January 20, 2012
Welcome to yet another edition of Fresh Goods, the Friday lunchtime tradition that’s less damaging to your health – but just as bad for your wallet.
Cotic Solaris 29er
Rolling, rolling, rolling; yes indeed, big wheels are rolling out of garages and across the countryside this year. Momentum is building and they’re definitely here to stay, the handling quirks of early bikes put firmly behind them. This is Cotic’s first foray into the world of 29 inch wheels and Cotic Soul-owner Jenn has got it in as her Long Term test bike. Cy says the bike is designed to offer the same handling experience and capability as the 26″ wheeled Soul trail hardtail, combined with the attributes of larger diameter wheels.
We should point out that this particular model is a pre-production prototype – you won’t be able to get it in this shade of green and production bikes will get the massively compatible 44mm ID style headtube rather than this cute but limiting external taper job. You can head to the Cotic site to check out the production spec…
The tubing is as ferrous as you’d expect, with a Reynolds 853 Ovalform top tube, 4130 back end and True Temper OX Platinum tubing elsewhere. It’s designed with 100mm forks in mind, though you can fit anything from 80-120mm forks in the front with enough clearance for 2.4″ tyres. The seatpost is 31.6mm diameter, meaning full compatibility with dropper posts.
Tidy cowled dropouts and neat reinforcement in evidence…
Price: £499 for frame inc Hope seatclamp
Montane North Star jacket
Using 200g of Ukranian goose down to give an 800+ fill power in a DWR coated water resistant and windproof shell, Montane say that jacket is perfect for year-round mountain use. There are loads of neat features; the extra large hood that’ll cover a helmet, included stuff-sac, baffled construction to prevent the down migrating and long body cut. Matt’s been looking rather smug and warm in it, especially when the heating broke.
To illustrate size – and just because we can – here’s the included roll top stuff sac for keeping your down dry.
Montane Shell Air jacket
Made from super lightweight eVent, this jacket is designed to pack down small and weighs a claimed 320g for the large size. Despite the lack of weight there’s a whole load of features, with a rollaway wired hood, super deep chest pocket, properly sealed microtaped seams and two way zipper.
Montane Fireball smock
The smock is an underloved bit of kit. Once seen across windswept moors the length of the country, it fell out of fashion despite being perfectly suited to British grimness. This Fireball top is bang up to date though; Montane say it’s the lightest piece of Primaloft insulation on the market today. The outer is made from Pertex Quantum with ripstop contrasts and it’ll pack downinto a super small stuff sac for leaving in the rucsac, just in case…
F-Stop Kenti camera bag
A backpack with dedicated camera gear storage and hydration bladder compatibility. Camera gear is stored in two compartments each of which accessed from the side of the bag, hopefully make for swift stop-bike-take-photo behaviour. The compartments come with plenty of velcro-ended dividers for fine-tuning the fit of various camera and lens setups. There’s enough space to hold a Pro-sized SLR body and 70-200mm lens but Singletrack snapper Benji will mostly be taking a mid-range SLR with lens in one compartment and two or three lenses in the other compartment, using the Velcro dividers to snug it all up.
Roll top access for the upper compartment allows adjustability of the 25l volume; you can run it rolled fully down if there’s nowt in there to achieve a shorter pack height. The front external organiser pocket features multiple zippered pockets, battery sleeves, key clip, and even a bike pump sleeve. There are compression straps in all the usual key places for cinching the pack down. The pack is also compatible with Gatekeeper straps for carrying a tripod on the front of the pack so as to not obstruct operation of the side compartments. The main fabric is nylon Double Rip-Stop shell (with high-density foam inserts/padding) which claims to be able to “stand up to nature’s more abusive weather”. We shall see.
WTB Moto 29 x 1.9″ tyres
Brand new 29er filth tyres. Dual compound (50A shoulders/60A centre), tall toothy tread, tubeless compatible. WTB class them as ‘cross country/all mountain’ so at just 1.9in we might need to do a bit of recalibration on the gnar-o-meter… When was the last time we rode a 1.9in tyre? Not sure. We’re suitably scared. Look out for them plummeting off a hill near you soon.
Joe’s No Flats Eco Sealant
…and to go with the tyres, some new eco-friendly tyre sealant from Joe. Free from ammonia, latex, allergens and protein; seals holes up to 3mm; won’t freeze; a nice sky blue colour; smells like your granny’s shampoo (ie. nose-wrinklingly disgusting if you’re anyone but Chipps).
Price: £9.99 for 240ml
The Deanamo light
Remember the original, massive, home-brew lights forum thread from years ago? Well chief protagonist and engineer Rob Dean is still spending his spare time fiddling with wires (as well as riding and racing an awful lot) and has sent us a Deanamo light to play with. That’s a Euro-style Shimano XT disc hub dynamo in the background, which we’re going to build onto a 29in WTB rim the minute it arrives (hurry up postie!).
Facts and figures:
The three-LED beam gives 650 lumen at ~7mph or above, whilst the two-LED standlight (illuminated above) gives 410 lumen minimum when you’re travelling below ~7mph or stationary. Yes, the hub is heavy but, with no battery, the lamp is lighter: a full system of circuit, leads, lamp and hub weighs less than an Exposure Lights MaXx-D/Hope Pro 2 set up. And if you’re thinking that the dynamo will suck the power from your feeble legs then think again: the draw is a mere 5W per hour, which is the equivalent of 0.06 of a McVities digestive biscuit. There go our excuses for eating more cake…
From: Big Rob Racing
Wacky Practicals Folding Kettle
One for the happy campers out there. This is a rubber kettle (no really, bear with us) that uses heatproof rubber (like you get those egg poachers or oven mitts made of) with a metal base and nylon handle. It’ll sit happily on a camp stove and make brews all day, but when it comes to pack up, you simply squash it flat. Makes loads more room in the camping box. You DO have a special camping box, don’t you?
From: Wacky Practicals
Wacky Practicals Collapsable Funnel
To be honest, we really wanted their collapsible coffee funnel, but this is probably useful if you need to decant some port while camping, or need to fill up your portable Extra Virgin Olive Oil bottle…
From: Wacky Practicals
Yup, it’s a bucket that folds flat. Something that’ll appeal to the cyclocrossers in the pits, or the campsite washer uppers – or just for making really good quantities of white Russian…
From: Same again
That’s it for Fresh Goods this week. Tune in every Friday to find out what delights have appeared in the office that week. If you’re a manufacturer (preferably of mountain bike stuff, but you never know) and you’d like to be featured you can either a) send something in or b) contact Jon@singletrackworld.com and ask about our stringent guidelines and Ginger Snap bribery policy.