Fresh Goods

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It’s Friday and that means two things: you can spend your afternoon ogling at all the shiny test kit that’s landed in the Singletrack office and tomorrow you can enjoy your freedom to roll across the trails, roll about in bed or in front of the sofa.

Giant Anthem X.29

This is the big wheeled version of the light and nippy Anthem X racey full susser. There’s 100mm of travel at either end, the rear using the Maestro multilink suspension system and a set of standard offset Fox F29 forks up front with a 15QR axle and tapered headtube to keep it all stiff.

Finishing kit is a nice mix of Shimano XT and some nicely colour matched Giant own brand gear.

We like the 26″ versions of the Maxxis Crossmark tyres so these bigger versions will hopefully give the same decent rolling resistance along with improved cornering grip from the larger contact patch.

There’s plenty of swooping going on with the AluXX hydroformed frame. Geometry has been tweaked over the smaller wheeled version with a slightly steeper 71 degree head angle and some other 29 specific changes.

Blue cables are a nice touch. This bike is destined to be part of a big wheeled, fully suspended bike grouptest in the mag later in the year.

Price: £2,950

From: Giant UK

Shimano M666 SLX brake

Technology trickle down is here! Based on the latest XTR lever design, the new and satanically numbered SLX brake moves away from a radial design back to the move conventional style. they also gain a hinged clamp and the two piece caliper now comes with IceTech pads with the neat heatsink on them.

Price: £89.99

From: Madison

Shimano SM-RT67 SLX  Centre-Lock disc rotors

We’ve also got a load of matching SLX rotors. They don’t use the flash layered steel and aluminium construction of the posher XTR disks but they do keep the lightweight alloy spider and they use the Centrelock fitting system.

Price: 160mm : £24.99, 180mm : £29.99, 203mm : £34.99

From: Madison

Shimano XT M780 XC SPD pedals

Much like XTR, the new XT pedal has split into XC and Trail variants. Both have a redesigned cleat for improved stability and now have an oval shaped body which claims to improve mud clearance. The axle is made from hollow cromoly and now runs on sealed cartridges for reduced maintenance.

Price: £74.99

From: Madison

Shimano XT M785 Trail SPD pedals

Here’s the Trail version with the integrated pedal cage which they say improves pedal to shoe interface by a whopping 850% over the old design.

Price: £79.99

From: Madison

Shimano XTR M985 Shadow+ rear derailleur

This is the new and magic XTR Shadow+ rear mech (as Chipps covered HERE) with the built in clutch mechanism that takes in chain slack and pays it back out more firmly as you shift, holding the chain tighter than a standard spring. The theory is that with less flapping about at the bottom you should be able to run a 1×10 drivetrain without the need for a full chainguide and should reduce chain loss on multi ring setups too.

The little gold lever switches the clutch on and off to enable easy removal of the rear wheel. It’s an interesting concept and one we’re looking forward to testing out on the trails.

Price: £169.99

From: Madison

Bionicon Men’s Forest Merino Hybrid Jacket

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Travel and angle adjusting bike specialist Bionicon do some really high quality technical clothing too. This hoody is made from a mix of Merino, nylon and lycra to offer plenty of comfort and stretch as well as a degree of water and wind resistance. The sleeves are articulated in the elbow, there’s a nice high neck and built in hood too.

Price: £

From: Bionicon

Bionicon Men’s Forest Merino Shortsleeve

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Using special superfine MAPP (Merino Advanced Performance Programme) wool this top offers all the wicking and warming benefits of our favourite kind of sheep but in a nicely tight fitting bike specific package. There are raglan bits on the shoulders to stop your rucksack straps from chafing and it also comes in grey and blue if euro-purple is a bit much for you.

