Hello all! There’s a glorious carefree oscillatory vicissitude to the weather at the moment – but right now, everything’s peachy keen, because the sun’s out. No idea how long it’ll last, mind, but hey! Let’s not dwardle – there’s shiny shiny to look at! In the words of someone clever: Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.
Here’s Fresh Goods!
Stif Morf Hardtail
Price: £500 frame only; £1999 built
Nuclear banana? Atomic Lemon? Quantum Quince? Whatever, the Morf is a spangly new 4130 cromo hardtail from the good folk at Stif, designed in conjunction with ‘legendary frame designer’ (it says here) Brant Richards – a man I can also tell you from personal experience is certainly not lacking in the trouser department.
The ’12 bore’ chainstay bridge apparently gives room for up to a 36 tooth chainring (1x only, naturally) and the short 420mm chainstays.
Burgtec cockpit with a 35mm stem bolted onto a 65º headtube optimised for a 130mm fork. There’s a Pike on the front of this one, looking all purposeful an’ that.
We like the neat-looking brake mount/brace. Very elegant.
‘Well Bastard Fast’ – it even says it on the frame. But who actually is ‘them’? Let’s take a look.
External cable routing to keep things simple – widely spacing the guides like this makes it easier to thread the cable ties…
1x XT shifty shifty is the order of the day.
Mmmm. Side view yellow mentals. That Pike, looking purposeful on the right, there. Actually, how does a fork look *purposeful*? Do some forks look idle? Sort of wastrel forks, sitting in their bedrooms smoking rhododendron leaves playing video games when they could have a job suspending things? Mind you, I remember some of the forks of the late nineties, and they probably were. One pair had ENORMOUS stanchions, and seals which would actually suck water *in* when it was wet (lookin’ at you, ZZYZX). Useful.
Ah, herewith the ‘arty’ shot. Wouldn’t be a FGF without one of these. We can take the opportunity to look at the head badge, and the Hope headset, though – so all is not lost.
‘Cloud’ as in ‘you can hardly feel it gently stroking your arse with its gossamer-comfort’ rather than ‘composed largely of water, and occasionally raining on Croydon’.
The trusty Minion DHF. There’s some proper rubber, right there. As opposed to improper rubber – at which point our American viewers will draw a discreet veil over proceedings.
Absolute Black Oval Chain Device
From: Absolute Black
A cunningly designed chain guide for those ‘belt and braces’ types who don’t trust thick/thin chainrings (they’re OK for keeping secrets or your chain on, but for popping down to the offie? I don’t trust them as far as I can throw them*). This one works with oval rings, and pivots so you can fiddle with the chain more easily.
Absolute Black M8000 XT Chainring
From: Absolute Black
An oval ring to go with the oval chainguard. It’s not just forced perspective, although it does look like it. This one works with M8000 XT and SLX.
Oakley EVZero Prism Trail Glasses
They’re NEW! They’re LIGHT! They let 36% of light through with increased contrast! They make Richard look even more gorgeous than he otherwise does*! New bins from Oakley.
*your opinion may vary
Royal Racing Hextech Shorts
Trailshorts! Stretchy, adjustable altitudinally specific trousers for enhanced shin ventilation. Comes complete with waterproof audio pocket and non-rattle cam lock zippers.
Royal Racing Storm Shorts
More blackness, in a comprehensively waterproof flavour, it’s claimed. Ratchet closure, this time. Batman pants regrettably not included – they’re model’s own. There’s a prize* if you can guess who it is!
*an impressed nod from one** of the editorial staff.
**precise identity of editorial staff to do the nodding to be determined at a later date***
***precise date of later date to be determined later
Royal Quantum Glove
Gain a tiny bit of solace in a really weird, meta and abstract James Bond impersonation with these gloriously bright gloves, in which Ali finds it comfortable to Vogue like it’s going* out of fashion. Perforated palm, lots of words like ‘ergonomic’ and ‘expander’ and ‘Lycra fourchettes’**. Technically knitted mesh back of hand panel, too.
**Google it – I had to (I think it’s the less rude one).
100% iTrack Glove 2016
More lightweight and bright gloves! ‘Factory look’, apparently. They’re pull-ons this time, with 100% written on the palm. More fancy words: Perforated, silicone, traction, polymesh, airflow, airprene and overlay. And let’s not forget an office favourite: gusset.
RaceFace X-Type Turbine BB
Richard keeps on breaking things – he’s getting very good at it. This is a lovely shiny and new BB which isn’t broken, and hopefully it’ll be able to weather Rich’s
Stan’s No Tubes Tyre Sealant and Race Sealant
Price: £24 or £32
This gorgeous and gloopy stuff came in from the wondrous (and magnificently hirsute) people at Paligap. Stan’s is pretty much our go-to sealant in the office. The Race stuff is a bit more pricey, but can seal even bigger holes at more extreme temperatures. I’ll be aiming to see if it can withstand my daughter’s icy glare when I tell her I’m not buying her another ******* unicorn to replace the one she lost/broke/gave to her little sister to eat.
And now for some tuneage!
After the electronica of last week, I promised you something a little more guitarry – and I don’t like to disappoint.
Leatherface is one of the most under-rated (as well as one of the best) punk bands there has ever been. This is a typically fantastic piece of songwriting from Frankie Stubbs, from 1991’s astonishing Mush, with some brilliant guitar playing from the late, lamented Dickie Hammond. And oh god, the lyrics. Motorhead mixed with Husker Du mixed with Yeats, indeed. Enjoy: