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London Cycle Show
London, UK, October 13-16, 2005
Part 4 - Koga Miyata, Kinesis, Suunto, Torq & Science in Sport
A famous Dutch brand trying to re-establish itself in Britain is the message put across by Koga Miyata, who provides the bikes to Leontin Zijlaard-Van Moorsel’s Ton van Bemmelen-AA Drink team, as well as the Dutch Cycling Federation. They presented their entire range, from children’s and city bikes to mountain bikes and their top professional road bikes. Koga are keen to emphasis their great victories of the past including Peter Winnen’s Alpe d’Huez victory in 1981, Zijlaard-Van Moorsel’s Olympic titles and more recently, success on the track.
The FullPro Monocoque is the top of the range frameset with its aero section tubes - including the seatpin - and can be built up as either a road or a time trial machine. Attention to detail is high, with the word “Koga” in raised relief on each side of the head tube and subtle silver and gold grpahics.
FullPro Carbolite - With a claimed weight of 1.195kg for the frame, the Carbolite is aimed at rides in mountainous terrain. It shares the same stylings and attention to detail as the monocoque but is constructed from tubes bonded to carbon lugs rather than moulded. This method allows a greater range of sizes and also allows the frame to be made to measure.
RoadRacer - Aimed at a lower budget rider who still wants the look and feel of a full carbon frame the RoadRacer is fitted out with a Shimano 105 groupset. The bike on display was a pre production model which carried the Carbolite graphics.
FullPro Track - Also on display was a beautiful track bike in Dutch team livery, as ridden to success by - among others - Olympic silver medallist and world champion Theo Bos. Koga are very proud of their association with the Dutch team and told us to look out for some pretty special stuff in the build up to Beijing. Maybe not for everyone - it seems that the frame is available in any colour you like - so long as it’s orange!
Spyker Concept - Also on display was a totally out of this world concept bike built in collaboration with sports car manufacturer Spyker. The full titanium frame is complemented by totally custom made componentry, including a silver carbon wheelset - based around a Rohloff 14-speed hub - silver carbon mudguards and a rather comfy looking orange leather saddle. This is not the sort of bike to leave locked up at Amsterdam’s centraal station! There are only a few being made, but one can be yours for £8,000, or free with your £300,000 Spyker car!
Koga bikes are all hand built in Heerenveen, Holland and each bike comes with a certificate signed by the mechanic that assembled it, just another little detail that they believe sets them apart from the larger companies.
Long-time bike industry watchers will be familiar with Kenesis as a maker of forks, but the company is also a medium-sized producer or frames, usually sold under someoneelse's brand. Bikes from Kinesis UK, however, are designed in Britain and then made in Taiwan. Kinesis UK makes frames for mountain bikes, cyclocross bikes and road bikes to a very high spec, but at a fraction of the price of many other top end frames.
Racelight KiC - The top of the range road frame is made from hydroformed “Kinesium” - Kinesis' own brand tubing, with their own carbon seat and chainstays. The sculpted tubes are butted to the extreme, but have integrated gussets in the places where the most strength is needed.
Racelight RC - “The Racelight RC compact is built to win races” claim Kinesis. Made from 600 series custom drawn, double butted 600 series “Kinesium” aluminium it features carbon wishbone seatstays and hourglass aluminium chainstays for a blend of stiffness and comfort. The RC’s compact geometry and tube angles are designed to give the rider very direct steering and greater stability, and Kinesis claim that the stiffness they can acheive in the frame adds real punch when accelerating out of corners and over climbs.
RacelightTk - This frame, Kinesis claim “takes the winter training frame to a new level”. Basically it’s designed to be ridden all year with clearence for mudguards (fenders), but is light enough (1.4 kg for the 54 cm frame) to be raceable in the summer. Squarely aimed at the rider who wants to ride all year but can’t afford - or doesn’t want - to buy a second bike, the Tk should do very well in the British climate!
Crosslight EVO2 - Kenesis is one of the few british companies to really take ‘cross seriously. This can be seen at any British ‘cross race where they are generally the largest single manufacturer present. They describe the Crosslight EVO2 as “the Ultimate ‘cross frame” and with its Easton Ultralite tubing and wishbone carbon stays, who are we to argue? The cable routing has been moved to the right hand side of the frame to make carrying easier, especially when coupled with their carbon EVO cyclocross fork - at a claimed weight of 460g!
A relative unknown in the cycling market - they’ve been making compasses and diving computers for years - Suunto are launching their new t6 Trainer. The Finnish company (what is it about the Finns and their HRMs?) has created a product that can measure your EPOC (Excess Post-excercise Oxygen Consumption) among other things, which monitors recovery and can tell if your training is actually making you better, and so help you to train smarter.
Suunto products are presented under the heading “How Not to Rely on Luck”.
Torq is a relatively new name in the world of sports nutrition and the company aims not just to make sports foods but to provide fitness consultancy and training, so that coaching and nutrition work together. The nutritional products are made using natural ingredients, low in fat, with a wide range of glycaemic index for a sustained glucose release. Many of the ingredients used are fair trade.
Torq products also use “Ribose” a kind of sugar which is said to “significantly enhance recovery from heavy excercise”
Torq bars are available in four natural flavours: Tangy Apricot; Sundried Banana; Raspberry and Apple and Pineapple and Ginger. These bars all taste as good as they sound, bearing out the Torq slogan; “Why endure when you can enjoy”. If training tastes this good I might start doing it myself!
Torq’s energy drink contains little more than maltodextrin, anything else they say wastes energy to break down and can cause bloating. The powder dissolves easily in water and is almost completely tasteless, allowing the user to either drink it as water, or mix with their favourite cordial for the flavour or their choice.
Science in Sport
The Science in Sport bar was doing a roaring trade at the rear of the hall. Customers were invited to sample the different products which include “Go Bars”, “PSP22”, “Go” and “Rego” - drinks for energy, hydration and recovery respectively, and “Go Gel” - the only isotonic energy gel on the market, meaning it is not necessary to take it with water. All products are developed, tested and produced in Lancashire, in the North West of England.
SiS is the official energy product supplier to the Grat Britain cycling team, the England cricket team (perhaps that’s how they won!) and has been seen being consumed by England footballers - even when they were sponsored by another brand. Of course, the presence on the stand of Page 3 girl Nadia probably wasn't chasing customers away...
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Paul J Wright/pjwphotos.co.uk
Images by Kenesis UK
Images by Gerry McManus/www.gerrymcmanus.co.uk
Images by Mark Sharon