Welcome to this week’s Fresh Goods! With winter fast approaching, we’ve been gathering the important things; cleaning products, warm clothing, protection for the inevitable slithery stacks and some things to inspire us to get out as the dark draws in. Here’s what’s landed this week:
Amél The Flock top
Snowboarding brand Amél usually make kit for the piste, but this long sleeved, synthetic microknit top should do the trick as a winter riding top and base layer. The flatlocked seams are nice and smooth against the skin and it’s got an extra long cut to stop it riding up.
Price: £25 inc. P&P
Raidium Inner Chain Guide
Using a 1×10 drivetrain seems to be growing in popularity for trail riding but can sometimes mean you pile the weight you’ve just saved back on when you fit a chainguide. This lightweight device bolts to your 64mm BCD inner ring mounts and is designed to work with a outer bashguard to sandwich you chain in place.
Two versions are available, the 43g ‘Trail weight’ on the left and the 25g ‘Weenie-weight’. They are both made from 1.6mm 7075 T6 aluminium and are designed to work with rings up to 32T in size.
Price: £19.50 plus £1.50 P&P
Cassini Landscape Series Historical Map Box Set
We like a bit of map-searching here at Singletrack and these historical Ordnance Survey maps enable an extra time travelling dimension to trail hunting. Our 1:50K scale maps match the OS Landranger map for Manchester but the whole country is available. Each map measures 100x90cm and they cover 1842-1844 (‘Old Series’), 1903 (‘Revised New Series’) and 1923-1925 (‘Popular Edition’).
As well as matching modern maps, you can have maps centred on a particular area. Just the trick for hunting down historical trails or finding out a little bit more about your local area…
From: Cassini Maps
Cotswold Off-Road Bike Routes guide
More maps now, with this easily portable, laminated and tear resistant guide to ten off-road routes in the Cotswolds. As well as clear route instructions and contour layering to help you navigate, there is plenty of information on local facilities and difficulty grading to make route choice easy…
From: Goldeneye Guides
Mountain Biker International – there’s a blast from the past…
Vredestrein Black Pather Xtreme 26×2″ tyre
The Black Panther Xtreme is designed to be used as a durable and tough choice for XC and marathon racing in wet and mixed conditions, the deep and well spaced tread aiming to clear well and dig down to grip. This particular model uses the ‘Tubeless Compatible’ system and is designed to be run with sealant, but UST and inner tube versions are available.
Ride A Stage of the Tour de France book
Detailing forty of le Tours legendary climbs, this book aims to give a guide on the aesthetic and athletic merits of each, plus some background information on the locality. As you’d expect, there’s plenty of hints and advice on how to prepare bike and body for some of the most demanding road climbs in the world and there are frequent box outs of Tour history, from the Tour Devil to evolution of road bikes.
From: A & C Black
Garneau Sotchi gloves
Yes, it’s time to get the cosy gear sorted out. This glove uses a Windstopper lycra upper with neoprene cuff to keep it secure, plus a Drytex lining to keep you dry and cosy. The palm is made from synthetic suede and the ‘Flex Zone’ pattern is said to reduce pressure points.
From: Evans Cycles
iXS Slope-Series Evo knee pad
Soft kneepads are almost certainly the way forwards for protection that works while you pedal. These pads are designed with the help of Darren ‘The Bearclaw’ Berrecloth, using a hard polypropylene shell to protect your knee and special horseshoe shaped ‘KneeGusset’ insert to support and spread impact. That’s covered with a Kevlar reinforced material to keep it nice and tough, plus added padding to protect the sides of your knee.
iXS Hack Softy knee pad
These are more lightweight pads, using a soft and pliable material called ‘NockOut’ instead of a hard plastic insert to protect your knee. They’re super slim, forgoing much in the way of side protection but that should mean they’re comfy and should fit under shorts or trousers with a minimum of fuss. The backing is made from mesh covered material so they shouldn’t be too sweaty either…
BBB Varallo helmet
If the price of everything you see in Fresh Goods makes you want to run into the nearest financial district, wave a large placard and warm your hands on a burning banker, then this should be a welcome relief. With all the features you’d come to expect from a high end helmet such and in-moulded construction, 18 air vents and one handed fit adjuster, it certainly looks like a bit of a bargain, plus we reckon the tidy contour graphics look rather nice.
