Pinkbike Poll: What Mountain Bike Event Are You Most Likely to Watch?

May 4, 2018 at 12:06
by Mike Kazimer  
Gwinning ain t easy but AG sure makes it look that way.
Smile, you're on camera.

Remember when it took weeks, not seconds, to find out race results? Print magazines, not computer screens, used to be the medium that delivered race recaps, and I can remember eagerly watching the mailbox to find out who won last month's NORBA National. Fast forward a couple decades and it's a different story - we've grown so accustomed to having instant access to photos, videos, and results from all the major mountain bike events that even a slight hiccup in a live stream broadcast from the other side of the globe can cause a flurry of angry comments to appear.

But that doesn't meant there isn't room for improvement – imagine being able to see entire World Cup DH or Enduro World Series race runs from top to bottom, without any blind spots. Or what if every racer had a helmet cam, and you could watch the race from their perspective in real time? Hopefully there will come a time when the quality and amount of coverage between all mountain bike disciplines is equal, without sacrificing the difficulty or length of the race track, and choosing which event to watch will become the hard part.

For this week's poll, imagine that the weekend has arrived, and in some sort of scheduling snafu there's a World Cup, Enduro World Series, Red Bull Rampage and Crankworx all taking place at the same time. You only can only choose one event to watch live, and having multiple screens going simultaneously isn't possible. The coverage is exactly the same for all of the events – good camera angles, entertaining commentators, the works. Which one do you choose?



What mountain bike event are you most likely to watch?

It's the weekend. You've already gone on a long ride, and now you want to sit back and watch some mountain bike racing. If all of the coverage was of equal quality, but you could only watch one event, which one would you pick?




148 Comments

  • 196 4
 If EWS coverage was like World Cup DH coverage... I would be so excited. Even if they picked 1 or 2 stages to film live, it would be so awesome! I love the existing coverage, but some live coverage would be so sweet, and would make it more exiting to watch with friends. Whenever the WC happens, I always get a group of folks together to watch. It'd be nice to see the EWS the same way.
  • 16 2
 The logistics of having that kind of coverage for EWS seem very difficult. Longer stages, more stages, remote venues, etc. Wish they could figure out something better than it is currently though!
  • 71 4
 I thought this was going to be a no-brainer with World Cup DH but then they throw Rampage in. Both are pretty much mandatory so unfortunately I cannot complete the poll
  • 37 3
 Yeah but look at what DH TV coverage has done to the sport?
WC DH is now entirely dictated by RedBull in terms of venues and course types.

It seems ironic that what makes the sport so great is also kind of strangling it.
Be careful what you wish for
  • 17 3
 I think the problem of watching an EWS individual stage is the fact that, if you assume it's like an 8 stage race for example, would it really be exciting to watch stage 3? Or say the last stage since it ultimately decides the winner... that might be exciting but by the 8th stage the #1 guy is already 18 seconds ahead of #2, and #2 is 31 seconds in front of #3, etc.

Don't get me wrong, I would love to see some live EWS stages but the more you think of it you realize how impractical it is.
  • 5 2
 Take your phone, friends phone, and lunch a live on FB !


Good luck ! Wink
  • 5 2
 @bull-dozer: the last stage of each day seems like a logical one to cover with commentary and live streaming video. A rider might already have it cinched up for the day, but it would still have good suspense factor.
  • 14 2
 ONLY 360 FOR RAMPAGE!??!?! WTFFF

