WFSGI Forum tackles sustainability, speed to market, need for supply chain evolution

HONG KONG (BRAIN) — From how to implement lean production to how to get product to market faster and increase the value of a product by reducing or repurposing manufacturing waste into new products or revenue streams, the World Federation Sporting Goods Industry’s third annual Manufacturers Forum discussed several challenges manufacturers, brands and retailers face in today’s consumer-driven global marketplace. The two-day conference is held this week in Hong Kong, where earlier this year the WFSGI opened an office to better service Asian members.

Scott forms joint ventures for distribution in Australia and New Zealand

GIVISIEZ, Switzerland (BRAIN) — Scott Sports SA has formed two joint ventures with Sheppard Industries to distribute Scott products in Australia and New Zealand. Sheppard Industries claims to tbe largest wholesaler of bikes and bike-related products in both countries. Scott Sports and John Struthers, the owner of Sheppard Industries, have entered into an agreement to establish two new jointly owned companies to be called Sheppard Cycles Australia, and Sheppard Cycles New Zealand

Saracen 2016 range highlights

Saracen has revealed its 2016 road and mountain bike lines. We’ve pulled together a few highlights from each range for you to ponder below.

Saracen’s much loved Kili Flyer model now has a longer stroke shock at the rear meaning you’ll get 130mm of travel rather than the 120mm of the current frame. Those looking for a complete Kili Flyer will only have one option, and it’s a pretty interesting one – the £3,699 Kili Flyer Elite packs Shimano’s latest XT M8000 groupset in 1x flavour, a factory spec Fox 34 Float 130mm fork up front and a matching Float EVOL shock in its frame. The wheels are Durox 27.5-inch models from partner brand Kore and are shod in some of the most interesting tyres we’ve seen for a while – limited edition tan wall Maxxis Ardents. Like them or loathe them, we think they’ll sell well. The package also includes a KS Lev remote dropper, with the claimed overall bike weight given as 12.87kg/28.4lb. 


The Saracen Kili Flyer Elite 2016

If you haven’t got the coin for that full build or want to build up a Kili Flyer your own way then Saracen also sells it as a frameset for a penny shy of £2,000 (Porsche not included).

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Easton goes wide with new ARC mountain bike rims

Easton today officially announced its new ARC aluminium mountain bike rims for riders that prefer to build their own wheels. The tubeless-ready rims will be offered in three different widths and two diameters, they’re impressively light, and their reasonable prices are within reach of mere mortals.

  • 20mm depth
  • Welded construction
  • 24mm, 27mm, or 30mm internal widths
  • 32-hole spoke drilling
  • 27.5in or 29in diameters
  • Claimed 27.5in weights: 425g (24mm); 475g (27mm); 490g (30mm)
  • Claimed 29in weights: 455g (24mm); 515g (27mm); 535g (30mm)
  • US$100 / £80 / €100 / AU$TBC
  • May availability

Easton’s new ARC rim specs are quite impressive, at least based on company claims


Easton says the ARC’s multiple rim widths are intended to fulfill the needs of a broad spectrum of riders, from XC to trail to enduro. And while the rim dimensions are much wider than anything else Easton has produced to date, advancements in aluminium extrusion, alloy, and heat treatment technology have brought the weights down.

According to Easton’s senior manager of product creation, Adam Marriott, the 24mm-wide ARC is in fact lighter than the rim used in the current 21mm-wide Haven.

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Best mountain bike disc brakes

As with any upgrade, when shopping for new disc brakes you first need to work out what you need or want from them, compared with what you have now. If it’s simply more power, for instance, you might be able to get that by upgrading to a larger rotor.

If your brakes used to be fine but have become unreliable, the levers or pistons are sticking, or they’ve lost power, don’t assume you need new stoppers. A thorough service/bleed/pad change might get them back to full working order for a fraction of the price. Even if your brakes have never felt great, it’s worth reading the relevant brake reviews here on BikeRadar. It’s a great way to see if your set is performing like it should or whether you’ve got a warranty case.

If you definitely need fresh brakes but your rotors and brackets are the right size, choose a brake that comes just as the lever/body, hose and caliper rather than buying extra rotors and mounts you don’t need.


When it comes to buying your new brakes, make sure they solve the problems you have with the old ones. Try as many different models on the trail (pester your mates) before buying to see how different they can feel and narrow down what you like. If you don’t like the lever feel or positioning of your current brakes, it might be worth investing in a set with bite point adjustment or cam style leverage changes. Read our reviews to check that these features live up to their promise though, because some are more ornamental than useful.

If your current stoppers feel wooden or lack fine control, look for brakes that get praised for excellent modulation. If you want more power, check out our dynometer readings. If you want to shed grams, have a look at the weights on our scales – you might be surprised at how these compare with the manufacturer’s figure. (NB: All brakes have been weighed, priced and tested with 180mm rotors and full post mount kit.) Remember that using a 160mm rather than 180mm front rotor can save up to 50g in bracket and rotor weight, though you will lose a little power.

If you want a brake that’s easy to look after at home, then check our long-term reliability reports, how easy they are to set up in the first place or bleed and service later down the line. Think about pads too – thankfully, many budget brake manufacturers are now smart enough to make their stoppers work with widely available Shimano or Avid pads. It’s still something that’s worth checking if you travel a lot with your bike though.

