MTB Changed My Life | Megan's Story

We'd like introduce you to Megan, another fellow MTB sister who grew up on a bike, took a break, then jumped back into it later in life. Her story captures the essence of why we all love riding bikes and how it can make our world a better place.

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My name is Megan Van Gundy and Mountain Biking Changed My Life.  I have lived in Utah my whole life and have been riding bikes since I could walk.  I have always had a love of cycling and it just became more passionate when I got into mountain biking.  

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I Was Hooked!

"The Thrill of just being on a bike in the mountains is good, but to be on a bike in the mountains with other people who love the same sport I do is beyond words."

Last summer I discovered WomenMTB on Facebook and after my first group ride with them I was hooked.  The thrill of just being on a bike in the mountains is good, but to be on a bike in the mountains with other people who love the same sport I do is beyond words.

Mountain biking allows me to challenge myself both physically and mentally in a way that I never thought possible.  When I’m on the trail and I come to a hill that I have to climb I tell myself, “I can do this!  I’ve got this!” then I proceed to accept the challenge.  When I’m on a descent I have to constantly remind myself to stay in control and not to let the thrill of going fast down a mountain distract me from being safe.

I recall the first MTB clinic I attended with the WomenMTB as well.  It was with this clinic that I learned how to mountain bike.  I learned how to corner, where my body position should be when climbing and descending, and my seat post position when climbing and descending, among other skills.

I have always been known for my bubbly, outgoing personality.  Towards the end of the summer last year, my parents made a comment that they had noticed that I was happier and more bubbly than normal and wanted to know what was different.  When I told them all about my mountain biking adventures and how much fun I was having that’s when I realized how it changed me.  I enjoy socializing and learning from others and getting outside is a bonus.  My aunt says that I have even influenced her to get out and ride.  She has a special bike that is custom made for her and all though it isn’t a mountain bike, she gets out and rides as much as she can.  She isn’t shy about sharing her adventures with me and is always pushing herself to try harder and get better at riding.

I can’t thank WomenMTB and Bingham Cyclery enough for the rides and support.  I want to specially thank Raeshell Sutherland and Angela Wright for their support and love of mountain biking.  Thanks.

Angela Wright (Binghams Cyclery), Jane Simmons (WomenMTB Ride Leader), Raeshell Sutherland (WomenMTB Queen Bee)

Angela Wright (Binghams Cyclery), Jane Simmons (WomenMTB Ride Leader), Raeshell Sutherland (WomenMTB Queen Bee)

Mothers Day for Cycling Moms

I know, you are thinking what we all have been thinking the last week.

'How on earth do I find a gift that represents how much I love her?'

We are here to help.  Here is a little list of awesome goods that the mom in your life will LOVE brought to you by Sandra the marketing guru at Bingham Cyclery and mom of 4.

$25 and Under at Binghams

Here are a few gifts I have gotten in the past that were completely amazing, useful, and won't break the bank. 

Tire Levers: These are a fantastic and every cyclist needs a good pair.  Mine are Lime Green and I got my mom some Hot Pink ones for her birthday.  The fun colors make for a great gift and the price of $3.49 it would be silly to pass them up.

CO2 Pump: Something that I just can't live without in my MTB backpack and my road saddlepack is a quick way to fill up a new tire instead of spending 20 minutes with a tiny hand pump.  If she doesn't know how to use one you can give her a bonus gift by attending one of our shop clinics where our team can teach her how to use her new pump and change her tire!

Water Bottles:  You can find our water bottles on line but if you want something super special check out our selection of custom bottles in each of our shops.  They are fun, stylish, and she will be grateful for the hydration on her ride.

As a side note, these would make a great 'container' for some of the other smaller items we have in stock as well!

We have plenty of there things in this price range that would make wonderful gifts, like multi tools, tubes, gloves, and socks these were just some of my favorite picks.  They make great stand alone gifts but are also easy to pair with other gifts.

