The Pinkbike Podcast: Episode 77 - Interview with Outside CEO, Robin Thurston

Jul 28, 2021 at 11:01
by Mike Levy  
Pinkbike Podcast
Art by Taj Mihelich

The news of Outside acquiring Pinkbike saw nearly 1,700 comments posted under the July 14th press release, with most being equal parts surprise, disapproval, and ''spirited debate.'' And while that concern is no doubt justified, I'll be honest with you: we didn't have the answers to most of your questions and concerns, and we had plenty of questions ourselves. We addressed a lot of them in episode 72, but today we're talking to Outside CEO Robin Thurston to skip the guessing and get to the facts.

August 24th, 2021

Featuring a rotating cast of the editorial team and other guests, the Pinkbike podcast is a weekly update on all the latest stories from around the world of mountain biking, as well as some frank discussion about tech, racing, and everything in between.

Previous Pinkbike Podcasts
Episode 1 - Why Are Bikes So Expensive?
Episode 2 - Where the Hell is the Grim Donut?
Episode 3 - Pond Beaver Tech
Episode 4 - Why is Every Bike a Trail Bike?
Episode 5 - Can You Trust Bike Reviews?
Episode 6 - Over Biked Or Under Biked?
Episode 7 - Wild Project Bikes
Episode 8 - Do We Need an Even Larger Wheel Size?
Episode 9 - Why Are We Doing a Cross-Country Field Test?
Episode 10 - Getting Nerdy About Bike Setup
Episode 11 - Are We Going Racing This Year?
Episode 12 - What's the Future of Bike Shops?
Episode 13 - Are Bikes Too Regular Now?
Episode 14 - What Bikes Would Pinkbike Editors Buy?
Episode 15 - What's Holding Mountain Biking Back?
Episode 16 - Who's Your Mountain Biking Hero?
Episode 17 - XC Field Test Insider
Episode 18 - Electronics on your Mountain Bike: Good or Bad?
Episode 19 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 20 - MTB Conspiracy Theories
Episode 21 - Stuff We Were Wrong About
Episode 22 - Does Your Riding Style Match Your Personality?
Episode 23 - Grim Donut 2 is Live!
Episode 24 - Why Even Buy a DH Bike?
Episode 25 - Fall Field Test Preview
Episode 26 - The Three Most Important Mountain Bikes
Episode 27 - The World Champs Special
Episode 28 - All About Women's Bikes
Episode 29 - Freeride or Die
Episode 30 - Would You Rather?
Episode 31 - Wet Weather Riding Tips & Tricks
Episode 32 - What Needs to Change in the Bike Industry?
Episode 33 - Behind the Scenes at Pinkbike Academy
Episode 34 - Grilling Levy About Field Test Trail Bikes (and His Bonspiel)
Episode 35 - Story Time - Stranger Than Fiction
Episode 36 - Grilling Kazimer about Field Test Enduro Bikes
Episode 37 - The 2020 Privateer Season with Ben Cathro
Episode 38 - Editors Defend Their 2020 Best-Of Picks
Episode 39 - Predicting the Future of Mountain Biking
Episode 40 - The Pinkbike Awards!
Episode 41 - Racing Rumours and Team Changes
Episode 42 - Mountain Biking's Guilty Pleasures
Episode 43 - Dangerholm's Wildest Custom Mountain Bikes
Episode 44 - Mountain Bike Suspension Decoded
Episode 45 - What Makes a Good Riding Buddy
Episode 46 - The RockShox Zeb vs Fox 38 Deep Dive
Episode 47 - High Pivot Bikes: The Good, The Bad, and The Why?
Episode 48 - Rides That Went Horribly Wrong... & Why That Made Them So Good
Episode 49 - What's the Best DH Bike?
Episode 50 - Are Bikes Actually Getting Less Expensive? (Value Bike Field Test Preview)
Episode 51 - Should MTB Media Post Spy Shots?
Episode 52 - Our Most Embarrassing MTB Moments
Episode 53 - Should Climbers Still Have the Right of Way?
Episode 54 - Best and Worst MTB Product Marketing
Episode 55 - Big Dumb Rides & Staying Motivated
Episode 56 - What Were the Most Important Inventions in Mountain Biking?
Episode 57 - What Were the Best (and Worst) Trends in Mountain Biking?
Episode 58 - Debunking Mountain Biking's Biggest Myths
Episode 59 - Value Bike Field Trip Surprises & Spoilers
Episode 60 - What Kind of Mountain Biker Do You Want to Be?
Episode 61 - Athlete Pay, Lycra, Equality and More from the State of the Sport Survey
Episode 62 - Editor Preferences and Why They Matter
Episode 63 - Our Best (And Worst) Bike Buying Advice
Episode 64 - Who's On Your MTB Mount Rushmore?
Episode 65 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 66 - The Best and Worst of Repairing Bikes
Episode 67 - The Story of Mountain Biking's Most Interesting Man: Richard Cunningham
Episode 68 - Who Are Mountain Biking's Unsung Heroes?
Episode 69 - The Good, Bad, and Strange Bikes We've Owned - Part 1
Episode 70 - The Good, Bad, and Strange Bikes We've Owned - Part 2
Episode 71 - The Story of Mountain Biking's Most Interesting Man: Richard Cunningham - A Pinkbike Podcast Special, Part 2
Episode 72 - Hey Outers!
Episode 73 - The Details That Matter... and Some That Shouldn't

Author Info:
mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

  • 235 3
 It's interesting to hear about Robin's business ventures and the arc of his career, but his vision for a common ecosystem/community/platform/etc across various outdoor sports segments turns me off. Maybe back-end consolidation makes sense from a business perspective, but I'm looking for specialization in the tools I use and websites I read. I don't want Gaia and Trailforks to be the same thing -- I use Gaia for certain things, and I use Trailforks very deliberately for something else. I really don't want Pinkbike serving up other non-bike content that Outside's algorithm thinks I'll be interested in, as a way to direct traffic to other Outside properties. I come here because this community is oriented around mountain biking specifically, and not diluted.
  • 19 169
flag dresendsit (Aug 24, 2021 at 9:56) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah, large businesses suck. Netflix sucks. Amazon sucks. Apple sucks. They just make my life way too easy. Screw these companies that give us everything we want at our fingertips.
  • 6 3
 well said on the website matter; not familiar with Gaia and I don't rely on TF** so I won't comment on that integration, though I agree I prefer specialization in the services I use, I don't want unrelated content forced on me (thank you eBike filter).

**most of the trails in my area don't show on TF....Strava heat maps and local guides are really the only way to find everything (though they are slowly being added).
  • 15 1
 Consolidation is a holy grail of almost every CEO, bacause it's much easier to reduce costs than to sell more. I only have experience with telecoms, but all larger organisations I have seen including my current company are prone to promoting mediocre managers aiming for the easiest "success" they can grab.
  • 25 0
 "Back-end consolidation" is Robin trying to make a case for corporations gobbling up smaller businesses to fill their portfolio. It has nothing to do with merging systems related to user experience so you don't have to worry about that. Its already happened with bike companies, outerwear, etc. so why not with websites?

