Eurobike is one of the biggest cycling trade shows on the planet with all manner of brands looking to show off their new stuff. Now based in Frankfurt Messe, the infamous bike tech circus attracts a host of new and existing tech, bikes, clothing, and accessories, plus there is a fair share of oddities too.
It's a good indicator to see trends in the industry too, as it's one of the few instances where a massive proportion of the bike industry is under one roof.
As you can imagine, there is a lot going on. We spent a couple of hectic days exploring the stands looking for new and interesting tech, so keep reading to find out what caught our attention at Eurobike 2022.
Nicolai Nucleon 16 with a Lal Supre Drive drivetrain
This bizarre drivetrain concept from Canadian development company Lal Bikes has been doing the rounds for a while but this is the first time we have had a chance to see it in the flesh.
The Supre Drive uses a series of idlers and a unique in-line derailleur that work together in order to tension the chain and shift gears. The lower pulley is hydraulically damped which Lal Bikes says offers better performance than the springs used in traditional derailleurs. As the derailleur is no longer tensioning the chain it can be simplified and moved out the way of sniper rocks and debris that could cause damage. It currently uses a Shimano cassette and hub although the different mounting configuration requires a frame designed specifically for the drivetrain.
Obviously, it couldn't be more fitting that Nicolai has stepped up to the plate to offer the first to offer the Lal Supre Drive production bike, with the Nucleon 16. Nicolai has a long history of being experimental, especially when it comes to drivetrains, and has long been the leading figure for gearbox-equipped mountain bikes.
The Nucleon 16 is a little conservative compared to the G-series which are Nicolai's best enduro bikes. Nicolai says that the 64-degree head angle, 78.3-degree seat angle, and long 490mm reach are focused more on maneuverability and agility. The frame is claimed to weigh 3.9kg, presumably without a shock or drivetrain.
You can order yours now, retailing for €3,099 (frame only, no drivetrain or shock) or €7,499 (complete bike), with the first round of bikes looking to be delivered from December 2022. For more details, check out Nicolai-bicycles.com.
On the subject of Nicolai, there were a couple of other bikes that we couldn't help but look at. The Saturn 11 is a proper cross-country bike and this one had a seriously lust-worthy spec on it. The highlight has to be the Duke Lucky Jack rims laced up with Pirope textile spokes. While we aren't sure what the rim spec is, this 29er cross-country wheelset could be as light 1,055g!
The Saturn 14 GPI is exactly what you would expect from a Nicolai trail bike. It's long, slack, and comes equipped with a Pinion gearbox rather a standard drivetrain. We think it looks great with its industrial finish and clean belt-driven system.
Challenge Gravel Grinder tire
Challenge had its new Gravel Grinder tires on show which is aimed at the gravel race market. The tread has been updated, featuring a smooth diamond tread center with beefed-up shoulders to give more bite in the corners. The transition between the center and the outer knobs has also been smoothed in order to offer more predictive cornering performance. The tires come in 33mm, 36mm, and 40mm and feature a 260TPI double ply casing, and gravel-specific compound. Weights are around 470g, although Challenge doesn't say what size this is for.
We have our hands on a set and once we have clocked up some miles on them, will be bringing you a full review to see how they match up with the best gravel bike tires.
Challenge also chose to display all its tires on ultra-premium, and very light, Schmolke carbon rims. Not only added some serious steez to the display but also provides a perfect segue to...
Schmolke and THM ultralight cranksets
German carbon specialists Schmolke and THM had some carbon works of art and lightness on their stand. The Clavicula crankset is outrageously lightweight with the Clavicula XC cranksets weighing in at a scant 299g (without chainring). They do a road version too, the SE PM which includes a power meter and only weighs 320g.
Schmolke had its new Gravelbar TLO on display, which is an ultralight gravel-specific drop bar. It comes in three sizes (400mm, 420mm, and 440mm), features a six-degree flare, and 115mm drop.
Weighing in at just 170g, this lightness doesn't come cheap and the retail starts at €495!
Selle Italia SLR Boost 3D
Selle Italia is the latest brand to join the 3D printed saddle battle. The concept which was brought to market by Fizik, and followed shortly after by Specialized, is now starting to get picked up by other brands.
The claims to achieve a lot of the same benefits as other existing 3D printed saddles, namely zonal cushioning to offer better support with Selle Italia's own pattern. Details are slim, although it's expected to be released in September and range between €360 and €450 depending on the rail material.
Selle San Marco – which is also owned by Selle Italia – has also brought a 3D printed saddle that has a different pattern and is said to offer thicker padding.
