The London Bike Show is running until the 16th February and we were there for the second year running, on the lookout for new and exciting bits of kit – and to drool at the bikes a little.
First impressions were that it was a bit smaller than last year with fewer manufacturers occupying smaller stands. There was still a lot to see though and with extra sections for Triathlon, Outdoor and Travel plus the Dive show on Saturday and Sunday.
We love our shiny bikes and whether they are carbon, aluminium or steel; road, cyclocross, mountain or folding; we like to check them out. Our full gallery of pictures is below but here were our highlights:
Yorkshire’s finest always turn up with a stunning collection of bikes offering great value for money and are firm favourites with triathletes. Although there wasn’t much new on the stand it’s a great opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with the bikes you normally only get to see on a website, unless you visit their shops in Sheffield and Barnsley.
Carbon features heavily on the bikes at a price point most mainstream manufacturers struggle to beat apart from when the sales are on. Their sister brand OnOne covers mountain bikes with every wheelsize and suspension option catered for.
Another manufacturer known for the great value online offering, Canyon only have one store – in Germany! There are really pushing things forward though, sponsoring two of the Tour’s biggest teams Movistar and Katusha. How they do it for the money is beyond us as the retail price of the groupset and wheel combinations are roughly the same at the finished bike – with frame!
There were some heated debates about the best bike on the stand, mainly coming down to whether you liked blue / Campy or Black / Shimano. We’ll let you decide…
The MTB range was very impressive too with full-carbon 29ers at around £1,500 and stunning full-suspension setups for less than £2,500. You can spend a lot on a new bike if you are serious about the sport and these guys seem to offer amazing value for money. Beware though, warranty returns have to go back to Germany and if you aren’t confident in carrying out your own maintenance you may want to try your LBS instead.
Only on the market for six months we were really excited about these direct-drive bikes and we hope to test some of the range soon. Using a drive-shaft instead of a chain gives loads of advantages, especially for those who really don’t want to be doing much bike maintenance. Ground clearance is impressive too and there’s 8 gears to choose from.
They have a road, folding and hybrid / commuter bikes to choose from and are made in the UK with a 14-day money back guarantee.
Chicken’s Frame Emporium
Kudos to Jon, he turned up to the show with two bikes and 5 bottles of beer – and that’s it. Simplicity is the name of the game here and who can argue when his hand-built steel frames look this good. There’s still a cyclocross-shaped hole in our bike collections and this beauty it bringing the temptations on even more.
We’d thoroughly recommend heading over and having a chat with someone who is really passionate about bikes and cycling. http://www.chickensframeemporium.co.uk/
There really were lots of other bikes to look at but even we start getting a bit overwhelmed in the end. We saw possibly the most expensive Raleigh Bike ever – The Aura Team which retails at £4k (20% off at the Bike Show). The Hoy bikes looks very clean (no Chris Hoy though on Thursday) and the Boardman stand was full of great TT and Tri bikes. The man himself turned up too, along with his beard.
Ugliest bike of the day? Well there were a few contenders but what were Cannondale thinking with this leopard-print frame?
Part 2 of the review coming very soon…