Fresh Goods Friday 348

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Ok so here’s the skinny: Mark’s away in the US on a top-secret press launch, Hannah’s just flown out of Manchester to go race her first big enduro event in the alps, and the A-team comprising of Chipps, Andi and James is up in Peebles for the Tweedlove International. Oh and Ross decided to bugger off on holiday too, leaving but the barest of bones propping up the coffee machine in the Singletrack Office. So don’t be expecting a witty summary of the general election, or a wistful anecdote about an off-road adventure that involves some far-fetched metaphor about turning wheels and the circle of life.

Because sure as hell ain’t nobody got time for that.


No, you’re definitely not getting any of that today. Instead, we’re just going to get straight down to business, with a high-speed injection of fresh goods straight into your eyeballs for maximum efficiency and optimal absorption.

So lower yourself in your seat, try to relax, and get yourself set for this week’s dose of FRESH GOODS FRIDAY!

Merida One Sixty 7000

  • Price: £4500
  • From: Merida
merida one sixty
Got any blacker?

Ooh yes, how’s this fine-looking rig from the crew at Merida? It’s from the One Sixty line, so it’s endowed with 160mm of suspension and a lovely carbon fibre mainframe with an alloy back end. The 7000 model sits in the middle of the One Sixty range, and it’s got quite a tidy parts spec that includes a Shimano Deore XT 1×11 transmission, and XT disc brakes.

merida one sixty
Redesigned suspension on the One Sixty from Merida.

Suspension comes from RockShox, with the new Super Deluxe controlling the back end, while a Lyrik fork looks over the front wheel with 170mm of travel. The rear suspension design changes significantly over the previous One Sixty, and the rear shock now ‘floats’ in between the upper rocker link and an extension of the chainstay. For floaty good times?

merida one sixty
Carbonium front triangle, with an alloy back end.

As Merida’s longest travel mountain bike, there’s been a lot of positive murmurings around the new One Sixty, so we’ll be eager to see how the bike handles our local Calderdale riding conditions. Hold tight…

Schwalbe Hans Dampf Super Gravity

schwalbe hans dampf
Colourful orange stripe means clever new rubber inside.

Speaking of long travel and all things ‘gnar’, we’ve got some heavy duty rubber from Schwalbe in the form of a Hans Dampf tread pattern with a Super Gravity casing. Coming in over 1.1kg for the 27.5×2.35in size, this is a heavy duty enduro tyre that’s designed for maximum pinchflat and sidewall protection. The big news inside that colourful box is of course the new Addix rubber compound that Schwalbe is quite excited about.

Funn Flat Cap

funn hat rob
Swipe left.

Now technically this cap isn’t for sale. It’s a special podium cap rom Funn MTB that’s given to special riders of fantastic athletic abilities. We snagged it last weekend at the Fort William World Cup. Now technically Rob isn’t a special rider of fantastic athletic ability, but he is special, and he is our Rob, so we think he should have the cap.

Howies Clearim Jacket

rob jacket pump howies
Howies’ sophisticated jacket on…Rob.

However, we are definitely taking this Howies Clearim jacket off Rob immediately. Otherwise, how the hell are any of us going to get any work down around this place when he keeps lunging around the office like this? But enough of that awful thought, and back to the jacket. It’s superlight, and super waterproof – 20,000mm to be exact. Howies says its breathable too, so even Rob won’t be able to get hot under the collar. Thank the lord.

Syncros Mug

  • Price: If you have to ask…
  • From: Syncros
scott mug rob
The thoughts that must be passing between those ears.

What is it with things that you can’t buy in this week’s Fresh Goods Friday? Another sweet piece of merch, this time from the kind folks at Scott & Syncros, who have delivered this most excellent drinking vestibule. Wistful poses not included.

Syncros Dropper 2.0 Post

syncros dropper post
120mm drop from this internally routed number from Syncros.

Syncros sent us a double whammy this week, with the rest of the box containing this brand new dropper post. It’s a stealth-routed model, with the gear cable head conveniently attaching at the base of the seatpost. The remote is a slim inline number that’s 1x and 2x compatible, and the post uses a secure twin-bolt mechanism to lock down the saddle rails. The Syncros Dropper Post is only available in a 31.6mm diameter, and only with 120mm of travel.

Crank Brothers Mallet DH Pedals

crank brothers mallet pedal
Crank Brothers has redesigned the Mallet DH.

Released at Sea Otter this year, these are the brand new Mallet DH pedals from Crank Brothers. As one of the most used and most successful platform clipless pedals on the World Cup Downhill circuit (having taken Greg Minnaar to victory over the weekend at Fort William World Cup), the Mallet DH was already well proven. The new version offers that same smooth engagement and release that the Eggbeater mechanism is known for, but features a redesigned alloy platform that has the edges shaved off for less rock-catching action. They’re also compatible with Crank Brothers traction pads (the little black plastic pieces on either side of the Eggbeater mechanism), so you can tweak the stack height for your shoes.

Crank Brothers Highline Dropper Post

crank brothers highline dropper post seat
And added a 160mm travel version of the Highline.

Also new from Crank Brothers is an extra long version of the Highline dropper post. Now available with 160mm travel, the Highline remains internally routed only, though you can get it in 30.9mm and 31.6mm diameter options. It’s got that lovely universal remote, which offers a huge range of adjustment for getting the paddle setup in the right spot. We’ve been testing the shorter travel Highline for about 10 months now, and it’s been absolutely faultless, so we’re looking forward to giving this bigger guy a razz. Oh, 3-year warranty too, which is kewl.

Xforce Assassin XL Goggles

goggles wil
We have reached peak enduro.

Ready for enduro season, we got some new goggles to play with from a brand that’s new to us. Xforce is a Taiwanese brand that manufacturers motocross and downhill MTB goggles for some of the biggest names in the industry. Now they’re making their own, and they’re doing it a sweet price point. These Assassin XL goggles use a really wide wrap-around design for clear vision, and they come in the box with two lens options – the mirror red lens that this munchkin is wearing here, and a set of clear lenses too. Guaranteed to look much better on normal human beings.


hayfever medication medicine
Non-druggy and non-drowsy hayfever remedy from HayMax.

With the spring and summer season comes warmer weather, longer days and superb riding conditions. Unfortunately for some, it also comes with loads of airborne pollen thanks to sprouting trees and blossoming flowers, and that leads to fun-killing hayfever. You could spend your ride sneezing like a steam train, or you could sort your mess out with some barrier balm from HayMax. Drug-free, and apparently non-drowsy, so no excuses for being useless at work after being medicated.

Bikase Superband

bikase smart phone iphone
To go #fullenduro, you must attach all of the things to your bike. But don’t use tape, use a Bikase instead.

The guys at Bikase launched a Kickstarter campaign last year for its nifty on-bike storage system, and since then, they’ve put it into production. Comprising of a simple rubberised platform, the Bikase is a universal stuff organiser, so you can easily attach (via the wonder or O-rings) the Bikase to your frame, stem or seatpost, and then strap various things to it, like gels, a mobile phone, or a big hunk o’ salami. Whatever floats your boat! Perhaps model boats too.

Shimano Quick Link 11s

shimano chain powerlink joining
Small and clever joining link from Shimano for 11-speed chains.

So it has literally taken OVER A YEAR for Shimano to produce this little piece of chain. To be fair, it is one clever piece of chain – it’s a quick link, and it’s designed to offer easy joining of the chain without need for a traditional pin system. SRAM has been doing that for a while now, so it’s good to see Shimano getting on board too. Price is for two sets of 11-speed quick links.

Julbo Dirt 2.0 Glasses

  • Price: £105
  • From: Julbo
julbo glasses wil idiot
Julbo’s Dirt 2.0 glasses with transition lenses.

Seriously, do we not have any models at the office? Oh, that’s right – they’ve all abandoned us, leaving Dumb ‘n’ Dumber posing for products like this (sorry Julbo). So these are Julbo’s Dirt 2.0 glasses, which use large-profile lenses with a heavy curvature to increase the total field of vision. The lenses themselves are a rather sophisticated photochromatic number that changes its tint automatically depending on how bright/British the conditions are. Julbo states the lens goes clear enough for night riding, and dark enough for sunny days out. It also states the photochromatic layer is part of the lens, rather than a coating, making it more durable overall.

RockShox Pike RCT3

rockshox pike wil
Rock out with your fork out.

Fresh in the building is a set of brand new 2018 RockShox Pike RCT3 forks. We’ve already had a play on some pre-production versions, but this is the first time we’ve got one of the brand new forks on its own and ready to shlap onto a test bike for a proper pastin’. Housing all the good stuff inside including the new DebonAir spring and the new Charger 2 damper, the latest Pike forks get a redesigned chassis that’s Boost-specific and much open through the arch for oodles of mud clearance.

rockshox pike rct3
The Pikes are brand new for 2018 – both inside and out.

Oh man, we finally got to the end of that. And not a moment too soon, because it’s nearly time for the three of us left in the office to GTFO and launch ourselves into the weekend.

We’ve done our best to keep Singletrack Towers in one piece while the rest of the gang has been away in far more exotic places (and Scotland), so hopefully we’ve done them proud with all of our hard work. Well, unless they’re occupied and have forgotten about us poor souls already…

And on that note, here’s a little earworm for you fine people to get you into a groovy mood for the weekend ahead of us. Enjoy, have a superb few days of riding and chilling, and we’ll see you on the other side!

ST Out.


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