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.
Andi – Tech Editor
Another crazy year, but not quite as crazy as the last. It has been a challenge to get in test products, thanks to the ongoing cycling boom, but it has been awesome to see more riders on the trails. This year I also discovered gravel riding, which much to my surprise, is a hell of a lot of fun!
microSHIFT Advent X
I’m a sucker for an underdog, so when microSHIFT announced the Advent X drivetrain I was super keen to give it a go. It is a 1×10 wide-range drivetrain that, at £170, costs significantly less than anything from SRAM or Shimano. But there has to be a catch right? Surely it’s weak or perhaps it’s really heavy? In actual fact, no. The Advent X cassette, shifter and rear mech are all durable and long-lasting and while they may not weigh as little as XX1 or XTR, they’re lighter than the low-cost or mid-range kit from rivals.
On top of all of this, the Advent X actually works really well on the trail too. The rear mech features a ratchet clutch to keep the chain in place, and the shifter and cassette allow for smooth shifts across the range. What’s more, because Advent X is 10-speed it’s much less time-consuming to set up and it’s less susceptible to issues with misalignment, like if you whack the rear mech off a rock.
Since I reviewed it, I’ve continued to use MicroShift Advent X and it keeps performing. It really is a great value drivetrain – the only issue is finding a shop with stock.
Read Andi’s full review here:
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