News

The Desert is Calling…

14 April, 2017

Words by Jordan Carr and Lani Bruntz.

Red rock glows in the early morning sunshine and the pungent smell of sage fills the air as we fire up the stove for a fresh cup of coffee. Early season trips to the desert have become a luxury we’ve come to desire as snow continues to pile up in the mountains. Although the seasonality of the mountain landscape offers a rhythmic rise and fall of emotion and motivation forcing one to embrace winter’s shorter days, cold mornings and lack of dry trails. But for many, a quick jaunt to the desert offers a needed escape to warmer and drier locales.

Desert landscapes like Sedona, AZ or Moab, UT, have become distinct mountain bike destinations for their inherent beauty, mild climates and expansive open spaces. In the spring, these popular destinations become overrun with mountain dwellers seeking solace in dry trails and warm desert sunshine. One local explains it well “How do you know it’s spring in Moab? All the license plates turn green.” Meaning the green license plates of the Colorado tourists, of which we are included.

Recent spring wanderings in the desert included a trip to Sedona, a bikepack trip on the Black Canyon Trail north of Phoenix, and a few days at the spring Outerbike in Moab.

Wrapping up our winter events with the Silverton Whiteout, a 10-hour fat bike sufferfest or party ride depending on your perspective for the day, before taking a hiatus from the snow for red rock, sand and sunshine.

Posting up in flip-flops and shorts.

The Black Canyon Trail (BCT) is a 77-mile singletrack that parallels Interstate 17 and offers a variety of experiences through the Sonoran Desert landscape, including saguaro forests and rugged canyons. It is the perfect excuse to spend a few days in the desert with friends. We chose to ride the trail over three days in March.

Desert colors were in rare form this season with the massive spring rains received and dirt conditions were quite prime as well. Though the moisture made for great conditions, river crossings along the route were also at an all-time high.

Beautiful camp spots are plentiful along the BCT.

Desert life makes for great #Vanlife. Enjoying a cool Moab evening with friends is a great way to top off a great day of riding world class trails.

Desert weather conditions are often optimal for enjoying a beautiful night beneath the stars. We try to enjoy as many of these as we possibly can. Beware though, spring in the desert can often be cold, windy and sometimes wet.

Stopping at National Parks has become a tradition within our travels, despite being quite a bit more crowded than most public lands we visit, they are national parks for a reason and beauty abounds. We spent a day in the Grand Canyon following our time on the Black Canyon Trail and managed to find some quiet places down near the Colorado River.

"The Volcanic Park"

04 April, 2017

Pucon, situated in Chile, is one of the most popular holiday destination for Chilean. Above a huge lake, the volcano Villarica is overhanging a majestic forest. The locals start building some trails and invited Jérôme to ride them. Never against new experience, we made the trip down to spend some good time on perfectly shaped terrain with so many natural features and a beautiful background. What an atmosphere ! Riding on the sandy volcanic ground is an experience that Jérôme has again translated in style on his new action video: Discover the "Volcanic Park" video - Filmed and edited by Radfocus and Quatro Vistas

PinkBike and Youtube

Pucon is as busy as a city center during summer times with lots of shops openned until midnight that matches with Chilean way of living.. The local community are pushing to create trails! They've already built a nice pump track for kids near the Villarica lake! MTB is growing everywhere, expect to see more talented Chilean riders in the future! Thanks a lot to Antonio Leiva for the guiding, Refugio 555 for the trail building and Memos Portales family’s for the warm welcome!