Too bad we couldn't select more than one. WC DH, Rampage and Slopestyle.
  • 10 0
 @badbietz: yeah but I watch rampage on mute.
  • 3 0
 @POWsLAYER: even now without Brad Jay?
  • 5 5
 @rcrdrvr: Tippy for Rampage. He was there from the beginning.
  • 2 6
flag Seawild66 (May 11, 2018 at 18:20) (Below Threshold)
 @badbietz: Rampage>WCDH Go there someday. It's a team event like no other.
  • 4 3
 It's impossible to properly televise ews. I remember years ago when they tried to televise wrc as an alternative to formula one and it fell flat on its face. You need it to be a race, in a small area, with comparisons between riders in real time and a clear winner at time x.
  • 7 0
 They just need 20 drones. Problem solved
  • 2 2
 @POWsLAYER: I watch all but wcdh on mute.
  • 1 0
 Yuuuuuuuu ewsssss
  • 1 0
 I prefer watching WCDH, World Champs in particular, but I prefer the drama of a drawn out format like the EWS. Unfortunately, I don't think the EWS will ever really make a viable "get a result" type of coverage, such is the nature of the event.
  • 9 0
 @scott-townes: dont you find rampage and slopestyle gets a bit samey after a while. The riding is sublime but it does seem to go on too long and its difficult to appreciate how technical the course and riding is.
  • 10 2
 @IllestT: Redbull have turned watching DH Racing into a joke .Extreme TV had it nailed they covered every single rider that came down the track and i watched every bit of it, all those riders that dont get coverage its a damn shame.NOT only that, but poor Rob warner they even cut his ball off.
Gone are the days when you would hear (they fighting for air harder then a chilean miner)
  • 3 0
 @andnyleswillriot: wrc has kinda figured it out. Commentary, analysis, and highlights followed by a live watch of the last stage.
  • 2 0
 I love Enduro and race as well but you cant beat the explosiveness of DH
  • 2 0
 @thinkbike: Could possibly have a time bonus for placing well on the filmed stage too, so that a shorter, easier to film stage still has significance to the outcome.

Could use helmet cams for coverage during the other stages, potentially with a edited highlight segment.
  • 2 0
 @IllestT: So would rather not see the sport live as an alternative ??
  • 2 0
 @badbietz: Watching guys huck monstrous runs is great, but as soon as something is judged/subjective, I'm out. DH and EWS get my vote.
  • 1 0
 Can be done if they go invest the tech is out there.
  • 2 0
 @badbietz: WC DH is the only MTB sport ive been literally jumping up and down yelling at my TV for. haha. Rampage is awesome but DH is exhilarating!
  • 40 0
 Down Country please, but only the FR climbs.
  • 7 3
 Down Country is about racing your friends to the top and doing all the chicken lines on descends with pride
  • 31 5
 EWS all day if they had coverage.
  • 9 0
 Yep. The questions stated if the coverage was of equal quality. Everyone's like, "but EWS coverage sux."
  • 23 0
 World Cup DH is phenomenal, I will follow it forever, and I love that it's not decided by judges, but Rampage is the event I look forward to most every year.
  • 21 2
 Other: Redbull Hardline no doubt.
  • 9 0
 It miss too many riders at Hardline ...
  • 20 7
 XCO. I like seeing people race people, not clocks.
  • 2 0
 That’s why I love events like Megavalanche. Mass start and first down wins. Who doesn’t like racing next to your buddy or competitor?
  • 2 4
 @bartender: Yep. The Mega makes DHWC and EWS look tame.

Real racing.
  • 6 3
 Dh with masstart feels like a really stupid idea.
  • 4 2
 @AMGoran: Guess that is why Mega and a few others are sold out every year
  • 2 0
 @bman33: Thats not on Dh wc tracks tho what wc track is 100m wide? Fort William?
  • 2 0
 I tend to watch all the xc and dh races.
  • 11 0
 I'd love to watch EWS, but multi day stage racing just doesn't translate well to tv.
  • 4 0
 Agreed! They’d have to do it like WRC, where there is a livestream as stages go live for the keenos, but they do full summary videos each day/event with all the extra footage and commentary etc
  • 4 0
 Haha tell this to millions watching TdF each year Wink
  • 1 0
 @dj100procentenduro: Part of watch the TdF on the TV all day is that for the most part, it's super relaxing. Great scenery, usually interesting commentary and an excuse to have a good beer or two in the afternoon.
  • 2 0
 @kingtut87: and it's easy to film following along wide open roads.
  • 7 0
 I’ve become a huge slopestyle fan because my 8 year old loves it. The competition is intense and the sport is kinda unpredictable. Nothing beats getting fired up with my son in the morning with a slopestyle comp before hitting the trails. He’s currently obsessed with the lack of opposite tricks from Rogatkin and we constantly argue over tech versus brute force. Slopestyle is awesome!
  • 10 0
 Curious as to what the people who voted "Other" are watching. Care to share?
Cosplay unicyle polo?
  • 3 1
 Fest Series, Hard Line are the biggies that spring to mind, oh, and the event to beat all events, Dual Speed and Style, phew, almost forgot that!!!!!
  • 1 0
 My other:
A macaskill or semenuck created movie..... that is some beautifully created art.

I have great respect for the pros, but would rather be riding my bike than watching them..... it all gets pretty repetitive after a while.

