We’re getting excited about this weekend’s Steel is Real demo day

Sunday is the big day of the Steel is Real demo day – a glorious celebration of steel built bicycles.

It’s going down at the Forest of Dean, this Sunday 29th October.

There’s going to be 11+ steel bike brands on display with loads of hand built, bikes and their frame builders in attendance.

There’s a hefty spread of British bikes and a few choice cuts from further afield.

What’s it all about?

You’ll be able to meet the guys that build steel mountain bikes by hand, ride their bikes and get stuck in to some proper bike-nerd chat about welding and wheels.

Whilst most of the demo slots are now booked up you’ll still be able to come down and have a good chat, see the bikes for yourself and – if you’re lucky – grab a last minute lap on a bike.

If you’re hoping to get a demo lap in you’ll need to bring your pedals, your passport, a debit or credit card and a utility bill in your name.

Cotic rocket 275 in orange

Where should you ride?

If you’re booked on to a demo, you’ll want a quick lap that really gives you a decent feel for your chosen steel steed.

You could go for a lap of the blue trail …but that’s not really what you’re after is it?

We’d recommend you hit the fire road up to the top of the Forest of Dean’s downhill trails, up to where the uplift drops off. From there you can jump on to Launch Pad and Corkscrew. It’s a quick pedal up and there’s some decently technical, fast, rooty trails that’ll do the bikes justice.

If you need a Forest of Dean MTB trails map, there’s one here.

The complete list of bike brands that will be at the demo is, so far, as follows:

Production Privee – Born in Cedric Gracia’s bar in Andorra, Production Privee create the beautiful steel Shan hardtail and Shan no5 full suspension alongside a decent range of components.

Fox Boa Leaderboard 2024

Starling Cycles – Hand made in Bristol by Joe McEwan, they’ll bring their Murmur, Swoop and Beady Little Eye bikes along.

Stooge Cycles – Hailing from Oswestry, Stooge produce some wonderfully weird rigid steel bikes that are designed for having fun on rough terrain without suspension.

Sanderson Cycles – British designed hardtails that combine “traditional styled Cro-mo frames with up to the minute geometry and handling”. We’re looking forward to seeing their flagship Sanderson Life frame, built in lovely Reynolds 853 steel.

BTR Fabrication – hand made in Froome, Somerset by Burf and Tam. The new BTR Pinner will be on display after its launch at Bespoked. All we want to know is when we can get a ride on one?!

Stanton – Dan Stanton’s now legendary steel and titanium hardtail brand, made famous by the Stanton Slackline and Switchback. No full suspension quite yet from them but they will have some very beautiful steel hardtails, designed here in the UK.

Onza Bikes – Onza tout themselves as a “MTB and trials specialist” and are the oldest brand of the bunch, at a ripe old age of 25. They make some really well priced cromo hardtails, we’re looking forward to learning a bit more about them this weekend.  

Trillion – Built by hand in the UK and owned by Liberty, a billion-buck steel company that (true fact) owns the steel smelter in Fort William. After a slightly choppy start, they’ve redesigned their frame to be a little lighter on the wallet and much neater on the welds. The new and improved bike will be on display after a first launch at the NEC bike show.

CoticThey’re by no means a giant megabrand but Cotic are definitely the big dog of the bunch. The most established and probably the most well known of the bunch, Cotic will be down from Sheffield to show off their new generation BFe and no doubt a few Rocket and Flare full suss’ers.

Surly Bikes – The original beards and brown beer bike brand! Surly hail from Minneapolis, Minnesota in the US and make a fine range of adventure focussed bikes for dirt and gnarmac.

Stif Performance Products Morf Jungle Products Wideopenmag

Stif Performance CyclesThe bike shop turned bike builder, Stif’s Morf hardtail will be on show and is, we reckon, a brilliant UK winter thrasher. Olly reviewed the bike last year for Wideopen and loved it, we reckon you will too.

Nordest Cycles – Born and bred in Portugal and named after the rugged Tras-os-Montes region Nordest will be showing off their 4130 cromo Bardino and Bardino ti.

You can join the Steel is Real demo facebook event here for more info or you can join the Steel is Real MTB group on Facebook here.