Forum Hot Seat - Craig Stikman Glaspell, International Marketing, Bicycle at Troy Lee Designs

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12/17/2015 11:02 AM



Long-time World Cup mechanic and man behind the legendary stiksanstones.com (RIP), Craig "Stikman" Glaspell has been in the MTB game since the glory days. We're stoked to put him in our Forum Hot Seat. -gordo

Name: Craig “Stikman” Glaspell
Age: 44, with the hair of a 72 yr old, or lack thereof
Years riding: Over 30, I was at the tail end of the Puerco DH race era, the young kid showing up to race in the 80’s.
Education: high school drop out, then went back to college about 3 different times. Finishing college shows commitment and ability to finish tasks. So my education shows a fail in that regard, but I have been with my wife for 22 years, faithfully and I generally work for people for long periods of time, so, I’m ok with my education or lack there of.
Hometown: Grew up in North Hollywood Ca, Living in Santa Ana with wife and daughter
Job History:
- 80’s I worked at a bike shop called Bicycle Center, an iconic BMX and MTB shop in Redondo Beach, between that shop, Charlie Litsky and Dave Cullinan, they gave me a career.
- late 80’s and into early 90’s, I wanted to be John Tomac, but, I realized I would never be that, so I quit racing, focused on creating champions.
- 1993 to 2004 : was the top team tech guy (Douche statement alert), had a stretch of making 6 figure salary doing it, it was a golden era. Started a MTB gossip blog before anyone knew what the fuck that was (stiksandstones.com), helped developed a shit ton of products with cool brands, worked with the best riders in the world, a few dozen championships were won via the athletes I worked with, most iconic of those being Leigh Donovan and Brian Lopes, 4 amazing years of them ruining the hopes of teams with far bigger budgets and staff-we were the smallest but mightiest race program of all time.
- 2004-2010 : I quit the bike industry and became a stay at home parent, my retired-racer wife (Leigh Donovan) had a kick ass business that was very successful, so I took care of our daughter, did side gigs of photography, broadcasting with Rob Warner in the Freecaster days but NEVER left being a superfan of Downhill racing.
- 2010 : Marketing Director for Intense Cycles
- 2011 to Current : Global Marketing For Bike at Troy Lee Designs, working for the craziest dude in the business, who loves racing more than anyone I know-except for Roskopp! Troy and Rob could have a battle on who loves racing more.

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Stik will be here to answer your questions from 11:30 to 3pm Pacific time today, so fire away and he'll answer the gems.

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12/17/2015 11:04 AM

what happened to stiksandstones.com? do you wish you stuck w/ the gossip mill?

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12/17/2015 11:34 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/17/2015 4:18 PM

sspomer wrote:

what happened to stiksandstones.com? do you wish you stuck w/ the gossip mill?

Stiksandstones,
I think I started it in the late 90's, a blog, with some insider gossip from the circuit. It caused too much drama, some uptight people got SO bent out of shape about it, hate email, people wanting to fight me. I forgot what I wrote in 99' but Myles Rockwell wanted to punch me out, in Vars, France for something I wrote....Doug Dalton was SO angry that I mentioned he sharpie'd out Cedric and Chausson's Maxxis tires, because they were paid by hutchinson, so mad that he was shaking in anger. Once some proper web channels started doing some cool site content, I just wasn't into it, nor had the time, so I let it die. I still carried on writing columns in DIRT and even Velonews with the same gossip style, but, then I turned 30 and was over it all.

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12/17/2015 11:38 AM

What was the most insane over-done pit setup you saw back in the day? And most over done current pit setup?

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12/17/2015 11:42 AM

The "golden era" is always referred to with respect to wealth and popularity of mtb gravity racing in the US, but certainly not with respect to the technology. What were some of the biggest headaches or compromises you and your racers faced with the bikes while trying to win NORBA titles?

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12/17/2015 11:45 AM

I forgot you worked at Bicycle Center. I'll get you my address, how many BC rub-on stickers can you send me?

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12/17/2015 11:48 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/17/2015 12:31 PM

If you could punch one person in the biking industry (rider, co-worker, competitor, etc..) in the face with no repercussions, who would it be?

