Fresh Goods Friday 706 – The Three Course Meal Edition

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Ooh, we been dirt
And we don’t care
Ooh, we been dirt
But we don’t care
‘Cause we’re
We’re just a-yearning
And we’re the fire of life

Which is a roundabout way of saying that we like all kinds of cycling off-the-road here at Singletrackworld dot biz. Take this week’s Fresh Goods for instance. Lookee here, we have mountain bikes, we have e-bikes, we have gravel.

If you had to perform all three of these dirt disciplines one after another, what order would you do them in? Gravel starter, MTB main, e-pudding? Electric amuse bouche, gravel main, MTB palette cleanser? And how about a cheese course? Would sir/madam like a coffee to finish..?

Saracen Mantra Race LSL

  • Price: £2,799.99 £1,999.99
  • From: Saracen
  • SQUIRREL_TEXT_13048376

The new Saracen Mantra LSL was announced yesterday. We’ve had one in for a week or so. Can confirm: is rad. 6061 aluminium frame. Sporting some typically Saracen geometry, it is long AF. The reach on this Large is 495mm, which will ride a bit more like a 500mm+ when the fork sags into its dynamic sag. The head angle is 64°. The seat tube is 460mm. The chain stays are 440mm. In terms of build kit, this Big Purple One is fairly uncompromised. Shimano XT drivetrain, brakes and hubs. DT Swiss EX511 rims. Maxxis Minion DHR II tyres (yes, it’s a mullet btw). Race Face cockpit. Fox 36 Float Performance Elite 140mm fork. TBH we’d probably opt for the model down from this one if it was our money: the £1,399 Mantra LSL Elite with Marzocchi Bomber Z2, SLX/XT stuff and DT Swiss XM421 rims.

Fresh Goods Friday 706: D’Movie

Shimano GRX

  • Price: £TBC
  • From: Freewheel
  • SQUIRREL_TEXT_13048378

New Shimano GRX ‘dropped’ yesterday. You can read all about it in Chipps’ write-up. We’d just like to pipe up here and give kudos to Shimano for the plastic-free packaging that it’s using these days.

Giant Reign E+ 3

  • Price: £4,999
  • From: Giant UK
  • SQUIRREL_TEXT_13048379

Woah. This is not one of yer megabucks modern midpower machines. This is a Very eBike. And I [Benji] am all for it. Whilst I am one of Europe’s leading megabucks midpower shill hacks, I have a big fondness for full fatties. They aren’t for everyone. They are too different from regular meat-powered mountain bikes for a lot of folk. And that’s fine. Full bore eMTBs are like a different sport. A different vehicle. This Giant Reign E+ is very much about giving the e-people what they want. 85Nm of torque. Massive 800Wh battery. 160mm rear travel. 170mm travel 38mm stanchion fork. Mixed wheel size. Extremely downhill 63.7° head angle. Extremely uphill 77.5° seat angle. Extremely tekkers-friendly dropper/standover/seat-tube. Extremely just-nice 500mm reach (this is an XL). Extremely generous water bottle room. Extremely good value, well in my opinion anyway.

Shimano Ultread sliders

This week’s journo schwagg. As with last week’s Saracen camping cups: “You can’t buy these for love nor money. They’re exclusively for darling media types.”

PRO Tharsis dropper

  • Price: £399.99
  • From: Freewheel
  • SQUIRREL_TEXT_13048380

We don’t know about you, but we’ve not really paid much attention to PRO components for awhile. It seems the PRO girls and boys have been busy in this time and are doing some really nice looking products. Full alloy cartridge, alloy body to save weight. Weight reductions are further enabled by the use of an oval stanchion shape and a traditional two-bolt style, 3D forged alloy, with titanium bolts no less. Wit woo! This one right ‘ere is the Tharsis 200mm in 30.9mm diameter. On the right bike, we think that grey stanchion is going to look super stylin’ brah. Or something.

Abus HiDrop helmet

This is not a converitable helmet. It’s not a super lightweight full facer. It’s not even one of the newer breed of midweight(?) full face helmets (like the Abus AirDrop helmet review). It’s a full-on downhill specific crash hat. The ABS outer shell makes the helmet impact-resistantl its shock-absorbing function is enhanced by the EPS and EPP core.
Features: complies with ASTM F1952, ASTM F2032, EN1078, CPSC, AS/NZ standards, breathable cheek pad inserts, break-away visor, double D-ring buckle system. And apparently the design is “suitable for spectacles”, which we’ve never seen listed as a feature before. Interesting.

