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Bill Christensen, industry journalist, product manager and gadfly, dies at 39

Published February 16, 2017
UPDATED with memorial information

BOISE, Idaho (BRAIN) — Bill Christensen, a former product manager for Answer Products, Shimano and Santa Cruz and a former writer for Mountain Bike magazine, died Sunday at 39.


Christensen was known as a brilliant, principled, funny and opinionated writer who occasionally got into trouble with employers for those reasons. He left Santa Cruz in 2008 and has worked as a consultant and freelance writer since then from his home in Idaho. He also had a blog,

His father, also named Bill, told BRAIN on Monday that Christensen died suddenly of unknown natural causes. He said an autopsy would be performed to determine the cause of death. Christensen is survived by a wife, Jen, and several children from Jen’s first marriage, his father said. The family has not announced memorial plans.

Even though he left his last full-time job in the industry nine years ago, Christensen remained well known across the mountain bike world. Jasen Thorpe worked with him at Mountain Bike in the early 1990s.

“When I was working with him Bill was just shining so bright. He was smart, sarcastic and cynical … I’m thankful for the chance to work with him, but I feel robbed that we didn’t get to see who he was going to be,” said Thorpe, who owns a Colorado marketing firm.

Industry designer Andy Holmes worked with Christensen years ago at the Supergo retail chain in California and kept in touch with over the years. "He was quite hilarious," Holmes told BRAIN. "If he had an opinion about something you knew it; he would let you know what he thought and not always in the most diplomatic way."

Friends have started a GoFundMe page to help Christensen’s family with medical expenses and funeral costs.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, Feb. 18 at 11:30 a.m. at Boise Train Depot. More information:

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