Last time we were at Leeds Town Hall, it was showcasing the launch of the Yorkshire leg of the 2014 Tour de France – in the snow… This weekend it’s hosting the first Yorkshire Bike Show!
As you’d expect in a city with a thriving street riding culture, there’s a strong showing of utility, fixed and commuter bikes. Unusually for a bike show though there are actually things to buy – and things you’d want to buy, too. Designers Anthony Oram and Rebecca Kaye teamed up to share a stand and it’s loaded with bicycle-related goodies, from T-shirts and greetings cards to prints and teacups (is it too early to mention C******** shopping?):
Top lensman Sam Needham has been moonlighting with Robin Puplett this summer, launching tea-and-T-shirts brand, Drink Tea Ride Bikes. They’ve got a bunch of new shirt designs in men’s and women’s versions, the usual array of nicely bagged teas and were “Over the moon, man!” to win Best Stand In Show – with astroturf, plants borrowed from the garden and furniture robbed from the kitchen at home:
We had a good long chat with Jane and
Kevin Wayne 😉 of new North York Moors store, edsbikes. With a sparkling Surly Moonlander, a Krampus, two Jones builds, a brace of Cotics and a handful of Stanton frames on their stand they were drawing plenty of attention.
They’re also stocking cult US technical clothing brand Shower’s Pass, which has new UK distribution in place, and showed off a few bits of kit, as well as the brand’s neat solution to hydration for those that want to ride a long way without the weight of a full bladder on their backs. Keep your eyes peeled for tests in Singletrack Magazine soon.
We really like these Lightskin seatposts with integrated rear LEDs brought along by Milk Bikes. Powered by two AA cells (housed in the post and accessed by a screw-on cap at the base), they’ll run for 50 hours on solid and a whopping 400 on flash. Currently only available in 27.2mm, they’re £45 each RRP. Clever and unobtrusive; we like.
Steve Odpod showed us his new Odrack bike stand – folds up to the size of a camping chair, perfect for 24 hour races to stop you falling over your team’s bikes when you come back from your night lap:
There were one or two other neat little accessories hidden away elsewhere, too…
Now onto the stuff that you can’t take home with you on the day, but can drool (politely) over. Not too much in the way of mountain bikes, but plenty of shiny town bikes from Spa Cycles, Brother Cycles, Woot, Slate and Ellis Briggs, plus ‘cross bikes from Tokyo Fixed/Kinoko, Grim and Feather.
Feather Cycles was our stand-out bike highlight of the show: made in Yorkshire, it’s builder Ricky Feather’s personal race-ready bike that’s headed for some of the Yorkshire ‘cross rounds. Ricky explained his decision to stick with canti brakes over discs simply because he’d already bought himself some nice hubs – and as it’s his own bike, we reckon that’s perfectly fine…
Nathan is one of the show’s organisers and also owner/designer/maker of Restrap bagworks, based and manufacturing in Leeds. Piggybacking on the city’s strong urban riding scene he makes pedal straps, T-shirts and other accessories as well as neat messenger bags and backpacks with excellent weatherproofing and functional fit.
Lastly: the weirdness! Every bike show sports a few exhibits which seem to be designed purely to get the audience scratching its head, and Yorkshire is no exception…
So… Why should you go to the Yorkshire Bike Show this weekend (as well as riding your bike of course)? Simple. As well as fondling some bikes you’d never otherwise see in the metal and maybe buying yourself a treat or two, too, you get to talk up close and personal with the people who make cycling the extra-special thing it is in this part of the world. Their enthusiasm is infectious and you’ll come away inspired/with a warm fuzzy feeling after sharing the love.
Also: Interbike might be big but we bet it doesn’t have an organ like this one…
The show is at Leeds Town Hall, Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 September and tickets are £6 on the door (under 12s free).