Abus Buteo goggles

Now these are a freaking rad colour. Well, in our opinion anyway. We particularly like that the colour echoes the logo colour on the HiDrop helmet above. Jesus, we are SO shallow! The colour is called ‘Infra Red’. It’s much like a trad neon red really. Unsurprisingly they mate extremely well with Abis full facer helmets. Features: double layer lens to prevent fogging, 40mm strap, fleece layer for comfort, nose guard. Available in clear (£60) and mirrored tinted (£80) lens versions.

Gravel Rides Lake District by Andrew Barlow

Billed as the “First guide to gravel cycling in the Lake District to be published”, this compact but potent books contains fifteen rides ranging from easy 20km rides up to challenging 50km big days out. Andrew Barlow is a photographer and “content creator” based in Kendal, Cumbria. His experience of working at Wheelbase, where customers asked him daily for the gravel routes in the Lakes, gave him a rather unique insight, which he used to select the routres in this book. Barlow sez: ‘This genre of cycling accepts everyone from all walks of life – any bike or any shape or size, there are no egos here. We just want to ride bikes and be outside for as long as possible.” This guide has been put together in the hope it will inspire others to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors.” Nice.

Saracen Hanger 30

Don’t worry, this is not for the majestically yellow Saracen Ariel 30 Elite that arrived last week. We’ve not damaged that bike yet. This replacement hanger is for the Saracen Ariel 50E that Benji still has. He has been kindly allowed to keep hold of it for a bit longer as it’s been pretty much acting as his Benchmark eBike. It’s the e-bike by which all other e-bikes that come in get put up against. Sometimes literally. It’s very much a nice reminder that Nm aren’t everything when it comes to e-MTBs. Anyway, the inevitable happened, the rear mech had a shunt on a stump, and a new mech hanger is required.

Thread Of The Week

Congratulations to IHN for this winning thread right here:

The winning TOTW in FGF gets a prize. So @IHN please email for your random prize (it will probably be a Singletrack Forum Bottle Opener). Don’t forget to include your postal address, as it really speeds up delivery logistics like. K thx bye!

Brilliantly NSFW @ 2m26s


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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.

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 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Fresh Goods Friday 706 – The Three Course Meal Edition
  • stanley
    Full Member

    That Giant Reign… just nearly saw my breakfast again.


    On the other hand, picked up a copy of Andy Barlow’s book last week… seems good 🙂

    Full Member

    The Saracen is an interesting shape, can’t work out if I like it or not!

    Such a mismatch between top tube and down tube offends my eyes slightly… I do love a straight line through from top tube to seat stays, that’s beautiful. The downtube looks like it belongs on a full-sus and clashes horribly with the straight top half… yet on the other hand there’s something appealing about that clash.

    The colour is gorgeous, which helps.

    What’s the funny lump at the bottom of the seat stay? Looks like an exit for internal routing?

    Full Member

    Boom! Thread of the week baby!

    I mean, I don’t mean to brag, but this is my third win 🙂

    *cough* never got my prize for the second one *cough*

    Full Member

    Shimano slides. The ultimate campsite shower walk humblebrag…

    Free Member

    Good to see a John Shuttleworth reference. Two Margarines On The Go is my fave

    Full Member

    Ronan **** Dunne!

    Full Member

    Good to see a John Shuttleworth reference. Two Margarines On The Go is my fave

    Before I opened the article I was going to say Can’t Go Back to Savoury Now was the best one, and… Can still remember singing it the first time to my daughter when she offered me half a packed lunch cheese butty, but I had already started on cake.

    That Saracen is banging. Feels like good VFM too, back to pre-covid price/spec ratios I reckon.


    Full Member

    PRO Tharsis dropper
    Price: £399.99

    How much?????

    That’s £110 more than the OneUp V3 dropper……

    And if you shop around you can get the wireless Magura Vyron MDS-V3  for£379.99.

    Full Member

    I like the look of the Giant ebike, but would be a bit put off by recent reports of Giant’s less than great warranty reputation.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)

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