Fresh Goods Friday 280

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What is the meaning of life? The point of our existence, summarised and encapsulated in a brief, pithy sentence? Some believe it’s the establishment of happiness (but if everyone was happy all the time, how would you know with no contrasts?). Some that it’s the doing of Good Works. Some the attainment of immortality, either by ammassing great wealth, or by becoming legendary. Or by simply not dying. Douglas Adams thought that, if the answer was 42, you might be able to get to the question by pulling random letters from a scrabble set until a sentence emerged (which was wrong). But in a spirit of enquiry I tried this with the extant people in the office, and I came up with the following. Are you ready? Ladies and gentlemen, the meaning of life, according to the Singletrack Staff, is this:

Pig Smooch Banana 

I thank you. Here’s Fresh Goods Friday.

Focus SAM C Team

Price: £4,999

From: FocusDSC_0181Focus’ 160mm enduro full-bouncer, which Barney has previously ridden and found most entertaining. He’s keen to see  how it fares in the less sunny, and rather more mud-festooned climes of West Yorkshire.DSC_0188It’s made of carbon, and has an enormous coffin-shaped top tube, which is intended to make things stiffer.
DSC_0186 (1)RockShox Monarch bounce at the 160mm level at the backDSC_0185 (1)with a tidy XX1 drivetrainDSC_0184 (1)Carbon swingarm keeps the weight down, and chainstays are bit shorter than the alu version.DSC_0192Yup. Pretty good clearances too. And (oh ye of little faith) here’s another pic showing clearances:

IMG_2733Lots of clearance. SEE? *rolls eyes*
DSC_0190The Ubiquitous Pikes: 160mm front bangers.DSC_0189Very nice cable entry point at the front of the head tube which keeps things neat…

SQ Labs 611 Active saddle

Price: €159.95

From: SQ Labs

DSC_0195 (1)Saddle of Teutonic Specialness – they’re available in a variety of different widths, and these active ones come with three different grades of interchangeable elastomer for increasing sizes of arse. Lots of flex in the right way, and a special shape to relieve pressure from troublesome spots in a way that differs from cutaway saddles. Plus, black and orange, a bit like Tron.

SQ Labs 711 Grips

Price: €24.95

From: SQ Labs

DSC_0196 (1)Team Orange ergonomic grips. Look comfy, available in S, M and L sizes, and a variety of colours.

SQ Lab 311 handlebars

Price: €89.95

From: SQ Labs

DSC_0198Impressively swept back bars, 740mm wide, with a whopping 16 degree backsweep. Hans Rey likes them a lot, apparently.

Schwalbe Nobby Nic Evolution Snakeskin TL Easy TSC


Ison Distrobution


It’s a catchy name, but there are loads of permutations to be fair. Fresh rubber from Schwalbe. Looks grippy, And lord knows, we need grippy right now…

Chris Hoy’s Flying Fergus books

Price: £4.99

From: Bookshops everywhere

Lord Hoy wrote these with renowned kids’ author Joanna Nadin. Bicycling-based hi-jinks for – y’know – kids.

Upper Downs Neo Jacket

Price: £269.99

From: Upper Downs

DSC_0211 (1) Polartec NeoShell waterproof of much poshness – it even comes in its own box. Designed on the South Downs, it apparently also has intelligent phone-chute, I’m told. Which I assume is in the appropriate place…

Garmin Edge 25

Price: £139.99

From: Madison

Teenyweeny GPS, which has the usual GPS cycle computer functions, connects to other things via the Magic of Bluetooth for things like smartphones, cadence and HRM, and you can upload courses to follow a breadcrumb trail too. Awesomes.

Garmin Edge Explore 1000

Price: £389.99

From: Madison
DSC_0207 (1)More of a full-on deal than the teensy 25, the 1000 has the full deal – mapping, GPS and GLONASS (the Russian satellite system) for lightning fast position acquisition, and the full enchilada when it comes to route planning, turn warnings and customisation.

Hebden Trouser Company – the 177

Price: From £95

From: HebTroCo

IMG_2731Brant Richards and Ed Oxley, with their Trouser Hats on (?) stopped by to show off their latest Kickstarter-funded trouser, the 177. The 177 is the model of moleskin old-skool trouser, and has been fully funded – the Kickstarter ones were the first 176, so these are now production keks, hence the 177 – see? Anyway, they’re warm, comfy, they’re available in a variety of waist sizes and are available in two different hem lengths or unfinished.
IMG_2730This is Ed Oxley, who is apparently (according to Brant) the face of the Hebden Trouser Company. This is disturbing.

And that’s your lot for this week, chaps/chapesses! But, if you’re feeling stressed at all, here’s a photo of some seagulls for your delectation and encalm-ment. Singletrack – the Caring Concern:


ST out

Barney Marsh

Singletrack Magazine Contributor

Barney Marsh takes the word ‘career’ literally, veering wildly across the road of his life, as thoroughly in control as a goldfish on the dashboard of a motorhome.

He’s been, with varying degrees of success, a scientist, teacher, shop assistant, binman and, for one memorable day, a hospital laundry worker. These days, he’s a dad, husband, guitarist, and writer, also with varying degrees of success. He sometimes takes photographs. Some of them are acceptable.

Occasionally he rides bikes to cast the rest of his life into sharp relief. Or just to ride through puddles. Sometimes he writes about them. Bikes, not puddles.

He is a writer of rongs, a stealer of souls and a polisher of turds.

He isn’t nearly as clever or as funny as he thinks he is.

Comments (14)

    I thought that too. Nice colour though.

    It’s the photo. There’s loads of clearance, I promise…

    Sorry don’t believe you 🙂

    *rolls eyes* check the story again: I’ve put up another pic 🙂

    The Edge 25’s are £109 at Halfords this weekend.

    Gah. maybe not. I be better at plants than birds tbh…

    Still doesn’t look like much clearance.

    In Arizona it’s loads of clearance. In the Chilterns that tyre might as well be touching the swing arm already.

    It’s in the same building as me; I can fit my finger in between the tyre and the chainstay.

    You’ll have to take my word for it.

    In the Chilterns right now, anything other than a 1.8 in a fatbike frame isn’t enough clearance, no?

    which finger?
    do you have skinny fingers, or sausage roll digits?

    Like the pic of the Focus changing gear! Lovely looking 160 travel bike!

    So any way of getting your hands on the SQ labs grips in the UK? (See what I did there!?)

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