Fresh Goods Friday 361

by
September 8, 2017

No. More. Pretzels. Please. Seriously, the body cannot tolerate anymore salt or carbohydrates.

After nearly a full week of travel to and from the Eurobike show in Germany via Hull and the overnight disco-ship, it’s been bloody lovely getting back home and returning to a diet of non-beige foods. It’s also been rather nice to sleep in warm and dry houses, instead of this;

tent cling wrap wet moist damp dank
Tent upgrades.

We literally camped out for the four days of Eurobike, given that the campsite is both cheap and close to Messe Friedrichshafen, where Eurobike is held. Normally for late-August in this part of the world, temperatures hover around the 30°C mark, and if anything, camping can be on the stifling side – especially on those mornings where the sun wakes up before you do. Though it’s still a cheap and cheerful way of doing Eurobike when you’re an independent mountain bike magazine on a slim budget.

This year was a little different though, with a collection of thunderstorms and lashings of rain bombarding our football club campsite, which led to many wet commutes on our town bikes to and from the show. Ross and my tent sprung several leaks that left clothes sodden, David’s sleeping bag decided to suck water from the walls of his tent and soak everything around him, and although Chipps tent remained mostly dry, a gang of ants hiding in the top of his tent door away from the rain then made a last-minute call to base jump into his lap during an early morning bathroom trip. Hilarious!

Of course everyone else was experiencing the same muddy-Glastonbury-festival-hell that we were going through, and each morning the campsite filled with more and more mud, and more and more thousand-yard stares. It was pretty grim.

Eurobike 2017 - Weird and wonderful - Shaq's bike
Luckily Shaq came to the rescue to lift our soggy spirits.

But enough of that, because we’re not there anymore, and that is friggin fantastic!

Instead, we’re back home in Calderdale, dry, and permanently hooked up to drips to replenish our vitamin levels. So there’s plenty to be excited. Plus, it’s mother-flippin FRESH GOODS FRIDAY! And that, my friends, is most certainly something to celebrate. Make sure you grab yourself a brew, put some tunes on, and settle in for a look at some shit-hot new gear!

G-Form Elite Knee Pads

g-form pro-x knee pads
Knobbly knees.

After first checking out the new Elite knee pads from G-Form at PressCamp, we’ve now got a set in for testing to see how they stack up against the much slimmer Pro-X knee pads we’ve tested and reviewed previously. They’re the knee pad of choice for Tracy Moseley, but then we probably crash a lot more than she does.

g-form pro-x knee pads
The Elite knee pads are thicker and larger profile than the Pro-X knee pads from G-Form.

The pad itself is both thicker and larger in size compared to the Pro-X knee pads, providing more coverage over your kneecap and around it on either side. The Elite pads also extend further down your shin as well – a vulnerable area that can get whacked with pedals. We’ll strap these to our crashiest test pilot, and report back on how the G-Form pads fare.

Camelbak Repack 4 LR

  • Price: $75 USD (British pricing TBC)
  • From: ZyroFisher
camelbak fanny pack bum bag
Are you a fanny packer? Or a bum bagger?

Also shown off at PressCamp was an all-new 2018 Camelbak range. One such product from the range was an updated fanny pack called the Repack 4 LR. The ‘4’ stands for the total amount of storage volume, including the 1.5 litre Crux LR Reservoir, while the ‘LR’ stands for Low Rider – referring to the way the Repack places the pack load around your waist, and not over your shoulders.

camelbak fanny pack bum bag
Updated adjustment system claims to be more comfortable, and more secure.

The Repack 4 LR fanny pack trims a bit of weight and volume off the Palos LR pack that I reviewed not long ago, which should help to minimise the bounce. Also changed is the adjustment anchors for the waist strap, which now pull inwards from each side. We’ll be getting our 80s shades on to test this one out, so stay tuned for more there…

Alpinestars Sprocket Tech Tee

alpinestars tech t-shirt
Effortless. Sorry Alpinestars.

Fresh tee from Italian apparel and protection brand, Alpinestars. Cotton and polyester blend allows for moisture-wicking properties whilst looking effortlessly casual*

*Model still working on matching casual look

Kali Protectives Venture Gloves

kali gloves
Mysterious gloves from Kali.

