The bike industry is now in full bike trade show season. We visited the Core Bike Show last month, Guy's just returned from Bike Connection in Italy and now we have the annual IceBike event. This particular show and tell of bike bits has two locations and dates, one in south of the UK and one in the north. We attended the northern version held at the National Cycling Center in Manchester, home of Team GB. IceBike is a big trade event here in the UK, and there was plenty of stuff on show that caught our attention.
The Covid-related stock shortages had seen the Genesis range fall a bit off the radar in recent years, but it looks to be back making its way to a bike shop near you (in the UK) soon.
The range has some excellent drop bar gravel and touring options. However, the one that caught our attention was the Fugio range. Available in either complete builds or as a frame only, the Fugio is a gravel bike that can take 700 x 40c tires or, as pictured, a 650b with mountain bike tires that open up the bike to a wide range of terrain.
The recently updated 350 hub range was on display. All MTB, gravel, and road hubs within the 350 range feature the ratchet system that was previously only used in the range-topping 240 range.
Three different ratchets are available, enabling you to change the number of points of engagement for your rear hub. Do you want a near-instant pick-up from your hub? Then go for the 54-tooth option. If you prefer a slower engagement that less impacts your rear suspension action, go for the standard 18-tooth option.
The famous blue bike-specific tool brand has been around for a long time, and you can check out most of the tools in our Park Tool guide. A vast range is available, from super-specialist tools for professional bike shop usage to multi-tools designed for use on the trail.
There were various new items to check out for the professional mechanic or keen amateur with a penchant for good tools. The BBT-RS is a clever system that utilizes a threaded bar and dial to help keep bottom bracket tools in place and prevent slipping when fitting or removing some of the newer style bottom brackets with narrow fittings.
The universal bleed kits on display are available in mineral oil and DOT fluid variants. They have also had some updates to cover all possible system types, perfect for those working on a wide range of brakes, including a well-made fitting for Shimano calipers to ensure an ideal bleed every time.
The Park multi-tool range has been a solid performer for a long time, offering options from simple Allen key blocks up to complete mini-tools with things like hex keys, chain breakers, and screwdriver parts. In addition, the popular RTP-1 (rescue tool pod) now includes the TPT-1 (tubeless tire plug tool) in a neat small package, perfect for getting you out of most mishaps you might meet on the trail without taking up too much room.
Elite has traditionally been a road brand, with many Pro teams having used its bottles and turbo trainers for years. Recently, it has diversified its broad range of bottles and cages for MTB and gravel usage, as seen in our helpful guide to the best MTB bottle cages, and this year has seen the brand launch some exciting eco-friendly technology.
Bicycle bottles, or bidons as they are sometimes referred to, are usually made of plastic. Elite was one of the first to offer a fully recyclable bottle but has now gone one step further with the introduction of bio plastic, made using sugar cane that has been sustainably farmed and offers a natural low-carbon alternative to the normal petroleum-based options.
The Jet range of bottles is available in two colors and three sizes, including a substantial 950ml version for those epic long-distance gravel events. All are dishwasher safe, and BPA free too.
Alongside the new bottles are two cages in two different materials. The Cannibal XC is designed for MTB and gravel use with the innovative bio plastic tech and comes in the same opal green as the bottles. The Prism range is made using recycled plastic, primarily sourced from discarded fibers created by textile industries. The cages are a neat side load design, perfect for those running frame-fitting bags on their gravel bikes where space is at a premium.
Lock-on grips are now considered standard equipment, but despite all of the grips in our best MTB grips using some form of locking mechanism, this wasn't always the case. The guys at ODI were the first to bring them to market with the original lock-on grips, which used an Allen key clamp at each end. These have recently been updated with the V2.1, which uses a single smooth clamp to increase the usable grip space, and removes the square edge from the original design.
The recently launched Reflex grip was displayed in both the standard and XL versions. We have a set to test, so keep your eyes peeled for a review. They are a medium durometer grip with an angled waffle section for your thumbs, a padded top section, and a ribbed section to increase grip.
Madison Clothing has been around for a few years and has consistently provided a solid, dependable range of apparel designed in the UK – and has been featured in many guides, including our best waterproof MTB trousers.
The highlight is the new DTE (Defy The Elements) range. It has been developed in-house at Madison and features high-end materials, including a triple-layer waterproof fabric with in-built stretch and plenty of other neat touches and features at competitive prices.
We loved the look of the waterproof dungarees, perfect for those of us in wetter parts of the world, and they should fit great with bib shorts for the ultimate mix of protection and comfort for wet rides.
The Swedish manufacturer is famous for producing high-end car roof and tow ball racks but did you know it also makes a range of panniers, racks, and bags. One item that caught our eye was the Tour rack XT. It is an adjustable rack that can fit either the front or rear of your MTB, enabling you to go bike packing on your existing bike.
For more info on any of the products featured, check out freewheel.co.uk.