Day 3 Randoms - Eurobike 2021

Sep 4, 2021
by Ralf Hauser  
Intend


Intend Mastermind Cornelius Kapfinger is always tinkering with prototypes and he didn't disappoint this year. Initiated by intern Elias Lamprecht, the project name of the study is "High Pivot Fork", as they're trying to change the suspension path of the fork. In cooperation with Pole's Leo Kokkonen, who has machined the crown, they've offset and slackened the angle of the crown from the angle of the head tube by five degrees. The offset shortens during compression, while the trail becomes longer. At the same time, the head tube angle becomes steeper, keeping the values more consistent. At least in theory.

In the real world, they still have some tweaking to do. Since they used the fork's original dropouts, which were sitting at 44 mm, they ended up at a length of 55 mm with the offset fork crown. When fully compressed, that number shrinks to 40 mm. Compared to the shorter offset that we're used to by today's standard, Cornelius felt that the bike had a tendency towards understeering, so the next iteration will most likely see a prototype with shorter offset at the dropouts to figure out the full potential.




Another project that already went into production are the Rocksteady Magic cranks with an integrated freewheel system. While Cornelius doesn't want to take credit for the idea, as it has been shown by Shimano and some other people before, you can actually buy this version with Intend's own design right now. Inside, you can find a ratchet with 47 teeth (7.66 degrees of engagement) and a connection to a regular direct mount Race Face Cinch standard to mount the chainring. It is compatible with regular 30 mm bottom bracket cups like Race Face has in their program. The full crankset weighs about 770 g, which is about 200 g more than comparable cranks without freewheel come to.

The biggest benefit of the system is the fact that since the chain is constantly spinning while the bike is in motion, whether you pedal or not. You can shift without load, even while the bike is just coasting along. A quick spin on the parking lot showed that the system was indeed working as intended. There are plenty of situations on the trail that I can think of where it could be of benefit to shift gears without having to pedal. Also, you'll never run risk of a chain dropping from the tallest cog of the cassette when pedaling backward, even though that sort of issue is not really common these days, if your setup is aligned perfectly. Cornelius is still trying to evaluate if pedal feedback during suspension movement is slightly reduced, since by constantly pushing the freewheel at the crank the chain on the topside has a bit of slack due to friction. Because of that, you also have to deal with slightly higher chain slap.

In order for the system to work, the freewheel on the hub has to be disabled. Cornelius was thinking long and hard if he was going to come up with a highly technical solution for the different systems out there, but ended up using a simple zip tie to connect two spokes to the cassette. That way, if something gets caught in the spokes that could cause damage to the drivetrain, the zip tie simply snaps and reengages the freewheel of the hub.

Just slip on a Cinch-standard chainring, and you're good to go.
A limited pre-production run of 25 pieces is available right now

Not exactly high-tech, but a zip tie gets the job done to fix the hub's freewheel action.
You'll have a hard time noticing that there's a freewheel hidden in the magic crank.

Intend's Cornelius Kapfinger's personal test and race rig with Bandit single-sided dual crown fork in the 170 mm travel setting (max 180 mm). The 2,300 g fork was only a limited edition preorder-run, but he's considering to make a few more available if there's enough interest. He's been running the Rocksteady Magic crankset for over a year and a half now without any issues.



Actofive

While the earlier series sported regular tubes at the front triangle, the Actofive P-Train CNC is now fully CNC-machined. Machined in two halves and glued together, sleeves around the head tube make certain that nothing can come apart under the heaviest of loads. Inside those sleeves, adjustable cups are fitted that allow for +/- 1 degree of head angle adjustments. The frame without shock weighs about 4 kg.

Due to the nature of high pivot bikes, the chainstay lengthens quite a bit during compression. Designer Simon Metzner wanted to keep the chainstay length as short as possible (starting at 428 mm length) to maintain relatively playful handling. Travel also changes progression - 145 mm is progressive, 135 mm is extremely progressive. To get all the different geometry options it's best to check the Actofive website. Currently, Simon is producing 30 frames a year with his engineering company Metzner Engineering in Dresden, Germany, so you better get in line to get one of the exclusive and expensive frames.

Replaceable inserts at the main pivot point can change the chainstay length by +/- 5 mm to fine tune the bike when using it with a 29" or 27.5" rear wheel.
The lower strut needs to be changed together with the adjustment at the main pivot. By swapping the upper link, you can run the P-Train with 135 mm or 145 mm of travel.
XXX.

Fine adjustment of the bottom bracket height and head angle adjustment of about 0.5 degrees via a flip chip at the lower shock mount.
Sleeves around the head tube for making sure that the two halves of the frame can't come apart.

CNC heaven.