I vacation with a couple of atherton/vein fanboys and every evening is watching their videos...... I am usually (happily) tuning up bikes
  • 1 0
 @summerprophet: yup, yup, and yup. I'd much rather drink beer and work on my bike when not riding it. These "bonding" sessions are where i can tune up, but also identify any possible issues (check brake pads, chain stretch, check for cracks in frame, replace cables, bent or broken spokes, and split housing, etc.) Like most things, it's more fun to do it than watch other people do it. Applies to riding and so much more.
  • 1 0
 Definitely hardline. Crazy event
  • 7 1
 Why isnt there a free ride world circuit similar to that of skiing and snowboarding? It's basically Rampage, but for skiis and snowboards.
  • 1 0
 Travis Rice created a similar event at Baldface for I think two years. It was rad, but I don't think it ever caught on.
  • 1 1
 There is, Freeride World Tour(FWT).

www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkoWkOyyGgc
  • 10 3
 I don't know if my nerves could handle watching a Rampage series lol it's gnarly enough that they do it once a year. Start doing it more and the athletes will be pressured into going even crazier and increase the chance of injury big time. The sport doesn't need that. Anyone dropping into Rampage is top shit in my books and has nothing to prove in a series as far as I'm concerned.
  • 8 1
 I think a lot of riders are glad there is only one rampage event to get through.
  • 1 0
 @pbfan08: That's what I'm referring to, but for bikes...
  • 4 2
 It’s all of the FEST stops pretty much, except you get some other lower-key guys that can still shred
  • 4 1
 @benhempymtb: not the same thing. rampage and fest are not the same.
  • 1 5
flag Flowcheckers (May 11, 2018 at 17:48) (Below Threshold)
 @txrider1: But that's where the core rampage riders are, and rampage is becoming more about jumps. They could combine them, make fest a competition with rampage the finale. I would like to see two runs, one a timed race and then the judged event.
  • 4 0
 'FREE' ride Think about it.......
  • 1 3
 @nojzilla: Definitions evolve...
  • 2 0
 @ajayflex: definitions - yes...FREERIDE - No! observe
www.pinkbike.com/video/462027
  • 6 0
 World cup DH, Rampage, and Crankworx Slopestyle are all necessary for my survival. But I'm fine watching DH live and then watching the replay of the others later.
  • 4 0
 I think EWS coverage would be great, but I also don't give my full attention to the races when they are on. There always seems to be a lull mid-race whether it's F1, MotoGP or World Cup DH. I enjoy having it on in the background and having some audio cues when either a racer I really want to watch, or something exciting comes on. I think some selective positions live for EWS could work great with my type of viewership.
  • 5 2
 Considering a lot of these are not on the same day or even month I want to pick more than 1,clearly I watch rampage live if I can then re-watch it over and over. I’ve re-watched a few dh runs,not sure I’ve ever re-watched a slopestyle event other than replay if I missed it. I’d like to watch enduro live.
  • 7 0
 all of them, bikes are fun
  • 8 5
 I'll always watch WC DH, Its still the F1 of MTB. Fast, Intense and the absolute pinnacle of MTB racing. There's nothing more pure than a man, a bike, a track and a clock. One stage, one time and nothing left on the table! Competition has never been stronger or more professional and its impressive to watch.
I'm gonna get a lot of hate and neg props for this but I have and always will see EWS as the place professional DH'rs "go out to pasture".
  • 4 1
 Except the courses have kinda turned the tables... The EWS stages are often far more gnarly than the WC DH courses, and riders tackle it without the benefit of much practice - it's pretty amazing. I love DH, but many of the WC courses have gone to shit.
  • 3 0
 Have to go with World Cup DH.... but.... If I could watch high quality end to end coverage of EWS I would, every second of it! Rampage is in a different category all together. If I could only watch one televised mtb event for the year I’d choose rampage every time.
  • 7 1
 Rampage or world champs dh, tough call!
  • 2 0
 It's a silly question because I always watch DH and EWS and sometimes XC but forcing us to pick just one creates results which are not proportionate to interest. I am also much more like to skip big sections of DH coverage to just watch the last top ten men and women but in EWS I'm more likely to watch a journal program from start to finish.
  • 3 0
 Family poll:
Wife - Crankworks
Youngest son - Crankworks
Oldest son - Wold Cup DH
Me - World Cup DH

Thanks God there IS multiple screens, others Armageddon would happen in my house on that day!
  • 1 0
 An option not on there but would seem easy to televise.....trials. I think it can be as impressive as downhill for danger (to the lay an at least) and wow factor for how big guys are going now,but of all the disciplines it's the one requiring the best technical skill. Its easy to hype up as well with speed trials. I stopped following it when i stopped riding a while back but the likes of Kenny Belaey and Vincent Hermance were pulling huge moves. With the rep Danny Mac has brought to trials it would get a following
  • 1 0
 WC XCO, with Red Bull coverage... the sheer speed and skills of these guys and girls #ninoisagod..... EWS is begging for the same level of coverage... WC DH track coverage has improved if Croatia was anything to go by... basically anything that involves bikes, but it needs good coverage...
  • 1 0
 The Poll it misses mass start DH, avalanche. This would be the key format qwith more adapters on the mass media no doubt cause it has all the elements from todays modern cycling and outodorr. Just imagine mega alp d huez live with al best riders of the world... That would surpass tour de france in audience in some years...
  • 2 0
 RED BULL RAMPAGE DEFINITLY. Chips, beers and Stokeness behind my screen!!!! Big Grin DH WC are awesome but the course is the same for 2 hours .. RB Rampage you got all the different lines that make it so exciting !! Beer
  • 1 0
 WCDH hands down. EWS is awesome and I like following the coverage, photos, summary vids/team vids but you just cannot beat the entertainment of DH: flat out, max speed, one run. EWS the guys are ripping but don't look at their limit like they do in DH -- they can't be as they have to race over 6-8 stages (30-45min total?) and pedal like 40km+ and climb 2000m+, it's hugely impressive but you can't descend at your max limit with those constraints.
  • 1 0
 More downhill world cups!! its Pure racing; fastest and most technical. EWS is around so that there is a category in which the 'enduro/ all mountain' is the fastest option, giving a justification for them to sell more bikes to us based on 'results'. Imagine if Downhill could be like Formula 1, races every other weekend. We need someone to realise the potential.
  • 1 0
 Even as a fan of XCO Racing, the coverage makes it worth watching, I’m always going to vote for WC DH first... that said I watch all formats religiously. I like watching Crankworks and Rampage but subjective scoring is a tough one for me. Still seeing the level at which these riders are at is amazing. I think I’m the only person who could care less about EWS coverage. But bring it, I’ll check it out...
  • 1 0
 Can't miss Rampage as it's a one off and so sick but watch most of the DH as long as the Mrs hasn't booked in a holiday or event I'll watch that and all the EWS stuff I can on youtube mid week to see me through to next weekend. It's never been better for spectating MTB
  • 1 0
 If your saying full coverage, that would mean we would be able to see how riders choose their lines for rampage, have their ideas visuable and their planing + Building within the coverage right? Always down to see how each rider approaches their gnarly building for the first time! Easiest answer ever!!!
  • 5 0
 WCDH is just so cool
  • 2 2
 Imo the best coverage for EWS event would be live POV cameras. Like half of the riders race with GoPros or other action cameras already. I don't know how difficult is it to stream live from GoPro, but certainly it's possible, and setting at least one whole stage with wireless connection shouldn't be that big of a problem.
  • 3 0
 For sure DH but i also want to see Sam Hill dominate again. We need better EWS coverage
  • 5 2
 I voted for 4cross because if it's broadcasted, it probably means it came back. And 4cross needs to come back.
  • 2 0
 I dont get how dual slalom is even considered an acceptable substitute
  • 1 0
 It never went away, the media just stopped paying attention
  • 1 0
 @nojzilla: You have events in the UK, but there isn't one in the US. I'm not aware of the rest of the world's participation
  • 3 1
 @me2menow: totally, still 4X here in Europe. Eastern Euros are crazy for it! Despite the UCI pulling a shitter on the sport. They say its the tracks but......
If giant slope courses can be built then why not 4X....?
Would love to see a US 4X and a world cup 4X series back
  • 1 0
 It is back, its on now, a world event, just no coverage as you say, not braoadcast
  • 2 0
 Make sure you tune in to the European 4Cross Series livestreams of it's gold events:

