Pinkbike Poll: Do You Know What Brands The Pros Use?

Apr 20, 2022 at 12:14
by Matt Beer  

Professional mountain bike athletes are basically rolling billboards for brands on course or in front of the lens. Contracts come and go, but some riders stick with a certain company for years in which case their name becomes synonymous with a frame, component, or apparel logo. Riders are even referred to by the equipment they use, for example, Brandon Semenuk is a "Trek rider." How much value does that hold for said company? Well, when you're as dominant in your discipline, or disciplines for that matter, as Semenuk is, it carries a massive gain for Trek.

Pinkbike has some eagle-eyed readers that spot prototype parts, but there were an unusually high number of comments geared towards the tires that the Specialized Gravity Team were running at the first stop of the World Cup DH series in Lourdes a couple weeks ago. Now, they certainly haven't been the first team to use another tire brand and sharpie out the logos, but they landed two riders on the podium with the yet-to-be-released Cannibal tire. That carries forward a ton of clout for Specialized. It's one thing for a rider to shoot some photos or even a video on less-preferred equipment, but to make it onto the box at a World Cup is the arguably one of the best marketing flags you can wave.

Our sharp shooter photographers have been sniping away at both the XC and DH World Cup races this season and caught numerous sponsor changes. On the freeride scene and in the Enduro World Series, there have been equally polarizing moves from some heavy hitters. We'd like to see if you can identify brands that each team or rider is using for the 2022 season without calling out to Siri or checking any Instagram pages. The answers are posted below the list of questions in the article, so make sure to answer the questions before scrolling to the comments.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

What helmet does Finn Iles wear?



7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

Name the suspension brand that Bas Van Steenbergen runs.



13.

How about Tom Van Steenbergen?



14.

15.

16.

17.

18.

19.

And what about Remy Metailler?



20.

21.





1. What helmets do the Orbea Fox Enduro Team wear? Bluegrass

2. What handlebar and stem does the Specialized Gravity Team use? Renthal

3. What brakes do the Commencal Muc-Off team run? TRP

4. What tire brand sponsors Nino Schurter and Kate Courtenay run? Maxxis

5. What apparel company sponsors Greg Minnaar? Fox

6. What helmet does Finn Iles wear? Specialized

7. Intense Factory Racing team is running which tires this year? Vee Tire Co.

8. What wheels does the GT Factory Team opt for? Stan's NoTubes

9. What suspension does the Rockrider Racing Team have mounted to their cross-country bikes? Manitou

10. What wheels does Pauline Ferrand Prevot run? Duke Racing Wheels

11. What frames is Carson Storch riding? Propain Bikes

12. Name the suspension brand that Bas Van Steenbergen runs? Marzocchi

13. How about Tom Van Steenbergen? X Fusion

14. What goggles does Brandon Semenuk wear? Smith Optics

15. What handlebar and stem does the Yeti / Fox Factory Team choose? OneUp Components

16. Brett Rheeder rides which brand of bike? Commencal

17. What bike frames does Fabio Wibmer use for his trials moves? Canyon

18. What tire company sponsors Thomas Vanderham? Schwalbe Tires

19. And what about Remy Metailler? Maxxis Tires

20. What helmets do the Trek Factory DH Team wear? 100%

21. And the Trek Factory XC Team? Bontrager


187 Comments

  • 452 4
 Each question needs an "no idea" option
  • 30 1
 That's pretty much all I was saying the entire time!
  • 9 4
 If you want to test for bias (or something like that), that answer should be left off.
  • 37 0
 No need. I just skipped straight to the comments to say I have no idea who these teams ride with let alone anyone who rides for them.
  • 100 1
 Or a "who cares?" option...
  • 87 1
 Each question also needs an "I don't really give a shit" option
  • 31 1
 or a "who's that" option
  • 5 0
 @everythingsucks: I always skip to the comments section first anyway...
  • 9 0
 @Chippps: and yet here we all are — in the comments of a poll we all claim we don’t care about
  • 1 0
 multiple guess my type of test.
  • 13 0
 @stiingya:

Don’t read article > read comments > make informed opinion about article.
  • 10 0
 Totally. I know all the brands but no idea who is sponsored by whom.

