Fresh Goods Friday 452: The ‘Wil is Going Home’ Edition

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We are sad to announce that the time has finally come to bid farewell to Wil. He washed up on Gaddings beach back in 2016 when his packraft got a puncture (should have gone tubeless) and took on the role of Tech Editor at Singletrack. During his time here he has built a bike out of bamboo, braved the elements in nothing more than flipflops and shorts, sampled everything on the menu at The Staff of Life, and he’s ridden some bikes, written some words, shot some videos… Suggestions of how we can fill the void are welcomed in the comments section.

A daily occurrence.
ks dropper post wil
What is this?
bamboo bike bicycle club
wil xtr hat
specialized stumpjumper ainsa spain wil muddy
Summer rides.

As the newest member of the editorial team, I have worked with Wil the least, yet I feel it’s worth mentioning how much I have learnt from a man that brings a whole new meaning to the terms Particular and Coffee Snob:

  • When taking a photo of a bike, align the valves. If this puts the tyre logos on the squint, align the logos instead. Straighten the cranks. Put the dropper up. Choose a gear that makes the chain look good (?!).
  • When entering a food/drink establishment, assess the coffee situation before any interaction with the server. If you can’t see a coffee machine, order TEA.
  • When travelling, if your bag exceeds the weight limit, choose to keep your AeroPress above anything else. Shoes, warm layers, waterproofs are all inferior.

We wish him all the best for the future and hope the vitamin D deficiency clears up upon his return to Australia. The rash might need medical attention.

Cotic Flare

  • Price: ~ £3300 as specc’ed
  • From: Cotic

This Cotic Flare has just come in for an upcoming bike test. It’s Cotic’s 125mm rear travel, 27.5in wheel trail bike. It now comes with Cotic’s ‘Longshot’ geometry. Not everyone needs a fire-breathing enduro machine like Cotic’s Rocket, but Cotic still reckons that its 66/74.5° angles and reachy reach (467mm on our medium) will keep you out of any trouble that you’re likely to get yourself in. The front triangle is UK-made and welded 853 steel while the rear is true-tracking aluminium via Cotic’s DropLink suspension. Our bike is a Silver-level spec, with a few optional upgrades, like to WTB Tubeless tyres, Hunt wheels and X-Fusion HLR forks.


A pedal fit for Bigfoot

The biggest Deity pedal to date at 110mm x 105mm, and they are chunky, these Tyler McCaul signature pedals are available in 8 colours. They feature a concave 2.5mm profile, a load distribution system to prevent bearing blowout, micro sealed bearings and Deity DU Bushing internals. Go and check out the colours, the bronze is a nice change from the norm!

TORQ Explore Flapjack

‘Sticky and quite dense. Very tasty.’

Three new trail snacks from Torq that are organic and suitable for vegans or those who prefer a plant-based diet. They are Soil Association Organic certified, meaning the ingredients are from the purest sources, free from the pesticides and chemicals used in modern intensive farming. Amanda had a bite, for work purposes, and says they are syrupy and ‘taste like naughty flapjack’, which is a nice change from the usual dry crumbly vegan snacks she eats.

SRAM G2 Ultimate Brakes

If you look closely, there’s a brake in the pocket.

We’ve already had a set of these in, here’s a first look of them installed (with a fantastic comment from James Warner). What we haven’t had before is this fantastic Tshirt! What a loud pocket it has. That has Chipps written all over it.

DEITY Speedway Carbon Bar

Wider than some trails…

These carbon bars from Deity feature a 30mm rise, 810mm width, 9 degree bend x 5 degree upsweep. Wide! They have developed the bars to offer a balance of strength, weight, and ride quality. Deity claim these to be the strongest 35mm Downhill/Enduro Carbon Handlebar on the market, but we’re not sure how that’s been measured so we’ll send Andi off to crash into some trees and rocks with them.

DEITY Knuckleduster Grips

So grippy they can stand up in the wind.

The Knuckleduster grips from Deity unfortunately don’t offer any actual knuckle protection, but they do feature a tapered inner sleeve for contact with the bar and a short rib design to ensure there’s no side-to-side action. They come with installation instructions, Whack Three Times, a variation of the classic Knock Three Times.

