All the fun of the (2016 cycle) show!
Once a year, the NEC plays host to the Cycle Show. The show offers a chance to see some of the best brands, the most exciting innovations, the latest trends and, occasionally some of the weirdest stuff the cycle industry has to offer. 2016 saw the 15th edition of the Cycle Show breaking all records with more stands and visitors than ever before.
Just about anyone who was anyone was there. We had the big boys such as Trek, Bianchi, Cannondale, Boardman, Pinarello and Cube as well as Orange, Isla, Ridley, Saracen, Genesis and Whyte. We think you can’t beat an Independent Bike Shop for quality of advice, service and after sales support. So although we are not a big fan of direct to market bikes, there’s no doubt they have made a big impact. Ribble, Canyon and Planet X were all much in evidence. In addition to bikes, the Accessories, Clothing, Parts and after market businesses were extremely well represented. Plus 2016 saw a really big focus on eBikes with a whole ‘village’ dedicated to this emerging trend.
Although Criterium Cycles could only make it on the trade day, the public days of the show featured a stellar line up of medal winners and stars of the cycling world. These included Ed Clancy, Callum Skinner and Joanna Rowsell-Shand all returning from Rio with gold medals. Chris Boardman, Manon Carpenter, Sean Kelly, Dani King, the Athertons and Taylor Vernon from the Trek Factory DH team and Martyn Ashton all made it as well.
What caught our eye?
Here’s a small selection of the things that caught our eye at this year’s show.
Trek Project One
Trek decided to have a more boutique presence at the Show this year focusing on their brilliant Project One customisation programme. Project One has gained a major revamp in 2016 and is now more accessible and available than ever before. From just £400 you can enter the world of Project One and get the bike in the colour and specification that suits you. There’s no need to ever be conventional again (plus it’s great fun working with the Project One configurator to build the perfect bike!).
Always one of the loveliest of any collections of bikes at any Cycle Show, Bianchi showcased one of the most exciting ranges of bikes for years. The Specialissima, Oltre XR4 and Infinito CV were our highlights of a superb range. The Specialissima was Bike Radar’ s Bike of the Year 2016 and the Oltre XR4 is the latest superbike to emerge from the premium Italian manufacturer. Robert Gesink of Team LottoNL Jumbo won the Queen stage of the Vuelta a Espana this year on an Oltre XR4 in stunning style. Criterium Cycles got to test ride the bike for ourselves on a recent trip to Italy (where else). Click here to read our review of the bike. The Oltre XR4 will be in Criterium Cycles shortly for you to see in person. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
Bianchi had some other wonderful things to look at on their stand. What especially caught our eye was the legendary Marco Pantani’s Giro D’Italia and Tour de France winning bike from 1998. For our money, it still looks incredible almost 20 years on.
This little device intrigued us. It’s called Buddy Chat and allows you to communicate with your friends and family whilst out riding. Some will no doubt think it’s a bit pricey at £149.99 for two paired Buddy Chat devices plus clamps and charger. However, we can see how it could be a real boon to those who want to communicate easily with other members of their group. One potential application is if you are cycling with a child who needs more regular instruction and guidance. Some of the junior members of Team Criterium definitely need a little more ‘guidance’ than most!
One of the great things about the Cycle Show is that there are plenty of demo areas to try stuff out. In one area for instance, the guys at the NEC had built an indoor MTB demo area for E-Bikes! Mighty impressive it was too.
Why not visit in 2017?
The Cycle Show is on again at the NEC in 2017. It will be open to the public on 22-24th September and is definitely worth a visit to see all the latest and greatest in the world of cycling. Check out the link to the Cycle Show here.