Today is Mad Friday. The Friday when, apparently, most office parties happen. Are you wearing your Christmas jumper? Or maybe just some subtle socks with flashing lights? Will you be seeing the party right through, donning the party hat over food, cheering happily when you open your secret Santa gift of nipple tassles, and being the one brave enough to take the seat at the table that no one else wants. No, not the one next to the boss, the one between the Head of HR and the Head of Audit.
Is the office party something you look forward to? Or something which you endure as a painful necessity, like root canal work, or a vasectomy? Will you be there at the kareoke while your train home leaves the station? Will you peak too soon on pre-meal champagne (or, more likely in this economic climate, cava) and be one of those green commuters on the early train home?
Here at Singletrack Towers, we are spending Mad Friday recovering from Thursday. Yesterday was our office party, and to make sure everyone had a properly empty stomach before the drinking began, there was an afternoon ride. Today we are all feeling a little slower than yesterday, and the coffee machine is working extra shifts. So we are tired, and you are probably a bit giddy and eager to get on with the business. With no more madness than usual, it’s Fresh Goods Friday.
Jones Plus Frame & Fork
- Price: £1640 (Frameset)
- From: Biff
For when 29 inches isn’t enough, how about 29+? Take a moment to take this beast in.
This is the steel framed version, but for those of you wanting something even more stand out from the crowd unusual, how about the titanium version at £5000 for the frameset?
If you’re going for the stand out from the crowd look, or just heading down the bike packing rabbit hole, then the H-bars are surely a must?
Faster than a fat bike? But still with enough bounce to tackle the bumps? We’re going to find out.
No suspension up front on this machine, just a feast of trigonometry and welding.
Swept back bars and rigid forks doesn’t have to mean you’re only going to trundle along gentle byways. On the bar you’ll find the tidy remote lever for the Thomson Dropper that this bike has been built with, for when things get spicy.
For those of you too young to remember them, that’s a front derailleur there, for swapping between the two chainrings at the front. Probably handy when you’re all laden down with luggage, or hauling home a wild boar you’ve hunted, or hauling yourself out for your Boxing Day ride after a second helping of Grandma’s trifle and the obligatory spoonful of Christmas pudding.
This big ol’ bike will be featured in an upcoming issue as part of a 29+ group test. Keep your eyes peeled for more on that one…
Pedalling Innovations The Catalyst Pedal
- Price: £109
- From: Charlie The Bikemonger
These pedals have been designed to support your foot at both ends of its arch, providing five inches of contact space for your foot. You place the middle of your arch over the axle, which its makers claim results in increased power, efficiency, stability and comfort. There are diagrams and science and everything on the website, explaining how these pedals encourage a more efficient pedalling action than other smaller ones, where you put the pressure through the ball of your foot. Intrigued? There’s a 30 day money back guarantee if you can’t wait to find out how we get on testing them.
Topeak Mountain Morph
- Price: £31.99
- From: Extra UK
With a flexible hose and fold a foot bracket for more convenient trail side inflation, and weighing a claimed 250g with a centerline mount bracket so there are no excuses for risking leaving it at home while you ‘just nip out for a short spin’.
Crank Brothers Sterling lg Pump
- Price: £49.99
- From: Extra UK
A dual piston pump with gauge. The LG stands for long – 276mm to be precise – and with the gauge this weighs 173g. Comes with a five years warranty.
If you need a wee, or have to top up your glass, now is the time.
Please resume your seats. We will now continue.
Revive Dropper Post
- Price: €293 – €310
- From: BikeYoke
There was a lot of interest about the new Revive dropper post when it was first announced, so we’ve got one in to test. It’s made by a German company called BikeYoke, and it’s available in 30.9mm and 31.6mm diameters, and either 125mm or 160mm of infinitely adjustable travel. It’s cable activated, with a neat left hand remote trigger and stealth internal cable routing.
The most unique aspect about this particular dropper however, is the ‘Revive’ function. Found at the top of the seatpost, there’s a small valve that allows you to externally bleed air out of the damper. And why would you want to do that? Well if you’ve ever owned a dropper like a Reverb or a KS Lev, you’ll know that pulling up on the saddle while the post is compressed can introduce air into the damper. The result is a squidgy-feeling seatpost that delivers unwanted suspension travel, which warrants a full strip-down and rebuild to address. In the case of the Revive dropper however, a turn of the Revive valve with a 4mm hex key allows you to release air from the top of the damper, and send it back into the chamber from whence it came. Clever concept, and one that we’re eager to put through a solid winter of testing to see how well it works.
Revive DeHy B1 For Reverb
- Price: €74.96
- From: BikeYoke
Also new from BikeYoke is this aftermarket lever kit for RockShox Reverb dropper posts. In what may be an unusual product for some, the DeHy kit replaces the hydraulic hose and remote, converting your Reverb into a cable-activated dropper. If you’ve ever ripped off a hydraulic hose in a crash, or you’re just not a big fan of the Reverb remote button, this might be the droid that you’re looking for.
- Price: €60
- From: BikeYoke
Lastly, BikeYoke also produces an aftermarket dropper post lever that it calls ‘Triggy’. Triggy is designed as a replacement remote for most cable-activated dropper seatposts out there, such as a Giant Contact SL or a Fox DOSS.
Sunrace MX3 11-42 Cassette
- Price: £74.99
- From: Ison
A spin up/whiz down cassette option for your bike. Behold the shiny coloured parts, so similar in shiny tastiness to all those foil wrapped sweets you’re going to consume this month. Flagging? Look down at your cassette, remind yourself of those calories you need to burn, and press on.
Helpfully, this cassette is black, so you needn’t feel quite so guilty about not cleaning it back to shiny bright silver metal after the first few rides.
This week’s beers from our sponsor Honest Brew were from examples of the Howlers that you could buy as gifts…however they’ve proved so astonishingly popular that they’ve sold out! Instead you’ll just have to buy your beer loving friends the Sampler. For £17.50 (a current special offer, down from £20.90), the beer lover in your life could be supping their way through six different craft beers, from the glass (included), and while nibbling on popcorn (two bags, also included). They’ll also get a £10 voucher towards an Honesty Box subscription. Or you could just keep that for yourself.
Anyhow, you probably have important partying to do. Don’t do anything you’ll regret, or if you do, please tell us about it in the comments below. Treat us as your confessional. We won’t tell anyone.
To see you out, it’s tune time. Some of you might be in the party mood, some of you might be bright young things, some of you might like this.
For those of you that were disappointed when the piano gave way to those sick dropped beatz and pumping bass, word, we thought we’d look for something a little more grown up. But then we found what appears to be man who left his saxophone on the train just before a big concert.