9th June
1st July
22nd September

4cross.eu/livestreams/leibstadt-2017
  • 3 0
 Top to bottom runs WCDH with the old Rob Warner and Ozzy Man Reviews commentating
  • 1 0
 Absolutely, robs abusive comenrary and freecaster course previews were second to none
  • 1 0
 Not sure how TV regulators would react to the frequent use of phrases such as "fk me sideways" and "here's me big bloody beautiful face". Nonetheless, its something I'd like to see/hear Big Grin
  • 2 0
 Nothing beats the tension of seeing the last man on the start ramp intercut with the man on the hot seat watching the live feed.
  • 1 0
 I don't find Rampage or Slopestyle enjoyable to watch anymore, too much effing around with weather holds etc. I love watching the highlight reels, but as an 'event' no thanks.
  • 1 0
 I want better EWS coverage! So many amazing places and the riding coverage is lackluster at best. At least try to get some footage from pov, drones and some spectators with a gimbaled gopro or something.
  • 1 0
 I haven't watched anything since the Redbull app on my smart tv stopped working. I tried synching my tv to my phone but it doesn't work. I'm certainly not going to watch on a mobile screen.
  • 3 0
 That is too hard of a choice, can I pick my top three?
  • 3 0
 Need to be able to pick more than one on this poll
  • 5 0
 ...or rank them
  • 4 1
 probably DH, but 4X needs some love too...
  • 4 3
 Cannot believe XC gets more love than 4X, what is wrong with world......
  • 1 2
 An what's wrong with what ever c*nt down voted this???
  • 1 0
 @nojzilla: I'm ok if people want to watch it, but I don't understand how 4X is not that hyped. with the short tracks and bar to bar action it should be perfect for spectators. atleast my love for 4X will never die
  • 2 0
 I love WC DH but head to head to head racing is the best for watching. Dual slalom and 4x for the win
  • 2 0
 I have watched the DHWC for 7 years... I don't like the changes to the qualis/finals so I won't watch it this year
  • 1 0
 it's still WCDH...gotta see Bulldog smash and Blenki style...really miss Steve and the Rat! Both Steve's.
  • 1 0
 Needs multiple options on this poll - I want to watch any DH, Rampage, DJ or similar events. Most of us on here live for bikes and would happily watch any MTB based event.
  • 1 0
 I would watch Enduro as well as DH and Rampage and Dual Slalom, but there ain't no Enduro to watch. DH#1
  • 2 0
 Mammoth Kamikazi with Jimmy Deaton.
  • 1 0
 This years they are doing a MegaKami mass-start. Gonna be a blast!!!
  • 1 0
 @endlessblockades: Wow, that's a gong show! With hammer knee pads and all! Will be fun to watch this.
  • 8 5
 XC
  • 2 0
 How is slopestyle only marginally ahead of xc
  • 2 0
 Only watch the first and the last lap of the WC XC racing.
  • 1 0
 Choice of only one is unacceptable. I have needs. More mtb coverage is needed
  • 1 0
 A toss up between Womens WCDH and Womens XCO...

Couldn’t give two shits about Rampage, slopestyle or DJ stuff...
  • 1 0
 Already booked a hotel in Whistler for the last three days of Crankworx. This will be my second time.
  • 1 0
 So hard I am all ways at Rampage so I put rampage. Hate missing word cup DH
  • 4 3
 I watch it all the except XC.
  • 3 3
 Your missing out on some exciting racing. Really. Seeing Schurter slip a pedal...Had me yelling!
  • 1 0
 every single dam one of them!
  • 5 4
 Anyone who didn’t choose rampage is lying
  • 2 1
 I'm impressed by what the riders at Rampage are doing. The level of progression is absolutely insane. But I get bad vibes from the whole worry thing that someone is likely to have a significant, perhaps season ending, or worse, life altering/ending crash. So as much as I admire these riders' skill and guts, I just can't bring myself to watch it.
  • 1 0
 Yoga with Abi. That counts right?
  • 2 1
 Red Bull Hardline! I'd love to see the WC DH top dogs race that course
  • 1 0
 I'd be interested in more mountainbike trials.
  • 1 0
 Would love to see more 4x coverage!!
  • 1 0
 I'm shocked EWS is hanging in there with rampage.
  • 1 0
 EWS Olargues I would say
  • 1 0
 ov's Pinkbike
  • 1 0
 DH & EWS
  • 1 0
 long travel = more views
  • 1 0
 And more 4x. Wtf people
  • 1 0
 FEST Series
  • 1 0
 All of them
  • 8 10
 Where is the category for urban DH? Since we will NEVER EVER see it in the U.S. snowflakes' and lawyers.
  • 2 2
 bring back dual slalom !
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