The downside is the overlords can decide one day to sell the company and if it doesn't sell or as much as they'd like, they can shelf the company altogether, killing them completely. If you love monopolies disguised as a collective of separate entities, then yes, back-end consolidation is great.... for the shareholders mainly.
  • 5 0
 @lkubica: every great product is a square until it’s bought by mediocrity who’s purpose is to trim the corners until the product is round, then sell it and keep the trimmings
  • 3 0
 Ok, so I actually listened to the podcast. First of all my previous comment does not apply to the situation, since this Outside is Robin's own project, he is not a hired CEO, he is the guy behind it. Definitely he is an accomplished businessman. This interview was a great insight for me, because frankly this world of business is like another dimension for, fascinating and scary the same time. They way he talked about creating, selling, developing companies, just I would buy and sell bike parts ...
I also admit he bought me when suggested that content like PB Academy could go behind a paywall Wink 3 times YES for this Wink
  • 14 1
 Well said.

Listening to Robin talk about business and his vision for an empire of outdoor media was super disheartening. PB isn't perfect (blog style layout hasn't changed since it began) but I have zero interest in being served other Outside content. I get enough of that echochamber guess work in my Google feed and Instagram.
  • 10 2
 Dude collected us like Pokémon.
  • 2 0
 @DizzyNinja: Interesting analogy.
  • 3 0
 @scott-townes: Yes, the whole idea of doing an IPO reeks of potential sell-offs, "right-sizing",and having"activist shareholders" putting pressure on the corporation to cut costs and boost revenues and dividends. I wonder if he's thought of that?
  • 2 0
 @dresendsit: f*ck'em all!
  • 1 0
 It really sounds like the plan is only to enhance Pinkbike where it can benefit. I can appreciate the concern about dilution. I there may be a small element of promotion of other Outside brands, but I think Pinkbike with remain overwhelmingly mountain biking oriented. That would seem to be Robin's plan.
  • 92 1
 So Pinkbike is now owned by a roadie. Man I thought 2020 was weird.
  • 16 4
 Pinkbike bought the roadie site cycling tips a couple years ago... Looks like the roadies had the last laugh tho.
  • 137 227
flag mikelevy Mod (Aug 24, 2021 at 9:38) (Below Threshold)
 Bikes are bikes.
  • 93 2
 @mikelevy: There's some crossover, but the core cultures are fairly different.
  • 76 46
 @mikelevy: Never has a more out of touch comment been said.. just wow. Clueless.
  • 46 4
 @mikelevy: Even when they've got motors?
  • 52 1
 @mikelevy: and big corporations are big corporations.
  • 7 0
 @commental: Outside 2022 bike of the year
  • 42 17
 @mikelevy: LOL

I swear PB is so out of touch with it’s own community it is hilarious
  • 37 11
 @mikelevy: not sure you'll be saying that next year when you're testing the newest batch of e-gravel bikes...pull Robin's Lycra out of your mouth and think before you utter any more reckless nonsense, Levy.
  • 4 0
 @JDUBKC: lol, what in the world is that
  • 3 1
 @JDUBKC: The bike of choice for halfwits.
  • 78 10
 @nvranka: Hardly. My point is that calling someone a roadie doesn't sum up their personality more than calling someone a mountain biker. I know plenty of a*sholes who ride mountain bikes, plenty of nice roadies, and vice versa.

Road bikes aren't mountain bikes, mountain bikes don't have motors, e-bikes are just fine, and I don't care what you're riding.
  • 24 4
 @commental: No, mountain bikes do not have motors. But you're misinterpreting my reply.
  • 4 2
 @JDUBKC: it was supposed to be a harmless joke, but apparently this is a sensitive subject. I don't care who is in charge of Pinkbike, I'll still enjoy it as long as it's free.
  • 15 2
  • 16 6
 @mikelevy: mountain bikes don’t have motors, so why does a mountain bike website feature bikes with motors??
  • 6 0
 @mikelevy: as long as it doesn’t have a gearbox?
  • 8 0
 @DizzyNinja: LOL you got me there haha
  • 15 1
 @JoshieK: Because my opinion is wrong Wink
  • 13 2
 Though outside magazine has a long history of blowing up places with there too 10 lists. "Such as top 10 hikes you've never heard of.". Please don't start doing this with mtb trails Pinkbike!
  • 1 28
flag JoshieK (Aug 24, 2021 at 14:54) (Below Threshold)
 @mikelevy: your own statement said mountain bikes don’t have motors. You need to have a lie down. Your ego is putting pressure on your brain weakening your cognitive function.
  • 15 6
 @mikelevy I asked my dermatologist to remove my brain tumor, cuz doctors are doctors, right? I mean, they all went to med school.
  • 11 14
 People are way too negative on this thread…

I guess with nearly half of the population refusing a covid vaccine (in the U.S. at least) it shouldn’t be much of a surprise.

