Scot Nicol, founder of Ibis Cycles had made the journey in from the firm's Californian headquarters to show off the latest developments in the highly-lauded range.
Though choosing not to work in the same model year format as most firms, Ibis has slowly refined its award winning Mojo SL, until it has arrived at the Mojo HD – the new DW Link suspension flagship of the bike line. Given the 1,900 hours of CAD development and half a million dollars spent developing the SL, the HD upgrade is something the firm feel won't be topped for a long time.
Carrying 160mm of rear wheel travel, a 20mm advanced on previous Mojos, the HD retains its climbing characteristics, but adds another dimension through the descents.
A large size frame and shock will weigh in at 6.3 pounds, though Nicol tells BikeBiz: "The stiffness and strength of the HD is simply off the charts. Again, we went through many hours CAD development, altering the linkage 15 times in the process. This model also carries a lower bottom bracket and slacker 67-degree head angle. Despite being a dream bike, dealers can earn very strong margins from a sale."
Minnesota bike firm Civia has joined the Ison stable answering the growing demand for utility bikes in the UK. The eye-catching models – the Pugsley 'snow bike' and Halsted were positioned in the hallway, thus BikeBiz heard news of the brand through word of mouth before visiting the Cambridge distributor's exhibition.
Fitted with two four-inch wide tyres designed to run at around ten PSI, the Pugsley is said to be doing good business in regions prone to snow and slush in the US as it simply "floats over the top". The Pugsley will cost £1,500 when it arrives in the UK.
Tucked inside Ison's booth was the stunning and practical Loring (pictured bottom), available with both men's and women's-specific frames. Pitched as the ideal delivery or 'shop run' bike, the Loring has a gently sloping top tube, which blends elegantly with the bikes bamboo mudguards and aluminium racks. The Loring will come in both nine-speed and three-speed SRAM i-Motion gearhub builds.
Gates Carbon Belt Drive also features within the line on the commuter-specific Bryant and 'more affordable brother' the Kingfield. The Bryant does, however, come in two builds, both Alfine and (standard chain drive) Tiagra spec.
Designed to be a hassle free solution to mid-to-long distance journeys, as well as a speedy commuter, the Bryant's 4130 steel frame and fork have been engineered to be responsive even when carrying loads. Civia's proprietary split rear dropout makes servicing the belt drive a breeze, if one is ever required.
Chicken Cyclekit had plenty of exciting new gear to flag up to Core's crowds and marketing manager Gary Anderson started the tour with the LAS Anubi helmet (pictured), which has received sterling reviews in magazine tests, including a very recent 95 per cent mark in 2020 Triathlon magazine.
The Anubi has been going down with testers well because of its tough plastic centre ridge, an idea of LAS's designed to hold the helmet's structure loosely together and on the rider's head during a crash. On impact, the shell will break as a first line of defence, but the structure itself will further absorb some of the impact and protect the rider's head from making contact with the hard floor. All the usual fore and aft adjustment features, along with a dial adjust system and chin strap padding.
Aside from showing of Cinelli's new £430 Experience frame, crafted from internally-routed Columbus triple-butted 7005 alloy, the brand revealed a bling addition to its fixie product. Parts such as the 44cm handlebar, stem and £34.99 Pista seatpost all received the gold treatment. The Experience frame is available as a complete build coming in under £1,000, making it Cycle to Work scheme friendly.
Miche had an interesting piece of point of sale kit for those dealers specialising in custom gear tuning and cassette builds. Chicken Cyclekit can now supply a sprocket board, which can be bought in with various sprocket kits comprehensively covering the Campagnolo, Miche, Shimano and other main manufacturer's product. The varying kit options are now seen on the distributor's business to business website.
Taking pride of place on the Silverfish booth was new addition Spiuk, a manufacturer of cycling shoes, clothing, glasses, helmets and massage oils.
Marketing manager Pete Drew initially offered to demonstrate the massage oils to BikeBiz, though we passed in favour of hearing about the road and mountain bike shoe line, as well as one model designed specifically for spinning. Each shoe is supplied with a winter and summer sole, the difference being in the airflow. The summer sole is highly perforated, while the winter is interchangeable when the damp and cold sets in.
Drew also flagged up an interesting development in RaceFace's carbon development, in that the new Next SL crank is entirely hollow thanks to a secretive new technique in which the weave can be compressed to an extreme density, thus providing a stronger arm. This all takes place in Canada and is understood to be exclusive to RaceFace at present. While being pressed into its final shape, the crank does have a mold in the centre, but this is somehow extracted post production. More on that when we discover the secret. For now, the other key details are the price; £595.99, the fact that the package includes a titanium axle and is nine/ten speed compatible.
Retailers may also soon be responding to a surge in requests for a specific SDG saddle. Developed alongside Monster Energy team rider Sam Hill, the Storm saddle replaces Hill's DIY glued on tyre saddle grip and puts on the market for the first time a saddle with 'tread', spread across specific areas to add grip when in the saddle. Not for everybody, but undoubtedly a trend that has potential to catch on.
Hope's stand was one of the busiest of the 18 Core exhibitors and that was largely down to a new eight LED prototype light that has a target output of 2,500 lumens when on the very brightest setting. When running on standard output, it is expected the light will generate 1,500 lumens and have a burn time of around two and a half hours at this level, though burn time will vary hugely between the 12 power settings.
As you'd expect, the shell housing the eight LEDs is heavily machined to dissipate heat and a safety run time of three minutes has been programmed in on the 2,500 lumen setting, after which the light will drop down an output level. The maximum output can be re-activated as soon as it dims, but Hope's engineers feel the higher output is best reserved for emergency use.
The LEDs are split between four elliptical and four flood beams, which should mean more or less everything on the path ahead is illuminated at all times.
Traditional direct mounts for Hope stems are to be included with the package, given that many of the UK manufacturer's customers highly rate this easy clip on/off feature. Universal bar mounts will also be supplied. Further upping the light's credentials, an LCD screen features in the top of the light, which gives both power readings and output levels. Production is set to go ahead this summer and stock is anticipated around September.
Other prototypes on show included a CNC machined crank and chain guide. Hope eventually aims for an entire chainset. Hot off the machines in Barnoldswick, Hope also debuted a number of chainrings and guards (pictured right), which are due in stock from early March.
German cycle computer brand VDO (lead picture) is now found under the Paligap portfolio. Famed for its altimeters, which are said to offer a real time gradient, the brand has worked on some very unique ideas for 2011.
One such idea comes within an available 'set box', which doubles up as a point of sale unit for showing the range in its entirety to the customer. The unique aspect comes from a clever set of keys located within the lower left of the set box, which once the customer has selected their computer, can be used to program custom settings into the purchased computer.
What's more, the dealer can also benefit by programming in a service schedule that will remind the customer to have their bike checked over by the store’s mechanic. Once an interval has been reached, the VDO computer will flash up a message, that when minimized takes the form of a small spanner on the screen until the next visit.
VDO's line begins at a very respectable £15, which buys a basic four-function wired machine. Wireless options begin at £25 and will give basic functions such as clock, speed and distance. The more complex performance machines found within the Z-series go into great depth with the top machine, costing £200, holding 53 tuneable functions, including heart rate readings.
Saris debuted two new racks at Core – the £220 Grand Fondo and the £100 Bike Porter. The former is a two-bike set up, which spreads the load either side of the rear windscreen, meaning the driver's awareness of the road behind is unimpaired. Front wheels of each bike are simply hung in the semi-circle racks, each of which can hold the majority of wheel sizes. Saris has a listing of which racks are best suited to certain types of car on its website – saris.com.
Point of sale slat wall for both Saris and CycleOps is now on offer from Paligap and is interchangeable, or mix and matchable meaning dealers can customise displays based on stock and sales, or seasonal predictions.