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London Cycle Show
London, UK, October 13-16, 2005
Part 2 - Homegrown gear from Hope, Exposure, Pedalite & Cyclaire
Ben Atkins takes a look at some of the kit from the UK's own manufacturers that was on show in London.
Entirely designed and manufactured in Lancashire, North West England, Hope Technologies has long enjoyed a reputiation for producing some of the best hubs, and disc brakes on the market.
New to their range for 2005, Hope are launching their new Vision lighting system. Their 10W HID lamp is the equivalent of a 40W halogen light and can either be helmet mounted, or rather originally fitted to the supplied specially designed front plate which fits any Hope stem.
The usual Hope quality is there for all to see, new additions to the hub range include a single speed rear hub to take advantage of the current vogue for having no gears, as well as the imminent return of road hubs after a long absence.
Improvements are being made all round with Hope disc brakes, 2006 models will feature phenolic pistons (a thermo-setting plastic) which will help to prevent heat transference from the pad to the caliper, and so avoid loss in performance.
Manufactured by Ultimate Sports Engineering (USE), Exposure Lights are bright enough to use in 24 hour MTB races, yet small and light enough to carry in your pocket. They are a rechargable LED system, charging in the shortest time imaginable, but without the cumbersome battery packs needed by other lighting systems.
The Joystick is the smallest of the three lights and is designed to clip on to bars or helmet. Useful in enduro MTB races or for roadies who find themselves a long way from home as it gets dark.
This is the largest of the lights and is designed for use in off road night riding, especially in MTB enduro races. While bulkier than the Joystick, the Enduro Turbo nevertheless clips neatly onto the riders bars.
Slimmer than the Enduro, the Race Turbo shares most of its features with a shorter battery life.
Many of the exhibitors at Cycle 2005 are concerned with road safety, the prevention of accidents and help in the event of accidents, but few of them are as innovative as Pedalite, presenting their new Snakeye pedal - aided in their promotion by the body painted "Snake Lady".
The Snakeye pedal features three flashing LEDs, a white one at the front, a yellow one at the side and a red one at the rear. It fits and looks like any other platform pedal, the major difference being the micro generator inside that converts the energy of the rotating axle into power to light the LEDs. It takes very little time to get the flashing started, and it continues flashing for ten minutes once you stop - plenty of time even for London traffic lights!
The Snakeye is currently available as a standard flattie, and with an integrated toeclip, ideal for many cycle commuters and leisure riders. Plans are afoot to develop a clipless version in time...
Another genuine innovation at the show is the Cyclaire. A common complaint among cyclists is that with the best will in the world it is really difficult to get a tyre up to a full pressure of 8 bars (120psi) with a minipump. The whole idea behind the Cyclaire is make it as easy as possible to get your tyres as hard as possible without taking your track pump on the ride with you.
The Cyclaire works on a system of two pistons attached to a wheel, the wheel is spun by pulling a drawcord - like starting your lawnmower - allowing you to effortlessly inflate your tyres while standing in an upright position. While it is bulkier than most minipumps, it's certainly small enough to take on a ride with you, especially if you use its carrying case which you attach to your frame.
Watch out for a full test soon.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Gerry McManus/www.gerrymcmanus.co.uk