Eurobike is over, the relentless stream of new launches has stopped and our bleary eyed crew has returned from the hallowed halls of Friedrichshafen.
- Gallery: best road bikes at Eurobike's Media Days
- The coolest new MTB kit from Europe's biggest testing event
With five full days of coverage to make your way through, we thought we’d give you an overview of what BikeRadar thinks will be new and trending in 2017.
Droppers, droppers, droppers, droppers
Dropper post technology has truly matured over the last few years and it’s now rare to see a stock trail bike without one.
With such a lucrative market ready to be tapped into, more and more component manufacturers are releasing their own posts.
Most interestingly, we covered six different dropper posts at Eurobike this year and no two were truly alike.
We saw mechanical, hydraulic and even a wirelessly actuated dropper with the KS Circuit. The ‘ooh-shiny-thing’ value is high with the KS post and we’re looking forward to getting our hands on one.
Although infinite adjustment appears to remain the norm, droppers with preset heights also seem to be making a comeback, and an interesting highlight was the fully mechanical e*thirteen TRS Plus.
Lastly, the fully integrated Eightpin post flys in the face of convention, making the dropper an integral part of the frame. With a hearty 220mm of travel on tap, the Eightpin is a lightweight solution that may indicate the direction the market will move in years to come.
Although having choice is no bad thing, there remains no consensus as to what makes for the lightest and most reliable dropper post, and we’re excited to see where the technology will move in years to come.
- KS, e*thirteen and Eightpin all announce new dropper posts
- Shimano PRO dips into dropper market with debut Koryak seatpost
Road bike trends for 2017
Aero is the new black. Or, if your memory stretches back longer than 12 months, the new endurance road.
With seemingly everything purporting to be a bit more aerodynamic than before, 2017 appears to be a year of marginal aero gains with lots of new bikes and updates to existing models announced.
The all new Colnago Concept is the first proper aero bike from the Italian brand and features all sorts of proprietary parts and standards with the aim of making the slipperiest machine possible. Look out for a first ride report soon.
Disc brakes also continue their march towards world domination and there is a clear trend towards speccing aero road bikes with disc brakes.
How manufacturers maintain the aero characteristics of their bikes whilst using discs differs greatly however, with some like Parlee opting for aerofoils to cover the caliper and others like Ridley making full use of the flat mount standard to tuck the caliper out of winds way on their new Noah SL disc.
With the UCI deciding to continue its ban on disc brake trials for the foreseeable future, we’re sure many bike designers will now have some awkward questions to answer after throwing their all into new disc-equipped bikes. But as mere mortals, we’re glad to see the introduction of disc brakes on more models.
We also took the time to indulge in the usual smorgasbord of lustworthy, unattainable super bikes with the highlight being this fifteen grand Storck. Sexy? Yes. Sensible? Probably not, but who cares when it looks this good?
In a departure from the aero trend, Ritchey’s new Outpost had us salivating with a gorgeous shade of blue, which alone was enough to get us excited. Designed for serious gravel racing, this steel steed will take up to 40mm tyres and will accept mudguards with aplomb.
- De Rosa adds a splash of luxury to the SK Pininfarina rage
- The Colnago Concept is your fresh slice of Italian aero
- Ritchey heads to the Outback with its new gravel race bike
- When supercar and superbike collide: Storck limited edition Aston Martin road bike
- Canyon creates new versatile Speedmax CF
- The KTM Lisse is a ridiculously clean aero road bike
- Ridley 2017 brings pro level tech to the masses
On the mountain bike front, the continuing trend for 2017 appears to be the increasing popularity of plus-sized bikes.
The SB5 is a very important bike for Yeti as it was the first model introduced that used the company’s Switch suspension system. Since it was first released in 2014, bikes have gotten longer, slacker and lower and Yeti has updated the platform to reflect this.
It has also released the SB5 in a plus sized version. Using the same platform as the regular SB5, the SB5+ uses an elevated chainstay — now commonplace on mid-fat bikes — to maximize chainring and tyre clearance.
Norco has followed a similar line, releasing its popular Torrent model in a chunk-ified version. With 140mm of suspension at the front and 130mm at the rear, this should be a rowdy little bike and one we’re looking forward to spending more time with.
