During our many strolls around the 14 halls (and several foyers) of the 2017 Eurobike show in Friedrichshafen, Germany, not only did we discover that our bodies are best moved around by two wheels rather than on two legs, we also discovered a metric shit-ton of new bike goodies of varying levels of excitement.
If you’ve been following our coverage over the past week (you can access all of the news stories here), you’ll have already checked out a load of those goodies we speak of. Here we’re going to take you through some of the smaller tidbits that we spotted during our time pounding the carpeted halls of Eurobike.
Component manufacturer E*13 had a new TRS+ cassette on display at Eurobike, which uses 11 sprockets that start at a 9t small cog, all the way up to a 46t dinner plate. Designed to broaden the range of a 1×11 drivetrain, this cassette delivers a humungous 511% gear range (compare that to SRAM’s 500% gear range on the 12-speed cassette). It’s made of two halves, with the largest three sprockets machined from alloy, while the smaller 8 sprockets are machined from a single block of steel. Like all of E*13’s cassettes, the TRS+ is designed to slide onto a standard SRAM XD freehub body.
It’s the same ratio as the TRS Race cassette that E*13 showed last year, but with a little less machining, E*13 has managed to bring the price down by $100 USD to $249 USD. No confirmation yet on UK pricing, but needless to say this is likely to be appealing to riders who are concerned with dumping a lot of coin into a consumable item. The downside? The TRS+ cassette is 30 measly grams heavier than the TRS Race cassette.
E*13 is best known for its chainguides, but it’s been making cranksets for nearly as long. The latest addition to the drivetrain lineup is a new superlight TRSr (the little ‘r’ stands for Race), which is crafted with hollow carbon fibre arms. The cranks use an alloy spindle with E*13’s own unique P3 interface for the non-drive side arm to bolt onto. Claimed weight on these bad boys is 441g for the bare cranks, or 507g with a 32t chainring.
E*13 is also working on a spacer system to allow the one set of cranks and chainring to work with both Boost and non-Boost setups. Production versions will see a refined version of the above system, but essentially a spacer will be able to be repositioned to be in or outboard of the chainring, thereby altering the chainline. Clever!
Continental had a load of new tyres to show at Eurobike, including a fresh 2.6in wide Der Baron tyre. As we identified in this piece from last year’s Eurobike show, the 2.6in tyre trend is gaining momentum, as more brands look to increase tyre width for reinvigorated demand for tyres that are wide, but not quite plus-wide. Continental is the latest brand to adopt the 2.6in tyre width, and with more frames and forks providing the necessary clearance to do so, the new Der Baron will likely be on many riders hit-list for potential tread options.
The Der Baron 2.6 Projekt tyre will be coming in a 27.5in diameter only, and only with the ProTection Apex reinforced 4-ply casing that uses a 240tpi construction and Black Chili rubber compound. Claimed weight is 930 grams. Continental will be making several other treads available in the new 27.5×2.6in size, with the Trail King, Mountain King and Cross King all getting a little chubbier.
Here’s the new Trail King tyre, which an be had in 2.2in and 2.4in widths in 26in, 27.5in and 29in diameters, as well as the new 27.5×2.6in size. New for 2018, enduro racers and hard trail riders will be happy to know that the Trail King can now be had with the reinforced ProTection Apex casing. Claimed weight varies from 740g for the 26×2.2in tyre, up to 945g for the 29×2.4in tyre.
Moving into faster-rolling territory, the Mountain King tread is brand new and is now also available with the reinforced 4-ply ProTection Apex casing. The tread pattern has been opened up and shallowed somewhat, making it a little faster rolling while still possessing plenty of nice long edging blocks for trip in loose and dry conditions.
We won’t hold it against you if you decide to skip this one, but even from just a technology standpoint, this is pretty darn cool. It’s called the KickR Climb, and it’s a new device from the pain-makers at Wahoo Fitness. Wahoo has owned the indoor trainer market over the past few years with its ‘Smart’ KickR trainer, which has electromagnetic resistance and Bluetooth/ANT+ wireless connectivity that means an app on your phone (or software on a tablet or PC) can control the resistance of the trainer. For those who hate training, the KickR (and the other smart trainers that have since arrived afterwards) can make the whole shebang more interesting, and way more effective.
In addition to the KickR trainer, Wahoo has just released the new KickR Climb unit, which it was demonstrating at Eurobike.
Essentially the KickR Climb is a mounting block for your fork, and using the same Bluetooth/ANT+ protocol, the KickR Climb will talk to the KickR trainer on the rear wheel, and depending on the required resistance level, it’ll raise or lower your front wheel to simulate climbing or descending. According to Wahoo, the KickR climb will simulate up to a 20% climbing gradient, changing your body position to suit and making the whole experience a lot more real-world, and especially if you’re using software like Zwift. This unit sells on its own for £449.99 and is only compatible with newer generation KickR trainers.
Funn had a new alloy handlebar on show, and this one will be available in the near future. It’s called the Kingpin, and it replaces the Fatboy handlebar after Funn was contacted by another brand that wasn’t stoked on the name. The Kingpin will be available in 785mm and 810mm widths with a 31.8mm clamping diameter, though Funn will also be making a 35mm version in a 785mm width. Loads of colour options, and there’ll be 7mm, 15mm and 30mm rise options.
Since 1×11 and 1×12 drivetrains have increased in availability across a broader range of price points, the need for cassette expanders has reduced somewhat. However, Funn now has a huge 50t sprocket designed for riders who are using a Shimano 11-speed 11-42t cassette, and who would like a bit of a boost in low-range gearing.
Simply pull your cassette off, install the Funn Slingshot, take out the 17t and 19t stock sprockets, and replace them with the 18t sprocket from Funn. Costing £69, the Slingshot could be a good value way of experimenting with lower gearing with your existing 1×11 setup before going out to buy a whole new drivetrain.
It’s rare to get excited about accessories like pumps, but the new floor pump from Crank Brothers warrants a good deal of excitement. For a start, the new Klic pump is beautifully made and presented with a polished finish and sturdy three-blade base. Using a modular design, it’s also got loads of cool little buttons
The Klic floor pump will be available in both digital and analogue versions, which basically refers to the pressure display unit that is housed inside the handle. Shown here is the digital version, which has the pump hose stored inside the main shaft of the pump. Just tug on the display head and it pulls straight out of its holster.
Underneath the display unit is a magnetic barb that plugs into the main body of the pump, locking in securely to a corresponding magnet.
The Klic pump also features a a large alloy canister on the front of it that’s a tubeless inflator. This can be removed from the floor pump for storage or transport. You can order the Klic floor pump with or without the tubeless inflator, though in our experience they’re such a useful device that we’d recommend any mountain biker who uses tubeless tyres should have one. Pricing for the analogue version without the tubeless inflator is £89, while pricing for the digital version with the tubeless inflator is £209.
As well as the new DBX 2.0 trail helmet, Leatt had some fresh threads to show off, including the new DBX 1.0 jacket. Unlike the heavier duty DBX 4.0 and 5.0 jackets, the 1.0 is a much lighter and much more packable garment. It’s windproof and water resistant, so not ideal for downpours, but more for keeping you protected from cold winds and mud spray.
The DBX 1.0 has a really nice tailored fit with a dropped tail and full-length front zipper that leads up to a high neck collar and adjustable hood. Leatt says this jacket will pack down into its own pocket, making this a lightweight and stowable option for all-day rides where the weather isn’t quite sure what it’s doing.
X-Fusion debuted is new Manic dropper post last year in a 125mm travel version, though a new 150mm travel option has been added for 2018. It uses the same excellent under-the-bar remote along with the same cartridge internals that are significantly smoother and fuss-free compared to X-Fusion’s previous droppers.
X-Fusion didn’t have a lot else that was new, though it did have the latest Boost-equipped version of the Sweep fork, along with a new option of black stanchions. One new fork was this RC32, which is destined to be a popular OEM fork choice with its 32mm stanchions, air spring, adjustable damping and chunky magnesium lowers. They’re a good looking fork that you can expect to see on plenty of entry-level mountain bikes for 2018.
Likewise, Canadian brand Race Face didn’t have a ton of new gear, but like X-Fusion it did have the completely redesigned Turbine dropper post in a 175mm travel option. That means you can get the Turbine in 100mm, 125mm, 150mm and now 175mm versions, with both 30.9mm and 31.6mm diameters covered. Internal routing only, with a claimed weight of 495g for the 30.9x150mm model.
Maker of bags to swallow bikes as well as to swallow gear, EVOC had a new backpack on display called the Explorer. These come in 26L and 30L options, and it’s billed as a mountain biking specific pack that’s ready for multi-day adventures – perhaps for those who can or don’t want to load their bike up with frame bags and seat packs.
The harness looks superb, with a thick kidney belt-style waist strap that houses two large zippered pockets for putting more gear (and more load) on your waist rather than on your shoulders. Ventilated high-density foam makes up the shoulder straps and back panel, with the goal of keeping air flow and support high.
Hiding at the back of the O’Neal booth at Eurobike was this set of bright fluoro B50 goggles. While they may not look hugely different to other goggles out there, they are well finished with a large field of vision thanks to the frameless lens design, and the lens itself is layered with anti-scratch and anti-fog treatments. Their biggest trick though? Magnetic lenses.
Several small magnets line the outside of the B50 frame, matching up with sister magnets on the inside perimeter of the lens. The magnets are super strong, so it takes a good tug to take the lens off, and the crew at O’Neal informed us that none of their testers have yet been able to lose the lenses while riding or crashing. They also admitted that it was more just a cool feature than anything else, but being able to quickly remove the lens does make it substantially easier to clean and polish the lens, so there is a functional reason there too.
Grip specialist Ergon has some new grips to show off at Eurobike, mainly in the GA and GE series. While Ergon is best known for its ergonomic grips that are very popular with leisure riders, tourers and commuters, it’s mountain bike focussed lines deserve an equal amount of attention. Looking to straddle the features between the GP ergonomic grips and the GA mountain bike grips, the new GA3 features a subtle ‘wing’ at the end of the grip to provide more support for the rider’s palms.
The wing is quite small, and aside from increasing surface area between hand and grip, the wing is also there to keep your wrists in a more stable position, so they don’t throttle down when you’re riding hectic descents at speed. These felt pretty good in the hand, but we’ll be keen to get a set in for testing to see how they feel out on the trail.
Among the many brands at Eurobike we hadn’t heard before was this one; Deaneasy. Deaneasy is a brand founded on one product called Tube+, which is designed for riders with tubeless tyre setups. Much like Schwalbe’s Procore, the Tube+ system comprises of a tubular tyre that sits inside your rim, with the tubeless tyre sitting on top of it.
The orange tubular tyre is designed to do two things; one is that it locks the tyre beads into the rim, so that burping is virtually impossible. The second is that it provides a firm bumper that will protect the rim in the event of a very hard strike that compresses the tubeless tyre. This helps to significantly reduced the chance of a snakebite, and allows you to run significantly lower pressures in your tyres for more traction and ride comfort, but without the usual risks.
It serves basically the same function as Schwalbe Procore, but achieves it in a slightly different way. According to the Deaneasy website; “Our system is an international patent for what concerns the valve. We use an internal tubular that reduces the weight and keeps the system very easy. The two products are very different, even if they have a similar goal“.
According to Deaneasy, development of the Tube+ product began way back in 2011, so the idea has been around for some time. Tube+ differs from Procore in that the special dual valve does require the rim’s valve hole to be ‘widened’ (read: drilled), so for the time being Deaneasy is only recommending alloy rims be used with the system. According to Deaneasy, the Tufo-made tubular tyre is able to be run at a significantly higher pressure (75-115psi) than Procore (58-87psi).
Offered in two versions, the narrower of the two is designed for rims with a 19-25mm internal width and weighs a claimed 130g per wheel, while the larger insert covers rims 25-32mm wide internally, and weighs 200g per wheel. Price is €220 for the pair, and there are 27.5in and 29in diameters on offer.
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Tidbits? Has STW Towers moved to America?
The subterranean tunnel, linking Todmorden to Tucson should be ready any day now. We’re going to be trading dust for mud…
A subterranean tunnel! Whatever next?
But on a serious note, why are there so many Americanisms in Singletrack?
@LAT They might be Australianisms too. Wil is our resident Aussie. Sometimes we’re not sure if he’s making words up. It’s like working with the BFG, only with smaller ears.