FGF 469 | Crashes, Crime and CSI

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First things first! This was stupid right?

Things we have learnt this week… getting your bike nicked sucks. There are stages of grief. Obviously there’s the initial horror as you chase your bike down the street as a man in a balaclava hangs out a passenger window holding onto it while the driver makes their getaway. Well, ok, the horror of discovering the cropped lock or busted garage door is probably a little more common.

Then there’s the sadness as you realise your bike has gone. Then there’s the anger as you spend every minute possible searching for your bike on small ads. Then there’s the secondary anger as you realise it’s not just your bike, it’s your lights, your pedals, your bell, your mudguard, your bottle cage… Shit. That’s another £350 right there.

We’ll let you know what stage comes next when we get there. Pray for delight, court retribution and moral high ground. Though the stats on bike crime aren’t encouraging.

What comes next for you, dear readers, is Fresh Goods Friday. There’s some bars in there that would definitely fall into the ‘shit, those were on the bike too’ category. While we howl and gnash, you can ooh and ahh…

Isla Bikes Creig 26 Mountain bike

The Creig 26 has long been a staple of the range but the new model represents quite a departure from the old version with some significant upgrades. Instead of XC geometry, the Creig range has embraced long, low and slack. Rims are now Stans Crests, the fork has been upgraded to a Rock Shox Gold RL Solo Air (travel varying by frame size – rigid on the Creig 20, 60mm on the Creig 24, 80mm on the Creig 26 and 100mm on the Creig 27) while the number of gears has been reduced from 11 down to 8. While this might seem contrary to the fashion to increase the number of gears at the back, Islabikes reckon that having the same gear range but with less weight is more important than having tighter ratios. Shifting duties are taken care of by a SRAM X4 rear mech and trigger shifter (no more Gripshift, sports fans) while the chainset is Islabikes own SRAM compatible direct mount design which means you can tailor chainring size to suit Junior from 26t up to 32t. Braking duties are taken care of by SRAM Level Hydro brakes while the saddle has been redesigned for increased comfort. 

Weighing in at just 11kg, even the APC delivery driver commented on how light it was when he delivered it. Available in a very cool matt teal or charcoal for the stealth rider.

Isla Bikes Luath 26

Another long term staple of the range, the Luath has also seen a big makeover. Designed as a do it all drop bar machine that is equally happy on road as well as used for touring and cyclocross, the big news is the inclusion of Tektro disc brakes and a carbon fork resulting in a weight drop of almost a kilogramme over the previous model. Mud clearance is on the mahoosive side of generous meaning that the Luath can be run with gravel, cross or road tyres – the customer being able to spec which type they would like when ordering. As with the Creig, 8 speed is the order of the day – an 11-34t Sunrace cassette being mated with Islabikes direct mount cranks featuring a 34t ring up front. Shimano Claris drivetrain takes care of shifting duties while the shift levers feature a reduced reach, optimised for smaller hands. Shown here in charcoal, it also comes in teal.

Sanny is now concerned that Sanny Junior is going to properly kick his arse when she gives this the full beanz. Still, it makes a change from him doling out the suffer-fest with his stock answer of “just one more hill” when asked if the 12 + hour quick ride from the door is ever going to end.

SRAM X Troy Lee Descendant Chainset

  • Price: £449
  • From: SRAM

These were launched earlier this year with an art-school-eqsue announcement:

‘For the artist, the challenge of the solution is the inspiration to create. The crank arm—perfected in performance by SRAM engineers—is a utilitarian canvas begging to be transformed. Troy Lee, design artist, took to that canvas. And now, those of us who have seen can never unsee. It’s the crank, made more. Same same. But forever different.’

We’re looking forward to giving these a thrashing – will they look like a war worn robot by the end, or a box fresh Cylon?

SRAM X Troy Lee Descendant Handlebar

  • Price: £199
  • From: SRAM

Launched with a similar level of floweriness, the bars are available in carbon, as we have here, and alloy at £99.

‘The genius of good design manifests itself nicely in camo. Demure. Yet bold. For our latest CoLab, we tapped into the braintrust that is Troy Lee Designs. We handled the intel on the bar specs—our famous Descendant geometry, built from input from our best riders—and Troy handled the finishing touches. His dream: hi-tech camo. Fit to be seen.’

We like that first line. Did you know we’ve just released a camo hoodie? We may need to up our game on the product development blurbs though.

Muc-Off Cleaner

We go through a lot of bike cleaner here at STW Towers, so to see a delivery of Muc-Off arrive as the rain pours outside felt a little like an early Christmas. What we have here are 1L bottle of pre-mixed and concentrated Muc-Off cleaner which can be used via the spray bottle, or with Muc-Off’s own pressure washer (review coming soon).

Muc-Off No Puncture Tyre Sealent

A lightweight tubless sealant designed with help from top downhill riders. The Muc-Off No Punctures formula is designed to work at temperatures between -20 and 50 degrees celsius and through the use of small molecules can seal small and large holes equally well. Wha’s really cool is a special UV detection system that can help you discover punctures you didn’t notice on your ride by using a small UV light. It’s time to get all CSI.

Muc-Off Professional Bike Cleaning Brushes

If you’re spending a huge amount of money on a bike, then it makes sense you use quality brushes to clean it while not damaging the finish. This 5 brush set from Muc-Off includes all the brushes you might need to maintain and clean your bike on a day to day basis.

Bontrager TLR Flash Can

The Bontrager TLR Flash Can is great workshop tool that will get your tubeless tyres mounted with minimal effort. The compact air canister can be pressurised to 160psi which then can be blasted into your tyre to seat them in just a matter of seconds. The TLR Flash Can is a pretty sturdy piece of equipment and feels like it will last many seasons of use.

Maxxis Assegai and Dissector Tyres

  • Price: From £49.99
  • From: Extra

Extra has sent over a couple of new pairs of rubber to try. The Assegai has been on sale now for almost a year and is a downhill tyre designed and developed with help from Greg Minnaar. The version we have for test though is a lighter trail version suited for more than just gravity riding. The Dissector is a newer tyre designed with help from Troy Brosnan. It’s also a gravity tyre, but designed for dry and loose conditions….. hmmm…

Muc-Off Dry and Wet Lube

  • Price: £4.99
  • From: Muc-Off

The chaps at Muc-Off totally understand the conditions we’ll be riding in over the next few months and is shows with this shipment of drivetrain lube. We’ve been set 2 bottles of dry lube, because really when are you going to use that? And 4 bottles of wet lube, which might not be enough in this weather.

Muc-Off Drivetrain Cleaner

This biodegradable drivetrain cleaner is designed to quickly cut through oil and grease so that it will get that weather beating drivetrain looking like new in just a few squirts. Application is super easy thanks to the trigger spray on the bottle, making it great for getting in to those gaps around your jockey wheels, in your rear mech or chain device.

Time for this classic tune!

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