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The best of Eurobike 2016

Cyclist magazine
2 Sep 2016

Our top picks from Eurobike 2016

Yes it's that time of year again: it's 2016 and we've gone to Eurobike so you don't have to. Over the coming days we're going to bring you the best of Eurobike - be that the best in pioneering new tech, the latest bikes or sometimes just the things that catch out eyes. Keep on the look out for updates as the show rolls on.

Argon 18

Perhaps the most eye-catching bike display at Eurobike belonged to Canadian outfit Argon-18, whose 'FWD' concept bike held centre stage. The frame is made entirely of 3D-printed plastic, and is a representation of the technology that Argon-18 would like to see implemented in their bikes of the future. The aero shapes of the bike are evident to see, and to combat the possible harsh ride quality there is a modified seatpost design, where the contact point is moved much further down and a rubber bushing used to secure the seatpost at the toptube junction. Radiator vents can be seen around the disc callipers, which sit halfway into either the fork or chain stay for improved aerodynamics. 

Along with the FWD concept bike there is a rideable machine that uses 22 sensors ranging from the ability to read air density (the stick protruding from the head tube) to the ability to measure yaw angles when cornering, which enables a real-time visualisation of aerodynamic drag outside of the confines of a wind-tunnel. 

DMT

New from DMT is the RS1 road shoe, with another tightening mechanism that moves in the direction of fastening the whole shoe body around the foot, rather than just the tongue area. To do this DMT employ the 'Skeleton' system, which uses a boa dial on top of the upper and a continuous cable which wraps around the whole shoe.

FiftyOne

Perched on the Enve stand was this handbuilt offering from Irish custom build outfit FiftyOne, headed up by ex-pro Aidan Duff. After partnering with frame builder Mauro Sannino and moving both him and his machinery back Dublin, Duff's FiftyOne project now aims to offer a start-to-finish customised bike buying experience. The tubes themselves are Enve, with different sizes and lengths tailored to suit the end buyer, and once they're put together there's a fully custom paint job that comes as standard with the €5000 price to consider too. 

Fizik

Continuing its 'Spine Concept' theme, which originally offered different saddle shapes for the varying flexibility of their users, Fizik have extended the concept into its new range of bibshorts, which have different chamois, panel sizes and elasticity all tailored to the corresponding saddle, be it snake, chameleon or bull. 

Time

French brand Time has fallen off the radar a little since dropping out of the sphere of the pro peloton, but it is still producing bikes that are challenging technology and looking for innovation. As well as adding a disc brake version of its top of the range Scylon to the stable, Time has introduced a mechanism called Aktiv Hz, that aims to reduce road buzz and therefore increase comfort by housing a weight inside a capsule in the fork. The pendulum-esque weight absorb the vibrations, diverting them away from the carbon fork and into the weighted arm. 

Rudy Project

The new Rudy Project Racemaster - a road helmet, with the emphasis on ventilation as opposed to aerodynamics - has a very neat feature that we're surprised we haven't seen more brands exhibit. There's two neat "garages" in two of the rear vents to house the arms of a pair of sunglasses, and a lip for the nosebridge to sit on too, for when the sun goes in and the glasses come off. 

Northwave

Northwave's new Extreme RR shoes, as well as looking very contemporary and also original, draw some well designed tech into play as well. With a dial system that pulls the whole upper around the foot, rather than simply the two sides either side of the tongue together, Northwave is aiming for a better fitting, and therefore more productive, shoe. 

Castelli

New from Castelli is the Velva vest, which uses Dyneema fabric in most of the body to utitlise technology seen in sailing boat sails for a very light (59g) but weatherproof vest for changeable weather conditions. The side panels are made of a stretchier material to ensure that the fit stays tight and unflappy. Also new are the Premio bibshorts, which we were told "has the best parts of all of our other bibshorts combined". The pieces are €169.95 and €200 respectively.

