Our pick of the highlights of the London Bike Show
The London Bike Show is back for another year, with the UK’s largest bike show taking over the Excel until Sunday.
All of the big brands are in attendance and hundreds of different stands to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start if you’ve only got a few hours to get round the whole place. Luckily for you, we’ve been sampling what’s on offer on the opening day of the show to point you in the direction of a few of the things not to miss.
If you’re looking for the most beautiful (and probably the most expensive) bike at the London Bike Show, then the Enigma stand is probably the place to start. To celebrate its 10th birthday, the West Sussex brand has produced a special anniversary bike that has been “made without regard to time or money”.
Each of the 20 Exemplar’s that will be produced will be individually built for its owner and cost £10,995. For that money you get a 6AL 4V titanium tube set with a 44mm down tube that Enigma says increases the lateral rigidity of the bike.
However, this machine is as much about the looks as the performance. Of course, you get a fully custom paintjob, with the Exemplar at the London Bike Show coming in a stunning electric blue. And to make this machine even more unique, that colour is extended to the Campagnolo Super Record groupset and Enve wheels, which have all been finished with a stunning blue lacquer.
Boardman SLR Titanium 9.4
If it’s titanium bikes that you’re into, then the London Bike Show is definitely the place to be this weekend. As well as the stunning Enigma, it’s worth taking a wander over to the Boardman stand to check out its first attempts at producing titanium bikes.
The two titanium bikes in the range slot in alongside the company’s carbon and aluminium endurance bikes, with a relatively relaxed geometry, and a Ti10 titanium frame paired alongside a carbon fork with a 15mm thru-axle.
The 9.4 you see here is the more expensive of the two models at £4,999, which buys you a Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset with Shimano’s top-end RS785 hydraulic disc brakes. You also get Boardman’s own 38mm carbon clincher wheels, clad with Vittoria Open Corsa tyres, and a complete claimed weight of 8.87kg for the 56cm model.
Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS
If you’ve been paying even the most passing attention to cycling over the last eight or nine months, then the Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS should be a familiar sight by now. However, the London Bike Show is one of the first opportunities that we’ve had to get up close and personal with the aero super bike.
The choice of bike for both Marcel Kittel and Peter Sagan in 2016, the Venge ViAS has rewritten the rulebook when it comes to aerodynamic road bikes, with brakes integrated into the seat tube and down tube, and completely internal cable routing through the handlebars, stem, and frame.
When combined with aero clothing, helmet, and wheels, Specialized claims that this bike will save you an astonishing five minutes over a 40km time trial compared to a standard Specialized S-Works Tarmac. Of course, we’re in no position to either prove or disprove that claim, but if you’re at the London Bike Show this weekend, you’ll at least agree that it looks seriously fast.
Pinarello Dogma F8W
The Pinarello Dogma F8 has been around for quite a few years now, with very little new left to be said about Chris Froome’s bike of choice. But wait, this isn’t any old F8. No, this is the Pinarello F8W, with that extra letter signifying that it is the first Pinarello to come equipped with the SRAM Red eTap wireless groupset.
Now Pinarello hasn’t completely overhauled the frame to make the most of the lack of wires, so you still have small bits of black plastic covering the holes where the cables would normally be routed through the frame, but you should still stand out from the crowd, with the F8W being the only bike in the F8 range to come in this rather attractive red and white paint job.
As you probably don’t need to be told, this isn’t a cheap bike, costing no less than £8,699. However for that money, you do get some pretty tasty finishing kit to go with the exclusive frame and groupset in the form of Zipp 303 carbon clincher wheels and a complete carbon cockpit courtesy of Most.
Compared to some of the other bikes at the London Bike Show, the Cervelo C5 hardly screams for attention, but with its endurance-focused design and relatively low weight, we think this could prove to be a popular choice for the sportive crowd.
Of course, Cervelo is showing off the top-of-the-range model in the C-Series range, the C5, with the bike at the show coming with Shimano Dura-Ace shifting, combined with a Rotor 3D+ chainset, continuing the long term partnership between the Canadian and Spanish companies that we’ve also seen on the Cervelo S5.
The Shimano hydraulic disc brakes are then attached to HED Ardennes Plus LT Disc wheels, which are sturdy but relatively lightweight option that should be equally at home sliding up Alpine cols as they are smashing along Flemish cobblestones. This particularly model will cost £6,199, although the cheaper C3 is available from £3,899 with an Ultegra mechanical groupset.
If, God forbid, you’ve dabbled in a bit of mountain biking in your younger, more foolish days, then you may well have heard of Radon, a brand that is very well known on the trails. However, the German brand also has a growing stable of road bikes, and the top-of-the-range Vaillant is certainly one to catch the eye.
It doesn’t take a physics degree to tell that this is a bike that has been designed with aerodynamics in mind, but what’s less clear cut is the fact that this is also a seriously light bike, with a claimed weight of just 6.9kg despite the hefty deep section Mavic wheels that weigh almost 1700g for the pair.
Talking prices, the Dura-Ace version of the Vaillant that’s on display at the London Bike Show costs £3,009, while an Ultegra version with DT Swiss wheels costs £1,679. But if you haven’t got quite that much money to spend, then there could be some bargains further down the Radon range, particularly with the entry-level aluminium R1, which comes with Shimano 105 for £849 and Ultegra for only £150 more.
Rose X-Lite Team-7000
Another German brand that often goes under the radar in the UK is Rose, which follows a similar direct sales approach to Canyon, and can therefore offer some pretty cracking bikes for even more impressive prices. One such bike is the X-Lite Team-7000, which must be one of the few sub-6kg bikes that you can pick up for less than £4,000.
Weighing 5.95kg and costing £3,754, the X-Lite Team-7000 comes with Campagnolo Super Record, so if you’re a real weight weenie, then the SRAM Red-equipped Team-8800 model might be a better option, especially as the new all-black look would go a treat with the black paintjob on the bike at the London Bike Show.
However we’re certainly not going to turn our noses up at Campagnolo Super Record any time soon, and the Rose is still absolutely stunning to behold when clad in its Italian livery. especially when combined Mavic R-SYS SLR wheels to complete the look