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London, England, September 26 - 29, 2002
By Paul Mirtschin
Held in London's Business Design Centre, the Cycle 2002 show is the UK's chance to see what's new and improved in the bike industry for the 2003 retail season. It is also a chance for the usual collection of manufacturers to show off the strange, really strange, and "what are they thinking?" products that they hope will turn them into millionaires overnight.
Cycle 2002 isn't in the league of EICMA, Eurobike or Interbike, and some of the manufacturers tend to skip the show in order to get set up in Vegas, so we thought we would give the little guys a go in our coverage. What you are about to see may shock you, especially if you are the kind of rider who feels that nothing good has come out of the bike industry since they took the shift levers off the downtube.
Designers and manufactures of laser cut "kit" bikes, I-Cycles have been plying their wares at a number of trade shows recently. Now they don't make race bikes, but if you are looking for a bike to stand out on the cafe run, then this brand is for you.
This year they have released a mountainbike with a difference. Made from the same laminated wood as some of their other models, this bike allows you to tune the frames stiffness by raising or lowering the seat-tube. This changes the tension of the wire down-tube thereby modifying the stiffness of the frame.
Anyone remember Slingshot?
One of Serotta's showings at the show was their new titanium road soft-tail frame. Utilising a heavily curved seat-stay, the frame gets around 10mm of travel. In order to dampen the travel, Serotta have attached a strip of MCU to the underside of the stay, however, I'm not so sure of its effectiveness. Maybe a test ride is in order.
These guys make folding bikes. But not just any folding bikes, MCU-sprung high performance folding bikes.
Airnimal say they felt that too often performance was pushed aside in order to have the smallest possible bike, so they decided to take a different approach. The frames are built using 7005-T6 alloy tubing, carbon fibre forks hold the 24" front wheel in while the 24" rear wheel soaks up the hits with its 25mm of MCU damped travel.
And depending on how much you want to dismantle the bike, it can fold down into a package as small as 56cm x 36cm x 20cm. Small enough to be taken onto a flight as hand luggage.
Reevu had their integrated rear-view helmet on show, and we even managed to get a shot of it in action. Fully vented, Reevu say the helmet conforms to all relevant international impact standards for protective cycle helmets. So if you find yourself wishing you could see behind you, maybe this is the helmet you need.
You are young, live in Sheffield, and feel that none of the bikes around are what you want. What do you do? Build your own, that's what.
A relatively new company, Edge Bikes have started with a known design, and improved it. Using a four-bar parallel linkage not unlike that used by Schwinn on their Rocket 88 frame, Edge designed a bike that was equally at home going up the hills as well as down, and they named it the Blade. 4.5" of travel at the rear, 69.5 degree head angle to accommodate the longer forks, and 100% made in England.
I'm a big fan of the Rocket 88 design, so I look forward to getting a go on one of these frames sometime.
Ridley had World Cyclocross Champ Mario Declerq's Supercross bike on show at Cycle 2002. Made from Dedacciai EM2 tubing, this bike is sitting under both Declerq and fellow Colstrop Palmans team-mate Tom Vannoppen. The carbon fibre forks on the bike look the goods too.
Lightweight isn't the word I'd use here, but since the word I would use might offend, it will have to do. Principia had on show a REXe Pro that someone thought they might build up as light as possible. 6.6kg light actually. As I said, lightweight isn't the word for it.
And if the price of £4,639 (US$7245) is a bit steep, they had some cheaper (and slightly heavier) bikes on show.
Now where is that credit card?
Images by Mark Sharonemail@example.com