SPEZI 2010 report
An image-heavy look at just a few of the highlights from last weekend's Special Bikes Show in Germersheim, Germany...
Posted by Peter Eland on Thursday 29 Apr 2010
A full report will of course appear in the June issue of Velo Vision, and my colleague Sue is working now editing together a video report of the event...
For the third successive year, myself, Sue and 14 readers travelled to the SPEZI in the rock band tour bus driven through the night by our reader Chop (and friendly co-driver Carl). Once we'd arrived at nearby Bellheim and had a hearty breakfast, there was time for a group photo before setting off:
Most readers had brought folding bikes, but for those who hadn't a number of spares were on hand. This included the Bigfish folder which we'd reviewed in Issue 37 - they kindly let us hang on to it for the SPEZI trip. It attracted much interest both among our group and while parked up at the show...
Mark Sanders, Strida designer and also behind the IF bikes from Pacific Cycles, had lent Chop a couple of machines for the trip as well, including the IF Mode seen here being conveyed to the show on Chop's Long John:
On to the show, and the main innovations this year were a much-expanded outdoor exhibition area and a much larger test track around the town's bus station:
So then to bikes, and this year again velomobiles featured strongly - perhaps their large areas of strong colour make them seem even more numerous than their numbers suggest. On the stage in Hall 1 a wide selection were lined up, including the Greenspeed Glyde and a prototype 'Evo-R' from Go-one (the first two pictured in the line-up below):
Velomobiles often seem to be pitched as 'car replacements', and this machine from Cab-Bike went all out to replicate the feel of a luxury car. With leather lining inside the cab, a round steering wheel and smart LED lighting and indicators it certainly looked the part:
Newcomers to the velomobile scene always arouse interest, but the 'Challenger' from OceanCycle made more of a splash than most. It's designed to fit ICE trikes, and is made in Cornwall, UK by Marcin Szewczyk. It's very much an early prototype - vents hadn't yet been cut, and the black colour was all he had time to apply before the show. But it looks promising, and he's promised to keep us informed as it develops! At this early stage he expects the price of the finished product to be around the £2000 mark.
Another picture of it on the road...
Staying on three wheels, it was good to finally see the Innesenti trike in the flesh (carbon!), and to meet its designer Trevor Innes. The machine was much admired, but it seems the price remains an impediment to its wider popularity:
As we reported before the show, Czech makers AZUB had their new ECo trike on display - a good-looking machine for a price of around 1200 Euros. They also had the contents of the box unveiled - you'll see them on the left of this picture:
It's a folding trike, with a number of ingenious design touches including a folding seat. AZUB say that there's a lot of tweaking and development work before it can go into production, but they hope it'llbe ready for a full launch at the SPEZI next year:
Meanwhile Challenge showed a model of a carbon-leaf type suspension system for their trikes. They'd apparently developed it some years ago but at the time there seemed little demand for trike front suspension...
As ever at the SPEZI, Saturday afternoon saw trike racing, organised by Hase Bikes and HP Velotechnik. There was some rough and tumble in the corners...
Two unusual tandems next. First up is a back-to-back ('Janus') tandem from Altena-Bike :
Then there was this 'Cogito' compact recumbent tandem from Novosport :
If speed and style rather than companionship is your objective then the bikes from Troytec might fit the bill:
And another view:
As a spectacle wearer myself I was struck by these sports glasses from Duosystem. A clear plastic sheet made up to your prescription snaps neatly behind the lens, almost invisible and much less clumsy than most 'insert' systems. Chop has been using them for the last year and likes them. Best of all, at 89 Euros complete (if I understood correctly) they're a lot cheaper than most prescription sunglasses:
Finally, to the real stars of the show: the Brabants Fietsharmonish Orkest from the Netherlands. They cruised through the crowds in perfect control and without missing a beat - and then performed charmingly clowned set-pieces off the bike, too, before re-mounting and moving on. You'll see more of them in Sue's video...
That should be www.oceancyle.co.uk
Well spotted - now fixed, thanks.
Hmm, I definitely need an edit comment option..
I spotted the Zox back-to-back tandem but missed the Altena Bike one. Tip: if you go to their website try all 3 language options as the pages are different (e.g the Janus is not mentioned on the English pages, but several photos on the German one !!
well that a waste of time....
Ah... I see what you mean. Apart from the front page it's 'coming soon'....
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