flow's fresh produce
11 Nov 2020

We get our feet into the new Specialized 2FO Roost & Shimano ME7 shoes, and there's fresh apparel from Pearl Izumi & Tineli, plus a nifty lockout solution from RockShox

Howzit all you Flow Frothers, and welcome to another politically-distant episode of Flow’s Fresh Produce, where we definitely don’t talk about the results of the US presidential election! It’s mostly out of fear (they’re always listening), but we will say that whatever side of the partisan fence you sit on, we hope you’re doing well. For the Victorians, and more specifically Melbournians reading this, well done for rocking one of the toughest lockdowns around the world and for smashing COVID on the head, and here’s cheers to a marvellous summer ahead of relative normalcy. We might not be ready for the grand overseas trips we’d dreamt up this time last year, but with most state borders having relaxed, we are properly frothing on some Aussie-bound trail hunting. And you should too – you’ve deserved it!

To get you all fired up for your next mountain biking road trip, we’ve got a tonne of good-time trail news for you, not least of which includes the official unveiling of Tasmania’s newest riding destination; Wild Mersey. Tassie locals, Christa & Scotty, went touring around the new trail network and found lots of gold within minutes of stepping off the Spirit Of Tasmania ferry, in an area that hasn’t traditionally been known for its riding. Until now.

Back on the mainland, Thredbo Alpine Resort is gearing up for a wild summer of mountain bike action as it celebrates 30 years of mountain biking. To recognise the milestone, the crew at Thredbo MTB have cooked up a three-part video series documenting the evolution of mountain bike racing and the wild events that have graced the iconic riding destination over the past three decades. Be sure to check out that first video – it’s an absolute riot with loads of retro downhill madness!

And for those who are perusing the net for inspiration for their next mountain bike purchase, there’s also been plenty happening in the world of mountain bike tech. Orbea has decided to step foot into the ring with Specialized, having announced its new sub-20kg Rise e-MTB, which uses a custom-configured Shimano motor and a very lightweight battery.

Speaking of lightweight things, we’ve also wrapped up a juicy review of the new 2021 Canyon Exceed CFR Team – a premium sub-9kg carbon hardtail that wasn’t actually the nightmare on the descents that we expected it to be. Following the XC tip, Wil also published his final verdict on the RockShox SID SL. *Spoiler alert* – he was very impressed.

Of course we can forgive you if you missed any of that – the world’s been quite bonkers lately. Given that, we hope you’ve got a bit of singletrack solitude on the horizon to look forward to, and in the meantime, let’s all take a collective sigh of relief, followed by a big breathe in as we get stuck into this edition of Flow’s Fresh Produce – ahhhhhhhh!

Specialized 2FO Roost Clip Shoes

specialized 2FO roost clipless shoes
Brand new Specialized 2FO Roost shoes come packed with new tech, but feature a fresh, pared-back casual style.

Specialized has unveiled some brand new mountain bike shoes, just in time for the summer riding season Downundah. Designed for trail riding, the 2FO Roost shoes will be available in both clip and flat versions, and they feature a stripped-back aesthetic that goes for a more casual Vans-style to keep you under the radar at the post-ride pitstop. Both shoes feature lace-up closure, discreet toe caps for protection, and Xpel Airmesh padding that’s claimed to be significantly faster drying than traditional foam.

Shown above, the 2FO Roost Clip shoes feature a Lollipop nylon shank that concentrates a stiff platform underneath the cleat area, with built-in flex at the toe and heel to provide more comfort when walking. Larger lugs and 3rd generation SlipNot rubber lines the outer sole for traction, while the Landing Strip offers a generous cleat pocket that’s chamfered on the inside to help guide your pedal’s clip mechanism onto the cleat.


Specialized 2FO Roost Flat Shoes

specialized 2FO roost flat shoes
New 3rd-generation SlipNot rubber is stickier, while offering slower rebound properties too.

Prefer flats? Good news – there’s a new 2FO Roost shoe for you too! Style and fit is identical to the clip-in version, though the 2FO Roost Flats get classy suede and leather panels on the upper for a more supple feel. Serious attention has been placed on the new SlipNot rubber outsole, which gets a larger lug design to provide a more stable anchor point for your pedal pins. The rubber compound has been updated too, with a slower rebound property to avoid you from bouncing off the pedals, improving traction and damping.

