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We're off to the Eurobike cycle show this week, here's a preview of what we expect to see plus some personal predictions from the tech team

Another year, another Eurobike. What’s Eurobike you ask? It’s only the biggest cycle show in the world and takes over the huge exhibition centre in Friedrichshafen, Germany every year, where many of the biggest bicycle brands go to display their latest products.

road.cc has been going there every year since the website launched way back in 2008, reporting on the newest and shiniest road bikes and products that are being launched for the new model year.  Because of the huge attendance by the leading brands, it’s a good place to spot emerging trends so before we pack our bags, we’ve put our heads together and come up with our predictions for the trends that we might see at the show.

- The 10 hottest road bikes of 2017 - feat. Bianchi, Cannondale, Specialized, 3T and more

The arrival of aero disc race bikes?

Specialized Venge ViAS Disc Etap - full bike.jpg

Disc brakes on road bikes became more than a trend a good few years ago, and now you can’t move for them: they're everywhere. But while disc brakes are hugely popular with non-racing enthusiast cyclists, the big question is when the pros are going to start racing with them. There are a few obstacles in the way and one argument against them that we hear a lot is that they generate a lot of drag. Specialized has with its latest Venge ViAS Disc, produced a bike  which according to the US company’s claims has the same drag figure as the rim brake model. Could we see a lot more aero disc bikes being launched with the WorldTour in mind?

Aluminium road bikes

Trek Emonda ALR 6.jpeg

Aluminium is king when it comes to budget road bikes, but there’s been a resurgence of interest in its use for high-end race bikes, especially with some of the advances we’ve seen with the material, such as the SmartWeld technology featured in Specialized’s Allez Sprint. Even though carbon fibre frames have been getting more affordable in recent years, quite a few manufacturers have cottoned onto the selling benefits of combining a premium and lightweight aluminium frame (light enough to rival many carbon frames) with a specification that can't be matched by a similarly priced carbon model.

- 11 of the best 2016 aluminium road bikes

Wider tyres

Clement XPlor USH tyre.jpg

This has been happening for a few years now, with a general acceptance amongst racing and non-racing cyclists that wider tyres are a good thing. Not just the 25mm that has replaced 23mm tyres in the professional peloton, but 28mm becoming popular on endurance bikes and the growing number of bikes being designed to accept 30-40mm tyres. There’s a limit to how wide a tyre you can fit on a 700c rim before you have to start drastically redesigning the frame, so a few brands have started downsizing the rims to 650b, an old French standard, and upsizing tyres to 40mm or wider. We’ve seen it with the Cannondale Slate but more brands are taking note and designing bikes to be compatible with both wheel sizes, but tyre and wheel choice is still limited. We expect that to change at Eurobike this year.

More aero products

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We're a long way from peak aero, and we can expect to see many new aerodynamic products being launched. There'll no doubt be new and updated aero road frames fit for the WorldTour, more aero helmets, clothing, shoes and integrated one-piece handlebars is another category that will likely be well represented with new products. 

- Should you buy an aero helmet?

Gravel and adventure bikes

Parlee Chebacco.jpg

One of the hottest tickets in the cycle industry right now are fat-tyred, disc-equipped gravel and adventure bikes. Once a strange American oddity born out of an increasingly popular gravel racing scene, we’re now seeing loads of cycle manufacturers jumping aboard the bandwagon; there have been more gravel bikes launched this year than any year before. One thing we could do with more clarity on is the distinction between gravel and adventure bikes. As has been said before in these parts we view them as distinct categories - gravel bikes are for gravel racing, a good example would be the Salsa Warbird (the first? production gravel bike) or the recently reviewed Parlee Chebbaco (pictured) and 3T's Exploro an evolution of the breed. An adventure bike is a more do it all, multi-terrain all rounder like the GT Grade or the Cannondale Slate - not to say they aren't built with speed in mind, but versatility is also well up in the mix. Maybe it's time we split the gravel and adventure bike review section?

