Cycle Show 2010: The Strange

With the Cycle Show happening at the end of the year, most of the exicting new things in the world of mountain biking have already been seen so we went in search of the seldom seen, the quirky and the downright odd. Some we get, some we don’t, but welcome to the strange world of cycling…

FirstBike are a German made range of starter bikes for kids with injection moulded plastic frames and adjustable saddles for kids from 2-5 years. This is one of their bikes with an optional ski on the front for snow use and it’s probably excellent fun until someone gets hurt. They do other bikes with normal wheels, offer loads of accessories and you can get them with or without a rear wheel drum brake. We suggest you do get a brake.

‘Fat bottom girls, you make the rocking world go round’ sang Freddie Mercury. Now fat bottomed anyone can make the pedals go round thanks to this width-some saddle from Selle SMP. Obviously they offer a range of more useable saddles but they all use the interestingly shaped ‘eagle’s beak’ design, which, along with the massive cutout, takes uncomfortable pressure off your unmentionables.

Nothing says ‘Lifestyle’ more than a pisspot lid with a fold down visor with ‘Lifestyle’ written on the side. Actually, this is no normal pisspot lid, it’s the Kask Lifestyle and it’s designed and made in Italy for urban types but it’s based on their range of snowboard and skiing helmets. There’s a size adjust system, you can get an inner winter liner and there’s loads of finishes on offer including this rather nice black sparkle which matches the finish on Jon’s Orange Patriot perfectly.

Snow bike. You might laugh now but in a few months it won’t be so funny and you’ll wish you’d blown all you cash on one of these or a Surly with foot wide tyres instead of a so called ‘proper’ mountain bike.

The innocent and naive Jon had never seen a Kemper Pedersen before. The rep did say that at one point this was the lightest bike in the world but we imagine that was probably a long time ago. With spaceframe construction, a sprung and suspended saddle and long forks that use a spherical bearing down low, it’s like the great grandaddy of a Whyte PRST1, a Jones and that banana seat Scott DH bike from the 90′s all rolled into one.

Jon still doesn’t quite understand how you’d get on the bike without being a gymnast or looking like a frisky dog/that guy in Scotland that got jailed for trying to ‘couple’ with a bike.

Here’s another strange hybrid, with the front half of a normal bike and the back end of the scooter. It’s called the Footbike and they come in street, trail or track versions. All use 7005 T6 alloy frames with V or disc brakes and 700c or 26″ wheels depending on the model. The size of a normal bike with all the drawbacks of scooter propulsion…

These are the BreezeBlockers Aero Blades. We can’t decide if they’re genius or madness. As the name suggests they help keep you hands warm by shielding them from wind and rain and the blurb claims they’re more aerodynamic than gloves along at speeds of greater than 35mph. Will they be appearing on DH race bikes soon? We don’t know, but they also do versions for your feet and cost a mere £19.99…

Lake Shoes had some rather nice looking new shoes to show us – more on those later – but here are some SPD sandals in the meantime. SPD sandals have never really caught on in the UK, something to do with the freezing and wet conditions we have for most of the year. Winter is coming so if you’re going to get some, make sure you put extra thick wooly socks on underneath for that history teacher vibe…

This is the ultra lightweight I/O Sandal which also uses Lake’s Boa rentention system. Hang on til summer…

If there had been such a prize, Moulton Bicycle Company would have won the ‘shiniest stand at the show’ prize. Everything gleamed. Their range of small wheeled spaceframe commuter bikes both with and without suspension are popular amongst the city cycling crowd and as the photo below shows, they’re also hip enough to be in the Japanese version of GQ, which is so cool that it makes the British one look like the models are covered in sackcloth and dung. Moulton bikes aren’t folding like their arch rival Brompton but you can separate them down for transport and they do some very high end builds, with Dura Ace and Ultegra builds…

A Gates Belt Drive version is also available, this TSR-2 model coming with a two speed kick-shift and a rather nice shade of orange.

Right, even more hip were these strange fixie/singlespeed freak bikes. The one below is made from bamboo with hemp lugs. The porcelain plate detailing around the edges is a nice touch…

We had great fun hooning about the hall on them but we’re not so sure how well they’d fare out on the open road…

This isn’t really strange, it’s a masterstroke. Bicycle innertube vending machines are popular over in German Bike Parks but they haven’t quite made the leap over here yet. We’d suggest making incredibly rocky downhill sections with pointy evil waterbars on the transitions on any new trail centre trail – and then putting one of these at the bottom. This is Schwalbe’s version…

Redline do lots of racing BMX bikes but this super small race bike for kids was rather cute…

We don’t know what to say about this bit of marketing but Wyndy Milla make custom sized road and cross bikes for anyone at either end of the height bell curve. We can’t help wondering if these two are a couple or not…

Erm, this video made us do a double take when we walked past. Called ‘The Hardcore 100′ and shot in that particular 1990′s VHS video style, it features ladies looking out of breath and slightly sweaty. Thankfully we realised it wasn’t what we thought before we did anything silly – it’s actually a spinning intervals training video for anyone who likes their riding to be indoors and painful.

If you do a bit of racing or are a keen tri rider then the Gelrilla Grip will be of interest – no longer will you have to tape your bandolier of energy gels to your top tube for quick squirting action on the move.

..and here they are mounted.

Sweaty Betty do a range of gym, yoga, running and, as below, tri riding gear. It’s very fashionable high performance gear with some great different-from-your-usual designs. Might be a little close to the bone if your name is Betty, no matter how true the sweaty bit is at that time.

‘What is it daddy?’ we cried when we saw this. It’s a smart idea that exploits a little gap in the coming Christmas market – it’s the Bike Bag. Obviously the name gives it away and it’s for wrapping a child or adult’s bike to keep it a surprise (as much as a large vaguely bike shaped object will hold the element of surprise). If you’ve got a bike shop it’s a pretty cool little deal-sweetener for anyone that’s buying a bike as a gift…

This is a solution looking for a problem we feel. It’s the New Metal Tech Notos Saddle and it’s like a saddle mounted on a Hite-Rite mounted on a roller system so it moves up and down and back and forth. The ‘horse riding motion’ promises increased comfort and a ’30% speed up’ but when we had a go it just made sitting and balancing on the bike quite hard and induced a bit of seasickness.

..and in leather..

New Metal Tech had this clever LED seatpost as well, which made us recall the saying about true genius being close to insanity.

Here’s the Airnimal White Rhino folding bike. Proper suspension front and rear, 27spd drivetrain (although the one below is hub geared) and little dinky wheels it made us think ‘why’ and ‘must be ace fun’ at the same time…

Brompton were also present with this nu-rave coloured folder. Get your grandad some glow sticks!

There were lots of public bike stand ‘solutions’ at the show but we really liked this one which takes up the space of a single car, features the essential ‘rails to lock your bike to’ but also has a built in Lezyne track pump. Although at Singletrack our first love is riding bikes on dirt, it’s quite exciting to see how big the leisure and commuting side of things is getting. It can only be a good thing for bikes to be seen as ‘fun and cool’ as well as the less exciting but better established ‘eco friendly and healthy’…

That’s your lot for strangeness. We’ll get on to the proper stuff presently…

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