The Singletrack World team pick their product highlights from their riding year. Benji, Amanda, Hannah, Ross,…
Let’s be truly British and talk about the weather, eh? It seems that no sooner have you been given a glimpse of spring than it all goes bonkers again and plunges us into winter again for a few weeks. It’s always been the way, though, and we all learn not to get our hopes up too much, too early. But summer will get here, even as it seems inconceivable right now. This used to be brought home when we had our Wil Barrett, telecommuting (before it was cool) from Australia. Our winter would be his summer and his Friday morning FGF time would be his ‘knock off for the weekend and party’ time. At the time, it would be inconceivable to imagine him heading out in flip flops and short shorts for a night out… (It’s high 20s, early 30s Centigrade there right now this week, by the way…)
But you’ve got to have light and shade, right? You won’t appreciate the summer unless you have a bit of winter, eh?
Actually, who am I kidding? There’s a reason that people move to places where it rains less; it’s because it rains less there. That’s why we have holidays, though. That little glimpse of hope that we can book in now and stick a brochure picture on the fridge. It’s the same hope of summertime that makes us buy new semi-slick treads in the winter sales, or embark upon the epic undertaking of drivetrain maintenance across several bikes. Work now for fun in the summer. After all, there’s nothing worse than having to stay in on a lovely sunny Sunday because your bike has had enough of your shoddy winter maintenance schedule and thrown a wobbler.
[Hannah adds that having to stay in on a lovely deep snow day for fear of undoing 3.5 weeks of bone healing is on a par with indoors on a sunny day. Humph]
Anyway, on with the Fresh Goods. You’ll find them, for the most part, in the chiller cabinet…
100 Greatest Cycling Climbs of Spain Book
- Price: £14.95
- From: 100climbs.co.uk
Amanda: Scarier to read than Goosebumps! This signed copy of Simon Warren’s latest book is fortunately even more unachievable than the UK version, as these climbs are at least one ocean and a day of travel away. Having flicked through, I found my favourite road in Spain (La Cabra), but I also found routes with 24% gradient. Each to their own… This one is for Rhys’ bookshelf, not mine,
AirTag SWAT Saddle Mount
Amanda: Having used the BikeTag on my mountain bike, I now can’t imagine not having a location device on my bike. My gravel bike has a Specialized saddle with SWAT mounts, so this cheap mount now houses my AirTag. Travelling with a bike is a lot less stressful when you can check the FindMy App to see that it’s loaded onto the plane.
Hope HB.916 frame w/ Öhlins shock plus Öhlins RXF 38 M.2
Our Rhys has got himself a new bike. Well, as you can see it’s not a complete bike. It’s a frame, fork and rear shock. Plus some bits like seat collar and headset. The HB.916 is Hope’s 160mm travel carbon enduro rig. Here in the rather fetching carba-carba-carba-carba-carba-chameleon colourway. If you read our First Ride Review of the Hope HB.916 you’ll know that this could be a rather amazing pushbike. Yes, we are jealous.
Ritchey WCS Toyon Stem
- Price: £89.90
- From: Ritchey dealers
This MASSIVELY LONG 110mm Ritchey WCS Toyon stem is heading for a gravel bike build. Don’t worry, it comes in less-massive 60mm length, all the way up to 120mm. Based on the classic C220 stem, it features a clever 220° surface that ‘hugs’ the handlebars for more security. It also allows for a lighter face plate.
The Toyon features an appealingly square shape and 6° of positive or negative rise.
Richey WCS Truegrip HD Locking Grips
- Price: £26.90
- From: Ritchey Dealers
The svelte, foam Ritchey Truegrip has been a classic, lightweight grip for racing mountain bikes for years. However, installing foam grips without them slipping and sliding, sooner or later, is a bit of a black art. Ritchey has taken the old Truegrip soft, but grippy, foam and added a solid core and dual locking ends. This allows for quick and secure installation and easy removal for when you want to swap out bars or components. Comes in six colours (if you reckon black is a colour rather than a tone…)
Farfalli Fibra Carbon Fibre Corkscrew
- Price: £139.99 (members get a discount)
- From: Singletrack Merch Store
Charlie says: “It is nice to have nice things. And that is pretty much where my justification for owning a carbon fibre corkscrew should end. But I shall carry on anyway. Having said that you can buy a $1,000 carbon saddle, and I even found a $1,180 pair of carbon roadie shoes. And to be fair, I would get a lot more use out of a carbon corkscrew than I would get out of carbon roadie shoes.
