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BRIT BITS: Product reviews from the UK

With the British side of the magazine now in full swing, we have a new regular section for the patriots out there, with the Brits being the originators of some of the world’s finest engineering feats, The UK still has lots to offer, from bikes, components to hardware and software.

So one of our UK editors, Jim Buchanan, UK Veteran Enduro racer is now out and about scouring the British scene to bring us all the products our little Island has to offer, as we take on the rest of the world in the battle of MTB technology

Muc-Off goes from strength to strength!

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Back in the 90′s when I was flat out racing the UK DH scene Alex Trimnell (Rex) and friends always had a great presence with the X-Lite team back in those days with there fully tricked out set up for racing. That was the original start of X-lite, and after being sent this lovely lot from the big-wigs over at Muc-Off I asked them for the story on how they came about from the Humble beginnings of X-Lite to the massive global name we all now know!

“It all started way back when Right Said Fred were too sexy for their shirts and Downhill wasn’t even part of the World Cup.

Yep, way back in 1991 Rex and Marilyn Trimnell got things started with X-Lite UK, designing and manufacturing the world’s first twin crown bicycle fork and the world’s lightest bar ends. But that wasn’t enough for Rex. As a man obsessed with detail, he was constantly frustrated at how long it took him to wash his bike. Rex set about understanding surfactant technologies and created a perfectly pink cleaner to care for his kit. That was in 1994 at a time when most riders were cleaning their bikes with washing up liquid that contained lots of salt. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that water plus salt results in a lot of corrosion, so it was vital that Rex’s cleaner was eco friendly, highly effective and didn’t cause damage to any delicate finishes or components. To make a long story short, Rex’s formula was the best thing since sliced bread when it came to cleaning a bike, and it wasn’t long before word got out and Muc-Off Bike Cleaner was born.

Fast-forward to 2013 and Muc-Off is now sold around the world and racers from the likes of Steve Peat to the Sahara Force India F1 team have come to rely on it! And, in case you haven’t noticed, we do a bit more than our original pink cleaner these days. We are basically obsessed with bicycles. In fact, we can barely move at Muc-Off HQ without knocking over a bike, which is why we are very, very driven to make the world’s finest bicycle care products to share with our fellow riders.

We’re always cooking up something new, and all our ideas are developed at our in-house, state-of- the-art R&D Centre by Rex’s son, Alex, our MD (mad developer). After he’s cooked up something new and tested it himself, it’s then tested by our in-house boffins and riders to ensure every Muc- Off product is simply the finest of its type in the world. Once we’re happy, the formula will go out to our pro teams for their final feedback. Only then will we put the product into production for the world to enjoy.”

Bike Cleaner             £8.00
Drivetrain Cleaner     £12.00
Disc Cleaner             £7.00
Chain Cleaner           £25.00
Bike Spray                £7.00
Wet Chain Lube        £7.00
5 x Brush Kit            £25.00

URGE ARCHI ENDURO HELMET

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The Urge Helmet range are definitely what we would call “a Marmite product”, with their unique and very quirky design, they really are a love or hate product. Although when it came to the first Gravity Enduro round of this season, I would definitely say lots of riders have now come round to the love option! Now this season hasn’t bought in the expected compulsory full-face helmet policy for competitors, but with certain tracks having the expectations of being fast, rocky and gnarly, I for one, definitely will be going with the full-face option, maybe opting for the larger backpack to carry the xc lid, then swapping over for the transitions! The new lighter weight Archi Enduro helmet offers the same protection as their original Down O Matic and is the only helmet specifically designed for Enduro, with it’s higher back for use with a back-pack plus offering more of an open face plus more ventilation for better breathability. There also is a Veggie version, made from natural linen fibre! On using this helmet (much like the all mountain) it is so comfy, you hardly feel like it’s on! I used mine at the Forest of Dean Mini Downhill, it was freezing all day, as it weighs a mere 820 grammes it’s a real feather weight, so I never took it off, no complaints!

Archi Enduro £149.99 RRP
veggie version £179.99
sizes s/m  54-57cm l/xl 58-61cm
for info check out www.urgebike.com

ROYAL TURBULENCE SHIRT

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Being a UK rider from back in the day I would consider myself quite a fan of the Royal brand, originally  started up by Steve Peat and Nick Bayliss, back in the late nineties/early noughties, it is a company which has just gone from strength to strength, culminating itself to now have a full range of race, enduro, xc and casual gear to suit any riders tastes. I was after a year round race top, comfy, breathable, light-weight and pretty tough, so this is what I opted for. It comes made of stretch fabric, Lycra collar, clean and simple design and comfy for the all day rides!

Short sleeve £39.99
Long sleeve £44.99
blue/electric blue sizes s-xxl
black/ash sizes s-xl
for info check out www.royalracing.com

Words: Jim Buchanan

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