As that boat finally leaves that canal and heads our way – hopefully with a few bikes aboard – and you continue your search for elusive quick-links and cassettes, spare a thought for the people whose actual job it is to get things shipped between countries. If you’ve given even half a thought to what you’re going to do with the summer holidays ahead of you, the logistics of figuring out how many of you can go where, or there, and when, and whether there’s a ticket, and what the cancellation policy is, and whether your new tent/bike/waterproof/surfboard will arrive in time, and whether you need a passport/vaccine/covid test for you/your dog/your kids, and what paperwork you need to make sure that you or your car don’t get detained somewhere and cavity searched…ACK! Imagine doing this sort of thing for a living. It’s enough to make you want a staycation – a proper one, where you actually stay at home and sleep in your own bed, and drink your own crap coffee, and get bitten by your own bed bugs. Except you don’t have bed bugs, do you? And you have good coffee. And if you don’t…well, there’s no excuse for crap coffee. Let us fix that for you, plus distract your from all that logistical stress we’ve just reminded you of, and head into Fresh Goods Friday 557…
Aeropress Compatible Rhinowares Hand Coffee Grinder
- Price: £40.00 (members get a discount)
- From: The Singletrack Coffee Shop
Charlie says… Super compact, totally designed to work in harmony with an Aeropress (also available in our merch store), and packing more bothy show off points than the time Elvis jetpacked to a bothy, with his pet wolf, in lightning storm, wearing an awesome red leather jumpsuit, whilst singing the Prodigy’s “Firestarter” (experts have not yet confirmed if this actually happened). Coffee is super important, and who does not love a bit of tech. This also just feels good in your hands, nothing beats the feel of a mountain side grinder gently rumbling in your palm. It’s a really feely thing. And it feels good, and tastes great too.
Big Rides: Great Britain & Ireland
- Price: £20
- From: Singletrack Book Shop
Charlie says… Kathy Rogers and frequent Singletrack contributor Markus Stitz have certainly put the miles in on this guide book. Blow me…. and when I say “blow” I mean ****. Twenty five routes ranging from that 160km walk in the park that is the South Downs Way (that slayed me last time, it is not one long hill, its a hundred hills that just look the same), through to Ireland’s 2,765km Wild Atlantic Way. For the cheese lovers there are even excursion tours to Northern France. Surfers should look at the route from Bristol to Bude. A thorough book, packed full of big classics. Buy it now and it will gently nag you from the coffee table… “quit your job, **** those clowns, text the boss now and ride your bike forever”.
Burgtec Bartender Pro Super Soft Grips
- Price: £21.99
- From: Burgtec
Burgtec developed the Bartender Pro grip with Greg Minnaar and they’ve continued to improve them with the World Cup legend. The new version uses a Super Soft Compound for extra comfort and has already been adopted by top riders like Danny Hart, Nina Hoffman and Angel Suarez. The new Super Soft compound comes in black only and uses the same tapered core and single lock-on.
Hackney GT Aloha MTB and BMX Jersey
- Price: £50
- From: Hackney GT
Who doesn’t like a bit of summer, eh? Well, it’s definitely summer every day with this ‘Aloha’ jersey from HackneyGT. Made in the UK from 70% recycled polyester and featuring a wintex perforated front like you used to have in your PE shirt at school, it’s a bit of summertime colour for your riding wardrobe. There’s even a matching roadie jersey in the same design if you want summertime even when you’re not mountain biking.
EXT V3 Storia Shock
- Price: £950
- From: Mojo
In a move that perhaps demonstrates a greater commitment than the ring of a couple of weeks ago, Hannah’s husband-to-be is building a bike to keep here in the UK. It’s no parts bin special either – this super sensitive and serviceable coil shock is part of the build. Currently set up with a 57.5mm stroke and a 500lb spring, going on a bike with about 15% progression and 140mm travel… can you guess what the bike will be? Of course, should there be any hitches with the hitching, Hannah will be able to take the opportunity to get it rebuilt to whatever specification she might need (though, it’s not much use on her Stooge).
Z2 Cloud Chacos
A super common brand in the USA, but something of a rarity here, these waterproof/action proof/outdoorsy sandals offer great adjustability since the front strap is all one piece, fastened by a buckle rather than Velcro. The ‘Z2’ toe loop makes them especially good for walking in the wet, or paddling up a river. You can blame Hannah’s optimistic American for all the bad weather we are now about to receive since he bought these especially for his UK wardrobe.
LefRight Tactical Phone Case
- Price: £9.50
- From: Amazon
Sick of removing your back pack to get to your giant phone that doesn’t fit in your hip pocket? Find you finish a ride without having taken a picture because it’s too much effort to get to your buried phone? Hannah is hoping this is the answer to taking more pictures. Or maybe just carrying more snacks?
Wolf Tooth ReMote Axle
- Price: £6
- From: Saddleback
The Wolf Tooth ReMote dropper lever has a breakaway axle in it that’s designed to break away in the event of a crash – so that you can just replace it instead of mangling your whole dropper lever. Or, you could not crash – but then are you trying hard enough?
Sendhit Nock Handguards
- Price: £59.95
- From: Windwave
Sendhit is a French brand that makes a variety of useful components and tool kits. We’ve actually focussed on their stanchion repair kit in the past, but they’ve diversified their range to now include handguards. The Nock Handguard is a lightweight, just 169g, guard that can protect your fingers, hands, and brake levers in an accident. Each kit is made in France from a Polyamide Nylon material for stiffness and impact resistance and is fully adjustable so they shouldn’t interfere with your brakes, dropper lever or gear shifter.
Sonder Alpha Wheelset
- Price: £299.99
- From: Sonder
Handmade wheels from Sonder and available through Alpkit stores. The Sonder Alphawheelset are available in 27.5, 29, 29XC, 650b, and 700c so pretty much everyone is covered. Each set of wheels features pre-taped welded rims, laced to hubs with sealed bearings via double-butted alloy spokes to save weight. The hubs feature a standard 6 bolt disc pattern and the rear has a 6 pawl free-hub with 3-degree engagement. We have the 700c version on test which will be fitted to a gravel bike for a full review.
E*13 Helix R 12 speed cassette
- Price: £290
- From: Moore Large
The E*13 Helix 12-speed cassette is an alternative to SRAM and Shimano units and is fully compatible with either drivetrain. The 9-50t spread boasts 556% range and if that wasn’t enough you can pick the cassette up in a bunch of colours. On the durability side, the Helix R is a 2 piece construction made from 2 clusters. The large cluster is alloy with the remaining cluster made from steel. This should mean that the wear rate is quite good, but it also allows customers to simply purchase the section of cassette that was worn rather than an entirely new unit.
OK, so let’s address the elephant in the room: we have a wolf and a rhino, but no bike. And not really an elephant. And really, only the tooth of a wolf. Sorry about that. We’ll try harder next week.
Here’s an elephant themed tune with incidental landscapes in the video. If things look like this when you’re riding at the weekend, you’re either very dehydrated, or you’ve got your foraging a bit wrong.