By Jeff Lockwood
The annual Eurobike bicycle trade show in Friedrichshafen, Germany offers every imaginable bicycle bit to the worldwide stage. It’s an industry-only affair (with a consumer day on Saturday) where companies show their wares to local bike shops, manufacturers meet behind closed doors to plan the latest products, bicycle company staffers party late into the night under the guise of doing business and guys in their late thirties stumble around the show floor trying to get photos and words on cool bike shit to post on the Dirt Rag web site (that’s me). So let’s get right to it.
We’ve seen plenty of bamboo bicycle frame manufacturers recently. Boo Bicycles, based in Colorado, was on hand in Germany with a couple bamboo and carbon fiber rigs, including their mountain bike. Boo claims to use the strongest and stiffest bamboo, connected with high-modulus unidirectional carbon fiber joints, to create bikes that are as stiff as steel and as light as titanium.
Keeping the theme of alternative frame materials, we have Segal bikes out of Holland, who makes their frames out of magnesium alloy. And they only make 29ers. Segal is in a unique position in that they actually manufacture the tubing used on their bikes, thus having complete control over frame material and assembly. Segal tells me magnesium frames are comparable to carbon fiber, and they have a high damping capacity with good stiffness. An interesting fact is the frames are coated and sealed with a ceramic layer before paint. This seals the frame for better paint adherence, while giving it a very consistent and smooth appearance.
I’ve always loved the subtly bold aesthetic of Charge bikes ever since I rode one for a week at Interbike a couple of years ago. They’ve got a great line of bikes for all tastes, and they’ve got a great attitude. Hmm…can I say anything else positive? Yes…they always have good beer at their carousel booth at Eurobike. Thus, I wanted to include a photo of their titanium 29er.
When bling’d out bike maker Storck starts making 29ers, you know the market has caught on. Known for their super-light, fancy carbon road bikes, Storck is now offering this hardtail race machine, the Rebel Nine. The 1,150 gram frame is selling for 1,699 Euro.
Hispania is a small frame builder based in Spain. Among road, mountain and urban offerings, they have a really nice line of cycloross rigs…titanium, steel and aluminum options. Of particular interest is their Grillo. Upon first look, it seems to be just like any other steel cyclocross steed. But further inspection…and explanation…reveals it’s not necessarily a race-ready cyclocross bike. Instead, it features “cyclo mountain geometry.” Made from Columbus Life Niobium steel, the Grillo has a 70.5 head angle, longer chainstays than race cross bikes and 42 tires will fit in the frame. It’s meant for riding, not racing.
Remember when Mavic was mostly known for their wheels? In recent years, the French company extended their brand to shoes, clothing, pedals and even cycling computers. And now they have helmets. They look great, feel proper on the head and are rather light. The Plasma SLR helmet features a carbon fiber structural reinforcement and oversized vents.
The new DZO rubber option from Hutchinson are designed to be pointed down dry and rocky paths. It has a reinforced casing for the rough stuff, but the unique feature here is that the center knobs are designed so that…if you decide you want the tires to have a lesser profile…you can get a pair of side cutters and go to town making the knobs shorter. People have been doing this for decades, but the DZO’s feature a ever so subtle notch were the cutting should be done.
The brandy new Corsa Supperleggera 29” RC Carbon fork from Marzocchi has some sweet suspension goodness going on. It touts a carbon crown and steerer, all-new lowers, remote lockout , micro-adjust compression and a QR15 axle. It has 100mm of travel out of the box, but can be changed to 80 or 120 with spacers. It weighs in at 1,650 grams, and retails for $950.
More from Eurobike
You can read about how 29ers are invading Europe in Round 1 of our report.