After a journey involving car, plane, boat, train, shanks' pony and even, yes bicycle… we've made it to Eurobike the world's biggest bike show. Over the next few days we'll see the best, worst and weirdest of what the bike industry has in store for us in 2012 and beyond. We also want you to tell us what you'd like to see at the show and we'll go and see if we can hunt it out for you.
Let's kick off with our taster of some of the things that that the 1180 exhibitors have in store for us in Friedrichshafen this week.…plus a video of us talking about what we hope to see, and to get you in the mood a gallery of pics from last year's show…
Pinarello are down to launch not one but two new bikes the new Dogma 2 and the new Rokh a lower modulus version of Kobh as ridden by Team Sky at Paris Roubaix this year… that's essentially a slightly more relaxed version of the Dogma, which makes the Rokh, dare we say it, a sportive bike with a hard sounding name that will no doubt take many a rider to a hard place in years to come…I'll get my coat. If it's not on the Pinarello stand with a nice sparkly paint job we're going to be very disappointed.
Cervelo will be unveiling their new R5 VWD frame… following the trend of the super-skinny R5, the 'hey we can make it skinnier R5 California, and the 'y'know we can make this thinner still' R5 SL we're promised the R5 VWD is the skinniest yet… If this continues at some point around the R7 Cervlos should be rendered completely invisible expect for a very pointy looking saddle.
Argon 18 will be showing off their new E-118 TT frame and we've even got a pic of that so feast your eyes…
BMC will have Cadel Evans on hand to talk us through the latest version of their TM01 Time Machine TT bike - the one he won the Tour on. Oh and BMC will also be showing off the limited edition Masschalllenge MC01 - a commuter bike they built for Mr Evans… not sure how much commuting he does, but hey let's go with it. This baby is a carbon, belt drive singlespeed decked out with high end Easton kit and lots of KCNC anodized shiny bits… we're getting a mental image of that belt drive Madone we had in a few years back which Trek did a flat bar version of for that other famous pro-commuter, Lance Armstrong. Like the Trek, the BMC Masschallenge is more an exercise in showing what can be done rather than something they expect to go in to mass production with and that does look suspiciously like a gear shift lever on the image at the top. Needless to say the Masschallenge is described as "very expensive", even more expensive than BMC's Carborazor of yore ultimate commuter machine. BMC say it weighs sub-7Kg and we can believe it.
Litespeed will be showing off their new L series (snappy name there guys) semi aero carbon bike – "semi aero" is a new one on us, we're guessing some aero optimised tubes while keeping an eye on the weight in a having your cake and eating it too style. We'd have to say that this sounds like what the likes of Giant, Trek, and Specialized are already doing. Litespeed will also been showing off their new titanium Copenhagen commuter/TriBeCa singlespeed which will be something of a departure for them and is one of the bike we'll definitely be making a beeline for when he show gets underway.
Cube have got a new Litening, we know that cos we told you about it last week, we also expect to see plenty of new italian exotica and a slew of aero road bikes from those manufacturers who haven't yet jumped on that particular bandwagon and are maybe feeling a little exposed. And from the glimpses of what we've seen of the new bike ranges so far we expect to see high end aluminium coming back too - maybe not at the blingest end of the market but at those price points where good alloy offers more bangs per buck than so-so budget carbon – between the one to two thousand pound mark. We'll be looking out for more steel too - we know Jamis will be launching two new steel race bikes the Quest in Reynolds 631 (like 531 but newer) and the even racier Eclipe in 853 and we expect that they won't be the only ones.
Word is, well the words on the invite, that Trek will be launching some new Bontrager Aeolus aero wheels - we got a sneak peek of them on the Leopard Trek bikes at the Tour in a variety of depths. Similarly Zipp have got something new to show us – the smart money says it's a wheel of some description… unless they are going to move back into bars and components. Speaking of components SRAM who own Zipp are strongly rumoured to be launching something big this week, in our view Ultegra Di2 is a game changer in the component market which means a new colour version of Red is not going to be enough to cut it from here on in. Something big from SRAM could be the most interesting story of the week.
Back to wheels and Campagnolo will be showing off their new wheel range giving us the first glimpse of their new clincher only Bullet wheels, there will be new hoops from Fulcrum and plenty of new wheel brands to check out – Edco, we'd like to think an outfit run by a wheelmeister called Ed, but actually an outfit who've been around since the 19th century making sewing machines.
Mat's all excited about Garmin's new Vector power pedal. If you’ve not heard of it before, that’s probably because Garmin only announced it last week. For years, the gold standard in power measurement has been SRM Power Cranks. Then there has been the Cyclops Powertap hub. A few other people have come out with other power measuring components – Polar, for example, have had a system – but nothing has come close to the big two in terms of performance.
Fitting a set of power-measuring pedals sounds attractive in terms of simplicity – whacking a new set of pedals on is a whole lot easier than swapping to an SRM crank or building a Powertap into a new wheel. Plus, changing pedals from one bike to another takes, what, a minute or two? We’ve no idea what level of accuracy we’re likely to get with the Vectors, so that’ll be an interesting investigation.
The Brits are coming!
British manufacturers will be at Eurobike this year in ever greater numbers and they've got new stuff to launch. Rumours swirl that Brompton will be launching something BIG this week leading some industry wags to wonder whether it actually is something 'big' (relatively speaking) like a full sized bike. If it is you heard it here first… if not, well, you shouldn't go round taking notice of journalistic tittle tattle.
What will definitely be happening - we know because we just saw them dressing the stand - is a handbag in the shape of a - oh apparently we're not supposed to say until 8.30am tomorrow* - meanwhile Endura has a new softshell jacket called 'Convert' jokingly described by those laconic Scots as for the 'Scottish Summer'. It has arms that zip off fully or perhaps just partially for ventilation.
Hope will be showing off their take on the cable to hydraulic converter for cross bikes idea that's already been riffed by TRP, erm and a German outfit that got there first last year and whose name currently eludes the assembled members of the road.cc team. Cooper are claiming four new bike models including an Italian-made titanium bike called Silverstone. Exposure will be here with their new British-made LED lights, as will Charge, Genesis and Pashley, too.
That's just some of what we want to see So what do you want to see - let us know by commenting below and we'll go and check out the show for you.
* It's a leather handbag in the shape of a Brooks saddle!
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.