’tis the season to be… actually, I’ve got no idea what I’m supposed to be this season. Coquettish? Belligerent? It’s spring, so perhaps fertile? Please god no; I’ve got enough kids and hence insomnia as it is.
But at least, at least… the trails are supposed to be in better shape. Although right now, we get a day of glorious sunshine, followed by two of horrendous rain, so the trails are pretty much as they were last month, and the month before. And in fact, here in Todmorden there’s a forecast of snow this weekend. Hoo blimmin’ ra.
So anyway, perhaps the best course of action is to find one of those huge leather-backed armchairs – you know the type – with the studs peppered all over it. It’s probably red. Place it next to a huge roaring fire, probably in a stately home. A large glass of something inadvisable should also be close at hand (I was thinking of whisky, but I suppose turps is also inadvisable, you miscreant. Or malt vinegar), and a very drunk old bloke in the armchair next to you, who can drone affably on as you idly reach for your laptop and with languid fingers peruse the wonders that are this week’s Fresh Goods Friday…
Merida One-Twenty 900 27.5
Merida’s very smart-looking 120mm trail bike (how could you tell?) uses a slightly different suspension platform to their longer travel offerings. 68 degree head angle, 74 degree seat angle, and good lengths – this Large has a 452mm reach and 620mm top tube. It’s also available in 29er flavour, if that’s your thing.
It’s a floating shock affair, using a Monarch to achieve that 120mm of bounce at the back, which Merida claim gives the feeling of more travel than there actually is. Moreover, Merida claim it gives the bike ‘a clean look’.
in keeping with the trail aspirations of our 900, we get a Revelation on the front with 130mm travel.
No dropper post, but weight it kept down with a svelte carbon number.
Shock lockout sits atop the XT shift and stop gear.
in fact, we have pretty much a whole XT groupset.
See? Nice. We’re looking forward to giving this one some beans around the ‘dale in the next month or two.
Northwave Enduro Mid
NorthWave’s enduro/trail shoes for an upcoming test. They’re pretty cleverly designed. Burly looking, but very thin (and therefore cool) mesh and printed rubber uppers (with motocross derived toe protection, apparently), with NorthWave’s cord closure mechanism.
Michelin rubber sole with two different compounds, and technology derived from it’s tyres. Neat-o. And a cleat bed which sits quite inboard compared to others we’ve ridden. You can also use them with flats, apparently… we think they look bostin’. Cedric Gracia’s signature pair are camo, but were out of stock, sadly. Although at least Barney will be able to find his feet when he wears them outdoors in black and red…
Maxxis Aggressor FLD TR 27.5×2.3
The Aggressor is the new standard in mountain bike tyres, it says here. We shall see (he says rubbing his hands with glee). Tread looks pretty sweet for Yorkshire glop, though.
Maxxis Tomahawk FLD 26×2.3v3C/EXO/TR
Another all-conditions tyre, in a 26in flava.
Maxxis Minion DHF FLD 29×2.5 3C/EXO/TR
Richard and I were drooling over this when it appeared on the Yeti 5.5C we covered earlier this week. An huge, 2.5in carcass 29er Minion. Not light though (these ones are 1300g each), but THINK OF THE TRACTION! I’m going to try to stop myself from using the BRAAAAP word.
Maxxis PaceFLD 29×2.1 EXO/TR and Race TT FLD 29×2.0 EXO/TR
Price: £41.99 and £36.99 respectively
And from one extreme to the other. Some very, very fast-looking XC rubber – the Race looks fast; the Pace looks mental-fast. One for the drier days of the summer, we’re thinking. And for trying to break the sound barrier.
Giro Privateer R
Giro trail shoe with new co-moulded nylon and rubber sole, reinforced toe box, and stiff nylon outsole. Really like the colourscheme too, Giro. Nice.
Good for biking, good for hiking. Vibram sole, nylon shank, reinforced toe box. They’ve left more than a couple of office members drooling after them.
Giro New Road Truant Jersey
Decent fabric, decent cut, buttoned collar – and as you can see, James gives it his Seal of Approval (it’s like the Walrus of Love, but easier to clean).
Giro Truant Short
US-style casual shorts for riding – so cooler, softer fabric. Lots of adjustment in the waist department, too.
Riesel Design mudguards
Price: £6.99 an end
From: Moore Large
Some excellently gaudy mudguards. They certainly make a pleasant change from all the rather po-faced black ones… I like the superheroish one myself.
No Flats Joe’s Tyre Sealant and Eco Sealant
From: Moore Large
Prevents punctures from perambulatory penetrations! And apparently works in tubeless and innertubes…
Lake M180 Shoes
From: Moore Large
Very tidy looking shoes from Lake – waterproof liner, reinforced in places, and breatheable in others. And nice and stiff, but groovy for walking about in, too.
From: Fisher Outdoor
A little cable lock (good for rural cake stops) on one side, and…
A clip for clothing and a rear light on the other side. Neat idea; very neat.
From: Fisher Outdoor
Wopping great lock designed not so much for carting about with you as for staying at home and locking to your embedded loop/drainpipe/three-tonne-hamster.
Cateye Stealth Evo and Mount
Price: £79.99 and £14.99
Small GPS computer , compatible with Strava and all your most favouritest wotsits.
Madison Trail Flash Helmet
Good looking yellow trail lid – much brighter than it seems here, people. 19 holes. Pro-fit. Lightweight. Swoopy.
Madison Zenith Helmet
Somewhat more angular helmet – Madison’s top of the line for MTB. Infinity loop fit system, 20 holes, Dual inmoulded polycarbonate shell.
Madison Freewheel Helmet
Pro-fit, 15 vents, silver trail lid.
Fenwick’s Carbon Assembly Paste
Having trouble inserting your carbon wotsit into its appropriate receptacle? Fenwick’s may well have the answer…
Transition mech hanger
In no way does Richard keep on breaking things. Nope. Nosirree. He’s not one for overcooking enormous jumps and stuffing his rear mech into the spokes, goodness me no. He’s a dainty little flower. A DAINTY LITTLE FLOWER OF DOOM.
WBA100 wall/ground anchor £ 85
Citychain 1010/110 cm £ 99
Citychain 1010/170 cm £ 189
Padlock 37/RK60 £ 125
TVAC16000B system £ 349
Loads of secure goodness from Abus – a wall anchor, a couple of very stout hardened steel chains – one at 110cm length and one at 170cm, a gnarly padlock and a wireless CCTV system. This little lot should keep the
kids safely in the attic bike secure in the shed.
Hilleberg Niak 2 Tent
This is not a caterpillar, or Action Man’s sleeping bag. It’s a very swish tent indeed, people. Very. Swish. It’s in for a bikepacking feature. Follow the link up there to see it in its fully erect glory!
NB: There’s a widget on the web page to tell you how to say ‘Niak’ – which will be helpful at the grocers, we’re sure.
And that’s it, once again, for the week. Stay safe people, and don’t do anything too inadvisable, unless you’ve thought about it for at least half a second beforehand. Remember what’s important (hint – limbs are right up there).
And one last thing – one of the truly great unknown nineties guitar bands – I present the fantastic Dark Star, as recorded on Jools Holland in the late ‘nineties: