Specialized Cuts Global Ambassador Program

Dec 13, 2022 at 10:40
by Betsy Welch  
 Rugile Kaladyte Lael Wilcox
Lael Wilcox. Photo: Rugile Kaladyte


Last week, Sarah Swallow was bikepacking through a rural stretch of Baja California Sur when she got the call: Specialized was terminating her contract that ran through December 2023, effective immediately.

Swallow was one of Specialized’s global ambassadors, a loosely-knit team of cyclists who provide content and other services for the brand in exchange for product and a salary. In fact, the Baja bikepacking trip was just the type of adventure where Swallow would have generated some ‘deliverables,’ like photos and video, for Specialized as part of their agreement.

However, as of next year, Swallow — along with a handful of other riders — won’t be doing business with Specialized anymore.

Swallow said she was told that “the global ambassador budget had been cut to 0, that they were eliminating all global ambassadors, and as of last week they were prepared to resign everyone.”

Other athletes, like Steve Fassbinder and Ty Hathaway, who had similar deals with Specialized, corroborated Swallow’s story.

“I was told nobody’s going to be saying they’re an ambassador for Specialized any more, from someone who gets a bike and gives it back to someone like us who got a salary for being a good representative and providing content,” Hathaway said.


The exact number is unknown, but Specialized currently has a wide-ranging ambassador program, with athletes like Swallow, Fassbinder, and Hathaway who earn a salary for content creation all the way down to lay people who, through an application process, get deals on equipment and bikes.

Hathaway said he suspects at least 40 people have been significantly impacted by the program cuts.

VeloNews reached out to several people at Specialized for details on how the various ambassador programs were being affected and received this statement: “Our social ambassador program is continuing to change with the needs of the rider, but it definitely isn’t going away.”

Specialized is not the only outdoor industry company reconfiguring with the shifting economic landscape. After more than a year of very high demand and often low supply during pandemic, in recent months many brands have cited economic headwinds as cause for significant lay-offs. Wahoo, Strava, Pearl Izumi, The Pro’s Closet, and Outside are among some that have laid off large percentages of their workforce in the past six months.

At Specialized, change has been afoot all year, with new appointments to the C-suite happening in close succession.

In March, company founder Mike Sinyard appointed former Dyson executive Scott Maguire as CEO of the company. In May, Armin Landgraf (former CEO of Pon.Bike and Canyon Bicycles) was named chief of worldwide markets. On October 1, David Schriber, formerly with Nike, Burton, and Masterclass, joined Specialized as chief marketing officer.

Nevertheless, Swallow, Hathaway, and Fassbinder all said they were shocked to be on the receiving end of such an abrupt change, especially given how long each of them had been with the company.

In 2015, Specialized’s marketing department launched a then-unconventional project called Seek and Enjoy. Swallow, Hathaway, and Fassbinder were each asked to be a part and said they were given total freedom and asked for little in return.

“I felt like I was given a mandate to go and do adventures on bikes and they would support me and that’s what I did for eight years,” Fassbinder said.

For Swallow, who curates bikepacking routes and hosts community rides and events, what was so incredible about Seek and Enjoy was that it put riders who weren’t after race results into the spotlight.

“At that time it was pretty unheard of to get paid to do what I do and not be a competitive athlete,” she said. “It was pretty rare and pretty exciting. In 2020 a lot more people were able to become ambassadors.”

Hathaway, who mixed racing and travel and community-based outreach during his eight-year tenure with Specialized, thought that Seek and Enjoy — which evolved over the years into a more generalized ‘adventure’ concept — had an impact that typical sports marketing campaigns couldn’t.

“We were showing people that it’s possible that you don’t have to race, you can ride and have fun. You can ride trails and go bikepacking, do all this stuff that people might not have seen before,” he said.

It was a win-win for the athletes and the brand: the riders were stoked to be getting good money and good gear for their adventures, so it was easy to represent the brand well. And Specialized took good care of them, too. While each contract varied from year to year, the money was significant enough that each of them considered it an integral part of their total incomes.

While they all relied on other forms of income to make a living wage — Fassbinder owns a small guiding company in southwest Colorado, and Hathaway had a bike shop in Los Angeles — the Specialized money was important.


Swallow, who splits time between Durango, Colorado and Tucson, said that she’ll lose about 75 percent of her income with the cut.

And Hathaway, who not even one month ago shut the doors on Golden Saddle Cyclery in Los Angeles, was definitely counting on the $1,500/month that Specialized was paying him in 2022 as he transitioned to his next job.

Of the global ambassadors that VeloNews spoke to, only one said that she was told she may have a contract in 2023.

Lael Wilcox, perhaps the most famous of Specialized’s adventurers, said that her contract was not renewed, either. However, the ultra-distance bikepacker said she was told that she’d be moved to the “S-Racing” team instead. She does not yet have that agreement in writing.

Although the national and global adventure ambassador programs may only make up a small part of Specialized’s extensive reach in the bike industry, the loss to that particular audience will be acute.

One source, who asked not to be named, said that the brand’s marketing department is planning to transfer the onus of content creation to its paid competitive athletes — the opposite of what Seek and Enjoy set out to do eight years ago.

While Swallow, Hathaway, and Fassbinder are all reeling personally from the severing of ties with Specialized, they are also lamenting the loss of what they thought was the brand’s desire to do more than just sell bikes.

“I think it’s important to have these global ambassadors to humanize the brand, to keep things real and hold the brands accountable,” Swallow said. “We are there to encourage people to get outside their comfort zone and ride a bike.”

“We had a great run, and I’m forever grateful for what I’ve been allowed to do with their help,” Hathaway added. “I was just hopeful that more people would get to have the same experience.”



This article originally appeared on our sister site, VeloNews.

Author Info:
betsywelch avatar

Member since Jul 30, 2018
15 articles

465 Comments
  • 830 117
 am I complete jerk for having little to no sympathy? People in the "real world" lose there jobs everyday due to budget cuts, even those with long standing ties to the companies. These influencers can still be a global ambassadors, and share their stories. They just have to do it on their own bikes.
  • 383 9
 Even if losing an income happens to everyone, it still sucks.
  • 113 30
 no, you are not.
  • 105 2
 Bingo. Marketing, sales and middle management always first to go when budges gets tight. No surprises here.I think the only thing that stings in this case is the way Specialized handled this.
  • 143 23
 considering you could be sympathetic to all of those who lose their jobs like this, yeah kinda. Just because other people lose there jobs doesn't make this any less shitty.
  • 185 12
 I think turning against the people hit by cuts in almost any (but maybe not all) industries where profit has not actually dropped significantly probably does them a disservice.

Lets be honest this is not a requirement for Specialized to be profitable or make a bottom line. This is a rehash of the typical corporate model where the second profit growth rate drops (note: not actual profit just growth) executive boards shift to aggressive cost cutting models in order to maintain share price growth and their own share-price or profit per dollar related bonuses that constitute so much of their compensation.

People are more productive than they have ever been (largely due to the tools they can access), and they deserve better from companies that making them obsolete on a whim so a balance sheets looks a little better over a 12 month period.
  • 102 4
 I would say you should still have sympathy, just not anymore sympathy for these people than you do anyone else. Anytime anyone essentially loses their job you should have sympathy.
  • 37 5
 Agree but a little bit more notice to the riders would have maybe generated some goodwill. Shows poor planning on the company's part.
  • 70 4
 I think sympathy for anyone who loses a job through no fault of their own is merited. So, kinda?

Also *their.
  • 38 1
 Won't judge anyone but I'd say the immediacy of the whole thing seems wrong, especially if it is such a large part of their income. Going on an adventure takes a lot of preparation and time. You can't go on a part-time adventure, hence you can't make a considerable alternative income when you do. Specialized surely hasn't made this decision overnight so they could just as well have informed these people in a more timely fashion so that they could prepare and look for alternatives.
  • 29 0
 From the article: "they were given total freedom and asked for little in return." Sounds like it was good while it lasted. Always sucks to lose a job but I'd still prefer to have had the change to have a job like that, even if it wasn't forever. I'm pretty sure these folks won't struggle to find work in the industry. Good luck to them.
  • 59 1
 @RoboDuck: This is why many economists often see recessions as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Companies are still profitable and doing well but as the slightest sign of possible "economic headwind" as they usually call it, they start cutting costs, laying people off, etc, and that is ultimately what causes the actual economic slowdown.
  • 80 19
 I met a “Santa Cruz Ambassador” on the trail in Tahoe a couple years back (this one even had a real job) but after 10 minutes listening to her brag about her riding accomplishments I became embarrassed that my wife was riding a Tallboy that I picked for her. I can’t see how brands get anything at all from their “ambassadors”.
  • 42 3
 @vinay: I think we need more part-time adventurers personally. It's hard enough to identify with a racer who is otherwise a normal person with a house, a partner, maybe kids, and gets paid good money to ride bike. It's another thing to try to identify with someone who forgoes all those things and practically lives on their bike. I've found myself drawn to influencers who are more like me - who sneak in bikepacking or racing while working normal jobs and raising kids.

@gtill9000: and that's just it, these folks had literal dream jobs - but with most dream jobs there is always a hitch and in their case, it was the lack of stability.
  • 13 0
 @RoboDuck: couldn't have said it better. It is 100% true. It is happening in most of the big corporations as well because the numbers must be achieved no matter what. After 2 years of extremely high profits, they must maintain the profit growth despite anything. Thus, these d.vmb situations happen.
  • 5 2
 @PHeller: To be honest I don't have a clear idea of who is an influencer and who is not. I'm not on social media. Sometimes I read about what some has done, think it is cool and read the full article. But that's typically an article on a website like this or in a paper magazine (Cranked or something from Misspent Summers if it is in the bicycle context). It doesn't necessarily draw me to buy a product though. Just that indeed something that's being used in racing, that's being completely overhauled every single weekend, doesn't necessarily seem like a product that would also be fit for me. If it is being ridden in a way I can relate to, that makes much more sense to me. The only person that comes to mind now is Matt Hunter. Is he an influencer? He seems to enjoy himself riding his bikes and gets the family along. I like that. Still doesn't make me buy anything.
  • 11 18
flag eugenux (Dec 13, 2022 at 12:57) (Below Threshold)
 also, one more thing. The ppl that can afford to spend 10 to 15k on a bike are more likely to be inspired by such ambassadorrs then by seing Bruni in some d.vmb 10-30 second videos on insta/tik-tok/whatever. The ppl(mostly kids or youths) that are inspired by Bruni can't afford s-works bikes. That's the reality. But, in a financing meeting, it is easier to say "let's get rid of the ambassadorrs and use the paid athletes instead!", from a numbers pov, it even makes 120% sense.
  • 46 1
 @Snowytrail: Specialized not handle a situation with tact and lose goodwill in the process? I never imagined I’d see the day. Again.
  • 19 1
 My kneejerk reaction was "So what".

But also, they lost a job to no fault of their own. So, yeah, little bit of sympathy. About the same as a rider being cut by a team because the team got shut down.
  • 8 5
 @RoboDuck: I don't disagree with your sentiment, but your assumption that bike companies aren't losing profits is just completely unfounded. Spend 3 minutes looking at the supply chain for these companies and you'll see that they aren't making record profits.
  • 5 0
 @Kiltymac: yep exactly this. There were humans on the other end of these cuts and its a bummer for anyone to have the rug pulled out on them. Its a fear we all share
  • 23 3
 Couldn’t agree more. It was a tenuous job to begin with. Easy come, easy go. Making more money than most that build, sell, maintain the bikes they’re hustling.

Instagram is dying, Americans are looking at banning TikTok. The influencer as a career path looks to be slowing. They had a good 8 years living the dream.
  • 29 0
 Since I am not an ambassador and did not lose my job, I only have empathy, but not sympathy. Sincerely, Captain Pedant
  • 81 4
 The whole influencer career path seemed a little ridiculous to me. Get a job, buy your own gear, have real fun and don’t feel the necessity to take pics and post everything you do. I will go back to yelling at children to get off my lawn.
  • 2 3
 @vinay: We also don't know any details about this, just lots of hear-say and speculation. We don't know if these folks are going to immediately stop getting checks, if they even got paid weekly or bi-weekly or whatever, they got advances for trips, or only got paid when the deliverables got posted or hit some theshholds. We don't even know for sure if the program is completely gone or not.

We've only _heard_ that the program is seeing budget cuts, and that those cuts _seem_ to be causing abrupt (but likely perfectly legal) contract cancellations. It doesn't help that PB's headline is mega click-bait in it's ambiguous speculation.
  • 57 5
 Hoping we see the end of MTB influencers as they are the absolute worst
  • 75 1
 @jray152: "Hoping we see the end of influencers as they are the absolute worst"

Fixed it for you.
  • 7 1
 @ShawMac: I think you’re using your own definitions of sympathy and empathy here; the latter indicates greater emotional distance, but does not necessitate identical circumstances.

For example, a surgeon can be sympathetic towards an amputee without being an amputee himself.

JP
  • 22 2
 @Kiltymac: It sucks but their collective tone is coming across as entitled and elitist. Just my perception and opinion.
  • 3 5
 nah man you're right. They're also not let go, their contact is limited duration and its not being renewed, so it's not like a "surprise". I've never seen them before so I assume this program didnt really make much money and was a nice to have, Specialized can no longer afford it. And they're probably not the only ones with such issues.

