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The great thing about going along to the Cycle Show Trade Day each year is that we have no idea what exciting new products we’re going to uncover to bring back to you, our Cycle Sprog readers. We’ve been going regularly for 7 years now, and each year we find new bikes, clothes and other products aimed at young riders or families – proof if it’s needed that the cycle industry is waking up to the fact that we’re a huge market!!
Here’s a round up of some of the best things we encountered on the day.
We’ve been big fans of Wild Bikes ever since they launched in November of last year. Available exclusively from Go Outdoors they are bringing lightweight and well specified bikes to a much wider audience, as they’re priced very competitively indeed and are available in their stores throughout the UK as well as for home delivery.
It was great to meet up with Jonny Taylor who designed the range and had also turned his hand to the set they were displayed on at the Cycle Show.
I’m not going to go into the full details of the Wild Bikes range, as you can read all about that in our other post here. They're available from Go Outdoors with prices starting from £190.
Last year we predicted that this year Whyte would be launching a 24” wheel mountain bike, and we were correct!!! The Whyte 303 (£499) has been available for a few weeks and it was good to see it up close at the show.
It’s got the same attention to detail as the rest of the Whyte junior bike range, with the geometry and components tailored to the age, weight and height of a young mountain biker.
It was very interesting speaking to the Whyte team about the problems they face when designing new kids bikes. Getting quality components such as cranksets, brake levers and wheels/tyres is difficult because the manufacturers aren't making them because there isn't a proven market, but it's impossible to prove the market without the components being available!
Thankfully Whyte are finding their way through this conundrum and the Whyte 303 is the result.
I was really impressed that Whyte had brought their entire junior and youth range to the show and had them all prominently displayed. These range from the 203 20" mountain bike through to the full suspension T-120 bikes with 27.5" wheels that are aimed at teenage and small adult riders.
Moving onto our predictions for next year... our youngest Sprog asked them last year why they don't do kids road bikes - perhaps we'll see them branching out into that area next? Or maybe gravel bikes?? I just hope they don't stop!
The entire Whyte Bikes range is available from Leisure Lakes Bikes
Once your Cycle Sprog is large enough to ride a Whyte mountain bike they're going to want to start perfecting their riding technique. It was absolutely fascinating to meet the guys behind Trail Anywhere, who are building fake rock gardens for use by mountain bike coaches.
The "rocks" look very realistic, but are actually quite lightweight and durable (despite the photographic evidence!) They can be configured onto North Shore style boards in many different ways so you can keep practising your technique.
I was also fascinated by the thought that trail centres can use these in situ on a trail - they're far easier to install as each piece can be easily carried to its location and removes the need to try and find perfectly shaped rocks. I'd never before considered I wasn't riding on natural rock at a trail centre!
I don't know about you, but how to store all the bikes we have is a constant challenge and a source of frustration. So many of the current solutions either involve ugly metal stands (which don't look great when they're in your living room or bedroom!) or else require fastening to the wall, which isn't an option for many people, either structurally, aesthetically or tenancy wise.
It was good to see a new product called BikeStow which is a mobile bike storage solution, which also looks quite pleasing on the eye. It's available in a range of colours and patterns to suit your taste.
The BikeStows are engineered and manufactured in Birmingham out of birch plywood and are designed to fit bikes with 700C 26" 27.5" and 29" wheels. Size wise you can get double, triple or quadruple stands and they come with a cargo strap for attaching in the back of a van.
Obviously these are only currently suitable for youth and adult bikes, but we had a good conversation with the owner about options to make these adaptable for the smaller wheels of kids bikes too. It's something they're thinking about, so hopefully if their initial offerings prove successful it's something we may see in future.
One bike that the BikeStow won't fit is the Pedego electric fat bike! With 4" wide tyres these really are monster bikes. The wheel size starts with a 20" mini, then a 24" small and a 26" wheel medium bike in the range.
The bikes aren't being promoted as kids bikes because the geometry of these bikes means that they're designed for taller riders than would normally ride that wheel size - our 5' 9" teenager comfortably fitted onto the 26" wheeler which he had great fun riding round the e-bike test track.
These bikes are designed for fun in off road conditions, including snow, but note that UK law states that you need to be over 14 to ride an electric bike on the road.
It was great to see the Shotgun front bike seat on display at the Cycle Show.
We've recently reviewed this front bike seat that has been designed for taking your Cycle Sprog out mountain biking when they're aged 2 and over. Our reviewers were very impressed with the Shotgun seat's performance and you can read their thoughts here.
Sometimes it can be difficult to image how it fits to the bike, so having one on display for parents to see is so helpful.
The Shotgun seat is available directly from Kids Ride Shotgun priced from £120.
It's always interesting to meet new people entering the world of family cycling, so it was great to meet Nick Tallents, a dad of two who has started to import the Feva Star front bike seat into the UK.
The Feva seat is made of a heavy duty foam, so is unlike anything we've seen before!
It's incredibly lightweight and can be easily moved from bike to bike or folded down flat for transportation. Being foam it won't scratch your paintwork or damage a carbon frame bike and is suitable for children weighing up to 20kg.
These seats aren't new to the market as they've been available in South Africa for some time, which is where Nick first tested one out with his family. But it is the first time they've been imported into the UK for local sale. Nick is currently selling these via Ebay and on his website. They retail at £74.99 plus delivery (which makes them a cheaper alternative to the majority of other front seats available on the market).
Whilst we're on the topic of front bike seats, Oxford Products were also at the Cycle Show. They make the Little Explorer front seat. I had a quick word with them to find out when they're releasing the next iteration of this. Feedback from their users is it doesn't fit some bikes with a steep down tube - they are working on this and are hoping to release a new version with different side bars sometime in Spring 2020.
I was very excited to see the Little Riders jersey range up close at the Cycle Show. I've been in contact with Mike Douglass, co-founder of the range, a number of times but hadn't had the chance to get my hands on their products. They make jerseys designed for young riders aged 2 to 8 years and judging by their social media presence they're going down a storm!
It's always great to see products pushing the age boundaries, so I wasn't surprised when Mike told me the smaller sizes are proving a real hit. Other manufacturers take note - kids want decent kit, whatever their age!
Their jerseys are available exclusively via the Little Riders website, priced from £24.97.
Cycling UK are currently running a Dutch Reach campaign to encourage drivers and their passengers to always open their car door using the hand furthest away from the door. This forces you to look over your shoulder slightly, bringing any passing cyclist into view, thus avoiding "dooring". To illustrate this they had a Virtual Reality simulator that shows the impact dooring has.
Our tech mad Cycle Sprogs really enjoyed the technology side of this, whilst also learning an important life lesson.
Orange Bikes have always kept things simple by having their kids mountain bikes available in the colour orange. For 2020 they're mixing things up a bit by changing the colour scheme to mean that Orange Bikes are now blue!
Moore and Large are responsible for a number of brands including Cuda, Forme and Tern. It was good to catch up with them and learn about their plans for the coming months. Sadly they didn't have their new Forme kids bikes on display, but with a new focus on this range we expect to see more information about these bikes coming very soon.
The Tern was just one of many cargo bikes that we saw at the show, so if you're interested in these you can find out a lot more in my other write up of the show - cunningly entitled "The best family cargo bikes at the 2019 Cycle Show".
If you want to visit the 2019 Cycle Show with your Sprogs, it is at the NEC in Birmingham from Friday 13th to Sunday 15th September. Full details are on their website.
Disclosure: We received free Press Tickets to the Trade Day of the Cycle Show. We also belong to a number of affiliate schemes which mean that if you make a purchase after clicking on some of the links on this page we may get a small commission. This doesn't affect what you pay, but helps us keep the website going.
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