Pinkbike Poll: Will Mountain Biking Ever Be a Mainstream Sport?

Dec 26, 2013 at 12:20
by Mike Kazimer  
What if mountain biking were a “mainstream” sport? One that had same number of rabid fans as those sports where overpaid men chase a ball around a field. Is that even a feasible option? As it is right now, whenever mountain biking appears on TV it's either a clip of a horrendous crash or a monster jump, footage shown simply for the pure shock value, which likely won't do much for the sport except get a few brands a couple precious seconds of exposure.

The mountain bike industry's quest to get in the mainstream media spotlight is understandable. Television's reach is immense, providing brands instant access to a captive audience of millions, and even just a brief amount of air time can translate into sales. However, it's how the sport is portrayed that becomes the issue, with the tendency being to showcase the most extreme and dangerous portions of the sport, the aspects that make it seem more like a carnival sideshow instead of an activity for the whole family. Footage of Kelly McGarry's backflip at the Red Bull Rampage has wracked up over 15 million views, impressive numbers, but how many of those viewers are actually going to be inspired to take up mountain biking after watching that? Or look at Kyle Strait's appearance on The Weather Channel; Kyle handled himself like a true professional, but the hosts fill the interview full of words like 'extreme,' 'crazy,' 'insane,' words that once again push the sport into the realm of something reserved for stuntmen and circus freaks.

Brendog had his canyon gap dialled.
While it makes for exciting spectating, is this how we want the sport of mountain biking seen by the general public?

Rather than chasing television time with the most outlandish portions of the sport, why not try to grow it from within? And by growth, I mean attract actual participants, not just fans. Soccer may have billions of fans, but how many of those fans actually possess any passable soccer skills? Or in America, where the top most viewed sport is football, but the number of actual people who actually play the sport is less than that of mountain biking. The chances that a randomly selected American football fan could even run a lap around the field are pretty slim, especially since more than 1/3 of the US population is obese.

With statistics like that, it's not surprising that mountain biking's growth isn't skyrocketing. It's a physically demanding sport, one that takes a higher level of fitness to participate in than say bowling or table tennis, sports that can be performed with one hand while the other grips a double bacon cheeseburger. It requires access to trails, which can be difficult, especially in urban environments. Plus, the initial investment can be daunting, although there are plenty of people who don't blink at shelling out $1,000 for a TV, but whine about mountain biking being too expensive.

Don t say epic. Oh please don t say epic.
It might not be 'extreme,' but imagery like this makes mountain biking look more feasible to someone who's never been off-road before.

Attracting more riders starts at the local level, by building a community of involved, passionate mountain bikers. Local bike shops should be the hub, the nexus where group rides originate, where grassroots race teams form, and where riders of all levels feel comfortable gathering. Trail advocacy groups are crucial as well, since without trails, there's no point in trying to attract participants. Mountain biking already has a strong core group of addicted riders, the challenge is encouraging more people to give it a try. Portraying mountain biking as something solely for kids jacked up on Mountain Dew does little to help this, and instead feeds into a skewed public perception about the sport.

Will mountain biking ever reach the popularity levels of soccer, baseball, and football? I doubt it, but I'd love to be proven wrong. But at the same time, I'd be perfectly content with seeing mountain biking grow naturally, gaining participants of all ages, rather than seeing it shilled on TV as a sport for lunatics.


What do you think? Where do you see the sport of mountain biking heading? Vote and voice your opinions below







245 Comments

  • + 330
 main stream? NO THANX!
heres why
the name 'Mountain Biking' is a pretty wide bracket including XC, FR, 4X, AM, DJ, DH, trail riding and yes Enduro....
XC is probably the most popular even AM depending on your terrain
SO
lets say we make MTB more mainstream an popular, well thats more than likely gonna mean more XC off roadies an gentle trail riders
more riders holding back trail development, smashing down dirt jumps, moaning that FR trails are too demanding
where I live my local trail centre is 100% XC off roadies, the trail building they do is smoothing all the terrain thats too rutted,bumpy an gnarly for thier likes.. hell they even take puddles out of the trail! they cover dirt with perfectly machine flattened gravel trails
it sucks
I have approached them with the idea of a small section put aside for free riders to build maintain and manage thier own area
theyre not interested an down right rude about the concept
so NO
LESS MAIN STREAM PLEASE
  • + 92
 listen to this guy it is the truest thing ive heard in a while
  • + 9
 I mostly agree but trail centres are designed to get more people in to riding (which I have nothing against) and offer a relatively safe and waymarked route so you can just turn up and ride. If trail centres don't excite you then that is what the rest of the countryside/ mountains are for. There's tons out there outside of trail centres so get out and explore. Trail centres will never cater for the gnar freerider and nor should they.

I would also disagree that XC is the most popular form of riding. There is far, far less investment in XC than DH or road. Brian Cookson even said openly that British Cycling or the UCI wouldn't give it any more funding as there's no return on the pennies and very little interest.

Trail mincing must be the most popular form of riding, surely? Smile I.e. riding 6/7 inch bikes on XC terrain, dressed like a storm trooper and calling a 10 mile ride "epic". Do they call that Enduro nowadays I'm not sure Smile
  • + 18
 This is what has been happening on the North Shore in recent years... Ridership has increased and trails are changing from steep, rocky and rooty, to paved and flat bench cut. The only new trails being built are beginner xc/am, while dh/fr trails continue to be decommissioned.
  • + 19
 Main stream means more trails being built, more people buying bikes and gear so prices will be way cheaper. Soooooo many haters out there just because you discovered mtb first and someone is a beginner doesn't mean you own the sport wow you need to get over yourself @beardless
Stop being haters and jealous you look like big cry baby's!! Who cares if someone has a nice bike and can't ride the point is they want to learn and progress the sport and hopefully introduce there kids like i did a few years back.
Ohhhh sorry I should have said I can't try this sport cause I'm not as hardcore as beardless gnarly rider! Guess what with your attitude mtb will die out and become extinct! Just ride your bike and stop your whining
  • - 4
flag hoolydooly (Dec 27, 2013 at 5:30) (Below Threshold)
 Tim from Woolworths says no. #justhishumbleopinion
  • + 38
 Its slowly turning main stream and its good. What about all the legal pump tracks that are being built on gov't land? Or ski resorts that turn into a mtb park durning the summer? That's because mtb has gone main stream.
  • + 7
 I also enjoyed these photos.
  • + 8
 @anonynous we're keeping trails like digger and Jerry rig, the new trails like bobsled and floppy are just so that a wider range of riders can be able to ride. I totally understand you, and Ladies is my favorite trail, but I was a beginner not too long ago, and having about 3 trails that I was, at the time, able to ride was not very fun. I am of the opinion that trails like natural, with ride-arounds for the big features are the way to go, but I do enjoy a lap down bobsled.
  • + 14
 Can someone explain why they took exception to my comment? Jeff?

I said that there's nothing wrong with trail centres catering for the masses as that is exactly what they were designed to do and it is great that more people can enjoy the sport. If you feel you are too gnar for trail centres then get out in the mountains. This is quite a UK specific comment I realise as we don't have trail networks like on the North Shore or any real Bike Parks to speak of (BPW isn't in the mould of Whistler for example). You have to understand that a "trail centre" in the UK is somewhere for people of all ages and abilities to find something fun to ride without any real planning. Plenty outside this for the more experienced rider.

Not sure if the trail mincing part touched a nerve? Just a light hearted observation and no need to judge or take it to heart. I ride a 80mm XC bike anywhere and everywhere and ride with people with everything from rigid singlespeeds to 7 inch enduro bikes. We all ride the same stuff and all have fun so no need to judge Wink
  • + 8
 Ya I agree. Main trails do need some benchcut sections for longevity but mainly only on off camber, high erosion areas. Generally, mainstream sports are being wussified to do all these pansie parents and the feminzation of males. Its bizarre. Boys wearing beenies like girls to show their bangs, mani pedi, eyebrows,...yikes.
  • + 22
 Mainstream is a relative term. In the US, there are 3 mainstream sports: football, football and football. We are obsessed with ratings in the US, and have declared football the precedent for popular sport. There are football talk and analysis shows that receive higher ratings than a baseball playoff game.

If mountain biking (freeride, racing, xc, dh, enduro, etc.) as a whole wanted to be labeled mainstream - it'd have to beat out road cycling, lacrosse, NASCAR, golf, college sports, hockey, soccer, baseball and basketball on any given day. That's not going to happen.

Instagram:
#football - 8.5 million posts
#soccer - 7.7 million posts
#basketball - 4.2 million posts
#mountainbike - 319,000 posts
  • + 3
 T-Lindz said it. Pro's may never be making and signing contracts for 8 million per year. But the rest of us builders and riders are making it more mainstream by building trails, going to bike parks. Lets not forget the first of it's kind Coast Gravity Park. It is already mainstream, just not to the extent of baseball, football or hockey.
  • + 5
 Since most people's idea of "mountain biking" around here is riding anything not a road/hybrid down the gravel rail trail, the easiest way to get them "offroad" is by easing them onto XC trail. There's also a distinct lack of elevation here which makes 4X, DH, and FR a challenge (unless you like 2-3 minute races).

Also, mountain biking is dangerous. I mean look at what CG did with a low speed crash and a brake lever. Even if it's statistically safer than other sports, people have already gotten that idea from seeing Rampage on TV and too many viral crash vids (Fails for Your Friday don't help!).

I think mainstream means taking it to a level where it's both accessible and progressible (new word!). That means that little kids can ride, race, and have fun with the goal or dream of making it in "the big leagues" like national level racing or World Cups. Look at football (US), there are PeeWee leagues all the way up to Pro. Mountain bike has Pro...and everyone else, with not much in between. Becoming "mainstream" will probably skew more trails to the bottom end of the skill curve because that's where the majority of riders will be. I don't think you can stop this, you can only whine about it.