Safe to assume the intelligent people just don’t reply to this news and look forward to more content. I could care less if additional solid bike articles are behind a $5/month subsection. If the articles look good enough, I’ll pay for it. Crazy concept. I wonder if all these people even listened to the whole podcast. New CEO sounds like the perfect owner
  • 2 3
 @mikelevy: really dude.... really
  • 7 0
 @Trailfingers: I would like an article on kaz's top ten chamois
  • 6 4
 @dresendsit: bow down and lick the boots of the elites. You’ll love it!
  • 1 0
Gravelbikes will be seen in the next field test…
  • 10 3
 I always notice that the mountain bikers that complain the most about roadies are really bad at mountain biking.
  • 3 0
 @scvkurt03: This. PB of the golden era was like the opposite of road bike. Nothing wrong with road, it’s just different. People are gonna make money though I guess.
  • 3 2
 @JoshieK: go get a Covid vaccine, it might save your life
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: pretty vague comment to begin with tho
  • 3 0
 @cougar797: This isn’t the Golden Era, though? Bikes are amazing, racing is on TV, there’s more coverage than ever… Levy’s comment is only marginally true. I know a lot of fast, sendy, legit mtbers that ride road, but also can’t stand roadie group rides due to the people involved. Doesn’t mean they’re all devoid of leadership skills and can’t let the PB staff be the dirty fat tire lovers they are.
  • 8 2
 @TEAM-ROBOT: You missed the point, dude. Do doctors all have the same personalities because they're doctors? Something something about the internet not letting us get our point across blah blah blah
  • 7 0
 @Shackmann: All I'm trying to say is that the type of bike someone rides has nothing to do with their personality. Anyone who believes that it does hasn't met enough people or been around long enough.
  • 6 1
 @monkeybizz: Yeah, I can see how that first comment was taken the wrong way. The point is a*sholes and nice people both ride all kinds of bikes. Some of them are even shuttle rats haha
  • 7 0
 @mikelevy: Something something about me needing to do a better job listening to the true intent of what people are saying blah blah blah My main concern right now is that Kazimer got to test the new Spark, which has me worried about you. I feel like you're the go-to lycra guy on staff. Is everything alright?
  • 1 0
 @TEAM-ROBOT: I mean, why should @mikelevy have all the fun on sporty bikes? And why should Kaz have all the long legged bikes... I think Levy had a Brodie 8Ball at one point???
  • 1 0
 @scvkurt03: No I just meant in regards to pb being smaller but big enough to be a thing and catering to all the hucky, DH type riders out there, with the ridiculous in a funny way community. Its not a bad thing now, just different feel is all.
  • 1 0
 @cougar797: hah ok. Good ol days. Definitely has a more mainstream vibe now, but that was well before Outdoor came along.
  • 3 4
 @dresendsit: lol imagine assuming that everyone you disagree with must be unvaccinated. Your mental framework is broken. Your ability for rational thought has been eroded by your ideology.
  • 2 4
 @JoshieK: but are you vaccinated?
  • 2 4
 @dresendsit: why are you so obsessed what others do with there bodies? You sound like a creep.
  • 6 5
 @JoshieK: yeah that’s what I thought. No vaccine.
  • 2 7
flag JoshieK (Aug 26, 2021 at 8:57) (Below Threshold)
 @dresendsit: and that’s where you are wrong creep. Not that will change your mind. Your ideology has become your religion. Faith without evidence. Try not to not do anything really creepy like molestation. You need help
  • 4 2
 @JoshieK: I mean, the same could be said about you.
  • 3 4
 @dmackyaheard: well go ahead. If you want to join the “everyone I disagree with is an unvaccinated Nazi”, give me your best!
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: you sure are right! And I love all the tire width in this world and drop bars don’t scare me!
  • 3 3
 @JoshieK: I was pointing out that your rational for being un-vaccinated is the same as what you are claiming @dresendsit rational is for being vaccinated. I personally DGAF what you do.
  • 4 3
 @dmackyaheard: what is vaccination status and what is my rationale? Neither you or the other tool know that. Though I did allude to it but you weren’t bright enough to see it. You just make assumptions on the “everyone I don’t agree with is Hitler/trump/unvaccinated” philosophy. Which is weak, lame, cringy and creepy.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: all these haters need to read some kickstand comics and lighten up! Remember your first bike ride? Doesn't matter what kind or where it was, it is magic and we all try to tap into that when we ride. I agree that what type of wheeled machine we choose is a choice and part of what is great about cycling is how it can be interpreted in so many ways. BMX DH XC road track trail trials uni street dirt jump park. Choose your own adventure, keep on keeping on.
  • 1 3
 @Chonky13: lame and cringe.
  • 2 1
 @JoshieK: I can only assume based on what I am seeing. If you don't want other to assume... then shed some light on it. Like I said... I don't care what you do, that is your choice. You two are just arguing about the same thing from a different perspective.
  • 2 2
 @dmackyaheard: why assume anyone’s medical history when debating the corporate take over of pink bike? Why do creeps behave like this?
  • 3 2
 @JoshieK: Lol... all I see is a bunch of projection. Done with this... go ride your damn bike
  • 2 1
 @dmackyaheard: ah yes the old “no you” followed by “ride yer bike” as an argument. Mental fortitude of a 10 year old.
  • 2 1
 @JoshieK: you must be pretty insecure to jump so quickly into personal attacks. From "creep" to "mental fortitude of a 10 year old". Instead of discussing the topic at hand it's straight to ad-hominem attacks. I feel sorry for you.
  • 2 1
 @dresendsit: oh look, the “everyone I don’t agree with must be unvaccinated” guy is back in an attempt to claim the moral high ground. Nice try creeper.
  • 1 1
 @JoshieK: straight to the personal attacks. Your only move once people call out how full of sh*t you are lmao
  • 2 1
 @JoshieK: Lol... Keep on projecting and name calling. If it makes you feel better, it must be the right thing to do.
  • 2 1
 @dresendsit: haha I’m being told I’m full of shit and that I rush to the “personal attacks” by both the “everyone I disagree with is unvaccinated” guys.
And then they tell me, I’m projecting. Can’t get any better!
  • 1 1
 @JoshieK: it’s astonishing how you can’t see you’re the one who devolved the conversation into personal attacks. If you repeatedly attack someone eventually they will respond equally, which is probably what you didn’t realize you wanted… likely because you’re sad and lonely. Cheer up little Joshie and go get a vaccine, or don’t, natural selection will take its course.
  • 2 0
 @dresendsit: haha here you go still assuming my medical choices. Why would a discussion about a corporate take over of pink bike come down to vaccinations? Unless of course you are a creep who is now trying to assume my happiness and social life. You’ve got to calm down with the creepy behaviour.
  • 1 1
 @JoshieK: you made it obvious little Joshie. No vaccine. Probably follows Qanon. It’s too easy son
  • 2 0
 @dresendsit: let me guess, I’m a white supremacist as well?
  • 4 0
 How can we unsubscribe from a thread lol can you two shut up already, tired of the notifications
  • 1 0
 @nvranka: turn your computer off?
  • 2 0
 @nvranka: srsly
  • 2 0
 @nvranka: I wish I could upvote this 100 more times lol
  • 84 19
 Listening to this guy speak was like the noise Jim Carrey screamed in Dumb and Dumber. Nothing embodies what's wrong with our current capitalist system like a "serial entrepreneur".

"I made a million dollars off this, a billion dollars off this, another million here, another million there, all on the backs of the people that worked for me. Did I know what I was doing? OF COURSE NOT. I was just about making as much as I could and then getting out."

What an awful person.
  • 39 1
 This is what I heard too. So much business talk, so many words said, so little information imparted.
  • 5 0
 Yep exactly
  • 70 7
 Just guessing… this interview isn’t going to make anyone here any more sympathetic to Outside buying Pinkbike. You guys would have been better off just having them work behind the scenes and hope we forget with business as usual, rather than interviewing the CEO. People round here (or anywhere, really) generally don’t sympathize with CEO types, and she comes across as an outsider.
  • 23 2
 No pun intended.
  • 50 0
 video evidence of Robin sending it on a DH rig would work a lot better
  • 55 5
 Strategically you're probably right, but we said we'd be transparent with readers so we'll try to check in on the business side from time to time.

@SATN-XC 'Robin's First Ride on the North Shore' should probably be a members' only video hey?
  • 2 1
 @brianpark: not commenting on membership (though my past thoughts on the topic have been down voted to can guess what that means)...that said, a video series of this nature would have my curiosity. While you're at it, may be a MVP MTB redemption tour where he shows us he can do NS riding w/o a ramp.
  • 3 0
 @brianpark: you could have Christina/tom/Ben do a beginner video series forget just one ride
  • 23 0
 Just guessing... you didn't listen to the interview and assumed Robin was a she ;D
  • 9 0
 @erikvehmeyer: view content before the comments, what planet are you from...ebiker?
  • 1 0
 @pink505: I won’t listen to this podcast until at least Friday, but I’ve got my bowl of popcorn for the comments already
  • 71 2
 @brianpark: @brianpark: So many caveats to my comment. I love Pinkbike. I love the podcast. The videos. The personalities. I'm not an active "community" member. This is my first comment. So I'm not really the old-timer grouch who believes "everything was better back in my day." I AM a marketer and a content producer. And I couldn't agree more with @TheR. If I was agnostic about Outside buying Pinkbike before, I kinda now don't like it one bit. Lol.

And I have to disagree with you. Having the CEO on your podcast isn't being transparent. I've interviewed my bosses before. No one challenges their CEO. No one probes with challenging questions. What we got here was a recitation of a CV.

We know you guys (as much as anyone can know podcast hosts/content producers), and this episode/interview was very 'off-brand'. And by off-brand, I mean, void of everything we love about your content. And I don't fault you for that. I'm sure you're doing everything you can to keep Pinkbike Pinkbike under the circumstances.

But the interview, from a strategic standpoint, was a head-scratcher. I just couldn't think of one reason the folks at Pinkbike would want to publish this. And you're keen content producers. You understand your audience and you understand what's engaging. And, if you admit that strategically this wasn't the best move, then why do it? One can only deduce that it was a mandate that you do it. Which doesn't bode well for editorial independence in the future.

