Ryan Littlefield
Owner

Bio
Gear

Starting at Contender Bicycles within a year of the store’s opening, Ryan worked for the shop throughout high school, college and while pursuing bike racing. In 1999, Ryan purchased Contender Bicycles and has continually worked on improving the shop into what it is today.

Contender Bicycles has focused on strong relationships with our customers, our community and within the cycling industry. Ryan’s knowledge of the bike industry and enthusiasm for cycling has helped build a team of employees that are critical in helping Contender Bicycles set the standard for service, expertise and selection.

Ryan brings to the shop over twenty years of experience in the bicycle industry. Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Ryan started racing and working in the industry at the age of sixteen. As a cyclist, he competed as a top regional rider with success on a national level both as a rider and a manager. Ryan helped develop and managed the most successful team to have ever come out of Utah. What started as a team of up-and-coming local riders turned into a launching pad for several top American professionals including David Zabriskie. With an honors degree in business marketing from the University of Utah and almost a lifetime of experience in the bicycle industry, Ryan has built Contender Bicycles into what it is today. He and Alison enjoy spending time with their twin girls, Dylan and Hannah, and Penny and Ernie, their canine companions.

ROAD: TIME SKYLON AKTIV

My pick for riding on the road this season is again a Time Skylon Aktiv. This will be my second season on this bike and I’m still excited to ride this bike every time I go out. I did trade out my gloss red and black Skylon for the new, limited Francais Edition paint job that is gloss carbon with just a few touches of blue/white/red striping. There are a lot of features to talk about on this bike, but the main two things that set it apart are the Aktiv fork and the overall ride quality. The Aktiv fork has a mechanical, harmonic damper built in each leg to decrease road vibration coming up through the fork. It is for real. Working on basically the same principle as noise-reducing ear phones, the Aktiv’s damper vibrates in the opposite frequency and amplitude as the fork is vibrating to effectively cancel out a specified frequency range. People ask me what it is like and it is hard to really say. The best thing I can come up with is to compare it to the recent trend of switching from 23mm tires to slightly lower inflated 25mm tires on wider rims. In my opinion, I’d say the Aktiv fork triples this difference on the front end of the bike. The ride quality of the Skylon is also quite spectacular. What else would you expect from a European company that has been making carbon bike frames and forks for twenty five years. If you don’t already know, Time produces their frames from start (a spool of carbon thread) to finish (a painted frameset ready for the best groupset out there) under one roof in France. We could go on and on about this process, but let’s just say that these frames represent the pinnacle of carbon frame production. The Skylon’s ride is stiffer in the drivetrain and rear end than the previous top-end Time called the ZXRS. With 25mm tires mounted, the added stiffness remains a positive attribute. The Aktiv fork combined with Time’s knowledge of composite layup still provide a smoother ride than the competition. Other upgrades for Time’s top model include a stiffer and more confidence inspiring front end and internal cable routing that can accommodate both mechanical and electronic groupsets. When looking at the new rear derailleur hanger or the internal cable guide inside the bottom bracket shell, it is obvious that no details were overlooked in this frame’s development. In addition to this bike’s top notch ride quality and appearance, I love the fact that it is 100% made in France and sold at a competitive price when compared to the other top-end offerings on the market. My Skylon is currently built with Shimano Dura Ace, Mavic Ksyrium SLR wheels and a SRM powermeter. Pretty standard and pretty awesome stuff. All in, the Time Skylon is the do-it-all road bike that makes me want to climb more, descend faster and ride longer.

MOUNTAIN: SCOTT SCALE 710 PLUS

A big change, literally and figuratively, for me this year is my favorite mountain bike. While I stand behind my commentary that mountain bikes are a little like skis in that each type of terrain or condition favors a certain type of bike, the Scott Scale 710 Plus is my dirt ride of choice. This is an alloy framed hardtail with 27.5″x2.8″ tires and a 1×11 drivetrain. The plus bikes look heavy and some of there are. This one is 26 pounds which is bit heavy for a hardtail but “in the range” for the full suspension bikes that it can replace. Previously I’ve ridden a bunch of different 29″, four inch travel full suspension bikes. This bike can do everything those bikes can do short of be a cross-country race bike. Like the improvements made in shape-skis, the 710 Plus will allow every rider to get better. The amount of traction provided by the 27.5×2.8″ tires will not only have you descending with more confidence and control but will also make you more willing to charge at every climb. The better grip can also keep you going strong on off-camber sections and allow you to stand and pedal hard in lose conditions like shale and gravel. The superior traction magnifies the braking power and the “power to the dirt” during hard pedaling is amazing. If you want to beat your friends to the top of every climb, this probably isn’t the bike for you. If you want to have the most fun you’ve ever had on a mountain bike, I’d suggest giving this bike a try.

