Five things to see at the National Cycling Show 2022

(left to right) Mildred Locke, Vedangi Kulkarni and Rachael Walker giving an introduction to bikepacking, with show hosts (right)
Tiia Jaakola's picture

Five things to see at the National Cycling Show 2022

The first National Cycling Show brings together a range of bikes and discussions aimed at all levels of cyclists. Tiia Jaakola scouted out some of the highlights

Taking place at the NEC in Birmingham this weekend (18-19 June), the National Cycling Show is an inaugural event aimed not just at your hardcore cycling enthusiasts, but a range of people who cycle, including the bike-curious.

While there’s a range of latest products and brands on display, education, inspiration and accessibility are also at the heart of the show; tickets are priced at an affordable £10, lowering the threshold to attend for those at the start of their cycling journey.

A packed programme of talks and panel discussions is equally aimed at inspiring people and driving home that cycling really is for everyone. The Cycling UK team is here (stand P50) with virtual tours of our routes, to tell you all about our campaign work, and we’re also a significant part of the programme of talks.

estarli e20

Foldable e-bikes are well-represented at the NEC, but I didn’t pick this one just because of the rose gold finish (although admittedly that had something to do with it catching my eye). estarli are a UK-based company with all bikes assembled by hand in the Chilterns, and though it’s not a unique feature, the battery resides in the seatpost. This makes recharging less of a headache as you can simply remove the seat and plug it in. At 17.5kg, the e20 is not the lightest one on display, but I liked the rear rack that you can fix a child’s seat on – perfect for trip chaining parents.

Price: £1,095

Stand: F10

Website: estarli


The estarli e20 foldable e-bike

Skarper DiskDrive

At a show opened by Sir Chris Hoy, it seems fitting to mention a product he was instrumental in developing. Skarper was only launched this week, and director Ean Brown describes Hoy as ‘almost a founder’, having lent his expertise to creating this ultralight, clip-on drive system which transforms any disc brake bike into an e-bike. You simply replace your rear disc rotor with DiskDrive – no other modifications needed – and it clips on like a dream. I’m told the electric assistance builds in a smooth and gradual way to double the force you put in as you pedal, and though I’ve not had a chance to try for myself yet, it’s firmly on the list.

Price: Around £1,000, available from 2023

Stand: H70

Website: Skarper


The Skarper DiskDrive, a clip-on drive system that transforms a standard bike into an e-bike

BLB Hitchihiker Gravel Racer

The popular East London shop Brick Lane Bikes launched its in-house brand due to the sheer number of requests for bespoke, stylish parts and frames. The Hitchhiker is designed to be a solid and comfortable adventure bike, hand-built in their workshop and available as frameset only, so you can adjust it to your preferred specs. Both the Gravel Racer and Gravel Beast with a hobo handlebar (£1,199) are featured at the NEC, but pictured is the Racer, since I was equally excited by the Restrap Look limited edition range of iridescent bags – using the flash on my phone to mimic car headlights I could see just how much the material increases visibility.

Price: £1,299

Stand: F50

Website: Brick Lane Bikes


The Brick Lane Bikes Hitchhiker Gravel Racer adventure bike

Deko bike rack

Bike storage is always a point of interest, whether it’s because your stable seems to grow like a living being or because you, like many of us, live in cramped conditions not designed to house forms of transport. The deko rack holds two bikes by their top tubes, protecting your walls from tyre scuffs and handlebar marks. While you do need the wall space to install it, it’s an elegant design that’s part of a small range that also includes shelving and seating, allowing your bike to be the central feature within a wider interior design concept. A new sustainable design company, deko has more items in development.

Price: £200

Stand: A23

Website: deko. 


The deko bike rack fits two bikes and integrates with shelving and a stool in the same design range

Grity

A small and independent, family-run UK business, Grity make technical cycling kit and leisure wear using recycled plastic. It makes perfect sense, as what we loosely call lycra is essentially polyester, a form of plastic. It reduces the need to create more plastic while answering the demand for high performance fabrics that are in turn less environmentally harmful. There’s a range of cool designs available, and the polyester yarn can also be blended with cotton, making for soft and comfy hoodies and t-shirts.

Price: Jerseys starting from £75

Stand: H43

Website: Grity


Grity make technical performance clothing from recycled plastic

There’s still time to come and check out the National Cycling Show. You can catch Duncan Dollimore explaining how we changed the Highway Code, Jenny Box and James Scott discussing the key steps to creating lasting change, as well as an in-depth look at our newest route, The Cantii Way, by Sophie Gordon and Mildred Locke.

Or just come and say hello to the team at the Cycling UK stand - The National Cycling Show is open 9am-5pm Saturday and Sunday.

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