Fresh Goods Friday 605: The Highly Erratic Edition

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I (Amanda), am in the Lake District with Benji and Mark, fumbling around with bikes and cameras. It’s far too rare an occasion that this job actually takes us outside together, and I’d honestly forgotten how refreshing it is to hang out with colleagues outside. I’ve been reminded that Mark is a really good rider, and he’s forgiving of my picky dietary requirements. I’ve enjoyed Benji’s external monologue, where he says all his thoughts and workings-out out loud. And I’ve learnt a few things I’m going to share with you.

Erratic Rocks

Benji has rock tourettes, where he can’t set his eyes on an erratic without declaring ‘Erratic!’. For those as uneducated in geology as me and Mark, erratic rocks are glacial litter. Out of place, not the same kind of rock as the area hosts, and they would probably look like bad artwork if you were to paint a landscape and include one.

How to make Smash Mash

When Mark was 14 years old, he went camping with Scouts. Him and a friend were assigned the task of making the Smash for the group supper, which honestly sounds like such an easy task given that when I was in Brownies I was learning how to do cross-stitch that was neat at the back. Apparently not, though.

Neither of them had made Smash before, so they checked the back of the packed and found a diagram they understood as ‘1 Packet = 6 eggs’. So in a pan went ~6 sachets of Smash and ~30 eggs. They then heated it up and eagerly awaited the mash to form.*

Hot Toddy Recipe

It would be unfair of me to share Mark’s kitchen mistake without sharing my own. This came up because of the current Thunder Fever sweeping the UK, which is basically just the worst hayfever you can imagine, and then some. It’s hard to sleep with sinuses that feel like they’re clogged up with Mark’s Smash, so I was reminded of the first time I ever needed a Hot Toddy, sometime in my early teens.

I asked the nearest person what I needed for a Hot Toddy, to which they replied ‘Whisky, lemon and honey’. So I poured whisky into a mug with lemon and honey, and assumed the ‘hot’ part was the fact I was about to neck a mug full of whisky. I slept well, and found out some time later that you’re to add boiling water to top the mug off.

Constipated Fish

You could be fooled into thinking a fish is dead, when it’s actually just constipated (having eaten Mark’s Smash). The solution is to warm up a pea, take the skin off, mush it up and put it in the tank. This is why we were talking about it:

Anyway, now I’ve highlighted that Benji is probably the most useful staffer to head outdoors with, I’ll get back to my camera work. Happy Friday, everyone! Stay safe, buy real potatoes and a masher, don’t waste your whisky, and send us photos of your favourite erratics.

(Hannah says if you really want good mash, get one of these Smeg blenders with the potato masher attachment. Along with the lifting of the pre-flight covid testing requirements to the USA, this is the best birthday present she got. Super smooth mash without effort. Win.)

*You’re just supposed to add water. The diagram was saying that one packet is equivalent to 6 potatoes.

Cooking tips over… on with the bike stuff!

Did Lou Reed ever really top this?

Camelbak M.U.L.E Commute 22

A mahoosive backpack designed specifically for commuting. It’s got all the features you want in a ride pack – like chest and waist straps, and back ventilation – but with the addition of a laptop sleeve. There’s also a good sized separate section, big enough to fit in a change of clothes and a packed lunch. Reflective panels on all sides help with visibility, and if you’re commute is really long an arduous you can add a bladder for on the go drinks.

Fasst Company Flexx Enduro Alloy Suspension Handlebar

Yep, flexy bars. Well, flexy in one specific plain (up-down). Not just noodly all over the shop.

We’ve got these bars for someone who’s been struggling with a dodgy wrist/forearm. You might think that having 160mm of fork travel and 2.5in of tyre underneath your hands would be a sufficient solution but take it from us, uncomfortably stiff handlebars are a real thing.

These elastomer-sprung pivoty Fasst bars actually originate from motocross (we seem to recall) where the fork travel and tyre volumes are even bigger.

These bars come with a 30 Day “Ride it, Believe it” money back guarantee. Which is nice.

Granite Design Stash RT

The latest iteration of the pop-up ratchet-in-yer-steerer Stash RT multi-tool from Granite Design. You can read all about it here in our story from earlier this week.

Revgrips Pro Series Grips

Designed-to-wobble grips. Again, possibly not for everyone. But if you’re currently struggling with forearm fatigue and arm pump issues, these could be the grips you’re looking for. We’ll be pairing these with the Fasst handlebars above but not immediately. One thing at a time and all that.

