It’s Friday! Welcome to our weekly round up of all the lovely things we’ve been sent to test this week. We’ll kick it off with the bike Matt will be using to do the Trans Provence race later this year, a Lapierre Spicy 516. Matt is going to die of heatstroke and exhaustion within days but the bike will probably be fine. There’s 160mm of travel either end via the OST suspension system and a Fox 36 up front.
From: Hotlines UK
Price: £3,199Matt is excited about this bike.
Now for another type of mat. Sleeping mats…
Here is a brand-new pair of sleeping mats from Alpkit. The red one is the new £40 Dirtbag and it’s the fattest mat they can make that still comes in at under a kilo.
The black mat is the ‘no price yet’ Numo, which is basically a rugged lilo. It won’t self-inflate, but you’ve got a pair of lungs on you, haven’t you? Due to having no cored foam, it folds down super small, though there’s greater potential for it to be a bit chilly as the colder air can circulate. For space and weight, though, they’re hard to beat.
Trunks – £15
SueMe is a spin off from the folks at Buff. They offer lovely, lovely feeling bamboo T-shirts, underwear and so on. If you’ve never tried bamboo, you need to!
WTB Tyres – loads of ’em!
As a result of the recent visit by Jason and Mark from WTB to STW Towers, we’ve been sent one (well, one at the moment) of WTB’s new Stryker wheels and a load of their new tyres. The wheels feature a Stan’s compatible rim tape, but a pukka UST bead and are meant to be used with sealant. The corresponding tyres (Woverine, Bronson, Weirwolf so far…) are meant to be slim walled and light tubeless/sealant tyres for greater riding feel, but still with that reasonably reliable UST bead too.
Fox Forks are here (again!)
Price: TALAS 180 – £949
VAN 180 – £869
We’re already testing new 2011 Fox 32 and 36 (and 29er) forks, and now these big boys have shown up. These are the Fox 36 180s – in both tapered Van and and 1 1/8th TALAS flavours. TALAS for next year is two position, which means 180/140mm for the upper fork. They feature the new Kashima coating and QR 20mm dropouts.
Giro Xar helmets (with RocLoc 5)
Available: This winter
The Xar is the new Giro helmet for mountain bike trail riding. Covering more of the back of the head, with lots of vents, a peak to keep the rain/sun off and the new tiny Roc Loc 5 head retention thingy. These won’t be in shops until getting on for Christmas, so we hear, but we have a couple of early ones in order to give you a decent review by the time they’re on sale.
White Lightning cleaning and lube stuff.
Price: Ride lubes – £6.99, Clean Streak – £8.99, Crystal Grease £8.99, Wash and Shine £9.99 (Blueberry water, art director’s own…)
Most of you will have seen White Lightning’s wax-based Clean Ride lube, but there’s now Wet Ride and Epic Ride. Epic Ride uses non-petroleum synthetic oils intended to reduce dirt buildup. Wet Ride is heavier and more water repellent. Clean Streak is a ‘dry degreaser’ that we’re going to try on Chipps’ grimy Steamroller to see if we can shift the inches of tar… Crystal Grease is a transparent grease, which keeps everything cleaner on application and makes it really easy to see if you’ve got any contaminants when you open your hubs back up.
From: Windwave www.windwave.co.uk
Sport Manie saddles. A new name, but one that seems to be keen to make some lightweight racing perches. Here’s the MK Pro at £129.95, and just 152g.
From our pals at Ison Distribution – it’s a new energy company – they do tasty bars and this juice drink is super-tasty, rather than being either medicinal or over-sweet like some energy drinks. There’s not a great deal of energy (75kCal) but it’s very palatable.
2011 Marzocchi Corsa Superleggera
Here’s Marzocchi’s new race fork – 1480g with a bar mounted lockout. Comes in a great pearl white colour, or racing red.