Kevin Littlefield just hit up Steven’s Pass Bike Park. Check it out!
Spoke Magazine had this rad article of our boy Conor Macfarlane down in New Zealand. Conor killed it this season in Whistler, Colorado Freeride, The Gradient Trip, Dirt Diaries, and even Deep Summer! Talk about an epic season! We got a chance to bring Conor around to our local Dirt Spots here in Seattle and he shredded every line at them as well! Conor is very well rounded and that was proven by his absolute shredding on all of his bikes. Look for more out of this guy in the near future! We’re crossing our fingers he’ll be back to the PNW next season! Conor in Spoke Magazine
Red Bull Rampage is back! This year’s 2014 event offers up a wide variety of talent including our gravity riders Kelly McGarry and Mike Hopkins.
This event is a great way to prove the worth of our Gravity components. Our riders have seen great success in the past riding our components and they look to leave their mark again at this years Rampage event.
Kelly McGarry has done well in this event in the past securing a second place finish last time around. Along with that, he became well known for his backflip over the 72 ft canyon gap.
Here is the backflip incase you have forgotton:
Many of the riders are currently developing their lines for this weekend’s big mountain event. Mike Hopkins is in the qualifying round, but should get through as long as any complications don’t arise.
While preparing for his run, Red Bull interviewed him about his plans. He responded by saying “You visualize something; you have this image of how it’s going to work in your head… More often than not you’re like, ‘well, that didn’t work.” Credit to Mike Berard of Red Bull.
Here is some insight from our rider Mike Hopkins.
While warming up for his ride, Kelly McGarry overshot a gnarly 75ft canyon and launched himself over 100 feet. He is doing well and is resting for tomorrow. You can view his crash herre:
With the rampage quickly approaching, everyone is sitting on the edge of their seats waiting to see what the riders have in store. Keep a close eye on our Gravity riders, they won’t disappoint.
The Kootenay Range in Eastern British Columbia has always been a worthy destination for Mountain bikers from all area’s of North America. It’s also the home of many seasoned veterans of our beloved sport. As a Pacific Northwest company, Gravity Components has supported many of these riders over our last eight years of brand-hood. Two of these riders currently call the Kootenays home: Mike Hopkins and Garett Buehler. Gravity’s Andrew Taylor and visiting Kiwi Conor Macfarlane were both more than happy to jump on board and explore the local trails, coffee houses, and swimming holes throughout South Eastern, BC. Hitting the 2014 Summer Solstice proved to be perfect timing because we knew the riding was so good that we’d want to rip all day.
Gradient’s MegaEVO crankset features a full carbon arm set mated to a 30mm spindle that inexpensively adapts to fit 68/73mm BSA, BB30, PF30 as well as BB86 bottom bracket standards. We’ve conducted extensive testing on this bad boy over the past couple seasons and it’s finally ready for production!
Mike Hopkins leads the way down Rossland’s Red Mountain, straight into the Pre-Shambhala party that waited in the lodge below.
“The Mayor” of Rossland looks out over his homeland.
Revelstoke’s “Hot Dog Hallway” produced the most high fives and “Yeah Bud’s” of the trip.
Gravity would like to thank Red Mountain, The City of Revelstoke, as well as Mike Hopkins and Garett Buehler for being awesome hosts to this amazing destination. Bruno Long (Photo) and Derek Dix (Video) also deserve a huge high five for bringing this all together!
Stop by the Gravity Booth (9071) at Interbike in Las Vegas and check out our products and meet the team!
Kevin Littlefield has been making quite the name for himself over the past few years. From amazing results at National Champs, to most recently taking 33rd in the Canadian Open Pro Downhill race at this years Whistler Crankworx, there is no question that this 19 year old means business.
A quick image search for “carbon failure” is enough to make anyone doubt that carbon bars are a good idea. I’ve been a skeptic myself for a long time, and have just stuck with regular old middle-weight aluminum bars. Carbon has come a long way in recent years and so the chance to try out Gravity’s new Gradient bar and stem was my way of dipping the toes in the hot tub of a carbon cockpit.
