The Best Bits from iceBike* 2023

by 16

iceBike* is UK-bike-distributor-behemoth Madison’s trade show. We popped down the road to the National Cycling Centre in Manchester to roundup the bestest bits. Here’s our (ice)pick…


The Multiway valve is made from aluminium and comes in 40, 60, 80 or 100mm lengths. Tyre insert friendly due to the head inside the rim that has 4-way exit ports (3 x perpendicular, 1 x inline) to the insert. The Multiway also has aluminium valve caps, one of which has a built-in valve core tool. Finally, the Multiway has the Vittoria logo printed up the side.

The Singleway is yer standard brass tubeless valve. Just 40m and 60mm lengths. No fancy 4-way air exit ports; just the one big inline exit (so not inherently insert friendly).

Vittoria Martello. Has an essence of Schwalbe Magic Mary about it, perhaps the main difference being the larger shoulder knobblies. Available in three different casings (1-ply reinforced, 2-ply reinforced, TNT/TLR reinforced).

Vittoria Mazza. It must be annoying as a tyre brand to constantly have your tyres explained by comparing them to MaxxiSchwalbe tyres but… that’s just the lingua franca of rubber we’re afraid. The Mazza can be thought of as perhaps a modern modern version of the venerable Maxxis Minion DHF. Or maybe a chunkier Specialized Butcher..?

Vittoria Mota. We’ve gotta lotta time for the Mota; it makes for an excellent rear tyre in the winter. Something along the lines of the olde Bontrager Mud sorta tyre but a bit more up to date. Although the smallest size is a nominal 2.4in, they come up small (or rather, they come up tall rather than wide). Well worth knowing about this tyre.


Knog Blinder Pro. 1300 lumens. At least a two hour burn time is claimed. Should retail just about under a hundred quid. Will come with a bar mount and a GoPro style mount for the helmet (or one of those Garmin bar ‘prongs’ shown above). March is perhaps not the best time to launch a new light series but Knog are Australian. So there you go.


New rotor designs from Aztec. I had no idea that Aztec are actually an in-house brand of Madison. Aztec brake pads have been around since I started MTBing back in the previous century so I’d always assumed they were a standalone company. Anyway. New rotor. Looks like it’ll be a good ‘un. Available from 140 up to 220mm size. No super thick ones just yet. These are regular sub 2.0mm jobbers. The black dots on the braking surface are wear indicators; when they’ve disappeared, it’s new rotor time.

We’re not including this as a bedroom poster for really big fans of brake pads. We’re including it to remind us that Aztec do some decent and very reasonably priced pads. £12.99 for resin/organic, £17.99 for sintered. This poster, by the way, is intended to go up in bike shops to make everyone’s life a bit easier. The pictures are actual size of the pad. So you can simply hold your mystery brake pad up to the poster and find the one that matches.


Truflo Supertrax Floor Pump. One of those new fangled non-linear display ttrack pumps. The first (blue) half of the gauge shows 0-40 psi, for offroad bikes. The second (black) half of the gauge shows 40-160 psi for road bikes. The grey switch at the top/handle switches the pump between high volume (HV) and high pressure (HP) modes. Comes in the official colour of gravel: olive green.

Truflo Airstore tubeless track pump. One of those track pump with an optional tubeless mode for dumping a load of pre-pumped air in all at once. The gauge’s red panel of 240(!) psi makes us feel that nervous feeling of an imminent sticky explosion just by looking at it! Nice head on this pump. All Truflo track pumps have gone ‘smart’ by the way (ie. they work natively with presta or Schrader without swap-out faff).


Thule Tour Rack XT. Never mind what adding laden panniers to your rear suspension will do to the bike’s unsprung/sprung mass ratio, this is all about making bikepacking possible for people who want to do it on their regular MTB. Maximum load of 25kg. You can also flip the rack around, do some arm-sliding, and it fits on a suspension fork up front.

On the left is the Thule Roundtrip Bike Duffel bag. Think: Blue Ikea Bag SuperDeluxe. Wet stowage in the lid. Baffle segmentation inside (which can be removed or squashed to the side to make way for Big Things). Plenty of zip pockets. The other pic is of our favourite hip-packs – the Rail series – and also the lesser-spotted hydration backpacks from Thule. Made to be pretty much bombproof apparently.

Thule Outway rack. One of those racks that attaches to your boot lid and rests on the bumper. The top straps ratchet-tighten by a very pleasing drawbridge/portcullis/torture rack style ratchet turn (maybe I’ve been watching too many Medieval history videos on YouTube). The arms are independently positionable for odd combos of bike shapes; rotate the arms into any of the indexed ‘grooves’. Features anti-opportunist security cable lock.

