road.cc’s next Bike LIVE Demo Day takes place at Cannock Chase on 8 April 2017, and here’s why it’s a great venue for choosing your next bike. Brands currently confirmed include Giant, Canyon, Cube, Liv, Rose, Whyte, Ribble, Wilier and Marin. We'll be taking a closer look at all the bikes and bike types: road, gravel and mountain that you can ride there in the coming days and weeks but first let's look at the riding on offer at Cannock Chase.
The Bike LIVE road loop (video, up top) is 5km (3 miles) long. The roads are public but they’re quiet, running mainly through the woods.
The terrain is rolling – nothing too challenging – and you get straight sections along where you can wind up the power along with some tight turns and swooping descents. This all gives you the opportunity to find out how bikes handle in different situations, which is exactly what you need when you’re deciding where best to spend your money.
If you want to blast around the loop to find out which bikes offer the most speed, you’ll find few junctions and little traffic to slow you down. On the other hand, if you want to take it easy and enjoy the scenery as you ride, Cannock Chase has plenty to offer.
We spent the day at Cannock Chase a couple of weeks ago and can vouch for the quality of the road riding. The loop is a blast. If 5km isn’t long enough for you to make up your mind, you can always carry on for a second lap… or more.
You'll be able to test the latest gravel bikes on a mixture of gravel and fire roads over the Chase.
If you’re new to gravel riding, our dedicated loop is a good place to start because it’s well drained and well signposted. The road surfaces are quite sandy in parts but mostly stoney and always solid. The variety makes things exciting!
You get some climbing and descending along with lots of dips and bumps to keep things fun. You can look for a bike’s limits by hammering the hills and pinging through the turns on the drops, or you can take things more steadily if you prefer. There's some great views from the top too.
If you’re a dedicated roadie who’s considering gravel riding for the first time, Bike LIVE is too good an opportunity to miss. The bikes and a fantastic gravel loop will be waiting for you; all you need to do is rock up and ride. You’re guaranteed to come back with a grin on your face.
For those that want to get their tyres properly dirty, the mountain bike demo loop uses a section of the well known Follow the Dog trail. At 4.5km (2.7 miles) long, it’s got everything you need to get to grips with your demo bike, with fast swooping singletrack, the odd drop and jump plus a light dusting of twisty technical trickery, though there’s nothing to strike fear into the heart.
Whether you’re a seasoned rider or relative newbie, the trail offers up entertainment for all abilities and it’s a great place to get to grips with everything from fast hardtails to plush trail bikes. Thanks to proper trail surfacing, it’s rideable in all weather too – though obviously you'll be doing it in glorious sunshine.
Getting back to the top to do it all again is simple, with the bulk of the climbing done on fire road. That means you can ride lots of different bikes back to back during the day or get a real feeling for one that takes your fancy. Either way, you’re going to have a riot.
Our friends at ebiketips will be at Bike Live too, and there will be a range of electric road bikes, leisure bikes and mountain bikes to try out. Depending on the type of bike you’re riding, you can choose the most suitable loop.
Bike LIVE Cannock Chase takes place at:
Birches Valley Forest Centre
It is about 25 miles north of central Birmingham and about nine miles from the M6 motorway.
There is plenty of parking along with toilets and a café.
Cannock Chase has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It’s a mix of natural woodland, coniferous plantations and open heathland.
Bike Live Cannock Chase takes place on Saturday, 8 April 2017.
It starts at 9:30am and you can stay right through until 4:30pm.
Booking your place is simple. Head over to our booking page to get your ticket.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.