Bikepacking bikes and bags

Miss Grape bikepacking luggage.jpg

Following in the wake of gravel and adventure bikes is that other hot topic right now, bikepacking. We expect to see a big uplift in the number of brands offering ranges of bikepacking products and there’ll probably be a few bikes designed specifically around accommodating the needs of unsupported adventure racing cyclists. 

Campagnolo to launch disc brakes (finally)

16 March 2016 2 - 6.jpg

Shimano has them. So does SRAM. But Campagnolo as yet hasn’t actually launched a disc brake of any description, and it's getting to the point where anticipation is in danger of turning in to mockery - not in any way an ideal scenario for a company with such a proud heritage. There’s much speculation that the only thing preventing the entire peloton from adopting disc brakes is that the small handful of Campagnolo outfits don’t have a suitable disc brake. We’ve seen what the Italian company is working on, though, it showed us earlier this year, but it really does need to launch something, and we’d be shocked if it didn’t do just that at Eurobike. 

- Campagnolo reveals new disc brakes

SRAM eTap to be popular on 2017 model bikes

TCR-ADSL-0-Red-Comp-RT.jpg

SRAM has recovered from its hydraulic disc brake recall a few years ago with the excellent eTap wireless electronic groupset, and now it looks like it can’t keep up with the demand from the many bike brands that want to spec it on their bikes. We expect to see lots of bikes coming out next year with the wireless groupset, and we’ll be paying careful attention to just how many brands will be offering it next year. It’ll also be interesting to see if the hydraulic disc version of eTap is gaining similar uptake levels as well.

- 10 SRAM Red eTap road bikes

FSA will launch its electronic groupset

This is definitely happening according to rumours, FSA will finally launch into the groupset wars with its own complete electronic groupset. Only a few details have emerged so far, it’ll be interesting to see how the finished product looks, and whether any bike brands will be speccing it on 2017 bikes. The Italian company has a lot of muscle in the OEM market with cranks and finishing kit, but will any bike brands be bold enough to take a punt on a brand new groupset?

An e-Bike future?

Giant Road E+ 1 - horn 7.jpg

Already huge on the continent, there’s a general feeling in the industry that the time is right for e-bikes. Cycling as transport is high on the agenda and e-bikes open up cycling to a lot more people that might have been put off by the fitness barrier, so there’s going to be a lot of electric bikes on display. 

- E-bike vs road bike shootout on Austria's toughest climb

The Eurobike organisers tell us a record half a million e-bikes were sold in Germany alone last year. “Since the e-bike trend took off in Germany eight or nine years ago, the market for bikes with electric pedal assist has only moved in one direction: up. A new record was reached in 2015 when 535,000 e-bikes were sold in Germany,” it says.

You’ll be able to get all the latest e-bike news from Eurobike over at our new sister site eBikeTips. 

- The 6 most anticipated products of 2017

Okay those are the predictions from the collective road.cc hive mind, now it's time to give the tech team their chance to tell us what they hope, want or indeed don't want to see at this year's Eurobike. Take it away fellas…

"I think what’s going to excite me most is looking at the Venn Diagram that covers the gravel bikes, adventure bikes, fast long-distance bikes and 700c/650b wheeled whatevers, just don’t call them touring bikes, that’s uncool. Although a well executed one of those is always a pleasure. Now that adventure-biking/bike-packing has gone from a niche thing that a few cross-continent idiots do to an easily-accessible way of having a little weekend adventure for more time-crunched less distance obsessed normal people the market is wide open for this sort of swift but comfortable machine and all the rugged accessories needed, obviously. They’re also great for people who like to mix up their general riding between road and gentle off-road, or just have to contend with shitty potholed roads a lot of the time, where a road bike feels a little fragile and a cyclo-cross bike is a bit too much, or the sort of vehicle for those that like to venture onto the path less traveled but a ‘cross bike isn’t quite enough but a mountainbike is too much and like to pedal along the fuzzy line between the two. So all of that and the associated trinkets and bike-packing luggage and gravel riding shoes, shorts and tyres and travel coffee-making devices. Probably.
 
I don’t need to see any more high-end shoes with laces in. Non loosening and easy-to-undo-when-they’re-wet straps-and-ratchets please.

