Thursday, September 10, 2015

Eurobike 2015 Overview

If you are even vaguely interested in Bicycles then I hope to convince you that Eurobike should be on your yearly calendar of shows that you must attend.

What is Eurobike?
Eurobike is a once per year Industry trade show where bicycle manufacturers and suppliers gather to exhibit new products for the coming year.

It is hosted in Germany at Lake Constance, close to Austrian and Swiss borders.   Besides the Exhibition centre this is a beautiful scenic area with lots of bicycle trails to explore!

The show format is a number of trade days, and the last day is the public day.

Eurobike is in Europe (duh!) wheras North America has Interbike in Las Vegas.  Unhelpfully the two trade shows are normally just weeks apart (in August/ September of the year).

The Link  Aug 31 - sept 04 2016 next

How we Roll

Marcus and Agata drove to Eurobike in our motorhome. Near the exhibition area was a 20 Euro per day parking area.  This also came with showers, toilets and electric hookups, although for that you need a really long power lead  (we joined somebody else's for first day).

If you are really cheap we noticed you can park a motorhome nearby in what looks like uncharged parking.  But no facilities and well, it's cheating a bit right?

We took our Road race bicycles to ensure that our daily exercise regime could be made via the extended Rapha cycling routes

We attended 1 trade day and 1 public day.

Blog Format

I'll present a summary here but over the course of next weeks we'll do individual posts on some of the most interesting finds.

Our Interest Point
Our Interests were all things Road bike including triathlon, and any e-Bike developments.   We were not at all interested in Mountain Bikes.   We looked for fitness innovations but are uninterested in home trainers   (NB: We live in Switzerland, with effectively unlimited outdoor exercise possibilities 365 days of the year.  Indoor trainers are not required. You should come and visit us!)

Executive Summary

- Tubeless Easy
Schwalbe has a new revolutionary tyre system for road bicycles.  It's a tyre a bead that sits on your bicycle rim but it is tubeless, i.e. no inner tube.   The Tubeless easy system requires you to put some sealant inside the tyre and this stays a liquid, being forced out to automatically seal small punctures when they occur. Tyres are mounted onto any standard airtight clincher wheel.

- Sram eTap

SRAM publicly announced the Holy grail of electronic shifting - wireless. It has been claimed to be unreliable by Shimano/ Campagnolo years back, well now apparently not. Available mid 2016 :-( Price and weight comparable to Dura Ace etc.

- Taiwan
Eurobike hosts a decent number (>30) Taiwan and other Asian exhibitors looking to make liaisons and partnerships.

- Shimano
No announcements at the high end at all. Disappointing.

- e Bikes
Growth in Electric Bikes is absolutely hyperbolic!  Exponential!  Choose your own adjective. Many manufacturers now in the game, but the main hardware supplier is still Bosch.

There are multiple EC laws and regulations limiting motors to 250W and speeds to 25Km/h. The UK harmonises laws with EC for 2016 for pedal-assist bikes i.e. pedelecs.

The EC legislation for Speed Pedelecs on the road, capable for 45Km/h is still in progress

- Bosch eBike Systems

Offer the Activ Cruise, Performance Cruise/Speed and Performance CX drive units.  Also the Intuvia and Nyon on board computers. Also a whole line of 300, 400 and 500 Wh Lithium ion batteries charging in 4.5 hours or less from mains or portable chargers. A polished set of matched components

To frame eBikes power a fit road Cyclist can probably comfortably output 200 Watts on a multi hour race, and in normal 20Km/h cycling a lot less would be required on the flat.

Other companies like Shimano Steps, Bafang MAX/ BBS and Dapu. IMHO are fighting for traction and sales, but I don't see it happening.

- Lighting
Best integrated lights are now pushing 1500 lumens front and 70 lumens rear. Some systems like COBI integrating lights and other sensors (like phone, turn signals)

- Drivetrain
Edco showed 11 speed monoblock cassettes.   We actually cycled just past the Lightweight company offices near the exhibition, didn't know they were local! Also FSA wireless prototype and Rotor Hydraulic groupsets

- Pumps
Beto and Lezyne have pumps with claimed better head designs e.g. ABS2

- Pedals

I visited the Speedplay stand.  They seemed to be missing! Other than that I found no new designs except that I found Ritchey Pro pedals, a design that is just not new, but new to me.

- Bluetooth
Bluetooth Low Energy  (BTLE) is steadily invading even the Bike consumer marketplace.  Front and rear lights with Bluetooth control, helmet mountable turn lights, bicycle locks are all feeling the Bluetooth love.

Speaking to exhibitor Lezyne they claimed to have products that could receive multiple independent Bluetooth signal streams. In the non bike marketplace the Bluetooth 'one to many' connection is not well implemented. Although the Piconet base specification exists the most I've experienced is I speaker talking to 2 hosts.

And as such most Bike electronics still uses Ant+ for one to many communication.

- Wheels
Personally I'm interested in testing out Tubeless Easy on some airtight rims, but remember that the UCI  has not finalised Disc Brake specifications for Road bike racing yet.  So most serious road cyclists are biding their time, since when UCI move expect a consolidation (i.e. fallout!) in the Industry leading to more standardisation. So although I was interested in new Fast Forward wheels et al, personally I recommend you don't buy just yet.

- Helmets

The helmet world is now being romanced by Multidirectional Impact Protection System (MIPS).  Using a thin plastic layer inside the helmet so that an angled impact lets the outer helmet move relative to your head, which stays more stationary, thus reducing risk of damage caused by rotational forces on the brain.   I'm still at the bollocks/ extremely sceptical stage and need to do more research.   Nearly all bike manufacturers offer MIPS helmets or now have them as a compulsory feature.

- Other

Many other weird and wonderful.  Fabric waterbottle without cage. Bluetooth connected pumps. Dynamically adjustable seatposts (dropper post) whilst cycling. Sigma and clones  rear brake light,  seat which is a lock, multiple folding bikes, Scottoiler S1 continuous bike lubrication, Cycliq Fly12 light, camera, alarm. 

2016 Recommendations

If time is no object I'd recommend 2 trade and 1 public day attendance

I'd recommend the Motorhome stay option, if you have one, even hire one, keeping you close to the Exhibition halls, and a low cost option vs nearby hotels.

Exercise Time
The Rapha .gpx route files are located here.  What you need to do is load them onto a modern GPX watch or Cycle computer as a route and then follow it.  Each of the 2 routes is just over 50Km.   A bzillion turns so without GPS assistance you can forget it!

Party Time

Very late on Friday night we did our bit to add smiles and fun to the party.  Actually we scootered between the different venues.  More great exercise!

So Why Attend again?

- You will see the latest Industry trends

- Hands on demos of bicycles and kit

- Detail spec Catalogs and Brochures 

- The Exhibitors party on the last trade day

- Great bicycle routes for Exercise

- A truly International event

- Motorhome friendly