Alison Littlefield
Owner

Bio
Gear

Alison gradually fell into her role at Contender Bicycles. Shortly after starting to race on the road, she met Ryan on the way out to the local criterium series. After they married, Alison continued to race bicycles and establish her career as an engineer. Experiencing some success racing, Alison decided to put her career on hold and race bicycles full-time. However, a severe spinal injury resulted in multiple surgeries which derailed her plans in cycling. In between surgeries and during recovery, Alison started to work at the shop. Over the years, her role has steadily grown to where she is now an integral part of Contender Bicycles. With her recovery behind her, she still loves to ride and feels lucky to still be on the bike. Like Ryan, she enjoys spending as much time as possible with their twin girls, Dylan and Hannah, and their mutts Penny and Ernie.

ROAD: TIME IZON AKTIV

Luckily owning the shop enables me to try all of the different brands of bikes. We have some phenomenal offerings at the shop. TIME is a brand near and dear to me. I don’t race anymore and I have battled severe spinal problems which over the years has resulted in many surgeries and ultimately a three-level lumbar fusion and a fusion of the right side of my sacroiliac joint. The good news is that now I am doing quite well. However I’ve suffered a lot and have had some brutal recovery from surgery. While a lot of folks with back problems resort to a very relaxed position on the bike, I am luckily enough to still be extremely flexible which allows me to have an aggressive position without pain. What I do need is a bike that dampens vibration from the road. However I love responsive bikes so I don’t want to sacrifice riding a great handling bike to ride a lazy boy on the road. It is important that through the seatmast and rear triangle I feel stiffness but not the harshness of the road. Plus the Aktiv fork is the real deal.The TIME Izon Aktiv fits the bill.

MOUNTAIN: SCOTT SPARK 700 PLUS TUNED

These days I seem more interested in riding mountain bikes than a road bike.   I’m party to the, as we say at the shop, “soul ride” style of mountain biking, i.e., just for fun.  Having ridden a few different hardtail and full-suspension options, I’ve chosen the Scott Spark 700 Plus Tuned this year.  I am a strong believer in plus bikes because even if you’re a technically sound mtn biker, they’re still just more fun.  I feel more comfortable and confident on the Scott Spark, and its versatility it really one of its biggest attributes.  If I feel the draw to jump in a Thursday night mountain bike race, I can simply throw on some 29″ wheels for a bit better climbing ability and faster rolling.  In comparison to other Scott mountain bikes, the Genius is too much travel for me personally and the hardtail just isn’t quite as confidence inspiring over rocky sections.  The Scott Spark 700 Plus Tuned is a perfectly balanced trail bike with 27.5″ tires and can conquer any terrain I want to ride.  It’s really a do-it-all bike, especially if you had to choose just one mountain bike.

Nick Gaitan
Store Manager

Bio
Gear

Native to Salt Lake City, Nick has been trail running the Wasatch for the greater part of his life.  In fact, Nick is well known in the ultra-running world as an up-and-comer to watch.  Nick has always had a passion for cycling as he fell in love with watching the grand tours, in particular the Tour de France.  He started competitively running when he was a teenager and eventually decided it was time to attempt a triathlon.  Now with four full Ironman distances under his belt and a qualification for the Ironman World Championships, Nick offers a great insight here at the shop for triathletes and cyclists alike.  Over the last couple of years, Nick has grown into the role of store manager at the shop. Any question that Ryan can answer, so can Nick.  Nick and his wife Katie love spending time with their rescue dogs, Meeko and Jack.  You will often find Nick, Meeko, and Jack either on their way up or on their way down from Mt. Wire or Grandeur Peak.  Plus we have to give a shout out to all of the Gaitan crew;  Stephene, Ruby, and Steve are part of the Contender family as well!  Nick is working his way towards a degree in exercise sciences at the University of Utah.