Last bit of this rant: more riders = more money = more trails. Cities, counties, states, etc. derive how much funding a project should get by how much use it will generate. Oh, you want a park that looks nice but is never used? Nope. Oh, you want to add some green/blue level trails to get people circulating through the park? Yeah, that's more interesting, let's try that.
  • + 1
 @beardless who really cares who rides what bikes or wears what gear why judge?? Just have fun
www.pinkbike.com/photo/10094549
  • - 1
 wouldn't be the same vibe and bikeparks/traisl would be as crowded and expensive as ski resorts. the prices for bikes and parts would propably rise too. NO THANKS!
  • - 1
 Yes there is the whole thing that xc will be the main aspect if mountainbiking goes mainstream but that hasn't exactly stopped anyone yet? Just build and ride in a different area plus now and then it is good for fitness riding xc bikes. I doubt any pro DH riders never ride xc because they think its tame, they do it for training. Plus if it turns mainstream no matter what bikes people are riding its all pumping money into the sport so it can develop more! Another bonus is that hopefully women will get involved! Yes there are some already but who would say no if their girlfriend asked to go out riding with you or even meet more female riders!
  • + 2
 @Zakir: Jerry Rig hasn't been rideable for years and some of the woodwork on Digger has been decomissioned. There's nothing wrong with having beginner trails, but when that's all that is being built there's a problem. The North Shore already has enough beginner trails; there's always been bobsled, floppy bunny, KOTS, basically all the lower trails on Fromme. As well as the seymour demonstration forest.
It's disappointing that the NSMBA has sold out to the DNV and now only caters to riders who are beginners or just aren't interested in pushing their limits and want to ride paved trails. While the rest of us who want challenging trails on the shore have no support and a steadily decreasing amount of challenging trails to ride.
  • + 8
 cannot ever see mountain biking become 'mainstream' because the bulk of the modern population do not live in mountainous areas but urban centres (big cities)

a problem with mountain biking is that its not accessible. I've been mountain biking since 1986, and BMX since 1981.

As much as I love mountain biking, my current location in London requires a 1+ hour journey just to get to proper off-road terrain where its worth riding the mountain bike. Time is short as I have a busy job and family, its really hard making a whole day to go for a mountain bike ride.

I cannot see myself selling my mountain bike, but my other bikes get much more use.

in contrast, I can roll out of my front door on my road bike, and start riding straight away, and its some pretty good riding.

When I was riding BMX, I could also roll out of my front door and have 2 skateparks and miles of street terrain within minutes of my front door.


this is not to degenerate mountain biking, or promote road cycling, but just to admit one is not accessible (the mtb), the other is very accessible (the road)

unless you are lucky enough to live in a rural area with good access to trails, woods and mountains, its not going to be worth the investment

compared to investing in a road bike (or BMX) which can be easily used and enjoyed in urban environments
  • + 20
 @Anonymous: What you are seeing the NSMBA do is 20 years worth of deferred maintenance to the trail systems, particularly on Fromme and Seymour. Most of the trails on the Shore were originally loamers, or built in an unsustainable fashion. If you come out to trail days and talk to the ORIGINAL builders as they work on the trail, their intent was never to have punched-out river beds; increased rider traffic and a difficult climate created those chutes.

There's still plenty of gnar to be ridden on the Shore, and if you have concerns about the NSMBA "selling out" to other stakeholders on the mountain, I encourage you to show up to the AGM, or send Mark, Vince or myself an e-mail.

Cheers,

Matthew Lee

Director of Advocacy, NSMBA
  • + 4
 The last year or so there's been talk about putting the trans-pennine trail straight through my village with a big investment in clearing the trails to increase the amount of people mountain biking in the community. GREAT. Wrong, instead all they've done is taken out all the rocks and roots and any sort of off-camber section and replaced it with concrete. That's not even mountain biking anymore! and it's not even like they've just done it to one of the bridleways, they've done it to almost all of them. I guess it's not too bad because I'm very lucky to have places like wharncliffe and grenoside just down the road but it really limits those little after school xc rides Frown
  • + 1
 Agreed. I ride around about 100+ miles a week on my DH bike. It's the only bike I own. It's not very good, but it's a great workout, and I have fun while doing it. The fun and exercise is the main reason why I ride.
  • + 3
 @carletonman (Matthew Lee): Yes, most of the trails on the shore were originally loamers or strung together old logging roads, however it is not true that they were not maintained for the past 20 years. They were maintained in different ways, such as rock armouring, bridges/skinnies, and other stunts. The NSMBA held trail days on Air Supply as well as Pink Starfish back in the early/mid 2000's and challenging features were actually built and maintained.
All trails will require maintenance at some point regardless of initial construction. Loamers are unsustainable, but once worn down, become a sustainable punched-out river bed. Erosion is a natural process, nothing can be done to prevent it, so why not just embrace it and spend the time elsewhere... perhaps making and maintaining challenging dh and fr trails.
The main reason that challenging trails are not being built or maintained is not because they are "unsustainable" or that no one wants to ride them anymore. It is because the DNV does not want these types of trails to exist, for whatever reason (they are not liable for any injuries because they are protected by the Forest Practices Code of B.C. Act)

Continued below
  • + 3
 Contiuned from above ^

This brings me to my point about the NSMBA selling out to the district. The NSMBA claims to be striving for/achieving a good relationship with the DNV so that they can live up to their motto: "Trails for all, trails forever." The second part of that motto may be true, but not the first part. Instead of aggressively pressuring the DNV or even just disregarding them as it used to be done. The NSMBA has sold out and now kisses the feet of the district by only building and maintaining beginner/xc/easy trails.
Since mountain biking has become such a popular sport on the North Shore, it would be impossible for the DNV to ban mountain biking on the slopes of Fromme and Seymour and/or decommission all of the trails. Therefore, by strength in numbers, the NSMBA has much more power than it is currently exercising.

Now, about attending trail days and AGMs to "put my shovel where my mouth is" or "don't bitch in, pitch in" (Mark Wood). I have attended agm's and trail days, both in the past and present. The general vibe of these events is to not say or do anything negative or that opposes the work that is being done by the NSMBA, as these people are labelled as the "vocal minority" and are no longer supported by the NSMBA.

I look forward to reading your reponse either on this board, or by PM'ing me.
  • - 2
 @Anonymous I don't think you realize how close we are to more chainsaw massacres. Mountain biking is not as popular as you think it is, and the opposition is just as fierce as it once was. while most LBSs nowadays carry mountain bikes, it pales in comparison to other outdoor sports. Besides, the votes come first for the DNV. The Lynn Valley residents have long hated us, and if we get in their hair, the district will start to make mountain biking less and less accessible on the shore, eventually ending in a cypress-style chainsaw massacre. As it is, land managers think that opposing mountain biking would be a popular move, and are liable to start shutting down trails. If we start disregarding the district, we open ourselves up to massive kickback. As for trails that have not had maintenance done, such as Jerry Rig and Circus, well, no one is going to adopt them. They are seen as a liability to the adopter, and nowadays, time must go elsewhere. These days the NSMBA has massively increased costs and demands on their time, and putting on trail days for the trails that only the top few riders can ride does not make the top of their list. If there was someone like Dangerous Dan still living on the shore who was willing to maintain those trails it would be a different story.
  • + 3
 @Zakir: I'd like to know where you're getting this information that "Lynn Valley residents hate mountain bikers"... Mountain biking as well as hiking on the North Shore are in fact very popular. Did the 1999 Cypress chainsaw massacre stop mountain biking? Even back then when the sport wasn't nearly as popular as it is today.
If the NSMBA were to oppose what the DNV wanted and started building more stunts and challenging trails and the DNV decommissioned every single trail on the mountains. The trails would be cleared and rebuilt within a matter of weeks due to popularity of the sport. It has gotten to the point where it cannot be stopped, mountain biking is too well developed and besides that, a fairly large portion of the district's tourism revenue comes from outdoor recreation. No trails = no money.

Even if someone wanted to adopt trails such as Jerry Rig and Flying Circus, they would not be allowed to do so, and any work done on these trails would be decommissioned by the NSMBA, DNV, or both. It's not just that the NSMBA doesn't have the time and or money to built more challenging trails, it's that it is not allowed. So if someone like Dangerous Dan came back to the Shore, his trails would be decommissioned just like they were in the past.
  • + 1
 @ Anonymous: what?

"Erosion is a natural process, nothing can be done to prevent it, so why not just embrace it and spend the time elsewhere... perhaps making and maintaining challenging dh and fr trails."

I see your points above and feel some are valid but would you like to elaborate on this more?
  • + 0
 to late the box broke,its open and fell in the stream,the bike has been here since before cars in one form or another.,its big and small,depends on the country you from.Just look at it this way not all sports make money but yet they made it main stream.there's good and bad in every thing we call sport,just be happy you can enjoy your sport what ever it is,cause some day it could be nuke gone,the world we live in is not perfect.
  • + 1
 @ Anon: Even the work that was done in the mid 2000's now needs to be replaced. Wooden structures, unless they're made specifically out of red cedar (and many weren't) have become rotten and unstable. As a result they have to come down. No-one wants to be the unlucky SOB that has a skinny collapse under them.

Furthermore, erosion and sustainability are complete polar opposites. Part of the reason the DNV and Metro went after mountain bikers for years was the fear of causing erosion and landslides on both mountains. Trail systems can be built to last for decades (the work that was done by Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression is a testament to that), but the methods that were used in North Vancouver weren't. Punched-out creek beds are a sign of failure and long-term environmental damage, not success. Other stakeholders on the mountain love to hammer us with this at every single opportunity they can. Compounding the problem is the high rate of both traffic and precipitation that the Shore sees in comparison with other trail networks. Areas like Whistler or Squamish will see time over the winter to recover, while NS trails will see heavy usage year-round regardless of the weather.
  • + 3
 (cont)

Being oppositional to the DNV also gets us nowhere when it comes to things like expanding the trail network, and receiving funding for repairing the existing network. Many of the builders, including Digger were able to be paid to repair trail on the Shore; something that even five years ago was unthinkable, and was only possible by CO-OPERATION. Further re-construction of existing advanced and expert level trails relies on ongoing good relations with land managers. Fighting with them, rogue building, and antagonizing other user groups will get us kicked off the mountain, and looking a lot like Marin County. Nobody wants that to happen.

Finally, if you attended this year's AGM, you would have heard that phase one of TAP is being wound down, and that phase two, which will include the reconstruction of advanced and expert level features built to Whistler standards, will be ramping up over the next few seasons. Getting there takes time. Please be patient.

Trail work involves taking the long view: it's not just what people want now, it's what people are going to need five, ten, even fifteen years from now. If I can go back and ride something in a decade with the same people that helped craft the trail network today, I'd call that a success.
  • + 0
 @dglass: I see how that phrase sort of contradicts itself, but since erosion is always happening, instead of working/maintaing the trail to make it easier, just leave the chunder and focus on fixing the stunts instead.

