For better or worse anodised components are making a comeback; these edgy looking brakes, rings and jockey wheels are from KCNC.
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Eurobike 2014

The annual Eurobike trade show seems to get bigger and busier every year, and it’s definitely at the fore when it comes to the major bike shows. It’s enormity can be stifling, not only for visitors but for brands too – and many major and minor names do now skip the crammed German halls because of this, preferring to take their own show’s on the road or simply sit out the food fight of Friedrichshafen.

Sure enough there’s lot’s too see, but overall it’s become a game of minor gains and tweaks, with the odd major advancement.

This year e-bikes were once again big news, and things have come a long way on the development side, with smaller and more powerful motors rapidly evolving.

When it comes to true pedal power it would very much seem like a case of just about everybody and anybody chasing each other around the great velodrome of trend rather than thinking outside of the track centre.

Disc brakes and gravel bikes were the scratch markers, with power meter systems and internal wiring following them to the line.

After several well documented, though ‘unofficial’ appearances at race events in the US and Europe, we were wondering if there’d be a surprise launch of SRAM’s highly anticipated wireless electronic groupset. It was not to be and the word is that it’s still a little way off plugging into the market – maybe 2016.

Looking very much to the future all new Focus disc brake bikes will now come with dedicated front forks and rear dropouts, which are designed to work specifically with their new RAT disc hub and quick release system. As bike sponsors of the World Tour AG2R team Focus have been looking for a faster and more unified disc brake and hub combination, so that when the UCI finally clear disc usage for road races they will be ahead of the game. The new system is based around a hollow axel (similar to those used in downhill and freeride mountain biking) that is secured by a seven-position ratchet skewer.  This combines to make disc alignment virtually immediate, and thus makes disc wheel changes much faster than they are currently.  There were several other similar systems at the show, although Focus seems to be leading the standardisation charge.

Titanium maestro’s Litespeed have been producing disc braked cyclo cross bikes for a few years now, and for 2015 they’ve swerved the gravel bike trend and put out a solid and industrial strength road bike aimed at the sportive and endurance market, which is really quite retro-chic, and has a bombproof triangular rear disc mounting system.

Internal wiring and battery mounting features on the new Cervelo S5 for 2015, which has also been produced with a different carbon layering system, which they believe will make for a lighter and stiffer ride. Discs are not on the agenda for Cervelo, they’re sitting on the sideline until it becomes unavoidable.

It’s been a huge year for the German brand Canyon, largely thanks to the pint-sized Colombian Nairo Quintana, who won the Giro d’Italia on one of their bikes. Hogging a large slice of the limelight was their full suspension concept road bike. At the moment it is just that – a concept, but the technology based around it could well be a game changer in the years to come. The suspension is based around a magnetic fluid system, which completely locks out when it comes into contact with a tiny magnet.

After several well documented, though ‘unofficial’ appearances at race events in the US and Europe, one of the notable absences from Eurobike was the highly anticipated and all new SRAM Red wireless electronic groupset. The word is that it’s still a little way off plugging into the market – maybe 2016.

Look’s internal braking system will still be a prominent feature in 2015, and several bike models have been slightly updated, with lots of internal wiring going on, and an all new slightly suspended seat post, which features elastomer inserts.

Mavic’s new road shoe and clothing range is as innovative and pleasing as ever.

Basque manufacturer Orbea released their road disc bike a few months ago, and they’ve just announced an updated version of their ever-popular Orca frame. A slightly beefed up down tube and lightened upper frame have made for what they say will be the lightest and stiffest Orca ever, and the Cofidis team will ride them in 2015. Orbea have also launched a new ultra-light road helmet, the R10, which comes with an aero and visor attachment, making for a nice budget TT option.

The celeste doyens at Bianchi have come up with a rather attractive new TT/Aero bike for 2015 – the Aquila CV, which was first launched at the end of the Tour de France.  Showing a keen interest in the bike was former Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt, who will be riding one in his Ironman triathlon campaign.

Wooden bikes were prominent at the show; although many were more aimed at the novelty market there were also some feasible and very appealing options out there. Perhaps the most interesting of these was the Basque built Axalko fame, which as a fully built bike topped the scales at just 7.4kg. The frames are made by a very small co-operative and have been ridden in semi-anger by a couple of ex Euskatel riders, who took them to the Paris-Roubaix sportive event and sung high praises of their comfortable race like ride. The custom made frames will retail at around $4005-$5000. You can check them out at www.axalko.com

Ritchey’s Swiss Cross bike is a thoroughbred and very desirable.

MIPS helmets are taking off; Giro has a range that uses the innovative safety feature to reduce brain and neck injury.

New GT gravel bikes

Liv had a strong presence at Eurobike promoting their new model bikes and clothing range, distinctly separate from their parent company, Giant.

The new Velocite bike from Lightweight is a fully working 500 watt ebike prototype. The battery is hidden within the down tube. That’s been done before by others, but the magnetic flux engine is a first for bicycles. It uses the same technology as magnetic levitation trains. The rear wheel rim is coated with a series of magnets, which pass within 1mm of a series of copper coils that are housed within the curved section of the seat tube.  Thomas Lenchik pictured here holding the 14 kg prototype bike is Managing Director of CarboFibretec, the parent company of Lightweight. Between his company and the German Government, five million Euros (about $7.1 million Aus) has been invested into this fully rideable prototype, which he says has so much torque that it can spin the rear wheel. Thomas predicts that they can reduce the weight to 10 kg for future production models.

For better or worse anodised components are making a comeback; these edgy looking brakes, rings and jockey wheels are from KCNC.

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