Over the weekend I spent a few hours at Sweden Bike Expo at Kistamässan in Stockholm. As you would expect there were big stands for the big names including Shimano, Scott, Nishiki and Cannondale, some local interest groups such as cycle clubs and political organisations who plan to improve cycling around Sweden and then the obligatory sellers of gear that you didn’t know existed or didn’t need to replace but now absolutely must have!
After a quick walk through the hall I then tried to narrow down what I actually wanted to look at. Since my bike has been stolen (again) I need a new one so had a look at a few people who had hybrids within my fairly modest budget. There was always either something I didn’t like about the bike or it was slightly too expensive. I homed in on a Nishiki but the bike was 600SEK over my budget and then I’d need to buy lights, a decent lock etc on top of that so I decided not to go for it.
For years I have been sporting a very nice pair of Specialized gloves while cycling. If I’m honest though I only had them cos I thought they looked flash. Then I started cycling more seriously and, one rainy day, forgot my gloves. Then I realised just how much use they were. They’re getting a little old (about 15 years) and, worse still, they don’t match my current gear, the horror! I had a look around and found a pair that fit nicely, felt good and were really clever. I’ve always had trouble getting my gloves off cos they’re tight and stick to my sweaty hands. These ones had little pulls between the fingers so you can just tug them off. Simple yet effective. Did I buy them? No. The bank seems to think I have to have money in my account before they allow me to spend any.
That Nishiki really was nice. And only a little over budget. Maybe just one more quick look.
The most popular thing seemed to be electric bikes. My friend was interested in getting one so we had a look at a few. While I’m sure they are all very cool in their own little ways, a large number had to be immediately removed from consideration. They were so damn ugly and I’m sorry but I’m never going to buy a bike that is just ugly. Others were fine looking bikes until you put the battery on. It seems that the battery had to be as obvious as possible so you could say, “Look at me, I have an e-bike. Look how green I am.” Others though had really clever solutions. One had a very old fashioned style leather saddle bag which gracefully concealed the battery with just a few wires giving the game away. Others had them mounted inside the frame tubes. We gave one a try and for the first three seconds of pedalling I was entirely unimpressed. It was heavy and oh so slow. Then the support motor kicked in and the bike shot off down the tiny test track. I managed to avoid the children who were trying electric scooters and handbikes (I’m sure all of them were serious customers) and hung on for a couple of laps. I have to say, I’m sold. Since I’m using cycling as a way to get more exercise and lose some waist, I’ll stick to my unassisted pedalling but if you just want an easier commute, I can highly recommend it as long as your destination is within the bike’s range!
Oh just one more look at that Nishiki…
We looked at a bit more equipment that I absolutely needed but the bank manager was still saying no. Then I found the most fantastic helmet for my son, said, “Stuff the bank manager!” and nicked some money from our savings to buy this…
Like his dad, my son is a little mental and I think he’ll love this. The only bad thing was they didn’t have them in my size.
One final look at that Nishiki?
No, I must resist. Quick, get me out of here before I do something my wife will regret…
All in all I was pretty impressed with Stockholm Bike Expo. They had a lot of interesting stuff and while a lot of it was aimed at the serious cyclist, there was enough to keep a hobby cyclist interested too. If anything was missing then it was actual bike shops selling bikes. A lot of the manufacturer stands had bikes on show with prices but I was never sure which were and were not for sale there and then. Maybe your local bike shop can’t afford a stand at an expo like this (it’s not cheap) but surely the Sportsons, Cyklotekets and Cykel Citys of this pedal-powered world could? I’ll be back next year. Let’s see if any of them listen to me…
One thought on “Sweden Bike Expo 2013”
I’ve been following your posts, no luck for your new bike that disappeared again. If you’re interested in getting a Kona we can make a deal if you keep writting about your bikes as you’ve done it so far!
Ask Ludo what he thinks about Kona!