Fresh Goods Friday 519 – The ‘Not Van Halen too?’ Edition

by and 14

Hey! How’s it going? Sorry for the late appearance of Fresh Goods this week, we’ve had a busy old week and there’s a lot of stuff to get through. Grab a brew! (Or a beer if you’ve finished work already…) – oh, and we’ve checked this twice for any duplicated paragraphs, so if they appear, it really isn’t us and shonky Friday proofreading, there is a ghost in the machine…

What a week it has been. And not, necessarily in a good way. On the up-side, we’ve seen the launches of some great new bikes and are looking forward to the upcoming World Championships. But on the down-side, we’ve seen the closure of Bike Magazine, the death of cycling journalist Garrett Lai and now the death of rock pioneer Eddie Van Halen.

To say that Eddie was just a guitarist would be like saying that Gary Fisher was just a bike rider and Tom Ritchey, just a frame builder. Eddie’s approach to guitar paralleled the actions of those early mountain bikers. He took bits of different guitars and put them together so they worked and made the sound he had in his head. And then the playing he did took rock guitar in a completely new direction, unimagined by those who came before him. The world needs more crazy mavericks, who come to a fork in the road and take neither, instead disappearing through a hedge on some barely distinct singletrack. Rest easy Eddie. And Garrett and Bike Magazine. You’ll all be impossible to replace.

Eddie Van Halen on an early ’90s Nishiki

Let’s break with FGF tradition and have an early snippet of Mr Van Halen – with no annoying DLR singing in the way.

Shred Til Bed

Starting with an injection of cuteness, we have our junior tester on hand to demonstrate the joy of bikes, plus our youngest apprentice showing early promise on the modelling front with a complete coordination of clothing, helmet and bike. If you’re looking for a present for the kids in your life, you could do a lot worse than this mountain bike themed ABC book, which comes in nice packaging to keep it safe until your sticky fingered small person is ready to cover it in mush banana, snot and stickers.

Singletrack Issue 133

  • Price: £7.50 (discounts for subscribers)
  • From: Singletrack

If you need a little more grown up reading matter, we sell a whole range of books in our shop. Or, you could buy this latest issue of Singletrack, with this autumnal cover that’s sure to give you a warm happy glow. The words inside are a mixture of grown up, silly, inspiring, and informative. If you’ve got a print membership you’ll be getting yours in the post any day now, digital readers can grab theirs online in a range of formats, and those who haven’t joined the gang can buy this issue from our web shop now. A wiser choice would be to sign up today so that you get the next issue, then head to the shop to invoke your member discount and get this issue and a bunch of other cool stuff at your new discounted member’s price. Not only that, there’s a selection of exclusive member discount codes – if you’re thinking of buy an Asgard shed or pair of Inov-8 running shoes, the discount alone might well make it worth the cost of joining.

Countdown to membership cut off for the next print issue of Singletrack World Magazine

Check out your options

Exposure MaXx-D and Diablo

  • Price: MaXx D – £385. Diablo £215
  • From: Exposure

How can it be that this is the Exposure MaXx-D Mk13 and the Diablo Mk12? Surely we’re not that old? But yes, Exposure has been improving its lights year on year and this is some of the highest tech they’ve ever had. The MaXx-D now has a bonkers 2500 lumens with a run time of up to 36 hours… Super programmable and with the Reflex technology that knows if you’re going uphill or downhill and adjusts the light accordingly. And the Diablo is 12! 1800 lumens on your head – many different modes, including a tap-to-dim function.

Lumicycle Explorer 2 Light

British brand Lumicycle has been around making mountain bike lights since 1997. It has constantly evolved its lights along the way to take advantage of new tech, so this new Explorer 2 light features a high beam of 3000lumens (with an extra turbo boost on top of that if you need it) and a very neatly machined aluminium head unit. It can be wirelessly controlled and you can even link lights together if you really don’t like darkness. Check our December issue for a review.

Topeak Joe Blow Pumps

  • Price: £84.99 (2Stage) £99.99 (Digital)
  • From: Extra UK

Here we have two pumps from the venerable Joe Blow range of floor pumps. The first is the Joe Blow 2Stage, which is good for those riders with multiple bikes. There’s a quick inflation ratio up to 30psi, ideal for any mountain bike use, then you can flip the mechanical switch and access the high pressure side of the pump which will take you up to road bike pressures.

The second is the Joe Blow Digital, which has a nice, easy to read digital gauge at the top of the pump shaft, for easy and precise pressures. Both pumps have the solid Twinhead DX5 pump chuck that gives quick and secure attachment for presta or schraeder valves.

