Pinkbike Annual Community Survey Results: What Bikes Do Pinkbike Readers Ride?

Now that we’ve all got to know each other a bit better, it’s time to find out what bikes we ride. In this third article of the Pinkbike Audience Survey results, we’re taking a look through all the questions related specifically to the bikes we ride. That includes everything from your favourite brands, to your preferred wheelsize to how vain you are about your bike’s aesthetics. This piece focusses mainly on frames but we’ll do a deeper dive into components in the next article where things are going to get really granular.

So, are you sold on mullets? Do you all think carbon is evil? And are you planning on buying a bike with a motor next? Let’s find out.

What type of bike is your primary bike?

Fat bike: 0.48%
Cross country: 10.32%
Dirt jump / street / 4X: 1.03%
Downcountry: 4.45%

eMTB: 3.41%
Enduro / all mountain: 50.22%
Freeride / park: 1.43%
Trail: 26.22%
Downhill: 2.45%

In our introduction article, it looked like trail and enduro were evenly matched as the type of riding our audience does, but it looks like many of you prefer to do that riding on enduro bikes. Enduro bikes are often sold as do-it-all machines with the pedalling ability to tackle all-day rides and the attitude for bike parks and downhill tracks if you like, it’s not much of a surprise they are a popular choice for our respondents. The second most popular bike category is trail followed by cross country in third.

What brand is your current primary mountain bike? (Top 50 brands)

Specialized: 10.44%
Santa Cruz: 9.37%
Trek: 6.78%
Other: 4.69%
Transition: 4.63%
Giant: 4.46%
Ibis: 3.97%
Yeti: 3.95%
Norco: 3.87%
Rocky Mountain: 3.56%
Commencal: 3.47%
YT Industries: 3.39%
Kona: 2.96%
Canyon: 2.53%
Pivot: 2.34%
Scott: 2.12%
Evil: 1.89%

Devinci: 1.44%
Orbea: 1.29%
Intense: 1.28%
Cannondale: 1.27%
Nukeproof: 1.09%
Banshee: 1.05%
Marin: 0.95%
Knolly: 0.87%
Salsa: 0.72%
Cube: 0.68%
Guerilla Gravity: 0.68%
Fobidden: 0.65%
Niner: 0.65%
Propain: 0.62%
GT: 0.56%
Polygon: 0.56%

Chromag: 0.53%
Mondraker: 0.52%
Vitus: 0.52%
Orange: 0.50%
Revel: 0.49%
Cotic: 0.47%
Whyte Bikes: 0.47%
Merida: 0.38%
Canfield: 0.36%
NS: 0.36%
Diamondback: 0.35%
Nicolai: 0.32%
Fezzari: 0.31%
Pole: 0.28%
Ragley: 0.26%
Lapierre: 0.25%
Ghost: 0.47%

In total, 449 brands were represented from the biggest marques in the world down to “it’s a generic frame that I repainted and I forgot the brand name.” The most common answer from respondents was Specialized with more than 2,000 bikes followed by Santa Cruz then Trek.

To be in the top 50, a brand had to have at least 47 responses. Of the brands included in ‘Other’, two could have made it into the Top 50 in their own right – Bird with 61 customers and Privateer with 49.

Which brand of complete mountain bike will you likely purchase next? (Top 50 brands)

Other: 9.41%
Santa Cruz: 8.91%
Specialized: 8.34%
Transition: 6.55%
Commencal: 5.45%
Norco: 4.88%
Trek: 4.45%
Ibis: 3.94%
Canyon: 3.63%
Yeti: 3.28%
Pivot: 3.13%
YT Industries: 2.90%
Rocky Mountain: 2.89%
Evil: 2.27%
Scott: 1.85%
Propain: 1.84%
Nukeproof: 1.83%

