Fresh Goods 523 | Cars, Guitars, Beer and Women

by and 24

Feeling a little tired? Thumbs suffering RSI from doom scrolling and refreshing? Now totally expert on US constitutional law? Still gripped? Go join in on the forum. Here, we’re taking a break from graphs, counts, and bemusing broadcasts with our own version of chaos. It’s been a quiet week on the post front, but there are still some quality goods here for you. Plus, tunes with women and guitars and something to say.

This has been Hannah’s ear worm ALL WEEK:

Andi’s 2009 Abarth 500

  • Price: Less than a bike
  • From: The interweb

Andi says: I’m a bit of a fan of small sporty cars. After passing my test I played around with modified Hillman Imps, but playing Gran Turismo on the PS1 introduced me to tiny sporty Italian cars. In the video game I loved to tune the Autobianchi A112 Abarth (a car I’ve been very lucky to own) or Fiat 500 (the original) and race them against bigger and more powerful cars. Now that I’m approaching 40 I’m happy to say that I haven’t grown out of my love for tiny Italian pocket rockets. This is a first generation Abarth 500, it runs on the same floorpan as the Panda 100hp it replaces, but has much better brakes, a nicer exhaust note and a tiny turbo for a power increase of 35%. It isn’t the best example out there, but it has a nice spec including panoramic sunroof, 17in alloys and a full leather interior, and because it isn’t perfect and it didn’t cost very much it means I’m not afraid to park it at the local Marks and Spencers.

Will there be mods? Well, I’ve swapped the stereo for something with Bluetooth, and once it’s had a service and cambelt change I’m planning a remap which should take this little fire breather closer to the 180hp mark. Stay tuned.

Sydney To London: The Long Ride Home

Charlie says… Not so fresh… This book has been in the bottom of my travel bag for a couple of years, and in lockdown I found the time to start reading it. In brief, a young Englishman’s Australian work visa runs out, so he grabs his tiny Australian post office 105cc motorbike, abandons his girlfriend, dashes to the port, and rides home to London. Go on my son! What can go wrong? Will he make it? Well, it is called “London to Sydney” and he did write the book, so I reckon he survives.

Ok, so he has an engine, but halfway into the book I can assure you it has all the ingredients of a great bike adventure. The bike is shonky, his kit is half arsed, and even the book is a bit flimsy (I think it’s printed on demand). And that is all OK with me. It proves you can achieve great things without having a clue what you are doing, you just have to do it. I also love the quote from his Mum on the back cover.

Oh, they’re so cool, if only I could be this cool.

Zoe’s Hair

Our Zoe is that cool! Hannah now has extreme hair envy. Even Charlie was spotted this week wearing a ‘Curly Girl’ turban in an effort to tame his flowing locks. Maybe ‘good hair’ is going to be the goal for Lockdown II.

Zoe. The bad girl of Singletrack Towers?

Singletrack Flowy Trail Ale 4%

singletrack ale beer bottle

Charlie says… Of all my favourite drugged up gun toting motorcycle journalists, Hunter S Thomson stands out. He had a fantastic way of observing things from a rather unique perspective. For example, he once decided against parking his car in a laundrette, actually in the laundrette. Out of his mind, he revved the engine, bumped it up the curb and aimed for the sliding doors. However, he decided against it as the “people inside seemed dangerously excited”! He also once said “Good people drink good beer”. Singletrack Flowy Trail Ale is a very good beer.

An injection of sweet and gentle for you:

Oakley DRT5 Helmet

This is Oakley’s MIPS equipped helmet as worn by Greg Minnaar (Singletrack MTB Personality of the Year Finalist!) As well as the MIPS to help keep your brain safe, there’s a 360 BOA adjuster to get the fit just so, and a silicone sweat channeling gripper on the forehead to stop the drips getting in your eyes. Hannah may be hard pushed to test this feature in November in the UK, but perhaps wearing it in a hot bath might work. Another feature of the helmet is an ‘Eyewear Landing Zone’ – substantial clips designed to lock your glasses in place when you don’t need them. The bath being one of the few places Hannah doesn’t need glasses, perhaps this new method of testing isn’t such a daft idea. Don’t worry though, there will also be muddy trail tests, as the photographs will no doubt demonstrate with this WHITE helmet. Other more muted colours are available. Photographs of any bath based tests will not be.

Not safe for work!

Sweet Protection Women’s Hunter Midlayer

A soft and tailored fit jacket with wind breaker fabric at side panels, hood and front collar, best used with the Hunter Wind jacket apparently. This jacket seems ideal for winter layering or use as an outer in the warmer months. It has a super soft waffle lining, long sleeves with thumb holes and some decent sized pockets.

Barefaced Audio AVD Guitar Cabinets

Yes, and they don’t even have castors on, so what’s the bike relevance? Ah, but there is a tenuous link here. These two guitar cabs (the tiny 1x10in Barefaced Upsetter and not much bigger 1x12in Reformer) are UK-made, by mountain bikers (well, at least one that we know of) in Brighton. Rather than just using big, heavy boxes and bolting the speakers to them, Barefaced has used pretty pioneering acoustic science to create its AVD diffractor cab (Augmented Vent Diffractor) that doubles the perceived volume of the relatively small speaker. There’s loads of science explanation going on on the website, so check it out if you’re interested. There’s also a 30 day trial period to make sure you like them.

A lefty guitarist, specially for Chipps, who is a lefty trapped in a right handed guitarist’s body:

OK then, back to 24 hour news, hand gel, and ‘you’re on mute’. Or, jut go ride your bike.

What is Fresh Goods Friday?

It’s Singletrack’s long running, weekly roundup of all of the new products that have been sent in to the magazine.

Where do all of the goods come from?

They’re sent in by bike companies and marketing agencies

What happens to all of the products?

They’re featured and then some are reviewed down the line in either Singletrack Magazine or in online reviews and photoshoots.

What happens to them when you’ve finished with them?

They’re usually sent back after review, or kept on long-term test bikes. But no one ever asks for shorts and shoes back. Trust us on that. Once we were asked to return some brake pads.

I’m a company making the next big thing. How much does it cost to feature in FGF?

Nothing. Nil. Zero. Diddlysquat. Sod all. Just send all ‘next big things’ to us at – Fresh Goods Friday, Singletrack Magazine, Lockside Mill, Dale Street, Todmorden. OL14 5PX. Please note that if you require the products back after they have featured then you are responsible for arranging collection at your cost. While it is our policy to feature everything we receive in FGF if we decide your product is not suitable for publication we won’t do it. Publication is at our discretion. Whether a product goes on for publication as a review is at editorial discretion. Beer, coffee & spirits will ALWAYS be tested.

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Andi is a gadget guru and mountain biker who has lived and ridden bikes in China and Spain before settling down in the Peak District to become Singletrack's social media expert. He is definitely more big travel fun than XC sufferer but his bike collection does include some rare hardtails - He's a collector and curator as well as a rider. Theory and practice in perfect balance with his inner chi, or something. As well as living life based on what he last read in a fortune cookie Andi likes nothing better than riding big travel bikes.

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