This year’s Core Bike show, held at the upmarket Whittlebury Hall Hotel near Silverstone in the UK, gave members of the industry and press the chance to get up close with more 2015 bikes and gear.
Here’s what caught our eyes this year.
Colnago has a fine selection of modern road bikes, but it's the Master that always catches the eye. First appearing under pros in the mid-1980s, the Master is a classic machine made in Italy with custom drawn DT15V steel.
The tubing has distinctive ridges creating a club-like shape akin to the Colnago logo and is held together with chrome-plated lugs, which match the reflective 1in fork. Available in 16 sizes and seven colours – including this Mapei team option – frame and fork packages cost £2,199. Don't you dare pair it with anything but Campagnolo.
Related: Check out our Colnago Master X-Light Art Décor review.
The Astute shape is consistent across all the brand's saddles. The top-end Skycarb has a carbon shell and rails, the Skylite features a nylon shell with carbon rails and the Skyline offers a nylon shell and titanium rails.
Each saddle is available with a cut-out (VT) or traditional closed design (SR). Astute has also introduced Pilarga versions of the Skylite and Skyline, which offer a 145mm rather than 135mm width and scuff guards on the edges of the saddles.
Padding comes from three types of foam, layered over the V-shaped shell design for comfort and support, then covered with a layer of microfibre. The rails and shell sandwich buzz-reducing rubber inserts at the rear, construction that Astute calls Shock Pad Absorber System.
The finish of the saddles is superb with no staples or stitching visible and a variety of shell colours are available. Prices range from £125 up to £360.
Related: Check out our Astute Skylite VT review
Reynolds ATR disc wheel
Reynolds is a company best known for its aerodynamic wheels, but it’s also one that's reacting decisively towards the ever-growing road disc trend. Having already launched disc versions of its Assault (£1,349), Attack (£1,299), 46 Aero (£1,899) and Stratus Pro (£699) wheels – all now tubeless ready – the brand’s newest ATR wheel is designed to offer something for rougher stuff.
The All Terrain Road wheels are pitched for everything from cyclocross to off-road and gravel biking. Reynolds has adopted a Centerlock disc interface, which gives easy Shimano disc compatibility. The rim is 28mm wide to accommodate 28 to 35mm tyres and comes in at £1,199.
Reynolds appears enthusiastic about the road disc market, the removal of the braking surface allowing the company to completely change the way it designs wheels. Now, if Reynolds can just sort the aero penalty for the disc, the brand will be leading the charge for road disc.
Storck Visioner range
Completely new for 2015, the Visioner range opens up Storck’s usual price-prohibitive exclusivity to a much wider market. The alloy Visioner is no slouch with an 1,190g frame weight and comes in at £1,549 with 10-speed Shimano 105 gears.
The Visioner C (pictured) offers a full carbon frame weighing 1,250g with 11-speed 105 5800 compact gearing for £1,799 (£1,059 for frame and fork) – something unthinkable from the German brand not so long ago.
Naturally, Storck also offers a more refined Visioner too, the CSL model using a higher quality carbon to drop the weight down to 850g. It’s available as a frameset for £2,199 or with 11-speed Ultegra (minimum spec) for £3,549.
2015 also marks Storck’s 20th year in the bike business and the brand is celebrating in high-end style by offering special bundles including exclusive anniversary framesets, a bike case, a polo shirt and a certificate signed by Markus Storck himself.
The Light Blue
Cambridge-based brand The Light Blue has been creating bikes since 1895 and that heritage continues today with a range of stunningly beautiful traditional road bikes.
The model that really caught our eye was this St Johns Retro prototype. Reynolds 720 tubing is finished with a classic paint job along with a throwback Genetic Clubman compact chainset, Dia Comple levers, centre-pull callipers and down tube shifters. Halo’s Retro wheelset and Twin Rail Courier tyres continue the look along with Genetic Heritage bars and seatpost. This prototype also has polished copper mudguards that are simply stunning. The Light Blue’s range starts at £1,499.
The Light Blue was also showing off one of founder J A Townsend’s track bikes from 1900 – a 100T beast of a chainring is paired with a 32T rear sprocket. The original cane wheels of yesteryear were replaced with the steel rims and pneumatic tyres of yesteryear in the 1920s.
Tour de France Buffs
Buff has secured official licensing rights for the Tour de France in 2015, so expect to see more and more of these as July draws nearer. The range covers a variety of designs – naturally including yellow and red polka dot – in regular High UV Buff (£17), helmet liner (£17) or neckwarmer (£31) styles. If you’re a fan of Joaquim Rodrigues, Buff also has a Purito range on sale.
Overade Plixi helmet
One for our commuting audience, the Overade Plixi is a helmet that folds down to a third of its original volume. The Plixi was developed to overcome the annoying cumbersomeness of carrying a helmet around all day after reaching work, something Overade’s research shows is a major barrier to commuters wearing helmets in the first place.
The Plixi’s ABS hard shell is quick to unfold and locks securely in place with a reassuringly solid clunk. There’s also a waterproof cover that stretches over the top when unfolding to help keep the elements out of the 14 vents. The Plexi comes in two sizes and two colours (black or white), but there are also a number of coloured Velcro-on peaks to further customise your lid. The Plixi costs £80.
Hope Carbon 45 wheels
Coming in tubular, rim clincher or disc clincher flavours, Hope’s new aero road wheels have a 45mm rim depth and 25mm width. The unidirectional carbon rim is sourced from the far east, but the wheels are built up in the UK with Sapim C-Xray bladed spokes on Hope’s ultra smooth rolling RS Aero hubs.
The graphics are elegantly simple in shiny black to match the hubs and look particularly good on the disc model, where they reach right to the edge of the rim. The disc wheels use Hope’s XC6 hubs with six-bolt rotor mounting.
Claimed weights are 1,495g for the tub version, 1,690g for the clinchers and 1,856g for the disc option (without rotor). All cost a very reasonable £995 per set.
It’ll be interesting to see whether Hope’s recent experimentation with in-house carbon fabrication – a full carbon seatpost – will see them progress onto British-made rims in the future too.
Lynskey road bikes
Tennessee-based titanium specialist Lynskey was showing off a large collection at Core Bike, with several road options all in their naked Ti glory. One of the coolest elements of all Lynskey’s bikes is the logos and model numbers – some companies use paint or decals, Lynskey uses metal, bolt-on style detailing that oozes steampunk cool.
Of particular note was the Lynskey ProCross. Disc ready and with all the clearance you’ll want for getting muddy with wide tyres, the ProCross has an eye-catching twisted Helix downtube, which apparently aids re-mounting and accelerating. We just think it looks great in a weird kind of way.
Check out more shots of this lot, as well as more from Core Bike, in the gallery above.