Fresh Goods Friday 547: The Dr Dolittle Extra Animal Edition

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Lockdown, week whatever. Or are we still locked down? Kind of not – we can ride bikes with five friends and sit outside a pub in all of our coats. That sounds like freedom, right there. Still, not everyone has been making the most of it – mostly because it’s now turned flipping cold and you’d start losing digits if you sat outside for too long.

Life at Singletrack Towers Remote™ carries on apace, though. Bikes are getting tested, secret new products have been turning up at Andi’s MegaShed™. Chipps has been doing his Dr Dolittle act, with not only a new lamb in the house (sometimes quite literally) but a pair of nesting jackdaws in the barn, hidden behind all the boxes he’s supposed to be packing soon. And Amanda? Well, Clarence the Goose has returned to his breeding ways outside her bedroom window. If things carry on this noisily for all of us, it’s going to be quite the roast dinner at the end of the year.

Anyway, we have bikes, clothes, little widgety bits and more to show you, so strap in and sit tight for Fresh Goods Friday 547. With added Lamb!

Max, you’re not helping…

Trek Supercaliber 9.8 GX

And now, without a lamb…

Here’s a great example of a ‘no excuses’ bike from Trek. As ridden by the likes of Yolanda Neff, this 100mm front travel (60mm rear) race bike is about as race-tuned looking as you’re going to get. With Trek’s new ‘IsoStrut’ system, the rear travel is brought to you by what looks like a mini suspension fork leg concealed under the top tube. This system means that the shock is driven directly by the bump forces on the rear wheel, acting through the seatstays, with no sensitivity robbed by linkages or rockers. However, it’s a pure race bike (the lack of dropper helps reinforce that) and everything is set up nice and stiff for maximum speed. You can even tune the IsoStrut system with spacers like a suspension fork to fine tune the ramp-up of the system. And the silver on black (black on silver) look is a winner. Unless you’re trying to photograph it, of course.

This bike is just one of the speed machines we’ve got in for a future bike test. It’s time to get the racing Spandex out!

Singletrack Bumper Stickers

  • Price: £4.99 (members get a discount)
  • From: Singletrack Merch Store
bumper stickers
A shirt that commemorates the French nuclear bomb tests on Moruroa atoll. Beat that Chipps.

Now #vanlifers and bike riders can safely distinguish themselves from other lay-by and car park users, making it easier to find the right window to knock on in search of an emergency inner tube. We have added STW bumper stickers to our sticker wad. In the big pack of many stickers you get two bumper stickers, one is bumper sized and intended for cars and 1990’s Cannondales, the other is top tube size and for your bike.

Stanton Switch9er Frame

The Switch9er is UK brand Stanton’s hard hitting, enduro racing, aggro 29er hardtail. Available in either Taiwanese 4130 or UK made 631 variants the Switch9er takes influences from both the smaller wheeled Switchback, and the more sedate trail friendly big wheeled Sherpa.

The Switch9er is designed to be as nimble and agile as the Switchback, while being stable at speed, yet retain the comfort and climbing characteristics of the Sherpa. A bike that can be pedalled all day or thrown fdoen your local steeps.

Ross will be building up this beautiful lBlack Copper (the pictures really don’t do it justice!) Taiwanese frame with a mix old and new test kit so look out for a bike check some time in the near future.

Repack Race Poster T-Shirt

Price: £22.99

From: Please exit via the Singletrack giftshop

Way back before the word “Mountain Bike” was even a thing, long time Singletrack buddy Charlie Kelly started to organise the first mountain bike races. Being a big guy with a big mouth he promoted the races really well with some awesome artwork.

Despite Charlie starting the first race, first magazine, and first mountain bike company (with Gary Fisher), the spoils of what became a megabuck industry passed him by. Sales of these shirts help Charlie carry on being Charlie. And that is a good thing as he is currently archiving a colossal collection of mountain bike history, whilst also guiding people around the Marin Mountain Bike Museum.

Voyager + Custom packraft

“What kind of bloody weird bike is that?” I hear you asking. Fear not, dear reader, we have not transformed into just yet. This yellow beauty has made its way to Sanny HQ for an upcoming magazine feature on bikerafting. Being fiscally prudent as Sanny is, this Adelie Packrafts Voyager + Special is at the budget end of the market but appears to be anything but budget in terms of design and construction.

Features include a removable splash deck, a TiZip for storing stuff inside the hull, a Boston Valve for ease of inflation and deflation, multiple lash down points and a removable second seat and backrest so he and Sanny Jr can go on paddling adventures together. Sanny has already hatched a plan to use it to connect the blue bits across Rannoch Moor. Weighing under 4 kilogrammes, it also includes a removable skeg and full repair kit and patches.

Prices range from £390 to £670 for a whole raft (geddit?) of options including choice of colour, TiZip and splash deck.

Maxikola The Lamb

  • Price: Free/expensive
  • From: The skies…

How/why do these things always happen to Chipps? This is Max, the orphan lamb. There’s a long story, but we won’t go into it. Basically, for the next month or so, Chipps will be bottle-feeding a lamb four times a day, in between writing stuff and trying to get out for a bike ride (and avoiding the jackdaws who have decided to nest in the bike bit of the house… Luckily Jess the dog has always wanted a pet and lamb and dog get on famously. Which is handy as Max is likely to grow to about ten times Jess’s volume, so it makes sense to play nicely while they’re still the same size. Cuddles are available (from the lamb) if you’re passing…

Bell Bullitt Chemical Candy Motorcycle Helmet

  • Price: RRP is about £400
  • From: Ebay

Charlie says… My girlfriend needed a new motorcycle helmet, but could not find anything where she liked the style. Too neon, too zombie, too transformery, too blokey, and generally just too shite. So I set off in search of a helmet with so much style she wouldn’t even know if she didn’t like it. The search ended on ebay with a Bell Bullitt in a custom (but mass production) paint job from Chemical Candy Customs in Texas.  On one side we have grey and silver flames in a subtle glitter finish, and if you don’t like that, the other side has flowers. However first you have to get past the bubble visor, which is pretty easy if you are into Ziggy and The Spiders From Mars, and happen to be floating in a most peculiar way. Does Tanya like her new lid… no one knows, including Tanya.

And that’s currently it for this week. We’re sorry that spring appears to have turned back into winter (or did it skip forward into late autumn – anyway, we’re going to have to rummage around for some more sturdy jumpers, that’s for sure.

Tunes? How about something mellow from Mr Jon Gomm? His acoustic take on a classic bit of Chaka Khan.

So, whether you’re going to be out in the hills this weekend, sat inside with the fire on (again!) or in your parka outside a pub, we wish you the finest of weekends!

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