@caletonman: Thanks for the reply. I understand the NSMBA and your position on the trail maintenance issue, unfortunately it is not the same as mine. My only request for if/when phase two of TAP happens is that the trails do not resemble A-line or Bobsled style trails. There is already Whistler for that and I'd like to have the trails on the shore remain unique, challenging, steep, and fun. I will be the first one there if there ever does become an opportunity to rebuild trails like Air Supply, Jerry Rig, etc. to their former glory.
  • - 1
 Do you ever come to a poll and just click on the one everyone else did?
  • + 5
 Here's my two cents. When a sport/activity becomes too popular, you get a wide variety of people, with a wide variety of skill levels... When those "less skilled" people build up a little bit of bravery, they go to the more skilled sections. When they do that, you get a handful of squibs who hurt themselves, and instead of sucking it up, they blame the trail/company for their injuries. This of course leads to "a more safe environment" (aka the no fun zone), making our local trails a bore. YES you can always go to the mountains and get your fix, but on a small local scale, mainstream influence is not the best thing for the sport.
  • + 1
 Same in Denmark, plus our forrests are small, so if more people wants to ride, we will have to stand in line and await our turn.
  • + 4
 I live in Ventura CA and I thinknits headed the same way that you are experiencing right now. Whenever I build a sick step down or a built berm it gets ransacked. I don't know who they are but if I caught them I would say something but knowing me....say some sh#$ to piss them off and then go to town on them. Very few people have respect for me and my buddies riding over here and they almost walk the trails and destroy them just to piss us off. Maybe I've gotten off track but in the long or short run.....I would rather be the rebel in a sport that has pure passion and people that are awesome. Mainstream is to mainstream!!!!!!
  • + 5
 in a way, it's already main stream, most people just have there heads up there A's as to what it is. As a kid i started off with a crappy walmart bike riding in the trails above my house and riding everywhere with my friends. That was on a mountain bike. you go camping, you see a family with a bunch of kids, riding on dirt paths around camp grounds. That's also mountain biking. It's been mainstream before most of you kids were even born.
  • + 1
 Concider yourself lucky...where i come from mtn biking is illegal so we have to deal with running from rangers and nagging from horse people...
  • + 0
 Well it think some types of mountain biking will definitely get more popular especially due to x-games and the red bull signature series. You think about how popular rally cross is... Loads of people talk about it but their arn't that many people that do it. I know mountains biking is quite different but what I'm saying is it might become more popular and talked about but that might not directly affect the number of people taking part in the sport... Personally I love seeing the sport get more and more coverage thanks to red bull and as far as I can see biking is becoming more popular (in my area) and I'm glad... More trails get built and more people to ride with...
  • + 49
 Would not be same or have the same vibe i Think its perfect how it is
  • + 1
 agree- theres a piece of the sport where you feel you can trust most anyone else who does it too because its so small.
a big issue could be adding dh/ds to the olympics tho.. its also not in the guinness book of world records which would be an endless category of drops gaps etc
  • + 26
 Mountain biking will not become "mainstream" in the same way that "overpaid men chase a ball around a field" because your comparing a team game which is predominantly a spectator sport (sure many play, but majority watch from armchairs such as Rugby & football)
where as mountain biking is the opposite, it does not require a team, and therefore does not require the masses required to make it happen. It can be solitary and a test of oneself, it can be sociable to a close group of friends, it can be a race to niche number of like minded people. Due to mountain biking not being a team sport, it does not foster the tribal following, (The feeling that makes spectators feel a part of the proceedings just because they where there teams colours) that attracts mass spectator following, and therefore considered mainstream.

I for one am happy for it to stay, the way it is, grass roots led, easy to get into, healthy, and for those that want it, an incredible selection of professionals pushing the envelope on what we thought was possible, with joe public benefiting from both the specticle, and the trickle down technology.
  • + 5
 Bonus point here, since it's not much of a spectator sport for the majority (I love seeing world cup at fort bill though) because all the chubby football folk don't have the energy to walk even 10m up the hill, plus I think the fact that kicking a ball isn't hard, they can feel like they are part of it by playing, where mtb (esp dh) is too hard. And so it will never get the money because it doesn't get the spectators, so it wont make money for the funders, since they already have their wallets stuffed with football money. I mean can you imagine if it did get the same kind of backing as football, there would be grandstands all the way up the mountain with escalators to get there passing McDonalds foodstands on the way. It would be f*cking awful!
  • + 31
 I sure as hell hope not
  • + 3
 I was hoping this would have been an option on the survey. Its got my vote.
  • + 21
 Up your game a little Pinkbike, this is virtually identical to the recent "Should mountain biking be an Olympic sport?". I don't want to do surveys on my Friday I want to watch crashes but unfortunately we've not seen Fails For Your Friday in a long time.
  • + 7
 Or Sequence Saturdays
  • + 1
 I believe that sequence Saturdays have finished as there was only ever meant to be 75 for some reason but idk
  • + 17
 We tried to make it mainstream back in the 90's . Car companies joined forces with mtb teams had huge semi's at all the races
Top pro's made 100 grand a year . Missy had Reebok commercial. Shawn Palmer showed up with huge attitude and style .x games had mtb (shandro was there ).people we have been there and done that .it was a cool time for our sport it grew us in leaps and bounds we still had all the little companies making bikes and components in 1000 different colours out of there garages .We had the attitude for.the times then if was as much about image, style and personality .people like tinker,Palmer and missy had the edge,look and talent to get huge money and sponsors to come knocking . This is how we got into the Olympics in the first place. back then it was less conformist,in your face ,on the edge sport then we have now . Granted what's being achieved on the bikes now is crazy comparedto what was going on back then, The gear and bikes made now are just amazing feats of engineering that allow the limits to be pushed . It's always been a expensivesport A titanium hard tail with xtr could run.
10k no problem, the places we can ride now are incredible .we are more a society and way of life now then we are a flash in the pan
Extreme sport, we had our glory days in the sun.just look at palmers mtb segment in his movie. This is a new chapter in mtb that's get to be written so just enjoy the ride
  • + 19
 Too expensive to be mainstream. We're all probably a bit nuts to spend the $$ we do to huck ourselves down mountains.
  • + 6
 I think most would agree it's even more nuts to huck yourself down a mountain on a sketchy rig
  • + 1
 I think this is what it barrels down to. The most popular sport in the world is soccer, and it is likely the easiest/cheapest to play. All you need is something round that can roll and be kicked.
  • + 14
 Facepalm I prefer empty trails and being in the brilliant little niche that is our sport and never want us to be discovered by the world... The best thing in life are the most exclusive.
  • + 12
 In 1924 during the first winter Olympic games alpine skiing wasn't included as a sport. Things have now evolved and skiing is the no. 1 winter sport and people do spend a lot of money for it too. I think that things will change for mountain biking too. It will become a mainstream sport in the future (10-20 years... who knows?). The people who spend millions for ski infrastructure will start marketing for mountain bike in order to be profitable during summer also. We should just look at how many mountain bike parks have flourished over the last few years
  • + 0
 Skiing maybe the Number 1 Winter sport but it is in no means "Mainstream". Skiing and Mountain Biking suffer the same Mainstream dilemma and that is the challenge and logistics of broadcasting. Getting many many camera's to cover a full race on the mountain is not easy task and costs a lot of money. Putting cameras right left and center in an arena or Stadium is very easy and most of the time they are permanently mounted so all the angles are covered which makes broadcasting a 160 game baseball season seamless.
  • + 4
 Well that's not necessarily true. I would say skiing is totally mainstream. You don't need cameras to be mainstream, just a lot of people participating and having it become a common activity. Most people know how to ski/board enough to enjoy themselves. Cabins and vacation homes are being purchased near all the resorts just as a place to take a weekend trip. Skiing and mountain biking will NEVER reach the popularity of football in America, but they will become popular in a different way: as an activity that the whole family can do. ...i think
  • + 12
 it is too expensive and dangerous for the general population. besides we dont have enough land to support more cyclists in most parks.
  • + 8
 Mountain biking is not a very easy sport so i don't think it ever will. Its not hard to pounce, throw, catch or kick a ball which is most the mainstream sports. Riding a 2 wheeled bike down a mountian is something most people can't do and for some of those people who can do it won't like the sport because they find it intimidating. My opinion
  • + 8
 What's a Mountain bike?"

Seriously. I'm from off road desert racing in the Southwest. Our sport wanted to be huge too. But with it came the extra scrutiny from the Government and Sierra Club type organizations who worked feverishly to keep motorized vehicle out of state lands. And they won, to a certain degree. The same would happen to Mountain Biking because it aligns itself, to a certain degree, with motocross motorcycles and the off road following. Exploring and the freedom to go where the trails lead. And on machines with aggressive tires, running over plants and disturbing the natural terrain. Now, in AZ. we have fewer rights than horses or hikers. Horses can crap anywhere they like. But don't leave a tire mark on a rock!
There are those who believe that NOTHING should be on any trail. That the wilderness should be off limits to mankind in any form. Yup. and they take the time to vote. And they usually win. Because we're out riding, and enjoying our sport. Not working to further our political needs.
So let's keep riding, "Just Below The Radar." It's fine with me. Really!
  • + 7
 Define "sport"? Almost everyone I know owns some sort of trail bike, most ride them at least once a season. Does this not qualify as mainstream? I think it's all in perception of what defines the word sport. If you ride recreationally on mellow trails on a trail bike are you particpating in a sport? On the flip side, do we only consider those that ride full on heavy duty rigs & ride advanced trails as participating in the sport of mountain biking? Or....Only those that compete in races? To me it's all in how you look at it, as long as what ever level a person particpates, gets them out of the house & puts a smile on their face, that's sport.
  • + 11
 I just want to ride my bikes. Don't care about media or whatever.
  • + 6
 Mountain Biking is not a sport to me. I have been mountain biking for 27 years and don't race and have never followed racing. To me it is more of a hybrid hobby/religion than a sport. To me sport has some sort of competition associated with it. When I go for a solo ride with frequent stops to enjoy the scenery is it a sport? Yesterday 4 of us climbed up the logging road at a conversation pace and then ripped down the trails fairly quick. Is that a sport? Not in my view.

