The Cycle Show Roundup

So it is the end of another year of the Cycle Show! Here is a bit of a preview of some of the main things to emerge from this years show and what we can expect hitting the stores shortly.

Headliners

The first big bit of news regards the London Cycle Hire scheme. I previously reported about what the bike would look like and my predictions are holding true. I present to you one of the 6,000 hire bikes soon to be unleashed on London’s streets:

New docking station

The above picture by Carlton Reid also shows the docking station. Initial hands on tests by the BBC suggest the bike feels sturdy and handles well. It is also equipped with a chain guard and dynamo-driven LED light (very eco-friendly!).

Also very eco-friendly (well, at least compared to motorbikes) are the Electric Bikes. These have featured heavily in this years show with the headlining act being the GoCycle. Arguably there are better e-bikes out there but the GoCycle seems to have captured everyone’s imagination with its sleek design. Understandably there is a huge appeal to having a bike that can boost your speed, especially when travelling up tough hills.

Cycle technologies

SatMap have a good new GPS unit out that uses Ordnance Survey maps which are much more useful to cyclists. The units are rugged, waterproof and have a ridiculously good 16 hour battery life. I’m very tempted to pick-up one of these myself as all the reviews have been full of praise. If you’re looking for one then the best price I have found is either on Outdoor World who throw in some good extras or Amazon.

 

Also featured at the Cycle Show was the bicycle wing mirror with indicator by Winkku which I suppose in the London traffic could be useful.

winkuu bicycle mirror from cycle show

The final Cycle Show gadget I want to talk about is the Fibre Flare which is the evolution of the typical bike light. Basically it is designed so that you can be seen in all directions rather than just from behind.

fibre flare bike light from the bike show

It is also way brighter than a typical bike light and is versatile enough to be mounted on different parts of the bike. If you want one they are available at Wiggle for the best price. (Adds to my “to buy” list)

Best of the rest..

There was obviously lots of new bike models out but I want to talk about one specifically. The guys on the Moulton stand featured a very cool bike with a belt drive.

moulton bike chain

Also there was the Swarovski Crystal bike which got a few envious views and the Cycloc which is a new invention I’m hoping to see more of. It basically allows you to hang your bike from the wall in style.

Those in search of entertainment at the show could try the superhighway simulator and try and set a high speed. Cheap TfL promotion at its best! I hope people there gave them a good telling off for painting bike lanes blue instead of red and calling it a revolution.

Of course there was plenty more going on at the Cycle Show but these are some of the main things that I found interesting. Feel free to leave your impressions in the comments.

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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

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7 Responses to The Cycle Show Roundup

  1. James Pellatt 12/10/2009 at 6:57 am #

    Good review. As for the cycle superhighways the man from Tfl I spoke to couldn’t have had less of a clue about them (and he said that he was supposed to). I fear it is nothing more than a publicity stunt that isn’t going to achieve much. Hopefully after the General Election central office will cut BoJo some slack and he can do something that will help cyclists by setting a 20 mph speed limit.

    From Andreas: Interesting that even the TfL staff don’t have a clue what this is going to be like. All the signs point towards a publicity stunt, find it hard to see how this would have been implemented anyway, most of those roads hardly have any extra room for big cycle lanes.

  2. MarkA 13/10/2009 at 11:08 am #

    Hi James, I don’t think it’s a case of central office over Boris – the ‘superhighways’ are, after all, his baby. Personally, I would have preferred if he’d concentrated on fixing & completing the more complicated (ergo expensive) aspects of the LCN+ network, but still, the trickle effect of more publicity about cycling in London and any attempt at building cycling infrastructure over not doing anything is a good thing. Sadly, it seems we all have a while to wait though till we get real segregated cycling paths on major routes in London – the fact that there is a bus driving over the blue paint on the TFL’s publicity shots for the scheme says it all really….

    Andreas; thanks for the roundup – how long do we think a Swarovski encrusted bike would stay chained to the racks of central London before it got nicked?! haha

  3. Andreas 13/10/2009 at 5:25 pm #

    @MarkA – I’ve laughed many a time over the picture of the bus in the cycle lane for the publicity shots! If you look at the new transport plan released yesterday then it is clear Boris is aiming for a small cycling adoption in the capital at nowhere near the level necessary to be revolutionary. It seems he is not willing to compromise the interests of motorists to deliver the kind of progress necessary. I suppose it is hard to when so many of them are voters.

    The Swarovski bike would be stolen before even having a chance to lock it! I’m suprised no-one tried to steal at the cycle show!

  4. Harry 15/10/2009 at 4:48 pm #

    That flare fibre thing looks a bit lame. If you want the latest in light technology, look up the Spooklight!

    ;)

  5. Andreas 15/10/2009 at 5:16 pm #

    lol no one is going to ever use the Spooklight! If you want to indicate on your bike you will totally just use your hands!

  6. Harry 15/10/2009 at 9:02 pm #

    How about at night? It’s great for indicating your intention when stopped at a junction, or signalling traffic that is waaay behind you but moving fast.

    Besides, the brake light is the real news here. That and recharging via USB. And the fact it will donate power to your ipod, phone, psp, etc.

    The flare fibre thing looks like a cheaper version of the old exelite gear. Nothing to get all excited about.

  7. Andreas 22/10/2009 at 8:38 am #

    Harry sorry for not replying sooner must have missed your comment.
    I would hope that at night someone would be wearing reflective clothing so you would still notice the hand signal, my cycling jacket definitely has reflective material around the hands and arms. I just wouldn’t think that a small light on the back of the bike would be clear enough to show people you are changing direction, sure it helps but people don’t expect signals from a bike.

    The recharging via USB is a great idea and so is the iPhone charging because I could use that – recently my battery ran out half way through a 60 mile cycle because I was checking the directions so often. So I agree with you there, that is a useful feature.

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