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Video: Survival of the Fittest - Pinkbike Academy Episode 4

Nov 5, 2020
by Pinkbike Originals  



This time on Pinkbike Academy the rider's fitness is pushed to the limit with an FTP test followed immediately by a cross-country race. Who's got the stamina to survive? You'll have to watch to find out.


Did you miss the previous episodes from Season 1 of Pinkbike Academy? Here's the full Pinkbike Academy playlist.

Who were you most impressed by during Episode 4 - Survival of the Fittest?

Official Location Partner of Pinkbike Academy @bikebigwhite

Huge thanks to the brands who made this show possible!
Shimano, Orbea, Fox Racing, Fox Factory, Big White, GoPro, Garmin,
Pro Bike Gear, Feedback Sports, Maxxis, Stan's NoTubes, Ride Concepts, and Trailforks.


  • 236 19
 Everyone is so mad about this episode because they want more trail riding.

I like this episode because it shows you what you really would do in the life of a racer/clip maker that 90% of PB users worship.

Do you really think people like Emil, Bruni, Hart, and even Cathro don't spend their time doing wattage measurements and lap timing?

Get outta here with the hate. They clearly changed the show to appease more grumpy anti-reality pundits and you're still not happy. Maybe you just can't be pleased!

Cheers PB for pushing MTB to the next stage of life.
  • 68 10
 Agree, this is part of the job. Elimination because of crappy gopro shots is not.
  • 12 13
 People don’t seem to really care about this episode, it’s fine either for you or not. But last weeks I think deserved the hate for many many reason. But at the end of the day I agree with you, if people want mtb to get more “mainstream” and supported then “cringey content” like this will become more of the norm.
  • 34 0
 you know these episodes are planned out even before filming starts right? They can't just "change" the show midway unless they had a lot of b roll footage which I seriously doubt as they are not a production firm.
  • 27 2
 A series that just went from one stage race to the next eliminating the slowest rider would be pretty boring too. We already get to watch the very best do that in the World Cups and EWS events.
  • 10 0
 @2pi: if you're not top 10 or so worldwide it most certainly is.
  • 31 9
 @pbfan08: "last week deserved the hate"

It's a youtube show. Free content that you're free to watch or not.
  • 21 0
 At last.

So tired of people thinking Richie and Kate are just somehow winning solely by tech skillz or jumps, cornering. Dont get me wrong, they are GREAT at that, but that wont win you a race.

These athletes train like a Mofo in the background, are insanely powerful and can sustain insane amounts of ouput.

Just see how your ramp test power/weight ratio result compares to world cup pro and prepare to be humbled.
  • 27 0
 @noplacelikeloam These same people would also be surprised to learn that Jared Graves routinely throws on lycra and kills it in A-grade road races and crits in Australia.
  • 15 1
 @noplacelikeloam: walking up a gravel road climb with a 51t cog...

kinda sad. No one racing enduro at a decent level is that aerobically unfit. By the 3rd stage they would be cooked, and probably end up on Friday Fails.

Getting into shape on the road makes mountain biking way more fun.
  • 5 1
 I'll keep my job and ride and race for fun on the weekends, thank you very much.

