Eurobike is the world’s biggest bike show. It’s where the bicycle industry launches what it wants us to be riding in 2016. For this year however it's organised an all-new media camp a couple of months ahead of the main show to give a preview of some of the most exciting new bikes and gear. Here are the first day's highlights.
2016 looks to be a huge year for Cannondale. We’ve come to the Eurobike media camp straight from the launch of the all-new EVO and the impressive new alloy CAAD12. Cannondale’s stand was dominated by both new ranges, but it did also showcase the awesome-looking Slate gravel bike (pictured above). The Slate’s frame was developed with the same advanced software and engineering input as the all-new CAAD12. So the frame's tube shapes and material thicknesses have been defined and optimised in much the same way.
The big story on the bike though has to be the all-carbon lightweight Lefty called the Oliver. The travel has been reduced down to 30mm and designed with zero sag. David Devine, Cannondale's road product manager, explained his team didn’t see the need for any sag, as any fork extension required when you ride through a hole would easily be taken care of by the large diameter tyre. They didn’t want any sag on the fork as you wouldn’t want a road-style bike to bob when you’re hauling on the bars.
There's no information available yet on pricing, or indeed how many models will be in the range. But this isn't a surprise given this is the only one that’s made it out of Cannondale’s HQ so far.
The all-carbon Lefty Oliver offers 30mm of travel
On the accessory front Cannondale also debuted the revamped Cypher road helmet. The original was a keenly priced, nicely fitting, lightweight lid. The new model has ramped things up significantly. The profile has stayed much the same, but with plenty more in-moulded shell to protect the EPS foam core. The Si cradle now features a three-position height adjustment alongside its micro-adjust dial. Our L/XL test model tips the scales around 280g and it comes with a clip-in aero shell, which blanks out all but the two temple vents on the helmet's front.
The clip-on aero shell blanks all but two of the front-facing vents
The Agree has always been one of Cube's most successful road bikes and for 2016 it's had a complete ground-up redesign, and will come in both standard and disc brake versions.
Fabian Grimmig from Cube's Innovation R&D and Engineering Centre gave us the run-down on the new platforms features.
The new Agree SL
Like the current Agree the new Agree SL is aimed at the performance road market, but with an emphasis on endurance comfort as opposed to the top of the range Litening’s pure racing design.
That’s not to say the Agree SL hasn’t ignored the performance benefits of aerodynamics. Fabian told us, "We've used the knowledge gained from our Aerium TT bike in the frame and fork design. If you see how the top tube, seat tube and seat stays flow into one another you’ll see a lot of those features are from the Aerium."
Every frame (both disc and standard) is fully compatible with Di2, though they won’t be offering a Di2 spec bike yet. The standard bike uses Shimano’s direct mount standard for both front and rear brakes. On the front they sit flush with the fork's front face whereas on the rear they're cut into the deep aero-profiled stays. The frame has also been designed for clearance for up to 28c tyres, and all will come equipped with 25s as standard. The frame tips the scales at round 1kg, with the fork adding a further 374g. Not one of the lightest around but for the Agree’s price range its more than competitively light.
The disc version of the new Agree SL
For the disc equipped bike Cube has made the decision to go X12 thru-axle front and rear and compatibility with Shimano’s new Flat-mount standard.
The Agree has certainly needed a revamp, as the previous generation was looking a little long in the tooth (although still a great bike). The new design looks pretty stunning and although no pricing has been finalised we're told that they will sit in-line with current Agree prices, so this could be one of the performance bargains of 2016.
A prototype Cube Attain frame
Cube also gave us a preview of its new aluminum road bike platform, the Attain. Although all we had to look at was an unfinished, unpainted prototype, the bike does look promising, with neatly sculpted tubes, full internal cable routing and the X12 standard thru-axle rear end. This prototype frame tips the scales at 1,343g and even comes with fender mounts (for which Cube is making a dedicated set of guards). Aside from that details are scarce, but Cube expects to have a fully finished bike(s) ready for this year's Eurobike.
After what seems like years of seeing prototypes and mock-ups of the Cell and Line saddles Fabric has finally released fully finished versions of both models.