EWS Round 1 with Lauren Gregg

03 April, 2017

Wow, what a hell of a race. I left the US in high spirits for my first experience racing internationally. I knew it would be one of the hardest races of my career so far and anticipated some early season issues dusting off the cobwebs and getting back after it so early in the year. I was not prepared mentally or physically, however, for what Rotorua threw at us for the first round of the 2017 Enduro World Series


After a few days wrangling bike bags and flying across the globe, I arrived in Rotorua 10 days before the event. Although it was raining the week before I arrived, I was graced with sunny skies and perfect conditions that week. I spent some amazing days exploring the forest and riding with friends. Although I had been a bit nervous about the tricky roots and steep gnarly tracks in Rotorua that I had read about, I was feeling really good that week and was stoked to race the trails. After they released the course on Sunday, all riding on the tracks was stopped until practice.


Then we started to hear the weather reports rolling in. All the competitors who braved the Rotorua EWS in 2015 told me they were still reeling from the wet, almost unridable conditions that day. Hearing the horror stories of the 2015 race made me a bit nervous, but we all crossed our fingers that the rain would hold off this year.


At the Riders Meeting on Friday night, the race organizers assured us that very little rain was predicted. They made a contingency plan to cut out one of the seven stages if there was rain, but they had faith in their forecast and told us we would be racing the full course. Based on this prediction, I decided to run Vigilantes front and rear, rather than my Warden mud spikes.


Practice on Friday was rainy and wet, but I was surprised at how well my tires responded on the roots, and the mud was no problem. Saturday practice saw a brief break in the weather and the tracks were running perfectly. I felt really good on Saturday and I crossed my fingers that conditions would remain the same for race day.


Unfortunately, they did not. On Sunday morning, race day, the rain started to come down about 30 minutes into our hour and a half climb up to the start of the first stage. On the start line, I was prepared for the tracks to run similarly to the wet and muddy trails during practice on Friday, but once I hit the course I realized I was in for something totally different. I hit greasy mud like I’ve never ridden before. The rain mixed with a couple hundred riders dropping in before the Pro ladies made for a track that this California girl, with no experience in the mud, simply did not know how to ride. I got to the bottom of the first stage, which took me about twice as long as it should of, discouraged and demoralized.


At first I wanted to drop out of the race. But then I realized, even if my result was already shot,  if I wanted to get anything out of the day I needed to keep going and use it as a learning experience. After losing time on the Stage and in a mental battle at the bottom, I started sprinting up to the second start to try to make my tight transition time.


On my way up, I also made a decision to stay positive and do everything that I could to try to have a fun day on the bike, regardless of the conditions. I lost lots of time on that first stage and at the bottom, which put me behind schedule and made my tight transitions even tighter, but I dropped into each stage and did the best I could fighting my way through the mud.

Tensions were high out on the course. I knew my result was shot, though, and I at least was able to offer a little comic relief and positivity for the spectators. We all had a good time as I struggled my way through the mud, picking up momentum and starting to find a groove until suddenly and inevitably ending up lodged deep in the mud. My goal to have a good time was achieved by simply making sure to laugh, rather than cry, when the situation got comically demoralizing. This was not the day to learn how to ride in the mud, and my stages were disasters, but the spectators did mention that I was the only rider with a smile on my face at the finish lines. The kiwi fans were awesome and they did a great job keeping me in high spirits. Hands were slapped, laughs were had.


After being behind schedule right off the bat and sprinting to the tops of the transfers with no real time to eat or drink I started to bonk on the fifth transfer stage, 5 hours into the grueling ride. I finally had to stop at a water station to refuel, and I knew I was in trouble with the way my body was feeling. This early in the season, this was one of my biggest days on the bike already, and fighting the mud made it especially exhausting. I pedalled as hard as my body would let me, I made it all the way to the very top of the mountain to Stage 5, but I just missed my cutoff by minutes. I asked if there was any way I could continue, but my race was over. I was a gutted, but under an umbrella and fighting off the cold wind and rain I was able to cheer off the Pro Men as they dropped into Stage 5.


Myself and another competitor who had also missed her start time were then at the highest point on the mountain, and a local course marshall pointed us down another track he recommended as his favorite trail on the mountain. It did not disappoint! We screamed down a 15 minute flow trail in perfect condition (it’s amazing what a difference 300 riders will make), with amazing wide open New Zealand views up top before ducking back into the forest for some amazing jumps and berms. Our consolation prize was one of the most fun rides of my trip for sure.


