Spotted at Bike Festival Garda – Part One

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Bike Festival Garda is one of the first opportunities the Euros have to hunt out the new, the hot and the downright ‘special’ every year. Here’s the first of Dave’s reports…

It was a wet Bike Festival this year
It was a wet Bike Festival this year

Warm and wet can be a good thing in the right situation, but Riva del Garda Bike Festival isn’t one of them. Rain, clay and slick limestone makes for interesting riding conditions. There was a lot of sideways action to be seen every time the trails turned steep and that’s a pretty common occurrence.

There's always coffee
There’s always coffee

In a ‘coals to Newcastle’ scenario, legendary guide and good guy Holger Meyer had brought his dierasenmaeher coffee stand to the Italian show. We found it tucked away on the Scott stand.

Can you feel the Heet?
Can you feel the Heet?

Hot bike of the show? Here’s one of the contenders – Haibike’s Heet, in bright and on-trend orange and sky blue. This is a no-holds-barred, no expense spared, interpretation of the current range – complete with e:i shock platform to do the suspension thinking for you.

e:i display
e:i shock display
intelligent shock
Intelligent shock

Sensors at the fork and cranks inform the system exactly what’s happening in the way of bumps and pedalling and it reacts in micro seconds, opening or damping the shock to keep everything as efficient as can possibly be. No more forgetting to flick the lockout off at the start of a descent with this system.

Very neat chainguard
Very neat chainguard…

There’s some really nice design features on the frame too. Check out the minimalist carbon chain guard tucked behind SRAM’s XX1 crank.

and downtube protection
…and down tube protection

Or the colour-matched and bolted-on down tube protector.

How retro can you go?
How retro can you go?

A quick trip down memory lane? How about this journey into the past thanks to Shimano’s ‘history of SPD’ display.


And into the near future with Trek’s 29+ Stache. Here’s the start of the Boost and plus-sized revolution that’s on its way.

Manitou Magnum +sized and boosted
Manitou Magnum: plus-sized and Boosted

The Manitou Magnum can happily accommodate 3in tyres. Just how many bikes are going to feature them is a question likely to be answered at Eurobike in August, though some industry insiders were hinting at bikes being launched ‘within the next two months’.

Ibex dual compound

Onza have a range of new products launching to compliment its existing range of tyres. The Ibex 2.4in is available as a dual racing compound 65a/55a, with enduro casing to improve pinch flat protection while staying fast-rolling.


The 2.4in Griena is a downhill-orientated mud spike, constructed using VISCO Grip40.

Ibex in Grip40

The new VISCO Grip40 is a super sticky compound that Onza has been working on and it’s aimed firmly at ‘gravity’, whether that be enduro, freeride, or downhill. It’s a self-dampening VISCO polymer compound that Onza reckons will offer higher grip than existing rubber offerings.

Fast, yeah?

At the other scale of the tyre spectrum is Kenda’s new prototype and as yet unnamed, marathon and cross-country tyre which features minimalist knob height for maximum speed and low rolling resistance.

In a straight line
In a straight line, anyway…

We’re guessing turning on wet limestone isn’t going to be its forte though…

Intense Palmer
Intense Palmer

And let’s finish on a bit of old versus new. First Shaun Palmer’s Intense M1 from back in the day…


And then the up to date and current Intense M16. If any bike deserves the title of trail slayer, it’s probably this one…

Who's bike?
Whose bike?


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