A flood of data
Until now, power meters have been prohibitively expensive to all but the most dedicated of riders, but a few brands are investing some manpower (sorry) into developing more affordable solutions. Luck is taking a particularly novel approach to the issue, integrating a power meter into the sole of its shoes. With this approach, there would be no need to buy expensive power meters for all of your bikes with one shoe covering them all.
Zwatt is also undertaking an interesting approach, adopting a hire-purchase model to get around the prohibitively high cost of power meters. With a US$200 upfront fee followed by a $5/month subscription charge, they hope to bring power meters to the masses.
The smart trainer market also continues to get more crowded with the updated Wahoo KICKR claiming to be quieter whilst producing a more realistic riding experience than the previous generation.
Although less radical looking than the Tacx Magnum we covered recently, smart trainer technology is clearly maturing and we’ll be glad to have some new toys to play with during the upcoming winter.
- Is this the world's cheapest power meter? We check out Zwatt's prototype models
- Quarq aims to bring power to the masses with the new DZero power meter
- Wahoo announces updated KICKR smart trainer
- Luck puts power meters in shoe soles
Shiny new shifty bits, bouncy bits and holdy bits
Perhaps the most interesting news from the show was the announcement of FSA’s new semi-wireless groupset. FSA has aimed to be a complete groupset manufacturer for years now and the time has finally come.
Although we haven’t had a chance to take it for a spin yet, five pro-teams will be riding the new groupset during the 2017 season — so expect to hear more from us on this niftiest of shifty bits in the near future.
SRAM has also officially released the worst kept secret in the bike industry; the hotly anticipated SRAM eTap hydro groupset. The feel of the shifting from the groupset remains unchanged and we left impressed with the performance of the braking. Expect a more thorough review once we’ve logged some more miles on the groupset.
We also left the show feeling quite impressed with the new wheelsets announced by Lightweight and Stans.
The new Lightweight Wegweiser points the direction in which the German carbon specialist is heading, introducing more automation into its production line with the aim of moving the wheels away from the unobtanium category.
At the other end of the spectrum, Stans is introducing its new S1 series of wheels, which use burly, oversized rims and high spoke counts to create a strong wheelset in a more affordable package than its existing MK3 range.
We covered a lot of new components at this year’s show so be sure to check the links below to see more.
- Easton adds some flare to its lineup with the EA70 and EX70 bars
- Stan's NoTubes announces new burly S1 series wheelsets
- Lightweight's new and cheaper made-in-Germany carbon wheels
- Shimano and PRO roll out cable-integrated handlebars
- MRP launches Ribbon suspenion fork
- These Douchebags want to carry your bicycle
- ABS brakes and traction control could soon be the norm for e-bikes
- Hands on: Garmin ViRB Ultra 30 action camera review
Fresh new threads and lids
If you take the time to trawl through the sea of jarringly full-Euro-fluro kit that is Eurobike, you can find some real gems. Luckily, BikeRadar has done the hard work for you and these were our favourites from the show.
Continuing the aero-everything trend, the new Lazer Bullet helmet prototype is possibly the most fully featured aero helmet we’ve seen so far. With adjustable vents allowing riders to shut off the helmet entirely, the Bullet aims to get maximum aero advantage possible from a helmet.
Making a concession for the pro-fluro crowd, we also left quite impressed with the look of the new Northwave Extreme RR road shoe. Aiming to make “pressure points a thing of the past”, the new shoe uses the softest materials possible in conjunction with a cleverly positioned retention system to make, what looks like, a rather neat package.
- Lazer's Bullet aero helmet has sliding vent and louvres
- Fizik designs bibshorts to go with its saddles
- Rapha to launch special edition Synthe MIPS helmet
- Northwave aims to make pressure points "a thing of the past" with new road shoe
- Shimano rolls out pro-test shoes
- Kask Optics launches new glasses, adds colours and sizes too
Things to look out for
Once our team have had a chance to replenish their reserves of vitamins, keep an eye out for reviews of the new products we’ve covered. We will also be updating our YouTube channel with new content from Eurobike all week, so be sure to subscribe there also.
See you next year, Friedrichshafen!