Rapha

The new helmet from Rapha - simply called the Rapha Helmet - is a slightly adapted version of the Giro Synthe. It's been slimlined a little, has a very deep pink-purple finish to the highlights, and also includes some reflective strips on the helmet straps. RRP £225

Colnago

New from Colnago is the Concept, an aero bike that marks a change from Colnago's traditional tube profiles and triangle shapes. The build you see here is Campagnolo Super Record, with a direct-mount brake set up. 

Suplest Pro

Swiss brand Suplest aren't the biggest in the UK, but produce some top quality shoes and supply some WorldTour pros with footwear. It's latest addition is a top of the line road model, the Suplest Pro, which has a lace up system covered by a neat zipper for a presumed aerodynamic effect, and is available in the same glossy finish in black, white and red. A size 42 weighs 230g. £TBC

Topeak Luggage

The latest in a long line of manufacturers to bring out a bikepacking arrangement, Topeak's luggage will be available from early next year, and includes the Front, Top, Mid and Backloader bags, priced between €30 and €70.

Sidi

A brand new top of the line shoe from the giants of Italy, Sidi. The most recognisable feature is the fact that the dials have been placed on the tongue, which Sidi claim makes for a better fit. The shoe is available in five colourways, but this fluoro one takes a charge from both natural and artificial light to enable them to glow in the dark for up to 90 minutes. 

Selle Italia

The picture says it all, but just to reiterate: This is the new SLR C59 saddle from Selle Italia, which at 59 grams makes it the claimed lightest production saddle ever made.

BMC

Greg Van Avermaet's brand new gold-painted Olympic champion's edition Teammachine

Canyon Speedmax CF

While Canyon's top of the range TT bike, the Speedmax CF SLX, is undoubtedly an object of desire, the direct-sales modelled German brand has now launched a smaller sibling, the Speedmax CF, to act as an entry level TT machine. There's a different carbon layup, a non-integrated - but highly adjustable - cockpit arrangement and direct mount brakes front and rear to set it apart from the SLX. With Mavic Cosmic Elite wheels and Ultegra transmission included in the build, the price at €2,300 is - as always with Canyon - impressive.

Fabric 

Accessory and saddle brand Fabric has introduced a heap of new gadgets, including the FL range of lights, which goes from 30 to 500 lumens and from €44 to €80 respectively as the models improve. One neat touch is the ability to change the light setting with a dial, as well as a fair amount of flexibility with fitment. Three multi-tools have been added to the tool arsenal, as well as a range of pumps varying from jersey-pocket sized ones to track pumps with pressure release valves. In the saddle department, where Fabric made their name, there are now differing widths for each model as well as carbon and titanium rail options. 

Koga

Dutch brand Koga had a couple of bikes on display that were in such early stages of development that they were made out of plastic. The prototypes you see in the pictures are indeed printed plastic, which Koga say makes it easier to work out and implement changes to a bike before it goes into proper production. The Colmaro is nearing completion, and will likely be an aluminium road bike with Shimano 105 and disc brakes, priced around €1,500. The Colmaro Rival 1 meanwhile is still under R&D, but the plastic model on display was fitted with SRAM Force x1 transmission, SRAM hydraulic disc brakes and a carbon seatpost, which with the knobby tyres looks a lot like an adventure gravel bike. 

Wahoo

Wahoo Fitness has updated its top of the range Kickr turbo trainer, claiming it offers more responsiveness when mimicking climbs and sprints, as well as being less noisy and a more effective braking mechanism. With maximum power capabilities of 2000 watts and a maximum gradient of 20%, the Kickr certainly competes with its competitors, and is priced at £949. 

FSA 

Brand new from FSA is the K-Force We electronic groupset. The 'We' stands for wireless electronic, with the transmission between shifter and derailleur indeed being wireless, while an 'invisible' battery feeds both the front and rear mech via internal cable routing. There is a lot of potential for customisation for the user, including choice in lever length and control over which derailleur respective levers operate, as well as automatic microshifting. The rear mech itself differs from the norm too, steering away from the traditional parallelogram design in favour of a gearbox to move the derailleur up and down the cassette. There are design updates in the K-Force crankset and brake callipers too, adding to a big entry to the groupset market from FSA. Read more about the details on FSA's breakdown here.