Vecchiojo, road.cc director of spontaneity (yes, it really does say that on his business card) 

 

"Eurobike promises to be a lot different this year. With the absence of some of the biggest bike brands things can go one of two ways: either like some big trees falling in the rainforest allowing a bunch of cycling saplings to reach for the sun and quickly fill the gaps; or the gaps are too big and deforestation and disaster follows and we’re all doomed! (Well, Eurobike is).

"I’ll go with the first scenario. Glass half full me. 

"That being the case I expect to see a lot more innovative and quirky stuff, particularly on the component side of things - the Germans in particular have form when it comes to this sort of thing - internal gearboxes, stuff so light it needs to be tethered to the ground etc and this is their home show. In particular I’m expecting/hoping to see some evolution of some of the newer component technologies that have come to road bikes in particular disc brakes - in fact literally as I write this an email lands from Magura talking about ABS disc brakes so we’ll defo be popping along to see those. But I’m also hoping to see more tubeless wheels, rim sizes and widths, and looking at the growth of adventure and gravel bikes maybe someone brining out something like an adventure/gravel bike specific dropper post. If I’m honest I’m more interested in the adventure bikes because I reckon they are the sorts of machine that will do a job for a lot of cyclists on-road and in those places where it’s still possible to discern the difference off-road too.

Also I’d like to see a bike made out of some sort of vegetable matter (not counting bamboo) - bring back the good old days of bikes with a smidgeon (or more) of flax or carrot fibre in ‘em!"

Tony Farrelly, editor

Stay tuned to road.cc for all the latest from Eurobike 2017 this week.

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.

17 comments

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tritecommentbot [2266 posts] 3 years ago
1 like

Disc brake aero bikes will eventually end up being the weapon of choice a few years from now I reckon, but it all probably seems odd from a British perspective. These bikes are mad expensive currently, so the type of weather we get where disc brakes really shine, we just wouldn't ride the posh bike anyway. 

In makes more sense looking overseas though. Forums and Youtube vids of guys doing mad descents and their brakes/wheels imploding. Nasty stuff. Video of that trashed Aeroad going down Mont Ventoux recently is a case in point.

The minimal loss of wattage from DB drag is still more than compensated on a properly good aero bike, according to manufacturer tests anyways, and I would believe that. 

 

I think gravel bikes here are a blip. Manufacturers still trying to nickle and dime the market until the dust settles and people work out what's needed and what they really want (a tough, fast bike with decent clearance for a few wheelsets). 

More backpacking innovation needed! All seems a bit like an afterthought right now. New bags that are essentially copies, or even heavier than those already on the market. Zzzz. Heavy bikes with unispiring looks. Zzzz.

Alumnium thing is cool though - all those CAAD10 quality frames will end being starter bikes around 500 to 600 quid soon as the tech trickles down and carbon consumes all but the lower entry level.

 

Two things the market really needs. Cheaper power meters. Everyone wants a power meter, but they're expensive and for my needs a nightmare as I want to use one on multiple set ups (different crank lengths, spin bike etc). Other thing is 'cheap' good quality carbon wheels in the west. Sub £400 for 50mm clincher with a nice hub and bladed spokes, for example.  

Sort those two out and bingo, everyone can share the fun.

 

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Tjuice [269 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
unconstituted wrote:

Two things the market really needs. Cheaper power meters. Everyone wants a power meter, but they're expensive and for my needs a nightmare as I want to use one on multiple set ups (different crank lengths, spin bike etc). Other thing is 'cheap' good quality carbon wheels in the west. Sub £400 for 50mm clincher with a nice hub and bladed spokes, for example.  

 

Agreed!

I'd love a power meter (ideally two-sided) that I could swap very easily between bikes - realistically, that means pedal-based, given the varying BB standards.  But I cannot afford today's prices.

There seem very few options for 'affordable' carbon wheels.  Occasionally, Planet X deep section tubulars come down towards that £400 price point (and my personal experience of them is very good), but there seems no real choice other than that.  I am aware that there are some reasonable Chinese import options, but not quite sure how one goes about finding the good/high quality ones.

