The bike show season continues, this week it's London's turn with Cycle 2007. Thursday is the trade day with the show open to the public on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (12-14th). While nowhere near the size of Interbike and Eurobike it does have plenty of choice bikes and kit on display. It's a place for Britain's bike companies to shine, and, if you're in the area it has the big advantage of being open to the public for three out of four days.
So what do the Brits have to offer?
Retro is a bike theme at Pashley with bikes bikes: the Phantom and the Guvnor attracting a lot of attention.
You certainly can't miss the Phantom, this study in chrome is a limited edition version of Pashley's enduring successful Roadster in gleaming chrome and featuring a Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub gears incorporating drum brakes front and rear and hub dynamo and lights. Contact points are taken care of by a super-sprung Brooks saddle and Pashley's own leather grip on swept back bars.
There are only eighty Phantoms available and they have been built to mark the company's 80th anniversary, although as Dan Farrell, Pashley's design manager admits no-one is entirely sure how old the company is, but the earliest head tube badge they can find dates from 1926 - so the anniversary edition is already a tad late. That said, at £995 they are shifting fast. The bike is UK made and built (including the chroming) and is available in one size only - 22.5in.
Pashley's attention to detail extended to sourcing the shell for this light from China (because it features a top knob more like those of the original Roadsters) and filling it with German-made internals so that is conforms with European standards.
The Guvnor is an altogether sportier proposition based on a design from the late 1920s or early 1930s (no-one is exactly sure) it's what was called at the time a path racer Road's were rougher back then so this race bike features wider tyres and distinctive 'North Road' style drop bars. The frame on production models will be Reynolds 531 and it too features Sturmey drum brakes front and rear - unlike the Phantom though this baby is a singlespeed. The drum brakes make for a very clean looking bike and they also have the advantage of increasing rim life - and allowing Pashley to 'line' the rims for that authentic old, old school look.
The Guvnor should be available by the end of the year and will sell in the UK for £795. Sizes available: 20.5in and 22.5in, with the possibility of a 24.5in too. Tyre size on both Phantom, Guvnor and standard Roadsters is 28x1.5in - none of your fancy dan 700c for them.
Pashley were showing their TSR Pashley Moulton range including this show special (although you can buy it if your pockets are deep enough) featuring a Campag Centaur rear mech matched up with a Miche Supertype aluminium chainset and HED Jet wheels. Nice.
We've always had a soft spot for Pashley's cruiser/hybrid - looking good here in red and blue.
From one of Britain's oldest bike companies to one of its newest: Cotic.
The company that put Soul in to mountain biking with their cult steel hardtail and followed that up with equally popular Soda in titanium was showing this prototype frame in Reynolds 953, although it is sporting Soul decals the frame currently has no name. This is the first 953 frame with 16mm stays (the same width as those on the Soul) and production versions would also come with wishbone seatstays. That's if it makes it into production, it is likely to be more expensive to make than the titanium soda, while at the same time being heavier (this large frame weighs 3.7lb as against 3.2lb for a Soda), and less stiff. Probably one for diehard steel fans only, but if you've got any opinions Cotic's Cy would appreciate the feedback as he ponders whether to put it into production.
One bike that will be going into production although sadly it wasn't here is a new drop 'bar version of Cotic's Road this will be 35mm shorter than the standard model (pictured) this will deliver that classic road/cross position. Like the standard Roadrat it will also be available as a complete bike.
With their first range of bikes not available till the start of 2008, Chance is an even newer British brand than Cotic. The bikes are designed in Worcester and built in either Italy or Taiwan - the aim is to eventually supply a range of bikes completely built and equipped in Europe. Chance is the in-house brand of UK distributor, Nemesis, although they hope to spin it off as a completely separate entity in the future. There are three ranges of bikes: Road, time trial, and track.
The RX is top of the road range, below it sit the R1 and R2. The frame is made in Taiwan but check out those seatstays which reference the stays on the legendary Holds worth road frames of the early Seventies. Expect to pay £2499 in the UK, Nemesis are looking for overseas distributors too.
This Italian made carbon frame tops the time trial range (it also provides the frame or Chance's top track bike. Components and finishing kit come courtesy of a mixture of Campanology Centaur, Blackjack wheels (Nemesis distribute these and they feature on all Chance bikes), and USE integrated tribes. The TTX will set you back £2699 and both road and time trial ranges start at just under £1000. All bikes will come in their own bike bag and with bike grooming essentials.
Coming to a velodrome near you soon, and probably any fairly level cities too. The top of the range TX carbon bike is backed up by the aluminium T1 and T2. Expect the T1 to sell for around £500-600.
Not a Chance but a Nemesis, these entry level track bikes are selling for £299.
Covering all bases Chance will also be offering this range of classic looking Tange steel frames (Nemesis also distribute Tange), prices TBC.
And last but by no means least comes a load of new bikes and components from the guys at Charge, Radstock, who win the award for the best stand of the show. They had everything including the kitchen in their maisonette. Including a very colourful Plug fixie, a titanium Plug, a titanium BMX, a new Duster single speed along with some new saddles and grips. More from them in other show news later.