“It weighs in at 54g on the Singletrack workshop scales. Now, that is a great weight saving when hauling essential bikepacking tools. Yes, you may have also packed a nice bottle of wine, which sort of offsets the weight saving. But some things are more important than grams and performance. Things such as good wine and showing off for example.”
The Seatpost Man
- Price: £79.99 (£109.99 for dropper posts)
- From: theseatpostman.com
More Fresh Service than Fresh Goods. This is John, The Seatpost Man. We’ve featured him in the magazine in issue 135. He makes a living doing nothing but removing stuck seatposts from frames. And no, he won’t tell you how he does it, even after you’ve paid him. Magicians never reveal their secrets, right?
Despite the regular reminders on the Singletrack Calendar to regularly remove and re-grease your seatpost, we don’t always practise what we preach and I (Chipps) had the opportunity to sample The Seatpost Man’s services in person recently. I had a steel frame and a dropper post that had been installed ‘temporarily, just to check’ a couple of years ago and which now refused to move. Having dropped my frame off with him at tea time one evening, John called me the next morning to say that my frame was ready for collection.
So far, he’s had a 100% success rate and he figures he’s removed over 3000 seatposts over the last ten years, usually without damaging the seatpost too (unless the customer’s done that already). So, if your post is stuck, give him a call. Be prepared for a chat – I’ve not found a champion chatter like John since Guy Martin came to visit.
Gerber Dime Multitool
- From: amazon.co.uk
I [Amanda] have carried a Leatherman Squirt with me for years and used the pliers to death (see image). When they broke during use, my first thought was that I could finally justify getting a Gerber Dime! ~£20 cheaper than the Squirt, it has a reassuring clunk into place when you open it out, and it has the additional features of a bottle opener and tweezers. Now I just need to be cautious using the knife as it’s so very sharp.
Bontrager Zapatos Misteriosos
- Price: about £50
- From: Bontrager
Amanda: After a winter of riding in Fizik winter boots, I set off from Barcelona airport on my fully loaded gravel bike, wearing my ‘more summery’ enduro-style mountain bike shoes. 70km in to the ride I couldn’t turn the pedals anymore due to excruciating knee pain. This lesson in stance width couldn’t have come at a worse time, as I had over 1,300km to go. I tried to buy pedal spacers, but in the end just bought new shoes. They have a stiff sole which offers great support on long distance rides, and feels efficient when churning a 30kg bike up a steep gradient. I can’t seem to find the model online, but they’re Bontrager and I love them. Velcro is easy to fasten, they look neat, and most importantly they saw me all the way to Malaga with no knee issues!
Nukeproof Blackline Insulated Jacket
- Price: £130
- From: Nukeproof
Amanda: Everyone loves an insulated jacket, but some have a feature that you can’t stop raving about. On this one, it’s the cuffs that have a fitted, secure band around the wrist that stays tucked in so the insulation is fully covering your wrists. I have tried to show this in a photo compared to my Finisterre jacket below. Seems like a minor detail until you actually put the jacket on. There’s also some cosy front pockets, and a mesh inner chest pocket that you can use as a stuff sack to pack the jacket away.
Dynaplug Covert Drop Bar
- Price: £134.99
- From: Freewheel / Dynaplug
Made in the USA, this is a tubeless repair tool that fits into your bar ends. This one is for drop bars and comes with slightly skinnier tubeless plugs – the flat bar version has the fatter plugs better suited to mountain bike mishaps. You fit the inner piece, fixing it in place with the supplied grub screws. You get a couple of different sized screws so you can fit them securely into different diameters of bars. Then the plug part screws in securely to the sleeve, with two tubeless plugs in each side, ready for when you need them. If you need all four on one ride, it’s probably time to go home.
Drivetrain from Specialized Turbo Kenevo SL Comp
- Price: N/A
- From: N/A
And we’ll leave you with a teaser. Lots of things being launched behind-the-scenes at this time of year.
Thread Of The Week
This week’s thread of the week goes to @bikeandboots for ‘Optimal bike choice and setup for riding down actual mountains’. What do they think this is? A mountain bike magazine? We’d be round with the frozen sausages, only the lawn is covered in snow so we can’t find it. Actual bike questions and advice… honestly…
The winning TOTW in FGF gets a prize. And it’s the fabulous majestic Singletrack x Granite Designs RockBand Strap! So, BONZA! to bikesandboots! Please email email@example.com. Please include your postal address, as it really speeds up delivery logistics init.
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.