DEITY Waypoint Grips


The Waypoint grips from Deity offer many of the same features as the Knuckledusters, the differences being a 1mm smaller diameter and a diamond pattern instead of being ribbed. Both sets of grips are available in 7 colours, including a limited edition TURQ.

Stolen Goat Gravel Shorts

Hannah chose clothing to match the weather.

This is a new line for Stolen Goat – gravel gear – which consists of separate men’s and women’s shorts, and a unisex t-shirt in two colours. The men’s shorts look just like this, but don’t have enough room in them for Hannah’s bum, so she is wearing the women’s ones. There are reflective details on the sides, adjustable waist tabs, zipped pockets on both thighs, and rear pockets too. A four way stretch fabric allows plenty of movement, and it’s quite tough feeling so should withstand the odd gravel interface incident. The black inner thigh panels are breathable to keep you cool – just pair them up with your favourite chamois shorts, or wear with pants to the pub.

Stolen Goat Unisex Blue Merino Gravel Jersey

Stolen Goat
Dropped tail for no-bum-showage

This is the jersey to go with the gravel shorts – unisex, and available in this kinda faded blue or a nice plum colour. Made with 41% merino wool, it looks like a much loved t-shirt that’s been out in the Californian sun, but feels like a proper soft and light technical t-shirt, complete with reflective shoulder tabs front and rear, plus a dropped back for bum coverage. No pockets though, to keep it floaty and comfortable. This is the small jersey, there’s an XS too, if you’re littler than Hannah.

Shimano Technium Glasses

Tintin is excited to return to the sun.

Modelled here by our dim-witted Antipodean Technical Editor is a pair of Shimano’s latest Technium riding glasses. Using a curved one-piece lens and a fully-enclosed Grilamid TR90 frame, the Technium glasses are designed for trail riding.

The lens gets a scratch-resistant treatment, along with a hydrophobic coating that helps water and mud to slide off more easily. Unfortunately this hydrophobic coating isn’t available separately to lather on oneself for the current ‘summer’ conditions in Calder Valley – Wil has already inquired about that.

‘Agh, England is actually this grey?!’

The lenses are interchangeable, and along with the included soft pouch and carry case, you’ll find a spare clear lens for riding at night, or during a typical summer’s day around Todmorden.

Shimano XTR M9100

We’ve almost got everything we need to build a bike.

We’ve got a first look, some videos, another video, and a first ride review of all this shiny stuff. Wil sure does like XTR!

Ergon SR Pro Men Saddle

ergon sr pro men saddle
The SR Pro saddle from Ergon works even better when mounted to a bicycle.

Having reviewed and recommended the Ergon SM Pro Men’s Saddle, Wil was keen to try out the road version, called the SR Pro. And here it is, in all of its German-designed glory, complete with a deep central channel that’s designed to keep the pressure of the, erm, ‘unmentionables’. Compared to the off-road version, the SR Pro is a little flatter and smoother, and it gets a slightly longer channel at the front that’s designed to support riding in a low and forward position while in the drops. It’s still available in two sizes depending on the size of your butt, and you can also get it in the cheaper ‘Comp’ version, or a spendier carbon model.

There are a few people all off on their travels this week, so we’re all hoping they get to sit next to some nice travel companions. Apologies in advance for any awkward resting of heads on shoulders that may occur. We’re tired out.

Friday Tunes

Here’s our regular playlist of the week to go along with our Fresh Goods. Each track is picked by a staff member here in the office and added to their individual playlist over on our Spotify page. Head over there to identify exactly who is responsible for each choice.

Tunes tunes tunes, get dancing.

The Singletrack MTB Chain

Remember to use the hashtag #themtbchain to suggest your additions. If we like your suggested tune and your reason for adding it then it will be included in the playlist.

Check out our MTB Chain page here to keep up on the additions and to try out more of our Singletrack playlists.

All of the Singletrack staff have their own playlists that list all their choices for each FGF. So if you want to see who is responsible for which song you can find out by checking out their personal choices.

Staff playlist | Wil

It can only be Wil’s playlist today. Judging by the amount of knee jiggling, it’s full of bangers.

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