Cycle Show 2011 kicked off in Birmingham, England yesterday – it's open to the public until Sunday – and we took the chance to check out some homemade talent, in the form of steel hardtails from Enigma, Pipedream and Kinesis UK.
Enigma were showing a sleek-looking 29er version of their EgoST hardtail. Made from fillet brazed, triple-butted Columbus Life tubing, it sported an integrated seatmast, BB30 bottom bracket shell and full internal cable routing, with a Niner rigid fork plugged in up front.
Available in custom sizes only, the EgoST 29er frame costs £1,500. It's new for 2012 and builds on the success of Enigma's original titanium Ego and 26in-wheeled steel EgoST hardtails, which were both on display alongside it.
Pipedream told us they're also working on a new 29er, the Skookum (a Native American term for Bigfoot). This will share features of their titanium Sirius 29er but be made from Reynolds 853 steel, like their popular 26in-wheeled Sirius hardtail. Availability is slated for spring 2012.
They're also developing a cyclo-cross frame for the US market but they're not yet sure whether it'll be available in the UK. Unfortunately they didn't have prototypes of either of these bikes to display at the show.
What they did have was a new, more hardcore-looking 26in-wheeled hardtail made from 4130 chromoly. Geometry is the same as the Sirius R853 and it has the same sliding dropouts but the cheaper frame material means retail price would be around £150 cheaper. Again, Pipedream haven't yet decided whether to put it into production.
One bike that is available now is the Scion – a lighter-weight but identically priced (£350) variant of the Sirius with cowled vertical dropouts and skinnier (16mm) seatstays. Pipedream describe it as "the Sirius, but at fighting weight".
The big news on Kinesis UK's stand was a new disc-equipped version of their Crosslight Pro cyclo-cross bike – look out for more on that here on BikeRadar soon – but also on show was the latest version of their Virsa steel hardtail, part of the Decade anniversary range.
Changes for 2012 include a 44mm head tube (so you can run a tapered-steerer fork) an externally bulge-butted chromoly seat tube (Tange Prestige tubing is used elsewhere) for improved rear end stiffness and slotted IS disc brake mounts for easier calliper adjustment, along with a new metallic grey paintjob. Frame price is £349.99.