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12/17/2015 11:50 AM

ekard wrote:

The "golden era" is always referred to with respect to wealth and popularity of mtb gravity racing in the US, but certainly not with respect to the technology. What were some of the biggest headaches or compromises you and your racers faced with the bikes while trying to win NORBA titles?

I'll be interested in hearing back on this one. It's a good question. I kinda old but remember each new thing - QR seat posts, V-brakes, bar ends, no bar ends, the newest tire - as being innovative at the time. Point is looking back it's easy to say bikes 15, 20 years ago were piles, but technology was moving IMO.

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12/17/2015 11:50 AM

Back in your wrenching days, did you find that the pro's didn't really know much about how to dial in a ride for themselves? Did you ever have them come back to the pits saying "Oh the bike's doing this or that..." and you just pretended to change something and give it back to them and they rode it and were like "damn man, you're a wizard! I don't know what you did but the bike's feeling great now!"

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They call 'em fingers, but I've never seen 'em fing.

12/17/2015 11:53 AM

What's your take on the importance of MIPS liners in helmets? In theory I guess I get it, but when I look at one it just looks like a cheap thin piece of plastic.

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12/17/2015 11:53 AM

The Skyline shorts are the greatest all-around bike short ever made, and I have seven pairs. But, could you make the butt pocket just a little bigger? It seems to be the safest place to hold a phone....

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MRP - VP of Business Dev.

12/17/2015 12:05 PM

Top 3 World Cup O/A and World Champs for DH this coming season.

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12/17/2015 12:09 PM

Zuestman wrote:

What was the most insane over-done pit setup you saw back in the day? And most over done current pit setup?

Of course my pits days are old school, but, the GT Bicycles 18 wheeler, OR the other Big Rig they had (yes, they had 2)....was the benchmark in pit setups. But, going to the World Cups the last few years, I like the Mondraker guys pits, SRAM rig is pretty amazing, Scott setup is pretty fun and vast.

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12/17/2015 12:16 PM

ekard wrote:

The "golden era" is always referred to with respect to wealth and popularity of mtb gravity racing in the US, but certainly not with respect to the technology. What were some of the biggest headaches or compromises you and your racers faced with the bikes while trying to win NORBA titles?

It was surely an 'age of discovery', advancements and horrible accidents to help develop products of today. Wether unsafe materials, lack of engineering, etc....
That being said, when Leigh and Brian were on Mongoose in 95, they rode some handmade german bikes with handmade shocks-now no disrespect to this guy because it was he that helped them win 5 major titles that year, but it was a challenge keeping bikes together, rebuild proto shocks, and lots of JB weld. I think I was always lucky to have worked with Shimano back in those days, spent a lot of time with the engineers from Japan and was a big part in disc brake development, drivetrain and other things, it was a great time working with them, and projects like the HRB brakes, the dual rotor brakes, airlines, while a bit over the top, there was some great development from that-that went into future products.

Thats a shit answer, but Troy just came in with a hot topic, I call them Troy-nados! please hold.

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12/17/2015 12:17 PM

I don't think Gwin gets mad, but when he does, it's when I talk about his career. So, I plead the 5th.

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12/17/2015 12:18 PM

toddtoth wrote:

I forgot you worked at Bicycle Center. I'll get you my address, how many BC rub-on stickers can you send me?

BC DAVE MAN! haha.
I saw Troy Braswell at Interbike the last couple years, BC owner from the day, that dude is the salt of the earth, a real f@cking MTBer.

No more rub on's, they've turned to dust haha.

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12/17/2015 12:26 PM
Edited Date/Time: 12/17/2015 12:27 PM

There was some good stuff on stiksandstones!

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12/17/2015 12:27 PM

Skidz wrote:

If you could punch one person in the biking industry (rider, co-worker, competitor, etc..) in the face with no repercussions, who would it be?

