There’s no doubt that the big story at Eurobike is city bikes in general and electric-assist city bikes in particular with Cannondale’s traditional show stopping prototype being an extraordinary downhill-inspired beast in that genre. You could scoff a lot harder if it wasn’t developed in conjunction with Bosch who are quite clearly taking the ‘e’ in e-bike seriously.
Nevertheless, road racing bikes are also enjoying a long-term renaissance with manufacturers from countries as unexpected as Thailand and Vietnam showing glorious eye-candy as well as the expected Italians and Americans.
It was all going so well until we spent an hour with the UCI who hosted a ‘symposium’ for the benefit of the bike and component manufacturers to explain how they are going to do a better job of explaining not just the philosophy of technical standards but the implementation and policing of the actual standards, too. That’s an article for tomorrow. Or maybe Monday.
American Classic have launched a versatile new tubular-only carbon disc wheel called Carbon TT (where do they get these names from?) with a weight of 1,325 grams and reversibility for 10-speed tt or track. According to their Bill Shook, “We haven’t always made the lightest discs but this one is extremely stiff which track riders are really going to like.”
Not far away, another American company Phil Wood had both chainrings – including a huge 60-tooth equivalent – and sprockets for Gates carbon drive belts. How long before we see these on the track?
Cannondale have previously only theoretically made their high-modulus carbon Slice time-trial and triathlon model available as a frameset only, the production being eaten up with complete built-up bikes. Their spokesman Mike Cotty feels confident that later this year extra production will be available, which, providing you have deep pockets, will be a good starting point for a project bike.
Paul Murphy, the Production Manager at Reynolds was excited about a new 28.6mm steerer and investment-cast crown that will enable custom frame builders to build an all-953 fork for the first time. The stainless steel Reynolds 953 material, especially in this mirror finish, has even got carbon and titanium fashionistas talking about steel again.
If your handlebars just aren’t fat enough, Deda have the answer with these 35mm carbon monocoques called M35, along with a matching alloy Trentacinque stem. Massive improvements to stiffness and strength are claimed, for big burly riders particularly, we would have thought.
Andy Silver from Garmin gave us the rundown on the new Edge 800 GPS computer. It manages to pull off the clever stunt of being smaller than the 705 with a larger screen that is entirely customisable to show exactly hope much clever data you want to see. Best thing for us is that proper OS mapping is now available in 1:50,000 scale with 1:25,000 on the way.
Brooks have made a limited run of 100 Swallow models in a special Mandarin colour option. To get one, you’re going to need to be good pals with one of Brooks’ ‘Dealers of Excellence’ which is the only place they’re going to be seen.
Saddle maker Fizik is now a shoe maker, too. There are two models, RI and R3 with the R3 being available in women’s options that are different in cut as well as colour. The luxury R1 only comes in this refreshingly understated black option and is made of kangaroo leather throughout.
Cannondale’s e-bike prototype developed in conjunction with Bosch for the drive and power module features this ingenious integral light on the fork along with a corresponding rear light to match. That’s two bikes we’ve now seen here with integral lighting.
Alexandre Vinokourov was too fast for us, passing like a flash in the crowd but Garmin-Transition’s Dan Martin was in a more chilled-out frame of mind possibly because he knows he’s on the crest of a wave and knows who he’s riding for next year. He’s not cocky, though. He blushed when we asked if we could take his picture.