The Cycle Show 2013 is open at the NEC, Birmingham this weekend and we were there yesterday to check it out. There are more brands exhibiting than ever before, and here are some of the coolest bikes that caught our eye…
New bike brands are two-a-penny at the moment. Rarely a week goes by when we don’t hear of a new company aiming to tap into Britain’s ever-growing fascination with bikes, but in that crowded marketplace Starley have really made an impact over the past few months.
How have they managed it? Well, part of the appeal is that they make their bikes look amazing. They do all their paintwork to order at a factory in Cheshire, and the finishes are stunning.
Check out this JKS AR, for example (main pic; yes, it does say R1 on the fork; that’s wrong!) in Gulf Racing colours. We love the fact that they’ve done the cable stops in that orange, and it looks even better in the flesh. A real show stopper.
We gave you a sneak peek at Starley’s new JKS Stainless frameset a couple of months ago, so go back to that story for all the details, but the Cycle Show provided us with the first opportunity to see it properly.
The cables run internally and we like the little star that’s added to the top tube near the seat cluster.
The sculpted head tube looks great too.
Starley are providing the bikes for the time trial bikes for the RAF team.
They come with a custom paintjob and graphics.
We don’t reckon this bike is nearly as stylish, but the idea is to show what Starley can do in terms of paint options. This bike actually glows.
And the graphics on this bike have been hand drawn by French illustrator Ugo Gattoni with a Sharpie. You'll either love it or hate it, we guess.
It’s a one off and will be auctioned off at some point, probably around the time of John Starley’s birthday in December.
The third-generation Velocite Magnus is another bike that we’ve told you about recently, but that we’d never actually seen ourselves until yesterday. Like Starley, Velocite is a relatively new brand that’s rapidly making a name for itself.
At the moment, Velocite sell direct to the public via their website but that’s going to change soon. They’re setting up a network of retailers and will be available to buy in-store probably in the new year.
The Magnus is compatible with both electronic and mechanical groupsets, the frame weighs 1,080g (medium) and the fork weighs 360g. Velocite are really keen to emphasis that although the new generation bike is considerably lighter than before, it has lost none of its stiffness. A frameset is £1,590 and you can choose from a whole bunch of custom builds.
That red looks a bit orange here, but it’s actually a really strong,vibrant red, by the way.
Storck bikes generally look striking in a purposeful kind of a way – form definitely follows function here. The most newsworthy bike in the Storck range at the moment is the Aernario Disc. We covered it at Eurobike and even interviewed Markus Storck himself, so rather than us give you the details, follow the link and get them from the yer man Markus.
Storck’s UK distributor has just launched a new website with a Bike Builder section, so you can get exactly the bike you want. The UK distribution is now handled by Storck Raddar UK. Raddar is Storck's electric bike line. Created in 2010 by industry veteran Ian Hughes, Storck Raddar now handles the full Storck line, including clothing.
The Storck Scentron G2 isn’t a new bike, but check out some of these frame details.
Looks pretty neat, huh?
The frame and forks cost £1,929 with complete bikes starting at £3,449.
Specialized have redesigned their Roubaix bikes for 2013 and this is the £1,500 SL4 Disc.
It gets a Shimano Sora groupset while those disc brakes are Shimano 317s.
This is the Shiv Pro Race time trial bike built up with Magura’s RT6 hydraulic brakes and a Shimano Ultegra 11-speed groupset.
It comes with integrated hydration and a frame-mounted Fuelcell system and a price tag of £5,000.
The Xeon Team CGF is a completely new bike for Rose. It’s aimed at the rider who values comfort for longer rides as well as speed, which is being labelled as ‘endurance’ by many manufacturers. Essentially, it’s a bike for anyone who doesn’t race but still wants to ride fast.
You can choose to have it in carbon fibre or, as pictured here, aluminium. Both models share the same geometry and features, and even the tube profiling is the same, you just pay a slight weight penalty on the alloy version.
Check out those seatstays. The rear brake calliper has been relocated, now bolted to the underside of the chainstays. It’s not so much for aero benefits as for the extra compliance that can be designed into the frame.
Here's the alloy version.