Cannondale

The Cannondale Slate, this time with SRAM's Force x1 drivetrain. 

Urwan

Along with the mainstream brand releases there's also a large showing of smaller brands producing all sorts of crazy bikes. This is a concept bike from German brand Urwan with integraded light systems and no seat tube. 

DeFeet

The trend for whacky sock design continues, as exemplified here by DeFeet. 

Alex Zanardi's 2012 Paralympic handcycling bike, spotted on the Campagnolo stand

Moots Baxter

We love Moots here at Cyclist, and its latest bike, the Baxter, really tests the limits of what could be called a road bike. It's got a mountain bike groupset, mountain bike wheels, a mountain bike fork but it's got curly handlebars so we think its okay. Designed as the ultimate 'monster cross' adventure tourer, those fat tyres should make it an absolute hoot. What's more, Moots use of titanium is legendary, its welds are second to none and its all backed up with a lifetime warranty. What more could you ask for? 

Shimano S-Phyre 

You could be forgiven for taking one look at this new shoe from Shimano and thinking that it's the latest Bont, such is the styling. The S-Phyre debuted at the Tour and is the first Shimano shoe that uses Boa dials. It's got a '12-stiffness' full carbon sole and one way fabric in the heel to prevent heel slip. As a nice touch, the shoes all come with a matching pair of socks so if you opt for the funky colours you'll still look pro.

Sena Smart helmet

Sena might not be a name cyclists are familiar with, but Sena has dominated the motorcycle communications market for a while. It's now expanding into cycling and the Smart helmet is its first offering. Inside the helmet is a Bluetooth transmitter, speaker set and microphone that allows you to talk to others with the helmet. It can also connect to a Garmin to give you directions and to your phone to accept phonecalls or play music. There's a 2K camera at the front too that be controlled by a remote control. It might seem a little futuristic now, but in a few years we'll probably all have one. Final producition models should land in November, priced at approximately £230.

Pro finishing kit

Pro has got a whole new range of finishing kit for 2017 and the highlight of each tier are the handlebars. The new handlebars have fully internal routing for Di2 wiring, which allows you to run the wiring through the bars and out of a small hole at the back, before going through the stem and into the frame. The really clever bit is that the bar ends at flared to hide the junction box for a clean look and easy charging.

Ritchey Outback

It seems the gravel love shows no sign of waning and now Ritchey has joined in. Tom Ritchey says he's been riding the gravel trails around Santa Barbara for years, so this is just a natural evolution of the riding he loves. The Outback is sort of a relaxed version of the Swiss Cross - it uses similar tubing but the bottom bracket is lower and it's got a longer wheelbase. Available as a frameset or complete bike (finished with high-quality Ritchey parts), pricing is yet to be confirmed but expect around £3000 for an Ultegra hydraulic build.

Rotor

It's only small updates from Rotor this year as the Uno groupset was the big launch last year. The Uno is still in progress with a few small updates coming before final release, but Rotor is confident it will be released by the middle of 2017. New this year are the carbon Q-rings. By placing a carbon layer on the outside, Rotor is able to machine away more aluminium from the rear, which it claims allows them to reduce the weight without compromising on the stiffness.

Also new is an app that can sync with its new range of Bluetooth ready power meters. The big advantage of this is that you can pair the app to the powermeter and go for a ride outside to work out what the best position for Q-rings would be. Until now this has had to be done inside with a laptop, but Rotor says that it has found people end up with different results on a turbo trainer as they alter their pedal stroke.

Storck

Storck has unveiled the latest edition of its top-end superbike, the Fascenario F.3. Building on what the company learnt from the Aerfast and Aernario, the F.3 aims to marry slick aerodynamics with a dash of comfort, all while staying under 750g for the frame and keeping the same levels of bottom bracket stiffness. The most striking thing about the F.3 (other than the price...) is the new wide-legged fork that helps smooth the airflow passing the wheel. And the price? Around £10,500 for a Dura-Ace build, or £17,000 for the special-edition Sram eTap equipped Aston Martin version.

At the other end of the scale is the new aluminium T.I.X. (This Is Cross), which as well as being a cheaper entry into CX racing can also double up as a winter bike thanks to the addition of mudguard eyelets. Priced around £2500 for the 105 model.

Giro

Ever the footwear pioneer, Giro has revamped what it started with the lace-up revolution by launching the Factor Techlace, which aims to combine the benefits of both a boa dial at the top and laces in the forefoot. 

Zipp

The aero wheel specialists have updated two of its mainstay wheelsets, with the 202 and 203 models now being launched as tubeless-ready in both the NSW and Firecrest iterations. They're all available in a range of zany colours, too.

SRAM

Of most interest on the SRAM stand is the presence of an eTap Hydraulic groupset, which includes some marginally smaller hoods than those on previous HydroHC groupsets, as well as mounts for both direct and flat mount. 

Quarq 

Although no new power metres could be seen at Quarq, there was a glimpse of the new Quarq Prime crankset, which is due to be fitted as standard on a heap of mainstream bikes next year, and will allow users to add Quarq's D-Zero power metre as an after market addition should they wish, hugely reducing the cost of a power metre.

FA Bike

The original FA Bike launch was back in 2013, with the brand priding itself on a 'one bike to do it all' motto. There was one bike on the stand in particular that caught out eye, and that was the C2. With adjustable dropouts that allow the user to fit either 120mm 135mm rear hubs, and a seat stay that actually splits to allow the fitment and use of a belt drive, it's certainly unique. The C2 on show was built with a Shimano Alfine hub to make things even more quirky. 

Lightweight

Brand new from Lightweight is the Wegweiser wheel, which is basically an aero disc wheel. With a very wide rim width it differs from Lightweight's previous aero disc wheels, and also features a new carbon layup which is exceptionally clean around the spokes, as you'd expect from the German brand.

Lightweight has a disc-ready Urgestalt frame to accompany the regular calliper brake version, which has recieved some updates in the layups of both the fork and the rear triangle to accomodate, as well as making the frame a little more forgiving. "You could take it off road on some gravel tracks," they told us on the stand, "but it's really a road bike."

Elsewhere on the Lightweight stand is a prototype that the brand is looking to launch next year, which included some neat inbuilt lights in the headtube and seatstays, and which is hopefully going to be completely manufactured in Germany. 

Parlee

Although this bike would be forbidden under UCI rules, we couldn't help but stick around to hear about the aero disc brake set up on the TTR triathlon bike. With a carbon fibre fin that very neatly covers the calliper on the fork and the chainstay, we can't help but think this is in some way pioneering as the likeliehood of needing both good brakes and aerodynamics in a regular time trial - be that at the Tour de France or an evening 10 - is probably quite high.

Stages 

Stages Power, one of the pioneers of "accessible power" when it launched four years ago, is now bringing a head unit and training software to the market. Stages told us they wanted to keep everything in a package that they could control, and these were the obvious solutions. The €399 Stages Dash is the head unit, is both ANT+ and Bluetooth compatible, and comes with a comprehensive, if data-heavy, interface, with a basic mapping function and an impressive 30 hour battery life. Stages Link meanwhile is the software, developed by Australian company Today's Plan, and will be run on a subscription basis. 

Sportful

Sportful came to Eurobike with some very high tech clothing to roll out, including the Stelvio rain jacket, which at €259 is at the top end of the market, but with the weatherproofed spec and uncompromised fit quality to back it up. The R&D Cima jersey and bibshorts meanwhile are new additions to the road range, and the Giara range a footstep into the gravel market, with loose-fitting and casually styled designs. 

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