Two weeks ago me and Kamal decided to check out the Rouleur Classic bike show at Victoria House to see what the fuss is about. As usual, there were loads of nice bikes, accessories, parts, clothing and bike history on show, but I will only cover some of the best highlights that really stood out for me.
We arrived just in time for one of the talks and it happened to be the Olympic track cyclists Laura and Jason Kenny presenting their newest book called The Inside Track. They shared some funny stories about their personal life as well as how differently they both react to watching each other competing in the Olympics. We all have seen how passionate and worried Laura gets when watching her husband racing in finals. The audience erupted in laughter when Laura told the story about what they had for ‘tea’ post Rio wins – apparently she is an awful cook and all they had was some very average pizza from the athletes village. You can find more insights into their life on track and off it in the book.
One of the most exciting stands for me was Giro with the latest road and MTB shoes, helmets with MIPS technology and other accessories. They have expanded the women’s range significantly in the last year or two following a big increase in women’s cycling. This is such a great move and I hope that more companies recognise it and follow Giro’s steps. I am already eyeing their new hot pink MTB shoes with Vibram soles for next season and maybe some flashy DND gloves.
Another cool piece we came across was the Adidas Zonyk glasses that had a removable sweat band on top to prevent sweat dripping down your face during the hot season and racing, which seemed like a great idea – not sure how well it works in practise though! I really liked the design and some of our friends from the 8bar crit team have been sporting them this year in many fixed gear races. The price is a bit steep starting from £125 for the regular ones, all the way to £190 for the Pro versions.
The last but certainly not the least cool product at the show was the new Zipp 454 NSW Carbon clincher wheels, which were inspired by whales and sharks apparently! It claims to be the fastest Zipp wheel to date due to the rim shape, new depth and various other improvements which reduce the aerodynamic drag. Like anything else made by Zipp, these are not cheap coming in at £3500.
After seeing all the awesome bikes and accessories we decided to do something a bit more interactive and have a go on the Canyon bikes that were set up to test out the latest Zwift software that let’s you actually enjoy the experience of indoor cycling. I have never been a massive fan of doing miles inside, so trying Zwift definitely helped to see that indoor training sessions don’t need to be boring. The software enables you to choose multiple places to ride in various weather conditions and you can do it with friends who have the same programme for added interactivity. I will have to give this a proper go once it get’s completely horrible outside. Zwift is also running a free trial till next year for all Strava premium members – go check it out if you’re looking for ways to train inside.
All in all it was a really good show making us want to buy loads of things we can’t probably afford right now, but I would certainly recommend to visit it next year. Hopefully it will be even bigger and better! And by that I mean a greater focus on women’s cycling and it’s market.
Photos by myself and Kamal