Wheels Manufacturing

In a word: colours! Seven new colour options for most of Wheels Manufacturing’s more popular BBs and other items. They also now do SRAM UDH hangers (we *think* this is a new product for them anyway!)

Thru-axles. If you’re a certain type of rider/mechanic, who’s been riding a certain amount of time, you will have mashed up the OEM thru-axle on a bike at some point. Usually when you’ve punctured. In the rain. And you now can’t get the wheel out. Been there. Oof. Anyway, Wheels Manufacturing do some crisp looking thru-axles now. Just nice.

Shimano CUES

We got to see some Shimano CUES stuff in the flesh. We also cleared up some info about what CUES is, and isn’t. Essentially all CUES stuff is very cross compatible with CUES stuff; cable-pull amounts and inter-sprocket distances are shared. But, as regards compatibility with existing pre-CUES stuff, not so much. The general vibe is that Shimano’s sub-Deore groupsets are now a sea of inter-compatible CUES products. Great for OEM and relatively casual/beginner cyclists. Anything Deore-and-above is the same as it ever was. The curveball remains LinkGlide. Surely Shimano must have plans to do (more) LinkGlide stuff in the SLX/XT market? When we find out, we’ll let you know! Also, yep CUES marque brake levers have that parallel-to-the-bars design which is, at least partly, due to thru-headset routing.

Shimano EP6 motor. Again, nothing Official has been stated, but we wouldn’t expect to ever see any 7000 series motors on ebikes again. The new EP6 (aka 6000 Series) motor is every bit the same as the current top-end EP8 motor in terms of power, firmware and mounting. It just weighs 300g more because it’s made out of aluminium as opposed to magnesium. A small weight saving. Quite a large manufacturing cost saving (magnesium is expensive to make stuff out of). Before you ask, we don’t yet know if the EP6 has the same coasting-along rattle as the EP8 often has.

(Shh… Saracen)

Saracen, being a direct sales brand now not available via LBDs, were not officially represented at iceBike*. But the Saracen Ariel 50E Elite was on display showing off the Shimano EP8 system. After testing the acoustic Saracen Ariel 60 Pro for the next issue of Singletrack Magazine (and basically loving it) we cannot wait to get one of these coil-sprung assisted Ariels. Hubba hubba!


Genesis Fugio. More accurately, Adam Blythe’s Genesis Fugio. That’s some impressively tight tyre clearance there Adam. p.s. have you heard about these ‘mountain bike’ things?

Genesis Smithfield. Some bikes just appeal and we think this bike extremely rad. Right down to the dropper seatpost that makes life just that little bit easier when getting off/on a fully laden city bike.


The new Lazer Coyote Kineticore helmet. Sub £80. Uses the Kineticore protections system, the Lazer TurnSys adjustment system and a magnetic buckle.

Park Tool

A big gallery of new (well, since iceBike* 2020) tools. Mmm… tools.


Dynaplug Covert Drop tubeless repair kit. Yep, you could use these in the end of a MTB handlebar but these are predominantly for dropbar bikes. You get two in a kit. Matchy matchy.

Madison Eyewear

Madison do some impressive riding glasses at more-affordable price points (compared to 100%, POC, Oakley etc). We often get asked in the comments below glasses reviews about prescription lenses/inserts. So this is for you lot. For pretty much all Madison glasses above entry level (ie. approx £30+) you can get a £5 prescription lens frame insert thingy. Instantly removable so you can slap them in another style of (Madison) shades, road versus MTB glasses for example. Or for those times when you might just prefer to wear contact lenses. Anyway. This product exists. Good.

Madison Clothing

The onesie is dead! Long live the dungarees! Madison’s overhauled range of riding wear was probably the main story of the whole show. Using the skills of ex-Rapha/Howies/Finisterre people, Madison apparel is looking mightily impressive. Fancier fabrics, better tailoring, lack of gimmick features, nice colours. These dungarees instantly caught our eye. Better protection, better comfort, better with bibshorts.

The dungarees and this jacket are part of the Madison DTE (Defy The Elements) range. Slightly stretchy material. 20,000 waterproof rating. 35,000 breathability rating. Napoleon phone pocket, hand warmer pockets/venting, performance cut.

The new Madison Flux glove. Eerily reminiscent of the classic 100% Brisker. Probably not accidental. The back is slightly more puffy/Primalofty than a Brisker. We want to try these please. Right now. Please.

Madison are now doing D30 pads. Nothing overtly pioneering here but it’s nice to have another option in the more-than-sleeve knee pad market.


