This weekend marks the start of the cycling season here in Toronto with the opening of the Spring Bike show. Marketed as the largest commercial bike show in the country, each year it seems to get everyone out of the winter hibernation and back to thinking about warm headwinds and steep climbs.
This year, for me, the show had this sort of polarizing feeling about it. The usual local bike shop vendor area seemed to just be lacking a lot of excitement. Of course there were lots of bikes and accessories to be had but there wasn't the usual buzz and spark. There also seemed to a lot less cycling tourism exhibitors. That was a bit of a downer.
On the flip side it was great to see a few new exhibitors bringing the manufacturer flair back to the show. I was especially excited to see No. 22 bikes exhibiting for the chance to get up close and personal with their new Reactor race oriented carbon/Ti frameset. The frameset on display was built out with the new SRAM Red eTap wireless groupset. Maybe one of, it not the most talk about and photographed bikes at NAHBS 2016, it looks hotter than you can even imagine. I can only hope to get a leg over one soon.
Based in London, UK, and much to my surprise, Quoc Pham shoes were exhibiting along at the show with and thanks to their new Canadian distributor. Maybe best known for their line of urban styled cycling shoes, they have recently been promoting a new road lineup for mid year 2016. I've seen and watched Quoc Pham online figuring any chances of getting up close and personal with their shoes was slim so it was cool to see them with a booth.
The founder himself, Quoc, was on hand and gave me a personal run through of their new road shoes. The lineup comes in both a striking synthetic or leather upper with a classic lace up. Unique to Quoc Pham is a patented lacing pattern that they say ensures they won't slip or loosen through your ride. The display models had a 3D printed sole that was produced in time for NAHBS but Quoc said this will later be replaced with a carbon/nylon sole that will be stiff but have a bit of flex for comfort. The final production models should be out by June or July. Definitely one to watch.