MOUNTAIN: OPEN ONE+

I’ve had a myriad of quality hardtail mountain bikes, but one of my favorites has to be my custom-painted OPEN ONE+. I don’t count grams, but I certainly appreciate a light bike. I also had the chance to do custom paint on this, pairing a nondescript grey frame to a bright World Cup orange of the RockShox SID RLC. It’s a bike that gets ridden, and hard. I couldn’t be happier.

ROAD: Focus Izalco Max

I’m no sucker.. but I am a sucker for cool bikes. My Focus Izalco Max is a cool bike. The Freestyle colorway is awesome; why pick one or two colors when you can have nine? The bike is built with Shimano Dura Ace Di2, which shifts crisply, every time. The bike is crazy light too, but what was most impressive is how well the bike handles the high speed canyon descents we have here in Salt Lake City. The bike isn’t a one-trick pony, but something I can ride in a sprint and feel comfortable riding, but feel just as good over an all-day ride.

Blake Vatne
Fitting and Training Manager

Bio
Gear

Drawn away from his native Minnesota by Utah’s big mountains and deep winter powder, Blake graduated from the University of Utah with a BS in Exercise Physiology. His education and experience have been invaluable to Contender. Since graduating in the spring 2010, Blake has taken on an integral role in organizing and managing the Contender Camp throughout the fall, winter and early spring months. Thoroughly trained in lactate testing, Blake can pinpoint your training values to optimize your performance. Blake also heads our fitting studio and sets the protocol for our fitting practices. Besides being a great skier, Blake is an equally enthusiastic cyclist who enjoys riding on his road, mountain and cross bikes. Blake is also very interested and knowledgeable about sports nutrition. We often seek out Blake’s advice when choosing nutritional products to carry. If you are struggling finding the right nutritional needs, ask for Blake when you come into the shop.

ROAD: PINARELLO FCX

New and innovative ideas are constantly introduced in the world of bike manufacturing these days, which can make it a difficult process wading through the countless options currently available.  When it comes time to picking just one though, the Pinarello FCX has captured my vote this year.  Based heavily off the Dogma K frame, the FCX blends all the speed and reactiveness of a road bike with a few key characteristics borrowed from their mountain bike line to create a frame perfectly designed to handle the demands of off-road racing.  Asymmetric carbon frame, disc brakes, internal cable routing and a frame geometry specifically tailored for cross racing means that there’s no compromises here; it’s the best blend of stiffness, comfort, agility and overall resilience.  Plus, Pinarello never disappoints with their aesthetics either!

MOUNTAIN: SCOTT GENIUS 910

While the 650B wheel size certainly has solidified its position in the mountain bike scene, I’m still a firm believer in the 29” wheel, which is why I chose the Genius 910 as my MTB pick this year. Having owned both full suspension and hardtail 29ers in the past, I can attest to the benefits of a larger diameter wheel. Not only do they carry momentum better, thereby improving both stability and control on the bike, but more importantly they help inspire confidence within riders. Scott claims that the Genius is the “ultimate” trail bike and while 130mm of finely tuned FOX suspension might not seem like a lot of travel, it’s the 29” wheels that help make up for it, creating the illusion of riding on a bike with six or seven inches of travel when in reality there’s really only five. Weighing in at just 27.5lbs too, the Genius 910 is light enough to take on those all day adventures without penalty. Now normally I’d like to think that a quiver of bikes would best suite all of my riding needs, but if I really had to choose just one, this would be it – a true, do-it-all, marathon bike.

Cody Wignall
Sales | Ecommerce

Bio
Gear

Cody started at Contender Bicycles as soon as he became legal (16 that is). Cody, or Wigs as he is affectionately named, may still be quite young but he has a wealth of experience. From many years of racing on the road to working at the shop to riding all the Utah trails, Cody’s experience is extensive. Cody has been an integral part of our new ecommerce site providing the majority of imagery on the site. He is currently studying business marketing which has made him a valuable force with all of our marketing efforts at the shop. He is also quite the photographer which comes in handy on a day-to-day basis at the shop. He is definitely a man that wears many hats at Contender from sales to fitting to training to marketing.

