This issue’s cover stars are our very own Amanda and her partner Rhys! Taken by James Vincent…
What’s his name? Storm Christoph? He can bog off now, thanks. We’ve had enough ‘exciting’ weather for a while and we’d just like some nice, dull, grey, dry winter weather for a month or two before we ease, gracefully into spring. Is that too much to ask? We’re going mouldy…
In the meantime, the home-offices of the Singletrack crew have been busy with the sounds of home schooling, the smells of baking, the nearly-good taste of non-alcoholic beer. Elsewhere riders have been getting out and proper wet, or staying in and making sure the cellar pumps keep working. It’s never a dull moment, I tell you. And in the middle of that lot, we’ve managed to ship the latest issue of the magazine to the printers, so it will soon be turned into lovely analogue pages with aromatic ink on them. Stay tuned for that one – new issue 135 is out on Feb 4th.
But, hey, it’s Friday. Surely any remains of Dry January don’t count on Fridays, right? After the week we’ve had? Anyway, let’s get on and check out the Fresh Goods of Friday!
Vittoria Mazza Trail Tyres
- From: www.vittoria.com
- Price: £59.99
Billed as an Enduro tyre for mixed terrain, they come in 27.5 and 29, 2.4in or 2.6in and in Trail or Enduro casings. The compound is impregnated with Graphene and promise more grip, more durability and less rolling resistance.
James has two 2.6in tyres and one 2.4in. The plan is to fit the 2.6 up front and run the 2.4 out back, but he’s got another 2.6 in case he wants to go full 2.6. He’s gone for the trail casing as they’ll be run with Cushcore for a bit of protection.
Fox 36 Factory with Grip2 Damper
- Price: £1199
- From: Silverfish
Our James Vincent has a Salsa Cassidy on test and, because it shares the same carbon frame as the shorter travel (160/140) Blackthorn, he’s taken steps to switch to this shorter travel platform to give it a go for a while. The switch over takes no more than 30 mins. Super easy, just needs a couple of hex keys and 17mm socket. The old Cassidy is now completely a Blackthorn, and as such has steeper seat and head tube angles, higher BB, longer reach and shorter wheelbase, so it should feel a bit racier and more nimble. Or if you have a Blackthorn, you could go the other way… Anyway, this is Fox Racing’s top end Fox 36 fork, with 36mm stanchions, 160mm travel and full control over high and low speed damping. It’s a beast.
Fox DPX2 Shock
- Price: £649 (Plus Salsa-specific clevis – approx £150)
- From: Silverfish and Lyon
The crazy-looking clevis is basically all the bits you need to turn the Salsa Cassidy (180mm/165mm) into the Salsa Blackthorn (160mm/140mm). A few minutes with the allen keys and you’ve got a shorter travel bike (that’s 454g lighter too).
Crud XL Fender
- Price: £21.99
- From: Amazon
In this weather, you would be mad not to ride without a fender of some type. Generally, Andi likes to run an RRP fender up front, but while he waits for the stock of those to come back in he has picked up a Crud XL Fender. The last time Andi had one was, well, he is old enough to have used the legendary Crud Guard, and DCD, but the XL Fender is something else. This huge front guard promises to never clog, offers tons of protection and fits with reusable rubber rings.
Wheels Mfg BB86/92 Bottom Bracket
- Price: £79.99
- From: Freewheel
Featuring double-lip-sealed Enduro angular contact bearings for long life, these ABEC5 bearings should be up to our Yorkshire weather. The Made in the USA, press-in bottom bracket features neatly machined sleeves slide into each other to create a good seal, helped by O-rings to keep the weather out. Or at least the kind of weather that doesn’t have a storm name associated with it!
- Price: £3.50 (members get a discount)
- From: Singletrack Merchmonger
Charlie says: Choose a life. Choose skiving off work. Choose a fudge bar. Choose a beer. Choose a ***ing big skid. Choose bikes, hotrod cars and loud motorcycles, big amps and the best toys. Choose super rad, choose turbo, choose poppin’ a wheelie, choose cool, choose stupid, choose your Saturday afternoon, choose your future. Choose stickers… But why would you want to do a thing like that?
VHS v2.0 Slapper Tape
- Price: £24.99
- From: Cyclorise
Cute packaging might just make the relatively unglamorous seem exciting. This is a rubber chain protector with bubbles of air in each of those knobbles. It does look like there should be a caramel filling to be honest – maybe that could be a future collaboration with a gel company? Emergency food for your epic rides? Anyway. Those air bubbles provide a quiet ride, while the 70mm wide silicone rubber protects your chain stay. With the self adhesive backing, it’ll stick onto any clean frame where there’s enough chain clearance.
And if you need some mellow tunes to help that slide towards the weekend, be sure to check out The Milk Carton Kids for some beautiful acoustic guitar and harmonies in a Simon and Garfunkel style.
Settle Brewery NZPA
- Price: 6 pack up to 48 pack, from £15.00
- From: Settle Brewery
A 4.8% tropical pale ale has appeared, delivered by the one and only Carly Frame! Bursting with tropical notes from wai-iti, moutere and rakau hops… which in real talk means it has hints of grapefruit, peach and… pine? Ideal bike rider beer. We love trees.
Carly has recently won the Singletrack Reader Award for Best Author, and is now back in the UK (not out of choice) brewing beer (out of choice) at Settle Brewery. This delivery is from her very first batch at her new job, and we’re sure it’s not a coincidence that she’s worked on a New Zealand pale ale when she was due to move there shortly before that pandemic began.
And with that, we’re going to tumble, dangerously towards the weekend. We have a new US President to wear in, some vaccines to get out there and a few European customs formalities to iron out before things are completely sorted, but with every day, the evenings are getting longer and it’s only about nine weeks until the clocks go forward and we’ll wonder where all that winter time went. Hopefully by then we can start to enjoy those longer evenings, some bike riding and perhaps one day, that post-ride beer garden beer… Sigh…
Hang in there folks! Help is on the way.