Europe's biggest bike festival is back and it's better than ever at its new home in Frankfurt.
There's an incredible amount of tech packed into the cavernous exhibitions halls of the Frankfurt Messe. If you're looking for the latest kit from the global brands as well as the crazy ideas from the obscure ones you've never heard of - and you want to smash your step-count PB - then this is the place to come.
Here's just a handful of things we've seen and enjoyed. Keep an eye out for more Eurobike stories we'll be putting up as we go along.
Factor x Classified Ostro VAM
Old-school bling comes to new new-school shifting technology with this outrageously decadent collaboration between Factor bikes and Classified, the makers of the revolutionary electronic Powershift hub (opens in new tab) that wants to kill off the front derailleur.
Just 25 special Factor Ostro VAM bikes will be produced, all equipped with gold Classified hubs which have been produced to celebrate the Eurobike gold award that the hub won last year.
The bike gets a custom matt black and gold paintjob to match the hub.
As for the spec, the one on Classified’s stand was equipped with SRAM Red eTap AXS (opens in new tab) and Black Inc (opens in new tab) wheels but you can choose your own build with a choice of SRAM groupsets, CeramicSpeed OSPWs, various depths of Black Inc wheels and more.
Prices start from 10,699 euros.
Or, if you just want the gold hub without the bike, Classified is making 100 of them - including the 25 assigned to the Factor bikes. Each is limited-edition numbered.
On the subject of limited editions, this is the first ever from Classified, but with the burgeoning interest that we’re starting to see - this week it announced partnerships with Mavic, FFWD, DT Swiss, Enve, Reynolds, Boyd and Spinergy - it surely won’t be the last. But it's fair to say this one is gold standard.
New Bryton direct drive smart trainer
Bryton has been attacking and undercutting Garmin and Wahoo with the impressive functionality and competitive prices of its computers such as the Bryton Rider S500 (opens in new tab); it looks set to do the same with the new unreleased smart trainer it showed off at Eurobike.
The Taiwanese brand’s direct drive smart trainer is compatible with all the popular training platforms and is set to compete with the high-end models such as the Wahoo Kickr Smart V5 (opens in new tab) et al.
It will supply a maximum resistance of 2,400 watts, which is 200 more than the Kickr.
With realistic movement becoming the latest must-have feature for turbo trainers - to avoid the now-widespread rocker plate solution - Bryton has built in up eight degrees of sideways movement via a central pivot. By comparison the Kickr Smart has five degrees of movement via the squishy AXIS feet that come with the latest V5 version.
And the other objective was to make the new Bryton trainer as quiet as possible - and it’s true that the general buzz around it was much louder than the sound the unit itself was emitting. Bryton said they didn’t have any official decibel figures but they were working on making it even quieter by the time it launches later this year.
As for the figures that do so far exist, the flywheel at 6.8kg is lighter than the Kickr’s 7.2kg. Overall weight is about 22kg compared to the Kickr’s 21kg. It’s heavy, but it has a very classy-looking Technogym-style steel carry handle that contrasts with the black casing.
It will be priced at 899 euros, with prices in other currencies yet to be confirmed.
TriEye rearview mirror glasses
TriEye (opens in new tab)’s glasses have a tiny rearview mirror integrated into the lens so that you can see traffic approaching behind you. ‘See’ is the operative word according to the brand’s Norwegian founder Carsten Juell Fongen.
Garmin Varia (opens in new tab) gives you beeps so you can hear what’s behind, he says (although there is actually a little graphic of a car if you're using a compatible head unit) from 140 metres, but TriEye glasses allow you to actually see what’s going on behind you with your own eyes.
Additionally, it’s possible when you're group-riding to check that everyone is together, no one has been dropped or has stopped with a mechanical.
You can adjust the mirror with your fingers so that it’s correctly positioned, as with a car mirror.
The frame itself is made from TR90 - the flexible but tough nylon that many sports glasses use - and comes in various frame and lens colours including photochromic. The polycarbonate lenses are UV400 protected, scratch and impact resistant.
You can opt for one mirror - to see over your right shoulder if you’re in the UK or left shoulder for countries that drive on the right - or two.
A prescription version is also available, with an internal frame that fits inside the glasses so that you’re still looking through the prescription lens when you look in the mirror.
Does it work?
It takes a bit of practice to refocus when you look in the mirror, and TriEye says you should expect 2-3 rides to get used to it.
Will it kill Garmin Varia? Well, it’s a lot cheaper: The basic pair with a single mirror costs £75/$89 direct from TriEye. But although mirror lenses might be popular, some might not an actual mirror built into the corner of their lens.
TriEye doesn’t have a distribution network yet but Fongen showed us a huge wad of cards from interested parties.
Schmolke Lightning 5kg bike
In huge halls full of e-cargo bikes or gravel bikes it was something of a shock to spot this skinny, superlight carbon machine with rim brakes, tubular tyres and a mechanical groupset from German brand Schmolke (opens in new tab). Had we stepped through a time portal and travelled back to 2005?
No, this is a current bike was the answer. Not everybody wants disc brakes - there are some people who still want a very light bike, Schmolke said.
The Schmolke Lightning frame itself is made in South Korea and costs 2,780 euros - it’s a monocoque and the brand told us it had tried to get it made in Germany or Italy but hadn’t found a suitable manufacturer yet.
However, Schmolke’s superlight carbon components, including the TLO wheels, bar, stem and seatpost, are made in Germany and it’s those that make the bike so light: the TLO 30 tubular wheels are 980g per pair.
And look at those THM Fibular brake calipers - 120g per set and costing 1,275 euros bought separately.
The THM Clavicula SE crank weighs just over 300g and costs 1,255 euros.
So, the grams might be staying ridiculously low but the price is rocketing. Yours for 12,000 euros.
Schmolke also had a very light disc-brake bike on their stand that also cost 12,000 euros - but weighed 6.1kg. You pays your money etc.
The TrueBike has been available in the Netherlands for a couple of years and it could be coming to the UK. The brand now has former world and Olympic champion Anna van der Breggan as an investor and an ambassador and has just launched a new direct-drive smart trainer based on the internals of the smart bike.
So going back to the start and looking at the TrueBike, it’s quite different from the smart bikes we’re most familiar with from Wattbike, Wahoo and Tacx. All the bikes say they have a more realistic road feel than the next one, but TrueBike says theirs is best thanks to a lack of flywheel, a powerful electric motor and smart robot technology. The brand says the flywheel approach doesn’t supply resistance at the right point in the pedal stroke and therefore doesn’t train exactly the same muscles that you need for outdoor cycling.
Despite other bikes using electromagnets rather than a simple flywheel, TrueKinetix says the 10kg cover still acts like a flywheel.
Additionally, the TrueBike has thick rubber feet and flex built into its steel frame for a less rigid ride.
And for further realism, the gears on the shifters are configured exactly like Di2 buttons. You can build your own virtual cassette out of 400 combinations via the app.
And finally, it doesn’t need external power - you generate your own energy. In these photos it has an adaptor lead plugged into it that can keep the screen on once you’ve stopped pedalling.
And the cost? It’s not undercutting many competitor smart bikes at 3,795 euros.
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