After three days of non-stop action, the Singletrack Eurobike Dream Team has finally returned to the motherland! It’s been an absolutely mental few days of running around the 12 huge halls of Messe Friedrichshafen, plus trying to cover all of the stalls and booths in the various outdoors areas scattered around the airplane hanger event site. With each of us averaging some 10km of pavement-pounding a day, our poor feet are due f0r some serious recuperation. Our poor livers could probably do with a rest too…
It has been good though. We’ve had the chance to catch up with old friends, meet new ones, and talk to fascinating folk about their new innovative (and often patent-pending) products. We’ve also gotten stuck listening to batshit crazy people while trying to work out why the hell they made something like an eccentric wheel. All that bizarre stuff makes the whole event a load of fun though. And if you’re in need of a giggle, I reckon Hannah did a bang-up job of summarising some of the weird and wonderful things you see at this show.
There’s been a tonne of exciting new product too. Don’t listen to the jaded journalists who say things like ‘Eurobike is dead maaaan‘, while sighing, rolling their eyes and complaining that ‘there’s nothing new here’, because they ain’t looking hard enough. Between Hannah, Amanda, Andi and myself, we found a bucketload of fascinating stuff to see – head here to have a gander at all of our stories so far. And if you like the moving images, check out our YouTube channel to see some of the product demonstrations we caught on film from Eurobike.
We’ve still got stories coming out of our ears (or it could be pretzel crumbs), so make sure you stay tuned to the website for plenty more Eurobike coverage coming your way, because there’s a lot to get through!
Right now though, I’m going to take you through a bit of a highlights reel from my final day of scouring the halls of Eurobike. As always, let me know in the comments section if you’ve got a question about any of the bikes and gear you see here, and I’ll do my best to find the answer for you.
This 20in hardtail on the Early Rider’s stand caught my eye thanks to its brushed alloy frame and cute MRP suspension fork. It even comes with SRAM GX and Level TL disc brakes! Check out the rear dropouts – those are horizontal sliders that allow you to adjust the rear chainstay length. You know, if your kid turns out to be more badass than you and wants to singlespeed it.
Speaking of disc brakes, I spotted these 4-piston callipers on a Genius at the Scott Sports booth. The callipers are non-series, so they aren’t badged with a Deore/SLX/Deore XT label, though looking at the MT520 code on the backside of the calliper, I’d suggest they’re around the Deore-ish level. If Shimano is being its usual self though, these callipers may share similar features and performance to the XT 4-piston brakes, just with a cheaper and heavier construction.
The Bell Spark is a brand new trail lid that sits underneath the 4Forty. Despite being an ‘entry level’ helmet, I reckon it looks very swish with its flowy integrated visor. The overall shape shows a similar amount of coverage to the 4Forty and Sixer lids, and it also gets a goggle gripper on the backside. The Spark will be available in a standard version fro £49.99, and a MIPS-version for £69.99.
To bring the price down, you don’t get full in-mould construction. To help protect the exposed EPS foam, Bell has used little orange rubber bumpers for the strap anchor points – a really simple but effective feature.
There’s plenty of padding on the inside, and the central forehead pad actually extends underneath the helmet rim – Bell calls this the Sweat Guide, and it’s there to draw sweat away from your eyes and glasses.
USE/Exposure is finally ready to unveil its new Sync light range. These are Bluetooth compatible, so you’ll be able to use a wireless remote to control them (including both a helmet and bar light simultaneously), and they’ll pair to an app on your phone for all of the customising.
You’ll be able to get the Six Pack (£485), the Maxx-D (£435) and the Diablo (£265) all in Sync versions, which puts them at a bit of a premium over the non-Sync versions. They call come with a snazzy grey anodized finish to denote the difference.
The Diablo Sync has 1500 Lumens of power, and like the other Sync lights, comes in this dapper anodized grey finish. Charge time is faster by 30% now too, though it’s still very light at 120 grams given its all-in-one design.
Dutch wheel brand Scope had some seriously lightweight carbon hoops on show at Eurobike, including these 1380g O2 mountain bike wheels. The carbon rims have been redesigned with a shallower profile and an asymmetric 3mm offset to better balance out spoke tension.
To increase strength around the spoke holes, Scope uses thicker carbon on the inside of the rim wall. This is a little like what Santa Cruz does with the Reserve carbon rims, but this puts the thicker ‘bulge’ on the inside of the rim cavity.
The hubs are Scope’s own design, and both Shimano and SRAM XD freehub bodies are available. You can see in this photo that Scope has flipped the traditional mechanism – the pawls actually sit in the hub shell, and the ratchet teeth are attached to the freehub body.
American suspension brand MRP had a brand new coil shock at its booth. The Hazzard shock is named after one of the trails in the Porcupine Rim network in Moab, and it’s pitched at the hardcore trail rider and enduro racer. The piggyback reservoir and general damping architecture is carried over from the Raze downhill shock (right), though there’s a little less oil volume in the Hazzard. More importantly, it comes with an orange climb switch that firms up the shock’s damping for extended flat or pedally sections.
