Another week, another delivery from the posties and van delivery bods of a bulging sack of
schwag test goods to brighten up this week’s Fresh Goods Friday.
We’ve got bikes, we’ve got soft goods and we’ve even got a special helping of hardware too. Life is good and the weekend is almost here.
Bianchi Methanol 29 FS
If you want an Italian stallion that’s “projected for extreme performance” then the Methanol 29 FS may just be for you. The 100mm full carbon frame and SRAM XX build coupled with a none-too-shy and retiring, logo’d up look are crying out to be beasted round a cross-country race course.
Methanol is also known as wood spirit so we’re going to head into the forests to see just how spirited it gets in among the trees. Oof.
The headtube features two sets of evil eyes narrowed to lock onto the next rider that needs overtaking. Or is it just us seeing that?
Endura MTR range
Have we mentioned that winter’s coming? It is. To help ease us into the colder bad weather we’ve received a massive care pack from our friends north of the border, Endura, starting with the MTR range designed in conjunction with pro racer and very fast bloke, Oli Beckingsale…
MTR Baggy short.
The MTR baggy is a lightweight stretch fabric short with a DWR finish on the rear panel to cut down on splash back. Mesh panels front and side provide a nice cooling breeze over the family jewels. They work on their own, or in conjunction with the…
MTR Bib shorts.
Padded bib shorts with softshell panels for water resistance, wicking mesh upper for comfort and an anti-slip attachment panel to secure the MTR baggies to. We’re feeling warmer already…
MTR Long-sleeved Windproof jersey.
Windproof front, sides and arms with a wicking rear fabric to remove moisture build up under hydration packs. A full length zip allows venting, thermal control and getting that windswept hero look just right.
MTR Emergency Shell.
What makes Lisa happy? It’s the thought of an easily packed small and lightweight waterproof shell. That’s just how she rolls…
Price: MTR Baggy short £59.99, MTR Bibshort – £89.99, MTR L/S Windproof Jersey – £69.99, MTR Emergency Shell, £89.99.
Sim’s keen to get his huck on with the Kona Process. It’s Kona’s “freshly minted all mountain” model with 150mm rear travel, a 160mm Rockshox Lyrik up front and an extremely funky linkage we haven’t quite figured out yet. Pass the manual, someone…
The Process comes decked out with a 2×10 mix of X9/X7 components and there’s a Crank Brothers Kronolog dropper seatpost ready and waiting for some enduro action too. Send it Sim!
Kinesis UK Crosslight CX Disc wheelset
It’s getting hard to go out a ride without seeing a Kinesis ‘cross bike here in the valley now. They’re everywhere and following behind them are these KUK Crosslight CX disc wheels. Available off the shelf to ease the ‘cross rider’s transition to ‘proper’ braking (ahem), they use a rim that’s custom made by WTB and Kinesis’ own brand hubset with IS 6 bolt disk mount.
The wheels are 28 spoke and feature 24mm wide rims to aid a decent tyre profile.
Shimano M088 Shoes
The M088 is Shimano’s stealthy race or ride shoe with a synthetic leather/mesh upper and a grippy rubber sole. A glass fibre mid-plate stiffens things for pedaling and two offset straps and separate micro buckle make sure you can strap each shoe down nice and tight for the finish line sprint. We find them a great fit for the wider footed in the office.
Grace never had a My Little Pony so we’ve made her day by giving her these little beauties. Strap them on your stem and bars for extra unicorn power to help your pony skillz. In the longer term they’re headed for Chipps’ tandem, unless we need to leave any Godfather style threats to rival gangs or massivs. Do they get a yay or a neigh, dear readers?
Endura Windchill Jacket.
Sim’s smiling because the Windchill with waterproof stretchy front panels, plus Roubaix sides and back means he may not get totally hypothermic during the after-ride coffee and butty sesh. Those reflective panels mean he can loiter longer than usual too, without having to fear the night (dum dum dum).
Endura MT500 jacket.