Rad8 507 MTB Sunglasses

  • Price: £69.00
  • From: Rad8

New fuller frame design from Rad 8. A slight curve in the frame wraps around the face with additional air vents. ​Rad 8 Polarised lenses. TR90 frame. Lightweight frame and lenses weighing 25g inc. rubber nose bridge.

Huck Insulated Bamboo Insulated Drinking Vessels

  • Price: £19.99 for 450ml cup, £18.99 for 280ml mug
  • From: Cyclorise

Both of these panda-fodder vessels feature a stainless core to keep your brew warmer (or colder) for longer and is shaped to fit in the international standard measurement known as ‘cup holder’. Complete with an engraved Huck logo. Because brew gives a Huck. Or summat.

Huck Accessory Straps and Drybag

  • Price: £22.99 for Huck-E Strap, £18.99 for XC Strap, £19.99 for Enduro Strap
  • From: Cyclorise

Different straps for different braaps. These things are ideal for ditching the rucksack (spit!) and strapping all you need for the ride on to your bike frame. Basically, an inner tube and a CO2 plus a dinky multi-tool.

Huck 1L Keep It Dry Bag

Those of you who used such straps as those above will know all about the potential pitfalls. Namely, your stuff gets covered in filth. And can cease to function properly. This is a dry bag for your bits ‘n’ bobs that still fits the aforementioned straps. Yes! Enduro evolution.

Handske Lightweight Gloves

We’re getting to the point where everyone knows how to make good non-winter gloves these days. So how do you choose which gloves to go for? Just go with the graphic design and colourways that most float your biggest boat. If you like the capital letter H, big eyes and horns, these gloves from Handske should be on your shortlist.

Slicy Mudguards

  • Price: £18.99 for Enduro DH, £21.99 for Enduro-DH Long
  • From: Cyclorise

Whilst some dreary, practical-minded, function over form bods have drifted towards boring black hard plastic mudguards, there are thankfully still people who prefer a bit of garish joy in their lives.

Slicy: “No more full plain, soulless mudguards. Thanks to this unique style, the Slicy Enduro-DH Ultimate will help you stand out from the crowd. There is a colour or model for every bike.”

Giro Insurgent Spherical

New enduro lid alert!

“Built around the advanced protection of Spherical Technology powered by Mips, the Insurgent has been designed for optimum ventilation, comfort, and performance. With 50% better cooling efficiency and 200g lower weight than the Disciple Mips, the Insurgent delivers a new level of full-face protection from Giro.”

E-Thirteen Vario Infinite Dropper Post

Infinite travel gas spring with claimed 20% less force required compared tp rival posts. 3D forged stanchion with integrated head. Extra 12mm of fore/aft saddle adjustment. 28° seat angle adjustment. Tool free travel adjustments in 5mm +/- (30mm range). Internal cable actuated. Cartridge bearing short throw forged alloy lever. 6x5mm travel adjust spacers. Remote not included.

Amp Human PR Lotion

  • Price: £35.00 for 300g bottle, £20.00 for 5 x sachets
  • From: Upgrade

Claims: “A lotion that delivers bicarb directly to the working muscles via the skin. Decreases muscle soreness and allows for improved performance. Helps combat fatigue during hard workouts.” Good enough for Geraint Thomas, apparently.

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Viewing 29 posts - 1 through 29 (of 29 total)
  • Fresh Goods Friday 605: The Highly Erratic Edition
  • charliedontsurf
    Full Member

    I once had a chap show me his homemade flex bars and seat post. Made from nylon tubes. They flexed in every direction, including forward. Which was quite something when riding down steps.

    I really like the idea of the fast co bars, and will nab them off Benji when he has tested them. Soft tail frames.. Lauf forks… mild suspension has been good for me so far.

    Full Member

    Hot Toddy mistakes are not unusual as my late MiL once made my FiL a hot whiskey (the NI equivalent) that was all whiskey that had been warmed in a pan. No lemon, honey or hot water. He was poleaxed by it, a short slim man drinking a whole hi-ball of whiskey what could possibly go wrong? Apparently there was singing and other riotous humour for the rest of the night.

    Full Member

    Did Lou Reed ever really top this? Yes, many times in my opinion.

    Here is one example,

    Full Member

    Like the idea of those bars for my rigid.
    Finding the cost a little strong I must say. Nice though.

    Free Member

    You know, before I had a hardtail ebike, I would’ve mocked and laughed at the Flexx Enduro Alloy Suspension Handlebar. A lot. But christ I get beaten to crap all over my old elbow and shoulder joints these days. Only thing I laugh and mock now is – Price: £324.99.
    I’ll (old)man up, for free.

