We all know that big events and shows related to the cycling world where hundreds of cycling brands and media are gathered are still necessary, but fortunately, there are also projects like Road Bike Connection Fall 2019 by BCA, where a curated selection of brands present their products and releases to a certain press group. All that happens in a comfortable environment, more intimate and friendly, where the parts involved are encouraged to interact with each other, which may eventually lead to future synergies and collaborations.
Less than two years ago Simon and Giulio decided to start this new business adventure called Bike Connection Agency and, nowadays, they have made a reality different events focused on mountain bike, road and gravel with satisfactory results, and heading to 2020 they have already planned all the year, which makes you think that brands trust in this kind of formats.
Road Bike Connection Fall 2019
We had the chance to take part in the autumn edition of this event, which was focused on road and gravel. We played an active role in attending the whole program, and we have to admit that we loved it because of the organization, the level of the brands attending, the meetings and the product testing.
The format of the event is more relaxed and not so demanding as regards timing unlike traditional festivals or one-day events. They have been a few days containing a good amount of meetings and tests of products but, above all, it was a super productive stay.
We already met the POC guys at Eurobike but, this time, we could sit, have a relaxed chat and get to know the products that the Swedish brand has recently released.
On the one hand, we saw the revolutionary Ventral Air SPIN NFC helmet, which incorporates an NFC chip that contains health information and emergency contacts to be consulted by whoever person that comes to the rescue in case of an accident. We also had the Aspire Solar Switch in our hands; a real wonder that adapts sun protection taking into account the brightness of the environment. In addition, unlike other polarized glasses, this new system proposed by POC that works in an immediate and automated way, and without you noticing it, the lenses adapt to the light of the moment.
Last but not least, we could inspect in more detail the incoming winter collection and the brand new W’s Ultimate VPDS bib short, specifically designed to give a solution to the problem that women face when wanting to go to the bathroom. Well done!
A brand well-known for its experience in the bike-packing and bike adventure industry that stands out because of the quality of its products, the 5-year warranty applied and the waterproof premise when developing all the equipment.
The team from Ortlieb presented us its new bike bags and backpacks range to travel by bike, whether you are thinking about a one-day trip or a longer adventure, they have a large variety of product types and sizes that you will be able to choose based on your needs.
One of this year’s recent releases was the Atrack BP, where they combined the opening system of a traditional backpack with the originality of a zipper located on the side in contact with the body, with a clear focus on adventures.
The wheelset market is dominated by a few fat cats, but this young British firm irrupted offering top-level products with a more competitive price, making sure that the general public can have access to top-quality wheels. Unlike other brands, Hunt invests a lot in innovation and then apply all the technology to its carbon and aluminum wheelsets, indifferently.
They have found a way to produce full carbon wheelsets (also spokes) with the singularity that, in case of damage, these wheels are easily repaired thanks to the mechanical bond they are built-in.
Among all the products they showed, a special mention to the Aerodynamicist rim-brake wheels and the 36 UD Carbon Spokes wheels.
At Cairn Bikes they committed to innovation since the first moment launching a revolutionary product: an e-gravel bike. With limited models still in the market, the first batch was in September and they are already planning another one for December.
They have in mind to develop a new version with higher specs in order to show the versatility of the bike, in addition to kids’ version.
The owners of the company encourage us to make calculations about the cost of our transportation to work (public or private transport) and compare it with the price tag of the e-gravel bike, and in some cases, we would realize that it is an investment worth making.
Until now, their presence in the market is exclusively online, but it is in their plans to be in contact with a few dealers and also be present in demo centers.
Despite not being an e-bike focused magazine, we have to admit that we were greatly surprised by the work done in the industry by the people at Fazua.
They introduced us to Evation, the lightest and most compacted integrated electric motor, a revolutionary system that many bike brands are relying on to use it for their bikes.
Among the many specifications of this system, we would like to highlight its weight (4.6 kg) and its integration with the down tube, which allows It to get unnoticed when riding together with non-electric bikes, and its “riding feel” system that, when you pass the speed limit, stops the propulsion but also eliminates mechanical resistance, which allows the rider to ride smoothly.
The young brand from Madrid keeps working hard to find its own space in the market of custom bikes with their El Chako, Hoba and, as a new entry to their portfolio, the Comet Eater.
These last few months we have seen a relevant growth in their visibility, and the goal for The Draft for upcoming months will still be global expansion and brand positioning, establishing themselves in a few corners of selected stores, in order to be present in the international market. They have also started to offer standard sizes, in order to align themselves with the strategy previously mentioned.
They are still mainly focused on custom high-end bikes, but they have developed a full journey around cycling that improves the experience of a cyclist on and off the bike. Some examples are products and services like cycling tours or bike-fitting.
There are few people that have never heard about Niner, and this is because the brand is one of the most experienced in the market, and the quality of their products is part of their distinctive sign.
During the meeting we had with them we could get to know in more detail their RLT (Roads Less Traveled) in its three versions: aluminum, carbon, and steel, because as they say, there is not a unique type of client of gravel bikes.
Niner innovated back in the time when they launched the 29” mountain bikes, then they were one of the first brands to focus on gravel and now they want to go one step further with the MCR gravel bike with full suspension.
The adventure platform par excellence, Komoot, played also a key role in the event. It wasn’t only one of the invited firms, but they organized an overnight bike-packing trip for press and brands once the event ended, too.
The people from Komoot presented their Premium version, which was very useful for our stay. Multi-day planner, on-tour weather, personal collections, and sport-specific maps are some of the features of the upgraded version. Being in Girona we didn’t have to worry a lot about the weather, but we are sure all these will be great tools to further or adventures in the present and future.
Every time we use Komoot for our rides we like it more, but after knowing what the Premium is about and the future additions coming to the app… we truly fell in love!