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.
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.
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.
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.