The 2012 Cycle Show, now well settled in its Birmingham NEC home, got under way yesterday. With a list of exhibitors including Trek, Specialized and Colnago and a lineup of famous cycling faces such as Sir Chris Hoy, Tracy Moseley and the Athertons, we reckon it's well worth a visit should you have an empty diary this weekend.
BikeRadar have brought you more tech coverage than you can shake a stick at from the Eurobike and Interbike trade shows, but the Cycle Show always sees more niche British brands fitting in alongside the big beasts from around the globe.
In line with the idea of mixing big and small manufacturers, here's a rundown of some of the fixed gear, singlespeed and urban bikes that caught our eye yesterday, with brands such as Condor, Demon Frameworks and ColourBolt up against big hitters like Pinarello and Specialized.
The singlespeed Catena (£799 / US$1,000) takes its name from the town where company founder Giovanni Pinarello both hails from and founded the business. It's built using Acciaio CrMo steel, and with the same construction techniques and polished lugs as the first bikes to come out of the Pinarello factory.
For 2013, the bike will come in a new Giro d'Italia-inspired colour scheme shown below, as well as the existing black, red and white options.
Produced in collaboration with Italian fashion label Diesel, Pinarello's distinctive Only The Brave (£799 / US$1,200) singlespeed is an urban bike designed to evoke American messenger bikes.
It's made from 6061 aluminium and is said to have agility in corners, required for the high-energy world of city riding. It comes in acid green (below), black or white.
Pinarello Only the Brave
Demon Frameworks took home the award for best track bike at this year's Bespoked Bristol handmade bike show for their Hermes. The firm was established in Southampton four years ago, with the "vision to create the finest steel bicycle frames right here in the UK using the very best of British materials".
The Demon Frameworks Signature series is based around two lug designs – the Hermes and the Manhattan – and the resulting frames are more modern and visually striking than you might expect.
The shot above shows the Signature Track frameset (£2,060), with Hermes lugs. It's built using Reynolds 853 tubing, with 953 an option for an extra £520. The stainless steel head lug, either Hermes or Manhattan, is individually machined for each frame. Tubes are oversized for increased strength and stiffness, while frame ends are made from stainless steel to prevent paint chipping from quick-release axles.
The singlespeed Classico Pista frameset from Condor (£899.99) is put together using Dedacciai SAT 14.5 steel tubing, a steel fork and cream/red and chocolate brown/blue colour options.
Condor Classico Pista
ColourBolt frames are built by Lee Cooper, who has been making bespoke bikes in Coventry since 1984. All the ColourBolt models are built using either Columbus Spirit, Life or XCR tubing. They're available as either fixed wheel or singlespeed freewheel with components from the likes of Brooks, Ambrosio and Exustar.
The bike shown below, the Mirror, is built from Columbus XCR lugged stainless steel. It has a Columbus Minimal carbon fork and is hand-polished by Enigma Titanium Limited of East Sussex.
All ColourBolt bikes are handbuilt to order, with delivery usually within a month.
Titanium bike firm Spin always like to make a splash with their designs, and their new Thunderdrome track bike (from £2,500) is no exception. As usual, it comes with a Rotor crankset, with decals customised to your choosing.
Specialized's new urban cruiser, the Source Two, is part of the World Bicycle Relief charity programme: for every bike sold, the company will donate a Buffalo Bicycle to the charity, which seeks to provide independence and livelihoods to people in the developing world.
Only 300 of the Source Two bikes are being made worldwide. They come with an alloy frame and fork and a Gates Carbon Drive CDX CenterTrack belt drive.
Specialized Source Two WBR
Based in California and new to the UK, Nirve are in the bike game for fashion, not performance, and you'd certainly turn a few heads riding their Chopper Switchblade. It costs £670 (US$669.99), has Shimano 3-speed gearing and the biggest saddle we've ever seen.
Nirve Chopper Switchblade