The GT Bicycles Malverns Classic is all about riding, racing and hanging out with other mountain bikers in the beautiful hills that give the event its name.
However, it has a big expo area, too, and in among the stands doing a roaring trade in #OiOi! gear (YouTube favourite Ben Deakin’s signature range) and lairy Pit Viper sunglasses, some intriguing new tech was on display.
From pre-production prototypes to quality kids’ gear for mini trail shredders, here’s what caught our eyes…
Starling Pylon eMTB prototype
Never afraid to experiment, Bristol-based Joe McEwan’s first electric mountain bike isn’t just made from Starling Cycles’ customary steel, but sports all-new motor tech from Scotland’s FreeFlow Technologies, as well as an unusual jack-drive transmission.
This test mule was being ridden around the arena by UK MTB legend Dave Hemming (of 1990s Dirt video and Team MBUK fame), the MD of FreeFlow.
Dave’s been helping to develop the FF65 mid-drive motor, which uses a harmonic gearbox design and is claimed to have an unrivalled power-to-weight ratio.
Pembree VFS stem
Phil Law says his premium UK-made flat pedals have proven so popular that he had to delay plans to expand the Pembree range.
Thanks to a new robot-loaded CNC machine, he’s now on top of all the orders, so can launch the Very First Stem.
As with all Pembree products, it’s been designed with sustainability in mind. It’s made entirely in the UK, including the bolts, from 75 per cent recycled aluminium. From design to delivery, the whole process is said to be carbon neutral, with Pembree’s East Sussex factory being solar/wind-powered.
As for the stem itself, it’s built to precise tolerances for improved strength and stiffness.
Available in several anodised colours, it costs £109.
Atherton AM.200M downhill bike
The mullet-wheeled downhill bike that’s taken Atherton Racing’s Andreas Kolb to four World Cup podiums in a row this season is now available to the public, and one was on display at the Atherton Bikes stand.
As with all of the brand’s bikes, it’s constructed from carbon fibre tubes joined with 3D-printed titanium lugs, which allows a high degree of geometry/sizing customisation. It also uses a Dave Weagle-designed DW6 suspension linkage.