And here's my marketing advice that you never asked for and really don't want to hear: If it were me, I would've staged a very acrimonious and tendentious interview. I would have had you guys amp up your irreverence for "the man" and ramp up his "tech-bro" douchebaggery. If you staged it in such a way that listeners actually thought that maybe you guys really had a horrible relationship with this guy, that would have been so great. And funny. And a knowing nod that, yes, there are big concerns and questions about the acquisition. But that, hey, life is life and we're doing the best we can, but everything changes and we'll all be ok in the end.

The worst thing, IMO, is to make fun of your audience's distrust of Outside by making fun of the hypothetical conspiracy comments that were being typed in real-time. If you sided with your audience, maybe the pill would be a little easier to swallow. But then again, maybe making fun of your audience was the most on-brand part of the podcast today. Cuz it's kinda funny too.

As long as it goes both ways. Do you think you'll ever be able to openly mock Robin? That will be the day Pinkbike wins. Razz
  • 2 0
 @SATN-XC: You are 100 percent right. Never going to happen, but there would be 100 percent buy-in after that. I might even pay for an Outside+ membership.
  • 1 0
 @pink505: I've biked on e once before

I listen to the podcast on my commute and then read the comments when I get to work Wink
  • 2 4
 @alester123: so having the CEO on the podcast is NOT transparent. But “staging” an interview that is very acrimonious and tendentious is?

You are literally contradicting yourself. Do you want an authentic interview or do you want PB to fake it like they hate their CEO?
  • 1 0
 @dresendsit: I *think* you may be referring to 'transparency' not 'authenticity'? I didn't say I wanted authenticity or transparency. Brian said he was being transparent by having the CEO on the podcast. I was pointing out to Brian that simply having a CEO on the podcast doesn't mean they're being transparent. Theoretically, I think transparency can be a good move for a brand like PB, but let's just be real and agree that the PB community is not going to get full transparency. That's ok. I don't expect it.

On another note, I think a brand/podcast/content can be 'authentic' while implementing a good, fun prank(ish) style of podcast. In fact, that would be spot on authentically on-brand for Levy and the crew.

Did I address your concern?
  • 1 3
 @alester123: the thing is, they were being transparent. They asked tough questions that were quite literally uncomfortable. They candidly asked about the paywall…

On top of that, you said they weren’t being transparent, or that CEO interviews inherently aren’t transparent (which is not true). Transparency and authenticity are not mutually exclusive, and no, I am not confused by their definitions.
  • 3 0
 @dresendsit: Neither you nor I actually know how transparent they were being. That's literally impossible to know. But if you think a CEO's interview isn't vetted before publishing, or that the CEO is speaking right from tried and true talking points he's developed with a PR team (or at least an internal comms team) you're being naive. Just because a question is asked, doesn't mean the answer is candid or transparent. If I'm wrong, kudos to them. You or I will never know. But in my experience, that is not how it works.

And so, yes, I don't think having the CEO on the podcast is being transparent. That is my opinion. And I agree with you: transparency and authenticity aren't mutually exclusive. But you did comment about "authenticity" whereas my comment never mentioned "authenticity" so I thought clarification was appropriate.

So I think our only disagreement is how transparent or not they were being. We'll just disagree on that one.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: 'Robin's First Ride on the North Shore' should probably be a members' only video hey?

This is why you guys have the brodie!
  • 2 0
 Agree. Was a great business podcast, but completely failed to humanize Robin or convey any real passion for bikes, and especially mountain bikes. So clinical.
Just think about it in the context of the RC podcasts. Not one of those 500 employees has any experience in public relations?
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Props for doing this, but C- for execution. First convince us this guy has passion for mountain bikes (or anything besides money), and then talk about what he intends to do with Pinkbike. Robin is really who should have known better, and it makes me even more nervous that he didn’t.
  • 1 1
 This interview and podcast episode was a mistake.

This is exactly what PB’er were hoping would not happen. This is literally the most boring episode which also happens to confirm our suspicions.

You should have edit it alone and kept us in the dark about this guy.
  • 54 1
 The take away I got from this it is that this money is this guys passion. At every turn in this dudes life, if there was money to be made it is what was the deciding factor in his decisions, not passion for community or sport or hobby or people, he dumped all of that if it was best for the bottom line. Great for business i guess but not for me.
  • 10 0
 Another take away from this is the fact that our user input is extremely valuable. He stated one of the reasons he wanted to expand into the MTB arena was a survey! It was what made him realize the potential for $, I mean “growth”. He then stated that user generated content wont go behind a pay wall. But he already admitted that it is that user input that drives decision on content. So I hope we don’t see, “95% of riders agree that these are the best forks”, Subscribe to find out.
  • 37 0
 Your name looks like my name after a Gee Atherton crash
  • 3 0
 @djjazzynick: You could argue that Friday Fails is user generated, but I doubt it'll remain free to view.
  • 16 0
 That’s what I gleaned from this too. Buying Pinkbike was motivated by the treasure trove of user data and that’s exactly what makes the acquisition look like selling out - because that’s what it was. This guy saw 20 years’ worth of surveys and angry comments for the untapped oil that it is and Outside is the refinery that will sell it as high octane fuel to the stock market when it goes public, this guy will get richer, and the cycle will repeat.

I don’t blame the founders for doing it but to think that the site isn’t going to radically change in the name of “adding value” is naive at best.
  • 4 0
 @djjazzynick: Yea it's like he was saying all the things you're supposed to only think in your head, out loud. I'm beginning to think it was scripted. Except Robin would have had to be an amazing actor to pull it off.
  • 2 0
 @DizzyNinja: aaaaahahahahaha
  • 5 0
 That was my takeaway also. We've all met plenty of these types. Successful monetarily, yes, but they tend to suck the soul out of any business they touch. The Midas touch, to be sure. Our company was recently bought out by a multinational and now we're drowning in metrics and losing touch with the joy & passion that brought us to our industry in the first place. Not saying this will happen to Pinkbike but I can't help but see some parallels.
  • 1 0
 When smaller and more obscure brands are shown off in pinkbike, we all get excited. Well, mostly (looking at you Arbr Saker) .

When big mega brands are shown off, we’re usually MUCH less forgiving.

One might deduce that we like PB because it’s been our weird little corner of the internet. For us, by us. And not part of some mega brand… well at least until now

What might one deduce from a buyout from someone who wants to float the corporation that’s just swallowed PB?
  • 2 0
 I totally agree. Though I will leave the possibility that the two aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. Meaning, someone can get very rich off of a product I really like. If you know a CEO is kind of a douche, then it does make it harder to like the product, but sometimes I can't help myself. Smile We'll see what happens with the product.
  • 77 24
 Was the interview with the humorless egghead roadie supposed to make people feel better?
  • 15 23
flag blackthorne (Aug 24, 2021 at 14:43) (Below Threshold)
 Tip: if you wouldn’t call someone a humorless egghead roadie to their face, then just keep it to yourself.
  • 18 0
 @blackthorne: if you found him engaging and funny, that’s really awesome for you
  • 1 13
flag blackthorne (Aug 24, 2021 at 18:46) (Below Threshold)
 @SingletrackM1nd: irrelevant
  • 1 12
flag matyk (Aug 25, 2021 at 5:35) (Below Threshold)
 That egghead roadie is likely a better mountain biker than you are. Lol.
  • 49 1
 yad yada yada add value, add features, f*&^ off,PB was already overweight with content. these kinda people are so dull and all they want to do is use connections and monetary leverage to create a snowball effect and cash out. He has no soul, thats wack as f*ck, these number type people just don't know when to stop, all they see is growth.

on a positive note, i would like to thank most of the PB team for all the great content.
  • 51 0
 I reckon I'm gonna need to step Outside after this one.
  • 36 1
 As someone who works for a huge international publishing "platform" that bought the small company I worked at before, I don't really see this working out well for pinkbike readers. Oh well. Something else will pop up in it's place.

