Sometimes you have to look past all the motors to find the soul.
Eurobike, increasingly, is all about electric motors. They can be brilliant in the right application — for instance, on a cargo bike — but the proliferation of motorcycle wannabes here can be disheartening, particularly at the display of Eurobike Award winning products near the main entrance to the exhibition.
But take heart: among the winners displayed were two very interesting looking bikes for the Grit.cx reader-rider.
Cannondale’s Slate Force CX1 looks like a perfect marriage of road and mountain. The wheels are actually 650B, allowing one to choose from the many new tires in this size (and a few revived classics, such as Bruce Gordon’s Rock n’ Road), for air cushion without too much bulk. Stan’s ZTR Flow EX rims provide tubeless magic. The Lefty Oliver fork has 30mm of travel.
It also boasts being “dropper-post compatible.” Dropper post? On a CX bike? This is actually quite a good idea, given the sketchy road-turns-into-trail situations one can encounter when exploring the countryside.
You can read our world exclusive first ride thoughts on the Slate here.
The Open U.P. GravelPlus also makes use of the Goldilocks wheel size. It’s designed to fit either 650Bx2.25” (shown here) or 700x40mm tires, both having a very similar outer diameter. The frame and fork accept thru-axles as well. It’s becoming quite possible to be able to swap your mountain bike wheels onto your road bike.
The clean, svelte frame offers a bit of vibration damping in the back, and a bent chainstay to fit narrow road cranks and wide tires together. Like chocolate and peanut butter.
Things are looking good indeed for the adventuring rough-road cyclist.