Opinion: How True is the 'Dudes Who Shred' vs 'YouTubers' Meme?

Jan 18, 2021
by James Smurthwaite  
The meme that's been making the rounds.


Words: James Smurthwaite

Throughout Silly Season I've been spending a lot of time on social media trying to spot new sponsors for riders and maybe some new bikes too... but that's not all I've seen. One meme that has been doing the rounds and simply refuses to die is the above image pitting 'YouTubers' and 'Dudes who actually shred' against each other.

The implication is that the bike industry is ignoring the best riders out there and instead spending all its money sponsoring riders who simply have a large following on the video-sharing site and no riding ability. I've seen it shared by both sizeable YouTubers and, more frequently, by talented riders with a chip on their shoulders. Oh, and definitely some local dude-bros.

I’ll be the first to admit that a lot of what happens on YouTube is pretty lame. It's understandable when some experienced riders roll their eyes at those ‘Epic Backcountry Rides’ or videos about how ‘sick’ the bike park is, or being told how to bunny hop for the 40th time, but clearly there’s an audience that cares. Those channels can rack up millions of views a month. But, is this new generation of content creators hoarding all the sponsorship money at the expense of fast riders? Well, it's time to wade into the mire of shit slinging too...

The Premise is Flawed

For a start, this is a bit of a false comparison. Some of the most talented riders on the planet have got their start on YouTube and continue to use it as their main outlet such as Danny MacAskill, Fabio Wibmer and Tomomi Nishikubo. Outside the trials world, former pros have also turned to Youtube to continue their careers such as 2013 FMB overall winner Sam Pilgrim, 2015 Rampage Best Trick Winner Sam Reynolds and slopestyle legend Cam McCaul. The boundaries are more blurred than ever between the two categories as even current racers and freeriders such as Bernard Kerr, Rachel Atherton, Danny Hart, and Finn Iles have begun to put more effort into their YouTube channels too.

Of course, this meme probably isn't targeting the YouTubers I've mentioned above but the like-and-subscribe-ring-the-bell-all-caps-wheelie-tutorial-glowing-thumbnail-I-just-hit-my-first-double-and-you-won't-believe-what-happened brigade. There's definitely a drop-off when it comes to the riding ability of YouTubers and the majority of mountain bike videos, even from some of the bigger creators, on the site are nowhere near the levels of the riders listed above but to say it's all Joeys on there is definitely hyperbolic.

Reynolds going stratospheric across the canyon gap.
Sam Reynolds - A dude who shreds... and also a YouTuber

Brands Spend a Lot on Sponsored Riders Beyond Just Their Salaries

Secondly, there's no small amount of money going to sponsored riders, both men and women, who aren't on Youtube. To put it simply, racing and competition ain't cheap. Sure, only the cream of the crop riders earn a large wage but bike companies support lots of "B" riders as well as the teams they ride for too. The flights, hotels, bikes, mechanics, team trucks and everything else that goes into a sports marketing program is a sizeable investment for a bike brand. Add on top of that all the freeriders, brand ambassadors and legacy riders who also get a slice of the pie and there are plenty of people out there getting paid to ride without a YouTube channel.

Money might be moving around these days, but it's hardly that brands aren't spending a lot on talented riders.

The Reality is More Complex than the Meme Suggests

I don't need to tell you that bike companies don't sponsor anyone just because they're fast, it's because they help to sell bikes. Previously, racing and competing was one of the best ways to do this as it got blanket coverage in all the magazines, produced content for advertising and was a way to show the speed of your bikes against the competition. Another way to do it was through photos, films or videos where, again, the fastest riders profited as they usually looked the best.

In 2021 however, there are so many other ways to get your bikes in front of potential customers. Social media, along with cheaper and more available cameras, means that anyone can create content and share it with the world. It's no longer the fastest riders that carry the most capital but those who can get the most engagement.

Content creation featured in two of the Pinkbike Academy challenges this year because it's becoming more important than ever for mountain bike athletes.

Racers have maybe 10 or 15 opportunities a year to show their pace against the competition but for YouTubers, every new video is a chance to show off the product they're paid to promote. Even if they only produce one video a week, that's significantly more than a racer can hope to compete with.

On top of that, the value of a race result (especially a mid-pack one) is hard to calculate, but the analytical tools that the internet provides can very easily tell a marketing manager exactly how many eyeballs a YouTuber has reached. Each impression has a cash value attached to it and the marketing dollars spent on an influencer much easier to justify. The proof here is in the pudding with racers now pumping out riding content on their Instagram profiles or YouTube channels to bolster what they can offer to sponsors.

The Pandemic is Accelerating Current Trends

But YouTube is 15 years old now, so why has this meme become so popular this winter? Well, as with most things at the moment, the COVID-19 pandemic has probably had something to do with it. A changing global situation has left brands re-thinking where they spend their money. If you've sold out of bikes and you're on a waiting list to get your next batch of frames, that product/sports marketing budget is going to be one of the first things on the chopping block.

It's still unclear exactly what racing is going to happen this year and with racing falling under the marketing banner, racers are likely to be one of the first victims of these cuts. I know that some entire racing programs are being disbanded for 2021 and others are definitely shrinking the number of riders they support.

As Matt Wragg alluded to in his predictions article, the way that sponsored athletes to interact with brands will have to change over the course of the next 12 months too. If a racer can't provide a return to their sponsor through a strong race result, they are going to have to think of other ways to show that they are worth the money that is spent on them. Don't be surprised for them to turn to social media, especially a YouTube channel, to be one of those ways. They will have to be savvy about it though as we've also seen some prominent YouTubers have their sponsorships reduced this year too as the market starts to get saturated.

Wyn Masters and Keegan Wright talking their way down through the relentless gnar.
Wyn Masters is way ahead of the competition when it comes to mixing a strong media presence with race pace.

The pandemic has also introduced a new wave of riders to the sport. Mountain biking offers the ability to exercise alone or in a family bubble, to escape the home office and it offers great mental health benefits. These new riders aren't going to be hunting down content from riders sending 100-foot gaps or smashing bike park berms. Instead, they'll be looking for content that opens their eyes to the variety of trails they can ride, coaches them through the confusing world of trail etiquette, encourages them to progress their skills and tells them which products they should upgrade their new bikes with. It's far less intimidating for these riders to see someone talking through the ups and downs of a ride on their local trails compared to a shreddit full of hucking and shralping. Being a shredder could potentially make you less relatable to potential buyers and therefore less valuable to a potential sponsor. (On that note, I suspect several "beginner" channels are downplaying their skills on the bike to be more relatable. Gross.)

It's Mostly Jealousy

The popularity of this meme probably tells us one thing, the balance is shifting and some riders are being left behind. It's adapt or die time for riders and those who don't embrace the added reach of social media are likely to be the ones that are on the wrong side of that bargain. If all you offer to a brand is the ability to ride a bike fast and you can't back it up with anything on social media, there aren't many ticks in your column when budget meetings come around.

Of course, all of this has been happening for years but it has been seriously accelerated by the fallout from COVID-19. This probably means some 'Dudes (or women) who shred' are looking pretty enviously at those YouTubers while they have struggled to find as much support this year. But ironically, a salty meme probably isn't the kind of social media content their sponsors will be looking for...


696 Comments

  • 500 58
 No James, your premise is flawed. Theres a big difference between a pro who posts to YouTube and a "youtuber"
  • 25 22
 Pros posts on Youtube?
  • 92 5
 @HendersonMike: To describe one’s self as a ‘YouTuber’ is to give one’s self a professional title (no different than an ‘engineer’ or ‘nurse’). Moreover, it implies creating video content for YouTube is their primary focus and primary source of income.
  • 94 87
 @HendersonMike: They've been reduced to because the industry has decided to sponsor youtube posers instead of real professionals. Apparently, talent doesn't matter anymore, only view counts.
  • 54 3
 @HendersonMike: brendon fairclough, olly wilkins, remy metailer, cam zink, lewis buchanan and some others
  • 45 19
 @cwatt: wow semantics much? They clearly meant pro mountain biker not pro YouTuber.

And there's lots of good content on both sides. Remy and Yoann are certainly my first go to but the content from people like vancan and Dale stone are awesome.

Therea also just as many pro MOUNTAIN BIKERS (happy now) who's online content is just meh. Presenting is a unique skill and not everyone can be as good as Sarah Moore.
  • 54 26
 @chriskneeland:
Posing is a good thing! That is what Cover Girl model do, they pose and then they make a lot of money from it. I myself think we as individuals, or a company, should sponsor any and all that can help us sell our products.

I am sure Seth Bike Hacks help sells way more bicycle products than any Professional Racer does. At this point though, I do NOT know if I can even trust Seth Bike Hacks anymore for an honest review as that channel is heavily sponsored, it is really no different than a Big "Magazine". Can any of us really trust these "Big Dogs" for honesty? They are going to say what their sponsors tell them to say and NOT what they truly feel.

My favorite Youtubers the small time guys that post stuff that helps me fix my bike. To me "how to repair and maintenance" videos are the best videos, and most of these vids seem to be from small time guys that do not have monetized channels. These guys tend to have channels with NO Flash, only SUBSTANCE, and that works out great for me, because I only want substance and I do NOT care for flash.
  • 129 12
 I think the most frustrating thing about youtube mtb content is just how many channels there are of people who don't really know what they're talking about. The reality is they don't have the skill and experience to tell someone how to properly ride a bike. But for some reason they think they need to be on the internet doing how to videos and bike reviews. Some people need attention and need to the the one looked up to, I guess. But seriously, how many videos do we need of another mediocre mountain biker POV his ride down a trail talking about a bike and how it compares to his 2014 stumpjumper. And he brought along his even less skilled girlfriend.

Other really skilled riders just want to ride their bikes, with their friends, and have a good time without feeling the need to f*ckin document everything on the internet. That should be okay.
  • 118 3
 @deserat: "Other really skilled riders just want to ride their bikes, with their friends, and have a good time without feeling the need to f*ckin document everything on the internet. That should be okay."

In what world is that not okay? Just don't expect to make a living off it.
  • 40 8
 Perhaps youtubers are like lawyers: 99% of them give the other 1% a bad name.
  • 61 3
 Youtube is awesome for guys like sam pilgrim, his competition years are over, but youtube gives him a chance to keep doing what he loves
  • 45 6
 @HendersonMike: from the comments here it’s obviously jealousy.

Even if some dude bro is a super shredder, nobody wants to listen to some dumb douchebag who hates everything.
  • 48 5
 @chriskneeland: Who was able to produce more value to a company in 2020, a racer who raced maybe 3-5 races that were not very covered with media... or a YouTuber that put out a video every two weeks the entire year. For a bike company, a consistent source of eyeballs is where you should put your money, views = sponsorship. Plain and simple, racers are getting fewer and fewer eyeballs, not saying it's right and id rather see more talented riders get sponsors, but from an ROI... it makes sense.
  • 127 6
 Watching the average "youtuber" is one of the things that motivated me to make my own channel as there wasn't alot of local content in New England and what was out there was mediocre riding at best. But, over the years I've realized why people watch these channels of people who don't necessarily "Shred". Because to the average MTBer they are relatable, and often times viewers are more often drawn to riding and struggles that relate to them and watching someone with similar struggles push through and progress. It's the story sometimes more than the actual riding... kinda like why every movie isn't an action movie. Honestly I don't know why people get so upset about it... if you don't like it don't watch. I can tell you first hand from running a very small channel it's a metric crapton of work... but I enjoy it, so I keep doing it. I'll be able to look back and watch my videos from my nursing home chair and look back at the good ol days... Wink
  • 17 4
 It's not everything in being an excellent rider!
Some of the fantastic riders just makes lousy videos. Tippie for (bad) example. I love the guy, love his riding and boarding and I really have a huge amount of respect for everything he's done over the years, but his videos are mostly just mediocre.
Claudio and Barelli makes videos that are not much better but they are always fun to watch and I enjoy them every single time.
Maybe that's why they are successful on YT.
Personally, my favourite channel is "owlaps". French guy who doesn't try to entertain and just rides. Because of him I already visited so many great riding places.
  • 17 20
 @avg-roadie: You're essentially echoing my sentiment. You don't have to be a good mountain biker to sell bikes, just good at creating content, no matter how much you actually suck at riding. Here's a novel idea, people who are good at creating media content documenting people who can actually ride bikes.
  • 29 2
 @chriskneeland: not a novel idea - that is literally how mtn bike videos have been made for decades.
  • 10 40
flag chriskneeland (Jan 18, 2021 at 10:07) (Below Threshold)
 @cuban-b: Went a little over your head with that one huh?
  • 16 7
 @chriskneeland: times change. Adapt or die.
  • 18 49
flag chriskneeland (Jan 18, 2021 at 10:12) (Below Threshold)
 @cuban-b: You mean, become a YouTube poser or die. I'd rather die.
  • 40 9
 @chriskneeland: ok, nobody’s stopping you.

if you’re so good, start your own YouTube channel and prove all these “posers” wrong. Put your money where your mouth is.

Or continue complaining here about why everyone else sucks and how everyone else is a loser and how everyone else is crazy... everyone except you, right?
  • 11 0
 @projectnortheast: Well said. PS I enjoy your videos. Makes me want to ride in New England way more.
  • 9 60
flag chriskneeland (Jan 18, 2021 at 10:20) (Below Threshold)
 @cuban-b: Jesus christ. Are you mentally challenged? Who said I think everyone else sucks? I have so much respect for so many people in this sport. Which is why I can't stand some loser making daily click bait videos doing the same stupid shit getting sponsor support, while there are actual professionals at the high end of the sport with no frame sponsors.
  • 18 10
 @chriskneeland: so prove everyone wrong and start your own channel. People might actually respect u then
  • 28 11
 @chriskneeland: if it upsets you that someone with several hundred thousand followers gets attention / support from the industry....well you’re an idiot.
  • 76 6
 @deserat: stand up paddle boarding is the same. SM is loaded with pouty attractive women saying how good their new kit is when 1/2 the time they have poor technical ability and as such no base of knowledge to make that statement, and it's not just women, it's anyone who looks "right". I get it, brands want associations with positive imagery, but when someone is missing the aesthetics but is incredibly talented and is passed over because of that, what does that say about brands' ethos? I personally detest the whole "influencers" culture YouTube has built. It's a shit time to live when you could have been plugging away as a private, investing time, money and effort for years to get nobbled by a douche with a GoPro and some editing know how. Sponsorship used to be seen as a marker for talent and set a level to aspire to. A friend of mine got sponsored by MAD trials team 20 or so years ago and we were totally pumped for him, he was incredibly talented.

it may sound like sour grapes but life is bigger than the internet, the world is starting to exist in this parallel to real life and I think it's devaluing everything.

The world has gone money made, and there has to be business sense in what people do, but the supply of "talent" is way above watered down, superficial demands.

Music downloads did the same to dance music. When I used to play I bought Vinyl or cd's. That investment in producing the hardware was pretty good at screening out the crap. Now anyone can just post stuff up its dreadful, so much modern dance music really does sound the same, right down to the samples actually BEING the same as it's all come from the same programmes.

if you've got this far well done, I realise what an immense rant this has turned into, and I could go on.

But I won't.

Maybe I've just got old......????
  • 10 0
 @chriskneeland: You obviously have never seen Sam Pilgrim's channel
  • 22 5
 @chriskneeland: i can't relate to a pro athlete or the dudes who do "sick shred edits" but l can very much relate to Brian and my pals Iowa MTB. Im sorry you feel that everyone who posts on yt who are not pros are posers. Maybe the talent you speak of dont have the personality, likeability or even face for the camera.
  • 12 3
 @cuban-b: , no doubt it is jealousy! The reason these "non-shredding youtubers" keep on getting sponsorship and money is because they have a following and they help sell products. These guys help grow the sport, and they are nice to their subscribers and answer questions. I myself am NOT interested in what they have to say, but there are literally tens of thousand that do. It is no doubt that all the "real" shredders are just jealous because these youtubers can make a living by just youtubing. These youtubers actually understands the Mountain Bike Industry and Majority of Mountain Bikers more than than any "Pro" does.
  • 11 2
 Skilled youtubers who are also annoying squids sell bikes and help brands grow their audience, even if their audience is more annoying squids who are drawn to their supported youtubers. Doesn’t effect my life one way or another.
  • 28 2
 EWS Pros before youtube hos. hehe
  • 19 9
 @HendersonMike: it all comes down to one thing: they work at it and don’t listen to haters.

They work at it. They fail ALOT. They’re evaluating their value constantly. They discover new demands and trends. They command an audience.

Meanwhile the trolls pontificate on message boards and judge them for doing what they love. I say ignore the haters and keep working at whatever channel you guys are creating! You’ll be getting views while we argue about your well deserved success.
  • 10 31
flag chriskneeland (Jan 18, 2021 at 11:15) (Below Threshold)
 @cuban-b: It all comes down to one thing: youtubers who can't ride bikes are for squids who "can relate".

Meanwhile, pro's who actually work at improving their skills riding bikes get respect from others who work at increasing their skills riding bikes.
  • 9 1
 @HendersonMike: Nobody begrudges small channels making good content that basically funds their spare tube fund they use to bail out friends on group rides.

It's the follower count driven lifestyle blogger options that aren't actually contributing much to the community that aren't great, and practically I feel like the biggest thing is the opportunity cost for up and coming riders who can't tap into that support and would have to choose between the diminishing returns of enhancing their skillset or learning the multifaceted skillset of content production instead of spending time riding in order to keep up.
  • 16 10
 @chriskneeland: if it upsets you that someone with several hundred thousand followers gets attention / support from the industry....well you’re an idiot.
  • 15 0
 This article has to do with skiing but basically all of the points cross over to mtb. The fact is that a lot of the money going to youtube is coming advertising budgets that used to go to print magazines. You can still get equipment sponsorship but almost no one actually makes a living off mountain sports except the top pros.

"All the above things should be bare minimums before ever even considering approaching companies about sponsorship. The real thing you need to ask yourself is "AM I MARKETABLE?" Basically, will a company be able to use me to make money?"
www.newschoolers.com/forum/thread/796123/Everything-You-Need-To-Know-About-Getting-Your-First-Sponsor
  • 3 0
 @pakleni: yup, cant understand a word he says, but his riding SHREDS! Love the POV mega-downhill stuff.
  • 11 25
flag chriskneeland (Jan 18, 2021 at 12:17) (Below Threshold)
 @cuban-b: So youtube posers getting more media coverage, attention, and money than actual mountain bikers doesn't bother you? Let me guess, you're a big Jake Paul fan.
  • 13 5
 @chriskneeland: why should I judge someone else’s method of making a living? It’s none of my business and doesn’t affect my life in any way.
  • 17 4
 @chriskneeland: focus on your own goals and you might be less angry about others goals.
  • 3 0
 @Curse-of-the-foot-long-sub: I'd add he continues to ride at a extremely high level and doesn't pretend to be an expert outside of that realm (example: his mechanical skills). In a word, he (and the other high-quality YT content like Remi et al) are GENUINE
  • 8 20
flag chriskneeland (Jan 18, 2021 at 12:28) (Below Threshold)
 @cuban-b: Just calling a spade a spade homie. There are dudes out there who can actually ride a bike. You should check them out sometime.
  • 8 4
 @chriskneeland: I appreciate and support the entire professional mtb industry - Shredders AND youtubers. Just like everything else in life, only you are accountable for your own success.
  • 5 1
 @onlyDH: , maybe these "squids" are annoying to us. However, anything can be annoying if we pick at it enough. You sound like you have a lot of jealousy in you. I myself tend to be happy for people that are happy, youtubing, getting sponsorship, and making monkey,
  • 24 2
 @chriskneeland:
Not a lot of people care about going fast or winning Racers, nor do they care what Pro DHers think of them. Unless you yourself are regularly Racing in the UCI DH World Cup Championships, you too are also just a POSER. You are posing to be a fast guy! BTW: There is nothing wrong with being a poser. I myself buy nice gear because I like to Pose also. However, unlike most posers, I am one HANDSOME MO FO! DON'T HATE! and do you need a Hug? I can give you one if it will make you feel better.
  • 10 2
 @HendersonMike: Yea, Seth went down the "unscripted" reality TV hole. Good for him, but we lost something special in the process.
  • 2 4
 Was gonna say the same, glad you did.

Sure there are certainly a couple (I can only think of one) YouTubers that are actually good riders.

At the end of the day it is competition that breeds the best.
  • 4 0
 Here are the social media rankings mtb athletes based on social media. Some expected, some unexpected. Nevertheless, interesting.

www.hookit.com/ranks
  • 9 2
 Lots of emotion on this post so kudos to James for wading into murky and dangerous social waters. Lots of definitions being thrown around here. Can we back up and define what is meant by "pro"? There appears to be some lines in the sand drawn that I'm not sure I understand. By "Pro" are we referring to those with an elite level race pedigree? Those with a sponsorship that existed prior to YouTube?

Back in the days before YouTube there were lots of riders who didn't compete in anything and their focus was on media creation as well. Guys like Thomas Vanderham, The Godfather Wade Simmons etc. Sure these guys competed in early Rampage but their sponsors were paying them for video parts and print ads at the time because that was the landscape of media. No different from Free skiing, Motocross and Skateboarding etc. Was a guy like Richie Schley who learned how to look really good in photos and videos better than guys who were faster at the time? Probably not but that wasn't the point.

Reminds me of music these days (said like an aging hipster). The doors of media production have blown open and the power dynamics have shifted. With it, there is some truly awful music coming out. Sorry fans of face tats and dudes mumbling over downloaded tracks with "lil" in their names but I'm not on board with your preferences. As a recent SNL skit poked fun at, these turds are getting hundreds of millions of streams. So my opinion on what makes good music is clearly different than a value system looking at influence.

I'm not sure what the answer is. Either way it makes for good discussion. While I really like Seth, there is a whole other demographic of click baiters out there...the "WATCH ME ALMOST DIE ON THE HARDEST TRAIL IN THE WORLD!" and then the video is of them making noises whilst going down a modest rock face or some crap like that. I'm hoping over time those making meaningful content will rise, we will better understand this new landscape, and those just exploiting our culture will disappear.
  • 3 4
 @tacklingdummy: The footballers are killing it
  • 14 29
flag Linc (Jan 18, 2021 at 15:26) (Below Threshold)
 @chriskneeland: Agree so much this. Youtubers are the worst. It's self absorbed, self aggrandising rubbish made by people too lazy to put in the hard work and develop skills before trying to showcase their shitty content to the world.
  • 7 25
flag Linc (Jan 18, 2021 at 15:34) (Below Threshold)
 @HendersonMike: Posing is absolutely the worst aspect of MTB culture. Youtube and youtubers are taking this crap to new heights.

Back when everyone used to race, the senior riders kept this bullshit is check. Now anyone who rocks up at trails with a camera thinks they're king shit without putting in the work and perfecting their skills. Ride. Practice. Be humble. If you're good, then let other people make that assessment and take pics/photos.
  • 11 4
 @Linc: the ironic part is that while we sit here complaining about how youtubers are posers, they’re gaining more views and subs everyday, and not paying attention to us because they’re busy focusing on their own thing. So I’m not really sure who the real posers are in this situation.
  • 13 1
 @Linc:
If you do NOT like someone's channel then just do NOT watch it. SIMPLE!
I myself stopped watching all Mtn Bike Youtubers on a regular basis, and this also includes Bike Magazine and Pinkbike Youtube Channels. I do still read the the Pinkbike and the Vital articles on a semi-regular basis though if the subject interests me. I especially LOVE the Pinkbike comment sections. I myself think all Youtubers can provide useful input in one way or another. Anyone should speak his mind regardless of how fast they are. For the most part, I find that "joe blows" information to be useful than "joe pro's" information. As for "Posers", you might want to look in the mirror! We are all posers in one way or another. We are NOT factory racers but yet we dress up and set up our bikes as if we were one. Even "Real Racers" are posers in some aspects of their life. I would trust a Stranger Youtuber over a Factory Racers. The stranger youtuber paid for his own V10 and he can be honest if he hates his bike. A factory racer can NEVER criticize the bike. If you hear the Pro Racer's excuses after a bad race, it is always the same. They never blame the bike they will say something like "we could not dial in the suspension"... what they really want to say is "this bike absolutely sucks for this course!!!!", HAHAHAHA
  • 8 0
 @HendersonMike: I myself love the Worldwide Cyclery videos.
  • 24 5
 @Linc: That's total bullshit man, c'mon. I'm sure there are some, but I'm also sure it spans the whole spectrum. There are definitely levels to putting out content though that serve many different purposes and come from many different backgrounds.

Hands down... watching Graham Agassiz, James Doerfling, and Andreu Lacondeguy over the last decade or more were inspirational to me, and would make me excited to go ride and try more stuff. Their riding styles are insane, and the stuff they do is totally insane. In a general year though, what do they actually do? They're not racers, they're not pumping out youtubes, maybe Rampage? if it happens or they aren't hurt? Maybe 1 or 2 movie segments that are shot with amazing technique or location? I still love them and jump on anything I see their name on to watch right away. Who are they selling bikes to/for though? A guy you hear from once a year isn't pumping sales volume. On that level, I'll watch anything Brandon Semenuk puts out because he's unlike anyone else on earth and its awe inspiring to watch. Those are all people you'd say are all pros and top in their given craft for the stuff I'm most into. None are racers. Brandon and James don't even compete at ANYTHING any more. James could be an IT Help Desk Tech for all I know, I have no idea what that dude does, but who cares?

Take another tier... Wyn and Fairclough are pros. they're definitely better than 99% of everyone here. They're not champions though. Are they selling you something because its the best and they're the best? No. But they're super personable and entertaining to watch AND have skills that back them up, and its still mega exposure for their brands. I subscribe to them because I'm entertained and I like them as people. Take a dude like Mark Matthews. I couldn't tell you the last thing he's done that has a competition or ranking. I have no idea, but I love his FB and YT content. The trails he rides are amazing and he's fast as f*ck.

Remy and Yoann are another tier... where they have pro level skills, but again, they're personable, and you can get something from how they dissect and breakdown riding, and how they show various trails and give exposure to riding different places. Whether either competes ever again in anything is irrelevant. You're getting exposure to somebody with beyond level riding, but who's content brings them down to what could be just 2 dudes having a conversation on a hillside and it works. Ben Cathro fits into here as well. You're getting high level technical analysis that's interesting, from a regular ass dude for all intents and purposes, who you know is skillful, but has no qualms about not being a Top 10 pro DH racer.

Then take the last tier of what I still think is great content. Dudes that are clearly better than me, but not pros and not major video production heroes... Skills With Phil, Mahalo My Dude, 50 to 01 TV, Jordan Boostmaster, etc... AGAIN, these dudes are all personable, you get something from their content. Phil with his quirky shit. He's literally building a trail for content from scratch, and showing it to you, showing how you can test it out, he explains techniques, he shows a large variety of trails and riding. Of those 4, Jordan is probably the MOST of a regular ass dude (riding wise), and still, he hits decently sized shit (stuff bigger than I'm willing to try) and rides with an advanced pace. Also again though, you get something from their content. Exposure to new zones or trails, exposure to lines and advice, a sense of a lot of what riding is about... having fun, being out in the woods, hanging with your buddies, conquering new features, etc... they bring that to the average rider guy's level where it seems obtainable and relatable. They come across as funny and/or kind people. None of these dudes mentioned seem self aggrandizing, or lazy, or shitty at riding. I'm sure there out there, but I think you're short selling the content, and definitely are short selling its impact to the larger riding community.
  • 9 9
 @HendersonMike: The bias works both ways. Sponsored riders don't talk their sponsors down. The guy who spent 10k on a V10 isn't going to tell you he's an idiot that wasted all his money on a crap bike.

You've actually demonstrated why it's important to put money and effort intro supporting the best riders who ride against the clock. The clock doesn't have biases. The best products rise to the top. Over time pro riders looking for peak performance weed out products that aren't good, or perfect products that need to change.

Squiddly McDadface with his camera, youtube channel and flow-trail add nothing to the progression of the sport, and supports a circle of self-fulfilling crapness where, bike companies regurgitate whatever trend captures attention of people who don't actually know what they're doing.
  • 2 4
 @cuban-b: hates everything??? wtf does that even mean. Where in the world are you happy getting a camera in your face everytime you go out to have fun?
  • 3 2
 @Chuckolicious: ,
world wide cyclery is a great start to learn about products, but they are most definitely not the final word for when it comes what to buy. The only one is that has the final word on what you need, is YOU. This means it is good to listen to as much input as possible, and even better to ask questions on facebook or pinkbike. I base most of my purchases off all of these hundreds of comments. For example, I thought about getting a 2018 Commencal Furious, but thanks to some of the Commenters on Pinkbike, I found out the reach for the 2018 to be too short and the rear end too flexy, as well as many cracked head-tubes.... then when I looked up a 2020 Commencal Furious on the Commencal's website, I see that Commencal braced the rear end, and gussetted the heat tube for their 2020 Furious! LOL, so these "complainers" about the 2018 Commencal Furious were all spot on! I ended up just plunking down the extra dough to get a 2021 Furious.
  • 11 5
 @Linc: ,
The Bias is NOT completely 100% both ways. We both know a Sponsored Rider will NEVER talk down on his bike. We also know that he will always says "this year's model is much better than last year's".

I myself, have no problems admitting that a bike is way over priced and set up wrong by the Factory, because I have done it many times. I put in an order for a 2021 V10, and you can bet I will be honest and let you know if it sucks.

Supporting the best riders only works at the UCI World Championship level, and even then it does NOT really work. Santa Cruz's Enduro Team are a bunch of "Losers" (relative Losers), but yet SC has no problems selling out all their Enduro bikes in 2020.

Most Fast Riders also have no idea how a bike even works, yeah they may know how to ride fast, and they do provide good feedback for the suspension tuners, but they have no idea about Bicycle Geometry or Innovation.

The Industry has progressed even MORE with thanks to these "slower" Youtubers! So Maybe it is you that have everything backwards?

Slow Riders tend to listen to slow riders, and when we are all starting out, we are all slow. Keep in mind, slow riders like Dentists and Engineers tend to be the ones that make money, and have no problems paying $10k for a bicycle

The only thing Mountain Bike Businesses care about is selling THEIR Products. If a slow ugly rider is helping to sell products, and if he he makes a lot of money doing it, then all is good for all sides! and you should be happy that this "slow and ugly rider" is making money by doing what he loves.

Let us all be honest, Fast Guys do NOT really help sell products (at least the fast guys outside of the UCI Championship do NOT). Fast Guys do NOT really progress the Industry either. In addition, these Fast Guys do NOT even really buy their own stuff, they just want everything for free! HAHAHAHAHA.
  • 3 2
 @vindee: don’t mean to be rude, but it’s not really clear what point you’re trying to make here. Can you clarify?
  • 6 3
 @Linc: No l don't feel thats true. Pro/advanced riders have different needs and perspectives that speak to the same caliber of rider compared to an average joe. I would much rather hear about a V10 from riders like me because we speak the same language and have the same skills. Obviously i don't ride like Aaron Gwinner so his perspective is different than mine and if he says a bike is good it probably is but will it good for me? Many pro ews racers like short nimble bikes with narrow bars and short reaches. But consumer are being sold long boats of bikes huge bars and reach numbers. pros are not like normal dudes.
  • 3 8
flag vindee (Jan 18, 2021 at 17:27) (Below Threshold)
 @cuban-b: Because if you opened your eyes to see what it's destroying, such as hundreds of thousands of hours of trail development by hard labor and turn your back because it doesn't effect you than you're just as bad as they are. Passivity is a cancer. But by all means, please just stick to the curbs on pavement instead.
  • 3 2
 @vindee: hey good luck with all that my friend!
  • 3 0
 @chriskneeland: You can do a search by sport. MTB top 5 rankings are K. Courtney, P. Prevot, D. MacAskill, Wyn Masters, and Sam Pilgrim. It has top 50 and Brandon Semenuk is number 50. The rankings are based on an interaction score whatever that means. Never thought soccer would be at the top of all sports. Perhaps, because I don't follow soccer in the least.
  • 8 1
 The other stupid thing about this discussion is that for a lot of people under 30 cable TV doesn't exist. I don't quite fit into that age category but I don't have cable and most nights am able to pretty easily put a 2 hour playlist together of random youtube crap I want to watch. Brands are just transitioning media types and now have the opportunity to integrate with content in a meaningful way. The problem is some of you are viewing youtubers as MTB content when you should be thinking of it as entertainment content, which is why there is so many hugely subscribed producers on youtube who just post about random crap. Can you really say the stuff people are watching on youtube is any worse than droves of people watching Maury or Jerry Springer or whatever other crap people used to sit around and watch.
  • 5 1
 @cuban-b: I've seen a lot of mtbers get worked up about youtubers, and I agree it's jealousy. If they create fun mtb stuff that is relatable and entertaining I'll watch it. I find a lot of youtube content refreshing, funny sometimes and more useful.. even bike reviews on PB I'm left scratching my head, so is this a good bike or not? Some of the youtubers I appreciate are: MTB yum yum, Rob Rides EMTB and Rides of Japan. All small'sh channels that I don't think make much money from making videos but are just passionate about the sport.
  • 2 0
 @chriskneeland: Selling product is what counts and apparently millions of hours of youtube videos sells product.
  • 1 0
 @murphy82: f*ckin eh murph.
  • 2 4
 @HendersonMike: I think what he said is actually spot on. A lot of youtubers who create bike content don't have fmb titles, but a lot of them simply just enjoy making video content whether its relatable or not. He's right, a lot of them are squids and they do attract more squids to the sport, and that's just a fact. He said it doesn't affect him whatsoever, and rightfully so. A lot of the people and myself included think they just skew the reality of mountain biking, but that's up to the viewer. I think its also just a fact that its easier and more efficient for bike companies to use youtube spodes to market their products to other spodes who don't know better.
  • 3 1
 @tacklingdummy: Out side America football is massive, "American" sports such as Baseball, American Football, Cheerleading etc just aren't that popular over here in Europe and elsewhere.
  • 6 7
 @Curse-of-the-foot-long-sub: Sam Pilgrim is like the worst example of a good pro mtb youtuber. That guy is so cringe and gives the whole mtb community on youtube a bed rep
  • 2 1
 @snl1200: the crucial difference with Wade Simmons etbsl was they were progressing a new direction on the sport and it was practically documenting the evolution of freeride who h influence a whole new breed of bikes being produced, not recording their narcisism like a lot of YT do
  • 3 0
 So many analogies with porn here, mountain biking is 20 years behind what pornhub did to the big guns in that industry. As much as I understand the market forces behind it, can't help but find it distasteful.
  • 3 2
 Can retitle this article “Spot the salty old guy in 3, 2, 1...”
  • 2 1
 @friendlyfoe: Remy,Yoann and Brendog are THE channels, and Nate Hills and Quiriyo for more all around just pov rides.
  • 4 0
 @peterdavidhaile: Thanks man that's my aim for my youtube... get people stoked, and showcase what we have here in New England.
  • 4 0
 @chriskneeland: Every "real professional" I know is sponsored. I can agree with you somewhat on some youtube channels, but for the most part I've seen the biggest channels grow because either A. they were the first ones to do it and put out smooth footage or B. They are sick riders who had good content and shot up in popularity past all the Joey's. I've never met you, but know we only live 30 min apart. I'm not part of the amateur cooperative but can respect what it's about. But I do find it somewhat hypocritical where you guys have a specific photographer (great guy) that follows you guys around and gets you great content for your own Instagrams etc. I'm not saying you personally or there is even anything wrong with that because I enjoy the content. I'm just saying it seems somewhat hypocritical as maybe you don't use it to get "deals" or whatever but others do. Do you call all of them out? I mean, I'm 40 years old, and feel 20 still when I ride my bike and am always improving but by your logic I should quit youtube and push my industry sponsors to young upcoming shredders? After many many years in the riding community? There has to be some balance here...
  • 2 0
 @chriskneeland: Define "real professionals"

...I've skipped work for a few hours to ride, so I've been paid to mountain bike. I guess that makes me a pro?

Point I'm making is the top 1% of true "pros" are, I'm sure, still going to get paid (I doubt Loic Bruni is going to take a huge paycut due to increased YouTube sponsorships) but the dude who is admittedly very good at sending it at his local trail system is not, which has always been the case.

My question is - anyone racing on the pro circuit in any of the disciplines - if you are a mid- to bottom-of-the-pack racer/freestyle sender, are you still going to be paid? If the answer is no, then I think a further look into this phenomenon is worth it
  • 8 0
 @chriskneeland: Mate, the "industry" exists to sell product, not support people.
  • 1 4
 @projectnortheast: Ya I don't really consider you a "youtuber" per se. You're not some goon making daily click bait videos, pushing the latest and greatest CBD oil, or showing us your 97th bike build. TBH, and this might be a little more personal because we live in the same area, my only criticism is you could actually ADD some more content to your videos. Like, how TF do I get to those trails in the Bike the Whites videos.

I just watch a lot of dudes (and ladies) from a lot of disciplines work really hard trying to make a legit career out of riding bikes. Spending hours and hours training, grinding to learn tricks, pushing their bodies to the limits, progressing their riding to insane levels, only to watch them lose, or struggle to get, sponsor support. I just hate seeing the sport go from rewarding talent and hard work to rewarding how much can you stand in front of the camera doing redundant shit on a daily basis.
  • 10 1
 @chriskneeland: Making an interesting youtube channel IS a real talent. I don't know how many more 'slapping berms' videos I can watch, but Seth is typically entertaining. His production values are consistent. It's decent entertainment for those who like mountain bikes.

For every glorious Atherton Ridgeline video, there's 10 showing pros going down the same granite steep near the north shore. Then you have the 'shreddy' videos from the pros who'd be doing damage to my local trails-cannot and don't want to relate. You can only watch so many slopestyle videos.

It's probably incorrect to think of these videos as 'sponsoring' and more correct to think of them as 'product placement'. Sponsorship is a different animal altogether, more cut throat, and probably with less impact on sales- but you have to do it if you want to be in the big leagues of bikes.
  • 6 1
 @HendersonMike: I don't know that Seth really does reviews on anything other than small side products. He's been on diamondbacks for years and it's not like I ever see him reviewing bikes. He reviews things like tool sets, gummy bear holders, and amazon cheap plastic pedals.
  • 2 4
 @bertimusmaximus: Imagine if supercross didn't exist, because companies could just put models on dirtbikes to sell them instead of professionals racing them? I'm a fan of mountain biking. I like seeing the sport progress. I like seeing new riders come up and push themselves and the sport. Disincentivize that and the sport suffers.
  • 6 0
 @chriskneeland:
*****
"I just watch a lot of dudes (and ladies) from a lot of disciplines work really hard trying to make a legit career out of riding bikes. Spending hours and hours training, grinding to learn tricks, pushing their bodies to the limits, progressing their riding to insane levels, only to watch them lose, or struggle to get, sponsor support. I just hate seeing the sport go from rewarding talent and hard work to rewarding how much can you stand in front of the camera doing redundant shit on a daily basis."
*****

I see you are still jealous.

and what do these guys deserve? It is NOT my nor anyone's job to support their training. If they do NOT know how to generate sponsorship, that is their problem, not ours. "Work Smart, NOT hard". To me they are working WRONG if they expect to get money from all that "wrong work".

Next thing you know you are going to hate on Harley Riders because they don't take their Softtail Deluxe to the racetrack or the Ducati Monster Riders for being "Posers" for riding on Sunday carving the canyons. Please discuss...
  • 2 2
 @ICKYBOD:
***
"I don't know that Seth really does reviews on anything other than small side products. He's been on diamondbacks for years and it's not like I ever see him reviewing bikes. He reviews things like tool sets, gummy bear holders, and amazon cheap plastic pedals."
***

I would not know what he does anymore. I stopped watching him about 3 years ago due to him being too political (in my eyes). When I first got back into Mtn Biking in 2015, he was a great help! in all aspects of Mtn Biking.
  • 3 5
 @HendersonMike: Man you are a different breed. It's not about jealousy moron. It's about respect.

And Harley posers are fn WACK. Love the guys who dress up in their full leather and spiked wrist bands for their weekend ride up the Kanc. Bahaha. You're one of those aren't you?
  • 4 1
 @HendersonMike: im not jealous of these people at all, and I think that they’re dorks who are probably damaging the sport. Reality tv is popular, but it’s garbage. Insta hoes are popular, but they’re superficial and represent a loss of societal value. MTB youtubers follow a similar schtick. Lots of fake click baity, modern shallow entertaining. I’m sure that there are good ones out there, but it’s typically the people grinding really hard at being fake and sensational that succeed.

Just because I think that they’re detrimental doesn’t mean that I’m jealous of them. I don’t want to get free shit from any company, and I surely don’t want to be modern social media whore.

But while you’re at, bunny hop onto that subscribe button and like this video.
  • 5 1
 @chriskneeland:
I am a different breed. I am NO Hater, and I appreciate all and am happy if anyone can make money doing what he loves, I even appreciate all the slow and ugly youtubers that makes a lot of money. I am really happy for them that they found a niche in life. You though, seem jealous of them?

I am an am an ex motorcycle road racer that wins trophies! I also use to MX often; however, I do love how you lump me in with Harley Riders even though I have never even rode one ever. I guess you do this to make yourself feel better about yourself? Please discuss...
  • 2 2
 @onlyDH:
I think it might be you that is living in "Reality TV". To me these Youtubers are living their real life, doing what they love, and making money at it.

You might say in direct words "I am not jealous of them", however, 90% of your other words says "I call them posers because I hate that they can make a living off youtube being slow and ugly, I AM SO JELOUS". Please discuss...
  • 1 0
 @deserat:

Nail ===> head.

This is spot on. Also why, despite having worked as a guide and instructor in the past, and for several years now in bike shops, I still have yet to post a single one of my ride videos to the interwebs. I'll talk to the gopro as I'm riding, point things out for the hypothetical viewer, come home, review trim, watch, then throw in the trash can because I really don't have anything special to say.
  • 3 2
 @onlyDH: LOL @ “I’m not jealous... but these people are all dorks!” Facepalm
  • 1 0
 @murphy82: For sure- but that is also kind of the point I am making. If the argument is that "Youtubers" are not "Pros" than I think the terms need to spelled out better. Both are blanket terms that cover a wide range of riders. No question there are a few "Youtubers" out there now that are also pushing the evolution of the sport and a whole lot that are not. So the issue isn't whether they are pro or not. Is this not the argument that has gone on in music for generations? Once the genre is mature, the Pop that gets the most plays is rarely representative of the most skilled or more ground breaking. I see a lot of what is on YouTube as the Pop music of mountain biking. However, it doesn't mean I can't still find some good stuff here and there with some digging.
  • 2 0
 @onlyDH:

Internet gold ^^^^^
  • 2 3
 @HendersonMike: nah, not at all. It’s very easy to dislike something without being jealous of them. I bill at $550/hr, and teach a single class at a university. I have more free time than I know what to do with.

I don’t care about how people make their money. I do see that they’re mostly fake as shit, and are following the reality tv script like so many influencers.
  • 2 2
 @cuban-b: how does that equate to jealousy. I don’t watch these people because they are all cringe worthy. I literally want nothing about these peoples lives. I can think that they’re unbearable without having to invest myself into the thought process beyond throwing up in my mouth
  • 2 0
 @onlyDH:
***
"I don’t care about how people make their money. I do see that they’re mostly fake as shit, and are following the reality tv script like so many influencers."
***

By your words, it is obviously you do care how they make their money! and how are they "fake"? To me they are posting their slow rides and talking about mountain bikes, and they have a following of fellow riders that support their channels. To me that is REAL and NOT fake. Maybe it is you that is fake? Please discuss..
  • 3 0
 @onlyDH: you said it yourself: you want nothing to do with these people and you’re not trying to be a social media whore... so don’t. You don’t have to watch the “lame” YouTube videos if you don’t want to. Nobody’s forcing you.
  • 1 2
 @HendersonMike: no, I don’t care about their money. It means nothing. Whoring yourself out for peanuts is nothing to be jealous of.

Is everyone who dislikes Trump jealous of him?
  • 3 1
 @onlyDH: thing is, (most of) these youtubers arent total pieces of shit
  • 5 0
 @chriskneeland: Those Bike the Whites videos aren't about showing anyone where the trails are, and I won't ever put specific directions to pro level DH terrain in my videos. I don't want the normal youtuber to find those trails and hurt themselves. It's about inspiration to find some adventure of your own, in your own back yard in our nastily rugged mountains. Those crazy enough to hike their bike for hours and ride those trails will do what they need to do to figure out what trails they are... or you could just ask. Wink

The bike industry is tough, really tough. If your not the best in the world, the reality check for these young shredders is to diversify. If your not the top 1%, your not getting a free ride and you'll need to make up that support in another way and you'll probably be better off for it. As after your pro bike career is over, your gonna need to find another talent to stay in the bike industry anyway. So, this is just a thought... but maybe it's better that these riders don't just get a free ride and then kicked to the curb with no other skills to sustain themselves afterward?
  • 5 0
 @HendersonMike: "I would not know what he does anymore. I stopped watching him about 3 years ago due to him being too political (in my eyes). When I first got back into Mtn Biking in 2015, he was a great help! in all aspects of Mtn Biking."

...if you get curious- his main thing for the last couple years has been trailbuilding. But he broke his ankle pretty badly-maybe permanently impaired so he hasn't been riding and is helping his community build a bike park.

Which, when you think about it, may be more worthy of getting fat stacks of youtube cash than bermslapping.
  • 3 0
 @onlyDH: ,
"no, I don’t care about their money. It means nothing. Whoring yourself out for peanuts is nothing to be jealous of."

I think some of them are making more than just "peanuts", and besides what is wrong with being a "Whore"? We are all whores in one way or another. Are you putting whores down now? I myself think whoring is a great way to make a living, especially if we get to choose our customers! Please discuss...
  • 1 0
 @projectnortheast: Ahh...I thought you were putting those videos out to attract people to those spots. Makes sense as to why who never gave out the specifics.
  • 1 0
 @A1990ToyotaHilux: some people dislike and millions love him. I think he's hilarious and entertaining, and I'm obviously not alone.
  • 5 0
 @chriskneeland: " I like seeing new riders come up and push themselves and the sport. Disincentivize that and the sport suffers."

LOL f*ckin come off it. 8-10 years ago Red Bull was paying Rampage winners like $5k and a hat, and nothing to anyone else. Cost that much just to get your ass and your friends there and you're literally risking your life. More than any other MTB discipline hands down. Where was the incentive? The incentive was bros being wild liking wild shit... if Freeride needed money to incentivize, there'd be no freeride. Yet here we are. It garnished you sponsorships then, and it still does now. Dudes were making videos on their own dime to try and get in then, and they still are now.
  • 1 4
 @Sweatypants: So what's your point? You go from not getting paid for being the best freerider in the world, to now watching Biking with Bimbo getting all the sponsor money? You just made my point.
  • 2 0
 @deserat: oof I own a 2014 stumpjumper and I feel attacked lol
  • 7 0
 @chriskneeland: The point was: people were practicing and trying new and harder things and pushing the limit to get to a higher level without the promise of any money at all. They always did it, they'll always continue to do it, and somebody getting youtube ad revenue to the tune of $2k a month and maybe a free bike frame is not gonna have any affect on that what so ever. Your point is dumb, is the point you keep not getting from 30 people here, and clearly should take a business course or two.

If Biking with Bimbo sells bikes, that bimbo deserves some marketing funds. If Mr. No Personality Ripper that makes 1 super polished video a year and otherwise has no internet presence demands a salary because he can do a back flip off a 40 ft. gap, he deserves a lot of credit for being rad, and maybe no money for not doing anything at all for the company he wants to represent.

I've been racing cars for 22 years, and in all that time plus all the history I know, I can literally think of a single company that was in the business of selling cars JUST to go racing because they loved racing so much, and that was Ferrari. Nobody else, at all, throws money/salaries at people for "progression" because they like neat videos. I'm sure there might be a bike company out there somewhere that just wants to be rad so they want rad representation and don't technically care about the return on their investment of a sponsored rider... YT? Evil? Knolly? none of those? I have no idea, but MOST people want to make money with a business, and if they're spending money on you, they want to see some sort of revenue uptick from your efforts and exposure. Its really that simple. Enjoy pouting I guess. I'll keep enjoying regular dudes show me trails I've never been to who are better than me so maybe I'll go visit sometime. The world will still turn, the sun will still come up tomorrow.
  • 1 10
flag chriskneeland (Jan 19, 2021 at 14:53) (Below Threshold)
 @Sweatypants: Oh, I get it. You can be a fake poser and get paid to sell bikes to squids. The point you're not getting, along with 30 people here is it's f*cking wack.
  • 7 0
 @chriskneeland: you are confusing people disagreeing with you and your premise with people not understanding. Putting out good content frequently enough to warrant subscribers and maybe even patreons is a talent. Just being good at riding a bike may not be enough to earn eyeballs on youtube. If a youtuber has built up a steady and growing audience they are doing something right. Can I insert an old man yelling at clouds meme? Seems on point.
  • 2 4
 @ICKYBOD: No, I completely understand. I just think it's wack.
  • 4 0
 @chriskneeland:
**
"Oh, I get it. You can be a fake poser and get paid to sell bikes to squids. The point you're not getting, along with 30 people here is it's f*cking wack"
**

1) Does NOT a Fake Poser mean the same thing as "NOT a Poser"?
2) Anyone you want to call out as a "Poser" specifically?
3) what makes them more of a Poser than you or I?
4) Is NOT the goal of all companies is to sell Bikes, be it to squids or octopus?
5) What is so E'ffn Whack about all this?

Please discuss...
  • 3 3
 @HendersonMike:

1) Semantics
2) Paul the Punter
3) Riding ability
4) I ain't buying shit from a wack ass company
5) If you don't know, then you're as wack as they are
  • 5 1
 @chriskneeland:
1) fair enough!
2) OK, this guy is annoying. However, that is just me, is voice is annoying and he has a man bun! hahahah. However, I am happy for him that he has so many followers and making money from this. His bikes are nice.
3) fair enough! I too am a squid when it comes to DH. No trophies yet :-( . However, I do think I can provide some useful info.
4) neither should any of us. Does he pushes product from whack ass companies?
5) I maybe whack, but I know enough. I think I have some pretty nice bikes.
  • 9 1
 @chriskneeland:

honest question: where does all this envy and anger come from? If these innocent discussions rile you up this much I think you might be taking it a bit too seriously. Relax a bit dude
  • 3 0
 @cuban-b: ,
Who knows where it comes from. I think he has a right to be jealous and hateful of the success of others. Hating is a natural human tendency.
  • 5 0
 @HendersonMike: Sociopaths generally get really mad at the fact that nobody cares about what they think, as evidenced here.

OMGWTF 30 people didn’t agree with me!?!?!? Arghhh!!

HAHAHAHAHAHA
  • 8 0
 @chriskneeland: What exactly is a whack ass company represented by anyone I've named? Commencal? Rocky Mountain? GT? Scott? Hayes? Manitou? DVO? Fox? RockShox? I9? Trek? ENVE? Santa Cruz? Knolly? YT? Evil? Chromag?

What the hell are you even watching? f*cking Stewie Griffin going to high school over here... "its lame. everything's lame. I wear short sleeve shirts under long sleeve shirts under short sleeve shirts." f*ckin clown shoes bro, grow up. Besides trails being a bit more crowded this year, what's wrong with more regular ass people getting into mountain biking? You don't want non-locals surfing your swell, War Child?

Give me 5 examples of people that are terrible with a decently large following and then tell me what you think they're getting paid by a bicycle(s) company? Or prove it. Show us the money that's "not being given to a ripper." I wanna see how much you think companies are paying people with 300-400k subscribers and videos that get like 100k views. Cause average YT ad revenue is like $3k per 1 million views. Soooo... you think some dude making $300 twice a month with videos is rolling in the loot? You think he's on payroll at a major bike company or Red Bull or Monster? Tell me exactly what is being lost here with hard numbers.
  • 4 0
 @Sweatypants: ,
do not worry about chriskneeland. He is just a HATER! he is a typical Sheep that Hates on others for their success.
  • 1 3
 @Sweatypants: I don't know. I don't watch the trash.
  • 1 4
 @HendersonMike: Actually, I could double the length of this comment section with the things I love about this sport.

There's really only one thing I hate, schmucks on youtube.
  • 1 0
 @sammybikes916: I do exactly the same paddle boarding, I'm s rookie and been learning to sup surf, made a few videos but only share them with the guys I ride with.
  • 2 1
 @chriskneeland: hahaha snowflake
  • 5 0
 @chriskneeland: I guess my question for you is why do you take it personally, though? Like, are you missing out on a sponsorship, do you think? And that is a serious question, not being facetious. I get it - the YouTubers can def be annoying (and some literally just talk out of their asses) but nobody is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to watch it.

As pointed out above, if you can prove to me that the people who are actually legit shredders/pros who have a following are NOT being paid and their funding is being diverted to YT noobs, then I'll give it to you. But... I think we all need to do some self reflection here - just because I wear a hawaiian shirt and throw sick whips on the jump line at Mountain Creek does NOT guarantee me a paycheck from money, because a LOT of people can do it, too. Just like any "activity/sport" that people enjoy doing, only a small percentage of players are going to get paid because they either 1. Grow the brand image or 2. increase the market share. YT dudes w/ views = increased brand awareness and market share.

As is always the case, the top 1% in these sports will be paid, either thru competition wins or through sponsorship. As for the remaining 99%, either get better or get on YouTube, ya noodles!
  • 2 3
 @snowwcold55: Nah, nothing personal. I have no illusions about ever becoming a sponsored rider. Maybe it's just more pronounced due to COVID, and nothing really going on in the way of races or contests, but I know a few slopestyle riders who've been dropped by sponsors. What do they do? Stop working to compete with the best in the world and just pick up a camera and make daily "how to jump/look at my garage" videos? Not sure how that's good for the sport.
  • 6 0
 This entire discussion is missing the most obvious point. If you want to be paid for being fast talk to UCI about RACE prize money. If you want to be paid for influencing then influence. No matter how much cringe you see on YouTube- for Bike companies it is about selling bikes to a wider audience than your perspective of the sport.

-PGA Championship 11th place $250,000
-UCI World Championship 11th place $0

You mad at the wrong people.
  • 4 0
 @chriskneeland: Yeah fair, but I don't think they're owed sponsorships. Like, got to commend the commitment, but hard work and commitment are only part of the equation - luck and skill also play a part in it...

And the slopestyle thing is interesting - idk, personally I'd rather watch Skills with Phil because it's more relevant to me than slopestyle. Like, I just can't get into it - it almost feels like a different sport because the skillset is SO different than typical trail or DH riding. Idk if I'm the minority there, but I do feel like companies see slopestyle as a discipline w/ poor ROI since it's less relatable to the majority of their clientele.
  • 3 1
 @snowwcold55: he’s the type to blame others for his own failures. Let him have his cry, agree with him, and he’ll calm down by tomorrow.
  • 1 3
 @cuban-b: Damn bro, you obsessed. Just when I forget you exist here you come jumping out from behind the bushes. Glad to know I live rent free in your head. Clown.
  • 3 1
 @chriskneeland: ahh, need a hug? when did you fake internet tough guys become such wusses? lol
  • 6 0
 @chriskneeland:
You are OK in my book! You are just being upfront and honest that some of these Tubers rub you the wrong way... and this is OK! we do NOT have to be a fan of everything. However, it sounds like you are really bothered by them for them being them and living their own lives. I am going to give you a Hug to make you feel better. HUGGGZZZZ!
  • 5 0
 @chriskneeland: @chriskneeland:
"I just watch a lot of dudes (and ladies) from a lot of disciplines work really hard trying to make a legit career out of riding bikes. Spending hours and hours training, grinding to learn tricks, pushing their bodies to the limits, progressing their riding to insane levels, only to watch them lose, or struggle to get, sponsor support. I just hate seeing the sport go from rewarding talent and hard work to rewarding how much can you stand in front of the camera doing redundant shit on a daily basis."

Don't write off youtubers as a bunch of slackers. It's actually a shit ton of work to produce that much content. Now, I'm not necessarily a fan of most of the youtuber video content. Frankly, I find most of them quite boring, and repetitive. I do, however, respect the amount of work it takes to make all those videos. I was a part of a youtubers video, and we spent 3ish hours filming, and he spent hours over days editing the video. Some of those youtubers are taking it upon themselves to better their riding, and doing it under the pressure of a video that could be seen by lots of people. I know a lot of people who would not feel comfortable posting their failures on the internet.

Just because they aren't the top racer, or making a living purely off of riding skill, doesn't mean they are posers. It means they are passionate about the sport, and are finding ways to make a living off of what they love. Good for them for finding ways to get paid and ride. Who are we to tell them they are posers. I don't see you, or the majority of people complaining about youtubers making any strides to make riding into a career. It's honestly rad that mountain biking has reached a point where there are more jobs than just "winning races". It's bringing out a lot more creativity within the industry, and the more content out there, the better. Now you can watch a UCI World Cup, then a sick Raw100 Semenuk edit, a behind the scenes daily life of a redbull rider like Matt Jones, or some average rider who is taking the steps to learn to jump better and sharing that knowledge with the masses, and showing that it is ok to crash and try again.

Stop hating man, it doesn't affect you, or any one else. If you don't like it, don't watch it. and certainly don't hate on people for living their own life.
  • 1 7
flag chriskneeland (Jan 20, 2021 at 10:40) (Below Threshold)
 @leon-forfar: Ya, but it's still fn wack.
  • 5 1
 @leon-forfar: lol he chose “hate on people for living their own life”. It’s obvious he has no power over anyone.
  • 1 4
 @cuban-b: What's odd is, I didn't really have an opinion other than passing a few awful videos on youtube. But throughout this thread I started looking up and watching some of the youtubers mentioned and it just solidified what I already figured. So much bad content being put out it's embarrassing. When I started riding I had New World Disorder to look at for inspiration. Now people finding the sport have youtubers. Sad shit.
  • 4 1
 @chriskneeland: ok snowflake
  • 1 3
 @cuban-b: Awww...are you sad I sad bad things about your youtube idols? Don't worry. Youtuber's will still make content for you fan boys. Self-prolcaimed multi millionaire Joey's ride bikes too.
  • 3 0
 @chriskneeland: just calling a spade a spade homie.
  • 4 0
 @chriskneeland: The point is, now they have NWD, AND more other content. Not just limited to the best 20 in the world. It's good to have average joes in the mix. It just proves you don't have to be some "go big or go home" "I'm the fastest" type of person to enjoy the sport we all love. It makes it much more relatable, and really is a more honest outlook of what mountain biking really is like. Top end athletes are fun to watch and all, but it can be almost more intimidating/ overwhelming for someone who is on the fence about trying mountain biking. If I was just starting now and seeing Emil 360 windshield wiper-ing into flip double whips, and Tom Van Steenbergen flipping of 50 foot cliffs, I can't say I would have been as eager to get into the sport. It's just gotten so unrelatable to the average rider and beginners.
  • 1 4
 @leon-forfar: Ya, I'm more a fan of watching dudes I ride with progress and work towards something rad. Getting stoked on the results of their hard work. Whether it's all the groms working on tricks to compete in the next US Open of slopestyle, or dude's filming legit video edits, or local racers training for the regional EWS qualifier. Those are the ones I respect and want to see more of, and think deserve more support and media coverage. That's the culture of the sport I'm attracted to. Not some self aggrandizing goon with no talent who makes cringey clickbait videos.
  • 3 0
 @chriskneeland: dude I’m on your side. I think if you keep complaining here, the youtubers will delete their highly profitable channels because of your posts here. That’ll show em!
  • 1 4
 @cuban-b: I'd be happy if the industry just stepped up and invested in the culture a little more instead. How about a few slopestyle contests in this country? How do you have the best mountain biker in the world coming out of slopestyle and freeride, only to have it abandoned for the future face of mountain biking to be Paul the Punter.
  • 3 0
 @chriskneeland: it seems you have trouble understanding supply and demand
  • 4 1
 @chriskneeland: You are implying that these average joe (rider level) youtubers are going to replace the top athletes. They're not, they are in addition to. It's another method of companies getting eyes on their products. Fox paying Rachel or Greg to win races and help develop a fork and shock is pushing the envelope of the technology we all ride on. Paul the Punter showing how his Fox 40 (or whatever) is working out in the day to day use, and how reliable it is blah blah blah is also useful and more relevant to you or me. There is nothing wrong with having more information out there, and different kinds of content. You're right about slopestyle events; there should be more of them. That's another topic altogether.
  • 1 4
 @leon-forfar: "You are implying that these average joe (rider level) youtubers are going to replace the top athletes. They're not, they are in addition to"

That's literally what it says is going to happen in the article.
  • 5 0
 @chriskneeland: This is an opinion piece, with hypothetical foresight based on trends caused by a blip in the timeline that bikes and the internet have been around. I agree and would bet money that smaller brands are dropping racers in lieu of content producers during a pandemic where we were lucky to have any races at all. They can't afford to pay their athletes for promoting their products when there aren't any events, but the can afford to pay people that have eyes on their products one a weekly basis. I doubt that affects the bigger brands (Trek Specialized Santa Cruz etc) that have the budget to support top-level athletes that rely mostly on competition results. I think someone mentioned above, but Specialized isn't about to drop Bruni because there weren't enough races lately to show their products off. Racing, Rampage, and Crankworx Slopestyle will be back, and things will go back to normal eventually, and the support for athletes that shine in those events will be there, just as it has been before COVID.
  • 1 3
 @leon-forfar: Well it remains to be seen. But I hope you're right.
  • 3 2
 @chriskneeland: yes its a pity... and it's become the same with music
  • 4 1
 I can't believe this is still going on... Cant we let it go, seriously?
  • 2 2
 @kentin84: At one point I was going to make the same analogy. Agreed.
  • 2 0
 @chriskneeland: lol Joey you’ll never go pro
  • 4 0
 @cuban-b: GoPro cameras are good.
  • 1 2
 @cuban-b: Bahaha you're clearly my biggest fan...er stalker.
  • 2 2
 @chriskneeland: just calling a spade a spade homie
  • 2 1
 @chriskneeland: if it upsets you that someone with several hundred thousand followers gets attention / support from the industry....well you’re an idiot.
  • 1 2
 @cuban-b: Damn man. You legit can't get off my dick. I have a feeling I know what the b in your name stand for. Bahahaha
  • 2 0
 @chriskneeland: Bahahahahahahahah "boohoo 30 people didnt agree with me!" should we start a gofundme for your inability to adapt to real life? i'd gladly donate - i gots $ to burn. Bahahahahahahahaha
  • 1 2
 @cuban-b: Aaaand still on my D
  • 2 1
 @chriskneeland: BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA cant handle the taste of your own medicine. weak. no wonder you never went pro. whats your payal? i see you are in need of help.
  • 1 2
 @cuban-b: Aaaand still on my D
  • 2 0
 @chriskneeland: BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA when did you fake internet tough guys turn into such wusses. this is no fun anymore - i know you have better responses than this!! you were way more fun when you blamed everyone around you for your own failures. let's get back to that! Beer
  • 1 2
 @cuban-b: Aaaaaaaaaaand still on my D
  • 2 0
 @chriskneeland: Ah dont give up! but thank you for conceding!! Frown dont be upset. you'll get back to that same confidence you had at one point. it's gotta be tough knowing that you're no longer respected and that times have changed. but dont worry, your lack of "power" will come back one day. not anytime soon, but someday. i empathize with your situation and wish you the best of luck.
  • 1 2
 @cuban-b: Aaaaaaaaaaaaand still on my D
  • 2 0
 @chriskneeland: you tried trolling, and you got trolled. it must sting. and this is so much fun.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
  • 1 2
 @cuban-b: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaad still on my D
  • 2 0
 @chriskneeland: it's more like M for Micropenis

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
  • 1 2
 @cuban-b: And still.....on my dick
  • 2 0
 @chriskneeland: you can dish it out but you can’t take it, so now you don’t know how to respond. Poser.
  • 1 2
 @cuban-b: And...still just can't get off my dick
  • 2 0
 @chriskneeland: turns out you’re the only poser here when all you did was call everyone else a poser. Pathetic.
  • 1 2
 @cuban-b: I have a few ex-girlfriends like you that had trouble getting off my dick
  • 7 0
 can you two shut up your clogging up my notifications
  • 2 0
 @chriskneeland: it’s been hours and you still can’t come up with a proper response? No wonder your wife divorced you. This jabroni can’t even troll property. LOL
  • 1 2
 @cuban-b: Stiiiiiiiiiiiill on my dick. Just stfu already. You're a tool.
  • 1 2
 @Curse-of-the-foot-long-sub : Had to bring this thing back to life huh
  • 2 0
 @chriskneeland: and yet you can’t help but respond. I am under your skin and it’s hilarious to me.

BAHAHAHAHAHAAHAH
  • 1 2
 @cuban-b: You're just an annoying tool. Glad you're proud of that. And you're literally describing yourself in your last 10 posts. Sorry bro, I've moved on. You can jump off my dick at any time.
  • 2 0
 @chriskneeland: I’m just playing by your rules. This is what you wanted, isn’t it?
  • 1 2
 @cuban-b: What, you don't share my opinion so you just act like an annoying tool? Man. f*cking sad life you got there.
  • 3 0
 I like reading the debates. It is entertaining. Lol.
  • 1 2
 There's pro riders who just document their rides or races, give riding advice or provide insight into their training. All in a relaxed and after-hours kind of way. And then there are those annoying social-media clowns, who run their channels as if they were soap operas. Clickbait and drama everywhere. You know, those kind of people who have 10 second intros, whose every thumbnail is clickbait and who write all their titles in caps lock.
  • 204 8
 I thought I’d give some insight as I make my living from my YouTube channel.

To make original content regularly (weekly in my case) is probably more work than you’d expect if you’ve never tried.

My schedule changes depending on what’s going on but to get a video out on a Friday I have to be thinking and planning at least from Monday, firstly there needs to be an idea... sometimes it’s obvious (there may be an event happening) but sometimes it can be a struggle to come up with an idea that’s not been done to death. I have a list of ideas but often it’s out of my control whether I can do them or not (usually weather).

Once an idea is formed I need to figure out how to make it a reality... what camera(s) will I need, where do I need to travel to, do I need any special kit etc. I also need to check the weather to see if it’s going to rain on certain days.

Once I figure things out I need to make sure my kit is all working, charged, got SD cards and any back-ups. Is my bike fully working etc, then I pack it up... for my mtb content I’d be using a GoPro Hero 4, a Karma gimbal, extension cable, a Tascam Dr 10L audio recorder and a backpack to carry it in, that’s three electronic items I need to make sure are charged and ready to go plus maybe an extra camera if I need extra shots. For trials riding I use a Canon M6 withstand tripod and GoPro Hero 9.

On maybe a Tuesday or weds (earlier in the week is better) I go and film, sometimes it goes smoothly sometimes not (and in worst cases it’s a total failure and I have to abandon it and start thinking of an alternative).

My main content is trials riding and I usually film alone as it can be a really tedious for someone to stand there while I try the same trick for the 100th time. I do genuinely enjoy filming, more so if I have an exciting idea or if it’s in a new place but sometimes it can be a chore, especially if I’d rather be just riding with friends and not filming (sometimes I will film with friends but I definitely compromise my riding as to not ruin the ride for others).

Mtb filming is different, I usually do that with people but I’m conscious too not ruin the flow for them, this usually means no stopping to chat or get B-roll shots. My videos are pretty raw!

Once filming is done it’s time to edit, I usually take a day to edit a medium complex video, I’m no computer pro so simple is the name of the game but once I’m filming on multiple cameras with separate audio that all needs matching up it can become a bit more complicated... my more complex edits with added voiceovers can take a couple of days to edit.

I’m not just editing one video either, I have a Patreon page and they get their own cut of the video, then there’s a YouTube version, then a highlights video, then an Instagram teaser and any single clips I may want to use in the future. I then have to make a thumbnail which hopefully I thought about when filming and got a specific photo/shot of or possibly I forgot to do that and I have to find a clear, exciting screenshot that tells the story of the video.

Once the edits are done I get to the uploads (two, one for Patreon one for YouTube) and I write the description, add all the SEO tags and wording I need and schedule it. I also upload the teaser video and clips to my Dropbox and then download to my phone.

Often this is Thursday night or Friday morning, I get a few hours to rest until the YouTube video drops.

Once it it’s time for my video to go out I upload my teaser video to social media and link my channel, I then have my dinner. After dinner I’ll start answering some comments.

On Saturday I’ll usually have a hundred comments to answer (takes about an hour) but once that’s done I try to have the weekend to go riding (or filming) and a see if I can answer more comments here and there. I try to have Sunday free of any work.

There’s other little bits that go into it, like answering DMs and emails, dealing with sponsors etc but in the end, it’s a 6 day a week job with comments, DMs and emails coming in 24-7.

I’ve been doing this for nearly 5 years and it’s only been since the start of 2020 I’ve actually started to be able to post the bills from doing it. This isn’t a sob story, I love what I do but I do see comments from people who think being a “Youtuber” is easy and not a real job.

I’m now on 100k subs which isn’t as big as some of the other guys, they’re probably way more charismatic, efficient (most likely have a backlog of videos ready to go) and know how to tell a story better than me but I’m happy with how the channels going, I try to avoid clickbait and the fakers you often see on YouTube.

I think racers deserve their sponsorships but just remember that even if you don’t like certain YouTube personalities they each are valuable in their own way, from the rad pros showing insane riding to the beginners sharing their journey and everyone in between, they’re getting views for a reason and inspiring new riders in their own way, I’m sure some have done something you disagree with but this job is a hard graft at times and it’s not always possible to do everything 100% by the books (I’m sure we all try our best though).

These channels are giving content and interacting with the very people who are likely to be buying the sponsors product, racers prove a product can win races but then what? Unless they’re active on social media the lack of interaction with customers means they don’t really get the information they want.

So, do I have bike brands throwing bikes and bags of cash at me? No, I’m fact I’m lucky if I get a reply to emails I send out. I do have sponsors and some pay a wage but I couldn’t live off that alone.

I love what I do and I hope to do it for as long as possible.

I totally blathered on but I hope it gives at least some insight
  • 4 7
 yeah those people that DM you all the time lol
  • 20 2
 Very underrated post. There's a talent stack involved in being able to make it on Youtube. Not everyone can, or would want to do it. Thanks for sharing.
  • 12 1
 Great explanation of what goes into content creation - a lot more than people think!

Also thanks for your wheelbuilding tutorial video - it’s still the one I go back to for a refresher, or point people to if they want to learn.
  • 2 1
 It's clear that you put a lot of heart and effort into all aspects of your channel, but let's not forget the important contributions of your collaborator, The Cute Thief.
  • 1 2
 I am subscribet to you, haha
  • 5 1
 Keep doing what you do Ali - this meme and most of the opinions are bollocks
  • 3 1
 Right on man! It's rad to be able to do what you do for a living. If it was easy to do (or easy to be good at) more people would be doing it. Good on ya!
  • 2 2
 Smash that like button and subscribe fam
  • 5 0
 Man, who were the 5 people who downvoted this haha? This guy just gave out a step-by-step tutorial on making and maintaining your own MTB Youtube channel. Content gold.
  • 3 1
 @bob-oso: Giving away trade secrets
  • 1 0
 @mtb-scotland: Ah touche. Downvoted by Seth, Brian, Alex, Kyle and Phil then.

Haha JK, love those guys.
  • 2 2
 Shit son you have to charge 3 electrical devices? That must be like super hard

Jokes, thanks for the insight into what goes into it. I’m not a fan of ‘YouTuber’ MTB vids but if people enjoy them and you can make a living then surely that’s a win/win, if people are concerned for racers they should vote with their likes & follows
  • 196 10
 Youtube Riders regardless of skills do actually help sell bicycle stuff, Riders who shred quietly do NOT. Besides, about 90% of bicycle riders do NOT shred at all, nor do they care to.
  • 65 0
 This. At the end of the day a sponsored rider is another form of advertisement for a company and if a sponsored rider can't improve sales then they're not a worthy investment
  • 31 0
 I used to want to shred. but now an aggressive ride that I can get back home safely from and get my heart rate up is pretty much the goal.
  • 17 0
 Correct. A tiny fraction of riders actually race. Sponsoring people that help get NEW people into the sport is doing more good than anything I can think of. There are huge huge gains to be made in recruiting new people and only small gains to be made by snatching away long time riders from other brands.
  • 28 4
 I cant work out if its a sly dig at the likes of Seths Bike Hacks and people of that ilk. What they dont see is his backstory, he grew the channel and his audience himself and probably had to take a lot of high risk chances to "make it". And people like him, who arent pro or former pro riders, do have to make content that appeals to people which clearly he does. I dont think he is diverting sponsorship from your local rad addict who has a chip because someone wouldnt just give him money for riding

Surely its just resenting someone for being successful?
  • 4 2
 @usmbc-co-uk: maybe my reading comprehension is shit, but I don’t see anyone resenting youtubers in this mini-thread.
  • 17 20
 This might be true, but is a sad reflection on the sport and it's future direction.

At least while selling bikes aligned with bike skills, there was progression in trail design, components, geometry.

If all that matters is some 40 year old dad with a youtube following, squidding down a hill, what's the incentive for the sport to improve? We end up with the same shit, no product development, and smooth, lame, bikeparked-out trails. It sucks.
  • 24 1
 @Linc: If the existence of content that you personally don’t enjoy or consume is enough to inhibit any drive to progress yourself farther in that sport, then you might be taking things a bit too seriously.
  • 13 6
 @Linc: dude nobody is forcing you to watch mtb youtubers. You can simply choose not to watch it. Crazy idea, I know.
  • 13 10
 @cuban-b: That has nothing to do with the point I'm making. How does the industry progress if all it take to sell bikes is a youtuber with no skills telling people it's great and getting exposure? You end up with companies and trail centres pumping out ill informed fashion following rubbish for the masses.

There is value for the sport as a whole if selling product depends it being used and effective for riders with actual bike skills.
  • 8 4
 @Linc: it sounds like you already want to be part of the solution - that’s good! so I support your endeavors to contribute your knowledge to the mtb industry.
  • 6 3
 @Linc: also why do we care what fashion people are rocking at trail centres? Live and let live my friend!
  • 11 4
 @Linc: ,
The Industry has progressed even MORE with thanks to these "slower" Youtubers! So Maybe it is you that have everything backwards?
Slow Riders tend to listen to slow riders, and when we are all starting out, we are all slow. Keep in mind, slow riders like Dentists and Engineers tend to be the ones that make money, and have no problems paying $10k for a bicycle

The only thing Mountain Bike Businesses care about is selling THEIR Products. If a slow ugly rider is helping to sell products, and if he he makes a lot of money doing it, then all is good for all sides! and you should be happy that this "slow and ugly rider" is making money by doing what he loves.

Let us all be honest, Fast Guys do NOT really help sell products (at least the fast guys outside of the UCI Championship do NOT). These Fast Guys do NOT even really buy their own stuff, they just want everything for free! HAHAHAHAHA.
  • 14 0
 @Linc: What does it mean for the sport to progress? More firsts on a bike? The best getting better? What if Youtube contributes to more people having a good time on bikes regardless of skill level? Is that not progression? What Youtubers are you describing with no skills? Like every area of life there seem to be a wide variety of riders that fall under the title Youtuber and a whole bunch of these have a whole bunch of skills and whole bunch don't. You can't just throw a blanket over it.
  • 5 0
 @snl1200: It's almost anti-capitalist to not see the highest end of racing be rewarded monetarily but that's just the issue, DH racing in particular is almost impossible to cover properly and doesn't generate big enough audiences to justify it. Racing only pays if people are watching.

The other thing about MTB is that it translates really well to youtube. Most of us got into bikes so we could screw around with friends in the woods, which is pretty easy to capture on a gopro. I mean look how popular friday fails is.
  • 2 2
 "@Linc: also why do we care what fashion people are rocking at trail centres? Live and let live my friend!"

@cuban-b: That's absolutely irrelevant to half the posts you've posted prior. You're arguing just to argue or acting pretentious to everyone now.
  • 3 1
 @vindee: you’re getting really worked up. I wish you good mental health my fellow mtn biker. Smile
  • 13 0
 @vindee: People just need to ignore the dudebro gatekeepers who think it's still the 1990's and they rule the tracks and dictate to the rest of us how the sport is supposed to go.

Personally I couldn't stand them back then and I sure can't stand 'em now.
  • 2 1
 @HendersonMike:

The truth. Many pros just want to win, and expect them winning to be enough for their sponsors & self-advertising. Yes, they'll have a SoMe-account, but if they're not winning, they're not posting. And that is boring as hell.
  • 4 0
 @Linc: woah am a 40yr old dad, do I need to start a YT channel or just quit mtb because I am not worthy ? Please advise
  • 5 1
 I take more advice from friends who ride well and race than some dude on YT shilling the latest wares. And I make money off YT..
  • 6 1
 @HendersonMike: lmao "slow riders like engineers". Oh shit I didnt know our profession slowed me down. To think I could have been a world cup pro instead of just winning Provincial races if I didn't study engineering ????
  • 4 1
 This is me. I do not "shred". I ride. For hours at a time. Like the majority of people. I do not own a GoPro and never will. I go to watch a DH race a couple times a year, mostly for the photographic challenge of it. I have no desire to ever enter one.

I also do not watch any riding content put out there. Doing jumps and "shredding"? Sorry, not interested. I do not think I am alone in this.
  • 2 2
 @cuban-b:
Really? With all the derogatory uses of words like "poseur", "spode", "squid", etc?
  • 7 0
 @Linc: A) people will want to progress themselves.
B) Progression for most people doesn't mean huge jumps and death defying drops. 99.99% of MTBers don't aspire to be able to ride Rampage lines. That's life. As someone who has been MTBing for 30yrs I can say the number of riders really looking to "push the limits" has always been very small relative to the number of riders in general. Trails were much more "tame" back when MTBing was a small niche sport and most of the crossover athletes were roadies. A little perspective would do you good.
  • 6 1
 @atrokz:
"lmao "slow riders like engineers". Oh shit I didnt know our profession slowed me down. To think I could have been a world cup pro instead of just winning Provincial races if I didn't study engineering ????"

Don't take it personal! I too am an Engineer, have a EE degree and have been working in Industry for over 23 years now. Being an Engineer will not make you slower, it is just we were born slow and have too many obstacles to overcome to be a WC Champion. Keep in mind there are only like 40 Regular World Cup Riders a year, and only 1 WC Champion a year. So deciding to become an Engineer was a good move!
  • 2 0
 @scatterbrained: :confused:
  • 2 0
 @HendersonMike: haha gotcha. So what you're saying is I would have been pro. Haha.
  • 2 0
 @atrokz: ,
yes, you could have been born a pro! but maybe not a UCI World Cup Pro... but instead you were born to be an Engineer, and this is a GOOD THING!
  • 1 2
 @friendlyfoe: I think it is utterly capitalist. Capitalism cares only about the generation of capital. Sex, shock, anxiety, anger... these things sadly outsell talent any day. It sucks. The sad truth is that those good enough to appreciate the talent of the highest level are a small minority of the marketable public. 100% agree with the conclusion though- this is exactly why Friday Fails will generate more clicks and ad revenue than a mojority of the talented riding videos out there.
  • 4 0
 @snl1200:
who cares about talent!
I like to eat, but I could care less about what the Professionals Eaters are doing.
I like to golf, but I really do NOT care about what the Professional Golfers are doing.
I like to hunt, but I could care less what the Professional Hunters or the Navy SEALS are doing.
Do you get my point?
At least with Football, Baseball, Soccer, and Mountain Biking, I do like to watch the Pros and I do admire them.. but not everyone is me. Some people just like to throw catch and ride bikes and talk about bikes and nothing more.
I myself think the Mountain Bike Industry have to give BIG THANKS to all these "Squid" Youtubers, it is because of them is why all the bikes are sold out (Covid also helped to sell bike, but there was an uptrend before Covid).
Professional Eaters do NOT really help sell food, just like Racers do NOT really help sell bikes. The teams that invest heavily into Racing tend to lose money.
WELCOME TO REALITY my friend!
  • 1 3
 @HendersonMike: You could add "I like to reply to posts, but I couldn't care less about understanding what they are posting" to that list if you wanted... your call. I'm not arguing, nor have I anywhere here, for a meritocracy in biking. I was pointing out what you also did that talent doesn't equal views. Where I say "it sucks" is that I do think there are culture vultures out there exploiting this culture that some of us have been part of for a while now and worked hard to build and support and that I genuinely love watching a skilled rider do their thing. I see nothing wrong with most Youtubers and appreciate what they offer. I would argue that your extreme "do NOT" in regards to racers influence is a little (lot) far. Racers definitely have some degree of influence over peoples opinions or you didn't read the comment section after Gwin survived the wet on Kenda's or been in the sport very long. Of course they influence the perception of a brand. GT was built off this. The question is whether they have more influence than a more relatable rider using the product. Psychology would say that the more relatable a model is the more influence it has on a persons behaviour and so Youtubers, even those with entry skills, have the potential to influence a lot of people. As to your comment about companies who invest heavily in racing lose money: Santa Cruz has invested heavily into racing. Have they lost a lot of money? Not really- so again- it is a matter of degree and not extremes.
  • 4 0
 Mr. @snl1200 Sir:
You are taking this way too personal my friend. I am just having a discussion! sometimes my views conflict with yours, but please do NOT take it personal! Do you need a hug?

I actually do read and comprehend everything that you have written so far. Remember, EEs like myself are the most logical people on all the University Campuses of the world. Most people can't do EE work because most people do not have any logic whatsoever.

"Culture Vultures"? and why are they vultures? just because they get subscribers who volunteer their own time to watch their channels, that makes them vultures? Or is it because they are making money doing what they love and that is what makes them a vulture? Who are you to call them "vultures"? and do you want to single anyone out?

When I say do NOT care, I am talking about the majority of bikers do NOT care about Racing or what the Racers have to say. Don't get mad at me! All I am doing is observing with eyes wide open from all angles, and taking notes, and sharing with you my notes. Are you mad at my notes?

As for Gwin and Kenda Tires, I had no idea he rode them, and nor do I or most people care that he does, we all use Maxxis and Schwalbe. (Again, "All" here means the majority, because I think there is a point when we can say "All". Think "parts per million".

For me personally, I myself think all bikes and all products are basically the same, it all comes down to looks. If something breaks easily, then I will avoid it in the future. If I do NOT get the support I think I deserve, then I will avoid that brand in the future. Lucky for me, I am NOT really a "breaker", and every single company I had to deal with when it comes to Support, has been 100% with me. This includes Ibis, Santa Cruz, Commencal, HT, any my LBS.

I have no clue how much Santa Cruz invests into Racing, I am NOT their accountant, are you? All I know is that the Syndicate is a Team that seams to run on it's own, and SC provides them the bike, but I have no idea how much money SC actually invests into biking. I myself think that investing in DH Racing is where a brand gets the most exposure, as we all watch DH. However, at the same time we all know that a DH bike is very little in common with a Trail bike, but then again brand exposure is also very important, so if SC does invest a lot into DH racing, I commend them, and I think they are getting their moneys worth.

Please discuss....
  • 2 1
 @HendersonMike: All is well Mike. Not taking this personal at all. It sounds like your core argument is that racing or the parts chosen by racers do not influence the opinions of the public. I would disagree. They are clearly not the only influencing factor but do play a role in peoples perceptions and purchasing. I agree that support also influences a lot of my purchases.
  • 2 0
 @snl1200:
Racers will use whatever the teams tell them to use. Sometimes they will use a different part that the team tells them, but in this case they will "re badge" the part.

When it comes to DH bike, each brand only has 1 DH bike, so it's not like we have a choice. I don't know if a Pro can influence me on a DH bike when the choice is only 1.

I myself like SRAM X01, SRAM XX1, XTR, and Saints. For suspension I always go Fox, and always Factory with Kashima. I use these parts not because some Tuber or some Pro told me to, I use these parts due to my health condition. If I do NOT have Kashima, I develop a bad rash :-(
  • 1 0
 @HendersonMike: I thought Kashima was a type of saddle sore.
  • 1 0
 @jmhills: ,
It is more like a saddle cushion, I do seem to have less pains everywhere when I have Kashima coated post, forks and shock.
  • 2 3
 That's frankly not true. I'm 100% more likely to consider buying a bike that I've seen someone ride hard out on the trail, than the one ridden by some Youtube clown. Social Media poseurs have absolutely zero chance of influencing my buying decisions.
  • 1 1
 @BenTheSwabian: , So much HATE what you said there. Then again, Haters gonna Hate, what can we do??? I gave you a thumbs up because I can see your point there (sometimes). However, these sponsored "Clowns" seem to be selling bikes and parts, so obviously it is working out for the Bike Industry Companies by sponsoring them. Just because they can't ride, don't think they just jibber jabber, lots of them have some useful things to say here and there, such as "the cable routing sucks". Also, we are ALL CLOWNS in one form or another. DON'T HATE!!!
  • 163 10
 "IM HOMELESS AND UNEMPLOYED" aka I moved into my really expensive sprinter van to make a living off youtube views sums this meme up pretty well.
  • 5 8
 LOL!! that was awesome
  • 11 8
 Making a livable amount of money off content creation isn't being unemployed. Maybe perhaps i am missing your point
  • 15 2
 @Thirty3: there is a trend where these “personalities” claim that they are unemployed and living in sprinters
  • 7 1
 @onlyDH: The quote above is an actual title of a popular content creators video from 2019
  • 7 0
 @Thirty3: it’s tongue in cheek
  • 4 1
 Irony is hard.
  • 3 6
 @onlyDH: Great for the empathy donations. Notice they look extra grungy for the patreon message of support.
  • 3 2
 @vindee: yes, and from time to time they have their "working equipment stolen" and ask for donations so they can make videos, otherwise they won't be able to afford vanlife.
  • 115 9
 Do people that hate on Youtubers really feel that the rider they are watching in a mountain biking video needs to be in the top 0.1% of speed/skill for it to be enjoyable and entertaining to watch? I think the Youtubers have proved that there is a lot more to making entertaining content than simply bombing down a trail at mach speed.

I honestly just think it's the fact that higher skilled (pro type) bikers are butt hurt that lesser skilled riders have managed to gain a much bigger following than themselves.

If a given pro put as much thought, time and effort into making content as the Youtubers do then I am sure they'd have an even bigger following. Someone like Remy Metailler is a prime example - half pro half Youtuber. Best of both worlds, and he has a very significant following.
  • 16 8
 Maybe I'm getting old, but I've watched less than ten bike-related youtube videos in the last year. I've never been one to buy something because someone else makes it look cool anyway, though. For that matter, I'm checking pinkbike less and less these days, too. It just makes me realize that I'm wasting time that could be spent actually doing stuff.
  • 20 2
 @skelldify: Mountain bike media is getting pretty weird these days, you notice how not many of the journalists have changed in the last 15 years, and how much of the "Content" is actually just press releases dressed up like articles?
  • 15 16
 If a given pro put as much thought, time and effort into making content as the Youtubers do then I am sure they'd have an even bigger following.

or

If a youtuber put as much thought, time and effort into their riding as any given pro I'm sure they'd have the respect of the sports followers.

Pro's are athletes, would you rather they trained to maintain there elite skills or ditched a couple days to talk at a go pro? See if Aaron Gwin could of won a dh race despite snapping his chain out the starting gate if he"d been preoccupied by fishing for likes.
YouTubers have their place, on the fringes of the sport, the danger here is their sponsorship robs a racer of the chance to race, then it's just those with private finance that get to go racing, then the racing is crap, then red bull don't get the viewing figures to make it worth their investment then there's no racing..........but at least we'll be able to watch all the crap videos on YouTube.......

An extreme prophecy I admit, but is it impossible??? I don't think so
  • 19 0
 "Do people that hate on Youtubers really feel that the rider they are watching in a mountain biking video needs to be in the top 0.1% of speed/skill for it to be enjoyable and entertaining to watch? I think the Youtubers have proved that there is a lot more to making entertaining content than simply bombing down a trail at mach speed."

One of the most popular TV shows of all time hosts were definitely not pro level drivers, let alone racers. Yet, millions of views, provided entertainment, and provided another platform to reach the masses with products.
  • 3 8
flag TheMountainViking (Jan 18, 2021 at 11:04) (Below Threshold)
 @Klainmeister: If it wasn't for the fact that it's actually hollowing out the talent pool who can afford to be a full time pro racer, sure not an issue. But if it's something that's going to lower the competitive level of the sport and make it more of a money game than anything, bin it.
  • 8 1
 @TheMountainViking: Is it though? I mean, why limit yourself to narrow audience? if a brand can capture the money from people who follow racers, great! but they likely can also capture money from a youtuber who's primary audience is quite different. Two revenue streams instead of one. Why does everyone think there's some sort of artificial cap on what a diverse marketing strategy can produce?
  • 3 1
 @Klainmeister: because being right is better than being practical in their minds
  • 3 3
 @Klainmeister: Ah, but did Top Gear endanger F1, Nascar, etc drivers' jobs?
  • 2 2
 @mtbikeaddict: Guy Fieri ruined food shows for the legit chefs too
  • 5 0
 @Klainmeister: Don't disagree with that statement in the slightest. What I disagree with is the fact that collectively as a sport people are rolling over at the proposition that all advertising will become prosumer content, and this will be where budgets are directed.

One of the wonderful things about racing is that before, when it generated a huge amount of the media content, it was basically a loss leader for brands that showcased the absolute pinnacle of the sport.

I'd rather stick with a world where you have a marketing budget with two people whos job it is to do that, paid a salary, rather than 400 youtubers scrapping over bits of that salary that are dangled in front of them pumping out mediocre product placement heavy content that often involves taking from other parts of the mountain bike eco system (trailbuilders etc) without giving back.
  • 5 0
 @TheMountainViking: Understood, unfortunately the veiled advertising review platform is only growing, not going away, so it's smart for these company managers to pursue where their greatest bang for their buck is. I'd much rather see advertising money going towards people that have an impact on the sport rather than yet another dude poorly assembling a review bike in his garage. Sponsor trail builders and organizations, lobby local officials that impact public works and land management, and support all forms of racing (including 24hrs, long distance stuff like the tour divide). A brand that does those things well will earn my money faster than 15 riders on another direct order brand on the WC circuit, tbh. Oh well, its your money, put it where it matters.
  • 9 1
 This is a great point. Seth Bike hacks isnt the best rider, but dig him and thinks he makes amazing videos and adds to the culture and I want him to succeed. Rob Ride EMTB isnt a pro either, but is killer with his videos and breaking down the Ebike landscape.

I wont mention the YouTubers with big followings that I think are dorks, that are average riders at best, maybe because I just am not into them (personality) and their content as much, but others are... all flavors of ice cream out there.
  • 4 1
 @ChupacabraOffroad: I think we lost Seth to the reality TV contract vortex. But Rob makes great vids. Ever try The Outsider? At first didn't know if I liked him. Then suddenly enjoyed just chilling to his vids: www.youtube.com/c/TheOutsiderMTB/videos
  • 3 0
 Remy is such a good example. I don't think he has competed at a major event for a couple of years right? So how are we defining "pro"? What makes him half pro and half youtuber? I would argue his main asset to his sponsors is a strong social following on Instagram and Youtube, along with the edits that get posted to Pinkbike, etc. Does pro just mean "good at riding"? Is it as narrowly scoped to someone who races in the Pro class? I've never heard of Danny Macaskill competing in trials comps but I think everyone here would call him a pro.

Youtube and instagram democratized content creation and that is broadly a good thing. I'll dip into some armchair psychology. Sponsorship is about selling bikes. For a long time you did that through magazines and financing racers, etc. Now that brands are about to drive that revenue via IG/Youtube, the racers get worked about about "fishing for likes". This is fundamentally an identity issue, as the racers are forced to realize that some dude with a gopro 4 is just as good, if not better at selling bikes.
  • 1 4
 @murphy82: funny, I say the same thing about if Youtubers put the same amount of time in to
trails they way builders do , builders would have much more support. And yet where are all the digging efforts? Yah, they're off filming the trail on a ride. Ironic isn't it? I see you're not discussing other aspects of mountain biking being effected by media addiction other than pro vs. joeys but believing that more media creation works for every media creator involved in mountain biking is dead wrong. Don't take my
word for it. Ask the trail builders of the best line in your area. That is, if they care to talk with you.
  • 2 0
 @Chuckolicious: What are you talking about with "reality tv contract"? you've said it twice now.
  • 2 0
 @Mattwendling: He talked about it when it was in the works and became Berm Peak. You can see a distinct difference in his old videos to when the production team or whomever he did the deal with got involved.
  • 1 0
 @Chuckolicious: Are you talking about the docuseries that was going to be filmed? I never heard anything beyond that so I assumed Covid shut it down for the year. He does employ a videographer/editor now, but as far as I know there isn't a full production team.
  • 2 0
 @Austin014: Yea. The seemingly big change in production style happened in conjunction with that, I think basically in prep for it. New style just doesn’t do it for me. “Unscripted” as the industry ironically calls it, just never been my thing. But like I said, great for him!
  • 2 0
 @Chuckolicious: I do sometimes get tired of the "build a wacky new feature on my property" videos but Seth always tells a good story and that is what makes his content so watchable. IMHO that is why youtubers are successful and why pro rider content is lacking. Story telling is the key to engaging content.

A weekly upload of a glossy photo to an IG account from a pro rider is extremely boring and forgettable.
  • 1 0
 @anthonynice: Oh snap, that’s you! Hope the brain doing ok? Cant wait to see what happened, though wish it didn’t. Took a massive header last season myself. Full face saved me from a catastrophic jaw injury.
  • 77 4
 We're all out here with public contact info, you can interview us and put quotes in to get some journalism going, even in opinion pieces. If there's more than 5 of us actually getting paid by bike companies I'll eat the fuzzy thing that keeps the wind noise off my microphone. Ibis pays me to ride the Ripmo and I love that thing. From what people email me and tell me on the trail I've helped sell quite a few Ripmos. My videos had 17 million views in 2020, that's a lot of time to see what the Ripmo is like day in and day out. As a whole, the bike industry is asleep when it comes to YouTube. But they LIVE AND DIE in these Pinkbike comments. They read all of it. It's all they talk about. You keep them up at night. Keep up the good work everyone. - Brian Kennedy Cross Country
  • 15 0
 Brian, I bought an Orbea Rallon without trying one and part of the reason I did was because of how much fun you had while riding yours. I take online reviews for everything with a grain of salt, but because your riding is relatable to me and you exuded such joy while riding the bike I knew that it wasn't likely I would be disappointed. I've also travelled to several biking destinations based on videos you and other youtubers have made about them (Quebec City, Pisgah, Bentonville). Any sponsorship money you receive is well earned, and don't let any "shred dude bros" on the internet make you think otherwise.
  • 5 1
 There's a good chance this will be an inflection point in the industry. Going along with the earlier story about all the new pandemic riders, the customer base is changing. The core base/pinkbike commenters are getting crowded out to some degree by the dentists and Karens getting into the sport. They'll probably remain the core, but the sport/activity/hobby is opening up in a big way.

I'm a stereotype in many ways. I picked up the sport during the pandemic. 30-40 something family guy who bought a pricey Santa Cruz/Specialized/Ibis bike (It's all the bike shops had, and I could afford it) and gets out 1-2x a week. Half the time I'm over-biked. My purchasing decisions were influenced by Youtubers and bike sites like this one for the reviews.

The EWS and other racing stuff, I'm relatively clueless on and don't really care about. I'm sure there are implications for that stuff on bike design, geometry and the like that will eventually trickle down to me, but I don't really follow it as it's worlds away from what I'm doing on my bike.
  • 13 0
 @Boondocker390: That's awesome to hear on every front. Getting people off the computer and out riding new places is my joy in life. So much to see out there!
  • 6 2
 @bob-oso: "Dentists and Karens"? Really? Most of the new riders over here are normal people, usually young adult males who just wanna know where the good trails that they've seen someone post in a YouTube video are.
  • 13 0
 Hey man, subscriber to your channel. One thing that gets lost in these "the pros are getting less than the YouTube amateur" pieces is how you can be a 'pro' at many different things in mtb'ing besides just riding. What I've always respected about you, Seth, Skills, etc., is the entrepreneurial nature of what you guys do. I love this new generation of small business owners just going out and doing it and doing it in creative ways with new technology and ways to make money. It really is more possible than ever to just carve out a niche and go for it - which is very inspiring. And that takes confidence, hard work, skill, and initiative. Why wouldn't we have anything but respect for what you guys do? When Seth got his new house for Berm Peak and dropped that first episode highlighting the property and his plans, I almost felt like a proud parent - knowing how many years and risks it took to build that brand.

Anyways, if you get paid by Ibis, bravo! You've earned it, in my book. Keep up the good work!
  • 5 0
 @bob-oso: The real question is are you having fun? A lot of people seem to have forgotten that the reason most of us have this hobby is enjoyment. What someone else rides or does is irrelevant, unless they are somehow harming the sport (i.e. doing things to get trails shut down). It is amazing how worked up people get over what others ride, wear, or like.
  • 3 0
 @chakaping: I think you missed the tongue-in-cheek-ness of my post where I'm lumping myself in with them. That's sort of my point, that alot of the new riders are pretty normal, average folks. It's getting away from the core enduro-bro shredder "average" pinkbiker.
  • 2 0
 @carym: Oh absolutely. I wouldn't be doing it otherwise. This sport/hobby is an absolute joy. In my social circle a lot of new folks have gotten into it as well during this last year. But just like me, they don't know or care about the hardcore racing type stuff. Most have never heard of pinkbike either for that matter.

As they progress in the sport, they might do a search for something like 'how to brake better' or the like. The first thing google will typically serve up is a youtube video. And us new folk will likely click on it first before anything else.
  • 3 15
flag Fluffhead93 (Jan 19, 2021 at 10:12) (Below Threshold)
 You ride all over the world, but do absolutely no trail work. You should try it sometime.
  • 6 0
 @Fluffhead93: Have you seen Brian's Karma on Trailforks? Dude donates all over the place. www.trailforks.com/profile/bkxc
  • 3 0
 @Fluffhead93: He has and if you followed @bkxc he wants to do a lot of trailwork this year... Problem is Covid is making it harder to volunteer. My local trail work is not accepting new volunteers either. He donates to the local bike club too....
  • 2 0
 Love your YouTube videos.
  • 8 0
 It's not that difficult of a concept. Brian (BKXC) came up with a premise.. "I want to ride the best trails in the world, and take you along" Boom, niche filled. Now, everyone who wants to see what the best trails in the world are like have a place to go. It was never about the riding skills for his audience. If you're a pro rider who can't get a sponsor, try "I want to send the biggest gaps in the world, and take you along" There's an audience there too! Seth started out just showing people neat hacks to do to your bike, bizarre product reviews, riding tutorials. He has a quirky, fun attitude that people love and he's now the biggest MTB Youtuber out there. Even though Seth is a pretty good rider, it has never been about that. Pinkbike has always been the website to go to for everything MTB, but guess what? I see like, 5 PB videos on Youtube every week! They get it! They know where the eyeballs are, and so do the bike brands. Also, Brian is right. You can probably count on one hand the Youtubers who actually get paid a salary by their sponsors. Most get free bikes, product, and possibly a few other perks, like a paid trip or two. Most of the MTB Youtubers out there are traveling out-of-pocket, purchasing all of their film equipment, and not to mention, editing all of their own content. They make the majority of their money directly from their audience through Patreon and the little bit of YT ad revenue that trickles in.
  • 4 0
 bkxc I'm glad you commented here.

I don't know if I'm normal but I'll tell you my youtube habits: I watch you, Seth, Kyle and April, Pinkbike, GMBN, and VitalMTB fairly regularly- I used to watch Bible of Bike Tests (r.i.p.), I end up watching top pro videos mainly when Pinkbike and VitalMTB tell me it's worth it. I used to watch a lot more top pros doing things I can't do videos but honestly they kind of get boring unless it's spectacular.

To my way of thinking, I sort of curated my own video magazine since so many magazines have folded up or just aren't what they used to be. I also like that 2 of these have a lot of my local content (Boise, Idaho)- and it was good to see you on Dry Creek, next time pedal up Wink .

I'm glad the content is there for me to consume. I'm smart enough to know when I'm being pitched and can figure that out on my own.
  • 80 12
 Haters gonna hate - it takes A LOT of work to be a successful YouTuber. There seems to be this weird view that you just film your ride, put up a video and get paid. Look at all the racers who tried to become influencers back in March and how cringe their content was/is. For the handful of YouTubers we all see, there are thousands who never go anywhere. It's not much different than racing...the best rise to the top. Im not convinced any of pros really sell bikes - the reviews here, BIKE, Vital, etc. and local bike shop influence sell bikes.
  • 8 0
 I think pros selling bikes might be indirect - they have a direct impact on people who influence others to sell bikes, perhaps. I'm not sure how many Instincts Jesse Melamed sold on his own when he was racing that platform, but when I talked about that bike in the store after he both won a couple races on it AND did pretty well on the NIMBY 50 you can bet your ass I was telling people about how versatile that platform was.
  • 5 0
 @j-t-g: Jesse also had some great youtube content in 2020. I don't think you can discount the whole package as being valuable.
  • 3 1
 @j-t-g: I get that. How many of those buyers do you think even knew who Jesse is or what EWS is?
  • 5 0
 @jayacheess: Absolutely. I think he probably sold more slayers with his "this is my slayer that I ride 100% everywhere" bike check video than he did in years of racing. But I'm referring to when he ran the Instinct, which is the year prior and before he did as much content.
  • 4 0
 @MikeyMT: Knowing the customer is important. It's something I'll say to someone who I know before or who clearly reads Pinkbike, etc. You can tell pretty fast. We also sold a ton of Instincts to 40 year old moms - this was a group I was less likely to mention Jesse's achievements to.
  • 2 0
 @j-t-g: lol. The mom is the interesting one IMO...why did she come to your shop not the one down the street?
  • 8 0
 @MikeyMT: Word of mouth probably. We aren't really the "Bro" shop in town. We have a huge presence with the colossal weekly ladies ride/group. We're nice and we have conversations with people, even when they're just by for a tube or whatever.
  • 8 2
 @j-t-g: 'bro' shops days are numbered - at least we can all hope.
  • 10 7
 yea but the people who got famous who make the most cringey rides and etc are getting free bikes. (cough paul the punter cough)
  • 6 2
 @SnowshoeRider4Life: So...? If they get the views arguably they are 'selling the bikes' no?
  • 10 0
 This is basically what I wanted to say. The article is good, but never really touches on the amount of skill and work it takes to generate good content on YouTube, and that work should be supported. While there is a bunch of terrible content on YouTube it's easy to ignore it and focus on the good content. The ability to watch Rémy Métailler and Fabio Wibmer doing ridiculous things on bikes, MTB Trail Review showing me some new trails in my area, ParkTool teaching me how to fix my press fit bottom, and then learning how to manual from a multitude of videos is amazing.
  • 40 1
 "You are without doubt the worst mountain biker I've ever heard of."

"But you have heard of me."
  • 49 1
 @j-t-g: I am glad to hear I'm selling bikes but it hurts to think my YouTube sells more bikes than my racing. I really hope my racing sold a lot of Instincts too.

BTW, you have to say yes otherwise Rocky won't pay me to race anymore...
  • 14 1
 @JesseMelamed: I really think there's a huge amplification factor here. Like, the fact that a huge number of people might know you from youtube means that you when you take an EWS win, there's an immediate connection there that might not exist otherwise.
  • 5 1
 @JesseMelamed: such a sell out getting paid Razz
  • 10 0
 @JesseMelamed: You may have a different perspective and I'd love to hear it. But if your Youtube is selling bikes, remember that it's backed up by the legitimacy of your results. When you say "here's a bike I ride every day, this is my setup, this is what I like about it" on a youtube video, it feels a lot more personal and relatable to the consumer. When you combine that with racking up a bunch of W's, that's a big impact. I can't imagine that someone whos ONLY racing and doing well with the occasional edit mixed in is getting people to rush out to stores and buy bikes.
  • 16 2
 @jayacheess: However it works, as long as I'm keeping people stoked and getting out on bikes!
  • 21 1
 @mtb-scotland: how long until YouTubers are bitter about racers getting paid to 'just race'?
  • 4 0
 @JesseMelamed: PS. I'm sorry I didn't talk about your wins with MTB moms as much as I could have.
  • 7 0
 @JesseMelamed: its definitely both. Being a high level racer adds perceived legitimacy to the bike brand. However ask your average cyclist to name top ews riders and they'd probably only be able to name a few. The huge amount of work you've put into YouTube magnifies your exposure in a huge way and makes you way more valuable.

The fact that you're a high level racer means that in a casual conversation you're "that guy from YouTube who races ews for Rocky mountain" vs "that guy from YouTube who has cool content".

Keep up the great work!
  • 1 1
 I’m bitter about anyone being able to ride at the moment. Not been out since October Frown @JesseMelamed:
  • 8 1
 @j-t-g: For sure you are right. My perspective is different but that doesn't mean it's right. I see racing as the pinnacle and to me if someone is winning on a bike then I have to think that bike is really good, and as someone who likes to buy whatever is the best, that would influence me. BUT in other sports I do get a bias towards certain brands if I like the person promoting it, so I can see how someone might buy a bike because they are drawn to a YouTube channel and like the person they are watching.
  • 20 1
 @j-t-g: I play well with MTB moms!
  • 5 1
 @friendlyfoe: I'll take whatever I can get! So I guess I should get back on the YouTube game then...
  • 5 0
 @mtb-scotland: Does it help if I've spent more time spinning circles on the trainer since racing than anything else?
  • 2 1
 Thanks for trying to make me feel better @JesseMelamed:
  • 4 0
 I think pros help sell awesome bikes. Even Gwin couldn’t help that Intense ebike.
  • 2 0
 @JesseMelamed: Your POV vids are fire...even wife will watch them with me and she hates POV vids...
  • 3 0
 @JesseMelamed: The video's you made last year or the year before bracketing different lines was a really cool concept. Even when you're just riding for fun it's pretty great. The real question is how much is a brand willing to pay you to win EWS races vs how much will they pay for visibility. Back in the day that meant having a few sick photos, but times are changing.

Also worth noting that every brand is going to have a different answer to this question based on where they see value. Any brand that values youtube content should be offering their riders a budget for filming separate from their direct financial compensation.
  • 1 1
 @JesseMelamed: @JesseMelamed: 2021 PB Comment of the Year
  • 3 0
 @friendlyfoe: I liked his non-racing content, but his content from EWS REALLY rounded out the EWS experience, as well. The practice videos and race POVs are some of my favourite mtb content. Combine the other youtube stuff and it's a really great content package for promoting the brand.
  • 2 0
 I think youtubers sell a lot more than racers.
My bike though was sold to me by Cecille Ravanel Smile being consistently number one proved to me that aluminum bikes are worth it.
  • 2 2
 @JesseMelamed: The only thing is, what is fast is not necessarily the best bike for the average rider. Yoann proved that on the Grim donut, that thing must be horrible as a daily driver, but it's dam fast. Maybe a bit of an over the top example, but you get my point. But that is besides the point of this meme really.

I think most of the Youtubers (non pro that is) with the exception of guys like Seth's Bike Hacks who actually makes engaging content are annoying as all hell to watch. If Youtubers don't put engaging content out that showcases something other than their lack of riding skill I really don't know why people want to watch them fumble around.

To my point - what I wanna see on YT is pro racers (current or ex pros) showing us what goes on outside the race tape. Training, prep, tech, etc. How does the daily driver differ from the race set up - why is that good for me as average Joe, why should I buy XY and Z brand? Because to me, quite honestly, race results have zero impact on which bike I buy because let's be honest, all bike are amazing and 90% of us cannot even come close to riding them near their limit like the pros do. So why should I buy the bike racer X is on rather than racer Y. I'll use the same example as earlier - although I am not buying what he is selling, Yoann is a good example of this...
  • 2 6
flag vindee (Jan 18, 2021 at 21:55) (Below Threshold)
 "Haters gonna hate - it takes A LOT of work to be a successful YouTuber."

Please mention one thing in video media that wasn't done 10 years ago by common bike magazines through video that only a few youtubers are doing now that is innovative.
  • 1 1
 @MikeyMT: You're not speaking for me. But we can hope the days of expecting free service for choosing a bike box order will die.
  • 1 1
 @TrailFeatures: They die hard, but they do die.
  • 1 1
 @Rig: Consumers never have and never will base their buying decisions on the trails they ride and their potential abilities on them. Enduro bikes are way more bike than what many should have for most of their rides. It's rarely the practicality of their bike for what they can dish out. But sure, I'll wait for the few that respond disagreeing about that.
  • 1 0
 @vindee: I'm one of them. I've recently ditched 3 bikes including a Tranny Sentinel that was just way too much bike for the trails I ride and the skills I have. I got a 130/150 trail bike with geo that suits my skills (debatable) and trails. I'm having much more fun on it than I did the Enduro rig.

But yeah, I don't disagree - I know that is not the norm. I was just sharing what I personally would like to see, and what would get me to hit the subscribe button on a YT channel.
  • 2 1
 @vindee: Oh, and yeah, I actually agree with your sentiment. Here is South Africa we have the opposite problem as most places - the pros that get featured here wear spandex, so every Joe and Karen buy an S-Works Epic or whatever other light XC rig they can get their hands on while most of them would be more comfortable and confident on trail bikes.
  • 1 0
 @MikeyMT: not in my book but also my book isn't everyone elses so idk
  • 1 0
 @JesseMelamed: isn’t that the issue though? If you like the person promoting it, but you know that person is inauthentically promoting it because they are paid to do so...; or got free stuff for doing it... what’s the point?
  • 3 0
 @j-t-g: the ladies group probably come to your store because you treat them the same as any other rider. Or rather, yiu treat them as well as the pro riders, where the bro-shop down the road probably mansplain everything or treat them in a condescending fashion.
  • 61 3
 I have a friend who is salty because they got a 4.0 gpa and a masters degree and don’t make as much as a friend who finished high school and started a business. Same issue here. There will be those who are jealous and those who know how to bring home the bacon regardless of changes in the marketplace. It just takes flexibility.
  • 14 13
 never hire anyone that actually gets a 4.0 ;p
  • 21 11
 @Dlakusta: the A students teach the B students how to work for the C students.
  • 59 1
 It's never worth comparing ourselves to other people. That's as true for income as it is for riding ability. We're all going to die, just do your best.
  • 24 0
 I agree @Yerts

Comparison is the thief of joy - Roosevelt
  • 8 0
 Yeah this seems to be people being salty that they are "better" than youtubers, but can't get a ride. Unfortunately, unless you are racing speed isn't a huge factor, its more about the quality of the content, and how it engages the viewer.
  • 3 0
 Was the masters degree in something useful?
  • 2 0
 "Comparisons are odius, Smith" -Japhy Rider
  • 6 0
 @alxrmrs: yes but they didn’t know how to do anything profitable with it. For example: School teachers are supremely useful and totally underpaid- babysitting that many kids for that long each day means a 12 year old babysitter could make more than a school teacher. Having great riding skills and great money making skills in a changing economy are two different skills and sometimes your drive in life isn’t just about money.
  • 13 0
 THIS!! No one gets paid for their skills, they get paid for what those skills are worth to their employer/sponsor/customers.

The successful (!!!) youtubers are, by definition, entrepreneurs who flipped their "handicapped" situation to their own advantage, and are better off because of it than "dudes who shred". Unlike the latter, they solve problems for people at a profit.

"Dudes who shred" can be butthurt all they like, but if they choose to wait for the roast pigeon to find it's way into their mouth, small wonder they don't get paid what they think they're worth.

As an entrepreneur myself, I can't help but think they're like your typical low-income 9-5 employee bitching about not getting paid enough when they're only flipping burgers at the maccies.

Ps. Notice that no one is bitching about Yoann starting a coaching business to make up for his lost income from racing. Same thing, only he's bringing the food to the table himself.
  • 4 2
 @nhlevi: "If you're not making enough, just start a business, stupid!"

That's not an option for everyone, for all kinds of reasons - first of which is that we actually need people to do all those jobs that might be classed as low income. They should be paid wage that allows them to avoid poverty, at the very least.
  • 2 0
 @Jvisscher LoL what did they get an MBA in Archaeology? Business MBA students can typically step right into a 6 figure position. Now that being said you still have to be able to do the work and I think a lot of fresh grads probably get fired from those first jobs, but an MBA in anything worthwhile opens some pretty big doors for you.
  • 2 3
 That's very anecdotal of you. I had a friend who died in a accident as an electrician because the company didn't follow a basic OSHA regulations. He died doing a dangerous job that involves only a journeyman's license. But sure, carry on with the anecdotes and show us how hazard pay without a degree is worth your life.
  • 2 0
 @Dlakusta: Now that sounds like jealousy.
  • 1 0
 @jayacheess: Sure, I'm aware that it's economically impossible for everyone to be an entrepreneur and make a living that is above the current average. We definitely need workers, and sure, there are entry level corporate salaries that shouldn't be legal and could be higher if not for company policy. What I was trying to say is that one's income class (regardless if it's a salary or profit) is *generally* proportionate to the level of problems they solve and the amount of people they solve it for.

Also, you may notice that the same amount of and type of work can make you (a lot) more money as a sole trader/solopreneur/whatever you choose to call it. That can have many many reasons depending on the given market, but let's look at the case of pro athletes vs influencers.

Let's say a company pays $50k per year in both cases, but in the case of the racer, the company has a say in how they spend a portion of that, since it's basically advertising budget for them, and they have to make sure to get the most improvement in brand image for their investment. The problem is that that is not measurable, so strictly speaking it may not be as valuable to dump a lot of money into... So out of that $50k allocated, the rider or the company spends several tens of thousands on travel costs, insurance, accommodation or whatever (in an effort to maximise potential return), and dudes and gals whose only job is to shred don't get as big a cut.. This is method is on the verge of influencer and brand marketing.

On the other hand, in the case of the YT/insta influencer, the company already knows all the metrics they need to estimate ROI. They know (after sufficient testing) that if they give the riders $50k per year and a couple affiliate links or promo codes, they can expect this and that figure in return. They give the riders more freedom to manage that money for themselves as long as they drive the traffic and sales. The rider has to pay rent, travel costs, insurance for themselves, and also figure out how to best use that money to produce more entertaining content, but they also find that they don't have to travel in a zigzag across the globe for half a year, so their costs are probably still lower than an athlete's.. This approach can be classified anywhere between influencer marketing (50to01) and direct response marketing (Remy Métailler).

I have no clue if the income figures are accurate, and I only *suspect* that this is how the mentioned athletes operate, but I hope erryone gets the point. If you had a bike company (which means you're juggling fickly supply chains, distributors, a marketing-sensitive AND YET emotional audience and high production costs while walking a very thin line of profitability), sure as hell you'd want more of your eggs in the "measurable & predictable ROAS" basket than the "hope and pray brand image" basket.
  • 71 19
 There is a big difference between watching the same old videos about going down A-line and watching Brian Kennedy BKXC ride somewhere in China, Spain or wherever. Sure he may not have the skill of riders that fly down a hill at ludicrous speed but in the end he is more entertaining. And I can relate to less skilled riders because that is who the market is for Santa Cruz, Ibis etc.
  • 17 1
 This. I got worked for defending the ‘lifestyle’ photos in the Pinkbike Academy episode but my position was lifestyle photos offer a broad appeal to people at different riding abilities, most especially people who may not yet participate in the sport but might be compelled to do so if they see it as a fun, community-driven activity.

While I have heard the criticism re: Brian Kennedy, he certainly has a market I believe represents the majority of riders (new to mid-skill).
  • 30 2
 @cwatt: Brian also comes across as a likable, affable guy who has found a good format for his videos, and highlights many trail centers that get little to no love otherwise. I've used his videos as a resource more than once when I'm hitting up a new trail system
  • 11 0
 Just made this point on another comment, its good to watch someone who isn't pro, as long as they are fairly good, as you can see them as yourself, much more relatable. For example VanCan and BCPOV, perhaps even Mahalo My Dude.
  • 9 0
 Dead on the statement. A lot of Youtubers are your basic riders and weekend warriors. That is why I believe they have an appeal to many riders. When they ride trails, it allows people to judge whether they can ride those trails. Couple in the fact that many YouTubers ride their local trails, which may not be as well known. This then gets people to travel into new areas and then frequent the businesses that exist there - from gas stations to restaurants. In this new world, Influencers are another way for companies to get their products out there. Working in a marketing company, we actually divide our advertising budget into - Print, Online, and Influencers. The only way Pro's will get a share of this new marketing is create good content and become an influencer outside of their race credentials.
  • 17 3
 BKXC is a pretty good rider in his own right. I am pretty sure he finished the BC Bike race. More importantly, he is a really cool guy to meet out on the trails and to ride with. That’s why he has the followers: Relatable and accessible.

The pro’s will still sell bikes, but they’re not the only ones doing it anymore.

Jeff Kendall Weed is another example of why the YouTube model works as well as the race results model: rad person with some good riding skills.
  • 4 9
flag mtb-scotland (Jan 18, 2021 at 10:19) (Below Threshold)
 Gave up watching Brian. His videos changed a lot from what it was like in the beginning. I feel he spends far too much time talking on the climb up. I don't think the quality of his videos are what they used to be which is a shame.
  • 5 5
 I find both of them very annoying and won’t watch their channels, but I don’t really care about the support they get from viewers or companies.
  • 1 0
 @Saidrick: he did pretty good too!
  • 14 1
 Stuff like BKXC or BCPOV is inspiring, because someone like me could actually go there and ride those trails. Watching a “shredder” going Mach 10 can be fun once in a while but doesn’t relate. A pov of an EWS run is basically a different sport that has nothing to do with what we ride.
  • 7 2
 @Ttimer: "A pov of an EWS run is basically a different sport that has nothing to do with what we ride."
This. In bold. And it's okay.
I also am missing one point which should be made clearer: I think the edits and videos of people that are pros or close make you feel like you have to compete, have to be able to gap the tdF peloton and be able destroy a berm by shralping it (what's up with that anyway??).
It's this image that doesn't reflect what most people do, and what is much healthier to aspire to: ride for fun, explore your limits and maybe become better. But it's not all about brah-bro's that have the best skillset ever. It's about a hobby that is a counterweight (or a good supplement) to the rest of your life.
I'm sad that there are not many entertaining videos of people going for cool (if not epic) backcountry adventures, fool around with bikepacking maybe, or just do some short and sweet rides and just inspire you to have a good old time with some mates. Youtube channels would be a perfect place to change the culture away from just shredding towards a mass-sport that's still kicking ass even if you're not the best.
  • 53 1
 I have been involved in marketing and content creation at two different bike companies in the past 12 years, and I can say that I NEVER saw anything like the response we got from giving an Orbea to a prominent YouTube channel - BKXC. At demos, events and via the "contact us" email link that nobody ever actually uses, we received dozens of "I bought your bike because of BKXC" messages. This kind of feedback isn't common - Actual people buying actual bikes for actual dollars and then telling the company about their motivations. It was one of the best actions I've seen in terms of measurable return on investment.

One of the main reasons that these buyers mentioned was the accessibility of Brian's content. Folks responded BECAUSE he wasn't a pro racer or crushing the bike park. He was learning, progressing and sharing his experiences in a way that was super relatable for riders at any level. It's inclusive and that makes us all feel good.

The exclusivity of MTB is real - we're on the inside so we don't always notice how lame and inside-jokey we can be with new riders. YouTube bridges the gap and makes riding accessible. Accessibility sells more than bikes, it sells the lifestyle.
  • 4 1
 Did you ever have a comparison with a decent pro rider? I cant recall Orbea ever having a rider that caught my attention at all..I reckon Nukeproof probably say the same thing about Sam Hill, and Commencal about Amaury Pierron
  • 4 1
 @russthedog: Pros are good on any bike and I like seeing the normal riders experience on bikes.
  • 3 0
 @russthedog: It's a good question. Orbea athletes have won 4 Olympic medals in Road and XC, so I'd say yes, we've worked with decent pro riders, but not in Trail bikes, so maybe it's difficult to compare the value of Julien Absalon to BKXC because the huge majority of people buy bikes and don't tell us why. But the "people coming up and saying they bought a bike" metric and 12 years of working on this stuff, Absalon, Gould, and Euskaltel didn't move the needle like Brian did. Maybe it's because many pros that aren't also Social Media pros don't invite participation? It's in interesting thing, and of course I think the answer is that you need a bit of both types of athlete to reach the broadest range of riders.
  • 48 1
 As an overweight, balding, 35 year old Youtuber, I want y'all to know that I hate myself just as much as you do.
  • 4 0
 I like you. And that's all that matters.
  • 45 4
 I may be in the minority here but after a couple of minutes of watching pros ride doing super amazing, fast, sketchy stuff I just zone out. It's so far out of my ability that after the inital 'awe' of it all, I can't relate in any way. I'm not saying it's not amazing because it is, it's just not for me most of the time.

Compare that to an intermediate rider who has a fun personality and is showcasing cool trails that I'm interested in visiting at some point, that's much more where I am as a rider and person so of course I'm going to want to watch stuff like that.

At the end of the day, it's the views that matter. Why would a sponsor give a pro loads of money if they're not out there showing off that brand's stuff to as many eyes as possible? If I wanted to advertise my bike/pedals/clothing etc, I would choose the average rider who has 1 million subscribers over the pro who has 2 thousand, it just makes sense.
  • 8 1
 Exactly this for me. Good example recently was a video titled something like 'Average rider takes on Dyfi'. That's good info for me, because a) I'm average and b) I'm seriously concerned I might get eaten by Dan Atherton if I don't ride it properly Smile

I've been watching a lot of 'Joy of Bike with Alex Bogusky' recently. He can certainly shred, but he's not a pro. He is however, about my age and a great inspiration.
  • 2 0
 Yep, this.

I went to Bike Night at KMF in 2019 (the last time we were allowed out of the house), basically a film festival with loads of high-budget sponsored riders making high-budget films for their sponsors. AND. IT. WAS. DULL.

Gimme tea & biscuits any day of the week.
  • 2 0
 Is it just me or does sponsoring erode some of the appeal of non-pro riders? I don’t care what gear a sponsored rider is using and when they talk about it I skip the part or quit.
But if someone made their own choice and spent their own money on gear I might care.
  • 3 0
 I know that not everyone feels this way, but watching people smash insane obstacles teaches me some stuff. I have gotten a lot better from watching pros ride. That isn't to say that I haven't gotten better from watching instructional videos too, but after the initial step of learning some skills, watching pros ride and actually practicing helps my riding way more than watching a youtuber who is about as good as me smash some less than insane features.
  • 37 0
 I really appreciate this kind of thought and writing, especially on such a fraught subject. Thanks for the nuance.
  • 33 3
 I rode with BKXC for the 50 state shred in South Dakota this summer and two things were immediately apparent afterwards:

1. The large amount of time and work that goes into his videos.
2. How talented of a rider he actually is. We all know that the Gopro effect is real but he was able to hold my wheel and ride blind with almost no dabs on some pretty technical trails. I was impressed!

It's a lot easier to hate than to put in the work and do it yourself!
  • 19 0
 If i remember correctly he got a top3 on the youtuber EWS100 in whistler, ran against shreders like jordan boostmaster and vancan. Brian is a good rider, people just like to hate
  • 10 0
 @Narro2: He doesn't do large hucks, but otherwise is a pretty competent technical rider, and in great physical shape. A lot of people will judge someone based solely on the size of gap they're willing to send.
  • 1 2
 @Narro2: imagine though any/all of those guys vs literally anyone on the 50to01 crew lol.
  • 4 0
 @mariomtblt: For sure. They're absolute animals on a bike. Any one of them could do really well on youtube if they put together well produced videos with some additional content outside of the 'jibs in the forest' stuff we're used to seeing.
  • 3 0
 @mariomtblt: yeah...., i tried to follow the 50to01 crew after the rat retired from racing and I just couldnt, i got bored pretty quick, amazing riders, but their content is just not... i dont know.
  • 1 0
 @Narro2: man I'm surprised to hear that, I can't get enough of their vids. They're like BMX or Skate style, which I love
  • 2 0
 @mariomtblt: And that’s fine, you mentioned precisely the point, you like the BMX and Skater style of their formats, you probably came to MTB from that background which is cool, but the average mountain biker has different backgrounds, I come from Track&Field to Road biking then to MTB, most of my riding buddies come from football or soccer backgrounds, one of them is a former national Judo champ.

So for the average rider seeing a 30 year old youtuber try to bunny hop a tortilla will always be more relatable than watching a shredder do a “1080 no hander backflip wheelie” at rampage.
  • 28 0
 Youtube has to be a pretty tough grind, I mean people who post content daily or weekly while traveling, riding, filming, editing, uploading, responding to comments etc, that can't be the easiest job in the world, and good on them for being courageous enough to quit their day-job and try to make a living amongst the endless trolls of the internet. I say good for them because it's a small percentage that can actually make a living doing that, similarly, the pros who make a living from competitive mountain biking, either way, you're a boss in my mind.
  • 2 8
flag TheMountainViking (Jan 18, 2021 at 10:17) (Below Threshold)
 There is that, but then again, mountain biking is a ridiculously expensive sport. And there are plenty of guys out there who can barely afford to ride with bike/gear costs, a lot of sponsorship moving over to youtubers means that a lot of guys who aren't such good riders, but already have enough money to get good equiptment to make and edit videos are then able to get sponsorship, which is kind of making the sport even more exclusionary than it already is.
  • 4 0
 @TheMountainViking: I suppose that's a relevant point. It can't be cheap to start-up a Youtube channel; let alone the bike equipment, you need a camera and editing equipment as well.

