Fresh Goods Friday 331

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Oh my goodness, this week we have a towering heap of bling for you. And with double coffee it’s a jittery wobbly towering heap that Hannah really needs to keep her shaking hands off. Honest, it’s the coffee that’s making her shake, not any kind of detox withdrawal type thing. She has been fully detoxed in a sauna in Finland. Her body is as pure as the driven snow that she was rolling naked in last weekend. Now there’s a tale…you’ll have to wait until a future issue of Singletrack for that one. If you want to know a bit of what she got up to while she had her clothes on, then check out these Facebook Live videos here and here.

So, away from piles of flesh to piles of bling. Onwards we roll, to Friday, the weekend, and beyond…

Alchemy Arktos Custom

Such a beast, we had to keep it in a cage.

This is a carbon fibre, 150mm rear travel, 27.5in wheeled monster from Alchemy Bikes. But what a good looking monster.

What’s in a name?

In Greek mythology, Arktos was a centaur who fought against the Lapith spearmen. Hopefully there’s not too many spearmen out on the trails these days. And riding topless like a centaur is probably only for Putin.

Sine supension

The Arktos features a new dual-linkage platform called Sine Suspension that Alchemy licensed exclusively from David Earle. The name Sine derives from the way the shock rate, when graphed, resembles a sine wave: It’s regressive through the first part of the travel to absorb small bumps and provide climbing traction; progressive in the middle of the stroke to avoid wallowing on big hits or in hard, fast corners; then slightly regressive again in the last 15 percent of the stroke to enable the bike to use all 6 inches of its rear-wheel travel. Sine is also designed to minimize chainstay growth when the bike is moving, which is intended to help with pedaling efficiency and keep the suspension active under braking.

Dual linkage platform
160mm rear travel

The frameset comes with the Fox Float X shock.

Let us at those trails.
Internal routing keeps this bike looking clean and sharp.
Grey and green – Hannah’s favourite colours

With a frameset this lush, you may as well kit it out with some nice components, and that’s what the folks at Saddleback have done here. It’s almost too good to ride.

66 degree head angle

Compatible with 160mm or 150mm forks, we have the Fox 36 Factory fork with 150mm travel and boost spacing.

Shimano Deore XT cassette with 11-46 cassette.
Oval ring

Up front Saddleback has fitted a Rotor QX1 MTB Ring, set at number 3 of the three possible positions. This is the most common position that most people will use, but you can get jiggy with the science here if you want to know more.

Rotor crankset

Have a cobblers at that linkage set up.

Can you drip with carbon? Or do you festoon?

If you’re the distributor for Enve wheels, what else are you going to fit to a beast such as this? We have the M60 Enve rims…

How many bees in there?

…laced onto Chris King hubs. Do we really have to get this bike dirty?

Even the saddle looks the business.
Thomson dropper


More Enve. We’re experiencing a touch of it.
This colour scheme is only available in the Custom option.
Who’s going to go first?

Once everyone’s finished fighting over who’s going to ride this first, we’ll be out on the trails giving it a thorough testing. Don’t expect it to look so clean next time you see it.

Specialized Burra Burra Framepack 8

Burra Burra

This is the largest of the framepacks in the Burra Burra range, which we’ve previously reviewed here. Designed to be highly water resistant and to give you easy access to your essentials out on the trail.

Bontrager Rhythm Gloves

  • Price: £24.99
  • From: Trek
Clarino fabric palm

Lightweight, full-finger protection in a new colour scheme from Bontrager.

Mesh upper

Handy little pull tab cuff for easy putting-on-er-ing. Also helps keep dirt and stuff out.

Unior Bottle Openers

If Wolverine cut his nails?

Handy for cheeky beers on the train home (beers on the train to work is not advised), our friends at Unior – makers of fine tools – have sent us these.

Booicore Dirtbag

We wonder what the barcode says if you scan it?