Tbh I don’t give a fcuk who is sponsored by whom. There are certain brands I like and other I avoid, and no Rachybox/minnar/manon_gop will change that...
  • 5 1
 And a who cares; I'm more interested in riding my own bike.
  • 2 0
 I felt confident about like 2 of these. The fact that vee tires and intense was one of them says a lot about their marketing hype
  • 2 0
 Seriously if no idea was an option this survey would actually have some value.
  • 3 0
 And a "don't care either" option.
  • 5 0
 there should also be a "who gives a f*ck?" option
  • 1 0
 @me2menow: A lot of people also know who has the first pick in the NFL draft.
  • 2 1
 True that. Then the results would be way more valuable at least. Not sure what anyone could make of this results. The only thing I noticed: when a sponsor change was super recently people kind of knew. If the change was 6-12 month in the past people tend to forget and still pick the long time sponsor from before. So people either just don't care (likely) or just don't know. The obvious answer for marketing though: More advertising so people do know, no matter what if they care or not. Happy ad selling Pinkbike!
  • 1 0
 Exactly. Also a why would I care option. Perhaps a claims to be using but isn’t really
  • 2 0
 We also need a who every paid then the most option
  • 2 1
 each question needs a nobody cares option
  • 2 0
 all i know is Loic uses the maxxis with no maxxis logo on them!!!
  • 1 0
 @dancingwithmyself: I dunno, quite fancy a go on some pro bikes too.
  • 144 6
 This thinly veiled market research poll (with no incentive for completing it) is lame.
  • 49 0
 Possibly the most transparent one yet.
  • 29 1
 Still very funny to mislead market research. Bring some more.
  • 25 4
 There will be incentive soon! www.outside.io

Be safe be well,
Incognito Robin
  • 8 29
flag nurseben (Apr 22, 2022 at 13:53) (Below Threshold)
 @notoutsideceo: as if you aren’t part of the problem, seriously, time to lose the moniker, the blush is off the rose
  • 3 0
 Yes, but the question is did you complete it?
  • 3 0
 I always clicked the one that I thought was least likely the right one. Have fun with your market research
  • 6 0
 @gnaralized: 'which tires does a cross coun-" MAXXIS

'which suspension does this freeride-" FOX

We can just promote our favorite brands here, Pinkbike. Same as you Smile
  • 5 2
 Yea i answered it randomly to at least try skew it OUTSIDE
  • 5 23
flag nurseben (Apr 22, 2022 at 17:45) (Below Threshold)
 I love getting negative reps, it makes me proud that I can push the buttons of anonymous people so easily Smile

Don’t you all just get tired of this silliness?

Who the eff are you all, why do you get off playing this game?

All this posting is just for attention, clearly you enjoy up or down voting people; not their ideas.

It’s all a load of crap, served warm on an advertising cracker, topped off with a dollop of me too.

I really wonder how all this is gonna end, badly I’m sure.
  • 4 0
 @nurseben: someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
I don’t want to speak for others but silliness is what I come to the comments for.
And passing the time while I do my morning business
Like right now
  • 85 2
 Question #12: Name the suspension brand that Bas Van Steenbergen runs?
Answer is Marzocchi but choices are Ohlins, Fox Racing Shox, DVO, RockShox, SR Suntour and Manitou.

Question #13: How about Tom Van Steenbergen?
Answer is X Fusion but choices are Ohlins, Fox Racing Shox, DVO, RockShox, SR Suntour and Manitou.