Mountain bike racing is a sport but is is a small niche. It may be quite popular but will never be like hockey, baseball, and football. Maybe more like competative swimming.
  • + 6
 Sort of depends where you live, as well.
Take BC for example. You're pretty likely to know people that mountain bike. Especially if you live near the mountains, or in a small town.
Out in the prairies? Not so much. They're there, there just aren't as many of them.
  • + 2
 The crazy part is that even with as many people that ride in BC and truly eat, sleep and breath MTB. Not even one news paper picked up the story of Steve Smith winning the world cup, not even the local Duncan or Nanaimo paper. A local kid winning the world championship DH is a huge thing, and huge story won in dramatic fashion yet not one paper picked it up. Goes to show that while being a mainstream sport in BC it is not mainstream news. Whether this is a good thing or not is a different discussion but I'd think that the people of BC and the especially the locals of Duncan and Nanaimo would love to see an article about Steve winning the world cup. I know everyone is so pumped he won and it seems strange that it's not covered because it would sell papers for sure.
  • + 6
 I show more and more elders, dh fr. they are amazed how much technology are in these bikes and respect how they risk limbs and life's for there enjoyment and spectacular views and jumps (most elders I have shown don't even have a clue they think it's some man in a woods with his halfords special) now my mum watches redbull rampage with my every year followed by manic mother shouting "he's got some balls" or blasphemy on the huge jumps and transfers then at the end I get asked is this a Olympics? then I always say they ain't got the balls to let them do dh and Olympics. I am assure they would be a few heart attacks among the elderly....
  • + 6
 Events like Rampage scare the sh*t out of most people - activities like that are fringe and epitomise the definition of awesome: in that rather than invoking a sense of wonder, it carries with it the fear of death - most of those guys are glad to get to the bottom in one piece! Why they don't often interview free-climbers on TV? The language they use is tinged with the sublime, it's very difficult to communicate just how thrilling it can be, and very personal. Ultimately MTB its not a team sport, and when its just you and the dirt its gotta be one of the purest forms of fun going. Long live the scene - who cares about mainstream!
  • + 5
 Mainstream? I hope not; there are more than enough column inches given to vacuous opinion on PB without the need for hacks looking for something to write about in the back pages and simultaneously raising the ire of landowners drowning under the pressure of millions of well meaning but ultimately inexperienced trail "builders" trashing their land.
  • + 5
 Mountain biking already is, just because people go out for "gentle" rides, and are not hucking big jumps does not mean they are not mountain biking. Riding off road is very popular over here. Around a third of a halfords store is dedicated to bikes these days, great to see.
  • + 4
 This may shock some people but - mountain biking is the new golf in the UK! I recently organised a 'corporate networking event' mountain biking at a Welsh trail centre where we invited 60 people that we have worked with in architecture to join us. 45 responded yes and everyone that attended gave it everything riding 'The Wall' in the morning and then 'Whites Level' in the afternoon. Not all of these were already MTBer, and the roadies that attended are now converted! Best networking day ever, or mtb is the new golf, where the common comments on the day. Cycling is growing faster in the UK than anywhere else in Europe. In Bristol on a Wednesday night it is not unusual to see 5 or 6 groups of riders out doing a loop of the local trails, either in the summer of in the winter with night lights. MTBing is massive.
  • + 6
 it is a mainstream sport man look around ... the internet,magazines,t.v.,haha facebook, how much more mainstream can you get?.. all in all its ok i guess
  • + 1
 I was just about to say: Too late! This isn't even a relevant question anymore. And besides, just scroll through all the differing personal definitions of mountain biking on this page. It's like asking "Will playing with a ball ever go mainstream?"
  • + 4
 It is headed mainstream. Over the last 20 years the increases are obvious. The north shore used to be a ghost town. Whistler as you all know it didn't exist. There were no social media sites. I would suggest it we are approaching mainstream very quickly. Living in an epicentre of the sport like vancouver it makes for an easy audit. Mountain bikes are everywhere. TV and print use mountain biking in ads regularly. The number of local trails have doubled. The funny thing is though, after watching the sport grow for so long and being a rider who started near the start of it all,, I don't ever remember any of us ever wishing people didn't join in. We pushed for more numbers, trail tolerance and for half or more of your parents to see the sport as safe and positive. We graduated into roles that were and are prominent in the bike industry. We lobbied for places like whistler to grow so we could expand our sport. We are still out here pushing and pushing to increase our places to ride and our mainstream acceptance. All for you guys and girls and your kids in the future. Remember that. Open arms man...with open arms. Come to the shore... Feel the vibe... Be a bro.. Spread the word.....and best of all as many of you have noted, cheaper better bikes.
  • + 4
 Seems like everyone who writes articles has to write an article about the sport not being main stream. One main reason. It is too expensive! You can argue all you want but soccer is the largest sport in the world because it is so accessible and cheap! So sick of these articles. It is what it is. When spending $3000 us is or below average just to get into a mid range bike no wonder it's not popular. Even snowboarding has gotten cheaper and better. You can get good kit for a 800 vs 3 grand a few years ago!
  • + 3
 It won't ever be mainstream, and I think this article already did an excellent job of hitting on all the main points why. There isn't much more to add. Main point in my mind being that it's not a spectator sport, in that it's not going to be interesting to watch to people who don't participate. Unlike football, basketball, soccer etc. where people who have never really played, or played as youths, still become diehard fans throughout life. And to me a big part of that is the competative aspect. Mainstream sports are always a competition. One team vs another. Championships, playoffs. People get behind their teams, and those teams often represent cities. It's a source of pride for people. You will never have that kind of thing with mountain biking, even with racing.
  • + 2
 Fully agree with both Mike Kazimer and you, sino. You couldn't have said it better.
  • + 2
 People have got to be getting tired of supporting overpaid dog f*cking athletes and their "big leagues". Watching them scratch their *ss, trying to milk every dollar they can from the fans. More extreme sports that require 100% "heart" because of the serious consequences, is where the future is at. Or people just like throwing their money away.
  • + 2
 I don't think there is a need to crap all over main stream sports and athletes here. Like I said in my original post, they are really two very different animals. I enjoy football, basketball, and baseball as much as the next person and while the athletes may be 'over paid' I don't begrudge anyone for making as much money as they can. Also, its unfair to dismiss the consequences associated with main stream sports, especially contact sports like football and hockey. An NFL player puts his life and body on the line every time they step on the field, just as much, if not more so than mountain bikers. Look up the stories of Eric Legrande, Mike Utley, or Dennis Byrd if you don't think there are big time consequences in football. Or watch the 'League of Denial' documentary to see what kind of toll playing football takes on the players bodies. Even non-contact sports like basketball and baseball are grueling on the body when you play as many games as those guys do.
  • + 3
 As a fan of American "mainstream sports" , like MLB, NFL, and NHL i sure hope Mountain Biking doesn't become mainstream, the corporate greed, player greed, and union crimes has made those sports a joke, they are all more, and more about money, and less, and less about the "sport".

Watching baseball players that have pure athletic ability, but do know how to play the game, nor care about the game, while making $15 million a year guaranteed, whether they are bad or good for the length of the contract, makes watching/following/participating in Mountain Biking all the better, and a great escape.

I wish for a way to allow these Mountain Bike athletes to be paid like the elite athletes they are, but not have the sport ruined by what else comes with that.
  • + 1
 It would be nice for the athletes to have those type of benefits but the money just isn't there. In the major sports the player salaries are derived directly from people paying to watch them play either in the form of ticket sales or the TV contracts the leagues have. In mountain biking its all sponsor driven. No one actually pays to watch the riders. People aren't buying tickets or paying to watch mountain bike broadcasts (although many would). The riders are paid to rep products. They are essentially riding billboards.
  • + 3
 Mountain biking is a community thefore carrys the same characteristics as communities that live day in day out all around the world. Like these communities, they stick to what works and (in some cases) are a spectacle to outsiders.
I love this part about riding though as it means when you are on your bike, you are a part of something, not just a random punter looking in on someone else doing the sport!
  • + 3
 Used to watch F1 and football but really they're so boring, same people win and what can happen is so limited. DH racing is the best spectator sport ever, so unpredictable and insane, I can't understand why it isn't more popular, but I couldn't really care less, Iove watching it.
  • + 3
 No, I don't think it ever will. When I started 20+ years ago, seemed everyone was doing it. National races had an hour of TV coverage the week after the race on ESPN, ABC, CBS or NBC. There was a half hour show on the weekends that always included Hans Rey. The Kamikaze DH, King of the Mountain races, UCI World Cups, Sea Otter, Cactus Cups, all these were on TV way back when. When I was working at bike shops back then, people came in because they saw something on TV and thought it looked fun and wanted to try it. When NORBA folded or became USACycling or whatever, the racing seemed to have stopped. The TV coverage was gone. The big sponsors disappeared. It's was just gone, like a fad or something. Actually, if you think about it, I doubt anyone knows that there is ACTUALLY a national series in the US.

Mountain Biking has no exposure now for people new to it, so most people know what mountain bikes are, just no clue what it actually is and all the different disciplines it contains. My old customers saw cross country racing and wanted to trail ride or race. Rampage was cool, but it won't get your average person wanting to go buy a bike. The new riders are the ones that spread the word of how fun it is to ride off road. Until that happens, it's never gonna grow again. So I don't think it will ever be mainstream or even partially mainstream again.
  • + 2
 it will never be mainstream for the one simple reason that MTB is expensive. Thats why skiing is not mainstream, as well as polo or motocross. In the other hand, soccer, football, and baseball require smaller amounts of money in order to practice the sport.
  • + 2
 It's also regional.

If you live in the desert there's a pretty good chance you ride motorcross... but you probably also play football, baseball and basketball.

If you live by the beach there's a good chance you surf and skate.

If you live in the mountains there's a good chance you ride MTB, Dirtbikes and ski or snowboard... but you also play the other major sports.


See where I'm going with that.

Every high school has normal sports. You can put a basketball hoop in your front yard. So everywhere has that available and for the most part everyone does one or more of them. I lettered in 4 sports in high school AND snowboarded, skated and mountain biked. So everyone has those activities available but much much smaller percentages have the other ones available.

So not everyone can snowboard, mountain bike or xyz... but everyone can play basketball or baseball or soccer. Etc.

That's why they're "mainstream." They're global and mass available.


Mountain bike IS mainstream it's just not football, nor should it be.
  • + 2
 Where I live (Interior of BC), MTB'ing is mainstream. I know more people who mountain bike, in some way, than I do who play/do any other sport. Additionally, while many many many people do do another sport, invariably, many of them also mountain bike. In the Okanagan valley of BC, mountain biking is quite mainstream (although, not as mainstream as hockey...).
  • + 1
 true but social makeup in a mountain town in BC, Canada is totally different to the "mainstream". we mountain bike in the mountains. a few minutes drive from town, or at a resort location an hour away

yes, we "mountain" bike. I find it hard to relate to mainstream mountain biking when my focus is just 1% of all "mountain biking" i.e. solely on the extreme side of the sport. a lot of PB content these days seems irrelevant to me

2c
  • + 2
 So true, and I agree. I guess what I was getting at is that 'mainstream' can be defined in many ways, contextually, and at a community level. So I guess the question is, does 'mainstream' entail popular culture the world (or country around), or can it be more micro than that, and be applied to the community level? I would argue the latter, and local marketing and advertising strategies would reflect that, I'd think, as you see community level marketing and advertising that uses much of the same techniques and strategies that 'nationally mainstream' sports (such as hockey) use...

