First up, some bad news for devoted followers of G.V.M. (and his beard). G.V.M. (and his beard) is taking a break from his Fresh Goods appearances this week and can currently be found exulting beneath his breath in the opportunity to “do some proper work at last“. Somebody make the boy a cup of tea…
We are also without the Random Word Generator, who was last seen heading down a Slovenian salt mine in search of well-seasoned nugs. But fear not, R.W.G. fans: if the rumour that his sky-scraping hairdo has become inescapably mired in bat guano turns out to be true, Chipps is on standby to fly to Slovenia post-haste and free the becoiffed one – with his bare hands. Yes folks, he’s that good.
In the meantime, he’s been keeping his mind off the prospect of that terrifying task by cavorting about in our glamorous
canalside car park riverside terrace. Screaming drunks not pictured. Summer has definitely arrived in Todmorden when the ducklings are bobbing around in the canal alongside the “WRONG!!!” shoplifted goods, jettisoned apparently not in an attempt to avoid arrest, but because they don’t match this evening’s planned menu. If anyone in the vicinity of Todmorden is in need of some light entertainment, pop along to the office next time the sun shines and you’ll see exactly what we’re talking about. We’ve got front row seats, and we’ll only charge if you want to pet the poodle while you’re here. Otherwise, entry is free.
Anyway: where were we? Ah yes – Fresh Goods!
Vertebrate Publishing Alps Mountain Biking guidebook
VP publishes excellent guidebooks, and this Alpine version is 256 pages that look to be a great new addition to the overflowing bookshelf at Singletrack Towers. Grinder team member/sidekick Greg is off to the Alps for his hols this summer and is looking forward to testing it out – though come to think of it we’re not sure he’s told his wife that he’s planning on taking the bike along yet. Oops. As you were, guys.
£19.95, from Vertebrate Publishing.
Schwalbe Nobby Nic 29×2.3in
Fresh new rubber from Schwalbe (the sooner G.V.M. comes up with a way to make the website scratch and sniff, the better). We’re not sure what’s new about these for 2015, but new for 2015 they are – or so says the Schwalbe website anyway. Also of note is that there are not one, two or three versions of the Nobby Nic available, but 28. Yes: TWENTY. EIGHT. So even if you don’t like the look of these, there’s probably one you will like.
£There’s a whole range – from Schwalbe UK
Knog Milkman combination lock
We had the key version of this pocket-size lock and found it super handy for situations in which a bike is staying within eyesight at all times but isn’t necessarily going to be within arm’s reach (though we wouldn’t recommend it in any other situation). Then we misplaced the key, and it became instantly rather less useful as a lock, though is still doing sterling service as a paperweight. Ahem. We’re therefore very happy to see this combination version. Now all we have to do is remember the code (and yes we have reset it, before you point out that it’s 0000/1111/2222/3333/4444…) – and there’s only 10,000 possible combinations to try if/when we forget.
£19.99 from Todays Cyclist
Knog Road Blinder
Four LEDs, 70 lumens, a USB rechargeable lith-polymer battery, five lighting modes and up to 20 hours run time: a mighty handy rear light for warding off drivers/blinding your friends. It’s astonishingly bright! When asked to pose with it, Chipps instinctively adopted this Borg-like pose. Is there something you’d like to tell us, Chipps?
£48.99, from Today’s Cyclist
Bluegrass Eagle Bison gloves
The fine folk at Bluegrass have sent us these, er, winter gloves. Mind you if we’d made it to round one of the Bluegrass Enduro Tour at the weekend, they might have come in useful. We’ll stash them away for the autumn, we think (cue ‘unseasonal snow’).
£44.99, MET UK.
Here we have a second installment of kit from 7Mesh, top-end clothing purveyors par excellence.The observant among you will note that this is all mens clothing – 7Mesh does make womens kit too, and we’re hoping some will turn up soon as the girls on the Grinder team are feeling rather left out (hint hint).
First up is the dapper S2S SS Shirt, a semi-windproof short sleeve jersey. It might look like a road jersey but it’s got an off-road pedigree: there are no pockets at the rear, the back is a lighter, elastane-free material so it soaks up less moisture underneath a pack, and the “loose athletic” cut is, well, loose in the right places and athletic in others.
Next is the Glidepath short: an intriguingly lightweight baggy. The stretch fabric is DWR-coated for water resistance, there’s a smattering of pockets, belt loops and reflective bits, and plenty of length in the legs too.
And here’s the MK1 Bib Short, with bibs that are more like braces, stretch chamois and “aggressive patterning and critically placed darts”. Eek! There’s not a lot we can do with bib shorts to get a decent ‘proper’ pic, so the next best thing is to hang them off somebody’s ears. Sorry.
SS Shirt £85.00, Glidepath baggy £89.00, MK1 Bib short £165.00, all from 7Mesh.
SRAM Red brake calipers
£priceless, from SRAM
The term ‘artisan’ has yet to make much of an impact on the bike trade, but we’re sure it will come. To tide over the hipsters among you ’til then, here’s some “artisan and ethically sourced coffee from Yorkshire”. Er, is there another Yorkshire that we don’t know about where it’s warm and humid enough to grow coffee? Regardless, we bet it still tastes good. This is the “floral Kaffa” blend; “chocolatey Sidamo” and “fruity Pasqua” are also available.
£6.00, Vincent’s Coffee.
We think we might have already featured these rings from OneUp, but we’re not 100% sure – and the colour’s lovely, so let’s reprise. Here’s a 44T sprocket for extending your cassette/torturing your rear mech ’til it confesses to its crimes, and a 30T, direct mount, no-drop chainring to save the knees of struggling one-by riders. Also, a slogan we are definitely on board with.
DMR Vault Lacon flats
DMR’s low-profile Vault pedals are much loved by those in the office who run flats. This is DMR-sponsored freerider Andreu Lacondeguy’s signature version; the photos don’t do the stunning ‘oil slick’ finish justice, so here’s Chipps doing his best wonder-face to emphasise just how gorgeous it is:
£124.99, from Upgrade.
Ritchey P650 bike.
We’ve featured the Ritchey P650 frame before, but here it is, built into a bike that’s appearing in a future bike test. Coming in a hair over 25lbs, it’s a great reason to consider steel for your next bike, reckons Ritchey. In fact, steel might be less dead than the 26in wheel. It’s also a great excuse to remind you about the Ritchey BikeFest, coming up in just three weeks’ time. And there are still places available in the Steve Worland Memorial Race.
£600 frame only, from Paligap.cc
And that’s it for this week, folks. Enjoy the weekend – we certainly will.