Best in show: Paligap crammed dozens of new bikes and the latest cycle technology into its September 2010 launch and saw best ever show sales as a result. Jonathon Harker visited the show...


The picturesque location of the Stable Café, set on a hill overlooking the cycling city of Bristol, was the setting for Paligap’s week long 2010 product launch. Dealers were invited to get up close and personal with new product from Kona, Lightspeed and Sombrio while feasting their eyes on the latest from the likes of CycleOps, Saris, Muc Off and a mass of other brands.

The launch attracted press and dealers alike, and Paligap told BikeBiz that it had recorded its best show orders ever over the week.

Among the products on display was Sombrio’s new clothing range. Pre-selling the 2010 line-up, Sombrio featured garments that cross over beyond the bike market. Boasting technical features and with clothing built to stand up to the sterling test of a Vancouver winter, the range branched into the roadie and fixie sector too.

CycleOps introduced the brand new Cycle Computer Joule range, including the 2.0 and 3.0.

Following feedback from users, the new models have backlit and bigger displays while also include the capacity to hold much more information than has previously been possible. Packing in a huge list of features, the Joule 2.0 is outdoor specific and indoor compatible.

Paligap added that the Power Tap brand now boasts its own UK service centre, drastically cutting down servicing times for products in the massively growing market.

The recently launched CycleOps Pro Series of indoor cycles were also on show at the event. The models can be adjusted in every imaginable way to match the cyclist’s outdoors bike. Micro adjustability also provides precise resistance control. The Power 300 Pro was showcased too and like the rest of the range is ideal for triathlon, cycling clubs and spinning clubs. According to the distributor, the training brand is now providing year-round sales.

Meanwhile, Lightspeed has introduced carbon to its bike range, with three new models – the C1, C2 and C3 – taking advantage of the material. The Archon C-Series all feature Aerologic technology.

Two years in development, the C-Series bikes provide weight savings and boosted ergonomics from the new material. The frames – which are designed and built in the USA – all come in five sizes, and present significant price savings for the Lightspeed brand, providing an even greater draw for consumers at retail.

Kona’s 2010 product line-up has seen the brand further diversify into ranges beyond its mountain bike roots. The manufacturer has shaved weight across all of its 2010 bike range and features an expanded commuter series. Some of those models, including the Dew FS, boast a new sweep frame which boosts cycle commuting comfort by providing extra shock-absorbing goodness.

Kona has also introduced more steel bikes – a material growing in popularity with road and mountain bikes, and hard-wearing enough to deal with tough winter conditions.

The steel-based Wagon fixie-style road bikes range has expanded in response to demand. Paddy Wagon was introduced by Kona two or three years ago and is now joined by eye-catching rides like the Grand Wagon (RRP £1,800) and the Band Wagon (RRP £550).

The cycle cross range has also grown with the Major One (RRP £900), while many existing models have been cut in price to meet the competition head on.

Kona has invested heavily in its mountain bike range, particularly with the two Cadabra models. These top-end MTBs hit £1,850 – or the Cadabra, and £2,400 for the Abra Cadabra – both of which are built with scandium and boast plenty of features. The Cadabra and Abra Cadabra come in 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 22-inch models, and both feature Shimano parts.

Kona’s improved kids’ models include the Shred 2-4 priced at £450 and featuring a 13-inch frame with 24-inch wheels. Featuring Kona Jackshit pedals and Cowan Signature grips, the 2-4 also boasts a Kona DJ saddle.

Other highlights include the revamped Blast Deluxe – a new version of one of Kona’s best selling bikes. The all-mountain aluminium butted model features a Rockshox Dart 2 fork, with the usual Shimano trimmings. The manufacturer’s clothing ranges also got a look in at the show, featuring a hat-full of head wear options for cyclists with natural cross over beyond the sector. Stylish highlights from the range included the Hand Knit Kona Pom (priced at £16), the Fidel Cap (at £15) and the Japanese Reversible beanies (£16 a piece). Jackets – like the men’s Freddy (featured in this month’s Sector Guide), tee shirts and shorts also starred.

The bike cleaning Muc-Off brand appeared at the show too, as did the FFWD lightweight wheel range. The brand’s line-up hasn’t seen a huge amount of change for the new season, with the design team instead choosing to tweak and slightly modify product for 2010. Paligap tells BikeBiz that despite being a brand still relatively new to the UK – 18 months young in fact – FFWD has been a massive success for the distributor.

Elsewhere, the Helmet Hero video camera has been updated and now boasts a wide-angle lens. Expected to be popular again this Christmas, the Hero is priced at £180.

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