Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Cycle Show highlights 2009

Posted by Matt | October 11, 2009 | 5 comments so far

Kate Potter's Cotic X cross bike
If you’re wondering what lessons to take from the Cycle Show at Earls Court this year, here’s a few thoughts.

Having got there reasonably promptly it turned out to be a long day as there was plenty to see. As I erroneously mentioned on my pre-Show post, Trek and Giant were in fact not there which was a disappointment but there was still much to suggest the Cycle industry is holding up pretty well during these tough times.

On the other hand, it somehow felt to be less crowded than recent years. Maybe there was greater floor space (although I’d swear it was the same last year) or maybe having stayed til later in the afternoon we got a chance to get onto some of the stands that were packed during the day, but it certainly seemed as though there were fewer people in attendance.

We spent the day roaming around trying to check out as much as possible which we’ll cover later this week. Our first port of call was Guy at Pearson Cycles which have a very much on-trend fixie/singlespeed commuter called the Touche – a smart ally frame with a retro raked carbon fork and a flip flop hub for £650 is pretty good and the blue paint/white panel graphics provide the finishing touch(e).

Elsewhere, we called on Mark at the Biketech stand who was having a successful first appearance at the Cycle Show. He was also sporting our new Muddymoles logo on the sleeve of his shirt so I guess that’s our first appearance too! Nice bit of embroidery…

All that aside though, what were the key themes coming through for 2010?

First off, cyclo-cross seems to be making waves. Perhaps we’re just a bit more open to the idea after our first race at D2D recently but there’s definitely a bit of momentum behind the idea. Cotic were showing their one-off Kate Potter specific X cyclo-cross bike which looked awesome in Cotic’s signature bright orange paint while elsewhere our eyes found much to enjoy in the Genesis Day One and the Ragley Rodwell in chocolate brown to name a few.

Next, what struck us quite profoundly was that the 29er phenomenon seems to have faded over here in the UK. Despite some local riders finding it to suit their tastes rather better than they expected (Dave on his Intense Spder and Lord On-one with the Gary Fisher Paragon for example) there were few 29ers at the show and no tyres that I saw to suit them. No Salsa, no Singular no nuthin’. It doesn’t affect me but I’m surprised at how quickly the 29er thing has dropped off the radar. Or perhaps it’s just fermenting a bit of a cult following and will bouce back?

On the subject of tyres in general, Continental seems a popular choice with manufacturers. The Race King in particular seemed to crop up time and again but I don’t know how that low profile tread will suit Surrey mud. Perfect for Thetford though! I also saw a few instance of the Rubber Queen which even in 2.2 guise seems a voluminous tyre. I’m still tempted for my Orange but keep wavering over the cost/performance gamble. I’d really like to try some first. Other tyres which seem much in evidence are the Schwalbe range, another manufacturer which is under represented amongst our ride group.

Finally, it has to be said colour is back in a big way. From anodised everything, including a fine looking X-0 mech in Redwin – that’s red then – to some great looking frame colours (Cotic B-Fe in blue, the Ragley range and Genesis Altitude bikes) there’s no better time for Chris King to cash in! Hope even had an anodised brown groupset (including their ‘new’ seatpost) for sale for around the £2000 mark. Basically whether you want to match your components carefully together or prefer a riot of shades there’s something for everyone available at the moment.

And if not, white is a pretty good fallback option… white frames, white shoes (Colin!), white handlebars, white brakes etc. The bike industry has it covered.

Plenty of Cycle Show 2009 pictures are on Flickr

Filed under Mutterings, Trends in October 2009


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 5 comments on ‘Cycle Show highlights 2009’

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  1. Dave says:

    I’m kind of hoping that the lack of 29er models from the bigboys just means that it will remain with the specialists such as Singular etc.. Whether On One stick with it or not is open I guess and I didn’t get a chance to ask Brant if he intends to offer a Ragley 29er. Anyway, should keep me at the top of the charts for a while….fastest up Box Hill on a SS 29er, fastest Mole round D2D on a Spider 29er. Schweeeeet!

  2. LordOnOne says:

    I see you got the IF 29er in your photos but what about the Norco Judan belt drive 29er, Singular Swift 29er with Niner carbon fork and the KHS 650B bike? When I saw Sam from Singular didn’t have a stand this year I wasn’t expecting to see anything other than 26ers at the show.

    Dave, I believe Brant is working on a Ti 29er XC frame that is specifically designed to run rigid forks with geometry to suit. He was also working on a long travel 29er hardtail but he may have ditched that now according to his twitter.

  3. Matt says:

    Hi Lord O-O,

    Well, the KHS passed me by which was a pity because I’d have liked to have seen a 650B bike. And the IF bike isn’t exactly mainstream – they’d make you one with penny farthing wheels if you paid enough. It would look lovely of course…

    The Singular was the bike raced at D2D the week before but ‘didn’t count’ in my view as it was there as an exhibit on the Exposure stand (who were sponsoring the team I believe). It just happened to have 29 inch wheels.

    That leaves the Norco. I have to admit I never looked at the Norco stuff as they’re generally a bit butch and heavy for our Surrey Hills. So seeing their belt drive 29er on Singletrack had me kicking myself. That’s got ‘Surrey riding’ written all over it.

    But the general trend was clear. Most mainstream manufacturers are not bringing 29ers into the UK in significant numbers regardless of the rider benefits.

    Which might be a shameful oversight or just a hard-headed response to what the market appears to want.

  4. LordOnOne says:

    Yep, I agree with what you’re saying. Some companies that had 29ers here last year have pulled them out of the UK for 2010 like Cannondale and the MD of Pace said “they’re dying here”. I don’t think they’re dying here quite yet because I continue to see a very slow increase in the number of them out on the trails but they’re certainly not taking off like they did in the US…except in my house of course!

  5. Dave says:

    Currently 29er is 40% of my garage! I’m also quite happy for it to be a slowly growing niche. I like to be a bit different! ;o)

    I’m also gutted I missed the belt drive but to be honest it’s easy to get a bit lost in that amount of bikes!

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