Alex from the European Bike Project
runs one of our favourite Instagram accounts that showcases the very best of European bike manufacturing. From bikes bolted together from plywood
all the way up to 3-D printed titanium
, he has a knack for finding some of the most interesting projects on two wheels. Alongside sharing others' bikes, he also builds up his own. His last bike was a 100% European Crossworx Dash
, which was entered in the European Bike Challenge
, and now he has revealed a new build that he is calling Project Magic Carpet.
This build still leans heavily on European manufacturing, but Alex allowed himself 5% of the bike's final price for non-European components for performance-related reasons. Another key aim was to make this bike as comfortable as possible on his hands and body, so the spec list includes Rev suspension grips, Lilienthal rims that are filled with foam, Rimpact inserts and powerful brakes (to help reduce hand fatigue) - it's a bit like the Squishiest Mountain Bike thought experiment
we ran but actually useable as a bike in the real world.
The full spec list is below:
As the German brand is best known for its chainguides, it's no surprise to see the fine details are well thought out on this high pivot frame.
There are also some 77Designz components attached to the frame, including this snazzy stem that's designed specifically to work with a handlebar made in Canada by WeAreOne.
The upside down legs offer some neat cable management opportunities and Alex says the 20mm axle keeps the steering precise.
In his hunt for performance, Alex compromised on his European ethos and fitted some Japanese-manufactured Shimano parts, but he has completed the rest of his drivetrain with components from British brand Hope and Poland's Garbaruk.
Germany's Magura provided a set of custom MT7 brakes. Alex prioritized power in his brakes he could to increase his hand comfort.
The pedals are English and come from the workshop of Pembree. Alex was hoping his compliant build would stop him from getting bucked off his flats as much and these meaty pedals should definitely help him towards that goal.
The heavier Lilenthal wheelset includes an injected foam that helps to deaden some of the vibrations from the trail.
Whatever wheelset he chooses, Alex fits French Hutchinson rubber.