Do I want to admit to myself that mountain biking may be mainstream? Not really, because much of the appeal of mountain biking is that I am seeing and doing things that MOST people don't do or see outside of my 'community'.
  • + 1
 sir, you have it nailed on. I am not the mainstream, therefore I am interested in mountain biking of the extreme variety

I am a minority, & happy to be so
  • + 2
 Too expensive to get as a mainstream sport, ie. to be taught in PE lessons etc. Also, for most people it isnt possible, due to their location, or due to the fact that it is harder to transport bikes, than if the person would be playing a more conventional sport
  • + 2
 Cross Country biking is growing here in the PHL. BUT lots of people tend to buy MTB's - won't hesitate to drop $1,500 to $2,000 on one - but will end up just riding them on long stretches of pavement (*cough NINER cough*). I feel bad for those mountain bikes that don't even encounter REAL mountains. hahaha. anyone else experience this in their country?

On the other hand Enduro is gaining traction too with more and more people moving from XC (the real mountain biking xc - not the aforementioned one) into the realm of trail and AM. Problem is we lack the proper trails - one has to go outside of Manila to find great trails.
  • + 2
 There are more of us in the remote mountains man cheer up.. well for me, even a very little of us didnt find their way to the mountains. its better that they use xc mtb and not road bikes.... the roadies are dying breed here do you noticed that .. eventually the lost flock will find the mountains.... In manila. especially for us.. we have to pedal 30kms just to reach the foot of mt. maarat..then climb up to the trail head. Only when the trail starts pointing down when i can finally tease my friends in their xc bikes... in our group more and more of us are building AM rigs now.. and training for enduro...
  • + 2
 HAHAHA thanks for validating that. growth of MTB in the Philippines is pretty significant. Not mainstream YET but it's becoming as popular as running marathons - in a way it's good because more bike companies and bike events are taking notice of the market here. We now have X Fusion, La Pierre and other similar brand coming in. It's quite exciting.
  • + 1
 Yep those in the bike industry here are having such a good time. At least our new mtbikers arent smoothing the terrains. As the above posts. They like them as we love em.. Naturally gnarly.. nature do its course.. And some are trying their skill on some technical sections with their xc bikes. Then after some runs and lessons, will have the realization that they need more travel...and so more AM riders.. Well i hope if it goes mainstream at least more parks. More facility.. more remote trails will be within our grasp.
  • + 2
 A number of pinoys here have full dh/am bikes (more than xc) but nowhere to ride lol.
  • + 2
 If you define "mainstream" purely as "lots of TV coverage" then no, it will never be as mainstream as professional sports like football, hockey, tennis, etc. but will it reach the levels of BMX, skateboarding? probably. Arguably only a few years away.

If you consider mainstream to be widely known and participated, then I think MTB is already there. Freeriding and DH is a small discipline of a broader sport, XC/AM dominates in terms of numbers and accessibility and my gut tells me that participation levels are already approaching mainstream levels.
  • + 6
 Maybe the day a halfway decent bike costs as much as a basketball it will.
  • + 2
 I see mountain biking in just about every commercial on TV no matter what the product. Everything from automobiles to deodorant. I watched Redbull Rampage on NBC. I can buy a fat bike and DJ bike at Walmart. What would make it more maintstream than it already is?
  • + 2
 Mountain biking will never become a mainstream sport, due to a variety of reasons including the pricing of the equipment, the land area necessary to house trails and the high injury rates, to name a few. While it will never become totally mainstream, society will become increasingly aware of and support the sport, which will be good for its future regardless of anything else.
  • + 2
 That's the best comment I've read, you nailed it. But the sport will become bigger than it is, its grown hugely since the 90's.
  • + 2
 Mostly agree with with nojzilla. A side note on how the article makes the argument: Who's to say that TV is the best kind of exposure as with soccer/football? Technology development points in a different direction. Instead of paying incredible sums for broadcast licenses to games it'll probably all move online very soon (in some countries, it already is, my flatmate is a religious soccer fan and watches replays of games online). I am perfectly aware that UCI broadcast licenses ain't cheap but it's peanuts compared to "mainstream sport" licensing. So, rather than MTB trying to be more like them, let "them" try to be more like us in terms of media exposure. Decentralized, self-organized and mostly independent from each other. That whole business model of TV & license sales = fans/consumers will break down soon enough anyway. my 2 cents...
  • + 2
 Kind of a strange question. What is considered mountain biking? Is the scruffy looking guy I saw today hauling the cans and bottles he collected around on his old, beat up Costco mountain bike considered a mounting biker? Cause that dude is more hard core than myself and anyone I ride with. It snowed the other day, it's right around freezing and pissing rain today and he's dodging cars, busses and potholes in downtown PG!

Also, does TV coverage make a sport mainstream? Football is huge in the US, but how many Americans actually really play? A lot of high school kids play, then less go on play college and even less are talented enough to play professionally. I'd be willing to bet that more people in the US play real football than American football. But I'm too lazy to look it up.
  • + 2
 Goddamn hipsters - "I've been mountain biking since before it was mainstream". Of course it'll become more popular - look at the sport's trajectory over the last 15 years (popularity of crankworx and rampage and the inclusion into X games, for example). Is there a point where all of a sudden it is "mainstream"? Hell no. A sport just gets more and more popular until you realize that you have more people to do it with. Anyone who wants to keep it low key and doesn't want others to have as much fun as them is a straight up proprietary chump.
  • + 2
 Mountain bikers suck at marketing themselves to a mainstream audience. Which is why so few riders can make a decent living, unless you're at the top within in the industry. As long as people don't want it to be mainstream, it will stay this way for awhile. It's what makes this sport so appealing to many of us. I think in less than 20 years it will be where Skiing is.
  • + 5
 We also suck at organising ourselves. I mean when there is so much bitchin' and whining about how Enduro races should be run, what features should be in Rampage, how gay or cool XC is there's no way to take it mainstream in any one direction. There is so much individuality and division in MTB and to be honest that variety is what makes MTB attractive and cool to me.
  • + 2
 mountain biking is mainstream

most people don't do 20-30 feet jumps, huck on to the flat or run down a hill without brakes.

you can't compare it to football or rugby (or American football, hockey or baseball for the yanks etc)

this poll should have been titled differently - people don't equate jumping about on a BMX track or rampage as mountain biking because it isn't.
  • + 1
 That's right.
  • + 1
 Cross-country riding has become popular again, mostly from advances in equipment, and more purpose-built trails for giving each rider the experience they are looking for. High school clubs are starting all over the country. Even though I wasn't in to MTB back then, I most likely would have been in that club over any of the neanderthal sports. Also, with more people riding now than ever, WE are in a better position to build advanced trails for the riders who enjoy the challenge of DH rides. Shreddy2theCore!
  • + 2
 mountain biking is in a interesting position in that everyone rides a bike when they are younger, and i imagine a large % of those people know whether they are or are not cyclists. then it is just a matter of letting those people know the possibilities of the sport.
  • + 2
 Mountain biking as a whole, without at the different sections defined (I.e. DH, XC, AM, Enduro, 4x, etc) is becoming mainstream in the UK.
Sure the numbers are not massive yet, however they are clearly increasing.
I hope it does not become too big as it will cause huge issues with access and red socks (ramblers) and similar. On the other hand if we get bigger as a sport then it would be difficult for anyone to stop us.
  • + 2
 I think DH/FR not being a main stream sport (XC becoming more mainstream IMHO) has a few but very important advantages:

First of all, I experience a good mutual undertanding between the government, land owners and the MTB community where I live: MTB tracks are not smoothened out, but they are maintained (signs and the like) to prevent riders choosing their own routes and disturbing nature too much. Should MTB become a main stream sport it would be dfficult to retain this understanding woth bikers and tnedency to spread out throught the terrain and pollute/destroy nature will increase dramatically.

Furthermore, I experience riding not only as a sport but also as a chance to hang out with some really relaxed and layd back people. And I cannot loose the idea that people of the same sort are drawn in also because of the atmosphere.

