Tech news Gallery: The best tech from the 2023 Eurobike show, part eight
A whole boatload of parts and accessories.
You didn’t think we were done with our Eurobike coverage, did you? I said there was more to come, and I’m a man of my word. Plus, Ronan and I didn’t take all of these pictures for nothing.
In this round of coverage includes a little bit of everything, like avant garde bikes from Rondo, promising-sounding “green” manufacturing processes from Schwalbe, some fresh road and mountain bike wheels from Fulcrum, a couple of stunning throwback machines, a bunch of new tires, and plenty more.
By our estimates, we’ve got at least one more tech gallery to share with your from Eurobike – maybe even two. So if you’re looking for a gear distraction from the Tour de France, don’t worry; we got you.
Looking for even more Eurobike coverage? You can find all of our coverage from this year’s show
right here. Specialized may have sucked all the oxygen out of the room when it debuted its revamped Sirrus fitness bike in March, but Rondo actually released the layout first. Just as on the Sirrus, the Rondo Ruut X’s crazy-looking frame layout is supposed to yield a more comfortable rear-end ride since it supposedly behaves as a leaf spring for the upper half of the seat tube. Yep, more UDH. The Rondo Ruut X fits two water bottles inside the main triangle as usual, but they’re placed in tandem on the down tube. Check out the accessory mount just above the crankset, too. Rondo is absolutely unafraid to push the styling envelope. Why is this head tube and fork crown so massive and squared-off? Because it can be. Like it or not, it certainly is distinctive. The Panasonic booth at Eurobike was primarily focused on e-bike equipment, but it was impossible to ignore this lovely replica lugged steel road racer. I’ve got a Shimano Dura-Ace groupset at home of the same vintage, but mine certainly doesn’t look as pristine. The Tange Prestige tubing. The buttressed lugs. The polished aluminum components. The chrome chainstay! I still remember the first time I laid eyes on the original Selle Italia Flite saddle at Visentin Bicycle Shop in Oyster Bay, New York. So much lust. Ok, so the white cotton bar tape is neither practical nor comfy. But it gets my heart racing just a little bit. NS Bikes started out in the dirt jump and street categories, but it now encompasses a wide range, including gravel. The chromoly NS Bikes Frag frame features a plate semi-yoke to boost drivetrain and tire clearance … … while the aluminum Rag+ gets a prominent cutout behind the seat tube so that the rear wheel can be tucked in a little tighter. It’s always fun to see a little color like this on otherwise-plain bikes. The folks at NS Bikes seem to having a good time. I can’t say I’ve seen a weld sequence like this before in a seat cluster. I’m guessing there’s a reason for it, but I didn’t have the time to ask what that might be. SRAM’s Universal Derailleur Hanger is quickly taking over the gravel bike market. The Four Corners adventure bike from Marin isn’t new, nor is it anything groundbreaking. But for those of you who might be interested in dipping a toe into the bikepacking waters, it’s still an excellent affordable option with its wide gearing range, generous tire clearance, and accommodations for bags. Retail price is an attainable €1,299. Fulcrum’s Red Zone Carbon mountain bike wheels might not come across as all that flashy at first glance. However, it’s only when you look a little closer that things get more interesting. The rim features a variable profile that Fulcrum says improves the spoke bracing angles while also providing more strength to the rim without adding extra weight. Claimed weight for a 29″ wheelset is 1,445 g. Fulcrum outfits the Red Zone Carbon with a 28 mm-wide hookless tire bed. Fulcrum’s hubs are among the best I’ve used in terms of smoothness and long-term durability, and I see little reason to expect any different from the Red Zone Carbon. Bearings are very widely spaced on this front hub, for example, and note the adjustable preload collar, too. The Speed 57 is a new deeper-section aero road wheel from Fulcrum. Claimed weight for a set is 1,495 g. As the name suggests, the Fulcrum Speed 57 features a 57 mm-deep aero profile. Less obvious is the incredible finish, which includes a mix of real metal logos and laser etching. While Fulcrum uses a hookless format for the Red Zone Carbon mountain bike wheels, the Speed 57 road wheels stick to a hooked format for better tire compatibility. I have mixed feelings about all of these icons and words laser etched on to the surface of the Fulcrum Speed 57. Hybrid ceramic bearings are fitted stock on the Fulcrum Speed 57 hubs. The Cumbre is an XC tire from American Classic designed for “dry, dusty, or mixed trail conditions.” It’s offered solely in a 29×2.25″ size and weighs a competitive 690 g (claimed). But like all American Classic tires, it also carries a wonderfully affordable price tag of US$45. Want to go faster on hardpacked gravel? The American Classic Grus is aimed at timed events where a rider might value straightline speed but still need secure cornering grip. It’s offered in a 700×40 mm size with a reinforced 120 TPI nylon casing, and has a claimed weight of 515 g. Retail price is US$45. The Kimberlite isn’t a new mixed-terrain tread pattern from American Classic, but it’s now offered in larger sizes, including 700×45 and 700x 50 mm. According to American Classic, its new Terestre model is the “ultimate all-rounder for cross country.” The tightly spaced center knobs are intended to provide excellent straightline speed, while the generous array of shoulder knobs are said to provide lots of support while cornering.
