The European Bike Project is one of our favorite Instagram accounts and his feed is constantly updated with everything from interesting curios from tiny manufacturers to inside looks at European manufacturing to analyses of the environmental impact of our sport. During Eurobike 2022, he's tracking down the most interesting products from small manufacturers for you. Hope Technology
The new Hope HB.916 high pivot Enduro had one of the best paintjobs of the whole show. Believe it or not, all the photos show the same bike!
The 160 mm travel, high pivot Enduro really has everything that a bike should have in 2022: Boost rear spacing, full 29" or mullet wheels, downtube storage compartment, a large idler pulley that creates less drag than smaller ones, geometry adjustment, 64° head angle and ~78° seat angle. As with pretty much all Hope products, the frame is manufactured in-house in Barnoldswick, UK.
Hope also showed us their new Gravity stem, which is a few grams lighter than their DH stem. They also have new tools for brake bleeding: Hope will upload files on their website for free, so you can print these parts at home with a 3D printer.Intend BC
The new Intend BC Samurai fork is the lightest Intend fork so far and at 1385 g (uncut steerer) it's probably the lightest production 120 mm fork out there.
Intend went several routes in order to save weight on this fork. The carbon steerer by ND-Tuned is one of them. Having a minimal offset at the dropouts helps to save weight too - thanks to the new angled crown the offset is still at 44 mm at 120 mm travel. The flat mount DM brake mounts also keep the weight low. Finally, the thru-axle and the driveside stanchion got a drilling treatment.
The Samurai fork will be offered in three versions:
Samurai CC: 1385 g, 120 mm maximum travel, carbon steerer, carbon cable guides
Samurai XC: 1495 g, 120 mm maximum travel, aluminium steerer
Samurai GR: 1440 g, 50 mm maximum travel (aimed at gravel bikes)
The forks will be available in autumn 2022.
Cornelius from Intend would like to thank his significant other for coming up with the name Samurai.Classified.cc
Classified is a fast-growing company from Belgium that makes a unique rear hub. It has two gears and replaces the functionality of the front derailleur.
After the hubs quickly became very popular among road and gravel riders, the mtb-specific hubs will be launched soon. The road and gravel hubs are actuated with a small Bluetooth button, however the Classified team remained tight-lipped regarding the details of the mtb shifter. The hub shifts instantly and even under high loads (up to 1000 Watts). In gear 1 the hub is not activated and everything is running as usual. In gear 2, when the hub is activated, it reduces the ratio of the gears down to 0.7. This is similar to shifting from a 50 t to a 34 t chainring on a road bike or from a 40 t to a 28 t chainring on a mountain bike. Classified says that when the hub is activated in gear 2, the efficiency loss is around 1%.
This means that the Classified hub lets you run bigger chainrings (which are said to create less drag). The mtb hub is shipped with an 11-40 t cassette, which means that you get a very decent range, but at the same time you could possibly use a shorter derailleur cage which would not be as prone to being damaged as current 12-speed options.
Classified also had a single speed (or is it dual speed? dingle speed?) cassette on display. It's compatible with Gates Carbon Drive belts. It's mostly aimed at city bikes, which would get two gears in total without having a derailleur. However, personally I could also imagine using such a hub on a single speed park bike.
While Classified hubs were initially only available in full Classified wheelsets, dealers will now be able to order a hub-only option and lace them to the rims of your choice. Classified is now also working with several rim manufacturers including DT Swiss, Mavic, Enve, Boyd, FFWD, Reynolds and Spinergy, so you'll be able to get a full wheelset from one of these brands.Extreme Shox
EXT had a prototype of their new Aria shock at the show. It will be one of the very few shocks on the market that has two positive air chambers. This means that you can tune the spring curve in such a way that it becomes more linear, rather than being progressive. This system is also used on the ERA forks, while the damping system comes from the renowned Storia shocks. Unfortunately EXT couldn't yet tell us when they are planning to launch the shock.
EXT also had a new 190 mm ERA fork on display. These new forks will have 36 mm stanchions with an increased wall thickness (1 mm more). They will also have a bigger self-adjusting negative air chamber and new, stiffer lowers. As on the current ERA, the crown/steerer area will use a special design that is said to prevent noise and provide more stiffness.
The Era upside-down prototype looks interesting too, however with a weight of roughly 4 kg it's aimed at light electric motobikes that are punching in the 60 kg weight class.Qvist
Qvist.cc is a new company from Dresden, Germany. Their rear hub got a lot of attention at Eurobike 2022 and many people said that is was the most innovative product at the whole show.
What makes the hub stand out from the crowd is the double ratchet system. The left and right ratchet rings both have 64 points of engagement, but only one side is engaged at a time. This means that you get 128 points of engagement in total. So far, such a high number was only seen on pawl-style freehub systems. The advantage of ratchet systems is that - in comparison with pawl systems - more teeth engage at the same time.
The ratchet rings are machined from hardened high-strength steel and the rear hub comes with a 17 mm axle, large stainless steel bearings and a 6-bolt disc mount.
It's available with 28 or 32 holes. Qvist offers XD and Micro Spline drivers. At 270 g, the hub is not the lightest, but to the best of my knowledge, there is no ratchet-style hub that offers more points of engagement.SQlab saddles and shorts
At SQlab, everything is about comfort and pain-free biking and their new "made in Germany" saddles are no different. The 6OX saddle is aimed at Enduro riders, 611 is for All Mountain and the 610 offers maximum pressure relief for touring or people who have problems finding the right saddle.
The saddles are made from "Infinergy", a material that you might have seen on running shoes. Infingery offers very good cushioning and rebound properties. In order to get the right amount of cushioning, SQlab uses up to two layers of tape on the saddles, which makes the saddle firmer in these areas.
Infinergy saddles are completely made in Germany, with the Swiss-made carbon rails that are used on some models being the only exception. All saddles also use the SQlab active system, which means that the rear end of the saddle rail is attached to the shell at just one point. With the saddle you get three different elastomers that slide between that shell and the rails, which allows you to tune the lateral movement of the saddle. The goal of the active system is to allow the saddle to move in such a way that it corresponds to your hips.
SQlab liners and bib shorts are also made in Europe (Lithuania, Italy and Portugal). While some brands use very thick pads, SQlab decided to do things differently and offers very thin, but high-density pads. SQlab says these reduce shear forces on your seat bones more effectively. SQlab offers four different pads, two of them get a layer of TPE gel. The thickness increases the more upright your intended seating position is.
Last but not least, SQlab also offers "made in Germany" insoles. How do you know that insoles might be a thing for you? Numb feet and toes, knee pain, cramps and aching soles are among the signs that you might need a decent insole. SQlab says that your feet are made for walking and not for cycling. However, they have a built-in cushioning mechanism for walking which can cause trouble when cycling. So the idea behind the insoles is to de-activate the natural cushioning mechanism of your feet, which will reduce a lot of foot-related problems when cycling.
SQlab also launched the new "Profiler" app for dealers that helps them to measure your in-seam length, hand size as well as the distance between your seat bones and will recommend suitable products.