10 Practical and Peculiar Finds from Eurobike 2023
Tristan Bogaard was at the 2023 edition of Eurobike in Frankfurt, Germany, where he wandered the halls and browsed the nearly 2,000 display booths in search of interesting products that caught his eye. Find his quick recap of 10 finds from the event, which includes everything from state-of-the-art transmissions and dynamo devices to rear-view-mirror glasses and simple innovations that improve the bikepacking experience here…
Words and photos by Tristan Bogaard
If you can choose just one bicycle and mobility-specific trade show in the entire world to attend, I think it should be Eurobike. Trade shows are hectic, full of excitement, and a fantastic place to get a peek at upcoming products. But Eurobike, which is hosted for an entire week at the Messe in Frankfurt, Germany, takes it to the next level. There are nearly 2,000 booths, a massive bicycle test track, media and journalists scrambling to cover the latest and greatest, and it’s all impeccably organized.
My partner Belén and I attended the show for the first time this year, and (with help of our friend Alee, who inspected nearly every booth) found ourselves fascinated by 10 peculiar, practical, or simply powerful products among the vast sea of things to check out. Here’s our top 10 interesting finds from Eurobike 2023.
When it comes to dynamo hubs and lights, SON can’t be left out. I only just had my own dynamo installed a few days ago for my attempt of the Silk Road Mountain Race later this year. To my surprise, besides being incredibly well-known in the bicycle space, SON has no social media pages and functions solely out of their office in Tübingen, Germany, making top-notch dynamos that have proven themselves over and over.
This year, SON gave a little spoiler of what’s to come next: a dynamo light with an integrated battery. This means your dynamo can both power and charge the light, with which you can then charge your devices. Wilfried Schmidt, proud owner of the company and a passionate tinkerer, also showed me their new magnetic system that can be coupled with a fork to provide easier dynamo use for those who remove their front wheel often. I’m new the dynamo mindset, but this was all very exciting. Be sure to check out Josh Meissner’s excellent “Inside SON” piece linked in the Further Reading grid at the bottom of this post.
With a fresh new logo and appeal, Schwalbe boasted a big booth at this year’s Eurobike show, showcasing a collection of new tires. Among them was the Green Marathon, a more environmentally friendly version of their best-selling commuter tire. I’ve personally not used this tire for any bikepacking trips, but back in my solo touring days, I swore by my Marathon tires.
This new tire is 70% recyclable, and Schwalbe is making strides to collect both used inner tubes and tires from Germany to recycle them in-house. I hope they’ll soon be able to recycle tubes and tires from all over Europe!
Some cyclists travel with a mirror on their handlebars or use a tiny mirror attached to a helmet in order to see traffic (and anything else) behind you. But TriEye, represented by a small booth tucked away in hall 11, showed off a much more integrated way to do so. Their patented glasses come in a few variants, all sporting a tiny, tilting mirror on the bottom left. The rowing edition has a mirror on either side, but I guess it would also be ideal for those traveling by bike in both left-hand and right-hand driving countries. Belén tried it briefly, but without a real world test, its functionality remains to be seen.
Ortlieb has come a long way in carving out a spot in the bikepacking world but hasn’t made any big changes to their lineup of bikepacking bags for a few years now. In this year’s booth, however, they proudly boasted the first non-limited color addition for the bikepacking lineup, which they’re calling Dark Sand.
The bags’ functionality hasn’t changed, but in my opinion, this natural color is compatible with many different frame colors. This also counts for the details—where the gray version of the frame bag has bright orange closing loops, the Dark Sand edition has black ones. If you missed it, don’t miss Lucas’s “Inside Ortlieb” visit linked below.
While walking around the floor of hall 12, I stumbled upon LightSKIN’s small booth with a display of seatposts with integrated rear lights. It’s a neat idea that seemed well executed and bright enough for the city environment. There are three versions: one that has to be manually charged, one that’s powered by the battery of an e-bike, and one that’s powered by a dynamo. They also had a display of handlebars with integrated front lights, of which the top one had the brightest setting. Whether or not these would prove safe enough for most bikepacking trips, I’m not sure, but the integration of lights into the frame in an attempt to reduce frame clutter is something I wouldn’t mind if my choice of bags allowed!
Gravel bikes are so popular these days, but I’d never considered what some riders would see as a fundamental flaw. The geometry of nearly all gravel bikes is centered around a frame with horizontal-ish top tube, which doesn’t work for everyone. I was far from able to check out every bike stand at the show, but Bulls seemed to have the only gravel bikes with a swoopy top tube. Step-through frames are very common where I come from in the Netherlands, which makes them highly practical for city riding, but I’ve never seen them being used on gravel bikes. It was refreshing to see this among more aggressive frame geometries that were on display all throughout the show.
In terms of best booth design, I think Supernova gets the gold metal this year. A massive, gorgeous, hand-painted canvas mural made by a resident-artist of Freiburg adorned their stage. Surrounding the floor were a selection of strong lights, one of which stood out for its extreme brightness.
It’s their M99 DY PRO light, which has an array of mirrors installed inside the unit to reflect light in such a way that your surroundings are lit up widely without strong cutoffs on the edges. It’s pretty neat solution for nighttime and trail riders! Find Kyle Ponce’s recent review of the M99 DY PRO below.
Peak Design is a camera-oriented accessory brand from the United States with a passionate outdoor enthusiast following. A while back, they entered the bicycle space by introducing a sleek, strong, and secure system to mount your phone on your handlebars. Belén and I have been using their Out Front Bike Mount for a while now, and if you’re someone who uses their phone for navigation or filming your rides, it’s a great tool. The corresponding phone cases snap into place via magnets in the metal housing, and two clips hold your phone in place on the unit until you press one of its side buttons. I love that it’s all metal.
A small but sensible bikepacking solution came from Racktime, who recently introduced their Viewit handlebar mount. This single piece of metal is mounted to your steerer tube to relieve your handlebar of some of your bag’s weight. I reckon this works wonderfully with handlebar rolls, as I’ve experienced one too many scratched headtubes as a result of constant rubbing between the bag and the paint. The mount has a little lip at the front that also allows you to mount a light or an accessory like an action camera.
Pinion is well known for their gearboxes, but this year, they made what may have been the most anticipated product reveal at the show. Their MGU (Motor Gearbox Unit) is the combination of what was previously a bulky setup on electric bikes. Most electric bikes either have a gearbox at the bottom bracket and a motor in the front/rear wheel, a motor in the bottom bracket and a gear hub in the rear wheel, or a classic chain and derailleur drivetrain.
The Pinion MGU replaces these drivetrains with an incredibly good-looking and virtually maintenance-free gearbox and motor in one, eliminating the need to have anything installed in the wheels. Together with a Gates belt, this system could be spotted all over the show! You can find an in-depth review of the Pinion system from Neil linked just below.
Make sure to dig into these related articles for more info...
Please keep the conversation civil, constructive, and inclusive, or your comment will be removed.