The London Bike Show kicks 2013 into life with the chance to see some of this year’s hottest new bikes, the shiniest new kit, cutting-edge clothing and some of the country’s fastest riders in the exciting, and very much indoors, IG London Nocturne criterium race.
Held in London’s ExCel arena from 17-20 January, the London BIke Show is now in its third year and is London’s only bicycle show. You can get tickets from the website, where you can also see a full list of exhibitors and events.
To give you a taste of what to expect, here’s a few highlights, in terms of bikes and kit we know will be there and some of the stuff we expect to be there plus our pick of the many events that will be taking place as part of the show. We wil be updating our preview with any other cool stuff we find out about in the run up to the show on Friday.
Let's kick things off with a UK road.cc exclusive, we can reveal that Wilier’s spanking new Zero 9 will be on display. It’s based on the Zero 7 (that we reviewed in 2011) but a different carbon fibre layup sees it being tuned to offer a more forgiving ride, and it’s not quite as light either - so should be easier on your wallet too. When we say 'not quite a light' though - it's still light. Frame weight for the Zero 9 is sub-1kg, so don't go running away with the idea that it's heavy. Looks are more classic than the Cento 1 SR and there’s a tapered headtube and BB386 bottom bracket. It also has a conventional seatpost rather than the Cento 1’s integrated seatmast. One for the classicists then.
Exclusives are like buses round here… we can also exclusively reveal that Marin, a brand better known in the UK for their mountain bikes, but one that actually produce a good range of road bikes too, will unveil a brand new 900g carbon framed road machine at the show. The Verona is a bike built for logging the miles like the Wilier with an emphasis on comfort, there's space for fatter 25mm tyres and the frame has a taller headtube. The £1,399.99 price tag is very competitive, and the frame is complete with on-trend details like internal cable routing for clean looks and seatstays designed to absorb vibration - Marin going for the curved school of seatsay rather than pencil thin straight ones.
Upgrade Bikes will be showing the a road.cc favourite the Racelite TK3 which recently featured in our Top 10 Bikes of the Year. We described it as a “proper race bike for all conditions that's just as at home on the commute, the chaingang or charging round the lane.” So if you want to see what all the fuss is about, this is your chance. Kinesis will also be showing off a new complete Pro6 Cross Disc bike in Shocking Green colour… you won’t be able to miss it
And while on the Upgrade Bikes stand, be sure to have a good look at the latest range of Reynolds wheels. The new Aero range should be on display, which sees the aero tech from the reassuringly expensive RZR’s trickle down to more affordable price points. Still pricey mind, just not as pricey. And of course the RZRs should be there too. Nice.
Tubeless road tyres potentially represent the next step in tyre technology but there’s been few supporters in the industry. Until now. Schwalbe will be showing the Ultremo ZX tubeless tyre, which they say is their fastest ever tyre. We'll be queuing up at the Schwalbe stand asking for a set to test.
Ison Distribution have a stable of classy road brands including Salsa, Surly, All City, and Light Blue plus a big range of components and accessoriies too. Here's three of their bikes we'll certainly be hoping to see.
First off, the Surly DIsc Trucker which rolled in a very well deserved 5th in our Top 10 Bikes of the Year awards. It might be made from relatively humble 4130 steel, but it rides so well, is so well though and does pretty much everything we'd ask of a bike with such big mile credentials. A classic.
Next up, two of the most eagerly anticipated bike releases, at least here at road.cc towers, the Salso Colossal and Warbird. Both offer road bikes with disc brakes. The Colossal has been designed as a fast touring meets crit raer, designed to be able to tough it out in all conditions, react fast and handl well at speed. We really want to see this one cos we didn't have long enough to take a proper look at Eurobike. Also it comes in two favours - steel or Titanium and we're torn as to which we'd rather own. Ti is so, what's the word? Nice. But that blue steel one looks pretty special too… and it's considerably cheaper. Whether in steel or Ti both bikes comes with Enve's new carbon road disc specific fork.
The Warbird meanwhile is designed for the rather strange ‘gravel racing’ that is quietly becoming popular over in the US and it's tickled the fancy of a couple of the 'cross riders round here. In essence it’s a road bike but with extra clearance for mud and grit, and so you can fit fatter tyres, and extra stability from a longer wheelbase and relaxed angles. Salsa aren't showing up on the brand list for the show but Ison would surely not leave these beauties back in the warehouse? Would they? We'll find out and report back.
