EURO BIKE: THE GERMAN SIDE OF E
Could a stronger charge still be coming? By Zapata Espinoza
For almost two decades now the Eurobike show has defined the future of cycling. As the world’s largest industry trade show, it has acted as a weathervane in pointing out what direction in new pedal technology the industry will proceed.
Leave it to Bianchi to enter the e-bike category by rolling out a stunning first-effort concept bike dubbed the E-Duardo (in honor of company founder Eduardo Bianchi).
Bianchi looked to the triathletes and used Shimano Di2 electronic bar-end shifters that are typically found on tri-bikes.
Owing to one of the burliest aluminum frames we’ve seen, the Cannondale Moterra definitely appears ready to tackle some extreme terrain. All the bikes roll on 27.5-inch wheels.
Unlike in America that only gets two city bike models, when it comes to selling e-bikes in Europe, Cannondale offers seven different platforms of bikes, ranging from city bikes to full-on mountain bikes.
Cannondale has five models of Moterra full-suspension mountain bikes that all rely on Bosch 500-watt-hour power, Torsion Box downtubes, and a mix of 130mm and 160mm Fox and RockShox suspension.
Over the years the e-bike segment of the show has continued to grow. Guess what? Based on the degree that the e-bike market continues to grow, and even keep some traditional bicycle companies in the black, for the first time ever, there was talk in the halls that someday in the future, the very ingredients of Eurobike will have less to do with pedal bikes and more to do with pedal-assist bikes.
To commemorate the flight of the zero-emission Solar Impulse airplane, Stromer is making available a limited-edition Solar Impulse model that is based on their original ST-1 bike (www.stromerbike.com/en/us/solar-impulse)
As usual the German M1 Sport Tecknic booth was filled with some exciting carbon fiber mountain bikes. The Spitzing model is available with three different power outputs: 50xw, 500w, and 850w. www.en.m1-sporttechnik.de
Like so many other traditional bike brands who recognize the growing popularity of e-bikes, German brand Corratec has jumped into the market with a complete family of bikes which of course include full-suspension mountain bikes.
Corratec took a page from their XC racing heritage in designing the E-Bow 45 with its signature split-rail, bow-shaped top tube. www.corratec.com
Not nearly as refined as the majority of highly polished show bikes, the Shimano-powered My Boo Volta stood alone as the sole bamboo-framed model in Germany. The frames are made in Ghana, Africa. www.my-boo.com
With the e-bike market enjoying such explosive growth in Europe, KTM has a wide array of models available for every type of e-bike consumer. This race-ready Kapoho features a high-end, inverted Magura fork, a dropper seatpost and aggressive Schwalbe tires.
Like Cannondale, KTM is another brand that offers a far wider category of e-bikes for the European market than they do in America. This carbon-framed Vamos was listed as a concept bike. www.ktm-bikes.at/en/bikes/e-bike
Not to be confused with the Austrian motorcycle brand of the same name, the KTM
pedal brand is home to a huge range of e-bikes that includes everything from city-dedicated commuters to hard-core mountain bikes, like the aluminum Kapoho.
One of the most talked-about bikes at the show was the Brose-powered concept bike dubbed the VisionBike that looked as much like a drag-racing bike as a bike of the future.
The VisionBike is the first we’ve seen that provides an electronically controlled saddle position. When not in use, the seatpost locks the rear wheel to act as theft prevention. The handlebar’s positioning is also electronically controlled.
In a statement, Brose general manager Christoph Bantle said, “The Visionbike isn’t a vision of something that will happen in the distant future, but rather an application-oriented study. We wish to show what kind of possibilities the further use of electric motors in the bicycle can offer.”
LaPierre’s line of Overvolt mountain bikes includes six aluminum and three carbon bikes. The AM900+ runs with a 500-watt motor and RockShox suspension. www.lapierre-bikes.com.
In addition to their full-suspension bikes, Giant also makes an aluminum hardtail.
Since their inception in 2015 Galex has been dedicated to the community of e-bike builders relying on wooden frames. The bike they exhibited used a Bafang motor with a SunTour fork and Shimano Hydraulic disc brakes. www.galex.bike.
In short, the world is a-changing! From once holding down a dedicated space in an outdoor expo, over the years e-bikes have continued to gain legitimacy and creep inside the halls away from the weather conditions that occasionally impact the show.
Priced around $4500, the Riese & Muller Homage Dual Drive is a smart looking step-thru commuter that runs a combination of a Bosch motor and 27 speed SRAM DualDrive gearbox to provide you with as wide a gear selection as you’ll ever need.
It’s obvious by the number of different bikes that they produce that Riese & Muller are bullish on the commuter e-bike market. The entry level Nevo runs with a suspension seatpost, Magura disc brakes and a Gates belt drivetrain.
Starting with the famous Birdy folding bike,Riese & Muller have been designing and
building unique bikes since the mid-90s. The cargo e-bike is no exception. The full
suspension Load is their entry-level model with your choice of Bosch power plant and one or two batteries. www.r-m.de/en-gb/
The German-based Relo company has been developing their detachable e-drive system since 2013. The 250-watt unit relies on a gear that mounts inside the left crank, with magnesium cases enclosing the drivetrain. The motor detaches easily and can be mounted on either the downtube or seat tube. www.relo-antriebe.de.
Modernity struck an elegant pose with this concept bike seen at the Diavel booth.
In addition to their handsome city bikes, BESV was showing off this prototype full-suspension TRB1 that mimics the look of a motorcycle with a faux gas tank that’s actually used for storage.www.us.besv.com
Riese & Müller weren’t taking any chances with this Bosch-powered Delite Mountain
adventure bike by specing it with a dual battery option and top tube mounted bottle cages. www.r-m.de/en-gb/
While the rest of the cycling industry has gone mad with carbon fiber frames, this E-Flow mountain bike was nonetheless turning heads with its polished aluminum frame.
Standing among an array of their unique production bikes, E-Flow was showing-off
a concept city bike that featured a low-step frame and an innovative, twin spar front fork.
Just as we’ve done in the past, we walked away from the massive halls all the more convinced that the sky is the limit when it comes to new e-bike designs and technology. Here are just some of the bikes that caught our eye at the last Eurobike go-around.