We all know the reasons why this happens in multiple sectors. It's too bad, but it is expected.
  • 6 1
 @jray152: what constitutes an MTB influencer anymore? Does that include Brendan Fairclough, Jack Moir, Jesse Melamed, Matt Jones, Gee Atherton, Bernard Kerr, etc.? All are influential, all create content, all use social media heavily.
  • 26 2
 Based on the numbers presented in the article, I'd estimate this program costs specialized about $1 million a year:
-40 ambassadors
-$1,500/month x 12 months = $720,000

Assume they have average 1.5 free bikes at cost of $4k each is $240,000.

Total $960,000. That isn't nothing, even for a company like specialized.
  • 17 2
 @mtmc99: If you've ever truly been self-employed, you'll think different about things like this. I have been on my own for 25 years now. Never know where and when the next job and check will come in. So I have to hussle my ass off to keep my lifestyle intact. Those ambassadors were self employed. They weren't salaried employees of Specialized I don't think? Not like say, a marketing pro in the office 40 a week. So they had a contract, and all contracts can end even before they are due. So while I feel a touch of sympathy, I was more surprised that there are people who are riding their free bikes in killer locations and getting paid for it. $1500/mo isn't alot of money anymore, but still. That said, the comments I read by most of them were very respectfull I think. They weren't slamming anyone, just saying how bummed they are that it's over. I hate whiners and complainers more than anything I think, and a simple "sad it's over, but I better get moving on another gig" is about all you can say. I work roughly in the marketing world for larger corporations. The budget for promo, marketing, etc. is indeed one of the first things to get cut. It's easy to do, just cut it.
  • 20 33
flag Bahh (Dec 13, 2022 at 15:08) (Below Threshold)
 Social media is nothing but a scourge. Time for her to get a job commensurate with her education. Barista.
  • 14 17
 Just another way Spesh has f***ed everyone over - Here is a recent video they posted after messing lots of LBS around in the same way.

youtu.be/ejvbfgyW8zA
  • 6 1
 Yes, but still “Merry fcuking xmas”
  • 12 5
 @wobblegoblin: weird deduction from meeting one ambassador for 10 minutes.
  • 3 4
 Sounds like Specialized are signing Aaron Gwin back up, drop the ambassadors, save a million, sign AG mill gone....
  • 41 4
 I think the word 'influencer' or 'ambassador' is what causes some people to roll their eyes. These folks were contract employees. Yeah, they got to ride their bikes and get paid for it, but they provided a marketing and promotional service that any bike company should pay for, just like they would pay to have a production team create a commercial. These people chronicled their journeys, created mini documentaries, all in the name of promoting a brand. They were doing a job, so yeah, they should get paid.

Fabio Wibmer doesn't compete. Is he an ambassador? Cam McCaul? Veronica Sadler? Or are they contract employees? Marketing is designed to influence the audience to purchase a product. Influencers are nothing new, just the word to describe a new generation of marketers and sales people.

I think the issue for these people isn't that they lost their job, but the manner in which they were fired. They were under contract, then suddenly terminated at the end of the year when it's all but impossible to get a new contract with a new company. Imagine working for any company, then being terminated during the holidays when no one is hiring. I think they warrant a sympathetic response.
  • 2 0
 @ldhbaker: but, we don't know the real numbers.. 1500 might not be an across the board number. Plus, bikes, tires, helmets, gloves.. All carry a price tag.

A lot of cuts in the bikepacking touring area. Bikepacking is a bit of a niche market that they may not be seeing a ROI on...
  • 6 3
 @RoboDuck: Yip… That is the real problem with corporates & listed firms…
It is what happens when accountants instead of technical people run the show and “shareholder value” metrics are the only holy grail…
  • 13 1
 @SchalkMarais: if you are blaming accountants then you really don’t know what accountants actually do.
  • 12 1
 @eugenux: I’m only an n of 1, but I disagree with you. I am not influenced by those on social media. I admire racers above all other riders, and would argue that of any rider, they influence my purchases the most. But really, I am most influenced by the engineers, #’s, and unbiased reviewers. Hearing a paid sponsor say things on social media in an attempt to get me to buy whatever they’re pushing actively pushes me away from those products.
But maybe I’m not the only one, and maybe companies are realizing that.
  • 1 0
 @Jprestidge: well if you want to further the pedantry!

I march to the beat of my own drum. (Yes I f***ed it up)
  • 2 0
 @ldhbaker: I think there was a meeting within Specialized at some point, where they looked at the potential number of people watching the world cup races on the new discovery channel Vs the reach of their influencers. At that point spending your money on your race teams may become better value? ...that's if people are winning on your bikes!
  • 6 4
 I highly doubt Spesh has made a decision without base but it would go against mine and from what we have seen on PB in recent months, the industry view on racing. Find me a kid/teenager down the bike park that knows anything of mtb racing. Find me an average dad rider up the local trail centre that knows anything about racing? They dont. And they don’t care. Me circle of riding mates ride new and expensive Treks, carbon Specialzed, Privater, Whyte, Orange, Santa Cruz, etc. No one has a clue about mtb racing. Look at Pinkbike articles. Look at the comment numbers on race articles v reviews etc. Often single digit.
Everyone knows Danny Macgaskill, Fabio, Matt Jones and in Spesh world, Matt Hunter.
My insta is all brand ambassadors doing amazing things. They influence me to do them too. I also follow a local race series and see the organiser constantly commenting that no one is signing up for races anymore.

Time will tell.
  • 6 2
 @ilovedust: do you reckon the kids down the bike park had heard of this lot then?
  • 3 21
flag RedBurn (Dec 14, 2022 at 2:51) (Below Threshold)
 libs metdown.... these people live in another world. Buy your bike on market place and RIDE
  • 1 0
 @ilovedust: I do question your comparison of the number of comments. When people comment on the race, mostly they comment on the race. When people comment on a product review, they often end up discussing their own gear, own preferences and the technology involved. Most of the comments aren't directly related to the product that's being reviewed. So yeah, I feel people definitely care about racing and the racers.

But for people who ride bikes, it also helps to just watch and learn from someone who does the riding you're doing or that you aspire to do. And no one races as much as they just go and ride. Even racers don't race most of their time. So just watching people ride and have fun, like Matt Hunter or Hannah Barnes does, it is fun to watch or read about. Sure, watching DH racers corner and move around over their bikes is something we can all learn from. But the same goes for learning how someone manages to juggle family with riding time, doing trail maintenance, trail cleanup sessions etc. It inspires as much as being inspired watching someone corner in a way that you aspire to corner too. I like seeing a slopestyle run too but that stuff is so incredible and out of my league that I can't even relate to. So it doesn't do the same thing as watching a DH racer corner or watch someone like Matt Hunter just enjoy the outdoors on his bike.
  • 1 0
 @gnarlysipes: Which group is coming across as entitled and elitist? Hard to tell when snobs find the ghosting or backstabbing as a form of autonomy, and most of the younger generation is focused on social media fame or debt. Pretty difficult to fit a bicycle and profit into all of that.

One thing I do notice, other than a few on track or rampage, most aren't pushing tv like the mx freestyle guys did with NYE Vegas events/etc... not much room for that either when guys are flipping canyons at rampage.
  • 1 0
 @ilovedust: Fair points, but I think it's quite a lot broader. In my riding groups some will know some of the names you mentioned, others will relate to Bruni, Schurter, Minaar, Atherton, Neff, VDP. Some of them race XC, some Enduro, some hate racing. The most hard core racers only relate to themselves, brands are of no interest Big Grin

But I think it's fair to say that most of them stumble across "MacAskills" now and then, but relate to him more than the bike he rides , or they don't see the difference between him and Fabio because they do the same stuff, basically. They would remember, or think they remember, that it was some Red Bull stuff.

I totally understand that it's easy to drop many of the influencers, most of them are niche both in type of bike/riding/location, and have limited appeal.

My insta is also bikes only, but Insta (and other soMe) makes this harder day by day. They want me to like cats, tractors, sailing and judo.
  • 3 4
 @sino428: pretty sure we have reached saturation point on influencers
one way to tell is that people seem to prefer tik tok theese days, when you have more regular people and way less paid shills
  • 6 0
 @vemegen: I don’t have Tik Tok but are you saying there are less shills and influencers on there than other platforms? Because I would find that hard to believe.
  • 1 2
 @sino428: NRML MTBR and other performance/theater majors turned influencers anoint on TikTok. Way more of those skit people doing “funny” stuff and way fewer shreddits.
  • 1 0
 Anoint should be abound.
  • 1 1
 Hard to Swallow this one …..
  • 1 0
 @sino428: IG sugesstion algos favor big influcencer accounts, TT shows totalny random big/medium/small stuff
maybe the amount of shills is the same, but you see way less of them
  • 3 1
 @RoboDuck: You make the most obvious point. Specialized isn't suffering in any way. The C.E.O (no longer bike loyal Mike Sinyard) is looking after his bonus. Even if profit margin were short an 1/4 of 1 percent, they are going to slit the throat and take the food out of the mouth of their least leveraged employees to HIT THEIR BONUS.
  • 6 0
 And they're slashing payroll b/c in 2022 they have bought out a LOT of privately owned Specialized retailers using strong arm threats of less favorable terms, reduced access to inventory & plenty of "implied" competitive fear mongering.

Instead of doubling down on HELPING their independent owned stores, they threatened to starve them out & threw money at them to gobble them up. All 5 in Western North Carolina folded & sold.

This was in the last 3 months...so no, they're not hurting financially.
  • 5 3
 @wobblegoblin: "I had one bad experience with one obscure person for 10 minutes a couple of years ago thus everyone that vaguely fits that description sucks"

How insecure and shallow do you have to be that you were "embarrassed" for yourself, that your spouse was riding a brand of bike that someone you didn't enjoy talking to was riding. Are you a teenager.
  • 3 1
 If you have to ask, yes.
  • 11 1
 @wobblegoblin: Same here. I spent a week on an overseas group ride with a brand ambassador. The contrast of what their trip looked like on camera ("I'm LIVing my best life!"), and the reality of this person basically ignoring the rest of the riders for a week by burying their head in their smart phone, was enough to turn me off to the whole cycling marketing machine.

Who buys a Specialized (or any brand) because someone posts photos of it in exotic locations anyway?
Do people not demo?

And while I have sympathy for those losing their jobs, content creators are everywhere, and they can continue to freelance it through other partnerships.
  • 6 0
 Yes, people losing their job happens all the time. Losing it with zero notice is quite a bit worse. Losing with zero notice at the very end of a finite hiring season is the part that really sucks here.

If Specialized really had any value for these employees (who were really hired to bleed Big S's everywhere they could - and DID), then they would have done this differently.

Clearly they didn't care enough to do this in a respectful way, thus it's a dick move by Spec.
  • 7 4
 The whole idea of ambassador status in sports only seems to exist in cycling, namely in mountain biking. I know that's not completely accurate, but it's so prevalent in our little world. I think that only the top professional and competitive athletes should be getting paid. It gives more credence to the sport. Do you see ambassadors in motocross? Skateboarding? Tennis? We have this weird sense of privilege where ordinary people expect/demand that they be put on the same level playing field as pro racers. As a result, we see cyclists calling themselves "professionals" without anything to back it up. If you claimed you were on a professional level in any other sport on the planet, you would get laughed into oblivion.
  • 9 8
 Look at the bright side, maybe they'll get real jobs that contribute to the economy and they'll spend less time glued to their friggen phones and social media.
  • 4 0
 Imo I don't think that the big problem is that Specialized dropped this program but the manner in which they did it. Right at the end of the season so it will be hard for these people to find any kind of sponsor for next year and it seems like they did it in a pretty shitty way. Like Norco dropping their XC team, yeah that sucks for those racers but they did it early enough to give the racers a chance to find a new team/sponsors.
  • 2 1
 @scott-townes: “Contribute to the economy”

You mean line the pockets of corrupt politicians and mega billionaires who are actively stripping them of their rights and ability to achieve success?
  • 2 1
 @scott-townes: how exactly does one job ‘contribute to the economy’ more than any other?
  • 3 2
 @Snowytrail: I'm not sure if you have ever been "let go" from an employer. I have. At least when you work for someplace larger than a small business, you don't get notice. You are told by a manager and an HR rep that your time with the company has ended. Your computer and door access is terminated, and you are escorted from the building. Typically you get to come back a few days later to pick up your personal items. Why is it done this way? Because ex-employees can be unhappy and sometimes do bad things if they are given the opportunity or make a scene back at their cube. It is not an enjoyable process even if you have a good idea that cutbacks are coming.
  • 8 2
 @sino428: How exactly does posting on social media contribute to the economy?
  • 2 0
 @jonemyers: this situation seems a little different than the typical ‘at will’ employment you are describing. The article insinuates that these riders had contracts that ran through next year, that specialized terminated without notice.

I’m sure this was part of the contract, and the riders agreed to it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not shitty of the company.

In your example they let you go without notice, but you also could have quit at any time prior to that without notice. I would assume these contacts were binding in that the riders could not seek to work for other bike companies until the contract expired after next year.

Seems like these were one sided contracts.
  • 4 0
 @spencerbrawn: did you expect otherwise from Specialized? lol

from their track record, this is pretty gentle. These ambassadors are just lucky they didn't get sued for back pay and patent infringment!!!
  • 1 0
 @ilovedust: So interesting to see our opposite experiences. On weekend rides in the summer, the first question is always “did you watch the race?” so we can know if it’s safe to hash it over on the climb. Actually, that question gets asked in any carpool before hitting trail. But what we all enjoy most is watching the racing; reading about it is pretty boring. It’s watching the skill of the top riders that’s entertaining and influencing, and SoMe influencers just aren’t there.
I haven’t seen anything from Matt Hunter since that horizontal berm.
Our local races sell out. But perhaps younger dad riders are different? Maybe it all hinges on whether or not you enjoyed Freecaster.
  • 2 1
 @scott-townes: Because you contribute to the economy by having a job, which gives you income, which you can spend on products or services which then grows those businesses, allowing more people to be employed, and spend, etc, etc.

