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I’m not sure which is worse – To be on a trade show stand for 4 solid days wilting under the 1000 watt lighting system whilst trying to explain for the 87th time that day why Alberto Contador won’t be on your stand at 3.30pm signing copies of his latest autobiography, or, to spend 2 solid days wandering around for miles with an ever increasing catalogue filled bag, hot, thirsty and wondering why you thought those ‘smart’ shoes were a good idea.

PBK took three staff to the show, just enough to get round all of our existing suppliers and also enough personnel to hunt out the new products and brands that we’ve been keeping a keen eye on for the past 12 months.

In a previous blog we ran while the show was still going, we highlighted the various products that caught the eye and indeed, the Hope green cassette, the Giro shoes and the eagerly anticipated Garmin Edge 800 were all very impressive and certainly in the flesh they looked like they will be a massive hit. When we were chatting with Mr Garmin, Nick and I had a little play with the new 800. Nick managed to look at all of the features and menu options, while I managed to enter my own post code into the GPS. (That’s why Nick is our Tech Manager). We’ve been told that the Edge 800 should be available by mid October, so expect them at PBK soon.

Nick (our human Merino Wool experiment for the duration of the show) spent most of his time drooling and generally getting hot and bothered at the sights on display. One stand and bike in particular that got him all hot under the collar was the Colnago C59 limited edition.

Here’s what the good people at CyclingNews had to say about it:

Colnago’s limited edition of its new C59 Italia flagship, dressed in a stark pearl white finish with shimmering silver decals and accents and limited to just 59 samples worldwide.Interestingly, Colnago chose to outfit its premier road bike not with a Campagnolo Super Record 11 group but rather Shimano’s Dura-Ace Di2 package – a move Italian devotees will lambaste as practically sacrilegious, but one that admittedly allows for some unique stylistic touches that aren’t possible with conventional cables.

Wires are routed internally through the frame so as to not disrupt the frame’s beautifully clean lines but Colnago also went to great efforts to conceal them at the front end, too, feeding the lines into the stem and also housing the group’s control box inside it as well. Naturally, the rear brake is run through the top tube, too.

Aside from the matching white carbon saddle, seatpost, and integrated bar/stem, the rest of the bike is standard-issue C59 Italia, including Colnago’s latest lobed and oversized main tube profiles with wall-to-wall internal ribbing, a new carbon fork with tapered steerer, and newly rectangular chain stays that Colnago claims to add stiffness relatively to the old shape. Claimed frame weight is right around 1,000g.

All we could say was Wow!

Nick also volunteered to test his Merino Wool T shirt to its limits by wearing it during all of his time on the trip. His bold prophecy in the car park at 3.30am on Tuesday was that…”Merino Wool is antibacterial and doesn’t smell. This is a scientific fact”. What we learned from his time in his T shirt was that although it was at times wet (sweaty) and stale, it didn’t smell, in fact he claims that the only smell was of his deodorant that his sweat had washed into the T shirt. Nice! I was about to congratulate Nick on worthy effort, but his claim that he thought he saw Lance Armstrong looking at electric bikes led me to believe he was in fact suffering for his art!

De Rosa took the prize for the most flamboyant and dazzling paint schemes, with glitter being the order of the day! If you like your paint jobs on the extrovert side, then look no further!

Fizik are another company who are trying their hand at producing a range of cycling shoes and the saddle experts have been working on this range for over two years and feel that it was a natural progression for them. The R1 is an elite men’s road shoe that is as gorgeous as it is technically advanced. They’ve opted for a quite unusual three piece 3D Flex sole that is claimed to blend efficient power transfer with long term comfort. Which ever way you look at it, a top end lightweight racing shoe that is feature packed and comfortable is just what we are looking for. Price wise, the R1 will sit at the upper end of the market, but with a brand name and heritage like Fizik behind it, it is well worth another look.

The other bit of equipment that we absolutely loved for two reasons, was the ELITE E-Motion Rollers. We loved them because they really are as close to actual riding as you’ll get on a set of rollers. The other reason was watching visitors have a go. Enough said! Here’s how Elite describe them:

The first roller that keeps you perfectly balanced: the exclusive floating system absorbs the energy generated by your movements making training natural and real.

With E-Motion you can stand on the pedals and sprint, in total safeness. Also, the three magnetic resistance levels offer variable work loads; power training, hill climbing and sprinting. This is E-Motion.

It wasn’t just equipment that caught the eye at the show either, there were several celebrities seen out and about.

1. Eddy Merckx: He was signing pictures on his stand and doing his best not to smile. He succeeded, but I will let him off, as his iconic legendary status allows him to be completely underwhelmed at my presence!

2. Vino Vinokourov: He also didn’t smile, but I honestly think that was because he can’t.

3. Heinrich Haussler: He was obviously contracted to do a 20 minute stint on the Cervelo stand and like a sulky petulant teenager, he made no bones about the fact that he’d rather not be there!

4. Didi the Devil: My favourite of the show, he just wandered round and was more than happy to have his photo taken with everyone.

5. Gary Fisher: The legendary American frame designer and builder was there and it’s fair to say that not many people could carry off his look. It’s certainly unique!

There was an absolute abundance of fixies, single speed and electric bikes this year and although it’s not really our thing (unless of course they have drops), it is interesting to see the trends and what the manufacturers can achieve with a bit of imagination and expertise.

Eurobike is an excellent way of ensuring we get to see up close the latest offerings and talk with the manufacturers face to face. It’s great to be able to pass on your feedback as well, all of which is invaluable to the people who spend their days and nights designing and making the products for you to use. Let us know if you went to Eurobike on the public Saturday and what was the best freebie you got?

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