The bars certainly feel very light using the always sophisticated one hand holds the old aluminum bars, one hand holds the carbon bars test. The diminutive stem also felt quite light. Beyond that, the parts are black and the graphics are subtle. Installation went smoothly and torque specs are printed near the stem bolts, which is always appreciated when dealing with carbon. The bars felt flat in their upsweep but on paper, nothing was goofy about the bar geometry. I must say that I was concerned about stiffness of the stem compared to my gold standard of the Thomson X4 50mm stem. I was also surprised by the low cost of the stem compared to the expected cost of the bars.
Gravity provided two versions of the bars for testing, a riser version and a flat version. I started with the flat bar thinking the novelty of something different might be fun. The flat bars stayed on my bike for exactly two rides. The first ride left me feeling like my hands were too low, even with spacers stacked under the stem, and I couldn’t effectively pull up on the front end for hops or get comfortable in turns. The second ride confirmed that flat was indeed whack for my needs. I suspect they would be a lot more useful on longer travel wagon-wheeled bikes with monstrously high front ends.
Swapping to the riser version proved to be a lot more comfortable even though there is not a ton of rise to these bars. As a side note, the lock on grips tossed in by Gravity are great. They are thin without giving a harsh ride and do not get too slippery when your mitts get sweaty.
I know that it adds material and thus weight to make a bar wider but 740mm is on the narrow end for some folks these days. Wide bars are also narrow bars with the clever use of a saw but narrow bars tend to stay narrow. That being said, 29” is big enough for most users and crazy wide bars don’t exactly fit on some trails very well anyway. Carbon dorks tend to look at weight in grams rather than in practicality of width options, so I see why the lighter and narrower starting point is where Gravity landed. The stem that didn’t inspire an outpouring of feelings about its sturdiness in the parking lot did its job just fine on the trail, but the controls as a whole felt less stiff than my previous rig. Could be the nature of carbon, could just be “ride compliance” or a combination of both. It’s hard to blame that on only a stem since its little nub is probably contributing an insignificant amount of flex compared to the 14” lever of a handlebar sticking out on either side. Mushy dirt, many inches of suspension, and your own arms moving around also make it hard to say how stiff your bar and stem really are. A higher rise version of the bars (maybe 25mm) would be something that I would switch to if the option were available. I should also point out that throughout testing I was glad that I had left my steerer tube long so that I could play with spacer stacks – cockpit setup is finicky business.
My policy on handlebars, regardless of material, has always been the same as for underwear: replace every 12-18 months regardless of any major accidents. I would carry on with that policy on these bars simply because a couple hundred dollars in handlebars is a lot cheaper than a full dental rebuild. I don’t think that the Gradient bar and stem would suffer any more damage in crashes nor wear abnormally quickly compared to my previous gear. The grips, on the bonus side, are holding up quite well for me so far.
Bars and stems are two things that I don’t ever want to worry about. I just want them to put my hands in a comfortable place and keep them there without any sudden changes. If they are black and have clean graphics, even better. So these offerings from Gravity hit those marks right on. The stem does so at a price that is hard to beat and gets a star bump for doing so. The bars did their job just fine but didn’t have me drinking the carbon bar kool-aid. There are more expensive carbon offerings out there and there are cheaper aluminum options, and I’d be hard pressed to tell the difference in a Pepsi Challenge so they get the lower rating due to being less cost effective.
Visit www.ridegravity.com for more details.
Kevin Shiramizu has been riding mountain bikes for over 15 years. During that time he accumulated multiple state championships in Colorado for XC and trials riding, a junior national champ title in trials, and went to Worlds to get his ass kicked by euros in 2003. His riding favors flat corners and sneaky lines. After a doozy of a head injury, he hung up the downhill bike for good in early 2010 and now foolishly rides a very capable trail bike with less protection and crashes just as hard as ever. He likes rough, technical trails at high elevation, but usually settles for dry, dusty, and blown out. He spent five good years of his youth working in bike shops and pitched in efforts over the years with Decline, LitterMag, Dirt, and Vital MTB. He also helped develop frames and tires during his time as a guy who occasionally gets paid to ride his bike in a fancy way in front of big crowds of people.
This was a little video our Gravity team shot on a trip to Orcas Island out in the Puget Sound. The Gravity team said “This was the last weekend of trail riding on the Island until after Labor Day, so we had to have one last horah!”
They also added “the Island has one of the best skateparks in Washington, so you know we had to hit that too!”
The Full Carbon Gradient Goods are being used by our team in this video, so if you haven’t watched this yet, you need to check it out!
Special thanks goes out to Tyler Deschaine who created the video.