Also, it only took a few months after Outside bought VeloNews for half their articles to go behind paywalls.
  • 13 0
 Yeah, the precedent for this sort of thing has been well established. We all know what's coming. Frown
  • 41 0
 @ohbmxer: we’ll go out like the musicians on the titanic. With our shit comments as our instruments.
  • 6 0
 @everythingsucks: Life boats filled (not to capacity) with roadies and e-bikes...
  • 2 0
 Reminds me of Powder Mag forum members jumping ship en-mass to TGR BITD.
  • 1 0
 @everythingsucks: low key greatest comment ever.
  • 4 0
 whats even worse is not only are you paying a subscription, half the articles have some bullshit clickbait titles aswell, if content is being paid for by the user then these tactics should not be used
  • 33 2
 Personal opinion - Why is it every C-suite exec is a road biker who thinks they are the sh*t, and always jokes about, "try and keep up...." Try and keep up on a DH track.... However, About this guy, that fake ass laugh doesn't give me good vibes...
  • 21 2
 Your right. Dude seems mad fake. He’s in it for money. He isn’t a mountian biker. He’s a money guy.
  • 2 2
 Name other 2 c-suit exec that are roadies who believe they are the shit... I'll wait
  • 5 3
 @Narro2: Lolol. “Name other 2 c-suit…” I’ll name them when you can craft a proper sentence….
  • 2 2
 @lm101020: so never.... just what I thought
  • 1 4
 @Narro2: hahahah. you're right, since you're illiterate and incompetent i will not list the execs i know. Seriously, do you know how to read? like, did you re-read your first comment and then understand my response? Lastly, you wouldn't know the execs i do bud... Bye bye...
  • 2 3
 @lm101020: see ya amigo.
  • 31 0
 "Like a dull knife/
Just ain't cutting/
Keep talking a lot/
And saying nothing/"
-James Brown
  • 4 0
 Good God!
  • 31 0
 The first podcast we had to turn off. "Active lifestyle, ecosystem, synergy, venture capital" etc.... All this crap about f*cking about on bikes in the woods....
  • 30 3
 I know it takes all types of people to make the world go round but holy fuck if I lived in a corporate world like than man I would kill myself
  • 21 0
 Did he say Zoomba instead of roomba? Smh, so out of touch… Probably can’t tell the difference between a 6-bar suspension and a Horst link with independent linkage driving the shock like every Pinkbike commenter can…
  • 22 0
 We are looking down at Wayne’s basement, but that’s not Wayne’s basement??? Isn’t that weird!??
  • 5 0
 "he's using the cards...Yes!"
"I told you he'd fall in line"

he b****s goats, I have proof.
  • 7 0
 Nail on head. Pinkbike acquisition is Wayne’s World in real life!

One of the Mike’s outside a Specialized concept store looking at the latest enduro/stump jumper sworks,

‘It will be mine…oh yes, it will be mine’
  • 3 0
 @SATN-XC: Second pb comment stream reffing Wayne's world in two days. Gonna be a good week.
  • 3 0
 @rockyflowtbay: I think that was a haiku.
  • 19 0
 Ref. website design. A bit more feature parity between desktop and mobile would be appreciated, e.g Buy Sell section on mobile has no filtering beyond the basic categories, and forum comment box is text only. Switching to desktop mode gets you the functions, at the expense of readability.
  • 5 0
 It would also be nice to be able to see both up and down votes when using the mobile platform.
  • 3 0
 @subwaypanda: always thought it was strange how it simply cancelled them out
  • 7 0
 Dark mode would be sweet too.
  • 18 0
 Let the employees interview their own CEO. First shitty podcasts by PB. Sounds like PB is just an investment and will probably be sold off sooner than later.
  • 2 1
 Unfortunately, i have to agree. "the first shitty podcast by PB." Frown
  • 2 0
 @alester123: They'll be a lots more of those, don't worry haha
  • 16 0
 OK Robin, you have my permission to put PinkBike Academy behind a paywall, (oops, premium membership plan) and use it to fund the ongoing quality free content on this site. No offense to folks who put hard work into PB Academy, but reality TV will never be my cup of tea. You’re also welcome to make all the e-bike content part of that ‘premium membership Wink (and any content with the word ‘fantasy’ in the title)

I don’t pay for more than one streaming service at one time, and I don’t enjoy my experiences being ‘bundled’.
Companies try to pass that off as ‘getting more for less’… but usually it just means ‘getting more than you want, for more’
  • 3 0
 And the pricing for Outside + is batshit crazy. It’s the same old story - “look how much we’re investing!” And when it comes time to balance the books the cuts will start. Make no mistake.
  • 1 0
 It’s gonna be like my cable subscription used to be. I had to get all that shit for all that money just so I could get college football for a few months out of the year.
  • 18 1
 I was optimistic about the acquisition before this podcast…. A lot less now.

This dude sounds like everything Pinkbike people avoid. PB employees, how are you this buddy buddy with this guy
  • 2 6
flag recon311 (Aug 24, 2021 at 20:46) (Below Threshold)
 You’d rather have the shop rats out back put their weed money together and buy the site? It’d die in no time…
  • 6 0
 Put yourself in their shoes - they want to give it a fair shake, and thus far the changes have been minimal. Privately they'd say something different IMO.
  • 16 0
 I feel like they kept lobbing him slow pitches pretty well begging him to say he cared about mountain biking and rather he talked about how the surveys they did showed how popular the "mountain bike segment" was or how it fit well or was a missing element in the portfolio they were building. I feel the big vision was making money of us by bundling packages we didn't even know we wanted (he directly stated that) and build a massive, generic, product that spans all outdoor media...and probably sell it once it's built. The thing I enjoy about this website is not that it was part of anything bigger but rather that it just let those of us esoteric enough to want to geek out on how rad our subculture/sport was to connect around that and really cater to that. He couldn't possibly offer that and pretty well stated that he was going to take the parts of Pinkbike that worked the best in his opinion, package them with all sorts of other crap, and create something huge... like the digital Walmart of outdoor media. Congrats- he'll probably make a bunch of money but don't see it ending well for the core Pinkbike user. I am feeling far more pessimistic about these changes after listening to that. Is Freehub still around? They seemed to have a great thing going.
  • 8 0
 Freehub, NSMB, Enduro-mag are awesome publications. RIP PB
  • 16 1
 Any outrage folks about Outside acquiring Pinkbike will be short-lived–most don't have the energy to sustain it.

But this is a fun hobby that has become excessively monetized for profit, one that has already exceeded my budget. So I'm unwilling to proceed further shekels to pay for anything offered here.
  • 16 0
 I was hoping that they would finally admit that Outside was actually controlled by its parent company, The Sheinhardt Wig Company.
  • 14 0
 I've been listening to corporate bullhsit for >20yrs so unsure if I need to hear more of the same from this fellow.

It all sounds good and glossy, but it's likely going to morph into something beyond what most here want in a small community.

Either way, change is inevitable.
  • 17 0
 Confirmed, Outside+ includes secret trail unlock in Trailforks
  • 13 0
 The fact he uses the word “customer” in reference to users tells you everything you need to know.

