See what we did there, Fresh Grit fans? It’s Good Friday and we’ve got fresh goods! Yeah, sorry. We’ll avoid all Easter jokes from now on, as eggsited as we are for the long weekend. To be honest, we are a little traumatised here. Tech Ed Tom was away doing some top-secret filming in the Dales earlier on this week, the team were happily driving along Postman Pat style lanes, with pro-snapper and all round Very Nice Man, Sam Needham at the wheel. The stress of getting eggs ready for the big day was clearly too much for Easter Bunny as he decided to end it all under Sam’s wheel. If that weren’t heartbreaking enough, we’ve had Bright Eyes as our earworm ever since.
Is there a darker children’s film than Watership Down. The stuff our childhood nightmares were made of.
Aaaanyhoo, back to business and to kick things off, and before we get down to the serious business of all that shiny stuff, this week we have mostly been enjoying watching this little round up of the Singlespeed European Championships, which was held in Koksijde a few weeks back. It’s ‘cross, but not as we know it.
Okay, okay, lets crack on with the good stuff and it’s a bumper haul this week…
- From: Mercredi
- Price: £20
Look closely at that vid above and you’ll spot friend of grit.cx, Adeline O’Moreau. The newly crowned women’s SSCXEC Champ 2018 is a dab hand at this sticking tubes together and turning them into bikes lark. While we save up to buy one of her frames, we’ll be wandering around in this rad t-shirt – which she’s selling to raise funds for a new race team. And who can argue with the sentiment of Good Vibes Only?
Alpkit bivvy supplies
- From: Alpkit
- Price: Rig tarp bundle £98, Hunka bivvy bag £48
With a long weekend on the horizon, we are sure a few of you will be heading to the hills for a night or two under the stars (although looking at the weather forecast, this might be a case of wishful thinking, admittedly). Alpkit has sent us through a “my first bivvy” set, including a tarp that’s big enough for four to snuggle under, the rigging equipment needed to set it up, and a bivvy bag to go with.
The Rig 7 is made out of siliconised cordura and measures in at 2.4 m long and 2.8 m wide. It has eight lift points across the face of the tarp and the 16 edge tie-downs. This allows the tarp to be set up in any number of different configurations, depending on conditions, etc. This is all a bit new for us at grit.cx, so we were thankful to find out that Alpkit has pulled together a nifty little starter sheet and pitching guide to help. The Rig 7 retails for £99, but it is currently available as a bundle with Alpkit’s “candy cane” tent pegs, Fredd 4 cord and five wee carabiners… all for £1 less. Seems like a bit of a no-brainer to us!
Tech Ed Tom has been using an Alpkit Hunka bivvy bag for many years, so this is destined for one of the crack team of grit.cx testers. It’s a simple bag, with no zips, bug nets or other accoutrements, but that also means it is relatively light weight (330g claimed) and cheep cheap like an Easter chick. If you are of larger stature, the Hunka XL follows the same approach, but is more voluminous.
- From: Albion
- Price: Gilet £95, waterproof pouch £40, cap £15
Cards on the table. We love Albion’s minimalist, muted aesthetic. The British company has a limited range of long and short sleeve jerseys, and a few choice accessories. We want it all, but that would be greedy. What we do have is Albion’s lightweight gilet, which is designed to be wind and water resistant. It features a chest pocket and double zip, to allow easy access to jersey pockets underneath. There’s also some subtle reflective logos on there too.
The waterproof pouch “keeps phones, credit cards and those pictures of your loved ones that you carry on every ride protected and dry, no matter what weather you get caught in”. This is great news, because the entire grit.cx team has had serious issues with keeping their photos of Chipps dry on damp rides this winter. No one wants a soggy Chipps. The pouch is also made in Walsall, so it’s nice to support a bit of British manufacturing.
Finally we’ve got a couple of caps. They are polycotton, fit on your head and have just the right amount of luft. Job done. (And spot the one Tom wore before realising he’d forgotten to take the FGF snaps, whoops).
Morvelo Winter Attack Exile Rain Jacket
- From: Morvelo
- Price: £200
It would be lovely to think that we won’t need this jacket this weekend. Sadly, we reckon that’s a bad case of wishful thinking. Anyway, the Morvelo Exile rain jacket arrived a couple of weeks ago and we’ve already been putting it through its paces. Keep your eyes peeled for a head-to-head review with Morvelo’s Hydrologic rain jacket. The Exile is for those truly awful days, and comes with a hood for keeping the elements out. It’s made of P4Dry fabric, which as well as being windproof and waterproof is also made of recycled coffee grounds. Any excuse for another brew.
The jacket is feature-packed, with a fully adjustable hood with a soft peak. There are rubber grip points on the shoulder, to help keep a pack stable, and venting zips on the arms and arm pits. The neoprene cuffs feature thumb loops and finally, there are two hip pockets.
It’s not one for fast paced road rides, where aeros count for everything, but there are times when out in the wilds for a long day, or on multiday trips that we would never give up a hood. Oh, and should you want something a little more subtle, the jacket is available in black too.
Giro Empire VR70 Knit MTB Shoe
- From: ZyroFisher
- Price: £219.99
£219.99 for a pair of knitted shoes? Pah, our grans knitted some socks for way less than that. Admittedly one was knee height, while the other was an anklet for a 5 year old girl, but that’s besides the point. So, we decided to knit our own. We are pleased to say that A&E were able to remove the knitting needle from Tom’s eye without any long term damage being sustained. In the meantime, we are glad that Giro have done the hard knit-one, pearl-one yardage.
The knit is meant to create a super-breathable and mega comfortable shoe. The upper is DWR treated, and there’s a plastic “exoskeleton” which provides some structure… we guess it would just be a sock, otherwise. Finally, there’s a top end Easton EC70 sole, with vibram grippy bits for the pedal and ground interfaces.
We’ve got a feeling that the looks on these are going to be divisive, but the consensus here is we quite like ’em.
Pacenti Forza Disc Rims
- From: Velobrands
- Price: £89.99
The Forza Disc is Pacenti’s, surprise, surprise disc-specific adventure-oriented rim. They are reassuringly ‘normal’, with 32h, a 24mm external/20mm internal width and weigh in at a claimed 465g. Oh, and they are, of course aluminium. No plastic here, thank you very much. Our man in the (far) north, Sanny is building these up to some Chris King hubs for his next gravel build. We’ll look forward to the end build.
Okay, Grit fans. We are off to butter some hot-cross buns, put our feet up with a brew and think about getting in an a pedal to burn off the impending chocolate feast. Have a great weekend, and see you in April.