What your job actual job is matters very little so long as you have a job and income.
  • 3 0
 @scott-townes: The same way advertising of any kind does.

That being said I think social media is a cancer on the world and I hope it dissolves entirely.
  • 2 0
 @WayneParsons: There are golf ambassadors, running ambassadors, and a handful of other sports.
  • 3 1
 @WayneParsons: Just for conversations sake, are athletes with clothing endorsements not brand ambassadors? Yes, they're professional athletes, but they don't play for Nike, they get paid by Nike to wear their product.

I actually got a bike from specialized under their ambassador program. I tried for months to get them to tell me what I was supposed to do now that I was a part of this program. They never replied. I have to assume this program never meant much to them anyway.
  • 2 1
 @bikerbarrett: Almost every sport has them now of some kind. There are all kinds of IG and youtube famous people in many sports who gain sponsorships simply by producing sports content and not ever actually competing in the sport professionally.
  • 1 0
 @sino428: Yeah that's true. After I wrote that reply I remembered that almost every big football (soccer) club in Europe has ambassadors who are usually ex players.
  • 3 1
 Regardless of whether or not the reason for doing this was justifiable, the lack of notice shouldn't be. Another month's salary would have made a world of difference to these people, and for a big company like Specialized, that extra pay wouldn't make or break anything on the bottom line. What would that come out to, like $50k at most? That's pennies for a corporation, and they already budgeted for this when they created the program.

Just because laying people off suddenly is a common practice nowadays doesn't make it right, and it's a practice that I'd like to see change. Getting dumped like this at the wrong time can really screw up a person's life. Hopefully they have access to unemployment to cover them while they're looking for their next gig. Good luck to everyone affected!
  • 2 1
 @grnmachine02: To be fair, if that was working they'd still have jobs.
  • 1 1
 @sino428: LOL well not anymore since they're now jobless.
  • 2 0
 Specialized, it's you only poorer. Maybe we can follow them to the unemployment office. Maybe you could influence yourself to get a job.
  • 1 0
 @grnmachine02: Same here, never got an answer so I didn't really make any posts, which was fine because I really don't like that stuff. Was it a status?
  • 2 0
 @kbonesddeuce: Enduro. Probably for the best as my first post would have been the chainstay cracking.
  • 1 0
 @sino428: John Maynard Keynes called this animal spirits!!!!!
  • 2 1
 @spencerbrawn: Par for the course for Big S.
  • 2 0
 @wobblegoblin: I see ambassadors (and race teams to a large degree) mostly as extra costs built in to what consumers pay.
  • 1 0
 I love it, your position on this is right on!
  • 1 0
 Boo hoo hoo
  • 1 0
 @sino428: this
  • 1 0
 @chocolate-thunder: I was going alone the line of brand association rather then being actually inflenced.
If the said influencer posted a great adventure in a very nice and remote part of the world.. and they are doing that said adventure on a Spez, I might think good things about Spez. It doesn't mean that I'll go and buy an adv bike and set sail towards Chile(or whatever) but, in my mind, the association between Spez and nice adventures has already been made.

As for racing, I really could not give an F about who's riding on what because, as long as we are not fooling ourselves, we all know that skills take the wins, not bikes. The older you get, the easier is to see it this way. So, althetes do nothing for me, from a brand purchase perspective.
cheers!
  • 2 1
 @jonemyers: this happens only in the united states of eagles and freedomness. In the rest of the world, both sides get to an agreement or, if an agreement isn't reached, the notice is around 20 workdays. This works in reverse as, if one plans to leave the company for which he is working, if he can't reach an agreement with the company to leave as soon as possible, by law, he must work there for another 20 working days.. which can be up to 60 if you are a manager or a director.
If the company for which I work work cut my access to my laptop and office entry.. abruptly preventing me to work there.. I'd laugh so hard on the way towards meeting my lawyer, knowing that I would have my job back in a couple of months, with salary paid in full for the whole period and also compensations for the whole situation. No one does this anymore(the companies, I mean) because they know they cannot win. If they really want to fire you, their best option is to offer you a compensation in the form of salary payment from 3-6 months up to 1 year and considering the alternative which is, remaining in a job where every bad step will be followed and you will be taxed for even the smallest of mistakes, most ppl simply take the check-out and leave, having enough financial stability from that check-out to be able to find another job best suited for them(not in a hurry). Being abruply fired from a corporation is something that does not happen that often, here in Europe.. because, it may be more costly for the company to do so.
  • 8 1
 @eugenux: Americans take pride in being exploited as if there’s some kind of prestige in it. Sounds like Stockholm syndrome to me.
  • 2 0
 @sucker-punch: you're bang on correct here. People saying 'oh I'd like to have seen their contracts etc' are apologists. Yes influencers are toxic but they're still workers.
  • 2 1
 @RedBurn: lol classic neoliberal. Validating oppression, praising the free market and using the term 'libs'.
  • 1 0
 @grnmachine02: lol. They probably wouldn't have been too happy about that.
  • 4 1
 @eugenux: American businesses depend on their employees not knowing their rights as an employee. Thankfully some workers are beginning to realize that we don't owe our employer shit. The company I work for routinely fires people when they try and do the courteous thing by giving a two week notice, unless that person is smart enough to ask for that firing in writing so they can claim unemployment.
  • 1 0
 In this case, these influencers are not full time employees.. They are independent contractors.
  • 2 1
 @sino428: uh.......what? lol. "What your job actual job is matters very little "???

it takes about 30 seconds to think this through and realize that this is completely bunk. Take it to the extreme: everyone is an influencer/govt. employee/street sweeper/etc.....now NO ONE makes any thing, there is nothing to buy, so there is no income for anyone to employ anyone. Everyone dies. lol

You might not be aware of your Keynsian thoughts on this, but if you want to delve into what functional and dysfunctional macro economic theories look like, go read some Keynes. You will probably find yourself agreeing with him.....THEN go read Menger, Mises and Hayek. Come back and tell me which make more rational sense and seem more sustainable.
  • 1 0
 @PHeller: seriously. I gotta quit reading comments and make some more sawdust so I can pay for gas to Fruita....
  • 4 1
 Lack of sympathy is probably understandable given these people seem to have 'dream jobs' that seem disconnected with real life (I honestly get that.. we are incredibly privileged), but would you apply the same attitude to an artist, indie film maker, indie band, or other creative, a mountain guide, bike mechanic, bike shop owner —often all jobs occupied by people who are 'living their dream", that also enrich the world of bikes that we all inhabit and enjoy inhabiting.
I think its worth ditching the "influencer" tag here too. There is a huge difference between 'ambassadors', who have built connections in the sport, often over many years, and bring a skillset (often in the creation of lovely content that we all like to read, watch or listen to) that have been recognised as having value to a brand, and "influencers" that just get sent product and get paid merely to post shite on social media and act like elitist social twats, truly disconnected to the 'real world'.
I have no idea where the "1500$ per month' came from, but either way, fair game, if these talented story tellers have managed to sell their skills to earn that pathetically meagre amount per year, then good on them. Life (atleast a life in which you actually do OK money wise) in the bike media/content world is not an easy one and is getting harder every year.
While this is undoubtedly a business decision from Spesh and they will have their own accountants steering it, it is another chapter in the accelerating path towards a barren wasteland derived of original content, where our magazines, and websites will be filled with merely the same few major branded projects or events each year, with more independent content producers like these ambassadors unable to afford to make anything that doesnt involve Redbull.
Spread so thinly nowadays, there simply is not enough money in the media to make a solid living producing stories. Certainly the idea that part timers can just produce the kind of quality stories in their spare time, while they just "do a trip for fun" has no grounding. It can work at times, but again the media that we all love to look at, and draw inspiration from, will suffer hugely.
Perhaps all 'sponsored' riders should become carpenters or bus drivers or teachers. I dont think that would be a bad world at all to be honest, but ask yourself where you'd then find your daily fix of bike porn?
  • 1 0
 @lumpy873: yeah WhoTF decided on 1500?
  • 2 1
 @Mtbdialed: What you are suggesting is nothing more than a stupid hypothetical situation. There is no relevance If you take anything to an unrealistic extreme.

Influencers are advertising, nothing more. And advertising plays a huge roll in the economy.

To use your stupid hypothetical situation in reverse, what if people only made things or provided services but had NO WAY to marketing them? What if there were no signs, no billboards, no commercials, no ads in newspapers, no advertising of any kind. Those products and services would be worthless because no one would know they exist without some form of advertising.
  • 2 0
 @sino428: I work for an American multinational firm… I know exactly how much bean counters are out of touch with the technical side of a business…
  • 1 0
 @sino428: I am not the person that said "what you do doesn't matter". that was you. you made the stupid statement, and I refuted it by positing an extreme example wherein your argument falls apart. If your argument cannot standup to this treatment, it is a bad argument.
  • 1 0
 @Mtbdialed: I have absolutely no idea what you are taking about now.

Yes I said it doesn’t matter. My example reiterates that. That all these jobs, whether it be manufacturing or advertising, all contribute to the economy.

I have no idea what point you are attempting to make here.
  • 1 0
 @SchalkMarais: so you also have no idea what accountants actually do.
  • 2 0
 @Hayek: Came here to say this exact thing...that you said better.
  • 1 0
 @ldhbaker: 100%. Only thing you would adjust is i would guess closer to 4-5 bikes a year....not to mention gear, helmets etc...

Bikes alone then would be around 800k....putting the whole program closer to 2 mil a year.
  • 1 0
 @sino428: it absof*ckinglutely matters on the macro, what people do. that is my point. to say otherwise is deliberately ignorant of economic truths(don't you dare say everyone has their own truth. lmao).

that is my point. you said something blatantly ignorant(being generous). I corrected it.
  • 1 0
 @ldhbaker: now ask yourself....does Spesh sell $4,000,000 in bikes solely BECAUSE of these ambassadors(assuming a 25% profit to Spesh)?

I think your's and my gut would go HELLLLLLLLNO. lol

THAT is why it got cut. it's a thing you do for a short period to test it out, find out it's initial bounce doesn't last, then axe it. See Also: Gwinn at YT.
  • 2 2
 @Mtbdialed: no one gives a shit about ‘the macro’ or whatever other nonsense you keep spewing trying to make yourself sound smarter than everyone else.

Original comment I responded to suggested that now these people ‘could get real job that contribute to the economy’. That’s BS as all jobs, even advertising, contribute to the economy. If a job exists, it means someone sees some value in it.

Whatever else you keep going on about is completely irrelevant.
  • 1 0
 @DanMilner: I don't think that was the number everyone got.. But, for that and a decent bike and part allowance, I'd be a Specialized whore... Could afford to work the day job a little less..
  • 2 1
 @sino428: LOL. lots of people give a shit about the macro....see also: inflation, unending proxy wars, civil rights violations, etc....

next time speak succinctly, and fleshout your point then. Being lazy only makes you look lazy, uneducated, and creates confusion.

in totality: be better.
  • 1 0
 Agreed: People deserve sympathy whether they lose a there job or a here job. No matter where, sucks to lose a job.
  • 2 0
 no sympathy....empathy perhaps,but no sympathy.... at the end of the day, if you want to be unfireable, go start your own business and be your own boss. that way you can't get fired.....now, understand that your life just got even more volitile. lol. BUT! you can't get fired! Life is in no way equitable or fair.....it's dog eat dog mofo! now go get it, or be gotten. those are your choices.
  • 1 0
 @lumpy873: why not give it a try? Tons of companies out there to choose from, hardly any competition to prove yourself against, a booming industry happy to haemorrhage money, and a plethora of media just itching to run your stories and photos and pay handsomely for them. Why wait. Go for it.
  • 1 0
 @DanMilner: let's see... actually, tons of competition. So many people on YouTube thinking they can make easy money as an influencer.. would anyone really give a damn about a guy nearing 50 with a little above average skills? What could I do different from 100s of other people who are doing the same?

Honestly, about the only way I would do it was if I was independently wealthy and just wanted a hobby... A lot of time goes into a 10 minute video...
  • 3 0
 @lumpy873: “a guy nearing 50 with a little above average skills”

Did you just describe BKXC?
  • 1 1
 @pinkbert: As someone that's ridden with him, he's a better and fitter rider then most people give him credit for.
  • 1 0
 @grnmachine02: for sure i was kinda joking. Point is I’m not really watching those videos for his skills.
  • 1 0
 @pinkbert: damn...so there is hope for me? Or has he got a stranglehold on the segment?
  • 1 0
 @lumpy873: The interwebs are filled with people of all ages, and skills between mediocre and slightly above average posting crap.

so of course there is hope.
  • 1 1
 @lumpy873: lol. idgaf about your “progression” or “weight loss” or whatever conceded shit people start youtubing for.

BKXC sheds a lot of light on not so popular trail systems and highlights the trails you want to ride at those systems, which are usually the blacks/double blacks that newbs avoid.

literally some of these vids are dudes averaging 5mph barely getting their words out because they’re about to pass out. if thats you, yeah no hope.
  • 1 0
 @pinkbert: checking out new trails is for me, the biggest reason I end up watching any of this content on youtube.
  • 1 0
 @pinkbert: yup, I'm screwed...lol
  • 1 0
 @grnmachine02: I’m willing to bet he’s a better rider than 90% of the people commenting here on PB.
  • 3 0
 @WayneParsons: ski industry has these types too.
This quote got me
"While Swallow, Hathaway, and Fassbinder are all reeling personally from the severing of ties with Specialized, they are also lamenting the loss of what they thought was the brand’s desire to do more than just sell bikes."

What the hell did you think your "job" was? Likes and follows don't pay the bills.

That being said when bikes have been unobtainium for 3ish years and Specialized has a 40% off sale I can't say I know what they are doing either?
  • 1 0
 @waxman: It likely boils down to Specialized calculating a very low or negative ROI on the program. This has probably been the case for quite some time and the economy tanking was probably the catalyst to finally cut the program. If they were seeing solid returns, they wouldn’t be canceling it.
  • 2 0
 I'm curious... of all the people that got cut, how many did any of you follow?

I would love to look a a list of all the people that got cut and see what the numbers look like and what part of the bike market they are geared towards.. I suspect the numbers would tell a story..
  • 1 2
 @lumpy873: Seriously doubt the followers had anything to do with it. As so many others have stated, yes it's ROI. But those people's followers probably had less to do with the release than the company's bottom line for the CEO's bonus mark.

They cut budget when the people at the top want to get their kickbacks. And they can find whatever reason they want. Every cyclist out there, regardless of following, likes, re-shares, views, subscribers...are all 100% expendable the second the big boss wants what he wants.

Most people over the age of 30 realize that the Specialized of 2022 is a nameless, faceless machine that likes to pretend it's wholesome and cares about cycling activities, wants the sport to grow wholesomely and organicly & is full of passionate cyclists.

Mike Sinyard's Specialized (the one that sued the pants off of anyone whether necessary or not) has evolved into a corporate juggernaut that if they could have zero employees & go fully automated...would.
  • 2 0
 @lumpy873: The numbers always tell a story. The simple fact of the matter is companies are in business to make money and increase shareholder value. Even a previous B-corp is in business to make money. If they didn’t make money, they couldn’t donate a share of profits to good causes. Even a charity can’t operate with negative income. It’s math (or maths). You wouldn’t stay at your job if it became unprofitable.
  • 1 0
 @blowmyfuse: when I say numbers, the followers on the social networks is only part of the story. Like I said, what part of the market were these people in? How many bike sales in to the part of the market was specialized getting?

Times aren't exactly great for the bike companies post covid with the current economic downturn. If bikes aren't selling, cuts get made. Some of these people had been on this program for 8 years. That's pretty good by most standards. But, times change..
  • 1 0
 @lumpy873: If times were bad, Specialized and Trek wouldn't be buying out their dealers.

A more accurate statement might be that the majority of small & medium bike companies don't have the leverage and/or purchase power of Specialized, Trek or Giant and are being choked out of the market by the mega-corporations with access to stock market funding.
  • 1 0
 @blowmyfuse: Times are undoubtedly tough right now, but Specialized and Trek buying out their dealers is a long-term strategy that they will adhere to in good times or bad. I talked with Big S about a role related to this in 2019. The rate at which they buy out those dealers may change, but that isn’t going on the chopping block. Short-term/uncommitted budget gets moved to other priorities and an ambassador program is nice but not necessary and gets cut. It also has nothing to do with the big, bad CEO getting a bigger bonus — those things are determined by the board, not just pulled from the owner’s drawer. Also, Sinyard isn’t the CEO at Specialized, and none of the bike brands you’re thinking of are publicly traded or listed on an exchange.
  • 1 0
 @blowmyfuse: notice you haven't seen as many of those buyout posts as of late.. The boom slowed and the money isn't rolling in... Plus, alot of those shop owners took advantage of that buying spree and got themselves an exit with some money in their pocket..
  • 1 0
 @lumpy873: I've not gotten to speak to either one of my buddies who were bought out, but I'm sure their version of their exits would be great to hear. I bet there is even something in the buyout contract that keeps either from discussing it without legal repercussion.
  • 2 0
 @Hayek: Buying out your dealers is strong arm tactics. It eliminates a relationship of consumer to owner to community.

Dealers don't just all suddenly sell because the offer was perfectly timed with their life goals. It tends to coincide with vailed threats of less than favorable terms, lower margins, tighter restrictions, capped access to goods & services and a host of other things...like simply opening a S branded shop across the street and negating contracts.

Since you're in the know, do these buyouts also come with terms that block the shop owner from taking all their other brands & services & starting a shop within the same footprint as the store that's being bought? I would assume s
o.

Does the sale come with a No Compete Clause? Probably.

Does Specialized eliminate a $30,000 salary from the local economy? $50k? $100k? and send that money that would have went to an owner back to corporate instead of give it directly to the local economy?

Don't care if it's "publicly traded". They're using corporate tactics to cut off a valued branch of the local economy rather than PARTNER with the owners who have committed decades to the S brand.

Now...if they start selling "Franchises" to local business owners...I'm in an argumentative pickle.
  • 1 0
 @blowmyfuse: it doesn't really take much out of the local economy.. All those employees still need to get paid. The main thing it does it let Specialized or Trek control the message the customer hears.. They have a better chance of selling a Stumpjumper without a Santa Cruz sitting next to it.. Have you walked into an Apple store and seen an Android sitting next to an IPhone?

I do know of a few shops that were so far in the hole to Specialized that they took over the store... But, I hear that number was pretty big...
  • 283 15
 I've never heard of any of these people.
  • 66 8
 Exactly... If there as any measurable return on the marketing investment here, this doesn't happen.
  • 63 3
 To be fair, they were probably reaching out to different segments of the industry.
  • 33 6
 @Rhymer: Yep, they all look bikepackers far as I can tell. Which quickly blew up during covid and even faster fell off the planet afterwards. Like a lot of things. It's not like Speshy is gonna dump Loic and Finn. Just cutting the fat of people who rely on social media to market, as opposed to actual racers or freeriders.
  • 42 10
 Me neither. They appear to have earned a living by pushing an overloaded bike up a remote hillside.
  • 37 4
 actually have watched a few things on Lael she is a machine that probably has logged more miles on her bike than most have in their cars.
  • 11 0
 @Croft1: She's awesome. She's definitely not being completely cut. It looks like in order to keep her on they just moved her to a program that exists and has a budget. "S-Works Racing" or whatever. I guess XC racing essentially. Though she is just an ultra athlete. Or bikepack racer. I doubt she takes a big hit from whatever is going on. She's marketing gold.
  • 19 0
 Ty Hataway is super talented from racing the baja 1000 on dirt bikes to racing pro enduro races, his bike shop that just recently closed up is also one of the best shops I have ever dealt with.. Impactful human and I feel for him.
  • 14 0
 @jason114 Steve "Dr. Doom" Fassbinder is a buddy of mine and in addition to being one of the nicest and most genuinely badass dudes ever, he's an accomplished 24 hour racer and just does some absolutely mental adventures requiring multi discipline prowess, stamina, route finding and guts. Check him out on the inter webs, very good guy.
  • 6 1
 I also couldn't give the name of a pro racer other than Lance Armstrong, tbh.
  • 5 7
 Sounds like they're failing. No wonder they were let go
  • 2 2
 it's a gravel-centric article from VN
  • 3 0
 @Rhymer: To be fair, this is why the largest corporations in America pays consulting firms before they pay ambassadors. Wal-mart, Target, grocery stores, insurance co's, fast food, all seem fine hiring a random actor and graphics guy for online ads; would be pretty american to sponsor fat asses in rascal scooters on IG to stuff their face with trash.
  • 1 0
 @Rhymer: they're buying out all their dealers instead of helping them level up. Industry cannibalism of any store owner who got their company where it is.
  • 2 0
 A bitter pill to Swallow
  • 3 0
 @Croft1: she frickin'rode from Alaska to Kansas to ride Unbound Gravel. She's a machine!
  • 2 1
 It's probably a different genre than you follow. If you were into ultraendurance racing or bikepacking you'd probably know who they were
  • 2 0
 @blowmyfuse: Bike shops contribute to a bike companies success but are not responsible for it and nobody forces them to sell their business.

The one Specialized influencer I met seemed more interested in telling people he got a free bike from Specialized than he was in promoting their product. So many influencers are actually just friends of somebody who works in the company and so they get the hook up.
  • 5 0
 @dh909: Oh man LLOL here - Walmart brand ambassador, fat guy with questionable fashion taste driving his RV all over the country riding his mobility scooter through various Walmarts buying completely mundane and un-needed stuff. Every once in a while he mentions his over due credit card balance. Comedy gold.
  • 1 0
 I think that the role of Brand Ambassador is to be a little more of a local or traveling point of contact with the brand. I would guess that the people here do have quite a circle of influence but on a smaller scale within their local communities.
  • 2 0
 @Spencermon: Do you know any riders that ended up in those jobs? Most that I knew spent those years riding less with friends/clubs, more with themselves or pro rider meets, and boasting of exclusive trail/event access.

Sort of along @DoubleCrownAddict point haha. But im bias, only knew a few guys that went that route vs guys wrenching or selling on the sales floor; the women riders are good at the ambassador side of things.
  • 1 0
 @blowmyfuse: 1000% everything is going to ecommerce... until specialized/giant/shimano/sram gets sued for unsafe products. Hard to see most installing electronic components and pinch bolts without issues, and the "big 5 worker built it" excuse won't fly when things go south.

Curious if they'll be investing in more of the mobile repair shops, saw a few vans that were certified mechanics over the years (i think dirtlabs had a van that did services at races years back too).
  • 1 0
 @dh909: I have seen a few bad ambassadors. I do know several good ambassadors and have seen the positive effects from good ambassadors. Though a lot of that is also from my job at a bike company. Funny side note: our company has ambassadors but the first requirement is to already own a bike from our company. I wonder if that keeps away the types that are only in it for the free stuff.
  • 2 0
 @Spencermon:It would draw trust fund kids and their crew of mega-expensive cameras & elite $10K carbomn custom components rigs to glamorously film their dad's money in bike form.
  • 5 0
 @dh909: I blame us the consumer. We're idiots and suckers for a dollar discount.

We're all literally buying ourselves out of work to support massive corporations with exclusive lines of credit, an infinite number of attorneys that force us to do all the work on a simple phone call to ask a question by spending the first 5 minutes navigating a maze of automated prompts JUST to speak to some 30 year old former phone scammer in an impoverished Asian country formerly choked out by the British empire.

The person you get on the phone in exchange for buying your "thingie" cheaper than a brick and mortar...reads the owners manual for your thingie off in broken English back to us.

But hey...if we save that few bucks, we'll get a 3D print machine in Micronesia to supply us a bootleg copy of a Nike logo-ed iphone case that takes 4 weeks to get here in a mega-crate of tiny Asian crap that may or may not contain every toxin on earth & be made by bleeding little kid hands.
  • 1 0
 @Rhymer: this. they don't need to reach out to you. You already have a bike, likely an opinion of Spesh already formed(matters not what it is...good-yeah! bad-they aren't going to change your mind with IG ads.lol). You are what is known as exhausted or spent market share. You are used toilet paper to them, from a marketing expenditure standpoint.
  • 239 6
 Is anyone going to mention how toxic social media influencers have become for our society? They are setting unrealistic standards for what life is like as a cyclist and a person. I want to see more weekend warriors hustling a 9-5 and still getting after it in my Instagram feed. Especially in their less-than-perfect gear, but sending it as best they can.
  • 53 1
 I want the self discipline to never check instagram again!
  • 9 1
 @janerossi you are the hero we all need right now. I'm thankful for your service. Keep up the good fight
  • 44 1
 The weekend warriors are too busy enjoying those moments to be bothered posting about it, that is my guess. It is also hard to take pictures when you are riding, I wouldn't want to stop that often.
  • 11 0
 The question to ask is "How many _other_ hashtags on your IG posts will you be getting paid for without #iamspecialized?" And the answer for many of these people will be "a bunch". The abruptness of this change is striking, indeed. But the complaining about no longer collecting a decent salary for a very open-ended and flexible position that literally requires doing the most fun stuff as your "job"... well, it's tough to feel sorry from this end where we get negative dollars per ride _and_ can only ride while not already working a whole other job.

But maybe we have way MORE FUN, since who-gives-a-f*ck-about-clicks-and-follows isn't even a thought, it's a given...
  • 4 0
 If that was the desire for most, then I would have tens of thousands of social media followers. But I don't. Maybe I need more hashtags.
  • 5 0
 @jlauteam1: It takes so much work to make video/photos it's definitely not worth it for most weekend warriors. Going for a 4 hour ride, and only getting to ride for 2 doesn't sounds that great.
  • 16 1
 @TerrapinBen: Just delete the app?
  • 15 2
 @TerrapinBen: I deleted my social media accounts 4 years ago, and have never been happier. I told my friends if they wanted to social interact with me to send a FAX...
  • 4 1
 @schili: this is true. I run the social media for our local riding area (670 Collective if you want to see some intermittent posts and dad jokes) and although it might be cool and hip to have some sick edits, I honestly don't have the desire to sit around with a camera on one feature for an hour the cut up clips and sound for hours to make it happen.

I do trail ride through POVs on our YouTube that is linked to Trailforks which I think is probably the biggest bang for the buck (for me, the club and potential new riders) to see what we have to offer. Plus they get to hear my heavy breathing on the climbs.

