Fresh Goods Friday 641: The Big Purple Edition

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How are you all doing? We hope you’re not struggling too much with the absence of baby plum tomatoes in your packed lunch, or pepper sticks to dip in your hummus. Challenging times. If you’re being affected by these issues and need someone to talk to, head to the Forum, where you can express your difficult inner feelings through art.

An island nation forced to eat Turnips in style of Hieronymus Bosch

Charlie has suggested making turnip crisps in at air fryer but we’re not convinced. Being Scottish, Hannah is troubled by the turnip language barrier: should she be eating turnips, or swedes? Amanda is on holiday in Spain and is untroubled by vegetable woes (she says there’s an abundance of everything), but popped up in our virtual staff room with other worries:

Had a dream that Mark got Liz Truss in to help with business. I feel cheated out of a good night’s sleep.

She recommended that we make a calendar that features all the staff and we work until 7.30pm. Ross was made to tidy up a huge warehouse, and my old colleagues were also in the dream so the calendar looked like a Bodycon Expo.

Oh, and we had to stop talking about bikes

Amanda’s subconscious
Amanda on a cycling holiday in a land with an abundance of vegetables

Anyway, let’s start talking about bikes, it’s Fresh Goods Friday 641!

Merida Big Trail 400

  • Price: £1,200.00
  • From: Merida

It’s time for a hardtail bike group test! This is the entry from the Merida camp. The Big Trail 400 is a 140mm travel fork hardtail. Is it a hardcore hardtail? We dunno. Time was, back in our day, hardcore hardtails had bananas 160mm forks on ’em. To our eyes, this Big Trail just looks like a nice trail bike with no rear boing unit.

Key features then. Air sprung fork. Hydraulic disc brakes (are those resin-only rotors?) Impressively long dropper post. Loads of standover. Loads of bosses. Decent short ‘n’ wide cockpit. Suck-it-and-see Kenda Regalith tyres. 1 x 10 Deore drivetrain. Looks alreet dunt it? Geometry-wise, this XL has a 475mm reach, 65.5° head angle, 75.5° seat angle, 435mm chain stays, 450mm seat tube, 66.6(!)mm BB drop. These are figures straight from Merida. We’ve not measured it yet.

And yeah, pink and purple. Yes.

Member Special – Shimano SPD Cleats

  • Price: £18.00 (members price is £12 inc free UK delivery)
  • From: Singletrack Shop

Charlie says: “I am using our trade contacts to score some sweet deals for Singletrack Members. We want being a Singletrack member to be a no-brainer when it comes to value for money.

“SPD cleats don’t last forever so grab your spare set now while stocks last. We have both single release and multi-release cleats. Also, watch this space, as we will be adding more member special deals as they become available.

“Now I know that bike trade folk hang out on STW. If you are in the trade and want to do a killer deal, ping the Singletrack Shop an email. Let’s do a deal”.

Piment D’Espelette Pepper

  • Price: About £5.00 to £9.00
  • From: Chipps’ car boot, Basque supermarkets, or The Internet
Sometimes I think I see faces in kitchen utensils. “Jesus Grater”.

Charlie says: “Espelette Pepper takes its name from the French village of Espelette where this geographically protected product comes from. Chipps kindly smuggled a few jars over on a recent visit to Blighty. It is a very mild, deliciously fruity, and smokey variation of the chilli pepper, and I am told it is now more popular than smoked paprika in the Basque region. How mild? You can literally taste it neat without freaking out.”

Altura Ridge Thermal Waterproof Trousers

  • Price: £125.00
  • From: Altura
C’mon chilly spring, bring it on!

Just when it looks like spring is on the way, the weather has taken another cold turn. Fortunately, our delivery of these Altura Ridge Thermal Waterproof Trousers came just in time (they were posted last year, but hey… postal things).
They are made of thin softshell (waterproof and windproof, with taped seams) and use the natty Polartec Powergrid technical fleece as a lining for the upper legs for a thin, but thermal pair of winter riding trousers.

Zipped pockets and a thigh vent on each leg.

There’s a drawstring and elasticated waist. The legs taper for pedalling ease and there’s enough room for some slim kneepads too. They come in five men’s sizes and there’s a women’s version too. These are out and about in the mountains already, so look for a report soon from Mr Chipps.

Fiskars XA3 WoodExpert Brush Tool

Inspired by reading this guide to trail tools by our own Antony de H, Chipps asked for one of these for his recent birthday. Its hooked blade is ideal for brush clearing and bramble chopping and it’s less likely to put a hole in your foot with its blunt tip. It comes with a blade guard for transport and it’ll fit into a large Camelbak.

SQ Lab 6OX Infinergy 2.1 saddle

  • Price: £175.99
  • From: SQ Lab
Looks polystyrene. Isn’t.
Made in Germany? Ja wöhl!

SQ Lab’s first ever Made in Germany saddle. Designed for long and steep climbs. The special thing is that the foam of the saddle, is not yer usual PU foam, but BASF Infinergy (also found in running shoes). This material is claimed to be very robust as well as being more comfy (due its quick rebound nature, essentially). The “wave-shaped elevation” extends from the rear to the front is designed to reduce the pressure in the perineal area or female pubic arch. For pressure relief on longer climbs off-road, the nose is wide with a flat and as large as possible contact point.

