Friday, 31 January 2014

Core Show and The Bike Place - ESI and Carbon-Ti

ESI are a silicone company that create a tidy little range of grips and bar tapes. For MTBs they make a standard and a thicker grip. They are impressively light at only 50g and are available in a large range of colours. The grips are very shock absorbent and comfortable but may not be ideal for those who prefer a more consistent feel. The conventional style of ESI grip are perfect for XC and single track / trail riders but for anything more demanding, a traditional grip may be better. They also produce longer tubes for drop bar bikes but they don't exactly look the part. Great news is that now ESI have released a tape. 

I quite like the tape, it's rather clever. It's the same deal as the other grips, all the colours, doesn't weigh much and is comfy. Unlike other tapes, there's not stickiness and it's versatile. There is a chamfer cut from the tape. This means it can be wrapped around the bar so it's flush and there's no ridges, or it can be used the other way up and will appear ribbed just like in the picture. 

Because it's made from silicone, it's super stretchy so it is easy to wrap but also you can vary the thickness depending on how tightly you wrap the bars. Variable thickness if you like.. Again due to its material, it won't hold water and remains grippy. At £39.99 it's not cheap, but consider the fact that you can reverse it when it's tatty and all of the other benefits as mentioned. 

On the same stand we turn away from the stunning Cielo frames and the Chris King bling-ness to find the rather spectacular ELS mule. (Points for those that know what ELS stands for in the bike trade). This bike was so light it needed to be tethered down. Dripping in Carbon-Ti products, this bike was made just to show off. 

From the new hubs to the one piece Ti replacement SRAM XX1 chain ring, it's designed to be less than light.. So if you want to shave the grams off your bike, think about Carbon-Ti.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Core Show and The Bike Place - Adventure Bikes and Accessories

Planning on riding off into the sunset? Or planning on doing a 'Kevin' and heading out to Scotland for a few weeks? There is a certain American brand that is becoming the default option for adventure cycling. 

Surly and Salsa are the genesis of all the snow / fat bike trends but unlike some, they remain functional. Many fat bikes are being released to fit with the trends. 

But at the top of the game is this full carbon Salsa. If you have over £4k and you need to ride over snow or sand in the middle of nowhere then I think I have found your bike. 

The Salsa Fargo set up with the bags was right up my street. Steel frame, 29" wheels, drop bars plenty of bags and it's YELLOW!

The Bike Place Show also had some Fat bikes to offer

Extreme brand 45NRTH are now available in the UK via a major distributor so you can now get such awesome-ness as these SPD boots for the worst of weathers. 

It's got furry insides..

Core Show and The Bike Place - Lovely Lightweight

I am sure many people missed the Lightweight room. It was hidden away upstairs but it was worth finding. 

Not only did we get to see charming Chris Hewings, but there was some stunning Matte Black-ness. 

We have been selling Lightweight Wheels for some time now and each pair still feels special. However rather than feeling fragile, they are solid. As I mentioned in a previous post, there is a damage cover scheme available. I have also been told that rim damage to tub rims can even be repaired in most cases. 

They have also have a rather beautiful frame set in production. It's just stunning and as you can imagine, it's not exactly heavy. 

Accessories are also available. You. Can also order road bars, bottle cages, skewers etc. The bars are a massive 168g in weight, crazy! Much like the 18g bottle cages. It's all amazing. 

And yes, here's the hangers :-)

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Core Show and The Bike Place - Intense Bikes and Hope

These shows are getting big news these days but there's loads of exciting things that I think everyone should see. Both of these shows are reserved for the trade and press but it too good not to share! 

There's loads to say about all of this but I will keep it brief.

Intense Bikes

Tracer 275, available as a frame or a build kit. Frame set comes with a Fox Kashima shock but the build kit is equipped with X-Fusion Forks and rear shock as part of the package. Orange is the standard colour and there are some other colours in the range available as an upgrade. The Orange is super bright!

Other bits from the intense stand include a XX1 equipped Spider 29, Hard Eddie 29 frame set and the Carbine 275 frame (in a rather good matte black and yellow!)

XX1 still looks weird with that crazy cassette.

The Hard Eddie is on my Christmas list... Full carbon fork, internal cable routing, replaceable dropouts for 142, 135 and single speed. WANT! Matching fork looks well in the matte colour scheme. 

Carbine 275 is what people really want. It seems to have everything you could want from your everyday full susser. 


These always loads of pretty-ness in the Hope room but this time there were two rather famous bikes. One of which from a recent TV programme. Guy Martins Rourke built, Hope spec'd speed bike was great to see. You can tell this bike wouldn't have been easy to design or build but as we know, it's one fast bike!

The other is Martyn Ashton's Pinarello from the recent crazy trials, road combo video. 

The new purple colour way is going to be popular I'm sure. Seeing it all in one place gives me ideas for a bike build.. It's a great addition to the range and we will have it in store ASAP!

More Show pictures to follow.

More News from Katie from the Track

Icebreaker Series, Race One, 25 January 2014 At Newport Velodrome.

I went to the Icebreaker in Newport. It was my first race on the new bike from John Atkins Cycles, the bike was absolutely fab! The icebreaker is three endurance races on the track, the scratch race, the elimination and the points race. 

(I'm in the left/middle, white helmet, red and blue kit)

The Elimination race is my favorite race out of the three disciplines and it is the race I did my best in on Saturday, I was up against some stiff competition with some of the best under 16’s in the country racing and I was delighted stay in for about 14 laps before my number was called in the elimination race. 

(I'm in the middle, white helmet, red and blue kit)

Throughout the whole day I learnt lots about being an athlete and really enjoyed myself during the whole experience. I can’t wait till 15 February when I get to do it all over again!

Katie Clements

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Lightweight Wheels

IIf you are after hand made awesome-ness then Lightweight wheels should be a good start. With another set of these leaving us last weekend, they are becoming ever more popular. 

At £3k+ a pair they are a premium choice but not a fragile one. They have a weight limit of 110kgs on some models and clincher or tub options are available. Lightweight also have a damage replacement cover option for their products to ensure you are never without wheels for long, even if you manage to destroy a pair. As the frosts threaten to approach, the already poor roads will undoubtedly get worse and the risk of hitting a pot hole will increase so cover like this is wise. 

Another one of our brands, Mavic, are also doing such a scheme. Again becoming popular as the risk of damaging gear becomes expensive. Mavics cover extends to some of their other products too, such as the helmets and shoes for example. Remember you can only get this cover on products purchased from an autherised dealer. 

So whether is some Aksiums for the winter rig or LWs for something a little more special, come and have a look in store. 

Ps. If you have ever wondered what happens to the unfortunate rims that don't make the cut, they get made into coat hangers, check them out..

Ok, that's pretty light weight..

We always talk about how light is this or that but this is a whole other level! 


It's rather special and the whole thing is a bit of a mission to make. So you won't just nip out and buy one. Make sure you read the full article on:

I would love to get my hands on this thing to really see what it's like, would be good to know how it rides too.. Any comprimises on performance or compliance.. Wait about 30 years and I am sure there will be 2 or 3 examples like this. Ok maybe not but it's fun all the same. 

Monday, 20 January 2014

A little something from our newest team rider

Reginal School of racing - Elimination race.

On 21 December I went to the regional school of racing (RSR) in Manchester which gave me the opportunity to be coached by British cycling coaches for the day on the velodrome.

The day was split into two sessions and in the morning we had a classroom lessons learning and discussing the rules, skills and tactics of the Elimination race, also known as The devil takes the hindmost. The Elimination is a race where the last rider over the line is eliminated every two laps on a 250m track.

In the afternoon for 4 hours we were on the track using the skills we had learnt into practice. My favourite part of the afternoon was putting into practice the tactic for having the best position in the bunch during the elimination race and then holding onto that position for as long as possible. The bike was great and riding it on the track is more exhilarating than training at home with the track bike on rollers!

The last part of the day was taken up with mechanical changing the chain tensions and putting wheels in and out of the bike on our own.

Having the advise of the British Cycling Coaches was great they gave me good tips to improve my skills and perfect tactics to try.

Katie Clements