I learned a lot from this race, both about how I need to practice in the mud and more varied conditions, as well as about how to control my mental game and stay positive on race day. I know that I need to stay calmer on courses that are uncomfortable- I think that would have helped a lot. I learned that I need to focus more on nutrition and hydration, even if the conditions are distracting. I’m excited to use this experience to make myself a better rider and racer. I’m grateful to have competed in an event that so many riders that I look up to called the most mentally and physically challenging race of their lives. It certainly was the hardest race of my life! After the race, I learned that conditions were much more challenging than they had been 2 years ago and many riders and organizers considered this the most challenging EWS race to date. Hearing how much everyone struggled on course and seeing how many Pros also were not able to make it through to the end helped me not get too discouraged about my result.

Now, moving forward on to Tasmania for some redemption in the second round of the Enduro World Series. Let’s cross our fingers for no rain!

Rad People Who Ride: Sam and Julie Tickle

30 March, 2017

We were introduced to Sam Tickle in 2010 through an ESPN series called The Unstoppable Tour, wherein an unstoppable human is given a task that would sufficiently stop the ordinary specimen. 30 sports, in 30 days, in 30 states. Lucky for him, the California leg involved meeting up with Mark Weir, Jason Moeschler and Ben Cruz for a shred fest on the legendary private ranch in Novato, California. One thing was immediately certain...Sam would not be faltered. The loose and off-camber laps of the Novato ranch do not allow much room for error and are far from forgiving. Yet it will still no match for Sam's ability to overcome regardless of what lies in his path. 
Years have passed and we now partner with Sam Tickle and his role with the Semper Fi Fund, where he applies this same "get it done" approach, to help us put on the WTB/Team Semper Fi Mountain Bike Skills camp. We get to spend nearly a week with Sam every year, as we invite recovering service members of the US Armed Force to come ride with the WTB family to share good times on incredible terrain. The other 47 weeks of the year, we enviously follow Sam and his wife Julie as they travel around the country with their fifth wheel and wake up to a new trail every day. 
Name: 

Sam and Julie Tickle

Notable passions, feats of accomplishment, interests, goals, phobias and unusual experiences: 

We moved out of the rat-race of SoCal in June and are now living lean in our fully-reno’d fifth-wheel RV, traveling to all of Sam’s Team Semper Fi Outdoor Program events around the country.

Notable Passions:

Sam: Working with injured, ill, and wounded service members and helping them pursue recovery through sport.

Feats of accomplishment:

Julie: I had the privilege of supporting our nation’s top athletes while working for the US Olympic Committee/US Paralympics. Creating opportunities for everyone to push their physical limits and redefine what is possible is a mission I care deeply about.

Sam: I was a Navy Helicopter Pilot for over 11 years and flew in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as humanitarian support in Hatti and New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.

Several years ago I starred in a documentary series and commercial featured on ESPN called The Unstoppable Tour which was sponsored by EAS Nutrition. I competed in 30 different sports on 30 consecutive days in 30 different cities. This included swimming the Hudson Bay, climbing in Zion, playing football with Larry Fitzgerald, surfing, boxing, running a marathon and on day 26 I got to ride with Mark Weir, Ben Cruise and Jason Moeschler at the “Ranch” in Novato. The goal was to promote proper nutrition and importance of living a healthy lifestyle. This experience not only changed my life but it renewed my passion for riding bikes.

Phobias:

Sam: SNAKES! I won’t go near them.

Julie: Fear of missing out….Squirrel!

Unusual Experiences:

Sam: Despite not watching much TV, Sam is obsessed with College Football, specifically The University of South Carolina football (where he did his undergrad). Julie has reluctantly embraced this fanatical embarrassment, and even included a lifelong promise of support in their wedding vows.

