Fresh Produce

The Bike Place Show 2016

A pre-season update on bikes, kit and industry news

It’s trade show time again, so we jumped in the van for a road trip to catch up on the latest product updates and pre-season news from both UK and global brands. A lot was hardware and kit we’ve seen before but now stocks have arrived into the shops for you to buy. We saw some interesting developments on the bike front though.

First up was the Bike Place Show at the Silverstone circuit.


After a brief spell away, Sombrio are back as part of the Cycling Sports Group (Cannondale, GT, Charge and Sugio clothing) and have a compact but great looking range for the year ahead. The range is split into Cartel (casual), Epic (trail), Freeride and Gravity. Sombrio have men’s and women’s options too the colours look great.


Saddles have been a focus for Fabric but now they are charging forward with a truly innovate range of accessories. If you’re ditching the hydration pack and going light then Fabric’s innovative cageless water bottle, CO2 kit and multi-tool hits the spot.


A brand of technical clothing from Squamish in British Columbia, 7mesh is all about top quality fabrics and technical performance wrapped up in some discretely stylish designs. Gore fabrics are frequently used along with some innovative merino and synthetic blends. We’ll be testing this kit in the spring so we’ll keep you posted.


There was plenty of colour on the Ion stand and we’re big fans of their kit being lightweight yet durable. We have a Carve jacket on test that we recently featured. What caught our eye though was the Transom backpack with a system to lift the pack away from your back to let air circulate. Well engineered without being overly complicated.

Also on show were the K-Lite Zip kneepads. Quick removal, light and pedal friendly with SAS-TEC padding.


Hookit import Joystick into the UK and took us through the 2016 line up of bars, stems and saddles. With Loic Bruni and the Specialized Gravity team on this kit we think the brand will become popular. The carbon Analog 800mm bars for DH or enduro use weigh in at 212g , have a good shape and look a winner to us. The Builder stem (35,50,65mm lengths) has a very broad bar clamp to boost stiffness.


Italian brand Kask have a pedigree in quality helmets but until recently have focused only on road cycling. With very adjustable and secure retention systems it is no surprise that their new trail/enduro lid fits a treat. The Rex helmet comes in at the top end of the market but attention to detail from the peak to the goggle strap clip tops off a very well designed and constructed helmet. It looks fantastic too.


We’re running the RW Carbon bars on one of our test trail bikes and the width and shape is spot on. Burgtec put plenty of riding hours in, refining and tweaking designs before production. New up for this spring is the ‘Penthouse Clip’ (£119.99) a design we first saw prototypes of last year.

Burgtec have developed this design with Josh Bryceland and its now ready to go into production.

Also new is the Cloud saddle (£64.99) with carbon reinforced base, titanium rails and a shape that works well on a trail or DH bike.

UK made narrow/wide chainrings (£39.99) are made to Burgtec’s usual high standards.


Two new bikes and one revised model are in the 2016 range from Orange.

Shorter travel bikes with 27.5” wheels are an area of focus for a few smaller more progressive brands and Orange’s take on this is their new model the ‘Four’

130mm travel up front, with 120 at the rear and 148mm rear Boost spacing this bike is lighter, tighter and more urgent than the current Orange Five. Sporting a Pike fork, dropper post and bang-on Renthal cockpit this bike looks like it will rip round trail centre loops and be a whole heap of fun down the woods. We need to get a ride on one…


We’ve just taken a ‘First look’ at some Chromag hardware and have been impressed with this Canadian brand. We thought we’d take a look at what else they had in store for 2016. A revised Ranger stem along with a comprehensive range of bars and two hardtail frames all exhibit hardcore North Shore pedigree.


Scandinavian brand Sweet Protection may well be a new one on you but they have a pedigree in snow and water sports kit. We’ve been very impressed with what we have used from their bike range with quality fabrics and great attention to detail going hand in hand with faultless construction. We took a look through the latest colours and revisions for 2016 and hope to have test samples soon.


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