Serving as a retail refresher to a portion of the trade’s 2010 catalogue, Core Bike has fast become an essential calendar date. Mark Sutton and Jonathon Harker provide a room-by-room run-down of some of the show’s product highlight and a few surprises too...

SHOW REVIEW: Core 2010 Part One

The long-awaited, revised Crank Brothers Joplin Four seatpost finally made an appearance at Core and is now in stock at 2Pure. For this mark four design, the internals have been completely redesigned from the previous model. The post now has four inches of drop and no side-to-side movement, something that has never quite been perfected in previous designs. A model adjusted via a handlebar switch is now available for £234.99 retail, while the under-saddle adjusted model, and the more popular of the two, comes in at £199.99.

Clif Bar has developed a new protein bar, which contains 20 grams of the muscle building stuff. Dubbed the Builder’s bar, the post-workout snack comes in three flavours – choc peanut, mint-choc and plain chocolate.

A newly developed electrolyte drink mix was also on test with the trade for the first time. Containing no artificial flavourings, the drink mix is designed to hydrate primarily and provide carbohydrates. A POS system is available with various Clif bar stock-ins.

Redesigned Lizard Skins gloves were attracting plenty of interest. The new G-love, available as a mitt or full-finger glove, carries beefed up stitching in all the vulnerable places and will retail for
£18.99 and £22.99 respectively. Perhaps the highlight of 2Pure’s product and the one most likely to empty wallets was the new Ibis HD, which sits above the Mojo SL and top of the six-bike range. The frameset is far more freeride-capable thanks to thick carbon fibre sections and a tapered steerer. The frame weighs in at 6.2 pounds, while a top-end complete build will hit the scales around 26.5 pounds.

The Sue Me brand features an evolving range that is continually tweaked and improved upon. Consequently, the brand isn’t confined to bringing out new ranges with the traditional season timing, and at Core the latest versions of the firm’s range were on show. Offering tees, hoodies and accessories, the Sue Me slogan ‘what goes around comes around’ is a mission statement, with the firm looking to use natural, sustainable materials, and taking care of its workers, but without jumping on the ‘ethical bandwagon’.

Sue Me’s Tees are made from a combination of organic cotton (30 per cent) and bamboo viscose (70 per cent) for an ultra comfortable material, moisture absorbance and some all-important natural give. The brand revealed that it’s planning to create a sport-specific Sue Me line, though this will not likely to appear for some time. Aside from the Sue Me brand, Buff’s range of Merino lines proved to be a continuing success for the firm, stoking dealer interest and prompting more enquiries, due in part to the Buff range’s wide appeal across the outdoors markets.

Buffera is also offering new point-of-sale material for stockists too, with an eye-catching ‘inspired by nature’ stand available to dealers now.

Chicken Cyclekit
For the most part, Chicken Cyclelkit’s brands had a number of previously unseen items on show, from new women’s and kid’s builds from house brand Tifosi, to returning retro saddles from Selle Italia.

Time had a new shoe of particular interest to those dealing in tailored clip-in pedal combinations. The new iClic Fibreflex shoe works with five separate clip in pedal designs. The shoe itself has ‘Q-Factor adjustment; providing a more lateral foot position on the pedal. Costing £82.99 a pair, they wont break the bank either.

New track specific components were all over the Chicken stand too, with Miche having developed its track crankset, chainrings, seatposts and more in a variety of colours. These will all land with Chicken Cyclekit around mid-February.

Selle Italia has listened to the demand on the streets too and as a result has brought back an old track favourite saddle. Costing £66, the saddle is exactly the same in design as the 1990 favourite. Higher in the range and also a vintage favourite, Selle Italia’s Turbomatic saddle will also be in stock soon, costing £116 at retail.

Nalini’s clothing caught the eye of many with a range of stand-out, colourful designs and tour-team specific jerseys. Bianchi dealers in particular were flocking to the stand to check out the Bianchi-specific collection, which is in stock now and receiving strong orders. Nalini manufactures seven out of the 20 international tour team’s clothing.

Citrus Lime
Now established at Core, Citrus Lime’s stand was busier than ever, with its tailor-made bike store solutions The Workshop Module, launched in the last year, was part of CL’s key offering at the show. The system aims to make the administrative side of the the workshop a far simpler business, allowing dealers to calendar each job and track it from order to collection to deliver and record each part used and the amount of labour. The system also automatically emails or texts a customer once the workshop task is complete.

By cutting down on the red tape, the Workshop Module aims to trim the time and mental effort used to run the workshop, cutting costs and providing more time to look after customers. With the workshop an increasingly important part of dealers’ business, the module is proving worth its weight in gold to those with little time to follow up with customers.

The module provides easy access to customer contact details, with key information – including how often the customer visits and how much they splash out – to hand. An Outlook-style calendar with drag and drop functionality and SMS support the module which is, according to Citrus Lime, future-proof as it is based on the Microsoft Point of Sale system.