As far as riding in general, XC/FR/DJ/Road is concerned: I myself am riding all sorts of bikes, and one of the nice things of bike riding in all of its forms is that EVERYONE can do it! Wether it's XC, DH, FR or any other type of riding, most people having a bit of skills and some guts can start on their own level, and allmost everyone can find a new challenge around the corner.
That being said, I agree with some people here that this should NOT mean that trails should be flattened like asphalt to accomodate Grandma on all of the trails!
  • + 2
 Not being mainstream is part of the attraction of the sport. Given how physically tough MTB is, how expensive parts and equipment are, the underlying danger and how MTB is a rather poor spectator sport there will never be the reward for companies to invest in the sport to take it "mainstream". The small community makes MTB as great as it is and the external factors trying to milk it for money like wood in Rampage are taking some of the soul. Happy to stay out of the lime light and keep the sport all about participation and riding for the right reasons.
  • + 2
 I hope it never get mainstream! To go out mountainbiking you need nature, if it is a small group than nature can handle it. If half the world goes mountainbiking the nature would be gone in no time. The only nature what would survive is forbidden to ride a mountainbike. Think about all the trash people would throw away in the nature when it becomes mainstream, or all the trails that would be made. There would be no nature left were animals can live quietly! If it would get mainstream it would collapse in a few years because there is no place to ride your bike. It actually hurts me that in the comments here i am the only one thinking about the nature! All mountainbikers should respect nature and should know that without nature we wouldn't ride or bikes or live at all!
  • + 2
 As much as I think downhill should be in the Olympics I'm glad it's small time, there's already a enough people out there where I am, if there was any more they would get in the way to much and ruin all those remote County rides, leave litter everywhere and when people hurt them self's the government would step in and shut down or sanitize all the best routes into nothing more than fireroads.
  • + 1
 Hard to say how I feel about this sport going mainstream, I like the feel of exclusivity it offers. Bu whatever. I am surpise there isnt some dumb reality show about 10 mtbers trying jocky for a spot on a bike team. Maybe there is one in the works
  • + 2
 I think we'll get Doom first. Economic Doom, Volcano Doom, Earthquake Doom, Asteroid Doom, WW3 Doom, Sun Doom, N1H1 Doom, or one of the many other forms of Doom just waiting for us.
  • + 1
 It is partially the uniqueness of mountain biking that attracts me to it. I like to be outside the mainstream flow of life. Off-the-grid. ;-) If it were to become mainstream I would probably lose interest in the sport and move onto something else unique at the time.
  • + 1
 I really wish MTB goes more mainstream. I don't want it to end up like baseball, but will settle for it being equivalent in view to BMX. It strikes me as weird that even today there is no form MTB in the X-Games. When I say mainstream I would just settle for that. Here in NJ The only form of MTB we get on TV Is Red Bull Rampage and sometimes Crankworx. Comcast is just littered with BMX sh*t.
  • + 1
 I like mountain biking for how it is now... sometimes it seems as if it is too popular even. I like to have something like this where I can be better at it than my peers at school or work. Something I can do that is somewhat a best kept secret for all mountain bikers. We get to do stuff and be better at it that most mainstream people wouldn't attempt. If you do it everyday, your body pays for the work you put into biking. To sum it up though, it is something I can enjoy with all other mountain bikers and still have it be somewhat on the 'down low'. To have it be mainstream would be a pain in the ass and have it be just as disruptive as all the mainstream sports. The utmost respect goes to people who aren't in mainstream things.
  • + 2
 If it became mainstream it would add more riders to the community and that means more trails and that the government might make some trails and maybe ski resorts will add mtn biking in the summer
  • + 1
 There will be no freedom and no where to explore if there are loads of people who don't appriciate the better things in life, i asked my friend that plays football if he brok his leg etc would he still play the sport? He said no, there is your problem, Mainstream sports have no intrinsic motivation, only for careers, the lack passion
  • + 1
 this question is extremely complex, because for this sport become mainstream, has to be changes in the mindset of society and a "hand" of the media. I think mtb is good for everyone and for earth. Surely it would be good for a better future of the next generations. from what i know things become mainstream in about 10 years, the way i see maybe around 2020? but damn users voted yes in low number. now think.
  • + 1
 Anyone who thinks mtbing going mainstream is gonna drop prices on bikes and gear is a damn idiot. When the top atheletes and spokes people demand big money contracts, that cost is coming down on the consumer by making things more costly. Mountain biking is more popular than ever, yet prices are going up.
  • + 1
 Mainstream I hope not Recognised though yes. I'm sick if people thinking downhill is riding timidly down a grass hill like an xc rider. I'd like to see some exposure here in aus. When ever have road championships or worlds our the get flooded with advertisement. When we have held worlds and World Cup for downhill or mtb events there is zero exposure. I just hope when the cairns round comes around we get some exposure. Part of growing the sport is making it known but not commercialising it too much. Fine line.
  • + 1
 Like Dog Mushing and other "on the trail" sports it will always kinda go unsung and never have the same spectator frenzy as football, basketball or baseball...therefore the big multi million dollar contracts and big sponsors will always be limited to say what the "RedBull Rampage", "Joyride" or other future "huckfests" can generate in an arena style venue shown on Saturday highlight shows...good enough I say! But with that said....it's soooo much better than what we had to work with in 1960.
  • + 1
 1) MTB IS mainstream for a long years and i am glad for that.

But who cares? If i do like something what i am doing for hobby i am absolutely NOT interested if the activity is mainstream or not. I don't need to jack off my ego with "look! Not everyone does this like i do! So i must be cool, nuh?"

2) more mainstream means larger market with lower prices

3) more mainstream means more trails and bikeparks, more mtb-friendly people, more friends to ride with, more possibilities to ride somewhere without being persecuted for "riding where you shouldn't be riding"

Etc. etc.

Anyway it is very sad to see votes results and how many people here are really thickheaded and locked in their heads and egos. Go out and ride without carying if something what you do is or is not mainstream. Just have fun and forget about those stupidities.
  • + 1
 Here is the thing Mountain Biking MUST, MUST, MUST go mainstream. Why? A ton of reasons! For starters, the key to conservation is use. The more people we get into our forests and imbue with our mindset of respect for the outdoors the better all of us will be. Next XC and light trail riding is more accessible than football allowing a greater number of people to actually participate in what they are "fan" of. This reduces the number of "Lard Puppies" in our population decreasing the health issues associated with obesity and the medical costs that we all now share. Throw on top of this that maintaining a bicycle is a gateway skill to more advanced mechanical and engineering skills at time when we desperately need youth involved in S.T.i.M disciplines; say it with me HELLLLLO Wright Brothers! Once people start riding their bikes for recreation it leads to a desire to ride more. To the grocery store, to the gym, to school and we move slowly to a bike-centric society rather than a car-centric one. Silencing concerns about gnarly free-ride, shore-style, downhill, etc. trails will be destroyed to accomodate noobs. NO. Nature takes care of itself. Look at surfing, tons of kids and geezers ride at T-street or Church every day, but if the Wedge is breaking at L.A. Times cover height there isn't a grom in sight. The difference between A-line and Lake Hodges is the same concept. Going mianstream is the key to all the this and everybody that is a member of this site should be at the forefront of this. The mindset should not be "more people in my woods means less for me to enjoy" but needs to be "more people in the woods means we need more woods for everybody to enjoy."
  • + 1
 Not really sure what the point of this question is.

If you want to see the growth potential of mountain biking look at snowboarding or skateboarding. It's plenty popular and plenty main stream. Those 3 sports are pretty close to the same age and have similar crowds.

The big thing that mtb has going against it is the space necessary to do it. Skating... they've got parks for that and you can build something in every drive way in the world to at least keep yourself occupied. Hell... I had 2 rails, a hip and a quarter pipe at my house and I wasn't even a live or die skater. Snowboarding has resorts built for it and it's limited to that and back yard rail sessions.

Snowboarding needs a lot of space. It needs mountains. Those mountains are protected and are shared by others. Here in California the biggest enemy to the MTB industry is other cyclist and outdoor activity folks. It makes no sense but it's the truth. Most of the trails are illegal now. DJ spots get shut down because people don't want to get sued or someone wants to put a condo on the property. ETc.

It's limited. And that's fine.

but I don't see it as a mainstream vs. non mainstream issue. It's just limited. You can play basketball for $25. Buy a ball and you're good. Schools have football teams. City baseball leagues. It's group sports and they're organized.

Snowboarding.
Skateboarding.
Mountain biking.
Kite Boarding.

ANy of that stuff.... limited. Expensive. Regionally specific.

You can't mountain bike in San Francisco but you can ride urban, skate or be a fixie nerd.
  • + 1
 The ONLY advantage to mainstream and very high bike sales would mean CHEAPER BIKES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As a mountain biker to be able to go online here and watch new vid after vid of epic riding it doesn't need to be on TV !!!!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 I wish Dh racing and XC racing was mainstream. I think the bike builders and race teams deserve all the notoriety they can get. It would still be some what of a nitch market because 95% of the riders out there aren't going to spend $10K on a DH or XC rig but it would be nice to see a Dh race on a major network and let the world know just how far biking has come along. Redbull Rampage is awesome but we need more!!!
  • + 1
 Mountain biking as it is I think is just about perfect. just a little publicity here and there to bring in a younger generation of riders to fill in the gaps of the older one that is leaving. Small groups of guys out in the forests building PROPER trails i.e. a good handful of roots, rocks and off camber sections combined with flowy burms and jumps, thats how it is supposed to be. The older guys teaching the groms what a proper trail is so that mountain biking can stay mountain biking. No more publicity is needed or it will end up turning into a sport for the money rather than the love of the sport itself.
  • + 1
 No, it's fun to be different. You don't want to be that 50th kid in your class that says that they play foot ball. I don't care if people make fun of me because I mountain bike, I just show them up when ever we go on a biking trip. It's fun to be a "sleeper" and then when you get a chance to show people your talent, they get blown away. Mountain biking is fun because it is different, it's also fun to see everybody's face in homeroom when you share about your weekend and say that you did a 15 foot drop on your bike.
  • + 1
 the moment mountain biking will become a mainstream sport will be the moment it loses its identity. mainstream, like industry, does not support individuals as we do, it supports what pays more by being less expensive. again, comparing to music: the difference between commercial and underground folks...
  • + 1
 No ! Just no ! Being a dh rider I want trails that my chuck norris shit his pants ! But lately it seems to be this shit hard pack gravel stuff , you may as well just ride around your local park if thats how you see a dh track ! Roots and rocks for people with something under their cocks
  • + 1
 Is skiing a mainstream sport or not?

If you have a look in the average ski-resort these days in the Alps and you run into the group of teenagers that are more concerned if their outfit is according to the latest standards, of 60+ year old tourists, etc... you will probably state - I would! - that it is a mainstream sport activity. On the other hand, if you would watch Xtreme Verbier (as an example) instead you would certainly have a different opinion.

The same applies to "mountainbiking"... There is a mainstream part of "off road cycling" with no intention to push the boundaries of bike control, as alternative to jogging, etc... (honestly this is here the image of "mountainbiking" and quite popular) and completely at the other end of the spectrum the WorldCup DH and the Rampage. The latter is certainly not mainstream and is not supposed to become mainstream in my opinion...

So whether mountainbiking is or will be "mainsteam" (or not) is very much depending on the definition of mountainbiking...
  • + 1
 MTB is kinda mainstream already, yes it doesnt get a lot of air time on tv but if you look at sales its massive. Whilst it is an expensive sport for those of us who live and breath it (I could of paid a years rent with the 3 bikes I own) but it is open to the masses already for those that seek adventure find it. Whilst nothing makes me happier than hitting 25ft+ jumps I also enjoy taking my little one around the local trailcenter
  • + 1
 I do a couple sports, (surfing, mtb, lacrosse...etc.), and Lacrosse is one of my favorites. I started playing in 2nd Grade, and out here in SoCal, it was not a big sport, only a couple kids played. Now that it is a big sport, the kids that I played with and I are now on the elite teams and are really good friends.
I hope that Mountain biking will evolve the same way, but on a bigger scale. I use mountain biking as a connection with people. For Example, my dad and I never really get along, but the one thing we have in common is mountain biking. When we're up in the mountains that is really the only time we get along. Some of my best mountain biking memories are with my dad.
  • + 1
 Xc and possible enduro could come as mainsteem as say darts or snocker ect but if the world wide media get there hands on dh an fr it could reck it. Becoming a main steen sport could take all the danger out of it. Smother rock gardens smaller rollerble jumps ect on our local trails
  • + 1
 I am totally fine with it staying the way it is. I like being able to just go out and push myself or go with friends and push each other. But the part where he said how it will never be big because it's portrayed as an impossible sport ,with big drops and rad jumps, I don't agree with. That is one of the main reasons that I go out and work at it, but I'm just a small part. I know a lot of people who say that they don't want to do it because it's dangerous and you have to do those things.
  • + 1
 The good thing about niche sports is that those who participate do it because they really love it. Make it popular/mainstream and posers (or any other kinds if idiots) will come.

