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Gallery: The weird and wonderful of Eurobike

Eurobike showcases some of the most exciting new bikes, but also some of the quirkiest sides of the industry

Peter Stuart
12 Sep 2019

Eurobike is the world’s biggest cycling trade show, and a showcase of some of the best new products from big brands, but the show also hosts manufacturers from the Far East touting their wares, alongside startups from all over the world.

We weren’t on the lookout for oddities from the show, or really anything outside new road bike releases, we certainly happened upon a few intriguing sections of the show, and were piqued by some unexpected innovations.

Brompton upgrades

With folding bikes becoming an ever-larger part of urban mobility, and an increasingly popular fashion throughout the Far East, it should be no surprise that brands are investing in upgrades. What comes as a surprise, though, is how impressive and shiny some of these upgrades appear to be.

This Brompton, upgraded by Taiwanese brand Rider (which has some distribution in the UK from Brick Lane Bikes), is a spectacle of how much room for customisation there is on a standard Brompton.

Gold anodised hubs, gold-coloured brazing and after-market carbon wheels and a customised chain tensioner are the most visually striking additions to this 'naked' Brompton M6L raw-lacquer bike.

Rider wasn’t the only brand specialising in Brompton and folding bike components, although many seemed to be housed at the show's 'Taiwan Pavilion'.

A few stands over we found Hubsmith, who boasted a wealth of folding bike and non-standard size carbon rim designs. It was the road and folding bike hubs that caught our eye, though.

Far East manufacturers

If you didn’t know that most bike components, and bikes, are made in the Far East, then prepare yourself for a shock.

Stands like FlyBike represent factories that will provide carbon bikes for brands in Europe. Those on display are likely 'open mould' meaning that they would be available to most small brands, but would probably offer more bespoke designs to larger customers.

We also saw carbon finishing kits and titanium frames sold from Taiwanese companies, again likely for rebranding by smaller brands.

More surprising to us was what looked like a Taiwanese low cost alternative to a wireless shifting system. Because of numerous patents restricting shifting levers, we aren’t surprised to see the shifting mechanism appearing rather rudimentary.

However, the flat-bar thumb shifter could well prove more practical for urban commuting in contrast to serious racing.

Speedy and strange

You may have missed the vast demand for a 20" wheel, separable tandem bike, but the innovators at CoVelo did not.

While we might question the integrity of a tandem attached by a single quick release, there’s no questioning the practical advantage of riding with a detached 4th wheel which can be switched in to turn the tandem into two separate bikes.

A tandem folding bike would be a pretty fast set up, but the fastest bikes at the show were undoubtedly several velomobiles on show.

If you’ve never seen a velomobile in the flesh, rest assured, they are quick. The speed record for trike velomobiles sits at 116kmh, without any wind block or aerodynamic slipstream assistance.

That speed is down to a super low coefficient of drag, but they are not light, and so take a little effort, and time, getting up to speed.

Perhaps a future test bike for Cyclist...

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