Fresh Goods Friday 117

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At last! It’s Friiiiiiiiiiiiiiiidaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! Is it just us or does this week feel like it’s been three times as long as it should’ve been? Still, the weekend is (nearly) here. And that can mean only one thing – it’s time for the ritual humiliation of staff, pets and friends at Singletrack in the panto rehearsal that is Fresh Goods Friday. Mostly soft goods this week but we reckon that the addition of John North more than makes up the tough quota.

Green Oil White Super Dry Chain Wax

The nice folk at Green Oil make nice, planet-friendly, not often green, lubes and cleaning products. They’ve revamped their dry wax lube as, by their own admission, it “didn’t last as long as it should have done”. This is good news.

However, one problem – “For those dry summer days”? Hmmm. The smart money is on dry wax lubes as the lazy rider’s alternative to cleaning off wet lube – simply stick it on and wait for your chain to make dry squeaky noises (indicating it’s all fallen off) before you put more on. This works for us all year round. Pretending wax lubes are for mythical summer days is just rubbing salt into the wound…

Price: £6.99/100ml
From: Green Oil,

…as Sim’s grumpy face indicates. Sim also has his grumpy face on because Green Oil’s parcel arrived in the same post as Singletrack’s first Christmas card of 2012. Thanks to Keith from Max Bikes PR for reminding us there are only 52 shopping days left til Christmas!

Craft Cool Mesh Superlight vest and Compression socks.

Thankfully Sim soon cheered up when he realised that Keith had sent him his very own Santa Claus string vest. Craft’s technical base layers are an office favourite, both for riding and posing purposes. Sim accessorizes with the token office Stella.

Price: £23.00
From: Craft,

Sticking with the festive theme, Craft also make nice socks. Stick a pair of these performance enhancing compression socks on your Christmas list to ensure you don’t get Auntie Mavis’ lovingly crafted lumpy bed socks instead.

Price: £23.00
From: Craft,

Right – enough festive cheer. Back to business.

Bell Super helmets

These are pre-production samples of Bell’s new all-mountain lid. Nicely svelte, with the usual additional coverage you’d expect from the new breed of helmet shapes and though these particular examples aren’t to be ridden in we can confirm that they still vent pretty damn well in the running up and down the stairs test. We’re looking forward to getting our proper test one. Loadsa colours available, from this super neat racing mono to more garish ‘all the clashing crayons in the box’. Predictably Grace liked the one with the skulls on the best. Retail will be around the £100 mark. We’re not sure the peak is long enough, though…

Knox Oryx gloves

Hands up who’s broken their scaphoid by doing that stupid thing of putting their hand(s) out when they fall off? Yes, us too. Knox have a background in protective kit for the petrol-powered sort of bike riding and have now expanded their expertise into pedal-powered equipment, too. The Oryx looks like a normal glove but feature what Knox call the ‘Dual Compound Scaphoid Protection System’ over the heel of each hand – basically two, low-friction pads designed to slide over the ground, and stop you hurting yourself. The Oryx is the trail-riding version of the system, and there’s also the Oren (for commuters/leisure riders) and the Orsa (for full-on gnarly downhill). We’re going to try not to test these too hard.

Price: Oryx (pictured) £39.99, Oren £34.99, Orsa £64.99
From: Knox,

More winter jackets for our winter jacket test…

Lots more jacket for next issue’s grouptest arrived this week, along with the first snows. We made Sim wear them all at once, just because we can. So, from the outside in…

Rab Vapour Rise Lite Alpine jacket

Vapour Rise is Rab’s slightly different take on softshell fabrics for active use and we like it a lot. It uses Pertex® Equilibrium wind and water-resistant outer shell, with a cosy but slimline tricot lining (think half fleece half mesh). It packs down to nothing and works surprisingly well as a mid-layer, with a shell over the top, when it really is too wet to pretend you’re fine. Cosy!

Price: £110.00
From: Rab,

Fox Bionic Breakaway jacket

This burly number from Fox is a more traditional softshell. Heavier, thicker and altogether more substantial – even Sim looks less like a twiglet in it. Fox claims good water resistance and breathability, and it’s definitely the sort of jacket we’d reach for when it’s properly minging outside.

