If you're going to the Cycle Show at the NEC in Birmingham this week. you're in for a treat. Lots to see, do and taste!
With hundreds of exhibitors at the show, choosing who to visit can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, it's not always the biggest stands that are the most interesting...
On that note, a few of us attended the trade-day today and thought we'd put our collective heads together to point you in the direction of five exhibitors that you should have on your list.
So, in no particular order:
Wattbike (Stand G42)
If you want to use the dark winter ahead to become a better rider and are considering your in-door training options, then head to the Wattbike stand. What the guys there don't know about training with power isn't worth knowing. And they're more than happy to chat to you about it.
Wattbike is the preferred method of in-door training used by Team Sky and British Cycling. And for good reason: Wattbike takes improving your riding performance very seriously. You'll get no video footage of climbing Mont Ventoux synchronised to your turbo. Instead, you get a top-end resistance trainer and stats; lots of stats. Heart-rate, cadence and power including left and right pedaling analysis.
This brings us to a negative sometimes aimed at Wattbike: that you need a degree in Sports science to make sense of the wealth of training data their machines will give you. Possibly true in the past but Wattbike has now made that criticism less of an issue with the introduction of support for ANT+
With ANT+ you can now push Wattbike data into any ANT+ compatible device such as a Garmin 500/510, 800/810 or suitable Smartphone app (with an ANT+ dongle). From there it's a short hop over the Internet into your favourite performance logging/analysis site such as Garmin Connect or Strava.
Spoke7 (Stand B53)
If you want to make your bike stand out from the crowd, then look no further than Spoke7!
In a hall dominated by the latest high tech gadgetry and cutting edge carbon fibre, it was Spoke7's display of wooden rims, manufactured by the Italian company, Ghisallo, that stopped us in our tracks.
These are rims that are beautifully handcrafted only a stones throw from the famous church of the Madonna del Ghisallo, the patron of cyclists, which lies above the spectacular Lake Como in northern Italy.
Some of the models even come with an inlay of carbon fibre for added strength and the range is complemented by Ghisallo's stable of wooden accessories (Spoke7 has a good selection of mudguards and handlebars on display). These will appeal to those wanting to create a unique look for their bike or perhaps those who hanker for the heroic age of cycling.
Spoke7 also sell a selection of classic bikes and have some fine examples on display from Colnago and Peugeot. They also offer bespoke builds and restorations through Rex Custom Cycles and a range of Royce components.
Enigma (Stand H15)
The East Sussex based manufacturer has an enviable reputation for bespoke titanium bikes and their stunning collection, headed by their flagship Excel, has recently been enhanced by the introduction of Enigma Paintworks - a custom paint workshop available to all - not just the owners of their bikes.
The colour range is extensive and the quality is exceptional - the deep blue Equinox model on display, with the seat stays and Enigma logo in polished titanium is a perfect example of their quest for perfection.
They can paint frames, forks and components made from all materials, including carbon fibre and they have several on display that give a glimpse of the designs and colour combinations on offer. As if the Enigma range, in their purest form, were not enough!
Torq Fitness (Stand C5)
One of our favourite suppliers of nutritional performance products (aka energy bars, gels and drinks). Not least because they're actually nice compared to the less tasty gloop sometimes on offer from fellow, well-meaning, riders!
The Torq stand has a huge range of products on display, plenty of very friendly staff on hand to offer you taste-testers and they have some nice giveaways too (which they don't hide away as some other stands do!).
Hochtief/Murphy (Stand B40)
We know what you're' thinking: that looks like an HGV not a bike. Well, yes it is, but not just any HGV. This is an HGV that has been retro-fitted with a raft of safety equipment to alert drivers to vulnerable road users including us cyclists. Some of the measures include a Fresnel lens and front-mounted, rear-facing camera to minimise the usual blind spots plus side under-run guards.
This is all part of a Crossrail lorry-safety initiative - for all HGVs to be fitted with extra safety equipment - that builds on TfL's FORS (Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme) for improved safety of cyclists.
What impressed us though was the attitude of the representatives of Hochtief & Murphy towards cyclists' safety. They were passionate about it! Part of their driver training is for their drivers to cycle for a week around a city centre to understand better the vulnerability of cyclists.
Visit their stand and chat to them to see what we mean. You can also get in the lorry on display to get a better understanding of where its safe to be on your bike and where its not!
Not got tickets to the Cycle Show?
As a Wheelsuckers' member, you could be there with some discounted tickets - just £11.50 each + CC transaction fee*. Tickets for children aged 14 and under are just £1 when bought with an adult ticket plus children under 5 go free.
Add a Comment