Fresh Goods Friday 661 – The Hard Lining Edition

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It’s Red Bull Hardline weekend! And it’s looking like it might be a terrifyingly wet one. Good luck to all the racers giving it their best shots at not-dying on a Welsh mountain.

While midsummer is a good three weeks gone, for most of us, the summer is just getting going: whatever that means. In theory, you’ll get the change of some warm, dry(!) days in which to get those massive rides in. Or perhaps you’ve saved up all your holiday allowance in order to cash it in on that one ‘perfect’ road trip, or week in the alps. At least you can rely on the evenings being longer.

Imagine if sunset times were as volatile as the weather? ‘The forecast for tomorrow is for highs in the mid-20s with a 25% chance of scattered thunderstorms. However, the sunset will be an unseasonable 3.36pm…’

That would blow many mountain bikers’ minds. Imagine winter rides where the sun didn’t set until 11pm. Surely the benefit of winter days is that you can only go out and freeze yourself for a few short hours before it gets dark. Then it’s a rush home for tea and crumpets. What if you could see the rain and snow still coming down at midnight? Or you needed lights to do a Sunday ‘cross race. Or if you could see the sun starting to set on your dry summer trails at 2pm on a Saturday? Doesn’t bear thinking about.

Well, that was a bit of a sci-fi sidetrack there. Let’s get on with the fun of the freshest goods. It’s the weekend and time to get out and (hopefully) make the most of things, right? Unless, that is, you’re French, in which case you’ll just about be able to look up from your Bastille Day puddle of wine and Brie…

SRAM GX Eagle Transmission

  • Price: £1,180
  • From: SRAM

The embargo for this stuff expired on Tuesday. You can read Benji’s impressions of it in our SRAM GX Eagle Transmission first ride review. Suffice to say, there’s not a whole load of sensible reasons to get the more expensive X0/XX Transmissions now.

Haibike Lyke CF 10

We had Haibike’s Mr Chris Smith pop by this week to p-p-pick up a Haibike (Nduro 7 that’s reviewed in the next issue of the mag) and to drop off this very exciting little machine. It’s one of those new fangled mid-power e-MTBs. 140mm travel at both ends. 60Nm of torque provided by the Fazua Ride 60 system. 430Wh battery (piggyback-able with an 210Wh range extender if desired). 65° head angle. 77.3° seat angle. 450mm chain stays. 452mm reach on this Medium. 18kg on the scales.

Canyon Neuron:ON CF 8

Another e-MTB. Sorry (not sorry). This time it’s the rather curious (to Benji at least) Canyon Neuron:ON. Why is it rather curious? Well, it doesn’t have that much travel (130mm) but it does have a full-fat Bosch CX motor and battery. If you’re going to have the oomph (and the overall weight) of a full-on motor and 760Wh battery, why not have the travel to go with it? The proof will be in the pudding AKA test riding. This model is a Medium also so will be interesting to try it back to back with the Haibike Lyke above.

PNW Rainier Gen 3 125mm 27.2mm Dropper

PNW might just come out on top as the longest travel 27.2mm dropper post currently available. The Rainier is adjustable-travel too (no tools required) should you need to fine tune its insertion/extension stuff. It also comes with a lifetime warranty. We’ve been impressed with PNW’s 30.9/31.6mm stealth droppers – and its externally routed shorter travel 27.2mm droppers – so this one bodes well for duties on internally routed gravel bikes and up-to-date kid MTBs.

PNW Loam Lever Gen 2

It’s been called a “yoga mat for your thumb”. Fully CNC’d aluminum with silicone thumb pad (available in different colours). Sealed cartridge bearing. Stainless steel hardware. Not exactly cheap but they are undeniably nice to use (and make you realise just how much you use a dropper when riding).

Schwalbe Dirty Dan Ultra Soft

Perfect Summer Holiday tyres. Much like the recent drop of its Tacky Chans, Schwalbe appear to be running in a different season zone to the rest of us. That said, it has majorly hoofed it down with rain a number of times this week so maybe they know something we don’t? (Benji has just installed one on the front of his bike for some slip ‘n’ slide in his local never-dries-out woodland tomorrow) The Dirty Dan is not a new tyre. Nor even a revised tyre (from what we can make out at least). It is Schwalbe’s out and out mud slop tyre. The fact that it looks like a load of Midget Gems that someone has purple Sharpied a line down is a bonus.

Petrichor ProjectsPP002 Bib Shorts

Amanda has had these a few weeks but failed to get photos for Fresh Goods, so here you have a mini review: These bibs have a strap with a magnetic closure allowing you to quickly pull them down for a wee, and there’s a fabric loop that makes it easy to grab the unclipped strap to reattach. The clasp is low profile so it doesn’t affect the fit or comfort, and it functions perfectly. Easy to undo, snaps back shut, doesn’t pop open on its own.

The fabric is soft with a silky finish and offers incredible support. The shorts aren’t too tight at the cuff, and by some miracle they don’t give me sausage legs, even 10+hours into a hot long distance ride. The crotch area fits perfectly despite my chunky upper thighs, and the shorts don’t move during use. Sometimes, especially on hot or wet days, even my best fitting bibs will gradually work their way down and need hoicking back up, but not these.

The chamois pad is exceptional. I rode these bibs for 292km for the first ride, which was a huge risk but in the name of product testing I did it, and not only did I experience zero discomfort – I actually felt like existing sore areas had a chance to heal. I ride a lot, I always have two tender points on my sit bones, but they’re fading rapidly thanks to owning a pair of bibs with a pad that gradually transitions from deep to light padding in the right areas.

