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. 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