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The Future Of Mountain Bike Tech At Eurobike 2018

– So we’re here at Eurobike 2018. This is at Friedrichshafen It is the biggest trade bike show of the lot, and we’re gonna check out all of the new, cool tech stuff. (smooth, chill music) Now, this is a pretty interesting bit of tech that I’ve been meaning to try for a while now. Just kind of forgot they’re around. They’re called the Vibrocore Handlebar, and they’re from SPANK. They use a similar technology to a lot of Motocross bars.

They actually have an insert on the inside of the bar that is designed to sort of reduce that fatigue that you get transmitted through the handlebars in the form of vibration to your hands. Really interesting concept. Think about it in a way that you get a big echoey room, and you can absorb that sound using egg cups or foam. It’s gonna be a similar sort of principle with vibration by having that core on the inside. Really cool concept. I need to try some, I think, to see what they’re like. So we’re here on the Northwave stand, and we’re really pleased to see that in addition to all their super high-end, aggressive cycling shoes designed for the world of clipless pedals, they’re now making flat-specific shoes. So it’s the Tribe and the Clan. I’m just gonna take you through a few of the cool details on these. So we’ll look at the Clan first. So it’s three colorways. There’s the all black.

There’s the black and gray. At the top, there’s the blue and black with the orange detailing. Now this is a three-part sole, and it’s a completely unique sole to Northwave. And they’ve worked in conjunction with Michelin to develop this. So the tread pattern itself is one part of the sole, and that is their Gecko Plus Compound. It’s the softest compound, and it’s got a lug design at the front of the shoe and at the back of the shoe for the hike-a- bike stuff. And the mid part of the sole is designed for maximum purchase on flat pedals. It’s a very aggressive design. So the middle part of the sole, as you can see here, this gray part, that’s TPU rubber, so it’s urethane rubber, and that is the shank of the shoe that gives it a very, very stiff and supportive action.

So it’s dedicated cycling shoes, not just a trainer with a sticky, rubber sole on it. This thing is designed to be really good on flat pedals. It gives the rider support, not too much on there. It’s got a nice amount of flex, so you can feel the pedal through the sole of the shoe, but not too much that it becomes uncomfortable. It’s a very efficient shoe to ride in. It’s got loads of toe flex for off the bike stuff, so it’s gonna be quite an intuitive shoe to use. And, finally, there’s the EVA cushioning layer, which makes it very comfortable both off the bike and, of course, providing impact protection on the bike, and, of course, against vibration, which you get a lot of on any sort of riding.

So it’s a very comfortable shoe. The upper on it has got lots of ventilation on here. The padding on the upper isn’t so dense that it’s gonna absorb water. There’s just enough there, but it’s very light-weight. So it’s actually gonna dry very fast, which is great for us riders in the UK, and there’s lots of mesh on there. It’s TPU welded as well, so it’s a single-piece design, very clean bit of kit. Really quite into that. And, of course, there’s also the Tribe. So there’s five different colorways in this shoe available. Just gonna hold up the gray model here. Now this has got a slightly harder compound rubber sole. Of course, this one isn’t quite designed to be as high-end as the Clan shoe. This is more for your day-to-day shoe, much more like a skate-based trainer. So you got the nice heel-box in there, the nice toe-box on there, and a bit more of an aggressive sole on this, so it hooks up really great on and off the bike.

Also, they look pretty cool just to wear with a pair of jeans. Now, the Outcross is one of my favorite models of shoe. This is a shoe that I use in my day-to-day basis. I’m a clip-in kind of rider mostly, so as much as I love the flat-pedal shoes, this is really where I’m at. Now this is a slightly revised version. It’s got improved Velcro straps on here. It’s still got the dial on there. It’s a really good shoe, but I’ve also noticed they make a super light-weight version of that. As with all of the Northwave shoes, they’ve got Michelin rubber soles on there. It’s a really good sole off the bike, loads of stable support there, and it’s a nice, wide heel on there. This has got a super light fly-mesh upper, and it’s got a nice gaiter system on there as well. So it doesn’t weigh a thing.

It’s such a light shoe, but it’s got a really tough, sturdy sole. Again, it’s got a nice, protective toe-box and heel-box on there. Really good shoe. In fact, I’m gonna have a pair of those. So a little bit of new technology here involved in the world of locks. So this is the Hiplok Airlok. So this mounts to your wall in your house. It is also a place to hang your bike, but also a place to lock it so it’s absolutely secured. Now as you can see, the unit is actually locked, but using a dedicated app, hit the unlock button, and you can pull it out. So basically you’ve got a balled design here in the end while using the app. That is super cool. Of course, this is at concept stage. That’s not a real iPhone at the moment.

This is just a mock-up of how it’s gonna work, but this is retrofittable to the Airlok system and their forthcoming ground anchor system. Now what’s the point of this? Well, perhaps you locked your bike at home, and your wife wants to take it for a ride, or something like that, and you don’t have to share the keys. You can just unlock it or lock it using an app. Maybe it could be used for bike sharing in public, for hire bikes. There’s a whole world of benefits to be had from a bit of lock tech like this, but I absolutely love where this is going, love seeing all this cool concept stuff at shows like Eurobike that you wouldn’t see unless you asked about. Very cool. Just gonna unlock that, (lock snaps) and lock it. Now this is the next product you’re likely to see coming from Hiplok.