Not to toot my own horn (ok, maybe a bit) but if you really want to be an influencer, do it for your local club rather than trying to amass the ugliest riding kit and oil slick bike known to the internet for free.
  • 4 0
 @Andykmn: Yep, Local clubs is where it's at. At races we all look at whose got what new bike and running what tyres and how they perform which is more influential than any instagram post/reel. Often it's me showing of my latest XC bike and my LBS knows and appreciates that.
  • 5 0
 @iamamodel:

They realised 8 years ago that only about 3% of riders race, so by focusing on racers, especially at non international non elite level, they were just marketing to a very small pool of riders each race weekend who were often sponsored by other brands anyway.

That's why they shifted to grass roots ambassadors at a local level who for the most part only received (greatfully) an at cost bike from them.

This was rammed home while I was riding with their global brand manager and a former UCI world cup racer. People on the trail knew who I was, and not the racer.
  • 4 1
 @jfsr yes totally. Paid influencers with their perfect mtb life and all geared up are so cringe and its not a real lifestyle. Its just Marketing BS.
  • 2 0
 I'm a weekend warrior day jobbie with 2 kids, I post when I can about my struggles and successes (mostly just to share how biking's helped me and how it can help others), and about my kids biking (way more fun to share). As far as I can tell no-one cares for hashtags and I find them cringeworthy myself. While it does put the post in other feeds, just seeing them means I'm attention seeking. Tried it for a bit for a brand but it feels like I'm fighting myself to add them. A lot of my friends are just family or old HS/college friends, who don't mtb, so I don't want to pummel them with this garbage. Reels however are borderline viral, an old friend of mine used it exclusively to highlight her trucking business and her IG exploded, so probably either that or youtube is where it's at. I don't have time for it, personally.
  • 4 1
 I think they only influence stupid people that love to be in the same level of stupidity...I had rides with one or two riders who needed some clips for the "fans". They post only little clips,those that are good to not look like a bad rider hehehe. They need 20 shots of whatever feature in the trail,so you are there not ridding your fancy bike to get stupid clips for people do not care about you or riding bikes most of the time. I really do not like social media,it made people dream/sick about stupid things in the bike circles. People think those guys are like pros or something hehehehe.
  • 7 1
 @TerrapinBen: After years of toxic social media time wasting I stopped all of it. Had IT friend make my house "block" all of it. Phone, tablet, TV. Yes, I can look when out and about, but there's a psychological term about why not doing it where you spend most of your time leads to not wanting it while away.
As for Influencers....in my opinion most business owners despise them. Sense of entitlement, friends til the end....and this is the end because there's free stuff elsewhere. How much yoga babble and canned cliches with drone footage and synthesized music can the world take? To each their own.
  • 9 1
 This is why I feel literally no sympathy what so ever for their situation. After all, influencers and other paid shills like them were the people who turned social media into the marketing dumpsterfire / hellscape that it is today.
  • 4 1
 What is instagram? Will my life work without it?
  • 2 0
 very well said @jfsr
  • 7 0
 follow me dude, I hustle 8 - 5, wear only gear I got on discount and mostly ride on the weekend when I am not too tired to do anything beyond prepping food for next day Big Grin I have 100 followers, most of them my mom's and dad's fake accounts Big Grin

Oh and yeah I post one photo every 5 - 8 month or so
  • 3 0
 There were some influencers in a different industry that recently hyped up a group of super random and older product models, while trashing the top model of the industry, and went on to meme about guys swapping products at losses within weeks after. Pretty nuts the type of fomo people can have around material objects once a hashtag comes across. What's more bizarre is how lots of these companies think the toxicity doesn't contribute to a dislike of their product... i've never cared about labels or personal interaction from companies, but when your influencer wastes people's time or cash on their ego, I begin to question product integrity and impact of the environment.
  • 2 0
 @valrock: you're my kind of influencer...
  • 3 0
 @dan23dan23: Same here. I even block them at my router, which my wife was not happy about, but she now realizes how toxic they all are.
  • 92 1
 Having the former executive of Dyson named as the CEO of your outdoor oriented company was an extremely risky move; Nature abhors a vacuum
  • 33 1
 The ambassedors think it sucks
  • 5 1
 Agreed. I cant imagine the new CEO's philosophy revolves around the same love for cycling that Sinyard (presumably) had, so much as it now revolves around the bottom line.
  • 6 1
 @HankHank: Spesh is obviously cleaning up the balance sheet.
  • 2 2
 @chakaping: More of an income statement improvement, but will help the balance sheet at year end.
  • 102 17
 Guess it really hits hard when social media influencer heads lives in the clouds...
  • 15 1
 Every Adventure Is A Marketable Opportunity (TM)
  • 85 9
 This sucks for sure, but maybe it is my jaded view as a weekend warrior who chose a stable/"boring" career that this is a risk you should be aware of when relying on hobbies for a paycheck. I may not get to get out and ride every day or get to ski on Monday powder days, but I don't really have to worry about where my next paycheck may come from.
  • 17 1
 I go back and forth on this in my head all the time. More time to spend riding would be cool, but having a stable paycheck close to riding is a lot less stressful for me. That doesn't mean anyone can't lose their job though.
  • 9 1
 @Mrtonyd: some jobs are just a lot higher risk of going away. I always tell people I got into geotechnical engineering because as long as gravity keeps working, I should have a job.
  • 2 0
 @adrennan: Yea a lot of industries seem cyclical. And I'm not sure what is recession proof either.
  • 8 0
 Agreed. I've known people who quit stable careers because they wanted more freedom, only to find out that freedom is expensive and they needed their stable careers back.

It is arguably more necessary to try to get Corporate America on board with more paid and unpaid days off, more sabbaticals, more remote work, affordable healthcare that doesn't depend on a job, etc.

I'm noticing it within my "old" industry that as the average age of the workforce comes down, the work-life balance is becoming better. I notice as the older cohort of Millennials enters management that we're getting more laid back corporate policies.
  • 3 2
 @Mrtonyd: Social work is pretty recession proof. We don't get paid much at the best of times and budgets get cut, but there are always jobs. Unfortunately, when things are falling apart in society, the more stability we have.
  • 4 0
 Literally the only reason I keep my job is for the financial stability to do the stuff I like to do and hopefully be able to do it into a planned retirement.

I do get out and ride every day, I bike commute. I make the best of my situation. A friend of mine can work remotely most of the time and does her vanlife thing as a rock climber. I'm jealous, but I don't want (not can't, don't want) to take the risk of a career change, because the grass isn't always greener.
  • 2 0
 @Mrtonyd: Accountants. Everyone needs us!
  • 4 0
 @JSTootell: if you can make it work, it’s much, much greener. Time is way more valuable than money.
  • 1 0
 @Mrtonyd: But these influencers ARE cyclical!

Sorry. I'll get my hat...
  • 2 0
 @stevemokan: I don't make much money, actually. I make just enough to enjoy myself. So taking a pay cut is a pretty big risk as it sacrifices my future for the now, when my now is acceptably good.
  • 1 0
 @Mrtonyd: Healthcare is a clear standout. I dont work in that industry but it seems that nursing (while super demanding) checks a lot of other boxes.
  • 2 0
 There's a balance to all of this as well, it's not just working outside in the industry vs sitting in a cubicle 9-5 all day. Personally I have made choices that let me work from home and have a decent amount of free time to ride/ski. Could I be making more money if I job hopped a little and pursued management roles? Sure, but I would likely lose out on the free time I enjoy so much.
  • 1 0
 I work in utilities in essential services, at times I have no freedom , but honestly grateful to have stable work overall
  • 1 1
 @Mrtonyd: You don't need to risk the use of your spine either... i've heard some in grad school describe police and pro athletes as "fun jobs." Don't think most consider the likelihood of emergency room goes up with pay.
  • 72 4
 Maybe Insta and TikTok doesn't actually sell bikes.

Would be an interesting topic to explore. How many pinkers buy bikes based on influencers, athletes, racing teams, or podiums?

I suspect cable routing and bottom bracket types informs purchasing far more than curated feeds or flippy spinny tricks in the pinkbike audience and with the price point of bikes we ride.
  • 9 2
 @brianpark : It would make for an interesting poll to know how many people have bought a bike because it’s the bike brand/model that their favorite rider uses.
  • 29 1
 I think most Sales research suggests people are emotional buyers.

We think we are rational, buying on the basis of the technology and specifications of the things we are buying, and sure to a point.

But there are so many brands producing so many very homogeneous bikes.

The geo is very similar, there's like 4 suspension designs, they're all carbon fibre or aluminium, running the same parts.

So once you've decided what kind of bike you want. What makes one brand win over another?

How it looks, what the brand stands for or says about you, all the fuzzy wuzzy stuff that all this brand work stands to manufacture.

So in the end, yeah. It sells bikes.
  • 13 2
 I bet livery influences people as well. I just can't get behind an ugly paint scheme/hue/whatever. It's been a deal breaker on a few bikes. (Looking at you, Kona.)
  • 14 0
 @Andykmn There's an old saying in the ad business - half of all advertising doesn't work, but no one knows which half. This is a very hard nut to crack.
  • 3 0
 My guess would be Specialized customers are more influenced by podiums, while brands like Surly and Salsa rely a lot on Insta
  • 17 0
 @Rhymer: I kinda associate Surly customers as those who are influenced by facial hair and wool. Handlebar moustaches and tweed, respectively.
  • 7 5
 I bought a Fezzari because I saw single track sampler was riding one, so I googled them and saw they were a good value.
  • 6 0
 I think story telling influences a lot of people. If you build an exciting narrative and lifestyle that is built around the product you are shilling, yeah that moves ppl to buy.
  • 3 0
 @woofer2609: And Rocky Mountain. Ugh on the colors.
  • 2 0
 @shorttravelmag: i feel like altitudes have the best color choices. they have had a brighter more colorful frame and a darker more subtle frame for the past 3 years: pink purple and brown black, pink yellow and dark green, light blue yellow and brown black (again)
  • 4 0
 @wobblegoblin: i bought a mega because it says sam hill on it. And it was a complete bike for less than a yeti frame.
  • 4 1
 Seeing the success of Commencal bikes, I'd say a lot.
  • 1 0
 @Ktron: Well put. For me, I want my skill and fitness to be the weak link, and I don't want my equipment to hold me back. Seeing people better than I am do crazy stuff on my same bike definitely swayed me to get a Transition, so the marketing definitely works, and in the end I'm a happy camper.
  • 1 0
 @shorttravelmag: man that pink altitude is gorgeous
  • 1 0
 I think Specialized may have realized that Insta and ilk do sell bikes, they just don't sell specialized bikes. I wouldn't be surprised if Kona sold more bikes because of the brand ambassador program than Spec. Definitely true in my state (NM) at least. There are few shops that carry specialized in NM, but practically everyone sells Kona, Marin, QBP (Surly, Salsa, etc.)...
  • 1 0
 @shorttravelmag: I'm with you on the RM colours. Once in a while they have a colorway I like, but it seems I hate 90%. Went to look at a Slayer and the shop only had the red and black colorway in. What is this, the 90s? The current gold/green isn't as bad, but it's not me.
  • 1 0
 In the early days of getting into mtb I found Matt Hunter - Lone Wolfe video to be amazing and inspirational. May not have motivated me to buy bikes but did motivate me to get out there and live it up more.
  • 64 11
 Due to record high revenue in 2021, and the consistant sales of $10,000+ ebikes, we are happy to inform we don’t need you!

Says Specialized with an evil smirk…
  • 22 0
 "we've sold all the bikes we can and the market is going to take a dump next year, best of luck"
  • 2 1
 @DizzyNinja: yes, more so this
  • 2 10
flag femto505 (Dec 13, 2022 at 19:41) (Below Threshold)
 I have a friend that works next to a major bike manufacturer in southern California and tells me it's common to see bikes thrown in the dumpster. He pulled out an e-bike and we spend a couple of hours for two days troubleshooting the electronics and we got it to work. I am sure the $10 for ebikes is just a huge mark-up
  • 7 0
 @femto505: This is completely false. Having worked for several bicycle manufacturers in CA, they are extremely strict on dumping product. Frames are cut up and recycled, motors are removed and sent back to the manufacturer, and not to even mention batteries have to go to HHW facilities and property disposed. There is no manufacturer, that would just toss a functional eBike in the dumpster with the battery in there. The fines would be absolutely ridiculous.
  • 4 0
 @femto505: yeah no this is a lie. I work for a bicycle manufacturer, this does not happen at all. Nice story though.
  • 56 3
 Also, you're not a good enough rider to be a pro, yet got paid to ride a bike for 8 years. Call it a win and move on.
  • 9 5
 The short notice and early termination of contracts is notable. It might seem one sided, but I'm sure it was written as "at-will" for Spesh whenever they signed up. Gotta read your contracts.

But yeah, lay-offs happen, that's life, sorry. Just because you're a contractor, whether 1099'd or whatever their employment status actually was, doesn't change that jobs come and go. And, complaining about losing some of their income from losing one contract out of many, when other people around the world are losing 100% of their income through regular ol' layoffs and such, they should be ashamed.
  • 42 4
 So they aren't playing influencers anymore? Good, the whole idea of people being paid to push product and their magical experiences on Tik Took and Instagram has always been a joke. If you want a job in cycling or sport media then get a job in cycling or sport media.
  • 35 3
 "they are also lamenting the loss of what they thought was the brand’s desire to do more than just sell bikes."