MRP is also now offering Progressive Coil Springs. These are essentially for riders who want to use a coil shock, but own a bike that isn’t ideally suited to using a coil shock in the first place.
Noah Sears of MRP informed me that the project first came about because he owns a Pivot Firebird, and wanted to run a coil shock. Pivot’s dw_link suspension design uses a fairly linear suspension rate that is optimised around the use of an air shock, so putting a coil on would make it too linear, resulting in excessive bottom-out, unless you put a really stiff spring on there. Instead, Noah tested tested out some progressive springs and found he could get the shock rate he needed, while still getting the plush and responsive feel of a coil spring. As a result, MRP is now offering these progressive springs as an aftermarket upgrade for both MRP users and those who own other brand coil shocks too.
Stan’s No Tubes didn’t have any particularly new mountain bike product on show, but it did have the new carbon version of the Grail rim and wheelset. Designed for the gravel crowd, the Grail CB7 follows a similar design ethos to the latest Arch CB7 and Crest CB7 carbon rims, with a very shallow profile called RiACT, which is designed to offer more vertical compliance.
Internal rim width is 21.6mm, which is basically what an XC rim was barely a couple of seasons ago. The rims are of course tubeless compatible, though they get the BST-R design that means they’ll accommodate higher tyre pressures over the mountain bike rims.
Oh and weight? You’re looking at just 300g for one of these rims. Not bad for something that’s Dirty Kanza ready and will take a 40mm knobbly gravel tyre. Complete wheelsets are also available.
Scottish apparel brand Endura had some new body armour on display at Eurobike, including these new MT500 Light knee pads. Endura will still be offering a hardshell version (they’re the ones right at the back left of the above photo), but it’s these soft-shell pads that I’m particularly liking the look of.
Instead of the Koroyd Flex inserts used in the current MTR Knee Guard, Endura has worked with D3O on a brand new ventilated insert. This is the first knee pad that you’ll see this orange pad in, and according to D3O, the swiss cheese style actually improves their ability to absorb impacts due to the larger surface area. Plus they’re more flexible, and they provide more ventilation too.
Thanks in part to Endura’s sponsorship of the Athertons, we’re starting to see some new garments come out, or in the case of these MT500 Burner Pants, new and improved versions of existing products. Rather than the heavy duty moto-style race pant of old, the new MT500 Burners are made from a lightweight stretch fabric that offers a closer-fitting cut for less flappage in the breeze. Additional flex zones have been built into the upper thigh panels and around the back of the waist, while ventilated mesh on the back of the knees is designed to keep your legs from getting too swampy on warmer days. Having been converted to wearing trousers through the colder months, I’m digging the look of these a lot.
Also new is this jazzy long sleeve top that Endura’s calling the Humvee ‘Shacket’. Not quite a full technical jacket, and not quite a straight up casual long sleeve shirt, the Humvee Shacket is meant to be a cold weather top for urban riding, but this could be equally as good for jibbin’ in the woods for riders who prefer the stealth civilian look.
And the matching Humvee Chino shorts, which have got a bit of a Dickies vibe about them. I suspect these will be popular with bike shop employees and mechanics, who need a daytime work short, but something tough and fitted enough for post-work trail riding. The price is £59.99 for these, and that includes a padded liner that can be removed from the shorts.
While not ready for production, Endura is set to take its distinctive MT500 helmet and turn it into a kids version. With more kids taking up mountain biking and riding more capable bikes on more technical trails, Endura sees the need for higher quality protection to meet those emerging demands. Despite the high-tech construction, Endura is working with Koroyd to bring the price down from the adult’s version, and is planning to sell these for £75, which is darn impressive.
TRP had some new 4-piston brakes on show at Eurobike. These are called the G-Spec Trail, and there will be both SL and SLC versions available (the SLC gets a carbon lever blade). In terms of design and function, these kind of split the difference between the G-Spec Quadiem downhill brakes, the Slate G-Spec trail brakes.
Both the lever and callipers’ external shape is more similar to the Quadiem. There’s a big master cylinder, and a chunky lever blade that houses a tool-free reach adjustment dial.
Down at the calliper, the machined alloy body is the same as the Quadiem. Instead of two pairs of 16mm diameter pistons however, the G-Spec Trail brakes get a pair of 14mm and a pair of 16mm diameter pistons, which is the same as the G-Spec Slate disc brakes.
Tektro is also getting into the 4-piston game with several new sets of powerful disc brakes designed for various applications, including e-MTB use. While TRP (Tektro Racing Products) focuses on the higher end of the market, its parent brand Tektro covers a wider range of price points and the OEM market in particular. With that in mind, expect to see more of these brakes popping up on complete bikes for 2019 – particularly entry level trail and enduro bikes, both with and without a motor.
And that folks, is my final round-up from Eurobike. I’ll have a couple of other separate stories on specific bikes coming in the next few days, so keep your eyes on the website for those when they land.
If you can’t wait until then, here’s our event wrap-up video that we shot live from our Eurobike party-party apartment on the final evening of the show.