Accessories

If your mom already has all the mandatory items for cycling you might be looking for something a little more fun and we have what you need!

Cycling Chicks Jewelry:  This stuff is just gorgeous and super creative.  You will find everything we cary in bright pink boxes near the checkout at our Ogden and Sandy stores.  They are hard to miss and as a mom pining for one of my own I can safely say if she likes bikes she will LOVE something from this collection!

Hats:  It doesn't matter if I've just been cruising pavement or getting dirty on the trail, I usually don't want to be seen with helmet hair.  Hats are a total life saver and if you have one that looks good you won't mind running a few errands on the way home.  We have a huge selection of hats online and in all of our shops.  Come find one that your mom will love! I personally love the green and grey combo on this one.

 

Clothing

Every girl wants to look good, especially when we are working hard and sweating our guts out. That last part might just be me but oh well.  We have some wicked sweet Items in the clothing department that I'm sure your mom needs!

Fox Ripley SS Jersey:  This is by far one of the comfiest jersey's I've ever ridden in and its cute enough that you can get away with wearing it around town.  We have them in stock at the stores and online.  Bonus points because it's actually on sale right now!

Binghams 2017 Kit:  This is just gorgeous!  it is super comfy fabric and the chamois is hands down the best around.  Plus, you can't get much better than having one of the most popular local trails on your flashy new kit!

While you are at it you might just need to grab yourself one because they are that awesome! We have bibs, shorts, and 2 different styles of top in women specific kits.

Bikes

The Holy Grail of Mothers Day gifts would be a new bike!  At Binghams Cyclery we have bikes to fit everyones needs.  We have amazing commuter bikes, fast and comfy road bikes, tandem bikes, and mountain bikes that rip up the trails.  So find out what the mom in your life is looking for and come grab one for her at Binghams!  Here is a list of a few that you might want to have a look at.

Alibi: This rad ride is great for commutes, especially considering that it has a tire your mom will never have to worry about getting a flat on.

Ruby: This road bike is not only sexy its totally comfortable.  The new technology from specialized makes this bike a dream to ride.

Rhyme:  If the mountains are calling this bike just might be the ticket.  The suspension is killer and if you want a little more fun you can go with the 6fattie version that feels like a Cadillac.

This is by no means an extensive list of what your sweet cycling momma might like for Mothers Day so swing by one of our shops and have a look around.  We have a little bit of everything that anyone who loves bikes would want.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angela | Employee Spotlight

This year we really want you to feel like family when you walk into one of our stores.  Really, we do.  Without our amazing customers we wouldn't be able to do what we do so we decided to let you get to know us a little better.  A few times a month we will be doing a little employee spotlight so you know us when you come in!

To start off with we would love to introduce you to our fearless leader Angela Wright.  She is a rockstar on the road, on the dirt, and in the store.  She keeps us moving forward and is in the process of bringing fabulous things to our cycling community.  Here is a little info she provided for us to share with you!

Location:  

Everywhere but most often the Salt Lake City store, she runs this place!

Dream Bike:

S-Works Camber 29

Current Ride:

Ruby Expert, S-Works Stumpjumper 650b, Epic HTAlibi Sport

Experience: 

I've been riding bikes for 25+ years and can positively state that they have shaped every major aspect of my life. My first job was at a bike shop at the age of sixteen and have lead bike tours, wrenched on a cross-country tour, and stayed connected ever since.

I also love building community. I'm a current board member of the Salt Lake Valley Trails Society where we are actively working to get more trails built in the valley, advocating for trail usage, and creating long-term, sustainable maintenance plans.  I believe wholeheartedly in supporting non-profit organizations in our community and have created a formal giving program that benefits those who support our focus areas. I am proud of the work we've done building the Bikes for Tykes program alongside WomenMTB, Mountain Bike Enthusiasts of Utah and The Bicycle Collective where we raise money to get underserved kids on bikes. Last, but certainly not least, my heart sings when we get more women and girls on bikes! That's why I've made a point to support the Little Bellas program here in Utah which is expanding beyond it's Park City program to include Draper in 2018; have partnered with WomenMTB to create women's mountain bike clubs where women can come together, ride bikes and build community; and have made a point to create and support women-specific clinics to bolster confidence and to bridge introductions to new friends. 

