Meet Super Mario: just one reason to go to the Cycle Show
The Lion King is coming. Lock up your daughters. Photo: Chris Catchpole
Legendary road sprinter Mario Cipollini will be opening the Cycle Show to the public at Earls Court 10am this coming Friday 8th October. The former World Road Champion will be welcoming cyclists from all over the UK for a long weekend of bike-related immersion which will include every aspect of the sport as well as inspiration for commuters and cycling newcomers.
Cipollini will need no introduction to a whole generation of cycling fans who followed his illustrious successes all through the 1990s, culminating with victory at the World Road Championships in 2002. Known as 'The Lion King', 'Super Mario' or just 'Cipo', with his red-clad Saeco team he was the originator of the lead-out train concept now widely employed by the likes of HTC-Columbia for Mark Cavendish.
Since mostly retiring from racing in 2005, his skills as a consummate showman have been seemingly ideally employed establishing his own brand of carbon road racing frames and clothing. His RB1000 and RB800 models were attracting lots of well-warranted attention at Eurobike a few weeks ago and this, along with the clothing, will be their first outing to the UK.
MCipollini RB1000: not your average carbon look from not your average Italian.
Cynics might raise an eyebrow at another ex-pro flogging generic Taiwanese frames, even if it is Cipo, but they'd be wrong. In Friedrichshafen the Italian was introducing the engineers from Florence who lay up by hand the carbon fibre and talking with great conviction about how and why he wants manufacturing to benefit his home region.
Maybe, just maybe, there's substance behind the showmanship; the MCipollini-branded clothing certainly won't do anything to appease the Middle Aged Men In Lycra haters but it looks well made and we're looking forward to trying it. And that bike.
Limar Ultralight Pro 104 helmet gets even lighter, claims to be world's lightest.
One of the great things about having all the helmet manufacturers' products together under one roof is that you can try them all for fit. We notice that cyclists tend to remain loyal to one brand, not just to emulate their professional heroes but more importantly to get a consistent fit as the makers tend to maintain their overall shape from model to model.
Not to mention that it's often a revelation to experience a helmet that's been fitted by a professional. If weight is a personal bugbear, we saw the 2011 version of the Limar Ultralight Pro 104 recently which shaves a further 10 grams off the already crazy-light 170 gram model from 2010. It'll be at the Cycle Show so you can try for yourself.
I could stand like this all day: 160 grams for the 2011 Limar Ultralight Pro 104
Eddy Merckx has a 2011 model with all the must-have carbon bells and whistles - tapered steerer, asymmetric stays, BB30 - but this special limited-edition '525' version celebrating EM's 65 years and 525 race victories takes the biscuit at £12,999. Note the races listed on the rear wheel.
Bike porn: the top manufacturers strive for less weight, more money.
Always entertaining for everyone on a family budget is the professional teams' bike suppliers competing not just to be the fastest and lightest but also the most expensive. At the moment we have Pinarello with their £11,000 Team Sky Dogma 60.1 duking it out with the Eddy Merckx '525' - a special version of the new EMX-7 celebrating The Cannibal's 525 victories - at a dizzying £12,999. But we're certain that Colnago won't let that situation rest for long.
Team Sky's Pinarello Dogma 60.1 is vying for most 'Most Expensive at Show' but it has some competition.
Condor Cycles launching a new ￡1,000 commuter inspired by their pro bikes.
The London bike shop Condor has so much going on in so many places, this could almost be called the Condor Cycle Show. Apart from organising the Commuter Test Track where you'll be able to test ride a whole range of bikes from many manufacturers, Condor have their own new ￡1,000 Ride-To-Work-Scheme beater featuring an Italian aluminium frame and SRAM Apex components.
There will be a new Condor cyclo-cross range, the latest version of a road race frame inspired by Rapha-Condor-Sharp team member Dan Craven's ongoing love affair with high-tech steel tubes and on a more retro steel theme, Condor are reviving the venerable old brand Paris. Look out for the pictures on here Thursday onwards if you don't go because that's one of the first things we'll be looking for at the Cycle Show.
On Friday at 2pm on the Condor stand you'll be able to meet Guardian writer William Fotheringham who will be signing copies of his new book 'Cyclopedia: It's All About the Bike'.
Condor's new Italia model has an Italian-made aluminium frame, carbon fork and SRAM Apex components, all for £1,000 or £500 just for the frame, forks and headset. With clearance for mudguards and bosses for a rack it's aimed fair and square at the Bike-To-Work Scheme commuter.
Vision Metron components for time triallists and triathletes
The folks behind FSA headsets, stems, handlebars and seatposts have branched out in two further and distinctly different directions: the Metropolis components for city bikes - including a lovely two-speed, planetary-geared chainset - which are worthy of an article on their own and which we're sure will be appearing on bikes to test at the Cycle Show.
Plus, the Vision components specifically slotting into the exotic time-trialling and triathlon territory even rather specific for Shimano and Campagnolo. Although there are cranks, 10-speed cassette and gear mechanisms under the new groupset's 'Metron' name, it's the shift levers designed to be used on aero bars and compatible with Shimano components, that will get these fussy users excited.
Hopefully, by the show's opening the new products' distributor Windwave should have an idea of UK pricing but in the past this company has a reputation for being fiercely competitive. Either way, Windwave has promised to have a Colnago set up on rollers so we can all try the new shifters.
New ergonomic shift levers for aero bars: part of the new Vision Metron groupset.
Come and meet Cycling Weekly, get in for less
Of course, Cycling Weekly will be at the Cycle Show again this year. You'll find us on stand B12 along with our IPC stablemates CycleSport, Cycling Active, mbr and Cycling Health & Fitness. Do come and see us even if it's just for sympathy on that usual exhibition hall symptom - aching legs.
Between now and the show, all Cycling Weekly readers can take advantage of a discount on entry for all three public days. Click on www.cycleshow.co.uk/CWM and quote offer code CWM. You can buy your tickets for just £10.50* in advance rather than £15.00 on the door.
The Cycle Show is at Earls Court 1, London, and is open daily from 10am to 6pm on Friday and Saturday the 8th and 9th october 2010. Sunday 10th October 10am to 5pm.
* Discount only valid on tickets bought in advance and based upon the 'on the door' ticket price of £15.00. All tickets are subject to a £1 transaction fee per booking only. The price shown here does not include the fee.
Free Secure Bike Parking
It's worth mentioning that for anyone that can cycle there, the Cycle Show is providing free secure bike parking. Might be worth bringing your lock, anyway, but it worked well last year and no one lost their pride and joy from the Cycle Show bike park.