Exploding backpacks, antilock brakes and crit specific tyres? The delightful tech of Eurobike

Plus some radical chamois tech soon to be coming to shorts near you

Eurobike 2022
(Image credit: Future)

The annual Eurobike trade show offers up a veritable feast of new cycling tech. Featuring the good, the bad, and at times the ugly, it’s the place to spot emerging trends and innovative developments as well as plenty in between. 

We’ve been on the ground in Frankfurt keeping an eye out for interesting products. Our picks include some new tyres from Schwalbe, Challenge and Pirelli, bike theft protection from Knog and Hiplock and the worlds smallest Anti-lock Braking System system for ebikes from Bosch.

Two new tyres from Schwalbe plus a bold recycling initiative

Eurobike 2022

(Image credit: Future)

The Overland joins Schwalbe’s G-One gravel tyre line-up, promising improved durability, which the German brand says makes it a good fit for e-bikes too. To help achieve this it uses its Super Ground carcass, which is found on some of its MTB tyres. 

Coming in three widths - 40, 45 and 50mm - it features what Schwalbe calls a “versatile profile”. This means a closed centre tread for improved rolling resistance on rough paved surfaces alongside “concise” outer lugs for greater grip when cornering off-road. Given that many gravel rides encompass both on and off-road elements, the combination appears to make sense.

Eurobike 2022

(Image credit: Future)

A commuting and touring favourite, the ever-reliable Marathon range has expanded. As the name suggests the Efficiency is designed to lower rolling resistance with the goal of helping you go further, faster. Schwalbe says testing has shown that the tyre can increase the range of an e-bike by as much as 7%.

To produce a lighter and faster tyre, Schwalbe has ‘borrowed’ the Addix Race rubber compound from the Pro One and uses a tread pattern that features a slick middle section. However, any tyre bearing the Marathon name needs to deliver plenty of protection against punctures, and the Efficiency uses the tried-and-tested V-Guard to help achieve this.

The Marathon Efficiency is available in both 650b and 700c and widths ranging from 40 to 60mm

Eurobike 2022

(Image credit: Future)

Meanwhile by teaming up with both the Technical University of Cologne and recycling experts Pyrum Innovations, Schwalbe has launched a recycling system in its native Germany. The pilot scheme currently sees 500 dealers using a tyre recycling box, with the aim of reducing Co2 by 80%. Once collected the tyres are then recycled using Pyrum’s pyrolysis process, which involves shredding the used tyres to produce rubber granules that are then placed into a pyrolysis oven to create valuable secondary raw materials including gas and oil.

For more information visit schwalbe.com

Will Bosch improve ebike braking with its 'world's smallest' ABS?

ABS systems

(Image credit: Future)

Bosch’s new Anti-lock braking system (ABS), developed from existing motorbike technology, is aimed at improving e-bike braking, thus making them safer in the process. It offers the ABS in four different models: Cargo, Touring, Allroad and Trail. The reason for this, Bosch says, is that different ebikes and road surfaces have differing requirements so it’s designed ABS systems optimised for a range of bikes and conditions. The key feature of all models is off course the anti-lock braking function for the front wheel that, according to Bosch, “automatically regulates the brake pressure by permanently monitoring the speed of the wheels.” The Bosch ABS also claims to be the world’s smallest, a reduction in size of 77% from its predecessor.

For more information visit bosch-ebike.com

Lezyne aims to keep you rolling with bike tracking aids and a travel pump

Eurobike tech

(Image credit: Simon Smythe)

Lezyne came to Eurobike with a plethora of new gadgets but we’ve focused on those designed to keep your bike safe and your tyres inflated.

An Apple AirTag is a pretty neat way of tracking your bike should it get stolen. Lezyne looks to make it even more so with the release of three Airtag accessories. The Matrix Aircage functions as a regular bottle cage but with the addition of a hidden Airtag mount, while the Matrix Bike Tagger can be used with existing bottle cages, again hiding the Airtag under the cage to prevent detection. It can also be used on its own, as can the Matrix Saddle Tagger, which as the name suggests, mounts the Airtag underneath your bike saddle.

Eurobike tech

(Image credit: Simon Smythe)

The Digital Travel Floor Drive pump aims to give you the ease-of-use and speed inflation time of a traditional track pump in a far more portable package. While it’s not designed to be carried on a bike, the foldaway steel footpegs should mean that it's far easier to stash in your car or even in a bag. Despite this portability it features a digital gauge, an aluminium barrel and base and composite handle. However, the chuck is for presta values only. Lezyne says the pump can inflate up to 160 psi and will be available from September.

