March 9, 2012
The things that are the most fun in life tend to have the greatest potential to damage. So it is with Fresh Goods Friday. One minute you’ll be admiring your black-inked payday bank balance, next minute you’ll have a very lovely new bit of bike kit sat in the hallway and a year of debt servicing. The wheel of fortune revolves – usually with an expensive sounding clicky noise.
Vitus Vee-1 29
If you’ve not been slurping the Kool-Aid that 29ers are the future of off-road riding, then this might help convince you that big wheels can be good. With a set of 29″ wheels shod with fast rolling but off-road capable Kenda Small Block 8 tyres, it makes a lot of sense as a city or commuting bike that’ll also handle mucky riding excursions. The alloy frame keeps it simple with a 42:18 singlespeed drivetrain and horizontal dropouts at the back, V brakes all round and steel rigid fork. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a bit of a bargain…
Our Benji is going to be testing this for a future online review, presumably once he’s cut the bars down to 20″ and got full sleeve tats for that urban feel.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a 25.4mm bar and a straight steerer tube in FGF – but it’s all stuff that works and will continue to do so. We like the subtle matt finish with black graphics and pink detail too.
V brake, a fair portion of clearance and a tea-leaf-confounding bolted seat clamp.
Fox Factory 34 FIT RLC TALAS
More forks for the grouptest in Issue 73. These forks are pretty fresh – they’re the first set of 34mm stanchion 29er forks from the Fox people. Designed to be a middle way between the 32 and 36 families, it aims to offer precise steering to offset the longer legs a 29″ wheel necessitates but without a massive weight hike. They’ve got 140mm of air-sprung travel which can be stepped down to 110mm at the flick of a switch and you’ve got rebound, low speed compression and a lockout too. They’re only available in a 1.125-1.5″ taper steerer with 15mm axle. They’re just the thing for the rash of longer travel 29ers emerging at the moment…
From: Mojo Suspension
Golden Kashima fork legs and low friction seals as standard. They’re like the Ferrero Rocher of 29er forks.
Rock Shox Revelation XX Dual Air 29
The Fox 34s will be up against these, a white truffle chocolate of big wheeled suspension from Rock Shox. They’re the top of the line 29er fork with XX remote lockout damper and dual flow rebound circuit. They use the Dual Air spring with eminently tunable positive and negative air chambers, also giving 140mm of travel. They use a standard 20mm Maxle and tapered steerer.
From: Fisher Outdoor Leisure
We like the full hydraulic lockout which prevents the curse of sticky remote cables. You can also adjust the ‘Gate’ threshold damping using it.
For those “is it my eyes?” wheel size moments…
WTB Moto 2.3″ Race FR 26″ tyre
Based in sunnier climes than the soggy UK, WTB have traditionally done super fast rolling tyres and done them well. It’s sometimes left a bit of a wet weather tyre gap but the Moto Race aims to plug that, with square and spiky tread designed to cut down to grip. This version uses a 60tpi Aramid casing with dual compound, softer-on-the-edges tread. They’re Tubeless compatible, only need a gentle dollop of sealant to work.
Nukeproof Zero 50mm stem
Made for 4X racing, this 50mm item should be perfect for any slam-a-short-stem-on-it curealls. It’s cold forged then CNC machined to remove as much weight while keeping enough strength for the intended use. The bolts are all 4mm, with opposing steerer bolts.
Spank Subrosa 747 EVO bars
German brand Spank has been gradually taking off in the UK. Originally known for somewhat lurid dirt jump kit, they’ve been doing a broader range recently. These 747mm wide bars come in a host of rises with grey, black or white finishes. They use an internal taper, going from a thicker wall at the stem to a gradually thinner section at the end, rising back up at the very tips to prevent damage if you have to chuck the bike down. These are set for Jamie’s Long Term Turner 5-Spot…
Spank Oozy stem
Jamie plans to attach those bars using this neat 50mm stem, which clamps to the steerer using a ‘Sex Bolt’. It’s supposed to offer greater clamping force, although we’re not sure what that has to do with the joyous act.
Spank VoMax EVO 29″ rim
This rim has a 23mm outer width and 18.5mm inner which should make it about right for tyres up to a 2.3″ or so. They’re made with Dynamal alloy, which Spank reckon is a load better than your normal 6000-series aluminium, welded and then cold worked to improve strength. You can get them in 32 or 28 hole versions and Martin from Hotlines says a tubeless rimstrip should be available shortly…
Nukeproof Critical Armour Base
This lightweight upper body armour/base layer thing is really catching on. This top from Nukeproof uses SaS-Tec shock absorbing foam in the shoulders and elbows sewn into a breathable base layer with chest padding. They reckon the kind of foam they use can absorb 50% more impact energy than a normal hardshell while being 60% lighter.
Oneten Intimo long sleeve base layer
Back to more normal base layers now, with oneten’s superlightweight microfibre base layer. The front panel is made from standard wicking fabric to provide a degree of windproofing, while the back and arms are made from mesh-like material to keep you nice and cool. The wool vs. synthetic divide in the office is growing ever greater…
Singletrack Issue 72
Never mind the rest of it, here’s the brand spanking new, freshly rejiggled and event better Singletrack coming off the printers at Warners. Sim and Mark have gone to make sure it’s all perfect for the release date of March 15th. You can check out the thinking behind the relaunch here and what’s going to be inside it here…
Price: £4.50 (or less if you subscribe)