A look inside Madison’s IceBike 2020 Trade Event

For those of you who don’t know already, Madison are a major UK distributor of products to the cycling industry. The represent some major brands including Shimano and IceBike is one of the two events they have held for bike shops/the bike trade (and press) over the last few years.

I attended this year to catch up with what was new and interesting in their portfolio for 2020. To cut to the chase, they’re going big on #GRAVEL for 2020 with loads of gravel focused products on display…..

Shimano – lots and lots of new shoes!

One of the first things I spotted was the new Shimano Gravel Shoes, which have a camo style colour scheme, I thought the gray was particularly good & looking.

They were shown in several colours as you can see above but as you’ll see below, there was no fittings for studs, so you won’t want them for Cyclo-cross.

There were lots of shoes to check out from Shimano – like this stunning S-Phyre Blue road shoe:

What a colour!

Also new are these indoor cycling shoes for the Zwift racers out there (or Peloton or Wattbike or RGT or Sufferfest or TrainerRoad – you get the picture). With the now vast indoor cycling market, it make sense to create a product like this. This model is women only for now and features a mesh up for ventilation and a sole that will allow you to walk on cleats. Personally I just use old road shoes (as they don’t tend to wear out) but these will be perfect for some people

Another new to me shoe was the RP4 – which is the entry level in the Road Performance series (for non-racers). They looked very good & can be bought for around £80 online at the time of writing. The grey is a nice colour option but only for women

The entry race shose with a Boa connector is the RC5, which also has the terrific Shimano blue option:

The final shoe I noted for future shopping purposes is the XC5, which I have my eye on for next cyclo-cross season as it has mountings for studs, which are critical for running up muddy banks

Moving on from shoes but not from Shimano, the Japanese giant is also expanding it’s clothing lines. I’ve been trying some entry level bib shorts, which don’t particularly stand out and some higher end shorts, which have been very good indeed. It’s definitely worth taking a look at if the brand name doesn’t put you off.

Super light Lazer Genesis

Lazer recently released a new super light helmet, that was influenced by their pro-teams asking for lighter helmets. It uses the classic Lazer fit as on the Z1 for example and can be bought with either with or without MIPs (£20 surcharge) and also has an optional Aeroshell for those days you want a little extra aero. They’re available now from £170 retail . The colours in the photo above were limited editions only available to order (by bike shops) at the show

It might be interesting to note that the Lazer Genesis is Mathieu van der Poel’s helmet of choice too…. and he’d kindly loaned one for the display 😉

Genesis goes big on Gravel

I’m a long time fan of Madison’s house brand Genesis. I’ve reviewed a number of their bikes over the years and enjoyed them all. With the ever popular Croix de Fer having been at the heart of the brand for many years (and still a big seller), it makes a lot of sense that Genesis embraces gravel riding.

Sadly for roadies like me, they’ve phased out their carbon road bike (the Zero) trimming down the range.

They still have the steel frames from the Volare range and they look fantastic in their latest colour schemes. Available for disc or caliper brakes, Genesis were keen to tell me what a great frame the Volare 853 is for club racers – given it’s got a race proven geometry and it won’t break if you crash it. I reckon it would be too. They do look fantastic. Good enough that although I keep telling myself my next road bike will be with discs, but each time I see the Stainless Volare in the caliper brake version, I keep pondering taking the plunge.

Stainless Genesis Volare – looks much better in person

The red fade colour on the 853 Volare Disc looked pretty amazing too. Sadly my photo doesn’t do it justice – it’s a terrific colour:

Pleasingly the Datum stays in the range. I know it’s quite capable off-road and people have ridden them in gravel events like the dirty reiver but I think of it as being a great endurance road bike. Perfect for longer rides, audaxes and they’ve been ridden in the Transcontinental Race a few times. The colours are bit bland to me for now, so I’m hoping for a step up in colours for next season (and a return to 2x groupsets).

The Vapour carbon CX bike remains in the range too, which is good news for cyclo-cross racers. I tested one not long after launch and enjoyed it.

With the shift in focus towards gravel, the Fugio is in the front and centre for this. With some striking colours and GRX 800 series bike option, it’s a faster and more capable off-road Croix de Fer, with a full carbon fork and plenty of versatility

A big for focus for Genesis – the Fugio

Genesis are also stepping up the Genesis Bike Club, which will be a club for gravel riders and racers. On the gravel racing side, which is definitely going to be a thing, Genesis have signed up some ex-pro’s including Adam Blythe to ride their bikes and be part of the club. There’s new kit, a special colour scheme & even a coffee machine tie up.

Genesis Bike Club
Genesis Bike Club Team Edition Fugio

For those who want titanium, there’s still the stunning Croix de Fer Ti in the Genesis range, available either as a complete or as frameset…. seen here in a rather tasty custom build

Finally before we move on, the Equilibrium Disc looks absolutely stunning in this amazing blue colour scheme…..

The Equilibrium is another Genesis classic model. Understated but a terrific ride and a great companion if you’re looking to canter rather than gallop.

Aero Gravel Wheels from DT Swiss

Now that gravel racing is going to be a thing, well it already is really with races like Dirty Kansa having been around for years DT Swiss can offer you high end aero gravel wheels. DT Swiss told me that it was Dirty Kansa that inspired their GRC1400 wheels. It’s famous for long straights and headwinds, so they got SwissSide involved and greated these fantastic looking wheels. Not cheap, but if you want fast, it generally costs!

Madison Clothing goes large on gravel as well

It’s not just Genesis that went big on gravel, that focus has also been picked up by Madison’s clothing brand and this extends to bike packing bags, so that’s another option for you to consider. I’ve used some of Madison’s road clothing and bought some for my son (the Madison Youth range) and it’s all be very good.

Madison Clothing and now bike bags – seen here on a Saracen Levarg

Elite Smart Trainers and now steering for Zwift

The new Elite Suito – includes a cassette and packs up small

It was my first chance to see the new Elite Suito in person. This is a more affordable smart trainer and probably designed for the more casual smart trainer users than the dedicated Zwifter or Sufferfest addict. It’s easy to set up and folds up small if you need to put it away and comes with a cassette fitted. It’s also been Elite’s biggest seller this winter.

The revised Direto X is probably the perfect mid-range option – not too expensive (especially if you shop around) but with increased resistance over the original and a more accurate power meter. It also folds up – although not quite as compact as the Suito.

Zwift – now with steering!

Yes, steering is coming to Zwift and Elite are ready with two steering devices that will work with any brand of trainer. This “dumb” version is yours for £35 and needs your smartphone on your handlebards to measure the change of direction. There’s a Bluetooth Smart version coming for £70 retail that will monitor your steering changes directly (so no phone required). Elite told me it’s ready to go as soon as Zwift switch on the feature.

Ridgeback goes Dutch!

A little off topic for this site but I’m a cycling advocate in my spare time and I was delighted to see new sit up and beg Dutch style ebikes from Ridgeback with hub gears and built in locks and mudguards. The red version below (Ridgeback Electron +) looked pretty perfect to me. The version with the fork is dearer comes with Di2

Also great to see was Danish style cargo bikes including e-cargo bikes that aren’t guaranteed to go into production as I understand it. They looked great and it would be terrific to see a brand like Ridgeback with a big dealer network add these as they’d be easier for bike shops to source and sell than some of the European brands that inspired them. I’ll watch with interest.

It’s my personal view that the market for these kind of ebikes won’t really take off unless high quality cycling infrastructure is built – but that’s another blog post.

Overall, IceBike is always a great show. Lots of great products and the Madison team are always friendly, welcoming and fun to catch up with.

Thanks for reading