 

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macrophotofly [333 posts] 3 years ago
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The Far Sports brand is well regarded for Chinese carbon wheels, here in Japan. However most people agree in my club that the cheaper alloy hubs just don't last - so put your money into something like a DT Swiss hub that Far Sports can optionally build with their rims. The cheaper 350 might be a little heavier but is identical to the 240 mechanically, it lasts and is easy to get parts for if you need it serviced. I have two sets of Far Sports wheels (1x 50mm x 25 rim, 1x 35mm x 25 disc), both on 240 hubs. I have had no problems other than checking the tension after a few rides and then a slight truing (but that's what you get for only paying 400 quid + local tax for a wheel set) - been perfect ever since

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tritecommentbot [2266 posts] 3 years ago
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Considering Far Sports for next spring too. Been eyeing them up for a while, look really good and reviews are sound on other forums. 

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picko72 [4 posts] 3 years ago
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for what it's worth i've been running Farsport 38mm x 25 on DT Swiss 350s for 2 seasons - can't falt them and have bought some for friends too. The braking is great with basalt surface and rim is aero and light, have had absolutely no concerns even on 80kph+ Alpine downhills or just carrying extra speed on a rolling British roads...

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wingmanrob [81 posts] 3 years ago
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unconstituted wrote:

Considering Far Sports for next spring too. Been eyeing them up for a while, look really good and reviews are sound on other forums. 

I've got a couple of Farsports wheels, and the latest set, 60mm deep 25mm wide on DTSwiss 240 hubs are (IMO) better than my Zipp 404's. Just as aero, nicer hubs, and much quieter on shifting as the Zipps resonate especially on the downshift. 

The other set on my disc bike, are bomb proof, again on DTSwiss 240 hubs, really nice, although probably a bit over-built judging by the spoke count. 

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wingmanrob [81 posts] 3 years ago
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unconstituted wrote:

Considering Far Sports for next spring too. Been eyeing them up for a while, look really good and reviews are sound on other forums. 

Oh and if you use Zipp brake pads, they brake easily as well, possibly better. 

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cyclisto [412 posts] 3 years ago
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I welcome the gravel bike invasion. They are just what commuters really need! BUT what more do  we want from bike industry? Lets start from the easy:

a) More choices at punctureproof 700x32+ slick tires, why should they most end at 700x28

b) Bigger headtubes and smaller front chainrings. I admit, I am not Lance.

And more difficult:

c) More and cheaper belt driven options. Oh, and more competion on hub gears, now the Rohloff costs as much as three decent commuter bikes. Nobody likes a heavy chain after a wet ride.

d) As a dream material Ti frames AND Ti forks. Otherwise, its not really a dream.

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Mungecrundle [1542 posts] 3 years ago
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Definitely like to see a massive rise in the popularity of e-bikes, anything to blur the distinction between bikes and cars as viable transport around town especially for commuting. I'd also like to see some 'non-cyclists' and by that I mean people who would not otherwise consider themselves fit or interested enough to ride a bicycle for pleasure  joining our club and bringing an e-bike for the Sunday morning club ride.

Where bicycles brought cheap transport to the masses, e-bikes could potentially encourage a wealthier modern society back onto 2 wheels.

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Canyon48 [1147 posts] 3 years ago
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Im a bit confused now!

Titanium is one of the most difficult materials to manufacture things from because it work hardens so rapidly when its cut/drilled.

Steel cuts very quickly and much easier to cut than Titanium and doesn't require a silicon carbide cutter unlike Titanium.

Agree with the Youngs Modulus of steel being much greater than ti though.

I shall continue looking :p

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ajd [66 posts] 3 years ago
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Tjuice wrote:
unconstituted wrote:

Two things the market really needs. Cheaper power meters. Everyone wants a power meter, but they're expensive and for my needs a nightmare as I want to use one on multiple set ups (different crank lengths, spin bike etc). Other thing is 'cheap' good quality carbon wheels in the west. Sub £400 for 50mm clincher with a nice hub and bladed spokes, for example.  

 

Agreed!

I'd love a power meter (ideally two-sided) that I could swap very easily between bikes - realistically, that means pedal-based, given the varying BB standards.  But I cannot afford today's prices.