Claimed weight for the single 29×2.25″ size is 745 g, and retail price is – you guessed it – US$45. American Classic offers its Torchbearer road and Wentworth gravel tires in special editions to benefit People For Bikes. Both are built with 60 TPI nylon casings and are offered exclusively through Amazon for US$30. Trickstuff isn’t nearly as widely known as bigger brands like SRAM, Shimano, Magura, Hayes, and others, but its gorgeous hydraulic disc brakes carry incredible reputations for power and lever feel, as well as huge waiting lists. The Piccola is Trickstuff’s lightest model – and in fact, supposedly the lightest in the world – with an incredible 160 g claimed weight per wheel (without rotor). Nevertheless, the lever feel was incredible, with a very well-defined bite point, silky smooth action, and no noticeable flex in the lever body. Unfortunately, there’s a price tag to match. The Marathon is one of the most (or perhaps the most?) popular tire in Schwalbe’s expansive range, and now it’s taking on a more eco-friendly personality with some big claims behind it. Schwalbe says its new Marathon is the world’s “first circular tire”, supposedly incorporating 100% recovered carbon black and 70% recycled and/or renewable materials overall. Schwalbe is also claiming a 34% decrease in CO2 emissions as compared to a more conventionally produced Marathon with no decrease in performance. Schwalbe finally has a fat bike successor to its long-running Jumbo Jim. The new Al Mighty boasts a far more aggressive tread that should be a lot more capable in anything more rugged than groomed trails. It’s only offered in a 26×4.8″ size for now, though. Schwalbe showed off its EXR concept for e-mountain bikes. If these remind you of moto tires, that’s not a coincidence. The Schwalbe X-One RS isn’t a new tread pattern, but it’s still one of my favorites if you’re trying to convert a bike with somewhat limited clearance into more of an all-road rig. Without question, Schwalbe has some of the best model names in the bicycle tire business. I’d love to see the list of names that didn’t make the cut over the years. WTB has redesigned its iconic Silverado (left) and Volt (right) saddles. The updated WTB Silverado (left) gets a flatter shape and a shorter nose than before, plus a new Fusion Form manufacturing method that does away with the traditional cover and staples in favor of a one-shot process. Meanwhile, the Volt (right) retains its familiar shape, but with updated Fusion Form padding and a softer fiber-reinforced nylon shell for a cushier feel. If you’re tired of your controls smacking into your top tube, but your mountain bike isn’t equipped from the factory with a steering limiter device, FSA has an aftermarket solution for you. FSA’s Reach Adjust System allows rider to tweak the reach of their frame just by changing the orientation of their headset cups. It’s not a new idea – and it does require a dedicated frame to match – but it’s a useful tool for riders that like to play with handling and fit characteristics. Looking to combat front-end shimmy? That’s often indicative of another problem (such as frame alignment), but FSA does offer a damped headset to help lessen the symptoms. I unfortunately didn’t have much time to really dig into the EXS Cycling booth at Eurobike, but I did manage to nab an image of this carbon fork the brand has developed specifically for the current-generation Giant TCR Advanced. Although that bike intentionally doesn’t offer fully internal routing, you can now have it that way if really want it. Magura showed an interesting braking concept purpose-built for cargo bikes. Dubbed CBS (Combined Braking System), it’s a hydraulic system that automatically applies some front brake when the rear brake lever is pulled as a way of reducing stopping distances since most riders don’t utilize the front as much as they should. It’s only an OEM item, though, as the front-to-rear power proportions need to be tuned to each particular bike, and it’s initially aimed at front-loader cargo bikes for now since there’s virtually zero chance of an endo. Does the custom paint job on this Manitou fork bring back memories for anyone else? It’s a throwback to the old Manitou EFC from the early 2000s, and part of a special project build for Andrew Dodd at GMBN. Maxxis is incorporating recycled fishing nets into some of its tires. It’s a small step, but a positive one nonetheless. Panaracer had this new Agilest Fast tire on display at Eurobike, but with no information posted to go with it, and nothing but “no comment” responses from people working the booth. Selle Royal is supposedly collecting waste from its manufacturing process and grinding it up to make new saddles. Intriguing. What did you think of this story?
😐Meh 😊️Solid 🤩Excellent