The whole point of a retail company is to sell product! 'Lifestyle' jobs like these are just part of the marketing element. If paying someone to sit on top of a hill eating beans out of a tin while sneaking in a quick "these grips are a gamechanger" comment doesn't turn into sales, they are just costing the company money. Better to put the money into racing, trail building, helping people in need (putting something back into the sport type projects) etc than paying people to go on holiday.
  • 1 0
 I was going to point out that same quote. If Specialized could easily point to a certain Ambassador and say this person is selling bikes directly from their influence, they would keep them on board. Which sounds like the case with one of the ladies mentioned in this article.

Im not in the bikepacking or gravel stuff but to me it seems like the content that would come from that wouldn't be very "I need a Specialized bike to do this adventure" as most of that stuff could be done on about any bike you are more selling the idea of adventure.
  • 28 0
 My IG feed almost entirely consists of bike content, I have honestly never heard of any of those people.
  • 27 3
 Pinkbike commenters when Adolf Silva got let go and couldn't find a sponsor: "Adolf who? dude doesn't even post on YouTube every day. YouTube and social media is where the money is and if people don’t follow or know of him there then he isn’t worth paying. You can't honestly expect to get paid just for riding without making Instagram or YouTube videos every day. Hiring influencers makes way more sense. They make more money for the company anyways. Dude's a bum."

Pinkbike commenters when specialized fired influencer staff: "I haven't even heard of any of these people. You can't honestly expect to get paid just to ride your bike. They're not making the companies enough money more than likely anyways. Go get real jobs you bums."
  • 4 0
 Pinkers are actually low IQ. youtu.be/5Qx219DXEZY?t=26
  • 1 0
 I guess both Statements are somewhat justified if those people are not popular. Also the two Statements are propably not done by the same people.
  • 28 5
 the youtube/insta influencer e-begging has had it's day....... those people best have saved some of that cash

hashtag don't forget to smash that like, subscribe and hit me up on my patreon page for special content your hard earned money allows me to not have to go to a day job like your slob ass.
  • 1 2
 #poorpeopleproblems as well.
  • 30 13
 From one human to another, I genuinely feel for anyone who has lost a job unexpectedly, especially without proper severance and forewarning. That being said, I think this is a good sign that Specialized is evaluating their value creation chain and identifying savings that they can hopefully pass on to consumers. Hopefully other brands will follow suit.
  • 71 3
 “pass into consumers”

its specialized. are you out of your mind?

this means more yachts for execs while prices keep rising. not trying to be a total dick here but get real. no way in hell is spec or most companies for that matter passing shit onto consumers.
  • 18 7
 @pinkbert: Specialized has been leading the industry in reasonably priced bikes the last couple of years. Cutting silly costs when the market is expected to stall signals that they will remain committed to that approach.
  • 8 0
 @fullendurbro: I think I misunderstood you. if you mean they can continue to keep prices at what they are, thats one thing. Prob took your og comment too literally. If you are saying we will see spec prices drop, that i would be willing to bet against.
  • 9 3
 @fullendurbro: you don't seem to really understand how corporations really work. There will not be any passing towards consumers. Don't forget bike companies, surprise-surprise, managed to exist even before the pandemic, a time when their profits were at a lower level than they have been in the last two years. What they are doing now os trying maintain that profit share, which realistically, it cannot happen....we had a spike.. now we are on the other side of it, on the downward slope.
It happened in the company I am working... and this lack of vision and greed around the ideea of (unsustainable)profit growth, managed in the end to actually reduce profits. One year in the hurt and now we are back to realistic 2019 levels and we grow organically from there.
  • 6 6
 @eugenux: Dude...this pervasive rumor that bike companies had/have record profits seriously needs to stop. It's completely false (at least as a general statement, I am sure some companies have profited). Any bike company worth their muster will be trying now to ensure prices don't continue to rise. To do that in the face of rising costs (from raw materials and components to wages) they need to evaluate where savings can be had.
  • 5 1
 @fullendurbro: Status is still probably the best bang4buck in industry.
  • 11 2
 @rockandride6: I am working directly with factories.. so, trust me when I say, record profits.
As for the cost that are rising...at which costs do you refer?, the transport ones per container are back to pre-pandemic levels. The raw material are cheaper than 2019. So, which are those inimaginabile costs that prevent, for example SC or Yeti, or Spez for that matter, to sell a carbon frame 1.5k cheaper than they are selling it now. What costs make them push sales prices for normal mtbs on par with electric ones?, please, do explain.
  • 12 2
 Lmfao pass on to consumers?

The only thing being passed to consumers is additional cost. Not savings. Savings are sometimes passed through to shareholders.
  • 9 3
 @eugenux: Cost of a shipping container in May 2019? $1,300. Cost in May 2022? $9,000: fbx.freightos.com

California minimum wage in 2018? $10.50/hour. California minimum wage in 2022? $15/hour.

To think that a brand like SC (to pick one you mentioned) isn't facing increased costs is silly. I've been to their factory, they employ a few hundred Californians to QC and assemble their bikes, that costs a lot of money.

Unfortunately, I can't find data to support this, but I'd bet that every component going into a bike (from Fox, SRAM, Maxxis, etc.) has also gone up significantly.
  • 2 4
 @eugenux: The inventory currently at manufacturers, not to mention on dealer floors, did not ship over yesterday. So today's shipping costs don't mean diddly when it comes to the costs of the bikes people are buying today.
  • 16 0
 @rockandride6: I work in Supply Chain. Current cost of a shipping container is ~3K, down from a height of almost 20K. Over the next year you’re going to start to see prices coming down across the board, it just take a while. Covid REALLY messed the world economy up.
  • 8 17
flag Bahh (Dec 13, 2022 at 15:13) (Below Threshold)
 @MattyRides: correction; governments really messed the world up. A bad flu for the poop and tube crowd did not mess up anything.
  • 3 10
flag fullendurbro (Dec 13, 2022 at 15:32) (Below Threshold)
 @eugenux: You're right, I have no idea how corporations work. If only I learned something from my six years at McKinsey, 3 years at BlackRock and 2 years at Apple.
  • 3 5
 @Bahh: what you said x 100000000.Time for people to wake up, weve all been played while they got richer
  • 1 0
 @rockandride6: Given you can fit around 300 boxed up bikes in a 40ft shipping container, the additional cost per bike of shipping is a little over $25.
I get your point that everything adds up, but however you look at it freight is a miniscule component of the cost of even the cheapest SC bike.
  • 1 0
 @fullendurbro: leading the industry? Come on. Maybe leading the industry in tricking people into thinking a 35 gold belongs on anything but a kids hard tail
  • 2 0
 @rockandride6: you picked some strange dates. Historically, the lower prices per container have been between 1400 usd and 2800 usd, depending on the season and how much free space it was on the cargo ship. In March 2018 I paid as much as 700 usd for a 40ft but that was a one time only thing.
Back at the current times, last week's quotation was for 3000 usd pe 40HQ..which is 200 usd only from a 2019 December quotation at 2800 usd.
So please, try to refer to situation as they are now, not as they used to be in May or in 2018. Considering the fact that raw material is cheaper now than it was in 2019 and that parity USD-yuan is much much favorable now than it was in 2019...all the brands just pocket the difference while preparing for a slow down in sales number and sales value. The reason for kicking ppl out is exactly because they still want to keep the growth shares they've had in the last two years. Well, beside the dummies that will buy anything at any cost and beside you, who are trying to make them look like they are doing us a favor,... well, I believe the rest of us will have news for them.
  • 1 0
 @MattyRides: exactly but, personally, I am not sure they will want to bring the prices back down again. Historically, it never happened... just look at the automotive industry.
  • 1 0
 @fullendurbro: not in finance, I presume.. because you speak like some marketing or pr(lots of pretty words, zero actual meaning or facts); also, very funny when you write about passing savings to consumers while, at the same time, working for Apple. That's like the bad queen telling to snow white about the apple not being poisoned; beyond funny, tbh Smile ))))
  • 1 0
 @fullendurbro: mailrooms I presume?
  • 1 1
 @nvranka: Janitorial staff, actually. Wink
  • 19 3
 Actually it's a good move from Specialized, trying to humanize a corporation like this is absolutely futile. When I think the big S the closest thing to human that pops to mind is a lawyer and I don't think it will ever change.
  • 14 0
 Ambassador lawyers!
  • 6 0
 @Rhymer: as long as yeti has ambassador dentists
  • 3 0
 Yep. I haven’t been on a specialized since they sued Stratos out of business in the early 2000’s. I told myself I’d never buy one after that happened. But… if I could find that old purple Rockhopper that I rode in 1994 I’d probly buy one of those again, strictly sentimental reasons though.
  • 1 2
 @font style="vertical-align: inherit;">font style="vertical-align: inherit;">Rageingdh /font>/font>: que processo foi esse? Tem algum fonte para pesquisa?
  • 1 0
 @renatofrdh: Não tenho fonte para esta informação. Alguém me contou sobre isso há muito tempo porque Stratos não atendia o telefone. Tentei encontrar informações sobre isso na internet, mas não tive sucesso.
  • 62 42
 GET A REAL JOB YA BUMS
  • 33 10
 I'M MISERABLE SO SO SHOULD YOU BE, RACERS CAN F*CK OFF TOO.

yeah real considered lol
  • 19 5
 Take the money and give it to Loic and Finn, they actually deserve it
  • 1 0
 100% to them plus juniors
  • 12 3
 I understand that businesses have to make hard decisions and there are real world consequences to them but the thing that makes me most uncomfortable is the "ended contracts effective immediately" language.

Contract is a strong word and my be improperly used here. In my mind both parties have to hold up their end. Judging by the pictures, the rider is keeping their end of the deal. Makes me question Specialized's integrity if everything above is true.
  • 6 0
 most these contracts are extremely one sided. I work as a subcontractor and we often see language about termination for convenience or similar. the people getting paid typically have less leverage.
  • 2 2
 @adrennan: they didn't have to sign the contract. I'd take a guess that it allowed them to take other work, and I'd much rather be called by Specialized to say it was over than read about it in some press release
  • 3 0
 @HankHank: of course they didnt have to sign it. but there is a lot of competition for these ambassador programs and someone else will sign the contract as is. I was just responding to the surprise that specialized terminated it immediately.
  • 1 1
 @adrennan: sorry, wasn't directed at you, I agree with you're point. I was responding to the point about 'keeping their end of the deal ', which I find harder to understand
  • 2 1
 *your... Ugh
  • 5 0
 Contractor / Consultant in High Tech... not exactly the same thing, but they can tap you on the shoulder and you are done / contract terminated. When there are budget reductions, Contractors are usually the 1st to go (it's easy-peasy for them with immediate cost saving and no additional liabilities). You might get hired back, maybe not.

We are certainly not employees and do not have the benefits of such. People entering to this type of business agreement know this and should never take it for granted. It still hurts when it happens, but it's what they chose to do as a living and must accept the pros / cons of that.
  • 9 0
 No fun when anyone looses their job. My recommendation to my kids is that hobbies and a passion, such as cycling are so very important for your mental and physical health, nearly as important as securing a career that can fund them. Seek the later first, and the prior will work its self out. Most that put their hobby and passion first and try to make a career out of it don't make it, its sad, but true, especially when times get tough.
  • 2 0
 well said. I have always thought being a "professional cyclist" (that is deriving income from riding a bike) is possibly the worst job one could have.
  • 16 3
 Well thats not very nice
  • 37 7
 Is it though? Sounds like ‘why won’t someone pay me to go bike packing and take a few pictures’, I mean cmon man, what value is that really adding? If I’m wrong then please hit me up
  • 3 1
 @enduroNZ: I think that is probably what has happened. They looked at cost v sales for those segments, and it just didn't cut it. These people were probably employed as the bike packing segment doesn't exactly have any racers to lean on for content, then someone has bothered to actually run the numbers.

All that said, given these people are all content creators, Spec could have handled it better knowing it would be plastered all over the net.
  • 5 0
 @Dangerous-daveo: Personally, What i think they should've done, is pay them through the end of their contract, or at least until a point, say April 2023.
  • 11 1
 The Big S still does the shitty Big S corporate things - nice section you got there on "Litigation".
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specialized_Bicycle_Components
  • 8 1
 Sales have come to a screaching halt. While I think this is a knee jerk reaction move more than a proactive move, its usually marketing efforts that are the first to go in a downturn. It is very difficult to track ROI on some of these things, so while its not surprising it is expected. I wouldn't be surprised to see some race teams get cut as well.
  • 11 3
 Dyson... the $$$hittiest vacuum I've ever owned. But of course.... why not have the new captain of the ship be an expert on suck and blow?
  • 10 0
 Are you more of a hoover man?
  • 2 0
 @timsunset22: Lol. Perhaps eureka?
  • 5 0
 @tacklingdummy: 吸尘器 from Ali Express.
  • 1 0
 I inherited a Dyson vacuum cleaner and using it without hearing protection is painful. Their hand driers (and all of the imitators) are the absolute worst. I just don't get it.
  • 2 2
 Laugh all you fkrs want, but when Specialized sucks harder then a $400 Dyson ever could and lasts just as long... you'll know why!
  • 7 0
 About the only thing they seem to have done right is their hair dryer. Bought my wife one years ago, only time I haven't had to buy a new one every year. Six plus years later, it's going strong. But yeah. For vacuums, you gotta get a Miele. Mine's still sucking more than a decade later.
  • 7 1
 Hmmm, missing the real message here. Long term forecast is for luxury goods to take a huge hit in 2023. And 5-10k bikes are just that, luxury goods.. not to mention 15k top end bikes. The industry got hit hard with lag times in production only to end up with massive bits of inventory thinking it would last forever. Look at SRAM axs gx for $390 in some stores, and the fact that the Levo was 25% off this past few weeks. This thing is going to hit hard and no-one seems to get it. You cut the fluff anticipating some rough times ahead. Thoughts??
  • 2 0
 just got $1890 off a $6000 Carbon rocky Mountain as well.
  • 5 0
 Sram GX (and axs too from what I hear) being marked down probably has to do with the fact that their Clutches suck and the next generation of these groups are designed around the Universal Derraileur Hanger (or at least the AXS is at least)

Anyway, I spent almost $600 on a Sram GX drivetrain that shifts well but the clutch is weak AF and I wanted to bitch about it. Thanks for providing the opportunity.
  • 10 4
 Make fun of me all you want, but I consume a lot of Youtube, and I can say a youtuber definitely influenced my recent bike purchase decision. Top of mind for a new purchase was an IBIS cause BKXC, a Canyon because of GCN/GMBN or a Fezzari because of Single Track Sampler.

