The 2012 Cycle Show opens tomorrow, but it's trade day so here's a quick and slightly muzzy-headed selection of some of the highlights we've spotted so far. We'll be bringing more in-depth reporting once we get back to roadcc towers… and the Resolve has had a chance to kick in.
There's been lots of excitement around the launch of the new Kinesis TK3 winter bike and now we've seen it in the flesh - proudly sporting it's PowerBulge top tube, tapered head tube, and that all carbon Kinesis fork - Dom Mason, reckons it's the only full carbon, tapered steerer, long drop brake compatible fork in the world that also has mudguard eyelets - I didn't ask if they would be offering it as a standalone item, (I will) but I can imagine there are a few people out there who would be interested in it as an upgrade to their current bike.
That fork combined with the flared head tube and the Power Bulge top tube is designed to make the front end super strong and super stiff - rough roads aren't going to knock this bike off-line and handling should be pin sharp. However because it has a slightly longer wheel base than a 'summer' road bike sharp handling shouldn't transform in to twitchiness - that's the theory anyway.
The Power Bulge is an interesting feature - at first sight it looks like a fairly standard tube that's been externally butted. In fact it's internally butted and then flared to give the bulge and increase the contact area where it meets the head tube.
We're really looking forward to throwing a leg over the TK3 - if it's as good as it looks this is going to be a winter bike it's going to be hard to put away come summertime.
Aside from the TK3 the other bike to grab our attention on the Kinesis stand was their new Crosslight Evo5 - loving that colour… wouldn't mind a TK3 in that colour actually.
Ooh here's another cool thing from the same stand - these Praxis chainrings. Basically if you've got a standard 50-34 chainset but want a bigger gear… you can fit these. They have the same bolt circle diameter (BCD) as a standard compact but the rings are 52-36. Clever. Praxis were also showing a neat BB30 adaptor too.
Over at the Condor stand they've got some very fine looking kit - as you'd expect. The two bikes to grab our attention were the newly redesigned Terra-X cross bike now with a curved top tube - the idea being to give additional space when shouldering the bike. The frame also gives you the choice of old or new schooled braking options as it takes cantis or discs - the show bike came fitted with the latest version of TRP's Parabox hydraulic brake converters.
Loving that Belgian nationals paint job - although not sure I'd personally feel right riding it being neither Belgian or a champion, but maybe that's just cos I'm feeling a bit squeamish today. The Terra-X is available as a frame and fork for £799 or in various build options - with a complete build with discs available for £1769.99.
We love Ti (well, I do) so no surprise that the other Condor to snag my eye was the Gran Fondo Ti… a bike to brighten even the bleariest eye. Made from triple butted Dedacciai K19 3Ai.2.5v Ti tubing laser etched, with raw Ti dropouts and a Condor Pioggia carbon fork - the basic frameset will set you back £2199.99 or as a complete build from £2949.99… my eyes have started to water now.
If you're visiting the show the Pinarello stand has to be one of your first ports of call - as you'd expect they've got plenty of the new Dogma2 65.1 although surprisingly Bradley Wiggins' Tour winning bike isn't here. Just next to the main stand Pinarello have a selection of their retro-inspired steel bikes including the Treviso and a special Giro d'Italia tribute bike.
Ribble are at the show too, showing off some seriously good value for money bikes. The Pro Evo Carbon builds start at just £800, and they have a big range of aluminium and steel bikes on display too that are well worth checking out.
This is the Reynolds 525 steel frame and builds start from £679 on this one; we reckon it's a good looking option of you're looking for a winter all-rounder. You get rack mounts and mudguard clearance for commuting and wet weather duties.
Right, that's it for now! time to put on the eye mask and have a lie down...
Tickets cost £13 in advance or £16 on the door and kids under 15 are just £1 with a paying adult. But enter RCC into the voucher code box and you'll only pay £11.50. How about that? Get your tickets here!
To mark the brand new Tour Ride Cycle Show Sportive – the last event of the 2012 Tour Ride series, which takes place at the end of this month, road.cc has teamed up with The Cycle Show and Trek to offer you the chance to win a Trek Domane 4.3 road bike, worth £1,800! Get your details in the hat now.
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.