orange four

Fresh Goods Friday 341

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Oh my Lord. Lord-McLordy, Lord-Lord. Lorde. Lourdes.

What a busy week it’s has been amongst these sweaty walls lining the offices at Singletrack Towers. The Easter long weekend seemed like such a good idea at the time, until you realise you simply have five days worth of work slammed into four days. Or in my case, two other staff members week’s worth of work into four days. Seriously, there is smoke coming off the keyboard as I sit here and type.

It’s all been happening that’s for sure, what with Chipps off swanning around at Sea Otter in California, and Hannah enjoying a deserved week off in the lead up to that Dirty Reiver event she’s racing this weekend.

In fact, it’s been so flat-out busy in the office that I have not even had the time to;

Anyway, lets not dwell on that, for we are just mere hours, minutes and seconds away from the weekend. And you know what that means my dear friends? It’s MOTHER-FLIPPIN FRESH GOODS FRIDAY!!

Orange Four RS

We requested a “really bright colour”, and this is what Orange delivered us.

Oh yes, this is one sexy machine that we’ve been biding our time on. I actually picked this bike up a couple of weeks ago when I visited Orange in Halifax to drop off a test bike and pick up that stunning new Stage 5. Going with the old ‘1 bike in, 2 bike out’ rule, Orange kindly gifted us a Four to chuck in the Singletrack Magical Mystery Van to bring back to HQ.

orange four
It’s the Four, so 120mm of rear travel, 130mm of fork travel and 27.5in wheels.

The Four slots into the latest Orange lineup as the baby brother to the venerable Five. And its introduction makes a lot of sense. As the Five has gotten bigger, burlier and slacker over the years, a gap began to open up in the Five’s wake for a shorter travel do-it-all trail bike, and that’s exactly what the Four is. It’s equipped with 27.5in wheels, has 120mm of rear wheel travel, and features a 130mm travel fork up front.

fresh goods friday orange four
We like the Five, but we want to get to know the Four better.

This isn’t the first time we’ve swung a leg over the Four. We actually brought you a world exclusive first ride review on the Orange Four when it first came out, and we also had the opportunity to chat more in depth about the bike’s design and key features as part of a video during the recent London Bike Show. However this time around, we’ve got a Four in for a proper longterm test, and our resident curly blond Social Media Manager, Andi-Pandi, will be getting very familiar with the Mountain Mint coloured machine.

Crank Brothers Klic HV Pump

  • Price: £39.99
  • From: Extra
Magnetic clickity-click pump from Crank Brothers.

If you’re a bit of a fiddler, then you’re going to love this pump. It’s the Crank Brothers Klic pump in the High Volume version, and it uses the power of magnets (read: sorcery) to attach and remove the hose.

Crank Brothers F15 Tool

  • Price: £39.99
  • From: Extra
The F-Tool flicks 15 tools out ready for when you are.

Also released alongside the Klic pump at last year’s Eurobike show was the curiously named F-Tool range. We still don’t know what the ‘F’ stands for, but perhaps ‘Fun’? Whatever it means, it’s a compact foldable multi-tool that comes with its own sleek metal sheath. 15 tools for fixing stuff.

Topeak Turbo Morph Pump w/Gauge

  • Price: £39.99
  • From: Extra
Might Morphing Power Pumper?

If you want a mini-pump, there’s a good chance you’ll be looking at a Topeak. The Taiwanese brand does pumps, tools and storage solutions more comprehensively than any other brand out there, and its Morph series pumps are the stuff of legend. This is the Turbo Morph, which uses a fold-out lever to use as a foot pump while on the side of the travel. Massive air volume for the pumpage, and an analogue flip-down gauge to help you dial in pressure.

Topeak Ratchet Rocket Lite NTX

  • Price: £72.99
  • From: Extra
Proper tool kit this one, complete with wee torque bits too.

There’s an internal battle in the Singletrack office over this MacGyver tool kit from Topeak. It’s the familiar mini ratchet tool kit, but it comes with a sweet organiser pouch and the addition of Topeak’s trick little pre-set torque bits. There are three torque options to choose from, which should cover all the little cockpit nuts and bolts on most bikes.

Maxxis High Roller II 27.5×2.80 EXO TR Tyre

  • Price: £79.99
  • From: Extra
Uber-treaded plus rubber from Maxxis.

Finally, proper chubby rubber with real tread that’s designed for riding on trails other than those found in California. That’s right, 2.8in wide Maxxis High Roller II tyres for those of you out there rocking a 650+ setup. Tubeless Ready and fitted with EXO reinforcing sidewalls for additional tear resistance.

Maxxis DHR II 27.5×2.80 EXO TR Tyre

  • Price: £79.99
  • From: Extra
If you got a 27.5+ mountain bike and want something other than low-profile dry condition only tyres, Maxxis has options.

For even more grip, there’s the most excellent DHR II tyre. Also in the 27.5×2.8in size and also with a folding bead, 60tpi casing, EXO sidewalls and tubeless ready bead. We’re looking forward to trying these on a few of our current plus test bikes that have been flailing about on our local muddy trails.

ION Rascal SPD Shoes

ion rascal spd shoes
Brand new SPD kicks from ION.

ION is likely better known for its line of mountain biking apparel and body armour, but the brand has just leapt into footwear with the Raid and Rascal shoes. We first got our hands on ION’s new flat and SPD shoes during the London Bike Show, but now they’re finally here, and we’ve got a set of the SPD Rascal’s on test. Lace-up design with an additional Velcro strap to keep ’em snug.