I'm not even sure if Single Track Sampler is actually sponsored by @Fezzari, but I googled them after seeing the Delano Peak in a couple videos and saw it was a fantastic value and ended up getting one myself.

Fezzari, if you see this, make sure you hook that dude up if he's not already. He's selling a lot of bikes for you!
  • 5 5
 Dude, just ride your bike more.You dont seem to realize YOU ARE PAYING TO BE INFLUENCED.

Less money wasted on influencers = more for r&d and lower cost => better bikes, more bang for your buck.Spend more time riding your bike and you wont need someone to tell you why you should buy the newest ,greatest thing.
  • 5 0
 @neroleeloo: Are you suggesting that bike companies stop marketing because its taking away from R&D? How will anyone know what's out there?
  • 6 2
 If you were convinced to buy a bike by people who get paid or free product to tell you why their bike is the best then buddy.. you deserve it. So do you sell and buy new bike every chance your favorite youtuber gets a new contract? I mean... their new bike must be better than the one they influenced you into buy previously.... since they did.
  • 6 1
 @Jcolis1904: Here's what midwits such as yourself don't seem to understand....your last bike purchase was influenced by marketers whether you think it was or not. How it was marketed doesn't matter, whether its a youtuber riding it or a Pro racer getting a podium at the EWS.

The brand successfully got you to put eyes on it and to pull out your credit card.

"Well i dont watch racing or youtube"

Great, but a lot of people do, and they talk about these brands, and purchase these brands, and make forum posts about these brands and you see these brands more often on group rides and at trail heads and races, and when it comes time to purchase, you recall hearing XYC at the trailhead saying how sick this bike was.

You are not above being advertised to, and more than likely don't even realize it.
  • 6 0
 hmm, yes people get fired everyday, but has this always to be the American Way?
From now to immedialtly with no warning or something like that? Or at least 2-3 month "transition time"? - when I understood things right?
Just before Christmas?
There are people behind those numbers - seems that companys like to forget this fact.
Not too proud riding a Specialized at the moment.
  • 12 3
 Well if it isn't the old reality check
  • 7 2
 Hate to see anyone lose a job. Plus, our family has owned a bike shop for many years, and I could name just a few influencers that sold us any bikes. Lance Armstrong, Bob Haro, Dave Mirra, Captain Kangaroo, and maybe a couple others that I can't remember but really no one since Lance Armstrong.
  • 4 0
 Elliot from ET?
  • 2 0
 @iamamodel: He did sale us some bikes. Smile
  • 6 1
 Hard to know the extent to which these people are producing. They need to figure out a good way to present their deliverables when dealing with large companies. Some of the ones listed here only create a post on IG every two to three weeks. If this is your fulltime job, content needs to be flowing very consistently and the amount of people reached tracked in very clear data. Estimating how much of that influences purchases is very difficult for both parties. I love that social media has allowed a whole new type of riding careers, but there aren't a lot of real companies that are going to shell out salaries year after year to the eclectic artsy people based on trust that they're doing things that influence people to purchase their product. Best of luck to all involved.
  • 2 0
 Yup. Free ride is over. Every cmo wants to see your ROI
  • 7 2
 I f*cking hate Specialized, they did a raffle in Chile and like 4 of the winners work for the brand and/or stores and the grand prize went to the son of someone they knew.
In Every Spz store i've gone to, the sell team is always trying to make people pay for stuff they don't need. Hate the culture the brand cultivates to profit and profit.
  • 1 5
flag ridingofthebikes (Dec 13, 2022 at 14:58) (Below Threshold)
 Their Diverge is a top tier bike even in the budget $1800 models though... don't care what u say.
  • 4 0
 I think that’s related to business Chilean culture more than the actual ethos of the brand…still sucks though
  • 1 0
 @PabloMoll: For sure it's a cultural problem regarding doing business in the country, but management is at fault aswell, nevertheless a brand like Spesh shouldn't engage in such low level practices, but to each their own. I will never buy anything from the brand or specialized store. I've seen first hand how they work and how their yoke equiped bikes break constantly and I'd rather give my money to almost any other brand.
  • 7 2
 Specialized is mutating from a community-oriented company which fostered good relations with MTB brand ambassadors into a more traditional corporation who'll now demand more marketing content from sponsored race athletes. they already lost respect by switching to DTC & f*cking many independent dealers out of legit in-store sales profits. Corporate America rears its ugly head once again - f*ck them & their greedy agenda!
  • 11 8
 There are grand-slam influencers out there and brands would be MASSIVELY advantaged to sponsor; Seth's Bike Hacks, Sam Pilgrim, Bernard Kerr, etc.... I've never heard of any of these people who just got dropped by specialized....
  • 7 1
 And that's why they got dropped, not enough people know about them. Obviously Spesh wasn't seeing the ROI they wanted from these ambassadors. And that's why the contracts were "on convenience" or "at will". The folks signing them should have known that.
  • 4 1
 This really ruins things for me. Even I had a bike through this program and I am a suburban dad with no real motivation to ride anything but flow trails and pose in the parking lot. I need to spin this in a way that makes me still look sponsored, Gonna be hard to convince the people looking at my bike now that I'm not sponsored.
  • 6 1
 Specialized lost a great ambassador by letting Ty go. He is a really nice guy that absolutely shreds. Honestly he did make the big S seem cooler as a brand to me.
  • 6 0
 Good thing Cathro put out a video for them just lasts week on how to find new sponsors.
  • 2 0
 inb4 the news hit that Cathro needs to follow his own advice
  • 3 0
 Congrats on a great run folks & all the best with what's next. These sound like marketing/content production agreements not employment agreements, & it's not really news or very surprising to see Specialized cut low-ROI marketing spend going into a recession.
  • 7 1
 Does this mean I won’t see Nrml Mtb’er popping up on my feed with “content” anymore?
  • 6 0
 We can pray!
  • 2 0
 I don't want to buy from companies that sponsor that kind of content, but i don't know which companies to avoid because i don't watch his content. Such a dilemma.
  • 3 0
 I think specialized is just reading the trends. 8 years ago lifestyle, boutique bike-packing stuff was hot and everyone was buying bikes and bags and going…. On the internet, to watch the handful of people who were becoming famous for broadcasting their adventures. Specialized jumped on that and it was a good run. 8 years of selling city-folk bike camping gear, lol. But maybe it’s over? Maybe they see the projections and can tell that segment is on life support and it would be better spending money on other segments of potential bike buyers.
  • 7 0
 Sad to see none of these folks go all Tinker Juarez on Specialized
  • 3 0
 Bikepacking, like fatbikes, plus bikes, etc, got popular fast and has now plateaued. Combine that with the general bike industry winter and I'm not surprised. IG is full of people with beards pushing their bike up scree in the high country at this point.
  • 2 0
 Hah, its not suprise.
In this day, when there will probably be an economic crisis in 2023, I completely understand.
Every big company cuts their budget, including influencers.

Why should I pay someone for a year for content (inc. several people), when I am able to shoot content for 1 year for 50 000€? The right steps and it's clear that Specialized's marketing has been taken over by someone who understands numbers
  • 9 4
 Ring ring.
Hello…. Yes I’m out riding and making content.
I’m sorry. Did you say I’ve been let go?

WTF?
  • 2 0
 hardball... they probably had to find money somewhere to pay those big names in the C-suite... still sad, you would not expect such long lasting partnerships to be cut overnight. curious to the statements from spesh temselves
  • 4 0
 “Swallow, who splits time between Durango, Colorado and Tucson…”

I read spits instead of splits haha… I was like wtf are they saying here?!
  • 7 0
 Tough pill to Swallow.
  • 2 0
 I understand the "lack of sympathy" in a way, because i find Social Media Content Creators (and thats what they are) kind of annoying. A lot of them are just living marketing banners, creating an illusion or pictures of a lifestyle, that everybody wants to have/to live (but just can not because of kids, responsibilities etc.). They are to the bike-community what to skinny models are for teenage girls... lol... (because actually nobody needs a new bike every year or 2, just the industry needs you to buy them Wink )

But anyway, that is a really shitty beaviour, which you only expect from huge cons without any personality. That said, probably a reason more to not buy specialized products, even though they have good ones and instead focus on smaller companies?
  • 2 0
 I am pretty sure that Specialized aren't having hard times and properly still having record profiles compared to pre-pandemic market.....as much as I think many of these influencers are lame and complete cheese balls I am genuinely gutted that fellow bike lovers aren't making a living doing what they love or may struggle to get new bikes/kit/service.

Hope these guys find a company willing to supporting them
  • 3 0
 Every time I look at that S on the head tube I just think of the cocaine lines Sinyard played with to make the logo. But that might just be a tall tale...and not relevant to this post I know.
  • 2 0
 There is onlyfans now... go naked with a dildo.

This is the bubble of socials workers... get payed just to show your life to the world and get some "cadeaux"

This is the dream of millenials...

Billions of people ready to show... children.. dogs...happiness... sorrow...death...opinions about the world... opinions that anyone gives a shit!
  • 2 0
 I feel for these folks, it sucks to lose a job the uncertainty is really tough. That said, to be able to hold a 'dream job' for any cyclist like this for 8 years is honestly an enormous accomplishment. Not sure why this is even news, budgets change, strategy changes, etc. This is a typical move at any corporation.
  • 2 1
 I'm intrigued. I expect to see some interesting marketing to come out in the next few years. Bike brands are generally pretty stale with the exception of Evil or YT, the big brands are boring. Sure they make nice bikes, but I see that their new marketing guy spent big chunks of his career at Burton in the late 90's into the 2000's when the sport was full of creativity. You follow that with a dozen years at Nike during some cool stuff with Nike Sportswear...I think we'll see some really good stuff coming in the coming years.
  • 3 0
 Sounds like a helluva good run for 8 years. Good on these riders for getting paid to do what they love. I'd be very curious to see the wording of their contracts.
  • 3 2
 These ambassadors should have seen it coming and have prepared ahead of time. It has been obvious for months that lots of people are at risk of losing their job, the bike industry being one of the most obvious sectors (especially when you are part of it) and those ambassador positions even more obvious. Perhaps they'll be paying more attention to the economy going forward. Live and learn.
  • 1 0
 Specialized always makes headlines for business decisions that don’t follow the desires of the “core” riders. But honestly do we think the influencers were really a good ROI? They likely should have gone about it in a more gentle way to minimize backlash but well within their right to adjust where their advertising dollars are spent.
  • 1 0
 Sarah Swallow! Been a long time since I used to visit you and Tom’s bike shop. Started to really dial the place in with the expresso machine. Time to open back up! Bring Swallow Bicycle Works to the PNW! Much love - Dave Raymond
  • 2 1
 They realised 8 years ago that only about 3% of riders race, so by focusing on racers, especially at non international non elite level, they were just marketing to a very small pool of riders each race weekend who were often sponsored by other brands anyway.

That's why they shifted to grass roots ambassadors at a local level who for the most part only received (greatfully) an at cost bike from them.

This was rammed home while I was riding with their global brand manager and a former UCI world cup racer. People on the trail knew who I was, and not the racer.

Hopefully they will continue to support grassroots riding and riders in other ways for the mainstream recreational community for those that couldn't give a stuff about racing.
  • 5 1
 Bout time all these ambassador programs are a joke and making the next gen into monsters
  • 3 2
 No matter how anyone feels about influencers/ambassadors, the situation sucks and Specialized letting them go in December is a huge slap in the face. They were salaried employees, that now have an uphill battle finding another gig with a brand for next year if they choose to stay in this line of work. I totally agree with many of the sentiments about this field in general, but Ty Hathaway in particular, is a super inspirational and seemingly very down to earth individual that can ride a bike really damn well, and co owned one of the most influential bike shops in history. It’s definitely a bummer deal and Specialized lost some quality individuals.
  • 1 0
 Haven't heard of these people but I did a quick check and didn't seem them creating content for YouTube. As a brand owner, YouTube is the most important channel IMO to reach, connect, and most importantly sell products. I don't feel that bad if these influencers aren't putting our YouTube videos. its obvious IG is dying, even the chubby Specialized guy who's exploding on IG, is a novelty versus Seth's Bike Hacks which is much more engaging.
  • 5 0
 Do what your parents did! Get a job sir!
  • 1 0
 Why any corporation would pay people to develop/produce/publish content is beyond me. There are thousands upon thousands of people providing this service for brands for free. A factory or sponsored race team, yes that makes sense for a company, but to pay amateurs or semi - pro's for social media is just throwing money away. Why pay a person do to something when thousands already do it for free.

