Following on from our first roundup from the Cycle Show at the NEC, we’ve hunted down a few more of the interesting things that we spotted. Without further ado…
The Maxlight frame has been around for a fair old while now and there’s good reason for that. In the age of carbon fibre, multi-sized wheels, hydroformed everything and an obsession with the need for suspension, there’s still a place in many people’s heart for the simple, lightweight 26″ wheeled hardtail.
Even better news is that fact that after many years available as a frame only, the Maxlights will be available as complete bikes from the start of November, with X5 and X7 level builds available with FSA finishing kit and WTB wheels and tyres. Depending on spec, they’ll come with either the X-Fusion Velvet of Enix fork, prices starting from £1,189 and going up to £1,600. Yes, cheaper bikes are available but there’s a lot to be said for the character of a well sorted frame…
If you’re totally over 26″ then the brand spanking Kinesis FF29 big wheeler will also be available in a complete build come January, the X7/9 version costing £1,600.
Here’s the new Crosslight Evo 5 cyclocross bike. It’s an unashamedly hardcore full-on CX racer with canti brakes, a tapered monocoque carbon fibre forks and similarly composite seat stays. It reeks of pain and suffering and we assume it’s that lovely shade of green to camouflage all the mucus you’ll expel onto the top tube.
Kinesis designer Dom was stoked extremely pleased to show us the new Maxlight wheelsets. Available in 26″ and 29″ for mountain bikes, they’re built to their own spec with high tension spokes, a tubeless ready 21mm internal width and neat hubs that can switch between QR and through axle. Dom describes them as for “aggressive XC” use and prices will start from £400 a pair.
However, all this will make the CX crowd very happy – a proper, disc specific wheelset with no braking surface, 135mm rear spacing and 28 spokes per rim. If you like your gears Italian, then the best bit is that they’re working on a Campag freehub that will be available aftermarket.
Rubber wrangler Rob Scullion of Conti had plenty to show, including a trio of high volume 29er tyres in their sticky Black Chili compound for the new breed of long travel big wheelers. The Rubber Queen will come in a classically fat 2.2″ while the Cross King and Mountain King now come in 2.4″ versions, all with tubeless ready Protection casings.
If you want to go fast, then the new Speed King features this terrifyingly low profile and presumably fast rolling tread. It weighs a rather impressive 430g with Racesport casing and Black Chili rubber. One for the buff days.
On the flipside, the downhill tyre that’s been developed with the Athertons over the past year of so is now set for production. Der Kaiser Rammstein will come in a six ply carcass with sticky rubber casing. At 1,150g it’s a decent weight for a hard hitting tyre, so much so that Dan chooses to use that tyre for his Enduro races. It’s slightly narrower than the other DH tyres in the Conti range at 2.4″ but Rob says that this diameter comes up like most other brands 2.5″ tyres. It’ll cost £54.95 when it’s available around December.
Also of interest to any early adopters is the fact that Conti are working on a range of 650B tyres, a Cross King in 2.2″ and 2.4″ coming very soon, plus Mountain King and Rubber Queen on the way in a pick of sidewalls and compounds. Prices will start at £16 too, meaning an affordable budget 650B tyre is a reality – something that could help the format get off the ground…
Made in Nelson, just over the hill from Singletrack towers, Carradice have been designing and making some really rather nice cycling luggage. While their more traditional offerings are vastly popular with the touring crowd, their high tech seam welded PVC waterproof bags look like they’d be ideal for anyone trying a spot of bike-packing or bivvying, especially the saddle mounted version seen here.
They use roll tops to keep water on the outside, have lots of nice detail such as D-loops for attaching odds and sods, plus see-through map and document case hidden under the removable lid.
If the full rack is a bit much, then this is a slightly smaller version, mounted to a seatpost clamp. It’s got a rolltop main compartment, but also a pair of side pockets with proper waterproof zips for kit you need to access quickly.
Removal is simple but it looks to hold the bag securely when locked in place.
If you prefer your bags a spot more retro, then Carradice have just introduced a range of really beautifully made messenger and bike bags made from waxed cotton and leather in conjunction with Ally Capellino.
More to come soon…