Fresh Goods Friday 264

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Want a peek at all the great stuff that’s come into the office this week? You’re in the right place!

It’s PROPER CHILLY! I’m writing these words safely ensconced in three of Tom Baker’s castoff scarves, and alternately sipping warming egg-nog and hot chocolate through a straw, and wishing it had a bit more bite. Actually, as an aside, is Advocaat and Hot Chocolate a thing? If it’s not it blimmin well should be… Oooooh, alcoholic chocolatey custard… I’m going to make some and feed it to the hamster to see what happens*.

But enough of such hard science! We are not here to selflessly prostrate our children’s rodents at the altar of alcoholic chocolatey custard – no! We are here to leer at the unbridled bike widgets which have chosen to grace our office with their presence this week, and so without further ado, let us whisk ourselves away to a world of literal wonder, hypothetical jetpacks, chrome and steel, and literal (again) coolness – welcome to fresh goods Friday!

*no hamsters have been harmed during the making of this FGF**

** one was a bit tipsy though. Nearly spilled his carrot.

Kona Process 153

Kona Process 153 singletrackworld singletrack

Oh yeah. James is a full-on, wild eyed grunting Kona monster now. Actually, the only thing that’s changed is the insertion of the word ‘Kona’ – he’s always been a bit of an animal (but we love him). James insisted on taking these photos himself, so he took it back to his lair in an industrial wasteland somewhere secret and shot it adjacent to his favourite rust.

The 153 has (you guessed it) 153mm of travel, very short chainstays, a loooooong front end (that top tube is over 26 inches – it’s an XL), a low BB and a huge injection of ace in the form of a 66.5deg head angle and 74 deg seat angle.

Kona Process 153 singletrackworld singletrackKona is still stating the obvious, it’s good to see. This 153 is wearing a 1×11 drivetrain by SRAM, and, yes, hollow dropouts.

Kona Process 153 singletrackworld singletrack

Good to know, Kona – good to know.

Kona Process 153 singletrackworld singletrack

GX, by SRAM. This isn’t the whistles and bells 153,  but it sports a no-nonsense approach to propulsion and stopping

Kona Process 153 singletrackworld singletrack

Monarch RT keeps things planted on the back.

Kona Process 153 singletrackworld singletrack

Deore brakes are functionally pretty indistinguishable from the top end models – and it’s good to see the sturdy bar clamp. These puppies ain’t for flexing, oh no…

Kona Process 153 singletrackworld singletrack

There’s a reason Pikes are ubiquitous – and it’s not price (OK, it may be price, what do I know) – they’re also very, very good. Extremely capable and not too heavy. Lovely things.

Price: £2,999

From:  Kona

Santa Cruz 5010

This is the new, spangly recently-redesigned 5010. I keep on looking at the 5010’s name and calling it the YOLO. Which then leads on to ‘You Only Live Twice’ by Nancy Sinatra. Which is now my earworm. It’s not yours? Allow me:

You’re welcome.

now, back, to business!

Float sprung. There’s an increase in travel to 130mm this year for extra trail-schralpage.

It’s 1x, naturally, with a RaceFace AEffect crankset. The VPP linkages have been moved to keep them out of the way of rocks and things. This is the (everso slightly) “cheaper” ‘C’ model, instead of the ‘CC’ one. Differences? Weight – a couple of hundred grams, that’s all. Stiffness, performance and visuals are identical between the two.

SLX brakes – again, pretty indistinguishable functionally from more blingy brethren. SLX brakes have adjustable levers, too – look! That’s a GX shifter pod underneath.

See? 5010 ‘C’. Looks pretty sweet…

Price: £3,999

From: Santa Cruz UK

DT 551 Rims and 240 hubs

DSC_0346These are the new DT XM551 rims, which the lovely people at Madison have kindly built into wheels with their everso lovely 240 hubs.

DSC_0349The rims are 27.5 flavoured, with a 44mm outer diameter – wide enough to handle most things, TBH. And, in combination with the supplied nipples and washers and things it’s touted to be about as light as some of the (heavier) carbon rims you can get. For less! So, win!  The wheels come in around 1985g. You could go lighter with posher spokes and 28h, but this build is a bombproof 32h build with standard butted spokes.


And this rim tape will apparently do about 5 wheels, and you only need 1 layer. It’s available in widths ranging from 19mm for 42mm.

Price: Rims £89.99 each – including nipples and washers. Hubs £149.99 F and £299.99 R. Rim tape, £19.99

All from: Madison

American Classic Smokin Gun 29 wheels


Huge 29er hoops for the 29+ brigade – although AC tell us that they’re perfectly good at regular joe tyres too… in fact, apparently they’re designed for XC and enduro riding with regular tyres. They certainly look burly as all getout. Boost hubs for maximum modernage, too.

Price: $900 UK TBC

American Classic 650B Terrain wheels


More affordable American Classic hoops for a future grouptest. 26mm wide rims, and apparently according to AC these wheels are ‘a top choice for larger athletes’. So ideal for Barney then, if he can prize his lips away from the Advocaat and hot chocolate long enough to – y’know – ride bikes.

Price: £399.99

From: Moore Large

Fox DHX2 rear shock


One word: BOING. But in a magnificently damped way, natch. Gee Atherton and Manon Carpenter ride them, it says here. LOTS of adjustment. So that boing should’ve been in really small writing. Maybe PLUSH would be better.

Price: £499, spring is £39.99

From: Mojo

Alpinestars Drop2 Shorts


Thrusting. Anonymous model adopts the hero stance, a-la George Osborne, and demonstrates the awesome aceness of the Drop2 Shorts. But what’t that Our Hero is sporting on his leg? Is it a new secret weapon in the War Against Torpor?

DSC_0371No, it’s a Spongebob plaster. Rock And Roll, people. Rock And Roll. Weird lumpy leg though.

Price: £94.99

From: iRide

Specialized 2FO Cliplite Shoes


These are adorning Our Hero’s feet as we speak. He’s easy to hear coming up stairs now. The Cliplites are built on a slightly narrower last than the regular 2FOs, but they still have the lollipop shank for stiffness, and the ratchet enclosure system looks comfy. Likey.

Price: £130

From: Specialized

Rad8 MTB glasses


New improved specs (the two top ones, if you’re confused) for riding in… photochromic lenses go from grey to clear and have anti-fog coatings and adjustable nose bits and a pile of other great stuff.

Price: £88

From: Rad8

Splashbored Mudguard


Sticks on top of your brace to stop centrifugal splashing, and sticks out in front to capture the rest!

Price: £10

Splashbored Long Sleeve T


Price: TBC

All from: Splashbored

And that’s yer lot for this week!

Chipps Chippendale

Singletrackworld's Editor At Large

With 23 years as Editor of Singletrack World Magazine, Chipps is the longest-running mountain bike magazine editor in the world. He started in the bike trade in 1990 and became a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the last 30 years as a bike writer and photographer, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish, strengthen and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

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