But not everyone who owns a Sprinter van and a $10,000 bike can declare themselves a content creator who is worthy of sponsorship or success on Youtube. I mean the guy with a decent bike, skills, and a cell-phone could easily produce more watchable content than the rich dude who films his first descent down A-Line.

I'd much rather watch a grassroots guy nail a jump-line that he's been practicing for weeks at 720p, than some mediocre 50-year old riding A-line on his carbon V10 at 4K.
  • 4 0
 @TheMountainViking: That's a stretch of an argument, IMO. Sponsors are under no obligation to find guys who can barely afford the sport, in fact it's generally the opposite. Aaron Gwin has way more power than other riders precisely because he already has so much money. If he builds out a million dollar sponsorship package, he can tell shitty offers to take a hike. The local bro who can barely cover rent? That situation is RIPE for exploitation. Our economic system (well, the US at least) generally does not incentivize need based pay. If a sponsor needs X out of a deal, there isn't really much to discuss outside of X.
  • 4 1
 @Austin014: That's the reality of the thing, no denying that. But I'd always rather see somone who has 100% passion for just getting out and riding plain and simple, not some economics bro who has figured out his target markets down to a T and makes boring clickbait videos to generate "Results".

It's going to end up like telemarketers soon where if you don't reach your monthly quota of discount codes used your sponsor will drop you.

My point is that the increased comoddification of every aspect of the sport is driving the passion out of it left right and center, and things such as Strava, trailforks, Ebikes for all etc are causing a lot of new problems for certain trail networks.

it isn't quite there yet but if the numbers that have got into mountain biking during covid all stay riding, the snake is going to eat its own tail pretty quickly if it carries on as it is. And the only thing likely to pull it out of that will be industry lead change.
  • 2 0
 @TheMountainViking: yeah, I mean I guess. For the record I don't think sponsors dropping you for not hitting your performance numbers is a bad thing. Unlike telemarketing, content creation is an inherently creative endeavor. Less creativity means less discount codes. Driving more creativity just means cooler shit for us to watch.

Regarding the sport growing, I get ya. Frankly for a long time mountain biking was a fringe sport and fringe sports attract fringe people. Fringe people are weird and creative. As it grows, there will be MORE content but I don't necessarily think it will be passionless or boring.
  • 1 0
 @TheMountainViking: it might be making the competitive side of the sport more exclusionary, not the sport itself.
  • 28 0
 Wait, so a histrionic meme turns out to be histrionic and the realty actually far more nuanced? Lies, I tell you! :-D
  • 21 0
 I must have missed something.

Why does someone have to be among the best riders in the world to be worth watching?

And if some mediocre /average riders are more fun to watch, and have their videos watched more by the public, why is it somehow bad to have brands pay for that?

Also, I’d argue that “most” youtubers are above average in riding skill. So when people who are new to the sport, or are considering the sport look into it on YouTube, they see riding that is fun (or, the riders hanging with buddies and enjoying it, enjoying it for the heck of it, etc). And that riding still looks pretty high level to them. So I can see why they have lots of views.

Additionally the YouTuber boom has meant that it’s easy to scout new trails. I love that benefit.
  • 24 5
 James is spot on about the long tail of average youtuber riders being a boon to anyone seeking out new trails. It’s hugely entertaining watching Remy Metailer huck Goranga but if I can ever get up to Squamish I want to see average-Joe being like “um, well, I think if I creep down the left then I won’t die” or even and honest “way harder than it looks. Should’ve chosen a different trail”.

Likewise, 100 videos of “how to bunny hop” or “easiest way to remove stuck cranks” is annoying on its face but really nice if you’re struggling with a skill or mechanical failure.

The only thing that truly sucks is the hustle/attention culture. The all-caps colorful fonts make my eyes bleed (looking at you BCPOV).
  • 10 1
 It's a shame as some of the creators with the clickbaity titles do put out some quality content. BCPOV and VANCAN both have clickbaity titles, but I think the videos are some of the better ones out there, as they add a voiceover or talking while riding, which adds another dimension to the footage. Also I like that they are not Pros, yeah I ove watching Remy sending huge gaps but sometimes its good to watch someone that you can compare yourself to.
  • 7 1
 @melonhead1145: vancan is one of the rare YouTuber’s that actually rips tho. Can’t be said of most of them.
  • 3 1
 @danielomeara: dont forget jordam boostmaster
  • 1 0
 @danielomeara: yeah he's got pretty good over the years, still miles off of a pro racer though, and relatable for a standard weekend rider.
  • 2 0
 @bocomtb The whale tail on entrails (which you have to ride to get to the slabs in Alice lake) is 3x as big as it looks on youtube. I creeped down the not that difficult left hand side of the trail and still probably made it look sketchy lol. The creep is real.
  • 20 1
 A good Youtuber needs to be a good video maker more than they need to be a good rider. The best rider in the world won't be entertaining to watch or successful on Youtube if they can't write decent scripts, edit and shoot videos properly and generally engage the audience.

Bike companies are paying Youtubers to advertise their products, in the same way they are paying racers. The best racers get the most money, the best Youtubers get the most money. (In theory)

Remember the 'job' is to sell products. Not shred on a bike.
  • 20 2
 YouTuber here. I think one misconception is that YouTubers all jumped on a bandwagon to make money, I've even seen accusations that many of us don't even enjoy riding. The reality for me is I've been making videos for over 15 years, but back then I was putting them on DVDs and making my parents watch them. Now because of the popularity of YouTube more people have been watching my videos and for reasons I don't fully understand they enjoy what I do and I'm grateful for that. Even if everyone stopped watching tomorrow I would keep making videos, I like doing it.
  • 18 1
 It’s been pretty interesting & eye opening to read through some of these comments and I think I may have a little perspective to add so here it goes haha. In direct response to the meme, it seems like there is a massive misunderstanding when it comes to how and why companies are supporting different types of ambassadors, especially through Covid.

What a lot of the shredders who are upset don’t realize is that many companies operate with several “buckets” of support and budget each year. They will have the general marketing budget which is then segmented into things like events and product launches, content creation, athlete support, and grassroots sponsorship (discounted products for up and coming ambassadors).

With everything that happened in 2020 companies are in a weird place. They aren’t able to plan and coordinate events like they have in the past, they aren’t sure how to plan video shoots and photo shoots with athletes like they have in the past, especially who to hire to shoot the athletes, what the travel will be like etc..., they don’t know how much extra product they will have on hand to help support large race teams which can burn through a ton of parts each year and all of these things have created an environment where a lot of the brands have pulled back spending on traditional marketing and instead decided to put some of that money into the content creation bucket.

For a lot of companies, hiring an athlete or ambassador who can film and edit videos on their own, take photos, respond to their audience, go through less product, and continue to fulfill their obligations, even if some of the key bike events don’t happen this year, makes a lot of sense and is a little easier for a marketing manager to justify to the people at the top of the companies. Does this mean it’s the “right” thing to do? No, it doesn’t. I think loyalty between brands and riders goes a long way. And to be honest, I haven’t heard of any of my personal friends who were actively in a contract get dropped. I have heard of a lot of people who’s contract ended getting a reduced offer or a lack of an offer. Which I still hate to hear.

Is this a permanent change? In my opinion no. From what I’ve heard once the supply chain is caught back up, travel gets easier, and companies can actually plan things like events, and big video and photo shoots there will
be a lot of support on the table for shredders.

I hope this sheds a little light on why you may be hearing some disgruntled industry vets speaking up. If everyone was still getting paid the same you wouldn’t be hearing this conversation, YouTube is such a different demographic than the standard racer/shredder crowd and their should be room for both sides to thrive. My girlfriend April and I have been making YouTube videos this year and our audience is 65% over the age of 34 and about 13% female. When I was using Instagram more heavily a few years ago the following I had was 80% under 29 years old and 1% female.

When you are talking about how to target those two distinctly different demographics companies will use distinctly different methods of marketing and the budgets are coming from two totally different buckets. There should be room for everyone if we continue to support each other and grow the Industry in a sustainable way. If people are enjoying the content and finding some value in it regardless of whether it’s coming from a shredder or a more relatable rider then in my opinion it’s a good thing. A lot of people have been struggling this year and sometimes watching a friendly face take you for a run down a fun trail is all someone needs to brighten their day, regardless of how fast they ride.

Sorry for the novel haha. Just wanted to share a little different perspective since I have kind of seen both sides of the aisle.

Sincerely, Kyle Warner
  • 5 0
 Thanks for great content! Keep it up.
  • 4 0
 It is nice to see the youtube content is driving some female interest. Personally I like the couple presenters like you and April, it is more about the riding and having fun and less about who is fastest.
  • 20 1
 Only on Pinkbike will you find someone getting paid to write a critique ABOUT A MEME
  • 1 0
 "I think it says a lot about society" (I mean it kind of does...lol)
  • 15 0
 I'm old enough to remember when we had to wait months to get the newest DVD of Clay Porter or NWD to get me stoked. I still watch them over and over again. But, the fact that I can happily watch Jeff Kendall-Weed wear out just his back tire with something new every week is awesome. Seeing places that are actually accessible to me or places that I am super familiar with are cool to see ridden differently as well. I'm a fan of the instant gratification of YouTube.
  • 1 5
flag mariomtblt (Jan 18, 2021 at 18:50) (Below Threshold)
 Jeff Kendall-Weed is not the type of youtuber that the article is referring to. Him and like Nate Hills for example are extremely talented without question. Think more like “Paul the punter” lol or “vancan” totally different league.
  • 22 3
 EVERYONE JUST GO OUTSIDE AND RIDE YOUR BIKE
  • 6 2
 LOUD NOISES
  • 2 1
 cant, its lockdown here init
  • 15 1
 I don't think it's quite so black and white. There's always going to be shit YouTubers for whatever reason, and that reason may not be their riding ability. Cathro for example, is not a shit YouTuber. Remy is not a shit YouTuber. Seth's bike hacks isn't on the same level of riding at all, but he knows this and makes a wide variety of high quality content, making him not a shit YouTuber.
I don't think the issue is YouTubers who aren't great riders getting brand deals, the issue is HOW MANY uninteresting content creators get sponsors. 80% of the content out there, it's all the same mediocre 'lifestyle' riding, with nothing to make it truly unique.
Whatever, I'm not a marketing director so who am I to comment
  • 17 4
 Related issue: YouTubers filming unsanctioned trails. It happens, and it sucks. Anyone who films unsanctioned trails without builder permission should be kicked to the dirt.
  • 10 0
 Don’t forget about the builders’ channels. They are interesting and a fundamental part of the sport that was largely ignored in bike media when it was all magazines and races.
  • 3 3
 @Jvisscher: are there any / many good builders channels to watch? I don't really 'Youtube' much as there is just so much crap on there. (and yes the POV unsanctioned trail people can suck on a huge variety of ball sacks....)
  • 4 1
 @wallheater: The only name I can come up with is Berm Peak. My friends always send me links to watch but I haven’t recorded/written any down. Just use them to get ideas for features to build.
  • 5 0
 @Jvisscher: Skills with Phil is building his own trails too, not watched many of his videos but he does also shred, and BCPOV has been building but not watched any of those videos.
  • 8 0
 @wallheater: Mark Matthews, Kiing of Spades, JUST KEEP DIGGING, Sam Reynolds, BCPOV, Backyard Trail Builder,
  • 3 3
 Ethics is probably the single biggest issue around youtube. People like Cartho and Remy both fully came up through old school mountain biking, and Cartho was certainly well respected long before youtube was a big thing at all.

I think the big issue is the fact that certain styles of "trail hunter" youtubers have a load of local riders in various places who think they are snapping at their hero's heels (Spoiler, they aren't) but who are generally out there posting a lot of stuff they shouldn't be to try and get views.

There's nothing wrong with youtube in theory but the reality is it is causing a lot of problems for some trail networks.
  • 13 0
 Lots of jealous in the comments. In lots of walks of life those who can market themselves the best get the opportunities. They would not be getting these opportunities if the companies did not see a return on the investment, so if your hating on them it really makes no sense since they are doing what the companies need them to be doing. I think the better question is why are these supposedly skilled riders not doing enough to earn the sponsorship?
  • 1 5
flag TheMountainViking (Jan 18, 2021 at 10:09) (Below Threshold)
 I think the issue a lot of people have is that a lot of youtubers are doing things that would be generally considered bad form to do in public to get views, and that they're being rewarded for something that's causing issues.
  • 7 1
 @TheMountainViking: But how is this the Youtuber's fault. They put in the work, created a channel, built a viewer base and companies see the value in their work.

As far as bad behavior I'm sure there are some but that needs to be on the brand to weed out and discontinue sponsorship to those people. What I am seeing here is a lot of people whining that mediocre riders are getting sponsorships but I think they they shouldn't. In the words of The Dude "That's like your opinion man".
  • 3 2
 @LoganH: Its more the fact that for every BCPOV there are 500 guys trying to be like him, posting up secret local trails etc to try and get ahead of their competition. The really big guys are actually 90% really good about this (More so youtubers than pros who are on youtube these days) but there isn't the impoetus being put in to try and stop the damage that Youtube and other social media things are doing to a lot of things in the mountain bike landscape in general.
  • 12 1
 Being good at youtube is so much more than just filming yourself riding bikes. You might be good for one viral video if you do some amazing ride/run/line and it gets traction in the right places but turning that into a career and consistently making money from it requires you to be a skilled filmmaker, entertainer and algorithm decipherer.

There are more than 500 hours of content being uploaded to youtube every minute of every day. Making yours worth watching is far more than just being good at riding bikes.

Brands understand this, they also understand that the budget for one race can get someone to put your bike in front of thousands of people every week of the year with a guaranteed positive message attached. The big difference is the racer might have a mechanical out of the gate and you get publicity that is worse than not spending the money at all.
  • 16 2
 Well hello Punt.. I mean Pinkers..
  • 13 6
 Speaking of tools with ridiculous titles and thumbnails...
  • 1 1
 @eric-w : I'm dying reading this
  • 11 1
 So the real issue here is the meme is saying funding for grass roots racers is dying out. I guess the answer would depend on how critical you feel racing is to mountain bike culture.
  • 2 2
 Exactly. I couldn't name a single pro racer and I don't care to. I'm never going to buy a bike because it's what they're riding or choose a tool/product because it's what their sponsor gave them to use for a race. I can, however, name half a dozen YouTubers who I can actually relate to and would consider buying the products that they use, sponsored or not. I think a lot of people these days are the same outside of the microcosm of Pinkbike. How many bikes for Diamondback do you think Seth has sold over the years compared to whoever won EWS this year? I'd bet it's over 10:1.
  • 4 0
 @schu2470: well Sam Hill won it in 2019 and that probably did sell a lot of megas. But if you go more than 2 to 3 riders down the list I agree with your point.

I think in general we all struggle to see things from a new perspective. Back in the day the only way to get recognized was to be a top level rider who could then appear in magazine adverts, so from a traditional perspective being faster means you had value.

With YouTube and anyone being able to create their own content you no longer need to be a pro to make a living in the bike industry. Racing isn't as important as it once was and only a small number of people will make a living at it.
  • 9 0
 Think about how much money gets put into product commercials with paid actors pretending to use the product. Bike companies get to hand some products to people who genuinely do use the product and promote it once a week to an extremely targeted audience. Seems like a logical marketing move to me.
  • 9 0
 For everyone complaining about YouTubers; if you are a better rider, and you think content creation is an easy cop out, then go do it yourself. I rarely go beyond Instagram photos of trail builds, but I have made YouTube videos non-mountain biking content. On average each video took 10+ retakes, and took 1-2 hours to complete. I made 7 of them, and my highest view count was 55 views. Don’t be jealous that someone else puts in the work you are not willing to do. Either figure out how to make It in the space, or stop your bellyaching.
  • 15 7
 This isn’t even a discussion worth having lmao.

99% of YouTube MTBers are gapers.

Skills with Phil gets a pass, can actually ride a bike.

That said, if it upsets you that someone with several hundred thousand followers gets attention / support from the industry....well you’re an idiot.
  • 15 3
 Please check out my new YouTube channel - SuperBoostLoamSkillzRangerPOV
  • 5 1
 All the things i look for are right there in the name, subbed!
  • 9 1
 YouTube is primarily designed to give entertainment, not to be a showcase of the very best of any particular discipline.

If less-skilled riders get more views it's because their overall mix of personality, riding and production-quality trumps someone who only had the good riding part.

The pro's (Brendog, the 50:01 guys, etc., Pilg etc.) and non-pros (Deaks, Paul, Seth, Alex Bogusky etc.) who get this do well because their videos are fun and make you feel part of the gang.
  • 8 0
 Why is this even an issue? Its pretty easy - just don't want the videos or subscribe, if you don't like them. Vote with your views. Like others have said, some "youtubers" aren't as good as Remy, but I can relate to that. And some of them have some great entertainment value, like Seth/Berm Peak.

The ones that I don't like, find annoying or whatever, I just don't watch.
  • 1 0
 Meant to say don't *watch" the videos or subscribe, not *want*.
  • 8 0
 1. Don't hate the PLAYA, hate the GAME
2. No like, no watch
3. I like to watch all levels of riding.

Sometimes if I want to fantasize, I watch the sick pro edits, Rampage, Hardline, World Cup & EWS racers. Sometimes I want to watch riders who are close and maybe a smidge better rider than me which helps to build confidence. Sometimes I find people annoying AF and I unsubscribe or don't watch. Sometimes I want to watch glowing reviews of my bike so I don't feel guilty about my purchase. Sometimes I watch to learn about what not to do, ride, or buy, and other times to be entertained or learn about my favorite riders and places.

Who are the riders who feel left out because they think they ride better than most but aren't getting the cred? Well do something about it. Ask friends to help, hire people, buy some tech equip and do it. Ask for feedback. Ask for sponsors or investors who may have the capabilities to film or produce but not the riders. Submit VLOGs to PB. Wear a bikini. Ride to the Capitol. Or just meditate and find your zen without media. Smurthwaite's trolling all of us here anyways.
  • 8 0
 @mattyb84: 100% correct IMO. Pro riders don't inspire me to ride.. I'm not hitting canyon gaps.. What the hell does a back flip have to do with mountain biking anyway? I want to get lost in nature, challenge myself and enjoy the ride.
  • 8 0
 Very amateur rider here with a YouTube channel. I think the money thing is grossly overestimated. Peek behind the curtain: I make the same amount in 2 hours at my day job as I do in one month from Google ad rev + Teespring + Amazon affiliate + Patreon. I'd love to drink from the marketing water hose, but the amount of work it takes to get to that level is grossly UNDERestimated.

Yeah, I'm a squid. I chicken out on medium features. I can't manual or schralp or boost. But, I ride with a prosthetic arm. I'm pretty average in many ways. I feel comfortable being transparent and straightforward to a camera knowing that it gets to *some* people. And it works. I still progress and document that progression.

The vast majority of YouTubers in the mountain biking niche don't make a living from it. The vast majority of us care about our local trails and contribute in some way. Roast me.
  • 1 0
 Love your stuff!
  • 8 0
 I think some of the appeal of the youtuber mtbs is many focus the video on the trails which is what most of us think about when riding. The pro vids focus on what they can do on a bike, which is amazing. I got time for both!
  • 12 2
 Meanwhile the people who build all the trails for other people to profit from don't even make it on to the meme Big Grin
  • 7 0
 As the top comment says, there is a massive distinction to be made between pros who upload videos to youtube and "youtubers". I understand how this is confusing, especially given some regular bike pros will sometimes step into the youtube universe for a cameo in much the same way protagonists in stranger things will step through the portal into the upside down.

I could write a dissertation on the youtuber parallel culture universe phenomenon, its happening/happened in every sport I follow with the oldest and most well developed example being skateboarding. The funny thing is despite mountain biking and skateboarding cultures being very different, their respective youtuber parallel universes are the same and bike youtube has followed the exact growth path. We are now at an important phase where they have achieved almost complete cultural independence (this mislead article being fantastic evidence for that) and they will move towards creating their own financial/economic ecosystem.

In skateboarding this translated to entire youtube only pro teams and companies. I think its going to take longer in biking due to complexity and manufacturing costs but it will happen and I'll come back to this post for an I told you so moment.
Or maybe it already happened, I don't actually watch that stuff.
  • 4 0
 Hey now! We need these guys to stay asleep a little longer, it takes a while to build the Trojan horse.
  • 3 0
 @bkxc: Brian, they don’t get it. I don’t need to watch endless whips, 720s, etc that I will never do. I’d rather watch you show me new trails that I may be able to ride on a bike I might own. Plus, you and Seth and MTB yum yum are entertaining for when I’m not riding myself. Let oyThers go watch the next road gap crash complete with x-rays.
  • 1 0
 @bkxc: hey I'm not hating, when you become someone who can sell more bikes than pro riders why not start selling your own bikes! worked in skateboarding
  • 11 1
 Hey Tom, I'm reporting here in front of what appears to be a shitstorm in progress at the comment section
  • 7 0
 I was at Big Bear and Aaron Gwin was there as usual. So were Charlie Harrison and a bunch of the Trek pro riders. I don't think anyone there even recognized any of them, despite them being on custom DH bikes and full kit with their names all over. If people don't recognize the top riders in the world, I can see why bike brands would rather dump money into Seth Bike Hacks or Syd and Macky.
  • 2 0
 Guilty...I didn't recognized Aaron Gwin (many years ago) or the other pro's despite them having prototype bikes.
However, I have recognized many Youtubers.
  • 6 0
 Great Topic: I think the term pro is often based on solely someones ability at their chosen discipline. This doesn't always relate to someone who can represent a brand.

Sponsoring someone is like giving someone a new job role, and a brand can often see the potential in a person and through this develop them into a face for the brand.

Budget naturally play a part in these decisions, a prolific name in the sport will have a huge wage requirement yet get the brand less exposure to the market than someone who is uploading on YouTube once or twice a week.
  • 2 0
 Pro or professional has lost it's actual meaning. It means only a person who earns their living from a specified professional activity. Usually they should have sufficient education and/or training but it's demonstrated over and over that (in certain professions) there are people who don't have it.
  • 6 0
 I mean I watch a ton of Youtube videos as do probably everyone who posts here and there is a big difference in the levels of polish as well as entertainment value you get from certain videos. And that is what matters most is can you keep me entertained since that is why I watch youtube, for the most part. Youtube is a product and if you can offer me a good "show" then people will watch or if you offer nothing people will tune out.

Look at people who have Rocketed up out of Nowhere like Kyle and April or others who have had channels for years and are still very low in subscriber counts. What is the difference? Many times it has zero to do with riding ability.
  • 6 0
 Successful YouTubers have a well rounded skillset: personability both online and IRL, technical skills with cameras and editing, self-motivation, meeting deadlines, brainstorming, and of course, riding. Actually, the list is a lot like what I imagine it takes to win races, only with less working out.

I have a friend who does this for a living... Starting from a dream in high school, he has been working at it for ten years or more to get to the point of being regularly recognized on the trail and taking home enough to live on. Oh yeah, and a lot of that goes back into bike and camera stuff! He has pared back his sponsorships to be able to ride what he wants and is fully dependent on the views rolling in. This guy is not detracting in any way from racers so I'm not sure why the meme exists other than perhaps some YouTubers are different.

Some of these guys give an impression of financial success but I'm guessing those ones are either trying to look that way or started off with some money before getting popular on YouTube. I just don't think there is a lot of money in this game.
  • 6 0
 Unless everyone can realize that the sport NEEDS a higher profile for everyone to get paid what they're worth, it's an argument that will go in circles.

Ego aside, youtubers raise the profile of the sport...

A higher profile means that the sport gets more coverage...

More coverage = more money for the pros

Marketing will do what it needs to do. Accept it and let the sport grow.

P.S. I'm not a youtuber or a pro, just someone that likes the sport and wants EVERYONE to get paid more.
  • 5 0
 Pinkbike posting this right after the Yoann video with his GG is perfect. How many people watch that because of his personality and now have an interest in GG bikes vs someone shredding in another video further down the feed on another brand. If biking were as big as a sport like golf pro's could live off of winning races, until then you have to provide value to the brand by bringing attention their products. I'm no marketing major but this stuff seems pretty obvious.
  • 7 2
 This is largely useless without a examples of the "youtuber" content.
It also depends on what you're looking for. Squamish's Onecutmedia's chanel is presumably a good example of youtuber content, it isn't hugely inspiring to me, but its a useful tool for local trail beta..his 5.5k subscribers might be his target and find it to be much better for their aspirations that out of this world riding from the pro's.

There is mostly absolute shite on youtube. Pros producing purely awful content like harry main and his almost 1million subscribers. Warning.. this video is literal vomit from start to finish (in my opinion).
www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SoRAKtK7c8&ab_channel=HarryMain
Which is bonkers compared to Remy Metallier producing benchmark content with just 1/5th of the subs
There are non-pros producing decent content also which provide a real world view into 'riding bikes' and to keep it Squamish local, Paul the Punter for example. His riding and Remys are worlds apart and Pauls vids appeal to a likely very different demographic, but they're relatively close on sub numbers. Does Paul's target demographic spend more money on bikes? Possibly.. and that's the conversion rate that's important surely.
  • 2 2
 LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
  • 3 1
 Holy shit, never heard of or watched this dude, but Harry Main video was just awful.
  • 3 1
 Holy shit that was hard to watch, and I skipped around and maybe watched 2 minutes total.
  • 2 0
 Harry main's videos are so f*cking awful. Almost all his recent videos are of him upgrading his bike and taking 10 minutes of the video to switch out the forks of a bike and then say "THIS FEELS INCREDIBAL.. THIS FEELS AMAZING". I remember when this guy actually used to shred.
  • 5 0
 I for one don't need a Youtube content creator to be a pro level rider. In fact, I prefer they aren't. I prefer someone that can give me useful information, their videos are presentable, and I can relate to their riding skills. I find their views of how a part performs (as well as those of people like the writers for Pinkbike who are good, but not pro level riders) much more relevant than what bike a sponsored pro is riding with all custom suspension.