We’ve had a few rides on both the 2FO Roost shoes, and so far we’re impressed with their blend of style, comfort and functionality. The usual tech carries over from the existing 2FO line – you get the same Varus Wedge, Metatarsal Button and Longitudinal Arch on the inside, so they’re plenty supportive. The casual style is sweet though, and there’s noticeably better traction too. Unless you’re racing XC or DH, these look to be a ripping option for everything in between.


Kids Ride Shotgun Seat & Handlebar Combo

kids ride shotgun mtb seat children
Wahoo it’s time to ride bikes with Mum & Dad!

If you’re looking to take your mini-me along for the ride, then it doesn’t get much more fun and involving than the Kids Ride Shotgun seat. Designed to bolt on to almost any mountain bike on the market, the Kids Ride Shotgun seat plonks your munchkin just behind the handlebars where they can help you keep an eye on the singletrack ahead. It’s a simple but brilliant little accessory – check out our feature with Dan & Jack to see what they loved about it.

You can get the Kids Ride Shotgun seat on its own for $220 AUD, or you can get it with the additional bolt-on handlebars, which are designed to give those little paws something a bit comfortable to hang onto. We’ve just gotten in a combo pack for one of our local test pilots, who decided it was time to give his young’n a front row seat to the action. Stay tuned for some excruciatingly adorable photos coming your way soon!


Kids Ride Shotgun Shred Til Bed Book

Got a young pinner on your hands? They are going to LOVE this book!

Also in from the crew at Kids Ride Shotgun is this wonderfully illustrated Shred Til Bed kids book. The book takes you through an animal alphabet journey, but adds a little mountain biking twist to each of those characters along the way. And with a certain seasonal holiday on the way soon (we refuse to speak its name until December), this will be a good one to square away for your little dirt squirt.

And stay tuned to our Instagram, we’ll be giving one of these away in a competition early December.


Spank Spike 800 Vibrocore Bars

spank spike 800 vibrocore handlebars
No carbon here! Just a 31.8mm alloy Spank Spike Vibrocore bar that’s designed to absorb vibrations and provide more comfort on the trail.

Wil’s just gotten in a fresh cockpit that’ll shortly be making its way onto his Cotic BFeMAX long term test bike. He’s gone for an alloy riser bar – a Spike 800 from Spank Industries, which features the brand’s iconic Vibrocore technology. This sees the bar filled with a green foam material that promises to improve vibration damping to reduce arm pump and numb hands. Spank uses CNC bending to massage the alloy tube into the final shape, with a 4° upsweep and 8° backsweep. You can choose from 15, 30, 50 or 75mm rise options, and width out of the box is 800mm, though it can be chopped down to 740mm.


Spank Split Stem

To match the 31.8mm bars, Wil’s gone for a Spank Split stem in a itty-bitty 33mm length. That’s about as short as you can go without having to resort to a Pacenti P-Dent setup. Initially 3D forged from 6000-series alloy, the Split stem receives some CNC machining to get it into its curvy final shape, before it’s shotpeen-anodised for a classy and hard-wearing finish. Also available in 38, 43 and 48mm lengths.


Spank Spike Lock-On Grips

spank spike lock-on grips
Deceivingly high-tech grips from Spank.

And completing the cockpit is a set of Spank Spike lock-on grips. These come in 30mm and 33mm diameter options, so riders can get the right size depending on their paws. The grips are left and right-specific, with cutouts in the plastic core that increase the amount of rubber for more impact absorption and vibration damping. Note the tapered hard end caps that help the grips to more easily slide and (hopefully) glance off of tree trunks.


Tineli Nihoa Trail Jersey

Based out of one Nelson in New Zealand (one of the best places on Earth to ride a mountain bike, just quietly), Tineli offers a huge range of riding jerseys, bibs, shorts, jackets and warmers for both road and off-road applications. We’ve been sent the new Nihoa Trail Jersey, which is made from a light and breezy QuickDry fabric and features a relaxed enduro-style fit with a discreet zippered hip pocket. If you’re not feeling the pineapples, there’s loads of other prints available too, from kids sizes up to a 4XL.


Tineli Enduro Bib Liners

The star of Tineli’s off-road lineup has to be the new Enduro Bib Liners, which feature a gaggle of pockets and pouches for storing nutrition, tools and spares. It’s spine protector compatible, and there’s even a bladder-specific pouch on the rear of the bib brace, along with integrated routing for a drink tube, so you can flick the bird to your backpack if you like. Despite the sharp pricing though, these come with a proper EIT chamois and breathable mesh panels for summer riding comfort.

