This week while some of the STW crew had our first taste of heading back to the office, Chipps started larging it as Editor as Large – starting with a trip to the rather quiet Eurobike. Between the balls of tumbleweed and racks of e-bikes, stalwarts of the show said their last goodbyes to the giant halls of Friedrichshafen – next year it’s moving to Frankfurt, where we’re looking forward to such useful major event infrastructure as direct transport links, a range of accommodation options, and vegetables.
Mark also missed out on the office reunion, as he went to London to take part in a panel discussion about publishing – except all the rest of the panel got covid and couldn’t go, so it was a highly exclusive solo show from Mark.
The rest of us were joyously reunited with the office coffee machine, which was ceremonially switched on and we were all treated to a dose of Ross’ finest rocket fuel. After 18 months or so away, it didn’t really feel like very much had actually changed at all. How very odd.
Nothing changes on a Friday however, the goods are here, they’re fresh, so here we go…
Sonder Nova Wheelset
- Price: £179.99
- From: Alpkit
The Sonder Nova range of wheels are designed to bring reliability at a low-price, and there are options to suit various types of riders and riding. This is their Nova 700c wheelset with 19mm wide rims so perfect for gravel tyres from 28-50mm in width. The Nova rim is built up with Sonder’s own hubs featuring disc brake mounts and sealed bearings, plus 12mm axle compatibility front and rear.
Steve’s FAST AFrica Bum Butter
- Price: £17.99
- From: Bum Butter
Charlie says: Singletrack local medal botherer and Paralympian Steve Bate MBE has set his sights on Mark Beaumont’s Cairo to Cape Town Guinness world record of almost 42 days. Steve reckons he can do it 25 days!
He called me up and invited me for a ride. Obviously I checked out the severity of the ride as I find 200 mile rides a little bit totally bloody impossible. He reassured me it was a rest day ride, and after a few hours of Singletrack we ended up at a pub talking about this record attempt. He was on the Olympic programme so drank juice, I however was without dietary restrictions and stuck to 7% cider. This gave Steve an unfair negotiation advantage. Consequently I am riding the 10,800km with him, on a motorbike… and we now also have a limited edition Bum Butter. £5.00 from each tub goes towards Steve’s record attempt.
So, how do you ride the length of Africa in 25 days. It’s easy, just do 260 miles a day, for 25 days, and don’t worry about the 50,000m of climbing, or the wildlife, or the traffic, or the borders. For more info click here.
Fox Speedframe Pro
- Price: £149.99
- From: Fox Racing
The Speedframe Pro is Fox Racing’s top end open face helmet for trail and enduro riding. It’s packed full of features including a 360 degree fit system, multi position visor, antimicrobial comfort liner and Fidlock buckle. Protection comes courtesy of a MIPS liner, and the Pro version is also equipped with a Variozorb dual density EPS liner and has been awarded the highest 5 star award from Virginia Tech. Ross was so impressed with the performance of the Speedframe Pro in a recent crash (that ended up with a hospital trip and severe whiplash) that completely trashed his original one, that Fox have sent him this helmet as a replacement.
Modibodi Leak Proof Pants
- Price: £25 (Sensual Hi-Waist) £32 (Swimwear bikini)
- From: Modibodi
What’s this? Period pants? Yes, but these are not period pants in the sense of the old and baggy ones you keep at the back of your drawer and definitely don’t want to be wearing on a hot date. These are period pants to be used in place of a tampon or sanitary towel. You wear them, some kind of
magic fabric technology catches all the menses (or, in some models, pee) and then you rinse them out before putting them in the washing machine. No non recyclable waste, and we’re wondering whether they might just be a good cycling solution too (hot tip: do not cycle with a sanitary towel unless you enjoy chafing). There are different models for different levels of absorbency, some that can replace incontinence pads (handy for postpartum trampolining) and even some that you can swim in.
Women’s Altered-Edition Trail Long Sleeve Jersey
- Price: £45
- From: Specialized
Hannah is wondering whether this jersey is actual bike wear since it’s so soft comfy that she’s not sure that she’s actually remembered to change out of her pyjamas. It’s a polyester/cotton/spandex mix called MiniR® fabric that apparently reflects the sun to keep you cool. And the bleach tie dye effect looks cool too. Win win.
Benno Utility Front Tray
- Price: £189.99
- From: Ison Distribution
Hannah has found that it’s less the weight of items that’s holding her back from carrying more on the Benno cargo bike and more the volume. So she’s got this extra front rack, with a carrying capacity of 20kg to add a bit more room for when she gets carried away in the middle of Lidl. It bolts on right through the frame with some super sturdy bolts, and slightly disconcertingly it stays pointing forward even when you’re turning your bars. It’s an optical quirk that confuses your brain until you get used to it. There’s a sticker that specifically says not to be carrying any people on the front. Spoilsports!
MSR TrailShot Pocket-Sized Water Filter
- Price: £42.00
- From: GoOutdoors
Many mountain bikes only fit one bottle on the frame, so if you’re a hip-pack user that likes to stay hydrated, this little pocket-sized filter could be a great option. One hand to hold the hose in the water source, one to pump it through, and you can either pump it into your bottle or drink from the spout.
Hannah’s Mum’s House
- Price: OIRO £360,000
- From: Arran Estate Agents
Maybe, like Chipps, you fancy a change of scene? How about moving to the cycling heaven of the Isle of Arran? This house has oodles of workshop space (not shown in any of the estate agent images, because apparently people aren’t interested in sheds? Who are these people?) and a lot of bedrooms, and proper internet, and a wood burning stove. There isn’t a hot tub, but there is a pond, or the sea just beyond. And there’s no outdoor pizza oven, but there is a big fire pit hangout spot in the garden. We’re not sure about baby robins, but there are plenty of swallows, who do a great job of keeping the midges down. What more could you want?
We’ll leave you with a final change themed tune. Love and peace, y’all.