P.S. This episode needed more Jo. Can you turn up the Jo in the monitors?
  • 5 0
 Would have been cool to bring in someone like Yoann Barelli and get them on the trainer to really highlight how dedicated the athletes at the highest levels are and how their performance is influenced by these less shown aspects....or Flo and Christina could have entered the pain cave with them. I still find Ben's "character" so funny as in the group shots or the riding shots he is so incongruent to the interview persona. It's hard to imagine he is that kind of an overflowing douche basket in real life so I'm curious why it is being acted out that way? Is it satire of reality tv tropes?
  • 1 0
 @snl1200: what would we be talking about unless there were some ringers to bring some drama / comedy to the table.....isn't it how all reality TV shows work?
  • 5 1
 Very happy with this episode, wish they had thinned the herd to the best riders and then judged the soft skills, but this was my favorite yet.
  • 1 6
flag ream720 (Nov 6, 2020 at 5:40) (Below Threshold)
 @monkeybizz: that's odd because they have 3 Producers, 5 Editors, 1 Audio Editor, and more, among a staff of 20+ dedicated to the show. So I'm not sure what you're talking about. Do you always stop watching before the credits roll?
  • 5 1
 @ream720: you're really not getting the point lol
  • 1 0
 It's PB comments man, people will always complain. I think the show does a great job at showcasing all sides of being a pro rider, not just shredding
  • 71 3
 Oooh it's Guilty Pleasure Thursday!
  • 35 45
flag MikeyMT (Nov 5, 2020 at 8:17) (Below Threshold)
 There is no pleasure here...
  • 54 3
 @MikeyMT: That came out really dark. Wanna talk about it?
  • 10 1
 The kiwi got eliminated There is no pleasure here...
  • 56 0
 Any one else wish they took the Great British Bake Off Approach instead of a Survivor Approach?
  • 6 0
 YES! Thank you.
  • 4 0
 I watch that show on repeat with my wife. We need a Paul Hollywood in there.
  • 8 0
 @slayersxc17: @mikelevy is the MTB Paul Hollywood.
  • 4 0
 I want to be the Mary Berry of BC mountain biking
  • 1 0
 What's that? Please explain.
  • 2 0
 @The-Foiling-Optimist: They need to bring her back. Prue is legit, but she isn’t Mary Berry
  • 51 4
 I’m going to ask what we are all wondering: Who’s sleeping with who?
  • 101 6
 Vlad -> Everyone
  • 34 7
 @MajesticMOOSE: with the size of vlad‘s ego I doubt there is place for anything else in his life
  • 52 10
 @Upduro: If I had to go on a night out drinking with any one of those people it would be Vlad hands down. No idea what everyone here has against him, seems like a fun dude to me.
  • 16 23
flag Kptzbik (Nov 5, 2020 at 9:54) (Below Threshold)
 @Upduro: i think Ben has even bigger ego.
Vlad knows that big magazine cover muscles are worth shit in case of endurance.
But Ben...? “Im the biggest bad ass of all and i even don’t know what the rest is doing here”
  • 55 1
 @Kptzbik: Ben is very clearly playing a character. That's how 'reality' shows work. I don't know the guy but people who do have commented on PB confirming he's super chill in real life. And come on, the 'evil Ben' alter-ego is so obviously intentional comedy Smile

I'd happily have a beer with both. I wanted to say a bike ride, but they shred too hard for me.
  • 8 0
 @bananowy: yeah he literally changes his appearance when they are playing up the Evil Ben character
  • 1 1
 @MajesticMOOSE: 69 upvotes
  • 1 0
 @bananowy: yeah i dont know him personally too but first episode told me that probably i will not like him.
But who knows... Maybe while drinking a beer or riding he is the guy you want to spend time. Wink
  • 44 2
 I vote Kirt Voreis to drop in for an episode Big Grin
  • 43 5
 The whole Slim Shaddy thing Ben has going on is great!
  • 8 0
 Are you Stanning on Ben?
  • 12 0
 @suspended-flesh: All I can say is the guy better write me back! Hahaha
  • 34 1
 At first, I wasn't a fan of the show, but it is entertaining so I've been watching it. This episode turned the corner for me into actually liking it. Less fake drama shit and more just actual race prep and riding. The drama is there already with racing and the challenges (especially when they're relevant like this FTP), let it play out without overdoing it and this turns into a really fun series.
  • 37 2
 Bradshaw got robbed !
  • 2 0
 So did Kennedy
  • 3 0
 So frustrating that the only person I had seen on social media before the Pinkbike academy was Tom with his chamois-less Everesting challenge. According to me he's the only one with social media presence. What!?!?
  • 3 1
 @theee-a-team: 2200 followers and 230 lifetime posts is not a social media presence. But everyone that has met him in person will remember him, huge personality and great rider.
  • 30 4
 Why call it an ftp test and then post the results of the final ramp that they sustained instead of the actual ftp?