Honestly have never been pushed to that level, especially since I became a Dad. Maybe in the 90's. Athlete wise, I NEVER worked with an athlete I didn't like, even today at TLD, the whole roster is people I enjoy. That being said, I will not name names, but in 2001 I worked for Schwinn Toyota Rav 4 race team. Schwinn/GT went bankrupt mid season, and we were racing in Japan world cup, when my team credit cards stopped working, paychecks stopped coming...but, we were all making good money, knew this was coming, and rumor was there was going to be a way to finish the season from a settlement via bankruptcy proceedings.

We went from Japan to Mammoth (for a NORBA national) and I pulled up in our team rig, started setting up pits, and a GT executive rolls up in a new-ish car, with his clown loafers, nice clothes, watch, and just stood around while the GT guys were setting up the pits-between the staff and riders of both teams, it was about 25 people getting screwed. We knew the executives were still getting salary and fleecing the company, while we were out there still racing and promoting the brand (had to, or threatened with not getting money in the settlement).

Anyways, this pissed me off, I cussed the guy out like I have never cussed anyone out, felt better, and went racing.


Jeremy McGrath was so close to punching me in the face a few years ago, I wrote something about him on stiksandstones, and he was so pissed. Lopes calmed him down.

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12/17/2015 12:34 PM

"When is life behind bars coming back"...?

-every prepubescent Semenuk fan with access to social media

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12/17/2015 12:34 PM

is there any hope for a US gravity series to be as big as old NORBA series?

is there room or potential for a non-UCI, high payout DH series?

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12/17/2015 12:35 PM

Gnarnia420 wrote:

Back in your wrenching days, did you find that the pro's didn't really know much about how to dial in a ride for themselves? Did you ever have them come back to the pits saying "Oh the bike's doing this or that..." and you just pretended to change something and give it back to them and they rode it and were like "damn man, you're a wizard! I don't know what you did but the bike's feeling great now!"

As I said before, I always worked with smart, talented, inspiring Athletes. BUT, there were times when there was nothing left to change, on a technical track and I had pulled that trick on them.

Tire pressure tricks, couple suspension tricks.

Being a mechanic, you have to have ONE key trait-keeping these riders calm and in the zone, focused on the goal of the weekend, to win, or sustain a points lead. I was always a shitty mechanic, there were plenty of guys doing cooler stuff than me, innovating some tools, or a technique. But I was good at getting better pay, good at motivating riders and keeping them stoked, laughing, lots of laughing.

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12/17/2015 12:37 PM

midwestguy wrote:

What's your take on the importance of MIPS liners in helmets? In theory I guess I get it, but when I look at one it just looks like a cheap thin piece of plastic.

I have been thinking it was smoke and mirrors, for years, until I rode in a competitors helmet with MIPS, I have been analyzing a lot of MIPS data, and I am convinced it is a help or added layer of defense against concussion. That being said, you can't just put MIPS into a shit helmet. The helmet has to be built well, designed well first. Our helmets are the best in class, so, could only make things a bit safer with MIPS right?

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12/17/2015 12:40 PM

NoahColorado wrote:

The Skyline shorts are the greatest all-around bike short ever made, and I have seven pairs. But, could you make the butt pocket just a little bigger? It seems to be the safest place to hold a phone....

Thanks man! we have made that body (skyline) for about 7 years, before I was here we had the Skyline and it has undergone very little change since then-it is our most popular short, hell, most popular clothing item in our entire company. An affordable, functional trail short. We get feedback from our dealers, customers and athletes 24-7, pocket size is one of the most hotly debated topics for sure. Damn mobile phone business and their big phones!

But Noah, I will tell Troy we got another vote for larger rear pocket!

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12/17/2015 12:46 PM

Fog Fest Capt. wrote:

Top 3 World Cup O/A and World Champs for DH this coming season.

I know as a company man, people expect the company man to only mention 'their' riders, and for TLD, we have a pretty small but rad roster on the DH circuit. Our 3 top 20 guys this year were Gwin, Fairclough and Luca Shaw (SRAM TLD RACING YO!! and Rookie of the year), sure we have some new young blood coming in, some of our new intl riders coming in, but those 3 are the focus for world cup wins and podiums. We believe in these guys, but, thankfully there is more to life in MTB than winning, engaging the race fan is a very important trait.