Eurobike tech

(Image credit: Simon Smythe)

Last, but not least, is its Pro Tubeless Kit. This repair kit features two sizes of plug, a plug retention tool, a micro knife and a Co2 inflator. Designed to work on both road and MTB tyres the tool is made from alumnium while the knife, which trims plugs for a smoother feel once you’re back riding, is made from stainless steel. The kit is also available as a ‘loaded’ version, which includes a mounting bracket and retention strap for both the kit and the cartridge.

For more information visit ride-lezyne.com

Challenge's newest road tyre aims for improved speed and grip

Eurobike tech

(Image credit: Simon Smythe)

While some tyre brands are keen to push the ‘wider at lower pressure’ mantra on the road, with the release of its new Criterium RS tyre Challenge are hoping that there are still plenty of ‘traditionalists’ out there. Offered in 25mm and 27mm widths the Crit RS is described by the Italian brand as “the perfect blend between speed, grip and reliability”. Featuring a handmade construction, the tyres use SMARTPrime compound, a Ganzo puncture protection strip and a lightweight 350 tpi cotton casing to help achieve Challenge’s stated goals. The Crit is still plenty modern however, it's tubeless compatible and will work with hookless rims. The tyres are offered with both a black and a white casing and will be available in October 2022.

For more information visit challengetires.com

Evoc Commute A.I.R Pro 18 backpack

Eurobike 2022

(Image credit: Future)

Protective sports pack specialist, Evoc, had on display what it's billing as a "revolutionary airbag technology for bike backpacks". As the brand's stand so evocatively shows, when the system detects that you've taken a tumble, the airbag automatically deploys to help protect you in the event of a crash. 

Of course, this airbag system doesn't do much to shield your head from an impact - it's still recommended that you wear the best helmet you can - however, the system does support and protect your neck, collar bones and shoulders in the unfortunate event of a crash. The commuter backpack also features an integrated back protector to help shield the rest of your spine from injury.

The backpack airbag is designed to be reusable. A CO2 cartridge is used for the rapid inflation, but this can be replaced and the airbag itself folded away - it's fair off being a one-time deal. The range is expected to be on sale from 2023.

Eurobike 2022

(Image credit: Future)

Elastic Interface N3X 3-D printed Chamois

Eurobike 2022

(Image credit: Future)

Chamois specialist Elastic Interface has unveiled its first 3D printed insert. A host of benefits over a more typical foam or gel construction are claimed for the new technology. 

First off, this manufacturing process gives Elastic Interface complete control over the cushioning of the padding, being able to fully adapt it to the specific requirements that are needed. Second, the material is completely hydrophobic and quite open - unlike a foam chamois it won't hold water and should be much more breathable. 

All together, these developments should make the chamois even more comfortable than is currently the standard. But there's more to the 3D printing than just the performance side - the control over the construction essentially eliminates wastage.

As a manufacturer of chamois for clothing brands, rather than being a purveyor of bib shorts themselves, it's not up to Elastic Interface to decide on the price that shorts using the technology will bear. But extrapolating from the cost of production, Elastic Interface anticipates the best cycling shorts with the technology will cost in the region of €250 to €350.

Similarly, it's not up to Elastic Interface when shorts with these chamois will be commercially available - but we'll keep you posted with any developments.   

Eurobike 2022

(Image credit: Future)

VAAST R/1 road bike

VAAST Road bike

(Image credit: Future)

 VAAST is continuing to expand its range in magnesium framed bikes, with this latest model being the R/1 road-focused platform. Magnesium isn't a particularly common material to build with, but VAAST argues that there is a long list of benefits.

First are the weight savings - it's possible to build lighter than with aluminium, whilst not compromising on strength. The claimed weight for a frame (in an unspecified size) is 1,250 grams. Assuming that's a 54 or 56cm frame, this is indeed a very competitive weight - the best road bikes constructed from aluminium tend to be around 1,500g.

The ride quality is supposed to be a little smoother and less harsh than aluminium as well. 

Three models will be available from early autumn 2022: Shimano 105, Shimano Ultegra and SRAM Force. The maximum tyre clearance is between 30 and 32mm, there are mudguard mounting points and the wheels are tubeless ready.

