Eurobike is the world’s largest bicycle fair, gathering some 1,300exhibitors and crowds of enthusiasts in the German city of Friedrichshafen.
The focus this year was clearly on smart bikes, accessories and software that feature fitness and safety functions to make your ride an increasingly connected experience.
The Cobi system (which stands for “connected biking”) looks like a headlight and can be added to any bike. It packs in a digital speedometer, GPS navigation, an anti-theft function — and it can even charge your smartphone as you cycle.
Corratec’s Lifebike was designed for people who are overweight or suffer from heart problems, but would like to gradually get back into shape. It features a heart rate monitor and an electric engine to help ensure the ride doesn’t get too difficult.
The smallest GPS bike computer on the market, designed by Lezyne, is no bigger than a matchbox. It can connect to Bluetooth smart devices, including power and heart rate monitors, as well as smartphones, to alert you of any incoming phone calls, texts and emails on the fly.
A prize winner at the Eurobike show, the Italian brand NEOX has launched a range of sleek electric bikes where the battery and gearbox are fitted inside the bike’s frame and swing arm — complete with safety locks. And there are many more features to make the rider’s life easier.
“One of them, for example, is the fact you can release the rear wheel within seconds. The chain is fully enclosed, so you’ll never again have dirty hands,” explains Gianni Mazzeo, Neox CEO and owner. “And we have an anti-theft device, which has a PIN code and sets the bike in neutral mode, freewheeling so that it can no longer be used if someone tries to steal it .”
Accessories and sportswear are also an important and innovative market. Sealskinz for instance sells 100% waterproof socks, while the brand Vaude makes a pun on re-cycling with shorts made from old fishing nets and shock absorbing pads made from recycled coffee grounds. Dare 2 b sells a jacket that is not only water repellent but also designed with a 100% reflective outer shell.
For those who want to be sure to wear the right sunglasses when going for a ride, some pairs can adapt to light conditions within milliseconds. Their tintable glasses darken according to UV light levels.
For those worried about getting their bike or their saddle stolen, the Seatylock is a clever bicycle seat that easily converts into a lock, and then back, in just about 15 seconds. It will be sold for around 150 euros by the end of this year.
And for those who don’t want to break their back, the EAL Bike-Lift was designed to effortlessly attach and carry bikes at the rear of a car. It features an electric lift to make it easier to load the latest generation of bikes — packed with more and more technology, they indeed tend to get heavier and heavier.