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 Penny and Ernie, their mutts, who are often seen strutting around the shop.

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 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: SCOTT SPARK 710 PLUS

Plus bikes are extremely favored around the shop for their versatility and their ‘fun’ factor.  The Scott Spark 710 Plus is really built as a fast and capable mountain bike, suited for both climbing and descending, with 130mm of travel to really rally on the trails.  What’s really enticing about this bike is the plus sized tires which inspire confidence with the added traction, and allow you to run the tires at a lower pressure.  Out of the box, Scott builds this bike with a full XT groupset which is durable and responsive.  This bike can more than handle almost all of the terrain I want to ride in Park City and the Salt Lake Valley.

ROAD: TIME IZON AKTIV

This year my road bike pick goes to the TIME Izon Aktiv.  I’m partial to traditional rim brakes, so I prefer the Izon sans disc brakes.  The Izon excels in nearly every aspect of road riding, whether casual or high-performance, the Izon is compliant, smooth, and extremely fun to ride. Everything you expect from a handmade French frame and high end components, it delivers and exceeds expectations.  TIME pays attention to the small details in frame building and their geometry, which I really appreciate as an endurance athlete.  The Aktiv fork helps reduce vibration on those long road rides especially, and the hand built frame is perfectly curated and molded to be both comfortable and responsive.  It’s quick to accelerate and versatile for all sorts of road riding and terrain.

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 the road, mountain and cross bike. 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

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. 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 at Contender Bicycles. Plus 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. Grahams 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 ago after attending the UBI Frame Building School and Wheel Building School in Portland. To date, Peter has built two frames and right now is planning his third; It’s going to be 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 real men 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 F8

My road bike of choice would be the Pinarello Dogma F8 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: SCOTT GENIUS LT 710 PLUS

I love the Scott Genius LT Plus for its ability to go anywhere, and it is SO fun.  This full suspension trail bike runs a 2.8” tire which makes this a pretty plush ride and boasts a noticeable increase in  traction.  The Scott Genius LT 710 Plus really makes technical sections on the trail less frightening and much more approachable.

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.

Becca Forsell
Sales

Bio
Gear

Becca hails from the frozen North of upper Michigan and made the move to Utah to be near the mountains, like so many before her. She is a stellar member of the sales team and she is a freight and organization guru.  Becca enjoys mountain biking and playing outside, and she currently rips up the trails on a Scott Genius Plus mountain bike.  Aside from bikes, Becca likes to rock climb and make sushi.  She loves helping customers find the perfect bike, so if you’re in the market, stop in and chat!

ROAD: TIME FLUIDITY AKTIV

The entire shop definitely has a soft spot for TIME, and for good reason. TIME’s Resin Transfer Molding process let’s them fine tune the entire frame-making process from the fiber thread to the finished product. These bikes definitely stand out from the crowd. The TIME Fluidity is an awesome blend of both comfort and performance. Then adding on the Aktiv fork makes things even greater since it still has the efficient power transfer of a stiff fork, but eats up jarring road vibrations to keep you happy on your bike all day long.

MOUNTAIN: SCOTT GENIUS 710 PLUS

The Genius line is known to be a super rad trail bike. Now throw on tons of added traction and super low PSI possibilities and you have yourself an ultimate fun-having bike! The plus width is great for romping over rough terrain, keeping contact with the trail, and for holding it together on loose sandy conditions. I am stoked to be spending the season on this super fun bike!

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.

Mike Ward
Sales

Bio
Gear

Mike is a Salt Lake City local and works as a valuable member of our sales team (he’s also one of our TIME bicycle gurus).  He rides strictly road and has worked as a soigneur for a professional road racing team for the last six years.  He will return to racing himself next spring after having taken a long hiatus for work.  Through his work as a soigneur, Mike has seen nearly every corner of the world and is an avid traveler.  He can regale you with tales from the trenches of the pro road race scene.  At Contender, Mike is a lovely gentleman who will happily fill you in on the ins-and-outs of our road fleet and get you rolling in style.

ROAD: TIME SKYLON

I’m a die hard fan of all of TIME’s bikes, however the Skylon is perhaps my favorite of all. The Skylon is TIME’s aerodynamic race bicycle. It boasts a stiff and light frame handmade in France with the finest attention to detail and craftsmanship. This pays off as the TIME ride quality is unmatched by other carbon frames in comfort, agility, and smoothness. The new Skylon is built from a single piece – a change from previous TIME models that had the rear triangle butted into the main frame, still using TIME’s own Resin Transfer Molding process which allows for a smooth and uniform finish, inside and out. TIME’s Aktiv fork lends itself well to a truly smooth and comfortable ride with its vibration dampening capabilities. Alongside the wonderful stiff and responsive frame, this is a truly unique bike, engineered and manufactured by hand with love and an immense attention to detail outside of Lyon, France.

MOUNTAIN: SCOTT SPARK RC 900 PRO

The Scott Spark RC 900 Pro is Scott’s cross country performance race bike made with their own HMX carbon frame.  It comes with a super race-worthy lightweight Shimano XT 1 x 11 build with 100mm of travel.  I chose this bike because it’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a really lightweight, high-performing, fun cross country bike.  The 29 inch wheels really make you feel stable over roots and rocks on the trail and maximize traction.  Though this bike is aggressive for racing, it’s also a very comfortable ride and tackles both short and long rides with grace and speed.

Chris Putt
Sales

Bio
Gear

Chris is a hybrid, being half from Breckenridge, Colorado and half from Park City, Utah; he is no stranger to mountain living.  Originally a ski racer, he took quickly to road racing and has raced for five years, three years at the pro level.  He still enjoys playing in the snow – alpine and Nordic skiing – but has recently decided to ‘tackle’ a new hobby, fly fishing.  In his free time, he cooks (but specified he does NOT bake).  Chris is the third of four boys, all heavily involved in the cycling industry.  We are happy to have him aboard the Contender crew.

MOUNTAIN: SCOTT SPARK 700 PLUS TUNED

Of all the bikes in the shop, the one I’ve been drooling over is the Scott Spark 700 Plus Tuned.  This bike is so sweet.  It’s more of a conquer-all type trail bike with very few limitations.  The big selling point is the plus sized 27.5″ tire capability straight out of the box which allow me to ride on any terrain from gravel, to sand, to even a bit of snow and loose dirt.  130mm of travel in the FOX fork is plenty to have fun with.  This bike can climb, descend, and provide enough stability and comfort for even long XC rides.  The Tuned version of this bike comes with new SRAM XX1 Eagle, a gold-colored 1 x 12 drivetrain, which makes this a pretty snazzy and ride.

ELECTRONIC BIKE: STROMER ST2

E-bikes are relatively new on the market and have become pretty popular in the past couple years as a really fun alternative to commuting in a car.  They’ve come pretty far, and the Stromer ST2 is known as the most luxurious and most powerful of all of them… It’s the ultimate grocery-getter.    Everything about the Stromer ST2 is integrated and sleek.  The battery is tucked away in the down tube and the engine is in the rear hub.  The ST2 is operated by a built in touch screen computer on the top tube which connects wirelessly to a Stromer app on your smart phone, allowing you to adjust settings on your bike, enable anti-theft protections, and includes a GPS system.  It includes integrated front and rear lights which are also battery operated.  The max speed for the Stromer ST2 is faster than most other E-Bikes at 28 mph and the range on a single charge is roughly 95 miles.  When you’ve got the bike into its highest assist setting, it really goes, powering up hills and passing all the other people on human-powered bikes.

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.  He’s currently sporting a wicked beard.

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.

Derek Scadden
Mechanic

Bio
Gear

Derek is one of our Utah natives, hailing from Ogden, Utah.  He’s a genius wrench in our service department and isn’t afraid to use a little elbow grease.  Like several of our team members, he dabbles in both road and mountain, but trends towards steel frames, hard-tails, and single speeds – no frills.  As a true hardened mountain dweller, he snowboards when the weather turns cold and enjoys camping and fishing in the summertime.  If you stop in the shop, Derek is the jovial gentleman with the mean beard.

MOUNTAIN: SCOTT SPARK 710 PLUS

What I like about the Scott Spark 710 Plus is the new rear suspension setup and geometry, the 130mm travel is enough for all the cross country trails I like to ride but you can still rally it downhill. Additionally, the plus sized tires are great for climbing and add a lot of traction.

CYCLOCROSS: RITCHEY SWISSCROSS DISC FRAMESET

Ideally, I would build up the Ritchey Swisscross Disc frameset with the Shimano Ultegra mechanical groupset and hydraulic disc brakes as a gravel type bike that I could ride on the road and on some gentle off road trails and dirt roads. I find that kind of versatility and flexibility more and more desirable. Plus, steel frames have a certain nostalgia and simplicity that aluminum and carbon frames lack.

Nicholas McDonald
Mechanic

Bio
Gear

Nicholas is an SLC local who is no stranger to the roads and trails in the area.  He’s a nifty wrench who always seems to have grease or mineral oil on his hands, like any true mechanic.  He rides both road and mountain, and is hoping to start racing bikes for the first time this year (pro tip: stay near the front, but not ON the front).  Aside from attacking on the climbs in the canyons nearby, he exercises his upper body with rock climbing and other mountain-related pursuits.  Nicholas is a talented musician who plays the cello and upright bass in both jazz and classical genres.  He originally got into bikes out of necessity, commuting by bike when he was a rebellious youth.  If you’ve got questions about bicycle commuting or need a hand with your own bike, stop by and ask for Nicholas.

ROAD: CERVÉLO C5

As an endurance road rider, I really prefer road bikes more specifically attuned to my comfort on long rides, and that’s exactly the purpose of the Cervélo C5.   This is an endurance-focused road bike, with a longer head tube and slightly less aggressive geometry in order to cut down on road vibrations over long rides.   While it is comfortable, it doesn’t compromise on agility and speed.  This is a fun bike, and weighing in at 850 grams for the frame, it is wonderfully light for those days with a lot of climbing.  The disc brakes allow for responsive braking and diffuse heat better than traditional rim brakes which glaze easily on long descents.  The frame accommodates up to 28mm tires for added stability and traction, and is outfitted out of the box with Dura-Ace Di2.  The Cervélo C5 is a great bike for long road rides, and its versatility is ideal for getting the most out of the shoulder seasons.

MOUNTAIN: CANNONDALE BAD HABIT CARBON 1

As for mountain bikes, I really like the Cannondale Bad Habit Carbon 1, and let me tell you this is a FUN bike.  Cannondale started with a pared down frame, a full carbon frame, then decked it out with 27.5″ wheels with 3″ tires, a Lefty fork and FOX Float shock both with 120 mm of travel, a Shimano XT 1×11 drivetrain, and a FOX dropper post straight out of the box.   This bike is finely tuned to take on the trails with comfort,  but not compromise performance and agility.  Additionally, the Cannondale Bad Habit Carbon 1 comes tubeless ready and is a really amazing bike for its lightweight and sturdy build, incredible traction on those wider tires, and smooth shifting thanks to the XT drivetrain.

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.

Scott Stack
Sales

Bio
Gear

Scott is a new member of our sales crew and is another SLC local. He came to us with a broken shoulder (a mountain biking injury), but is well on his way to recovery. He rides both road and mountain, and races both as well. He has quite the affinity for crits and 1-day road races, and races enduro in the fall. Scott is a full time student at the University of Utah pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering. He enjoys all mountain-related recreational activities, farmers markets, and long walks in the woods. He’s a great cook and a musician, and loves to play with his tabby cat Ginger.

ROAD: SCOTT ADDICT 10

On the road side of cycling my bike of choice would be the Scott Addict 10 that comes with the new Dura-Ace 9100 drivetrain. The Addict 10 is part of Scott’s lightweight fleet and is FAST! It has proven to be a durable and versatile in that you can race it on your longer century rides or on your local crits. The frame is made with HMF carbon which gives the bike its light and stiff feeling.

MOUNTAIN: SCOTT SPARK 900

The Spark 900 from Scott is going to be my mountain choice and that is because the new geometry for the Spark is great for those who are use to riding bikes with longer travel. It has a slacker geometry that make it great for downhill descents and to back it up comes with Shimano’s XT brakes for those times you do need to stop. The Spark 900 comes with a carbon frame and is built up with SRAM’s X01/X1 1×12 drivetrain which really helps you fly up steep climbs. I can’t forget to mention that it comes in a pretty cool glossy grey.

Josh McAlister
Sales

Bio
Gear

Josh has recently moved to Salt Lake City, with his wife and dog, for the many activities that our beautiful state has to offer. Josh is a Texan originally but has been living in Oklahoma for the past few years and since cycling and rock climbing are his two favorite sports he is certain he has moved to the right place. He developed his love for cycling while racing triathlons but due to a shoulder injury no longer competes. We are excited to have him as a new member of our sales staff with his knowledge of triathlons and cycling.

ROAD: BMC TEAMMACHINE SLR01

Choosing a favorite road bike is really hard but I will have to go with the BMC Teammachine SLR01 with a black and red frameset. This is the bike I am currently riding with a SRAM Red mechanical groupset that shifts perfect and has great durability. For how snappy and fast the bike is, it is also comfy which is perfect for any ride you will do.

MOUNTAIN: CANNONDALE CUJO 1

The Cannondale Cujo 1 is definitely my mountain bike of choice. If you are wanting to get out on a bike and have a really good time, this is the bike to do it on because of the 3 inch wide tires it has. Those tires give you a ton of traction and make descent really fun even if they are more technical. It is a really fast climber with the the light and easy to use Sram GX 1×11 groupset and it has a great price point.

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

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

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 has recently moved to Salt Lake City to attend school at LDS Business College while spending a fair amount of time in the beautiful mountains and cycling that we enjoy here in our state. Alvin is a huge fan of music and anytime a good song comes on he can’t help but dance. He grew up in Sacramento, California and developed a love for not only riding bicycles early on but for learning how everything works on them as well.

ROAD: RITCHEY ROAD LOGIC

The classic lines on the Ritchey Road Logic are one of the reasons why this is my bike of choice for the year. That combined with the ride quality that it has to offer with its steel frame. I would personally build this up with some mechanical Campagnolo Chorus which is super high in quality but more affordable in the Campagnolo line up.

MOUNTAIN: SCOTT SCALE 710 PLUS

The Scale 710 Plus is the bike that I am riding this year so it is going to have to be my favorite mountain bike of the year. It climbs super well and is really responsive being a hardtail but combined with the plus tires and low tire pressure it gives you a lot more traction and makes the descent even more fun. It doesn’t weigh a lot and since it is an alloy frame it is priced well so I can spec it out however I want while not breaking the bank.

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