This in the ‘kin-tro… A bit like the flippin-tro but just that little bit coarser. Because we all just want to go out and ride our ATBs today, let’s dive straight into FGF!
Bird Aeris 9
- Price: £3990 for this spec, depending on dropper post size
- From: Bird
The Aeris 9 is a 29” wheeled all-mountain machine. 160mm of rear travel in its standard form (there’s an optional linkage upgrade to increase that to 180mm). New tubeset with increased travel up front. 180 forks accepted. This Zeb is 170mmm. 64° head angle. 340mm bottom bracket height. 440mm chainstays.
Chainstay flip chips allow you to increase chainstay length (+6mm). Full double lip seals on oversize main pivot axle. Either way routing (internal or external). Room for big coil piggybacks AND a water. And as Bird delightfully say, “No cables through the headset or bars, because we don’t hate you.”
With frames and complete builds you can choose from rear shocks from RockShox, Fox, Cane Creek, Formula and Fast. Bird is adding build kit options all the time pretty much.
This bike is up against the Saracen Ariel 60 and the Privateer 161 seen in recent FGFs. We’re still debating what to call the bike test. Brit Bruisers? WTF is Enduro Anyway? The Return To All Mountain?
SnowVision Prescription Goggles
- Price: €310
- From: Snowvision
Most modern snow goggles claim to be anti-fog these days, which is technically down to the way the lenses tend to actually be double glazed. On the inside you will usually find a second lens clearly attached to the front lens and it is this separation of the warm inside from the cold outside that helps prevent fogging. Just like your windows at home don’t condense up like they did for those of us brought up in the 70’s.
These Snowvision goggles come with a prescription insert that is actually molded directly into the inside ‘pane’ of the ‘double glazing’. That means it’s all airtight and sealed in there and there’s only one side of your lenses you need to worry about keeping clean.
I usually opt for contacts when doing outdoorsy stuff but there are pros & cons to that so I’m looking forward to giving the prescription insert option a go too. First impression is the prescription is spot on despite my prescription being a bit complicated by astigmatism. Prescription options range from the frankly Mr. Magoo like -9 to +9, which is certainly beyond the normal range of contact strengths.
Snowvision also make a specific MTB version of these goggles with removable nose guard too.
Specialized S-Works Prevail II Vent
- Price: £240.00
- From: Specialized
New dropbarring safety hat for Amanda. Chosen for breathability, apparently. She’s had one before. But smashed it. Not out of the park. Just smashed it.
Compared to the non-Vent version of the Prevail, this one has had total of seven foam bridges removed from the center and sides to create more ventilation. This new venting moves air “across your head 18% faster than the original Prevail II”. So there you go. Weighs about as much as eight slices of bread.
9Point8 Slack-R Headset Cups
- Price: $100/€100-ish, plus shipping
- From: 9Point8
As production bikes have become slacker in recent years, some riders have kept their existing machines on-trend (and arguably, handling ‘correctly’ by installing ‘slack-set’ headsets to reduce their head angles by a degree or two. With the proliferation of integrated headsets, where the bearings sit directly in the headtube, this is impossible – until recently, thanks to the Slack-R headset system from 9Point8.
This is effectively a new, bolt-together headtube that sits on your current bearing seats. It moves your existing headset bearings to its races, which offer a headtube angle adjustment of 1.2° to 1.7° depending on the kit chosen, and things like your head tube length. There are various kits available and two different angles per head tube length.
Chipps has a couple of these kits in with –1.4° and –1.7° flavours, so expect to see a review soon.
Shimano Pulley Set RD-R8000
- Price: £20.99
- From: Freewheel
Who on Earth calls their jockey wheels a ‘pulley set’? We do. From now on at least. Jockey wheels – sorry, pulleys – along with shifters are one of the easily forgotten about parts of your pushbike. But if you’re jockeys are in good nick, and you have a nice shifter, riding is just that little bit nicer than it otherwise would be. Always the small things init?
Thread of the Week
A runaway winner from the legendary Singletrack World Forum this week. Take a bow wheelsonfire1 for instigating this LOLfest…
The winning TOTW in FGF gets a prize. And it’s the fabulous majestic Singletrack x Granite Designs RockBand Strap! Therefore, howdy! to wheelsoinfire1. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your postal address, as it really speeds up delivery logistics init.
Bobble And Bum Butter Valentines Bundle
- Price: £37.99
- From: Singletrack Boutique D’Amour
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
Don’t forget that Valentine’s Day is only days away. Don’t forget, and don’t cock it all up. Don’t arrive home with last bunch of flowers from the petrol station that are half dead yet also still super expensive and have already been deemed too crappy by over a dozen poor planners with lower life standards than you. Just get our Valentine’s Bundle and relax… job done.
Nothing says “I love you” in quite the same way as the Singletrack Bobble and Bum Butter Valentine’s Bundle. A hearty combo of cheerful cherry sorbet coloured hat, and some Bum Butter with its distinctive “heart” logo.
Here we have combined two great products at one great price. So, you can not only declare your everlasting love for someone, and save a few quid, but also support your favourite independent mountain bike magazine at the same time. Lovely stuff.
Outcast Single Speed Zine Issue 25
- Price: £3.00
- From: Under the counter of the Singletrack Merch Store
Charlie says: “When the single speed scene started back at the turn of the millennium, we were all much younger and would laugh at things like “stunt cock” and “glamshagsolo” (a Campagnolo spoof pleasure product). We are now much older and are no longer entertained by such childish things, until they are presented to us again, and then it turns out we are still just as juvenile as we ever were.
“You must expect profanity, swear words, explicit content, “gnar and farts”, willy stuff, and boobs (you have to buy the zine to find out if the boobs are male or female). On the plus side it also features words by Chipps, lots of Jo Burt illustrations, 26″ wheels, and even a Jo Burt illustration about 26″ wheels.”
“If The Outcast had a theme tune, it could well be the Electro Hippies. A whole album, 11 tracks, all done… in and out in 15 filthy minutes, leaving you stunned, poorer, spent in a stench of guilt, and never wanting to return, ’til next time.”
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