This is possibly my favourite time of year, my friends.
Is it, you might ask, because spring is finally with us, and we can indulge in a miniscule amount of optimism at impending warmth as we watch the daffodils unfurl?
Is it because the trails might give a tiny hint of the dryness to come, and of the speed and traction that will henceforth be possible?
It’s mostly because all the ambitiously-stocked Easter eggs in newsagents throughout the land are now cheap as chips. FOR THE WIN.
Hope Cassette and Freewheel
Price: £225 with the freehub, £175 without (but you’ll need the freehub to use the cassette)
Hope’s 11 speed cassette, which runs a spiffing 10 – 44 range. The black cogs are aluminium, and the others are steel. It’s impressively light, and uses a proprietary freehub body to fit Hope hubs, which is included here. This one is to fit Pro4 hubs, but you can get freehub bodies to fit Pro2 EVOs as well. We were over at Hope yesterday looking at some very new and exciting things (*taps nose*), and the way they individually machine every piece in house, and assemble everything in house, is fantastic. Did you know they even make their own brass olives for their disk brakes?
Like, TOTES mentalz, brah, ya get me?
Gore Phantom Print 2 Windstopper
No, Chipps isn’t really doing anything out of the ordinary, for him. It’s a rare day that he doesn’t come into the office and strike a Bruce Forsythe pose or two before giving the dog a biscuit (not a euphemism).
This hip and indeed fly camo top from Gore has all the versatiles, with removable sleeves, although we don’t necessarily advise that you do the whole one-off-one-on thing that Chipps is so fond of. It looks almost like he’s a vet about to do something at high velocity to the back of a cow.
Don’t think about that too much.
Gore Power Trail Lady Windstopper
Hannah does her level best to introduce a little noir elegance and panache into the Singletrack office. Way to little, way too late I’m afraid, Hannah. It’s like trying to make a tank look approachable by stapling a daffodil to the tracks. It works for fifteen seconds, before the relentless inertia of the pitiless Singletrack machinery grinds anything elegant and suave into highly, highly caffeinated dust…
The jacket is Windstopper, so windproof, breatheable, and it’s got lickle pink crosses by the pockets! There’s a nice high collar, too.
Gore Oxygen 2.0 bibshorts
Long distance chamois! Multi-panel construction! Pink bits! New, improved Innuendo-filled Suits-You Chipps, with wide-eyed expression, and hidden stuff flaps! What’s not to love?
Power WS SO Zip Off jersey, and Power Trail Lady Print Windstopper Soft Shell Hoody
Price: £169 each
Chipps: Tighty McTighty long sleeved Windstopper jersey, in hard-to-photo black. Apparently it feels good against the skin, which may be why Chipps was wriggling about giggling softly to himself, and wou;dn’t let us take it off.
Hannah’s: Fun and function in camouflage, it says here. Windstopper hoody with disconcertingly pink liner. You can roll the sleeves up easily, too.
In the middle is Gore’s poor Ben, who is smiling with the fixed grin of a man who’s mentally counting the number of paces to the exit.
Gore Power Trail Gloves
Fingerless gloves for that retro look. Wicking where they need to be, absorbent where they need to be, and possessing loops for easier on-shoveage.
Gore Power Trail Lady Jersey
A short-sleeved jersey, in grey. For women, hence microscopic pink bits.
Gore Power Trail Lady Jersey Long
Like the short sleeved jersey, only – er – long sleeved. And more red/pink/whateverthatcolouriscalled/raspberry?
Power Trail Windstopper Gloves
Barney re-creates The Claw, but he’s not clear as to whether it’s the one from Penelope Pitstop or not. Perhaps he’s gasping for oxygen. Or doing a really, really over the top death scene (desperate, wide-eyed emoting just out of shot). In any case, these are short yet cunningly full-fingered gloves with windstopper to keep the back of your hands warm, and fingertips which let you loving massage your phone with ease.
Gore Power Trail Lady Shorts
Soft, light, quite short, casual bikey shorts for women. ‘High quality seat padding’ it says here. Adjustable waistband with velcro, too.
Howies Womens MTB Shorts
MTB shorts for ladies which are water repellant, stretchy and apparently have invisible side vents. The shorts, not the ladies. Cunning. We especially like Hannah’s socks in this picture. – they remind me of socks when I was at school. *reminisces* Ah, me and Buster and Boz from 5c, behind the bike sheds etc etc
FiveTen Kestrel Lace
From: Five Ten
Like the Kestrel, with with more lace and less wire, so they look a little more normal in the pub. Lace retention strap, too. And stealth rubber with a recessed cleat for grip as well as clip.
They’re also available in women’s sizes with a slightly different last. And coloured laces, natch.
FiveTen Freerider ELC
From: Five Ten
Flat pedal footwear for poor weather. Lace guards, treated leathers,
subtle and understated graphics. Jamie’s been slobbering over these ever since they came into the office. Thankfully they’ll wipe clean.
Bluegrass Tuatara Idro D3O Body Armour
Barney looks ridiculous – but this is hardly news. Here, he sports the new and tough-to-pronounce-let-alone-spell Tuatara Idro D3O protection vest from Bluegrass. D3O, so it’s flexy when it needs to be and protective when things get a bit ouchy, which is all good.
It’s also got space in the back for a bladder, if you don’t want to cart around a separate backpack, and there are pockets on the sides.
Bluegrass Wapiti D30 kneepads
Kneepads for the discerning shredder. Or just people who fall off a lot. D30 again, and complete with handy zips to remove and replace them without taking your shoes off.
Bluegrass Wapiti D30 elbow guards
Matching arm pads too – over which Barney is peering furiously, but ineffectively. He has no idea that his glower is rendered forever soft and ineffective by the lens’ bokeh, the fool!
Ritchey XC and Trail Pedals
Price: £125 and £140
On the left – a re-design of the paradigm pedal, with a new engagement system, good much shedding and lots of shiny. They’re totally serviceable, and sub 300g per pair. Not bad at all. At right, the trail pedal has all the same upgrades, plus a forged alloy cage, and a sub 350g weight.
*looks to camera, points*
Ritchey CPR12+ multitool
Neat little multitool from Ritchey. Some very useful stuff – philips, hex and torx and all that, plus a tyre lever and chain tool.
Giro Fathom Helmet
Floaty-light helmet, which Chipps says is essentially a road lid with a peak. Which suits AntiEnduro boy down to the ground. Seriously, it’s very light, and extremely orange.
FeedZone Table Book
From: Local bookshops everywhere (support your local bookshop etc etc)
Lots of heathy and delicious recipes to eat well in company. So if you’re training and that, this is essentially how to eat healthily, and also convince your entire family that you’re not completely nuts.
A more Enduro-y helmet that Chipps is wearing in the office to deflect the schrapnel that occasionally get shot in his direction when Barney falls to pieces incredibly fast.
From: Two Hoots Cottage
Awesome pasties made by Patricia, from local B&B-type place Two Hoots. It’s an extremely convincing display which proves that yes, flattery will get you everywhere. And if for some reason it doesn’t, try food. But themed veggie pasties of maximum awesome, these are. Yum.
That’s it for this week, FGF acolytes – now would be the time to attempt to burn off some of that Easter Chocolate (BEFORE YOU EAT EVEN MOAR!!), and head out in this unusual and no doubt extremely short lived sunshine, but not before indulging in a little tuneage before you go… so get your lugholes around this slice of amazeballs from June 1987:
Have a good one everyone!