Autumn is prime bike show time, which is great on a number of counts. Not only do bike fanciers get to see a full range of new products from a vast number of manufacturers, all under one roof and looking their best, but for anybody interested in the future of cycling, bike shows are the only place to pick hints of emerging trends — and passing fads.
Surprisingly, considering the widely-held view that mountain biking is going through something of a lull right now, it’s off-road bikes that have inspired most of the emerging fashions across other cycling disciplines. There was no doubt at the recent Eurobike Show the long-held belief that road bikes could benefit from disc brakes, and hydraulic brakes of both disc and rim varieties, was now coming to fruition with a huge number of new drop-bar bikes featuring cutting-edge stoppers. Similarly, the continual quest for aerodynamic efficiency has seen a range of frame designers opting to install the rear brake behind the bottom bracket, on the chainstay.
With the sportive bike market still in rude health, bike makers are continuing to look at ways they can incorporate comfort into their frames. For example, distinguished French manufacturer Time has used an automotive-inspired mass damper in the hollow of its new ‘Aktiv’ fork to help absorb road vibrations.
Another staple of bike development is the desire for ever lighter bikes. To some extent the UCI’s minimum bike weight regulations have stifled progress a little, with bike firms easily undercutting the limits and even having to fit ballast on elite rider’s bikes. However, 2015 will see the lightweight race restart in earnest, with new ultra-svelte models such as the Trek Emonda, Lapierre Pulsium and the new Orbea Orca.
Finally, after years where white, grey and black have ruled the new bike colour charts, it’s great to see manufacturers splashing a little more colours on their bikes — particular faves for 2015 seem to be orange and blue (although not together!).
If you want to see all of next year’s bikes now, why not head over to the NEC in Birmingham on September 26-28 for this year’s Cycle Show. With brands such as Trek, Giant, Boardman, Raleigh and Cube, as well as countless others, celebrity appearances, fashion and stunt shows, you’re sure to be well entertained.
Adult tickets cost £13 in advance and children under 14 can enter for £1. www.cycleshow.co.uk