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
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.
Good to know, Kona – good to know.
GX, by SRAM. This isn’t the whistles and bells 153, but it sports a no-nonsense approach to propulsion and stopping
Monarch RT keeps things planted on the back.
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…
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.
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:
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…
From: Santa Cruz UK
DT 551 Rims and 240 hubs
The 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.
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
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?
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.
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.
Sticks on top of your brace to stop centrifugal splashing, and sticks out in front to capture the rest!
Splashbored Long Sleeve T
All from: Splashbored
And that’s yer lot for this week!
If you like what we do - if you like our independence then the best way to support us is by joining us. Every penny of your membership goes back into Singletrack to pay the bills and the wages of the people who work here. No shareholders to pay, just the people who create the content you love to read and watch.