Wasn’t that the thought of the Hitchiker’s Guide whale that turned into a plant pot (or was it the other way round?) Anyway, it seems that Singletrack Towers is locking down again and joining our fellow Tier 3 stalwarts just over the border. At least bike riding is still permitted (and in well-spaced groups of six) and we have some formidable trails within a short ride. Apparently the French have a 1km radius of exercise, which might limit our available trails a little. And that slightly grumpy family who bought the farm with the bridleway through it is going to get very tired of me doing laps every 25 minutes or so.
It’s raining anyway, you wouldn’t like it out there. And talking of which, this weekend is the 19th anniversary of me (this is Chipps speaking, by the way) moving to Todmorden from the balmy, cream-tea, south to Singletrack’s first office. Obviously it rained every day for about a month – and could you get a cappuccino anywhere? No, you couldn’t.
Anyway, with 19 years up here under my belt, we’re starting to look forward to Singletrack’s 20th birthday next April. You’re obviously all going to be invited to the party, but at the moment, only five of you can come, and we’re going to have to have the party in a field.
Let’s start this show with a bit of NWOBHM from Saxon. I mean, who doesn’t love a bit of Denim and Leather?
Wheels Manufacturing Bottom Bracket
- Price: £83
- From: Freewheel
Wheels Manufacturing started in Colorado back in 1988 as a small machine shop. They make all sorts of components including this bottom bracket. It features double lip sealed angular contact Enduro bearings, with military level spec chromium steel balls. The clever idea behind angular contact bearings is that by having the bearing surfaces at a jaunty angle, all ball bearings are engaged and it spreads the force over a larger surface area, to decrease friction and reduce wear. The bearings have a 1 year warranty and come in all sorts of fittings.
Singletrack Lockdown Jigsaw Puzzle
- Price: £24.99 (members get a discount)
- From: Singletrack Merch Store
Charlie has issued all staff part one of their Tier 3 lockdown kit; the Singletrack 131 cover artwork jigsaw puzzle. With almost no racing going on right now, the competitive bar end’d racing nerd has emerged in us, with a glorious podium completion time being around 3 hours, and a DFL “why have they packed the finish line away” time at around 12 hours.
- Price: £14.99 – £26.99
- From: Freewheel
It’s about this time of year that you should be thinking about all of those dull jobs, like greasing your seatpost, renewing your tubeless sealant and, yes, checking to see if those grips need replacing. Quite often, because the wear is so slow you never notice, swapping old for new grips feels remarkably good and can really make your bike happy again. ODI has been making great grips forever and there’s a huge amount of options on offer. ODI even does a replacement grip-bit if you’ve worn your Ruffians to the bone, so that you aren’t paying extra for new alloy collars. Lots to choose from here, and we’ll be giving them a grip over the winter.
Specialized Body Geometry Varus shoe wedges
- Price: £8 a pair of wedges
- From: Specialized
Some wonky knees need years of physio to sort out, but luckily Chipps has found that what works for him is a 1.5 degree under footbed wedge from Specialized. We say luck, but it was after a sneaky bonus session with Dr Andy Pruitt, who helped Specialized pioneer its Body Geometry system many years ago. If you’re wearing out the paint on your top tube with your knees, or off your chainstays with your heels, quite often you’ll find that you’d benefit from a bike fit. Many shops are set up for it these days and you’ll find a few millimetres here and there might make all the difference to your riding comfort and (awesome) power.
Faces Of Lemmy Masks
- Price: £18.00 for three
- From: Motorhead Shop
As a mask they function OK, but that entirely circumnavigates the unique selling point of this product, which is: you get to look like Lemmy having a smoke, whilst stocking up on JD at the supermarket.
They come as a three pack. You get “dodgy teeth Lemmy”, “having a fag Lemmy” and a third one that just looks like Charlie’s normal face.
One rather remarkable quality is that Lemmy’s lips appear to move when you talk. A sort of facial cameltoe ‘back from the grave Lemmy zombie’ Motorhead experience. Recommended!
Topeak Multi Tools
- Price: £32.99 to £39.99
- From: Extra UK
Topeak has made great tools for year – who didn’t have (or still has) an Alien? It has constantly been updating its tools to reflect changes in how we ride bikes – with Torx keys and chain link storage appearing. And now it has turned its attention to riders who want their tools to help deal with tubeless issues too. All the tools here have storage for tubeless plugs and/or the tools to help plug the hole, insert a plug and then the world’s smallest Samurai sword to trim the ends off. And that’s in addition to the other tools that help you bolt bits of your bike back on.
Rockshox SID goodies
- Price: £ Either priceless, free or your soul, depending on your viewpoint
- From: Rockshox and the UPS man
The evenings are getting chilly and the Rockshox marketing guys thought that we needed reminding about its new 120mm SID fork that we reviewed back in March. In order to keep us rolling through the colder months, we’ve got a pair of insulated water bottles, some wooly socks, gloves and a thermal top. We must say, though, that it looks like SID has let himself go… He apparently never recovered from that night out with Peaty after the Fort William Worlds in 2007.
- Price: 99p
- From: Everywhere
And we’re not even talking real Frazzles, we’re talking Co-Op bacon flavour crunchy slices or something. But who knew that they were veggie and even vegan? Run out of tortilla chips for your burrito? No problem, just crunch a few of these tasty morsels in and sit back and bask in the adulation of your fans.
And how shall we sign you off for the weekend? Got 15 minutes? How about a bit of a lesson in happiness and simplicity from Slomo? It’s a great documentary…
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