New Dropper Post Levers, Grips, Handlebars, and Brake Pads - Across the Pond Beaver

Sep 2, 2020 at 11:49
by Mike Levy  
Across the Pond Beaver 2020




PNW Components Dropper Rehab, New Grip and Handlebar Colors

The crew at PNW Components recently announced their dropper post refurb/rehab program that lets riders purchase used or blemished posts that PNW has refurbished. Not only that, but riders can also trade in their older PNW dropper posts for a credit towards a new or used dropper. All are inspected and, if required, refurbished, and they all come with a one-year warranty.


Does your ride need a bit of flair? The latest Loam grips and Range: KW Edition handlebar will give you exactly that.


At the other end of your cockpit, PNW has also updated their popular Loam lock-on grip with new colors. Now you can pick from something called ''Fruit Snacks'' that looks a lot like purple, as well as new green, blue, and sand-colored versions. The design remains unchanged, and they're using a single, inboard locking collar, a 133.5mm length, and an average diameter of 30mm. You might want to slide those grips on PNW's Range: KW Edition handlebar that you can now get with color highlights to match your Loam grips. The 'KW' stands for American racer Kyle Warner, and the 2014 aluminum 'bar sports a 10° back-sweep and 5° up-sweep that PNW says, ''Helps put your shoulder blades in a more neutral position while reducing wrist fatigue and discomfort.'' The 334-gram handlebar comes in a 780mm width, 30mm of rise, and only 31.8mm diameter clamp.

You can pick up a set of Loam grips for $19 USD, while the Range: KW Edition handlebar costs $69 USD.



Sinter's E-Bike Brake Pads

While I suspect many of us reach for OEM pads when it's time to give our brakes some new life, using aftermarket pads is one way to tailor their performance to your needs. Slovenian brand Sinter probably doesn't leap to mind, but they've been manufacturing brake pads for everything from scooters to racing go-karts for the last forty-five years, and now produce up to two-million pads per year spread between five-hundred different applications. Go-kart rotors are made in-house, too, including custom-made, lightweight composite discs.


Greg Callaghan Devinci Spartan
Greg Callaghan has been running the new Sinter pads on his Devinci Spartan.


So yeah, they probably know a thing or two about stopping, and their latest mountain bike brake pads have been ''tailored to the unique demands of e-bike riders.'' Sinter has used a harder organic compound (they call it S530) for increased lifespan while being used on an e-bike that's likely heavier and going faster than if it were non-motorized, and word is that the new "blue" pad has fade resistance that offers the same power and feel at the top of the run as it does at the end. The $26.99 USD e-bike pads are claimed to improve modulation as well and are available for most braking systems.



SDG's Redesigned Dropper Post Lever

SDG's then-new Tellis dropper post was reviewed back in 2018, and I came away impressed with the action and reliability. That very dropper is still in action today and still running smoothly on a friend's bike, but SDG has now updated the lever to offer more ergonomic adjustments and mounting options.


SDG Tellis dropper post review Photo by James Lissimore
The previous version is on the left, while the new Tellis lever is on the right.


The original Tellis remote was a one-piece unit with a split clamp to make install and removal easy, and the updated version is modular to let you attach it to SRAM's Matchmaker or Shimano's I-Spec mounts for a cleaner cockpit. There are two lateral mounting postions that offer 10mm of adjustment, and you can still use a hinged, 22.2mm stand-alone clamp if you don't want to combo it. A set-screw also supplies riders with up to 30-degrees of reach adjustment, so you should be able to get the concave thumb paddle where it feels ideal.

The lever rotates on dual bushings, and SDG says that this provides ''substantially less drag than a ball bearing, allows for a more compact design, and they’re economically friendly if you ever need to replace them.'' Another detail nearly hidden from view is the cable clamp; it's a bolt and washer setup rather than some impossibly small set-screw that's waiting to get rounded out. The previous Tellis lever could be had for $39.95 on its own, but the new gets a bump up to $49.99 USD.