ROAD: ORBEA ORCA M20 TEAM

My 2017 road bike pick goes to the Orbea Orca M20 Team. There are many reasons for this choice.  Most astoundingly, you can get a full Ultegra bike for a price point under $4000.  It’s a sleek, comfortable road bike that is a bit more rare out on the road.  New for 2017, Orbea offers their own custom color design function called ‘myO‘.  Stand out with your own truly unique road bike.

MOUNTAIN: SCOTT SPARK 910

With so many great mountain bike options available today it was difficult to pick one to call my favorite for the 2017 season. The Scott Spark 910 won my vote due to its incredibly versatile design. No matter if you find yourself riding down south in Moab on Slickrock trail or quickly riding Shoreline after work (truly the bread and butter of a Utah mountain biker), the Scott Spark 910 is lightweight and has enough suspension to tackle any trail you put in front of it.  This 29er boasts Scott’s own Boost spacing, which makes this bike 27.5″ wheel size compatible.  The frame consists of a carbon mainframe and alloy swingarms which are features carried over from the Scott Genius 710 which I had previously owned and loved.  The build is head to toe Shimano XT with a FOX fork and tubeless ready wheels; pretty spot on and hard to go wrong.  If you are after one bike to conquer all your riding styles, consider the Scott Spark 910!

Graham Greenlee
Mechanic

Bio
Gear

If something goes awry with your bicycle or computer, Graham can fix it. Graham might be a lead mechanic at Contender Bicycles but he also handles all things IT related. As we move into the e-commerce realm, Graham’s role is ever increasing in e-commerce management. Graham currently is a student at the University of Utah and holds certification as an advanced EMT. Graham’s interests outside of cycling include spending time with his wife Dannie and son Jack, gaming (aka shooting zombies), quoting South Park and, of course, sleeping.

CYCLOCROSS: SCOTT ADDICT CX 10 DISC

This year I’m riding a Scott CX bike.  With the popularity of gravel bikes and disc road bikes on the rise, a cross bike is a great way to bridge the gap and have the best of both worlds.  The Scott Addict CX 10 has aggressive geometry like what would be found in a race bike, but has a ride tuned to be more comfortable during the demanding terrain in cross racing.  This bike also has a true cross fork with wider clearance to support wider tires and to help limit mud building up.  I was skeptical at first of hydraulic disc brakes on road and especially cross applications, but they’re amazing.  While typical road brakes have plenty of stopping power, they pale in comparison to the lack of effort required to achieve the same stopping force with hydraulic disc brakes.  I have removed the stock SRAM build and instead opted for a Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset.  Di2 is unparalleled in performance when compared to any other groupset, electronic or mechanical.

MOUNTAIN: SCOTT GENIUS 710 PLUS

I love a plus bike…I fell in love with fat tires a few years back, and particularly love the Scott Genius 710 Plus for its longer travel (140mm).  Scott specs their bikes very well and refrains from using proprietary parts and designs which make finding parts and servicing the bike (when needed) much easier.  They also tend to stay very true to the groupsets they build with, meaning that this bike is almost all Shimano XT on it and not just an XT rear derailleur.  The only place you don’t get XT on this bike is the brakes, which are SLX M-7000 brakes.  Scott has partnered with DT Swiss on their wheels: the rims and hubs may say “Syncros” on them, but they are made by DT Swiss.  This particular frame has a carbon front triangle and allow chain and seatstays.  In the shop here we frequently see broken carbon stays and while alloy stays can also break, they are quite a bit less expensive to replace.  Plus, the front and rear FOX shocks on this bike are hard to beat.

Peter Barrett
Sales

Bio
Gear

Peter Barrett joined the Contender crew when he moved back to Salt Lake from Seattle. Even though he’s only been here for a year, he comes to Contender with ten years plus of bike shop experience; so it’s pretty obvious that the man knows his stuff. Peter started building his own bike frames seven years ago after attending the UBI Frame Building and Wheel Building School in Portland. To date, Peter has built two frames and right now is planning his third; a disc gravel bike.

ROAD: BMC TEAMMACHINE ALR01

My road bike of choice is the Ultegra equipped ALR01 from BMC. As the ALR01 has a stiffness-to-weight ratio that competes with most entry-level carbon bikes, I am convinced that high-quality aluminum bikes are here to stay. BMC has engineered every millimeter of the ALR01 to eliminate the bumpy ride traditionally associated with alloy bikes and installed a carbon fork to complement their design. Also, starting at a lower price-point makes this bike very appealing, dollars saved on the frame can be put into a better set of wheels, or in my case, a carbon seatpost and carbon-railed saddle. I have been on the ALR01 for a while now and have found it to be stable, responsive and a great climber in and around our canyons. Ride alloy and Keep It Metal.

