Fresh Goods Friday 512: It’s Hardtail Season

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Let’s start Fresh Goods Friday with some breaking news! Carly, the Scottish half of everyone’s favourite Van Gals, has had her first major crash. Naturally, Emma responded as any good girlfriend should:

Fear not. Carly is OK, she’s had stitches in her elbow and a can of Irn Bru as a reward for her bravery.

Other news this week, Hannah has been to Dyfi Bike Park, Amanda has built ANOTHER hardtail and more people are getting on board with indoor exercise.

With that, we wish you a wonderful weekend and hope everyone makes good choices. Let’s see what’s been arriving to our home offices this week…

Merida Big.Trail 600 Hardtail

Out on the hill, the Big.Trail 600 lives up to it promise. Everything works as it should, and the geometry is progressive enough not to feel like it’s holding the bike back. The Marzocchi fork copes with hard hits extremely well, and actually feels more composed than the affordable version of the Fox 34.

Antony de Heveningham

Check out Antony’s First Ride Review here.

Identiti AKA

This versatile hardtail frame has been built up as a ‘test rig’ for the weird and wonderful components we receive for review. It can be run as 27.5″, 29″ or mullet. Designed to accommodate 140mm fork in 27.5’’ or 120mm with 29’’ wheels. The current build is a questionable mix of components… Silver RockShox Pikes, a gold cassette and a rainbow chain are not what you’d expect from an Art Director, but Amanda has begged borrowed and bought in order to get this bike built.

Alpkit Dirtbag

Lightweight self-inflating camping mat that rolls out to 180cm, meaning you’d have to be really tall to have a bad nights sleep on this. It comes with a stuff sack and packs down to 16cm x 27cm.

Itchen Valley Brewery

  • Price: Irrelevant, beer is essential.
  • From: Who?! Please get in touch, kind stranger.

Boxes of beer turning up is becoming a regular occurrence, but this one is a bit of a mystery. We aren’t sure who sent it, but we thank them and invite them to get in touch! Charlie has already sampled the goods and had great things to slur say.

Fox Speedframe Pro

The Speed Frame is the newest open face helmet from Fox Racing. Available in standard or Pro, this Pro version features a MIPS liner on top of a dual-density ‘Varizorb’ impact-absorbing EPS liner for ultimate protection. The Speedframe Pro also features a Fidlock SNAP buckle for ease of use while wearing riding gloves, an XT2 microbial liner and plenty of vents for keeping things nice and cool. There’s also a goggle compatible 3 position visor. And why did Ross choose this helmet? Check out Amandas review of her Speedframe in the current issue of the magazine to find out.

Brand-X Bolt Thru Axle

Holiday essential: A spare axle for a bike that has a threaded bolt hole in the current axle. The leverless design is tidy and secure, and it’s hollow for weight saving… if you’re into that.

Stone Wash Wild Roots T-shirts

Super soft ethically sourced cotton in stone washed colours that go with anything, these Wild Roots tees from Banana Industries are great for someone like Amanda who eventually turns every top into ridewear. The Banana Boys deliver in eco-friendly packaging too.


We’ve got several staff on holiday this week, which in a team of 9 means we’ve really not got many of us around to open parcels, however, next week is going to be jam-packed with goods! So see you then, and for now, let’s all comment our favourite covers below. Here’s one of mine:


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