You know you’re holding on too tight when you have to take a day off so that you can pack for an upcoming holiday in a few weeks, but that’s where Hannah is today. And Wil? Well Wil is at, oh, somewhere secret, looking at secret things that he can’t tell anyone about. So you’re stuck with me, Chipps, today and, well, I should be somewhere else too, but hey! Seeing as we’re all here, we should delve into the magic cupboard and see what’s lining up for this week’s Fresh Goods Friday smorgasbord!
We’ve got bikes with suspension, bikes with motors, lube with Teflon, tall glasses, short glasses, shoes, rubber – lots of rubber and gears that change but moving messages through the air. What witchcraft is this? It’s true and from our playing around with it, it seems to work. We just need to find some zip-ties now to try it out.
Kona Satori DL
- Price: £3299.99
- From: Kona, konaworld.com
Here is the Kona Satori – it’s ‘mid travel’ 29er. What does mid travel mean these days then? In Konaworld, that means a 140/130mm travel machine, beautifully decked out in all-over-orange and sprinkled with a lot of Good Stuff from SRAM, Maxxis and Kona itself. Promising ‘everything you need for big days in the saddle’ we can see this being a very popular bike to win over riders who’ve been putting off upgrading bikes until things settle down a bit. It’s clear they never will and this seems a great Goldilocks machine to be riding in the meantime.
Scott MTB Comp Lace Shoes
- Price: £85.99
- From: Scott Sports
Designed as a better value version to the RC Lace shoes, and ideal for riders who find carbon soled shoes too stiff (like Chipps, but not like Wil…). These skip the carbon sole for nylon composite, but despite that, it’s quite light weight at 360ish grams per shoe
Syncros 2HV 1.0 Mini pump
- Price: £36.99
- From: Scott Sports
This is a mountain bike specific mini pump with big air volume per stroke – 90cc of air – so less pumps to get to the right pressure. Or is that fewer pumps?
Syncros Vernon Foor Pump
- Price: £50
- From: Scott Sports
This is a huge pump. Or is it just the angle? It does have a huge volume for lower pressures designed specifically for mountain bike tyres. You’ll get 360cc of air per ‘stroke’, so the theory is it helps tubeless tyres seat without necessarily having to use a special tubeless tyre inflator. And the gauge tops out at 40psi, which should make getting those Goldilocks pressures much easier.
Maxxis Tyres: Aggressor, Minion DHF, Minion DHT II, Shorty 27.5×2.5WT
- Price: All the 3C triple compounds are £74.99, Aggressor £64.99
- From: Maxxis
1 x Minion DHF DoubleDown 3C MaxxGrip
1 x Minion DHR II DoubleDown 3C MaxxGrip
1 x Shorty in both DD 3C MaxxGrip
Four tyres from Maxxis – which would you choose? Where would you put it – front or rear? Which Maxxis tyre for mud, or rocks, or rolling, or racing? We will be finding out soon. These are all of the WT Wide Trail variety, so are about as fashionable as rubber gets.
Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert 6 Fattie NB
- Price: £5,500
- From: Specialized
Ignore the terrible rhyming pun (Levo Kenevo – sounds a bit like Evel Knievel, geddit?) and what you’re faced with is a long travel, electrically assisted fun machine from Specialized. Building on its popular Levo e-bike range, the new Kenevo is longer travel, with 180mm of travel on 2.8in tyres, a Rockshox Lyrik fork, Öhlins coil shock, SRAM Code brakes and chunky wheels – it’s basically a self-shuttling enduro bike. And, with the clever app, it can regulate the power used so that you’re not going to be left on the wrong side of the hill with a flat battery.
Talking of power, this new Specialized e-bike claims to have increased power by 15%, which sounds a little odd, since e-bike power output is regulated (to 250W and 25km/h), but Specialized has an answer for you. This power transfer is still regulated, but it’s far more efficient in the delivery of power to the motor. There are fewer losses in the system now, so this extra power should translate into increased range. Something else Spesh has done is to make sure the motor completely disengages once you reach maximum assisted speed, so you can power on through the 25km/h barrier without feeling that you’re dragging a dead motor with you. Mark recently got to preview the Kenevo and came away impressed. We’ll have this bike around for a while and will be able to tell you how it gets on in the long run.
- Price: Currently US$224 (Normally $299)
- From: XShifter
While SRAM’s prototype wireless shifting might be setting the rumour-mill alight with its teasing ways, X-Shifter is already shipping its systems to customers. Aimed at a much lower price than Eagle (it costs less than an Eagle cassette…), the X-Shifter system promises to convert your existing gears into a wireless-shifting system. It does this using a wireless ‘pod’ mated to a wireless receiver on the chainstay. This basically then pulls or releases a shortened gear cable that moves your rear mech.
While you might dismiss it as a hack of a remote control, it’s been designed and built from the ground up and has an ex-SRAM manager behind it, funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign. Out of the box, our system seems very well put together and just attaching the battery elicits all sorts of efficient servo noises. We’re going to find a bike to get this on, pronto and bring you the results. For less than the price of an Eagle cassette, this might be a game changer for some riders – especially with those with convoluted shift cable routing. It can even be set up with two actuators to run front and rear mechs, syncro-shift style, or even work a cable-operated dropper at the push of a button. It all sounds very exciting if it all works as promised…
Smith Attack and Attack Max
We’ve had Smith’s new Attack glasses in already this spring, but you might not have seen Smith’s Attack Max, which offers an even bigger blade lens for those with longer or bigger faces (or who just want more coverage). The lens still features Smith’s ‘Chroma Pop’ lens technology that helps with colour definition, allowing you to pick things out on the trail with more accuracy. The regular and the MAX lenses both come in a hardcase with a fantastically cheery pink lens and a darker, mirrored lens.
- Price: Fin Super £12.30 +VAT, Fin Grease £13.80 +VAT, Degreaser £12.80 +VAT
- From: Interflon
Bearing all the hallmarks of a large industrial chemical company that makes great stuff, but doesn’t know how to market it, the Interflon range of Teflon lube (Fin Super), spray grease (Fin Grease), cleaners and degreasers still has a good story behind it. Without going into huge detail (which is all on the website) Interflon’s lubes use ‘MicPol’ which is a micro-fine grading of PTFE, which is then electrostatically charged so that it attaches to metal surfaces, providing semi-permanent lubrication. Given that Interflon supplies car, gun and precision machinery manufacturers and jumbo companies like Heidelberg printers and Airbus, its industrial lubing credentials are strong – though it seems to have been employees of those companies sneaking the stuff home from work to use on their own bikes that has led to Interflon coming round to see us. The workshop demos were very impressive and we’re looking forward to putting Fin Super to work on our chains.
Oh, and to further increase their ‘We’re a big company that doesn’t normally deal with the bike world’ kudos, all their prices are plus VAT and due to the aerosol nature of the lubes, it can only be delivered by a courier company. Best get your bike shop to get in touch and order a dozen cans in, rather than you have to pay the £9 delivery. In fact, it is keen for bike shops to get in touch, so get them to call.
And now, just before Friday whisks us all away in a frenzy of awesome, trails of buff and a bucket of gin. Let’s take a moment to chill…