 Julie: On our first date (me learning to surf) I unintentionally strangled Sam with my leash while he was pushing me into a wave. So other than looking like a drowned rat myself, I nearly killed my future husband. Romantic.


Favorite WTB product:
Julie: I love the Vigilante and Trail Boss combo

Sam: The American flag inspired Semper Fi Volt saddle. It’s an incredible design on everyone’s favorite saddle, and hey, proceeds go to a great cause!

Favorite Ride:

When we lived in SOCAL it was Big Laguna Trail/Noble Canyon. The ride is unusual for the area as it takes you through evergreen forests and meadows before heading back to the sandy dry desert and rock gardens.

Now that we are nomads we are constantly on the search for that next fast and loamy ride!


Background, how’d you get into riding, what kept you going with it?

Sam: I was into BMX as a kid but I bought my first bike from my High School track coach to get around when I went to college. I rode that bike into the ground but after that, I went through long periods of not riding at all while I was deployed overseas. When I finally was stationed back on the west coast I took two weeks of leave, bought a new bike and drove across the country, trying to hit all the top riding spots along my route. I thought I knew what riding was until I had my first experience riding with Weir, Moeschler and Cruz. They completely changed the way I rode and how I looked at mountain biking. It has been my favorite thing to do ever since.

Julie: I moved to Colorado from western NY in 2007 which opened a whole new world of activities and introduced me to adventurous friends to try them with.   My very first ride EVER was Slickrock. I endo’d hard within the first five minutes which miiiiight have scared half of my group enough to make them turn around. I continued, finished the ride, and have been hooked ever since.   For me, mountain biking combines all things that excite me; physical and mental challenges, exploring the great outdoors, scars, dirt and post-ride beers!

Tube or Tubeless, why?

Tubeless!!!! And if I could figure out a way to avoid throwing a tube in my pack, I’d do that too. Just say NO to tubes!

3 most important things to bring with you on a ride?
Julie: The Grom-dog, snacks, and a sense of adventure if you’re riding with Sam. We are normally out WAY longer than expected due to Sam’s desire to “explore” on and off trail and we need the snacks just for survival sometimes;-) Ask Grommet, we accidentally took her the wrong way on her first training ride as a pup, adding miles to the adventure.
 
Craziest thing you’ve seen or witnessed on a ride?
Sam: #1 Witnessing a near-death deer experience for Julie on the Monarch Crest trail in CO. We were bombing a ridgeline when out of nowhere, a buck streaked across the trail within feet of hitting her. That buck never stood a chance!

 #2 Watching Mark Weir duct tape Team Semper Fi member and double amputee Dan Riley’s prosthetic legs to the pedals of his tandem mountain bike and shred the Ranch with Dan locked in, no matter what happened!

Most important lesson to teach the groms?
Earn your turns! Volunteer, build and maintain trails. and CLIMB!…it’s more rewarding for you and others if you’ve gotten your hands dirty and put in the sweat equity.

Anything you’d like to plug, courtesy of WTB’s blog?

The Semper Fi Fund and Team Semper FI

The Semper Fi Fund provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to post 9/11 wounded, critically ill and injured members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, and their families, ensuring that they have the resources they need during their recovery and transition back to their communities.

Rated one of the top veteran non-profits in the US. Focused on using donations properly, with only 6% overhead.

www.openspacesmallplace.com

Instagram and Facebook: @openspace.smallplace

Our personal travel blog and social medial pages that keep our friends and families in the loop. Through our lifestyle we hope to inspire others to live life to the fullest in whatever way possible. 

www.jtickledesign.com

Julie’s design and photography website.

Bikepacking in Nepal- From the Beginning

28 March, 2017

WTB Employees Set Out for Nepal


Following Taipei Cycle Show, WTB employees Clayton Wangbichler (public relations) and Will Ritchie (drop bar OEM sales) are bikepacking through the Khumbu and Gaurishankar regions of Nepal. The group will fly into Lukla, Nepal where they will combine a Gokyo trek with a hopeful shot at the Rolwaling Valley over Tashi Laptsa Pass at just shy of 19,000 feet. They will connect the greater Everest region to Kathmandu in a trip to raise funds through a Dutch NGO to help rebuild Nepal from its disastrous 2015 earthquake.

The bikes will be equipped with WTB's newly launched Ranger 2.25 29” TCS Tough tires, providing a reliable multi-condition compliment to the diversity of terrain and weather the group will face. Following the trip, each Pinnacle bike will be auctioned off with funds donated to the Smart Shelter Foundation, a Dutch NGO with a 2015 earthquake rebuild program.

Follow the Instagram takeover from March 27th – April 10th.

@wildernesstrailbikes

@evans_cycles

Intrigued by bikepacking in Nepal? It'll likely involve a situation where the bike is bigger than the cargo area of the plan. Somehow, they make it fit.

Safety first when flying to "the world's deadliest airport" in Lukla, Nepal. 

Tough, tough, tough. Everything in Nepal is tough. It only made sense for us to bring along TCS Tough tubeless tires. Especially the new Ranger 2.25.

We attracted quite the crowd of onlookers as we loaded up our bikes and headed out.

How to get in the good graces of baggage officials in Nepal: let them ride your bike.

 

 The side of bikepacking that is rarely shown, yet makes up for a large part of the experience. 

We stopped to get some momos (Tibetan dumplings) for lunch and the kids came running to our bikes. 

WTB's drop bar category manager show us how to get it done while FULLY loaded. Guess how many pounds he's carrying?

Ben Mills on the descent directly outside of the Lukla airport. Mellow sections like this one were scattered between steep and uneven steps.

Everything is blooming here in the Khumbu region of Nepal! 

Inspiring a future Nepalese sender. This little boy cried with laughter every time he squeezed the tires. He understands the importance of tubeless. 

James Olsen, product manager for Pinnacle Bikes, brought along a Sharpie for the kids to draw all over his bike. Looking forward to what it looks like at the end of the trip!

Road block! Yak says, "You shall not pass!" Nerd alert. 

Lessons Learned While Pedaling in Search of Steelhead

27 March, 2017

Words by Brian Ohlen a.k.a Spoke'n'Fly

I’ve spent the past ten weeks on my bicycle, pedaling from Canada to Mexico in search of steelhead trout. The goal was to catch one of these magnificent creatures in Washington, Oregon and California. Mother nature had different plans. While I did find time to fish in all three states, nearly constant rain storms in Oregon and northern California blew out most of the rivers leaving them high and muddy...unfishable. My luck changed in California both in terms of fish and weather where I found a beautiful, native steelhead complimented by the first sunny skies in weeks. Finding success in the 11th hour, on a gravel bar in NorCal was an experience I’ll never forget. What surprised me the most however, were the unintended lessons and adventures that happen any time one takes on an adventure of this kind.

  • The kindness of humanity expresses itself during a bike tour. One of the most unexpected parts of this tour has been how helpful, kind and generous random folks have been along the way. This has come in the form of a bed to sleep in, a hot shower at the end of a rainy day, a guided fishing trip, a beer in exchange for a story, or directions to a secret fishing spot. In everyday life, we often don’t see acts of kindness to this degree. There is something about being on a bike that interests people and encourages interaction. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that bike tourists are somewhat vulnerable. People simply love lending a hand, and it has been my sincere pleasure to let them.

  • Beware the skunk. He stalks at night, sniffs at tents, and helps himself freely to fruit pies.
  • The first mile is the hardest. For the first two weeks of the trip, I was joined by my brother and another friend. That moment when they headed back home in the truck, and I pedaled off alone in a strange, unfriendly town was mentally, the hardest part of the whole trip. The phrase, “what the hell am I doing out here” kept echoing through my brain as I pedaled into the wind and drizzle that day. Thankfully, the necessities of the road soon took my mind off this, and thoughts of camp and food soon took precedence. 

  • One day at a time. Before leaving on this adventure, the thought of the trip as a whole seemed overwhelming. There were so many unknowns I’d face in the next 10 weeks that trying to plan them all out ahead of time was impossible and a little stressful. Once I got on the road though, I found that thinking mostly in the present, and two or three days into the future was I needed to worry about. Using this technique, the challenges at hand were indeed manageable.

  • Never pass by a bakery without stopping. While it may come as surprise based on the heft of my touring rig (well over 100 lbs), I am fairly conscious about minimizing weight and bulk. Sometimes I catch myself passing up certain food simply because I don’t want to carry the extra weight. The nice thing about touring the Pacific coast is that there are plenty of opportunities to restock. This means it’s possible to purchase that second ham and cheese croissant for later in the day, and stock up again tomorrow. You won’t regret it!

  • Tubeless tires for touring? Absofreakinglutely! I’ve ridden over 2,000 miles on a single pair of WTB Horizon Road Plus Tires WITHOUT INSTALLING A TUBE!!!!! Yes, you read that correctly. I didn’t get a single flat on a 10 week tour from Canada to Mexico. Certainly, there were pieces of glass and gravel that cut the tire, but the TCS system healed them easily. On top of that, the tires are fast rolling, soft riding, and float over squishy terrain. I would without a doubt recommend the this system for loaded touring, gravel riding, city commuting, whatever. Trust me.

  • The Beach Boys were right. I spent three idyllic days in Santa Cruz. After an afternoon surfing I was ready to trade in my bike for a longboard and wetsuit. Growing up in South Dakota I wasn’t exposed to this beach lifestyle. I’m starting to see what so agreeable to this California beach living thing!
  • Bus drivers are worse than truckers. Seriously, school bus drivers consistently provided the closest calls on the road. Lame.

Taipei Cycle Show Display Bike #3: STINNER Frameworks - Refugio

24 March, 2017

Each element of a Stinner’s fabrication is tirelessly and lovingly crafted in a process where each step exudes passion from its maker – wheel creation, frame prep, welding, paint, and final assembly resulting in bicycles renowned for their second-to-none aesthetic while also boasting versatility, simplicity, and irrefutable functionality. Details cleverly bolster cleanliness.

The Refugio is named after a tyrannicaly epic climb north of Santa Barbara, starting from shattered single lane pavement and punching skyward, peaking out 3,700 something feet later. Augmenting its climbing origins, the Refugio name also echoes of the high alpine shelters dotting the mixed terrain surfaces and stradas in the Maritime Alps – a versatile terrain where this Stinner shines as well, broadening its usage into a category defying nature.

WTB is incredibly thankful to showcase new Exposure 32 Road TCS tires on Stinner Frameworks’ beautiful Refugio. Just as the Refugio is too adeptly capable to be sentenced to singular usage, the Exposure 32 joins its 30 and 34mm siblings in redefining high-end road usage to beyond pacelines and time trails, begging the question of what can’t a supple road tubeless tire tackle through the Exposure 32’s smooth riding all-weather inspired tread pattern.

WTB would also like to thank White Industries for their continued help in ensuring we always have a way of displaying our newest products. The White Industries CLD hubs were a perfect final touch for such an awing bike.

Taipei Cycle Show Display Bike #1: Tina Kuo's Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod Team

23 March, 2017

The Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod Team brings space age futuristic performance to endurance riding by melding oversized high modulus carbon fiber responsiveness with the tirelessly smooth riding attributes favored by distance riders. From Tour of Flanders to the highest intensity time trial, there is little that the Synapse Hi-Mod can’t overcome.