  • Price: $129.95 AUD
  • From: Tineli

Tineli Enduro Baggy Shorts

High-tech baggy shorts from Tineli, which are made from a lightweight stretch fabric for flexibility while pedalling. Each leg gets a zippered storage pocket, and a zippered vent for your air-cooled engines. There’s a hidden ‘Set-and-Forget’ waistband tensioning system, and the Enduro shorts are also available in kids sizes all the way up to a 3XL.

  • Price: $139.95 AUD
  • From: Tineli

Shimano ME702 SPD Shoes

shimano me7 me702 spd shoes
New Shimano ME7 shoes have arrived!

Shimano has updated its popular ME (Mountain Enduro) trail shoes, which includes the new top-end ME7 (or ME702 in Shimano-speak) we’ve got here. You’ll have to go deep into the specs to see what’s changed, as they look very similar to the existing ME701 shoes. The tread has been updated though, with a new dual-density rubber outsole from Michelin that aims to improve off-the-bike traction. The ratchet buckle has also been reversed to make it lower profile, so it’s less likely to snag on the trail.

You still get the TORBAL midsole design, which provides a stiff cleat zone while allowing the shoe to flex torsionally when you’re slinging through turns and pushing deep into the pedals. The Speedlace design also carries over, while a Velcro storm-flap and a stretchy neoprene ankle gaiter keeps dirt and debris away from your tootsies inside.


Pearl Izumi Launch 3/4 Sleeve Jersey

Pearl Izumi has launched a new line of mountain bike apparel, including this feathery light Launch 3/4 jersey. Designed for hot and sweaty Aussie riding conditions, the Launch gives your arms a little more sun protection, while making use of lightweight mesh to maximise ventilation – not just on the arms, but also underneath them and down the sides of the jersey. To help transfer and evaporate sweat, the Launch gets a semi-fitted cut and features Transfer fabric for wicking away sweat.


Pearl Izumi Canyon Shorts

Aargh! Where’d his legs go?!

Ha, just kidding! We can assure you Wil hasn’t been decombobulated, he’s just wearing the green camo option in Pearl Izumi’s lightweight Canyon shorts. Built from a two-way stretch fabric, the Canyon shorts feature hidden waist adjustment, two open hand pockets, and two discreet zippered pockets. They also come with a padded liner short inside, which can be removed if you’d prefer to wear bibs.


2021 RockShox SID Ultimate Remote Lockout

2021 rockshox sid ultimate remote lockout
At just 1,500g, the 120mm travel SID Ultimate is a lot lighter than a Pike, and lighter even than the Fox 34 Step-Cast.

RockShox has plenty to shout about this year. Aside from the new ZEB, we’ve also seen the arrival of the new SID and SID SL forks. Shown here is the SID Ultimate – a stupendously lightweight 120mm travel fork that features 35mm upper tubes, a svelte chassis, and the new Charger Race Day damper. It all adds up to a 1,500g fork that is basically a Pike on a serious diet. We’ve already reviewed the new 2021 SID Ultimate fork, but we now have the remote lockout version, which is ready to make its way onto a special project bike. Stay tuned…


RockShox TwistLoc Remote Lockout

To go with that SID Ultimate, we also have a TwistLoc remote. This is an alternative to a traditional lever-style remote lockout, and it’s quite a nifty design. Instead of trigger-style paddles, the TwistLoc works like a grip-shifter, so you grab it with your left hand and throttle it backwards to lockout the suspension. To unlock, you tap a small push button to release the cable. It’s very tactile, but more importantly, because of its low profile design, the TwistLoc allows you to use an under-the-bar dropper post lever, which is otherwise impossible with traditional remote lockouts.

The TwistLoc can be setup with a single cable for just a fork or shock, or with two cables to control both. Inner and outer cabling is included in the box along with two lock-on grips, one of which is shorter to fit neatly alongside the TwistLoc unit.


RockShox SID Mudguard

2021 rockshox sid mudguard fender
It’d be a crime to put unsightly cable ties onto your $1,500 fork. Thankfully RockShox has this neat bolt-on option instead.

RockShox has been teasing us with its bolt-on fender option for the new SID, but we’ve only just got our hands on one. Right in time for summer. Anyway, it’s a neat design that relies on two stainless steel screws to bolt it onto the back of the main arch – no unsightly cable ties required!


Mo’ Flow Please!

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