In our latest report from Eurobike 2009, we take a look at the new bike range from Van Nicholas, DT Swiss's new wheels, forks and shocks, and in preparation for the dark nights to come, we see what's new from NiteRider. Check out the thumbnails on the right for more images and information.
Dutch company Van Nicholas produce titanium mountain, road and cyclo-cross bikes and are passionate about the hand-built nature of their frames and the quality of the materials they use. Some models in the 2010 range only have small changes, but new models and more noticable refinements have also been produced.
The Zephyr is built for long days in the saddle, riding sportives or touring over long distances. For 2010 it has a longer wheelbase and a more relaxed head tube resulting in a less racey position – something Van Nicholas say customers have asked for.
The frame tubing has been changed too, going from a larger diameter at the head tube to a slimmer one near the seat tube. This change apparently improves the comfort of the ride.
New for 2010 is the Mistral, essentially a budget titanium complete bike which allows riders who can't afford/don't want to buy the high-end road bikes in the Van Nic range.
The Tuareg's chainstays have been altered so riders can fit larger tyres. Mud clearance is also increased as a result.
Everywhere you look there's a belt-drive-equipped touring or commuting bike and the Van Nicholas stand was no exception. The Amazon is also available in traditional chain mode.
The showstopper at the DT Swiss stand was the new Tricon range of wheels for both road and mountain bikes. Strength is the name of the game here, with the use of straight double-threaded spokes in an 'open crowfoot' pattern with a combination of radial and crossed spokes for stiffness.
Instead of the spokes piercing the rim, they are supported by inserts in the rim walls, making the wheels airtight and suitable for tubeless use.
According to DT Swiss this makes the wheelsets 20-30 percent stiffer than a traditional rim. They will cost 900 euros when they become available at the end of the month.
New for 2010, the 2148 Euro EXC1550 is a carbon fibre mountain bike wheelset ready for trail thumping. Super-stiff and using DT Swiss's Ratchet System, the hubs can be converted to different axle standards and rotors.
Road speed merchants take note – DT Swiss have launched all-new racing wheels in tubular and clincher flavours. Built with high modulas UD carbon rims and white aero spokes, these lightweight hoops (claimed 430g for the tubular 32) are available in the following profiles: 32mm (2,598 euros), 46mm (2,598 euros), 66mm (2,598 euros) and full disc (2,390 euros).
DT Swiss have also created new mid-range road and all-mountain wheelsets called R1600 (599 euros) and M1600 (578 euros) respectively. Both use a star ratchet drive system.
DT Swiss suspension highlights
All shocks and forks have been updated, with new decals and some new names for 2010. The 259 euro M210 is a new lightweight (230g for 200mm eye-to-eye size) rear shock built for cross-country work. It has adjustable rebound and lockout, and an optional remote control. DT Swiss use spherical ball joints to eliminate side loads on the shock.
One major change to the forks is that the compression adjustment dial moves to the top of the fork from the leg. A new aluminium 'torsion box' on the brace has been introduced too, improving stiffness and saving weight compared to a traditional brace.
For 2010 the XC100 has a full-carbon steerer, hollow carbon lowers and magnesium dropouts, plus three lockout modes – locked, fully open and climbing.
In climbing mode the fork reduces to 60mm, bringing the front end of the bike down and improving climbing ability for the lightweight racers who are likely to be riding with these things.
We were impressed by NiteRider's new all-singing, all-dancing high-end light dubbed the Pro 600 LED / Pro1200 LED. Like the other lights in the NiteRider range, the numbers represent the lumens output of each model.
As well as the usual impressive light output, which we're looking forward to putting to the test, the new Pro lights have some very neat feaures including programmable light outputs and a quick-release battery.
NiteRider's nifty software allows you to sync the light with your PC and program the output of the light to match the riding/terrain you'll be riding. For example, you might want to program the light to run at 100 lumens for a well-lit section of road leading to your off-road trail route, then you might want to up the power for when you hit the woods.
Maybe less power output is then needed for a long climb – programme it all in your PC, upload to the head unit and you're away. A few clicks of the button and your programmed lighting options come into play. They can easily be overridden and replaced when necessary.
We reckon the quick-release battery holder will be very useful on marathon races and other instances where quick, fuss-free replacement is desired. The battery simply slides out of the holder, ready to be recharged in the supplied 'holster'. Price for the Pro 600 is $500, and $650 for the Pro 1200.
NiteRider's lower powered commuting lights get some updates for 2010. The MiNewt USB gets a new, and much needed, battery charging indicator – so no more guessing when the battery's about to run out. The MiNewt USB Plus light is $30 more expensive at $130 dollars as it comes with a helmet mount.
The MiNewt 200 gets more power for 2010 (200 lumens) – that's 30 percent more than its predecessor. It's also had a paint job and is now green.
The MiNewt 400 Dual also gets more power (yes, you've guessed it – 400 lumens), making it a good proposition for off-road riding. Weighing in at under 325g, the 400 Dual has high, low and flashing modes.
You can follow BikeRadar on Twitter at twitter.com/bikeradar.