Park Tool hires Karl Wiedemann

ST. PAUL, Minn.

Giant Contact SL Switch seatpost

Giant’s own brand dropper seatpost has been a regular feature on its trail bikes for a while and the latest aftermarket version is a usefully versatile twin routing option as long as you’ve got a 30.9mm seat tubed frame and are light on your saddle.

At 640g it’s lighter than most cheap dropper options but you only get 100mm of drop, which some testers didn’t feel was quite enough. The 30.9mm shaft diameter also restricts bike fitment but it can be rigged to run from the bottom of the post or the top, which is useful if you change your frame in the near future.

The internal routing is the usual intricate patience-testing faff but it’s reasonably tolerant in terms of cable tension so if you get it somewhere close the barrel adjuster on the remote lever should be enough to get it working. If you’re running it externally the top pull mechanism is very well sealed from filth but getting at the cable clamp involves dismantling the side tensioned seat clamp. Be sure to tighten the saddle clamp very tightly too otherwise it slips easily if you land or G out on it hard. It can be awkward to persuade into exactly the right angle too so take your time over setup.


The remote lever is easier to position neatly thanks to the flexible hose section that carries it over brake levers/shifters. The flip-up lever design needs a lot of pressure to get it moving even when new, and keeping it clean is essential to stop it becoming a thumb breaker.

  • Weight 640g
  • Drop 100mm
  • Diameter 30.9mm

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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Forest of Dean mountain bike demo days from Chain Reaction Cycles

Plannng to buy a mountain bike in 2015? Not based too far from the Forest of Dean? Here’s an opportunity you shouldn’t be missing out on.

Chain Reaction Cycles is holding two mountain bike demo days at the Pedalabikeaway trail centre in the Forest of Dean, on 14 and 15 March. Riders will be given the opportunity to test out the latest models from Cube, Nukeproof, Ghost and Vitus.

Pay £10 and you’ll get half a day of testing (9am-1pm or 1pm-5pm) or, for an extra fiver, you’ll be able to test bikes all day. An uplift will be on hand for those who want to try out longer-travel rigs, and every participant will leave with a Chain Reaction Cycle goodie bag.


You shouldn’t have to worry about packing lunch either; CRC will be hosting a barbeque to keep riders fuelled.

One thing though, BikeRadar accepts no responsibility for the financial ruin caused after a successful demo day!

Places are limited and participants will be chosen on a first come, first served basis. To register your place, visit the myraceentries website. Entries open at 5pm today (29 January).

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BRAIN to canvass Atlanta market by bike

ATLANTA (BRAIN) – Bicycle Retailer & Industry News editors and sponsors hit the road Tuesday for the first Dealer Tour of the year in Atlanta.

Gocycle is now a go for U.S. IBDs and e-IBDs

LONDON (BRAIN) — Six years since its introduction at the Taipei Cycle Show, the distinctive Gocycle e-bike is available for distribution in the United States.  “The profile of a successful bicycle shop for us is usually one that’s into different niche categories. They may have super-cool urban bikes, folding bikes and e-bikes. Those people do very well with Gocycle,” company founder Richard Thorpe said

New BRAIN issue looks at global pricing control, PeopleForBikes’ new cycling study and ‘hub’ retailing

LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. (BRAIN) — The March 1 issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News includes coverage of efforts to control international pricing, a landmark new study on cycling participation commissioned by PeopleForBikes, and a feature on bike retailers setting up shop in mixed-use “hub” environments

Jamis goes west with test-ride program

NORTHVALE, N.J.— Building on the success of its popular Bicycle Test Ride Experience program on the East Coast, Jamis Bicycles is broadening its reach by taking the program west of the Mississippi.

PeopleForBike releases initial findings of ridership study

Thirty-four percent of Americans 3 and older bicycled at least once in the past year, survey reports. BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — A new study commissioned by PeopleForBikes has found that roughly one in three Americans rode a bike at least once in the past year — a significantly higher rate of participation than previous research from other sources has shown.

Endura MT500 waterproof pant

Endura’s waterproof trousers are constructed from a 2.5-layer waterproof fabric, which avoids being unnecessarily rustly. Around the seat Endura has used a slightly thicker material, ideal for combating this area of wear on a garment designed to be worn in mucky conditions.

With fit being crucial, there are a number of stretch panels, notably above the seat at the back and across from the crotch to the top of the thighs on the front. The stretch at the back helps prevent the MT500s from falling down while pedalling (although they still do, a bit). At the front the articulation aids pedalling comfort.

The waist is elasticated and held in place with a drawstring. The stretch over the backside helps, but silicone gripper detailing inside the waist, or a belt, would help prevent the trousers from slipping down.


The cut of the legs is slim, helping to stop fabric flapping around too much when riding, and also meant we never needed trouser clips to keep the bottoms out of chainrings. There’s a zip running from mid-calf down to the ankle to make them easier to get on and off, although they’re still a bit tight to get over cycling shoes.

Breathability is where waterproof trousers will live or die. We preferred to wear three-quarter tights under them, as with regular bibs things can get a bit clammy. In all but the most aggressive sprints and climbing situations the material coped well with sweat, and proved a worthwhile barrier against rain, even after a few washes.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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The road to Paris-Brest-Paris Pt2

One of the more interesting quirks of taking on a personalised training plan from The Endurance Coach to target the 1200km Paris-Brest-Paris road ride in August has been the introduction of mountain biking to my life.

As a road rider of some 25 years standing I have consistently turned my back on the pleasures of the trail. It’s not that I ever had anything against the MTB crowd, indeed I have often looked on in awe at their downhill antics, but I never thought it was for me. After all, it’s enough of an effort just to keep my road bikes and kit clean without making things worse by deliberately seeking out filth.

That all changed when my coach Nick Thomas advised me that he would be scheduling weekly MTB rides into my winter training plan to add variety, keep me warm and help me work on my technical skills. With some trepidation I approached our friends on What Mountain Bike for a loan, borrowed a lovely Canyon Lux CF and, after a couple of brief forays into the hills around Bath, set off for the Brecon Beacons and a weekend of wide wheels, wild countryside and February snow.


Just to cut to the chase, anyone looking for tales of ‘sick drops’ and awesome handling skills should look away now, what you’re going to get here is the story of a rider tentatively picking their way around some relatively straightforward trails but, in doing so, beginning to learn that there is a whole other cycling world out there: one that’s great fun.

My MTB education actually began a couple of weeks prior to this trip, falling off within a minute of turning my bike away from the road and onto a steep, muddy downhill track to the south of Bath. Fortunately I was travelling at approximately 1mph, aware that I was completely out of my depth, when the tumble took place, so it was definitely more of a topple than a stack.

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