Price: £

From: Bionicon

Bionicon Men’s Forest Softshell Bike Shorts

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Bionicon reckon they’ve come close to making the best bike short possible. They are feature packed; Schoeller Softshell fabric with a dirt and water resistant NanoSphere treatment, a nice wide waistband for comfort and neat zips on the sides to ensure good fit with knee protectors. They’ve got stretch panels for comfort, plenty of mesh lined pockets including a large map one on the front – they also come in blue if you don’t plan on going to any raves mid-ride.

Price: £

From: Bionicon

Wasabi Peas

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Strangely more-ish for something that makes you feel like you’ve been tear gassed, it’s a whole kilo of the spicy Japanese snacks.

Price: £17.99


SRAM X0 2×10 chainset

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Matt’s been trying to shed weight from his much loved Lapierre Spicy Long Termer and he’s now got a full Xo group to go on there. This is the carbon fibre armed 39/26T double, using an alloy spine to strengthen them. Matt’s gone for shorter than average 170mm arms to reduce pedal striking after being coaxed by the Biggest Hands In Mountain Biking to make the bike even slacker and lower than it is now.

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They use the GXP outboard BB system and they have moulded alloy spline interface and pedal threads. Weight is coming up on the scales at 664g sans BB, which ain’t bad…

Price: £379.99 w/o BB

From: Fisher Outdoor Leisure

Fox Float Adaptive Logic RP23 Kashima

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Woop! Look how golden it is! Lucky lad Sim has been sent the brand spanking and very latest Fox rear shock to put on his Long Term Orange Five. As well as tweaks to the way the Pro Pedal system works, it uses the super slippy Kashima coating on the body and shaft. For a bit more detail head to Chipps’ article on the 2012 Fox kit at the Sea Otter but this is the first one we’ve had to fit on a bike.

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Pro Pedal is now switchable from either fully on (3) or your choice of level from zero to two. It’s a good thing if you like a bit of low speed compression on all the time to make everything feel perky but then want even more when you’re climbing without having the fiddle with the twisty knob…

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Kashima Coat – much better than a cashmere coat we think.

Price: £TBC

From: Mojo Suspension

Fox Cap

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Wear the Fox hat?


On his head.

Shimano SH M315 SPD shoes


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These are the top line, custom fitting Shimano XC race shoes. They’ve got a super stiff carbon fibre sole and they use Custom-Fit insoles and uppers that can be heat-moulded to fit you exactly to get the best possible fit. The upper is made from Rovenica, a super fine synthetic material that feels like leather but is designed to be lightweight and perform well in the wet.

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Removeable toe spikes are fitted (for getting traction in the mud and tap dancing, if last week’s commenter is still wondering) and they use a low profile ratchet and offset wide velcro straps to secure them and prevent hot spots.

Price: £269.99

From: Madison

X-Fusion Vengeance HLR fork

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This is the first fork we’ve seen from X-Fusion and it all looks rather good. The 160mm travel, air sprung fork has high and low speed compression and rebound adjustment and uses a non-QR 20mm through axle. The HLR cartridge is a twin tube design for full independent adjustment too. It’s also very keenly priced for a long travel single crown fork – and this is the top model, the low speed compression and rebound only RC fork being even cheaper…

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The fork comes with your pick of 1.125″ taper and 1.5″ steerers and it’s also 650B compatible – just in case.

Price: £669.99

From: Upgrade Bikes

Piolo iPhone stand

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Whassis then? It’s a cunning stand that enables iPhone 4 owners (although it does seem to work with you iPhone 3 povs too) to stand up their phones so they can watch the BBC iPlayer or video on their fancy crystal clear screens. It’s dead simple, you can attach it to your keyring and it comes in lots of nice (Pantone) colours.

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They’re made from TPE bendy plastic and the design is the work of Sheffield based Andy, who (according to their website) will allow his wife a puppy if they sell a million of them. She’s being short changed we feel. They’re all made in the UK too…

Price: £4

From: Piolo

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Comments (32)

    What you need Jon is someone with lots of clown wheel experience and too much spare time on their hands to tests that anthem for you (its tiny though is’nt it?…grrr short people).

    really looking forward to hearing your views on the new XTR clutch mech……

    What is required is a sub-ed and a spell checker.