This is another orientation of the popular Airlok, which, of course, is that wall-mounted unit. Now this could be mounted on the ground as a ground anchor or on the wall, or even both. Now this could be quite cool. I’m actually thinking this might be a good idea for my own workshop, mount one on the wall, daisy-chain all the bikes together, mount one on the floor, lock that daisy chain to the floor, so it’s a really hard job, hopefully, for someone to get the bikes out if they do manage to get in there. Love a decent ground anchor system, and I love where this is going. Great tech. So this is a little bit of a hint of what is gonna come from the future. And I think this might happen for all bikes, but Magura are here first. This is a concept set of handlebars called the Cockpit Study.

The concept actually comes from old motorbike stuff with housing they used to have back in the day, like fairing, covering up the cables. The cables would be entirely internal on the handlebars. There’d be a bleed port on the end of the bars there. How neat and tidy is that gonna be? A whole cockpit bar and stem, integrated brake levers, no cables or anything. I think that’s gonna be an amazing piece of kit when this hits the shelves. And yet another piece of really cool tech from Magura, heated grips. This is something I have wanted to see on mountain bikes for a long time, and of course with e-bikes having a major battery system and they got the controls and everything, wires running straight through the bar stem, adjustable, heated grips so you can ride in winter.

You don’t have to have big, cumbersome gloves. You can have much thinner gloves, better riding feel, and, of course, no numb hands. How cool is that? Something else really cool I’ve seen here at Topeak is this Airbooster G. So this is something that’s for using with C02 cartridges, and, of course, as we know, one of the problems with C02 cartridges, you don’t actually know how much air you’re releasing at any time, even with those that have got a valve on them. These have got a pressure gauge on them, so you can be really precise in the amount of air you’re releasing into your tires. My perfect example of really cool, new MTB tech, just stuff that works really well.

You might not always need it, but they make a tool for everything you could possibly need. Gotta love Topeak for that. Here on the Gates stand, check out this Nicolai ION-G15. Now as well as being a really modern bike, of course it’s very progressive geometry, long, low slack. This, of course, has got the Gates Carbon Belt Drive on that, in combination with the Pinion gearbox. This, I really think, could be the future of design as far as bike transmissions go. Think what you’re doing with this. You’ve got something that’s completely impervious to mud. You’re never gonna have to maintain this. It’s all sealed away inside there. You’ve got the actual Belt Drive system itself. There’s no chain to snap. Really quiet, efficient system on there. You’re making your unsprung mass a lot lighter, so the rear suspension’s gonna work better. The weight of all of that stuff goes on the mass of the bike, so the whole bike’s gonna feel more balanced. The shifting system with this feels incredible. It’s really good, and, of course, it is all work in progress towards what the future of shifting will be on mountain bikes. And I, for one, really hope it does go the gearbox way, because I love the way it does without all of that stuff on the back of the bike.

Don’t get me wrong. I love what SRAM are doing with 12-speed. I love what Shimano are doing with that stuff. It’s really good, but this, I think, is stepping up. It’s going in a new direction, probably the direction mountain bikes should be going in. What do you guys think? Do you think that gearbox technology is really cool and where it should be going, or would you prefer the humble rear derailleur? Let us know in those comments below. So I was just checking out the inside of the Pinion gearbox here, and, as you can see, this thing is loaded. So you got your input, and you’ve got your output system on here, with flywheel system on the outside here, as you can see where the gears change, and you’ve got these orbitals that rotate around. Now something that’s especially cool about this, obviously, it’s enclosed, so the whole lot is clean and safe.

It basically never needs any maintenance. Every 10,000 kilometers, you need to change the oil in it, and that is it. These are all stainless steel. These will not wear out, because there’s nothing to wear them out. They perfectly engage every time. You can see how it works. Excellent system. Now if you consider on your actual mountain bike how many chain cassettes you would wear out in 10,000 km, think about oil, degreaser, all of that stuff that you’re using, no matter how biodegradable it is, you’re using a lot of stuff that potentially could be dripping on that forest floor.

But something like this is fully sealed, magnesium casing. It’s in the right place on the bike. I really think this could be the future, and I’m quite surprised there’s not more of this. But Pinion are so far ahead they’ve been developing this since 2006. We’ve seen this before. I’ve not actually seen inside it myself. Very cool to see. What do you guys reckon? So there’s been a lot of talk about carbon fiber bikes being super expensive and not necessarily for the wallet-conscious riders out there, but Hyper are gonna end that in one fell swoop.

