Imagine the scene: music is playing, there are people selling candy floss, somewhere a teenage boy is trying to impress a girl by winning her a stuffed animal. This is the image that a FAIR brings to mind when we think about out the movies right – The American passtime of people in small towns being merry. This is exactly the vibe you experience at the Standard Bank African Cycle Fair.
Held at the Nirox Sculpture park in the Cradle of Humankind, this event is a mix of good old fashioned family fun in the sun and new world cutting edge tech that represents all the biking world has to offer in the year 2015. The organisers, Artlogic, have chosen the venue well with the sculpture park giving the veteran cycle-type fair attendants a fresh new vibe to enjoy their beloved bi-wheeled transportation vehicles. The whole experience being a far cry from the traditional Coca Cola dome or Gallagher Estate type warehoused commercially oriented vibe which we have become accustomed to. This is a GREAT place to bring the whole family.
Upon entering the venue you are greeted with a wall of cycling history, displaying everything from a penny farthing to the trail devouring mountain bikes we have come to love in recent years. Many a father can be spotted here explaining to his young ones how their grannys peddled these ancient machines up and down the streets of Joburg.
The first stall that w entered was also the largest, the Solomons Cycles exhibition. Solomons are well known for the value that they offer, producing specials year-round. We liked these ever so useful bombs that were on sale.
Next up were the guys from CMH Volvo who were keen to explain to me why Volvo and Cycling fits well as a pair and also hosting a great giveaway where one lucky young soul could win an amazing GHOST bike.
The most prominent feature at the fair, hands down, was the presence of fat bikes from most manufacturers, Titan producing one in really cool colours. The debate is currently out on these, with proponents and opponents present, as you would expect with any new technology. Our favourite was the matte-black one from Momsen, although it’s not exactly in everyone’s price range. The FATCAT bikes, also imported by the guys who do Momsen, offer AMAZING value though, and you can get one for less than R5K!!! which is quite amazing.
ASG was present, as always, showcasing the cream of the crop when it comes to cycling shoes. Their stand looked utterly professional and it’s really clear why people love the Italian brands that they import. We might be doing a full review on a pair shortly, keep your eyes peeled!
Wattbike had a demonstration where everyone could get some advice on how these machines work that everyone is seeing in Virgin Active, it certainly is part of our morning routine and we are glad to welcome the British brand to the country.
As previously mentioned, the cycle fair absolutely is a place where you can take the wife and kids, and there was something for everyone to do, from the odd craft beer to the little pump track which the kids could not get enough of.
The below bike was officially voted as the best bike in Africa – by the attendees of the fair – and we must say it really is a beautiful machine. The guys over at Pyga were really great to chat too and their passion for the sport is contagious.
To sum up our experience, this really was a world class event, hosted by people who have an eye for detail and at a really spectacular venue right in the heart of where humankind started out many moons ago. We anticipate this event growing exponentially bigger in the years to come and quote Victor Momsen to close out with the words “If you (referring to the public and to the bike brands) are not at the next Cycle Fair in 2015 you will be doing yourself disservice”
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