Coming on the back of the massive Eurobike and Interbike trade shows, you’d have thought that the bicycle trade would have been suffering from show burnout at the NEC Cycle Show, with stands manned by zombies longing not for brains, just for their own bed and a couple of days off.
While there were a few people looking a bit shell shocked, there was still plenty of enthusiasm and interest going round this more British affair. With celebrities such as Tracy Moseley and Jens Voight meeting and greeting folk and some of the big brands conspicuous by their absence last year finally present, it was certainly a much fuller affair, though unsurprisingly in the year of Wiggins, road bikes dominated. Search them out however, and there were plenty of mountain bikey 2013 products that we haven’t done to death to have a good prod and poke at.
Trek Stache 8
Okay, we’ll immediately contradict ourselves because we saw this at the 2013 Trek launch, but it looks like a hugely entertaining bike so we’re putting it in. It’s pretty much made just for the British market – think of it as the big wheeled version of that UK staple, the hardcore hardtail. With 120mm up front and a 142x12mm rear end combined with Reverb Stealth dropper post routing, short back end and finishing kit that’s geared towards aggressive riding such as clutch-equipped XT rear mech, it should be a giggle to ride. Expect to pay £1,800 for this model and £1,200 for the lower spec Stache 7.
See – hardtails are better with dropper posts too. We like the full length cable outer for the front mech too – it’s almost like people that live in dusty dry countries have started to hear about this ‘mud’ deal. Regardless of any stiffness benefits or not, we like 142×12 back ends simply for the security and ease of wheel fitting and removal.
Trek Cali SL
Trek have also expanded their women’s range. The Cali offers the G2 geometric tweaks that all the big wheeled ‘Gary Fisher Collection’ bikes have, but it’s packaged with masses and masses of standover and a rather subtle flat black finish. It’s almost like people have heard that women’s bikes don’t need to be bright pastel colours. Sizes range from 14″ up to 17″ and there’s also a 26″ wheeled version and the 120mm travel Lush full suspension bike also remains.
Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon Evo – Troy Lee Edition
The aggressively angled Evo additions to the Specialized range are immensely good looking, purposeful bikes in stock form, so it’s a matter of opinion whether this custom paintjob from Californian arbiters of moto fashion TLD improves the appearance of the bike. The ST crew were split; Jon kept muttering “rad” and “yeah” while Jamie felt that the standard of riding needed to successfully carry it off might be unattainably high.
Specialized Carve Ned Overend edition
If lightning strikes, sparkly gold, plenty of bounce and angles slacker than FSA banking regulation aren’t your thing, then the Ned Overend limited edition singlespeed Carve will probably float your boat. Big wheels, one gear, eccentric bottom bracket and some serious colour matching have gone on, plus you get a small numbered plaque. This one is a beautifully unattainable 000 out of 150 and is probably destined for a very unfulfilling life away from the dirt…
Exposure Reflex light
God knows how we missed this at Eurobike – it’s big news. The Reflex kicks out an eye-melting 2,200 lumen of light from the three XML LEDs and it weighs 40g less than older MaXx-D but the really clever part is the way that it uses a selection of accelerometers and temperature sensors to adjust how much light it puts out, adapting to the conditions. It’s called ‘Reflex Technology’ and it also uses the new ‘Optimised Mode Selector’ system to allow the user to pick from a predefined number of programmes to suit situations from high speed off-road to the gentle commute. The Reflex will cost £449.95 and we’re really rather looking forward to trying one out…
HighVisibility ‘Polite’ jackets
It’s a range of high visibility clothing that, god forbid we may be taking liberties by saying this, may take its styling cues from that hotbed of fashion that is the boys (and girls) in blue. However instead of having ‘Police’ written on them – which as any layman knows would be an offence under Section 90 of Police Act 1996 – these tops innocently say ‘Polite’ in large, eye catching letters, before qualifying that with the words ‘notice, think bike’.
We’re not sure whether this is a good idea to make people notice you or ever so slightly counter productive if it means they start associating cyclists with that pang of guilt even the most innocent person gets when they see a Policeman. More is on their site here, including a rather fancy horse-tail cover.
Anyway, we’ll have more bits and pieces from the show soon…