We've just got back from the Cycle Show which ran from the 21 to the 23 of April at North London's famous Alexander Palace. With tons of the best mountain bikes and new kit on display, skill sessions to attend, demos to watch and loads more, it's an excellent day out. With so much to see and do it's hard to pick the best of it, but here's our bike and gear highlights from this year.
1. Propain Tyee
The guys from Propain had the alloy and carbon versions of the recently launched revised Tyee on show. The 160mm travel enduro bike has been their most popular model in recent years, so the updated versions have generated a lot of interest.
The new versions feature longer, lower, and slacker geometry and revised kinematics with a different leverage rate to ensure consistent suspension performance. Both models are also tested and rated to level 5, which is the highest possible and usually reserved for downhill and aggressive e-bikes, so this should be the perfect enduro companion.
The alloy version pricing starts from €2,999, and the carbon version from €3,599 (US and UK pricing TBC). In addition, several build options are available, and Propain continues to offer its innovative bike configurator option on its site, enabling you to customize your build when you order.
2. Niner RKT 9 RDO
The Cycle Show was the official European launch for the latest XC and downcountry bike from Niner – one of the original pioneers of 29-inch wheels. The RKT 9 RDO is a lightweight race bike with 100mm travel. First shown at Eurobike last year, the ongoing covid supply chain issues have delayed deliveries, but they are now available in limited numbers Europe-wide.
The RKT 9 RDO uses Niner’s innovative CVA suspension platform, which utilizes a solid rear triangle connected by two links and is designed to offer a bob-free and efficient ride. Amongst the many new features is a flip-chip that adjusts the frame's angles and enables the use of a 120mm fork, combined with clearance for a 2.5-inch tire. It looks like a super capable, fun downcountry option too.
Available as a complete bike in two different builds and a frame-only option in 5 sizes (XS to XL) with reach figures ranging from 405mm to 497mm. Pricing TBC.
3. Atherton AM.170
Fresh from its launch this week, Atherton Bikes had their AM.170 super enduro bike on display. This is the fourth bike in the range and fills the gap between their AM.150 trail bike and the AM.200 downhill race bike.
It is designed to be a big mountain and bike park hooligan with a mullet wheel setup to tame the gnarliest of trails and allow you to ride back to the top. It has 170mm of travel delivered using a DW link setup, Ohlins suspension and offered in an unbelievable 22 different size options.
Like all of the Atherton range, it uses its unique combination of 3D printed titanium lugs bonded to carbon tubes which not only gives them a clean aesthetic but also means they can offer custom geometry.
4. Wera tools
As a confessed tool nerd, I was stoked to see Wera at the show. They have had a bicycle-specific range for a few years, which has been steadily growing. All use the high-quality and innovative ideas that professional mechanics and tradespeople have used for years.
The range uses a simple-to-follow numbering system and offers kits from the smaller ratchet tool kits that look perfect for bikepacking and trail use up to the larger mini ratchet kits to keep in your workshop or van tool kit for more taxing tweaks and repairs.
For the more adventurous home mechanic, they also had a selection of torque wrenches on show with various electronic and analog wrenches in multiple sizes to cover everything from low torque items such as handlebar stem bolts to high torque parts like crank bolts and cassette lock rings. The safe torque version was a highlight for me, as it has an innovative cutoff feature to ensure you don't over-tighten once the torque setting has been reached. It is surprising how often that ‘just one more click’ approach to tightening bolts leads to over-tightening, and this system will prevent that from happening.
5. Ciovita clothing
Those of you who share a passion for the Absa Cape Epic, like our very own Guy Kesteven, may have spotted the race leaders wearing custom-printed jerseys from Ciovita.
Despite an Italian-sounding name, they are a proudly South African company that produces all of their kit in a dedicated factory in Cape Town. Not only do they create high-end kit from scratch, but they are also heavily involved in the local community and produce items from recycled inner tubes.
At the show, they had some great-looking spring and summer kit perfect for gravel, a very well-finished merino range in plenty of on-trend earthy tones and colors, and the race jerseys used in the Cape Epic and many other mountain bike and gravel events. We look forward to seeing more from this brand in the coming months.
6. The Deviate Claymore artist edition
There are always a few custom paint jobs at a bike show, and most look great, but the Deviate Claymore artist edition is unique. It's a collaboration between the Scottish brand Deviate Cycles, artist Douglas Roulston and custom paint specialists JMJ Designs.
The Claymore is a high pivot 165mm travel enduro bike, but the story is the paintwork. The frame and forks have been custom painted, with key details picked out in gold leaf. The finish is tough to describe, so I will let the pictures do the talking.
For more on the Cycle Show head to cycleshow.co.uk