Also, you don't stand during an FTP test.
  • 5 1
 yea not real ftp, this one is the ramp test I think. Lighter riders go for less time to achieve same w/kg.
  • 11 0
 There are varying ideologies about how to derive FTP from a ramp test, but they still just showed the final ramp stage rather than the FTP. I think Zwift/Trainer Road usually take .75 of the final ramp and call it FTP. Which would give Addison an FTP of around 300, which sounds about right.
  • 5 2
 @kieran-nnilsen: FTP/kg is fine bro
  • 4 4
 Agree. Since it was power to weight, why not judge and show us that info, not just power. Who cares if you get a 300FTP if you weight 220lb it may not mean so much . . . . Vlad would get destroyed if they published that data.
  • 8 5
 @noplacelikeloam: Maybe I'm mistaken, but they showed both the unnormalized power and the normalized power (i.e., power-to-weight ratio)
  • 2 0
 @pmhobson: Ahh, ok, I stand corrected. Thank you!
  • 12 0
 @pmhobson: Normalized power is an average to account for zero watt readings during coasting. It has nothing to do with the rider's Mass...
  • 8 0
 @hardcore-hardtail: Thanks for the clarification. I was sloppy with the cycling-specific terms and referring to generic mathematical normalization ""
  • 3 0
 @Austin014: I knew before watching Addison would crush it I raced against him in fixed gear crits years ago and he is a monster on the road
  • 22 0
 When the youtube screenshot has a puke bucket at the ready, you can only hope for one thing:
They miss the bucket and yak on the host's shoes.
  • 4 0
 I thought it was ice water. I haven't watched it yet. I thought they would splash them or something.
  • 4 0
 @nskerb: I haven't watched it either. But, as you can tell, I apparently have a darker hope for the coming events.
  • 16 1
 Thank you PinkBike for producing this show, the perfect antidote to the s***show that is going on all around us. Yes, it is ridiculous, cheesy, superficial, over-dramatic, and hyped-up, but that is what makes it great. Thoroughly enjoyable, turn-your-brain-off entertainment. Can't wait for episode 5.
  • 21 4
 Love to hate this; hate to love it
  • 18 6
 So short sighted these keyboard courage trolls are....

Guys this is an opportunity for someone who may not have had a chance to make their goals a reality...become that reality. Hence a "reality show"

I think it's a great series and this episode in particular because it chewed Vlad up and spit him out.

Cheers to PB for being creative during these times. Keep it up!
  • 14 0
 Well, now do PBA for 50+ riders with a family and not enough time to ride like me... I'm in, Pinkbike!
  • 7 0
 I’m in. Desk jockey weekend warriors competition.
  • 2 0
 @slayersxc17: Add in a "Fix Moar Bikes Than I Ride" elimination too...
  • 2 0
 @slayersxc17: Sign me up for Sedentary Shredderz over 50
  • 9 0
 How about mad dash to fit in a 3 hour ride on the weekend?
  • 9 0
 okay, okay, okay, this is such a gimmicky reality TV show and I hate it for that, but dag gonnit it's also so satisfying to watch since it's so relatable. I don't think I can resist watching the series now. Darn! For the record though, it is super weird to see Jason Lucas in the host role, yet he seems to be well prepared to do it.
  • 11 1
 This shit is some real shit.
  • 1 0
 RIP to a Real One
  • 10 0
 We will sesh!
  • 8 1
 This is seriously real world meets road rules but with bikes... next season can it be working class individuals with dad and mom bods.
  • 4 0
 For the vast majority of people and barring extremes, you are responsible for what your body looks like.
  • 3 0
 @bentopi: BAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!! We must NOT take personal accountability for our outward appearances! And, how DARE you judge man, I mean, how dare you.....