MOUNTAIN: SCOTT SCALE 710 PLUS

Scott bikes has jumped into the 27+ ring in a big way with many of their popular full-suspension and hardtail models now rolling on new bigger tires, with my current favorite being the Scale 710 Plus hardtail from Scott. Having owned the previous Scale 27.5 I have always been impressed with this model’s ability to climb, and overall versatility for a hardtail. I also have known the limits of a 2.25 tire, particularly on fast, loose descents, and had squeezed in a set of 2.4 knobbies to soften the ride and improve traction on our dry trails. With the new Scale Plus both of those problems are solved with the stock 3 inch wide tires providing increased traction and inherent suspension that improves ride quality both downhill and up.  A lightweight fast bike like this serves me well on those quick 2-hour rides up in Park City or down in the valley.

Colin Plank
Mechanic

Bio
Gear

Originally from Olympia, Washington, Colin moved to Utah to be closer to the things that matter: the mountains and parts of his family.  At Contender, Colin is famous for looking pretty, wearing a lot of black, and fixing bikes like a master. He rides both mountain and road – the Lycra and shaven legs kind. His road bike of choice is a sturdy aluminum steed, what the realest ride. In his free time, Colin enjoys taking long walks on the frigid beaches of the Pacific Northwest, watching romcoms, and cooking gourmet mac and cheese.

ROAD: Pinarello Dogma F10

My road bike of choice would be the Pinarello Dogma F10 in the super sleek black and silver paint scheme.  This bike is smooth on the road, responsive when you quickly accelerate or maneuver, and confidence inspiring.  Plus, from a mechanic’s perspective, you can’t go wrong with a threaded bottom bracket.  Built to my specifications, I’d elect a Di2 groupset above all else.

MOUNTAIN: Surly 1x1

It’s no secret around the shop that I’m a glutton for punishment. What’s the perfect bike for a person like myself? The Surly 1×1. Steel. Single speed. No suspension. Really. It’s a seriously fun bike for all of the trails around Salt Lake City, and it does everything I want to do. Doesn’t hurt that I beat everyone up the climbs and keep on descents, either.

Zane Enders
Sales

Bio
Gear

While growing up in Ogden, Utah, Zane learned to love bikes after his father and cousin got him hooked at a young age. From competing in endurance races such as 24 Hours of Moab and other relay events, Zane enjoys long rides on the mountain bike. Zane enjoys riding his bike any time he can because it simply brings a smile to his face. While he is currently studying computer science at the University of Utah, Zane also enjoys hanging with friends and is hopefully retired in posting incredibly popular videos of “hucking” huge air while skiing.

ROAD: TIME IZON

This year, my road bike pick would have to be the TIME Izon.  I really like this bike because it’s still hand made by TIME in France using their RTM technology which weaves a very stiff and very smooth high-modulus carbon.  Their Aktiv fork provides a lot of vibration dampening on the road, so even though you’re on an agile climbing and descending machine, you still get a playful and comfortable bike that takes the edge off the harsh roads of Utah.   For 2017, they’ve released a handful of special edition custom colors, all eye-popping and unique.  The TIME Izon is a real responsive and versatile do-it-all kind of bike with great  ride quality and timeless features.

MOUNTAIN: SCOTT SPARK 700 PLUS TUNED

I’ve recently gotten the Scott Spark 700 Plus Tuned for myself, and let me tell you nothing compares.  I was drawn to it originally by its accommodation of 27.5″ plus sized tires, a dream for comfort and versatility on all sorts of lose terrain.  However, this bike is no softy.  This is the ultimate of rowdy fun trail bikes, complete with 130mm of travel, a SRAM XX1 1×12 drvetrain, remote lockout, and the stock build even comes with a dropper post.   It’s also super light, with a full carbon main frame and rear swingarms.  This is a go-anywhere kind of bike, and you’ll enjoy every minute you’re on it.