Fabric Cell saddle
The Cell’s unique air-filled chambers started out as a series of hexagonal pockets. The design has moved on since, as under testing the Fabric team found that the large hexagonal chambers didn’t have the amount of give they were looking for on this more all-rounder/recreational saddle. The air pockets are now more pyramid shaped yet retain the hexagonal footprint. We haven’t had chance to ride the Cell yet but it certainly has heaps of ‘squish’.
The Line is Fabric’s take on a pressure-relieving cut-away saddle. The design has moved on since the earlier prototypes, which had much more of a right angle at the cutaway. This has now been significantly smoothed out, offering a much more subtle transition from the padded top. The cutaway changes depth along its path, and a new nosepiece reduces the channel leading up to a smooth, flat front section at the tip of the nose.
Excuse the radically sloping XS frame size, but this is the new Zaskar carbon 27.5 hardtail
GT is celebrating 25 years of the legendary Zaskar and a special edition 25th anniversary bike is on the way. In the meantime we’ll have to be content with the new 27.5 Zaskar carbon. It's an all-new frame that runs thru-axles front and rear. As you’d expect from a show in Austria, only the Euro spec bike was on show, but UK riders can expect a longer travel 120mm fork, shorter stem and a wider bar. Top of the range models will also get a dropper post (but all of the Zaskar carbons will be dropper compatible).
The bike's geometry is all new too, using features from the full-sus bikes, so that means a longer front centre, and a shorter stem. The frame weighs in at 1,200g grams, and the complete Pro bike here tips the scales at 23lb.
The 27.5 range will consist of four models and GT describes the bike as "Light enough for race day, tough enough for all-day, everyday trail use".
Marin Gestalt gravel bike
Marin had a couple of interesting bikes for 2016, the first being the new Gestalt gravel bike. Its alloy frame is very neatly finished in anodised black with useful features like braze-ons for a rack and guards. It’s built up with SRAM’s new Rival 1 single ring, clutch mech set-up for off-road chain security and a super wide XD drive cassette. Up front a crazy-looking alloy disc caliper mount incorporates huge cooling fins to aid brake performance when the bike's fully loaded with luggage.
The Marin Pine Mountain One 27 Plus
Also on show was the finished Pine Mountain One, first seen at this year's Sea Otter. The vintage inspired design is in celebration of Marin’s 30th year, and the 4130 cro-mo steel rigid plus-sized machine running wide 2.9in tyres. The Pine Mountain was one of Marin’s first mountain bikes and has been a staple in the range ever since. It’s now become a full-on adventure machine with guard mounts, rack mounts, bottle bosses and under the top tube bosses too.
The Scott Addict Gravel Disc
We thought after last week's all new Foil launch and the announcement of the ‘lightest CX bike in the world’ Addict CX last month that we’d seen everything we were going to from Scott’s road range for 2016. That is until Jochen Haar from Scott’s marketing team showed us this all-new Addict Gravel Disc. It's built from Scott’s HMF carbon and based on the Addict CX platform (though that bike is built from the top grade HMXSL carbon). The front-end is slightly slacker than the CX and it will come equipped with a shorter stem. The frame is thru-axle front and rear and comes with a new tubeless-compatible Syncros wheelset shod with Schwalbe’s new G-One 38mm gravel tyre. As to be expected the frame features Shimano’s new Flat mounts for its disc calipers and it will be single-model equipped as this has Shimano Ultegra. Prices won’t be announced until Eurobike proper, with the bikes expected to be available by November.
The new Scott RC road shoe - 'stiffness index 10/10'.
Hidden at the back of Scott’s stand was also the latest top-end road shoe, the new Scott RCs. These feature a new ultra light seamless upper and a wrap-over tongue design tensioned with dual IP1 Boas. Underneath there's a new HMX carbon sole with a substantial in-moulded rubberised heel protector and matching toe bumper. The sole has been designed to allow for tuned torsional flex at the heel, something that is said to help prevent knee and ankle issues as a result from shoes that are 'too stiff'. Cooling is aided by a single mesh cutaway vent forward of the cleat mount.