In the fight for stiffer and lighter bikes the competition at Eurobike is tight, all of the major brands have their top model Carbon Fibre road and time trials bike, their more affordable carbon fibre road bike, the top Carbon Fibre Mountain Bike, perhaps a titanium frame and then down into the more affordable aluminium and steel. There are the newer trends in Electric bikes and vintage style track / fixed wheel bike however there are also a few odd bikes.
This may not be as crazy as you can imagine however are worth looking as to see some of the newer trends in bike design particulary for ecreational and urban cycling
Ellsworth NuVinci CVP
The Ellsworth NuVinci CVP dubbed "The Ride" is at first blick, a classic low rider / beach cruiser. A heavy beast – hang on – lets take a look at those forks and handle bars. Yes, carbon fibre has been subtley worked into this aluminium frame with organic shaped down tune and 1950’s motorcycle optics. Even the front mud guar and chain guard are carbon fibre. The US retail price is around $4000 with Carbon Fibre components or US $3000 for aluminium. Both versions feature the Continuously Variable Planetary (CVP) drive, a rear gear solution with two speeds. A video on the website (under menue item "NuVinci" describes the technology: www.ellsworthride.com
A closer look at the front forks which organically curve and become the handle bars reveals that the forks / handlebars are not one piece carbon fibre as it seems. Instead they are two pieces cleverly combined and thus makes manufacture and transport easier.
A new company from Hamburg, Germany with an interesting concept for carry gear is Porterbike. This is an exciting looking ‘mash-up’ between a bicycle and a suitcase. Rather than panniers, the aluminium frame is designed to incorporate a bag with roughly 12 Liter capacity. interesting is the MTB style with forks and downhill style handle bars, disc brakes and contrasting slicks.
Also it is a good candidate for a crazy bike, it has potential with practical use such as a doctor at an open air event or event Police where the bike is mobile and can carry equiptment that is otherwise too heavy or cumbersome for a backpack. Even more obvious is the application as a commuter bike where the suitcase can store papers and even a change of clothes. The Porterbike is expect to be commercially available in 2009 in Europe.
The GT Winstream Belt DriveThe Windstream may not make it to Australia soon with a price tag of around Aus $2500 – $3000. Judging by looks, the only crazy thing is the price tag however a closer look reveals a belt drive with replaces the chain. Couple together with an internal rear geared hub this is a clean and quite way to cruide around. As opposed to other Belt Drives solutions on the market, The Windrose has a simple solution to avoid the need for dismounting the rear triangle (as belt drives usually can’t be broken). The chain stay has been lowered and as such doesn’t pass through the belt drive but rather underneath making it more simple to change – should it need to be. Belt drives claim to be as durable as chains and will not suffer from rust or stretch so the Windrose is a bicycle that you could plan on using over the course of 50 years on your beach front holiday house.
Cannondale StealthThis probably isn’t pushing the boundaries in terms of the grey paint job, typically used as an undercoat on prototypes before painting. The Cannondale Stealth bike is a very angular bike with the well known ‘Lefty’ style front fork on this urban bike. The flat handle bars are integrated with the stem as one piece and have an interesting headset solution the reminds me of stylish top model Time Trial racing bikes.
The rest of the frame and rear triangle revealed no surpirses, only styled tubing. Cannondale are strong in the urban road market with their popular fat tubed Bad Boy, also now with the Lefty fork so this concept bike with thin and angular profile contrasts stongly against this.