Let’s kick this off by saying a big thumbs up to CSG UK for their choice of venues on this roadshow. Manchester Velodrome was obviously always going to go down well with the cycle trade, but if you tallied up the Instagram and Twitter posts from either show, I’d not be surprised if there were more shots of Mercedes’ 1886 first production car. I say car, it sort of looks like a fancy e-trike. It’s safe to say, whether or not we’re ‘supposed’ to be enthusiasts of the motor car, Mercedes Benz World in Surrey proved a real hit as a showroom and, as distributor’s trade shows go, certainly drew a crowd.
Russell Merry, MD of Cycling Sports Group, told BikeBiz that despite a water-damaged start to the year, there was some optimism among dealers: “I’m confident we’ll see some bounceback in sales through late summer. It’s fantastic to see that post-Olympics we’re going to have some positive role models on the scene. Hopefully that’ll translate into a good number of new and inspired cyclists.”
With that in mind, let’s round up what’s on offer from CSG to dealers in case you missed out first-hand.
Flown in from the USA to answer visitor’s questions was Sam Greenman, an expert on Schwinn’s current catalogue.
“Schwinn is all about style and utility,” said Greenman. And he wasn’t joking. To emphasise the strength and appeal of certain models, I haven’t been able to type this article without interruptions, much thanks to having the image of the new £499 ‘Rendevous’ on my monitor. Ladies at BikeBiz HQ have been particularly taken by the array of practical racks fitted as standard to this model. There are coffee cup holders, a rack designed to hold a six pack of beers (411 men’s model at £599) and a wine rack on offer in Schwinn’s catalogue. Dealers obviously understand the appeal of such attractive extras too, with many at the show asking if the racks would come as an aftermarket product. Greenman told them that based on feedback, that although the answer is presently no, “we’re going to have to look at availability, in future, given the demand.”
It’s not just visions of sending customers off happily on rides to the vinyard that enthused dealers, however. Attention to detail is rife, with the traditional and often ugly chainguards replaced with a tailored sleek guard sprayed to match the bike’s paintwork. An Altus seven-speed build will retail at £499, while a £569 bike specced with a Sturmey five-speed gearhub is also available.
The super-exclusive Boa lacing club has a new member thanks to Sugoi’s spring 2013 RSX shorts. Designed for long cross-country jaunts, the RSX has a detachable Formula FX liner and a lightweight stretch woven, water resistant outer shell.
A Boa dial provides easy twist adjustment and before you jump to the conclusion that a wire belt would be uncomfortable, Sugoi says it has designed the garment in such a way that you’d not know had you not been told. An Icefil liner features to keep your customer cool.
Perhaps we’re jumping the gun with spring wear, there’s still plenty of winter training to get through, so Sugoi has introduced the RS Zero jacket – a high performance thermal that regulates the wearer’s heat, is water resistant and breathable. The garment is finished with centre back zip pockets slanted for easy access and finished with a microfleece collar and silicon gripper along the tail to stop it riding up your back.
With a renewed focus on its race bikes, GT has added the Power and Pro series for junior, expert and pro-level riders.
A key addition to the race frames is the ‘front-entry’ dropout, which lives above the axle line and is said, not only to make wheel changes faster, but to remove torsional flex and remove the risk of over torquing a chain.
The race line begins at £329 for the Power, which is being touted as the entry model for the aspiring racer, all the way through to the £500 GT Pro, sporting race circuit favourite products such as SDG’s i-beam seatpost and saddle, a stiff two piece crank, Tioga Powerblock tyres and much more.
WeThePeople and Eclat
A few days prior to the show we’d spotted some new Eclat hubs, seemingly finished with some kind of multi-tone ‘oil spill’ effect on the web, which turned out to be the new ‘Pulse’ hubs. If you were hoping to get a few aftermarket pairs in it may be a while yet, as at present they’ll feature on the £899 WeThePeople Envy only. There is, however, some other significant aftermarket product coming from the high-end label, including a freecoaster and 120 gauge cassette hub due to land with CSG shortly.
WeThePeople’s complete bike line begins at £329 this year for the ‘Curse’ and throughout the range dealers will note a more concise colour palette, with no more than two designs per bike. From the Crysis upwards it’s just the one SKU.
Further to the bikes and hubs, CSG will shortly take stock of a signature Maxime Cheveron frame, as well as the new Scorpio frame, complete with unique hydroformed tubing. The latter lands in January.
The big news from Cannondale’s point of view, aside from the obvious top-end rigs, is the brand’s own technology and top-end features gradually becoming more accessible at lower price points. This is most evident in the fact that, for 2013, you can purchase a CAD8 build from just £599.
“Dealers have told us they’d like to see some trickledown of performance features on slightly more wallet-friendly bikes,” said Cannondale brand manager Mike Cotty. Customers can also now take home a time trial Slice for £1,799, specced with Shimano 105. Bear in mind this bike is inspired by the £7,499 Slice RS – a Tour de France machine that’s been years in the making and boasts being among the most aerodynamic available.
The Super Six is also now available in a Tiagra spec for £1,599 and the Synapse for £1,499.
All of a sudden parents have plenty to choose from when seeking a properly proportioned BMX for their kids’ first bike.
Mongoose’s offering comes in the form of downsized Program build that feature the shortened cranks, smaller bars and, in the case of the £229 16-inch wheeler, V-brakes and smaller brake levers to allow for little hands to work the brakes more efficiently.
Mongoose has made an effort to improve the minor details of build quality on its lower-end bikes for 2013, with the £350 Chamber a good example. Carrying front and rear sealed hubs, a full chromoly frame, pivotal saddle and Odyssey Chase Hawk grips the value for money is excellent. CSG believes it could be one of the best specced completes at this price point.
CSG: 01202 732288