Eurobike previews: Kalkhoff, Polygon, Merida and Ghost - BikeBiz

Eurobike previews: Kalkhoff, Polygon, Merida and Ghost

Shown to press in Austria recently, BikeBiz looks at some 2016 highlights
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19 exhibitors, over 120 journalists from around the globe and one gondola connected mountain. Eurobike’s first ever Media Days provided the perfect platform for 2016 bike launches. Here's the first of our product round ups.

For a full gallery from the below featured brands, click here.

Kalkhoff

A trend to emerge from the 2016 launches on the electric front was the addition of the ‘speed pedelec’ to a few brand’s stables. Kalkhoff introduced the Integrale, a 45kph (30mph) build capable of some 80 kilometres assistance on high output mode.

This power comes courtesy of a charged up Impulse EVO RS motor, designed for Kalkhoff bikes only and featured on builds such as the Integrale s10 and s11.

That’s not the end of the tech upgrades however, with the dash display now Bluetooth-connected to mobile phones for instant feedback records, app synching and output customisation.

50 Cycles, the UK distributor, has confirmed that it will carry stock of the bikes, which are currently without type-approval much thanks to the non-speed assisted pace at which things are done at the Department for Transport. Retailers selling such a bike will however have to advise the customer on helmet choice and a few other details about current and potential future legislation.

While out on the Kirchberg mountains, one demo Integrale reportedly accidentally pinched a Cadel Evans Kitzsteinhorn Strava KOM, clocking 73.3km in the process, presumably downhill. 

We now believe that KOM to have come from this rather interesting Cycling Weekly test.

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Polygon

Describing the UK market as ‘interesting’ and tentatively suggesting it’s open to doing business direct with retailers here, Polygon Bikes are a near global operation with a deep catalogue of bikes for on and off the roads, for kids and adults alike.

What’s interesting about Polygon is that it’s producing totally unique frames, with its own proprietary moulds and design ideas. And with a team now hitting the podiums with some regularity in Europe, people are beginning to notice and ask after the bikes in currently unserved territories. Already strong in the German and French gravity markets, Polygon’s Collosus DH9 is the top-end downhill rig. Built around a floating suspension system, the 27.5 alloy and carbon mix utilises Shimano Saint’s groupset to good effect, while Kashima-coated Fox 40 and DHX2 shocks supply big-hit absorption.

On the trail front, look out for the Collosus T8 with its clean-lined, internally routed carbon frame. This 140mm travel offering, like many others in the catalogue, makes the most of the brand’s close ties to Spank to offer wheelset, bar and stem finishing kit from the label. 

For retailers interested in representing the brand in the UK, contact Michael.klampfl@zeutro-porindis.com

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Merida

What became an instant icon in the cross-country circuit when launched many years back, the Merida Ninety-Six is back this year.

Merida’s most successful race bike to date is now available in both 27.5 and 29, though the wheel size you get will be dependent on the frame size. In the case of the Ninety-Six, a small will be 27.5, while a large is 29”. The middle ground provides you the choice of either.

So what’s changed build-wise? Most-noticeable aesthetically is the addition of Rock Shox ‘upside down’ fork, as well as 1x11 gearing from Sram. Frame wise, Merida has been very careful to maintain clean straight lines through the frame. With the shock found under the top tube this almost perfectly aligns with the seat stays, which Merida says results in a very strong and clean frame. Furthermore, it’s prepped ready for electronic gearing, while the rest of the cables are routed via ‘Smart Entry points’ that gently clamp the cables down and remove the need for unnecessary internal routing.

On the road front, things get even more interesting when it comes to the Scultura. 

With the thicknesses of the carbon highly tailored for stiffness and flex in all the right places, you’ll find a super thin (03.mm) area of carbon in the top tube that will even compress if you pinch it. That’s not to say the 730 gram frame is not strong however, despite claiming the top spot for ‘lightest production bike available this year’. The rear brake is now located under the bottom bracket, with engineers also giving the down tube a ‘water droplet’ shape in order to boost aero credentials.

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Ghost

Catching our eye in its brilliant red finish, Ghost’s new FrAMR is now top of the pile in the AMR family, offering two carbon and two aluminium models revolving around a four-bar linkage.

It’s somewhat of a Jekyll and Hyde build, with a reversible lower shock mount. This clever link allows you to turn the bike from trail bike to enduro machine simply by swapping out the shock and flipping the link.

Largely inspired by the Riot platform, the FrAMR has a stiff carbon front triangle that’s prepped for Shimano Sideswing internal routing. New to the build is a new disconnect brake mount that’s lighter and stiffer than previously, as well as a discreet FD high-mount adapter frame slot with a plastic cover. A ISCG05 adapter is also worked in.

On the hardtail front, a key model is the 27.5-inch wheeled Asket. New to the line-up, it comes with a short stem, wide bars and is internally routed, including to the dropper post. Designed simply for fun on the trails, the Asket offers 130mm of travel up front and a 68-degree head angle that promotes an agile ride. Subtle details like a largely concealed brake mount in the frame’s rear triangle only add to the frame’s clean lines.

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