Cycle Show’s post show numbers say that nine per cent more trade flocked to the NEC this year. If you were unable to make it, or simply couldn’t manage to take it all in, Mark Sutton handpicks some highlights from the show floor that were of particular interest to the front line…
Turning the heads of the retailer and home mechanic alike, many will have recognised PAF System’s creations from time spent at the country’s top cycle training academies, many of which use the firm’s work benches to deck out their workshops.
Specialising in custom work spaces in several trades, the firm has seen an emergence of interest in its work benches from the cycle market and has since come to market with the BikeBoss.
Tailored to the cycle mechanic, the wall-mounted unit has a rotational workstand that clasps the top-tube of a bike with silicone straps. The unit is modular and side mounted 2mm sheet metal tool boards can be added easily. Brackets are supplied with all purchases and are available to buy separately. What’s more, the Bike Boss offers home security, with suitable holes punched to wrap a d-lock around the bike’s top tube.
PAF also supplies tough jigsaw style workshop flooring for stores looking to upgrade their workshop.
For all but the six Bianchi dealers currently signed up, the Cycle Show would have provided a first glimpse at some Swiss-made luxury watches, celebrating Bianchi’s 125-year plus heritage.
Set to retail for £250 for the basic model and £450 for a all bells, whistles and carbon piece dubbed the Chrono, the watches sport details such as a ‘bicycle crank’ for the second hand. The glass is scratch resistant and waterproof to 100 metres, so it should stand up to some time in the saddle should your customer choose to keep it on. Each unit is presented in a stainless steel water bottle emblazoned with graphics detailing Felice Gimondi’s famous 1973 world championship win.
Back to bicycles and Bianchi’s new UK director Andrew Griffin tells BikeBiz that despite the established heritage, the Bianchi story is entering a new chapter worthy of its own attention.
“Lot’s of people think of Bianchi as a heritage label, but there’s much more too it. We’re at the forefront of developing cycling technologies and that’s evident in our Countervail carbon, the first of its kind in the bicycle market,” said Griffin.
Countervail is a vibration cancelling ‘secret recipe’ for carbon that’s found only on the Infinito CV road line thus far. The NASA-created visco-elastic construction is said to reduce vibration by over 75 per cent over traditional weaves. This apparently has great consequences for reducing both bike and rider fatigue, as well as making those cobblestone sections a bit more accessible. At the press unveiling, riders were said to be “riding no-handed over cobbles,” according to Griffin.
With 80 dealers currently in the UK, Griffins says the label is open to expansion of up to 120 dealers nationwide and that some substantial territories, including the home of the Cycle Show, need filling.
Just a few new highlights in the Moore Large stable since Eurobike, with fresh goods from Limar, Barracuda and Bumper, all of which had dedicated space at the Cycle Show.
Dealers will no doubt have seen the large scale colour chart revamp across the Limar line, but may not have spotted the additions of the 885 and 875 mountain bike-suited lids.
Elsewhere Bumper has a newly developed line of bikes for toddlers, which will be in stock by the time this magazine lands. Highlights include the Football and Teddy bikes – the former specced with a curved rack for holding a supplied football and the latter with a ‘teddy seat’ to hold the cuddly bear that comes free with purchases. New balance bikes have also just landed with Moore Large.
Meanwhile, Barracuda was previewed at the Cycle Show, with stock set to land during January and February. The big change for 2014 is that the label is designing its own proprietary frames.
Will 2014 be the year of the road disc? Enigma will be ready if it is, thanks to the debut of the Evoke. The titanium frame will come in at £2,199, though the UK frame builder will also offer a £5,599 Dura Ace, ENVE and hope finished kit for those wanting to start a fresh. What else is unique? Well your customer’s bike, should they chose the Evoke, will have been welded by Joe Walker, currently the UK’s only specialist titanium framebuilder.
That’s not all from Enigma, though. The Cycle Show also gave the first outing to the Explorer touring bike, described as a do-anything, go anywhere rig, which comes as a disc-ready frameset for £2,199 at retail and is Rohloff gearhub compatible.
Last of all, the off-roaders among us are treated to the new Ego 29er, costing £1,399 a frame. Anodized logos match to a component catalogue that includes a titanium bar, stem and seatpost, available as extras.
With its own house label Blank taking pride of place on the Split Second booth it was no surprise to learn of a number of changes and additions to the 20-inch label’s line.