Something went wrong here...
  • 9 0
 Tricky questions, tricky answers!
  • 2 0
 Yup This.
  • 5 1
 Comment needs to be higher up. I was looking for Marzocchi and felt very confused. Was going to hit google about a brand swap for 2022 but glad I read this.
  • 83 2
 Brandon Semenuk, the Subaru driver you mean?
  • 14 0
 Is he the guy that knows Gabriel Wibmer?
  • 18 0
 First man ever to flip whip a Subaru.
  • 9 0
 @HardtailHerold: Lol, no, Chads everywhere have performed flip whips in Subarus since the early 90's.
  • 4 0
 @nzandyb: nope, those are Mustangs.
  • 80 0
 22. Who did Pinkbike sellout to?

O Outside
O Satan
O Apple
O Google
O Meta
  • 16 0
 Multiple answers possible
  • 3 0
 probably sold out to our god Elong Mah
  • 5 2
 Wait, I’m confused, are those mutually exclusive?

I think a couple of those are related, though I hate to give Satan a bad name Wink
  • 8 0
 Aren't they all Satan?
  • 1 3
 @Thirty3: … aren’t we all Satan?
  • 2 0
 @nurseben: Can't speak for you but im not.
  • 71 1
 What brand of lip balm does pinkbike use before kissing corporate ass?

□ Chap Stick
□ Burt's Bees
□ Maybelline
□ Blistex
  • 7 0
 Maybe they're born with it maybe it's Maybelline.
  • 1 0
 That's gold Jerry Gold!
  • 1 1
 Don’t lipstick to eat.
  • 30 1
 80% of the time my answer was 'I dont care'.
  • 23 1
 100%
  • 5 2
 @mi-bike: I see what you did there Smile
  • 50 23
 Congrats. Worst poll ever. Do one for grownups next week
  • 14 7
 Idk I thought it was cool.
  • 3 2
 @bikefreak720: Me too.
If you don't like it don't do it. Pretty easy
  • 19 2
 I care. I do buy brands my favorite riders use because it helps me feel cool. Sorry, I'm a total dork about MTB because it is freakin sweet. When I bomb trails I pretend its a world cup race or a rampage run because it's super fun and gets me hyped. Bring it.
  • 5 0
 thats me too, bro…
  • 3 0
 Valid, enjoy what you enjoy
  • 1 0
 They don't think it be like it is, but it do.
  • 21 4
 All these products will soon be available as NFTs!

www.outside.io

Be safe be well,
Incognito Robin
  • 2 0
 I clicked the link, I don't get it.
  • 2 0
 So... At first I thought that was a really well done troll...

Now I'm not so sure. Truly satire & reality are now one.
  • 3 8
flag warmerdamj (Apr 22, 2022 at 19:15) (Below Threshold)
 @powderhoundbrr: There's noting to get, his username was a joke that was funny for about two days but he can't let it go.
  • 3 0
 @EnduRowan: same here, first i was like wow robin is taking trolling to the next lvl, but dang i start to believe thats actually a heap of genuine outside let-me-in-on-the-nft-hype marketing bs….
  • 14 1
 Your answers don't even match the questions , and most of these can have multiple correct answers
  • 23 0
 Poll written on 4/20
  • 14 0
 I know none of those. I do know Pinkbike hates Shimano brakes though.
  • 17 3
 100% wrong on purpose, yep I'm petty, suck farts Outside
  • 1 0
 Oh that is gold
  • 13 0
 Pinkbike Poll: Do You Know What Brands I Use?
  • 2 0
 I'm not sure but I think you use Shimano drivetrain and brakes, Continental tires and Bikeyoke dropper post.
  • 5 0
 I knew all the XC ones and none of the others outside for Fabio's bike. Did make me feel bad for Duke wheels, smaller company sponsoring one of the biggest names in women's cycling, and 3x more people thought it was DT Swiss.
  • 5 0
 Where is the answer "The brand they are sponsored to use this year?"

