The annual Eurobike show returned to its latest home of Frankfurt last week, where the great and the good from the bike industry gathered in 30-degree stickiness to fawn over lots of new shiny bikes and components. I say the great and the good, it should be noted with some sadness that there were several big entities not there: no Specialized, no Trek and no Pinarello among some other notable no-shows.
That said, there was still plenty of representation from bike industry big guns, and a lot of interesting tech from smaller vendors too. Here are some of my highlights, plus you can also check out our latest Tech of the Week for a bit more on a £14,500 titanium superbike, this article for a bit more on li:on kids bikes from Marcel Kittel and Tony Martin and click below for another Eurobike round-up from Rebecca...
Xentis debuted their new gravel wheels, and they’re utterly arrestingly gorgeous. A monocoque construction made from a 3k weave of carbon, with Xentis’ own proprietary hub.
Built for gravel (including e-gravel) bikes, they’re clearly tough yet somehow an airy 1,390g for a set! With a ‘spoke’ magnet built in, these tubeless ready, centre lock wheels are handmade in Austria. Muscular wallets are needed though, as they’ll leave you around €3,300 lighter… I’ll be making concerted efforts to get a set of these into road.cc to review!
It's been a big year for Thule, who were showing off various new products and updates to existing ones. We'll focus on two that are new, and you can see the new Bexey dog carrier in our other Eurobike round-up...
The newly released Epos bike rack is capable of carrying two or three bikes of pretty much any dimensions with alacrity, from road bikes to mountain bikes, e-bikes to fatbikes… much improved fastening, with built in ABUS locks, and the ability to mount and dismount bikes in any order.
This is the new Paramount Backpack/Pannier hybrid. It's a clever backpack where the strap reverses to reveal pannier mounts, and is launching on 31 August.
Scott were one of the few giants of the bike manufacturers at Eurobike, and it was great to see them there on an incredibly crowded stand.
They were showing Nino’s gold full suspension Spark RD Special edition, dripping in the new SRAM (UDH) Eagle. Nino is now the most successful mountain biker of all time.
They also had, quite magnanimously, Dangerholm’s (Gustav Gulhom’s) Foil RC, an aerodynamically slippery-looking green wind-cheating machine that was drawing a crowd. Unsurprisingly, they wouldn’t let me have a go, but they did agree to let me get a leg over a bike I’ve been foaming at the mouth to try, the Solace Gravel eRide.
A highlight of the Shimano stand for me was the chance to interact with the new Shimano Cues mid-tier component lineup. Cues is about ease of use and compatibility and longevity, adjectives that are often overlooked when we’re discussing the drool-worthy carbon and marginal gains at the bleeding edge of bike design.
However, most interesting, and hats-off to Shimano for demoing something unreleased, was their Q’AUTO concept.
Q’AUTO is currently in development at Shimano (with no timeline for release before you ask). There’s a capacitor in the rear hub that stores a little bit of power derived from the wheel’s rotation, and automatically shifts gears for you. An inclinometer can tell if you’re on a gradient and whether you’re heading up or down, and will adjust the shifting parameters to keep cadences higher or lower as required. The magic of this is about bringing ‘battery-less power to a mechanical shifting ecosystem.’
Shimano were clear, there’s no definitive road-plan for where this goes, but tiny capacitors and battery-less powered shifts is incredibly exciting!
I have a Hövding, their first-generation airbag helmet, and I love it. It’s sort of the greatest thing I’ve ever bought that I’ve never ‘fully’ used (which of course is to be hoped for).
There’s a saying in photography, ‘the best camera is the one you have with you.’ It means the quality of that huge SLR is meaningless if you never bring it with you. The Hövding is the best urban helmet for me, because no matter how hot the day, I never resent wearing it, and I still feel the wind in my hair. Now it’s not just about that, the Hövding, according to tests, offers up to eight times the protection of a regular bike helmet.
This is Hövding's third generation airbag, and it’s gotten a bit smarter. There’s now a Bluetooth connection to keep firmware up to date, and it can notify contacts via your phone in the case of a crash. There was some uncertainty immediately following Brexit as to Hövding’s UK sell-ability, and I was delighted to hear at Eurobike that it actually proved to be a simple process, and they’re fully UK certified now! Hooray. British stockists can carry the new generation of Hövdings once again, with Condor Cycles having a pretty deep stockroom from what I hear.
Tom is features and tech writer who's been writing and riding for over 20 years, and has had misadventures on almost every conceivable bike. From single-speeds, to aero race-bikes, gravel bikes, ebikes and mountain bikes, he's a big fan of almost everything that rolls on two wheels.