Giro Formula mountain bike shoes
Giro had its new Formula trail shoes on show, the range consists of a single Boa version and a Pro model featuring a double Boa. Aimed at trail riding with an equal focus on climbing as descending, the shoes features a dual-injected carbon composite plate for a stiff pedaling platform that's coated in a Sensor rubber ( outsole for traction. The tread on the soles features carbon composite lug cores to save weight. Giro claims that the Formula Pro will weigh in at 420 grams.
The upper is made from abrasion-resistant textile and microfiber material. The most notable difference between the two versions is that the Formula Pro's are secured with a dual Boa Dial-Z closure and the Formula uses a single Boa L6 Dial closure.
Both versions come in three colorways and come in sizes 39 – 50, including half-sizes from 42.5 – 45.5. The women's Formula will have two colors in women’s sizes 36 – 43, including half-sizes from 37.5 – 42.5. Retail is going to be $300 / €269.95 for the Formula Pro and $250 / €239.95 for the Formula and the shoes should be available in autumn.
Hope's new stem, jockey wheels, and 3D printable tools
Hope showed us its new Gravity stem, which saves a few grams lighter over the DH stem. Obviously Hope will offer them in a range of matchy-match colors and it will be available in sizes between 35mm and 60mm.
Hope had some new 14t pulley wheels for AXS derailleurs in some fancy colors too.
Hope also had some neat little 3D printed tools to help customers bleed their brakes. They won't be for sale though, instead, it will upload files to its website where they can be downloaded for free, so if you have a 3D printer you can print them off yourself.
Out Of Irid and Piuma The One sunglasses
Sunglasses brand Out Of really caught our eye with its light adapting sunglasses. These aren't photochromatic and the transition between a deep tint and no tint is extremely fast, perfect for mountain bikers who often transition from open trail into dark woods at speed.
It works by using a small solar cell at the top middle of the frame which powers a proprietary chip and a special Liquid Crystal filter. The system doesn't use batteries and is completely waterproof. When we say that the transition is quick, we are talking less than a second, and should constantly adapt to offer the right amount of tint for any conditions. We are trying to get hold of some to review as this tech could make the Irid some of the best mountain bike sunglasses around.
It also had a pair of Piuma The One sunglasses which only weigh 16.8g. They feature polarized lenses, the Grilamid and carbon frames could make these some of the lightest eyewear on the market.
3D printed bibshorts
The tech that has seen somewhat of an arms race in the saddle world is now coming to bib shorts. Elastic Interface and Endura were both showing off their latest tech in chamois comfort.
Elastic Interface specializes in chamois and works with loads of cycling brands that make bib shorts. It has developed EIT N3X which are essentially 3D printed inserts that are then sewn into the shorts. By 3D printing these pads, Elastic Interface is able to control the levels of padding with increased accuracy when compared to foam. The inserts should also be considerably more breathable and dry faster as well.
Elastic Interface says that the 3D printed pads are more resistant to crushing down through use, so comfort shouldn't degrade as much as a regular foam pad. 3D printing is also less wasteful too as the machines produce the correct shape without wasteful off-cuts. Elastic Interface is currently working with brands and hopes to see bib shorts equipped with these new chamois' in early 2023.
Endura is also working hard to produce a 3D chamois by pairing up with Carbon, the California-based company behind Fizik and Specialized's 3D saddles, to develop the Endura Matrix seat pad.
Endura has opted to go for a full-size 3D printed pad and should boast all the same comfort, breathability, and hydrophobic benefits as the aforementioned chamois above. Endura's Matrix 3D printed pad handles all the support as well, with only a little foam being used in order to secure the pad within the shorts.
It will feature in Endura's new Pro SL EGM Matrix road bib shorts which will be part of the brand's 2023 catalog. Endura plans to release a women's version as well, although that won't be out until the following year.
Isabeau Courdurier's Spicy custom Lapierre Spicy
There were a lot of pro bikes kicking about on the stands but Isabeau's Lapierre Spicy definitely stood out. The detail on the black and white animal print is insane and contrasted nicely with the pink sparkly graphics. It was of course loaded with SRAM, Rockshox, and Zipp components.
Lezyne Tubeless Pro plug
Lezyne had these neat tire repair plugs on show. The idea is that if you damage your tire, you can fit one of these rather than binning what would otherwise be a perfectly good tire. Lezyne says that a plug should last the lifetime of a tire too.
It's definitely a back-at-home job though as you will need to give the tire a good clean before it's fitted. The plug itself is simple to install, by simply pushing the tip through the hole and gluing the flat section to the inside of the tire. Once fitted the tip is then trimmed down and your tire should be ready to ride again.