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Eurobike Highlights Pt.1 - Tech

Jordan Gibbons
1 Sep 2015

We scour the halls of Eurobike so you don’t have to: Canyon, Rotor, Tacx, Garmin and Lifebeam inside.

Eurobike is something like Aladdin’s cave meets Trotter’s Independent Traders. If you’ve never been, there are 12 halls in total (A1-A7 and B1-B5) each with a speciality – bike technology, clothing etc. Within each one are the big brands and various other small brands to fill in the gaps, so to give you a taste of the Friedrichshafen experience we’ve compiled our favourite items from Eurobike.

Canyon

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX disc

As well as displaying some serious prize winning bikes ridden by Alexander Kristoff and Nairo Quintana, the Canyon stand also held some really exciting new tech.

First up was a disc-brake Ultimate CF SLX Disc that was placed alongside 'Projekt 6.8'. Projekt 6.8 was Canyon’s first foray into disc brakes back in 2006, which was made almost entirely in-house using some hacked up Campagnolo levers. Canyon has come a long way since then with the Ultimate, but it was keen to say that although it has been slow to bring a disc road bike to the market, it wanted to wait until it was fully happy with the product. We should see the Ultimate CF SLX Disc in the pro peloton quite soon.

Canyon integrated sensors

Canyon also showed a bike with in-built sensors that is able to broadcast data to an appropriate head unit, almost like F1-style telemetry. Canyon were quite coy on how it all works but expect basic numbers, such as speed, mixed with power output and even lean angles.

Canyon head unit

The most exciting thing was the Canyon integrated head unit. In simple terms the head unit is a dumb screen that displays whatever app is currently running on the phone that it is connected to. This means the head unit doesn’t need much computing power, or big batteries, so it can be quite small and sleek. Canyon displayed it running Strava and Google Maps but there were suggestions it will also be able to repeat SRM information for use by the pros.

Contact: Canyon.com

Rotor

Rotor Uno rear derailleur

We first looked closely at the new Rotor Uno groupset in our ‘The future is hydraulic’ article a week or so ago but Eurobike was the first time we were able to get our hands on the groupset. The Rotor Uno is a hydraulically actuated 11- speed groupset that promises a virtually maintenance free experience thanks to a closed hydraulic system.

First impressions are good – the groupset looks well built and appears well thought out, for instance the hydraulic shifting lines are the same size as Di2 cables to maximise compatibility with existing frames. The chain is made by KMC, and Rotor is producing its own cassette but to the Shimano pattern. Magura makes the brakes and you can choose between hydraulic rim and disc brakes.

Rotor Uno front derailleur

Shifting is smooth but a little heavy on the prototype samples we tried, although Rotor assured us that the shifting would be considerably lighter by the launch. The shifting works in a similar fashion to Sram (short push for a harder gear, longer push for an easier gear) and you can shift down four gears at a time. 

Contact: Rotorbike.com

Tacx

Tacx Neo Virtual Reality

Tacx used Eurobike as an opportunity to fully unveil its latest turbo trainer, the Neo. The Neo is the first true magnetic direct drive turbo trainer on the market, as well as being a huge step forward for Tacx virtual reality machines.

Tacx told us that direct drive is a big leap for real road feel. On a normal turbo trainer the roller is usually attached to the resistance unit and flywheel via a belt, which means that the heavy flywheel is spinning a much greater RPM than a normal wheel would. By matching the weight of the flywheel on the Neo to that of a regular wheel, and mounting the cassette directly, the Neo offers a feel and spin down effect very close to riding on the road.

Tacx Neo folded

The Neo is compatible with various VR programs such as Zwift and Trainer Road, along with the new Tacx app. The Neo is capable of generating its own power from the pedaling action but you need to plug it in for the motor to simulate descents. Thanks to the shape, it's also one of the neatest folding turbo trainers we've ever seen. Tacx is sending us a Neo to review, so we’ll explore the full range of options once it arrives.

Contact: Tacx.com

Garmin

Garmin Edge Explore 1000

Garmin had a few new items on its stand including the Varia light range and Virb XE camera. We’ve currently got those in for review but also new on the stand was the Edge Explore 1000.

Garmin describes the Edge Explore 1000 as being ‘ideal for touring and adventure’. The unit comes preloaded with Garmin Cycle Map road and bike paths as was as points of interest. The other big news is that the Explore 1000 is the first Garmin device to offer incident detection capabilities. The Edge Explore 1000 can detect an accident using the integrated accelerometer and then send a cyclist’s location to emergency contacts.

The Edge Explore is expected to begin shipping this autumn with an RRP of £349.99.

Contact: Garmin.com

Lifebeam

Lazer Lifebeam

Lifebeam specialise in wearable tech – specifically in hiding sensors in items of clothing that are then used to measure your body’s various states. It’s been doing this for the US military and Air Force with great success for a number of years and now it has partnered with Lazer.

The Lazer Lifebeam partnership has been going for a little while but until recently you had to buy the helmet with the heart rate monitor preinstalled. Now there is an update to the product so that you can retrofit it to numerous Lazer helmets. Just pop off the cover near the sizing adjuster and clip in the Lifebeam unit – it can be easily accomplished in under two minutes. Don the helmet, connect it to your head unit and hey presto you can see your heart rate.

Lifebeam has given us a sample to try out, so look out of for a review over the coming weeks.

Contact: Lazersport.co.uk

Check back tomorrow for the bikes, wheels and accessories round up.

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