London Bike, Triathlon, Hiking and Something Else Show at Excel

I’ve just come back from an afternoon in London visiting the Bike Show. aka Bike, Triathlon, hiking and Something Else Show at Excel.

I’d not been to the tri show since, I think, it was last held at Esher racecourse a few years ago. It now feels much bigger, probably mostly because it is combined with some other exhibitions into one large hall.

The highlight of the show was definitely meeting the lovely Fleur Cushman from curranz (performance enhancing and DOM-reducing berries). Yes it gives me another chance to plug her products but she and I have exchanged emails for probably about 2 years and it’s always great to put a face to an email address.

If you are heading there over the weekend here are some other highlights.

  1. TomTom have a stand. Not sure why. They don’t have bike watches and they don’t have tri watches anymore. Then again there was a ‘hiking’ element to the show and they do have the TomTom Adventurer (although it was hidden away). Maybe that’s why. Of interest to you guys might be that they seemed to have some v3 devices on sale with good discounts.
  2. There’s lots of bikes. Not too much on the fancy aero front but ‘a lot’. Mavic had a nice wheel display if that is your kind of thing.
  3. I was very impressed with SRAM’s 12 speed cassette. Not sure why. It just looked impressive.

4. Schwalbe had a big stand as well. They sell hoodies. Oh yes, and tyres too. I’ve used their R1/ZX  for a while but was surprised to learn that it was discontinued a couple of years ago. That’s how up-to-date I am on tyre technology. Apparently I have to move to tubeless clinchers for a variety of technical reasons that will make me faster – albeit at twice the price. I don’t think there were any other tyre companies there.

5. There were several nutritional companies there – TORQ, High5 and SIS. The future of sports nutritional innovation seems to be more and varied carbs.

You heard it here first folks

Torq want me to pre-load with beta-Alanine as an acid buffer (might try that) SIS handed out the only freebie of the day and so deserves an ‘honourable mention’ – I shall enjoy my apple flavoured ‘GO’ tomorrow (actually I won’t as I don’t like apple flavour too much). I use High5 quite a bit and Raph did a good job convincing me to stick with them and their glucose/fructose dual carb ‘delivery system’. Also High5 pointed out that sales were still rising implying that triathlon is still a growing sport. I think many of us have noticed that events are not quite so full as they used to be but the underlying truth behind that might simply be that ‘there are a heck of a lot of events’. so demand is spread more thinly.

6. Beet-it were there too. VERY handy as I was down to my last bottle. If you are an athlete you can buy direct from them for a discount sometimes if you ask nicely. Otherwise get them via the code in my review (here). Anyway, I bought two cases for £40 and got a couple of free water bottles AND some beet-bars thrown in for good measure. Apparently you need two bars for the nitrate in one sport shot bottle. Now you know.

7. I also had a long chat about tyres and oval chain rings whilst considering buying an Absolute Black Oval chainring for my MTB. I didn’t buy one in the end. The nice man and I both agreed that 25 tyres on a 23 rim won’t be faster – but  accepted that all that science-nonsense would possibly prove us wrong. We agreed that oval chainrings definitely make you faster and that many power meter readings tend to get overhyped when you use them with ovals. We sort of agreed that an aggressive very forward TT position might require a 5 with a ROTOR Qarbon Qring which part-justified why I use a 5.5 setting (the max…’cos I’m hardcore).

Seriously I do.  You could probably well-justify the argument “you’ve got an awful bike position mate”.

Anyway, I didn’t buy ovals for my MTB. I’m getting closer though. I’d probably just buy the middle ring in any case.

8. I spoke to IronMan coach Mark (ironmate.co.uk) who was helping out powerbreathe. There’s the powerbreathe snorkel that’s been around for a few years that helps stroke symmetry efficiency by taking breathing out of the equation. I have a finis snorkel which follows the same principle I suppose, but I never use it. The other powerbreathe company were there who do the breathing resistance inhaler. I meant to talk to them but never quite got around to it. Their stand was quite busy.

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