With over 15 years industry experience, the designer of these bib shorts has created a size range from XXS-XXXL. I wear a size large, I am 172cm tall, 70kg, waist 71cm, hips 105cm, and I have Thunder Thighs. I cannot fault these bibs, they are in a league of their own and I’ve not even mentioned the pocket…

Ortlieb Quick Rack with Trunk Rack RC Urban

  • Price: Rack £100.00, Trunk Bag £115.00
  • From: Ortlieb

This rack takes seconds to put on (once you’ve attached to pins to the rack mount holes) and it’s really sturdy. There’s no rattle, no wobble, and it comes with plenty of pannier mounts for side loading.

The trunk bag attaches itself so quickly that I couldn’t actually work out what was holding it on at first, and again, it comes off just as easily. I haven’t ridden with it loaded yet, but it holds 12 litres and has a detachable strap for when you leave your bike and want to take the bag with you.

Silky BigBoy 2000 – 360-6.5

There’s nothing wrong with spending money on decent tools that should last a lifetime. Here, Chipps has invested in a future of trail clearing (and possible lumberjack shirt buying) with this Silky BigBoy 360. While the name might imply some kind of bedroom application, it’s a folding trail saw, only turned up to 10. With a blade that measures 36cm (the whole think is 40cm folded), it’ll only just fit in a large pack, but it can despatch fallen branches with ease. It’s one for the dedicated trail clearer, or the serious firewood collector, but should last forever.

Singletrack Cycledog Recycled Dog Lead

dog lead

Charlie says: “Our leashes are made to last, with durable yet soft material and metal hardware. With the waterproof backing, drying off your leash is as simple as wiping it off. So if you got caught in the rain or dropped the leash in a puddle, you won’t have to deal with the discomfort of a soggy leash.

“Did we mention that our leashes have a bottle opener? That’s right, open your favourite beverage on the go! The bottle opener also serves as a hook for pick-up bags or lights.”

Thread Of The Week

This week’s winningest forum thread goes to eatmorepizza (and all the respondees) for this doughy timesuck…

The winning TOTW in FGF gets a prize. And it’s the fabulous majestic Singletrack Forum Bottle Opener! So, BONJOUR! to eatmorepizza! Please email Please include your postal address, as it really speeds up delivery logistics like. Ta!

Browse the Classifieds for a bargain!

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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.

More Reviews

Last Coal V4 review

Last Coal V4 vital stats: full 29, 180mm fork, 165mm rear, 63° head angle, 77.1° effective…

The Grinder: Aeroe rack, Repente saddle, Madison glasses, Shimano shoes, Sinter pads, Muc-Off tool, Hyperlocal

Tools and tech for your convenience and comfort. Because suffering is overrated.

The Grinder: Zefal Bike Taxi Tow Rope, Continental Argotal, Fox Dropframe helmet, Zipp 1ZERO HiTop Wheels

Is that creak me or the bike? Real-world product reviews from real-world riders.

The Grinder: Wolf Tooth pedals, DMR cranks, Ceramic Speed SLT bearings, USE bar, Madison bib-trouser, Leatt knee pads

The only lateral stiffness is in our backs; real-world product reviews from real-world riders.

Orange Switch 6er. Stif Squatcher. Schwalbe Magic Mary Purple Addix front. Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra rear. Coil fan. Ebikes are not evil. I have been a writer for nigh on 20 years, a photographer for 25 years and a mountain biker for 30 years. I have written countless magazine and website features and route guides for the UK mountain bike press, most notably for the esteemed and highly regarded Singletrackworld. Although I am a Lancastrian, I freely admit that West Yorkshire is my favourite place to ride. Rarely a week goes by without me riding and exploring the South Pennines.

More posts from Ben

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Fresh Goods Friday 661 – The Hard Lining Edition
  • tthew
    Full Member

    I read the title of the Thread of the Week and assumed it was someone wanting buying advice for a massive helmet. 🤣

    Full Member

    “Browse the Classifieds for a bargain!”

    News stories going for £0. Definitely bargins!

    Haibike finally produce a bike that doesn’t make you vomit on sight… then give it THAT paintjob! 😀

    Full Member

    That was a lot of scrolling to get to the comments, think I’ve got an RSI in my thumb 🙁

    Full Member

    Looking at the weather forecast I think we’ll be lucky if Hardline goes ahead. And if it does, best of luck to the poor suckers who entered.

    Full Member

    Can I recommend some protection if you’re waving your BigBoy around? Ripeur 2 gloves could save a lot of blood if you make a silly mistake (ask me how I know this…)

    Free Member

    From the Red Bull website

    Due to the extremely high winds, the decision has been made to cancel tomorrow’s Red Bull Hardline qualifiers. This is to ensure the safety of the riders which is of utmost importance.

    As ever, the weather conditions in the Dyfi Valley are proving to be changeable. We are closely monitoring the situation ahead of the Red Bull Hardline live finals on Sunday, which is currently going ahead as planned.

    Full Member

    Is that Trunk bag big enough for a laptop?

    Full Member

    I like the Canyon, the Haibike however…is gopping.

    Free Member

    Haibike = gopping, always has.

    Typical July, always a wet week or more, spring weather is better.  Hardline is lethal enough without putting it on in unpredictable July.

    Full Member

    I’ll be honest, if you painted that Haibke and Canyon the same colour and stood them side by side I think I’d pick the Haibike on looks alone. And I don’t think I have ever said that about a Haibike before!

    Terrible paint job though.

    Free Member

    I really hope the seatpost is a reference to Rainier Wolfcastle.

    Full Member

    @matt_outandabout Yes for my 13″ MacBook in a bulky case:

    13in MacBook Air

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)

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