Neko might be the closest to "unsponsored" pro out there but even he had to build a program out of brands willing to pay him.
  • 8 0
 I heard R-dog uses pampers
  • 4 0
 Appearing like a market research survey is only slightly less icky than actually being straight up market research survey. You guys are either arrogant or dingdongs. Netflix is looking at Pinkbike like “bro you’re blowing it!”
  • 7 0
 Try to choose MZ Suspension for Bas van Steezbergen...just try it
  • 1 0
 Well, it is Fox after all… what do you choose for Tom, though?
  • 3 0
 C'mon now. Running a brand recognition poll in an open forum with minimal requirements to confirm identity/demographic info is lazy at best and completely useless at worst.

This wouldn't pass muster at a high school stats level, let alone a lifestyle site with some of the best engagement numbers in the industry. Please, leave the market research and design to people who have studied how to design useful polls. The PB crew are great writers, photographers, and videographers, they don't need to be pulling double duty for the sales and marketing dep't.
  • 9 2
 No.
  • 3 1
 Hot tip: if you want to be influenced by what brand someone uses, don't look at someone being paid to endorse a product. Go to your local race series and see what brands/products are common place in the Cat 1 (expert, "semi-pro", etc) category. Those racers are generally using the stuff that works and aren't being paid to endorse a specific brand.
  • 3 4
 That’s also bullshit. 90% of people racing are “sponsored” aka get discounts on shit
  • 3 0
 @freeridejerk888: It’s pretty hard to land even a grassroots sponsorship unless you’re consistently placing top 5.
  • 2 0
 @freeridejerk888: those that are sponsored choose who they are sponsored by. Often it's only discounted pricing (aka "grassroots sponsorship"). Any savvy amateur racer is going to pick quality products over what they are "forced" used because of a paid contract. Regardless if free, heavily discounted or paying full retail. The racers I'm referring to will have a combination of free, prototype, discounted and full retail items on a race bike, but whatever the mode acquired they are picking what they believe will help them be as fast as possible consistently.
  • 1 0
 Literally every singe person I know that races on the east coast gets a discount on something. Like there’s entire teams that get free stuff and most race and cat 2 @emptybe-er:
  • 1 0
 @freeridejerk888: Don’t believe them, east coasters just enjoy exaggerating. Sponsorship comes from desirable exposure, not from basic participation.
  • 1 0
 @freeridejerk888: I shouldn’t say enjoy.. I think it’s mostly subconcious
  • 1 0
 Most people racing have logos on ther jerseys. Most people get discounts from somone or some brand. Maybe your just one of the few that does lol @emptybe-er:
  • 1 0
 @freeridejerk888: Oh right I guess I just forgot that nearly everyone is randomly sponsored for absolutely no reason, just for companies to waste money. Are you really this clueless? We’re talking drooling throbber territory.. You see branded jerseys at a race and figure everyone is sponsored?
  • 1 0
 No you 1/4 witted chungus. Read @emptybe-er:
  • 2 0
 I'm puzzled about the "yet to be released" Specialized cannibals. They were released in the early 90's. I had a pair and they sucked. The bat wing shaped knobbies bounced all over. I replaced them with some sweet IRC Kujo's.
  • 5 1
 @pinkbike could you add a new option into each question please: "Not really bothered what they run"
  • 5 1
 If you didn't choose the product and pay for it with your own money, I don't care what you run.
  • 5 2
 Hopefully summer is right around the corner and useful content will soon be in abundance. Until then, we get garbage articles like this one.
  • 5 0
 if you pass this test you're probably a serial killer.
  • 1 0
 Or a stalker
  • 1 0
 The way I see this is if you're a CMO or other senior marketing lead in this industry, you have an audience of riders passionate about the riding, the sport and various disciplines.
They're interested in team + rider moves when they happen, yet ultimately no-one seems to care about the products they use.

We don't care because the riders seldom choose and pay for them like we do, they get paid partly from the money we pay as their sponsor contracts are part subsidised by inflated prices.

It begs the question, if we don't know or care in significant numbers who rides what, why bother sponsoring riders?