A great big duffle bag so you can stuff all your stinky wet kit in and forget about it in the car until it fosters new life? Nope. Well, you can if you want. But it’s meant for separating out your nasty stuff from your clean stuff, and keeping it all inside and away from your car seats.

Many pockets for many things

With a built in Shoe Pocket, Mobile Phone Pocket, Water Resistant Inner Bag, Key Loop with Key-Strap and adjustable carry strap this might just get you organised and keep your car clean.

Mucky Nutz Full Face Fender

Keeps your face clean(er).

A longer version of the Mucky Nutz front fender, this attaches to the bridge of your fork and gives you mud protection fore and aft, giving you more protection from whatever horrors the trail may be throwing at you. Suitable for all wheel sizes.

Öhlins STX22 Air Rear Shock

9-click low speed compression damping

This shock is available in 4 different strokes with mounting hardware compatible with a majority of all available Enduro/trail bikes on the market.

3-click high speed compression damping

We’ve seen Öhlins shocks before on Specialized bikes, and on the Hope HB.211 carbon Prototype, but this is the first time we’ve seen one set loose in the wild. Our James is a lucky boy. He’s going to be fitting this to his Cotic Flare Max.

6-click rebound damping

Vittoria Frost MTB Winter Boots

Milan, Rome, Show Heaven.

Italian shoes – just what every girl wants, right? Maybe these aren’t quite what the Valentine’s marketeers had in mind, but Hannah is much happier with these than a pair of slingbacks. With thermal insulation, Windtex membrane and a Neoprene wrapping, Hannah is hoping that these will keep her toes toasty.

Paul Components Klamper Short Pull Cable Disc Brakes

Modern retro.

Cable disc brakes are favoured by adventure riders for their simplicity and durability, and Paul Components reckon they’ve made the best there is.

Fox Transfer Remote Lever Kit

  • Price: £64
  • From: Mojo
For use with a front derailleur set up

Sold separately to go with the dropper post, this is one of two remote options. The other version is for use with 1x set-ups, and sits under the bar.

Öhlins RXF36 Fork

Tell us your secrets. You will talk.

Built using Öhlins’ TTX technology, made for 29″, 650b+ and some 650b frames, our lucky boy James will be testing this fork.

Low and high speed compression are externally adjustable and fully independent.
We have 120mm travel and boost spacing.

Available in 120mm, 140mm, 150mm, and 160mm travel.

Helpful guide to get you set up.
Uni-crown with Tapered Steerer Tube

DT Swiss BR2250 Fatty Wheels

  • Price: £299.99 (front), £374.99 (rear), £675 (set)
  • From: Madison
BR 2250 Fatty Wheels
Big Ride.

BR stands for Big Ride, DT Swiss’ range of kit for fat bikes. The rear hub is 197mm, adaptable to 190mm using the kit provided in the box. There’s a 170mm version coming soon.

BR 2250 Fatty Wheels
Easy to maintain

Using DT Swiss’ Ratchet System means if you’re out in the middle of nowhere and things go wrong, you can simply pull it apart with your bare hands if you need to – clean it, and put some lube in to get you home. Of course you could actually look after it by servicing it properly.

BR 2250 Fatty Wheels
Light and strong

The rims are light and tough, and made of the same alloy as the popular EX471 XC wheels. Lighter than some carbon options, the wheelset has claimed weight of 2230g.

BR 2250 Fatty Wheels
Many set up options covered in the box

The wheels come set up for centre lock rotors, but there’s 6-bolt adapters in the box. Rear wheels come with Shimano hubs fitted, but there’s a SRAM free hub in the box if you want to swap.

BR 2250 Fatty Wheels
We hope Sanny has read the manual.

With a 76mm internal width and 81mm external width, these are off being tested by our fat bike enthusiast, Sanny.

Handpresso Coffee

Handpresso Coffee
Coffee to go

It might have escaped your attention, but we quite like coffee here at Singletrack Towers. Imagine then our excitement to discover that the distributors of this portable set up are just over the hill in Burnley! We’ll be taking this kit to the London Bike Show next week so we can serve shoppers with espresso. Pop by and say hello.