Key components of a disc brake

Best mountain bike disc brakes

  • Price: £100 / US$130 / AU$240
  • Weight: 485g
  • Power: 111m/s2
  • Price: £22.50 / US$61 / AU$N/A
  • Weight: 448g
  • Power: 77 m/s2
  • Price: £130 / US$220 / AU$240
  • Weight: 461g
  • Power: 147 m/s2
  • Price: £227.50 / US$273 / AU$450
  • Weight: 529g
  • Power: 135m/s2
  • Price: £229 / US$275 / AU$505
  • Weight: 397g
  • Power: 115m/s2
  • Price: £139 / US305 / AU$TBC
  • Weight: 405g
  • Power: 102ms2
  • Price: £210 / US$275 / AU$355
  • Weight: 474g
  • Power: 146m/s2
  • Price: £202.50 / US$250 / AU$420
  • Weight: 469g
  • Power: 109 m/s2

Also tested

Tester says:

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Fox Factory grows sales in 2014 despite dip in bike business

Port slowdown has little effect on fiscal-year earnings but is expected to have an adverse impact in early 2015.

Get a free issue of What Mountain Bike magazine

Get a free issue of What Mountain Bike magazine

What Mountain Bike magazine has got itself a new, all-singing, all-dancing app for iPhone and iPad users, and to celebrate, it’s giving away an issue of the magazine completely free.

All you have to do is download the What Mountain Bike app from iTunes and then select the December 2014 issue. If you choose to subscribe, you’ll also get the current issue of the magazine absolutely free, as well as getting a discounted price on the subscription – and you’ll never miss an issue.

What Mountain Bike is filled with in-depth kit reviews and inspiring features. It’s packed full of new products that have been ridden and rated each month. So whether you’re new to mountain biking or a seasoned veteran, it has the advice and insight to help you get the most out of the most of the.

The app is also packed with additional pictures and interactive content, making it ideal for anyone who loves mountain biking.

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Rolf Prima promotes Pete Moe to sales manager

EUGENE, Ore. (BRAIN) — Rolf Prima has promoted Pete Moe to sales manager, where he will also oversee international sales.

Zach Vestal joins Scott Sports as marketing manager for bikes

SALT LAKE CITY (BRAIN) — Zach Vestal. formerly of Mavic and VeloNews, is joining Scott Sports as its new bike marketing manager in the U.S. “Zach’s industry relationships and knowledge make him the perfect fit for the bike marketing position at Scott,” said U.S

How to choose a bike saddle

There are many different saddles on the market, and for good reason: there’s a huge variety of riders.

Choosing a saddle can be a challenge, but it’s worth putting the effort in to find the right one for you, and the key thing to look for is comfort – the more comfortable you are, the longer (and faster) you’ll be able to ride.

Unfortunately, saddle comfort is extremely subjective – ask a dozen riders what the most comfortable saddle is and you’ll get a dozen answers. This isn’t surprising – when you sit on a bike, your weight rests on a pair of bones collectively called the ischial tuberosity or, more familiarly, the sit bones. These are positioned differently in different riders.

Not only that, but depending on your riding style and bike set-up, you’ll experience pressure on different areas to the next rider.

How to buy a new saddle

Choosing the right saddle tends to be an iterative process – most experienced riders have tried a few before settling on a favourite. To avoid buying a succession of saddles, think about what it is with your current one that isn’t working for you.

If it’s just that it’s comfortable but knackered or just a bit heavy, then choosing a new one is fairly easy. The same saddle shape is usually available in a range of cost, material and weight variants, so upgrading within the same family is generally a safe bet.

A bigger challenge is replacing a saddle because it’s uncomfortable. This needs a bit of thought – try to pin down what it is that doesn’t work for you. If you feel you have to constantly correct your seating position, why not try a seat with a more pronounced dip to keep you in one place? Maybe it’s too wide and rubs your legs, or you like to sit on the nose but it’s hard and narrow? Use your observations of previous perches to narrow down your choice.


Figure out what it is you do and don’t like about your current saddle before choosing a new one

Once you’ve got a checklist, see if you can audition some likely candidates.

This might involve cadging rides on friends’ bikes or getting test rides at shop or manufacturer demo days. Some shops have lending schemes so you can get a few miles in before buying, and some manufacturers have 30-day ‘comfort guarantee’ schemes for risk-free purchasing.

What to look for in a bike saddle

There are variations between mountain bike and road cycling saddles – mountain bike saddles are usually made from stronger, more durable materials, and road bike saddles tend to be lighter, for example – but fundamentally, the things you need to consider to find one that suits you are the same.?


Mountain bike saddles need to be robust enough to cope with trail abuse

Here’s what you need to consider…


Most modern saddles use synthetic materials, although you’ll still find real leather on more expensive ones. The key thing is to make sure any seams, sticky bits or reinforcing panels don’t chafe. Mountain bike saddles are likely to suffer crashes, so a hard-wearing cover is essential.


The base of the saddle controls the basic shape and how springy it is. Several manufacturers produce different width or shaped shells for different physiques. The majority of saddles have a Nylon shell, but often there’ll be some carbon reinforcement. Really posh perches have all-carbon shells.

Grooves or cutouts

Some saddle shells have a groove in the centre or a hole cut out – this is designed to reduce pressure and heat around your sensitive veins and nerves.


This Specialized Rival saddle has a cutout in the centre to relieve pressure


Padding distributes pressure from your behind across the surface of the saddle. Polyurethane foam is the most common padding material – it comes in a range of densities to give firm or soft saddles. The crucial thing to remember is that while a soft, deep saddle might feel comfortable at first for a beginner, more contact and movement is likely to increase heat and discomfort the longer you’re in the saddle.


The padding in the Fizik Gobi is well placed and offers a good balance of firmness and comfort


The rails are the bars that the seatpost clamps onto under the saddle. Cheaper saddles use steel alloys, while titanium or carbon rails make for a lighter saddle. Single rail saddle and post systems are gaining ground in road cycling for their light weight and adjustability.

Extra details

You’ll find all sorts of other touches on saddles, from Kevlar-reinforced corners or plastic bumpers, to built-in mounts for tail lights or saddle packs.

By Emma on May 11, 2014 | Mountain Bikes
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