Chipps has been to Presscamp. It’s a schwag and shoe bonanza! Also: too many helmets, an apology, a seatpost, new SLX including affordable clutch rear mech, a GPS that will do the getting lost bit for you as well as helping you get un-lost, sweet arm and leg protection from Sweet Protection, reels and reels of Weekender course tape pre-impregnated with sunshine, 2013 Camelbak, (k)new Knog, fake cake, and (deep breath) Wagon Wheels!
Okay, we already ate those (didn’t they used to be bigger?). So no Wagon Wheels. Lots of nice stuff though. Happy weekend.
How fast is too fast? We’re about to find out… We test rode Cotic’s new 160mm full sus a couple of months ago, back in Fake Summer, and we really really liked it. Now we’ve got a Rocket of our very own (albeit only on loan for issue 76’s UK-Designed Full Sus bike test) and unsurprisingly everyone wants to ride it. Maybe it’s the orange…
Price: starts from £1350 with Fox RL
When we opened this box from Madison we found lots of boxes of Shimano course tape inside and a full weekend’s worth of sunshine, too. And because we’re nice people we’re not going to use the sunshine now – instead we’ve selflessly put it in a safe place and will be bringing it out for the Weekender. You can thank us later.
From: Singletrack Classic Weekender, July 14 & 15th, Lee Quarry, Bacup, the Lancashire Riviera.
Price: £40 for a full weekend of racing, camping and other bicycle-related fun.
More from Scandiwegian brand Sweet Protection, this time for those sticky-out bits you always seem to land on. The padded part is SAS-TEC shock absorbent material, the outer is mid-weight perforated neoprene and rather than multiple bits of scratchy Velcro they’ve a full length stretchy Lycra sleeve that runs the length of the pad and a single securing strap at the top (as demonstrated by Chipps). This means you should be able to pedal in them all day without chafage, and indeed you can; Jenn wore the knee pads at the very wet and muddy Irish Gravity Enduro round two last weekend and can confirm that they are very comfy indeed. More Grinding (along the floor) under way as we type.
Price: Knees £79.99, elbows £69.99
We’re not sure if these new mid-top foot covers from Teva (rhymes with ‘woteva’, not ‘Eva’, apparently) are classed as boots, shoes, or something in between (shoeboots?), but we like ’em. The Links (bottom) are a taller version of the much-loved, semi-sticky, flat pedal shoe we all wore last year, with the same ion-mask treatment that makes them less inclined to absorb large amounts of this fine British summer we’ve been having. The Cranks (top) are a lighter, flexier hi-top with a similarly grippy sole. Blue laces FTW.
Price: Links Mid £90.00, Crank Mid £60.00
Shimano MT91 Boots
Chipps was sad that his favourite ‘winter’ boots had finally worn out after two and a half years’ near-constant use. Luckily, they’re still a current item so he now has a new pair. GoreTex lined, Vibram soled and they make you look like a rambler [or Chipps…]. But apart from that, toasty feet for the 7/8ths of a British year you’re not wearing your SPD sandals.
Gaerne Carbon G. Kobra Shoes 2013
No, we’ve not been time-traveing, these are an advance sample of Gaerne’s 2013 top-end race shoe and very nice they are too. Carbon soles for stiffness, studs for mud, a sensible amount of venting that will please UK riders and double BOA ratchets for an embrace that is just snug enough. Nice new shoe smell, too.
Clif Bar Ltd. Edition Gary’s Panforte cake bar
Chipps brought a couple of these special edition Clif Bars back from Utah; you won’t see them here for at least a year and that’s a shame as they are basically yummy Italian cake in a ‘healthy’ wrapper, which would allow us to eat vast amounts of them in the name of ‘sports nutrition’. Ahem. They are completely delicious and we’d like to pester Clif’s UK importers, 2Pure, to get them over here as soon as they can. Like now. Pretty please with fruit and nuts and Italian spices on top.
Price: currently unobtainable on these shores.
From: 2Pure, sooner rather than later, we hope.
Frankly Neobi 200 base layer
We owe Frankly an apology as they sent us one of these a while ago and we promptly lost it. Sorry, Frankly. They’ve sent us a replacement short sleeved top, just in time for summer – it’s a cotton/merino mix and should be just lovely for the sort of casual up-down-up-down-pub rides we like to indulge in at this time of year.