Giant: 1.80%
Kona: 1.76%
Forbidden: 1.67%
Guerilla Gravity: 1.59%
Orbea: 1.27%
Devinci: 1.21%
Cannondale: 1.11%
Revel: 1.07%
Banshee: 0.84%
Marin: 0.72%
Intense: 0.62%
Knolly: 0.54%
Salsa: 0.50%
Cotic: 0.46%
Fezzari: 0.46%
Polygon: 0.44%
Raaw: 0.44%

Chromag: 0.40%
GT: 0.40%
Mondraker: 0.38%
Vitus: 0.37%
Cube: 0.36%
Orange: 0.35%
Canfield: 0.34%
Nicolai: 0.33%
Zerode: 0.33%
Niner: 0.30%
Juliana: 0.25%
Pole: 0.24%
Spot: 0.21%
Surly: 0.18%
Whyte Bikes: 0.18%
Merida: 0.17%

When we asked what brand riders would purchase next, there was some change around. The top answer was “Other” (although the most common answer among the text responses was a variation of ‘undecided’), then the two Californian ‘S’ brands swapped places with Santa Cruz topping the list closely followed by Specialized. This time 32 responses was enough to get a brand in the Top 50 and of brands named in the other section, only Privateer would have made it in its own right.

What is the wheelsize of your current mountain bike?

26″: 5.42%
26″ Plus: 0.27%
27.5″: 29.67%
27.5″ Plus: 3.87%

Mullet (29″ front, 27.5″ rear): 3.79%
29″: 55.31%
29″ Plus: 0.96%
Fat Bike: 0.37%%
Other: 0.34%

Wheel size has been one of the big debates in recent years and among our respondents it looks like 29ers have won the battle for now. More than half of you are currently running a full 29er set up with nearly a third on the full 27.5″ combination and 26″ still in this place at 5.42%. So far mullets haven’t had much traction among the bikes of Pinkers but if we look at the next set of results we see that that might change soon.

What is the wheel size of the mountain bike you will likely purchase next?

26″: 1.04%
26″ Plus: 0.16%
27.5″: 14.75%
27.5″ Plus: 2.78%

Mullet (29″ front, 27.5″ rear): 15.80%
29″: 62.82%
29″ Plus: 1.21%
Fat Bike: 0.43%%
Other: 1.02%

Looking into the future, it won’t be long before well be reading plenty of “27.5” ain’t dead” comments as it seems to be a wheelsize on the wane. Its numbers halved when we asked what wheelsize they would consider buying nextbut the mullet configuration nearly quintupled, so maybe we can’t ring the death knell just yet. The full 29er category grows even bigger to nearly 2/3rds of responses.

How much rear suspension does your current primary bike have?

It’s a hardtail: 12.83%
Less than 100 mm: 1.16%
100mm – 119mm: 6.29%
120mm – 129mm: 8.57%

130mm – 139mm: 11.27%
140mm – 149mm: 15.19%
150mm – 160mm: 29.96%
161mm – 180mm: 12.04%%
180mm +: 2.68%

It’s not entirely surprising that when so many of you ride enduro bikes that more than 50% of the bikes here fall into the 140-180mm travel range. 150-160mm currently seems to be the sweet spot with nearly a third of respondents opting for that do-it-all range. 1 in 8 of you are keeping it real on hardtails but very few of you are running a big, 180mm+ bike as your primary ride.

How much rear suspension do you plan on your next bike having?

It’s a hardtail: 6.29%
Less than 100 mm: 0.88%
100mm – 119mm: 5.39%
120mm – 129mm: 9.54%

130mm – 139mm: 11.27%
140mm – 149mm: 16.83%
150mm – 160mm: 30.51%
161mm – 180mm: 16.02%%
180mm +:3.35%

Looking ahead, it seems that these numbers won’t change too much as we go forwards. The biggest change comes from hardtails where the numbers are half. We suspect this is because hardtails are common starter bikes and their sales will remain healthy thanks to incoming riders who aren’t even aware this survey exists.

When buying a new bike how important are a bike’s aesthetics?