Why I Love To Bike Where I Live: 

For the same reasons that I LOVE where I live! Access to the mountains and desert and hundreds of miles of single track, dirt roads, paved roads and wilderness. It's genuinely hard to beat. Add in some great friends (both new and old), my cool 4-year old daughter, and we've got a recipe for an amazing experience. As a Utah native who moved away for almost a decade, there's no where else that I'd want to live (well, unless someone wants to transport me to Europe for a few years... but I'd always come back home!). 

If you want to get to know Angela a little better and see more of what she is all about you can check her out on social media or better yet, stop by and introduce yourself.

Bike Bucket List: Bob Saffell

The MTB and Gravel world has no shortage of bucket list events, events that sell out in minutes, events that require lotteries, events your co-workers ask you if you have done once they find out you ride bicycles. Most of these events take at least 5 hours to complete some take 12+. The common theme I try to share with people is that, if you have one of these events on your calendar, there are many ways to be prepared, hire a coach, or don’t, ride your bike, a lot. Rest, a lot. Race, a lot. Wait, what? Yes, RACE, a lot. We have so many options in Utah for dirt racing there are so many options. The InterMountain Cup, The GRO Races, The MidWeek Series, The Weekly Race Series, The Mt Ogden Series, The Wild Horse, etc…  Participating in these events will help you prepare for that MTB Stage Race, That Dirt Road Race in the Sky, That P2P Race in PC or whatever floats your boat. Racing multiple times before these big events will help you in the below ways;

  1. Racing is way better than intervals, always, forever.

  2. Racing helps you work out bike position and preferences, Riding fast is NOT the same as racing.

  3. Racing often helps you alleviate the race day nerves.

  4. Racing often helps you work out and refine your pre, during, and post race nutrition.

  5. Racing often gets you out there, pushing yourself and meeting like minded fools.

Keep your eyes peeled to the Bingham Cyclery Peak Fasteners Facebook page, as we will have a presence at most of these events, come hang out with us, pre ride with us, hit group rides with us.

Bikes are Fun

-Bob

Editors Note: Bob Saffell is the captain of our Bingham Cyclery-Peak Fasteners Team and an all-around good guy.

 

Community: January WomenMTB Clinic

Last year we made some steps to bring about a whole new chapter to the Bingham Cyclery Family.  We have started working together with the WomenMTB club to strengthen and grow the community of female cyclists in Northern Utah.   This past week we had the opportunity to host the first of many events specifically to help women grow their knowledge and love for biking.

 

In January we were honored to have Rae Sutherland the brains behind the WomenMTB club and one of our Wasatch Women Club group ride leaders bring Christine Dern in to teach ladies basic trailside maintenance like changing a flat and fixing a broken chain.  They also shared lots of tips on what to carry in your pack ideal psi for your ride and tons of other great info.

Christine Dern raced downhill in 2005 then stopped, started back up again in 2011 through 2013, she went pro in 2011. She was Utah rider of the year in 2011 in the Cycling Utah Magazine. She has raced in Peru.  She is the bike ambassador for And She's Dope Too. She works for Competitive Cyclists and also is a brand rep for 5.10. She races for Rude Boys. Lives and breaths bikes, skis and dabbles in much more.  

Rae Sutherland has raced a handful of enduro races. Won, "queen of the mountain" title at her second ever enduro race in Washington State. This just means she was the fastest overall female time in the longest leg of the race. She has been riding as long as she can remember and is certified as a MTB coach through PMBIA (Level 1 Certified). 

We are so excited to continue working with WomenMTB on future projects and hope you will all join us!