ION Mid Pole Socks

ion socks
Fresh foot gloves too.

But really, what’s the point of wearing new shoes without a new pair of socks to go with them? ION’s Mid Pole socks have a mid-length cut and are made with 65% cotton, 25% polyamide Nylon, and 2% Elasthan. We don’t know what animal Elasthan is, but it sounds tasty.

Julbo Dirt 2.0 Glasses

julbo glasses
Julbo delivers glasses that purportedly change tint in the sun. We’ll let you know if it works by, well, probably around August.

New glasses from Julbo, this one is the Dirt 2.0. It has a sporty wrap-around design with a full rim enclosure as well as rubberised tips on the arms and nosepiece. The lens is one of those high-tech Photochromic ones that changes colour depending on how bright (or depressingly grey) it is outside. Anti-fog coating too.

Julbo MonteRosa Glasses

julbo glasses
For the 90’s throwback, there’s the MonteRosa glasses.

The chunkier MonteRosa glasses share similar features, though ditch the rubberised nose bits. The lens is also darker as it features a polarized layer to filter out glare from the sun. Or at least we’re told it does that, though we will require some sunshine to verify those claims.

KS LEV Ci Dropper Post

lev carbon seatpost dropper
New carbon dropper post from KS.

As you may have read on our website yesterday, KS has delivered us a brand new LEV Carbon Integra dropper post, also known as the LEV Ci. KS had sample posts of these at Eurobike last year, but this is the first one spotted in the wild, and we’ve got it on test.

ks lev ci dropper post lever
Southpaw lever mounts where the front shifter would normally sit.

Basically it’s like the LEV Integra, but it gets a carbon fibre outer tube and upper saddle rail cradle to help bring weight down. It’s available in travel options including 65mm, 100mm, 125mm, 150mm and 175mm. We’ve got the 175mm banger on test, which came in at 569g on the scales including the Southpaw remote and cabling. Stay tuned for updates on progress with this one…

Giro Havoc Shorts

ross giro jersey shorts
Our human Tequila Sunrise, Ross, modelling fresh threads from Giro.

For a man who says he does not like being in front of the camera, Ross really likes being in front of the camera. Like, a lot. In fact, he forced us to take these photos. But he does look good, so who are we to try and argue?

To be honest, it’s likely Giro’s new trail gear that’s making Ross look good (THAT HAIRCUT THO). Giro has dropped some fresh threads into our possession, including the lightweight Havoc shorts that arrived just in time for warmer weather.

Giro Roust Jersey

ross giro jersey shorts
Nice relaxed fit on the Giro Roust jersey. Solid wingspan on Ross.

To match, there’s the Roust jersey that uses slightly longer and more relaxed-fit sleeves for a breezy feel up top. There’s a hidden glasses wipe on the inside front of the jersey, and a soft neck collar for comfort.

ross giro jersey shorts
Here’s one Ross painted earlier.

Also comes in this rather spacey Lime Green splatter print. It’s a Small size, so while we would all love to see Rossco squeeze his way into one of those, he declined us that pleasure. Always denying that Ross.

Giro HRC Merino Socks

ross giro jersey shorts
High-Vis Safety Socks, or Enduro-Fluoro Stylish? Or both?

Ooh and socks! The HRc + Merino socks from Giro are made from the good stuff, with a host of other technical fabrics to keep things snug and bunch-free between your toes and the inside of your shoes. Merino wool keeps the stink at bay, and offers some of that magic temperature regulation too.

Righto then, that’s us for this week. Pens down, laptops closed (yeah right…), and pants back on. It’s time to say goodbye to the slave cave, say hello to the weekend, grab a set of handlebars by the grips and pedal off into the sunset.

To help get you in the mood for the weekend that you’ve all deserved after this painfully busy week, here’s a little dip back through the archives for an absolute toe-tapper. If this don’t make your body move, your body must be dead!

ST Out.

Comments (12)

    Hold on it’s 10am!

    £80 for a bike tyre! Car tyres are cheaper….

    Not sure a car tyre would be an ideal fit on a bicycle rim @footflaps?

    As above, £80 tyres, £540 seat post and a mini tool £73 the world has gone mad and with that thought I’m out.

    That Orange looks superb. I wonder what it would look like in an orange and white clockwork scheme.

    That KS looks absolutely perfect, I need that.

    Looks at price. I don’t need that.

    Agreed with above prices are nuts ! I didn’t pay much more for my 18″ tyres for my car , over £500 for a dropper post , I’m glad I shall be too old for this lark before much longer !

    Are those tyres self-inflating or something? Perhaps encrusted with real diamonds? No? Well, in that case, they’re just plain overpriced…

    prices are getting silly, 80 quid for a tyre ! I thought I had left those prices behind when coming from m/cycles to bicycles . £540 for a dropper!!! that will probably go wrong (they all do) who is buying this stuff?

    I’ve reached the point where I ONLY buy stuff in the sales. The RRP for most products now is taking the Micky. These days of £900 forks, £80 tyres and £2000 wheels, none of which add more than 10% to the fun of mountain biking, also enable the manufacturers to up the price of lower-end components as, for example, £40 for a tyre suddenly doesn’t seem such bad value, when in fact it’s still dramatically over-priced. Ah well, the high RRPs mean that there’s stuff reduced somewhere almost 365 days a year so it’s a matter of searching before buying.

    £80 a ty….!!! Oh.

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