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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
Advanced Belt Drive
Advanced claims that their belts will last as long as Gates, are suited to all weather conditions, can be used on e-Bikes, and will run just as quietly and efficiently.
According to Advanced, the biggest advantage is that you can run their belts at a lower tension than Gates, as the drivetrain will tolerate more side-to-side frame flex while cycling. This means rear frame triangles don’t have to be engineered to be super stiff, which will allow the belt drivetrain to suit a broader variety of bike frames.
You can read about my experience with Advanced belt drive HERE.
Busch & Muller
B&M was showing a new front dynamo light called the Busch & Muller IQ-XL E dynamo. It has a handlebar switch that allows you to change the beam pattern between a low beam and a high beam.
Despite dynamo hubs providing only a modest amount of power, this light can run a high beam because it has a very large internal capacitor feeding the LEDs.
This light is said to produce a monstrous 300-lux using a StVZO-compliant beam (ie. it won’t dazzle oncoming riders) and 250-lux when in the high beam mode, which can be accessed from 12kph/7mph.
You might think the high beam should have a higher lux (brightness) measurement. But the difference in lux can be attributed to the light being distributed over a larger surface area with the high beam, resulting in less light brightness per unit area.
The IQ-XL is said to hit 150-lux by 15kph/9mph, which is mighty impressive.
A new dynamo hub USB charger called the K-Werk was announced too. It has a built-in 5000mAh buffer battery, which will step in when you stop riding, or are riding too slowly up a hill. Once your plugged-in device is full, all charging power will be diverted to the battery again.
The maximum output is 9.5 watts (5V at 1.9A) at the USB plug. However, based on previous B&M charging products, I suspect that’s at speeds beyond 50kph/31mph.
The most important USB output numbers are found at average touring speeds anyway (ie. 12-25kph), so we’ll have to wait for the independent test results to find out whether it’s a good charging product.
The Busch & Muller K-Werk will be available at the end of 2023 for €179.
This beautiful Wheel Dan gravel bike is built around the Effigear Mimic gearbox. These 9-speed gearboxes can pair nicely with both SRAM road shifters (shown above) and Campagnolo road shifters (shown below). They’re also compatible with SRAM trigger shifters.
Unlike most other gearboxes and internal gear hubs, the Effigear Mimic has variable gear steps. Essentially, the step between each gear starts big on the Mimic, but as you get to higher speeds, the steps are smaller, which better allows you to find the right gear.
Another advantage of the Effigear Mimic is that there are more engagement points inside the gearbox. While Pinion gearboxes offer between 14 and 22 engagement points depending on the gear selected, the Mimic has 48 engagement points in every gear. This means the drivetrain will engage quicker when you start pedalling.
You can read more about the Effigear Mimic in my resource HERE.
The Enduo drivetrain was initially developed as a way of reducing chain friction. But these days, it’s very much pitched towards cargo, commuter, touring bikes, as well as bike fleets.
Rather impressively, the manufacturer claims 3.5X longer wear life than a regular chain (ie. 20,000km/12,000mi).
The secret to its longevity is that the chain links ‘lock’ in place when they engage with the sprockets. There is simply less wear because the chain links rub and grind on the sprockets much less than a regular chain. You can actually feel how little movement there is when you lay the chains on the sprockets.
The extra thick sprocket teeth and wide chain width must play a role too.
Bamboo gravel bikes are a pretty niche field. But at Eurobike, you will find them!
This one looked pretty decked out with fenders, dynamo lights, and a rear rack.
Optibelt Twin Track is a new belt drive system ready to compete with Gates.
This German company similarly uses eight carbon fibre tensile cords for strength, along with a centre track to keep the belt on. With this design, the sprocket teeth actually penetrate right into the belt, and they’re a bit deeper than Gates as well.
You can read more about Optibelt Twin Track in a separate article HERE.
Pinion was showing their new Smart Shift system. It’s essentially a shifter wired up to a battery and a motor unit at the gearbox (just for the shifting).
Shifting takes just 0.2 seconds at the push of a button, and the system will change gears while pedalling, when stationary, and under load.
On a full battery charge, the shifter will make approximately 10,000 shifts, which according to Pinion, will last over 100 hours of riding. The battery is waterproof to IPX7 and can be mounted either inside the frame or outside. The battery is fully charged in under 3 hours.
There’s also a new electronic drop bar shifter set from TRP. This has got to be the best way to pair a gearbox and belt drivetrain with a gravel bike – the TRP HYWIRE electronic shifters have an excellent shape and feel.
You can read more about Pinion Smart Shift and why I think it’s a big deal HERE.
And there was this crazy Pinion gearbox touring bike with stuff (junk?) hanging off in all directions. I’m really glad my bike doesn’t look this messy, it’d stress me out…
Racktime was showing a new mini rack called the ViewIt. It mounts onto the steerer tube via two small bolts.
This mini rack is not intended to carry a heavy load. Instead, it’s designed to keep your handlebar pack from wobbling about, touching your front wheel, crushing your cables, or scratching your paint. You can obviously put a light load on it too, just don’t go too crazy.
The biggest news is the Schwalbe Green Marathon touring tyre is using 70% recycled or renewable materials!
This is possible thanks to Schwalbe’s massive tyre recycling program – Schwalbe says 400,000 tyres had already been recycled through their dealer network in Germany as of December 2022. The Green Marathon is also produced entirely from Fair Rubber.
You might think that this would have an impact on performance and durability, but Schwalbe told me that this version is at least as good as the regular Marathon, if not better.
The Supernova M99 DY Pro is a new-ish light from this South German light manufacturer. It is their brightest dynamo light ever, offering 200 lux in both high-beam and low-beam modes, although that’s at quite high speeds – think 60kph/40mph.
High-beam is particularly important when cornering, as it helps you to see through the corner rather than just the patch in front of your wheel. It also better accounts for suspension fork movement, and allows you to see hanging branches and upcoming signs.
Unlike the Busch and Muller light, you will need to hit 20kph/12mph in order to unlock the high-beam mode. You can access this mode when it’s signalled by the indicator LED on the high beam button.
Veer Belt Drive
Veer is best known for their split belt design, which allows you to break their belts in half and retrofit them to any bike. But with so many bicycles now being designed to fit one-piece belts, Veer has seen an opportunity to release some non-splittable drivetrains.
There is the Super Belt Pro for high-power electric motors and off-road mountain bike use. Veer claims this is the most durable belt on the market, especially for high-power motors. Then there is the Xpert Drive, which balances performance and value and is approved for low-power e-Bikes and urban use.
You can read more about the new Veer drivetrains in a separate article HERE.
Veer was also showing a small belt tensioner and a super crazy two-speed sprocket concept (see it on my Instagram).
My touring/bikepacking tech galleries from Eurobike 2023: