As the first major UK trade show of the year, Core Bike stirs the bike industry from its wintery sleep in a bid to show off their latest, best and most drool-worthy parts. Located at Whittlebury Hall, just a stone's throw from the famous Silverstone racetrack, it's a fantastic location to kick off the near year.
- Canyon Spectral:ON 6.0 first ride review
- The Santa Cruz Chameleon goes carbon
- Hope HB.160 mountain bike first ride review
This year, the show was as big as ever with some well-known names exhibiting. We trudged the labyrinth-like show to hunt out some of the best bits of kit, so feast your eyes on this lot.
Renthal Fatbar Carbon Stealth
These limited edition versions of Renthal’s Fatbar Carbon and Fatbar Carbon 35 handlebars arrive with gloss UV printed graphics for a classy, minimal look.
Other than the finish, these are identical to the regular carbon Fatbars with a width of 800mm, 7 degrees of back sweep, 5 degrees of upsweep and a claimed weight of 225g.
If you like the look of these stealthy Renthal bars then you better move fast, apparently, they’re limited to just 800 examples.
- £139.95 / $169.95
If gels really aren’t your thing then Clif’s Bloks are a quick and convenient substitute. This new ginger beer flavour is a sweet but not sickly way to keep on top of your energy levels.
Fizik R1 Powerstrap
Fizik’s Tempo Powerstrap R5 debuted last year as a performance road shoe that ditched the regular BOA dials and laces in favour of Velcro straps. Now the Italian brand has chosen to offer the same closure system for its thoroughly premium R1 model.
Expect to pay €250 for these limited edition kicks when they’re available in June.
Hope RX4 calipers
Despite them not being particularly new, it’s still a surprise that we don’t see more of Hope’s RX4 calipers on bikes with drop handlebars.
MRP Raven fork
The Raven is MRP's lower price point version of their exceptionally adjustable Ribbon fork. To reduce the fork's price MRP have changed out the Ramp Control cartridge for their Huck Puck system, used a less complicated twin-tube damper and they've removed the pressure release valves on the back of the lowers.
The fork's available from 140 to 170mm travel for the 650b version and 120 to 150mm of travel for the 29er fork.
The 650b fork comes with a standard 44mm offset, but the 29er is available with either 46 or 51mm for each travel variant. Both 29er and 650b models run 35mm stanchions.
- £699.99 / $799.95 / AU$N/A
100% protection range
Made famous by its gaudy-looking riding glasses and ultra branded kit, 100% have now branched out into protection for the first time, with a solid-looking range of four different levels of protection for both your knees and elbows.
Surpass Level 2
As 100%'s top-of-the-range protection offering, the Surpass has a level 2 impact rating and, 100% claims, it's light enough for XC but sturdy enough for DH whilst being breathable enough for enduro. If that's true, get us a set now!
The pad comes in both knee and elbow guises, has a vented plastic protective gap and is pre-curved for the perfect fit when you're pedalling or riding your bike.
- Colours: black/grey
- £87.99 (elbow) / £115 (knee)
The fortis is fitted by closing velcro straps rather than sliding it on to your leg. It's the second most protective in 100%'s range, and like the Surpass, it features a plastic protector on the front of the knee cap which gives it a level 1 impact rating. The pad is also vented but is more suited to DH riding rather than XC.
- Colours: black/grey
- £61.99 (elbow) / £69.99 (knee)
As 100%'s enduro/all mountain offering, the Teratec offers level 1 impact protection despite not having a plastic protective cap. The pad is pre-curved and has ventilated rear mesh to help keep your knees and elbows cool.
- Colours: black/grey
- £52.99 (elbow) / £61.99 (knee)
As the most basic pad on offer, the Ridecamp is best suited to cross country or gentle shredding. It features a neoprene construction and is fully ventilated. It also has silicone elastic webbing to help stop them slipping down if you do get rowdy.
- Colours: black / grey / red
- £43.99 (elbow) / £52.99 (knee)
Cane Creek products
Cane Creek were at the show with an eclectic selection of products including a short travel suspension seat post, a beautiful set of cranks and a Helm fork with a modern offset.
Cane Creek eeSilk post
Although they've wained in popularity, Cane Creek still believes that suspension seat posts have their place. Weighing an impressive 295g (claimed) and with 20mm of travel, the eeSilk should make you pose the question "why not?"
And at $289, that question could be quickly answered.
Cane Creek Helm fork
With the current trend of riders preferring lower offset forks thanks to slacker and longer geometry, Cane Creek has been quick to jump on the bandwagon and is now offering its popular Helm 29er fork in both 51 and 44mm offsets.
Cane Creek eeWings crankset
The eeWings crankset from Cane Creek is some serious component exotica. Here we have a beautifully crafted crankset that’s made from titanium and aimed at trail or enduro riders, although a road version is also available.
Coming in at a claimed 400g, they’re lighter than many carbon examples but are supposedly 20-30% stiffer too.
The astonishingly high price tag will keep them as jewels for the most spendy of boutique builds.
Special Edition Mondraker Foxy bike
This custom Mondraker Foxy was made for Silverfish (UK importer for Race Face, Mondraker, Fox Suspension and others) to celebrate its 20th anniversary. Highlights include an awesome sticker set and some pimpin' parts.
Trek Madone Hope bike
This Trek Madone caught our eye and belongs to triathlete and all-round hardcore athlete Sam Boatwright.
Although it's a relatively normal spec, the Ultegra levers are plumbed into the RX4 brake calipers and it's running Hope RD40 carbon wheels that cost £590 for the front wheel and £660 for the rear.
Hope told us that this bike was built up for a big triathlon Sam was hoping to do which included cycling from John O' Groats to Land's End and then swimming the English Channel to France. Wowzers.
Hope HB.130 bike
The brand spanking new Hope HB.130 has been designed with UK trails in mind and is a bike that's been made by Hope employees for Hope employees, so it's likely to be UK-proof. Although final geometry figures aren't fully decided, the bike has gone down a longer, lower and slacker avenue.
Hope is making the bike entirely in-house, from the frame's mould all the way to its carbon layup. That means they can change the bike's geometry relatively easy and they told us that it only takes around a week to produce a brand new mould.
The HB.130 is going to run 29-inch wheels, have 130mm of rear wheel travel and features an aluminium machined rear end. Hope is looking to get the bikes on sale early summer 2019.
Ragley Blue Pig bike
The new 2019 Blue Pig retains Ragley's DNA, with hardcore geometry and a reasonable price tag. At £1,750 this bike comes with a 64-degree head angle, 425mm chainstays, a RockShox Yari fork and a host of other hardcore parts. We're excited to give the new model a go.