On the other hand, the industry is far from small and doesn't lack variety. You can buy equipment from huge manufacturers or tiny boutique companies, you can spend a lot or a little. You can buy a basic mountain bike anywhere in the world and in most cases, have it delivered at your door. Most complete bikes are pretty decent now, a beginner can spend 500-600 euros and get basic front suspension, hydros and enough gears to climb anything. Another 150 for a helmet, gloves and padded shorts and he's good for his first season. Even if he rides only once or twice a week, after one year he's got a lot of fun for his money. My first bike cost 650euros and it was probably the best money I ever spent. Compare that to snow or watersports.

I come from a windsurfing background. It's even more fun than mtb, similarly expensive, has a looong learning curve and sadly, it's very weather dependent. Those who participate it are very stoked though, there's no other reason to do it.

Who needs mainstream?
  • + 1
 Nothing wrong with attracting people to mountain biking, it is a great, healthy activity to get into and so much fun to do. If the media ever picks up on attracting people to mountain biking, I would also suggest that equally the media covers subjects such as trail stewardship, etiquette, volunteerism, etc... so the users they attract have some education about the trails they are riding.

We have issues with our trails being ridden when they are muddy - one popular trail that just opened is closed now until Spring because people got on them when they were wet and muddy and tore them up so they shut it down for a few months to repair all the damage done by users either being ignorant, not being able to read the signs at the trailhead, and/or just riding regardless not caring what they were doing to the trails.

So I would be cautious about attracting people en masse because of that.
  • + 1
 In certain places mountain biking will be more popular than others. Places like whistler, winterpark colorado, california utah to name a few. The areas with good bike parks and great terrain it will be pretty popular. But mainstream sports like football, soccer, baseball, surfing and snowboarding/skiing will always have an edge in the popularity department because they are way more affordable to do. Example $1k snowboard setup = pretty good setup (boots binding board and gear) vs $1k mtn bike = very entry level hardtail not gear.
  • + 1
 Mainstream? I'd say, 'hope not' but I know it'll never happen so I'm not too worried. Entertain the thought for a minute though... make a list of 100 people you know. Not just your riding buddies, friends you drink with on the weekends, or only guys/girls. The list should just be 100 people you know/know of. Now give them all a voice in your MTB'ing. That's what our beloved sport would look like.
  • + 1
 MTB (actual Mountain riding on something beyond a flat trail) will never be popular in any kind of numbers. It simply is too difficult and the learning curve is too scary for the average beginner insuring they never progress much beyond that level.
I come from a Moto background which makes MTB riding appear to be tame beyond belief in regards to the barriers to entry and expense , etc.
Right now I see bike pricing go through the roof which must be driven by demand. But very few actual participants. Even where I live in the Norcal suburbs, a hotbed (socalled).
I am 20 minutes from Marin and I go almost daily to a large offroad riding area. There is zero trail development (due to enviro restrictions and largely a lack of enthusiasm) and even those I try to get involved do not stick with it as it is just too much work for not enough thrill/satisfaction. Most people seem to like their activities to be in a controlled/safe environment. Road riding for some reason has less of a problem in this regard, even though I consider it to be very dangerous.
  • + 1
 I'm going to counter the argument about mountain biking being too expensive on the basis of another two wheeled sport that's even more popular: motocross.

You want a decent motorbike and protective riding gear? It'll cost you. Same goes for mountain biking. So, if what people are saying is true and that cost is the main reason why mountain biking is so unpopular, then why is motocross (which is just as expensive as mountain biking) so popular? Just sayin...
  • + 1
 What is mainstream? It will never compete with (any variety) of football, or baseball. It doesn't have the tribal aspect of "warriors representing" your town or country, or whatever. Many sports don't.

It is moving towards something else - mainstream acceptance. By that I mean featured casually in film, TV, or commercials as a normal outdoor activity. Something that your parents, wife, coworkers don't think is nuts. Like skiing. Lots of people ski and it's considered a normal thing to do, even by people who don't have any interest. And ski areas have already worked through the personal injury / responsibly issues, so there's a model there for people worried about liability. Or even tennis. Loads of people play tennis. Many of them suck at it, but still enjoy it. Some big tennis events are televised, but nobody pays too much attention outside of Wimbledon or the big opens. Not too different from what WC DH races could be.

Moving towards that kind of mainstream acceptance is good for us enthusiasts as it means less resistance to sharing trails with bikers, or bike park development.
  • + 1
 The potential in MTB is where the money is, and that's clearly around longer travel bikes and the ecosystems around them... IE, DH, Freeride, Enduro. That said, MTB will never be mainstream unless the mainstream consumer can afford to participate at a low cost with a decent bike. Until bikes can make it below $1K, MTB is never going to have mass appeal or potential.
  • + 1
 Here in Brazil the Soccers Mafia rule the country. The majority of the population is psyco about Soccer and the goverment see the soccer as the one and only sport to recieve investments. In 2014 Brazil will host FIFA soccer world cup and the government invested billions of dollars building soccer stadiums that will be empty after the world cup. Every tv program that is suposed to show sports show 99% of the time with soccer. Big soccer teams have their acounts in negative for decades and soccer players reciving more than half milion dollars per month. Soccer players are involved with drug dealers and prostitution, they beat womans and even kill womans and are treated like gods. Mountqin Bike in mainstream in Brazil??? Will never hapen
  • + 1
 Roadies are mainstream because there disciplined more.they have a much bigger following.but mtb wont ever be mainstream, its too shabby set up for a start and mtb rip up everyones nice an neat trails.it doesnt appeal to a wider crowd other than pinkbike really.its a playtime sport nothing serious really.dh may someday get there like roadies but nothing else.stuff like slope style will get laughed at
  • + 2
 Ha, roadies have only been mainstream in the UK since British teams started winning stuff. When I was at school in the 80s and MTBs had only juststarted appearing in the shops you got laughed at for being into cycling as a serious sport (well I did anyway). One big issue in our country is that we have an extremely conservative establishment who want to keep the countryside for themselves - ramblers, horse riders etc (doesn't help that so much of our countryside is privately owned as well). From that point of view it's unlikely that MTB will become mainstream, and better for us as we can get out on the trails without them being too congested. It's only a small island after all, with a lot of people on it. From what I've heard at the shop I used to work in no-one's buying MTBs any more, it's all road bikes. Not many shops (round here at least) seem to stock DH or FR bikes or parts, the only MTB stuff is XC based - maybe it's even shrinking? I'd be happy if it was, I like being in a minority. That's why I liked being a roadie at school.
  • + 0
 Yes but im not talkin about 20 yrs ago dude im talking now!! Roadies have taken over in the uk there is gays in lycra everywhere. And the same roadies then go off road with a cyclocross bike.what im sayin is that mtb wont ever take off hear like In usa an canada because of our terrain.we dont have massive mountains and chairlifts everwhere.and which shops to you go too because the shops round my way are fully loaded with mtb gear.
  • + 1
 I agree w bigchris. If I didn't find this obsession a few years ago a different obsession would have killed me. Just roll up a pantleg and ride. We should all be so lucky the majority prefers football and cheeseburgers. Mmmm cheeseburgers.
  • + 1
 To understand what will happen if mountain biking becomes more mainstream, all one needs to do is look at the history ATV, and snowmobiles in the United States. The more popular it became the more people got injured, and the more place that once we were allowed to ride in were shut down and deemed illegal, due to "little Timmy's" mom filing a lawsuit against a landowner.
All our local spots near home, will be closed and patrolled even more so than they already are, because of people wanting to "give mountain biking a try".
  • + 1
 Mountain Biking will more than likely never be mainstream, riding a mountain bike is just too hard for the average person. The average person can't make it around most xc loops and give up soon thereafter. That's not necessarily bad for MTB though, it will just stay a strong chill rider orientated sport instead of getting huge and having old men sitting around and yelling when the World Cups are on T.V.

Road biking will probably get bigger though, the bikes are getting ridiculously nice, it's easy, and everyone can go pretty fast for at leas a while. That could translate to some crossover?
  • + 1
 Where I live in a small city of 60,000 just out side of Edmonton, Alberta. Very few people ride bikes. We are pushing for a bike park but all of the good hills to place it on were instanley out of the question. Now the only place we have to put it is on flat land where it will suck! Even on a location where the park would be away from everbody, people say that is just a waste of money and time. People think that moutain bikers are a bunch of beer drinking, weed smoking badass,s who cruze around town and vandilise things.
  • + 1
 IMO . In southern Ontario. Very location specific as numerous people has stated. Road biking is becoming the new Golf. Daily, even after an ice storm you can see 5 - 50 $5000 carbon road bikes. Single riders to groups of 20 and the sales at the local stores seem to be increasing for 2014. "Trail Riding" - groomed golf cart like trails, is on the rise in Oakville. Road bike to Trail riding to Mountain biking seems legit. However, trails are lacking and roads are everywhere. Much like the bobsleigh I feel we are condemned to the back of the pack due to locational factors. personally, I would not want it any other way.
  • + 1
 @ nojzilla, your local wouldn't happen to be Cannock chase would it, some parts of the red route there are as smooth as tarmac now, that's catering to the summer masses for you, if mountain biking went more main stream the trail centres would get even more sanitised,