76 Comments

  • 69 2
 Hey PNW, can you make a thick (32-33mm) version of the grips? I'd totally buy them!
  • 4 0
 I read recently where they eluded to having a thicker version in the works...
  • 18 0
 32-33 is barely thick. how about 34-35? Sensus Meaty Paws are pretty much the only other good option. There's plenty of room to own this segment.
  • 4 0
 @alexsin: I can always rely on my gorilla mitt brother to get his 2 cents in for me.
  • 7 1
 And while your at it make your bar with a 50mm rise option.
  • 5 0
 @alexsin: MEATY PAWS!!
  • 9 0
 Yeh you get way less hand cramp with a bigger girth...
  • 21 0
 @ctd07: thats why my wife walks around with crab hands all day I guess
  • 2 1
 @Eatsdirt: I would like a 40mm Loam grip, or even fatter
  • 2 0
 As would I. I’m running Raceface Getta Grips now, my last grips were Oury lock-ons which broke before the grip wore off. More options for big hands!
  • 3 4
 What size hands do you have??!!
I have big hands - size 12/13 or xxl/xxxl in gloves and I ride RF Half Nelsons. They are a 29mm grip.
I have ridden fatter grips and that defo gives you hand cramp and restricts your grip and movement somewhat. The pleasures of choice.
  • 4 0
 @ilovedust: I got size 9 gloves and really prefer thicker grips for more relaxed hands and less cramped "hooked fingers" feel. I think it is not only hand size but also hand shape in how much meat your thumb has and in what angles wrists and shoulder feel good at.

I really rate a higher sweep bar (running 12 degree SQlabs) and thick grips even on tech stuff. But then again, 12 degrees is not huge sweep in other handlebar sports so I´m wondering why mtb bars are so straight in comparison?

S&M slambars are 12 degrees and are a somewhat gold standard for BMX bars hand have survived all trends of tiny low sweep bars of the midschool era.
  • 2 0
 I just got some Deity Supracush grips the other week and they're 34mm and I'm loving them so far, I'd look into them!
  • 1 0
 @alexsin: I thought my ODI Rogue grips were thick, but they're only 33mm! I need more meat!
  • 1 0
 @ilovedust: I'm in the same camp. Big hands and I prefer small diameter grips. I experience thumb pain and numbness with larger dia grips. My favorites are Renthal push ons but they are a bit of a pain in the butt.
  • 2 0
 @Aphex-: +1 for the Supracush. They rule!
  • 1 0
 @ReformedRoadie: im lusting for meaty paws over a year but they are barely available in europe
  • 3 0
 @iduckett: MEATY PAWS!!!
  • 2 0
 @Aphex-: I bought some Supracush and a pair of Dreadlocks. First ride on the cush today. Felt great at first then the comfort went away. Haven't tried the Dreadlocks yet. Thinking I should have went with Mega Fat Paws.
  • 1 0
 @richulr: dreadlocks may be next for me. They look good
  • 17 2
 "e-bike [brake] pads"

Why does an e-bike need special pads (and other stuff), but a size XS bike doesn't need special pads or forks or etc. If it's just about the extra weight, it doesn't make any sense because an e-bike of a given size is only like 15 kg more, but adult riders easily have somewhere around a 50 kg spread between smallest and largest. So it's really because e-bikes are able put more energy into the ground and need sufficient braking to reign in the extra kinetic energy that results, which means they absolutely do more damage to trails.
  • 16 0
 "e-bike specific" today is as silly as "enduro specific" was 5 years ago. eMTBs have increased demands, but for the vast majority of products it's an OE cash grab, and they should really be called "e-bike approved" or something like that.
  • 4 0
 I used to think that too until my 69 year old friend got one. He’s going through chains and other bits fast because his mileage is so high. I suppose some of it is the added weight and torque but I think mostly it’s the added mileage. Plus with a motor assist you don’t care about added weight as much.
  • 5 0
 Its mostly useless marketing blurb. But a lot of E-bike customers have absolutely no clue about anything bike-related, so they always ask "but can i use this on my E-bike?". So the manufacturer slaps on an "E-bike" sticker, bumps up the price by 25% and there we go.
  • 1 0
 The only "e-bike specific" thing I've bought so far (for my non-e-bike) is a Fox 34 E-bike fork. It's the externals of a Fox 34 with the internals of a Fox 32, so you get stanchion walls that are 2x thicker and an incredibly stiff fork, at the cost of weight. I have it on my "do dumb things" hardtail, where weight isn't a concern.
  • 2 2
 @Someoldfart: Wearing wear-parts faster through high mileage is not an e-bike specific thing, it's a high-mileage specific thing. He's wearing parts faster than he used to because he is doing more miles than before. But he's probably not going to wear out things faster than someone who already does that many miles.

At least according to everyone who says e-bikes don't have any more effect on the trails than regular bikes, because if the extra energy isn't going to put more wear into the trail surface, then how could it be doing more wear on components?
  • 4 0
 @runbrung: except that's not really e-bike specific, it's just a stronger than usual shorter travel fork. It's the reason the Fox 36 831 exists, or the Pike DJ.

Speccing a 34E instead of a 36 is just a silly consumer perception thing: "I'm not riding burly trails, so I don't need a 36, so instead I'll get this 34 that is just as heavy but looks lighter."
  • 2 0
 @just6979: Agreed, it is a silly fork.

