Wondering Out Loud: Who is the most famous pro mountain biker?

What do pro cyclists do after the sun sets on their racing days?  Well, some — like Brian Lopes or Tinker Juarez — continue to race against the sun. But others develop bike brands like, say, Eddie Merckx, Greg Lemond, or John Tomac. This article at Bicycle Retail News has some nice insights into what it takes to succeed as a cyclist-turned-entrpreneur.

But I was struck by this interesting point made by Hans “All the Way” Rey:

Rey, 41, said he’s not very interested in starting his own brand, and would only consider it if things really fell into place. “As we all know, it takes many other factors than a name to have a successful brand,” Rey said. “Mountain biking is a sport that doesn’t have as big, popular and mainstream names as Tony Hawk or Mat Hoffman.”

Rey may be right– after all, running a business requires, y’know, actually running a business. But he did provoke this thought: If Hans Rey doesn’t own the biggest name in mountain biking, who does?  (It helps that he has all those freestyling skills that appeal to the Dave Mirra groupies.) I think Rey underestimates his brand recognition.

picture-5.png

 Photo courtesy of HansRey.com