Tyler Callister
Sales

Bio
Gear

Tyler hails from a city just North of Salt Lake City, UT and is a great addition to our sales force here at Contender.  His dad got him into riding bikes several years ago and he was immediately hooked.  He rides strictly skinny tires (road bikes) and likes his bikes to be fast, light, and clean.  He has an affinity for climbing because it is a great workout and the descent back to the valley is very rewarding.  He currently rides a TIME Izon Active on the road.  In addition to riding bikes, he participates in several other mountain-centric pursuits including skiing, running, fishing, hiking and rock climbing.  In 2017, he will begin his first season racing on the road, and also plans on dabbling in triathlons and marathons, but isn’t really a fan of swimming.  He’s a talented car and shower singer and boasts an impressive collection of colorful shoes.

ROAD: TIME IZON AKTIV

I love the TIME Izon Aktiv built with SRAM eTap because it is super solid, incredibly comfortable, and fast (most importantly).  TIME is excellent at designing sleek race-inspired bicycles with great vibration dampening for long rides.  Plus, the classic black and white color scheme fits with my taste and style.  The TIME ride quality is second to none, and there’s a noticeable difference between this and other bicycles I’ve ridden.  Not to mention, it’s hard to pass on a frame handmade in France.

TIME TRIAL: SCOTT PLASMA RC

What caught my eye about the Scott Plasma originally was its catchy paint job in black with neon yellow or orange, but what keeps me coming back to it is Scott’s affinity for the sleek integration of the Ultegra Di2 setup.  This bike is perfect for triathlons and Ironmans, all long haul time trial events.  Scott does it right making a sweet fast time trial bike without making it overly complicated or over the top.

Doug Reynar
Mechanic

Bio
Gear

Doug is a Utah local from Park City and a talented addition to our service department at Contender.  At home in the mountains, Doug rides strictly downhill and BMX, and skis downhill as well.  Fond of the outdoors, Doug takes trips around the US to explore the outdoors elsewhere.  His most recent trip was to Round Valley, Oregon which he adored.  When he’s not at the shop or ripping up the trails, he’s cruising around town on a sweet custom steel bike, in a really stellar pearlescent blue-green paint scheme.

ROAD: PINARELLO DOGMA F10

My road bike of choice would be the Pinarello Dogma F10 which is the newest release from Pinarello’s racing bikes. It has been redesigned to be lighter, stiffer and more aerodynamic than the Dogma F8 and the new color waves are very appealing. Adding Shimano’s Dura-Ace mechanical or Di2 groupset would simply make it a cyclist top racing weapon. Whether you are climbing or descending you will notice the quality that comes from one of the top cycling companies out there.

MOUNTAIN: SCOTT GAMBLER 710

The Gambler 710 is ready to tackle any downhill/enduro trail you can throw at it. It is the perfect bike for anyone who is wanting to take the lifts up to the top of the trail and just tear it up on the descent. With 210mm rear and 200mm front suspension you can rest assure the Gambler is ready to take on anything you or the mountain can throw at it.

Carson Page
Mechanic

Bio
Gear

Carson is a local who hails from the Salt Lake valley.  An ex-military man, he has recently hung up his bicycles in exchange for the more intensive full-body workouts of Crossfit.  Carson is a talented addition to our service department and finds wrenching and tinkering with bikes to be very relaxing and therapeutic.  Aside from working in the shop and doing Crossfit, Carson enjoys the pastimes of hunting and fishing.  He’s a terrible cook, but is quite the salsa connoisseur and loves biscuits and gravy.

ROAD: TIME SKYLON AKTIV

I favor the TIME Skylon with an Aktiv fork like several of my coworkers because it’s a beautiful bike done right.  TIME doesn’t skimp on quality in their manufacturing process as all their frames are made by hand.  I love the stiffness and race-y feel of this bike and how quickly and aptly it responds to cornering and acceleration.  Yet, the Aktiv fork ensures this is still a comfortable ride when you’re in the saddle for any length of time.  If it was me, I would outfit this sweet frame with the SRAM Red eTap groupset and some hand built wheels.