Personally, not once have I bought or used a biking product because X rider used it.
  • 6 1
 There is no ‘point’ and the ROI clearly sucks. It’s why YouTubers that ‘suck’ get paid more than top racers. Eyeballs matter not results.
  • 1 0
 Because people are still aware what brands are being ridden by the pros, even though they largely don't care who rides what brand.
If a brand cuts sponsoring riders/teams, the brand will vanish from people's radar and their sales will most likely drop.
  • 8 6
 Sucks, but I’m officially done with PinkBike.. What was once a great MTB page has dissolved into nothing more than a data gathering marketing tool. Catch you guys over at Vital. I’m out
  • 1 0
 I know Kev rides a canyon , he's my favourite rider by far but sorry canyon and Jack,a canyon MTB is not on my short list of bikes.id would seriously like to know how much the cost of the a team and all sponsorships add to the cost of our bikes?
  • 1 0
 Well, maybe this poll can make the UCI do away with the plehora of fugly jersey swapping, and teams stick to one kit design per season. I’m surprised at how few I was sure about. Tend to remember brands in XC more easy since you actually have time to see riders & bikes moving slowly for a long time, and the kit designs are usually way cleaner.
  • 1 0
 instead we need a secret Pro's poll. They answer what products theyd run if they wanted max performance if racing as a privateer. The Shimano fanboys would be so hurt when they pick SRAM and TRP as their most wanted brake.. shimano might see some for their saint drivetrain though.
  • 1 0
 MTB does have a branding problem. How would anyone know Fin Isles' helmet manufacture? Red Bull? Or who cares about someone's stem sponsor? Then you have the cool blackout color schemes where I would guess the persons sponsor was the color "black".
  • 4 1
 Where was the tick box for’ I don’t no the answer to any of the questions’ ??
  • 5 2
 Lots of negative Nancys on tonight. I thought it was fun. Test the memory. Good times.
  • 6 2
 I couldn't give a shit who wears what.
  • 1 0
 I noticed if it’s a product I like or am fond of I new the answers….. the rest where guesses from maybe seeing them in videos the exception is remi and maxxis as more recent video he hooked someone up with maxxis.
  • 3 0
 I would be more interested in an article on how much sponsorship and marketing adds to the cost of the product
  • 1 0
 I know Intense uses Vee Tires but only because everyone bitches about it. So, marketers, if you want us to actually remember this stuff, get people to bitch about it. Incessantly.
  • 3 0
 Who else just put their favorite brand down for each?
  • 1 0
 Santa Cruz Clothing threw me with Minnar riding in that kit.. correctly selected way more than i would have thought I'd get.
  • 1 0
 100% guess/random selection as ive absolutely no idea! turns out i really dont with 0 correct.
i tend to watch the riding not the brands?
  • 6 3
 Who the hell is Kate Courtenay ? Is she riding with Nino Schurtaire ?
  • 3 0
 Why is "Whatever they are paid to ride" not an answer?
  • 2 0
 Statistically even with guessing on most of them I should have gotten one right. But to no avail
  • 4 0
 Who gives a rip?
  • 2 0
 I was hoping it would be a single "yes or no" question, to which I would have replied no
  • 3 0
 PinkBike is getting ready to jump the shark! Sad really.
  • 3 0
 This is really dumb, why TF should anyone care
  • 3 0
 Arson Torch on Propane was the only one I felt 100% confident knowing.
  • 2 0
 Everyone, brands are trying to figure out do they need to sponsor riders, that is all this dumb thing is for.
  • 2 0
 When you realize the answers are at the bottom..
  • 19 1
 And still don't care enough to read them.
  • 3 1
 I honestly liked it, made you look at the advertising differently Smile
  • 1 0
 If you answered all these correctly, you work in the industry or you spend too much time on PB.
  • 1 0
 Beyond the gravity riders who are at the absolute top of the game (and who thus get the most media attention) I have no idea
  • 1 0
 I wonder if there is an equivalent of pro ice hockey sticks where they put Branded stickers on different brands stuff.
  • 1 0
 Fake air spring caps on coil forks for one that I’ve heard about recently.
  • 2 0
 @somebody-else: of all the things we've loved and lost in MTB I miss legitimate coil forks the most. Now you have to buy a high end air fork, throw the air spring away and insert a coil kit that cost half as much as the air fork.
  • 1 0
 @HardtailHerold: yup. I’m in the middle of doing it again.
  • 3 0
 Who cares
  • 2 0
 Does PB works as advertising platform?

who cares
  • 1 1
 You asking or telling?

