I spent most of a day wandering around the London Bike Show recently and wanted to share some of the interesting things I found whilst doing so. Whether you missed the show or not, hopefully you’ll agree it’s always interesting to see images and words about new products.
Shows are great for me, it’s an excellent chance to catch up with people behind the brands, to see bikes in person and to find interesting new products as well.
I started at Bowman Bikes as I was keen to check out the new Palace:R. I got to do a short review on the original Palace back in early 2015 and I really enjoyed it. Given that the new one is lighter and a better ride, it should be very good indeed. It’s got a threaded bottom bracket, which is a big plus, it’s also now 120gms lighter with asymmetric seat stays, a new flared seat tube and is Di2 compatible. I really like the green colour too!
If you’re in a club and can get 8 of you together to place a group order, Bowman will offer custom colours on the Palace:R
Also on display with a Layhams Disc prototype (that’s since been built up and is out clocking up miles on the roads of Kent). The Layham is designed to be a great riding stainless steel bike for all year enjoyment and it makes perfect sense to have a disc option as well as the existing caliper version.
Wandering around the show, I spotted this good looking Juicy Electric bike, which interestingly featured a motor in the rear hub and derailleur gears. The folks at Juicy bikes told me UK punters want derailleur gears over more European options. Personally I’d rather have a crank based motor but I thought it was an interesting comment and a great looking bike.
On the Rose Bikes stand there were a few interesting models, starting with the top of the range road disc bike the X-Lite CDX which in this spec has Ultegra Di2, carbon deep section wheels and a weight of around 7.5kgs for just under £3,500. Competition for the Canyon Endurace. It looked good!
The entry level Pro-SL from Rose can now be had with disc brakes. I rode the caliper braked version at the Rose press camp for 2016 and it was very good. I suspect this will be too. Full Ultegra hydraulic disc brakes for under £1500.
Fancy a light carbon gravel bike? This road with SRAM 1x and carbon wheels weighs in at 7.6kgs complete and is an impressive £2,500! It was also interesting to be told that even though the value of the pound has been dropping, Rose have just cut prices on a number of models. Have a poke about their website and see what you can spot (the Pro-SL and the Xeon CDX are two that have been cut).
At Boardman Bikes, this One Pro Cycling Team bike caught my eye – complete with FSA’s new wireless groupset!
Boardman are on a roll at the moment, they just won Bike Brand of the year at the industry’s awards. They made a switch to direct selling earlier in the year and said that people are still surprised at how well they can buy under the new model. Boardman have also announced they’ll be opening a new performance centre including a wind tunnel around the end of 2017 and the Boardman Pro Carbon SLR won the Road.cc’s bike of the year for 2017.
Personally I like the look of the SLR Endurance range and like that fact that there’s even some options with Zipp wheels, which could be a great way to get a set.
There’s also a Di2 disc version for £2,600 which feels like a strong price point
Over on the Pinarello stand there were lots of new Dogma F10’s including several with new Dura Ace Di2, which is also brand new. I liked the Team Sky and bright red colour options best.
The black and red option was also quite nice. As you’d expect, the Dogma has a top end price at £4,500 for the frameset only. Form a queue at your nearest dealer!
A company called Technogym used the show to launch a new £1,700 direct drive turbo trainer. Good luck with that, given that a state of the art Tacx Neo is around £700 less at street pricing.
On the Hope stand, this S-Works Venge disc look great and was there to show off Hope’s new disc brakes
There was lots to see on the Canyon stand, which was a show highlight. Firstly the new Endurace CF SL, a more affordable (and slightly heavier) Endurace. In this spec shown with Ultegra mechanical, it’s yours for £2200, which looks tempting.
The Aeroad Disc looked very striking indeed and actually visually more arresting in the disc brake version (to me anyway).
Also getting lots of attention was the very, very light Ultimate CF SLX Evo, weighing at 5.8kgs and costing an eye-watering £11,600!
Also on show for the first time was the new disc version of the Ultimate CF range as Canyon have made the move to disc brakes right across their range.
It was also my first chance to see Factor bikes in the flesh and I had an interesting discussion about frame weights and ride quality. I think it’s very interesting that Rob Gitelis has bought a stake in Factor. I know that Rob has owned factories making carbon bikes in the Far East for a long time but this step into owning a brand is a really interesting one. The bikes are being ridden by AG2R this year and it sounds like they should be a good bike. A Factor O2 frameset starts at £4,000, so you’d expect them to be a bit special to ride.
It was nice to see the Cervelo C5 again too – it’s a bike I like the look of. Although I think from a standards point of view they went too early and it now doesn’t have wide enough tyres for me.
I’m not so sure about the amazing Cervelo P5X but it was cool to be able to see it in the flesh as it were. The one on display featured eTap and was a snip at £13,500! It’s a seriously bonkers looking bike.
It was also interesting to see the new Titanium brand J Guillem, which is owned by the former owner of Van Nicholas, Jan-Willem Sintnicolaas . A couple of years of living in the sun shine in Mallorca after he sold Van Nicholas and he’s decided to start a new titanium bike company …. And it was on display at the London Bike Show!
Alpkit had not only their range of bike packing bags but also lots from their bike company Sonder, including this carbon fatbike!
I spent some time talking to Alan of Prime Wheels too. Prime’s another good example of some smart people looking carefully at wheels, then equally carefully sourcing parts and suppliers to sell them at a strong price.
The Prime Pro Road wheelset reminds of the Hunt Race Aero wheels that I’ve got here. I also like the look of the Prime carbon disc wheels, which are centrelock, feature CX-Ray spokes and a couple of choices on depths and builds. In the black on black finish they look pretty subtle too. Worth checking out, for sure.
Another new brand I’d never heard of was Trillion Bikes. They’ve not launched yet but they’ll be British designed and manufactured in the Midlands using British Reynolds Steel. There will be both steel and titanium options and the company that there a subsidiary of also has carbon expertise.
So there you have it. Not an exhaustive list by any means but a bunch of bikes and things I saw that stood out for one reason or another. I hope you found it interesting!
Thanks for reading