1. Power up
Electric mountain bikes are a hot commodity, and brands are moving towards more fully-ready e-MTBs. More and more companies offer the long travel full-suspension e-bikes that enable you to experience MX-like fun on the e-bikes. You don’t need to buy a special e-bike, though. Some exhibitors unveiled electric motor kits that can upgrade almost every bike. Taking the motor off again with little effort brings ultimate flexibility. The mid-engine positioning provides a low centre of gravity, and the backpack battery offers manoeuvrability. There’s no need for a shuttle up the hill…
2. Bike packing
Travel! Discover! Explore! The bikes are no longer just a tool to experience one-day sensation. A lot of people are taking them onto long-term expeditions, extreme endurance events and gravel adventures. As an emerging trend, backpacking has gotten a boost from media coverage surrounding organised races like the 4418-km Tour Divide in North America, and the Transcontinental Race in Europe, which doesn’t use a set route but requires riders to pass mandatory checkpoints. But backpacking is more likely to grow up appealing to riders’ sense of adventure, not races. Instead of installing sturdy front and rear racks and then loading them up with gear, backpackers prefer to carry fewer bags, which offers more freedom and versatility.
3. Safety first
There are safety elements wherever you look – red diodes in the grips, on the rear side of the helmets, or in the back part of cycling jerseys. As soon as you get on the bike, you should be visible to raise the chance you get back home alright.
4. Plus tires
Everywhere you looked at Eurobike you found new electric mountain bikes with 27,5-plus wheels. “Plus” is quickly becoming the new standard for e-MTBs. The bigger air chamber means the tires can be run at a lower pressure. That’s especially appealing because many brands are now using tubeless tires on their models, which removes the risk of pinched flats. A big, low-pressure tire also means a bigger contact patch for improved grip – a major bonus when there’s an on-board motor offering extra power.
5. Lighter lights
Like the smartphones in our pockets, most consumer electronic follows the same evolutionary trajectory: they shrink and they become more powerful. Bicycle lights are no exception. Now that bulky replaceable batteries are history, a new crop of lights crams more lumens into ever smaller and neat packages.
6. More dropper posts producers
As the dropper seat posts are becoming standard operating equipment on many mountain bikes, the dropper market is suddenly getting crowded. There’s a good reason why, in less than 10 years, dropper posts have become so popular. Being able to adjust the saddle’s height on the fly is a huge advantage on technical trails. A lower saddle makes it much easier to shift your body behind the saddle for steep descents or move the bike under you for quick direction changes. Now even the producers are doing away with cables and moving to wireless systems.
7. Powerful disc brakes
While cycling governing body, the UCI, seems hesitant if not reluctant to roll out disc brakes in professional road racing, bicycle industry has no such hesitation. Eurobike visitors will find plenty of performance road bikes sporting disc brakes. Disc brakes have much better results in bad weather and brake down much more effectively. However, after a big collision in Paris – Roubaix, when one Spanish rider claimed to suffer laceration from colliding with a hot rotor, the trial of disc brakes in pro cycling was suspended.
8. Aerodynamic helmets
Helmet designers have been so focused on improving ventilation in recent seasons that the average lid is now riddled with holes. While these helmets help keep riders cool, stick them in a wind tunnel and it instantly becomes clear how each vent snags the wind as it passes, creating significant drag. That’s why several Eurobike exhibitors gave their helmets the slick aero treatment for their latest lines.