Core Bike 2023 - hubs, tyres, e-MTBs and aggressive gravel
Core Bike has kicked off the trade show season, with brands, bike shops and journalists descending on Silverstone to check out the latest and greatest cycling gear of 2023. This year, it was a chance to catch up with brands to find out what's new, and what's coming. Here are some of the highlights from the show.
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Hope Pro 5 hub
Released on the opening day of Core Bike, Hope's Pro 5 hub brings the brand's hub tech right up to date. It's designed to meet and exceed the demands of current and future bike tech so, like the Pro 4, this will be around for a while.
With the Pro 5, Hope has put a lot of work into reducing drag in the freehub while boosting overall durability. The designers have also upped the number of engagement points to 108, which is a substantial upgrade compared to the Pro 4's 44.
Cane Creek eeSilk stem
With the likes of Redshift offering a bouncy stem to absorb all manners of gravelly vibrations, Cane Creek has revealed its own take on the concept. The eeSilk stem works using a replaceable elastomer at the bottom which can be adjusted via a switch at the top of the stem. This allows riders to tune the vibration-damping properties on the fly.
The elastomer can then be swapped out for a firmer, or softer replacement to best suit the rider or terrain.
Bell Full-10 Sperical
The Full-10 is Bell's latest helmet offering, providing useful updates to the previous Full-9. It's a downhill-focussed full-face helmet that's said to suck air in like a vacuum thanks to the built-in Thermal Exchange Airflow System. The coolest thing (if the airflow wasn't cool enough) is that its cheek pads are held in with magnets so sliding them in and out on-the-fly is a simple exercise. They click back in place with precision.
The Full-10 benefits from a full carbon shell and Mips Spherical.
All Mountain Style Kickstand
All Mountain Style or AMS has progressed pretty heavily since its small frame protection roots. Now offering grips, crank boots and a range of components alongside its graphic-heavy frame guards, the brand's Kickstand quickly caught our eye.
This will appeal directly to those who can't resist a quick trailside snap, as it's a small, modular and packable kickstand that holds your bike up by the pedal's axle. No longer will you have to hunt around for the perfect bike-propping stick, as this takes the pain away for £36.
Squirt Biodegradable Bike Cleaner
Getting excited over a bike cleaner feels a little strange but Squirt's huge efforts in eco-friendliness have resulted in the creation of a cleaner concentrate that's packaged in 30ml sachets, that can make up to 750ml of cleaner when combined with water. Not only does this reduce plastic use by 95%, but it makes transport much more economical and it takes up far less of a shop's floor space.
These sachets will completely replace the South African brand's pre-mixed cleaners and will be available at £3 a sachet with boxes of 10 costing £30.
Late last year ABUS launched a fresh range of mountain bike-specific helmets, featuring the Airdrop and Cliffhanger. Now the brand has added more to the line, offering comprehensive head protection for kids. This is the Youdrop and it's a convertible full-face lid that provides modular protection for children.
Maxxis E50 tyres
While there's nothing new from Maxxis in terms of tread patterns, the brand has launched an e-bike-specific range that meets e-bike certification. For all intents and purposes, the tyres use the same rubber compounds and carcasses but they've been given the official go-ahead for use of speeds up to 50km/h. Though what's most interesting is that this certification means that the downcountry-ready Forekaster now gets a burlier casing, which may line it up as an ideal rear tyre for trail and enduro use.
Just a couple of weeks ago Kinesis unveiled the new Fernweh which was designed with help from brand ambassador, Emma Ossenton and this is her very bike. When creating the Fernweh, both Kinesis and Emma recognised a gap in the range for an adventure-orientated mountain bike and, after years of hard work, this is the result.
It's built around a titanium frame with a very thin chainstay yoke which has been added to further encourage flex for comfort during those lengthy spins. This particular bike gets a very shiny carbon fork and its Hunt rims are laced to the hubs using multi-coloured spokes. While this is definitely a function-focussed bike, Emma's done well to add some bling to the package.
Back to the Kinesis stand, we were really excited to see that the FF29 has made a comeback. While details are still sketchy, we're told that this is available as a frame-only model and it comes in two colour options: orange and this beautiful black/brown glitter coat. The frame will set you back £600.
We managed to catch a glimpse of Ibis's latest e-MTB, the Oso. Not only is this the freshest bike from the brand but it rocks the most recent work of suspension guru, Dave Weagle and, as expected, it's looking very unique. It is still the famed dw-link but it gets a more supportive leverage curve that's tuned especially for the e-bike.
As for suspension travel, the 151mm of rear squish is complemented by 170mm at the fork. The bike's geometry is then pretty progressive as there's a 64-degree head angle, a 78-degree seat tube angle and a 500mm reach on a large frame.
The Haka isn't anything new from Ibis but its parma-violet colourway definitely turned some heads. Of course, it's a gravel bike that gets a carbon frame that's said to weigh just 1,000 grams. What's special is that it can run all wheel sizes and tyres up to 40c (or 2.1in), making the bike at home on both road or more aggressive gravel.
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