 

This ground up, no-compromise build for Tina Kuo, head of WTB’s Taiwan Office, boasts progressively wide WTB Ci24 tubeless carbon rims supporting high thread count WTB Exposure 30 TCS tires, again blending lightweight efficiency with an effortlessly supple ride quality. A fully electronic Shimano Di2 Dura Ace and XTR drivetrain combines speed with range while a color-matched WTB High Tail Carbon saddle ties race inspired aesthetics to irrefutable comfort.

 

WTB is honored to highlight the duality of the Exposure 30’s intent on the Cannondale Synapse - a bike that is equal parts light, fast, smooth, and tireless – mirroring the intent of the Exposure 30mm high-end road tubeless tire.

 

Taipei Cycle Show Display Bike #2: Pinnacle Ramin 4

23 March, 2017

The Ramin brings thoughtful details to the no-nonsense simplicity of 29ers furthering functionality through attention to detail that emphasizes interchangeability with modern design cues. Twin down tube inner bottle bosses allow for a tighter, curved seat tube – shortening the modernized chain stay while still allowing for 3 water bottle capability. A 44mm head tube speaks to any fork compatibility while a 135mm rear quick release provides ease in wheel replacement while touring globally. Combined with a solid, tried and true Shimano 2x11 drivetrain, the Pinnacle Ramin 4 provides an excellent platform for dependable and capable off-road touring. 

Following Taipei Cycle, a group consisting of James Olsen, Ben Mills, Clayton Wangbichler, and Will Ritchie will bikepack the Khumbu region of the Himalaya. The group will fly into Lukla, Nepal where they will combine a Gokyo trek with a hopeful shot at the Rolwaling Valley over Tashi Laptsa pass at just shy of 19,000 feet. If successful, they will connect the greater Everest region to Kathmandu in a trip to raise funds to rebuild Nepal from its disastrous 2015 earthquake.

Each bike will be equipped with newly launched WTB Ranger 2.25 29” TCS Tough tires, providing a reliable multi-condition compliment to the diversity of terrain and conditions the group will face. After the trip, each Pinnacle bike will be auctioned off with funds donated to Smart Shelter, a Dutch NGO with a 2015 earthquake rebuild program.

Follow the Instagram takeover from March 27th – April 10th

@wildernesstrailbikes

@evans_cycles

Pivot's New Phoenix Team PadLoc Grips

14 March, 2017

Words by Jeremiah Newman (he's also the super shredder in the photos)

When WTB launched PadLoc grips, they became a lot like 29” wheels. Some people LOVE them, and some people have an unfounded reservation about them, as if it were Hitler himself that came up with the idea. The only thing wrong with that is that all the haters of PadLoc have never even tried the grips. If the industry dismissed every little innovation that popped up on their computer screen, then we wouldn’t be riding the modern super machines that are today's bikes. Thankfully, there are some who have been intrigued by them enough to go out on a limb and give 'em a go. Those folks need no further convincing.

Chris Cocalis, owner and CEO of Pivot cycles, is arguably one of the smartest, most innovative bike designers in the industry. He tried the grips and loved them so much that he wanted to put them on all his bikes. He even took it one step further by designing his own version of the grip with Pivot’s very own name and logo. A man of that stature doesn’t just put his company’s logo on any old bicycle part. It must be thoroughly vetted and truly needs to be the best product available.

In my opinion, WTB PadLoc grips are just that. The best grips available! I’ve been riding PadLoc grips for over a year now, and Pivot’s own Phoenix PadLoc grips for about three months...they're incredible! They are light, squishy, comfortable, and glue the rider to the bars, even in the pissing rain. If hand fatigue is an issue, then these are the solution. The difference for me has been incredible!

Before you dismiss PadLoc grips as the devil himself, I simply urge to try them before you come to any conclusions. Head down to your local Pivot dealer today and give them a squish. You never know, your next bike could be a 29” wheeled, oval chain ring spinning, electronically controlled piece of space age plastic with a little bit of PadLoc squish!

1 2 3 46 Next »