Eurobike’14: The Weird & Wonderful
Eurobike. It’s the biggest and best bike show in the world for a reason – it simply has EVERYTHING on display from the entire bike industry and is the show that is the most talked about by PEZ fans. So here by special request is one last look from inside the halls of Eurobike 2014 in Germany at some of the weird and wonderful bikes, accessories and more that we couldn’t fit in our first specials.
Starting off our collection of weird and wonderful things at Eurobike are the guys at Casco. I first saw these helmets at last year’s show and put them straight in the ‘weird’ category but a lot of people since have been raving about their quality and features.
The pro team, La Pomme Marseille have used their road/aero model the SpeedAiro this season to great success and their TT model the Speedtime to great effect also although the style for me is still a little ‘too much’ for my liking.
For more on Casco and their whole range of helmets & sunglasses and check out casco-helme.de
More inline with my personal tastes but also way out of my budget range was Bianchi‘s latest TT rig the Aquila CV.
It has one of the smoothest front ends going around with beautifully integrated front brakes combined with a scalloped down tube that looked great in black with Celeste highlights. The claimed weight for the painted frame is 1300 grams and has been used successfully by the pro teams Belkin and Androni this year.
More from Bianchi and their wholerange at bianchi.com
Still on bikes now with the Spanish firm Orbea.
Their go anywhere do anything GranFondo/Endurance/Dirt/Crossover bike the Avant M20iD was a pretty cool rig and was part of a big trend at Eurobike this year by the big manufacturers to really push the endurance/disc equipped models. This one is Ultegra disc equipped with a carbon monocoque OMP frame that is designed with a shorter reach and higher stack for greater comfort and has a retail price of around $5700 US.
Also on display was a number of their classic Orca models which seem to have so many variations it’s hard to keep track of which is which and even more so when certain Orcas are only sold in certain countries etc. If you’re lucky enough to live in a country that gets the new Orca M-LTDi then you get Dura-Ace Di2 combined with many lightweight bits that brings in the bike well under the UCI’s weight limits – in no small part thanks to the new OMR frame which is 150 g lighter than last season’s OMP Orca while claiming to be stiffer at the same time.
Not falling foul of the UCI weight inspectors – or frame inspectors was their range of Ordu TT/Triathlon rigs that start at very reasonable prices for their M30, 105 model ($2400) all the way up to their M-Ltdi ($10,500) which currently holds the fastest Ironman bike split in history of 4hr2m17s for the 180km.
More info on Orbea and which models you can and can’t get in your partcular country at Orbea.com
Certainly well entrenched in the weird category was this custom Dimar frame that was attracting many looks from the big Eurobike crowds for its highly unusual geometry, style and simply unique carbon seat.
It was an ‘UnSaddle’ aka ‘selle-proust’ which was designed by former pro, Daniel Proust who rode for the Gitane and Fagor-Mercier squads alongside Raymond Poulidor. This truly unique saddle has been designed to eliminate pressure on the perineum area while allowing a natural, smooth pelvis motion during the pedal cycle with no lower lumbar aches.
They also had a steel Dimar set up on a trainer with a padded Unsaddle to try out which I did and it certainly felt different. Neither weird nor wonderful it just felt very, very different although one short spin in jeans on a trainer was certainly no test.
For those that suffer from perineum or lumbar pain it could be an option. For more info on these unique Unsaddles go to selle-proust.fr
Much more traditional were the folks over at The Light Blue who specialize in brand new, ‘retro’ rides.
The workmanship and attention to detail behind this Kings Retro model was high class and with its 853 frame, DiaCompe components, polished alloy pieces and leather saddle it was like stepping back in time. For a brand new retro ride, lightbluecycles.com would be a good place to start with the Kings retailing for £1499.99.
Back to the mainstream now with Merida who have a simply massive range of bikes on the market and are easily one of the biggest players on the global stage selling more than 2 million bicycles per year. It’s just a shame that with their gentleman’s agreement with Specialized they are pretty much non-existent in the American market. As 49% owners of Specialized, Merida have agreed to stay out of the US so most of the Merida’s that those of us stateside see are under the bums of Lampre-Merida riders competing and we’re unable to buy them.
Speaking of the Lampre boys, Merida of course had a few of the team’s Probikes on display with two models that belonged to the World Champion at the time, Rui Costa including the very aero and aggressive Reacto model that was getting the most looks.
For more on Merida and to see if you live somewhere that you can actually buy them check out merida.com
Still on all things Pro team with Kuota now who were previous suppliers to Ag2r a couple of years ago and the Bretagne team last year who are getting back into the Pro Peloton next year with the Androni team.
Their Kougar model was available in a number of different setups with the level of finish on this aero-styled frame very impressive indeed.
The HM Carbon monocoque frame in size M weighs in at 1.03kgs.
Much more at kuotacycle.it.
Firmly entrenched in the weird category are the folks at Stringbike who were back again this year with a number of new models showing off their truly unique drivetrain.
Our man Leslie first came across these guys at the 2013 show and this year they had this truly eyecatching TT model on display. The ever so last century concepts of chain and derailleurs have been replaced by a gearing system that runs on a very fine polypropylene rope.
This 19 speed stringdrive technology driven space age machine retails for 4250 Euros and is surely the most unique TT machine I’ve ever seen.
No chain, no lube, no mess with a twist grip shifter and outrageous look this bike is guaranteed to turn heads. More info on the concept behind stringbikes and the other models available at stringbike.com
And lastly today what would be a Eurobike Weird and Wonderful Eurobike piece without a shoutout to Didi the Devil who could be placed in either of those categories depending upon your point of view.
Dieter “Didi” Senft was once again back at the show wandering around and I spotted him getting very up close and personal with a record breaking recumbent tricycle that crossed the Antarctic in 10 snowy and icy days for 638km. A new mode of transport for next year’s Tour Didi?