By Jeff Lockwood
It’s European bicycle trade show time! Eurobike, the world’s largest bicycle trade show opened in Friedrichshafen, Germany earlier this week. As you can imagine, being in Europe, the show is stuffed full interesting, unique and useful bicycle products that people in the United States might not necessarily see. But it’s also where much of the product you will buy is first displayed.
I tried to document as much bicycle goodness as possible for Bicycle Times, but the show is big, and the days are short. This is the first of two posts highlighting some of the more interesting items I found over the past two days.
Safely and beauty aren’t always mentioned in the same sentence when it comes to bicycle locks. The Strongman is a new lock from Knog. As per most of their product, this lock has an aesthetic that’s uniquely welcoming. In this case especially, it’s beauty belies its strength. It’s definitely one lock you don’t mind showing on the bike. The Strongman is $100, while the smaller Bouncer is $50.
Brompton has managed to bring a certain air of classy urban sophistication to the whole idea of folding bicycles. To further that brand, they have developed a truly snazzy jacket that looks great, and creatively embraces some awesomely technical features. The Oratory Jacket appears as traditional English double vent, two-button style jacket. It features a highly and permanently water-repellent corduroy-style cotton, and is lined with wicking bamboo fabric. By day, you’ll never know the jacket has serious commuter-friendly functionality such as: travel card pocket in the right sleeve, internal pockets for iPods, adjustable cuffs, a nice cycling cut, zip pit vents and several fold-out reflective features all over the jacket…including a highly visible pull-out rear panel. It will be available in the US very soon.
Van Nicholson is an all-titanium company hailing from The Netherlands. One look at their product line, catalog and even their show booth lets you know their attention to detail is quite remarkable. The Pioneer is a titanium rig with a touring spirit, yet easily commutable (just be sure you lock it). It’s drool-worthy features include a belt-driven Rohloff hub, Brooks saddle, hydraulic rim brakes and an engraved logo on the headtube. It’s made from aerospace-grade titanium and comes with a lifetime warranty. Retail price is around $5,200.
Their saddles are legendary, and now they’ve created a handbag….purse…mirroring their saddle aesthetic. The Barbican is technically referred to as a “leather shoulder bag.”
Always making some kick-ass, adaptable and unique stuff, Surly was showing off their trailers. My mind is already thinking of the multiple ways I can use it.
Lezyne successfully blends functionality with a beautiful aesthetic…and it works on a couple levels. Such combination is especially attractive when it comes to tools. Notice the hardwood handles on the chain whip and pedal wrench. Also notice how all four tools also feature a bottle opener. Now that’s a “successful blend of functionality and a beautiful aesthetic.”
In what might be one of the coolest things I’ve seen at Eurobike this year is the Schwinn Vestige line. The frames on these two models (a men’s and a women’s) are made from flax fiber. Schwinn promises this composite delivers the same ride quality as carbon fiber, but with less negative environmental impact. The bikes both also offer bamboo grips and fenders. But that’s not the exciting stuff! These models have a lights inside the frame, which are powered by a dynamo-hub. Yes, you can see the light emanating from within the frame. It’s cool AND safe. (The yellow spots near the downtube and seat tube on the women’s photo show the light from within)
Though I only counted one true fixed gear bike out of the ten or so in their booth, the fact is Fixie Inc. is making some cool stuff. Regardless, Fixie, Inc seems to be a slightly controversial company based in their slightly disturbing ads, but they make some fine bikes. For example: The Mod Cab. Fitted with a belt-driven Shimano Alfine 8 speed powertrain, the bike also features a creative u-lock mount…right through the top tube. It also has LED lights in the front and back powered by an Alfine dynamo hub. I must say it’s hydraulic disc brakes are a nice touch. No price on it yet, as it’s a prototype.
Some rather rad bar tape from the Italian icon.