Definition of a customer: A person who buys goods or services from a shop or business.

Don’t need a crystal ball to see what’s on the horizon.
  • 14 2
 lolzzz when dipshit insults everyone on pinkbike saying we are smart about bike things, but not so much about the difference between venture and private equity... GTFO, and stop trying to impress your new corporate boss with your basic business knowledge.. Thx - guy with an MBA who actually plays in the corporate world...
  • 14 0
 Has anything purchased by outside so far been improved after the purchase?
  • 1 0
 Good question
  • 9 1
 They said that they would not be putting any "user generated content" behind paywalls. This was done when they started charging for trailforks. It was really lame to have made contributions to the trailforks maps then the company try to turn around and charge me for it. The claim made by PB was that the money was needed to run the trailforks servers. Now we see that it was probably more so to show income from its products. Outside should remove the paywall on trailforks now that they have all the server resources from their other mapping apps to leverage.
  • 1 0
 This! That podcast made me more interested in investing in one of Robin’s businesses than consuming the media those businesses create.

Also re his promise to never charge for user-generated content, somebody at Pinkbike should TELL HIM ABOUT TRAILFORKS. I know the fee is minimal and there is cost in providing the platform, blah-blah-blah. And I happily signed up for whatever the initial deal was. But there is still a lot of inconsistency there.
  • 8 0
 This is what happens when a guy confuses a presentation to customers with a presentation to investors.

This interview was about us, the fans of Pinkbike, not a download of his business conquests. Lots of talk of acquisitions, growth, deals, being “connected”, cross channel consolidation, harvesting data etc. (30+ mins before the conversation was about Pinkbike)

I have no issue with good business. I’m okay with a paywall, but this interview did not lead me to think it will be in my favour.
  • 11 0
 Yup , his first name checks out
  • 11 0
 Was this interview supposed to make us feel better about this??
  • 7 0
 It’s definitely going to be up to the Pinkbike staff to keep the Pinkbike culture alive because Outside has none outside of corporate culture as demonstrated in the tone and words used by the CEO in the interview this dude is about earning money via subscription services and consumers.
  • 1 0
 I’ll be here til’ the wheels fall off though!
  • 6 0
 @brianpark A few episodes ago you mentioned keeping a spreadsheet of how much the various reviewers cost the site in terms of advertising revenue, with @mikelevy being the current leader. I was a little disappointed that the interview with Robin Thurston did not touch too much on editorial independence and how advertising is going to work going forward. Any chance you can speak to that? Apologies if you've already done this and I missed it.
  • 5 3
 BTW, I think you guys have been knocking it out of the park and am cautiously optimistic that the increased resources brought by the acquisition will only lead to more awesome stuff.
  • 6 5
 "editorial independence and how advertising is going to work going forward"

The exact same it works on any website that goes through this transition, very poorly. Instead of articles/reviews that are honest they will be so watered down and contain so little controversial takes that slowly PB will lose all cred it built in the many years prior and ppl will gravitate towards another site. I've seen this happen so many times with BMX and Moto related publications/sites that you can easily forecast the future here. You simply cannot have a site that's got public share holders to worry about, while still maintaining any sense of objectivism when reviewing products. PB will slowly transition to a site that just serves as a PR outlet for the bike industry. Sadge all around.
  • 6 2
 Hah, @actonca the spreadsheet comment was tongue in cheek but yes, some brands are very sensitive and feel that ad spends should give them agency over independent technical editorial. They have no say, of course, but a lukewarm review often means angry phone calls and spending cuts. And to be fair, I get it, when I was in marketing I hated to spend money with media that I didn't feel liked my product. Everyone's just doing their jobs.

It's way too early in the process with Outside to talk about specifics on editorial. But yes, long term having a less direct connection to advertising dollars will make parts of the job easier. I also think the optics will be better for readers.
  • 41 1
 @brianpark: I'm currently on the other side. We have an ad budget for:

Trade Shows - Shrinking
Print - all but gone
Digital Media - pretty small - our industry trade pubs are not great
Internal - growing
Other Digital (influencers, etc.) - growing

As an OEM, I hate the current state of play. All of our industry trade orgs are feeding almost complete BS to their readership. Most of the 'influencers' are not giving genuine opinions (or abiding by FCC legal advertising guidelines for that matter)

There's really nobody for the average user to completely trust. It takes a VERY savvy individual to wade through all the noise and find good information. I hate it even more because we build a great product and if all we had to worry about was going up against other products, we'd have it even easier. We spend a lot of dollars just to maintain a baseline awareness within the industry.

I know you have corpo overlords now, but if any of you guys decide to go Rogue and do it alone here's a theoretical formula you can steal:

1. Raise a bit of cash.
2. Advertise your presence and your credentials to attract some hype.
3. Bootstrap the initial efforts with a combination of personal capital and crowd-funding.
4. Buy product. Not borrow, not lease, not demo...BUY.
5. Review product. THOROUGHLY. HONESTLY. Say everything you want to. Give product away to premium subscribers (use patreon or another platform if needed). This also builds hype and draws people in for the chance to walk away with gear.
6. Monetization comes from membership, ad dollars from unrelated brands, general google ad services (light on this), direct sales of 'favorite' products, etc.
7. Go over the top with anti-shill messaging. Make it obvious that you're not the typical bought-and-paid for media... you're the only one to be trusted.

Edit: Forgot #8. Bicycle Media to the Moon. Enjoy your new position as a reasonably paid group of individuals in your chosen field of work. OEMs fear you. Outsiders want to be you. Riders revere you.

I think it can work.
  • 5 0
 @agraber: Below is especially poignant. Well done. Hahaha

"Outsiders want to be you."
  • 2 0
 @agraber: pretty close to what astonmtb is doing on YouTube
  • 1 0
Snap……sorry missed this
  • 10 4
 Oh, and by the way, @brianpark, try not to insult your audience/users when talking on a podcast directed to your potential "future members". Saying that we probably don't get the difference between private equity and venture capital... Wow. You don't know us all, who knows, maybe we perfectly understand the difference and know a lot more than you on the subject. But you generalize and paint us all as ignorants on that subject in front of everyone. Well, sorry but that was a dick move and you just lost my respect. Unfortunately, I must say that this podcast episode confirmed the vibe that I got from this acquisition.

I'll keep checking the free Pinkbike content until it's not free anymore. Then I'll just delete Pinkbike off my bookmarks and I'll just have a bit more free time to visit other mtb websites or go for a longer ride. Once I get insulted for no reason from the owner of a business, you can be sure I won't have no sympathy and won't give a dime to help. Still, good luck in this new era of Pinkbike and thanks for all the content you've provided for free in all those years.
  • 13 4
 How about a machine in the lab to help break Robin’s horrible habit of saying “you know” every few seconds.
  • 7 0
 You know, that's not a bad idea
  • 4 0
 Lol omg that’s all I can hear now!
  • 15 7
 Skip the first 20 minutes to miss the incessant humble bragging. Also, getting some BIIIIG CEO/ almost politician vibes from this dude
  • 15 0
 Seriously. Bloulder boulder boulder name drop im so cool blah blah blah. PB is doomed
  • 4 0

