Cycle Show 2009 – A Visit Report

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Cycle Show 2009 at Earls Court, London from October 8-11, 2009

While there was not all that much new with the big makers and suppliers some new innovations and arrivals, as least as far as the Cycle Show in London is concerned, were to be seen.

Dutch ID (cargo) bikes was definitely one new one on the show; at least I am sure that I have not seen them before here, and those bicycles really got me interested.

Bicgfish Folding Bike was represented again and, so I understand, is going from strength to strength and also Pashley Bicycles report good sales.

It would appear that bicycles are beginning to make a comeback in Britain, and elsewhere, and also especially for commuting to work, going to the shops and more.

German bicycle makers Tout Terrain also showcased some great and well designed and -constructed urban and country touring bikes.

What makes those bikes rather special is the fact that the luggage rack on the back is an integral part of the frame and not, as with other bikes, a bolted on thing. This not only makes for a more rigid carrier but also is adding to the strength of the frame itself.

Nowadays it needs the Germans, the Dutch and the Danes, it would seem, to show us in Britain (and elsewhere) how to make good and proper bicycles for the everyday tasks.

Paper Bike from the UK though is also very interesting and was on the show last year already. The bikes are extremely sturdy steel constructions, simple in design, and, so I believe, made in Britain.

On the other hand, however, the rest of the stuff was not all that relevant, as far as I am concerned, such as a “gold” bike and a sparkling low rider. Gimmicks those are and expensive ones at that. People who want real bikes and for whom cycling is a means of transportation, by choice, and not a plaything certainly did not even give those a second look.

While the golden bike was a folding one and one might not have to worry too much as to someone vandalizing it or steeling it if chained up outside, for that would not come into the equation here, with some of the other bicycles in the several thousand pound bracket that would be a serious concern though to me and I am sure also to others.

At the same time that there were many vendors of cycle accessories (lights, clothing, bags, etc.) present at the Cycle Show 2009 the makers of such products, in the main, were rather conspicuous by their absence.

This is rather always rather a shame for writers on the lookout for new products to report on. Vendors rarely have interest in having anyone review the products.

What was good to learn from the visit to the show though is that cycle sales, according to the makers that I spoke to, are up and that despite the recession – or maybe because of the recession - and also bike repair shops and cycle re-builders are doing good business.

From where I am standing in this I can say that I but hope that this is a sign that people are beginning to think about alternative transport to the car and are seeing the bicycle as a viable alternative, especially for shorter journeys.

I tend to find it rather silly – and I use that word for lack of a better one – when I see people going a mile or two (even less at times) to get a newspaper or a pint of milk getting the car out and driving there.

© 2009