Friday, 13 September 2019

E-urobike 2019

Eurobike is sort of "must to do" for everybody who is connected to cycling business. It's an opportunity to meet suppliers face to face and check what's new coming into the market...


In total I spent two days there and walked about 20km in total. My first day was to meet all my present and future vendors and the second day was more relaxing focused on photos and innovations research.

Talking about the innovations, as you can realise from the above picture the whole Eurobike was dominated by E-bikes. Listening to the conversations and watching the marketing guys in action I could summarise that to few points:
  1. If you're lazy road cyclist and want to hit the cols without sweat then buy E-Road bike
  2. If you're even more lazy MTB cyclist and don't want to use your legs riding up the trails, buy E-MTB bike
  3. If you're working in the office 8-10h a day and want to commute on your bike in the "office mode", buy E-bike
  4. If you want that your kids and kids of your kids won't be aware that normal bikes existed before, buy an E-bike
  5. If you don't give a sh*t about our planet then buy E-bike. 
E-bike battery has one-two years lifecycle and can be recycled only in 60% with the condition that it will end up with specialised recycling centre. To give you the perspective - only in France in one year, 40 tons / 15 thousands of such batteries were collected. In China 2018 over 15 millions. The sells prediction talks about 40 milion bikes / year world wide. You don't have to be a genius to realise that we are flooding our planet and environment with millions of toxic, non recyclable batteries every year. It simply amazes me that people are doing everything to end up with self-destruction at very short point of time. All that in the name of healthy environment... what a hypocrisy!

As long as I can understand commuting e-bikes, I totally don't get what's the point to make E-bike from road machine like De Rosa, Bianchi or Colnago. E-MTB bike? What's the point?! The worst part is, that people do buy that, although they don't need that. Marketing machine will sell everything and we will buy it all. This is simply insane! 

Bad taste from Eurobike 2019 will stay for long time so let's look into positive things and true cycling equipment...

Although I'm personally a steel bikes fan, those few carbon machines caught my eye:












My soul was and always be with steel bikes therefore here I spent much more time. Road bikes, Gravel, Bikepacking - this is what makes me happy.

Marin is one of those brands which makes simple, effective and reasonable priced bikes. The new gravel with large tire clearance looked really good:




Enduro? Why not, look at this beauty:


Talking about bike packing, restrap corner was very interesting. Their seat post bags sit very firmly and do not move left-right while riding which is often the case with other brands.






If we're talking about bike bags, then Surly matches into that like Italy to pizza and other way around.






Number of eyelets for bags and bottles are infinite!

A bit of Titanium masterpiece - Rabbit cycles:











In order to balance Titanium vs Steel, here is the real steel artist - Yasujiro:






and a bit more steel bikeporn:




and for those who're bored with carbon, alloy, steel and titanium, here is the wooden proposal:




Now, from bikes and frames to wheel building business:

New hubs from DT Swiss look very good. Improved geometry and simplified ratchet system sounds very promising




Shimano corner with their XTR groups and micro spin free hub:


Kindernay hub was the biggest innovation I found on Eurobike 2019


What is Kindernay XIV? It's internal gear mechanism with hydraulic shifters and swap system which allows you to swap the gearhub between wheels.




That swapping system is the thing which differentiates Kindernay from all other internal gear hubs. If you have two sets of wheels, 29'' and 27.5'' then in few seconds you can switch the hub with the disc rotor which makes it super universal and handy.



The whole system makes really positive impression from durability perspective. Shifters are hydraulic, the shell and gearbox itself is super solid and well sealed. 



Inside the magic box you have advanced planetary system, with 14 speeds and wide gear range of 543% and even 13.9% gear intervals.
Weight wise - 1400g for hub and 100g for the shell. 

Riding impression is super smooth. Power torque from the pedals through the chain to the hub is transferred through specially design clutches with large diameter and great number of engagement points. That give this feeling of rapid and direct pedal engagement with no pedal flex or mush when you push hard.

From wheel building perspective - hub is placed in the middle of the rim, both sides of the wheel have equal spoke tension just like on front road hub. 

Price wise we are talking about 1000+ EUR for the whole set: hub, shell and shifters. Expensive? Difficult to say. Clean look, swap system, solid build makes that solution worth to try.

I'll have one unit available so give me a shout if you'd like to have such wheels prepared.

Staying with the hubs, pro line of Novatec hubs called FACTOR was an interesting one.




I personally do not have the best experience with Novatec products but those hubs look way better. Available only from USA, high number points of engagement, many colours and reasonable weight. I'll definitely try those!

Duke presented new range of the products. My favourite Baccara rims are now available in 21mm inner width and excellent finish which looks like brushed carbon!





Pillar corner was obviously my direction, especially wheels built by https://www.nippelshop.de, the distributor of Pillar spokes for Europe. Since a year I switched to Pillar PSR and Wing spokes and I'll never look back. High quality of steel, wide range of series Wing20 - 23 makes them perfect to optimise the wheel's weight and stiffness.




Aivee presented their new truing stand. Perfectly machined parts combined with wooden elements makes this product very attractive.






Last but not least Ritchey. Last year I asked about Ritchey road logic in disc setup... and here it is!






The frame tubes are still thin and smooth with characteristic longish and pretty low frame geometry. After several years of riding this frame I can only say it's super comfortable and stable on climbs and descents. 

New Ritchey Road Logic Disc has new cockpit, plenty of tire clearance and new colour. This will be my next frameset for sure, of course with Blackcat wheels.

Meeting Ritchey in person (yes in person!) and handshake was the best moment of this year's Eurobike. Very memorable experience!

Summarising the whole trade show - YES for innovations, road+, gravel and bike packing trend. Big NO for batteries which are pushed to all type of bikes no matter if we need that or not. The beauty of cycling is in our legs, effort and satisfaction when we ride to the top of the climbs. These qualities must be cultivated otherwise our kids and kids of our kids won't be even aware that there were times where bikes didn't have any batteries. Training our bodies is a key to stay healthy especially in current times, when we spend 90% of our day in front of our PC and mobile phone screens. 

Wondering what's your take on this one. Feel free to comment here, on instagram or facebook

Thanks for reading folks!
Tomasz

blog-wheelbuilding

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