Barney is away this week having Big Fun on assignment somewhere far, far away. Which leaves the rest of us here in Singletrack Towers trying not to feel churlish about it. Especially as it’s deadline week (issue 103 went off to the printers yesterday, subscribe here if you’d like it delivered to the comfort of your living room. Or maybe just the hallway, unless you’re very friendly with your postie). So, us left-behind-not-off-on-amazing-press-campers are cheering ourselves with the little things in life. Like peanut butter Oreos and some nearly out of date Blue Ribands that Chipps was given by his vet. Yes, the second half of that sentence raises all kinds of unanswered questions. However, none is so great nor the answers nearly so interesting as finding out what bicycling treats have come through our doors this week, so without further ado, it’s Fresh Good Friday.
Bruce and Olly from Kinesis importers, Upgrade, dropped off the brand-spank-me-new Kinesis Phase with us, fresh from a blast around Stainburn. Both were grinning like loons, which has to be a good sign – or just confirmation that they had found the coffee shop before coming over.
The “Kinesium” aluminium alloy frame is designed around 27.5 or 27.5+ wheels. In 27.5 guise, it is designed to be run with a 140mm fork. In plus clothing, a 120mm keeps the rest of the geometry in check. It ticks all the 2016 boxes: LLS (long, low and slack – 67degree head angle), boost rear, internal dropper compatible, and of course masses of clearance to fit in 3in plus-sized tyres.
Upgrade are currently offering the Phase as a frame only option, but they’ve built our large model up with a solid UK-ready trail build. Wheel-wise WTB Scraper 45mm rims are paired with 3in WTB Bridger tyres (mixing their measurement units with aplomb). Bar the SRAM gearing, the finishing kit is provided by the Upgrade brand catalogue – DMR, TRP, X-Fusion and Praxis Works all feature. The fork is a the new Rock Shox Yari. The 120mm fork has the 35mm stanchions of a Pike, but with slightly updated Motion Control damping hiding inside.
Two dinky torq tools from Topeak, to make sure you get your gubbins tight but not too tight. Both come in a variety of preset torq settings, and are rather neatly packaged in little titchy tiny tool cases. Almost like they were made for Workshop Barbie.
The Nano Torqbar is a complete tool, with 5 attachments: 3/4/5mm hex and T20/T25 Torx.
The Nano Torqbox marries up with any mini tool or Allen key. Again it comes in a neat mini tool box.
The Nano Torqbox is kept extra secure by a rubber strap, which can also be used to hold the Topeak mini tool above to the kit, saving you rummaging in your kit bag while out on the trail.
Out on the trails shooting that sick (poorly) Edit on your GoPro and want to look at what you just shot? Then flick out the teeny memory card and pop it into this tiny iPhone card reader to quickly transfer files to your phone for a quick preview.
And finally, we know how much you liked our previous Alpkit merino review. So, for your delight, our designer Rob models the Alpkit Kepler Velo Short Sleeved 100% merino jersey. Designed to be worn either as a baselayer or as a jersey in its own right, it has cycle specific features including a zipped pocket on the rear and gripper elastic in the rear hem.
For some reason that picture of Rob puts us in mind of this..
And there we have it. Barney will be back next week. At least we think he will. We haven’t actually heard from him since he went off to Far Far Away. We’re assuming this is due to a lack of wi-fi rather than a hostage situation that we don’t yet know about. If we’re back next week with a crowdfunding appeal, you’ll know it wasn’t a wi-fi outage after all. Barney, wherever you are, please come back soon. We love you, and we’ve run out of waffle.