Heading up to this year’s Cycle Show at the NEC in Birmingham? Running from 25-27th September, it’s got loads of the big bike brands on display and is bound to have something that interests you.
We were there yesterday (24th September) for the trade and press day, and roamed the halls to find some of the best bits for you. Here’s what we spotted…
The JA Townsend ‘Original’ Light Blue
Yep, it was the massive 100-tooth chainring that caught our eye initially – but the history of this steel-framed track bike is pretty special too. It was built by John Albert Townsend in Cambridge to mark the new centenary in 1900, and remains in the possession of the family to this day.
It originally featured wheel rims made from cane – can you even imagine how that rode?! – which were updated to steel rims with pneumatic tyres in the 1920s.
De Rosa SK Pininfarina
The glorious outcome of a tie-up between two high-end Italian designers, the SK draws on De Rosa’s bike building history and Pininfarina’s design chops – famously responsible for some of Ferrari’s greatest cars.
Displayed at the Cycle Show in stealthy black (also available in blue and black, red and black, and black and red), the SK costs £3,000 for frame only.
Canyon Dude CF 9.0 SL fatbike
The German brand has one of the biggest stands on display, and among more normal fare are a stunning commuter bike with integrated front light, and this fatbike. Fatbikes are of course ubiquitous at the show, and the lack of common wheel standards means there are some outlandish sizes on display, but this was one of our favourites.
Raleigh’s new gravel bikes
We nearly bumped into ex-England Rugby captain Martin Johnson while checking these out – now there’s an endorsement for you – and liked what we saw. Prices start around £650 for the base model, but we liked this Mustang Elite which combines an alloy frame with carbon forks and comes with SRAM’s 11 speed 1X Rival groupset, semi-hydraulic disc brakes and a cool name.
If there’s one thing you can’t avoid this year, it’s E-bikes. From the functional to the pretty to the eyewateringly expensive, there’s something here for all tastes.
Grabbing our attention immediately was the Haibike Xduro Fullcarbon Ultimate – a snip at 13 grand, with monocoque frame, Bosch 500wh battery and 120mm of rear travel courtesy of RockShox.
We also liked these retro-styled ‘electric cycles’ from Italy’s Italjet.
Storck Aernario Signature Disc
Another incredible stealthy matt black road bike, this one’s a limited edition (run of 51) model. Company founder Markus Starck signed each one, and handpicked every part – perhaps the reason it weighs in at just 6.3kg. And why it costs somewhere north of £10,000.
We sadly didn’t see anyone making use of the enormous ramp and dirt jumps built by the organisers, but they should get lots of use over the next few days. Hopefully by someone who knows what they’re doing.
Vaaru titanium bikes
Ti is much in evidence this year – which we enjoyed – and small British brand Vaaru had some very nice models going. Piquing our interest was this custom V:8 with curved bridges and Di2 specific internal cable routing. RRP is £7,275, but there’s a 15% discount going if you order one then and there.
Vitus Sommet CRX
A new carbon-framed version of their popular CRX full-suspension enduro model, Vitus say they’ve spent 18 months getting this right – and it shows.
It will be on sale from March 2016, and the top-end version shown here comes with a carbon cockpit, RaceFace carbon cranks, RockShox Pike fork, Mavic Crossmax wheels, dropper seat post… Prices are likely to be around the £3,800 mark for this model, and go down to around £2,800 for the lower-end model.