Eurobike, or as it’s known to cycling fans and geeks alike, Disney Land Germany, is Europe’s biggest bike show, just a shade in size behind the huge event held in Taiwan annually.
Even so, three days in Germany walking around what used to be old air hangers for Zeppelins is nowhere near enough time to check out every stall here. From the big players right through to the small frame-builders based in far flung places of the World, they all gather at Eurobike to show what they have lined up for 2014.
What can we expect I hear you ask? Well 2014 sure seems like it’s going to be the year of the disc brake. If you’d kept your ear to the ground or have been checking the cycling press of late then you could have predicted the trend coming. All the big bike brands like Giant, Cannondale, Specialized and Colnago have at least one in their line-up but it’s the smaller to mid-sized brands from places like Italy and Germany that look to have taken the disc brake road bike idea by the horns and run with it.
Wheels obviously need to be adapted and developed for disc use. One of the big wheel manufactures Mavic looked to have no wheels available but I have it on good authority that they have a set in the works though. Brands that are easily forgotten, smallish manufactures like FIR, Token and Nanotech have been busy on the disc wheel development front and have wheels ready to use with the disc road bikes. Perhaps due to them being smaller companies, they may have more freedom and less “hoops” to jump through with development so are able to get items like the disc brake wheels to market more quickly.
One big company that did have a few disc brake ready wheelsets was Vision. Sagan’s sponsors had some very fine looking carbon and alloy disc brakes on many of the big name brands disc bikes – available in a whole host of colours too.
Shimano unveiled their road disc brake levers. Unlike SRAM’s hydraulic Red levers they have a lot less lever height, looking a lot like the Ultegra models, plus they are DI2 compatible. The only slight down side I felt was the use of a slightly cheap looking silver covering on the lever hood tops. Several people I spoke to felt the same – could we see Shimano listening to buyers’ opinions and changing the silver? Not for the current generation but I’m sure we can expect it down the line. TRP and SRAM had already unveiled previously their disc levers so there is nothing new to report from them although Cannondale were showcasing a very fetching green set of SRAM Red levers on a classy looking CAAD10 disc bike.
From wandering the halls, a few colours seemed to stand out. Expect a good lot of electric blue. Black on black seems to have had its day and the palette has again been attacked by the design teams of many bike manufactures. Deep reds seems to be a favorite too so the peloton next season should be a bit brighter.
Garmin had the new Verib camera range on show. With only a few weeks to go before they hit the shop, it was interesting to see what Garmin had developed to take on the big boys of the sport camera world, GoPro. Garmin have rewritten what a camera can do. Yep it films in HD and takes shots on the go but on top of this it charts all the usual info from your performance on the bike. From heart rate, speed, elevation – the job lot. From now on you can show your mates the footage of you trying to steal the latest Strava KOM with all your effort displayed for them to see. Very slick.
Fizik had a new saddle on display – what looked to be a mini saddle was in fact a Tri/TT specific saddle. It was a lot shorter than a standard road model and with the added benefit of being able to attach bottle holders to the rear. Fizik also had the new handle bars and stems that they have been working on alongside their sponsored team AG2R la Mondiale.
As ever clothing, shoes and helmets took a lot of the floor space at the show. This year there are some exciting and intriguing products coming our way, but that’s for another blog post…