Bike Show Season Begins!

The next few weeks are very exciting times for bike nerds the world over: bike show season!

Eurobike 2014

Today was the official opening day of Eurobike, the bike industry's largest trade show. This is the platform that most companies use to introduce new products, launch new technologies, and display their upcoming lineup. It truly offers a glimpse into the future of cycling technology.

Impec Concept

A feature that is less common at bike shows (but are common at auto shows) is the idea of a 'concept bike'. BMC has outdone itself this year with their Impec Concept (pictured above). The bike is both a thought experiment on the possible future of cycling technology, and a conspicuous display of the capability of BMC's research and development production facility located in Grenchen, Switzerland.

The highly integrated concept features a one-legged fork, disc brakes, a (vaporware) gearbox, and a complete lack of seat-stays. Head over to the BMC Lab site for more information.

Rafael Ueberbike

It is interesting to note the similarities between the Impec Concept and the Rafael Ueberbike. The Ueberbike is the latest creation of designer Rafael Hoffleit. It too features a one-legged fork and a high level of integration, but eschews disc brakes for drums, and has a mono seat-stay. The major difference between the two bikes is that the Ueberbike is a fully functioning bike, while the Impec is only a (very impressive) proof of concept.

Head over to Slowtwitch for more coverage of the Ueberbike.

Cervelo S5

Cervelo used the first day of Eurobike to release information on the all-new S5. Not surprisingly, Cervelo claims significant aero gains over the previous model: 21.3 watts to be precise. That is a pretty significant gain, especially considering that the previous S5 was one of the more slippery bikes on the market.

The main design goals, in order of priority, of the new model were: 1. aero 2. stiffness 3. weight and 4. system thinking. One feature noticeably absent from that list is comfort or compliance or whatever you want to call it, which was our major complaint with the original S5.

Obviously, comfort is not its intent, pure speed is, but we feel that it is possible (and desirable) to create a bike that is both fast and comfortable. However, compliance can come from other areas, and the inclusion of HED's wide rim wheels and room for 25mm tires will go a long way on that front. Speaking of the wheels, I really appreciate Cervelo stepping up and including a decent set of wheels on bikes. I hope that this trend continues throughout the range.

As we have not seen the bike ourselves, we will defer to BikeRumor for full coverage.

A few thoughts on the new S5:

  • Even though the original was introduced in 2012, it had already become the oldest model in the Cervelo line-up! The market demands quick product cycles.
  • Somewhat surprised by the standard mount brakes. The trend seems to be going to direct mount. This is something that we plan on asking various manufacturers about when we see them at Interbike in a few weeks.
  • Also on brakes, non-integrated brakes is a plus, both for serviceability and braking feel. If Cervelo can offer the kinds of aero gains that they claim without resorting to integrated brakes (which we have found lacking) all the better.
  • The new bar may be on to something.  As we have alluded to in other articles, further integration seems to be the trend in cycling technology. Considering the machine as a whole to find further gains.
  • One of the most important changes, in my opinion, it the significant reduction in stack height. Cervelo had drifted towards the 'comfort' end of geometry, having a large head-tube for a given size, relative to other 'racing' bikes. The new geometry should allow for a much more aggressive position.

Overall, it looks like a very fast bike, and we hope to get it out for a ride fairly soon.