Bikes vs. Skis, Part 2 (Ep.23)

We’re back with round 2 of Bikes vs. Skis, where our bike editor, Noah Bodman, and I ask the question, “Which particular bike company is most like which particular ski company?”

Bikes vs. Skis, Part on the GEAR:30 podcast
Which bike company is most like which ski company?

And ever since Bikes vs Skis, Part 1, it has warmed our hearts to find out that a lot of you wonder about these sorts of questions, too, and Noah and I talk about a number of your suggestions in this episode. So listen up to see where we think you had the better answer, and where we think you are clearly crazy.

Here in Part 2, Noah offers his rather surprising vote for the “best looking bikes ever made”; we discuss which bike is the equivalent of the Moment Bibby / Wildcat / Blister Pro; and we give our take on another 20+ bike companies.


  • Which bike company is Moment Skis? (4:50)
  • Santa Cruz (7:50)
  • Yeti (9:16)
  • Bike equivalent of Kaestle or Stockli? (10:40)
  • What bike is the Moment Bibby Pro? (13:19)
  • Commencal (22:39)
  • Canfield (25:01)
  • Devinci (26:30)
  • Zerode (30:35)
  • Surly (32:17)
  • Salsa (36:40)
  • Intense (39:38)
  • Kona (43:59)
  • Rocky Mountain (46:08)
  • J Skis? (47:40)
  • Knolly (51:09)
  • Schwinn (54:57)
  • Smaller indie bike vs. indie ski co’s (57:15)
  • Scott (1:02:30)
  • KHS (1:08:34)
  • Diamondback (1:11:25)
  • GT (1:13:44)
  • Mongoose (1:16:33)
  • How to apply for Team Disappointment (1:20:30)

The 750+ Miles of Trail in Gunnison / Crested Butte, CO

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11 comments on “Bikes vs. Skis, Part 2 (Ep.23)”

  1. Not sure what I think of Pivot as Blizzard. Out here in the East, Blizzards are like Volkls — most weekend warriors have them as their quiver of one daily driver set up with Marker Gryphons that the shop sold them as a package — which makes them more similar to Trek or Specialized than Pivot or Ibis. Granted, Blizzard and Volkl aren’t as big as Rossi or Solomon (the clear analogs to Trek/Specialized), but on the East Coast you would never know it.

    At least out here, Pivot is more of a brand that skilled riders who know a good product will ride and it’s not very well known. When you roll up to the trailhead on a Pivot, it definitely has the “cool kids” factor you guys discussed akin to a Moment or Black Crows. In fact, while Moment may be all over Tahoe, I bet I’m one of the few EC skiers that owns a pair (Bibbys, of course, they’re for out west and AK). Black Crows are also not very well known out here although I have a pair of Corvus’s and love them.

    So having listened to you guys I found it interesting how some of your observations varied from mine for reasons of geography. To me, I would compare Pivot to Black Crows because they make a very good, high end product that has a desirability to it by people who are aware of these products. I could say the same about Moment, but that’s a little more punk rock vibe whereas BC is, in my mind, less of the marketing vibe and more straight up, ski big mountains kinda vibe. Make sense?

    Anyway, you guys are pretty analytical and intellectual so I thought the geography angle would intrigue you. Also, this comparison is genius! I literally spend hours doing exactly what this pod cast did for all my gear across the various disciplines. Great stuff


    P.S. I had a pair of Brahmas a couple years ago, and while I found them serviceable (never fell in love with them), I did always think of them as lighter than most skis so it was interesting to hear that you guys consider Blizzard to be a heavy ski.

    • I guess I should elaborate. The Fischer/Scott comparison is mostly made when looking at Scott’s full bicycle range, and not just mountain bikes. Scott, in the states at least, definitely is better known for their road bikes and XC bikes, and sponsored riders/teams (Greenedge/Mitchelton-Scott, Nino Schuerter, than their enduro/trail bikes at the moment. However, they do have a much stronger association with downhill and freeride with riders like Brendan Fairclough, Remy Absalon, Andrew Neethling, etc. While not as big as Specialized, Trek, Merida, Giant, etc., they produce quality bikes for all segments and levels. Similarly, Fischer produces quality skis in every category, from Racing to freeride, even including Nordic and niche (in the US) disciplines of Ski Jumping and Skimo racing. In the States, Fischer is more likely to be known and used by racers and bigmountain/freeride skiers than the typical resort skier.

      On the other hand, Scott Skis has a prettly limited range, primarily focused on some freeride and ski touring skis, with nothing-little available in the racing/performance or frontside/AM categories

  2. You guys do snowboard reviews too right? :) Some of these bike companies seem more like snowboard brands than ski brands to me. Good listen regardless — but Evil to Lib Tech seems more accurate than Evil to any ski brand. Lib Tech even makes skis too!

      • Haha. In general as I was listening to the podcast I was just like, “Wait, where are the snowboard brands? Why aren’t we talking about them too?!” But I’m a snowboarder so I’m obviously biased.

  3. This might land me on team disappointment, but I think there is some validity to it. You did not make a determination for Intense or KHS. Intense = K2. The 2 companies do not match on timeline or business decisions, but both companies started off in racing and went through a period of supporting a team of punks. Specifically for K2, I’m thinking Plake, Holmes and Morrison. Obviously for Intense it is Palmer. I’m not sure on whether Intense can put up any comparisons to something as successful as the K2 Four, but from your conversation on the podcast it sounded like Intense was putting out a solid lineup of bikes through the 90’s and had a successful team of riders. So while the highs of K2 are much greater than the highs of Intense, I think they are probably finding themselves in similar situations today. K2 appears to be struggling to get hardcore skiers on their equipment. I have not seen K2 on a skiers feet since the Seth Pistols. With so many brands and really good skis, K2 looks to be struggling to stay relevant. Again, going off of what you talked about on the podcast, Intense is also struggling to be what frontline riders want on the trail.

    For KHS I’ll throw out Elan. I’m not as committed to this one, but I say it because I have never seen anyone on a pair of Elan Skis. Maybe its because everyone ops for the Rossi’s 7 series over Ripstick, but given the DNA of the company and the amount of time they put into development, it seems that Elan should be much more popular. This could also be because of where I ski. Elan could be much more popular than I know.

  4. Surly is Voilé

    You have to look at Surly from a different angle than just the sale numbers (which they don’t care so much about). They have invented Fatbikes, modern-rigid- 29ers, launched all the plus-size frenzy (with the krampus being the first + size tire bike). Yet, they are grumpy punk-rockers and will only do what they want even if it becomes popular. They also have that backcountry-adventures feel to their bikes with all the rack mount options and solid compatible steel frames.

    That can only be Voilé. A company that invented the split-boards and thought it would be a good idea to put scales under some of their skis. They have that backountry- adventure side and keep their design solid and simple. They would keep thinking that telemark is not dead (just like surly won’t let 26inches tires go) and put a shit load of marketing money on a orange strap (surly also does a bunch of sturdy accessories).

    Both are game-changers, weirdos, in love with good simple design, well loved by the classic backcountry crew as well as younger metal-head ones. They make quality stuff, but not high end. They are both american companies and i would bet there are both popular in Japan…

  5. Hey guys! Loving your Podcast, Buyers Guide and everything you do. been quiet so far, but now I want to add something, since I might have found a good comparison for the Moment Bibby Pro. I don’t know how well known Liteville is in the new world (writing from Europe), but the Liteville 301 enduro bike could match to the Bibby Pro due to insane high level of quality, model-consistency, legend-status and versatility. The bike is a true legend over here and Liteville-People usually will stick to Liteville till they are too old for biking… Also the bike is changing just very few years and the changes are mostly details. I have been thinking about it a lot and that bike came into my mind first and I could not find any better opponent.

  6. He he. Noah, you know my Stumpjumper is dope. If I had a Yeti I would just look cooler but I doubt I could go any faster or jump any better.

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