Great, you have ruined my weekend, where are my spandex shorts...... ;-P
  • 2 0
 The show would have to feature e-bikes though, since that's what I see them riding around on at the local trails. But the great thing is that you wouldn't see any of them take their shirt off for attention or have to play the "bad guy".
  • 4 0
 @digitalsoul: The other day (seriously) a guy (wait, it was 10/31) ...smoking a cigarette at the trails. Trash bag wrapped around his down tube on his new Levo (is that what the Specialized one is called?). I asked if it was part of a costume.....nope, he was protecting it from rock scratches until his "custom made" frame protector from "Europe" arrived....god knows you do not want to scratch the downtube on your ebike....have a smoke and relax.
  • 1 0
 @digitalsoul: I don't think so, I ride once a week and can easily shred right along with the riders in this video.
  • 9 0
 Micha killed it. Vlad needs a reality check. He's next off. Just sayin.
  • 4 0
 Did they actually talk about the numbers for watts and w/kg measurements?

Would be nice to know where a person stacks up and what to shoot for?
  • 5 3
 Nothing impressive regarding the FTP. 4.2W/kg is good but good road climbers in my region are about 5.5/6.0W/kg. Pro road cyclist are close to 6.5W/kg. That's a huge gap.
Would be be curious to see number for a pro EWS rider!
  • 4 0
 Having a mixed sex XC race is not exactly fair is it? (although FTR I'd probably still come last....)
  • 7 3
 Im triggered.
  • 26 0
 @thustlewhumber: I'm grip shifted
  • 10 0
 @colincolin: I’m single speeded
  • 1 0
 @nskerb: I'm paddled like F1
  • 2 0
 @suspended-flesh: I'm paddled like F1" =

