Another year, another trip to Germany for Eurobike, the world’s biggest bike show. Only this year we decided to ride 230km from the Eurobike Media Days event in Austria last week to Friedrichshafen, so the legs are definitely a bit tired today. But we’ve loaded up with bread and coffee and have stomped the huge halls of this exhibition centre to bring you some highlights from the opening day.
And we start with the world’s first 13-speed groupset. Rotor has gazumped Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo’s 12-speed groupsets with the jump straight to 13 sprockets with its new Uno groupset, the hydraulic drivetrain it has been developing for many years and only recently came to market.
It has developed a 1x13 groupset with a choice of wide-range cassettes so it can be used for road and gravel bikes, we presume there’ll be a mountain bike version soon enough. For road there’s a 10-36t cassette, a 10-39t for road and gravel and a huge 10-46t for gravel. The cassette is made from two pieces, using steel for the smaller sprockets and aluminium for the larger ones, CNC machined from a single lump of metal.
Why it has chosen to go with a single ring is due to the Spanish company believing the benefits that have seen 1x become almost standard in the mountain bike world will appeal to road, cyclocross and gravel cyclists. We’re already seeing 1x popular in those last two categories, but less so on the road side.
The addition of the 13th sprocket means you can close the gap in the high gears that is the big drawback of current 1x groupsets. Gerard Vroomen, the man behind the 3T Strada, alluded to this bike being developed for the expected availability of 12 and 13-speed groupsets for this very reason.
The new rear mech features a clutch-style mechanism to minimise dropped chains. The casing of the mech is made from aluminium and reinforced polymer and it can be adjusted to work with a 12-speed cassette by simply turning a bolt.
We’ve not ridden it yet so we can’t comment on how it performs at this stage. One to watch though.
Bikepacking is a Thing now, and Shimano has decided to join all the fun with its new Discovery range. We'll have a closer look, including video, of this new offering soon, but first impressions are good. Lots of smart details, nice materials and we're sure the prices will be competitive.
Been wanting Shimano to bring out some yellow road shoes? Here you go...
Shimano's new Ultegra RX mech, not exactly new but still worth a mention in case you missed its launch a little while ago. Brings the clutch mechanism from mountain bike rear mechs to the road market, with an 11-34t cassette capacity (though we're sure it'll go a little higher than that) and available in mechanical or electronic versions.
Elite reckons there’s a market for an ultra stylish indoor trainer that’ll look so good you won’t want to hide it away in the garage and has created this beauty.
Transparent frame, lots of wood and leather and big chunky dials. And a big price tag too, you’re looking at about £20,000.
Cane Creek has been making its Thudbuster suspension seatposts for years, and while this eesilk isn’t new, we reckon with the rise of gravel and adventure riding, it’s just the ticket for smoothing the ride. It offers 20mm of compliance in a 27.2mm diameter seatpost.
You read about it on road.cc the other day, but here's another pic of the new 3T Strada Due...
...which can now accommodate a conventional 2x groupset with a front mech. Might just be me, but I'm loving this grey colour.
Last year 3T showed a prototype of its own 9-32t cassette designed to overcome some of the gaps in a regular road cassette, and it's now made it into production. We hope to get a ride on a bike with the new cassette fitted soon.
Brooks has added a white Cambium All Weather saddle to its 2019 range. It looks way better in the flesh than this photo I should add.
It's also the first All Weather saddle to be offered with carbon rails.
Also on the Brooks standa was this lovely saddle pack. It's not new, but I've not noticed it in the company's range before.
I think we've reached peak indoor training: Muc-Off has launched Sweat Protect. Simply spray over the bike and it'll prevent the nasty corrosive action of all that sweat you drip over the bike when riding around Watopia (or any other virtual training world).
There's a noticeable absence of sexy Italian road bikes at Eurobike this year, but Basso has saved the day. It's stunning Diamante SV Disc is a very good looking bike.
Basso also does gravel. This is the Palta and combines clearance for wide tyres with some of the unique features of its road bikes, such as the recessed head tube that lets you really slam the stem.
You don't see that many chainguides on gravel bikes, mostly they tend to rely on clutches and narrow/wide chainrings. Bassos has added one for good measure.
Canadian bike brand Argon 18 has added disc brakes to its Nitogren aero race bike. There’s more than just the addition of disc brakes though, it has re-engineered the frame to offer more comfort than the previous bikes, there’s smart internal cable routing with adaptable plates to be compatible with different groupsets.
It can also be run with a 1x drivetrain or you can slap on a front mech if you prefer a 2x setup.
The Gallium model has been expanded to a range of three bikes. The Gallium CS here is intended to be an accessible race bike but is still a UCI approved model, so essentially it comes out of the same mould as the top-level Gallium but uses a lower grade of carbon fibre in its construction.
We’re used to automobile manufacturers getting into the bike business, and Mercedes-Benz is no stranger to offering bikes in the past. It has now collaborated with Argon 18 in a multi-year deal to produce a range of unique road bikes, and the first is this 41 endurance road bike. Argon 18 does the bike design, Mercedes-Benz is responsible for the “exclusive appearance with silver-coloured frame and silver-black gradient on saddle and struts.”
What do you think?
Here's the new Giro Aether, which has MIPS Spherical. The press release we got send the other day didn't really explain the technology, but the quick video below does a better job of showing what it really does. It's essentially a helmet inside a helmet with a slippery low-friction liner that lets the outer slide over the inner helmet.
Above: A quick video showing how MIPS Spherical functions.
The big benefit, aside from the claimed safety improvement, is much-improved ventilation. Not only are the vents massive, but the removal of the normal plastic MIPS liner has allowed Giro to add large internal channels to keep your noggin cool.
Also new from Giro is the Syntax. It costs £100 with MIPS or £80 without it. br
SRAM had this Vielo V+1 on its stand decked out in all its latest equipment. It's the first time we've seen this road plus bike fitted with 650b tyres as well, and it looks good.
Had a good nose around the new Cannondale SuperSlice, a disc-equipped time trial bike.
Not sure how aero that bottle placement is though?
Lezyne has seriously upped its GPS computer game with devices that look much sleeker and less clunky than its previous attempt, with higher resolution screens that really take the battle to Garmin.
Above: See the new Lezyne computer in action.
These should be arriving in stock in a week or two and we look forward to testing them out. More details in our previous first look here.
We really like the Challenge Gravel Grinder tyre but we've been wanting the company to offer a tubeless version. It has, and there's a choice of three widths; 33, 38 and 42mm.
One of our fave tyres, the Schwalbe G-One is now available in a whopping 2.8x27.5 size. Obviously you'll never fit that in your gravel bike, it's aimed at mountain bikers who want a very fast rolling tyre.
Here's a flashback to Peter Sagan's Specialized Roubaix S-Works as raced at Paris-Roubaix. Rim brakes, a saddle pushed right back on its rails, long slammed stem and a Dura-Ace Di2 groupset.
This dial let Sagan lock the Future Shock in the head tube. We can expect it'll soon be available on production Roubaix bikes. The needs of everyday sportive cyclists are a bit different to a pro racer though, but we're sure there'll be demand for the ability to lock out the 20mm of suspension the Future Shock provides.
Sagan obviously likes his bike position stretched.
That's all for now. I need some fresh air and a snack, but stay tuned for much more coverage from the show as we're here until Tuesday. Laters.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.