Not at all important, I’ll buy the ugliest bike in the world if it rides great and the price is right: 8.5%
Somewhat important, I don’t seek out aesthetics but I won’t buy a bike I hate the look of: 59.65%
Very important, there are plenty of good bikes out there and I won’t ride an ugly bike: 31.85%

Given the trashing some out-of-the-ordinary bikes have had in recent years, we weren’t all too surprised to see that more than 90% of respondents were happy to admit that the aesthetics of a bike are important to them when making a purchasing decision. For most people, they aren’t a deal-breaker but it’s definitely something that could influence their decision.

In general, how loud do you want your bike to look?

Mild (plain colours, minimal graphics): 47.67%
Styled (strong colours, tasteful graphics): 43.75%
Wild (bright colours, lots of contrast, aggressive graphics): 6.35%
Other: 2.23%

But what does a good-looking bike look mean? Well, definitely not loud! 5 years ago, bright, flouro colours were all the rage but that period appears to have passed with ‘Mild’ and ‘Styled’ on roughly equal footing in our Survey

What would you change about your current bike??

All my stuff is beat, so it needs new wheels, drivetrain, brakes, etc.: 8.01%
Honestly, it just needs a new paint job: 7.43%
I want 27.5″ wheels: 1.54%
I want 29″ wheels: 4.69%
I’d kill for a shorter seat tube and longer dropper post: 3.94%
I’d love some on-frame storage and better cable routing: 7.25%
I’d make it a lot lighter: 16.88%
I’d modernize the geo, of course. Slacker, longer, and with a steeper seat angle: 7.19%
I’d want less (and better) suspension travel: 1.60%
I’d want more (and better) suspension travel: 9.51%
If it had the latest hub standard, I’d keep it forever: 2.35%
It just needs a motor: 2.10%
My bike can’t carry a water bottle, so that’s what I’d add: 3.55%
Other: 23.95%

With tyre inserts, bigger wheels and ambitious intentions, we’ve seen the weight of enduro bikes creeping up over the past few years however that might have left some of you feeling like it might be time to shed the pounds. 17% of you, the biggest cohort, wanted to change that about your current bike with the next largest group wanting more travel at nearly 10%. Respondents were much less interested in getting the latest hub standard (2.35%), adding a motor (2.1%) or swapping for 27.5″ wheels (1.54%).

What frame material would you like your next mountain bike to be?

Aluminium: 25.88%
Carbon: 49.22%
Steel: 3.40%

Titanium: 2.41%
Other: 0.52%
Frame material doesn’t matter to me: 18.56%

We see a lot of comments proclaiming the death of carbon on our stories but that doesn’t seem to be borne out in these results. Nearly 50% of respondents told us they were planning on purchasing a carbon fibre bike next with only a quarter planting their flag for aluminium. 3.4% of you are steel stalwarts while exotic titanium can only convince 2.4% of you.

How would you classify your attitudes around e-mountain bikes?

They are amazing: 12.73%
Curious, but not ready buy one: 11.78%
I want one, but they are too expensive: 13.05%
Not for me, but understand the appeal: 28.62%
I’ll buy one when I am older and can’t keep up: 23.83%
They are horrible, I will never spend a dime on one: 7.23%
Other: 2.75%

OK, time for the powder keg question, what do you all make of eMTBs? Well, around 50% of you expressed positive sentiments towards them with around 30% reacting negatively. We’ve definitely noticed our comments section mellow towards motors in recent years (although maybe this is mainly thanks to our filters) and it seems that is reflected in our Survey. It will be interesting to watch this question develop as we continue to conduct this survey in future years.

So, the ultimate Pinkbike bike would be a carbon-framed Specialized enduro bike with 29″ wheels and 150-160mm travel. It would have to be stealthily styled and we would want to cut down the weight on it. Come back tomorrow to find out how Pinkbike readers would spec it, maybe we should build it up in real life for a test in the future.

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