Here’s an Affordable New Way to Upgrade Your Mountain Bike

A bike components maker called PNW recently launched a program to buy back used parts, refurbish them and sell them again at a discount.

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Whether you realize it or not, you’re likely familiar with a burgeoning retail concept called recommerce. The term refers to the notion of circular economies — it’s what brands like REI, The North Face, Patagonia and Arc’teryx did when they launched programs to buy back used gear from shoppers, refurbish it and sell it again at lower prices. Apparel makers are pioneering this practice on the Internet, and now a small component maker called PNW is bringing the concept to the bicycle industry.

PNW’s circular program is called PNW Cycled, and it applies specifically to the dropper posts that it manufactures. For those unfamiliar, a dropper post is a premium component that lets you raise or lower your saddle at the push of a handlebar-mounted button. The feature is ubiquitous in high-end mountain bikes (and slowly trickling down to more affordable models), but thanks to PNW Cycled, upgrading your current ride with one is more affordable than ever.

That’s because not only does PNW Cycled take in used dropper posts in exchange for a 20 percent credit towards a new one, it also sells those returned seatposts on its Cycled website for 40 percent off. That means a $200 premium feature drops — pun intended — to $120. Given that PNW refurbishes and certifies all the posts that riders return through the program, that’s quite a bargain.

Once you ride with the luxury of raising and lowering your saddle as you transition between the uphill and downhill sections of an undulating trail, you’ll never go back. It could be one of the cheapest ways to inject new life into an old bike.

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