In the current ‘model-year arms-race’ bike industry we work in it’s rare for brands to wait for trade shows to launch new products, each year we find less and less news, however, there is always something interesting to find if you look hard enough. We popped down to The UK Bike Place show, held at Silverstone, to see if we could sniff out something exciting. We were rewarded with a few golden nuggets at the show, here are our hot products from The Bike Place show.

Orange launch T7 and new Formula build

Iconic UK brand Orange always keep some interesting news to shout about at The Bike Place show, so we headed straight over to see what they had for us – we were not disappointed. First, they had a new super bling ‘Formula’ build specification for those who consider the Factory Spec not blingy enough. The Formula bikes use an exclusive new anodised black finish with polished (not sticker) graphics which looks incredible, and come dripping with high-end exotica, including a Cane Creek Helm fork, Cane Creek DB Inline shock, SRAM XX1 Eagle Gold drivetrain, Fox Factory Transfer post and a Race Face ARC 31 Carbon wheelset. This specification will be available in the Five and Alpine 6 models and built to order only from a heady £6800.

The new ‘Formula’ build spec includes high end components and an Anodised black frame.

Orange were also debuting a new bike platform too, and what a beauty it is, titanium lovers better sit down. The new Titanium T7 (27.5”) and T9 (29”) is based on the popular Orange P7, but rowdier and made from 3AL 2.5V titanium. While not made in-house the frame is bristling with clean lines and intelligent cable routing. Built around a 150 mm fork, the T7 (on show) has an aggressive outlook, with a 64.5° head angle, 73° seat angle, 447 mm reach, 1196 mm wheelbase and 425 mm chainstays, in a size large. The first run of 30 bikes will be produced to celebrate 30 years of Orange, but you will need deep pockets with the builds starting at £5900 and frame only for £2200.

You will need deep pockets, but how georgeous is the new Orange T7

For more information check out Orange Bikes.

New Smith Forefront 2 Helmet

The biggest scoop for the show was hidden in plain sight, inside the Smith stand was a brand new Forefront 2 helmet. Topping their lineup, the new £175 (£155 non-MIPS) Smith Forefront 2 is a slimmed down and more streamlined version of their best selling Forefront. Again, the 340g helmet uses MIPS and a Koyroyd material in place of much of the EPS foam for increased protection and ventilation, however, the Koyroyd now extends around the rear for increased protection. Increased ports boost airflow and the AirEvac system keeps your glasses clear. The 3 position visor can also be run high enough to store goggles underneath. Available in 7 colours, while the styling is similar to the original Forefront, the latest version is far more compact and streamlined.

While the Smith ForeFront 2 may look similar to the old model, it’s slimmed down and more compact

Smith has also focussed on more aggressively priced options with the £140 Session and £110 Rover, both boasting MIPS and Koryoyd protection (though not as extensively applied as the Forefront 2), and a non Koyroyd EPS Venture is available for £100 with MIPS or £80 without.

Smith have not forgotten the more price focussed options with the Session (left) and Venture (right)

For more information check out the Smith Optics website

Visor Leaf Biodegradable Tear Offs

We all need to do our bit to reduce the incredible amounts of plastic that litter our planet, and there is no worse crime than leaving plastic tear offs in the woods. Racing is the main culprit, as in the heat of battle it’s impossible to stow the tear off properly, and some do get away. While not encouraging littering, the duo behind UK start-up Visor Leaf were appalled at the problem and saw a simple and innovative solution, so simple that it makes us wonder why we did not think of it before. They have created affordable, clear and effective tear offs that are – most importantly – biodegradable. The Visor Leaf tear offs meet the certification that requires they break down in 12 weeks in a home compost heap. Costing just £4.25 for a pack of 10 there is simply no reason to use non-biodegradable options now. Chapeau Lads.

Now that we have biodegradable tear offs, nobody should be using anything else.

For more information check out the Visor Leaf

ABS ROC Tubeless Insert

It seems amazing that after spending many years trying to get everything out from inside our wheels, as soon as tubeless nirvana had been reached, we all started to develop ways of putting things back in again. The ABS ROC inserts caught our eye immediately, costing €150 for two inserts there’s a lot to like. The company claim that the ribbed material minimises burping, protects the rim and adds more stability, also it doesn’t absorb sealant and has a far faster assembly time compared to CushCore competition. A deep channel ensures sealant can migrate to punctures, and three sizes are available for XC, Enduro and E-MTB’s. It can be cut to either 27.5 or 29 and weighs 190 g per wheel. The full test will be coming very soon.

Yet another player joins the tubeless insert market, but testing is needed to see its true value.

ABS ROC will be distributed by tubeless technology experts Deaneasy and more info on ABS ROC can be found on their Facebook page.

Fresh Emulator Pedals and Binary stem from Joystick

We have always been closet Joystick fans, their gear performs well on the trail and looks just great. Fresh at the show was their reworked Binary stem, available in 35 mm and 31.8 mm bar standards and weighing just 125 g the stem still uses the clever controlled clamping system and will be available in 35 and 50 mm lengths., clean and crisp it looks great value at £89.99. What really caught our attention though was the new lightweight £109.99 Emulator Pedals. With a weight of 197 g per pedal, they are machined out of 6061 aluminium and feature 9 tunable pins per side. The concave of the pedal looks good and running on cartridge bearings and a DU bushing they should be relatively trouble-free. We look forward to trying them on the trail.

Fresh produce from Joystick, clean and well engineered

For more information check out the Joystick website.

Fibrax bring new EMTB specific brake pads

EMTB sales are gaining momentum rapidly in the UK, starting what will surely be a torrent of EMTB specific product. Aftermarket supremos Fibrax have realised that the braking demands of EMTB’s are different from conventional bikes and have concocted a new braking material specifically for the heavier machines. The metal-based pads use a secret formula to offer increased performance at the higher temperatures that EMTB’s demand while retaining bite for slow speed and technical sections. It’s a good move to see brands developing products specifically for the requirements of the expanding EMTB market. Fibrax is now working on developing a line of replacement pads for the common brakes found on EMTBs.

Increased heat capacity for lardier EMTBs, Fibrax bring the first EMTB specific brake pads.

For more information check out the Fibrax website.

New KS Dropper Lineup

Just like last year, we popped into the KS stand to see what was new in the world of seatposts and again we found the wireless KS LEV Circuit was still ‘almost available’, however it was now in a new Mk2 version with a nicer remote and cleaner lines. Probing questions revealed that the post suffers from less annoying lag that plagues the Magura, we look forward to getting our hands on one soon, though for £500 it will have to be flipping brilliant. Also, the KS model line has been reworked, introducing a new value E20 hydraulic dropper with two bolt head for £145 for a 125 mm version, or £160 for the 150 mm version. Gravel fans will be delighted to see a bigger push in the 27.2 mm direction with the LEV Integra and LEV external now available in 65, 100 and 120 mm drops in the narrow 27.2 standard.

We saw it last year, we see it again this year. Will 2018 be the year of the KS Connect?

For more information about KS dropper posts, check out their website.

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