KOALA FIGHT! And 9 Super Hot Products In Fresh Goods Friday 378

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And we’re back!

Tis’ the very first week of 2018, and what an absolutely disgusting week of weather to start on eh? As if we needed anything else to bring us down after the persistent New Years hangover – the one that has wreaked havoc on the efficiency levels at Singletrack Towers. Honestly, you should just be glad you’ve gotten these four sentences so far. There is definitely a strong smell of CBF around the office right about now.

But, even with depleted staffing numbers in the office, we shall soldier on half-heartedly together, procrastinating by watching fantastic videos like this one*

*Warning: copious amounts of foul (Aussie) language inside;

Yes, you should be thankful that you’re living in a country where the sun sets at 3:30pm (the assumption being that the sun actually appears at all), and not one where ferocious koalas are found duelling on the streets, ready to tear the eyeballs out of any poor passerby that gets sucked into the melee. Terrifying stuff.

But this isn’t just an entertaining video for your amusement – it’s also serving as a most excellent metaphor. Because like two half-arsed koalas fighting on the street, we are now going to struggle our way through the very first Fresh Goods Friday of 2018.

Yes, we went there.

Sonder Evol GX Eagle Revelation

sonder evol
Sonder wants you to ride over yonder with the new Evol. Sorry…

How’s this new Sonder Evol to brighten up the drab greyness of this week? The Evol is of course the brand new full suspension trail bike from UK-brand Sonder Bikes, which we got an exclusive first ride back in October. It’s the first full squisher from Sonder, and it follows a similar all-purpose theme to the existing Transmitter hardtail, with relaxed geometry and 140mm of rear travel.

sonder evol
James is already riding the pants off of the Evol test bike.

You can have a Sonder Evol frame on its own for a very impressive £899 (including shock!), and it comes in four sizes from Small through to X-Large, and in two other colours aside from the Rocket Green shown here. For complete bikes there are five spec levels available, which kicks off at £1599 for the NX1/Revelation build, and tops out at £3299 for the XX1/Pike build, though there are loads of upgrade options available for those who want to adjust the spec to suit their preferences.

sonder evol
Can you guess what the group test theme is?

As you’ll be able to tell by the wear on the drivetrain, this Evol is currently being punished up in the Lake District under James Vincent, as part of an upcoming magazine group test that we’ll have some more information on very soon…

Specialized Defroster Trail MTB Shoes

specialized defroster winter shoes waterproof thermal
These are what we call ‘3 Season’ shoes in the UK.

We may have passed the winter solstice, but I’m afraid that the freezing conditions are going to be with us for some time longer. Probably ’till about July. Thankfully Specialized has sent in some brand new Defroster Trail shoes for us to put to the test on our soggy local trails. These are the brand new version of the excellent Defrosters we reviewed in our Winter Boots Group test, and aside from being waterproof and insulated with 400g Thinsulate® goodness, they come with a ludicrously bright finish that reflects light. Ooh shiny!

Wolf Tooth Components ReMote Magura

wolf tooth components remote dropper
Magura-compatible ReMote from Wolf Tooth Components.

Designed as an aftermarket upgrade for your existing dropper post, the Wolf Tooth ReMote has become our favourite dropper post lever, having received a Singletrack Recommended award last year. Made from CNC machined alloy, the ReMote has a lovely textured thumb paddle and a big sealed cartridge bearing that offers silky-smooth operation. Wolf Tooth has been expanding its range of ReMotes, and the latest one to join the range is a direct-mount option for Magura brake levers.

Wolf Tooth Components Valais 25

wolf tooth components dropper post valais
The Valais 25 is the little black plastic sleeve that bolts onto the stanchion of the dropper post, and serves as a mount for the velcro strap on your saddle bag.

Run a saddle bag with your dropper post, or wish you could? Then you’re exactly who the Valais 25 is designed for. A simple solution to the conundrum of fitting a saddle bag to a dropper, the Valais is a plastic collar that wraps around the stanchion of the post. It uses a single bolt to tighten it down onto the stanchion, and provides a stable surface for the forward velcro strap of the saddle bag to wrap around, while also protecting the surface of the stanchion from scratchy velcro. The Valais has the effect of limiting the final bit of travel on the dropper, so that you don’t crunch the saddle bag’s strap every time you drop the saddle down to full compression.

Wolf Tooth Components Sock Guy Socks

socks wolf tooth
Socks! Every cyclist loves socks!

Socks! No longer a suitable Christmas gift (unless you’re the super-dooper organised type that most of us loathe), these Wolf Tooth Components socks made by the Sock Guy have now simply turned into ‘I’m a nice person that gifts socks to people at any time of the year, not just Christmas’ gift. Comprised mostly of lovely cosy wool with a bit of Nylon and Spandex to keep them tough and stretchy, they’re made in the USA and most likely by more than one guy.

Shimano Deore XT Ice Tech 6-Bolt Rotors

disc rotor shimano ice tech
Madison saves the day with some fresh 6-bolt rotors to keep our test brakes stoppin’

The kind folks at Madison have heeded our call for some 6-bolt rotors, and sent out a set of the excellent Ice Tech Deore XT rotors. These use an alloy central spider that mounts to any standard 6-bolt disc hub (Centrelock versions are also available), and the braking surface is made up of an alloy sandwich that’s bookended by stainless steel – steel on the outside for braking friction, and alloy on the inside for heat mitigation.

Rotor INpower Rex 2.1 Cranks

rotor cranks power meter
Spanish-made hollow alloy cranks that feature an in-built power meter.

Spanish crank and chainring manufacturer, Rotor, has had power-measuring cranks before, but the 2INpower system is brand spankin’ new. Using Witchcraft™, Rotor has built a power meter into the 30mm alloy spindle of the Rex crankset, which will provide you with power measurement of both your left and right crank arms – so you can see which one is holding you back.

Inside is a good ol’ AA battery, which will give you 300 hours of ride time. The INpower system will talk to your Garmin/Lezyne/SRM/Strava/whatever via Bluetooth Smart or ANT+, and everything is sealed up to be waterproof. Our test cranks have come with an oval-shaped Rotor Q-ring, and the idea is that you can download the power data into Rotor’s own software to measure your torque output, and alter the ‘clocking’ of the oval chainring to better match your pedalling for more consistent power output. The future is here eh?


Saracen Kili Flyer Frameset

chipps saracen kili flyer frame
*sultry Chipps not included

Back in September, UK brand Saracen launched the brand new long travel Ariel enduro bike. At the launch, Saracen also slipped through some fresh 2018 models, which went a little under the radar during all the hoo-ha around the new Ariel. One of the refreshed models was the new 130mm travel Kili Flyer trail bike, which has been updated to Boost 148x12mm rear dropout spacing, and comes with a lengthened top tube for use with shorter length stems. The carbon frames are due to arrive in the UK on the 18th of this month, and will come with a Kashima-coated Fox Float DPS rear shock. Chipps has got a special frameset in a custom one-off colour known as ‘Smug Journo Orange’. He’s going to be building this one up as a new longterm test bike. Whaddaya reckon he should slap on there?

Aaaaand stop! We got there, but not without considerable effort. I think it’s time for that 3rd coffee now…

Looking ahead to the weekend, what have you got planned on two wheels? Heading anywhere exciting? Given the weekend weather is looking considerably up in most corners of the UK, we for one, cannot wait to get out of this office and into the outdoors. Here’s an upbeat disco tune to get your feet tapping in preparation!

And with that, we shall bid you farewell dear Singletrack reader! Have a terrific weekend, make the most of the not-rain, and we shall see you on the otherside!

Peace out.

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