Fresh Grit Friday: Volume 15

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Another FGF, another bank holiday coming up. The weather forecast looks a little broken though. It appears to be suggesting sunshine for the duration of the weekend. We won’t hold out breath just yet, but fingers crossed for tan lines, ice creams, fish and chips in the park after a ride that takes in one more hill, simply because the weather is too good to go home just yet.
While we are on the joys of springtime riding, THE ride happened this week. The (almost) perfect evening ride. Tired heads after a long working day were shaken and we hit trails that were dry and buff, yet tacky enough for hero levels of grip. Brambles and nettles have not yet started growing, leaving clear lines and freedom from post-ride tingles. The woods were lit up by the purple and blue hues of bluebells, and the aroma of wild garlic hung heavy in the air. Finishing up as the light began to fade, it was getting a little chilly for beer garden hanging out, but it was a pleasure to roll an almost clean bike back into the house, ready and raring to get out again. Dreamy.
This weekend, gritcx’s home county is hosting the Tour de Yorkshire. Not our usual type of thing, but we can live with a bit of #tarmacdropbargoodness every now and then. Local ‘cross legend, Tom Pidcock gives an overview of Sunday’s route.

Stage 4 TDY 2018 with Tom Pidcock

Stage 4, nicknamed The Yorkshire Terrier, starts in one of Yorkshire's finest buildings, The Piece Hall in Halifax. With 6 categorised climbs and many more uncategorised ones too, this promises to be a beast of a stage. We headed out reigning junior World Champion & Yorkshire lad Tom Pidcock to have a look. #TDY

Posted by Tour de Yorkshire on Friday, April 27, 2018

Enough talk about actually riding bikes though… we know you aren’t here for that. WE WANT FRESH GOODS. Let’s crack on with the week’s delights.
There’s been two new bike days in the Dobson household since we last dropped by. Hannah has a spangly new Cotic Escapade on test (more on that very soon) and mini-Hannah has this spanking looking Hoy. You are never too young to get your #dirtydropbargoodness on.

Hoy Meadowmill 24inch

Parents looking for a drop-barred bike for their budding ‘cross racers and gravel fans had little choice until recently. The excellent Isla Bikes has long lead the way, but others are now following. Evan’s own Hoy brand is one of those playing catch up, and has clearly put some real thought into it’s offerings.
The Meadowmill 24inch is, unsurprisingly, a 24 inch wheeled bike. It isn’t just a tiny frame and wheeled version of an adult’s bike though. Evans has reduced the weight of the redesigned Meadowmill wherever possible. New frame tubing dimensions, lower-weight components, size-specific narrower cranks that put the feet closer together and mean no overstretched legs should all massively improve the ride experience for little riders. Mini drop bars and a small shifter make it easier for small hands to stay in control. The bike runs a 1×8 Shimano Claris drivetrain and definitely looks the part. Stay tuned for a full “First Look” and then ride reports from Dobson Jr.

Hoy Meadowmill

Hoy Meadowmill
Proper offroad tyres

Hoy Meadowmill
View from the (proportionally sized bars). Stay tuned for a full First Look run down.

Cotic Escapade

  • From: Cotic
  • Price: £1099 as spec’d. £599 for frame and forks

Cotic describes the Escapade as its “life bike”. Road, trails, gravel, commute, tour, adventure are apparently all in the remit of this new version of the Sheffield company’s classic steel-framed bike. It is designed to take a choice of wheel sizes, but comes shipped with 650b “Road Plus” wheels and tyres for floaty comfort and grip. Hannah will be giving us a full “first look” run down in coming days, so for now, here’s some pictures that we managed to grab before she ran out of Palais du gritcx in Todmorden to play in the sunshine with her new toy.

Cotic Escapade
There’s no missing the Escapade with those colour combos…

Cotic Escapade
Our build comes with Sora. A 105 spec’d version is available for £1699

Cotic Escapade
Tapered head tube and the familiar Cotic logo. Stay tuned for Hannah’s full first look.

Crankalicious cleaning products

  • From: Crankalicious
  • Price: Epic Hide KWIPE Sachets – £0.85 each, five for £4 or twenty for £16. Soapy kit wash apparel care – £4

Crankalicious do a wide range of cleaning products for your bike, and we’ve been impressed by its general bike cleaners and degreasers. The company has widened its range with a washing detergent specifically for your lycra and leather wipes – for saddles and bar tape as well as shoes. We’ll be honest and say we haven’t particularly felt the need for either of these products in our lives to date… but that’s why we are here – to find out what the deal is and let you know before you splash your hard-earned. We’ll report back with hopefully sweet smelling chammies and shiny saddles.

For the cleaning obsessive who has everything?

Restrap bikepacking luggage

  • From: Restrap
  • Price: Bar Bag (holster and double ended dry bag) – £84.98, Stem bag – £29.99, Top tube bag -£29.99, Small Frame bag – £29.99, Saddle bag 14l (holster and dry bag) – £99.99

As the days get longer and drier, the yearning for longer adventures, further afield gets stronger. Restrap is has a wide range of “stuff to fit to your bike to let you carry more stuff”. Here we have pretty much the full set up… more than enough carrying capacity to head to the hills for a few days. These have landed with chief London tester, Beth Bryn Hodge, who’ll be putting them through their paces on a tour of Slovenia shortly.

All of the Restrap

Bar holster

Wee framebag – medium and large sizes are available too. Made by Jacqui, thanks Jacqui!

Stem bag… perfect for all the Tangfastics

Saddle bag holster

Top tube bag. Not just for triathletes. Any use of a funny pointy helmet for gravel will not be tolerated.

Couple of dry bags. Double ended for the front, and regular for the rear.

And that, dear FGF friends, is that for this week. It’s Friday, the sun is shining, we are itching to down tools and get outside, as we are sure you are. Let’s not drag this out longer than necessary, eh?

gritcx, x

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