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Fresh Goods Friday 556 – The Everything Is Biting Us Edition

by and 6

This week has flown by in a flurry of nettle stings, sun burn, midge bites and paper stitches. Bulk orders of midge repellent have been placed following a particularly biblical encounter with flying beasts of various sizes, but all of which had apparently giant venomous fangs of itchiness. You do not want to fix a mechanical or tend an injured rider while also feeding the wildlife. Are we getting old and soft (and tastier), or are the biting things worse this year? Our toolkit essentials now includes insect repellant. We might be old(ish) but we’re still learning.

Another week older, and very slightly wiser, and here we are, with another Fresh Goods Friday for you. Whoop!

2022 Nukepoof Megawatt Factory

The first eMTB from Nukeproof and it’s a good one! The Megawatt features an all-alloy frame, 170mm travel front and rear, mixed wheels and there’s space in the front triangle for a bottle. Our factory spec bike runs a 630Wh battery but the battery mounts are adjustable so you can use a smaller 504Wh battery. More info here.

2022 Fox 34 Grip 2

For 2022 the Fox 34 is updated to share a few of the features first shown on the new 36 and 38 released last year. First off we have a round brace that sits further from the fork for better frame clearance under compression, and a larger crown that looks better with modern carbon trail bikes. The new fork features air channels on the rear of the legs that ensure the new 34 can achieve full travel even after repeated hits and during changes in air pressure. The channels also improve oil circulation for better lubrication of the foam rings. Our test fork is the Grip 2 fork and will see action on the front of a YT Izzo, it’s also the longest travel 34 option in the range with 140mm of movement. Fox also offers the 34 with 130mm travel and the FIT 4 damper, but each version of the fork is only suitable for 29in wheels.

2022 Fox Float X Rear Shock

Last year it was all about the enduro and super enduro crowd, but this year Fox has released new goodies for trail and all-mountain riders (not downcountry). The Float X is aimed at trail riders wanting all the hard-hitting goodies of an enduro shock but in a lighter weight package. The Float X runs a new chassis and damper. Benefits from low-speed rebound and compression adjustments and even has an independent 2 position lever for firming your rear end!

Singletrack Klean Kanteen Insulated Mug 473ml

Charlie says… 20 years of Singletrack Mag, coffee and trails, and now we have this awesome insulated mug. Yeah sure, there are cheaper insulated mugs out there, but this past winter I didn’t get one hot coffee on the trails. Cheap shite flasks, that not only arsed my coffee up, they also went straight in the bin. One of them wouldn’t open, it actually took my coffee hostage in cheap muggy way. Please stop for a moment and appreciate fewer but higher quality possessions, that will stick with you.

Why is this cup so awesome… The lid seals super tight, so it can be thrown in your Camelbak. The threads are not threads, they are nipples as that not only looks way cooler, it is also much easier to clean. They are tougher than nails. It has an easy swigging on the go lid, but is equally handy for thick soups gulped down from the open neck. And that is not even the best bit.

The best thing about this is its thermal qualities. They claim it will keep your drinks hot for 14 hours, and cold for a whopping 47 hours. In real terms this means, you can have hot coffee all day, and cold cocktails all night. To be honest, I am not sure how hot it will be at 14 hours, as mine is always empty way before then.

And then just when you think a techno mug can’t possibly get any better, we made it better. We etched on our “Singletrack Est 2001. A meandering narrow slice of heaven” logo, using real laser beams and crazy space stuff.

Wolf Tooth WT-1 Chain Lube

The WT-1 is a premium synthetic chain lube designed for use in all weather conditions. Wolf Tooth claims the lube cleans, lubricates and protects chains for peak performance and cuts down on the need for separate oil types for different conditions.

Wolf Tooth Alloy Bar End Plugs

Simple alloy bar end plugs for keeping the ends of your bars safe while also adding a splash of colour. A simple plastic wedge holds the bar end in place and stops you from taking a core sample of yourself in the event of a crash. They’re suitable for road, mountain and gravel bikes and come in a black, red, orange, blue, purple, gold, green and silver.

Surly Karate Monkey

Charlie says… The Surly Karate Monkey has quite some heritage, you see kids, there was once a time when the 29er was considered a weird outlier of the cycling world, on par with recumbent bikes or monkey tennis for example. As Charlie The Bikemonger I bravely pioneered the commercial side of 29ers, charging hard through foreign markets on my monster steed, wielding my spreadsheets like a sabre, gorgeous hair flowing in the winds of change, and sourcing the hardest to find bike parts. We had a choice of one rim, two tyres and one frameset. The motley crew of lovable weirdo’s at Surly Bikes were the guys with the frame… The Karate Monkey.

Skipping gayely forward to nowadays, Surly sorted me out with a bike for all round everythingness and bikepacking. It will be used for route planning the Surly Dirt Dash bikepacking events, and general knobbing about on a bike. It’s Green, XL, has shed loads of  braze ons, has room for 29 x 2.5” tyres, and will also take 27.5 rubber. What’s more you can run it geared, singlespeed, hub geared, or even fixed wheel (my other monkey is fixed wheel), rigid or bouncy. And as Thor at Surly says “This allows you to pick your poison – provided your poison is having a really great time while permanently donning a shit-eating grin, of course.”

An honourable mention goes to the Gusset stem, which has generous 5mm clamp bolts (just like they were in the good old days). I bloody hate rounding out stem bolts. Puny roundy outy 3mm can eff off. However Chubby Checker is turbo welcome at this party. Does your bike have a theme tune..? comment below.

Singletrack 20th Birthday Jigsaw

Watch me for the changes and try and keep up, okay? This is our 20th Birthday cover artwork, and also a damned challenging jigsaw puzzle. 1,000 pieces of joy (or frustration) await you.

So much has changed in 20 years of publishing Singletrack, and we captured a big chunk of that in our awesome 20th Birthday issue cover artwork. On one cover we have our retro rider, kitted up in all the gear and surrounded by the influences and events of the past. On the other, we have today’s rider, with a background showing some of the latest technology and innovation. Take a moment and spot the items you’ve owned, the gear you’re riding now, the components you wish you had, and the things you’re glad you missed out on.

Made in Devon using recycled materials.

Fat Tire Flyer Issue One – Signed By CK

  • Price: £15.00
  • From: The Singletrack Museum of Merch

This is the very first mountain bike magazine. Charlie Kelly explains that he thought that now they had a scene they needed a newsletter, but he made the mistake of printing “issue one” on it, so had to make another, and then another.

This is made exactly the same way as the original, by exactly the same guy (Charlie Kelly), using the same printing process (a photocopier). It’s as original as it can possibly be, but is technically a repro.

So, this is where it all started. Without this newsletter/magazine maybe the scene would not of stuck around, maybe it would of lost momentum, and maybe mountain biking would of faded away. Maybe now you might now be into Frisbee golf or kinky medieval roleplay instead of mountain bikes! Whilst this is packing colossal retro credentials, it is also only packing 12 A5 pages.

Charlie has signed and numbered each one. And you also get a neat covering letter explaining how it all went down. It’s a glimpse into mountain biking’s genesis, the birth of the mountain bike magazine, and certainly a keeper.

Shimano RX8 Shoes

These disco aubergines are for the fleet of foot (or tyre), or maybe the gravelleurs. Super stiff, super light, and with a BOA closure, what more could a fast rider want? Maybe to win them? Well, yes. You might. These shoes and the ones you see below will be featuring in a giveaway soon, just as soon as we decide what fiendish competition rules we should come up with.

Shimano AM9 Shoes

These shiny blue shoes are for gravity and enduro riding, with plenty of built in protection for your feet for when the trail comes up to meet you.

Shimano GR7 Shoes

For the flat pedal gravity and enduro riders we have these, with a neoprene ankle collar to keep the debris out of your shoes, and mesh sides for keeping your feet cool and quick drying.

Shimano AM7 Shoes

Back to the clippy riders again, we have these, which have the neoprene collar again but also an extra velcro strap on top of the laces to keep things extra secure.

Shimano GR5 Shoes

With flat soles and skate shoe styling, you could likely get away with wearing these on and off the bike, though with a proper sticky sole and a stiffness rating of 6, they’re definitively proper bike shoes.

We’re off to plan how you can win these. Fancy dress competition? Fanciest toenail painting competition? Longest skid? Worst joke? Biggest collection of midge bites? Hmm…

May we recommend you check out Charlie’s cocktail suggestion, and have yourselves a very fine weekend.

Obviously we’re concerned about the major breaking news this week. A Haribo shortage could be very serious. We have no idea if this is actually about Haribo:

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Comments (6)

    Wolf Tooth Alloy Bar End Plugs
    Price: £23.00

    Twenty. Three. Pounds?

    Wolf Tooth Alloy Bar End Plugs
    Price: £23.00

    Twenty. Three. Pounds?

    I’ve got some alloy bar end lights that screw in. Cheaper and more functionality!

    I’m sure I bought the predecessors to the Shimano shoes for about £50 new. And the next generation was about £50.

    I’d loved to have had a 50% pay rise in the same amount of time!

    As an effective alternative to insect repellent try ‘Avon’s Skin so soft dry body moisturiser’ which I swear by. In a non-clinical trial with 2 others in a midge filled Scottish boarders in May (1 with 50% DEET and 1 with nothing) its as effective as 50% DEET. NOTE: The 1 with nothing gave up counting bites when up to high 40’s on one leg!

    I got the poison: I got the Remedy – I got the pulsating, rhythmical Remedy

    Well up until now I didn’t even know my bike had a theme song. XL Karate Monkey it is. Actually two of them. A grellow one with some gears and a bouncy fork and a yellow one rigid singlespeed.

    Fun fact (or rumor, at least): Klean Kanteen was founded by Bob Seals of Cool Tool, Retrotec, and Speedo fame…

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