Lots and lots of (k)new Knog
More samples from across the pond, this time though you can actually go and buy these down your local bike shop (or you should be able to soon, anyway). The Blinder lights all have the quirky aesthetic and simple fixings we expect from Knog, as well as an integrated USB charging jack, which is reported to be weather-sealed, making them ideal commuter lights – plug them in under your desk and you need never be riding home in the dark again. The Milkman is a cute retractable 90cm cable combination lock, which we presume is intended for little trips like fetching milk from the corner shop, though clearly if you live somewhere the scrotes carry bolt croppers clipped to their car keys you’ll be using the Bouncer instead, which is a hefty 900g of hardened steel shackle lock, softened up with the usual moulded silicon coating that will protect your frame’s paintwork but still do nothing if you drop it on your toe.
Price: Blinder £34.99, Blinder V4 £34.99, Blinder 1 £22.99, Bouncer £40.00, Milkman £20.00
From: Moore Large
Kali Maraka and Chakra Plus helmets
Two helmets from Kali: the Chakra Plus is a bargaintastic, fifty quid trail lid with full inmolding, lots of vents and bug netting to keep your scalp sting-free. The Maraka is a 2013 model about which we have no details yet, other than Chipps’ description of it being a ‘dirty roadie’ lid. No we’re not sure either but we’ll probably find out soon enough…
Price: Chakra Plus £49.99
From: Surf Sales
Lazer Oasiz helmet
More Presscamp limited edition kit – this time a fluoro yellow helmet from Lazer. They must’ve seen Chipps coming… It has an integrated GoPro mount for all you budding Barhams out there and distributors Bob Elliot say that should be available around about Christmas time as an add-on to fit other Oasiz helmets, for about £20.
Price: £94.99 (regular colours)
From: Bob Elliot
Niner RDO carbon seatpost
Here’s a carbon seatpost that’s designed to flex a little to give a bit of respite on your hardtail. Doesn’t mean you can’t use it elsewhere either. If that’s a little rich for you, there are alloy-head versions for much more cheapness at £89 for the carbon shaft and £59 for the full alloy post. Colour flashes include Moondust Grey, Kermit Green, Red or ‘Tang’ (orange…)
Price: £190 Sizes: 27.2, 30.9 and 31.6
New stuff from Camelbak
Some Camelbak schwag – the Podium Chill bottle keeps drinks cold (or hot…) and fits your bottle cage, while the ever-growing Groove range of casual hydration products (ie. bottles you use in the office/car/home – anywhere but on the bike) now includes this version with an inclusive water filter to improve the flavour of your water (although it’s not designed to purify). The Elixir tabs are an electrolyte replacement product that’s unfortunately not available in the EU yet due to our funny old food regulations…
Prices: Podium Chill bottle 610ml £12.99, Groove bottle 600ml, Tritan £24.99, 750ml Tritan £26.99, 600ml Tritan insulated £29.99, 600ml stainless steel £34.99 (filters available separately, 2pack £14.99, 6pack £34.99)
Camelbak MULE NV 2013
This is the new MULE NV – it’s another 2013 sample but should be available on these shores by the end this year. It has a floating back system which uses these little aerated, mesh pods to hold the pack off your back – looks odd but Chipps reckoned it worked in the 85 degree heat of Utah (bah, humbug). There are wee strap clips on either side so you can attach a helmet, the main compartment opens up completely clamshell-style and it has a very Euro-friendly, bright yellow rain cover secreted away in the base.
Shimano SLX groupset
UK Shimano distributors Madison have sent us a whole new SLX groupset to be going on with. It’s been given a newly whirly chainset, and the clutch-equipped Shadow Plus rear mech for 2013, otherwise it’s the same SLX we know and love for its excellent value v. performance ratio.
Prices: chainset £159.99, cassette: £54.99, chain: £29.99, Shadow Plus rear mech: £69.99, Shadow rear mech £54.99, front mech £29.99, shifters £69.99, disc brake £94.99 an end, rotors: 160mm £24.99, 180mm £29.99, 203mm,£34.99, brake mount adaptors: £7.99.
Mio Cyclo 305 HC GPS
Mio makes GPS units and this is the Cycle 305 HC. The interface is delightfully Fisher Price (read: simple – yay!), it’s about the same size as a Garmin Oregon and has useful things like an ANT+ sensor for use with heart rate monitor and cadence sensor, and pre-loaded OSM bike maps and TeleAtlas street maps. It also has a ‘surprise me!’ function, which gives you three surprising – and apparently random – routes from point to point which take account of how much time you have to play with or how far you want to go (ie. it stretched our five-mile commute into three, 50-mile round trips via Otley, Harrogate and central Manchester…). Could be fun. Could be tiring.
Price: £349.99 with pre-loaded Western Europe maps