Price: £80.00
From: Fox,

Craft Performance Rain Jacket

The next layer in the pass-the-parcel is Craft’s ‘proper’ waterproof shell. Lightweight, waterproof and breathable with a slimmer, ‘performance’ cut, it’s exactly what we’d look for in a pocketable outer layer. Sim is only making a face because it’s black, which offends his designer’s ‘any colour as long as it’s neon’ sensibilities.

Price: £99.99
From: Craft,

Craft AB Convert jacket

A zippy-offy, jacket-to-gilet, protective layer from Craft. Comes in a fetching not quite lime-green or hi-vis colourway. Sim isn’t sure. “Does it bring out the colour of my eyes?”

Price: £75.00
From: Craft,

Rab Vapour Rise Lite jacket

Last but not least, another one from Rab. Just like its sage-green brethren above, except without the hood and so therefore a little bit more likely to please the many folk who bizarrely get very upset when we say we like hoods on jackets.

Price: £90.00
From: Rab,

Knox Cross-Lite kneepads

These are the knee version of Knox’s ‘Flexiform’ pads – so called because they have a high level of elasticity while maintaining a high level of protection. Or summat. Also available for elbows. Nobody needs to see Sim’s chimpazoid shins this late in the day though so we’ve spared you the trauma by making him use his arms to model.

Price: £44.99 (knees), £39.99 (elbows)
From: Knox, Knox,

Hiplok Lite

Sim models the newest Hiplok (or should that be Pitlock?), Houdini-style.

We let him out in the end.

The Hiplok is a wearable lock to get around the tricky problem of how to carry a quality lock when you’re pedaling your fixie around Town. It’s got a Sold Secure Bronze rating, weighs a comforting 2.2kgs and has a nice soft sleeve to stop it pinching your love handles. Can also be used in lieu of a belt to stop your skinny jeans falling down, or indeed your t-shirt falling off. Hipsters, eat your heart out.

Price: £44.99
From: Hiplok,

Hope R4 and District lights, with extra John North content.

John North is testing our Hope lights for us this winter. Don’t think we need to say any more than that 🙂

Price: R4 standard £250.00. District rear light and battery, £140.00. John North: priceless.
From: Hope,

Rapid Racer Mini Neoguardz

The best mudguard solution we’ve found yet, this time for rigid forks! At last. The ‘crossers in the office are very happy they’ve got something to keep the grit out of their teeth. Sim’s just pleased to have found a harness for his hamster.

Price: £12.99
From: Rapid Racer Products,

Lezyne Femto and Powerdrive XL lights

Yep, sorry – it’s Halloween. Which means anything which can be used to make us look scary/silly, is. Sim is modelling Lezyne’s neat Femto front and rear lights – tool free fitting, diddy size, comes in lots of colours. Meanwhile Mark is ‘testing’ the Powerdrive XL – rest assured the beam pattern is very effective on the trail too. As you’d expect from Lezyne both are neat, cable free and very elegant solutions to the problem of lighting your way/day.

Price: Femto Drive front and rear pair, £21.99; Powerdrive XL £99.99.
From: Upgrade,

Giro Feather helmet

When all fails, get the dog to model the helmets. Dolly is (not) wearing Giro’s new Feather helmet – it’s the more feminine take on the Feature trail lid, this time in a size small so pin-head folk (like Jenn) don’t feel left out in this world of medium-sized samples. (Our heart bleeds.) Thanks Madison!

Price: £59.99
From: Madison,

And last but not least – here’s the freshest of Fresh Goods. Introducing Sonny Richards Letch, son of ad man Matt and his partner Emily. Born big and healthy this week, and already honing his social media skills. Congratulations and welcome, wee man!




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Jenn Hill was the deputy editor here at Singletrack up until her untimely death from Lung Cancer in October 2015. She was and remains an inspiration to us all here at Singletrack. Jenn Hill - 1977-2015

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