As well as providing demonstrations at the show, the Citrus-Lime team can provide online demonstrations for interested dealers.

Having moved the design department from sunny California to Canada, the Fox team has become far more aware of the cold and wet weather that the UK suffers with more or less all year round. This has lead the clothing specialist to diversify product away from its traditionally summery products and into waterproofs and thermal items.

However, the highlight of the Fox room had to be the brand’s £280 full carbon, full-face helmet. A knee pad costing around £45 at retail will also be available shortly from the firm. Fox confirmed to BikeBiz that it is still seeking new dealers in lesser-covered territory and would be keen to speak with potential stockists.

Machined finishing kit caused the most hype on the Hope stand, with the Eternity seatpost finally being made available for order.

The Hope-designed and built post is CNC machined from 2014 T6 and utilises a two-bolt clamp with incremental adjustment. The main tube is made from an altium alloy and anodised and laser etched, giving it a tough surface and a virtually unmatchable corrosion resistance. One size, a 400mm length post, is available. Hope also brought along its line of stems covering MTB, road, freeride, Cannondale’s Lefty, as well as the Fox 40 and Rock Shox Boxxer specific build. All are CNC machined from solid billet in Barnoldswick, anodised, laser-etched with the Hope logo and built from 2014 T6 aluminum.

The one-piece top clamp assembly, suited to both the Fox and Rock Shox top-end DH forks, is designed to keep the front end low and the steering accurate. Two variations are on offer, with a 40mm design for the Fox 40, while the Rock Shox Boxxer specific measures 35mm. Each takes over an hour to fully machine. Both the direct mount and top vokes come as standard with titanium hardware to save the grams.

The range and depth of books for the cycle market was a bit of an eye-opener for many at the Core Bike Show. Cordee’s debut at the event hoped to tackle that misconception and underline the fact that the firm is a one-stop-shop, so to speak, for a broad range of cycle books. The show looked to be a crucial way to raise awareness of the increasing numbers of bike-related books available to the market.

Ordnance Survey maps continued to grab much of dealers attention at the show, with nifty point-of-sale counter top units going down well, according to Cordee.

The firm also showcased its metre shelf selection, containing the top-selling books from the ranges as a guide for visiting dealers. The diverse titles ranged from the likes of name-driven titles like Chris Hoy’s autobiography and Lance Armstrong’s It’s Not About the Bike, to road bike maintenance guides and the humorous Crap Cycle Lanes. For dealers stuck for space in store to dedicate to books, the counter-top-units provide a useful alternative.

Most of all though, Cordee was keen to press the message that the cycle book market is packed with untapped potential for UK dealers, with a number of solutions available.

Ison’s exhibition was loaded to the brim with new product and also a blast from the past in the form of a vintage Light Blue track back carrying a 100-tooth sprocket in aid of the turn of the century back in 1900.

Renthal had one of the more innovative products in the room, showing off a new take on the bicycle grip. Manufactured from Kevlar, the new lock on model will be available in either a soft, medium or hard compound and is sure to be a hit with those looking for something unique to grip on the trail. Identiti broke the news that it has developed a new full-suspension frame, though details are still to be announced. The prototype model was on show, however is only in testing stages at present.

Fixed gear components were one of the distributor’s main focuses, with both Gusset and Halo showing a variety of gear, old and new. Gusset has developed a one-piece bar and stem combo, which is sure to go down well with those looking to cut the grams where possible. Debuted at Core, Gusset also had a freestyle bar, dubbed the ‘Flik’, which has been designed around the trend for super-short bars.

TSG has joined Giro in offering in-molded freestyle helmets, two of which were on show at Core and weigh next to nothing compared with traditional designs. The unique ‘Kraken’ was also on display. This design applies no pressure to any area of the head, utilising a ‘cracked’ inner shell, which adapts to the rider’s head shape.

Jim Walker
Jim Walker-distributed Eddie Merckx bikes included new women-specific lines for 2010, including the AFX and AMX, both aluminium and within the price bracket for Cycle to Work. The Merckx range also includes the carbon EMX-3, which has already garnered praise from the cycle press. The DeRosa brand, meanwhile, relaunched the flagship Merak carbon, together with the King 3RS, featuring a mix of Toray’s 46T and 60T fibres for enhanced rigidity, comfort and weight. Customers also get the chance to customise geometry, BB selection and headtube angles.

Elsewhere the Sunn brand shone out at the show, with great value hardtails, downhill bikes, XC, freeride and all mountain. The award-winning Kern and the Radical BOS-equipped frameset also featured.

Triathlon-focused brand Argon 18 showed off the E-80, E-112 and E-114 for the TT sector, alongside the superlight carbon Gallium Pro, gallium, aluminium Radon and Krypton. The Electron, meanwhile, is a track-focused cycle, while the cyclocross market is catered for with the carbon Arsenic.

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