London Bike Show – Best of the British bits

It’s London Bike Show week – and a chance to see some of our favourite names in mountain biking up close (and drink too much coffee and get lost on the tube).

We sent Saskia Dugon down to hunt out the very best of the British show brands.

Take it away Saskia …

Wideopen is all about British mountain biking and the London Bike Show was perfect for that. There was a great turn out of British bike brands and a really strong sense of people making great quality kit here in the UK … or at least nearer to home than you’d expect.

Here’s what I found from a day exploring the London Bike Show!

Alpkit

One brand that caught my eye was that of Alp Kit’s bike counter part, Sonder Bikes. Celebrating their 1 year anniversary this year with an impressive range of 7 bikes, ranging from gravel road, rigid hardtail explorer and of course, a hardtail weapon.

Sonder bikes and Alp kit aims to create everything and anything you would need for a geraway to the alps and with the introduction of their new MTB bikes, they certainly have a full package now.

With the Frontier, Broken Road and Transmitter, Sonder bikes have done an impressive job at covering every adventure bikers need.

This Frontier, a fully rigid aluminium mtb bike was their entry into the mountain bike industry from their gravel road bikes. The aluminium frame is compatible for both 650b+ and 29” wheels, with plenty of eyelets and fittings for mudguards, panniers and cages as well as the ability to take a 100mm fork if you wanted to soften out your ride.

The geometry has also been made with bike packers in mind, to be able to fit as much as you need to take with you, on the bike whilst still being comfortable to ride, which help make this a “bike packing dream machine.”

The next in Sonders line up is the Broken Road Hardtail, with a similar theme in mind as the Frontier, but embracing Titanium and more suspension.

The Broken Road has another level of customisation from the Frontier, with the ability to take 650b+, 29” and large section 700c wheels, as well as the option to have singlespeed, derailleur or internal hub gearing.

This bike bridges the way between adventure mtb and hardtail weapon with it’s ability to take 120mm on 650b+ or or 100mm forks on 29’er version, and is perfect for both climbing rough tracks, and shredding singletrack.

Their next jump deeper into the MTB world and their newest model is the Transmitter. Coming in an aluminium and carbon version, with geometry upgrades to the Carbon featuring a longer and lower wheelbase, with a shorter seat tube to fit longer dropper posts and giving the rider better stand over clearance.

This carbon hardtail weapon has the ability to take 160mm travel. This bike can be purchased in a variety of specification models from frame only for £699, to Sram NX1 & Rockshox Sektor for £1499 to Sram Eagle and Pike RCT3s for £3199.

I think that any of these hardtails would look at home sat outside a beautiful bothy somewhere in the highlands as some fine rain fell onto their sleek frame finish.

More on Sonder Bikes here.

Orange

Next up is Orange. Showing off their Special Launch Edition Stage 6, 29’er Enduro bike, kitted out with Fox 36 Kashima and Float X2 suspension, Shimano XT and Hope Pro 4 hubs and Tech 3 brakes, it really is a beauty of a bike.

Orange also had a prototype bike on show, as they prepare to build and release the Alpine 6-Ebike. With their single pivot suspension, long top tube and short stem for the best riding stability and a 504Wh Lithium Ion Battery and Di2 compatibility that will see Orange embracing the electronic age of bikes. A perfect bike for those who love the iconic Orange 5 and would like to add a hill whizzer to their collection.

More on Orange bikes here.

Stanton

It’s impossible to talk about British hardtails and not consider Stanton. We’ve been following their progress since day 1 and couldn’t be happier to see them transform from a bedroom business into a fully fledged empire – with a wide range of bikes and loads of bars, stems and saddles.

Stanton’s booth was mobbed all day and just getting a minute of Dan’s time was hard enough – it’s a testament to his bikes that his show time is spent talking flat-out to passionate fans.

The Sherpa, Switchback and Slackline were all on display alongside the full range of components. The Stanton ambition isn’t just to make bikes … but to create a wide components range that stands up on its own. Chromag have done it, why can’t they?

More on Stanton Bikes here.

Fibrax

Taking a quick breather from new bikes, we headed over to Fibrax to check out their components. Based in Wrexham, North Wales Fibrax are another brand to start expanding into the MTB industry.

With some incredibly light and not to mention cheap components, like their Ultralight Disc Rotor weighing just 83g for a 160mm. By decreasing the surface area, the belief is that there will be more power able to be applied, thus the thinner profile won’t compromise braking capabilities. We’ve currently got some of the lightweight disc rotors on test in 180mm, so we’ll let you know how we get on with them.

OneUp Hubs advert Leaderboard 2024

More on Fibrax here.

Hope Technology

@hopetech’s HB11 carbon dream machine at #londonbikeshow. Want.

A post shared by @wideopenmag on

Now, it would be an insult to talk about British component brands and not mention Hope.

If there is one stall guaranteed to give you bike envy, it is Hope. With their stand glowing with their signature colours lighting up their stall and the sound of Hope Pro 4’s slowly ticking over as people try out all that they have got to offer.

Not only did they have their lineup of beautiful components, but they were also showcasing their HB.211 enduro bike and carbon handlebars.

More on Hope Technology here.

Exposure

Next up is Exposure with an impressive stand all lit up by a multitude of Exposure Six Packs.

Their new action camera light, the Exposure Capture looks set to be the perfect accessory for any adventure sports person. Easily attaching to a GoPro mount to help light the way for any night rides caught on camera.

I’m particularly excited for the new Exposure Capture light as it is not only perfect accessory for any MTB’er, but from a photographers perspective, having a small light that powerful and so light (in weight) but less than a quarter of the size of one of my camera flashes would make travelling light with my camera, very easy.

More on Exposure lights here.

Trillion

My favourite brand of the weekend was Trillion by Liberty. Launching at the London Bike Show with their prototypes, they quickly joined my bike envy list. Designed and built in Birmingham as a direct sales company with a showroom local to their head quarters, their bike looks like a serious contender for other hardtail weapon brands like Stanton.

They have two of their hardtails on show and like other new hardtail brands, they have also joined the cycling industry with an array of hybrid and gravel road bikes for all types of adventure seekers.

The Trillion 1012 is built for 160mm forks. The display model was kitted out with Hope, Shimano and Rockshox, with a simple Black and White paint design resembling that of Charges old Blender model. The 1012 also features some nice little decorative features that highlights the quality of their welding process.

All of their bikes are custom built and take around 3 months from start to finish. Knowing that this can feel like a whole era to some eager customers, Trillion will send you updates of your bike building process every few weeks so you know where it is, what is being done and when you can expect it. Like when you order a a Dominos, but instead you will wait 3 months and will have a hand crafted new love to reward you for your patience.

In a day and age where everything is purchased online through anonymous computers, Trillion are placing the personal touch back into bike building.

Trillion are planning to release their first bikes to the public in the summer of 2017 once their Prototypes have been through rigorous testing and hopefully we can get our hands on one to tell you more about how this bike not only looks, but rides.

More on Trillion here.

Handpresso

Ongoing with the adventure theme, Singletrack also had a Handpresso on show, a portable hand and pressure powered coffee machine to add to your bag for your bike packing adventure.

More on Handpresso here.

Flare

British brand Flare – run by Hannah and Ben – were also at the show, with a few of their new tops and designs, along with their new sock partners Stance. We’re big fans of Flare, not least because they’re a genuine rider-run, homegrown brand that has started from scratch and turned into a respectable, award winning company.

They’ve got a really nice new line up that Hannah claims has “no pink in it!” this year… We’re looking forward to showing you that.

You can visit Flare online here (they’ve got a sale on!).

About the author: Saskia is a rider, photographer and photo-journo from South Wales. You can learn more about her here.

Cheers London – it was fun!

For more coverage of the London Bike Show you can check out Wideopen’s Instagram.


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