London Bike Show & Triathlon Plus Show 2014
Sunday 16th February 2014, London Excel Arena.
Today myself and a housemate spent the day walking around and enjoying the sights and sounds of the London Bike Show and the Triathlon Plus Show. Both events are huge, multi-day expos in cycling and triathlon products, brands, training, equipment, magazines, etc. I’ve never been to the London Excel arena before but it’s quite obviously fit for purpose and a great venue. In fact, while we we’re there to go round the bike and triathlon shows, there were also huge expos going on for outdoor pursuits, diving and motorcycling, all in adjacent halls. So quite a big place!
We spent the first hour or so just walking around like lost sheep, gobbling up free tasters (sports bars, energy drinks etc.) and signing our lives away on raffles and competitions to win shiny bikes! The housemate quickly found the Erdinger beer stand! I find it quite amusing that Erdinger, a big name in European beers, has managed to affiliate itself so strongly with the Triathlon marketplace now. I think they sponsor the ITU Triathlon World Series if I’m right, and the free beer they were handing out seemed to be going down a treat with the normally super-self-conscious triathletes!
Saw some brilliant products and new pieces of innovation as I walked the floor, so I’m just going to cover off a few of my favourites…
The endless pools! These have been around a few years but I hadn’t previously seen one in person. They’re basically a small personal swimming pool, little wider than a garden paddling pool, but full depth, and have water motors attached to one end to push water and simulate swimming at a constant speed. They’re basically like treadmills, but for swimming! Sounds a bit crazy, I’d recommend looking them up for a picture, but they really do work well and are great for rehabilitation or training and practicing your swim technique. Olympic Champion Alistair Brownlee famously installed one in his front garden in 2012 as part of his rehabilitation following an Achilles injury.
I think my favourite new product though was “Kit Brix”. Kit Brix are a brilliant take on sports kit bags, but these bags come in the form of durable tarpaulin box shapes which are modular and can be joined together through zips at the edges. They’ve been developed by ex-military guys who really know their storage solutions, luggage and durable kit, and they look brilliant. They’re in development but going on sale soon, and you can check them out in the pictures in my Facebook album (link).
The Chia Co. is an Australian company who have brought over Chia, a natural seed which is high in protein and other goodness. The product comes in seed form, but can be mixed with water, porridge, oats, or any other food you like, to compliment your nutrition and protein intake. This is quite a novel entry to the sports nutrition market which is now becoming quite crowded. Where they differ is in their all-natural approach, the product isn’t a synthesised or flavoured energy booster or supplement, it’s a versatile source of protein you can blend into your existing diet.
Also met a great new start up called the “Happy Headbangers Club” in and amongst the small stalls. Their product is a brilliant range of ‘hats for helmets’ – aimed at children (but for adults too apparently!), these hats come in all sorts of cool and funky designs like penguins, ladybirds, sheep and sharks. All the ‘hats’ fit easily and securely over your cycling helmet and are a great hit, especially with the kids who might not like to wear helmets or see any fun in them.
For a selection of my favourite products and photos from the event, see the Facebook page and photo album: facebook.com/TheStartUpStoryUK