The Singletrack Staffers pick the standout products and locations from their riding year. This article was originally published in Singletrack Magazine Issue 140.
The year has felt a little like approaching that nemesis feature on the trail: you roll up to it full of optimism, then at the last minute pull on the brakes in an attack of ‘nope’. Whether it was a ping that put paid to yet another plan, or a shipping container that didn’t arrive as expected (by now, perhaps, that should be ‘as expected, a shipping container didn’t arrive’), we had plenty of interruptions along the way. However, our northern hills had an unusually dry summer, so we managed a decent spell of short-sleeved riding on our doorstep, and there were a few chances to get further afield that we grasped and enjoyed. Like that trail feature, once we cleared it, the elation at meeting friends, riding new trails and generally enjoying bikes was all the sweeter.
Ross – Ad Sales
Another year done and dusted! It doesn’t feel like 12 months since I wrote my last Editors’ Choice, and a lot of my sentiments remain the same. While there still hasn’t been any exotic foreign riding, I’ve managed to ride a good amount this year. The local trails have seen almost daily action and I’ve managed to squeeze in a good few trips to the Lakes, along with a bit of riding north of the border. It’s always easy to want more – longer tracks, bigger hills – but these last couple of years have shown that you don’t need to travel far to get top drawer riding.
Ergon GFR1 Grips
The Ergon GFR1 was designed with input from none other than Tahnée Seagrave and the Canyon CLLCTV. It uses a unique rubber compound with ‘extreme damping’ and is aimed at gravity and freeride use. The grip features a combination of different textures and designs for the grip, with mushroomy siping on the top and a lateral ‘grip zone’ on the bottom. In between these areas the grip is knurled for added… erm… grip.
As soon as the temperature starts heading towards double figures, and it’s not torrential rain, I prefer to ride gloveless, so I can be picky about grips. They have to be comfy, grippy, and just the right thickness – and the Ergon GFR1 grips deliver on all counts.
They have a great feel, and offer loads of grip even when sweaty. They are really comfortable for long days in the saddle, or five minute plus downhill tracks. They are starting to show signs of wear now, but are still comfortable and offer up plenty of grip after having been used three to six times per week since April.
Of all the different grips I’ve used over recent years, and multiple test bikes, the GFR1 are my favourites. They’re just the right thickness, offer loads of grip, are comfortable and have lasted well. I’ll be getting more when this set is finally condemned to the bin.