As a rider, I think it is/was a great program. As a corporate exec I'd axe this entire program, day one.
  • 2 0
 When paid shills don't realize they are paid shills, and also don't read and understand the contracts they sign. Hard to feel sympathy here. I too would prefer to get paid to play on my bike and post on IG for a living.
  • 1 0
 ambassador
ăm-băs′ə-dər, -dôr″

A diplomatic official of the highest rank appointed and accredited as representative in residence by one government or sovereign to another, usually for a specific length of time.

LOL everything be corporate buzz speak these days, if these folks weren't marketing/social media mannequins, they'd be called what they really are, Contractors. Literally the lowest rung of employee at any company, being expendable is literally in the legalese that defines what a contractor is.
  • 1 0
 In my experience people who are “brand ambassadors” are usually just elitist jerks with inflated egos even if their riding dosent back that ego up. People who brag about Sscial media presence and stuff like that make me wanna yack it.
  • 1 0
 S.O.P. - new executive team immediately trims low hanging fruit from budgets so they can demonstrate "cost savings" to shareholders. Whether or not said cuts are justifiable only those with access to the books can tell. Were these "ambassadors" (i.e. youtube influencers) actually generating revenue? Who knows. It might be fascinating if some of those folks who were impacted could provide some actual examples of how they generated sales. Of course that is tough to do. The same argument occurs every time a sponsored racer or team goes under review for a new contract. Much of the sponsorship impact is difficult to quantify.
  • 1 0
 While I've always wondered about the payback brands get from some ambassador sponsorships, it's a mistake to think that it only comes from Insta/YouTube or other online feeds.

These people are out there in the real world meeting other riders on the trail every day, and the degrees of separation can get pretty small in most outdoor sports. With many of these sponsored influencers being active across multiple sports their audience increases further. I've certainly been 'influenced' to consider brands that wouldn't have otherwise even been on my radar by meeting cool people doing cool things with them. Some of those 'cool people' have been sponsored athletes that I've been fortunate to ride/climb/paddle/work with.
  • 1 0
 So...Specialized employs brand ambassadors...err...influencers...err...content creators to increase connection and engagement with like-minded enthusiasts (potential customers), project a more authentic and trustworthy ethos (marketing message) and appear more like a human collective and less like a profit-motivated, corporate entity (per the modern advertising model). Like it always does, profit-motivated, corporate entity wins every time. Now, that's real brand ambassadorship.
  • 1 0
 Sorry but not sorry, I have no sympathy for these people. You have to pull your own weight my friends...you're not an athlete, you probably dropped out of college and never finished your art degree. So? You're good at making videos and dressing up like a doll for your instagram pic. You're not real. Normal people in the sport do not get to live the van life. You're not an athlete that kids want to aspire to. You're a sad representation of what a middle age dentist or lawyer would like to be while they are stuck at their jobs waiting for the next expensive bike or gadget to spend their hard earned money on. Get a haircut and get a real job.
  • 1 0
 The people who watch the videos they produce, get all excited , go on to specilized website, and then realise that if they sell a kidney they might be able to afford a bike, so the'll look for a more reasonably priced bike.
  • 3 1
 Talk about a dying profession, As they can just sponsor a YouTuber or Instagramer to do the same thing for way cheaper. And reach more people.
  • 3 0
 Given they'll accept. tons of YouTubers are refusing sponsorships like this as it makes it hard for them to make the content they want. And making the content they want ultimately brings the views. Which ultimately brings the cash. to the point where taking a sponsor from specialized would actually hinder rather than help them. I say this after seeing multiple bike YouTubers openly and discussing refusing sponsors from bike brands in the last year or so, Seths bike hacks.berm peak being one of them.
  • 2 1
 So, what about if Spesh, or any other brand for that matter, cut out all the fluff, free stuff for the myriad of people that get it, and Cut The Price of the bikes that WE Normal people buy and ride. Wishful thinking right?
  • 6 1
 Oh no! Anyway.
  • 4 0
 in Jeremy Clarkson voice of course
  • 6 6
 Unpopular opinion:
These guys produced content that make our sport live.
Specialized has cashed in an incredible amount of money with Covid, and now the peak is hardly gone, they drop everyone who made (even slightly) their success.
  • 8 2
 Totally agree. I doubt any of these ambassadors had six-figure paychecks. Seems petty that specialized cut word-of-mouth advocates and continues paying $millions a year to post ads in magazines....and sue other companies into submission or assimilation. Hell, look at what they've done to local bike shops that made them who they are....threw them to the curb and are now direct-to-consumer. Specialized is quite the schizophrenic organization nowadays.
  • 4 1
 It's not content that makes your sport live, it's your own experiences that do that. These 'influencers' were paid to spread a marketing dream and they knew it. If that dream isn't effective anymore, you've lost your job in the advertising of it. Sure, sucks for anyone losing your job, but our sport doesn't depend on them. The companies do.
  • 6 6
 When any other company does this: "Well, that's the economy, we get it, tough times, gotta do what you gotta do to survive."

When Specialized does this: "What a f*cking bunch of assnecks, how dare they watch their bottom line and attempt to return a profit to their owners, as if they're a profit-driven entity. Cretins!"

Oh, and: "WHAT ABOUT CAFE ROUBAIX!", which is to cyclists as "HUNTER'S LAPTOP!" is to MAGA.
  • 3 3
 I purchased a new Specialized after corresponding with Ty Hathaway on Instagram. I knew him from volunteering at Trans BC and EWS Northstar- great guy! That’s what it was all about, making connections. This is not even mentioning the BICP coaching and certification I received from another sponsored rider. I hope Specialized keeps these awesome people in mind going forward.
  • 4 0
 Is this article just cut and pasted directly from velonews?
  • 4 3
 Wow, any Specialized post, even if it's about inane financials and compensation, gets more comments than posts having to do with actually riding a bike.

Specialized: The Hunter Biden's Laptop of the Bike World.
  • 5 1
 What is it you'd say, you do here?
  • 3 0
 Sinyard watched PB Academy and now Spesh is looking for "the complete package" in their ambassador team...
  • 3 0
 Always around the holidays. Companies that do that suck. Do it in late January.
  • 1 1
 Some harsh and ignorant comments here. I bet these people worked really hard for the brand and they are definitely reading these comments. Be kind. People who say social media is toxic don’t seem to seem to see the irony here. You are in the Pinkbike comments section! It’s 2022, majority of societies attention is on their phones… even if you haven’t heard of these people they definitely sold bikes.
  • 3 0
 yep,,,,, i guess big S will now be cheaper !!
  • 4 1
 Clearly freeing up funds to pay Remi.
  • 13 10
 Get a real job like everyone else... Sucks to be a grown up sometimes.
  • 6 2
 God save the C-Bass
  • 2 1
 Are any actual mountain bike brand ambassadors impacted? I can think of a few UK names. I can't say I've heard of this lot though, nor do I associate bikepacking with MTB.
  • 4 1
 I blame it on gravel bikes.
  • 3 1
 I know we all think were Special……but are we?

I’ll see myself out now.
  • 5 3
 Thats because they need to get the budget together to pay me to dominate the women's class next year as a 40year old man.
  • 4 2
 Cry me a river. Sounds like some people are sad they might lose out on freebies and have to find a real job.
  • 5 2
 Has anyone actually bought a bike because of a instagram "influencer"?
  • 4 1
 No but I’ve specifically not bought stuff that people like this use
  • 2 1
 @freeridejerk888: so maybe Specialized ambassadors are paid by Cannondale actually...
  • 2 0
 nobody ever
  • 2 0
 There's a guy who proudly commented he got an ibis because of bkxc. So cringe.
  • 4 2
 Why should my bike be more expensive because of these Influencers who don't really Influence?
  • 4 1
 Imagine that, not getting free bikes.
  • 2 1
 I certainly feel bad for the people affected but I imagine from the company's point of view that the ROI on these ambassadors is nebulous at best.
  • 1 0
 So now that they are making financial cuts, does that mean they are going to drop the prices of their bikes back to pre-pandemic prices.
  • 1 0
 I suspect it does not.
  • 1 1
 there are things that Spesh as a brand does or did that makes me want to ignore their products. This kinda news ( cutting off influencers) makes want to become Spesh fanboy Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Eh, it will just be more money saved to funnel into the exec's pockets. You can be sure none of it will go to the overworked and perpetually broke people actually doing most of the work in Morgan Hill.
  • 1 0
 @camelvendor: Again - I do not care as long as influencers suffer. Also are there reports that Spesh is actually that shitty of the place to work at? I am genuinely curious!!!

Also, I am a strong believer that if you do not like your work you can just quit and find another one ( I mean find another one first... I do not care about my employer feelings)
  • 1 0
 Boohoo get a fukn job..who cares about your ability to travel and get paid to do nothing of real benefit for society..your riding a bike..your not important
  • 1 2
 Not to be a dick about poor Sarah Swallow losing a great job, that sucks for sure. But on the plus side she has a great opportunity for a sideways move in the on-line media game that would not even require as much as a name change but it will likely suck more. I'll see myself out...
  • 1 0
 It's really hearthbreaking to know you lost 1500 bucks job so you will probably have to work 60 hours a month making beds to get back on trail.
  • 1 0
 "they are also lamenting the loss of what they thought was the brand’s desire to do more than just sell bikes."

Hahaha, right...
  • 2 0
 Oh shoot, does that mean influencers might actually start to work with smaller local brands instead of globo corp?
  • 5 3
 Welcome to the great reset.
  • 3 0
 Luke Strobel?
  • 1 0
 Did Golden Saddle in Los Angeles close because Ty Hathaway was cut off from Specialized?
  • 4 0
 Landlord wants to make condos or something. It’s in the heart of Silverlake. It’s probably worth so much more to some developer than housing a small niche bike shop.
  • 1 0
 @analog7: Way bummer. GSC was a legit bike shop.
  • 4 6
 Time to get a real job folks! Social are dead.. finally. Time to pay real pro-riders... racers... pay the right way the racers. I spent a lot of money for my hobbys.. but never spended some because of influencers. I grew up with forums... where no one were payed for sharing help..opinions.. tips.
  • 4 3
 I was going to buy a Stumpjumper, glad I waited and purchased a Spur instead.
  • 2 0
 Nice. Which build?
  • 1 0
 @generictrailrider: Just purchased a frame. Medium Sea Blue
  • 4 2
 Is it that surprising? I have not heard of any of these people.
  • 3 1
 Photos of pushing a bike isnt gna sell bikes.
  • 5 7
 Good! Influencers and ambassador are the dumbest sh1t thats ever happened to the bike industry…WE ARE ALL PAYING FOR THEM TO GET FREE STUFF.The Pinkbike academy is a prime example for that.Im happy to see my hard earn money go to Greg Minaar running a commercial but some randos on Instagram?Fvck that sh1t , Id rather spend less money on a bike please and thank you…
  • 2 1
 These folks are good people. They do good things in their community and for the people around them. They aren’t “influencers” you may be thinking of. Ty is a good friend and has put his heart into a unique lifestyle. It’s inspiring and people like him make a difference outside of Instagram. Hard to see people like you trash someone you don’t know at all. Have a heart.
  • 4 1
 The Influencer Bubble
  • 4 2
 I’ve never heard of these people.
  • 3 1
 This all started with them cutting Colin Strickland!
  • 1 0
 Not surprising. They had to figure out some way to pay for all of those butt ugly '22 helmets that nobody wants.
  • 2 0
 Dang! What about the full package?
  • 2 1
 If they want to ride a bike for a living they could always get a job with Deliveroo.
  • 1 1
 "got a salary for being a good representative and providing content"
people getting paid for posting trash on instagram was leading generational market top indicator.
  • 1 1
 kudos for Sarah for going "I don’t take it for granted" route
  • 2 1
 if someones doing "death of influencers" party then please, send me an invite.
  • 3 1
 I'd love nothing more than #vanLife to come to an end.
  • 3 1
 Someone got fired. Who cares? This is not news.
  • 1 0
 Maybe theyll uses the revenue to get out of china/Taiwan b4 things pop off and build local. Wait who am i kidding
  • 1 0
 When the keyboard warriors of a content driven website come out to blame content creators to get real jobs....
  • 1 1
 Maybe SPZ are making room for the aero "improvements", nem roost for the XC Factory team and other sponsored guys.
  • 3 1
 What about nrml mbtr?
  • 1 0
 My assumption is nrml mtber is a Jenson USA ambassador and not specifically for specialized. Just something I've gather by watching his stuff
  • 1 0
 @541freeride: he's a Specialized ambassador
  • 1 3
 @541freeride: I'm actually friends with him and sometimes ride with him whenever we meet up. According to what he told me when we were at a yearly freeride event, he's a content creator for specialized, not an ambassador.
  • 5 6
 God that dude is such a waste
  • 2 2
 @freeridejerk888: negative comments about his content in a previous article were deleted. Seems like he has fans around here.
  • 1 4
 @freeridejerk888: Says you. His way of content creation is better than watching a professional do the work representing a new product.
  • 1 0
 Good thing they just bought out the local shops.....
  • 4 3
 Bad influence
  • 11 10
 boo hoo
  • 2 1
 Knock knock
  • 1 0
 @woofer2609: who's there
  • 1 1
 Deep discounts to the industry coming.
  • 2 2
 If shes was on an E she wouldn't be pushing....
Gta sell E(m).
  • 3 3
 what a bunch of sour people in here.
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