The dust has settled on the 2022 Eurobike show, and it’s been another year of juicy new products, clever innovation… and a ridiculously cute children’s helmet from HJC.
We traversed the expansive halls at the show’s new home in Frankfurt, and brought you the latest news and product coverage throughout the event.
Highlights included tech developments from all corners of the bike world, such as the continued push for gravel gains (in all its forms), new takes on indoor training, fresh thinking on drivetrains, 3D-printing pushes… the list goes on.
Let’s get stuck into the main trends to emerge from Eurobike 2022.
Indoor training challengers are arriving
Indoor training has gone from strength to strength in recent years, and saw an understandable mini-boom during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
So, it was little surprise to see multiple new players emerging with competing products at Eurobike that could take on the hegemony of the likes of Zwift, Wahoo SYSTM and TrainerRoad.
MyWhoosh impressed with its large stand at the show, complete with a demonstration of the system plugged into surrounding screens to create a 270-degree view of the action.
It’s free to use, yet offers prize money to the victors of pre-organised races, taking the pro gaming element to new levels.
Meanwhile, Dutch brand TrueKinetix showed off its new TrueTrainer, complete with built-in software, creating a completely self-contained unit that removes the need for a computer to play middleman – simply plug into a HDMI monitor, and away you go.
Brands debuting at Eurobike look to have invested heavily in increasing the realism offered by indoor training software.
Both MyWhoosh and TrueKinetix impressed with their on-screen graphics, but the real standout performer in that regard was the fledgling system from VirtuPro. This offers highly detailed landscapes and realistic virtual crowds.
Moreover, VirtuPro takes a new approach to indoor training by simulating pro racing.
We’re told it’ll be launching soon, and the platform offers the ability to race against simulated opponents, complete with issuing team orders, choosing your position in a train, swinging on and off, and more besides.
Everyone’s 3D printing
If you thought saddles and specialist time trial handlebars were the limit of 3D-printing technology, think again.
Eurobike 2022 showed that more and more brands are embracing the tech, with Selle Italia and Selle San Marco each showing off their new saddles, while Pilot even came to the show with a full 3D-printed titanium frame in its back pocket.
Chamois specialist Elastic Interface unveiled its new 3D-printed ‘pad’, signalling not only a completely new approach to cushioning bike touch points, but also (we think) opening the door to personalised chamois designs in the future.
It wasn’t the only one, with Endura also installing a new 3D-printed Matrix EGM pad in its forthcoming 2023 Pro SL Bibshort. It comes with claimed benefits around breathability and weight saving, alongside comfort.
Plus, Hope Tech has made 3D-print schematics of a toolset available for free, showing off what’s possible for home 3D printers.
Not everyone has a 3D printer lying around at home, but it’s pretty cool to see what’s possible when a brand offers up some designs for free.
Groupset alternatives challenging the Big Three establishment
Eurobike 2022 also saw a resurgence (of sorts) for alternative groupsets.
FSA launched its updated 12-speed K-Force WE system, and showed it off attached to a prototype frame by the Italian-Taiwanese brand.
It features that almost-obligatory 12th sprocket, but also introduces redesigned rear-derailleur internals. This is said to enable it to receive shifting signals directly from the wireless levers and improve shift accuracy. In a sign of the times, it’s also gone disc-brake only.
At the other end of the spectrum, Chinese brand WheelTop brought its updated EDS OX Series drivetrain system, costing an impressively cheap $365.
For that, you get a rear derailleur and a flat bar-mounted mountain bike shifter, plus battery. A road bike shifter could be next in line for development if WheelTop sees a demand for it.
Lal Bikes also unveiled its new Supre Drive concept. This effectively splits apart the functions of a traditional rear derailleur to offer separate chain tensioning and accurate shifting.
Finally, Classified’s Powershift hub continues to make strides forwards, casting doubt over the future of the front derailleur.
The Classified Powershift is a two-speed internal gear hub of sorts that can be shifted electronically.
FFWD announced it will now offer two of its wheelsets – the gravel Drift and road-going Ryota44 – with an option to install the Powershift hub.
The launch was claimed to be the first by an official partner of Classified, with FFWD stating that it was the first to extensively test the system on its wheels in the real world.
These launches follow the release of Shimano 105 Di2 R7150 a few weeks prior to the show. SRAM and Campagnolo are sitting on their current offerings for the time being.
Do you even gravel, though?
Probably the fastest-growing enthusiast segment in the industry, gravel bike development continues apace, judging by the quantity of new bikes and tech we’ve seen in Frankfurt.
Among the highlights were:
- An ultra-light gravel bike from Schmolke
- A new gravel machine from Fuji with a neat food attachment system
- Two new gravel bikes from Rondo, including the MYLC
- New gravel aero bars from Deda
- New gravel-specific saddles from Selle Italia, Prologo and Schmolke
- An interesting gravel suspension system from Cane Creek
- Pirelli Cinturato gravel tyres
- Evoc’s all-new bikepacking luggage
- Ceramic Speed OPSW upgrades for SRAM XPLR
- Apidura ‘aero’ gravel bags
- An all-new Cipollini Ago gravel bike
- New Reynolds G-Series wheels
- New Felt Breed gravel bike
- New Shimano RX5 shoes
- New Leatt Trail/Gravel crossover clothing and shoes
- …and a lot more
What strikes us is not only the sheer number of new products hitting the market, but the variety of the tech too.
With Deda’s gravel aero bars and Schmolke’s lightweight bike covering the performance end of the spectrum, and the new Rondo MYLC and Cane Creek’s suspension offering greater ability to explore tougher terrain, gravel tech development has never been more diverse.
If there’s a trend we can identify from this year’s Eurobike, it’s that gravel will continue to refuse to be pigeon-holed. And for that, we’re grateful.
“We’ve got one, too!”
The traditionally consumer-facing side of Eurobike only makes up a small part of the overall show.
Vast swathes of hall space is dedicated to OE manufacturers, many of whom offer seemingly identical products.
In particular, the number of brands hawking electric bike components that, on the face of it, look indistinguishable from one another was remarkable.
Exactly how a bicycle manufacturer looking for a new motor system determines how one particular unbranded hub motor differs from another is a mystery to us.
More specifically, how one decides which vendor to purchase said hub from must be a sisyphean task – the electric bike market is booming and, each year, there are more potential suppliers to visit than ever before.
While ebikes are clearly here to say, it feels as though there will be a wave of consolidation in the electric bike components market – even a booming industry can’t sustain this many tiny brands.
Anecdotally, ‘household’ brands (Shimano, Yamaha, Bosch, etc.) with well-established products still dominate on bikes from most name-brand manufacturers.
While there is clearly space for further development in the electric bike motor market (SRAM is, of course, a notable omission), we wouldn’t be surprised to see less hall space dedicated to OE manufacturers as the market settles down.