Trade Shows

Core Bike Show 2016: highlights

Some of our favourite picks from one of the year's first big trade shows

This week has been the Core Bike Show at Whittlebury Hall in Northamptonshire. Core Bike has been going for years now and it’s a chance to meet up with some of the UK’s biggest distributors and see what their brands have to offer for the new season.

Here are a few of the things that caught our eye this week, from Steel bikes to aero helmets, and tubular tape to Primaloft gilets. Oh, and a clothing line that might just be the most expensive in cycling.

Merckx special edition frames

As a rider Eddy Merckx won just about all of the races, and certainly all those that mattered. So picking a couple to commemorate with special edition framesets is a Herculean task, or a Merckxian task which might be a more appropriate name.

Anyhow, the people at Merckx bikes have managed to narrow down the choices to two: the 1975 Liege-Bastogne-Liege win, his fifth and final taken in the rainbow jersey and Paris-Roubaix 1970, a win taken by more than six minutes in notoriously apocalyptic weather.

And because these frames are commemorating big time wins by a proper bike rider, they’re made in the only true material for ‘proper’ bikes: steel. Both come with similarly classic paint jobs, with the Molteni orange Liege ’75 being a particular favourite of ours. The frames will have an RRP of £1,699 each, and there are full build options on both.

Alchemy Bicycles

Fresh off the plane from Denver, Colorado, are Alchemy Bicycles, a new brand being distributed in the UK by Saddleback. Alchemy are one of a growing number of boutique bike brands that special in building frames by hand, and particularly attractive ones at that.

They deal in carbon, titanium and stainless steel, and do all three with more than a helping of style. The bike on show here was the disc equipped version of the Eros road bike – Eros being both the Greek god of love and the most passionate and intense of the Greeks’ four types of love – and it’s fair to say these are bikes made by people who love bikes.

In addition to fully custom-built bikes, Alchemy also offer a range of off-the-peg framesets, so you won’t have to fork out custom-only prices to get your hands on one of these. You can check them out on the Alchemy website, or the Saddleback website for updates on availability in the UK.

X-Bionic Lamborghini collaboration

If you were looking for really, really expensive clothing but thinking the current crop of offerings just wasn’t quite eye-watering enough, don’t worry, X-Bionic have you covered. They’ve teamed up with Lamborghini, a company you’ve probably heard of, to offer a range of their clothing that comes with the iconic raging bull logo on the front.

In case you’re curious as to just how expensive this kit is, the jersey and shorts will set you back £466 if you want the matching set. That’s £225 for the jersey and £241 for the shorts. The matching socks are £37, and the bike jacket – get this – is an arrhythmia-inducing £489. That’s four-hundred-and-eighty-nine pounds.

If you want to be a little more ostentatious though, the Huracán edition is bright yellow, just like Lamborghini’s cars, but it comes with the same price tag, so there isn’t a ‘yellow premium’, which is good.

Spiuk helmets and sunglasses

Spanish brand Spiuk (pronouned spee-uk, or possibly spook, or maybe a different way entirely) have added to their range for this season, producing a pretty tasty-looking TT and Tri helmet called the Obuss.

Looking a little like Giro’s Air Attack, there’s no reason you couldn’t channel your inner Luca Paolini and don one of these on the road, too. Plus, at £99.95, it’s impressively cheap compared to the competition. Oh, and if weight is a concern, Spiuk say it comes in between 375-480g depending on size.

Elsewhere, they’ve added new colour options to the Dharma road helmet, which comes with a removable aeroshell. And they’ve added a lot of colours, too, described as ‘too many to list’ on the information card on their stand. Price is £109.95. There are new colourways for the Z16RC road shoes as well, including this fantastic bright orange which would look even better if their stand wasn’t lit like a nightclub bar. RRP on the shoes is £179.95 and they come in sizes 38-47.

If you need some shades to match your new lid, the Mamba glasses are a pared-down version of the already-popular Arqus model. They come with sleek frames, wrap around one-piece lenses and, again, are available in a wide variety of colours for a pretty reasonable £59.99. We’ll be getting a set in to test soon, so watch this space.

Cinelli Nemo Tig

Another bike brand who have gone big with steel is Cinelli and their very lovely new Nemo Tig. Cinelli have a storied history with steel bikes, and this stunner is the latest in a long line of classics. The one we’ve shot here is in the ‘silver bulllet’ colour scheme, but you have to see it in ‘Purple Haze’ to really appreciate the Nemo in all its glory.

Tubing is Columbus Spirit and uses the Tig welding technique, which apparently increases frame stiffness. That’s paired with a Columbus FEL carbon fork to really give you the best of old and new all in one. Claimed frame weight is 1,800g, so it’s no climbing machine, but that’s not the point of a bike like this, anyway.

It’s available frameset only from £1,599.99, or as a Campagnolo Athena complete bike from £2,549.99 which includes a Selle Italia X1 Flow saddle, Cinelli DNA bars, post and stem and a Miche Altur wheelset.

Endura FS260-Pro 

Scottish apparel brand Endura have been hard at work increasing their top line FS260-Pro range and added a couple of really smart looking bits.

Our personal favourite is the Primaloft Gilet. Filled, as you’ve guessed, with Primaloft insulating material it’s slim and packable enough to be a really good option on chilly rides, or as an extra layer when it’s very cold. It’ll cost £99.99 and is part of Endura’s Autumn/Winter 2016 range so you won’t be able to get your hands on one just yet.

Another smart looking bit of kit is the SL260-Pro Shell Jacket, an outer layer designed to repel nasty weather and remember, these fellas test their stuff in Scotland. It uses three-layer Exoshell40 fabric and has a really high breathability rating of 40,000g/m2/24hrs, so should be right up there with the best foul-weather jackets. It’s race fit, so wont flap around all over the place, and Endura say it’ll pack down small enough to fit into a jersey pocket, too, which will be a nice touch if true. One of these will set you back £139.99, but it’s part of the Spring/Summer 2016 range so should be hitting the shelves within a few months.

Effetto Mariposa

We’ve mentioned Italian brand Effetto Mariposa before, but if it’s worth mentioning once it’s worth banging on about incessantly, so we’ll say it again: they make the absolute best tubular tape on the market, bar none.

The reason it works so well is that it’s basically tape glue, in that there’s a 1mm thick layer of glue on the tyre side of the tape, and the other side a layer developed to work well with carbon. So two different bonding agents, basically.

That’s the Carogna tubular tape, but that’s far from all that Effetto Mariposa do. They also produce the Caffélatex tyre sealant, a highly-regarded puncture-proofing liquid and the Espresso inflate and repair cartridge, which inflates a damaged tyre while injecting the aforementioned sealant to block the hole. There’s also a selection of different tools including a specific hacksaw for cutting seat and stealer tubes. Check out their website to see their whole repertoire.

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