Fresh Goods Friday 355

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In the immortal words of Rebecca Black;

It’s Friday.


Gotta get down on Friday.

Everybody be looking forward to the weekend.


So poignant. So eloquent. What an artist of our time! Someone who has so fervently demonstrated via lyrical genius an unparalleled interpretation of the popular zeitgeist. Rebecca Black; we are not worthy!

Indeed it is Friday, and we are indeed “be looking forward to the weekend“. So without further ado, lets do what we always do on this final day of the working week; celebrate with FRESH GOODS FRIDAY!

Identiti Mettle

Identiti Mettle
Time to test our mettle on the Mettle.

New in the office this week is the brand new Mettle from Identiti Bikes. It’s the first proper full suspension enduro bike from the British dirt jumping brand, and it features 160mm of travel front and rear in an alloy frame that’s built with toughness and durability in mind.

Identiti Mettle
5mm pivot hardware for each pivot, and same size cartridge bearings throughout – brilliant!

Rear suspension is a four-bar linkage, and it uses sealed cartridge bearings at each pivot point. But how’s this; each bearing is exactly the same size, which if you’ve ever had to rebuild the back end on a full suspension bike, will be very much appreciated. All pivot hardware is able to be adjusted with a 5mm hex key too – how good is that!

Identiti Mettle
It’s the first proper full suspension enduro bike from Identiti Bikes, and it looks the goods. Full test on the horizon.

We’ll have a proper first look article coming on the new Mettle, and we’ll be slinging this big metal beauty underneath Mr Barney Marsh, who will be doing his very best (or worst?) to find the bike’s limits. Headlines to come…

Specialized Butcher & Slaughter GRID 27.5×2.8in Tyres

specialized butcher grid plus chameleon santa cruz
Joining the Specialized Butcher range is a new 2.8in width, which UK mountain bikers will appreciate.

Brand new from team Specialized is the addition of a 2.8in plus size for the popular Butcher and Slaughter treads. We’ve reviewed the Specialized Butcher (front) and Slaughter (rear) combo before, but this is the first time Specialized has offered up a more aggressive tyre designed for 650+ mountain bikes.

specialized slaughter grid plus tyre tubeless
The Slaughter on the back uses the same cornering blocks, but a faster-rolling centre tread to lower resistance.

Both tyres are spec’d with the GRID casing, which reinforces the inside of the tyre with an additional cap ply for added durability and stability when running lower pressures. Specialized claims the Slaughter GRID 2.8in tyre weighs 975g, while the Butcher GRID 2.8in is claimed to weight 1010g. Barney will be ripping around on these on his new Santa Cruz Chameleon hardtail, which is currently setup in 27.5 plus mode.

Hutchinson Toro Hardskin 27.5×2.35in Tyre

Uber-beefy tyres from Hutchinson for our magazine group test.

In the new issue of Singletrack Magazine, we’ve got a group test on high-tech trail tyres. They’re all 27.5in diameter, and all 2.3-2.4in wide, with beefy sidewalls and high quality rubber compounds. One of those tyres is the Toro from Hutchinson. It’s the Hardskin version, so it’s built to offer loads of flat protection for the gnar-core enduro slayers.

e*thirteen TRSr 27.5×2.35in Tyre

e*thirteen tyre
No longer a chainguide-only brand, e*thirteen is getting a great reputation for its wheels and tyres.

Also in the group test is the reinforced version of e*thirteen’s TRSr tyres. These come in at a generous 2.4in width, and feature an intermediate tread pattern that’s built for mixed conditions, and a soft rubber compound to keep your wheels sticking to mother nature.

e*thirteen Tyre Plasma 1L

e*thirteen tubeless sealant rim tape
Tyre juice from e*thirteen.

Also inside our big box of e*thirteen goodies is some tubeless gubbins, including the excitingly-titled ‘Plasma’ tubeless tyre sealant. Plasma comes with all sorts of sweet-sounding nano particles that are said to plug up the wee holes that you might accidentally encounter on your trail riding adventures.

e*thirteen Tubeless Tape

e*thirteen rim tubeless tape
What other purposes can we use tubeless tape for? Recommendations below plz.

Also, tubeless tape. Starts at £17.95 for an 8m long roll, though you can also get it in a workshop quantity that’ll give you 40 metres worth of tape – perfect for strapping Chipps down onto his office chair the week before magazine deadline. Available in widths from 25mm up to 40mm.

e*thirteen TRS+ Dropper Post

e*thirteen dropper post
The TRS+ is a full mechanically controlled dropper post. Coil sprung and a locking cam mechanism control 125mm or 150mm of travel.

Finally available is the new TRS+ dropper post from e*thirteen. These have taken a while to come to market, as improvements have been made to some of the earlier versions that we first saw at Eurobike. The post is still available with 125mm or 150mm of travel, and there’s still 30.9mm or 31.6mm diameter options. However, the internal coil spring is now a two-stage spring, and sealing has been improved to minimise dirt and moisture ingress for British riding conditions.

e*thirteen e*13 dropper post
Available in 30.9mm or 31.6mm diameters.

