Part three of BikeBiz's tour of the January trade show

Core Bike round up: Ison, Polaris, Hotlines and Bionicon

CoreBike put on another highly praised trade show last month, drawing hoards of retailers to Northamptonshire. For those who missed out Mark Sutton provides a guide to the show’s highlights. This is part three of four articles covering the show.


Gusset has been busy quietly developing its jump and race offerings, presenting a prototype or two at Core Bike.
Spotted among the new bits was a sample BMX race style stem, shown at Core in four colours and machined down to a lightweight 218 grams. Changes are still to be made, but the designer behind the stem told BikeBiz: "It’s designed to fit with everything else in the range, with coherent angles and design values."
Also spotted is Ison’s answer to the increasing competition on the jump pedal front – the Nitro – set to retail for £80, undercutting it’s main rivals, again in four colours. You might have missed it thanks to its small size, but ODI has some new fork bumpers, compatible with Boxxers, Fox 40 and soon Marzochhi’s downhill forks. At £14.99, these will firmly fix to the uppers and prevent any nasty marks or dents.
In another of Ison Distribution’s three rooms, Minneapolis brands All City and Civia proudly displayed a few new bikes to their hometown-inspired line. One of these is the new Space Horse – a hybrid cyclocross and urban bike, designed simply to be whatever it’s rider wants it to be – sporty, or practical.


Moving on from its early semi-rigid flight bag, Polaris now offers a 10.5-kilo hardcase alternative.
Made in the UK, the £475 plastic unit is custom moulded to hold a frame of up to 64cm and with an integrated seatpost of a height up to 60cm. Inside, two separated wheel compartments are found either side of the main chamber. The frame is suspended via a series of straps in transit, preventing any dings to the case getting a dig at the bike. A key lock, internal padding and wheels on the base further add to this case’s credibility for transporting a bike in safety.
The brand’s footwear catalogue continues in its quest to offer competitively priced cycling footwear, from low-cut, lightweight road shoes, through waterproof boots for mountain bikers and walkers. An example of the latter is the £115 shredder boot. Hosting a Vibram sole and a waterproof liner, this is a boot as capable of trekking through the undergrowth as it is cycling, much thanks to a recessed cleat system bedded in among the boot’s tread.
Bang on £50, retail price, shops with a big urban following should also look out for Polaris’s Radar backpack from the RBS (Really Bright Stuff) range. This 30-litre unit is bladder compatible, reflective, has a transparent rear light pocket and pockets on the belt, ideal for quick grab items like keys and energy gels.


No one could have passed through Hotlines’ stand without spotting the bike porn taking pride of place – both the Lapierre Aero Storm time trial road bike and Ratio’s first foray off-road, it’s Anthrax 29er.
Though Ratio is still a relatively new brand, the fully rigid carbon Anthrax takes on the many years of experience shaping carbon that founder Pancrazio Centola has gathered from his time at the likes of 3T and Deda Elementi. Hotlines also carries stock of much of the aftermarket components line, including the new 750mm carbon Zenit handlebar specced on the Anthrax.
The Anthrax frame comes finished in raw, for £1,199, or the Ratio finish for £1,299. A matching rigid fork is also available at £425 and £449 for the respective finishes.
Elsewhere, yet sticking with the big wheel theme, Sun Ringle’s Charger 29er Pro debuted and was touted by the distributor as the answer to the occasionally weak wheels supplied on 29er completes. At £499 a pair, this versatile wheel is interchangeable to most hub standards, while remaining tough enough for aggressive trail use. Lynskey is still having great success in this territory too, with its Helix tubed big wheel titanium frame becoming a best-seller, alongside the £1,300 sportive frame that’s gathering momentum outside the UK. Spank has also joined the many brands looking to corner the freeride pedal arena at the top end, introducing the £99.99 Spike pedal with angle body outers to provide both a wide platform and one that’s less likely to catch as riders cut it close through rock gardens. Five colours are now in stock and the 12mm profile pedal runs on sealed cartridge bearings and bushings combined.


Based on the idea that the geometry and suspension of a bike should be adjustable in the saddle, Bionicon has developed a proprietary system that mounts to the bar and can adjust the available travel on the move, making their bikes ideal for hacking up and over mountains all day long.
Connecting the fork and the rear shock via some clever air chamber development, the rider can flick between 160 and 80mm of travel on the move, all the while the steering remains neutral and responsive.
No special tools are needed to service the system, simply a spanner and allen key will do.
Visitors to the stand were also tinkering with the brand’s shiny new chain guide, which claims to work well even on triple ring set ups thanks to a few well placed hinges. Geared towards the trail rider, the C.Guide zip ties onto the chainstay and encloses the links in a hard plastic shell to prevent the chain ever falling off.
Bionicon, though largely selling direct, can work with retailers on a commission for sales basis. Contact them directly for more details.

A further round up in pictures can be found here.

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