I think films like where the trail ends etc would be good for tv though
  • + 1
 Where the Trail Ends was showing on BT Sport a few weeks ago, it was at midnight though.
  • + 1
 If it gets any more popular you'll only get one lap a day in at Whistler. I'm perfectly happy with it being where it is now however it would be cool if the pros and industry guys were as well known as say hockey or football players. No longer do I have people saying to me "I could do that with my eyes closed" when I tell them that I ride mountain bikes. I think that's exactly where the sport needs to be.
  • + 1
 I would say it is mainstream. But here in the states I think its viewed more as recreation than a sport. Most people are still in the dark about the disciplines and different types of mountain biking. In a way that's a shame because our great sport needs more exposure. But on the other hand I love the looks I get from people when I try to explain DH mountain biking to them. Go ride your bike!
  • + 1
 To be honest I already thought it was pretty mainstream, all my friends ride, there are 3 bike shops in my town, more miles of trail than road, I guess I'm just living the dream.
  • + 5
 Just Ride your bike...
  • + 1
 Yeah Dude! who spends more time in front of their ~pooter than riding? video games corrode the eyes!
  • + 1
 BRO!!!!....NOT BEING MAINSTREAM IS TOO MAINSTREAM!!!! Nah just kidding. I'd rather be the rebel more than anything else and enjoy my bar drag bounties and fail Friday's. Yeeewwwwwwwwwww
  • + 3
 The mountain biking community is a good one, we don't need a bunch of type A personality in the sport
  • + 1
 Too much skill and money required to be mainstream. Most people cant even drive a car much less a motorcycle or MTB. Most people can at least throw a ball and enjoy it... for 30 dollars to start
  • + 0
 please no more shit riders where im from!we build a pussy 3 foot high jump and u would think we built a 30 ft drop into a 40ft gap!these people cry all the time!its soooooo annoying to build suttin(with an easy pass)and some shitty riding a*shole comes and hits a pussy jump and gets hurt and trashes the jump!i guess that's what we get for trying to ride at the beach!!!!!!
NO MORE RIDERS HERE PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 0
 No it will never be main stream because the hole mtb community are a bunch of twats and it makes it hard for new people to get into the sport why not have it go mainstream let the normal people see why we love our sport so much and they will love it just as much as we all do
  • + 2
 Everything I've ever loved that went "Mainstream" turned into a putrid pile of crap.
Music, games, television and sports. Didn't matter. No, I think it's fine as it is.
  • + 1
 Mainstream meaning?

Along the lines of football..soccer
.baseball...NASCAR & Fomula1even horse racing and the beloved TDF....no chance, its not even remotely close. I'm fine with the way it is. Sorta grassroot ish.
  • + 1
 Mega Avalanche if it would be turned propper LIVE COVERGAGE in short time it would have more audience than Tour de France and F1 together... Amd that may be a good benchmark for showing our sport to mass media...
  • + 1
 All mountain bike types except for xc and some all mountain and enduro, are deemed to extreme for the mainstream we saw it when Kyle strait was on the weather channel thingy."did you just flip?"
  • + 0
 The circus freakshow of crankworks just propagates the 'mountain biking' myth. Crankworks style riding has almost zero to do with what 99.9% of normal/un-RAD/un-Sick/un-Hero riders participate in, real mountain biking is done by real people, not clowns doing flips off a mountain side in US&A. Sick
  • + 5
 less is more!
  • + 1
 Nahhh
  • + 3
 Less means parts prices go up due to no one buying them. And would make the sport even more expensive. Smile
  • + 1
 What did Frasier say? "If less is more, think how much more of more more would be."

Really, though, mainstream? Never. It's too difficult, too much hassle, and too expensive.
  • + 2
 Here in Utah, biking (both road and mountain) is the new golf. My friend at my alma mater takes the executive MBA students riding as a requirement for their degree.
  • + 2
 And mountain bike racing leagues are popping up everywhere. The sport is growing for sure.
  • + 1
 Yes; my other buddy coaches the high school team! I never thought that was possible when I was in HS
  • + 2
 Who cares? Let the sport do whatever it wants to. You either ride or you don't... I ride!
  • + 2
 1000$ for a tv? Dang! I'll get one one day. Maybe in a year or 2. There might be something good on by then.
  • + 1
 Did moto racing ever go mainstream? Its too expensive to get into! We need more leagues like NICA and it will get much more popular!
  • + 1
 I just want to be able to tell my friends that I ride dh and have them understand what that is. I do like that were in our own little niche though. It's kinda cool.
  • + 1
 My initial response without reading the article or comments is - No it will not become mainstream, because the cost of entry is so high and getting higher.
  • + 1
 Bashing America hard enough?!? Plus a TV will last 10 plus years, a mountain bike needs tons of expensive maintenance every year.
  • + 3
 mounting biking is doing just fine I think.
  • + 3
 More Punk-Less Moto
  • + 1
 I fear it is going mainstream already, as some schools in the uk have already taken it up in there curriculum
  • + 1
 This is a world for crazy passionate people. Who eat,sleep, live to ride kinda people. And I'm glad to be apart of it.
  • + 2
 Way too expensive to ever be mainstream.
  • + 2
 It already is mainstream.
  • + 1
 I'd almost argue that maintain biking as a whole is mainstream in its own right.
  • + 0
 I wouldnt say mainstream but I pray to God that more people start riding mountain bikes... That would mean more places to ride, government approval and cheaper bikes...
  • + 1
 Not necessarily. Government does not always approve if the majority of constituents don't approve and they vote or have money. If the Gov sees a revenue stream, then they might approve:with restrictions.
OHV's here in the Southwest were once able to go almost anywhere there was a trail or tracks. Now, they have to be licensed yearly ($$$), and are restricted to designated OHV parks or trails. Usually in a desolate area, or old gunnery range. And may be charged a fee for daily usage.

Leave it alone! Enjoy what you have and go riding.
  • + 2
 infinity, you seem to have ignored the fact that the mtb scene in brazil is a world away from that of the USA
  • + 1
 Tim, I understand. But for Gubment to function, the need revenue, and if MTB comes up on the radar, THAT will be the new revenue stream. Gubment is Gubment. The need for control is universal, and has no borders. Brazil is not immune to that. Nor is Yeerope.
  • + 2
 Brazilian Governments current revenue stream is the massive tax they impose on bike sales and has nothing to do with whether people actually ride those bikes. If they keep taxes high then virtually no-one will enter the sport because they do not have the love for it that we do and therefore they cannot justify the pricetag to themselves. Without a fairly large population of riders new riding sites will not be developed and the sport will not take off the same way it has in North America and Europe.
  • + 1
 I feel for the Brazilians. Life is tough all over.
  • + 2
 flag diesel84 (16 hours ago)
Just Ride your bike...
  • + 2
 my bike cost 6 grand. mtb can never become mainstream until it costs less.
  • + 2
 your lucky & rich.(I love my 6G 29r too!) but, dont you love it more now that you have ridden less expensive bikes?
  • + 1
 to play football all it takes is a football and some lines in the ground. to play soccer all it takes is a ball of a reasonable size and 4 sticks. to truly enjoy watching a sport you must play it at least once. riding a mountain bike on a real mountain bike trial is a luxury that most can not afford.
  • + 2
 Mountain Biking is not just a sport, it is a way of life! Big Grin
  • + 1
 Everyone can play with a ball, but not everyone can ride a mountainbike!! Wink
  • + 1
 Sorry but the question is pointless...MTB IS Mainstream already! Dont understand a stupid survey like this either :/
  • - 2
 I don't want it to be and I know it won't be. I'm 13 and out allthe 800 kids at my school, there are probably 10 kids who even know what the sport is. The only sports these kids play are football, b-ball, baseball, the usual.. It's because there are all wusses and that there is the truth. Though if they ever tried a line, they probably would not, but maybe they would enjoy it. I don't want this sport to be mainstream because it is at it's top right now.
  • + 1
 lies. You just want to be that cool and mysterious hipster kid.
  • + 1
 No.. everybody is at school is a pussy and that's a fact
  • + 1
 Because they don't mtb?

Age:13
Life: All figured out
  • + 1
 Dude trust me.. the only things most kids like are football, basketball and games
  • + 1
 Mountain bikers are dorky give me a break! Or we are fringe/weirdos........well I am.
  • + 2
 Mountain Biking isn't mainstream?
  • + 1
 If MTB becomes mainstream their will be more money given as prizes, this means people will ride for money not enjoyment.
  • + 1
 I don't know where you live, but it's already a mainstream sport, as far as I'm concerned.
  • + 1
 XC riding is pretty popular with the older demographic. There are a lot of older people riding where I live (Dallas)
  • + 1
 Funny writeup. Thanks for the cheeseburger gag!
  • + 1
 никогда этому не бывать!!!
  • + 1
 It's 2016! And I say Yes. Unfortunately, we are mainstream.
  • + 1
 main stream is homo WHERE NOT HOMO SO NOOO
  • + 2
 Tired of surveys
  • + 8
 Agree. Me thinks these surveys are pinkbike doing market research for the industry that pays for the advertising that keeps pinkbike online. Me cynical?
  • + 1
 @ rstwosix: sounds about right to me
  • + 0
 No one should care about this article. If you do you do you're not riding enough.
  • + 1
 I never started doing this sport because everyone else was doing it!
  • + 1
 Its prettty mainstream in my town .. Everyone rides bikes !
  • - 1
 MTB is already mainstream and I hate the word extreme, it's not!!! You may call it an Action Sport, like all the other FUN individual activities...
  • + 2
 hate is a bad feeling and extreme is a beautiful and serious word.
  • + 0
 Yea, hate is a bad feeling and there is nothing extreme about MTB, except Rampage...
  • + 3
 Ever been to rampage? PRETTY EXTREME
  • + 1
 Give me a bike and I will be mainstream.
  • + 1
 yeah! mainstream+NSA+nikkiMinnaj+RuppertMurdoch no thank you
  • + 1
 No. People dont even know what downhill mountain biking is!!
  • + 1
 Who cares if people don't know DH. Only 1% of the mtb crowd actually ride DH bikes and DH is not representative for MTB as a sport. This....is....PINKBIKE!!!
  • - 3
 SERIOUSLY MOUNTAIN BIKING SHOULD NEVER TURN INTO A MAINSTREAM SPORT! because all the mainstream sports just get over exploited for money, which changes the whole sport. I don't even class mountain biking as a sport if your not doing any races or competitions.Mountain biking needs to stay as it is.
  • + 1
 I'd say its pretty main stream already
  • + 2
 Too dam expensive.
  • + 1
 The question is do we want mountain biking to be mainstream?
  • + 2
 option 5: don't care
  • + 1
 XC = MTB = Olympic = Mainstream?
  • + 1
 no. that means bobsledding is mainstream, which it's not
  • + 1
 No and I hope it doesnt
  • + 1
 Hope not.
  • - 2
 Sure it would be awesome if it went mainstream, but its awesome the way it is. Keep it real and natural
  • + 1
 chyeah
  • - 2
 do away with all cross country riders who think there shit dont stink and maybe well talk.
  • - 3
 No. Just No. Pinkbike, do something useful and bring me some figgy pudding, it's cold after my ride.

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