Want a carbon road bike that can accommodate mudguards for year-round riding? Enter the Ribble Sportive 365, one of the few such carbon road bikes with this capability. Ribble will do you any build your wallet can stretch to. Prices start from less than £900 for a Shimano 105 build, such as this one.
A more traditional mudguard-equipped road bike here, the lovely looking Reynolds 525 steel model. It’s classic touring/winter training bike, with rack and mudguard mounts. With prices for a complete bike starting at just £680, it’s an ideal second bike if you don’t want to ride a carbon race bike through the winter, say.
Just about every manufacturer with a range of carbon road bikes has at least one stealth option. This is Ribble’s R872. High modulus T800 Toray carbon is used in its construction and there's substantial reinforcing around the head tube and 30mm bottom bracket to stiffen it up. The chainstays are a massive 40mm deep to resist flexing yet the skinny seat stays should provide some buzz damping.
Ribble’s New Sportive Racing bike provides a carbon frame with a relaxed geometry, including a tall head tube and shorter top tube, for the cyclist looking for a smart, sleek and affordable bike for long rides. The frame is made from a combination of Toray T800 and T700 with size-specific tube profiles and a claimed frame weight of 1,050g.
Launched at the Cycle Show last year, this is the HF83. The frame and fork are made by Dedacciai of Italy, and it’s the go-to bike for racers, so expect a stiff and responsive frame with aggressive geometry, then.
Want to do some exploring by bike? Enigma have just the bike in the Explorer, a titanium frame combined with a belt drive, gear hub, disc brakes and mudguards. That’s a few boxes ticked. It has a flat bar, and clearance for 28mm tyres.
Interchangeable slider dropouts mean you could fit a Rohloff or Alfine hub, or even go singlespeed if you want total simplicity.
Enigma’s long-running Etape is a titanium touring bike in the classic sense, with simple round tubes, a slightly dropped top tube and a carbon fork. Mudguards are fitted and there’s even an elegant titanium rack that we like a lot.
The frame has actually been updated for 2014, with double-butted tubes standard and an internally tapered seat tube.
The elegant Elle is Enigma’s titanium road bike for women cyclists, with specific compact geometry and it’s supplied in 50cm and 52cm frame sizes. There’s a custom option if you have specific demands. This example has been given a little flourish of detail around the front end, demonstrating Enigma’s skills with titanium finishing.
Enigma recently opened Paintworks, their own frame spraying facility that they're offering to everyone, not just Enigma frame buyers. Prices start from £200 for a single colour spray and rise incrementally depending on the complexity you want. These frames demonstrate some of the myriad of combinations and options.
This beautiful Elite has been completely redesigned for 2014. The frame is now made from a Columbus Spirit HSS triple-butted tubeset and features a tapered head tube – a rarity on steel frames – with a claimed weight of 1,550g. Enigma build the Elite by hand at their new facility and that means they can do a custom finish for no extra cost.
The cyclocross season is in full swing and Cinelli’s Zydeco is without doubt one of the neatest ’cross frames we’ve seen. The frame is constructed from Columbus Zonal triple-butted tubes with a curved top tube for shouldering the bike.
The bottom bracket is a smidgen higher for increased pedal-ground clearance, the wheelbase is longer and the head tube steeper. Like an increasing number of ’cross frames, it has disc mounts.
If you want to tackle massive distance rides, and I’m talking here about rides like the 12,000km Tour d’Afrique, then you need a tough and capable bike. Like the Cinelli Hobo. Three riders completed that long-distance event on the Hobo, so it’s clearly up to the job at hand. The frame is Columbus Life tubing, TIG welded into a bike that will take racks, mudguards and fat tyres.
Here’s the finished version, all built up into a full bike.
Oh, and while we’re about it, we might as well show you a pic of Dom Mason, Mr Kinesis UK, with his BikeBiz Award for best bike brand. You might think he's posing for the camera, but he actually stood like that for a solid eight hours on the Kinesis stand. Last we saw, they were hoovering around him before turning the lights out.
We're not saying this is a definitive round up, by the way. We've not even got around to showing you Colnago, Bianchi, Trek, or a bunch of other brands yet.
The Cycle Show is open all weekend at the NEC, Birmingham. Get yourself along there and check out the bikes and action for yourself.
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, 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 past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.