Lisa might’ve got very excited about her new knitted office cardie but she’s equally content inside Endura’s bombproof, 3-layer, fully seam-sealed waterproof jacket knowing she’s set for the worst the weather can throw at her. Not that it ever actually rains inside the office. We hope.
Endura Womens Thermolite Tights.
Last bit from Scotchland: cosy tights for winter riding. Thermolite offers warmth and water repellancy with a slimline ankle zipper so you can get them on and off over your shoes. These are the girls’ version but they do a boy’s cut too.
Sombrio Vapor Storm Jacket
Sim went totally Gallagher on us the minute he slipped on the Vapor Storm, which is destined for our jacket test. It’s a fully waterproof and breathable seam-sealed hardshell, with mesh under arm zips for venting and a hood to keep your thoughts in.
Gloworm X2 LED Light
As the nights draw in, bike lights begin their annual migration to Singletrack Towers for testing. The Gloworm X2 light hails from New Zealand and features twin Cree XM-L U2 LEDs giving a claimed 1200 lumens output. A Li-ion battery provides power and as soon as we give them a decent going over we’ll let you know how they perform.
Mtbbatteries The Lumenator light
Also featuring the XM-L U2 LED emittor is The Lumenator from mtbbatteries which offers three hours run time at full power or ten hours at 70%. Again, we’ll be putting in plenty of after-hours rides to see how it gets on.
Price: £115 plus postage
Lezyne Mega Drive light
There’s nowhere to load a Sonic the Hedgehog cartridge with Lezne’s Mega Drive but it does offer a self-contained 1.00o lumens of light, with a burn time of 1.5 – 7 hours depending on power setting. It comes complete with spare battery and handlebar mounts in a neat little box.
From: Upgrade Bikes
Shimano Unzen Hydration Packs
Sim’s always up for a quick frisk when we’re playing cops and robbers but by ‘eck it’s thirsty work. To help us out we’ve got three of Shimano’s Unzen hydration packs – backpacks are a new move for the Big S and we’re looking forward to seeing how they perform.
The design features a very stable strap sytem perfect for showing off [or manufacturing?] your pecs and comes in 6, 10 or 15-litre sizes.
We’ll be making sure we’re extra dehydrated with our pre-ride, bucket-sized Cafe Cali double espressos to give them a good testing.
Price: The 6l is £69.99, the 10l is £89.99 and the 15l is £99.99.
Shimano R515 CX mechanical disc brake caliper
Shimano’s R515 mechanical disk calipers for anyone who wants simple stopping power without the faff of aftermarket hydraulics. These are probably destined for somebody’s ‘cross bike, unless monster ‘cross is cool again.
Price: £44.99 an end
The H.A.W.G (Holds a lot of Water and Gear) is the perfect pack for, erm, carrying a lot of water and gear. Just like you would on long winter rides. Worry no more about where or just how you’re going to put that emergency Primaloft jacket. Or a double round of sandwiches. Or indeed a paraffin heater. And a parachute. It will all (maybe) fit in here. You get the idea…
Camelbak All Clear bottle
Need a source of purified water for those wilderness epics? The All Clear uses ultraviolet light to sterilise and purify water in 60 seconds. The battery-powered UV bit is in the lid and you ‘agitate’ the bottle to make sure each droplet of the 0.75l liquid it holds gets zapped. It will do 80 bottles’ worth on a charge and there’s an LED display to tell you when it’s done.
Oddly enough nobody in the office wanted to drink the canal water we’ve been testing it on (funny that), so we’re sending it north to our very own windswept and rugged DrJon who’ll be living like a wee, wild but in no way timorous, beastie to give it a proper going over.
Merida Press Pack
The Mafia leave a horse’s head in your bed to make sure you get the message. Merida prefer you to decapitate a small USB-enabled team mate facsimile. Chipps has done the honours.
From: Merida Bikes
Have a super weekend folks. We’re off to Scotland, Yorkshire, and staying home…