Gear Review | 2017 Specialized Rhyme Comp Carbon 6Fattie

Rider:  Abby Railton 5’4”, 165 lbs, upper  intermediate, enjoys fast descents, challenging climbs, and stopping to enjoy the view.

Bike: Specialized Rhyme Comp Carbon 6Fattie, Small frame

Trails ridden for test:

Round Valley Trail System (Matt’s Flat, Seventy 101, Rambler, Rademan’s Ridge,

Backslide), High Star Ranch Trail System, Bob’s Basin Freeride Trails, Trailside Bike Park, WOW Trail

Bike set up:

The first thing I noticed about this bike was the weight. The complete bike, with a stock set up, weighed in right around 30lbs. I knew it was going to take a little

getting used to. The awesome guys at the Downtown Bingham Cyclery store set me up using the auto sag feature on the RockShox Monarch rear shock to approximately 30% and 30% on the RockShox Yari fork. Ultimately, I left the suspension tuned to the factory recommendation for my weight and trail desires. I wasn’t able to max the suspension out on the trails I was riding.

Set up with tubes, I began testing the bike at 15psi. My own personal desire to climb more effectively lead me to run the tires at approx. 18psi, which definitely helped me climb quicker. This did, however, make the bike significantly less playful and grippy on the downhill.

The ride:

I spent my time on this bike riding trails I’m so comfortable on that I could ride them with my eyes closed. Doing this gave me the best understanding of how the bike reacted differently than other bikes I’ve ridden. I immediately noticed how responsive the bike was. Expecting a behemoth, this bike is a pleasant surprise. I found it nimble, responsive, and easy to maneuver around sharp turns, through tight trees, and up rocky climbs.

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It took a lot of the “thinking” out of riding for me. I found myself able to maintain conversation through rock gardens that would normally require my full attention. It increased my confidence to not overthink tricky downhill sections. Its upright geometry was both a blessing and a curse, I found my shoulders, neck, and back staying loose during the entire week I had the bike. However, because of that same upright geometry, I found it hard to get behind the balance of the bike without feeling like I was sitting on my tire. The lack of range of motion made steep switchbacks and drops a little harrier for me. As I finished up my test, I wondered if lowering the handlebars below the spacers on the headset would have helped solve this issue. I also found myself striking my pedal in places I don’t normally. After some research, I found I wasn’t the only one with comments on the low bottom bracket. This issue led me to be grateful I wasn’t riding it on desert trails where clearance would be a critical factor in how I was able to ride the bike.

All in all, I enjoyed my time on this bike. I felt like I was able to have a lot of fun with

it. I would definitely suggest this bike for someone who is looking for a bike to build

their confidence, especially on rockier, looser terrain.

Bikes are Fun, Racing is Stupid –Bob Saffell

In and around the world of racing your bicycle with Bob.

I ride 5-6 days a week and race, probably close to 40 times a year. MTB Cross Country, MTB Endurance, CycloCross and occasional Gravel Grinder. (I tried fat bike racing for the first time in January 2016, it almost ruined me, and so, I will stick with fat bike riding.)

I race because I enjoy it, I enjoy pushing myself and seeing what I can accomplish. I race because the community of racers is awesome. I race because, occasionally I have that event where everything comes together and I feel strong, fast and smooth, and occasionally I may win, or I might finish in the back of the pack, but that “perfect race” feeling is 2nd to none. Ok, I admit it, I have won a few races over the years and that too is fun.

Racing introduced Lyna and I to some of our best friends since we moved to Utah in 1998. Racing then led to joining a team, then starting a new team with a few friends. That team, Scalded Cats Racing, aka Bingham Cyclery-Peak Fasteners, has grown and become quite a force within cycling in Utah. We’ve had national champions in many disciplines as well as a masters world champion. We are regular at regional MTB events and local CX events. More importantly we have a large footprint in advocacy.