American brand Rivet Cycleworks will be in attendance and showing off their new stock of leather saddles. They feature a cutaway section that reduces the break-in time of the saddle so it should be comfortable out of the box. They’ll be on the Carardice stand. We'll be interested to find out how that cutaway holds its shape over time.
Action Cameras will exhibit the latest Drift HD Ghost video camera. It has such features as a built-in LCD colour screen and a remote control, giving you better control over what you’re actually filming. Less point and hope. And the remote can be mounted on the wrist for easier access to the record and stop buttons. It films in in full 1080p HD video and has an 11mp camera and adjustable burst photo mode. It’ll cost £299.99.
Time are famous for their clipless pedals. For 2013 they've revamped their range with the new Xpresso model being their lightest ever pedal. As well as lopping a load of weight off, they've increased the surface area of contact, and they're more competitively priced too. Well worth a look… as it were.
There’s good reason to visit the Fizik stand. The Italian company has been busy, with new saddles, shoes and, in a first, handlebars and stems. The new Cyrano handlebar marks an interesting change of direction for the company, but considering they do saddles and bar tape, it does look like the next natural step. They’ll be on display on the Extra UK stand.
Fizik's shoe range has expanded tow, with new trail and triathlon models and a new more affordable road model. The new R5 loses none of the good looks that make the R1 and R3 so appealing. It’s still handmade in Italy and makes do with a carbon-reinforced nylon outsole, rather than a full carbon sole.
Where you can also see the new Arione saddle, including the lightest ever incarnation of the popular saddle.
There will be a number of team launches at the show. The CTC will use the London Bike Show to launch a new elite women’s team, comprising six riders who will compete at home and abroad. The team will be riding N7even frames from Merlin Cycles.
Festina, the official timekeeper for the Tour de France and Tour of Britain, will be showing a new collection of cycling-inspired Chrono Bike watches. They’ll also be showing limited edition Tour de France and Tour of Britain watches. And while there, make sure to enter a competition to win a Rapha-Condor team signed helmet, Festina watch and cycling jersey.
USE will be showing their brand new aero wheels with their unique slippery coating at the show, which we first saw at Eurobike last September. This special coating is claimed to reduce the surface friction leading to improved aerodynamic performance.
Genesis Bikes will officially launch the new Madison Genesis Road Team, and they’ll be taking part in their first race of 2013. It’ll signal the first opportunity anyone has had to see the new bikes, which have been causing quite a bit of a stir since they first announced they would be racing on steel bikes. They’ve managed to keep the secrets a closely guarded secret, but we do know it’ll be a Reynolds 953 frame with race geometry, and they’ve been working closely with the tubing manufacturer so we’re expecting something a little special. We do know the name, Volare...
Trials legend Danny MacAskill will be be signing posters on the Continental stand on Saturday, between 3 and 5pm. While there be sure to check out the latest tyres, we hear there might be some new models on display.
We brought you news of Zipp’s two new wheelsets, the 30 Clincher and 60 Clincher, earlier this week, and if you head to the Fisher Outdoor stand (the UK distributor) you’ll be able to see the wheels up close. In a further move of top-end tech trickling down to lower price points, the 60 Clincher borrows heavily from the expensive 202/303/404 carbon clinchers with a carbon/aluminium clincher that looks to be very good value for what is expect to be a fast wheel.
Lots to see at the Brompton stand. They've introduced a raft of refined products, including a super neat toolkit that slides inside the frame, behind the main hinge. It has all the essential tools you need to keep your bike running smoothly. There's also lighter and tougher wheels, and a new magnetic water bottle. A new crankset makes it easier to change the chainring to get the right ratio for your route to work.
And saving the best for Canyon Bicycles will proudly be showing the Ultimate AL 9.0 Di2, which recently rode of with the road.cc bike of the year 2012 award. At its heart is an aluminium frame with a tapered headtube and press-fit bottom bracket and it’s dressed with a Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset, for an all-up weight of just 7.86kg. In terms of bangs per buck it really delivers a superb ride - and if you've not yet fallen under the spell of electronic shifting the non Di2 version is an even bigger steal.
More info, and tickets, at www.thelondonbikeshow.co.uk
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.