No sooner had Chipps returned from his most recent endless holiday, but it seemed that everyone else took that as a cue to take time off for half term (or mid-life crisis adventure holidays…)
Never mind, it means that the office this week has been relatively quiet and Andy ‘Techno” Pigg’s constant offers for tea were taken up without overloading him. He’s only got little arms after all.
Next week, everyone is back again. Except for Chipps, who’s off again this time to Bike Connection in Italy. Hopefully he’ll have written the 4,000 words that were due the week before last before he leaves the country. Or there’ll be trouble. If anyone has the energy, that is…
In this week’s Fresh Goods Friday…
Mason Insearchof FORCE1X
- Price: £3,490.00
- From: Mason Cycles
Mason Cycles is the brainchild of Dom Mason, who has done wonders in the past with bikes from DMR and Kinesis. He set off on his own a few years ago to make the bikes he saw in his head and he’s swiftly gained an enthusiastic following on the road, gravel, all road, long road, side road and grass up the middle road riders with the brand’s elegant bikes that are designed with riders foremost. But there was no ‘proper’ off road bike until now in the form of the ‘InSearchOf’ – as the name implies it’s a bike for heading off into the sunset and seeing what’s on the other side. We have a few bikes of a similar ilk on test in the next issue, so let’s see where we end up…
The bike’ll take a 29 x 2.4in tyre or a 27.5 x 2.8in tyre. The custom Mason forks will take all sorts of cages and mounts, with routing for dynamo lights too. This is the Force 1x spec of the bike, which should give you a lack of excuses for most trails.
Salsa Blackborow (with and without optional Antony)
- Price: £3450.00 full bike, £1400.00 frameset inc rack.
- From: Lyon Outdoor
Bikes don’t get much more stretch-limo than the Salsa Blackborow. With a mahoosive wheelbase giving a very stable ride and huge amounts of grip, the rider really is sat in between the wheels. There’s so much space for luggage that there’s a whole stowage space between the back of the seat tube and the front of the rear tyre. Antony had been hauling tools and shopping around on it for a while before he just took off into the wilderness. If he returns, we’ll get to see how it did in issue 124…
K-Edge 1x Mountain Chain Guide
As good as single-ring drivetrains have gotten over the past few years, some riders still want the added security of a chainguide. This sleek alloy number from K-Edge is claimed to weigh just 60g, yet still features a fully-closed cage design to provide more security for the chain where it runs onto the top of the chainring. You can adjust the height, lateral position and angle of the cage, and it’s available in both an upper direct mount version, or the ISCG05 version we’ve got on test here.
Constructed from CNC machined 6061-T6 Aluminum and locked down with stainless steel hardware, the 1x Mountain Chain Guide is manufactured in the US and comes with a lifetime guarantee against manufacturing defects.
K-Edge Go Big On-Center Mount
Also machined in the US from high-quality 6061-T6 Aluminum is this On-Center handlebar mount. Using a GoProng style bracket, the On-Center mount will either fit your GoPro camera, or a range of different headlights on the market that are making use of the same attachment system. You can get these suckers in 31.8 or 35mm diameters, and in a variety of anodised colours, as well as the black finish shown here.
K-Edge Garmin XL Combo Mount
Aiming to neaten up your bike’s cockpit, the XL Combo Mount is designed to fit a Garmin GPS computer on top, along with a GoPro bracket underneath. Alternatively, you can also run some lights (such as those from NiteRider, Light & Motion, Gloworm and Bontrager) via the GoPro adapter, giving a rather clean setup and hiding the head of the light underneath your trip computer. Using a machined alloy construction, the XL mount is a little longer in order to suit large size GPS head units, and the plastic adapter can be swapped to accommodate a Wahoo, Sigma, Lezyne or Cateye GPS too.
K-Edge Lezyne Pro Combo Mount
This K-Edge bracket is similar to the Garmin XL Combo mount, but the alloy arm is a little shorter in length, and it features a specific X-Lock adapter to accommodate Lezyne GPS head units. Currently only available in a 31.8mm diameter.
K-Edge Adjustable Lezyne Stem Mount
A neat solution aimed at mountain bikers, the K-Edge Adjustable Stem mount is a neatly machined adapter for fitting your GPS computer directly above the stem. The hollow ring is designed to replace a 5mm headset spacer just above your stem, and you can adjust the angle of the mount via the hinged clamp. This mount is ready for a Lezyne GPS, though other adapters are available.
Rotor Kapic Crankset
- Price: 170mm Crank Arms £199.00, Q Rings DM Oval Chainring 32T £70.00, BSA 30mm Ceramic BB
£140.00£99.00, Kapic Standard Axle £45.00, Crank Spacer Kit £22.00
- From: Velotech Services
We’ve just had these cranks in from Rotor. The Spanish company is well known for its oval rings, but it also makes some very fine cranks and bottom brackets. We have the extra special ceramic bearing BB on these for extra spinniness…
Panaracer Romero and Aliso Tyres
- Price: £49 each
- From: ZyroFisher
Two new tubeless compatible, aggressive DH and enduro tyres from the people that brought you the Fire XC (and the Smoke and Dart!). There are two new treads, the Aliso and the Romero. Not specific front and rear tyres, but more in the vein of the DHR/DHF, where the Romero is the big, burly aggro tyre for all conditions, while the Aliso ‘has an eye for softer, looser trails’. The tyres have triple compound tread and ‘Anti-Flat Plus’ technology that combines bead-to-bead protection with a rubber Bead Armor for added protection at low pressure.
Amanda’s Ragley Piglet
- Price: £549.99 frame only
- From: Hotlines
Having recently relocated to Todmorden and discovering an abundance of trails right out of her front door, Amanda decided to build herself her first hardtail. She went for this 130mm travel steel frame from Ragley because
she likes that it’s called Piglet the riding she has planned for it doesn’t require much travel, and as for choosing a steel frame, well why not.
Not much has changed on the Piglet since the last release in 2017 apart from the paint job, but keep an eye on our YouTube channel for some special treatment this frame is about to receive.
Pearl Izumi WXB Short and Jacket
- Price: Jacket £199, Shorts £129
- From: Freewheel
WXB is Pearl Izumi’s completely waterproof range of clothing. And for a company based in arid Colorado, it has done a great job. There’s a hood on the jacket designed for over-helmet use, but it can be stowed to stop it becoming a sail, there are sensible pit vents that don’t need unzipping and a couple of front pockets. Nice and simple. The waterproof shorts feature a 15in inseam, so are long enough to run over pads without exposing any extra flesh and there’s a tougher material used on the seat so that you’ll get decent use out of them for the money.
Dynaplug Meerkat Tee
- Price: £Priceless
- From: Dynaplug
It was Chipps’ birthday at the iceBike* show, so the Dynaplug folks decided that Chipps would appreciate one of their limited edition tee-shirts featuring their new mascot, the mirror-shaded meerkat. Luckily our editor was a perfect match for the flamboyant hues.
Shimano CE-TCNM1-MR Glasses
- Price: £69.99
- From: Freewheel
Shimano has never been known for its catchy product names, but we think that CE-TCNM1-MR is probably the pinnacle of dull name to awesome product ratio. We’re going to rename these the Chiba City Cyber Cool Cats and we’re sending Chipps off to star in the next William Gibson film franchise.
Thule Uptake 12
- Price: £99.99
- From: Freewheel
Although Chipps was high on birthday cake at the time, he was still able to note the many features of the new Thule Uptake 12 hydration pack. With a 12L capacity, there’s enough space for a decent day ride of spares and a sandwich. There’s an easy-access rear phone or tool pocket on the back, an open jacket-stash space, a couple of internal pockets, key clip and pump sleeve. The pack comes with a Thule-branded Hydrapak bladder and – a flagship feature of the Thule bags, a magnetised hose sleeve on the front, so that you can drink and then just release the hose and it’ll find its way home. (Although it only works on the right hand strap – tough if you’re left-strawed…)
Findra Stroma Technical Jacket
- Price: £159.00
- From: Findra Clothing, Findra
Findra welcome the first ever waterproof jacket to their collection, and it’s made from an eco-friendly textile using recycled plastic bottles and coffee grounds. How? No idea. Why? Because save the earth. When? It’s available from 1st March in two colour options – teal or ‘nine irons’ which coincidentally is coffee coloured.
It’s super lightweight, has a good amount of stretch and has stretch fabric extended cuffs with thumbholes to help keep you weatherproof.
Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch Shoes
- Price: £89.99
- From: Freewheel
These are the newly re-vamped X-Alp Launch flat shoes from Pearl Izumi (which, fact fans, is owned by Shimano these days and so has all sorts of manufacturing and design might behind it). The Launch shoes have a two-part sole to take on either pin gripping, or trail gripping for when you’re not on the bike. They come in a range of colours including this year’s hot shade of navy (light navy perhaps?) and still feature an EVA mid-sole for comfort on rocky trails and kludged landings.
Dyna Plug Mega Pill
- Price: £59.99
- From: Freewheel
The Dynaplug Mega Pill is for super heavy users of tubeless repair kits, mountain bike guides, or for people who don’t like to go out and buy spares often. It features two big plugs and five regular ones, plus a teeny tiny blade for trimming the plugs. And it comes in an assortment of colours, and this one is pink.
And to welcome in the weekend, how about a bit of Lewis Floyd Henry and Motorhead’s Ace of Spades, one man band style…
For some motivation to go out and learn that thing you still haven’t got round to, or to practice that other thing you aren’t all that good at yet, here’s someone younger than you killing it on his Ukulele:
Singletrack Office Tunes Of The Week
We asked every member of the staff in the office (not many this week) to pick their one tune that’s rocked their week and added it to to Fresh Goods Friday playlist. It’s anonymous of course, though you can blame Chipps for any 80’s soft rock that you find. You may or may not be able to guess the originators of the rest. We apologise in advance for anyone who may be offended by this list.
And for Apple Music subscribers.
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