Eurobike: Scale-defying brakes, hubs and more

Ultra light bits from Germany

A recurring theme during the recent Eurobike show in Germany was the emphasis on ultra lightweight componentry. Crazy-light brakes, hubs, headsets and suspension forks were everywhere in 2009.

BikeRadar captured some of the lightweight highlights below, with photos to the right.

THM-Carbones

German carbon fiber specialist THM-Carbones has taken road brake exotica to a new level with its new Fibula calipers. Primarily carbon fiber construction brings the claimed weight down to just 100g – for the pair! The rear brake is a simple single-pivot layout but the front features a leverage amplifying carbon fiber linkage for additional stopping power. Both brakes also use large-diameter pivots to cut down on flex.  

Suggested retail price, however, is an astronomical €900 – but at least that gets you both calipers.

Carbon Ti

German compatriot Carbon Ti was also on hand with a wide range of weight-saving carbon fibre, titanium, and machined aluminium bits. Among the highlights were full titanium and titanium-and-carbon fibre disc brake rotors weighing as little as 45g (roughly a third of typical stainless steel rotors), quick-release skewers starting at just 31g for the pair (!), and carbon fibre and aluminium threadless headset top cap assemblies at a paltry 6g.

Carbon Ti also offers a range of road and mountain hubs, too, featuring oversized 7075-T6 aluminium axles and shells, cartridge bearings with adjustable preload, and alloy freehub bodies with four-pawl drivers and titanium ratchet rings. Claimed weight for road hubsets is just 285g while disc-compatible mountain bike sets are still light at 405g.

New Ultimate

Danish outfit New Ultimate showed off a new offset seatpost head, which mounts atop the same ultralight machined aluminum or carbon fibre mast as the zero-offset version for current owners that need to switch. The design is simple but additional details make it a bit easier to live with, such as a locking central pin that won't rotate when you're trying to install a saddle.  

That same head design has also been incorporated into a new integrated seatmast head, weighing just 69g. New Ultimate also offers a feathery conventional seatpost clamp with a claimed weight of 7g.

FRM

FRM has discontinued production of its machined aluminium mountain bike V-brake, but has now adapted the design for 'cross with shorter arms that mesh better with road levers. Cartridge bearing pivots eliminate off-axis slop while the direct-routed cable should also kill brake shuddering related to fork flex.  

Acros

Acros displayed its usual diverse array of headsets, which now includes the novel BlockLock range for use with dual-crown forks. A built-in stop prevents unwanted stanchion-to-frame contact and the entire mechanism is neatly contained wholly within the machined aluminium cup. Also new from Acros are a collection of platform pedals with a generous surface area and easily replaceable pins.

German A

German A is best known for its intriguing Kilo cross-country linkage suspension forks but is now looking at the longer-travel range with the addition of a dual-crown air-sprung XCite Double X. Based on the single-crown XCite, the Double X uses 36mm stanchions, a paper-thin but deep arch for maximum mud-cutting ability, and non-offset dropouts.  Up top, separate left and right handlebar sections clamp directly to the top of the stanchions.  

Travel on the XCite Double X ranges from 150-180mm and claimed weight from 1610-1690g. German A will also offer an optional remote lockout.

For all of BikeRadar's Eurobike coverage, click here.

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