Nice lightweight gloves from Kali Protectives are designed for both miming and mountain biking. Also voguing. Four-way stretch fabric for the back, velcro strap at the cuff, and reinforced on both the palm and outside fingers for crash protection.

Granite Hex Stand

granite workstand tool
Fold-up stands under the ‘Granite’ label.

We nabbed a couple of these super neat workstands at Eurobike from Granite. They’re made of lightweight anodized alloy, and use a folding design that means they can be easily transported.

granite workstand tool
Plugs into the hollow axle of your bottom bracket to lift your bike off the ground.

The Granite stand plugs into most hollow crank axles, lifting the rear wheel off the ground either for bike storage, or to use as a compact and portable workstand. Available in loadsa colours, and a small adapter can be purchased if you want to use it with Shimano road cranks too.

Wolf Tooth Components ReMote Sustain

wolftooth remote dropper post reverb
Keen to Sustain your Reverb?

Reverb? Sustain? Geddit??

We reckon that Wolf Tooth Components has currently got the best dropper post lever on the market. In fact, we loved the ReMote so much that we gave it a coveted Singletrack Recommended award in Issue 113 of Singletrack Magazine. Up until now, the ReMote has been a cable-only lever, designed to work with most cable-activated dropper posts on the market. That means no Reverb, which uses a hydraulic remote and hose.

wolftooth remote dropper post reverb
The ReMote Sustain kit turns your Reverb into a cable-activated jobby.

So Wolf Tooth Components came up with this: the ReMote Sustain. It’s the same machined alloy dropper lever that we all know and love, but with an additional pod that’s designed to mount on the base of your Reverb Stealth dropper post so you can turn your Reverb into a cable-activated dropper post.

Acros A-Flat MD Pedals

acros flat peadl blue
Shiny pedals from Acros.

German brand Acros has sent us some lovely CNC machined pedals called the A-Flat. These are the medium sized pedals with a 100x98mm platform size, and they measure at 18mm thick. Acros also makes a heavier ‘XL’ version with a pedal body that measures a gargantuan 120x110mm size for Sasquatch feet. Being a bearing specialist, the A-Flats are rolling on some pretty high end hardware, with double sealed stainless steel cartridge bearings rolling around the cromoly axle. Claimed weight is 343g and there are eight pins per side.

Acros R1 Stainless Hollowtech II Threaded Bottom Bracket

acros bottom bracket bearing
Acros is a very German high-end bearing maker, with headsets, hubs and bottom brackets being its passion.

More new bearing-related goods from Acros, though these are in the form of a threaded bottom bracket that’s ready for a Shimano Hollowtech II crankset. Using AL7000 cups that are CNC machined in Germany, the BSA threaded bottom bracket is packed with stainless steel angular contact bearings that are double sealed, then sealed externally again with dust covers.

Acros A-Grip Silicon

foam silicone grips
Need more silicone in your life?

Acros makes a tonne of lightweight gear, including these rubber silicone grips that weight just 76 grams for the pair. Squishy silicone cut in a 30.5mm diameter is designed to give your hands plenty to hold onto in times of need.

Acros A-Grip R1

across locking grips
Sticky grips from Acros. And just to clarify, they were sticky before we got them. BEFORE WE GOT THEM.

The R1 grips are a more conventional mountain bike grip with locking clamps at either end. Super-sticky rubber compound with a micro-tread profile for death-grip traction. Available in a few different colours, these weigh in at 110 grams and measure 31mm in diameter.

Acros AZ-44 Block Lock Headset ZS44 Upper

acros headset
The Block Lock headset limits the rotation of your bars so your shifters and brake levers don’t punish the frame during a crash.

More pretty anodized goodies from Acros, with a matchy-matchy blue headset. Acros make a bunch of different headsets to cover all sorts of frame standards, and they reckon their bearings and sealing is some of the best going. This particular headset is called the Block Lock headset, as the upper cup features a locating pin that slots into a groove around the underside of the top cap. The headset rotates as normal until the pin hits the end of the groove on either side, limiting how far you can rotate your bars each way. It’s not dissimilar to the Knock Block headset used on some of Trek’s frames, or the IPU used on the Canyon Exceed, though in this case the Acros headset can be fitted to any bike and the locking mechanism is entirely independent of the frame.

