Nine of the most interesting things from this year's Eurobike
We’re back from the biggest bike show of year. Germany’s Eurobike had plenty of cool and crazy stuff on display this year. Here’s our pick of the pack.
1. Orange Switch 6
To our minds this is the first of the significant bike brands in the industry to actually offer a mixed wheel mullet bike. And not just an option in an online dropdown menu, this is a complete new mullet specific model (or MX, as Orange are labelling it). Orange are describing the Switch as MX/motocross inspired; referring to motocross enduro bikes that have larger front wheels than rear wheels.
2. Polygon Siskiu
Bearing more than striking resemblance to other value-conscious mountain bikes (Calibre Bossnut and the YT Jeffsy for a start). In previous years the Polygon Siskiu has suffered a bit from being disappointingly specced. Which, in this day and age of decent £1k full bouncers, is something that you can’t really get away with. The 2020 Siskiu looks to have very much upped its psec game. We look forward to giving one a thorough testing.
3. Early Rider kids bikes
Super sleek and cool looking Early Riders are nothing new but – scroll two pics to the right above – and the announcement of Early Rider’s first ever full suspension model was a real show highlight for us. Previously, one of Early Riders big tenets has been to keep things as light as possible. It’s much more important on kids bikes to keep the weight down. It’ll be interesting to see what the weight of the new Helion full bouncer is and how it rides, of course.
4. Cane Creek / SKF Polymer filled cartridge bearings
These aren’t solid polymer bearings (as some media outlets have described them), they still have ball bearings spinning inside races. The solid aspect is the lubrication medium. The blue stuff replaces the grease of a regular cartridge bearing; it won’t leak out and it won’t easily let water in. This could be a real game changer for full suspension pivot bearings (and headsets… and pedals… and bottom brackets). They feel a bit resistant at first but after a few cycles of rotation they apparent free up and feel slick and smooth.
5. Huldr bikes
Is this a glimpse of the future? We wouldn’t be surprised to see more high pivot bikes with idlers over the next couple of years but we’re still not entirely convinced by gearboxes. Outside of pure gravity use, gearboxes still need to overcome the excessive pedalling drag resistance that comes from the internal gearing.
6. Zwift goes mountain biking
The key invention here is the steering device up front. It works like a console joystick for your front wheel. Zwift no longer takes a suspension of disbelief and a rather distancing detachment as you watch ‘yourself’ automatically steer around courses and other racers. Now you can genuinely control whereabouts your on-screen avatar rides. Sure, any sort of gamified indoor version of an outdoor sport is going to attract naysayers and sarcastic comments but we think a bit of winter Zwifting is no bad thing to keep your fitness – and interest in cycling – up.
7. Ceramic Speed derailleur-free drivetrain
You may remember seeing a version of Ceramic Speed’s rotary shaft driven transmission at last year’s Eurobike. It was very much aimed at road bikes, and specifically time trial and velodrome road bikes at that. Aero gains and all that. That system required a fixed length chainstay (hardtail in other words) but Ceramic Speed have been hard to work and have worked out a way of getting it to work with full suspension back-ends and their varying chainstay lengths. Essentially the chainstay is telescopic and extends/shrinks as the suspension movement dictates. This whole thing may well turn out to be a white elephant for off-road usage BUT it’s still great to see companies genuinely thinking outside of the box.
8. Zerode Katipo 29er
It was about time Zerode came out with another model to sit alongside the 27.5/160mm Zerode Taniwha enduro bike form a couple of years ago. And we reckon they’ve knocked it out the park, so to speak, with the new Zerode Kapito. It’s a 29er. Still with 160mm travel. Still aimed at enduro racers. Still featuring the Pinion C Line gearbox. The whole execution and fabrication of the Kapito appears to have stpped up a notch too. This is a very nice looking 2020 mountain bike.
9. Rotor 13 speed hydraulic drivetrain
Similar to the Ceramic Speed rotary shaft drivetrain above, the Rotor hydraulic drivetrain may never really gain much real world adoption. We can’t see very many mountain bikers, who are used to bleeding disc brakes and Reverbs, being overly enamoured with more hydraulic stuff on their bike. Still, it’s good to see some names that don’t begin with S getting involved in the drivetrain scene.