Novatec Signs Key Racers to its Wheel Program

Gravity heavies start racing season on Novatec hoops.

Kevin Aiello unleashes his inner speed demon on a pair of the namesake wheels at a recent Fontana DH race. Photo: Michael Darter

By Brice Minnigh

Novatec has upped the ante with its wheel program this year, sponsoring a slew of talented gravity riders—several of whom have recently been slaying it at the Fontana Winter Series Downhill and Super D races.

The crew includes gravity legends Eric Carter and Brian Lopes, along with up-and-coming standouts such as Kevin Aiello, Logan Binggeli and Waylon Smith.

Eric Carter has his new Hyper built up with a set of Novatec wheels. Photo: Michael Darter

Logan Binggeli has been running his Demons in the Fontana races as well as the first World Cup of the year. Photo: Michael Darter

In addition, freeride and DH luminary Kyle Strait has recently been seen running a pair of Novatec wheels, and he is rumored to be close to signing a sponsorship contract with the wheel maker.

Novatec has invested heavily in improving its mountain-bike wheels, and getting high-profile pros to run them in races ranging from the Fontana series to World Cups is becoming a key part of the company’s efforts to raise the brand’s profile.

In the Fontana series, Carter, Lopes and Smith have been running Novatec’s Diablo wheels, while Aiello and Binggeli have been racing DH on the beefier Demon hoops.

Waylon Smith has been racing DH on the Demons and Super D on the Diablos. Photo: Michael Darter

Waylon Smith has been racing DH on the Demons and Super D on the Diablos. Photo: Michael Darter

Based on race results and verbal feedback, the wheels are said to be stiff and holding up under some serious abuse. Lopes won a recent Super D at Fontana on the Diablos, while Aiello took first in the latest DH race on a pair of Demons.

Brian Lopes would probably win the Fontana Super D on any wheelset, but the fact of the matter is that he’s winning on Novatecs. Photo: Mike Lord

Brian Lopes would probably win the Fontana Super D on any wheelset, but the fact of the matter is that he’s winning on Novatecs. Photo: Mike Lord

Meanwhile, many of these same athletes have recently signed sponsorship agreements with HT Components, which is introducing a new line of flat pedals that are already generating positive feedback.

While Aiello, Binggeli and Lopes are all running HT flats, DH champion Aaron Gwin has also recently joined the program. And Strait is rumored to be close to a pedal agreement with HT as well.

Novatec and HT are distributed through Bikefettish.

Visit www.novatecusa.net for more information on Novatec’s wheels.

Visit www.hti-pedals.com for more information on HT’s pedals.

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