From the 25th to the 28th of September, the world’s UK’s bicycle press along with keen cyclists descend upon the NEC in Birmingham for the year’s Cycle Show.
What is it? Should you go? Where do you stay? What are the highlights? What should I take? What day should I go?
All good questions!
Let’s answer them…
What is it?
In four words: A huge bicycle exhibition.
Should you go?
If you are interested in the latest cycling accessories, books, clothing, food, holidays and experiences, then this is a good place to go.
A large part of the exhibition is of course dedicated to the latest bikes.
They have a test track for trying out road bikes, an off-road mountain bike demo track and an area where you can try out the latest electric bikes.
Beyond that there are interesting demonstrations such as bicycle maintenance and frame building. For example during the frame building sessions you can ask the experts your questions, watch a frame taking shape and even join up on one of their frame building courses.
Finally, the Cycle Show lives up to its name with shows such as freestyle dirt jumping, with world champion Sam Pilgrim.
Where should you stay?
You could visit the show and get back to London in a day, but it’s a decent train ride from London Euston to Birmingham International. You may prefer to stay a night at a hotel in the area. The Crowne Plaza NEC is a popular choice as it’s a couple of minutes drive away.
What are the highlights?
For me, I’m always looking out for the latest gear to feature on London Cyclist. Therefore, the show is about having a mooch around and see what cool new things brands such as Topgear are coming up with.
I really like that you can walk up to the stands and talk to the guys that are knowledgable about the products sold. It’s nice to have a face to face interaction with them, rather than just what you read on the internet.
Of course there are also tons of samples to try out and the talks and shows that are put on are worth attending.
The trick is to plan ahead, checking the official website for when the events that are of interest to you should be on.
What should I take?
A briefcase full of money would be a good idea! There are so many tempting bike bits here and holidays that it’s tough to not part with some money on a visit to the show. Aside from that, a backpack for all the freebies and leaflets you get given. I’d also take a camera along.
What day should I go?
The 25th is just a press and trade day, but the 26th to the 28th are open to all. What day should go? Check the website for events that are on. Bear in mind that by the Sunday all the exhibitors are pretty exhausted, so you might find them a little more on it on the Friday and Saturday. Of course Friday’s are always going to be quieter than the weekend, so if you’re not a fan of big crowds, that can be a better day to attend.
Tickets cost £13 for adults and £1 for kids from the age of 14 and under.
The Cycle Show website has more information.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.