs then that’s OK too.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: you re awesome and loved !
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: but we love you and we d let you rest Smile
  • 3 0
 @henryquinney the real burning question is where is that semicolon?
  • 1 1
 @mikelevy: it’s a shame that you had to come on and comment. Try to see it for what it truly is, misguided love. You have a lot of passionate fans that also trend towards conspiracy theories. It’s combo that can get a little ugly at times.

Enjoy your time off. Well earned and hopefully well spent.
  • 2 2
 @mikekazimer: it’s the same lack of restraint and self centered posters that make people need a break that then demand an explanation.
  • 5 11
flag adminofthegapers (Jul 15, 2023 at 15:47) (Below Threshold)
 @mikekazimer: we don’t all have jobs reviewing mountain bikes, most of us are trapped in cubicals so we can buy bikes that make your job possible. You should have a little more understanding of where you fit in the industry before you criticize us for commenting on mtb forums.
  • 3 2
 @mikelevy: Whoever this is who hacked Levy's account we don't find it funny! I am torn between the aliens finally took him back home or he is simply doing back to back to back curling camps...we miss him...he is loved...
  • 1 1
 @sfarnum: I know, right?!!
  • 1 1
 @BermJunky: it was bandwagoning sarcasm dude chill out.
  • 3 1
 @mikekazimer: So you are actually suggesting customers to read less pinkbike and to interact less on the articles. Cool, nice to see that you are not corporate sellout. Fight The Man!
  • 1 0
 @Pmlietzan: Thx! Going straight to the comments FTW!
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Have a lekker break dude... The Pinkers are just missing you...
  • 10 1
 please get nikola jokic on the podcast
  • 8 1
 @masonguy Never heard of this Jokic guy. Enough with these obscure XC racers!
  • 3 0
 @fentoncrackshell: He's not even an XC racer, he races horses!
  • 2 0
 @skedasticity: And he is not even that good at it! Actually he sucks so much - that he has to work another job to sustain his horse racing activity!
  • 7 1
 Hell, why not Chappetta as well? Specific to her hard core tenting days. Lol.
  • 5 0
 @henryquinney can we get a getting to know with taj please? From the one episode he was on it seems like he has a lot of stories and could be a good listen.
  • 4 0
 Henry " you still quite competitive from your early days?" Kazimer, "turns out I am."
........40th overall, 13th for the over 40
  • 3 0
 After watching some vegan cyclist impossible routes, Jeremiah Bishop looks like he is related to Kaz, similar build and face and how he sounds.
  • 1 0
 Great podcast and Kaz comes across just as I'd expect, down to earth and someone whose opinions can be trusted. Thank you for confirming that I am not alone in liking chainstays that are a bit longer. Except on my dirt jumper... but that's not actually a mountain bike, is it?
  • 1 0
 Question for the podcast: It seems like chainstay length is one of those things where some people like short, while others like long. My hardtail has sliding dropouts that give you about 20mm of adjustment. Why don't more bike companies design full suspension bikes that allow you to adjust this? It's seems way more useful than something like a flip-chip that gives you ~1 deg of geo adjust.
  • 1 0
 Kaz seems like such a rad level headed guy who shreds. It does seem like there’s a pretty deep-rooted anti-ebike culture at PB from way back. We’re at a point now where even shredders in their 20’s and 30’s are ditching their pedal bikes for eebs. I think the top-down anti-eeb might stifle PB’s growth in a big way moving forward, especially if there’s nobody on-staff who is passionate about emtb’s. I’m not sure even that would help if the management is ‘tolerant’ at best.
  • 3 1
 No KAZ - You were right. E-bikes are Silly!!!!!
  • 2 0
 I love you Kaz. We belong together- like cables and headsets
  • 1 0
 Thank you for your great work @mikekazimer.
It's been a great run,we're all glad you didn't turn XC pro.
  • 3 1
 No such thing as “Out East.”

Its “Back East” and “Out West.”
  • 1 0
 Thanks for this. It was enjoyable and interesting. Always enjoy and respect Kaz's writing.
  • 1 0
 I feel like Kaz is the SLX of PB. Not the flashiest, but gets the job done and is loved by those who know.
  • 1 0
 i thought the dude owned pinkbike
  • 1 0
 Keep up the good work, Kaz.
  • 1 0
 This was a good one, Kaz is a pillar of the site.
  • 1 3
 This is going to bring out all of the "where's Levy" comments.
  • 1 2
 where is levy aye mang
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