But lo! There is hope! The forecast is promising a visit to at least double digits next week and a chance of sunshine. OK, it’s not much, but it gives us hope. And then we glance around at the Fresh Goods Friday Shelves (for there are such things… and no pilfering allowed or James will hurt you with his good arm…) and we see XTR! Finally! The prodigal groupset has finally appeared. Or most of it, at least. And that means that bikes and wheels need to be built, events entered at the last minute and bike riding done. And we all know that once you get out on that bike, the clouds all part anyway and sunshine once again reigns supreme!
A little-big Enduro bike from NS to kick things off. This frame is a size small, but it’s got big potential with 170mm front, 160mm rear travel, 2.5in Maxxis Minion DHF/Agressor tyres and full SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain.
The finer details include a nice silk finish, some rubber hub cleaners, a handy red spoke where your valve is, and the demand to go FAST imprinted on your palm.
Apparently there has never been a bike-specific pressure washer before, so Muc Off has decided to make one. It’s a mains-powered jetwash with a max pressure of up to 100BAR (a whopping 1450PSI) – which would be enough to strip your paint off, but luckily that’s not the idea, and Muc Off supplies three different lances with the unit for different purposes.
There’s a bicycle specific lance with enough pressure to shift grime, without destroying your bearings.
Available separately (£14.99) is a snow foam cannon. It’ll turn regular pink Muc Off into a soapy sudsy film that should lift dirt before you get the hose out.
And finally, there’s a dry bag carry case. Or you can get the whole bundle for a penny shy of £100, which includes Pressure Washer, all the lances including the snow foamer, a litre of Muc Off and the carry case.
The new Camelbak Podium Dirt Series bottles are meant for just that. The original Podium bottles was design mainly for road riding, but these Dirt Series bottles come with an easy to fit cap that’ll keep the sheep poo off. They also come with an on-off switch to stop you emptying your water bottle in your gym bag…
The Chill version of the Podium Dirt is insulated, which means that on hot days, you can stick chilled drinks in (or ice cubes) and on murky days like we’ve been having recently, you can put warm drinks in. The Podium Chill was first launched during a very cold and wet Tour of California, resulting in riders asking for hot tea in their bidons instead of the usual water or flat Coke. Now you know.
It finally exists! After nearly a year passing since the XTR launch we’ve had our delivery of near-enough a complete groupset to review. What we have here is a 12 speed shifter (£95 or so), a 12 speed Shadow Plus rear derailleur (£189) and the ENORMOUS 10-51 cassette (£289…). It’s seriously big – bigger than a 180mm rotor by far. It’ll need to be fitted to a new Shimano Micro-spline hub though, which will limit you to Shimano, or DT Swiss hubs for the moment.
Thanks to some ‘production issues’ (which did include Shimano’s head office and XTR production facility catching fire) the new 9100 XTR cranks aren’t yet available, so in the meantime, Shimano is offering a ‘non series’ chainset that will do the same job (being all nice and cranky with 12 speed chains and allowing different direct-mount chainrings to fit). The upshot of this is that it’s less than half the price of the XTR version, at £189. Who said it’s all bad news, eh?
The Sapphire D1 comes from DVO, a suspension company that’s been quietly making some fine products for a while. The Sapphire is the trail fork, with 34mm stanchions and 130-150mm travel (internally settable) for the 27.5in fork or 120-140mm for the 29er. The fork we have here is a 27.5in Sapphire D1 set to 130mm travel. Aimed at being an all-round trail fork, it has been revamped in recent months to bring it up to standard, with 34mm stanchions and a ‘slightly modified’ air spring for that holy grail of supple/support/progressive spring curve through its travel. There are six clicks of low speed compression, 30 clicks of high speed compression and a shim stack controlled rebound. Pretty adjustable then…
The Hold-It-All from Santos looks to be a versatile carrying solution for this, that and what have you… Made from a flexible plastic that Santos say is both impact resistant and able to cope with hot and cold weather conditions. It’s shaped to both cradle and support loads and there are integrated rubber bumpers, slots for the two included straps. The straps include neat rubber grippers and there are three mounting holes. It’s been a busy week… James will be strapping in a bottle of Gin today.
If you are a Singletrack member then you will see your personalised prices displayed below. Free members get automatic discounts and Premier members get our best deals.
Here’s our regular playlist of the week to go along with our Fresh Goods. Each track is picked by a staff member here in the office and added to their individual playlist over on our Spotify page. Head over there to identify exactly who is responsible for each choice.
About this week’s choices: Some classics this week with a bit of Dylan intermixed with some modern poetry from Kate Tempest. It’s been that sort of a week you see. If you like what we do at Singletrack then joining us as a Premier Member would really help us
This week we’ve added Winter Hill, by Doves. If you can tell us what the MTB connection is for this track then you could win yourself a Singletrack T-shirt. Tell us in the comments or use the #themtbchain on socials.
Remember to use the hashtag #themtbchain to suggest your additions. If we like your suggested tune and your reason for adding it then it will be included in the playlist.
Check out our MTB Chain page here to keep up on the additions and to try out more of our Singletrack playlists.
All of the Singletrack staff have their own playlists that list all their choices for each FGF. So if you want to see who is responsible for which song you can find out by checking out their personal choices. Hey, maybe follow their playlist and boost their egos in the office. Not that any of us need reader validation of our musical tastes or anything.
Here’s our Hannah’s personal selection. The very definition of eclectic, we are sure you’ll agree.
When Amanda arrived at Singletrack she had only been riding for a couple of years, but having already ticked off a healthy list of uplifts and races including Megavalanche, we didn’t see any problems with her keeping up. Previously serving 11 years in a publishing house, she was keen to continue her art and design career without being tied to a desk, and has progressed as both a rider and a designer from all the fresh air Calderdale offers.
2016 Amazon Espresso Coffee Foam Maker French Press
She began mountain biking to keep herself occupied out of snowboard season, but bikes have since taken over as the preferred sport. It’s not a hobby - it’s a lifestyle, and the impact riding has had on Amanda’s life is more than just how she chooses to spend her weekends. Relocating to Calderdale, giving up driving, being more eco aware are all either directly or loosely related to the sport and the future of it.
Her love of bikes isn’t for the adrenalin rush, the exercise, achieving goals or even the travelling, it’s mostly about the people she meets along the way. She’s our in-house tree hugger and is interested in any earth positive products and vegan trail snacks.
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Milk Frother, Manicure Set, Coffee Mixer, Nose Trimmer, Electric Manicure - Pailite,https://www.pailite.com/