Fibrax Finned Brake Pads

  • Price: £20ish
  • From: Fibrax
fibrax finned brake pads
Fibrax’ homage to the DeLorean.

Officially unveiled last week at Eurobike, the new finned brake pads from Fibrax are claimed to lower operating temperatures for your disc brakes by at least 50°C or more. Using an elevated wing profile that looks to have drawn inspiration from the DeLorean Motor Company, the pads are (like all of Fibrax’s products) made right here in the UK with a proprietary pad compound that is claimed to be more powerful and more durable than the competition.

Thule Smartphone Bike Mount

  • Price: £25
  • From: Thule
thule iphone smartphone mount handlebar bracket
Handlebar smartphone bracket from Thule.

This may look like some kind of Scandinavian child’s toy, but it’s actually a Scandinavian adult’s toy. But…err…not like that – get your mind out of the gutter!

No, it’s a smartphone holder that sits on your bars. Using a silicone rubber net to hold the edges of your phone on the base, spring-loaded arms lock the phone in place to keep it secure. We’ve got an idea for some on-trail Facebook Live action, which has all the potential to go horribly wrong. Hang tight!

Funn Slingshot 50t Expander Sprocket

funn slingshot cassette expander booster cog
Forget the dinnerplate, this one’s a pizza tray!

Since 11-speed and 12-speed drivetrains have increased in popularity, interest in cassette expanders has waned somewhat. However, for those who aren’t yet ready to upgrade their entire drivetrain, but are looking for a little gearing boost for their existing 1×11 setup, the Funn Slingshot could be your ticket. It’s CNC machined from alloy and is profiled to work ideally with Shimano 11-42t cassettes. Included is an 18t cog that replaces the stock 17t and 19t cogs to help even out the spread.

Bag Balm

bag balm chamois cream gel
Good enough for cow udders, good enough for mountain biker’s arses.

Sometimes you accidentally stumble on a product that is exactly what you’re after, but marketed for something completely differently. Such was the case with Bag Balm, which is the product of a 100 year-old company that was originally designed for farmer’s to use on cow udders to protect them from chafing and getting irritated. Some bright spark discovered that this 4-ingredient balm was really good for use on human skin too, and now it’s being marketed to cyclists for use as a type of chamois cream.

Boyd Cycling Tickled Pink Tubeless Sealant

boyd tubeless goo sealant
Warning: do not drink. We highly recommend not doing that.

Tubeless sealant from Boyd Cycling in ‘Tickled Pink’ flavour. Comes with a nice bubblegum aroma, which your nostrils can savour as it drips off the ceiling and walls in your kitchen after the tubeless tyre explodes AGAIN.

Ryders Eyewear Aero FYRE Glasses

ryders glasses eyewear photochromatic
Creep Level: 100.

British Colombia eyewear brand Ryders is storming back into the mountain bike market after a period of keeping things on the down-low. Ryders has a bunch of new frame designs, along with some pretty special lenses called FYRE, which it reckons is pretty snazzy. The lenses are made of a special material called NXT that’s impact resistant, and they’re also photochromatic so they adjust to different light conditions. Ryders has given the FYRE lens an anti-fog treatment, and they also use a special tint that enhances colour vibrancy – kind of like looking at the world with an Instagram filter.

Ryders Eyewear Incline FYRE Glasses

ryders eyewear photochromatic glasses
Creep level: 8000.

The Incline is a little more trail-friendly in both style and function. The lens is partially framed, with the upper portion being rimless to minimise obstructions to your vision when you’re looking ahead with your head down. The bottom portion of the lens is covered to avoid the lens from cutting your cheeks in the event of a crash (and trust us, we’ve had that happen before). The Incline also gets the FYRE lens, but this one is a lighter tint that should be ideal for British conditions. Adjustable nose pads and arms for dialling in the fit. Ryders new range of glasses (including the Aero & Incline shown above) are currently sold in the UK through Leisure Lakes.

Aaaaaaaaand that’s it for us for this week! To see things off, here’s a tasty wee tune from The XX, which has kindly been remixed by deep groove specialist, Edu Imbernon. Get this one rocking in the office, and start your weekend off on the right pedal!

ST Out,

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Fresh Goods