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Eurobike is the world’s biggest bicycle trade show. And it’s truly monstrous with literally thousands of stands.
I walked past every single stand so that you can see the latest products in the touring and bikepacking space! My iPhone says I did 15,000 steps per day (for five days) between the different halls. That’s a lot of walking… and a lot of talking too.
I got the opportunity to talk to the engineers and product managers behind the brands and got test-ride more than 30 unique bikes too. This information will all drip out over the next year or so.
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My touring/bikepacking tech galleries from Eurobike 2023:
- 11 Quirky But Functional Bikepacking Products (Part One)
- 11 Exciting New Bikepacking and Touring Products (Part Two)
- The Most Interesting Bikepacking Tech (Part Three)
- The Best Touring and Bikepacking Bikes (Part Four)
- 11 Notable Bikepacking Bag Finds (Part Five)
In-Depth Reporting From Eurobike 2023
Additive Bikes was showing its interesting frame packs at Eurobike, and there were three notable designs.
The V1 is intended to suit most diamond frames and has a pack volume of 9 to 17 litres depending on your frame dimensions (it’s available in 20 sizes).
Unlike most frame packs that either strap or bolt to your frame, the Additive bag uses a semi-rigid structure that essentially holds it in place without straps (there is one velcro strap over the top tube). This means you can install and remove the bag in a similar amount of time to a pannier.
The only downside is that the bags are perhaps twice as heavy as a typical frame pack (approx. 750g/1.7lb).
The V2 fits over the top tube of a bike and has a volume of 12-litres. It has a few more straps than the V1 but will suit full-suspension bikes with a rear shock occupying space in the front triangle. It tips the scale at 970g/2.1lb.
And a split downtube frame was also shown at Eurobike. This allows the bag to extend beyond the down tube and garner extra volume on small frame sizes.
Or you could always just get a bag that mounts below the downtube. You choose…
The Air Seat Full-Floating Saddle Suspension System fits between your seat and seatpost, and smoothens out the ride. I tested it on a bike and it really does move up and down, as well as forward, backward, and to the sides.
I probably wouldn’t recommend it for long-distance bike travel, as I suspect you could end up sitting on your saddle a bit weirdly. But it could be a great alternative to a suspension seatpost for bikes on short trips – think bike fleets.
There are 250-gram and 350-gram options for the Air Seat priced at $80 and $40 respectively (same performance but different materials).
This drop bar is compatible with flat bar brakes and shifters, making it an easy retrofit to a mountain bike.
It has a really nice shape to the ‘hoods’ (especially compared to the tight angle on the Surly Corner Bar), a large ergonomic profile across the top, and a shallow depth for comfort.
The width at the drops is 600mm, while it’s 460mm between the hoods.
The only downside is the eye-watering price of 500 euros. Perhaps check out the Surly Corner Bar if you like this concept…
The Bulls booth was probably the biggest at Eurobike; they might have even had every Bulls bike and colour on display!
My favourite bike on the stand was the Grinder gravel bike with the step-through frame design. These frames are heavier and less stiff than a typical diamond frame but they are much easier to mount if you have short legs, rear luggage, a rear child seat, or mobility issues.
There are very few performance bikes with a ‘trapezoidal’ frame design, so it was really great to see this one from Bulls.
Did you know you can get a dropper suspension seatpost? BySchulz makes a model called the D.2 ST that has 30mm of suspension travel and 80mm of drop. It’s not cheap though, expect to pay over €500.
You can find a suspension dropper called the PNW Coast for a much more reasonable price, but the small bump sensitivity is not quite up to the BySchulz standard.
Ergon was showing a new multi-position grip called the GT1. The idea behind it: you can get the greatest pressure distribution and wrist support from the extra-large wing that places your hand in different positions.
There were a few different grip positions presented by Ergon.
Also, the new Ergon PT pedals. These are apparently great; they have a slight s-shape to the platform that cups your foot. And the grip tape helps to keep your foot in place. These are obviously best suited to smooth road riding, rather than mountain biking.
Hase is well known for their quirky but very practical bikes. For example, the Pino semi-recumbent tandem allows the front rider to lay recumbent at the front (with an unobscured view of the world) while the rear rider sits upright.
This year they were showing a new cargo/gravel/touring bike model called the Gravit Dust. It weighs 20kg/44lb but can carry up to 40kg/88lb on the front tray, and 200kg/440lb across the entire bike!
This is a bit of a Swiss army knife in terms of ability because the cargo tray can be removed in seconds without any tools.
The front section of the bike is telescoping so you can slide the black beam into the frame to reduce the wheelbase by over 30cm/12″. This allows for a similar wheelbase length to a typical gravel bike.
The bike features drop bars, front suspension, big brakes, and a 1×10 drivetrain, as well as a REALLY nice metallic purple paint job.
With such a high maximum permitted load, it’s obviously going to be great for bike travel too. There is a pannier rack that’s available from Hase that can carry all four panniers right in front of you. You could use the rack with or without the cargo tray.
Or perhaps you could just tie down a 100-litre dry bag to the front tray? Up to you…
The HiRide Sterra gravel suspension fork features 20mm of suspension travel, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but that’s almost perfect for gravel roads.
It uses a hydraulic damper to properly control the suspension travel, there is an adjustable preload, a lockout switch on the top, and three steel springs to perfectly adjust to a rider’s weight.
On my test ride, I found the fork to ride exceptionally well. The lockout made it feel as if it was a rigid fork, and it felt stiff in all directions of force. BikeRumor has an excellent video showing the fork taking care of shock and vibration on gravel roads.
The HiRide Sterra clears 700x45mm or 27.5×2.1″ (650x54mm) tyres, and is not much taller than a regular fork once you account for suspension sag. The fork has internal routing for dynamo wires and bikepacking cargo cage mounts on the sides.
The fork is currently found on BMC, Principia, MV Agusta, and MCipollini bikes but its also available by itself.
The Motion La City is a new single-sided urban and gravel suspension fork that pairs with the somewhat common Cannondale Lefty hubs. The fork weighs just one kilogram and should require virtually zero maintenance.
That’s because it doesn’t have a hydraulic damper like most forks. Instead, it consists of a small linkage and a carbon leaf spring. As you ride over bumps in the road, the linkage activates the carbon spring, providing up to 40mm of suspension travel.
The fork is pitched towards city and e-Bike use, but there’s no reason why it couldn’t be used for gravel or even mountain biking – similar to the Lauf leaf-sprung carbon forks.
There is even an anti-dive linkage running in parallel that helps to isolate any braking forces, which stops the suspension from compressing under hard braking.
Once you get a rear mirror, you’ll never want to cycle without it again!
In my opinion, mirrors are the #1 safety item you can use – above lights and reflective things. They allow you to see where the traffic is at all times, you can monitor whether drivers are paying attention, and you can quickly jump off the road if it looks like a vehicle isn’t providing enough space to safely pass (big trucks especially).
But mirrors are often quite ‘clunky’ looking, susceptible to damage, and not at all suited to off-road riding – they stick out and get in the way of branches and rocks. They also don’t suit drop bars particularly well.
I’ve actually been testing the TriEye glasses with a built-in rear mirror for about a year now, and I love the product. I only use it while cycling in places with cars and trucks, and put them in their case while cycling off-road or sightseeing (I have casual sunglasses for that).
The only thing to note is that your helmet straps should sit close to your face so as to not obscure the view. You also really want your hair to be close to the side of your head…
The Velospring grips rotate backward a small amount while you ride to provide a bit of extra wrist comfort. I suspect they work quite well but I didn’t get a chance to test them. The TPU plastic used in the construction offers a good hand feel, it apparently does not stick and is recyclable.
They also come in wood, although I’m not sure they would be comfortable or grippy enough.
And speaking of wood, the Velospring stand also had some neat wooden fenders on display.
My touring/bikepacking tech galleries from Eurobike 2023: