BikeBiz visits ATB Sales, Boardman, Madison, Velo Brands, Cube, Schwalbe, Ison, Use and Exposure

Miss the London Bike Show? We’ve got you covered

ATB Sales

The eye catcher from ATB’s stand came in the form of the addition of after-market branded Whyte components, “designed to keep the customer in the brand when things eventually wear out,” according to designer Ian Alexander.

You’ll no doubt have caught wind of the label’s own carbon fibre 29er wheels posted on last month, but these are followed by riser bars, grips, stems supplied with interchangeable coloured face plates and various saddles.

The show also saw a debut appearance for Whyte’s T129s full-suspension bike, said to have recently ‘blitzed’ a consumer magazine test. With Alexander’s own approach to full-suspension 29er design, this bike carries a sub 17-inch chainstay, allowing more length to be placed in the front and a slacker head angle built in for an agile build with ‘more pop’.

These are in stock with ATB now and come in either a 100 or 120mm option, both retailing for £2,000.

Split into quarters, Ison brought four bike brands along to its stand, with the Salsa stand providing the most standout builds for consumers dazzled by the snow outside.

Salsa’s fat-tyred BearGrease is something the label’s own John Fleck hopes will catch on as the UK comes to terms with all-weather cycling. “I think inside a few years we will see the ‘fat bike’ become accepted as a category in its own right, particularly for the explorer” said Fleck.

“It’s a viable bike year round and loads of fun on any terrain. There’s half a dozen tyre styles to fit this bike, so there’s very little it can’t handle.”

Salsa also debuted its new road-going disc-equipped frameset, the Collosal, in stock at Ison now and retailing for £899. Described as an all conditions endurance build, this bike will deal with light off-road should your customer be a fan of shortcuts.

Surly is this year to change its model year arrangement with shipments set to follow the traditional schedule as opposed to the previously employed September delivery.

USE and Exposure

Another new entry to the carbon wheels market, USE introduced a line of seven wheels, including one disc, a 29er clincher a cyclocross tubular and many more. Already an expert in aerodynamics and working with carbon, USE has coated each of its wheels in a ‘nanotech surface’, designed to help the surface layer of the rim shed any grime accumulated. Erring toward the side of longevity, USE concede these aren’t aiming to be the lightest on the market, opting for a higher spoke count where possible to increase the rigidity and strength benefits of the wheels. Retailers in the time trial and tri spaces should also look out for USE’s new R1 and Boost aerobars. The boost weighs in at 220 grams and is highly adjustable.

Exposure’s new Flash and Flare rear lights joined the party for the first time too and are in stock now, alongside the 800 lumen Revo dynamo-powered light.


Plenty of fresh goods to feast the eyes upon on Cube’s stand, with fresh cyclocross rigs, 650b and 29er builds and the addition of a collection of aftermarket accessories and soft goods.

Cube’s 150 UK dealers will now have access to own branded brake pads or most of the market’s big brands, as well as soft goods including winter beanies, all the way through to a variety of bottle cages, pumps and more. Each of the accessories, BikeBiz is told, comes in a range of price points for varying budgets.

Cube introduced its entry-level full suspension 650b build, described by the firm as “the new kid on the block” and retailing for £2,999. Elsewhere, the top-end full-sus 29er, weighing in at 9.85 kilos for the complete bike and retailing for £6,299, was introduced.

Surf Sales
Having spent some time with suspension expert BOS in France last year observing its operation, Surf Sales has now become the UK distribution partner.

By the time you read this, the distributor plans to have converted one of its units to become the service centre for the product too, so if you’re after a supplier of quality suspension for everything from cross country to downhill, BOS may be worth a look.

Greame Fuller of Surf Sales told BikeBiz: “BOS’s downhill fork lasted three consecutive days in the test rig before failure, a much longer spell than any other we tested and those include the main market competitors. The product is in a league of its own and we’ll now be able to spec the product on select Transition bikes should the customer wish.”

Velo Brands
If Velo Brands weren’t on your radar before the show, they certainly should have been by the end of the play on the Sunday – much thanks to an eye-catching inner tube. Yes, you read that right.

The water tank hosting this particular FOSS tube with a nail punched through it was surprisingly calm. No air at all leaking, despite the nail travelling directly through the unique thermo plastic air chamber. The only downside is reproducing such an impressive display in store to convince customers of the £20 price tag, per tube. BikeBiz can confirm however, that this does appear to be one of the toughest and apparently, lightest and eco-friendly inner tubes around and one available in the majority of sizes.

Elsewhere, many were drawn to the distributor’s own in-house designed Chapeau clothing and accessories label. Beginning with chamois creams and expanding quickly into baselayers, waterproof jackets and bibs, Chapeau’s catalogue covers various price points. Also of note is a tidy messenger bag, tailored with straps to sit snugly within the front triangle of any hardtail frame.

Velo Brands are also importing the Rido Saddles label, which for those who haven’t heard of the label before, has quite a strong following. Velo Brands MD even told us that everyone at his firm has converted from other top-end saddles to the Rido since trying them out. These will be of particular interest to any customer experiencing discomfort stemming from their saddle. One model, costing £70, is available in various colour configurations.

Velo Brands also brings in French custom built frameset manufacturer Cyfac’s product, as well as own brand Juice Lubes.

As in previous years the Milton Keynes distributor has made the journey south, Madison took over a significant chunk by the entrance to the bike exhibition and dedicated a large chunk of one booth to retail sales, which proved a big draw for the consumer crowds.

Beyond the shoppers, Madison had an equally busy chunk of space dedicated to Ridgeback, Cervelo, Genesis, Saracen and other bike brands found within their stable. One highlight of this space was a Genesis cyclocross build crafted from heat-treated Reynolds 853 steel – tentatively dubbed the ‘Fugio’.

Following on from the popular CdF, this disc-specific build has the oversized headtube that allows for a tapered fork. Price and availability are to be confirmed.

It’s not just Halfords that carries Boardman, in fact the IBD can carry plenty not found in the retail giant’s stores, including the £5,500 Air 9.8 that carried the Brownlee brothers to Olympic victory last summer.

With a two year model cycle, new models aren’t expected until next year, but should independents wish to dabble, no minimum stock up is required. The trade contact for UK enquiries is Jamie Mitchell, available on 07522 404650. There’s more on the London Bike Show in this issue of BikeBiz, on pages 45 to 47, 49 to 51 and 82 to 83.

Following on from Ison’s solution to overcoming winter weather, Schwalbe introduced a new studded winter tyre with its KevlarGuard in sizes 700×30/35/40c and 26x 1.75. Carrying 12- spikes, the £30 tyre carries a reflective sidewall and, should they be needed, the Tungsten Carbide studs can be ordered as spares if your customer does eventually wear them out.

All Schwalbe’s low-end tyres have now been upgraded with Kevlar protection as standard.

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