Dirt jumping sat at the heart of the UK MTB scene in the late 1990s and now Sam Pilgrim and the Cycle Show team are bringing the excitement of dirt jumping back to the NEC, where it will take centre stage at one of Europe's largest cycling exhibitions.
The 2013 FMB world champion, Pilgrim grew up watching the likes of Chris Smith, Steve Geall and Chopper at the NEC, and has now been instrumental in bringing this great event back to the UK, with the hope of exciting a new generation of riders.
In addition to Pilgrim himself, other confirmed Big Air Invitational riders include Sam Reynolds, Matt Jones, Matt Macduff (Canada), Amir Kabbani (Germany), Eric Walenta (Germany), Sherwy Pasamonte (Spain), Blake Samson, Ray Samson, Daryl Brown, Ray Samson, Chopper, Chris Smith, Steve Geall, Tom Cardy, Charlie Watts and Ryan Nangle.
On 27 September, this international line-up will compete on a ‘Big Air’ style set-up influenced by city SNB big air events. The power will be put in the hands of the riders to see who takes the overall win on the day with them voting for ‘Riders’ Rider’ with the rest of the prize purse up for grabs in a ‘Cash 4 Tricks’ Jam.
Throughout the weekend of Friday 26 to Sunday 28 September, public riding will also be available at The Cycle Show on the returning outdoor MTB test track, while DMR are staging indoor pump track sessions and top brands will be showcasing their 2015 bikes, kit and more.
The NEC’s mountain bike demo track is always very popular – allowing visitors an opportunity to try new bikes Including Trek’s Remedy 9 and Fuel EX 9 on a 1km woodland singletrack trail.
On the stands, 2015 mountain bikes line-ups will be showcased by the likes of Trek, Diamond Back, Marin, Vitus, Whyte, Mondraker, DMR, Transition, KTM, Rocky Mountain, Bianchi, Boardman, Torpado, Forme, Cube, Rose and Pivot will also be on display, providing a vibrant choice of mountain bikes for visitors to get up close to.
Boardman may be most famous for its road bikes, but the Cycle Show will also see it promote its latest mountain bike offering. Taking centre stage will be the FSPRO 650b model, which strikes an award-winning balance of performance and value with an attention to detail Boardman is famous for.
Fellow British brand Whyte has been building mountain bikes in the Cotswolds for 15 years, and it will be bringing its striking designs to the show. With a range including the hardtail 905, the 805 incorporating internal cable routing and the G-150 Works bike Whyte’s Gravity Enduro team race on, it will be catering for cyclists of all sizes, abilities and budgets.
Alongside the British marques will be American brand Pivot Cycles, which is set to show off its new Mach4 model that boasts the company’s lightest ever mountain bike frame, and the LES model, which combines lightweight construction knowledge with internal cable routing. This reduces the chance of contamination from the elements, and Pivot claims that this improves shifting performance even in the worst possible conditions.
Rocky Mountain is getting in on the act too – their closely-guarded 2015 Thunderbolt range will be unveiled at The Cycle Show, featuring the 799 MSL and 790 MSL BC Edition. The BC editions of their bikes are designed to deal with the roughest and toughest terrain that the brand’s British Columbian homeland can provide – bringing the very best in smooth-riding suspension technology that Rocky Mountain offer.
From over in continental Europe, Spanish brand Mondraker are providing some star quality to The Cycle Show line up, exhibiting the World Cup-winning Summum Pro Team DH bike, while the award-winning 650B Foxy model shares the stage. The new 2015 range will introduce the first all-carbon version of the 650B Foxy bike – improving on the already very popular frame.
Cube has also been developing its carbon frames, with 2015 set for the introduction of the new C68 carbon technology in its range. The technology allows for reduced space between the carbon fibres, resulting in less resin use and a lighter and stiffer frame, without compromising on strength. This technology will be seen at The Cycle Show on the newly improved Stereo range, which features a 67.5 degree head angle, internal cable routing and ‘stealth’ dropper posts.
BMX also returns for 2014 with demos from Alex Coleborne, Mark Webb and the Total BMX team on a huge Spine Mini ramp.
Visit www.cycleshow.co.uk/dirtjumping for further rider updates and rider social media pages.