Kenda
Kenda introduces two new tires, the Rush and Karma 2. Rush is a super light XC race tire (600 g for the 29 x 2.2" version) with little tread and their fastest-rolling design yet. Two casing versions are available.
Inspired by the aggressive nature of the Karma, the Karma 2 is most at home at loose conditions and due to its open profile also highly suitable for wet weather riding conditions.


Shimano

Not much new on the mountain bike product side of things at Shimano, but Tahnée Seagrave's bike from Les Gets was on display.

Short chainstay position, keeping the bike quiet with velcro.
6-bolt Ice Tech rotors sooner.

The new GR9 from the gravity series comes with an Ultread grippy sole for flat pedal use. Toe and ankle protection included.
For those rather riding clipless, there are new all mountain shoes as well. The AM9 features a longer pedal channel and its asymmetrical design protects the inside ankle.

Another pro ride from Mathias Flückiger.
And yet another XC pilot that keeps his cockpit really low.


PRO

Two new entry level dropper models, the PRO LT with internal and external cable routing, have been added to PRO's lineup. It's available with 150 mm of drop in 30.9 or 31.6 mm diameter.



Switch Components

The young Italian company, Switch, is another player in the insert market. Two versions of their dual density foam insert (superelastic damper skin on the outside, hard bumper core on the inside) are available - the Loop Light and Loop Strong. A channel running on the inside makes it compatible with any valve. Shown here is the Light, intended for XC and marathon use, only tipping the scale at 68 g at 29" length. The tube can be cut down to your needs and connected with a velcro tape that comes in the package.

The Loop Strong with stiffer material for gravity use, still only weighing 110 grams.

Switch also has a full collection of components from XC to gravity, including bars, stems, and even a dropper post (max. drop 200 mm).


Lake
I don't even really know what's going on here, but if you can't decide, whether you want to go snowboarding or biking, this clipless boot from Lake apparently is your choice. Iditasport is calling.


Cybro
Since 2019, Cybro has been designing and producing bikes in Italy. The N6 is a custom size carbon hardtail with Pinion C1.12 gear box.


BYB Telemetry
Telemetry for everyone. For €1,799, you get everything you need to get your suspension working at a World Cup level. At least in theory. You can connect to the system with a smartphone app or PC to analyze the data.

They're also working on a bunch of other projects, like this small light for road bikes (still a prototype) that's dishing out 600 Lumens.


Fidlock

Since Pinkbike users love their water bottles, Fidlock now makes a large 800 ml version of their magnetic Twist bottle. Their assembly has been modified with a strap (much more advanced than their first version a few years ago) to make sure that the bottle doesn't detach from the connector under the load of the extra weight.


GRDXKN
Another Eurobike award winner, these patterns on the fabric are supposed to reduce road rash in case of a crash.


This was the last time Eurobike will be in Friedrichshafen. After many decades, Frankfurt will be its new home, for better or worse.



77 Comments

  • 135 0
 Cornelius Kapfinger doesn't look anything like the Bond villain I was expecting.
  • 37 4
 Nope, but he is the epitome of sexual desire for all mankind
  • 13 0
 wait till he crashes and gets stiches and a golden tooth.
  • 12 4
 Whent it comes to Fork protectors he is the worst villian
  • 6 0
 @Waldon83: that escalated quickly
  • 2 0
 @Waldon83: I thought that was Dangerholm?
  • 4 0
 @Scout290 Do you know what would happen if these two stallions came face to face!? I've been told we'd be able to recycle all of the carbon that is non-recyclable, and that 36" wheels would be the new black.
Either way you look at it, Jennifer Anniston was hot back then, and is still hot now, how is it even possible????
  • 1 0
 @Waldon83: Amen brother!
  • 1 0
 For real. Gary Fisher looks like more of a Bond villain than him, LOL.
  • 54 1
 Super high tech prototypes... and a good old zip-tie. Gotta love german praticality.
  • 34 1
 That Actofive is one of the best looking bikes I've ever seen. I'm glad I can't afford it, I would spend so much time staring at it I'd never end up riding.
  • 1 0
 I really dig the cho mo front CNC'd ally rear prototype!
  • 1 0
 @nojzilla: chomo front end huh? Ya sicko
  • 17 0
 The Walmart backward crown is a gem.
  • 1 0
 Scrolled down here to say this. Wasn't disappointed.
  • 2 0
 Yeah that was doing my head in looking at it.
  • 14 0
 "I don't even really know what's going on here, but if you can't decide, whether you want to go snowboarding or biking, this clipless boot from Lake apparently is your choice. Iditasport is calling." #articlegold
  • 1 0
 If you didn't know what was going on there, you're lucky enough to live someplace that doesn't get very cold, or has good enough terrain to spend winters skiing without ever considering fat biking... So yeah I guess most everyone here didn't know what was going on there.
  • 1 0
 @dwbaillar: Nah, I've seen those boots and get it and ride a FB in the winter. I like this quote though, it is very funny and well-written.
  • 1 0
 I have a pair of the mxz300’s for the north UK winter mud f*ck fest - warm toasty and truthfully nowhere near as bulky as they appear on camera
  • 9 1
 After once getting a stick stuck in my spokes which jammed the cassette (shimano e8000 so front freewheel) if I was the spend a lot building up a normal bike I'd be getting those cranks, being able to change gear while coasting is amazing, especially as round here your often down a 30% incline then straight back up another the same grade.
  • 2 0
 Seriously, that seems like a really interesting innovation.
  • 3 0
 @DylanH93: Just a few years back HXR Components made the same style of cranks. Maybe they still do, no idea. They were flamed.
Apparently the constantly revolving drivetrain was supposed to tip you forward while jumping. The potential safety hazzard for the rider and drivetrain wear were big concerns as well.
They offered replacement pawls for the freehub that blocked it. So things were getting munched.

