It was to Earls Court on Thursday for the trade and press day of the annual Cycle Show. It seemed there were fewer exhibitors than in past years, with Sunrace Sturmey Archer perhaps the most noticeable and from my point of view, regrettable, absentee. What the Cycle Show 2010 lacked in venerable British (now Taiwanese) hub gears, it made up for in cycle sport celebrities. Mario Cipolini was looking every inch the David of the cycling world, towering well over six feet tall, tanned, in skin tight jeans and a bucket of hair gel keeping each and every one of his golden locks in place. Eddy Merckx was doing sterling duty signing autographs on his company’s stand.
Here’s the pick of what I saw.
Infinite security. An exciting start up company co-founded by an ex-financial services type and an academic mathematician aims to secure almost every removable component to your bike, with titanium locking devices operated by a 3-dimensional key that is unique to each customer. They’ve partnered up with engineering legend Royce, so expect good things in 2011. Their products could bring the epidemic of saddle theft on the streets of London to an abrupt end.
From cutting edge to tried and tested. Carradice define the British cycle tourist look (and it’s definitely a good look). The Lancashire company continues to prosper in the current trend towards all things retro. Their’s waxed cotton cape at around £50 is a real bargain. Be sure to get the matching spats to keep your feet and legs dry.
They’ve even begun matching their leather straps to Brooks saddles. A match made in retro heaven.
Meanwhile, Brooks were showing a new saddle range made from cattle which, the company claims, are reared in conditions of extreme contentment on the organic pastures of Sweden. Each saddle has a number and you can go onto the Brooks website and find out more about the farm where the beast who willingly gave its hide for your riding pleasure spent its joyful days.
Carradice have also come up with a lovely Brompton touring bag, which is a lot more stylish
, and cheaper, than Brompton’s own nylon version.
From cotton duck to animal prints, with this matching set of basket liner and seat cover. Delovely!
And a fine selection of basketry for the Farrow and Ball set:
If you’re going to wear a helmet around town, you may as well have some fun with it. Yakkay have an ever-expanding collection with a noggin top to suit every mood:
British bicycle lighting designers Bicygnals (see what they’ve done there?) have solved the problem of lights that go on while stored in your pocket or bag, draining their batteries. This nifty pair of lights clips together when not on the bike and the on/off switches are fully concealed. Only £18 for a set = bargain!
I’m not as convinced by their left/right indicator set featuring wifi relay from the front light to the rear. A solution in search of a problem?
Moulton were exhibiting their iconic small wheel, full suspension, high performance bicycles, with a model for every budget. From the TS2, “the People’s Moulton”, features the new Sturmey Archer S2C hub (two speed kickback shifter with coaster brake) and optional belt-drive. A lot of technology for just £950.
At the other end of the scale is the new AM Speed, “the Oligarch’s Moulton”, which can be yours for a cool £7,500.
Top end Moultons have always been heavy on the bling factor. These days they are in stainless steel. In the 1960s they were chromed, like this beautiful S type F-Frame model, on loan from Dr Alex Moulton’s museum:
Pashley have a new retro touring bike, the Clubman, first shown last year but now in production.
Peugeot had a large stand with a combination of human powered cycles and coal-powered e-bikes. This sturdy cruiser with cargo rack caught my eye:
If only the Borisbikes were as stylish!
Not everyone at the Cycle Show was there to sell. The London Fixed Gear and Single Speed Forum had a lively stand with a stunning and painstakingly composed photo wall, a mashed up polo bike and a table groaning with flyers. Hats off to LFGSS for bringing the spirit of the streets to the temple of marketing that is the Cycle Show.
More photos here.