Madison Flux gloves
Some things we like nice and simple, and this own brand glove from Madison fits the bill. There’s a nice, plain perforated synthetic Clarino palm, decent length snot wipe on the thumb, breathable and wicking backing with neat little finger gussets (!) and a Kevlar reinforced bit on the heel of the palm too. You can get them in red/grey or black/grey and they come with a limited lifetime warranty. Yes, really.
Finish Line Chain Cleaner kit
We’re going to have a grouptest of cleaning, buffing and degreasing things just in time for the peak of winter. This chain cleaner straps on to your chain and cleans while you pedal, which should save you least favourite T shirts an undignified death, as well as doing the job in a clean and efficient manner. Inside the brush-filled casing there are magnets to help capture errant metal filings from the chain, plus you get 120ml of degreaser and 60ml of Wet Lube included. No excuses now…
Finish Line Brush Set
With a set of five brushes to clean cogs, frames, teeth and other fiddly little bits, this should make removing dried on filth much less of a chore, plus you won’t annoy anyone by stealing the dish brush and bringing it back covered in black grease…
Rock’n’Roll Miracle Red 3-in-1 degreaser
It won’t help you walk on water or part seas, but this degreaser also serves as a hand cleaner and stain remover, which is probably much more useful than other ‘miracles’ like toast that looks like Jesus or crying statues. It’s entirely natural too, being made without any citrus, pumice or petroleum products.
Price: £9.99 for 16oz
Finish Line Super Bike Wash
Despite being packed with loads of useful solvents to removes all kinds of grime, this bike wash spray has an environmentally friendly biodegradable formula that doesn’t contain detergents or any unpleasant solvents. It’s safe to use on carbon fibre and anodised aluminium bits, plus there’s a corrosion inhibitor that helps prevent your bits going rusty once you’ve washed them.
Price: £7.99 for 1l
Scott Vanish helmet
Swanky new lid from Scott Sports. Very well vented (perfect for the onset of winter, then) and nowhere near as bulky as it looks here – it’s a size large on Chipps’ size medium head and has since been passed on to our web developer Patrick, who is exactly the right size to test it thanks to having the important bits of computers stored in his head.
From: Scott UK
Assorted cleaning products
Issue 71 will feature a timely grouptest of 10 bike washes and degreasers. Here’s the first installment: from left to right, we have Green Oil Green Clean Bike Cleaner (£7.99, from Green Oil UK Ltd), Hope Sh#t Shifter (£6, from Hope Technology), Green Oil Clean Chain degreaser (£3.99, from Green Oil UK Ltd), Weldtite Citrus Degreaser pump spray (£6.99, from Ison Distribution), Fenwick’s FS Foaming Degreaser (£8.99, from Zyro), Rock’n’Roll Miracle Red degreaser (£9.95, from Silverfish UK Ltd), and last but not least, Finish Line Super Bike Wash (£7.99, from Madison).
Fenwick’s Chain Cleaning Sponges
Special new sponges from Fenwick’s designed for cleaning your chain. Drop the chain in the slot, add degreaser of your choice, and scrub away to your heart’s content. Nice firm sponge so we think they might work well in the kitchen, too.
Price: £1.99 each
Camelbak has a massive range of packs for 2012; here’s the first few test bags we’ve got our hands on. From left to right, these are the Asset, Charge and HAWG NV 30.
The Asset is classed as all-mountain/freeride, made of lovely tough Dobby nylon and comes in on-trend stealth khaki or blinging ‘Tin Man’ silver. It carries 8.5 litres of luggage & pies, plus a two litre bladder and costs £79.99.
This is the £89.99 Charge’s demi-minimal back system. It weighs not very much at all for the amount it’s purported to carry (11.5 litres of cargo, plus a three litre bladder) and is apparently an “endurance pack for MTB races and adventures”. Sadly our blue version is a one-off, though – UK buyers will get a far more sedate ‘Peat’ colourway (aka. dull, muddy grey… boo!).
The HAWG (HoldsAlotofWaterandGear) is the quintessential big day out pack. However, this is the new HAWG NV 30 version – which (you’ve guessed it) holds 27.5 litres of ‘stuff’ plus a three litre bladder. Yup, 30 litres all in. The ability to cart your entire life along on a ride with you now costs an eye-watering £139.99 – which is probably not nearly enough to cover the chiropractor’s bill you’re going to get if you try and fill it.
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