by Wil Barrett
December 30, 2016
It’s the last Fresh Goods Friday of the year. The last of 2016 – and what a year it’s been. 50 years on, this tune still seems pretty relevant.
It’s been a tumultuous year for many. Childhood and teenage heroes died. Families divided along political battles lines. Leicester City won the Premier League. And e-MTBs flooded the market.
What will 2017 bring? Many of us would love a period of stability. Maybe a year where good things happen to good people, bad people are shown the error of their ways, weather is predictable, and political boundaries are overcome as everyone unites to save the planet and eradicate disease. Some may set their sights higher still, and hope for a standardisation of bike industry standards.
What are you hoping the year ahead will hold? We know one thing we want, that we have control of: we want to ride bikes.
- Price: £1799 Frame only
- From: Raleigh
Available in 27.5+, 29er and 29+ sizes, this is the 29+ version of the Salsa Woodsmoke, a carbon fibre 120mm travel hardtail.
Probably the most striking thing about this bike (which is saying something on a 29+ monster truck) is the elevated chainstay. This allows for a short rear triangle, and still gives room for a front derailleur should that be something you want. And you might, if you load this thing up with luggage and take to the mountains.
The chainstay length is between 400mm to 417mm depending on how you set the bike up – with the ‘Alternator’ dropout you can singlespeed it, belt drive it, Rohloff hub it, or even have some gears with a rear derailleur, like we have here.
We have this set up with a SRAM GX1 drive train.
3.0in tyres on a 29er? Genius or madness? Innovation or evolution? We shall see.
There’s room to carry a bottle of water, a bottle of electrolyte…
…and a bottle of Ribena.
It’s a fairly light week for deliveries this week, so let’s have a musical interlude to string things out a bit. Another tune that could be the soundtrack to 2016.
Robot Bike R160
- Price: £4395 frame only, around £8000 this build
- From: Robot Bike Co
Before you head down to the comments sections and squawk ‘How Much?’, read on. This is like the supercar of the bike world, except that it will happily clear speed bumps. The Robot Bike (named after one of its designers, honest) is a custom-built titanium and carbon fibre beast with a DW-6 suspension linkage at its heart. Made in the UK, the bike features ‘Titanium Additive Manufacturing’ lugs (we’re not supposed to say ‘3D printing, but you get the idea) combined with stiff and light carbon fibre tubes, all held together with really clever glue.
Due to the unique way in which the lugs are made individually for each bike, the geometry can be changed for every frame. While Robot Bike has a suggested set of angles, it will change the tube lengths and lug angles to fit your dimensions – and for an extra fee offers a fully custom geometry if you have a particular idea in mind – though to be fair, Robot Bike seems to have a pretty good handle on things.
Cube Helmet AM Race
- Price: £89.99
- From: Cube
With 17 vents to keep you cool, and additional protection to the back of the head to keep you safe.
Paul Components Bottle Opener
- From: Paul Components
A bottle opener on one end and a 15mm brake adjuster on the other makes this one handy tool. And it’s got a bottle opener. And it can open bottles.
Fox 34 Volume Spacers
- Price: £2.78 each
- From: Mojo
Get more performance out of your fork with these Volume Spacers.
Hope Pro4 SRAM XD Freehub Body
- Price: tbc
- From: Hope
Four Pawl Ratchet with 44 tooth engagement.
Lazer Revolution Chin Guard
- Price: £69.99 (comes with long visor)
- From: Madison
The helmet that this goes with has been out for a while, and the chin guards are now here. Go Enduro for 2017? The chin guards ship with a longer visor, which helps the helmet look more balanced when you’ve got the chin guard attached.
Clement PDX Tyres
- Price: £32.99
- From: 2Pure
These were meant for Chipps to ride the Three Peaks Cyclocross in September, but they’ve only just arrived. Maybe he’ll use them to thrash a few over 60s in what remains of the winter Cyclocross season? Designed to be fast rolling, but with side grip for slippy corners and such like.
- Price: RRP $249, Indiegogo offer $119
- From: Indiegogo
It’s a heated jacket! Designed specifically for activity with a strong, flexible heated panel, and equipped with three controlled heating zones. There is a durable wiring system attached to heating zones in the back and two front pockets. A quick switch-on shows it to be surprisingly effective. The jacket itself is a softshell design with water-resistant zips and an integrated hood.
The outer shells are built with durable fabrics that are wind and water resistant.
It has a small rechargeable battery pack that fits neatly into a rear pocket.
And there we have it. The last Fresh Goods Friday for 2016. There’s a lot of pressure on choosing a tune to play out 2016. It’s fraught with danger – there is after all one more day of 2016 to get through. Fingers crossed we make it through to 2017. See you on the other side, in 2017. The year of happiness, light, and more bikes.