It’s still school holiday season, which means we’re a touch thin on the ground here at Singletrack Towers. Not only that, but we’re also in pre-Eurobike mode, with just a week to go before the biggest Euro bicycle party-party hits Friedrichshafen in Germany. A bunch of us are heading over the ditch to report back from the world’s largest bike trade show, so stay tuned for a rapid-fire onslaught of new product news, photos and videos that’ll be blasted your way!
Even without Eurobike though, we’re gearing up for a mad week here. Ross is off to Bikepark Wales on Wednesday to test out some new rolling stock that we can’t quite talk about just yet, but that you’ll find out about within the next few days. Likewise, Andi is jumping on a big jet plane to head over to somewhere with mountains to ride a whole bunch of new 2018 bikes from Kona, so we’ll have loads of content coming your way from that too, including a rather exciting announcement…
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves yet. For there are far too many emails to answer, bike to test, articles to write, photos and videos to shoot between now and then that we must focus on the task ahead. To help settle in and relax before the real madness engages, let’s get some sweet beats from Groove Armada to help us all through this Monday.
Alright, got the foot tapping and the head bobbing? Good stuff, and now we can dive straight on in to this week’s Monday Morning Debrief!
Having jumped into the Singletrack Magical Mystery Van last week, Chipps, Rob and myself motored our way over to Antur Stiniog in North Wales for some testing. We loaded four test bikes into the van along with eight sets of disc brakes that we’re currently testing for the next issue of Singletrack Magazine.
For all three of us, it was the first time we’d visited Antur Stiniog, and we had a ripping time! The hard slatey trails are armoured with rocks to keep them solid for all-weather riding, and there’s a good mix of blue, red and black trails to keep most people happy, though the trails are on the tougher and more demanding side. The shuttle uplift service was impeccable, with a fast uplift on a purpose-built road that sees you transported to the top of the mountain in no time. And once back at the bottom, I don’t recall waiting for any longer than three minutes before another van and trailer would turn up for us to load our bikes on. As a result, it was run, after run, after run, after run, after…
Possibly the highlight of the whole weekend was Chipps’ incredible riding attire, shown here on a short clip from an impending behind-the-scenes VLOG that’ll be released very soon.
Being almost entirely made of rock, the trails at Antur Stiniog are rather unforgiving. We saw more than a handful of flat tyres through the few days we were there, along with a smattering of broken parts either in the carpark or on the trail. I even found this rebound dial off a RockShox Boxxer fork, which provided the necessary ammunition for the easiest dad jokes of the whole weekend…
Given Chipps had escaped Calderdale to come join us for brake testing in Antur Stiniog, his girlfriend Beate embarked on some solid solo singletrack time aboard the Ibis Ripley LS test bike that we’re finishing up with shortly. The weather looks…interesting…
More testing, but this time for our mates over at Grit.cx. Head honcho, Tom Hill, is rocking a Lauf-equipped Kinesis Tripster ATR after having ridden one last weekend at the Brighton Big Dog. It’s no mountain bike, but apparently it does a darn good job of pretending to be.
Being school holidays, a few of the crew are duly doing their family duty by heading away for non-bike related activities. Hannah’s off somewhere that has a beach, and with a grey sky like that, it sure looks like a tempting proposition for swimming! The British summer eh?
Andi is also on family time, taking the kids to see some very loud and very red vehicles that other people appear to be very excited about.
Anywho, and now back to bikes!
We weren’t in the office last week to do our usual Fresh Goods Friday Live video, so instead we brought you a live update out on the trails at Antur Stiniog, which includes a cameo of ‘that jersey’ and ‘that helmet’ as worn by our fearless leader himself, Mr Chipps Chippendale Esq.