We spent yesterday having a good old gander at the stands at The Cycle Show at the NEC. If you're going this weekend, and you don't have a ticket, don't forget to book in advance online and use the code RCC to get yourself £1.50 off your ticket.
Uvex EDAero helmet launched
Uvex have been working with bequiffed German powerhouse Marcel Kittel to develop this helmet. ED stands for Every Day, so this is an aero lid that’s designed for more than just TTing.
We know what you’re thinking: “How many watts does this save, and what’s the resultant time saving over a 40km course at an average of 38km/h?”. Even if you’re not thinking that, We can provide the answers: 16W, and 1m 25s. Allegedly. That’s over a ‘conventional aero sprint helmet’, by which we assume they mean a Giro Air Attack or somesuch. How quickly those have become ‘conventional’, eh? Remember when it was a bongo hat?
Anyway, we tried it on and it’s nice and comfy, with a BOA closure at the back and good padding. There’s deep channels and front and rear vents to pull cool air across your bonce whn you’re riding, and importantly two of the vents are designed for you to shove the arms of your riding glasses into, to pack them away if you don’t want to wear them.
No word on pricing or availability yet on that one.
Forme Hooklow road disc bikes and Flash Ltd race bike
Forme’s alloy-framed, big-clearance Hooklow looks like a good platform for anyone that wants a go-anywhere road bike that’s happy to take a bit of a beating. It’s aimed very much at the cycle-to-work end of the market, and looks like a good value buy.
The two bikes share the same frame, with chunky welds and hydroformed tubes. The Hooklow 2, at £599, is the cheaper of the two with a Shimano Claris groupset; paying £799 gets you the better equipped Hooklow 1 with Shimano Sora gears. Both bikes have mechanical discs, wheels with Araya disc rims and 32mm all-purpose tyres.
The Flash LTD isn’t new, but it caught our eye because it uses the same FAST fork as the Ridley Noah. It’s branded 4ZA, which is Ridley’s components offshoot. The Dura Ace build shown here is £4,999
Rose drop their pants. Erm, prices
This is Fin from Rose checking his hastily-scribbled price list translated from Euros. And boy, does it ever have some bargains in it.
The Xeon X-Lite 4000, with full Dura Ace and a claimed weight of 6.25kg, could hardly have been called anything other than a bargain at the 2014 price of £2,822. But the 2015 bike looks like it’ll be coming in at somewhere around £2,650, which is nothing short of astonishing. That’s with Ritchey WCS carbon finishing gear and a set of Mavic Ksyrium SLS wheels, too.
Or take the Xeon CRS 3000: Full carbon, full Ultegra groupset and Mavic Ksyrium Elite S wheels. Last year this bike was £1,600, but for 2015 it looks like it’ll be around £1,400. Where Rose have managed to find £200 out of a bike that was already about as cheap as any we can think of for that build is beyond us, frankly. But we’ll wait and see what the 2015 fairy brings.
Beacon bikes are growing
We’ve yet to have a Beacon bike in on test (we’re working on it) but they seem to be going from strength to strength and they had a nice big stand at this year’s show. They sponsor the Haribo-Beacon cycling team that Steven Burke currently rides for, and Dean Downing will be joining in 2015.
The BF-100 is the team race bike and it’s available in a wide range of colours and builds that start at £2,649 and go North from there.
We liked the look of the BF-70, their sportive carbon frame. That starts at £1,480 for a SRAM Apex build but you can have Shimano or Campag if you prefer.
Colourful, sensible town bikes
One of the urban trends we spotted at Eurobike was that urban bikes were less about concepty looks and gunmetal grey, and there was more classic lines, colour and fun knocking about. There’s a fair bit of that coming through to the UK market too.
Here’s Barracuda’s Delphinus step-through bike, by way of example. At £279 for either a derailleur gear or three-speed hub version,it’s a cheap and practical-looking bike for short journeys. You get full mudguards and a chain case, and a rack is a simple addition.
Raleigh’s Spirit is very much along the same lines, and also available in a range of colours. At £350 it’s a bit more expensive but you do get the rack as standard and a wicker basket for your bread and sunflowers.
The Gazelle Miss Grace will set you back a bit more than that. Gazelle are huge across the North Sea – they hoover up about 30% of bike sales in their domestic market, the Netherlands – but they’re not a common sight over here. Talking to the crew on the stand, though, they see the UK very much as an emerging market for good quality transport bikes, and they’re going to be aiming for a much higher profile over here in the next decade.
The Miss Grace is available with 3- or 7-speed Nexus gears for £579 and £639 respectively.
Our favourite bike on the Gazelle stand was the lovely Van Stael with its understated steel Mixte frame, Brooks Cambium saddle and shiny bell. Again, 3- and 7-speed versions are available, and it costs £529 or £619.
Just to prove concepty looks and gunmetal grey aren’t completely over, here’s Gazelle’s Cityzen C7…
…although because it’s a sensible Dutch bike you still get a chainguard and a kickstand.
To complete the nice urban bikes bit is this fantastic Cube Elly Cruise e-bike with a Bosch drive system, built in rack and tan Fat Frank tyres. Just the ticket for easy and stylish town riding. We’d like one with a rigid fork and discs instead of Magura hydraulic rim brakes, though. Make it so, Cube.
Raleigh’s RX cyclocross bike comes in a range of builds. At the show they had a rather snazzy yellow one, complete with a Gates carbon belt drive and TRP Hylex hydraulic discs.
Singlespeed CX is pretty niche, and belt drives are niche too, so putting the two together seems like fun. We don’t know if Raleigh actually plan to release this, we’re guessing they’re gauging demand. Given we had to wait for the crowds to part to get snaps of it, seems like there’ll definitely be demand…
Bergamont e-bikes coming to the UK
Bergamont are another of those huge continental brands that have a stand you could could get lost in at Eurobike but very little presence in the UK. They make a massive range of electric bikes, as all continental manufacturers seem to do, and some of that range will be coming to the UK through the Electric Bike Corporation.
This is the one we want most: the Bergamont e-Line Sweep N8 Di2. Catchy name, eh? The bike on the stand was a prototype so we’re not sure how close to actual stock EBC are on this one, but it looks great.
For a start, it has a porteur rack you can fit a case of beer in. That’s an automatic extra tick on the scoresheet.
The e-Line Sweep etc etc uses Shimano’s new STEPS e-bike system which they’re lining up as a challenger to the Bosch motor that’s pretty much ubiquitous on top-end electric bikes now. The Shimano system is lighter and a bit simpler but it doesn’t seem to be any less expensive, given the £2,399 price tag Bergamont have slapped on this bike. We’re itching to try it though.
Crankpump CO2 inflator
A chap collared us when we were walking round to show us his current Kickstarter pitch, the Crankpump. Ever heard the dreaded hiss and realised you forgot to stick your pump in your jersey pocket? The Crankpump is a simple idea: a CO2 inflator that slides inside the hollow axle of your Shimano cranks. It screws into the axle in place of that odd plastic nut you’ve lost the tool for (don’t worry, it comes in a package that includes one), and sits there until you need it, quietly biding its time.
Sounds like a good idea. We’re not entirely sold on the tiny tyre levers, although we haven’t tried them yet. To find out more, head over to the Kickstarter pitch https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/crankpump/crankpump-the-invisible-b...
Things that flash that aren’t lights
There’s a few of them at the show. Lights built into jackets aren’t a new thing, but Visijak’s two jackets manage to do it in a way that’s nice and clear without being hugely obtrusive.
There’s two sets of white LEDs at the front and a red strip to the rear, and they’re powered by a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery. You’d need to pair them with lights that are attached to your bike to actually be riding legally at night, but they’re a good backup or emergency option.
Visijak do another version of the jacket with orange LEDs in the sleeves, which sense hand signals and turn on automatically when you stick your arm out.
Ped-i-Bal also had flashy things, this time flashy rucksacks with LED arrows hidden in the pack. A wireless remote helps you signal your intentions. It looks okay in principle but we had some fundamental issues with the current crop.
There’s left and right arrows, so you can signal to turn. However, they don’t auto cancel after a few seconds like they should, they stay flashing for ages. The remote button flashesto show you’ve pressed it, but that manages to stop when it should, even though the arrow on your back is still blinking away. Upshot: you don’t know whether your arrow is on or not.
You can cancel the arrow by pressing and holding another, central, button, but you have to remember and there’s no visual cue.
Also, there’s a forward arrow (pointing up) that has no obvious meaning as it doesn’t relate to any motor vehicle signal. What does it mean? I’m going forward? Overtake me? Or just, “this is my head”?
Yeah, we’re not convinced about that one. At all.
Stique gave us one of their new multitools. They successfully funded their first run on Kickstarter and now they’re looking foe equity funding to take production to the next level.
They’re manufactured from a super-durable plastic that car manufacturers use toreplace metal parts. The tool is based around three tyre levers, held together with magnets, and there’s hex bits, spoke keys, coin holders, a bottle opener and even a thermometer built in.
Pricing for the first tool is TBC, but it’ll probably be around £27. The next generation tool will look to squeeze in a chain tool as well.
Early rider balance and junior bikes
First things first: a balance bike with drop bars. Hell yeah! Make sure your kids are getting a flat back from an early age…
Early rider also had a cracking 20” kids’ mountain bike with a belt drive and a SRAM three speed hub. It had a decent suspension fork too, and Ritchey finishing kit (The Early Rider chaps are friends of Tom Ritchey) and as a whole package it looked like you’d be the coolest kid at the BMX track/trai/canal towpath/etc. Price is TBC but in the region of £450-500.
Check out our road.cc kit on the Primal stand!
That’s it really. Check it out. and buy it: http://shop.road.cc
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.