Welcome again to another edition of Flow’s Fresh Produce! Today, our dear readers, marks the start of our final week of spring here Down Under. And you know what that means? That means the summer holidays are just around the corner – yieeeww! To get in the spirit of things, Mick’s been been down in Tassie checking out the Derby round of the 2019 Asia-Pacific Enduro World Series. He also caught up with Thomas Vanderham and Hans Rey, who have both travelled to Oz to see why everyone is frothing over the mountain biking in Derby. Stay tuned for some very entertaining videos and photo stories from those fellas…
Of course summer holidays also means we’re getting closer to the C-word (it’s still November, so legally we’re not allowed to say it just yet). For those of you out there with little tackers, you might want to check out our feature on the Kids Ride Shotgun MTB Seat, where we caught up with local rider Dan MacMunn and his little bloke Jack, who’s absolutely loving the chance to hit the singletrack with Dad. Prepare for cuteness overload!
There’s been a tonne of other juicy news stories and reviews landing on the website over the past couple of weeks. Marin has launched its new Rift Zone Carbon trail bike, which looks to be killer value for money for the two models that will be available here in Australia. We’ve also published our mid-term review of the 2020 Trek Fuel EX 9.8, as well as a long-term review of some very well-priced alloy wheels from a UK brand called Hunt.
Keeping our legs busy for the silly season, we’ve had some new bikes join the Flow test fleet, including a lovely titanium hardtail from Curve, and a bike that has been getting a load of buzz over the past couple of months – the 2020 Giant Reign E+.
Rightio, and with y’all up to speed on all things Flow, we can now crack the lid on this week’s bubbly bottle of Fresh Produce. Please enjoy, and as always, hit us up with any questions you’ve got about any of the new products you see here.
Orbea Occam M10
Basque brand Orbea has garnered plenty of attention over the past couple of seasons as it continues to reinvigorate its mountain bike lineup. The latest bike to get the overhaul treatment is the Occam trail bike, which receives a striking asymmetric chassis that’s available in both alloy and carbon variants. We’ve got the nearly-top-of-the-range M10, so gets the the carbon frameset along with Fox Factory Series suspension, a Shimano Deore XT M8100 groupset, DT Swiss XM-1650 wheels, and carbon Race Face bars. Mick’s already had some quality saddle time on the Occam down in Tassie, so stay tuned for a detailed first look story coming soon.
- From: Orbea
- Price: $8,299
Bontrager Rally Mountain Bike Shoes
Taking styling cues from Bontrager’s Flatline shoe, the Rally is a brand new clip-in version. Designed in conjunction with the Trek Factory Racing enduro and DH race teams, the Rally is a burly flat-soled shoe that offers more traction with big-bodied clip-in pedals by wrapping the composite shank with a full rubber outsole. This makes it more practical for hike-a-biking compared to lean XC shoes, while a recessed cleat pocket sits within a deep channel that’s there to help you clip back in.
The Rally features a well-padded synthetic leather upper for comfort, along with reinforced toe and heel caps for protection. There’s also a shock-absorbing EVA midsole, lace-up closure and a big Velcro strap for snugging them down on your feet. Available in three colours (including the TFR signature version shown here), and in sizes from EU 39 through to 48.
- From: Trek Bikes
- Price: $219.99
Granite STASH Multi-Tool
Hiding tools and spares on your bike has become increasingly in-vogue in the world of mountain biking, and Granite Designs is the latest brand to get on board the bandwagon with its new STASH tool series. Shown here is the STASH Multi-Tool, which is designed to put a fold-out multi-tool inside the hollow cavity of your fork’s steerer tube – not unlike those from OneUp and Specialized.
The Granite version is more like the Specialized SWAT CC tool, in that you don’t need to tap a thread through your fork’s steerer tube. Instead, the whole assembly acts as a compression device to preload the headset bearings, where the lip on the upper part of the tool is designed to sit on top of your stem. The multi-tool then slides out of this upper assembly, with a simple O-ring holding it in place. You’ll find a minimalist spoke key, valve core tool, and 8-piece multi-tool within.