Ortlieb's new kit

Ortlieb

(Image credit: Future)

Renowned on-the-bike bag manufacturer, Ortlieb, has stacked up a range of launches for Eurobike - some incremental, some entirely new.

To start with the incremental, Ortlieb now has a new mounting system for its handlebar packs. We were already impressed with the original, combining the benefits of a bracket system (rigidity) with those of a strap-on system (toolless mounting).

But although the system, with its two counter tensioning cords is relatively easy to take on and off - it certainly isn’t quite as fast as a quick release bracket system. So, quite reasonably Ortlieb has now integrated a quick release mechanism into its handlebar packs to add another benefit into the package. If you have already bought one of the originals, no problem - you can buy a new bracket with the QR system and replace the one currently on your bar bag.

Another, slightly less incremental launch - but still building on past products - is Ortlieb’s packing cubes. The best panniers are great for carrying a lot of luggage - but equally, they can be a black hole into which important small items can disappear when you most need them. 

Ortlieb has expanded and upgraded its packing cubes to make organising your kit inside a pannier an easier task. There is even a wash-bag specific model and internal frames for rigidity that also double as a way to pack t-shirts more efficiently and without creasing. 

Knog Scout sounds the alarm against bike theft

Knog's new bike alarm and finder is called the Scout

(Image credit: Knog)

Knog are hoping to improve bike security with the creation of the Scout. It’s both alarm and finder, which Knog says took three years to develop. Described as “loud, lightweight, rechargeable, waterproof”, the Scout can be discreetly mounted using your water bottle bosses. It uses a Bluetooth signal and connects to any Apple device via the ‘Find My Network’ feature. As for the numbers, it weighs just 25 grams, has an 85 decibel alarm and boasts a battery life of up to 6 months between charges.

For more information visit knog.com

BMC's micro-travel stem hopes to bring added comfort to your ride

BMC's MTT stem features 20mm of travel

(Image credit: BMC)

Greater compliance remains a high-priority for many bike brands. Many look to achieve this through frame design and tyre and wheel development. However, BMC’s new Integrated Cockpit System (ICS) Micro Travel Technology (MTT) Stem seeks to improve comfort over rougher road surfaces by adding suspension to the bike’s cockpit. 

The ICS MTT stem claims to provide riders with 20mm of adjustable travel via two elastomers that BMC says “give reactive and sensitive dampening by pivoting on an oversize axle, with one key side effect being reduced fatigue over long rides”. The stem is compatible with all BMC ICS Technology framesets and is offered in lengths ranging from 72mm to 110mm, all with a zero degree angle.

For more information visit bmc-switzerland.com

Pirelli looks to motorbike tread patterns for inspiration

Pirelli Angel Urban

(Image credit: Pirelli)

The venerable Italian tyre brand enters the commuting and touring market with the release of its Angel Urban range. Designed for regular and electric bikes, the line-up, which draws on Pirelli's extensive motorcycle experience, features three models: the GT Urban, the DT Urban and the XT Urban. The GT is aimed at e-bike users, the DT at “pure metropolitan” cyclists and the XT at those who like to combine both on and off-road riding. All three have tread patterns inspired by Pirelli motorbike tyres as well as its HyperBELT reinforcement layer to aid puncture protection. Sizes include 700c, 20”, 26” and 650b with widths ranging from from 32mm to 62mm.

For more information visit pirelli.com

Two innovative locks from UK's Hiplock

Hiplok's D1000 locks guards against angle grinders

(Image credit: Hiplok)

UK brand Hiplok have been showing off two new locks at Eurobike this week: the D1000 and the Switch.

The D1000 is what Hiplok says is the first portable bike lock able to withstand “a sustained attack” from an angle grinder. To achieve this it's turned to materials that have apparently never been used in the manufacturing of bike or motorbike lock before, including a composite graphene material called Ferosafe, which is created to keep angle grinders at bay. The D1000, which weighs a claimed 1.9kg, was crowdfunded inside 24 hours despite its £249.99 / $299.99 price tag and is now in production for release this Autumn.

The Switch is a folding lock that aims to be easy to carry thanks to a holster and integrated carry clip. The design also features a ‘switch plate’, which allows you to alternate between carrying a lock and a bidon without having to change the holder or use a tool. The Switch tips the scales at a yet-to-be-confirmed 1.1kg, holds a Bronze Sold Secure rating and will retail at £74.99 / $84.99 when it hits the market in Spring 2023.

For more information visit hiplock.com

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