I had one of these crank, rode it for a while and I do not miss it.


www.pinkbike.com/news/review-hxr-easy-shift-crankset.html
  • 2 1
 @pyromaniac: the jump difference worry is rediculous. Its a change in momentum that would do that, like the back wheel stopping (seen lots of pros dab the back brake to lift the back end up and over something) but it just spinning or not wouldn't change anything as long as it was spinning before the lip. Chain wear I would see as negligible because its not under load. As for the safety side, I don't see how a moving chain is any different to a moving chain (whether it's moving with the bike or moving separately, it's still moving and would be rubbing/sliding across your leg, the only real one is if you had a 2 or 3x, but the big ring on a triple was always a ninja star if you came off and it hit you.

And finally, trials bikes have used crank freewheels for decades, they don't regularly blow up but trials riders regularly blow up normal rear hubs from the shock loading.
  • 1 0
 @pyromaniac: oh damn, very interesting. Thanks for the link. Seems like the crazy "innovations" are often too good to be true.
  • 1 0
 The '70's are calling! My Mom's Schwinn had a front freewheel because Dad was tired of her complaining she was in 6th gear at stoplights. I used to like riding it until I got my pants stuck in the NEVER ENDING CHAIN. I wonder where that bike went...
  • 1 0
 @itsnotbroken: yeah Morrison bikes in NZ had freewheel at cranks in the 70s. Never liked them as a concept nor in action. Never considered it needed for MTB either
  • 3 0
 "For those rather riding clipless, there are new all mountain shoes as well. The AM9 features a longer pedal channel and its asymmetrical design protects the inside ankle."

The AM9 has been on the market with all of these features for five or so years already, this is simply the newest (fourth) version. It does look like there are a couple of minor improvements but I'll bet that speed lace still gets quickly destroyed by rock dust.
  • 2 0
 I just bought a new pair of AM902's.. looks like they finaly fixed the heel lift issue by running a high lace, looks like theyve improved the top tongue as thats always annoyed me that when going hard an dropping heels the tongue etc digs in
  • 4 0
 It did get a revamp last year where they narrowed the toe box for some dumb reason. Previous versions of 07 and 09’s are the best shoes I’ve ever owned. Just found a forth pair online.
  • 1 0
 @jclnv: yeah i dont understand the pointy toe box, looks strange lol. i believe its probably from the DH racing side as its common to see narrower shoes so they dont catch, but these new ones im assuming is am903's ill be getting some.
  • 1 0
 Are you still able to Dremmel/drill/saw the cleat slots further back to mimic a decent flat shoe foot position when you ultimately realise they still haven’t moved them far enough back?

You could do it with the old Shoes like the DX but not with the 5Ten Minnaar shoes
  • 2 0
 @jclnv: I would be nice if shoe manufacturers started making shoes that were actually foot shaped. Look at the shape of your foot and then compare it to the shape the shoes you wear. They won’t be the same.
  • 2 0
 Hmmmm...I wonder why the move to Frankfurt? Though I've never been to Eurobike personally, would assume that for Europe, the current place is even more central, being the southern part of Germany. Also, would assume it has nicer views of the water, due to the quickly-Googled images of Friedrichshafen.
  • 10 0
 I’m here now, it’s a tiny little town that can’t handle the overwhelming crowds. The whole city gets jammed up for the week and traffic is terrible. It would be like holding a 20,000 person event in Pemberton…
  • 8 0
 Closer proximity to an international airport will help too, without having to travel through 2 countries via Zürich. The lake will be missed though...
  • 3 0
 Because Friedrichshafen is a small provincial town by the shores of the lovely Lake Constance, which just doesn’t have the infrastructure to handle trade shows this size.
  • 5 0
 @BenTheSwabian: So why would a small provincial town have such a massive exhibition center?
  • 4 0
 @nozes: Massive? Have you been to Eurobike? Have you been to Friedrichshafen? It's not a major city by any stretch of the imagination and the transportation- and traffic infrastructure is pretty bad in the entire region. It's probably incredibly inconvenient for the exhibitors to get there.
  • 1 0
 @BenTheSwabian: I haven't. I'm just guessing by the hundreds (?) of stands,and it being the biggest bike expo in Europe (maybe Roc d'Azur is bigger,but it's mostly outdoors.
  • 2 0
 Frankly I'll miss having the show in Friedrichshafen. Even with all the issues with travel getting there from Munich or Zurich (tried both), the gridlock traffic in town and need to book your hotel a year in advance or end up an hour+ away from the venue, it was still fun. I'll miss dinner and drinks at the lake after a full day of meeting and walking the show, the crazy fashion show, seeing all the cool microbrands and talking to the people behind them, and relaxing lunches at the zeppelin museum restaurant next to the Messe which avoided the crowds. Won't miss lack of A/C in the venue, poor to non-existent wifi connection in meetings, and endless traffic getting in and out each day.

