What did I see and who did I meet?
Well, Ron Andrews from King Cage was there, with his usual booth set up right at the back of the hall. Ron is a great guy and has been making a living bending steel and titanium tubing, by hand, into bottle cages for 20 years this year. Nothing new on the horizon, but it’s always nice to meet the people behind the products.
The Surly boys have tons of new stuff. The Troll gets a big brother, the Ogre, there’s the most excellent Moonlander. Several new fat bike tyres. Surly along with a lot of other folk have finally admitted that fat bikes aren’t just fun in the snow – they’re fun everywhere.
One of my favourites is the Trucker Disc, a disc braked version of the Long Haul Trucker. I know a few folk who will like that one.
White Industries were there in force, same product range that we know and love, but their van blew it’s turbo on the way to the show, so it was touch and go whether they all made it here. They have a few ideas for future products, including more rear hub options to cope with all the new mounting standards. Rumour is they will be looking to make some 170mm hubs for a couple of Fatbike makers too.
Phil Wood had their usual array of beautiful shiny things. My favourite thing they do is the spoke threading machine. Just wish I could afford one.
Paul Price was displaying his full range of brakes, cranks, levers and whatnot. Should be a lot easier to get hold of in the very near future, so if you need some Pail Components, give us a shout – we’ll try!
Microshift had a display of all the stuff they do, but the thumbshifters we the real highlight. They’ve allegedly used the mold from the great Suntour XC Pro levers from yesteryear. 8, 9 and 10 speed versions, obviously the front shifter will do anything from one to four rings.
Pashley had their range of beautiful but frankly ‘how much?’ bikes on display. I’d love to be able to sell them, but when the locals think £350 is too much for a Ridgeback shopping bike, then we’ve got Bob Hope with Pashley.
29ers weren’t being rammed down your that so far this year, but carbon was. Just because you can make it out of carbon, doesn’t mean you should. This was evidenced by several big players making a carbon version of ther existing aluminium bikes, which were neither lighter, stronger or stiffer. If there’s actually no benefit, don’t bother, eh lads?
What else have I been doing out here? Well, you’d best come see me when I get back and I can tell you over a coffee.
See you soon…