Have a guess how much this costs. 500 US dollars, the complete bike with a carbon frame. So there you go, if you want a cheap carbon bike, this is where you come. Could this be the future? Could we start seeing a lot more budget bikes? Let us know what you reckon in the comments below. Of course, this is an extremely budget by the componentry on it, but it’s a decent frame. So you could upgrade this, do your own top mods on there, and turn it into really quite a good bike. 500 bucks! Insane. Just at the Alpinestars stand checking out their brand new Vector helmets. This is their all-mountain, trail riding helmet, great for enduro, bunch of really cool features on the inside and on the outside. Fully integrated peak, it morphs straight into the helmet, but it can be pushed straight up out the way for access, for putting the goggles on there for those extended climbs. Enormous vents on the front here, and, in fact, the whole sculpted style, it really reminds me of a lot of supercars, the way it’s styled, really good-looking helmet.

Comes down to protect the temples at the front, and the strap system actually sits flush against the head, so it’s designed to be really good to use with glasses so the glasses would sit on the outside of the straps. Of course, with some helmet designs, the straps actually get in the way of when you’re wearing riding glasses, so it’s a really good system. And the rear cradle system inside is adjustable, front and back, to suit if you’ve got a more round head or, if you’re like mine, bit more of an ovalized head.

Really nice looking lid, available in a whole range of different colors, but that’s the racing colorway. That looks so good, I think. And this is the brand new OMNI air-resistant spin helmet, and, of course, the spin technology (mumbles) for sheer protection inside. It’s the same as we’ve seen on Tectal Race SPIN helmet. Of course, this is a bit more based along the road helmet.

It’s now featuring a peak, and it’s got this really cool bridge design. It does look like it’s kind of wedged in between each of these things, but it’s actually structure is part of the helmet on the inside. So very strong, very well-ventilated helmet, and it’s very compact on the head, really good for entry-level riders, people that may be riding gravel, even road or commuting, or maybe a hardtail mountain bike. It’s a bit more of a basic-level helmet offering maximum protection that looks great, really, really cool. Really impressed that they’ve done that one. So this is a brand new Ergon SM Comp Saddle with a pressure relief channel in there.

Their saddles are already extremely comfortable, but now they’ve got the new Orthocell foam on there, which is insanely comfortable, really malleable. The channel is wide all the way to the front, so you can perch yourself forwards for those steep climbs without putting too much pressure on your perineum area. Really nicely thought-out saddle, nice and light, various different options here. Big fan of the stealth colorway on that one. Now they’re also compatible with the Topeak QuickClick Mount which locates on the bottom here, and you can mount various different tools and saddle packs and stuff on the underside of the saddle there without having to rely on the saddle rails for that. Really neat system. Now KTM have got a serious presence here. It’s probably the biggest stand we’ve ever seen. So we’re just gonna have a little look at some of the cool bikes they’ve got. Now KTM have obviously got bikes in every single category here, ranging from e-bikes, commuter bikes, road bikes, hardtails, and something like this.

This is a 29-inch prowler. 150 mm travel, full carbon, this thing is absolutely knock-out gorgeous. Love that line all the way down to the back of the bike there, classic Horst-link at the back with a shock being driven by a swing link on the top tube there. That is a really, really nice enduro trail bike. Unlike many of the bikes we’ve seen here, it’s running the brand new X2R 12-speed, which I think is stunning, absolutely really, really nice looking. What do you guys reckon? Would you run the Shimano X2R 12-speed, or would you prefer a SRAM Eagle? Hm, there’s a question for you. Let us know in those comments below.

So I’ve just had a walk around the KTM stand. I’ve counted 52 e-bikes. 52 e-bikes. And, of course, there’s these hardtails here. There’s 13 hardtails here, but the best one, I’ve already found this one. Neil is gonna love this bike. This is a proper high-end, XC race bike. So this is the Myroon. This is the absolute weapon. It’s running the Step-Cast fork on there from Fox.

That’s the super light XC fork. 29-inch race wheels on there, Thunderbird tires, super fast-rolling, full carbon frame on that, really tight back end, super clean line that runs all the way down to the chainstay there. That’s got Neil’s name written all over it, I reckon. Now something else that Magura do a little differently to everyone else is apply different style brake levers for a different feel, and we all know how important brake feel is. And a lot of riders actually pick the brakes, regardless of power, on how the lever feel is and the position of them on the bars. You’ve got the Danny MacAskill lever here. You’ve got carbon levers, which are great for XC riders. And, of course, as we talked about on the show a few weeks back, Loic Bruni has got his own lever in development. This is one of his actual levers. It’s a 3D-printed, titanium rapid prototype. It’s just amazing. I think it’s a really cool concept. You can have the brake.

You know what the power’s gonna be like. You know how to bleed them, and you pick the lever to get it how you want the brake to be. Absolutely love what Magura are doing. So there we go. That is another cool bunch of tech stuff. Let us know in the comments what you think is best, and for a couple more great videos, click down here for the GMBN video on all the cool highlights, and click down here if you wanna see another tech video from Eurobike 2018. As always, click on that round globe to subscribe to the channel. We’ve got fresh content for you every single week. Of course, if you like all this mountain bike good stuff, give us a thumbs up. .

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