This is what happens when four bike maniacs set out to build bikes that are completely made in Europe. Overview
After showcasing the diversity of locally made bike parts on the Instagram account The European Bike Project
for approximately a year, Alex decided to build a locally made enduro bike. After doing a little more research, it soon became clear that it would be possible to build a bike with parts that all carry a made in Europe
label. After mentioning these plans on his Instagram channel, Ralf from Huhn Cycles, photographer Kilian Reil and trials rider Gian Hupert got in touch with him because they had similar plans. Within a very short time it was apparent that chatting about local bike manufacturers was not enough – there had to be a challenge and a winner. The European Bike Challenge was born.
Half a year later, all bikes are ready for the showdown. Each contestant was absolutely free to pick and buy (at their own expense) the parts they thought were best suited for a winning bike. The result is four bikes that differ in many ways, but also share some similarities:
- All popular frame materials found their way into the challenge: steel, aluminum, carbon, titanium.
- Four completely different drivetrains: A Pinion gearbox, a prototype Ingrid derailleur, a hydraulic Rotor 1x13 drivetrain and a SRAM/Garbaruk mix.
- Suspension duties are managed by Intend BC and EXT – two of the most well-known European suspension brands. However it’s worth noting that there are other excellent choices too.
- All contestants chose a Vecnum dropper post and also carbon parts by Beast Components were a very popular choice.
- Three out of four bikes are stopped by Trickstuff brakes, Alex’ Magura MT7 being the exception.Parts Lists
While Alex from TEBP really went the extra mile and made sure that even small details like the motofoam on his Crossworx Dash 29 are made in Europe, the other contestants decided to use parts that are made in Asia in some cases: Discs from Taiwan (Ralf, Kilian, Gian), Ti handlebar (Ralf), derailleur and trigger (Gian). Apart from that, all major parts are eligible to carry a made in [European country]
tag because they were completely or mostly manufactured and assembled in a European country. When comparing the overall MSRP of each bike with the MSRP of the parts which are not made in Europe, the four bikes are 97.5% to ~100% made in Europe.
Let's take a look at the four builds and you can vote for the winner at the bottom of the page.Alex's 100% European Crossworx Dash
Alex is the rider behind the European Bike Project and the man who laid down the European bike Challenge. While his fellow competitors have slipped up on parts like drivetrains or cable housing, his build is the only one that is 100% made in Europe, down to the lube, grease and motofoam.
The basis of the bike is the Crossworx Dash 29 aluminum frame that is equipped with parts from Intend, EXT, Magura, Galfer and more.
Ralf Holleis' 3-D Printed Titanium Moorhuhn
Ralf is the only competitor to make his own frame and he created both this titanium version and a matching steel version of his Moorhuhn 29 using additive manufacturing. Besides the frame, the star of the show on this build is the currently unreleased Ingrid drivetrain, the only fully European, cable-actuated drivetrain.
Ralf's subtle anodized feather details stand out from the sandblasted finish
Gian Humpert's Antidote Carbonjack
Trials rider and Trickstuff tester, Gian Humpert, turned to Poland and Antidote for his frame. This is the new Carbonjack 29 that uses carbon fiber as well as aramid fibers like Kevlar and Vectran in the layup. The 150mm travel frame was updated this year to take 29" wheels and also some updates to suspension and geometry.
Gian focussed on performance primarily for his build, which explains some of the non-European parts, but it's still 97.5% European on an MRSP basis.
The Antidote Carbonjack must surely be one of the best looking enduro bikes on the market at the moment.
As Gian tests components for Trickstuff, they were an obvious choice for brakes. He uses the Maxima model and used Trickstuff's own pads and rotors for performance reasons even though they are made in Taiwan.
Kilian Reil's Custom Gearboxed Steel Trail Bike
Kilian Reil drew on his experience touring through Siberia and Central Asia when speccing his dream build. Despite the many miles he is expecting to rack up on this bike, reliability and sturdiness were more important than gram pinching. The result is a 132mm travel frame with aluminum wheels, a coil shock and a Pinion gearbox but also a Berk carbon saddle, Beast carbon bars and Tune hubs.
The steel frame comes from Project 12 Cycleworks, a small Dutch builder, that uses a combination of water-cut parts, CNC, and silver and brass solder to bring his creations to life with a focus on bikes that are as nice to look at as they are to ride.
The intricate shock mounting and linkage is a work of art
The pink brake adapter is a neat flourish.
Time to vote for the winner: