Ah, Eurobike. It’s the humongous bike show where tons of brands, media, buyers and even the public come together to check out all that is new in the bike world. It’s not just mountain bikes – there’s every sort of two wheeled pedal powered (and with a bit of e-help too in many cases) bicycle based product to be found. Complete bikes, components, clothing…it’s all here, complete with culture clashing wtf moments, ‘how did they ever get funding for that?’ inventions, and anonymous headset cap specialists who actually provide the caps for millions of bikes.
We’ve an intrepid gang of four on the scene: Wil is our Eurobike veteran, while Amanda, Andi and Hannah are all going in for the first time. It’s an especially risky endeavour for Amanda, since as a vegan there’s every chance she will return seriously malnourished, or poisoned by accidental dairy consumption (the rest of us can expect to get scurvy). You can follow her efforts to survive on #veganeurobikesurvival. We’re also using the hashtag #stweb18, and you’ll find that many of our discoveries are on Instagram stories before we get the chance to get a full story published, so stay tuned to those for hot news (and a good dose of behind the scenes nonsense too).
We know there will be pretzels, and salt, and sausage. But what else do we think we might find? What do we hope to find? And what would we really rather not see but fear we probably will? Here’s our predictions…
1. Gearbox gears with an e-bike motor built in
It’s gonna happen, get over it. The end.
2. No downhill bikes
Downhill is dead. There will be no downhill bikes, only enduro machines. If you want to break bones, there’ll be Freeride, where we’ll see a growth in hemp based accessories. Grips, saddles and goggles will all be offering hemp based performance advantages for those who don’t fear painful landings.
3. Recycled Clothing
There will be clothing and shoes made from plastic bottles and bags. They’ll be made of rubbish, but because they’re good for the environment they will cost a zillion pounds.
4. Retro paint jobs
There will be lots of retro lettering, excessively kerned block text, and to go with it there’ll be retro colour schemes. Off whites, muddy reds, browns and oranges will throw us back to the 1970s, clashing colours will hark to the ‘80s and spackle of the ‘90s will make us all need to throw out our enduro-fluoro and get with the new old-style. I hope I’m right.
5. Solar powered e-bike charging points
Want to take your e-bike into the far flung mountains? Now you can, with portable and easily installed solar powered charging points. Once located, the charging point takes energy from the sun until you plug your e-bike in for that all important top up. As well as far flung places, these will be a great solution for those wanting to get a quick recharge while they’re at the supermarket, in the doctor’s or even at your favourite cafe stop.
There will be unicorns. Unicorns on bikes, unicorns on clothes, accessories to dress your bike up as a unicorn, and unicorn horns to attach to your helmet. There will also be rainbows, so you can go full unicorn rainbow if you want to.
7. Things that fold
Cashing in on the millennials (who all live in teeny tiny bedsits in cool urban city centre neighbourhoods) and commuters, there will be lots of space saving things that fold. Folding bikes, folding wheels, folding helmets, folding shoes. You can take your bike anywhere when it all folds up small enough to fit in a suitcase, luggage rack, or under your sofa.
8. Switches and buttons
There will be switches and buttons everywhere. Switches to change your head angle, ones to choose between shock settings, buttons to extend your bars in or out, to put your seat up or down, and unifying systems to bring the whole lot together in one big XC to Freeride Transformers style transformation.
9. Titanium e-bikes
The e-bike market is maturing, I think we’re seeing a new customer emerge who is after a more refined and perhaps retro aesthetic as an alternative choice to the swoopy lines and integrated fairings of current carbon and hydroformed alloy frames. Think elegant, bespoke titanium frames with small, classically round tubes made by small artisanal brands – just with a big battery and motor strapped to it, and some extra wires for the big plastic head unit. Bringing together the zing of titanium with the zoom of a motor, I think we’ll be seeing the first of this new e-Tit market here at Eurobike.
10. Actual Fanny Packs
The hip pack has been booming, but it’s time for the front-bum bag to make an entry. When was the last time your belly sweated? And it’s so much easier to access a pack that’s on your front, plus it keeps your centre of gravity where you need it.
What do you think? Might we be closer to the truth than we know? Or will the truth be even stranger than the fiction? What do you think we’re going to see? Let us know in the comments below, and stay tuned here to read all about what we discover at Eurobike 2018.