Controlling the post height is an expanding collet locking system, much like what Fox used on the original D.O.S.S dropper post. That means the TRS+ has no air spring and no oil damper inside, making it darn simple and purportedly easy to service too. The remote is specifically made for 1x drivetrains, and it’s only available with internal cable routing.

e*thirteen TRS Race 9-46t 11-Speed Cassette

e*thirteen cassette
e*thirteen’s Eagle-beating 511% range 11-speed cassette.

Chipps has been running an e*thirteen cassette already, but here we’ve got the latest 9-46t option that’s designed for 1×11 drivetrains. That means you’ve got an Eagle-killing range of 511%, and all with the ability to fit to your existing 1×11 drivetrain. The cassette mounts onto a SRAM XD freehub body, and is split into two blocks – one made from steel (the smallest eight sprockets), and one made from alloy (the largest three sprockets). You can replace each block separately too, depending on what wears out first. 287g claimed weight makes it very competitive on the scales too.

SunRace MX3 11-46t 10-Speed Cassette

sunrace cassette
Rocking 10-speed and want more range? Try this sucker from SunRace with a yuuuge 11-46t ratio.

Another cassette, but this one is from SunRace. For less than £100, the MX3 cassette is designed for 1×10 drivetrains, or for those riders with 2×10 or 3×10 drivetrains who have been thinking about going to a single ring setup, but don’t want to give up too much range. The 11-46t ratio is enormous (the same as the 11-speed Shimano Deore XT cassette we reviewed a while back), and the jumps look pretty hefty towards the bigger end of the cassette, but it’s all designed to work as a single unit, and promises smoother shifting than a hop-up expander cog. Available in a black version too.

Stan’s NoTubes Durasync Freehub Body

stans freehub
Shimano freehub body for Stan’s Neo hubs.

We’ve just received a set of the new S1 Arch wheels from Stans NoTubes, which came stock with a SRAM xD freehub body. To get those wheels rolling with a Shimano drivetrain, Paligap have sent us in a Shimano freehub body for the Neo hubs, which comes with 6-pawls to deliver double the engagement points (to 72).

Magura Storm HC 180mm Rotor

Roadies, look away now – it’s a weapon! Not really, it’s just a disc rotor for a Magura brake.

Stainless steel Magura rotor designed for the MT Trail and MT7 disc brakes. We’ve got a set of the MT Trail Carbons on test, and will be using this rotor to make it 180/180mm front and rear in preparation for an upcoming disc brake group test. More to come on that soon…

SD Components DVC Cartridge For Pike/Lyrik

rockshox lyrik pike orange stage 6 dvc custom tune tools workshop
The DVC cartridge is designed as an aftermarket upgrade for the Bottomless Token system in RockShox Pike and Lyrik forks.

Designed as an aftermarket upgrade for existing RockShox Pike and Lyrik users, the DVC cartridge is made by SD Components in Australia. The cartridge replaces the top cap and Bottomless Tokens inside the fork, using an air-adjustable chamber that offers fine-tune adjustment of bottom-out resistance and the ability to alter the air spring curve. Want to know more about how it works? Read our first look article here.

MRP Ribbon Fork

  • Price: £899
  • From: Ison
mrp ribbon fork
Sweet new Ribbon forks from MRP, with more adjustability than a contortionist.

First shown nearly a year ago at Eurobike, the brand new Ribbon fork has finally arrived on UK shores. It’s a long-travel trail and enduro fork, and the one we’ve got is the 29in version setup for 160mm of travel. There’s adjustable compression and rebound damping, and you have three different adjustments for the air spring; positive air spring pressure, negative air spring pressure, and volume via the Ramp Control adjuster. The Ramp Control adjuster also allows you to tune high-speed compression of the fork. It’s destined to on Rossco’s Orange Stage 6, so he’ll have a few more knobs to fiddle with in the coming weeks. Look out for a more in-depth first look of this high-tech suspension fork very soon.

RockShox Lyrik DebonAir RCT3

2018 RockShox Lyrik forks for a’testin.

Another forking good piece of kit for this week, this time from RockShox. It’s the all-new Lyrik RCT3 fork that was announced at the same time as the 2018 RockShox Pike. That means it has many of the same updates, including new lowers that offer more tyre clearance to suit up to a 2.8in wide tyre, and the new Charger 2 damper that’s remote compatible. Our test fork is of the 29in variety and has 150mm of travel. Boost spacing only.

Kasugai Peas & Chipps

  • Price:  Priceless
  • From: Planet Zorb
chipps peas
Chipps & Peas. Together at last.

Chipps regularly receives oddball packages at the office that have absolutely nothing to do with bicycles. This is one of those packages. Well, unless we could consider Kasugai Peas & You as trail food? Maybe? No?

Adidas Backland Goggles

chipps goggles adidas

Back to mountain bikes (we think), and this is a goggle-enhanced Chipps. He’s been upgraded with a set of the brand new Adidas Backland Dirt goggles, which are based on the brand’s existing ski/snowboard goggles. Honestly, this man could not possibly be any more enduro. The goggles come well feature-packed, with prescription lens compatibility, a detachable nose piece, and the ability to fit a roll-off lens thingamajig.

Bliss Protection ARG Minimalist+ Elbow Pads

bliss elbow pad chipps
Chipps has been bulking lately.

Lightweight and flexible pads from Bliss Protection. These are based on the ARG elbow pads, but use a more minimalist style that’ll fit in more neatly underneath long sleeve jerseys. Lycra sleeve with elastic cuffs for keeping ’em snug for when you need to casually flex.

Effetto Caffelatex Rim Strip & Tubeless Valve Kit

Tubeless kit from Effetto Mariposa – the peeps who make Caffelatex sealant.

Looking for a tubeless conversion kit that doesn’t require sticky tape? Effetto makes such a kit, with its flexible non-sticky tape designed to stretch around the rim and sit in snugly inside the rim bed. Includes two strips and two tubeless valves with snazzy red anodized hats. Available in multiple diameters and widths.

Gusset Air Freshener

We have a very needy home for these.

We had a visit by Pat from Ison Distribution this week, and he made a very valid assumption by leaving us with a dozen Gusset-branded air fresheners. Our office manager Sarah is stoked to get these into the changing room ASAP, which currently smells like the armpit of a gorilla that’s been dipped in horse shit.

Gusset S2 Handlebar

800mm wide riser bars from Gusset.

Pat had other goodies for us too, including a new 35mm handlebar from Gusset. It’s 800mm wide, made from 7075 alloy, and features a nice 8-degree backsweep and 5-degree upsweep. You can have this one in 10mm, 19mm or 38mm rise options, and it’s trimmable for those who possess the necessary tools to snip the tips.

Gloworm X2 Light

Gloworm has updated the X2 light with tougher connectors and more flexible cables.

This is the dual LED X2 light from Kiwi lighting brand, Gloworm. It looks the same as the current X2 light that we tested earlier this year, and the power remains the same at 1500 Lumens. However, Gloworm has made some updates to the compact lightset in the way of sturdier connectors, more flexible cables, a rubberised button, and a new mount that allows the light to clip straight into a GoPro helmet bracket. Comes with both bar and helmet mounts, a lithium ion battery, and an AC charger for refuelling. Night riding season isn’t that far away…

HT Components PA03A

New shin-diggers form HT Components.

HT Components must have some pretty interesting meetings at head office. We can only imagine what the discussions are like when they come up with new names for pedals. But if we can get pull you away from the catchy PA03A name, you’ll be pleased to know that these pedals feature fully sealed cartridge bearings, a cromoly axle, replaceable pins, and a nylon composite body. Available in a kerbillion colours.

Source Rapid Hydration Backpack

Lightweight backpack from Source Outdoor.

Compact 1/2 day pack from the Israeli crew at Source Outdoor. The Rapid pack can be yours with either a 2L or 3L bladder, and it’s git an adjustable harness that has a removable waist belt. It’s made from 70D ripstop nylon, and comes in this rather snazzy red-wine gravy colour.

ODI Elite Grips

The Elite grips replace the classic Ruffian, with a whole bunch of updates.

ODI is the king of lock-on grips, and the latest Elite grips are some of the best the US brand has ever made. Essentially what you’re looking at here is Ruffian 2.0, but with so many tweaks and changes, ODI has given the grip the Elite name.

The Elite grips come in three different thicknesses; 30mm (Motion), 31mm (Flow) and 32mm (Pro), so you can choose the right diameter grip for your hands.

elite odi grips
The Elite grips come in three different diameters; 30mm, 31mm and 32mm.

These are the mid-thickness Flow grips, and like the others, they feature a knurled pattern, a plastic core, and a single inboard locking clamp that features a 3mm hex key (FTW!). Also nice is the rubberised flange at the outer end of the grip for those riders who run their hands wide.

Six different colours for the ODI Elite grips.

For the thicker 32mm diameter Pro grips, an additional waffle pattern is added for the underside of the grip for your fingers to stick onto. What you can’t see in any of the above images is the offset shape of the Elite grips, which are slightly thicker on the side that your palm hangs onto, providing a little more cushioning for your hands.

Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier Bottle

  • Price: £59.95
  • From: 2pure
High-tech water bottle from Grayl for ditching the nasties before they end up in your stomach and ruin your camping trip.

This right here, is a very clever bottle. It’s a water bottle, but it’s also a purifier. According to Grayl, the bottle “provides full-spectrum protection against pathogens (viruses, bacteria, and protozoa), particulates, chemicals and heavy metals“, and all without any batteries or UV bulbs. Perfect for scooping out some river water while camping at a mountain bike race, or maybe just for the tin-foil hat brigade who are worried about fluorine in tap water.

And that, our friends, concludes this three hundred and fifty fifth edition of the Fresh Goods Friday. May your weekend be filled with glorious trails, high fives, the most delicious of pork pies and endless glasses of ale. If you’re heading to the Pivot TwentyFour12 event down in Plymouth, then watch out for Mark and Wil, who’ll be darting around suspiciously with cameras in hand. If you’re not going to the Pivot TwentyFour12, then you won’t need to worry about Mark and Wil.

Have a ripper weekend – adios and adieu!

ST Out.

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