Oh I dunno, You guys ever been to Boulder? This guy is nothing compared to those people.
  • 2 0
 @recon311: haha no but I can imagine!
  • 7 0
 RIP PB. This guy was far worse than I expected. Just hope someone kept a fragment of their original enthusiasm to start a new site.
  • 8 0
 I have my popcorn ready and I’m willing to share
  • 7 0
 TLDR; Mr. Moneybags says it could be worse... what if Discovery Channel/AT&T made the acquisition.
  • 14 10
 Everyone here is worried about a paywall taking away their bike related content yet spend thousands of dollars per year on MTB's and gear. The cost of a subscription to the content will about to less than one percent of most people "bike budget"...
  • 5 0
 So a guy hellbent on collecting as much data as possible, seemingly making as much money as possible, and taking over as many small outdoor journalism brands as possible has taken over Pinkbike. This is going to be great!
  • 7 0
 Gobble gobble gobble. Watch out NSMB!
  • 5 0
 "I'm gonna eat your family"
  • 6 0
 Podcast on a Tuesday? Is this how things will be run going forward? Man-o-man.
  • 2 0
 Nah just a bonus episode we recorded a while back. We recorded our usual one today as well.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: oh thank god I was worried I would have to download an episode of 31 Thoughts to get through this week. That was a close one!
  • 3 0
 Tell me, Gordon, when does it all end, huh? How many yachts can you water-ski behind? How much is enough??

Well I'll say this for the guy, he has no problem going on and on, and on about every minute detail of his career.

So how did you get into business... 30 minutes later, he's still going. Oy Impressive but... not why I listen to the podcast.
  • 4 0
 Love the podcast guys. However, for some reason, though, I'm now picturing Levy wearing khakis, a polo shirt and white New Balance shoes per the new corporate dress code policy.
  • 3 0
 This is not at all soothing to my ears. I think Pinkbike will be getting shopped around pretty soon after paywall begins and Robin can show a profit to the corporate world. There will be more new bosses around the corner for everybody who is still around to meet. I also have to say, I was honestly expecting more when I had a peek at the web page for Outside online. For all the big talk it is kind of underwhelming. Surely it would need some modern flair before any thought of going public. I have a feeling all we just got fed was a lot of sales rep talk trying to make it sound attractive trying to attract purchase offer from a CEO who loves flipping businesses more than he loves the actual bricks and mortar. Good luck with the future. I really like the Waynes world quote comment from @rockfloatbay, so many similarities even down to the voice .. haha.
  • 6 1
 Maybe they should just move PB HQ to Boulder and put a bullet in it and call it a day? A fair trade organic slug at that.
  • 2 0
 Thought it was a fine interview and Robin is an impressive businessman, but holy shit I wish he had used the phrase 'to make a long story short' multiple times during the pod.

If the PB Academy goes behind a paywall and PB employees get better insurance, sounds like a win to me.

I guess it's a PB podcast and not a Trailforks pod, but I wished for more discussion about future of TF.

When he's back on the pod, can someone follow up on his crash in Europe?
  • 1 0
 I really do hope the employees get taken care of, but I sorta worry that access to good and comprehensive mental health care could do more to change the Pinkbike than the investors and their spreadsheets!
  • 2 0
 Its often said the sign of a failing business/market/model is consolidation. Most of the newspapers/magazines are having trouble monetizing their content online. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. I suspect the paywall videos will be a tough sell v.s YouTube.
  • 3 1
 While the interview left me with a less optimistic view, the fact is we’ve all been standing in front of the magazine rack reading articles for free for too long. It was bound to change. Maybe just put the selling function behind the paywall and leave the rest alone?
  • 2 0
 I took a commenter's advice and started at the 20 min mark. I'm sure I heard "synergies" and "cross-pollination." I wasn't impressed–the driver for him is $$$. No surprise, but I don't see how this going to give us added value as promised.

Added value would use your acquisition to lower bike prices, or pour money into local trails or rider sponsorships.

And Robin, to maximize the message reduce the wonder bread–AKA "you know."
  • 5 0
 I'm happy to pay for content with the money I've saved on Only Fans after the policy change!
  • 7 3
 Most boring PB podcast ever. Dont give a crap about the new CEO. Talk bikes, not some rich guys life story. Two thumbs down.
  • 2 0
 New survey for pinkbike....and i'm sure readers would want to take part...."would you pay a subscription in order to read pinkbike?" I would not. I would have 10 year ago. but pinkbike has lost is "niche".( blasphemy in growth model corporate circles) Where would I go? on a ride... instead of searching for interesting content on pinkbike
  • 1 0
 Still remaining open minded, and I want to be surprised. But the podcast didn't sell it to me at all, totally the opposite to be honest. I'm more into watching the YT side of things, PB Academy, Reviews, Tom's mental escapades etc. However it is not content I will pay for.... Hell I refuse to pay for anything content related that why its YT and RB'TV for me. Conventional TV / Cable etc can feck off so can anything else.

When the paywall does appear anyone fancy setting up a replacement in PB's original spirit?
  • 5 0
 1st.. inb4 paywall comments
  • 5 0
 You lost me at under armour
  • 6 5
 This is going to be unpopular but I thought it was quite interesting. No CEO that buys a company needs to go on a podcast to explain himself to a load of people who have already decided they hate him, so fair play to him for that.
  • 1 0
 Commenter: I hate all these surveys, the Mike’s are just shills for industry
Robin and Brian: yeah so FANG took 60% of marketing money so we think marketing within a closed ecosystem will ensure our viability in a ever changing market
Commenter: you guys are stupid and your business model is wrong
Brian: dude stick to bikes. Let us worry about how to keep a website growing and improving.
Commenter: OUTSIDE SHILL!!!
Mike and Brian: uh, we have (still) awesome jobs. Sorry about your 26” tires?!
  • 1 0
 I have a feeling PB will no longer be a free website. Why? CEO talks a lot about subscription and profit. What a waste !!!
Good luck to both Mike's and the rest of the PB staff.
It's not a shocker if some maybe all PB sponsor will bail out.
  • 1 0
 All this hate. Meanwhile... NOTHING has changed at PB in terms of content... and Beta has been releasing awesome content similar to what I enjoyed at Bike Mag since it became a thing. Quick being scared of change, ride your bike, and get over it. To PB staff... @brianpark @mikelevy and Kaz, James, Sarah, and the rest of the gang... I look forward to these podcasts on a weekly basis, are equivalent to OG Top Gear in terms of great conversation dynamics, you guys do a great job, linkage forks suck, cannot wait for Grim Donut V2, ate 6 Tim Horton donuts in one sitting last week because its awesome, and PB is awesome.
  • 1 0
 To answer the question about which type of testing we want to see more on PB, for me it's definitively long term for reliability. I'm riding about 4 times a week and I keep my bike for at least 4 years so reliability is a major concern for me. And with reliability comes if it's possible or not to do user maintenance on the product and at which cost (so maintenance intervals are also important to keep the operating cost low).
  • 1 0
 Obviously no one wants a major change, but youve gatta realize that getting bought for a nice payday is the goal of literally every company on planet earth. Its easy to talk smack until that check is in your account... Ill remain optimistic until they prove me wrong!
  • 1 0
 Still waiting on my question to be answered: Being a premium member of Trailforks since the inception of it's 'paywall' September 2020. I want to know if the life time annual membership fee will that we signed up for will be honored henceforth? I may be willing to spend an extra $3-5 a year on the membership if it includes GAIA... Maybe.
  • 1 0
 I want Pinkbike to be THE standardized testing industry wide...

Meaning if a company wants to be part of a legitimate review/ranking system, they will send their rear shock (for example) to be tested versus all the other shock companies in an annual component showdown.