- From: Link Sports
- Price: $79.99
Granite STASH Tire Plug Tool
For air-retention based emergencies, Granite offers the STASH Tire Plug Tool, which sits inside one of the ends of your hollow handlebar. Granite includes two sizes of rubber bungs and end caps to suit different thickness bars. Within the tool is both a reamer for cleaning up the puncture, and a fondue prong for inserting one of the four tubeless anchovies to plug up the puncture.
- From: Link Sports
- Price: $27.95
Granite STASH Chain Tool
And last, but certainly not least, is this stealthy little chain breaker that Granite wants you to stow inside the other end of your handlebars. CNC machined from 7075 alloy, the Chain Tool weighs just 50g and is ready to fit into any handlebar that has an internal diameter of 18-21mm. There’s even machined pockets for clipping in a spare set of quick links.
- From: Link Sports
- Price: $34.95
Trek Knock Block Lockring Spacer
You might have seen Wil’s review of the 2020 Trek Fuel EX 9.8, where he detailed a bunch of changes he’s made to our long-term test bike. One of those changes was a new bar and stem, which necessitated the use of this little Knock Block lockring spacer. This $30 spacer clips into the upper headset, and then tightens down on the steerer tube. This means you maintain the functionality of the Knock Block headset to prevent the over-rotation of the bars (which would see the fork crown hitting the downtube, and the brake/shift levers hitting the top tube), while having a flat spacer top that’s compatible with any regular mountain bike stem.
*Note: Trek originally had this spacer listed with a price of $60 AUD. Since publishing the review of the Fuel EX 9.8, Trek contacted us to inform us that they’ve now dropped the price to $30.
- From: Trek Bikes
- Price: $30
BikeYoke Divine Dropper Post
It was only a few weeks ago that we received the “World’s lightest dropper post“, and we’ve since received another dropper post from German brand BikeYoke. This one is the regular Divine dropper post, which puts less emphasis on the grams, and more on being travel adjustable. That’s right – unlike the vast majority of droppers on the market, the Divine can have its travel reduced internally by the user. BikeYoke includes 4 x 5mm plastic plastic spacers that clip onto the main piston shaft, reducing the maximum travel in 5mm increments up to a maximum of 20mm. Useful for those who want a little less travel, or need to reduce the total extension to suit their saddle height.
The BikeYoke Divine dropper post is available in 125mm, 160mm and 185mm travel versions, and you can get it in 30.9mm, 31.6mm and 34.9mm diameters. The Divine is cable activated with ‘stealth’ routing, and BikeYoke offers various handlebar remotes to integrate with Shimano or SRAM brake levers, as well as a standard band clamp version.
Stan’s NoTubes DART Tubeless Tyre Repair Tool
It’s finally here! And it’s a little different to what we expected too. This is the Dual Action Repair for Tubeless (DART) tool from Stan’s NoTubes, which was excitedly announced last month. It’s designed to plug up punctures in tubeless tyres, though unlike other solutions out there, the DART is lined with a special compound that’s designed to set off a rapid reaction as soon as latex sealant comes in contact with it. According to Stan’s, this vigorous reaction is supposed to create a faster and more robust seal.
As you can probably tell, the production rubber plugs have a different design to the ones shown by Stan’s in the original launch, though they’re still made of a flexible material that Stan’s says you don’t need to trim off after you’ve repaired the puncture. We’re not eager to get a puncture, but we are looking forward to seeing how well the DART tool works on the side of the trail. Stay tuned!
- From: JetBlack Products
- Price: $59.95
Stan’s NoTubes DART Refill Pack
And likely because the product team at Stan’s NoTubes thinks we’re total riding hacks, we’ve got a 5-pack of spare DARTs to go with our tool. Fingers crossed we don’t have to use ALL of those little plugs – at least not for a while anyway!
- From: JetBlack Products
- Price: $44.95
Mo’ Flow Please!
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