A new grip from ODI. The ODI Reflex (and the fatter Reflex XL) have been designed with one main thing in mind: reducing arm pump. As someone who’s becoming increasingly obsessed with grips, I’m looking forward to getting some of these in to test ASAP. Ideally in grey. Or pink.

The classic Ruffian is now the ODI Ruffian 2.1. And there’s also a fatter ODI Ruffian 2.1 XL. Single collar. Loads of colours. Not sure of the durometer at the mo (sorry!)


The new Ridgeback MK6. A cargo bike cum kid carrier par e-xcellance. Premovec still provide the motor assistance but it’s now a mid-drive motor (as opposed to rear hub motor), there’s an app to twiddle settings and the grunt on offer is now 90Nm. Different capacity batteries available at time of ordering (minimum 504Wh).

The Ridgeback Butcher. Hub motor. Could probably fit a border collie in the front.

Retro Ridgebacks. There were so many eyeball-worthy retro Ridgeback bikes on display that we’re going to do a standalone story/gallery all about them for later this week. You lucky, lucky people.

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Cotic RocketMAXer. Schwalbe Magic Mary Purple Addix front. Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra rear. Coil fan. I have been a writer for nigh on 20 years, a photographer for 25 years and a mountain biker for 30 years. I have written countless magazine and website features and route guides for the UK mountain bike press, most notably for the esteemed and highly regarded Singletrackworld. Although I am a Lancastrian, I freely admit that West Yorkshire is my favourite place to ride. Rarely a week goes by without me riding and exploring the South Pennines.

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Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
  • The Best Bits from iceBike* 2023
  • sharkattack
    Full Member

    I’ve been waiting for MTB dungarees to happen. Keen to know more about them. Then I’ll wait for the Black Friday sale and grab some.

    Full Member

    can’t see point in Truflo Supertrax volume switch as a track pump will be a reasonable volume anyway – can seat mtb tubeless with mine as well as up to 150 psi

    Full Member

    Ace report, Benji! Thanks for the comprehensive tour. And retro Ridgebacks, you say? Hubba hubba!

    Full Member

    I have used that sort of RX insert in glasses before and they aren’t as good a solution as a proper glazed lens in either photocromic or a clear/pinky tint.

    You end up with 2 lenses steaming up and condensation between the lenses which is problematic.

    Full Member

    My first MTB was a Ridgeback 601, back in the 80s….

    Full Member

    I have one of those Truflo Airstore pumps except it was branded Lifeline I think. It worked quite well until the little knob/switch on the head broke and I couldn’t find a replacement.

    And I really like Madison clothing, it’s really well made but seems to fly under the radar compared to most brands.

    Full Member

    @jd13m Doesn’t the green pump work the other way? The way I’m reading it, you can either have standard big volume per stroke to get big tyres up to lowish pressures quickly, or flick the switch to drop the volume per stroke to help with the mechanical adavantage to get small volume tyres to high pressure?

    Full Member

    A good reminder of just how much comes in through one distributor

    Full Member

    Buy more stuff!

    Full Member

    What do you mean: “acoustic Saracen Ariel 60 Pro”. Is it noisy in some what? Does it sing a song when the trail is sweet?

    Full Member

    What do you mean: “acoustic Saracen Ariel 60 Pro”.

    Its a ridiculous term that people seem to be using to determine a bike from an e-bike. 🙄

    Full Member

    <div id=”post-12746655″ class=”bbp-reply-header d-flex justify-content-between w-100″>
    <div class=”bbp-reply-author d-flex align-items-center flex-wrap”><span class=”bbp-author-name”>bigrich</span>
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    <div class=””>Full Member</div>
    <div class=”p-0 loop-item-9 user-id-2413 bbp-parent-forum-11968556 bbp-parent-topic-12746166 bbp-reply-position-10 even post-12746655 reply type-reply status-publish hentry”>
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    Buy more stuff!


    indeed it’s all part of their green agenda😁😁

    Full Member

    *raises eyebrow at retro Ridgebacks*

    Thule – I have their panniers and a small rucksack. Over built in a really good way, with some neat design touches. I was pessimistic about the pannier mounts – but either heavily or lightly loaded it has stayed in place well.

    Madison clothing – we have a couple of great items from them (jersey, an older waterproof commuting jacket) which are great. And two models of gloves which had clearly never been tested in the real world before being offered for sale – some of the worst materials and design I have seen in a long, long time.

    Full Member

    The Thule Outway rack, it doesn’t rest on your bumper. It clamps the bootlid at the top and the bottom.

    Free Member

    The seattube on that Saracen is hideous. I like the look of those Aztec rotors but they should be 2mm thick at 220mm

    Full Member

    Ridgeback 601Ex was mine

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