London Bike Show 2014 Tech Preview: Just some of the bikes and kit highlights
Starring: Parlee, Scapin, Salsa, Canyon, Kinesis, Fizik, Kask, Raleigh, Neil Pryde, Marin & more
We've already told you about all the features that will be at this year's London Bike Show now it's time to talk about the bikes and kit. So whether you're planning to go or yet to decide, here's just a taster of what you can expect to see, without giving it all away and spoiling the fun.
If you read our review of the Aprire Vincenza you'll know I was impressed. The team behind this new British designed, Italian built brand and their very fine looking and handling carbon fibre road bike will be at the show so you can have a chat to tell you more about their bikes and the philosophy behind them.
London's Bespoke Cycling look after some very cool brands, among them Parlee - probably the ultimate boutique carbon bike maker. The US company's latest aero road bike the ESX will be one of the undoubted stars of the show, combing cutting edge aerodynamics with carbon fibre technology. Parlee marketing manager Tom Rodi will also be in London and manning the stand, so if you have any burning questions you want to ask him about go-faster carbon lay-ups and the like, now is your chance.
Neil Pryde may not have the pedigree of Parlee but they have been building a name for themselves with their range of carbon bikes over the last couple of years. The company, with its background in wind surfing, made a successful debut with two road bikes the Diablo andthe Alize respecively an aggressive race bike and an aero road machine. Now they have their first dedicated sportive bike, the Zephyr - we saw it recently at the CORE Bike Show, now you can see and touch it at the London show.
You can also have a look at the new POC Octal helmet, we think the first time it's been show at any UK bicycle show since its launch late last year - okay, except for CORE, but that's trade only. You might decide it looks better in real life than the photos.
Another bike worth hunting out at the London show is the Raleigh Militis, the Militis 3 took bronze in the road.cc 2013/14 Bike of the Year awards. It's certainly a striking looking machine - especially in the black and yellow colourway Raleigh sent in for our Bike of the Year shoot. It's beauty though is more than skin/laquer outer layer deep. This is a seriously good bit of kit that marks a dramatic return to form when it comes to designing top end race bikes by Nottingham's finest. Better still they've managed to produce a pro-level carbon race bike at a (relatively) affordable price. Well worth searching out… though we doubt it'll take much searching.
Yup, you'll be able to clap eyes on this stunning Kinesis Aethein, which we think is just one of the prettiest road bikes around at the moment and yeat another flag bearers for the return of the aluminium race bike. Going by the interest generated on the site finding it at the show should simply be a matter of following the crowd
Upgrade Bikes, who look after Kinesis in the UK, will also be showing this novel folding helmet from Overade, novel in that it does actually fold up. That makes it easily transportable, so if you get the train into London and then jump on a Boris bike, and don't want to lug around a conventional lid, this might be the solution.
Marin Bikes are enjoying a bit of a renaissance at the moment. New owner, new boss, lots of new bikes. There is a lot more in the pipeline as well we're told. They're well into disc brakes as well, as this Cortina T3 CX Pro shows, and it'll be on display on Paligap's stand.
There's also the Stelvio T3 Pro, your go-to choice if you want a regular all-carbon race-ready bike.
Who doesn't like a fancy saddle? (Okay well you can skil this bit). At the moment they don't come much fancier than Fizik's brand new Volta saddle, a design which fuses old school saddleaetheticswith modern saddle construction technology. You can get the full story on the Volta here and amaze your friends (maybe) as you casually display your in-depth knowledge of the design process that led to the creation of while walking past (or probably even stopping) at the Fizik stand.
There will be Canyons there, which means you'll be able to look at and possibly touch bikes like the Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 (he new and even more ultimate version of the previous Ultimate), which as you know finished a credible 5th in the road.cc Bike of the Year 2013/14 competition, and also bagged the Best Value Bike of the Year accolade. No mean feat.
Velobrands will be there with their brands such as Chapeau!, Juice Lubes and KASK, So you can check out the recently reviewed Dieci helmet for yourself.
Salsa will be showing the Colossal and Warbird, two disc-equipped road bikes - well, one disc equipped road bike and one disc equipped gravel racer to be precise. Both bikes launched around 18 months ago now, but they still set our pulses racing.
Salsa designed the Colossal (above) for the tricky fast tourer meets crit racer niche. Maybe not the most obvious niche but the end result is a bike that's designed to be able to tough it out in all conditions. Sounds good to us. Looks good too. It is a bike that's threatened to prize open more than one of the road.cc team's purse strings.
And what's stopped them splashing the cash you ask? Well being skint is a slight handicap, but so too is the nagging feeling that maybe it's the Warbird we want… Gravel racers being so achingly fashionable 'n' all. Fair play to Salsa though they spotted the trend earlier than most and the Warbird probably has a strong claim to being the first production gravel race machine, and although gravel roads may be in short supply in these parts it's also a type of bike that looks like it should stack up well in British condititions
If you want to see some truly exotic bikes such as this Zullo Vergine, a very classy steel road bike make a beeline for the Mosquito Cycles stand. Just check out that paint job - you can get an even closer look in real life.
If carbon is more your cup of tea, then this striking Alchemy Arion might just be your thing. It's an aero road bike handmade in the US.
Last but not least, keep an eye out for the Scapin Etika RC in all it's orangey Campagnolo Super Record equipped plus assorted bling German bitted glory… lately of road.cc Towers but cruelly snatched away from us so you could get to see it up close. Don't let our pain be in vain.
So, plenty to feast your eyes on then, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Head over to www.thelondonbikeshow.co.uk to find out how to get to the show and purchase your tickets.