Oscar The Dog

Oscar is a hybrid kombi hound constructed from the brands of Beagle and maybe Border Collie. He has featured on several lost dog websites over recent years, proving his ability and indeed also his appetite to escape the confines of normality and head out for an adventure. He cannot always suppress his hobo past: He will go mad for day old pizza, curl up in cardboard boxes and has licked up beer off the pavement (after “accidentally” knocking the beer over).  He is amazingly fast; however cornering and braking are not great and he has actually crashed several times when charging singletrack, going over the non-existent bars and cartwheeling down the hill. 

Every dog has his day. So, giving this little guy a warm home, good food, grand adventures, and a spot on the sofa is extremely rewarding. I think we are now stuck with each other forever, or until he dies, whichever comes first. 

Tractive GPS Pet Tracker

  • Price: £45 + data subscription
  • From: Tractive

The Tractive pet tracker is a small device at 72mm long and 28g in weight that securely clips on to your pets’ collar, and pretty much means that you can now play “Strava dog”.  The device works off GPS signals, and your phone. It has a 2 to 5-day battery life and is waterproof. If your dog picks up a cool scent and does a runner over the hills and far away, relax. Simply get your phone out and you can track the furry sod down in a casual high-tech style. Every walk is recorded, with stats, mapping, and heat maps, plus it all gets uploaded onto local, breed, and worldwide leader boards. So, if you want to get competitive and go full on Strava mode on your dog walk, this is the gadget to go for. The link above will also get you 15% off.

Sweet Protection Trailblazer MIPS Helmet

Pirate not included…

Available in a bunch of colours including this rather charming and stealthy green, the Trailblazer Mips has a whole bunch of filtered down tech to help protect your noggin. You obviously get MIPS Brain Protection System to prevent impacts twisting your melon man. The shell is made of four pieces, each optimised for their specific job with differing thicknesses and shapes. The “Occigrip Turndial” looks after the fit. The “Digitally Optimised Ventilation” uses computer modelling to deliver a cooling air flow. And finally, brace yourself, the patent pending “STACC Superficial Temporal Artery Cooling Channel” directs air from the front, over a specific artery, and exhausting it at the back, without exposing your vulnerable temples. A few rides in, despite having enough hair to clog up the cooling technology like a bath plug hole in a hippy commune, it really is a particularly good helmet.

Inov-8 ROCLITE G 345 GTX boots

The folks at Inov-8 have spotted that their lightweight trail running boot was being used by mountain bikers. Just like the clever new Graphene technology that goes into bike tyres, these boots also have the wonder material in the claw shaped tread to give you “unrivalled grip over any terrain”. 

If you think about the boot weight you are lifting every step you take, a comparison with the familiar bike theories of wheel weight and rotating mass is not a big stretch of the imagination or comprehension. These have a claimed weight of 345g per boot, which translates to 500g for the size 13 boot, and almost a 1kg combined weight saving over a pair of traditional size 13 walking boots.

Charlie says “I have not yet used them on a bike, however I have often opted for a hike boot on big epic rides into the unknown, as you do not always know how much hike-a-bike lays ahead. Plus, a Gore-Tex boot is always welcome… no one likes putting on soaking wet boots in the morning.”

e*thirteen Chainset Outfit

  • Price: Cranks £175, Chainring £50, BB £65, Bashguard £60-£80
  • From: Moore Large

James Vincent has been quietly amassing some tasty gear to build on to a Deviate frame that he has on the go. Stay tuned for the full build…

There’s a technical name for the rounded off triangle shape here, but we forget what it is. It’s technical, though.

Cranks: The new TRS Plus Cranks sport a one-piece non-drive arm and spindle that moves the spindle to the non-drive side for easier drivetrain maintenance. An adjustable chainline fits both Boost and non-Boost chainlines is achieved by placing spacers inboard or outboard of the chainring. 

Bottom Bracket: Available for cranks with either 30mm spindle (Race and Plus cranks) or 24mm spindle (Base cranks). Available for frames with 68mm, 73mm, 83mm and 100mm threaded BB shells. Gravel BB fits 68mm BSA shells with no spacers for road fit. 

Bash guard and lower guide only as the idler on the Deviate means a top guide is redundant
A stiff aluminum back plate anchors the guide, and a modular assembly allows riders to choose from one of two sizes of bash guard (30T max and 34T max) and remove the lower slider completely. All polycarbonate parts are now solvent resistant, so they wont get brittle or crack after exposure to lubes and cleaners like other guides.

And how else to sign off this week’s Fresh Goods Friday? With MORE Van Halen, of course…

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