Granite Designs Quiver Tool Roll

You may have noticed we published the press release for this product a few days ago. And now we have one in the real world. It’s essentially a tool wrap cum saddle bag. With a dial up closure thingy (that means you can attach it to somewhere on your bike’s frame if you’re not keen on the saddle bag vibe). Dropper post friendly. Three storage compartments. Zipped pocket. Will just about hold an inner tube so long as it’s one of those nu skool super light jobbers (Tubolito etc) but it’s probably best used by CO2-ists. All in all, looks like a more-weather-protected version of an ‘enduro strap on’.

Funn FastAir Tubeless Valves

Another press release-d item that we now have our grubby little hands on. The FastAirs are the latest ‘fancy’ tubeless valve to hit the market. Like other fancy valves from Reserve or 76 Projects, the principal feature the FastAir valves offer is a less-blocked airway. The FastAirs do away with the wobbly nipple(?) on the end of presta valve. The silver inner rod core thingy on the FastAirs is hollow, as is the usual main body of the (black) valve. The valve cap screws straight on to this threaded silver core.

Improved airflow means it should be easier to get a tubeless tyre to seal and inflate whilst using a normal track pump (ie. no Airshot-style IED inflator required). How much more airflow compared to a trad presta-style valve? Three times as much, apparently. The FastAirs don’t mention much about combatting potential valve clogging-upness with sealant but the FastAirs are fully dismantle-able and re-buildable if you have to deal with a bad blockage build-up.

Kids Ride Shotgun Dirt Hero Disc Brake Kit

A hydraulic hop up kit for improving stopping power of Kids Ride Shotgun’s balance bike (called the Dirt Hero, and only so-far spotted at Eurobike 2022). This kit is basically a Magura M4 with a really short-reach lever and intended to be operational by only two fingers (possibly even just one finger), affording the child some more grip on the er, grip. The rotor has had its windows filled in by the black plastic disc to help reduce the bacon slicer potential of small kids’ wandering fingers.

Thread Of The Week

Well done to steamtb this week for bringing some “absolute joy” into the back half of February…

The winning TOTW in FGF gets a prize. And it’s the fabulous majestic Singletrack x Granite Designs RockBand Strap! So, BONZA! to steamtb! Please email Please include your postal address, as it really speeds up delivery logistics init.

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Er. What is Fresh Goods Friday?

It’s Singletrack’s long running, weekly roundup of all of the new products that have been sent in to the magazine.

Where do all of the goods come from?

They’re sent in by bike companies and marketing agencies

What happens to all of the products?

They’re featured and then some are reviewed down the line in either Singletrack Magazine or in online reviews and photoshoots.

What happens to them when you’ve finished with them?

They’re usually sent back after review, or kept on long-term test bikes. But no one ever asks for shorts and shoes back. Trust us on that. Once we were asked to return some brake pads.

I’m a company making the next big thing. How much does it cost to feature in FGF?

Nothing. Nil. Zero. Diddlysquat. Sod all. Just send all ‘next big things’ to us at – Fresh Goods Friday, Singletrack Magazine, Lockside Mill, Dale Street, Todmorden. OL14 5PX. Please note that if you require the products back after they have featured then you are responsible for arranging collection at your cost. While it is our policy to feature everything we receive in FGF if we decide your product is not suitable for publication we won’t do it. Publication is at our discretion. Whether a product goes on for publication as a review is at editorial discretion. Beer, coffee & spirits will ALWAYS be tested.

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Author Profile Picture
Charlie Hobbs

Merch & Marketing Manager at Singletrack

Grumpy, happy, hairy, overweight and awesome. I started riding offroad in 1978, and never stopped. I was once Charlie The Bikemonger, I invented orienBEERing, the Clunker Classic, and the Dorset Gravel Dash. I own the Bum Butter brand and I'm a co-owner of Dirt Dash Events. I also work at Singletrack, I have the self-appointed job title of "Overlord of the leftovers" and look after the merch shop, and marketing. Other interests include skateboards, surfboards, motorbikes, and cooking (I invented the Beefer Reefer).

More posts from Charlie

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Fresh Goods Friday 641: The Big Purple Edition
  • 1
    Full Member

    If that saddle is designed for long steep climbs,. What do I do when I get to the top?

    Full Member

    Stand up for the descent?

    Or get an aenomaly switchgrade to change it’s position.

    Free Member

    Down here in the south turnips are the smaller pale ones, hard and purple bits. Swedes are the larger yellowish ones, for me much tastier.
    As you move north the names swap over. There must be an area somewhere in the middle of the country where it becomes really confusing.

    Full Member

    Is anyone able to understand the description of how those Funn valves work. And to discern the difference between the open and closed images? I’m confused ‘;~}

    Free Member

    Schrader valves are the answer to the problem. Cheaper than all these fancy new ones and work fine

    Full Member

    @mudfish, I think that instead of the nipply tighteney thing, it has the silver hollow tube, which goes all the way through so when it’s open, it’s 100% open basically. I’m not totally sure how it shuts, I think it might be the valve cap? (which might sound daft, but, the air pressure will hold it shut)

    I wonder if it’ll work with all pumps- I’ve a feeling the dual head I have on my compressor won’t, I’m pretty sure it uses the valve nipple to detect modes.

    The claims about “not needing an inflator” etc are unfortunately going to be bollocks, it ought to make inflating easier but it’s not going to be easier than inflating with the valve core removed from a presta, so if a tyre didn’t inflate like that, it won’t inflate with this.

    Full Member

    Thx guys. I think I’ll get by with the standard type.
    Im wondering how long it would be before the thin silver tube gets blocked with sealant when adjusting (dropping) pressure.
    A compressor blows pretty hard with the presta CO re removed as needed.
    Prefer not to redrill for Schraeder, those are good valves though.

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)

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