There seem very few options for 'affordable' carbon wheels.  Occasionally, Planet X deep section tubulars come down towards that £400 price point (and my personal experience of them is very good), but there seems no real choice other than that.  I am aware that there are some reasonable Chinese import options, but not quite sure how one goes about finding the good/high quality ones.

 

 

Are you sure guys? Nothing more humbling than getting a power meter then looking at the Pro's on Strava  2

P.S. I have 2, and they do make you work harded !

 

 

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atlaz [274 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

My question is, why do people need carbon wheelsets? Modern alloy ones seem to be shaped the same, be almost as light etc. Is it just the thing to have or am I missing something obvious? Yes, people can blow up the tubes on their alloy rims by braking too much on long descents but there seem to be less issues than with carbon.

Avatar
tritecommentbot [2266 posts] 3 years ago
1 like
atlaz wrote:

My question is, why do people need carbon wheelsets? Modern alloy ones seem to be shaped the same, be almost as light etc. Is it just the thing to have or am I missing something obvious? Yes, people can blow up the tubes on their alloy rims by braking too much on long descents but there seem to be less issues than with carbon.

 

Yeah there is something obvious mail

 

The problem is weight. To be properly aero, you want to go deep. You won't see many 50mm+ alloy rums around because they'd be horribly heavy. There just isnt a market for 2kg + deep section rims.

 

You will see 30/35mm ones. They're usually around 1.8kg. I have a set actually. Quattro, Team 35, Scirrocco etc.

 

 

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ryansharpnz [2 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
atlaz wrote:

My question is, why do people need carbon wheelsets? Modern alloy ones seem to be shaped the same, be almost as light etc. Is it just the thing to have or am I missing something obvious? Yes, people can blow up the tubes on their alloy rims by braking too much on long descents but there seem to be less issues than with carbon.

i'd like to know that as well - are carbon wheelsets a big factor when deciding on a bike?

Avatar
wycombewheeler [1368 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
ryansharpnz wrote:
atlaz wrote:

My question is, why do people need carbon wheelsets? Modern alloy ones seem to be shaped the same, be almost as light etc. Is it just the thing to have or am I missing something obvious? Yes, people can blow up the tubes on their alloy rims by braking too much on long descents but there seem to be less issues than with carbon.

i'd like to know that as well - are carbon wheelsets a big factor when deciding on a bike?

Well I'd either like to see 50mm carbon wheels or the cheapest possible wheels. No point paying extra for mid range wheels and then replacing them straight away.

I'd be happy if they sold bikes without wheels just as they don't provide pedals.

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iian [3 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
unconstituted wrote:

Other thing is 'cheap' good quality carbon wheels in the west. Sub £400 for 50mm clincher with a nice hub and bladed spokes, for example.  

 

 

Carbon is a tricky one. £500 wheelsets are common enough, but to get below £400 for decent spec wheels is difficult to leave any amount of margin for retailers. You could maybe find them discounted this far, but not regularly priced here. Unless a lot more volume is pumped through them, production costs will remain too high, then shipping and duty from the far-east etc. 

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maldin [149 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
unconstituted wrote:

Considering Far Sports for next spring too. Been eyeing them up for a while, look really good and reviews are sound on other forums. 

 

Also take a look at DCR wheels if you are in the UK. He's a wheel builder and no doubt imports the rims from a Chinese factory. However, sells the wheels as "DCR rims" and "DCR hubs" which means he warrantys them - if there is an issue it's his responsbility to put it right. Obviously he stands behind his wheel build, but if you get his hubs and rims, then he's warranting everything. That in turn means he only sells what he knows from building and customer experience is problem free (and discontinues any items he has issues with). He even offers to retrue the wheels for free whenever you need. I have two sets of wheels from him, a 38mm carbon clincher rim brake set and a low profile tubeless alloy set (for miserable weather, long alpine descents or unfortunately, the combination of both!). I have no affiliation with him at all, I'm merely a satisfied customer who feels that both the price, quality, service so far and likely good service in the future make him a good choice.