Don’t be a “set-in-your-ways: cyclist; there’s a lot more out there than you might realise! Materials, terrain and design have a huge influence on your ride, and different types of bike can open your mind and help you fall in love with cycling all over again – as you’ll soon discover at Spin…
The Spin Cycling Festival (12th-14th May) is best described as varied and versatile. It’s also damn fun, and those three themes reflect the diversity of cycling as a whole. For those brought up on the road, it’s easy to forget just how diverse cycling really is and how joyful it can be to try something new.
NOT JUST FOR HIPSTERS…
Fixed-gear is arguably the purist form of cycling. That’s what fixie riders say anyway. And, to be fair, anyone who’s ever ‘fixed’ feeds back that it’s a truly unique ride. Core to that uniqueness is that fixed sprocket on the rear wheel, which means freewheeling isn’t an option. Cruising along on a flat commute? You still have to pedal. Hopping over a kerb? You still have to pedal. Cycling downhill? You got it – you still have to pedal. It’s an experience that takes a little getting used to but lack of gears and a focus on pedaling is truly a liberating experience and makes you ‘tune in’ to your cycling like no other type.
It’s also a wonderful workout, forcing you to work longer and harder than ever before, and by always pedaling, you improve core strength, too. Fixed-gear star Patrick Seabase loves it so much that in 2015 he rode the first stage of the 1910 Tour de France, which covered 300km and consumed 7,000m of climbing, on a fixed-gear!
Come and feast your eyes on fixies at Spin; Pure Fix Cycles road, urban and electric bikes are a good place to start, and feast your eyes on Mic’s Low-Pro 700C Fixie Track bikes, components and accessories.
NOT JUST FOR YOUNGSTERS
A lot of us associate BMX with their youth – and maybe even the 1980s video game Paperboy. And it’s true that their size and durable qualities lend themselves to youngsters, but don’t be fooled – BMX riding, whether taming the jumps on the racetrack or executing (/attempting) jaw-dropping (/breaking) freestyle tricks, is open to all ages and all abilities.
London 2012 promised a lasting legacy for BMX and it hasn’t disappointed with new clubs, tracks and competitions springing up all over the country, and racing taking place on purpose-built outdoor and indoor tracks throughout the country. Come and get hands-on at Spin.
Cast your eyes over the exhibitors at Spin and you’ll uncover a veritable Pandora’s Box of cutting-edge carbon, stainless steel and truly tempting titanium. But there are other material alternatives that still deliver a terrific ride, including Bamboo.
It’s increasingly used to create frames for myriad of reasons: its fibres are lightweight and strong; a truly talented craftsman can customise the diameter of the tubes to suit the individual’s requirements; it’s easy to work with; it absorbs road vibration well; and, of course, with some species of bamboo growing 3ft in 24hrs, it’s sustainable.
So popular is bamboo becoming in cycling that there’s even a Bamboo Bicycle Club in London. Chat with some converts at Spin and see how it grabs you.
Folding bikes have finally shed their labored image. Super-slick bikes from Brompton and Tern, amongst others, tied in with congested roads (especially in the capital), mean these compact beauties are becoming an increasingly popular mode of transport for commuters everywhere. The most compact ones will fit beneath your desk and they can be carried onto a train even in rush hour.
Yes, the small wheels and long seatpost and steerer result in a different ride characteristic compared with what a lot of cyclists are used to, but the best modern folders handle surprisingly well. In fact, they’re so nippy that it’s great to see events such as the Brompton World Championships (it takes place each year before RideLondon) gaining fiends everywhere.
Why not go the extra mile and check out the brilliant-looking folding e-bike from Ahooga? The lightweight bike is now available in a number of different specifications – come and see them!
Electric or pedal-only, a foldy might bring a whole new angle to your cycling life – and create an easily justifiable excuse for a new bike.
GET DOWN AND DIRTY
Cyclocross bikes were developed in the late 19th century as a way for professional riders to maintain their fitness throughout the winter months. Combining rough terrain that encouraged bike-handling skills and short sections that required riders to carry their bikes and run, it was the ideal form of off-season training. Thanks to global stars like the recently retired Sven Nys and the difficulty organising road races, cyclocross is now flourishing in the UK. And so are the bikes. Knobbly tyres, a racy geometry, disc brakes and wide tyre clearance mean cyclocross bikes are perfect in the mud but they’re equally durable and speedy on-road. Now a staple in many cyclists’ biking flotilla. Could they be part of yours? Boardman and Cinelli are amongst the brands on show at Spin who make great CX bikes.
These, and many more types of bikes are on display at the Spin Cycling Festival, and many are ready to ride at our Test Track. Chat to riders, designers and resellers to discover what size and shape your next cycling love might be.