MOUNTAIN: OPEN CYCLES ONE+

OPEN succeeded at creating a small business built around dream bikes.  The OPEN Cycles ONE+ is the ultimate dream as far versatility on dirt of all kinds.  As a hardtail, it’s unbelievably light and stiff, but the ONE+ capability gives this bike the option of 29″ wheels with a 2.4″ tires  or 27.5″ with 2.8″ tires.  This means it can tackle pretty much anything you’re interested in riding off road (aside from a Downhill course, of course).  A SRAM 1×12 XX1 Eagle groupset makes shifting simple and clean, and does not compromise your gear range, plus, it comes in standard black or with a gold chain and cassette.  Personally, I prefer the blacked out build.  This is a fun and versatile ride that won’t disappoint.

Seth Kaser
Mechanic

Bio
Gear

Like so many before, Seth moved out west to Utah from Cleveland, Ohio seeking adventure on the trails and in the snow.  Seth is multi talented and oh so modest, and you’ll either find him wrenching in the service area or running around the shop getting things done behind the scenes.  He is one of the few staff members who participates in nearly every discipline of cycling, including bikepacking and touring.  In addition to riding bikes, he’s an avid long-time snowboarder and has recently gotten into cooking.  Soup is his specialty.

MOUNTAIN: ORBEA RALLON

When I first rode the Orbea Rallon, I was in uncharted territory, but this 160mm enduro bike tackled Moab like a pro, and I’ve never had more fun than taking it on the Whole Enchilada (a popular trail in Moab with 8,000 feet of descending).  It climbs surprisingly well for having so much travel and also takes any drops you throw at it.  It’s pretty plush but also rips on any terrain.  Needless to say, I have had a blast on this bike.

GRAVEL: OPEN CYCLES U.P. (UNBEATEN PATH)

As far as gravel bikes go, I’m a firm believer in taking bikes off road.  The OPEN U.P. was meant for gravel grinding and bikepacking, but is really known for its versatility.  With wider clearance in the front fork and rear triangle, you can run anything from 700c (29er) wheels with 23-40mm tires to 650b (27.5”) with 2.1” tires, or even throw cx wheels with cx or road tires on it.  Its also fun to opt between flat bars or drop bars, depending on your personal preference.  It can tackle anything with grace and style off road.  You can read more about this bike on our blog.

Ernie & Penny
Public Relations

Bio

Meet the true bosses of the shop. Ernie and Penny run the show and are here to give you smiles and sniffs. The Corgi twins make every day a good day.

Jeremiah Grell
Mechanic

Bio
Gear

Jeremiah is a new addition to our mechanic crew here at Contender Bicycles and has a love for all bikes. He has recently moved to Utah from Nebraska where he spent time riding bikes with his dad since the age of 13. He started racing road all throughout high school and even raced at the collegiate level but his most recent interests have been in racing cyclocross, which he has been doing for the past five years. Jeremiah is happy to be out here in Utah where all of the trails and courses are so close for him to ride.

ROAD: TIME FIRST

I’ll be riding the TIME First this year and for me it was a pretty simple choice to go with a TIME bicycle because of their ride quality. In my opinion there is nothing that is quite as smooth and comfortable to be on. I am a big fan of Shimano’s 6800 Ultegra groupset and think it will make a great addition to the quality of bicycle that TIME produces. It being a handmade carbon fiber frame in France is a really cool factor as well.

MOUNTAIN: SCOTT GENIUS 720

The Scott Genius 720 is just my style with the dark color combo of black and green and the geometry is perfect for any trail rider. I like going the 27.5 route with my wheel size because it gives you a little more mobility on switch backs and the 720 also has 150mm front and rear suspension to tackle any technical stuff that gets in your way. Even though it has 150mm travel it is still an amazing climber which makes it an all around great choice for any dirt lover.

Nick Loyola
Mechanic

Bio
Gear

Nick is an enthusiast both in cyclocross and in cross country mountain biking. He started racing cyclocross at 13 years old, and has a real love for the sport ever since. On the cross country side of things Nick is a complete animal, he raced all throughout high school and even at the national level. Nick is currently in his second year at the University of Utah.

MOUNTAIN: Scott Genius 900 Tuned

One word: monstrous. Some bikes are monstrous in how big they feel on the trail, the Scott Genius 900 Tuned (which I own) is quite the opposite. You’d expect the 2.6″ tires to feel slow over terrain, and you’d expect a bike with 150 mm of suspension travel to feel heavy on climbs too. The Genius defies both generalizations, but it still feels capable, fast, and ready for any and all trails here in Utah and around.