Ok, enough PC bullshit right?

Troy Brosnan.....the kid scares me, i've never seen a rider so f-ing hungry to win, I think once he calms down on the bike he will be lethal.

That other kid that Sven is always raving about, Commencal guy, french dude, forgot name-he's a threat.

Can't count out vets, like Minnaar...Bryceland will be back and deadly on the course and off the course haha.

It's a damn shame the world cup is only 7 rounds, because it is the most amazing sport on earth-real talk.

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12/17/2015 12:47 PM

ssk wrote:

There was some good stuff on stiksandstones!

I took that photo while on my honeymoon, in 2000, Hawaii, at a quicksilver shop!

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12/17/2015 12:48 PM

Ian Collins wrote:

"When is life behind bars coming back"...?

-every prepubescent Semenuk fan with access to social media

Oh shit, Brandon called me the other day, and I never called him back-maybe it was about asking me to ride for him in the new season of LBB?
Or not.

I am old, really old, and LBB is my favorite web series ever.

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12/17/2015 12:49 PM
Edited Date/Time: 12/17/2015 1:49 PM

I am 6'1" and 140lbs, I am fading fast, I have to go carbo load at the BBQ house. TRI TIP!
Be right back bros!

**** EDIT, I am back, we ate Wahoos instead.

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12/17/2015 12:59 PM

midwestguy wrote:

What's your take on the importance of MIPS liners in helmets? In theory I guess I get it, but when I look at one it just looks like a cheap thin piece of plastic.

Stiksandstones wrote:

I have been thinking it was smoke and mirrors, for years, until I rode in a competitors helmet with MIPS, I have been analyzing a lot of MIPS data, and I am convinced it is a help or added layer of defense against concussion. That being said, you can't just put MIPS into a shit helmet. The helmet has to be built well, designed well first. Our helmets are the best in class, so, could only make things a bit safer with MIPS right?

Thanks for your thoughts. I hit up the wife for a new A1 for my b-day, gotta protect what few brains cells I have left. You have have some great designs on them, nice work to the design team.

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12/17/2015 1:07 PM

I've got more of a statement than a question, Stik - and sort of an embarrassing one at that.

I started working in shops as a 15 year old in 1994. At that time, us shop rats all fancied ourselves as future World Cup mechanics and our superstars were folks like Gravy, Monkey and yourself. Back then, our shop was a GT, Mongoose and Schwinn dealer; so you were really at the top of the list for us. Anyway, a few years later, a couple of us went out to the NORBA at Seven Springs and got the chance to chat with you a bit in the pits and we all walked away just completely starstruck. Much respect, man.

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12/17/2015 1:12 PM

Skidz wrote:

If you could punch one person in the biking industry (rider, co-worker, competitor, etc..) in the face with no repercussions, who would it be?

Stiksandstones wrote:

Honestly have never been pushed to that level, especially since I became a Dad. Maybe in the 90's. Athlete wise, I NEVER worked with an athlete I didn't like, even today at TLD, the whole roster is people I enjoy. That being said, I will not name names, but in 2001 I worked for Schwinn Toyota Rav 4 race team. Schwinn/GT went bankrupt mid season, and we were racing in Japan world cup, when my team credit cards stopped working, paychecks stopped coming...but, we were all making good money, knew this was coming, and rumor was there was going to be a way to finish the season from a settlement via bankruptcy proceedings.

We went from Japan to Mammoth (for a NORBA national) and I pulled up in our team rig, started setting up pits, and a GT executive rolls up in a new-ish car, with his clown loafers, nice clothes, watch, and just stood around while the GT guys were setting up the pits-between the staff and riders of both teams, it was about 25 people getting screwed. We knew the executives were still getting salary and fleecing the company, while we were out there still racing and promoting the brand (had to, or threatened with not getting money in the settlement).

Anyways, this pissed me off, I cussed the guy out like I have never cussed anyone out, felt better, and went racing.


Jeremy McGrath was so close to punching me in the face a few years ago, I wrote something about him on stiksandstones, and he was so pissed. Lopes calmed him down.

Wow. That was a fantastic answer. Thanks!

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