You know, there are fetish sites for that.....
  • 2 0
 @JustAnotherRiderHere: deleting browser history
  • 2 1
 I trink there is a place for that kind of challenge. I am Racing for 30 years now. Seeing DH racers crushing the xc field. I totaly believe, that is is realy important to be fresh going into a downhill. What else than fitness should garanty to achieve this goal in an enduro race!?
  • 5 2
 I’m just up here in Canada burning Doobs reading the comments. Haven’t watched an episode yet. But this sure is entertaining. Cheers.
  • 1 3
 I click every week to read everyone talk shit about the show. Far more eentertinaing than the 4 minutes of Ep. 1 i actually watched. Two observations: fans of this all seem to think that contestants are removed for dramatic purposes rather than contest performance. Which means they are completley cool with spending hours ewatching a completely rigged contest (im not syaing it is rigged , but those that like the show sure seem to think this whwn somone they like is ousted). Imagine if UCI just determined too many Frechies have won world cups and someone from USA needs to win win the next race. The fans of this show seem like they would be cool with it becuase it would be done for dramatic purposes and they only watch races as a "guilty pleasure".
  • 5 1
 Bake Off but bikes? Right?
  • 6 2
 I'm not ashamed to say I love this series. Good job PB.
  • 2 0
 Anyone know what cassette they are using? Tacx trainers are not currently compatible with Shimano 12 speed according to the website.
  • 1 0
 Appeared to be eagle cassettes
  • 4 0
 Making peeps do a ramp test without a fan is just wrong.
  • 1 0
 Can we get French subs?
I watched the first 3 episodes with my wife who isn't that much into MTbiking thanks to the French subs and it's a bit too much for her now without those.
  • 1 0
 Ahh sorry, standby!
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: awesome!
Would you need a hand for the next episodes?
  • 2 0
 I'm just happy Pinkbike made a show that actually releases an episode every week instead of waiting fooooreever between episodes like the Privateer and Grim Donut.
  • 2 0
 I'm just here to counter the righteous indignation that this series isn't a collection of sick edits.
  • 3 1
 It's a bit reality TV related which is a bit uncool for me. But i'm adapting.
  • 3 1
 Adapt. Overcome.
  • 3 0
 I will only watch if they post FTP's. Do they post FTP's??
  • 4 0
 w/kg. good enough Wink That one dude's strong!
  • 6 4
 reading the comments, I think it was a good decision that I never started watching this...
  • 9 6
 I tried an episode, but couldn't make it all the way through. I got distracted by some wet paint that was drying.
  • 3 0
 The Ben-Addison rivalry is surprisingly wholesome.
  • 1 0
 Or at least a category for people with kids and jobs with wives that also ride and have the no time to ride category?
  • 1 0
 What brand are the folding chairs in the tent? Fun show to watch with my wife and kids. It's also ONLY thing my wife likes related to mountain biking.
  • 1 0
 I am still trying to figure out how Pinkbike managed to get DJ Vod Van Cran to host this show! Must be pretty big budget! Which contestant is the biggest Vod Van fan?
  • 2 0
 Addison is fucking awesome
  • 1 0
 Would have been goid to know how long and how many meters of climbing was in the loop?
  • 3 1
 100% Ben or Addison winning!
  • 5 0
 I think it will be more like Addison and Julia,... because, you know, equality and such. And I mean Ben seems to be a strong rider and all. But Addison just seems to have little more experience in all sorts of situations and its generally more pleasant to watch, talk etc,... Julia is by far the best most focused lass out there.
  • 4 5
 This episode was almost as much BS as the last. Clearly Vlad should have gone home. Why didn’t he? More blatant marketing perhaps? Even with the nitpicking, thanks for the first mtb reality show I am aware of PB
  • 3 0
 yep I agree. He did poorly in both challenges whilst Misha just made a bit of a mistake going too hard on the climb off the start - easily done and easily rectified now she has that experience. I think they have to boot a girl off because last week they booted off a guy.
  • 2 0
 Finally some sports
  • 1 0
 Push PB crew to go through as well!
  • 1 0
 Thought i’d listen to a little mob deep with that tittle
  • 1 0
 Is there a master’s category?
  • 5 7
 this all blows rhino rods script sucks idea is shit contestants are bent over hard by Vlad NO freeride fitness segment blows even bigger rhino rods just sold my mountain bike and bought three jetskis. thanks guys
  • 1 0
 come on Fabien ! a bit more of Palois accent is expected Smile
  • 1 0
 In my opinion, this episode did not suck.
  • 1 0
 Too much psi in the tires, not enough in the quads.
  • 1 1
 Now I know who hasn't been listening to Fast Talk Podcast.
  • 1 0
 Tarps off boys!
  • 1 2
 Ben must be getting paid extra to play that character. No one is that full of themselves
  • 2 0
 Pretty sure he's just playing around, playing the heel but not actually being a "bad guy".
  • 2 1
 This shit sucks balls
  • 1 2
 who has the power, and who has the lisp.
  • 7 8
 I cant even bring myself to click the link and watch this one
  • 4 6
 Not trying to be sexist, But this series is just highlighting the disparity in performance between male and female athletes.
  • 15 4
 not what I took from it. Looking at per kilo performance, Julia is right up there with Ben and Addison, showing just how equal the sexes are.
  • 8 9
 @danielfeary: the end of the day, boys are boys, girls are girls. "All things equal", well, they just are not due to this pesky "nature" thing with most mammalian creatures. Under your context there is no reason a woman will not be dunking in the NBA or playing Linebacker in the NFL...or, pitching in the World Series.

Rachel McKinnon would of course not agree. Be as "woke" as you want, it will not alter scientific facts. But, everyone gets a trophy, right? We as humans simply are not equal. Not physically, not intellectually, not emotionally. I guess that is hate speech.

Side point. Percentage-wise WNBA makes far more than NBA players....seems that the total revenue never comes into the comparators of the "Woke". Plus, WNBA could not find a fan in the lighting dept of Lowes.
  • 1 0
 @JustAnotherRiderHere: you've missed the mark here. I said "per kilo", so we're using relative comparison of their output rather than absolutes. But you went with some weird inclusion on woke culture, lots of "air quotes" and your feelings on WNBA.
  • 1 2
 @danielfeary: no, I was spot on the mark. Power per kilo has no bearing whatsoever on reality being as women weigh in general less than men.
  • 6 7
 This pxsh again.
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