ROAD: TIME VXRS Bettini Edition

If my Genius is a monster, then my VXRS Bettini Edition is the exact opposite. It’s not necessarily something to thrash, but it isn’t a bike I’d want to thrash anyways. It possesses TIME’s excellent ride quality, looks fantastic, and above else makes me feel like I’m riding a truly special bike.

Morgan Coons
Mechanic

Bio
Gear

Morgan is a University of Utah English graduate that is a very handy mechanic here at Contender Bicycles. He is a Utah native that grew up in West Valley and lives his life riding a bike. He grew up commuting to school and work everyday and continues to bike into work. Since bikes were such a big part of his life growing up it was only natural for him to start taking them apart to see how they work and it has helped him to be a great mechanic. In his spare time Morgan likes to sit down, relax and read a good book.

ROAD: RITCHEY ROAD LOGIC

I’ll have to go with the Ritchey Road Logic built up with Shimano’s reliable and smooth Ultegra groupset. I love the classic look to it and the ride quality of the steel frame. You can throw some 28mm tires on the wheels to make the ride quality even better. Ritchey is a brand that you can depend on to last you a lifetime.

MOUNTAIN: MOOTS BAXTER

The Moots Baxter is one of the most versatile bikes for not only gravel but mountain biking as well. I would build it up with a 100mm front fork for that extra comfort and if you’d like to be slightly more geared for the trails you can throw a set of 29″ wheels that are 2.2 inches wide. Pair this bike with a Shimano’s XT Di2 groupset and a set of drop handlebars and you’ll be going places that not many other bikes can go.

Alvin Holbrook
Sales

Bio
Gear

Alvin is a great addition to our sales staff at Contender Bicycles. He recently moved to Salt Lake City to attend school at the University of Utah, as well as enjoy the mountains and nature we have in Utah. Alvin is a huge fan of music, and anytime a good song comes on he can’t help but dance and let go of his inhibitions. He grew up in Sacramento, California where he developed an appreciation not only for riding bikes, but a love for helping others enjoy the benefits of cycling.

ROAD: Ritchey Road Logic

If you’ve ridden a quality steel road bike, you know why I chose this bike. If you haven’t ridden one.. come find me. Ride quality and smoothness is out of this world on the Ritchey Road Logic frameset, no doubt due to timeless design and modern steel technology. The vain side of me digs how this bike looks built up. The only thing that really compares out there that I’ve ridden is a TIME (but that’s a different story).

CITY: Orbea Katu-E

I’ve waxed poetic about the Orbea Katu-E on the Contender Bicycles blog, so if you’d like something concise that’s the place to go. I love the small wheels, I love the electric assist, I love the integrated lights, and I love the fixed front basket. It’s the ideal city bike that literally fits nearly everyone.

Tanner Pulley
Sales

Bio

Tanner is a Millcreek native. He currently studies product design at the University of Utah, and wants to ultimately end up designing bicycles. Taking a job here at Contender is just a first step in a large plan for him, all on a path to becoming a true bicycle expert.

Harry Keeran

Bio

Harry is a true Salt Lake road cyclist, thru and thru. His love for cycling is deep-rooted, as his parents put him on a bike from a young age. Harry is a student of business at the University of Utah, but besides that he loves playing basketball (go Jazz) and listening to music.

Jackson Dean

Bio

From Oakley Utah, Jackson currently attends the University of Utah. He became interested in riding road bikes when he began looking for a bike to commute to and from the University, but the more he’s spent time here, the more his love for mountain bikes has grown.

Vincent Bonacci
Sales

Bio
Gear

Vincent is from the Salt Lake area, and like many other staff members, began his career in cycling riding bikes with his parents when he was only in kindergarten. He loves XC skiing, and competes in biathlons in the Utah winters. He came here to Contender because of his genuine love and loyalty to the shop and for the sport.

ROAD: Open U.P.

I personally love a well built OPEN frame, simply because its versatility. I love that I can have a fun drop bar bike with 40c tires on it for the gravel, and still have a set of road wheels too!

MOUNTAIN: Santa Cruz Nomad C XE

I love the Nomad, and I personally own one. It is one rad looking bike with a ton of travel that pushes the envelope of how a downhill bike can still get around A-OK and be usable on the majority of trails!

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