    A ‘show interface’? ‘Head moulded’?

    Did you promise whoever typed that up they could go home when they finished?

    Anyway. Fox Kashima shock. Want. Now.

    Those new SLXs look like a beast of a brake. (Sorry, but I had to)

    Picture # 11 You are TRONGUY and I claim my 5 pounds….

    Are the X-Fusion forks tapered?

    They are aren’t they? Good :]

    Plenty of clown wheel experience here, too much time on my hands, and only 5ft10 and a little bit!

    I think what I’m trying to say here is GIVE ME THAT ANTHEM!!! I want… Badly!

    Hope he washed his hands after having a pee !

    Don’t the 29er Crossmarks come in a harder compound? Not sure about using one as a front if they do..

    XTR mech – WANT!
    Sounds like a great idea but pity it would be such ££££££££ upgrade for 9sp people (I’m assuming it’s 10spd only). As well as new mech, new cassette, chain and shifters would be needed 🙁

    Those iPhone stand thingys are a bit gopping. You also get a free (sleek looking) one with certain incase cases.

    A whole kilo of wasabi peas? Hardcore.

    Like the rave gear.

    Wasabi peas from M&S are lush, trying to work out if a bulk 1Kg buy is better value. Bet I’d still eat them all in a day though.

    1kg of wasabi peas – now there’s a challenge.

    I think there’s such a thing as ‘too much’ colour co-ordination when it comes to bikes. Giant have just defined it for me personally.

    Where can you get hold of the Bionicon clothing? I’m coming up with blanks on the old Google thing.

    that kashima shock is gonna be all over the surry hills 😀

    Wasn’t there a rumour about a much lower priced version of the XT/XTR style trail pedal. Any truth to the rumour, if so when they coming out?

    “Trail version with the integrated pedal cage which they say improves pedal to shoe interface by a whopping 850% over the old design”
    Which is the old XT trail pedal?

    for anyone who likes the idea of the clutch derailleur & has some random derailleur spares.
    take a dura ace 7800 main body. take off the mech arm, install a medium cage M950series mech arm, the differing spring location of the M950 mech arm massively increases mech arm tension. same basic principle as the clutch derailleur, able to keep chain tension without the use of a chain device & it still shifts fine.

    James – over the old pedal. The new XC pedal is apparently a 550% improvement over that too.

    FOG – we should have a set of those soon…

    I thought I was over my Wasabi Peas habit, that’s a 2 kilo snack pack not 1kilo but I don’t mind mmmmmmmmm Wasabi,

    You mention on the SPDs that there is a new cleat design (which I can’t remember being mentioned when the XTR versions came out, but maybe I just missed it). The question is are they backwards compatible? Do you just get the better stability with the new cleat but are still able to use the old. Or is it a matter of having a set of shoes for the new cleat and one for the old (if you have a fleet with a mix of pedals)?

    FOG – yes – here’s the story:

    They’re supposed to be available ‘in May’ so any time soon…

    speaker2animals. I’m using an older shoe & cleat with M980 pedals & there noteable increase in stability, IE lack of lateral rocking, even compared to M970 pedals.

    Sushi sushi web site says 2kg for £17.99 bargain and even better challange.

    at Jon, which is the old pedal though? Are they comparign to the ‘old’ XT cageless SPD pedal, if so that seems like a bit of an irrelevant comparison, cage vs. no cage, pedal-shoe interface may be improved but that too could be a bit irrelavant too if you’re using ‘race’ style shoes with a (very?) stiff sole presumably?

    It’s about time I replace my crank

    Anybody know if the new m780 XT stuff is going to available in 9 speed?

    hmmmm ….. Wasabi Peas…

    “Wasn’t there a rumour about a much lower priced version of the XT/XTR style trail pedal. Any truth to the rumour, if so when they coming out?”

    Yes, the Deore PD-M530 is due into the UK in the next week or so. RRP £39.99

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