If your budget and tastes are In-and-Out, a review of Ruth Chris's is worthless to you. Same for bikes.

As far as their making a living off of views paying for them to live in a van and travel all around, good for them. They are finding out a way to make a living doing what they love. Life is full of tradeoffs, I am an attorney and can afford nearly any bike stuff I want. The downside, my riding time is limited by work, being a dad, owning a house, and all the other crap that comes with being in your 40s.
  • 5 0
 I just want to say that GMBN, Jeff Kendall-Weed, Lewis Buchanan, VanCan, Yoann Barelli, MTBYumYum, Remy Metallier, Pinkbike, Vitalmtb, Worldwidecyclery, FanaticbikeCo and countless other random people - pro and noob alike - has given me great entertainment, insight, knowledge and inspiration through YouTube. The best part? I get to choose what I watch. If you bitch about people creating bike content that you don't like, here's a thought: get of youtube and social media and go ride your bike. Radical thought, I know!
  • 5 0
 There is a place for both. Watching pros is entertaining, But reality is people like BKXC and Singletrack Sampler relate more to the average mountain biker. I started mountain biking in 1992. I prefer the regular guys giving me ideas of new places to ride. I’m in the northeast USA, but wife and I travel by RV. I have traded messages with Seth, Alex and Brian on recommendations of trails in areas we are traveling to. This is what’s great about their channels. Also, BKXC pre-Covid is great for someone like me who travels, his videos often highlight restaurants and attractions in the area he is riding in.
  • 1 0
 Thats a good point! There's more to mountain biking than just the biking. And these guys will answer your messages or comments.
  • 7 3
 Well... I don't know either way but I find it extremely annoying to go onto YouTube and see all these videos with huge letters splashed across a picture of some guy and his bike "Epic monster drop!!!" "Biggest backflip yet!?!!"

I watch bike videos on PinkBike and that's it. And the comments under the videos are always better on PB, most times I actually learn something...

So, I am not sure what y'all think but I prefer to ingest my bike-related media on a website wholly devoted to biking and not wade through trillions of videos that try to click-bait me but just end up making me frustrated because theirs a million more like 'em out there all doing the same thing.
  • 7 0
 "The Reality is More Complex than the Meme Suggests" needs to preface every meme.
  • 1 1
 We don't need instructions for common sense
  • 6 0
 @drunknride: hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

...we especially need instructions for common sense.
  • 1 0
 @Dopepedaler: Maybe it's time to rename it?
  • 4 0
 Bike companies want to sell more bikes. You tubers get a ton of views and exposure for their products. It’s probably not a coincidence that companies are shifting a portion of their allocated sponsor budget towards YouTube riders. At the end of the day the reality is that they are probably selling more product from YouTube exposure vs pro rider exposure. It’s just business and marketing. These riders are pumping out the product media for you vs the bike company dipping into its media budget as often.
  • 7 0
 Being a shredder entitles you to nothing from any other person, dude. Have fun
  • 4 0
 I've been mountain biking for 3-4 yrs and a buddy of mine got into a hard crash blood everywhere had surgery done cant ride no more for the rest of his life. I quit riding for about a year it spooked me out. watching youtube video's help me get back on my bike and go out, they kept reminding me on what I was missing. I relate to those more than pro riders really sending it out there. I live in the Santa Cruz county so i got trails for days out here. One guy i follow is a small youtuber out of colorado Matty Johnson he stopped not sure if its due to the snow or something but the road he is taking is almost similar to the one i took.really relatable dude.
  • 4 0
 Youtube is television for people who want to watch mountain biking. I prefer the MTB movies for the higher production quality and less gopro-ness but there is a lot less new content of that to watch.

If you are like me and don't find race/event footage very interesting you are probably going to watch some other form of mountain biking on youtube. I honestly don't know who the top riders are in each discipline are because I don't follow the sport the way a hockey fans (sorry guys!) would where it seems they need to be able to rattle off stats to each other. I do know who many of the popular youtube channel peeps are because they are entertaining. This kind of seems like a no brainer that the youtube world will recieve the attention and sponsorships. The people who are spending money/consuming MTB product can like whatever they want can't they?

Sponsorship is about bringing interest to your brand isn't it? If it destroys the competitive scene so be it I guess, it happened in many other sports before already if we look at all the x-games sports since it's inception and decline. Probably best for salty folk to adapt or move on.
  • 4 0
 IMO Isolation is some of the best mountain bike content on YT right now. Mark shreds, builds, promotes his sponsors without sounding like a commercial and appears to be having a bunch of fun doing it. The trail building portions alone is worth the watch.
  • 4 0
 Watching the latest Pro’s video getting lack lister I feel. Items amazing and cool, requires and shows more skill and courage than I will ever have. But, it’s really similar to their last video and is remarkably identical to any other pro’s video. Watching someone closer to my skill level on a bike I could even afford on trails I could find and ride I’d more exciting! Many pro’s vids are filmed on trails or features they’ve made just for that image, then destroyed. Who’s gonna go ride Gee’s ridge line run? I remember watching Kranked (1-10), I’ve ridden many of those trails! The Loam Ranger, yup, ridden where he has! Watching a pro is dreaming, watching a YouTube is realistically inspiring!
  • 6 2
 Well done videos are always interesting to me.
Straight shredding videos get ... monotonous. It's sometimes more enjoyable to see someone progressing than the best rider throwing nonstop whips.
BKXC helps highlight the trails and locations, which means he may be the "star" - but so are the trails. Realistically he is closer to my style of riding than the rampagers.
Sam Pilgrim is another level of talent. Seeing him get a tricycle, drop a double crown fork on it and then decide to throw "suey no handers" in the middle of a town in the UK is enjoyable too.
I live in awe of Nate Hills.
There isn't even that much racing going on at the moment, and if there is I will watch it, but realistically watching 20 people smash the lines quickly is only as interesting as it can be (especially when I know the results). Show me some of the prep, the mechanics setting up, the bike check and then the post race analysis / camaradarie and I'm more interested.
Keep the swearing down too please - my kids might be watching with me (and asking for a Tshirt for Xmas).
  • 4 0
 I want to watch things that are entertaining, informative, and relatable. Other than my annual hike up Ste. Anne during the DH World Cup, I'm not much for watching racing, so I'd rather watch Seth talk about interesting or affordable kit he's tried out, or see Yuka pick her way down a double-black that I could probably pick my way down as well, than hear about how a top-tier racer shaved 0.00003ms off their last lap. Mad respect that they're that good and represent the pinnacle of performance and all that, but my daily playlists are still crusty folk punk instead of symphony orchestras.

I love watching Rampage highlights or whatever Danny Mac releases, but I'm just not that interested in 99% of the things pros are doing as part of "being pros".
  • 4 0
 I don't want to start a name and shame chain here, but like who are you guys watching that are simply such terrible posers that compel this discussion to start, I feel like you have to look for this stuff, I mean I've seen a couple bad thumbnails here and there but come on lol
  • 4 0
 I’m curious as to what the “shredders” think said sponsors are paying for? Being paid for being fast is a myth, it’s all about the ROI (return on investment). Sponsors are paying for exposure and the youtubers not only provide it, they can prove it in ways I only wish we could’ve when I was working in AMA superbike. The best advice I can offer is that the shredders need to learn from the youtubers and follow suit providing their desired sponsors with something they can sell thie accounting department.
  • 5 1
 Sounds like sour grapes to me. Labeling all YouTubers the same is as shortsighted as labeling any other members of a group as the same, whether it be an ethnicity, political party, nationality, or gender.

Just because someone is fast or talented on a bike doesn't mean they're entitled to sponsorship. On the flip side, just because someone has a youtube channel doesn't mean they're enitled to sponsors either.

Youtube is the #2 most visited website in the world. It's also the #2 search engine in the world. Some business owners have found a way to leverage the platform. The tides have been changing for a long time, and you need to doore than ride your bike we'll to make it as an influencer. If YouTube were easy, these pros should just start a channel and take it in with very little effort. I think the sour grapes come when they realize running a YouTube channel isn't easy and it requires skills that a lot of great riders don't have.


In this day and age, where companies are trying to reach the largest audience possible
  • 7 1
 I don't shred, but when I do, I'm hitting 100 foot gap jumps when nobody is around to see it.
  • 3 0
 Don't really know if this headline is true or not - but I do know here a thedirtfundproject we are trying to support privateer EWS and WCDH racers with a meaningful amount of cash 1000GBP/1000Euro to help fund their racing season ahead. We started in Nov 2020 and thanks to the generous mountain bike community and some brands we have been able to collect over 3000GBP and hand out already 3x1000 cash prizes to a privateer from Scotland (Calum Mcbain), Ireland (Harry Byrne) and Fergus Ryan (England), and we are well on our way to supporting a 4th rider, none of these guys have million followers on instagram, but they can certainly shred ????
  • 1 1
 I think the article kind of missed the point you're kind of making entirely. It's sucking a fair bit of the money out of the competitive end of the sport, meaning more and more often that forging a pro career is more often dictated by how much money you have rather than riding level.
  • 4 1
 Those complaining about "youtubers" getting paid when while those with better bike skills are not are confused. Sponsors sponsor athletes for the publicity. Provide the publicity they want and you'll likely get paid. Many people do amazing things and they often don't get paid for it... at least not in dollars.

All that said, I've begun to avoid the professional or striving to be professional youtuber channels. I value a few forum commenters experiences with a product much more than a person trying to get views on youtube.
  • 3 0
 Everything is all about advertising these days. If you can get your product promoted in front of 1m potential customers a month for the cost of giving a few units away then financially it's a no-brainer. I would guess that having your brand on the podium, while obviously a bonus for image, is worth a lot less to them in terms of sales though.
  • 5 0
 I hate watching most Pros on Youtube, I enjoy people that have personality and/or closer to my ride ability. I guess i would watch Pros if i was trying to send it...
  • 3 0
 If you meet any of the commercially successful bikers in person, it is clear they are also commercially aware and work hard on the value of their brand. In any profession there will always be 10x the raw ability that the system can accommodate, its simply not just ability that creates success. So youtube has changed everything.......or....it has actually changed nothing. The most successful people with the longest careers are those who move with the times or those who see a gap and exploit it. My hat is off to anyone who can make a career out of biking.
  • 3 0
 This is the way to the future, you can't expect to be a pro rider unless you have a strong media presence, Insta or Youtube, I will be a part of every pro rider contract in no time. Kids watch youtube, the futures market there is. It does not happen only in MTB, it happens in almost every industry.
  • 4 1
 What about all the new YouTubers posting videos of cheeky trails on every bloody Facebook group they can find? When are you going to do an exposé about that, eh Pinkbike?
In my day we only inflicted our crappy GoPro footage on our mates.
  • 2 2
 only way some of use can get views Frown
  • 2 0
 @mtb-scotland: Do you really think you "getting views" is more important than doing the right thing for the MTB community?
  • 1 1
 @chakaping: what is the right thing for the MTB community? Social media is for sharing. If you don't like the content posted to the groups you are a member of then leave the group. You also don't have to watch any of the videos. I don't watch everything that is posted but its a good thing that people share.

I don't agree with people videoing illegal trails or breaking the current lockdown rules for videos.
  • 1 0
 @mtb-scotland: Well "illegal trails" is a loaded term, and in Scotland it's not the same issue TBF, but south of the border people are sharing vids of off-piste and footpath trails on YT and it's bringing a lot more traffic to them.
Me leaving the groups this is happening in is not really much of a solution to that problem.
  • 2 1
 @chakaping: In scotland it is the same. Just because we have the right to roam doesn't mean we have the right to dig trails. Part of the right to roam is to not damage the country side. Yes I can go ride any mountain I want but I can't build a trail on it.
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: Well, when you build unsanctioned/illegal trails that is the risk you have to accept. It is what it is. If you are worried about trails being exposed to the landowners attention, then maybe approach the landowner for permission first before building anything. Newsflash; the countryside isn't yours to alter as you please, there are a multitude of reasons for this.
  • 1 0
 @mtb-scotland: I understand that, ta.
  • 1 0
 @iainmac-1: Thanks for the newsflash. The issue is perhaps a bit more complex than you realise though. Are YTers contributing to inappropriate off-piste digging by constantly posting vids with titles like "I RIDE INSANE SICK STEEP SECRET TRAILS!!!!"? And is YT (and Strava & Trailforks TBF) also encouraging people to go and find and ride trails in inappropriate conditions? Which may not have happened when trail knowledge spread by word of mouth.
  • 1 0
 There is quite a lot of heat out there about this. There are a lot of people who post to YT videos of spots that have since blown up and got into trouble. Its sort of the equivalent to the kids on the MBUK forum back in the day who would post directions to the secret set of dirt jumps on private land. Am not sure if they speak to the people who build the trails or give them credit, or are even aware of the legality of the spots they are riding (aka that lame AF term "Cheeky" trails). At the end of the day they are just trying to make a name for themselves riding (and potentially endangering) other peoples work / spots
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: I don't think YT contributes to off-piste trail creation, however I do agree that Social Media increases traffic of local trails as that is where people go to find trails near them, which is no different to asking the local bike shop in fairness.

I guess what I am trying to say is that builders of unsanctioned/illegal trails don't really have any leg to stand on to moan if their trail is found by others and ridden, even in poor conditions. However I would caveat that with riding trails in conditions that would damage the trails is bad etiquette, but I don't expect every rider to know that...
  • 5 2
 Here's what I think every aspiring influencer or YouTuber should so. First off, join your local club as a member. Get involved in that club at build days and maybe get on the board. Find out if they have a social media presence. If not, volunteer to start one. If they so, see if you can help create content for it to grow the club. Influence the local MTB and general community for the benefit of the club rather than personal ego. Learn how to make useful things like trail reports, new trail videos, build day posts, sponsor spotlights, regional articles in print and electronic media, etc.
  • 3 0
 You don't have to be a pro racer or a gnarly shredder to have sponsors. The main thing you need is an audience. If nobody is watching your shit anyways, a company isn't going to just throw parts/money your direction. There are quite a few youtubers who aren't pro, but they are great story tellers or are just fun to watch ride and they are monetizing their audiences/sponsors quite well.
  • 5 2
 Who cares what manufacturers do with their advertising budget?

I ride what I ride because of what I think, not because of some racer or Youtoober.

If you can't figure stuff out on your own; ie work on your own bike, then you got bigger fish to fry.
  • 4 1
 A sponsorship isn't a reward for being a dude that can shred on a bike. It's a marketing tool. If you land a double backflip in a forest with no one around to see it, and then bad mouth youtubers and brands did you actually doing anything worth supporting? No.
  • 3 0
 So, I want to be upset that bike companies are spending more financial marketing resources supporting YouTube channels that may not represent the crème de la crème of riders, but I find myself watching the more average riders more often than the "Pros" because they are doing things that I might conceivably try. I love watching riders progress through my own personal challenges or ride trails that I may have ridden at a pace that I might be able to attain. Also, a lot of these channels seem to place a lot more emphasis on alternate aspects of riding like individual skills, how they get their bike to/from the trails, the friends they meet along the way etc.

There are some channels I cannot stand that some people love. For example, I personally have no use for Boostmaster but respect the hell out of him for what he's done. Same goes for the way Seth's Bike Hacks has transitioned more into a "look at the fancy shit I can afford to do with my YouTube bucks" rather than a "how to fix/build/practice something" channel, but again I respect what he's done and he clearly has an amazing following. I do love Skills with Phil, having met him in person a couple of times he is just as kind in person as he comes across in his videos and I have learned a ton from him.

So yeah, I guess I am happy more YouTube channels are getting the bulk of the marketing efforts. I enjoy watching the EWS races but long ago lost interest in UCI XC and DH events so if a manufacturer is going to sell me a bike it will be through the experiences of more relatable content creators.
  • 3 0
 Oh man! People are out there making videos I totally don't have to watch but enough other people like that they are valuable to someone... Noooooo! Make it stop! I only take my cues from race results coming from a print magazine about a month after something happens
  • 3 0
 Hmmm let's see, I bought a YT Capra because of Who Is Dylan shredding it on his channel, I swapped out the rear bouncy bit for a DVO Jade X after watching Remy testing it on his YouTube, same for a Camelbak Remy spoke about on his IG, other items from Seths Bike Hacks, I'm also a fan of Druid run by BC POV, oh and I bought a Fox Drop Frame after seeing Paul the Punter stack it massively and thought I could do with the extra protection. I don't think I've ever bought anything a pro-racer was wearing or riding. Finally I used to drink Monster, now I'm all about the Redbull. I have been infulenced! Oh dear!!!!
  • 5 3
 Dunno, when i was first getting into the sport all i needed was some NWD to get motivated. I didn't need a Youtuber telling me to check my bolts before a ride. I figured that out later when my cranks would spontaneously detach.
  • 7 4
 edits > some failed dentist rambling about cockpit setup
  • 2 1
 So much this.
  • 3 0
 So bike/ bike parts sponsorship is really just about selling more bike stuff? Didn't see that coming.
All this time I thought it was about the joy of competition, making the breed better and so on.
  • 2 0
 There was a point where it really was about development. All the bikes are so bloody fast now that they can be ridden at speeds where you may not be walking away from a crash. Somethings gotta give.
  • 5 1
 There is already a good video from last year on the subject here on Pinkbike: Wyn Masters Speaks to Yoann Barelli on Sponsorship and Salaries in Pro MTB.
  • 2 0
 Respect for people you can squeeze out a living just from youtube in this super crowded social media climate, but I'm not buying a bike solely based on what youtuber/influencer rides or thinks about a bike. Win on sunday-sell on monday still applies IMO, and depends on who the pro is on that bike/brand honestly.
  • 2 0
 Being good on a bike is the most important part (for me) over SM skills. Someone that rides a lot and rides very good sells bikes one way or another. But if you expect someone to be shredding your brand and also filming, editing, updating SM and Youtube daily..you might be offering something more than hilarious discounts in frames, it'd be more like a full time job...If all brands invested in good filmers and bike trips, they ' d only have to look for just the best rider and results would be huge in comparinson to some retarded youtube channels you often watch XD
  • 3 1
 Nothing is more "internet days" than arguing on the internet over content ... on the internet. Literally every single person on here is a professional internetmaterialdissectionist.

Since we're on the YT craze. www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDlR_ccnZww
  • 2 0
 The thing about youTube video views, is you can pull data from it that can be used to make a case for sponsorship dollars going to the 'content creator'.
Marketing staff at X brand can attach a value to those videos because they can see how many eyes are on that content.

That mid-pack EWS or WC DH racer, who still has to work part/full time, is spending all their free time training their guts out.
They might share a few videos online but that’s not their priority. They gotta be fast riders, not fast video editors. They don’t have time for creating thumbnail eye candy.

There shouldn’t be less money in the pot for those folks because some pleb who talks to themselves while riding in running shoes has a couple of subscribers.
But they get a slice of the pie because you can measure their impact. It’s a little harder to measure with those racers out there putting in work day after day.

I often sit grinding my teeth listening to youtubers gushing over the merits of riding a frame that is way too small for them. Or posting POV footage of them riding trails in the wet that are really, really not wet weather appropriate.
So I find it hard to be ok with them getting support when they’re encouraging viewers to make similar poor choices – especially as the sport grows and grows
  • 5 0
 Was going to comment on who has the time to watch all the available vids, then the irony of me commenting here struck
  • 4 2
 What baffles me is how random the whole thing is. Sure there are a handful on youtubers getting 100k views per video that don't ride particularly well, but can edit ok and come up with ok ideas. But then you have top tier pros putting out great content (e.g. Cam McCaul) that are almost flying under the radar, you have professionals in the industry (journalists/guides) paying pro-riders and cameramen to put out beautiful edits that take weeks of organising/shooting/editing and then don't break 10k views. Even at the bottom end, looking a various threads on forums, some guys that ride pretty fast on interesting trails get 50 views on their POV, while the next guy who posts gets a few thousand views from some horrible shaky footage of them yelling at their mates ahead, or narrating over his uninspired trail footage.
  • 4 2
 I'm an average rider and I post videos of trails I can ride so other mincers like me know what they are like. The odd click bait title is alright with me. I recon if I can ride it most people can.

The only pro rider I sub to is Cathro while the only other properly skilled rider I sub to is Ali Clarkson (apologies to the rest of my subs lol)


The big thing that YT has done for me is get me out more, get me out to different places and meet some fantastic people.
  • 2 0
 I got into watching YouTube to check out if certain riding spots or even individual trails were worth traveling to (for me) and I stayed for the personalities in a few instances. I’d love to think I could some day ride like Danny Hart, but realistically I’m more like a bkxc and I’m cool with that.
  • 3 1
 Youtube will always be a place for people to create content, be it awful or great. Riders are always out there trying to get recognized and what better place to start than jump into the sea of video content we call YouTube. If you don't like a video or a channel then don't watch it or subscribe to it. hell alot of you tubers are sponsored but most of them make their living through patreon or other sources from their legit fans who love their content. Believe me when I say it but there is alot of decent talent on you tube that is under appreciated. 2019 and 2020 has sprung a whole new audience of riders and people interested in building trails. Look at all the new "backyard mtb trails" videos that Skills with Phil, Berm Peak, Backyard Trail Builds, The Shredist have introduced. These guys have made some seriously cool sh!t and I'm proud to say I enjoy watching their content. I've even built some wicked stepups, berms, Northshore drops over 5 ft and kickers on my property that have progressed my riding tremendously. Thanks to these youtubers inspiring creations and trials and errors I've become a pretty decent ripper. Instead of being stagnant and not wanting to change with the times how about we embrace the light being shown on MTB and use this publicity and new following to build more trails and progress the mtb culture. Hell maybe we will get new legal policies landowners and trail builders can acquire to protect them from lawsuits and let riders take the responsibility. I'm all for growing a sport and want it to go in a positive direction
  • 6 1
 Help stop the spread of ALL CAPS VIDEO TITLES by refusing to watch videos without lower case letters in the title
  • 2 0
 Both proriders and youtubers are deserved to be sponsored. Proriders are moving industry forward, but in same time average skilled rider is getting most usefull information, where to ride, what bikepark to choose, from youtubers or local riders. When you go for a ride or planning your vacation you are looking for info where to find track that will suit your skill etc.
  • 2 0
 It'd be great if youtube videos motivated people to get out and ride what they have. But that's not youtube's business model. They want you to buy something and spend more time watching more youtube videos. Pinkbike is becoming a feed for youtube videos first and foremost. Half of the headlines are links to youtube content.
  • 2 0
 Beginners arent as drawn to people who actually shred like matt jones, dylan stark, or cam macaul because they are so dam good that its unrelateable. channels like seth are the perfect balance because hes funny and relateable to all while still being a good rider and having incredible video production, the f*cking beginner channels get me heated though, they decide that mountain biking looks fun, get sponsors from like 10 major brands, go out on their $8000 carbon santa cruz and ride a green trail, next, they learn how to wheelie and make a video, then learn how to bunny hop and make a vid, make a shitty edit of them pedaling around on a sidewalk and get paid more than shredders like matt jones, sam pilgrim, and max fredrickson combined. AAAAHHHHHAHAHAHAHAHYUUHHUUHGH
  • 3 0
 Isn’t it great. We complain about people who are actually doing something with their life like having a YouTube channel, as we just sit our sorry ass on the couch and piss all over the comments of Pinkbike.
  • 2 0
 Maybe the real message underlying all of this is that we are spending too much time on social media, and not enough time actually riding. The more time we spend watching this stuff, the more it just fuels the bike industry to value these new "influencer" style riders.
  • 2 0
 Pinkbike: "This meme could make a decent article..."

*Intense silence as nobody wants to write it

Pinkbike: *draws James' name out of the hat

James: *Sees visions of the comment section, begins to cry...

Some time later in the comment section: *becomes infested with crying babies that can't be satisfied by anything that involves PB's opinion.
  • 2 0
 Hmm I think the death of print has a lot to do with this that's the article has zero mention of. Online media is near 100% disposable bubble gum where'as I still have, an cherish mags from years ago.

Imagine how different online media would be without bots, clicks an likes.. By that what I mean is,
are bike companies now or in the future designing bikes because the marketing department are thinking about what the real world riders/sponsored racers want/need or what the dreaded algorithm gives them a false idea of? An then consumers just blindly buy into that because the same?
  • 2 0
 I'm just happy to see videos of Wyn Masters having fun on my local trails in the South Downs (similarly Brendog, Ollie Wilkins and Bernard Kerr). Will it make me buy a GT e-bike? Will a GT e-bike help me ride like that? 'Probably not', and 'no', but I certainly do see their sponsors products on a regular basis. But I'm also interested in seeing riders like me ride my local trails... unless they see themselves as 'influencers' - then they aren't like me and I have no interest in them.
  • 2 0
 Every company i know is trying to connect with the new covid riders, one of the newest (and biggest) demographics in MTB right now. Do you think any of these new riders can name a single top 10 world cup racer? Nope, but i guarantee they can list a few YouTubers they can relate to, and they can tell you which bike brand they ride, which glasses they use, and which gloves they enjoy.
  • 2 0
 Advertising and sponsor dollars used to go to corporate network executives and advertising agencies in NY and LA. Shows needed to be greenlit by some guy in an office in order to be made.

