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Yes they have existed and I think there are a few around. They typically are employed by one of their sponsors for sales or marketing type jobs. I don't know that any of them are getting rich, but they are doing what they love and that says a lot.
 

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Stucco Bucket
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What about all the sponsored guys doing freeride? I dont think any of the big hitters have day jobs. Im pretty sure they get garb, bikes, expenses and stuff, in exchange for winning and repping their sponsors. id call that pro.. Plus the winnings from events.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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I'm fairly certain that getting my entry fee covered every now and then is the closest I'll ever get to being paid to ride my bike.

But yes, there are some pros. Not as many as on the road. Todd Wells, Adam Craig and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (say that three times fast) are a few to follow, if XC is your interest. Floyd Landis mentions making a $6000 annual salary somewhere in that big interview that just got published, but I would think that the top names get a better salary than that. I also suspect that they make more on endorsements and appearances, teaching clinics, etc., like a lot of other professional athletes, than they do in a straight salary.
 

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It's all about the popularity of the sport and the endorsements. My wife and I have been watching "X-Life" and seeing the difference how the Pro Motocrosser, Twitch, and the Pro BMX'er, Cory Nastacio lives is huge.

I have a few friends who are pro BMX'ers and there are definitely levels of pay. They are CONSTANTLY hustling, doing shows at amusements parks, traveling abroad, etc. The guys who ride the Dew Tour and flatland BMX'ers are in a different league of marketability.
 

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herothedog said:
Yes they have existed and I think there are a few around. They typically are employed by one of their sponsors for sales or marketing type jobs. I don't know that any of them are getting rich, but they are doing what they love and that says a lot.
Steve Peat is rolling in the dough. Remember reading a bike mag article last year about how he's the most highly compensated mountain biker in the world and was living super comfortably (when his body isn't mangled from a DH race).

It can be done, if you're the best.

I know I'm not....
 

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up n over
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My hero was a scruffy 20some yearold who lived in Seattle for
The last 10 years pumping gas for 6 hours a day, then he would ride.
Getting paid to ride is great but having a job that LETS u ride
is awesome as well..
I love bikes and its what I do for a living, but I don't
get a lot of time to ride making sure others can..
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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I tried that, sort-of. Did a night job doing custodial work at a ski area and got 100 days on the mountain that season.

I realized I want to accomplish more, and my talents aren't such that I'll accomplish that much skiing or cycling.
 

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At the 2009 Coolest24 race, my team was pitted next to Tinker.
I was able to sit and have some long discussions with his mother/manager. She can talk your ear off.
Tinker was pulling in $100K-200k a year starting in the nineties.
Race promoters help with free race fees, hotel room costs, traveling expenses, because having big name pros show up to a race brings in bigger crowds.
 

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Brewtality said:
At the 2009 Coolest24 race, my team was pitted next to Tinker.
I was able to sit and have some long discussions with his mother/manager. She can talk your ear off.
Tinker was pulling in $100K-200k a year starting in the nineties.
Race promoters help with free race fees, hotel room costs, traveling expenses, because having big name pros show up to a race brings in bigger crowds.
A lot of articles have been written about Missy Giovie lately, in them they mention that in '97 she was making $450k/yr. Counting in inflation and the fact that she is a female, i'm thinking top male uci DHers are probably around the 7 figure mark by now.

This chick was fast enough to rep the usa at the 2010 UCI Worlds and still has to work a non-bike related full time job to eat. So you might be better off learing to skate/snowboard/surf.
 

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Sue Haywood lives right over here in Davis and not that I know what her personal finances are but I saw her working at one of the xc-ski locations last winter. She had a pretty nice ride the last time I saw her. I don't think she's employed by Blackwater bikes but she seems to be doing alright. I know she still puts on womens clinics and such.
 

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It's all about where the money is coming from. Take baseball, they play 162 games a year and charge a lot for tickets and sell tens of thousands of tickets a game, so baseball players make insane money, a few hundred grand for a so so rookie. But where is the money going to come from in mountain biking? There's not many events people pay to watch, and even if they do, how many spectators would they get? Not as many as one baseball game probably, and there are only a few a year. It's unfortunate, but that's how it is.

I wonder how much Emily Batty makes, maybe I could be her sugar daddy.
 

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Ratt said:
A lot of articles have been written about Missy Giovie lately, in them they mention that in '97 she was making $450k/yr. Counting in inflation and the fact that she is a female, i'm thinking top male uci DHers are probably around the 7 figure mark by now.

This chick was fast enough to rep the usa at the 2010 UCI Worlds and still has to work a non-bike related full time job to eat. So you might be better off learing to skate/snowboard/surf.
I'm not sure I would base too much off of what happened in the 90's. DH racing is pretty big now, but from what I remember it seemed to have a larger audience back then, which generally means bigger sponsorships. Looks like Missy apparently had a good contract with Reebok at that time.
 

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Straz85 said:
It's all about where the money is coming from. Take baseball, they play 162 games a year and charge a lot for tickets and sell tens of thousands of tickets a game, so baseball players make insane money, a few hundred grand for a so so rookie. But where is the money going to come from in mountain biking? There's not many events people pay to watch, and even if they do, how many spectators would they get? Not as many as one baseball game probably, and there are only a few a year. It's unfortunate, but that's how it is.
Think television. Try putting a MTB race on t.v. and getting Budweiser to sink as much $ into advertising for a race (or series) as it does for just one Superbowl commercial.
 

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Ratt said:
A lot of articles have been written about Missy Giovie lately, in them they mention that in '97 she was making $450k/yr. Counting in inflation and the fact that she is a female, i'm thinking top male uci DHers are probably around the 7 figure mark by now.

This chick was fast enough to rep the usa at the 2010 UCI Worlds and still has to work a non-bike related full time job to eat. So you might be better off learing to skate/snowboard/surf.
Pro MTBer salaries have gone way DOWN since then, as well as there being fewer pros with full support
 
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