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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So a few of us at work were having this conversation:

How much does a pro mtn biker make these days?

Base salary?

Endorsements?

And, where does the mean lie as opposed to the averages? I cannot assume that a guy or gal that constantly finishes in the middle of the pro class makes as much as those who are always near the front.

Just an interesting question. Any input?
 

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No hard facts here... but I do ride with a few guys that were pros in late 90s. my impression is that most mid-to-back-of-pack pros probably have a second part time/seasonal job to help make ends meet. I fI had to guess... top end guys might get right at 6 figures.

My impression is that the salaries of most amatuer riders out there, who are accountants, lawyers, network admins, etc probably make same or more than most pros.

These are guesses, would love to check em against others opinions/facts.
 

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In cycling and similar sports, there's no salary lists like you have in NBA, NHL etc. And salaries go from less then 2000eur/month to few millions a year. But no matter what, they are extremely low compared to F1 drivers, soccer players, NBA, NHL or NFL players.
I have heard (just rumors nothing more), that Absolon got about 2 millions eur last year. But you have to consider Absolon is one and only one. In gravity disciplines Gracia and Lopes are a bit under 1 mio eur, but everyone else are way under. But these are not typical salaries. It's money they got from all contracts they have, so I have no idea how much money they get from their team only.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, Cipo is worth every penny ..........


Anyway, I wonder on a team like Trek, which seems to be well financed, if you are a Eatough or Sue Haywood vs. a guy/gal on one of their regional teams. Do the regional team people even get salaries, or is it travel, bikes. etc?
 

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What I do know is that MTB pro's get a fraction of what riders on Pro Road teams get.

Alot if the salary is probably based on endorsements and what not. A charismatic, attention grabbing cyclist such as Travis Brown is worth far more than someone such as Eatough.

Or if you're Lance Armstrong, nike probably pays you millions, and you get hot girlfriends.
 

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Cippo was, and actually still is, one of a kind. There wasn't anyone close to him before, and I don't see anyone like him in near future either. Even now, when he shows up on some Giro stage or World championships, everyone are around him, and race by itself doesn't matter anymore.
On top of that, he had helluva good result list too with over 170 pro victories.
 

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I'm pretty sure most pro mountain bike racers struggle to make ends meet and just get to the races. Probably a few dozen actually make money beyond their costs, and fewer than that make serious money. Hopefully that will change someday.
 

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Most pro's are countering on the meager prize money offerings. You have to be really good to get a pay-cheque. In north america there are 25 MTBers making a salary (that number may be high). I know in Canada there is less then 10 (men and women combined).
 

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mbgore said:
in 06, tom boonen crashed a lambo trying to avoid a dog, but wasn't too bummed, because he had just ordered a new one...
Road cycling is different then mtb. On road, I could probably say, that first 100 or maybe even 200 riders get more money then top 2 or 3 mtb riders.
But even then, you can't compare it to some other sports. Here in Europe soccer is one of best paying sports, and few years ago, probably it still didn't change, each player of first team of Real Madrid had bigger salaries then whole cycling budget was... all together :) You have to count, that someone like Armstrong got few millions a year, while in football (sorry soccer for you guys) sallaries around 30 or 40 millions euro a year are nothing that special.
 

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primoz said:
Road cycling is different then mtb. On road, I could probably say, that first 100 or maybe even 200 riders get more money then top 2 or 3 mtb riders.
But even then, you can't compare it to some other sports. Here in Europe soccer is one of best paying sports, and few years ago, probably it still didn't change, each player of first team of Real Madrid had bigger salaries then whole cycling budget was... all together :) You have to count, that someone like Armstrong got few millions a year, while in football (sorry soccer for you guys) sallaries around 30 or 40 millions euro a year are nothing that special.
Yep, there is a huge difference between road cycling and mountain bike racing.

And there is also a big difference between Europe and North America. My guess is the top mtb racers in Europe do much better than the top guys in North America, and there are probably a lot more mtb pros in Europe making money instead of just making ends meet. My guess is that an extremely high percentage of those who make money are in Europe, where cycling is king (compared to in the U.S. at least).

A guy from my hometown is a pro mtb racer in the U.S., was ranked in the top 10 in points before the last NMBS race, and I think he struggles to find money to travel to all the races.

Mountain bike racing has better days ahead of hit. Remember that road cycling has been going on in Europe for a century. Mountain bike racing is what, maybe 20 years old? It is still in its infancy.
 

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Not that I know for sure, but based on my experiences. There are a FEW guys in the US that make a living racing mtbs, likely the guys who actually had a shot at the making the Olympic team. Then a couple of guys that race more than just their mtbs, cyclocross or road, that probably get paid. But the number of guys that get enough money to pay the rent on where they live is really really low. There are a few more people theat get enough money to get to some of the races. Then I would say that it is about a third of the US pro field even one BIKE for free that they actually get to keep at the end of the year.

We do this because we love it, every second of it. But will be paying for it for the years to come.
 

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Most "pros" get only product - no money. This year all the money and support went to Olympic hopefuls only...

I've heard Sam Hill gets a $50k salary from Ironhorse - and he is the best DHer in the world. I also heard that our best domestic DHer got only $10k salary last year....
 

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primoz said:
You have to count, that someone like Armstrong got few millions a year, while in football (sorry soccer for you guys) sallaries around 30 or 40 millions euro a year are nothing that special.
You sure about that?

Lance I recall was making something like $7m a year in salary, but with endorsements was pulling in something like $26m US per year. Beckham last year made $12m in salary, and another $37m in endorsements, image rights, etc. for a total of $49m last year (highest paid footballer in the world). According to Forbes magazine, if Lance were still riding and making $26m per year, he'd be making more than all but two footballers (Beckham and Ronaldinho).

http://www.forbes.com/business/2008/04/30/best-paid-soccer-biz-soccer08-cx-cs_0430players_intro.html

Not that this really matters, because mountain bikers are still underpaid... ;)
 

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NoahColorado said:
Most "pros" get only product - no money. This year all the money and support went to Olympic hopefuls only...

I've heard Sam Hill gets a $50k salary from Ironhorse - and he is the best DHer in the world. I also heard that our best domestic DHer got only $10k salary last year....
I can believe it about SAm Hill. But I would be fairly surprised if any domestic DHer recieved a salary.

The free-riders are making money though. I know Ben Boyko is making decent cash from Norco.
 

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Mountain Biking needs a hero! Mtb. needs someone to be the person that people come to races to watch. We need some color, like a Lance or Cippo, someone that the average person has heard of and wants to come out and see when the race is near their hometown. Last weekend in Deer Valley, we had the brand new 4X World Champion racing and the crowd was nothing. We need to get a reason for non-racers to show up, watch the racers and more importantly, talk to and buy stuff from the sponsors.
Without the hero, Mtb. will start loosing sponsors, then promoters and then races.
 
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