We have team members that serve on the Utah NICA board (incoming president included). I myself was recently voted in as a member of the MTB Committee with USA-Cycling. We have representation at the Utah Cycling Association, we have many volunteer coaches for NICA, we have team members who help teach kids to bike with Basin Recreation in Park City, we have team members who lead group rides and clinics for newcomers, we travel together and suffer on the bike and laugh a lot off the bike. Oh, we also have donuts, bacon and beverages.

I will be writing here a few times a month to tell everyone about racing in Utah, racing in the region, USACyclings offers and challenges as well as how Bingham Cyclery supports these efforts.

Happy Trails…

Editors Note: Bob Saffell is the captain of our Bingham Cyclery-Peak Fasteners Team and an all-around good guy.

Gear Review: 2017 Specialized Rhyme Comp Carbon 650b

Tested and Reviewed by: Gina Grapentine

RIDER: 5'7 150lb I would consider myself and upper intermediate rider. I likes fast flow trails, smaller drops and jumps, and rocky downhill terrain.

LOCATION OF TEST RIDES: Corner Canyon (Ann’s/Potato Hill, Rush, Canyon Hollow, Ghost Falls) 18 Road trails (Zippity-Do-Da, Joe’s Ridge/MoJoes, Kessel Trail, PBR--Pumps Bumps and Rollers, Prime Cut, Chutes and Ladders, Down Uppity) and Horsethief Bench loop.

SET UP: Frame: Size Medium.

I love the storage in the downtube, Specialized patented SWAT storage system allows enough room for a tube, small pump and repair kit, I even was able to fit a lightweight wind breaker in there but you will need a stick to fish it out! The bike was responsive and handled really well. I did not like the low bottom bracket, which makes for less clearance on the rocky desert climbs. The Medium sized frame felt a bit small for me, which at 5’7” is surprising.

  • RockShox Yari fork: The boost spacing (wider than normal fork to allow for a wider more stable hub and thus wider tires) and the 35mm stanchions made for a stiffer front end which inspired confidence on the downhill rides. The fork was easy to adjust for me; the motion control settings and rebound control make for quick and easy adjustments on the trail.

  • RockShox Monarch RT shock:  RockShox has developed an “autosag” feature on the shock which allows for easy set-up. Basically, you inflate the shock to maximum pressure, then have the rider sit on the bike, press a valve to release air which will automatically adjust to your weight--super cool! I felt like this gave me a great starting point and was able to then play with the rebound setting to fine tune it. I was a little disappointed that there are only 2 modes, pedal and open; I found myself switching between the two a lot. It would be nice if there was a "trail" mode so I could ride up and down without having to change it.

  • Sram Gx 1x11 drivetrain: The drivetrain is a bit on the heavy side but it works flawlessly!

  • Sram Guide Brakes: These brakes are quiet and responsive. The reach adjustment, that sets your brake lever distance from your handlebars, is easy to use and makes the setup more "custom".

  • Specialized Command Dropper Post: I was not impressed with the Command Dropper. You need to use your weight when bringing the seat back up and the post has set positions instead of being able to drop the seat anywhere you want it. Also, the dropper did not go low enough for the clearance I would like for steeper descents.

CLIMBING: This bike climbs pretty well considering is has 150mm of travel in the fork. The front end gets a bit light on steeper terrain but I found with adjustment in my position this became less of an issue.

DESCENDING: This bike can handle steep descents and takes corners with ease. I was impressed with the downhill handling of this bike and feel that it inspires confidence. I put it through drops, jumps and rocky sections. I never felt like I was going to go over the bars.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I feel like this bike would be a great bike for someone who is wanting to start pushing their skill level from beginner to intermediate/upper intermediate terrain. I was disappointed with the weight of this bike (28.8lbs), I thought it would be lighter because it does have a carbon frame but the components (drivetrain) are middle of the line so they are a bit heavier. That being said, you pay for weight so if you are looking for a budget carbon bike with mid-grade components that can perform, this is a great bike.