Handpresso Coffee
Like a shock pump. We like.

You load the (environmentally friendly – it’s a bit like a tea bag) coffee pod into the machine – or you can use ground coffee if you like. Then you pump it up like a shock pump until it reaches pressure, turn it over, press a button and…

Handpresso Coffee
Crema. Mmmm.

…hey presto! Espresso on the go. Everyone in the office wants one of these gadgets now. As if we didn’t already drink enough coffee while at work, now we can jangle and jiggle at home too. Gnash.

Right, all that remains is to send you on your merry ways towards the weekend with a tune.

This week Chipps has been listening to the newest Rolling Stones album and encouraging us all to listen to it because it’s like a ‘proper old blues album’. Anyone would think he’s an old man who has a birthday next week, not a bright young thing. Anyway, here’s a track from it. Let’s hope there’s only a little rain this weekend.

Fresh Goods Friday Live

Hannah Dobson

Hannah came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. Having worked in policy and project management roles at the Scottish Parliament and in local government, Hannah had organisational skills that SIngletrack needed. She also likes bikes, and likes to write.

Hannah likes all bikes, but especially unusual ones. If it’s a bit odd, or a bit niche, or made of metal, she’s probably going to get excited. If it gets her down some steep stuff, all the better. She’ll give most things a go once, she tries not to say no to anything on a bike, unless she really thinks it’s going to hurt. She’s pretty good with steri-strips.

More than bikes, Hannah likes what bikes do. She thinks that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments.

Hannah tries to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

Comments (22)

    Having bought one recently, I think that Fox remote lever is obscenely expensive for what it is. I should have done a bit more research and got a Wolf Tooth one – at least that looks like it’ll last…..
    I might still get one and flog the Fox piece of tat.

    I’m intrigued as to why the Öhlins fit only some 650b frames?

    That Alchemy is pure bike porn…. How much for the build as shown?

    What is that saddle on the Alchemy? It’s probably the only bit that I could get close to owning! Sorry, tried squinting and enlarging the picture and still can’t make it out…

    That Yeti SB66, sorry, Alchemy Arktos is a lovely looking bike. And the Ohlins fork is equally lust-worthy. The only thing that bothers me about is that built-in crown race. Limits your headset bearing choice, surely?

    After some investigation in relation to my earlier comment, I think it’s to do with the offset being 51mm.

    I’d be interested to learn more about those sine wave kinematics. Does it soften at the end to off set the natural rising rate of an air shock or is this a marketing twist to a “feature” they couldn’t design out?

    lovely lookin’ mitts, looks nice and generous in the thumb department too – is this right? Still searching for hand socks that fit skinny but long hands with XXL thumbs

    @antoine I started adding it up but I ran out of toes. Watch out for our first look article, I’ll have borrowed some extra toes by then.

    Does the shock shaft really come to rest on the black linkage on that Alchemy as it looks? I’m sure the Kashima coat with look lovely after a few globs of fine british mud & grit have been trapped in between there!

    @Onzadog there’s science there. And a graph. We’re going to try and get it in a format we can share with you.

    See you in London for some coffee…..!!!!!

    @stwhannah – thanks, you’re a star.

    Is that a hot espresso & if so how??

    What 631 frame is that Burra Burra mounted to anyone know?

    @munded that’s Chipps’ performance pub bike, as featured in the current issue.

    @bianchiboy yup, it’s hot. Fresh goods live on Facebook has a demonstration. You pour the hot water in, flip a button, pump, then flip the button and pour it out the other side. Quite nifty if you don’t have room for a coffee machine on your work surface. I want one!

    Shame you have to pay £3,400 before you get tidy cable routing on a carbon frame. Santa Cruz should take note on how it is done

    @Slmwlt. The shock doesn’t rest on the linkage as it has a cutout.

    Alchemy festooned and dripping with carbon and bling, oh and an XT mech and cassette !

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