First of all, the Verse and Vision completes become brakeless builds, while the catalogue sees additions in the form of the Triad and Spirit builds.
Blank also now has options for beginners in the form of 16 and 18-inch wheel BMXs at £199 and £229, respectively.
Perhaps most interesting of all to BMX specialists is the launch of a new wheelset, which will come in at just £129.99 a pair. That’s not all though – the pair will come in either a ‘Rasta’ or ‘Union Jack’ spoke arrangement, both laced to sealed hubs.
New from the Total brand, Split Second now has stock of what could be the first aftermarket 18-inch frame, costing £279.99 and ideal for the smaller rider looking to upgrade. Kyle Baldock’s £279.99 signature Killabee frame also lands this month in either black or ‘Apple silver’, though stock is heavily pre-sold already.
Predictably there was a buzz around the Specialized stand, with Mark Cavendish’s limited edition Venge, painted to match his McLaren MP4-12C and ridden to red-jersey glory, on show.
Within the stand’s walls was the new Allez frame, built with Smart Weld Technology. In a move to ‘bring top-end aluminium back to life’ the Allez comes in at £1,300 for a frameset, or £6,500 for an ‘S-works’ build. SmartWelding differs by ‘filling the triangular gap between tubes with the weld, creating a near invisible finish.
On the mountain bike side, Specialized’s link with Swedish motocross suspension experts Öhlins has resulted in a new beefed up shock for the Demo 8, which is said to offer a level of grip and stability like no other once tuned in. The Enduro Evo will also benefit from the collaboration soon.
Dealers with customers putting in the miles week-in week-out and looking to do so in comfort and on their own time, should take a look at Specialized’s new AWOL fully steel touring bike. Built to last and costing just £1,000, the build is disc, guard and rack ready.
Hailing from the Li Voge region of France, Moustache is the brainchild of mountain bikers, turned electric bike enthusiasts.
With a line of 20 electric bikes, Moustache has one of the more comprehensive electric catalogues out there and earlier this year scooped a Eurobike Gold Award for its 27/9 build. As you might have guessed from the name, this one carries a 29er wheel up front and a 27.5 at the rear, apparently ‘giving you the best of both worlds’.
Each bike in the line is based around either Bosch’s Active or Perform drive systems.
Kids balance bikes are also made by the brand, though minus the motor.
Moustache distribute direct to the dealer in the UK and are currently seeking further accounts. Contact Velospeed on 01635 579304 for more information.
The SH+ Helmet label and Alpha Plus security product joined Reece Cycles prior to Cycle Show and both were represented.
SH+ has a line of helmets spanning around £30 to £100, with the top four in the line handmade in Italy. The firm also produced eyewear, which will land in the UK at the start of 2014.
The trade’s favourite bike brand, according to the BikeBiz Awards held the night prior to the show’s opening, has been busy with titanium lately.
For 2014, the Maxlight Sync, built around a 27.5 wheel, takes cold worked, stress relieved tubing and provides us with a hardtail built to deliver power on the trail. A larger version that’s 29-inch wheel suited will also be available soon. The frame is designed around a 120mm fork and carries investment cast dropouts and a’clover-leaf’ section top tube that manages forces around the seat tube. The frame is built with a 142 x 12 DT Swiss Thru-axle in mind, with ‘direct- mount’ hanger for Shimano mechs available as an upgrade.
For the audax rider, Kinesis also revealed a titanium Tripster ATR, built to be capable on gravel paths and casual on the roads. With a large 40mm tyre clearance and with the addition of a tapered headtube, the frame’s upgrades list is lengthy and obviously disc compatibility is on there too. Expect a frame and fork set to retail for around £1,400.
You may have spotted the Pivot Vault online since the show, with numerous consumer press taking a keen interest in the eye catching cyclocross rig, set to retail at £3,600 for a complete bike build and £1,800 for a frameset.
Utilising a ‘new school’ cross geometry, the frame borrows a lot of technology from the Pivot LES hardtail, with a lower centre of gravity thanks to a lower bottom bracket, shorter chainstays and electronic shifting designed in.
The Vault converts seamlessly from cantilever to disc with an innovative removable brake post system, while the Vault’s carbon rear dropouts incorporate a ‘Dua’ insert which allows conversion of the dropouts between 130mm and 135mm spacing for use with either standard road or disc brake specific wheels designs.