The Saddle Slingers and Their Steeds

The Saddle Slingers and Their Steeds

Written by Contender Bicycles, on April 12, 2022

This week from the Saddle Slingers: What we're riding!

If you haven't yet met the Saddle Slingers, allow me to introduce Madi, KJ and Sofia. These are the women of Contender who are heading for the ENVE Grodeo, a 92-mile gravel event in the heart of Utah summer. We'll be following their journey to the event. 

We'll give you a brief intro to the gals' bikes and their initial impressions. These bikes are set up with around riding here in Salt Lake City and the surrounding area. Salt Lake City urban gravel riding consists of riding road to singletrack, which can get steep, loose, and windy quick. The surrounding area is a fair bit tamer, though riders here still tend toward tires with a bit more tread, lower gearing, and a good helping of comfort. 

The gals have only just started training, so we'll have much more to discuss on this later as they make changes in their setups with the ENVE Grodeo in mind.

And if you haven't, check out who the Saddle Slingers are! You won't regret it.


Madi's OPEN UP bike - Saddle Slingers bike check

Madi's bike of choice is the OPEN UP. It is perhaps the go-to gravel bike in the shop, popular for those who want to maintain a road bike-like feel. It is quick feeling on smooth terrain which saves energy for when it gets rough out there! The 650b wheels are a great choice to avoid toe overlap on smaller bikes, but the wide 48mm tire has loads of grip in the corners without feeling too slow on the road. Learn more about Madi.

"My OPEN U.P is extremely light and the geometry and size feel like they perfectly fit my dimensions (reach, saddle height and body positioning). I love the way it effortlessly cruises on gravel and pavement. I would like to experiment with different gearing on this bike as a ramp up my training to see how different ratios affect my ride."

Frameset OPEN UP, size S, Custom Paint
Groupset Shimano Ultegra RX R8000
Gearing Shimano Ultegra 50-34t, 170mm crank, Shimano HG800 11-34t crankset
Wheelset ENVE G27 wheelset - 650b, ENVE Alloy Hubs
Tires Panaracer Gravelking SK - 650b x 48mm
Handlebar Easton EC70 AX, 40cm
Stem Easton EA50
Seatpost Easton EA50, 12mm setback
Saddle Most Lynx Air, 145mm
Accessories Rapha Bar bag, Shimano SPD Pedals



saddle slingers contender bicycles juliana quincy sofia gravel bike

Sofia's bike of choice is the Juliana Quincy, an all-arounder gravel frame that has plenty of mounts. SRAM Rival 1 is highly reliable when you're out in the middle of nowhere, with fewer things to go wrong. The Rapha bar bag comes in a relatively square shape, which makes it easy to load exactly as you need. Learn more about Sofia.

"The Quincy is my second bike from Juliana. I love that they’re a brand that focuses on encouraging women to enjoy the sport and put women in the spotlight in cycling. My Quincy is super quick to accelerate and comfortable enough to ride all day."

Frameset Juliana Quincy - size 52cm
Groupset SRAM Rival 1
Gearing Easton EA90 - 40t, 170mm crank, SRAM PG1150 cassette
Wheelset WTB EZR i23p 700c - DT Swiss 370 hubs
Tires Maxxis Ravager EXO, 700c x 40mm
Handlebar Easton EA50 AX, 42cm
Stem Easton EA50
Seatpost Easton EA50, 12mm setback
Saddle Ergon Women’s SR10
Accessories Rapha Bar bag, Shimano M540 Pedals, Arundel Stainless Steel Cages


kj bike contender bicycles juliana quincy saddle slingers

Another day, another Quincy. What can we say? The Juliana Quincy is a great bike! This one is built with a wide-range SRAM Eagle mountain bike cassette. Who doesn't want a low climbing gear? And SRAM Rival AXS is really nice, as a small click of a button is all that is needed for a different gear. Highly recommend electronic shifting. Learn more about KJ.

"The Juliana Quincy is light and responsive. I like that my build has 700c tires that make roll easily over chunkier, technical terrain – even when I’m missing my mountain bike on some harder gravel rides. I love that Juliana brings more women into the outdoor community, too, it makes me proud to support their brand."

Frameset Juliana Quincy - size 49cm
Groupset SRAM Rival AXS/GX Eagle AXS
Gearing SRAM XG1275 10-52t cassette, 170mm SRAM Rival AXS crank, 40t chainring
Wheelset CRD 400 carbon wheels - 700c
Tires WTB Raddler, 700c x 40mm
Handlebar Easton EC70 AX, 42cm
Stem Easton EA50
Seatpost Easton EA50, 12mm setback
Saddle Fizik Terra Argo X3 - 160mm
Accessories Contender Carbon Bottle Cages (Gloss), Shimano XT M8000 SPD Pedals


Have any specific questions about gear? Come find us, we'd love to show why we chose our gravel tires, our handlebars, and other gear.


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