I think it goes without saying, esp since Outside bought em.
  • 1 0
 "5. What apparel company sponsors Greg Minnaar? Fox"
That's not even one of your poll questions. Bravo.
  • 3 1
 You forgot the "Don't Know" and "Who Cares?" choices
  • 1 0
 I've pretty well no idea on most of that, I need to ride less and Google more.
  • 2 0
 What’s really in the energy drink cans the pros are drinking out of?
  • 1 0
 apple juice spritz cauz looks totally rb…but the smell, oh my
  • 2 0
 Clean piss in case they get a drug test
  • 1 0
 Tom runs x fusion that wasn’t a option and bad runs marzocchi that wasn’t a option what
  • 2 0
 I thought Finn wore a RedBull helmet.
  • 2 0
 How about asking “Do you CARE what brand the pros use?”
  • 1 1
 I guessed at none, chose none, yet I know Brenden Kerr rides with that peculiarly gold renthal handlebar.....and Leatt - they weren't mentioned either
  • 1 0
 Don't know and frankly don't care. Im a slow, obese rider who still uses training wheels.
  • 1 0
 8/21 including some luck. don't really care too much and never interested in what xc folks are doing
  • 1 0
 Who cheated, to pretend he knows everything about everybody’s setup and now has the ability to be a dick about it
  • 1 0
 Who else just clicked their favorite brand?
  • 1 0
 I know what there riding just not what there wearing to ride that bike
  • 1 0
 A little something missing from the options on #12 and #13
  • 1 0
 Ask me about Pedals, for some reason i know too much about this.....
  • 1 0
 Ok hears an easy one 4 yah
Which pedal has reversed thread and how can you id one from the other
(Besides looking at the threads )
  • 1 0
 there wasnt even an option for x-fusion for tom van steenbergen.
  • 1 0
 Which pinkbike users get the most props for their hilarious posts?
  • 2 0
 hello my names ninooooo
  • 1 0
 We only care about their BMX background
  • 1 0
 Does anyone know the Finn Iles?
  • 1 0
 i know Loic Bruni runs Ohlins. thats about it.
  • 1 0
 I do care what Jolanda uses.
  • 2 2
 wouldn’t mind, using Jolanda
  • 1 0
 Answered 3 got 1 wrong :'D
  • 1 0
 So. Sponsorships are overrated? The return on invest is just bad!
  • 1 1
 Some of us (few?) love racing. Looks like most here don't get it.
Your loss.
  • 1 0
 I don't even know why the pros are...
  • 1 0
 Now do a poll asking the question "what brands should the pro's be using"
  • 1 0
 why is there not a Mike Bear option for tire sponsors?
  • 1 0
 Have you successfully taken your marketing bull$hit pills??
  • 1 0
 I am usually good with frame sponsors and that's about it.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark question / answer #5 kinda match but not really Smile
  • 1 0
 This should rather be “ Can you guess…what brand the top pros use?
  • 1 0
 what type of underwear does so and sowear
  • 1 1
 Man, I don't know even one of the answers!! LOL
  • 2 5
 Yeah, who effing cares what the we pros use, as if the gear makes the rider, come on PB, that’s some reaching stuff, maybe focus more on content and less on #metooo crapola.
  • 1 0
 "The Finn Iles"? :-D
  • 1 0
 Haha wtf is this
  • 1 1
 How much wood could a wood chuck chuck?
  • 1 0
 nevermind
  • 1 0
 who cares





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