Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre is hosting the 2012 Cycle Show this weekend. We went along for the trade-only day yesterday and went hunting for hidden gems among the obvious wares from Trek, Specialized and the other big boys.
Shows like this remind us how far the bike industry pendulum has swung back to skinny tyres in the last ten years. Today’s shows may not be dominated by mountain bikes, but there was still plenty of fat tyre stuff to look at and we unearthed a few hidden gems by our well-known technique of desperately begging our mates to show us something we hadn’t already seen.
Here’s a few of them, and don’t forget the gallery, where you’ll find lots more.It wasn’t on display, but Dan from Marzocchi importer Windwave unboxed it to show us: the Corsa SL 29in Carbon fork from Marzocchi boasts nickel-plated stanchions, a deep brace for rigidity and a one-piece carbon fiber crown and steerer. In a hidden office, down a corridor, with a sign on the door saying ‘beware of the scorpions’, Raleigh had this machine from Haibike. This is the German brand raced to Olympic silver by Sabine Spitz and Raleigh will be importing them from next year. X-Fusion’s new Hilo SL post is claimed to weigh 100g less than the company’s previous model at 450g. We didn’t have scales with us but it felt not much heavier than a typical mid-grade OEM post. Intrepid Apparel had a well-recieved new gilet in very light and soft stretch fleece. Jason from Intrepid was just back from taking the Interbike show by storm, though he says Americans just don’t understand why you’d wear a gilet. Green is a bit of a miniitrend this year. Specialized are on board with one of our must-rides for 2013, the latest version of the Camber trail bike. To go with your green Camber, how about a matching Tactic helmet, sir? Considering how similar it is to Specialized’s high-end helmets, the Tactic is a serious bargain for 55 quid. 650Bold as love? Raleigh was showing a completely revamped range of Diamondback mountain bikes and the development of the new range is ongoing, as this 2-14 roto 27.5/650B version of the Axis shows. Trek is still offering top-flight 26ers like the Elite 8.9 hardtail with full Deore XT group, Fox fork and Bontrager Race Lite wheels on a lightweight aluminium frame and with a very cheery paint job.