I bought it because I was in a weird situation - I wanted a really burly 120mm 27.5 fork for a Cotic BFe 26" hardtail. The regular Fox 34 is too long, only available in 140mm, and the 831 seemed like overkill. It just happened to work out well for me. I guess the Pike DJ would have worked too.
  • 1 0
 @runbrung: "the 831 seemed like overkill" that's the perception thing I was talking about. The 831 _is_ the burly short travel option (not sure if there is any way to make the newest ones go to 120, but there might be an air shaft for it). in 2018 it weighed 4.3 pounds, and non-E 34 weighed just under 4 pounds. 1mm thicker walls on the stanchions and other increases probably puts the 34E very close to that. In fact, since Fox doesn't seem to publish the E-BIKE+ weights, I'd bet it weighs more. But there is a persistent perception that big fat tubes are heavy, so they make the 34E and others to allow bike manufacturers spec skinny legs while getting the extra strength they allegedly need.

I say allegedly because non-E forks have served a massive range of rider weights for decades, there was no marketing stiffer forks to big guys and skinnier forks to light girls, where the weight difference can be hundreds of pounds. Suddenly eBikes show up and now 15-20 extra pounds needs a whole new fork? Bullshit.
  • 15 0
 A website would be nice for the Sinter pads. Almost impossible to just google that and find them
  • 3 0
 website: www.sinter.si ("under construction")
linkedin: www.linkedin.com/company/sinterbrakes
  • 23 7
 a company that doesn't make it easy to find their website or how to buy their product... probably not worth buying
  • 1 0
 @sinterbrakes on the gram
  • 14 1
 @lognar: Hadley Racing Hubs comes to mind... and they're 1000% worth buying lol! A lack of web presence doesn't mean the company or it's products are no good. Sinter has a FacePlace page so that should keep the ADHD kids happy.
  • 1 0
 @vr6ix: agreed on the Hadley. As a guy that ran king for years, I was always envious of friends with hadley, never really touching them...........

My last wheelset,I used Hadley.
  • 3 0
 @vr6ix: Have to agree with the Hadley assesment. I worked at a custom wheel building shop for years and we even had some custom Hadley BMX hubs for us. Damn good hubs, great quality, barely could get them on the phone.
  • 7 1
 In this day and age a proper web presence is a must to not look like vapour ware or have a high risk of no future support. Only reason Hadley is trustworthy is because us old guys knew of them back in the 90s. They have a cachet. I had to look them up a few months ago to see if they were still in existence. Found out they were but it took some sleuthing.
  • 4 1
 @lognar: Sounds like you have a business opportunity in global distribution just knocking at your door. But...probably better to complain about a Slovenian company at a Euro show not in the U.S. market yet. Good on PB for illuminating them.
  • 2 0
 Unior tool usa website is the easiest way to get them in the states.
  • 1 0
 Does Middleburn have a website? I can't find anything about them even though I really like their products.
  • 1 0
 @lognar: they had a website with some PDFs some months ago.
  • 1 0
 @joehandlebar: Eventually, someone speaks worthy ideas!
  • 2 0
 Maybe on Amazon or Ebay? The Corki pads I've bought in the past don't have a website either. Truckerco does though, and they are fantastic metallic sintered pads!
  • 3 0
 @trocko911 Hi! Sinter started work on a new website a little while ago and it was supposed to have been done by publication, but unfortunately there were a few hiccups. Their site (www.sinter.si) should be active in a couple hours. In the meantime, since it looks like you're in the US, you can find more info at our website: www.uniorusa.com -- we're the importer/distributor for Sinter in the US. Thanks!
  • 1 0
 @lognar: One ride on the pads will make you think differently, I promise.
  • 1 0
 @chagel, @skullsroad Thanks y'all!
  • 2 0
 @joehandlebar: Sinter Brakes are available in the US via Unior USA -- www.uniorusa.com -> Service Partners -> Sinter

