by Hannah Dobson
February 10, 2017
Oh my goodness, this week we have a towering heap of bling for you. And with double coffee it’s a jittery wobbly towering heap that Hannah really needs to keep her shaking hands off. Honest, it’s the coffee that’s making her shake, not any kind of detox withdrawal type thing. She has been fully detoxed in a sauna in Finland. Her body is as pure as the driven snow that she was rolling naked in last weekend. Now there’s a tale…you’ll have to wait until a future issue of Singletrack for that one. If you want to know a bit of what she got up to while she had her clothes on, then check out these Facebook Live videos here and here.
So, away from piles of flesh to piles of bling. Onwards we roll, to Friday, the weekend, and beyond…
Alchemy Arktos Custom
- Price: £3,400 (frameset only)
- From: Saddleback
This is a carbon fibre, 150mm rear travel, 27.5in wheeled monster from Alchemy Bikes. But what a good looking monster.
In Greek mythology, Arktos was a centaur who fought against the Lapith spearmen. Hopefully there’s not too many spearmen out on the trails these days. And riding topless like a centaur is probably only for Putin.
The Arktos features a new dual-linkage platform called Sine Suspension that Alchemy licensed exclusively from David Earle. The name Sine derives from the way the shock rate, when graphed, resembles a sine wave: It’s regressive through the first part of the travel to absorb small bumps and provide climbing traction; progressive in the middle of the stroke to avoid wallowing on big hits or in hard, fast corners; then slightly regressive again in the last 15 percent of the stroke to enable the bike to use all 6 inches of its rear-wheel travel. Sine is also designed to minimize chainstay growth when the bike is moving, which is intended to help with pedaling efficiency and keep the suspension active under braking.
The frameset comes with the Fox Float X shock.
With a frameset this lush, you may as well kit it out with some nice components, and that’s what the folks at Saddleback have done here. It’s almost too good to ride.
Compatible with 160mm or 150mm forks, we have the Fox 36 Factory fork with 150mm travel and boost spacing.
Up front Saddleback has fitted a Rotor QX1 MTB Ring, set at number 3 of the three possible positions. This is the most common position that most people will use, but you can get jiggy with the science here if you want to know more.
Have a cobblers at that linkage set up.
If you’re the distributor for Enve wheels, what else are you going to fit to a beast such as this? We have the M60 Enve rims…
…laced onto Chris King hubs. Do we really have to get this bike dirty?
Specialized Burra Burra Framepack 8
- Price: £85
- From: Specialized
This is the largest of the framepacks in the Burra Burra range, which we’ve previously reviewed here. Designed to be highly water resistant and to give you easy access to your essentials out on the trail.
Bontrager Rhythm Gloves
- Price: £24.99
- From: Trek
Lightweight, full-finger protection in a new colour scheme from Bontrager.
Handy little pull tab cuff for easy putting-on-er-ing. Also helps keep dirt and stuff out.
Unior Bottle Openers
- From: 2Pure
Handy for cheeky beers on the train home (beers on the train to work is not advised), our friends at Unior – makers of fine tools – have sent us these.
- Price: £26.99
- From: Booicore
A great big duffle bag so you can stuff all your stinky wet kit in and forget about it in the car until it fosters new life? Nope. Well, you can if you want. But it’s meant for separating out your nasty stuff from your clean stuff, and keeping it all inside and away from your car seats.
With a built in Shoe Pocket, Mobile Phone Pocket, Water Resistant Inner Bag, Key Loop with Key-Strap and adjustable carry strap this might just get you organised and keep your car clean.
Mucky Nutz Full Face Fender
- Price: £12.99
- From: Mucky Nutz
A longer version of the Mucky Nutz front fender, this attaches to the bridge of your fork and gives you mud protection fore and aft, giving you more protection from whatever horrors the trail may be throwing at you. Suitable for all wheel sizes.
Öhlins STX22 Air Rear Shock
- Price: £545
- From: Öhlins
This shock is available in 4 different strokes with mounting hardware compatible with a majority of all available Enduro/trail bikes on the market.
We’ve seen Öhlins shocks before on Specialized bikes, and on the Hope HB.211 carbon Prototype, but this is the first time we’ve seen one set loose in the wild. Our James is a lucky boy. He’s going to be fitting this to his Cotic Flare Max.
Vittoria Frost MTB Winter Boots
- Price: €189
- From: Vittoria
Italian shoes – just what every girl wants, right? Maybe these aren’t quite what the Valentine’s marketeers had in mind, but Hannah is much happier with these than a pair of slingbacks. With thermal insulation, Windtex membrane and a Neoprene wrapping, Hannah is hoping that these will keep her toes toasty.
Paul Components Klamper Short Pull Cable Disc Brakes
- Price: $183
- From: Paul Components
Cable disc brakes are favoured by adventure riders for their simplicity and durability, and Paul Components reckon they’ve made the best there is.
Fox Transfer Remote Lever Kit
- Price: £64
- From: Mojo
Sold separately to go with the dropper post, this is one of two remote options. The other version is for use with 1x set-ups, and sits under the bar.
Öhlins RXF36 Fork
- Price: £995
- From: Öhlins
Built using Öhlins’ TTX technology, made for 29″, 650b+ and some 650b frames, our lucky boy James will be testing this fork.
Available in 120mm, 140mm, 150mm, and 160mm travel.
DT Swiss BR2250 Fatty Wheels
- Price: £299.99 (front), £374.99 (rear), £675 (set)
- From: Madison
BR stands for Big Ride, DT Swiss’ range of kit for fat bikes. The rear hub is 197mm, adaptable to 190mm using the kit provided in the box. There’s a 170mm version coming soon.
Using DT Swiss’ Ratchet System means if you’re out in the middle of nowhere and things go wrong, you can simply pull it apart with your bare hands if you need to – clean it, and put some lube in to get you home. Of course you could actually look after it by servicing it properly.
The rims are light and tough, and made of the same alloy as the popular EX471 XC wheels. Lighter than some carbon options, the wheelset has claimed weight of 2230g.
The wheels come set up for centre lock rotors, but there’s 6-bolt adapters in the box. Rear wheels come with Shimano hubs fitted, but there’s a SRAM free hub in the box if you want to swap.
With a 76mm internal width and 81mm external width, these are off being tested by our fat bike enthusiast, Sanny.
- Price: From £69.99
- From: Handpresso
It might have escaped your attention, but we quite like coffee here at Singletrack Towers. Imagine then our excitement to discover that the distributors of this portable set up are just over the hill in Burnley! We’ll be taking this kit to the London Bike Show next week so we can serve shoppers with espresso. Pop by and say hello.
You load the (environmentally friendly – it’s a bit like a tea bag) coffee pod into the machine – or you can use ground coffee if you like. Then you pump it up like a shock pump until it reaches pressure, turn it over, press a button and…
…hey presto! Espresso on the go. Everyone in the office wants one of these gadgets now. As if we didn’t already drink enough coffee while at work, now we can jangle and jiggle at home too. Gnash.
Right, all that remains is to send you on your merry ways towards the weekend with a tune.
This week Chipps has been listening to the newest Rolling Stones album and encouraging us all to listen to it because it’s like a ‘proper old blues album’. Anyone would think he’s an old man who has a birthday next week, not a bright young thing. Anyway, here’s a track from it. Let’s hope there’s only a little rain this weekend.