There had been a change in the show over the past few years as it felt more like a mobility show vs. a sport/performance bicycle show. I think that reflects some of the change in what the industry sees as it's main sales opportunity. Moving to Frankfurt makes sense on some level, the show will be easier to attend for sure but we've lose something I think. Such is life.
  • 3 0
 HXR have been making cranks with a freewheel integrated for many years. Now made in France too I believe.

m.pinkbike.com/news/review-hxr-easy-shift-crankset.html
  • 3 0
 The CNC on the Actofive is so gorgeous. However, the thought of two halves being glued together...
  • 3 4
 Poles being doing it for a while and I’ve never seen a failure from it. Atherton bikes is exactly the same with the poles “glued” into the lugs. Im pretty sure some parts of aircrafts are also “glued” together
  • 3 0
 @toad321: I’ve seen some failures on MTBR, and it didn’t look good.
  • 1 0
 @toad321: Lamborghinis are glued together. Check out the Megafactories episode. After seeing that episode when I cracked the bead on my rim I sorted it out with Araldite. Golden!
  • 1 0
 Shimano HollowTech II cranks are glued. They also have a tendency to blow and try to kill you
  • 3 2
 Nice concept with fork, however for 90% rides it is irrelevant ( based on mx tech) - it squish some impacts means it is suitable for riding
  • 7 0
 Cornelius Kapfinger doesn't target the 90-99% mass market. Intend and his other high high end products are for the 1%. Plenty of market there for niche products.

Good to see real performance experimentation and thinking outside the established box IMO.
  • 5 0
 I'd been pondering why forks have always been parallel with the head tube. Given that head angles vary wildly, there's no good reason other than aesthetics why they should be. There's probably some better angle that is better at maintaining trail, or absorbs impacts better, so it's great that somebody is doing some experiments
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: German:a did this 10 years ago. Not sure if they still do and cant be bothered to find out.
  • 1 0
 I'd love to try the cranks omg, it'd be the same situation like when I tried another bike last week. So I had to sold mine and wait for new one...
  • 3 0
 I’m naming my next cat Cornelius Kapfinger
  • 2 0
 Frankfurt for worse... Eurobike should be kept in Friedrichshafen. Now it's going to turn into a gray show.
  • 1 0
 High pivot fork? errm trail measurement anyone? At least put the axle offset to the rear to bring it back closer to where it shoud be.
  • 2 0
 Where is my 0mm Azonic stem… what a world we live in.
  • 1 0
 It's cruel and unforgiving uh uhh
  • 2 0
 Wouldn't Cannondale have something to say about a crank named 'Magic'?
  • 1 0
 Probably just as well they called their telemetry system BYB. For 1800 euro it would be a steal include the Demo..
  • 1 3
 I love the intend freewheel cranks. It makes so much sense.
The actofive is pretty nice too but I wish they ran finishing passes. Yes they want to let everyone know it’s cnc but nothing should ever show the tool paths that much.
  • 1 0
 Those Intend cranks are sweet and what you can do but just wait until y’all see what Williams Racing Products is doing!
  • 1 0
 So the PB staff simply forgot to use the Eurobike 2021 tag for another article...fantastic
  • 2 1
 PB: cmon, lazy loading your images, this is a high traffic site
  • 2 1
 I can already hear that insert rubbing my sidewall.
  • 1 0
 Intend ? new idea? Look at 20 year old fork FRM Airway ....
  • 1 0
 That Cybro N6 is one sexy looking hardtail *drool*
  • 2 2
 I'd like to see the wear figures on a chain that constantly moves.
  • 2 0
 Never heard of a fixed gear?
  • 6 1
 Not really any higher, because its not under load when you're not pedalling.
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