Sinter's new site was supposed to have been ready to launch about a week ago in expectation of this article, but much like me on a first date, sometimes things happen sooner than you expect and it's entirely out of your control.
  • 7 0
 Every SDG dropper post I've had has been rock solid. Install is a one beer job at best as you feed the cable in from the post and remote tension is not super finicky to dial in.
  • 1 0
 Same here, easy to work with and no problems since 2 years.
  • 6 1
 Kudos to Aaron and the gang at PNW. Simple and brilliant stuff that really does show how the major brands arw relying on marketing over product.
  • 6 4
 I excitedly tried to buy a refurb PNW dropper recently and they were sold out of all the popular lengths in the common diameters. It's a great program to offer, but if there's no product to sell... Maybe it's not the right time to hype it up. Perhaps building up a supply of refurb posts and offering a periodic "garage sale" like REI does would be a better plan.
  • 19 1
 We completely understand where you're coming from! We'll be aiming to update the PNW Cycled inventory on a more regular basis moving forward with a goal of updating the stock levels every Wednesday. We should have more product available tomorrow if you're still searching for a dropper.
  • 2 0
 Do you guys sell refurb'd droppers internationally? @pnwcomponents:
  • 4 1
 @Fektor: Unfortunately we're currently limited to selling them in the U.S. and Canada. We want to be able to sell them everywhere and are actively looking for ways to make this possible.
  • 1 0
 @pnwcomponents: Any chance the handlebars will also come in blue and sand colors?
  • 4 0
 It's a great program. Period.
  • 1 0
 @bishopsmike: I second that.. if that would be available in Europe, I'd buy one tomorrow...
  • 1 0
 @pnwcomponents: thanks for the follow up! I already bought another post (from a German brand I won't name here) but I'll keep an eye on your Pnw Cycled page nonetheless.
  • 2 0
 It's great to see a handlebar released with a greater backsweep (PNW Range). I think [or at least hope] this will become more popular with other handlebar makers. I've been running a 12 deg backsweep bar and my wrists thank me for it. So much more comfortable for those long days on the saddle.
  • 1 0
 Those grips look good, 30mm is my preferred diameter. Just changed grips from Ruffians to have a single clamp grip.

1. Average diameter? So is there a profile drawing of the diameter, personally, straight grips work best for me.
2. What is the rubber compound? How good is it in the wet etc.
3. What is the no clamped end like, when I clip a tree will it just rip off like some other grips do?
  • 3 1
 All great questions! Hopefully these answers help shed a bit of light on the Loam Grips:

1. We don't have a profile drawing available, but the grips are 31mm on the outer edge and slim down to 29.5mm near the flange.

2. The compound is 25A and we love them in the rain. Being based out of Seattle means we get rained on for most of the year so we needed something that could handle wet rides. They work well with sweaty, gloveless hands too!

3. The non-clamped end is pretty sturdy, but not 100% bullet proof. I personally rammed the end of my grip into a tree last week while trying to cut corners and I only have a small tear to show for it. The grip is still in tact and functioning exactly like its tearless twin on the other side of my bars.
  • 4 1
 That refurb dropper programme is awesome
  • 2 0
 So the company’s name is Sinter, but they make organic pads??
  • 1 0
 The name goes back 50 years to when they were doing a fair amount of metallic friction materials.
  • 2 2
 Having installed a few SDG Tellis posts lately I can say that the new lever sucks.
  • 4 0
 idk why but im following your profile for some reason but how come the other day you had like 1000 trailforks rides pop up?
  • 1 0
 @Kashima:
I imported all of my rides from Strava... sorry about that, haha.
  • 11 0
 Sorry to hear that you're not happy with the lever. Can you shed some light as to why it "sucks" in your opinion?
  • 7 0
 @SDG-COMPONENTS:
Happy to - I had the cable clamp bolt strip out after a couple of removal/reinstalls on a customer's bike - in my opinion the bolt is too short.

Also the bar clamp nut that is free to fall on the floor when the bolt is removed is an unncessary pain in the ass. It should be captive in some way, as it stands it's easily lost, not easily replaced and is just not easy to work with.

The lever throw:cable pull ratio feels wrong to me. There's too much throw for little actuation in my opinion, though I realise this is completely subjective.
  • 43 1
 @notthatfast: We've modified the assembly to now run a longer bolt. Everything coming on SC (who I assume you're seeing it on) has been modified accordingly now so it should be a non-issue now. In all the sampling the bolts were fine and went up to 5nM without issue, but when we rolled into production the tolerance variances between bolt & lever thread depth meant that unfortunately on some combinations there was little thread capture so the lever stripped out.

Re: Lever throw - Post is designed so you can setup the lever so the post actuates with essentially instant engagement. You definitely shouldn't have have lots of lever throw in order to actuate. We've always recommended setting up the lever so that you add enough tension that the post slowly starts to creep up, then remove tension at barrel adjuster until this stops. This setup should give the user instant engagement and the post should actuate with only a couple MM of lever throw.

Re: Nut - We went this route to make the lever modular while retaining the lever shape that our customers like on the non-adjustable version. In most orientations of how you position the lever (using the rotation adjustment) the nut is captive.

Definitely appreciate your feedback and hopefully you're more satisfied with the updates to the lever when you see them!
  • 9 0
 @SDG-COMPONENTS: kudos for engaging, owning the bolt issue, and explaining your product.
  • 1 0
 More fresh pond beaver!!!
  • 1 0
 My bike needs Flair, not Flare.
  • 1 0
 Sinter finally got a website: www.sinter.si/2-our-products

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