September 4, 2009
Let’s start today’s coverage with a picture of the cool Specialized VW microbus… It’s not all bikes here – well, actually it is…
Kona, always a fun corner of Eurobike and, this year the providers of rather cold Burger King Whoppers had some news for us about their Magic-link bikes. They’ve redesigned them so that they’re lighter, stiffer and, more importantly, easier for journalists to explain… The new version of the Coilair is now a 5in bike while pedaling, but slopes into a 7.7in bikes for descents. The brand new AbraCadabra (and lower spec Cadabra) bikes are proper 4in trail bikes, but when faced with a descent will extend to 6.4in of travel. Not bad for a bike that can get down to 28lbs. All this is now in much neater packages than last year’s CoilAir, which – while it worked OK – was always a ‘big’ bike to ride and a little lardy. We look forward to trying the new bikes when they arrive in December.
Kona has other highlights, including new anodised finishes to save weight on race bikes like the scandium Hei Hei (and new, longer travel Hei Hei 100). There’s other machines like the Major One which is, as you might guess, a singlespeed version of the Major Jake ‘cross bike. Of interest to the juniors (or their parents, at least) is the new Cowan 24 – a junior dirt jumping bike, and the continued Stinky 24.
Yeti fans – like the looks of the ASR but want a little more non-racey travel version? Then you’re going to love the Yeti ASR Five. In fact the whole Yeti range has been given a face-lift, with some great graphics and colours. We saw a spanky 303, and a dark and moody Dirt Jumper as well as the new ASR-5.
Let’s look at Bell and Giro for a minute. Both companies are showing some very crazy new colours and some completely new models. Starting at Giro, the Section helmet brings high-end in-molding to the ‘piss-pot’ skate park style lid. With minimal logos, cool shades and a subtle, but tough outer layer, the Section looks to lighten the load of street and stunt riders. It’s still not going to be very well vented, but that’s the price you pay for fashion.
The Giro Athlon gains some crazy new ’80s inspired colours, as does the Remedy downhill helmet line. It’s obvious that 2010 is due to be The Year Of Clashing Colours, if the manufacturers have anything to do with it.
Giro’s glove line has expanded hugely from the half-dozen pairs we saw last year. They now have everything from short fingered road gloves, through Pittards leather ‘strangler’ style leather gloves to full-on armoured DH jobs. Over at the eyewear counter, Giro have restyled the Havik top-end race glass to fit wider heads better and included a few little vents to keep fogging down. The Zeiss-made range also has a few new tints, with the pale orange and yellow lenses being particularly effective at brightening things up without turning everything jaffa…
Bell too has a new mountain bike helmet – the Sequence – designed to rival all-mountain helmets like the Xen and Athlon from their cousins at Giro. Other cousins, Blackburn showed a new version of their popular (and great) Flea lights. It now features both a USB charging adaptor, and a full solar power charging unit for camping trips. Oh and the headlight now comes in pretty colours…
Of interest to parents is going to be the Giro (and Bell…) One-Step kids’ helmet. According to their research, Bell Sports has found that the distance between the bottom of the ear and the top of the head doesn’t change very much in children as they grow, therefore, they’ve stitched the under-ear helmet strap junction solid so that the only adjustment on the helmet is the chin strap. Combined with the elastic Roc-Loc rear retention system, it means that a kids’ helmet can be plonked on a child, chin strap adjusted and they can be on their way in seconds – very important when trying to get a child to wear a lid…
Their new top-end helmet is the Pro-Light, as used by those fast boys in the Tour de France. It features a new elastic RocLoc system and straps that pop into different slots in the helmet to tweak your fit. It is very, shockingly, light – though we can’t help think that it looks rather similar to a £30 helmet with its small vents and plain-Jane graphics…
Colourful Bontrager wheels anyone? It certainly seems to be the year of the ‘any colour you want’ bike.
Chub Hubs were showing their new DH (and their XC) hubs. The DH hub features extra clicky hubs for instant engagement as well as a high-low flange look for short drive side spokes. While we’re at it, the guys from the Hive also make the Revl carbon fibre road caliper – it’s 115g per wheel, 30g lighter than Dura Ace, and only slightly more amazingly expensive.
Five Ten were showing some very colourful shoes and some ‘famous name’ shoes. There are some hi-top skate style shoes and some more of the approach shoe look and even a bowling shoe style. Extra grip for all sorts of pursuits.