By Colin Dennis
The London Bike Show, based at the Docklands Excel, never fails to showcase some spectaculr gems. Here are just a few of the best bikes and products that caught our eye this year.
What we found quite noticeable at this year’s show was that more and more British bike manufacturers are now offering their own version of complete bespoke bicycle engineering services to their customers, and the results are stunning.
The new, all British designed and made Dassi carbon road bike was a thing of beauty. Designed and built using the latest developements from the aerospace and Formula One industries, surely we will see this remarkable Dassi road bike racing at the highest levels of pro-cycling: if you’re going to do one thing – do it well!
Engineered bikes are a company that we hadn’t come across before and the stunning paint job on their alloy Zondag cyclocross bike is probably one of the finest finishes we’ve come across on any bike to date.
Bespoke customisation is high on Engineered Bikes agenda, and by the looks of their superb steel and alloy bikes, we reckon you’re going to hear a great deal more about this small and exciting British bike company.
The Boardman Bikes stand certainly had some serious looking bikes on display including the AIR 9.9 Etap and SLR Endurance models. But we also came across a much earlier model hanging around:
Carbon fibre, as we all know, is the material of the moment when it comes to competition road bikes. One of the nicest exponents of this wonder-material on display was the Look Fluidity.
Well that's what it said on the toptube. It seem integrated seatposts aren't a thing of the past This cracking looking bike shows off how the combination of carbon weave and bold graphics really can enhance the look of a bike.
The London Bike Show shares the venue alongside the Tri, Outdoor and Dive Shows. This makes for a wickedly diverse day out and just when you think you’ve discovered all there is to see, we come across Sonder.
The Sonder Camino Titanium is an adventure bike built from the credentials of outdoor kit specialists, Alpkit. Other Sonder bikes on display included the alloy Transmitter 650+ MTB and the titanium tubed, multi-faceted, Broken Road fatbike models. We very politely asked about the possibility of a review of at least one of the models in the future, so who knows? They didn’t say No!
There was a que a mile long as Sir Chris Hoy busily signed posters so we carefully circumnavigated his stand and headed for the nearby chat area to listen to a heart-warming talk from Martin Ashton.
A woman in a wheelchair afterwards spoke up and told Martin how he had been such an inspiration for her to recover from her injuries and get back on her bike. I think they arranged to catch up and ride together at some stage – fantastic!
Kids bike development took another interesting turn as Joe Mulcahy explained how the modular concept of his Pedibal bikes worked: from balance to scooter to full pedal bike, Joe’s belief, enthusiasm and dedication for his kids bikes was as plain to see as the smile on his face.
Islabikes were there in force too. The paint finish on their latest range of kids bikes would put many an adult machine to shame. ‘Lighter and stronger frames’ were words banded about in our conversation and hopefully we will be able to put this to the test when we get hold of one of their lovely 24inch wheeled multi-purpose bikes for review.
Maybe we didn’t look hard enough, but women specific bike and clothing stands seemed a little on the thin side this year at the London Bike Show, but one interesting addition to the world of women’s cycling apparel proved to be on the Neos Cycling stand.
Amongst the brands of stylish waterproof bike bags and lights stocked by Neos were the latest offerings from women’s cycle apparel company, Fierlan. Someone out there certainly has the design flair that discerning women cyclists will appreciate.
We also came across two gentlemen from down under who are looking to bring their vast knowledge and experience in the world of performance eyewear to the UK.
Aussies clearly know a thing or two about bright sunshine, and Scott and Kevin from Barz Optics were keen to show and tell about their brand new range of BZ Optics, including the much appreciated inclusion of some very natty Diopter lens models.
The reaction times of the photo chromatic lenses from a number of the glasses available were particularly impressive. These might just do away with the 3-in-1 cycling lenses we’re all so used to in this country.
With bags bulging with freebie biscuits and various goodies we were sad to say goodbye to new and old friends alike at this year’s London Bike Show. But like Christmas each years, the 2017 London Bike Show is surely only just around the corner!