Feature Issue #044

Graduate Engineer Stephan Schneider – aka Stevie Fucking Schneider

Be it as a racer, influencer or working in the cycling industry, many people dream of making a living from riding bikes. Stevie Schneider is one of those few, despite the fact that he hasn’t had the best race results, doesn’t do the sickest tricks and hasn’t got the most followers. We met up with the self-proclaimed ‘exfluencer’ to find out more.

Stevie has finally found the freedom he’s been looking for! Making a living from riding his bike has been a long time dream. Now it’s come true.

Stevie Fucking Schneider’s real name is Stephan Schneider. While he studied industrial engineering, he always had a dream: to be able to make a living from riding his bike. That’s why he started looking for sponsors early on, at an age when others start doing paper rounds. Bike shop owner Flo Gottschlich, now a good friend of Stevie’s, remembers exactly how he got to know him. “The phone rings and it’s this schoolboy asking if I want to support him.” Stevie was already showing talent back then and was super fast on the bike. “At least until the first split,” says Flo. It’s not often Stevie managed to complete a race, but Flo offered to sponsor him nonetheless. Stevie didn’t have it easy growing up and to understand why he is where he is today, we need to take a step back. Stevie is the youngest in his family with two big twin sisters who got all the attention. As the little brother, he had a hard time escaping their shadow and always wanted to prove something to himself and everyone else. He compensated for it with a big ego and his ambition led him to expect things of himself that he could never live up to no matter how hard he tried. The resulting pressure stressed him and caused him to crash often in races. Eventually, Stevie became tired of writing race reports in which he explained in as much detail as possible why, unfortunately, he had once again failed to reach a spot on the podium. Reports that felt so important in the moment, but that ultimately didn’t interest anyone.

We visited Stevie at his home in Salzburg and rode the local trails together
Unfortunately, Stevie’s brake lever got torn off after only 50 m …
… but that didn’t dampen the mood or stop us from having fun!

Why juggling helps with dirt jumping

Today, Stevie has created a very special place for himself in the bicycle industry, “I wouldn’t call myself a professional nor an athlete, because professionals have to deliver a certain level of performance, which I don’t.” But that isn’t entirely true. Stevie doesn’t have a training plan and he doesn’t compete but he’s still one of the fittest riders we’ve ever encountered. On our ride together, he winched his way up the entire climb with his saddle far too low from a dirt jumping session. Sure, he could have simply adjusted it with a multi-tool, but Stevie couldn’t be bothered at that moment. He’s damn fit in other ways too – he does one-arm pull-ups as he climbs a tree in his garden and he’s rather good at juggling while balancing on a slackline. When does it stop being a hobby and become training? It’s not a question Stevie asks himself, he simply enjoys doing both and he’s noticed some positive side effects for dirt jumping. “Since I started juggling, I’ve become a lot better at grabbing the handlebar when I do no-handers.” Stevie also happens to have a few competitive achievements to speak of. To name one, he was the first rider to flip the big kicker at the Crankworx Whip-Off in Innsbruck.

Go big or go home! Stevie was the first to flip the big kicker at the Crankworx Whip-Off in Innsbruck.
He trained for this on the big dirt kicker in his own backyard
Learning through repetition. When Stevie gets something in his head, he won’t stop until he pulls it off!
Stevie’s sponsor Radon kept on sending him herons anonymously. Until he found out where they came from, he suspected he had a stalker.
Juggling as a hobby, not as training. These exercises help Stevie improve his dirt jumping skills and they’re a lot of fun too!

Laugh at yourself, not others

On Instagram, Stevie describes himself as an ‘exfluencer’. While most people present a curated, ideal version of themselves on social media that is far from the reality of who they really are, Stevie simply shows himself as he is – raw and unfiltered, occasionally even naked. Instead of making fun of others, he doesn’t take himself too seriously and laughs at his own expense. That’s his recipe for success! Add to that his excellent bike handling skills and the result is incredibly entertaining YouTube videos such as TRIPIN The Movie, The Exfluencer #1 Bikepark Lienz and The Exfluencer #2 Bikepark Schladming edit.

Stevie is a man with ideals

In a world in which almost anyone can get thousands of followers within a short time and in which some beauty bloggers are able to reach millions of viewers, the number of Instagram followers you have doesn’t represent the true value of an account. What matters is authenticity, honesty and trust. Stevie doesn’t even try to sell anything to his followers. To him, discounts are as shit as obvious product placement. Of course, Stevie is a brand ambassador and he does get free products and money to use certain brands, but he wouldn’t ride or wear anything that he isn’t convinced of himself. He rides for Radon bikes because he believes high-performance bikes should be affordable, wears ION’s gear because he’s convinced of its quality and advertises CBD products with a huge cannabis leaf on his helmet because he’s felt the positive benefits of CBD. At the same time, he understands his responsibility as a role model to his younger followers, which is why he doesn’t promote excessive alcohol consumption, smoking or eating animal products.

