One of the best things to come out of Europe's lockdown is the European Bike Challenge (EBC). With factories shut or running at low capacity and bike parts from the Far East getting more sparse, a group of bike nerds decided to celebrate everything great about European manufacturing by building and assembling some dream builds with homegrown parts at their core.
We've already featured Ralf Holleis's homemade steel-on-steel Moorhuhn trail bike
and next up is Alex's Crossworx Dash 29. Alex, who asked for his surname not to be published, is the man behind the European Bike Project Instagram account and the enthusiast who first laid down the gauntlet for the EBC. Unlike Ralf, Alex didn't build his own frame but for his project he believes he's managed to create a bike that's not 98 or 99% European like his fellow competitors, but 100% built in Europe. Everything from the frame to the sealant to the moto foam that came together in this build is European manufactured - a full list of parts is below:
Frame: Crossworx Cycles Dash 29 (made in Germany)
Shock: EXT Storia Lok V3 (Italy)
Shock Bushings: Huber (Germany)
Stem: Intend Grace FR (Germany)
Handlebar: Beast Carbon Riser15mm (Germany)
Endcaps: Opn Bar (France)
Topcap: Unite (UK)
Spacer: Intend (Germany)
Grips: Ceetec (Switzerland)
Headset Intend Stiffmaster (Germany) / Reset Racing Flatstack (Germany)
Drivetrain: Rotor 1x13 with 12 speed cassette (Spain)
Chain: SRAM Eagle XX1 (Portugal)
Pedals: Unite Instinct (UK)
Bottom Bracket: Rotor BSA 30 (Spain)
Seat Clamp: Intend Corona (Germany)
Dropper post: Vecnum Nivo 182mm (Germany)
Saddle: Selle Italia SLR Boost Super Flow (Italy)
Rims: Truebc Trail Cabron 32.5mm (Germany)
Hubs: Hope Pro 4 (UK) & Erase (Belgium)
Spokes: DT Swiss Aerolite (Switzerland)
Spoke Nipples: DT Swiss Squorx (Switzerland)
Tires: Hutchinson Griffus (France)
Inserts: Rimpact (UK)
Sealant: Effetto Mariposa Caffe Latex (Italy)
Valves: Milkit (Germany)
Front axle: Unknown
Rear axle: Crossworx Cycles (Germany)
Brakes: Magura MT7 (Germany) with Galfer Wave Rotors and pads (Spain)
Bolts: Extralite Ti (Italy)
Bashguard: 77 Designz Crashplate 32 (Germany)
Cables and casings: Fibrax (UK)
Motofoam: DT-1 (Belgium)
Lube: Veloplus Petrus (Switzerland)
Grease: Motorex Bikegrease 2000 (Switzerland)
The heart of this bike is the 155mm aluminum German Crossworx Dash 29 frame. It's a recently updated enduro bike that now features a 65° head angle, super-steep 79° seat tube angle and a 450mm reach on this medium frame. It's a stunning frame and its beautiful welds and CNC'd parts, especially around the linkage, are exactly what we've come to expect from entrants in the EBC.
The rest of the European spec is filled with a mixture of both familiar parts and some smaller manufacturers. Alex's aim was for his build to not exceed the price of top-tier bikes by other brands so he set himself a budget of around €10,000 for the full build. With that price tag, you'd expect plenty of sweet kit and this build certainly isn't a letdown. The steampunk EXT Storia
shock, carbon TrueBC wheels and 182mm Vecnum dropper are all familiar highlights, but there are also some less well known parts here too including a Beast carbon Riser bar, Ceetec grips and Unite pedals. One final interesting choice is the Rotor hydraulic 1x13 drivetrain
. Rather than go for the full 13 speeds though, Alex opted for the 12 speed cassette as it can be mounted on any Shimano HG body, allowing Alex to fit an Erase rear hub that's made in Belgium.
Rotor's 1x13 drivetrain, but with a 12 speed cassette. The chain is from SRAM as they are made in Portugal
It's definitely an admirable project and another stunning entrant to the Challenge, although Alex is the first to point out some of the limitations of his 100% European approach. He says: "Of course one should not forget that making bike parts is much more than welding, CNC-machining and so on. The different metals come from mines in countries that are far away, have to be melted and transported to Europe. Usually, not even the manufacturers know where their raw materials come from. So from a consumer perspective, it’s only possible to control the very last part in the supply chain. But that’s a good point to start with – maybe manufacturers will eventually start asking how and where their raw materials were made to ensure a fair and sustainable supply chain."
The last thing that grabs the attention about this bike is that unmarked fork mounted on the front. Alex won't tell us anything about it but we can only think of one brand that uses two white o-rings on its forks, Intend. If it is from Intend, it's something a bit different from the German brand. Intend is best known for its inverted forks, but this looks to be more traditional than its other offerings.
We don't have any details on whether this fork uses the same air spring and semi-open bath as the Intend Hero, but it does look to use the brand's Royal Flush coating. The only other thing we know is that there is a neat integrated cable guide
on the bridge. Apparently some more information on the fork will be coming when it is released in the near future.
For more info on Alex's bike and the European Bike Challenge by following the European Bike Project, here
. A North American partner page has also been set up, here