    Full Member

    I just cant stop looking at the dissembodied toes in the last pic

    anyway for just 430 quid you could have the ultimate in comfy cockpit set up – after spending a grand on a fork and 70 quid on some slow damped tyres….. I think that tells us something isnt working!

    Full Member

    Quick question: how can I find out if I’ve been transported into another dimension?
    I’m still in my house and I looking out of the window I still see the same street, so I’m not in another country in another time zone. So the only explanation is that I’m in another dimension. By and large, it seems the same as my usual one and no-one else seems fazed by the only, but significant, difference.
    I’ll be okay; I can adapt, I’m sure. I just need to remember that, as unsettling as it may be, FGF is a welcome sight at any time of day, even before elevenses.

    Free Member


    Did Lou Reed ever really top this? Yes, many times in my opinion.

    Pretty sure they were ‘avin a laff. Well, I hope so aanyway.

    Full Member

    @Sandwich I think i’ll try your MiL recipe this evening in front of a fire.

    Full Member

    Quite possibly the weirdest intro ever to a FGF!

    Full Member

    £100 for some grips!

    “All the features you want” on the Camel Back commute

    Except waist strap pockets. So useful for keys and phone. Meaning you can get to them without taking the pack off.

    Full Member


    Worth also look at RedShift stems for a bit of handlebar flex on a rigid bike. I have one on my gravel bike.

    Full Member

    Great FGF.

    Not convinced by flex bars with hinges/joints. Maybe just tune suspension and tyres differently?

    Had a Smeg range. Stylish. Not a great performer. Sounds like the hand blender is a much better product. Having said that, a potato ricer does a great job of mashed potato. Leave it in the pan with water and washing up liquid overnight (I know, slovenly) and it is a breeze to clean too.

    Full Member

    A lotion that delivers bicarb directly to the working muscles via the skin.

    I would be interested in whether there is any evidence to support this crossing the skin and reaching muscle in any meaningful way.

    Full Member

    is any evidence to support this crossing the skin and reaching muscle in any meaningful way.

    Without being the blood flow, hard to see how it would reach all the muscle either. Seems highly dubious.

    Full Member

    @John_B you are correct. I’ve been struggling with my keys – although there are chest straps, one of which is meant for my phone but is rather snug. But otherwise, it is so far streets ahead of any other commuting bags I’ve tried.

    Full Member

    I also appreciate a nice Erratic

    Full Member

    the quality of those Slicy mudguards is leaps and bounds over versions like the Fox or ones you get free on the covers of magazines.

    Full Member

    I can vouch for the Huck strap and bag. My stuff hasn’t fallen off or got wet in the last 12 months.

    Full Member

    @MartinHuutch – I can pretty much guess that there is no science to back this up. All the ‘special’ ingredients in expensive anti-aging creams have been disproved (apart from SPF) and those companies will have a lot more money to research and develop. So a sports cream has no chance. The act of giving yourself a good massage will help though.

    Full Member

    Took me a second to get what an “erotic rack” was

    Full Member

    All I’m thinking is plain flour and planes….

    Full Member

    Quite possibly the weirdest intro ever to a FGF!

    , I’m almost insulted 😉

    Full Member

    Fresh Goods Friday 605: The Highly Erratic Edition

    When’s the Highly Erotic version?

    Free Member

    An American MX components manufacturer did a flex handlebar thing with the bushing at the handlebar stem interface. I know it was used on race bikes, surprised it didn’t catch on.

    Such a simple idea that only requires a new stem with appropriate bushing. The user decides the durometer of the bushing, to suit the amount of squish they like and can use their existing handlebar!

    Full Member

    The difference bars can make is crazy, no matter the fork or tyre- when I built my fatbike it had an Enve bar on it, and it was absolutely killing my wrists despite 4.8 inches of bounce, I remember not even making it all the way down broon troot at glentress without seizing up . Switched to a crank bros’ hilariously flexy Cobalt 11 carbon bar I had, and solo’d a 7 hour race without even a twinge. Basically it helps with different things.

    Full Member

    The pr lotion reminds me of the Simpsons episode with the energy bar that contained more apple sauce than any other energy bar. Maybe Geraint Thomas is planning to climb the murderhorn.

    Full Member

    Thanks for making my thread TOTW. Made my week.

    Full Member

    You’ll gave a set to try on an incoming bike Charlie 🙂

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