Stevie doesn’t dream of getting rich. It’s not about money, but about experiences.

Money is irrelevant!

If you’ve ever gone riding with Stevie, you’ll have noticed that he doesn’t care that much about material things. He wears the oldest knee pads he can find on his shelf and uses worn out board shorts instead of brand new bike shorts. He even goes so far as to hand his new things out to his buddies and continues using the older stuff himself. “What’s the use of owning all this stuff?” he asks. Stevie lives an extremely modest life. However, this is consistent with his values. After all, his dream was to be able to make a living from riding his bike, not to get rich. To him, wealth doesn’t mean having as much money in your account as possible. Stevie measures wealth in experiences. He also believes in karma. Not in the traditional Buddhist sense, but he is convinced that if you do good yourself, it will come back to you.

Travelling, riding and experiencing things – that’s what drives Stevie
If you follow Stevie on Instagram, you’ll have seen the hats. They are an integral part of his posts and videos.

Stevie rewards trust with full commitment

To get a better idea of the real Stevie, we didn’t only talk to him but also his sponsors and companions. There’s Andi, the former marketing manager at ION and Ingo from Radon’s marketing department. Speaking to them, two things became clear: Stevie never makes promises that he doesn’t think he can deliver on, because that would put him under too much pressure. But when he feels that someone trusts him, he rewards that trust with his full commitment. This is why there are no clauses in his contracts about how many videos he has to produce or how many posts are expected of him every week. Stevie’s partners simply trust that he’ll produce amazing and unique content if they support him without putting the pressure on. The best example of this is the ad campaign he made for ION’s new flat pedal shoes and their latest range of protective gear. The results are super creative, extremely high-quality and very entertaining.

Putting your trust in Stevie pays off! The ad campaign he pulled off for ION’s flat pedal shoes is brilliant!
Instead of cashing the cheque himself, he passed the majority of the earnings on to his film crew
Comedy, drama and action in one – Stevie shows off his acting talent in the ads he made for ION

The thing about CBD

Stevie is best known for his Instagram account and YouTube videos. He knows that his reach and thus his success depend heavily on the algorithms used by these platforms. After all, even the best content is useless if Instagram doesn’t show it to relevant users. This is why Stevie is always exploring alternatives and, among other things, has invested a large chunk of his savings into a new startup called Flow Drops. It’s a water-soluble CBD solution claimed to relieve muscular tension, improve recovery after exercise and accelerate healing after injuries. CBD is a component of the cannabis plant, but unlike THC, doesn’t have psychoactive effects. In other words, it doesn’t make you high. It is legally available in Europe and has even been removed from the anti-doping list by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Stevie can confirm the beneficial effects from personal experience and stands behind Flow Drops all the way.

As part of Stevie’s entrepreneurial exploits, he developed Flow Drops together with the Hanf Brüder (hemp brothers), which promise to relieve muscular tension and speed up recovery after exercise

After spending the day riding, chilling and cooking with him in his garden, our impression of Stevie changed. He’s undoubtedly that super funny guy you know from Instagram. In fact, he’s as entertaining as we hoped, but there’s also more to him than that. With principles and ideals, Stevie isn’t in it for the money. He does what he does because it’s what he believes in, and, ultimately, that’s his key to success. That we are sure of.

Want to find out more about Stevie? Then check out his Instagram account.

Words: Christoph Bayer Photos: Christoph Bayer, Tobi Wernik

About the author

Christoph Bayer

When work doesn't feel like work, then you've probably done everything right. Luckily, that’s exactly what Christoph did. He loves biking and the tech talk surrounding it (to the detriment of his girlfriend Toni), photography and travelling the world. He has been with ENDURO almost from the start and as editor-in-chief, he's responsible for making ENDURO the most progressive and exciting magazine in the industry. Of course, he still writes a lot of content himself, reviews almost 100 bikes a year and rides his bike almost every day. The alpine trails around his hometown serve as the perfect testing grounds. He doesn't have a classic 9 to 5 routine – sometimes he's in the office, sometimes he'll take his laptop to sit in the garden and sometimes you'll even find him working remotely from his van parked at one the best riding spots in the world. For Christoph, work-life boundaries are fluid and he likes it that way.