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.
Amanda – Art Director
This past year I’ve worked hard on improving my fitness to allow me to enjoy longer adventures without the fear of running out of beans. In the process, I seem to have found my cycling niche. Cross-country riding has combined my mountain bike skills with fitness training, and the races I’ve entered have improved my bike handling skills due to the nature of cross-country racing – laps of a circuit where you can learn from your mistakes. I’ve gone cross-country.
LifeLine Adventure Top Tube Bag
If there’s one item you will never see me without, it’s this top tube bag. It’s small enough to neatly fit on any bike, from road to enduro, and it takes seconds to securely attach it. There are two Velcro straps – the top tube one is wide enough to stop the bag from moving, regardless of how terribly you’ve packed it. The steerer strap is thin enough to reach around any bike I’ve tried it on, yet long enough to securely hold in place. The Polyester Ripstop fabric is TPU coated, and the seams are welded, so you can trust your items will stay dry. The zip even has a little cover over it to stop water sneaking in.
The thing I love the most about this bag is how deceiving the size is. You wouldn’t believe how much you can cram in, and thanks to the soft construction it’s quite easy to rummage around at the bottom instead of having to unpack everything. Despite the soft construction, the bag seems to hold its shape even after a year of almost daily use. At £12.00, this is an absolute bargain – I’d say buy yourself two, but you won’t need a spare because it’s so durable.
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