Gear Review: 2017 Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon 29

Writing & Photos: Steven Sadler, HIGHLINERS MTB Team Member

I first rode the Stumpy on the Big Mountain Trail at Snowbird.  The first thing I noticed was how nimble the bike was.  With a chain stay length of 437mm I could easily pick the front tire up to manual over bumps or take drops at very low speeds if needed.  The larger wheels also made rock gardens and rough trail a breeze.  A Butcher up front and a Slaughter in the rear, both 2.3”, gripped the dry Utah dirt without sacrificing rolling resistance.  Maybe not the best tire combination for wetter, slicker conditions, though.

Since I took the tram up at Snowbird and didn’t get a good test of how well the bike could pedal uphill I headed to a short 2 mile loop I’ve done a hundred times.  8 min and 35 sec later I had beaten my best time by over a minute.  The Race Face Aeffect transferred power to the ground efficiently and the bike didn’t noticeably bob even in the open position.  I was also surprised how much I enjoyed not having a pack on my back since the SWAT system held everything I needed.  A tube, some plugs, a CO2, and the integrated tool above the shock takes away any need to carry anything on your back. 

These first two rides had some technical terrain but were mostly buffed out dirt without any real hard hits on the suspension.  So I headed down to Moab with the HIGHLINERSmtb team to give the bike a go at some fast, hard hitting sandstone.  Day one was Porcupine Rim from Kokopelli.  Even though the bike held up to everything we threw at it it definitely hit its limit.  Repeated drops at speed overpowered the rear shock but in its defense I blindly trusted the auto sag when I should’ve added some pressure.  The steeper 67 degree head angle also made it a little less comfortable than a more raked out bike at higher speeds.  However, this didn’t stop me from being able to ride as fast as I wanted, hitting any of the drops I wanted, or being able to find the back side of every rock or feature that came my way.   As much as I loved having all my tools and spare parts in the downtube it does get a little noisy rattling around in there. 

Day two of the Moab trip was Mag 7 to Portal.  This is where I was really glad to have the 29” wheel.  Lots of bumps and ledges to roll up and down.  This is also where I could feel the weight of the rear aluminum triangle.  The front tire comes up so easily it was surprising how hard I had to pull to get the rear end up.  I was always able to get over every ledge I went for, there was just a little more effort involved. 

In the end, this is an extremely capable bike that can handle almost every style of riding.  Incredibly efficient pedaller on the up and the 29” wheels carry so much speed down.  I didn’t feel that this bike was any less nimble than a 27.5” with the exception of slow, steep, tight switchbacks.  If I had the bike longer I would’ve replaced the 750mm bar with a 780mm, added a few air tokens to the shock, and put some foam in the downtube to stop the rattling.  

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Check out the bike details here and learn more about the HIGHLINERS MTB Enduro team here.

KING OF THE MOUNTAIN: NEW ENDURO

Today, the all-new Enduro does it all, from steep, root-laden climbs to white-knuckle descents, taking it all in stride. Specialized added new lower bottom bracket heights, slacker head angles, and some of the shortest chainstays in the industry. Add it up, and this combination gives the bikes a signature handling characteristic that pushes the envelope of what we thought was achievable. And by combining this with refined travel lengths, the Enduro becomes a true trail destroyer.

Learn more here.

PINK BIKE: FIRST RIDE

Rumors about the new Specialized Enduro have been swirling about the internet for months, fueled in part by the emergence of a what looked like a photo of a bike based on the same radical one-sided design found on the Demo 8 DH bike. 

As it turns out, Specialized... read more.

More versatile than ever – The rider’s choice for the Enduro
— Enduro MTB Magazine

An authentic legend, the Specialized Enduro hasn’t just lent its name to the discipline but also majorly influenced the direction of trail riding. After the first Enduro 29 was launched three and half years ago, the American brand have now announced the latest incarnation of the bike. So has this model upheld or even introduced new standards?

Read more.