The Bike Perfect team landed with an almost full squad (Guy was away gallivanting in North Wales) at the Core Bike Show at Whittlebury Hall, Towcester, to check out some of the best mountain bike tech, clothing and head-turning bikes from some of the best brands around. The numerous rooms of the bike trade show season opener were packed with many highlights and here are some of the standout products that caught our eager eyes during our wanderings.
Hope Technology Pro 5 hubs
Hope Technology launched the new Pro 5 hub on the opening day of the show and had pulled out all the stops with a stunning-looking stand to showcase its new anodized wonder. Along with a host of all its range of drool-worthy products from pedals to wheels, they also had Rob Warner hanging out on the stand to add an extra buzz around the Hope display.
The Hope Pro 4 was one of the most popular and reliable hubs on the market, and the Pro 5 Hope aims to build on its success with improvements throughout, offering the right balance between speed of pick-up, load capacity, durability and drag. The designers have also upped the number of engagement points to 108 from 44 in the Pro 4.
Santa Cruz V10 and Heckler
The big news amongst the exhibitors was the break-in at the Santa Cruz stand the previous evening, which had seen most of its bikes removed through a window and disappear into the night. Thankfully the bikes were discovered by a dog walker hidden close by and returned, some with slightly muddy tires but safe.
The Santa Cruz lineup on display included the Santa Cruz Syndicate race team V10 downhill mountain bike, ridden by what could be the best downhill bike team ever assembled, and has Greg Minnaar, Laurie Greenland, Jackson Goldstone and Nina Hoffmann, managed by the one and only Steve Peat.
The V10 has 200mm of Santa Cruz VPP travel in a full carbon fiber frame with variable geometry, kinematics and wheel size configurations, it's little wonder the V10 is one of the most prolific podium bikes on the downhill circuit.
Anyone who has met Danny MacAskill will know he is a massive e-MTB fan and he loves the Santa Cruz Heckler e-MTB. It was also on show and looked equally stunning. The latest generation of the Heckler has an interchangeable battery upped from 504wh to 720wh. The legendary VPP suspension has been tuned precisely for e-MTB use with 150mm of rear travel and a 160mm fork up front.
Endura Hummvee clipless shoe
Endura returned to their regular Whittlebury Hall haunt in the Magny Cours room this year and came with a rake of new and exciting products that sees the Scottish brand on the innovation trail as they hit their 30-year anniversary.
The flat shoe bearing the iconic Hummvee name has been around for a while and now gets a clipless compatible update added to the range. The Hummvee Clipless also features the StickyFoot grip found in other Endura shoes like the new waterproof MT500 Burner that was also on show at Core. The Hummvee also benefits from highly durable upper fabrics and a quick drying liner making them a great all round shoe from casual rides around town to trail days.
Endura have also upped its game on the protection front, and had a brand new range for 2023 on show. Three new full-face helmets that include the MT500 flagship model with MIPS protection system, and equipped with a fully integrated Koroyd core for energy absorption. Endura also says the MT500 is the lightest in class full face helmet.
Along with helmets was a host of new protection pieces that make use of the weird science of D3O. The D3O inserts are engineered for shock absorption and stiffen on impact to dissipate impact energy and reduce transmitted force, before returning to their flexible state, which sounds very cool and offers improved levels of comfort.
The MT500 D3O Protector Vest was one part of the new range that caught our eye, and Endura says it takes back and chest protection to a new level. Featuring D3O removable back and chest inserts that provides versatile, lightweight and breathable protection. They also look amazing, so you’ll maybe want to wear your protection on the outside.
Having recently written about the new Prevelo kids' mountain bikes, I was keen to see them close up and they didn't disappoint.
The Prevelo mission is simple, make the best mountain bikes for children that are as confidence-inspiring, easy, and fun to ride as possible. UK distributor Windwave had the new Zulu on display at Core and they looked epic with a real deal component line-up that could be easily at home on an adult mountain bike.
The Prevelo Zulu comes in four models from the Zulu One to the Zulu Four and covers age ranges from three to eleven years old. They look perfect for getting the young shredders out on the trails.
Cane Creek eeWings titanium crankset
The Cane Creek eeWings titanium cranks looked so good on this Paradigm custom titanium frame that I had to mention them.
Weighing in at 395g or 410g with a power meter, which is similar to premium carbon cranks, the eeWings however are said to offer outstanding stiffness and durability in a super lightweight package. Finished in brushed titanium they certainly are eye-catching but come at an eye-watering cost of around $1,000 / £1000. You do get a CNC aluminum bottom bracket preloader included and a good chance you won't see anyone else riding them.
Halo Carbaura XCD carbon wheels
Handbuilt in the UK, the Halo Carbaura XCD 700c carbon gravel wheelset is built for strength and speed. They have been developed for gravel riders to take on long-distance gravel races, ultra adventures and lightweight bikepacking with ease.
With a 26mm internal rim width, Halo say they are perfect for the modern day gravel tire and can accommodate up to 50c. They have a 35mm rim depth to give a solid and reassuring ride but still compliant enough to provide a comfortable ride.
The Carbaura wheels weigh in at 1,765g for the pair and they are built with J-bend spokes to make them easier to repair should the worse happen on your adventures wherever you are. Tubeless ready out the box they look like a great and should be a gravel wheelset package.
Another product I had written about recently was the Transition Relay, a super lightweight electric mountain bike from the Washington state-based bike brand Transition. They say that the Relay will challenge to be one of the best electric mountain bikes on the market and that it offers a versatile lightweight, long-travel, modular mountain bike package.
While not as feather-light as BMC's sub-16kg Fourstroke AMP, the Relay felt super light for an e-MTB, and weighs in at a claimed 42.5lb/19.27kg with the battery and 37.5lb/17.01kg. The battery is also easy to remove with a simple tool-free door which means easy changing or it's easy to switch to your own power for a power-assisted free day.
The Relay can be run at 160mm or 170mm travel front and rear, and riders can choose the bike with twin 29-inch wheels and 160mm travel for a more lightweight, trail bike feel, or a heavy-hitting 170mm travel and mixed wheels. Now having seen the Relay close up I love the look of this bike, almost as much but not quite the same as the new Transition Smuggler.
For us here at Bike Perfect, Core Bike was an excellent couple of days and not just about seeing some cool stuff but catching up with old friends, and colleagues, putting a face to a name and meeting new people and brands.
The highlight for me, amongst many highlights, was the Specialized S-Works Crux ridden by Cameron Mason on the Challenge Tires stand. This special looking bike carried Cameron to his British Nationals Cyclocross win in January, a real bonus to see it up close, especially with the mud still on the tires.
We certainly saw a lot of exciting products and I couldn't bring you them all in this report, but there's plenty more trade events coming, and we'll bring you news of even more bikes and products from them.