by Hannah Dobson
January 6, 2017
Drag the tree outside (or up into the loft). Get out the hoover. Empty the hoover. Have another go at those last few stubborn needles. Make a trip to the charity shop with all the old stuff you don’t need any more, or the new stuff you don’t want. Find homes in cupboards or on shelves for the gifts you are keeping. Wave goodbye to the relatives and turn the sofabed back into a sofa. The festivities are over.
Don’t be downhearted. Sit back and enjoy the extra space that comes with not having a tree in your front room. The quiet now that three young cousins aren’t all playing on screens at the same time. The fresh air now that your guts have settled and are no longer releasing noxious fumes. Well, only as noxious as usual, not those festive specials you’ve been releasing of late.
Space, quiet, and fresh air. All things that can quite easily be achieved any day of the year by hopping on your bike. Let’s hope that 2017 has plenty of this in store for all of us.
Now, find yourself a quiet space to peruse all that is fresh, in this week’s Fresh Good Friday.
Liv Hail Advanced 1
- Price: £3,749
- From: Liv
Designed from the ground up, this is not ‘the women’s version of the [insert Giant Bike of your choice]’. This is the 160mm travel, carbon fibre, 27.5in wheeled bike for women who want a bike that is specifically designed for them, and as capable as any other top spec bike on the market.
The 160mm travel fork comes with a dual travel setting, so you can drop to 130mm travel for technical climbs. This is a bike designed to climb as well as it descends.
Rear suspension comes from an updated dual link Maestro suspension system with a new and improved Trunnion mount, common to a number of new Giant bikes this year, and the alloy Hail models. The new Trunnion mount is made of a specially layered carbon composite that Liv claims makes the mount 50% lighter and 50% stronger than could be achieved in alloy.
This new mount allows the linkage to be joined to the shock at the side of the body rather than the top, which means that a longer shock can be fitted into the same space on the bike. Along with the shock’s larger air volume, the Hail’s rear shock requires lower operating pressures to support the rider. In addition, the lighter Trunnion mount reduces the weight higher up the frame, meaning the weight is lower on the bike, reducing the centre of gravity.
That low centre of gravity allows the BB to be high without compromising handling. This enables women to pedal through technical climbs, rather than hoofing the bike over obstacles while ratcheting the pedals – because Liv believes that this suits women’s lower body strength better.
Liv has sought to make the Hail as up to date as possible, so it comes with a 1x set up and boost hub spacing.
There are two alloy models of the Hail also available in the UK.
Yes, you read that caption right. These are 800mm bars. No shrinking it and pinking it going on here. This bike is also looong – the large we have here has a reach of 45cm, and a 62.4cm top tube.
This is the top spec model available in the UK. The Hail Advanced 0 which comes with SRAM Eagle is not on offer here.
Shimano SLX brakes, 200m rotors front, 180mm rear.
100mm drop – perhaps not that much for an enduro ready bike?
There’s more to this bike than a women’s specific saddle. Hannah has already had chance to ride the Hail out in Sedona, so now she’s going to introduce it to some mud.
Ibis Colouring Book
- Price: $14.85
- From: Ibis
Whether it’s mindfulness or child’s play you seek, Ibis has this colouring book for you, with 22 images drawn by Chris McNally, Kristen Wayte, and Sheryl Chapman.
Showers Pass Atlas Jacket
- Price: £215
- From: Showers Pass
This is the latest waterproof jacket from Showers Pass to include their reflective MapREflect material so you can more easily be seen at night – assuming there is a light pointed your way. Based on the Refuge jacket, which our Jason reviewed here, but with added reflective technology.
The map pattern fabric (it is a map, not actually cyborg wiring as Chipps might have us think) means that no two jackets will be exactly the same. Apparently they’re street maps of various cities, and allegedly South Shields (the UK home of Showers Pass) is in there somewhere.
Bontrager XR4 Team Issue TLR MTB Tyres
- Price: £39.99
- From: Trek
Designed to out-corner any XC tyre on the market, with aggressive tread design, deep, lateral cupped blocks, long shoulder blocks and buttressed tread block edges. Inner Strength protection plus tubeless ready for fewer flat tyres, lower pressure capability.
Topeak SmartGauge D2
- Price: £29.99
- From: Extra UK
Wil cannot bear to ride anywhere without a pressure gauge. This one fits Presta and Schrader valves and reads PSI, Bar, and kg/cm2.
Schwalbe Tread Cutters
- Price: £19.99
- From: Shwalbe
If you’ve run out of things to fiddle with on your bike, get cutting your own tyres.
Schwalbe Airmax Pro Digital Gauge
- Price: £14.95
- From: Shwalbe
Another gauge, measuring pressures up to 11 bar and suitable for both Auto and Presta valves. It will also function with Schwalbe’s ‘classic’ bicycle valve.
Scott Soldier 2 Knee Guards
- Price: £54.99
- From: Scott Sports
With D3O front and side protection and internal side padding these pull on pads should keep your knees safe from knocks. They’re also abrasion resistant and breathable.
In honour of Chipps and his dancing, let’s play out with a spot of this. The future is now.