Now, bikers (yes, not all WC level, but still, BIKERS) get some of that bread directly by working to make content that people like to watch. Yes not all of it is for everyone, but do you remember how hard it was to find bike/ski/action sports content before YouTube?

I see this as a net positive. For instance, last night, after learning how to building a fat bike wheel on youtube, I zoned out tensioning spokes and drinking beer while Yoann, Phil Gaiman, GMTBN, Seth, Nate Hills, etc, played.

Is it a perfect system? Nah. But pretty damn cool.
  • 2 0
 I think the issue is more that bike companies are putting too much of the actual marketing part of selling bikes into the hands of personalities rather than doing the work themselves. This has become evident through the shit filter that is youtube and become more amplified by the sheer size of the internet and social media. This has left some of the old heads or people that have an honest true connection and blood/time investment into the sport feeling like they are being robbed of support by some kid who knows how to work the internet better than they do. It is a strange predicament and both sides have very fair points. Interesting take
  • 14 13
 Youtubers are as a whole a bunch of geeks. There’s that many of them grassing up peoples trails with their Crow mountain bike jersey they've been given thinking they are sponsored. They must spend time at home practicing at home how to do a high pitch scream like their balls have been chopped off so they can try and sound like Claudio. Hard to find any decent stuff anymore as there’s that many of them! Plus in these tough times they seem to ignore travel restrictions and think they are exempt and say the footage was taken before travel restrictions were put in place!
  • 3 2
 If I had to guess I would say it's mostly new riders watching and supporting these mtb youtube personalities. Anyone who has ridden for a while knows how to jump,skid,wheelie and install a tubeless tire. I don't mind them but some if them are corny and stereo type the mtb style. Like the flannel daddy's constantly saying Yewh! and Ya Boi!
  • 7 6
 Look everyone knows the big problem in the industry is Instagram girls who have sponsors but all they do is post pictures of them sitting on the bike and maybe doing a jump in the blue line at a city bike park once in a blue moon.
  • 3 1
 A lot of them *are* pretty hot, though.
  • 2 1
 as long as your video does not start with you screaming in my face "Hey and whats up blablabla's welcome to todays video about blaaaabla hit the subscribe button and the bell thing" and some weired electronic music blasting i'll continue watching
  • 1 1
 so you enjoy watching Hambini?
  • 2 1
 Youtubers get the most publicity simply because non mountain bikers might find the latest Danny Mac video or Fabio Wibmer edit on the trending tab. There are a lot more non mountain bikers than mountain bikers. its also a self serving loop where good riders with high production value get more views and then they increase the crazy and production value because, and for, the views going up.
  • 7 6
 I'm after a sponsered girlfriend. Figured out if Kara Beal managed to get sponsered by someone after around 10k followers just because she's got a pro boyfriend and has ridden for two years and still crap, figured i could try the same.
  • 2 0
 there is some truth to this. Of course companies will give parts to people with big followings. The more eyes on a product the better. Its call advertisement / marketing. Its a pretty basic concept of capitalisms.
  • 3 1
 A lot of them are annoying as f*ck, but masses of people like to watch annoying nerds make videos of themselves. What are you gonna do?

Make money, ride bikes by yourself or with your friends, do whatever you want.
  • 1 1
 Their sycophant's don't fall far from the tree, eh? Can we at least hope they run into it next time?
  • 2 1
 The problem is the utter drivel that is given cash value and will inspire a generation of kids to think they can make money doing the same trash. It doesn't just go for the cycling industrie, but for all advertising which as we all know, as it the slowly creeps into every part of our lives.
  • 5 0
 If you don't like a particular youtuber, just unsubscribe.
  • 5 1
 I quit watching YouTube because Zwift ads trigger me to want me to punch my roadie friends.
  • 4 1
 I just looked up one of the channels mentioned in the comments and the guys are riding full face helmets on green trail. Looked up the ride log on TrailForks and they skipped all the blues. Somehow has 400k+ followers. I get that people want relatable content but this was straight up boring.
  • 1 0
 The old saying of win on Sunday sell on Monday has changed to vlog, post, blog and tweat on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and sell online 24/7. COVID is also reinforcing the idea of youtube over racing, since we have almost no racing.
If money is going to YouTube etc instead of racing, sponsoring athletes or sponsoring races (youtubers for the most part are not athletes) bike progression and tech might go in a different direction. Time will tell...
  • 1 0
 Invoking article, love it.

I’m sure after 2020 bicycle manufacturers have a pretty good idea how to reach their markets. If sales are still strong with little to no racing and events, one would question there importance.

Who’s forking over the the money for trails we race and gather content on? Who’s donating money for new trails?
  • 1 0
 As the dad of a 11 year old boy who only wants to race DH, he will watch anybody ride any trail ever. He just gobbles up riding videos constantly when he is not sleeping, eating, or schooling. This summer we tried to do some videos, but we found we really just want to ride and creating and editing videos sucks.
  • 1 0
 This discussion is framed as though it's a zero sum game. We've seen lots of news about new mountain bikers, that means the industry is growing and presumably marketing budgets will eventually follow. Like the article says, the pandemic is hitting racers harder than youtubers because there are fewer races, but race schedules will return to normal sooner or later. Also, I'm not sure how many of the small and medium sized youtubers are actually sponsored beyond just getting free bikes. I don't think there are many.
  • 1 0
 Just wanna give a shout out to the three folks I personally follow on youtube who shred f*cking hard and make great videos too. Nate Hills, Yoann Barelli, and Remi Metailler. What all the three have in common is that they are all current or former racers who consistently show lots of sick riding/new trails with low to no commentary, and certainly not bits.

My mind is constantly blown that someone like Hills, one of the earliest do develop a strong youtube channel, has 210k followers, while the likes of Berm Peak has literally ten times that at 2.2 million. Berm Peaks is a nice guy, but there's no comparison to skill level/diversity of terrain/etc.
  • 1 0
 I have a (very) small channel just because I like sharing places I ride, dumb experiments I do with my bike set up, and how to do things that I wasn't able to find a clear answer about already online. I don't really care about racing and primarily ride fat and 29+ year round and there's not a ton of content available for that. I think that's where YouTube really shines. It lets you see all of the different places and types of bikes people ride and pretend you're out there riding when you don't have the time.
  • 1 0
 I guess for mountain biking like skiing and many other sports being a pro means sponsorship, as there is not much of a salary just for playing.

A sponsorship is advertising, its not like an NBA or NFL salary where at least part of the revenue comes from people paying to watch the sport in person or on video.

The NBA and NFL also make money selling merchandise certainly but almost all the revenue in Mountain biking as a sport comes from selling bikes (I know there are professional purses but that is not the main revenue for individuals or teams).

I think that says it all about this question. If people who sell bikes determine that what sells bikes is views on youtube, that is where they will spend their advertising budget.
  • 1 0
 If puppetry of ones privates sold bikes, you can bet bike companies would be giving money to those who finagled their bits for audiences.

Rightly or wrongly content sells bikes and simply being quick on your bike doesn't.

There's plenty reasons why this is the case, but I'd hazard a guess that 90% of riders have more in common with an average ability guy in his 30s on youtube than they do WC or national level racer. I'd also take a stab that a large portion of folks slapping dollars down on new bikes fall in to that category too. Just a hunch though
  • 1 0
 I don´t mind youtubers so much. It´s only a next version of a movie star back in the days. Some can live from the money and it´s a fair amount, some will only be c-movie actors and will end up in the valley doing "adult" riding stuff. That´s how it is.
What I really hate is that "gimme free shit - I´m an influencer" thing. Every idiot on IG is featuring stuff from brand "A" today and brand "B" tomorrow. Depends on who is sending shit to them. I´m blaming 50% on that free stuff idiots and 50% on stupid companies sending stuff...how despereate could you be...??
  • 1 0
 Ultimately won't this outlook make the whole race scene suffer? If the money is in posting videos on the Tube then why bother dedicating yourself to racing at the highest level?
Times are certainly changing, not sure whether it's necessarily all good for the sport but as they say 'the genie is out of the bottle now'
  • 1 0
 I've been doing some videos for the last year or so and I have race results around the top 25 nationally and always in battles regional podiums. I wouldn't class myself as and elite rider in the country more like on a good day I can be in touch but I'm never going to be breaking the top 15. I've this year picked up some small scale support with some kit & tires etc and I don't believe this would be possible with just the race results or with just the Instagram and YouTube, it has to be a mix. You also have to not be a douche, everyone knows some fast riders that have the charisma of a wet sock and attitude to match then some real mid pack warriors that are the life and soul of the queue at the top of a stage.

I also I think people want to see average riders and the battle to progress just as much as they want to see Finn, Remy & Brendog blowing their minds.
  • 1 0
 Why are people mad about a company working with someone to boost their sales? Sponsorship is mostly about sales. Approach Ibis with proof that you'll be able to sell more bikes, and they will send you a bike. Even pro riders have to do this. If you shred and want a sponsorship, prove to a shop or group that you'll be able to get them money.
  • 2 1
 This meme seems symbolic of a broader issue which is whether it’s better to expand the middle or cater to the top. When media content was more centralized, it tended to incentivize a structure which awarded the ‘top’. So think the guitar hero in music. But as media became diffuse and individualized, it tended to incentivize a race to the middle. We’ve now seen generations raised on a media diet which emphasizes not so much being the “best”, but being relatable, or ‘real’. The death of the ‘virtuoso’ or ‘star’ is part of a much broader trend. We’re in a culture where trying to be the best is increasingly seen as too showy or arrogant and this probably has to do with how much differently we consume media today.

As with anything, there’s trade offs. I certainly love watching people huck stuff that I couldn’t dream of. I’m quite impressed by it. I understand and respect the sacrifice involved. At the same time, I certainly feel the draw of just finding a YouTube personality that I like and which looks like something I’m doing during mtb season. There’s definitely, for me, a more personal connection with the latter, which probably results in more of my views than the shred the gnar pros. And that, in turn, translates into sponsorships, etc. In any case, it’s not going to change.
  • 1 0
 This is the common plight that fast racers have had since the beginning. You have to approach a sponsor with the mindset “what can you do for your sponsor” not “what can my sponsor do for me.”It’s pretty entitled to think because you can shred you deserve free shit. Even the best riders in the world need to prove ROI. It’s a business and as a racer you have to think of yourself as an advertising company.
  • 3 0
 Nice click bait article. Divisive and with just enough hint of ignorance to pass as innocent fun Shite journalism is killing mtb
  • 2 1
 The anger over this is just people’s attempt to channel the anger they feel over the state of the bike industry in general.

They are riding a huge boom. They don’t care about people who have been riding forever and are doubling down on brining in new people who have no business riding.

Change is hard and all that, but this use to be an exclusive club and now we are trying to bring everyone in... well things aren’t so cool anymore. The bust is coming and it can’t come soon enough.
  • 1 0
 If it's really about selling bikes then the solution for all companies is to build great bikes and get them in the hands of as many reviewers (pro, bro shredder, sis shredder and youtuber) as possible. I've never bought a new bike because a pro won a race, a bro sent crabapple or Yoann switched to guerrilla gravity. I bought a new bike because I made the fatal mistake of riding my friends new bike or rode a demo. So attention companies, if you want me to shell out 5k plus for your high quality product let me ride the damn things somewhere.

PS Levy I'm searching for a comment podium hereWink
  • 3 2
 James S. moved on from the video college days to make-believe bike industry guru who not only got the pro/poser ratio of video content goldmining for money and likes dead wrong, but also didn't mention once the complete assault of content poaching on unsanctioned trails everywhere.
One example of many is Orange County California mophead MoAwesome, a 100k Sprinter jockey rolling across the westcoast, riding trails in slop conditions, (such as Bellingham's Galbraith mountain in wet snow) poaching unsanctioned trails deeep-throating a gopro and latest ambassador (not a sponsorship) product under a fake smile, sharing secret trails to his patreon supporters to avoid public backlash through a paid firewall, then deleting comments arguing against every bullsh!t point he mentions online to become a one-sided word wall of fake mtb content. It's one of the most parasitic displays of mountain bike entitlement culture rolling unhinged today.
That crap is destroying mountain bike advocacy efforts everywhere and while a handful of video sycophants here want to argue the concept of entitlement, I'll remind them that it take months to years to make trails that could eventually be adopted in to public lands but instead are getting destroyed and taxed by riders who got led in by Gopro addicts for Instalikes, shred the spot to sh!t, then split. All while misleading viewers to the locations without knowledge of the conditions, such as particular parking area, lines to avoid to unsigned trail, illegal fires, trash, and avoiding blowing up the spot on the Strava heatmap.
Because Youtubers don't give a crap. They're in it for the content and the money. So it's no wonder why them and other content creators who blatantly go against etiquette requested by builders are hated and that the surge in video content addiction and creation needs to die.
And save your breath telling me I shouldn't bring this sh!t to attention. Covid era ridership brought that out to roost back in March 2020 but it's been a sh@3storm for years. You think making video content is work, try 2 years of labor making trail (that pros love) only to have it f#$ked in a few months from video content poaching. Time to start learning from it for once.
  • 1 0
 Pros should collaborate more with the established Ytuber's, they will be able to absorb much of their viewers, then release scheduled quality video rather than a struggled bi weekly post of repetitive clown puke that we see so much of. Seth could take a dump and get likes. To me Seth quite boring now, lost its edge....jumped the shark.
  • 1 0
 all about the views baby. Seth bike hacks may not be the craziest shredder, but he's no slouch and he's hit the gnarliest whistler has to offer, and he's relatable, personable and puts out high quality videos. His success reflects that. he 100% deserves any bike sponsors that come his way.

I'd rather watch Seth Bike Hacks all day over a boring pro with no personality. Luckily the youtube MTB pros who run channels are all fairly entertaining personality wise (bernard kerr, sam pilgrim, GMBN crew, remy just rides insane).

Pro or not, if you can draw an audience, and drive clicks and views, then that's all that matters to a bike company trying to move product.
  • 1 0
 Hi all, this is a bit off topic, but the meme used to illustrate the thematic uses anti-Semitic stereotypes that were also used in nazi propaganda. There are many examples where a fat man in a suit resembles the capitalist mostly with a big nose that in some way exploits someone or hoards wealth/resources.
So I would like to put the meme to debate and would be interested in your opinions

here´s a google image search to stress what I mean:
www.google.com/search?q=nazi+propaganda+fat+man+capitalism&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwjC6uCNurTuAhVE2KQKHZ6VDj4Q2-cCegQIABAA&oq=nazi+propaganda+fat+man+capitalism&gs_lcp=CgNpbWcQA1CID1iID2DoFWgAcAB4AIABW4gBW5IBATGYAQCgAQGqAQtnd3Mtd2l6LWltZ8ABAQ&sclient=img&ei=X1gNYIK_IsSwkwWeq7rwAw&bih=713&biw=1451

To clarify, I understand that it´s not the intention to be anti-Semitic or to spread nazi ideas, but I believe to combat antisemitism we have to be aware of the means that were used to establish it and to avoid spreading such images since they on a subconscious level keep those stereotypes alive in a society.

tl:dr
fight fascism, reflect on memes and the stereotypes they reproduce
  • 1 0
 I ride 4-5x a week (2-3 in the winter). I buy a lot of bike stuff (include owning multiple mountain bikes). I spend half the day I'm not riding thinking about riding! I'm not alone. If bike companies want to sell bikes and bike products to people like me, getting them into the hands of guys who can do a good review on youtube is way more valuable than someone whose skills are way beyond mine, and are paid to tell me it's good.

I care more about the opinion of regular guys or girls who ride a lot of bikes than I do about any racer. I don't race, I'm not that awesome, and what a racer wants is not necessarily what I want.

Don't get me wrong, I know racing drives technology that trickles down to me. But I don't care what any racer is riding.
  • 1 0
 @chriskneeland I don’t understand the hate. I get that you’re sore that talented riders don’t get sponsored. But for the majority of us out here on the trails we’re here grinding it out because we love it. Not to be the fastest shralper with the biggest gaps, but because we love riding our bikes. Most of us will never get beyond the dream of riding them for a living.
These “Youtubers” you despise have found a way to do that. And some of them do the rest of us a great service with hours of content. Most of them don’t claim to be the best. Reading between the lines I sense a lot of hostility for folks like BKXC, BCPOV or Paul the Punters. While they might not be “pro” level riders, they do ride a lot and know how to share their love for what they do. They definitely help get more people involved in the sport, which means more bikes/gear sold. Which means a growing industry and more money for more trails, parks and innovations in tech - and more sponsorships for skilled riders ...
Seth (Berm Peak/Bike Hacks) has leveraged his Youtube cachet to build a whole mountain of FREE bike park level trails. I wager that will have much more impact on getting people involved and loving this sport waaaaaay more than who is going to place first or 32nd at the Enduro World Series.
I don’t usually waste my time feeding trolls like this but it’s raining and I’m still recovering from the broken/dislocated/torn shoulder I got this fall shredding my local trails with no hope of ever going pro but knowing that I’ll keep riding until I can’t anymore. Take my advice. Go out and ride. And quit hating on people who may not be as good as you. Their love of the sport is just as valid as yours even if they’re “squids” like me.
  • 3 0
 I don't know how much the difference is but the big youtubers have to pay for People to film, edit, make up and other stuff.
  • 7 3
 People like to watch mediocrity as they can relate to it.
  • 2 1
 I don't know if you are taking a swipe at youtubers or being serious but you have hit the nail on the head. I have a youtube channel and I am mediocre at producing videos, riding and bike maintenance. However I have enough followers that Youtube pay me enough ad revenue to keep me in my mediocre bike parts.
  • 1 1
 Considering the amount of content filmed this year where I work, genuine industry support is almost non existent. It is free marketing for us, but any support to deal with the ensuing popularity as a riding spot, and for the wider trail network, just isn't there.
  • 3 0
 So anyway here is a link to some of my videos if anyone wants to watch a middle age mediocre rider?
  • 1 2
 its ok, I can watch my own videos for that lol

link?
  • 9 6
 Youtube is Walmart, Instagram is the Bikepark. Walmart has everything but you have to shred harder at the bike park!!!
  • 3 1
 But don't listen to Kurt. He obviously knows nothing about how to have fun on a bike. Beer
  • 8 1
 @geephlow: I really think youtuber's shred harder than most its just with Insta you only have a few seconds to capture the attention of the viewer, so you gotta git sum. Look at riders insta compared to their youtube, you'll see a difference. I watch youtube religiously but my search for shred/art is on insta.
  • 3 0
 Will Greenfield is a really tallented youtuber. So is back yard trail builds. So on.
  • 2 0
 At least there are Youtubers like Trybo Bike Tech to make reviews of Aliexpress bike parts:

www.youtube.com/channel/UC4OcWuM54xEM8IrIYuqx5yg
  • 7 7
 Youtube poser culture is the absolute worst aspect of mountainbiking. It's a new phenomena and is sucking the life out of the sport. I remember coming through the club racing scene 15yrs ago - you would get absolutely put in your place by the senior riders if you talked yourself up or tried to tell people how you sent something or how gnarly you were for riding some line. You let your riding do the talking. If people took photos of you, or filmed you, that was up to them. You weren't so full of yourself that you'd go and do it yourself. Now it's a full time profession for people. Vomit.
  • 4 1
 Fear turns to anger
  • 1 1
 “but the analytical tools that the internet provides can very easily tell a marketing manager exactly how many eyeballs a YouTuber has reached”

My question on top of this is how do they determine the effectiveness of converting all those eyeballs to actual sales? I mean there may be videos that get views, but is what is happening in such videos actually going to influence sales? I see some social media accounts on YouTube and Instagram that have pretty decent followings, yet I can’t imagine the actual riding in these videos would ever influence a bike purchase. I guess these rider’s accounts are relatable to the average rider (can’t think of any other reason to watch such mediocre riding) but does stuff like that actually sell anything,
  • 2 0
 Funny you should ask. I run a manufacturing company that makes very niche plumbing parts and have been slowly transitioning to a more social media/YouTube centric advertising campaign. It is absolutely unbelievable how successful it is and how easy it is to track leads through the sales funnel. Most of our success comes from small YouTube channels and bloggers that have a devoted fan base. I think psychologically their followers place a high value on the opinions of that individual or company because they relate on some level to them. It doesn't seem to matter if the person explicitly states that they are sponsored by us or that we sent them a sample for free as long as the person appears to like the product. We do not ever pay a personality for positive reviews, we get what we get and rely on simply having a good product to convince them, but even if that weren't the case it seems as though relatability and familiarity breeds a level of trust that is impossible for a brand to generate any other way. It's almost as good as pure word-of-mouth recommendations.
  • 3 3
 i've spent 0 time watching any bike related content on youtube unless it's old NWD vids but i could wonder if it takes the fun out of biking for some people and becomes more of a job? then do you lose the magic of biking? i see instagrammers promoting the hell out of their ~new youtube vid~ of their weekend of riding but never have been curious as to click it? i just want to ride trails on my own. maybe i'm missing something here? how interesting could a weekend edit be from an average rider or even pro rider at that?
  • 2 2
 Cmon James, this article is so shortsighted. How can you compare videos that pro’s have put on youtube which took many months to dig and film to youtubers, and i’m not naming any names, who ride incredibly mediocre and get loaded up with sponsors. It’s terrible to see riders who put in so much effort into their video productions get trumped by a jabroni on a v10 with a helmet with detachable chin piece.
  • 4 3
 The best part is when the put out mediocre content, live in one of the most scenic and rad places to ride in the US, and then start asking viewers to pay for “premium mediocre content” via Patreon.
  • 5 2
 You have successfully identified yourself as not being the target audience.
  • 4 1
 Mediocre is the new normal

youtu.be/XmiZ2YJBWXk
  • 5 0
 @dastone: but I hope we can still be friends
  • 3 0
 Very true, the lamest riders I know live on bike forums and the fastest don't.
  • 5 1
 Totally bored off of youtube these days.
  • 1 0
 don't forget to CLICK n SUBSCRIBE - and HIT THAT BELL!!!!! also, please go and give me money at my Patreon page so I don't have to work like you stupid idiots do. all work and no play makes .....somethingsometing....
  • 3 1
 Who is saying that Remy Metailler Brendan Fairclough Matt Jones Jono Jones Olly Wilkins Blake Samson Lucas Knoff Max Fredriksson Sam Pilgrim Dont shred
  • 1 1
 SO true, not in all cases but definately have seen the rise of riders girlfriends with very low talent level (riding) and also emtb amateurs with good forum and vlogging skills riding around on some fancy gear and being loaned new test bikes and kit etc... It's a bit cringe worthy. I mean who sponsors a rider who doesn't even ride well or can't even pull a wheelie?!
  • 2 1
 wow don't think i'veseen so many comments in a while. i love the discussion, people just gotta accept there's always gonna be those who don't portray the sport in the best light. great article!!
  • 1 1
 I'm jus really thankful that I have the means to buy my own bikes. And I can ride whatever I choose to ride, albeit workers class equipment. I get to ride what I want, when I want and how I want. Because if I had to do the influencer to be able to ride a bike or to justify spending on my bikes, and have to faff around with a camera or gopro on every ride, then it would suck the joy right out of it.
  • 3 0
 can everyone here LIKE & SUBSCRIBE to my channel?
("sponsored by no one")
  • 1 0
 I already am!
  • 1 0
 Its times like this I'm reminded of how many 12 year old's there are in our sport. Personally; I don't want to be a member of the People's Front of Judea or Judean People's Front. I'm happy munching my Wolf nipple chips.
  • 2 0
 to be completley honest, I dont give a flying f**kkkk as long as I'M having fun on MY bike. Step away from the internet for a few weeks and live a real life.
  • 1 1
 In short: It is very true.

Although you ought to differentiate. Not all people who film themselves riding bikes are to be put into the same category.

There's pro riders who just document their rides or races, give riding advice or provide insight into their training. All in a relaxed and after-hours kind of way.

And then there are those annoying social-media clowns, who run their channels as if they were soap operas. Clickbait and drama everywhere. You know, those kind of people who have 10 second intros, whose every thumbnail is clickbait and who write all their titles in caps lock.

Not that the latter don't shred, most of them do. But they are also annoying and it's unfortunately kinda hard to avoid them thanks to the social media algorithms. Feels like they are constantly being pushed into your face.
  • 4 5
 Adapting/adaptation occurs in a population, not an individual. You mean acclimate.

PS: article is meh, riders shouldn't be forced to have use YouTube to get sponsors to want them. Do you even understand how much time it takes to shoot and edit content? I swear some people think you can just get a good video shot and edited in like 2 hours.
  • 8 5
 I love the premise that the bike companies know anything.
  • 5 2
 This. For the most part, folks that are good at something ain’t got time for the internet.
  • 9 7
 anyone else find the youtube content super annoying ? too much talking, too many bro-downs. Peter Pan convention.