BikeBiz could have dedicated the whole October issue to the world’s largest bike exhibition and still only have scratched the surface. Here is part three of four in our series of show coverage:
Scott Bikes are doing a line of three entry-level to mid-range BMX bikes for 2011. These form the Volt-x series and come are defined simply by the numbers 10, 20 and 30, with the former two specced with pivotal saddles.
The Volt-x 10 is to occupy the just shy of £400 price point that is proving so popular within the 20-inch market. Coming gyro equipped and with a full Cr-mo, graphically detailed frame and three-piece crank, as well as trend-fitting plastic pedals, Scott feel the 10 could be a big seller.
Dahon, Biologic, Abus, Genuine Innovations (Zyro)
Genuine Innovation’s Air Chuck Elite sat among the Eurobike hall of fame, handpicked by the show’s judges for its design quality, functionality, value and super-light 16-gram weight. The Air Chuck Elite’s convenient size and inflation capabilities make it a must-pack item for any die-hard cyclist.
Dahon and its new Biologic brand were in full force at the show too. Bagging a Eurobike award, Dahon’s Vector x10 was highlighted for its sporty, aerodynamic curves, low weight and design quality among other things. The hydroformed frame comes adorned with a wide-ranging ten-speed cassette and super stylish 14-spoke kinetix wheels, complete with a 20-inch version of Schwalbe’s popular Durano tyre. Sram X7 and X9 components also power the drivetrain.
Biologic’s range was largely expanded and pushed to the masses at Eurobike and drew crowds with attention grabbing products like iPhone mounts and Biologic-branded flasks.
Designed to fit Dahon’s, as well as most other bikes, retailers now have access to a huge range of accessories, including largely un-covered accessories, such as pollution masks, while mainstream add-ons such as locks and lights.
Abus demonstrated a new case of Bordo series locks to BikeBiz at Eurobike, with one hitting a level 15 security rating. On this particular design the inner plate prevents saw access on the joints, which are often said to be prone to attack. What’s more, the manufacturer says that not even experts have managed to pick the lock.
A ‘Bordo Lite’ is also set to soon come to market, offering level seven protection. A plastic shell protects an inner steel lining, which although minimalised for ease of transportation, is still super tough and hardened to prevent breakage.
A UK specific ‘U-Mini’ is also set to be available through Zyro who requested a design that fits better round typical lampposts and street signs.
X-lite, Nukeproof and Ragley (Hotlines)
Displaying only the firm’s in-house-designed product, Hotlines took along Ragley, Nukeproof and the recently re-issued X-Lite brand.
With each now producing aftermarket components through Hotlines, each satisfying various price points and niches within the business there was plenty on show. Designed in Yorkshire by Brant Richards, the Ragley Cragg Vale frameset is due in the UK shortly and is set to retail at just £349.99. Named after the UK’s longest uninterrupted road climb, the Crag Vale is decaled with reflective 3M strips including information about the notorious 968-foot climb. The package comes with a fork headset and mudguards.
Nukeproof is now appearing under a revamped logo giving the brand revamp a new look. Having taken the past two years to develop, the Eurobike exhibition showed off some final prototypes, such as the 200mm travel Scalp downhill frame, aimed to go into production with a 9.5 pound target weight and which is to be used by a full Nukeproof UK race team as of next year. Hotlines marketing manager Andy Gowan says the team will be made up of some very big names, though could say no more than "look out for the Nukeproof team on the downhill circuit going forwards."
Nukeproof’s aftermarket component line, going forwards, is most notable thanks to a new line of headsets to suit most off-road bikes and sit deeper in the frame for added strength. There are also plenty of quirky add-on items such as superlight seatclamps, titanium bolts for more or less all areas of the bike, handlebars and pedals.
X-Lite holds the brands original ethos in the revamped product targeting the high-end, but this time around with more colours than the rainbow. Various price points will be hit with much of the product, with both cromoly and titanium railed saddles set to land in February and to retail for £30 and £50, respectively.
Then there’s the handlebars. X-Lite will offer both alloy and high-modulus carbon low-rise bars, as well as a new ‘flat bar’, which with a wider clamping area does carry a 5mm rise.
There will also be a full carbon fork on offer from X-Lite, which will be available in either a 9mm quick release version, or a 15mm bolt-thru axle ready version. Three different lengths will also be available at the £269.99 retail price – 440mm, 455mm and 470mm.
Hotlines is seeking distribution worldwide for its in-house brands and asks that interested parties make contact on 0131 319 1444.
Ultimate Ceramic Bearings and Bebop (Eurobike)
Though not on display at the Eurobike booth, the distributor let BikeBiz in on a little secret during the show – two new brands have signed to the firm’s books.
First up, Ultimate Ceramic Bearings will not only be new to the Eurobike portfolio, but will also be the bearing of choice for Team Sky as of next year. With a power saving of four watts per mile on previous readings from the ex team supplier, Ultimate Ceramic’s product is fine tuned and geared largely at the professional looking to shave seconds off their race times.
BikeBiz was given a demonstration of the bottom bracket on the booth and we can confirm that’s the most free we’ve ever seen a set of cups glide. Full ceramic bottom bracket kits will set customers back £199.99, though a cheaper Hybrid version is also to be sold for £109.99.
Secondly, the Eurobike belt gets another stud in the form of BeBop pedals. At just 150 grams, the titanium pedal offers 20-degrees of float and the ease of entry to the clip in pedal is "the slickest we’ve felt," according to Eurobike MD Paul Stewart.
Thanks to some clever adapters, the three pedal line will be useable for both road and mountain biking. Stewart adds: "The cleat is lightweight too, something many manufacturers neglect when thinking up pedal and cleat design."
The range starts at £80 and hits £250.
Among the bikes flagged up by the Eurobike judges as being something special, two Cube models, the AMS and Elite Super HPC bikes sat proud. These were among the most box-ticked award highlights with both builds flagged up for their low weight, functionality, environmental credentials, value and much more.
The ‘buzz’ around Cube’s stand itself revolved around the firm’s answer to the electric market. Available direct from Cube as of February, the firm has deliberately played on the recent ‘motorised doping’ scandal, naming it’s on-board technologies both EPO and EDA, the later apparently standing for ‘electric dynamic assistance’.
Both the male and female builds are built with a ‘no cut corners’ approach’, thus won’t be the cheapest on the market, though are said to be "as smooth as electric bikes come," according to Kai Schultz of the firm’s product management department.
Thanks to a 40-cell lithium ion battery, manufactured by German battery specialist BMZ Battery Packing powering, the build will have a strong range per charge. What’s more, the bike is notably unclogged with wiring, with just one discreetly visible wire leading to the motor. The battery is both chargeable on board, or removable.
Tidy finishing features such as Pinhead’s secure wheel and seatpost locks are standard on each build.