No hiding behind fancy acronyms and exploded diagrams, come get your rear shock murdered by endurance testing.

Same for helmets, thru axles, air pumps etc. so that the consumer can actually make an informed decision based on testing and not hype/marketing.
  • 1 0
 Suggestion for NDT / Lab testing: Please make use of a quality frame alignment jig and measuring tools to check the quality of the bikes. There are too many instances of premature wear on bearings and parts that are just chalked down to normal wear and tear and the idea of misalignment in the frame is rarely considered. If BB cups and / or headset cups aren't parallel, are misaligned, and off axis it will have a knock on effect on the performance of the bike, and more importantly the overall experience for the owner.

I think it's reasonable for people to know what kind of quality they can expect when they purchase a bike from a manufacturer. Warranties are great, but having to use them shouldn't be an expectation. The more down town time or maintenance spend, the more negative the mountain biking experience becomes.

I've already dealt with not riding for months while a frame was being repaired for faulty welds (Ti), and having discovered a misalignment, am now dreading having to send it in and being without a bike for another 3 months. I've also had friends have issues with premature BB bearing wear because of poor frame quality, and know the negative experiences they've had in finding any kind of resolution.

If you have the budget you could include a sonogram of carbon frames in your NDT testing so we can know the quality of carbon construction we can expect when purchasing a frame etc....

Sorry for the rant, was just caught up in some bad memories eh
Just my 2 cents
  • 4 0
 Where are the pitchforks?
  • 9 0
 Pretty sure you mean trailforks...
  • 8 0
  • 6 4
 Robin has had a sweet life. I too know what it is like to get written a $300K check from an acquisition. I bought an RV so I could ride more bike parks lol.
  • 5 1
 This guy seems really cool but he’s a roadie. We are not the same
  • 4 0
 God what a bore. Had to shut it off.
  • 2 2
 Boring?? Well maybe a bit involved when it came to his past but this unfortunately is how our economy is structured (we could all move to the Ukraine comrades and check out their trail network). By reading the comments I think PB'ers are forgetting one crucial element. This was not some hostile stock takeover. The current ownership CHOSE to sell the platform. (I would be very curious to see what they got for it) Hold on and enjoy the ride!
  • 4 0
 Man, CEO’s really like to talk.
  • 4 0
 You have to good at Corporate BS to get to that level.
  • 3 0
 If I put my Garmin in tinfoil is that enough...or do I need to wrap the bike and myself?
  • 3 1
 After listening to this podcast, I decided to go to VItalMTB's homepage for the first time. Just trying to get comfortable with the inevitable...
  • 1 1
 Sounds like we can all relax about the paywall. I looks very unlikely that the functions and materials that Pinkbike currently offers will not be relegated to a members only paywall. Rather new features and content will be added that will only be accessed behind a paywall. For bulk majority of us that frequent very little will change...whew! If anything the forms of content we already enjoy will only get better. What's not to like about that?
  • 4 0
 Dude’s a chode
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy Gear Lab Idea #1: Hygrometer testing so Henry Quinney will know just how moist his SWAT box gets after a long hard ride.
  • 1 0
 Basic what everyone said last time. Bought to go public. Ie fix your house up before you sell and make money and be done with it.
  • 1 0
 I know you have to present yourself well in an interview and this Robin seem to have achieved something. But just do NOT hire such a smart ass who has to show off like this.
  • 3 0
 glad to see people aren't falling for this shit
  • 2 0
 This has pretty much confirmed all the concerns about pinkbike being acquired . . .
  • 2 0
 Not good. Not good. Sophisticated money, capable of extracting lucrative cash flow. No craps given.
  • 1 0
 The real question, has anybody seen Jason Lucas and Logic Bruni in the same place? I have a suspicion this a Clark Kent / Super Bruni situation
  • 1 0
 Good interview, curious to see what unfolds. Most of all I hope the PB staff all get a pay raise and have the creative freedom to do what they want.
  • 1 0
 Not sure the Mikes realize that there may finally be a testing lab, but the people in it are going to be engineers or other similar types and not them.
  • 1 0
 I have never listened to "you know" so many times in 65 min and 6 seconds...
  • 1 0
 Levy: Okay but can we still have fun??

Robin: I like skiing

Levy: Hear that we can still have fun!
  • 2 0
 "so when do we get a formula one suspension dyno?"-Levy
  • 3 0
 "so when do we get a Formula One Dino? I have TRUST issues -Levy
  • 3 0
 Pink on the Outside…..
  • 2 0
 No bikes = worst pinkbike podcast ever
  • 2 0
 Not even going to bother starting this one.
  • 15 18
 really... all the dislike and resentment about outside buying pinkbike just shows me that lots of fans of pinkbike are in denial of how growth business models work. to begin with, we, the fans, the commenters, the ones that post about mtbkg, about articles on pinkbike,etc have helped market and popularize pinkbike as a PRODUCT. The the product developes more value..(trailforks) Over time, the product gets more attention... with more hype, and thats what makes it attractive for larger players to buy. Why would pinkbike be any different than Vans...or Lagunitas Brewing or thousands of other brands absorbed by larger players?
  • 4 0
 I think the fear is we know exactly how it works b/c we've seen it with everything else. But the outcome can be hit and miss and its yet to be seen.

...also, don't get me started on my beloved Goose Island used to taste soooooo good before Budweiser killed it; though I'm still a big fan of Lagunitas, still one of my favorites. Perfect example of hit and miss.
  • 5 0
 Does that mean we're supposed to be happy about it and embrace it? Not sure about you, but I remember being told that trailforks would be free. That's mainly why I take everything I'm told by PB/Outside bosses and employees about the future of this site with a pinch of salt.
  • 14 0
 Understanding it, disliking and resenting can all exist in the same space. Often, and I think this is the case here, I dislike something because I understand it.
  • 8 1
 We're not here on PB for "growth business models". Vans, Lagunitas, etc. sell physical products. That's not a valid comparison. The value of PB (to me) is the community - from commenters & forum contributors, to racers, to the editorial staff. When a community is monetized and sold as a "product", it's value as a community is gone. This interview absolutely confirms that's happening with PB.
  • 1 0
 What if you suddenly had to pay a subscription to keep wearing your Vans
  • 1 0
 @SATN-XC: lost Coast still kills it
  • 4 0
 @DizzyNinja: Do you not already pay a "subscription fee" for Vans in that you have to buy them and they will wear out fairly rapidly requiring yet another pair of Vans?
  • 1 0
 @Marquis: Well said ! Amen to that!!!!
  • 1 2
 @pinkbike - I’ll gladly pay for this: an annual membership fee where 50% goes to pinkbike and 50% to pay for a racing team.
  • 3 0
 Good luck if you think that's how it'll work.
  • 1 0
 "Pinkbike Premium +" membership to see stuff no one wants
  • 2 0
  • 2 1
 Loved the podcast, till now. Stopped it couple minutes in.
  • 1 3
 Quick sideways read through the comment section and I love all the whining…
I think its all about new sinergies, cutting down costs and some shared facilities…so put suck it up and buckle up for the ride
  • 1 0
 Can we get a video of Ben explaining venture capitalism in bike terms?
  • 1 0
 Its nothing personal, its just business.
  • 1 0
 Really really enjoyed this one. Thank you.
  • 1 0
 How about an update from Robin re the magazine closures and layoffs?
  • 2 1
 I know. Do you know?
  • 2 1
 Nice try Outside
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