Wawaweewa! What a hectic week this has been at Singletrack Towers!
Last weekend there were two brilliant events that both Singletrack and Grit Magazine sponsored and supported. Not only did we support each event, but a few of us from the office even pinned a number on and got involved in the racing shenanigans, proving that yes, we do actually ride bikes occasionally. If you haven’t already checked out the photo galleries and race reports, then make sure you have a look at how Up The Buttress in Hebden Bridge, and Monster Cross down in Catton Park went down.
That lane is The Buttress, and that adult father has his two kids in matching team kit pushing him up it. Smart man!
James Love, AKA ‘The Despatch Guy’ at Singletrack, hops a barrier during the Monster Cross event in Catton Park on Sunday. A display of elegance and masterful technique!
Since then, it’s been a busy little sweat shop up in the Fresh Goods turret. Oh god it’s been hot. And sticky. Our Man From Down Under, Wil, has been skipping around riding bikes, wearing flip flops (though not while riding bikes), and generally looking like he’s entirely comfortable. Meanwhile the rest of us have been trying not to move too often, peeling our sweaty thighs off our leatherette office chairs only when absolutely necessary. But being reluctant to leave our desks has been no bad thing, as there’s been a whole awards ceremony to organise. You may have noticed that we’re running the Reader Awards. where YOU the reader vote for your most favourite-est bikes, gear, and apparel to have come out in the last 12 months. You can also vote on your favourite trail centre and bike shop, and you can tell us what your favourite Singletrack article was too. Want to check out the categories and let your vote be heard? Then head here to cast your vote ASAP!
Done that? Thank you.
Right then. We may be sticky and sweaty, but the goods are still fresh. Here it is: Fresh Goods Friday!
- Price: £875
- From: Whyte Bikes
In the current issue of Singletrack Magazine, we featured three beautiful Titanium hardtails as part of our feature group test. For the next issue of Singletrack Magazine, we’re going to the other end of the price spectrum with a sub-£1000 hardtail group test. The latest bike to turn up at Singletrack is this stunning bright green 529 from UK brand Whyte.
The 529 is an entry-level mountain bike that features geometry borrowed from much more expensive trail bikes. It uses 29in wheels and features a super-slack 66.5-degree head angle to provide masses of stability.
120mm fork up front courtesy of a good-looking Raidon fork from Suntour.
2-piece cranks from SR Suntour with a double chainring setup and a front derailleur.
9-Speed Deore shifting out back, and an all-black Shimano cassette.
Tektro hydraulic disc brakes feel nice and smooth out of the box.
Whyte is keen to make their entry-level bikes as confidence-inspiring as their top-end bikes. Short stem, wide bars and huge top tube lengths across the board.
Nice patriotic detail on the seat tube. Almost brings a tear to our eye *sniff*.
The Whyte 529 will be going up against the Genesis Core 30 we featured a couple of FGF’s ago, so we’ll be seeing how the green machine stacks up when the stakes get high on the trail.
Shimano SLX 1×11 Crankset
- Price: £94.99 to £134.99
- From: Madison
Shimano’s new SLX groupset is modelled on the exotic XTR groupset, but comes in at a much more attainable price point. Now with added sprocket so it can join the 11-speed club.
Like Deore XT and XTR, the SLX cranks are hollow-forged alloy and feature a steel 24mm spindle. So no BB30 here.
Narrow-wide chainring eh? Now THAT is interesting…
Shimano SLX 11-42t Cassette
- Price: £74.99
- From: Madison
You want more gears? Then we have all the gears in the world for you! Providing you only want 11 of them, because we only have 11. Specifically a spread of 11-42t sprockets on the SLX 11-speed cassette.
Shimano SLX 1×11 Rear Derailleur
- Price: £69.99
- From: Madison
SLX rear mech that can now handle up to a 46t cog. Adjustable friction clutch, and a sleek Shadow Plus profile that tucks it further inboard and away from nasty Calderdale rocks.
Shimano SLX 1×11 Shifter
- Price: £36.99
- From: Madison
And to make it all go, the new SLX trigger shifter. Complete with sweet Optical Gear Display.
Shimano SLX Disc Brakes
- Price: £94.99 per end (plus rotor and hardware)
- From: Madison
If you want to go fast, you’ll probably want brakes too. New 7000 series SLX hydraulic disc brakes get the same utilitarian look as the rest of the groupset, but with much the same functionality as the more expensive Deore XT and XTR groupsets.
Bosteels Kwak Beer
- Price: A Gift
- From: Shimano’s Eurobike Team
Mmm, tasty beer that may or may not be made from ducks? Best served in a ‘Days Of Our Lives’ style hourglass.
“Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.”
Fish Hair Products
- Price:Fishfingers Wax £5.99, Stonefish Clay, £5.99
- From: Fish Soho
Beer made from ducks, and now hair gel made from fish? Hannah knows she’s well overdue a haircut but hadn’t realised things had got so bad that her hair was drawing the attention of the hair product industry. The accompanying info assures us it smells of coconut, not fish. In fact, it’s called ‘Fish’ because the barber shop it is from was previously a fishmongers. Although immediately before it was a barbershop it was a sex shop, so there’s probably a few other choice names the brand creators could have chosen…suggestions below please…
- Price: £14.99
- From: Gone Biking Mad
Well if we want to carry our duck beer and fish gel on our rides, then we could always use the BiKASE SuperBand. BiKASE claim that the SuperBand can attach virtually anything to your bike, “even sausage and beer“. Now THIS is a test we’re looking forward to conducting!
Speed King & Race King Tyres
- Price: Speed King £49.95, Race King Protection £49.95
- From: Continental
Two sets of either very optimistic tyres, or very fast tyres – depending on your outlook on life – plus tubes and sealant for fitting them with. There are road tyres out there with more tread on them than the Speed Kings, and the Race Kings are only marginally more shadow casting – although these are the borderline sensible 2.2 version. There’s a 2.0 version if you want a little more excitement. Our own Race King Jason Miles will be testing these for us in a ‘scary fast XC tyre test’.
Vittoria Mezcal 29×2.25 Tyres
- Price: £39.99
- From: Vittoria
More lightweight tyres for speed fans, this time from Italian brand Vittoria. You’ve probably heard of the Mezcal tread before when it was labelled under the ‘Geax’ brand, but Vittoria decided they didn’t like the Geax name anymore. So there. High volume XC tyres designed for XC racing and hardpack trail riding, and with TNT tubeless compatibility.
SRAM Tokens and Butter
- Price: Various
- From: SRAM
Mmm, more edible treats for this week’s Fresh Goods Friday! While styling our hair with fish and enjoying a cool class of duck-beer, we’ll also be able to spread a bit of SRAM butter on our mini-toast for evening hors d’oeuvres. Also very useful for suspension servicing, which we’ll be undertaking with a top-up of Bottomless Rings (rear shock) and Bottomless Tokens (fork).
And that puts the cherry on top of our Fresh Goods Friday pie! The good weather seems to be breaking, so that must be the weekend approaching. To help you get in the end-of-the-week spirit, lets get the party started with this groovy number from the coolest cats on the block: Kool & The Gang!