Fresh Goods Friday 288

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’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

Price: £2.400

From: Merida


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

Price: £129.99

From: i-Ride


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

Price:TR £37.99

From: Extra


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

Price: £53.99

From: Extra


Another all-conditions tyre, in a 26in flava.

Maxxis Minion DHF FLD 29×2.5 3C/EXO/TR

Price: £55.99

From: Extra


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

From: Extra


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

Price: £109

From: Zyro

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.

Giro Terraduro

Price: £129.99

From: Zyro


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

Price: £59.99

From: Zyro


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

Price: £74.99

From: Zyro


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

Price: £5.99

From: Moore Large


Prevents punctures from perambulatory penetrations! And apparently works in tubeless and innertubes…

Lake M180 Shoes

Price: £139.99

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.

HipLok FLX

Price: £29.99

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.

Hiplok Homie

Price: £109.99

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

From: Zyro


Small GPS computer , compatible with Strava and all your most favouritest wotsits.


Madison Trail Flash Helmet

Price: £44.99

From: Madison


Good looking yellow trail lid – much brighter than it seems here, people. 19 holes. Pro-fit. Lightweight. Swoopy.

Madison Zenith Helmet

Price: £79.99

From: Madison


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

Price: £34.99

From: Madison


Pro-fit, 15 vents, silver trail lid.

Fenwick’s Carbon Assembly Paste

Price: £9.99

From: Zyro


Having trouble inserting your carbon wotsit into its appropriate receptacle? Fenwick’s may well have the answer…

Transition mech hanger

Price: £24.95

From: Windwave


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.

ABUS locks


WBA100 wall/ground anchor £ 85
Citychain 1010/110 cm £ 99
Citychain 1010/170 cm £ 189
Padlock 37/RK60 £ 125
TVAC16000B system £ 349

From: Zyro


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

Price: £649

From: Hilleberg


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:

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 (8)

    So nowhere in the article or on Niak’s website does it tell you how small the tent is packed up.


    Those 2.5 Minion DHFs do grip like a tandem skydiving OAP.

    Would be quite happy to test those Privateers long term to see if they’re faster or slower than my white ones. Just so you know.

    Had 3 x Giro Terraduro last year. Soles came away from the shoe in all cases. They had claimed to have cured the problem. Under hard use they failed within 8-10 weeks

    Them Race TT tyres look like re-named Larsen’s. Which is A Good Thing.

    Really liking the new Privateers so far. Enduro (brah!) -like grip from the tread, good off-bike flex, and they don’t look silly with Lycra (which is more than I can say for the rest of me).
    Hopefully I get more life out of them than Pawsy- my original Storm Trooper white Privateers have held up as well as early-’00s Shimanos. And that’s saying something.

    Niak. 19 x 4 inches but can pack down smaller.

    Just for balance – My Terraduros are still going strong after 6 months.

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